Evil Dead: The Musical: The Evil Vlog!

I absolutely love it when actors vlog from behind the scenes of their shows! I’ve posted a couple of Evil Dead related videos here and here, as well as a blog post about my experience in the show, but I also filmed before and after performances, as well as backstage and even a little bit from onstage! I really miss this production and I hope we get to do it again.

Comment below with your favorite show you’ve ever done! What’s the funniest shenanigan that ever happened backstage?

Book Review: Dead to Me

Dead to MeDead to Me by Mary McCoy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the book I was looking for but I didn’t know what I wanted. It’s a classic noir thriller setting, but with a heroine with the perfect balance of pluck and sensibility. It’s a vintage era with a modern feminist outlook. The mystery is well-layered. No one is a true hero, no one is a real villain (for the most part). The story kept me guessing and the writing style kept me hooked. This is a book that I need to buy to keep on my shelves. (Gushing review is just because I really did like it. Really. No one paid me to write this.)

View all my reviews

Take Care of Your Lips in the Winter!

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored and I bought everything myself!

I did a post earlier about what I do in the winter to take care of my hair and my skin when the air is cold and dry. But you might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about my lips! That’s because I take extra precautions. My lips always seem to be affected by the change in weather first. And when your job depends on you talking nonstop, well, you want to make sure that your mouth isn’t in pain! So here’s what I do to avoid dry, chapped, cracked lips in the winter.

-I apply a lip balm first thing in the morning. I don’t shower every morning, but I always clean up my face and follow the steps of my morning routine to take care of my skin. The last step is always to apply lip balm. Lately I’ve been using the Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched. It has SPF, which is super important when you work outside all day like I do. The formula is thin and slick but absorbs fast. Plus the smell is reminiscent of my favorite Fresh Sugar lip balms (which are great, but a little too pricey for my wallet for everyday wear.)

-I apply lip balm at work too. I keep a squeezy tube style lip balm in my work backpack. I learned pretty quickly in my Disney career that a normal lip balm in a tube will melt like nobody’s business (I had a pretty catastrophic lip balm eruption in my bag when I worked at Star Tours). I’m currently using the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus. It’s supposed to “revitalize and nourish,” which is really what I look for in the winter. It’s a very thick formula and takes a little while to absorb, but it’s great for when I’m driving the truck and chilly winds are blowing through the open windows (especially at the Savannah Overlook!)

-I keep lip balm in my rehearsal and performance bags. Singing and speaking also dry out my lips faster, so I make sure there’s a lip balm in my bag. Inevitably I lose my lip balm, buy a new one at Target, find the old one, lose the new one, lose the old one again, repeat the cycle (anyone else do that? Just me?) Usually I stick to the Eos lip balms since they have a wide variety of scents, and the round shape is easy to find in my bag. I also have a Lip Smackers Tsum Tsum balm that I adore (it’s Tinker Bell and scented like Pixie Peach Pie, so like…what’s not to love?)

-I exfoliate at night. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always do my night time routine, but I try to stick to it, and when I do I always exfoliate. If I need just a little bit, I use a dry washcloth. My sister got me a couple of the magic Disney Princess washcloths from the Disney Store a while back, so I use those. If I need a little more, I use the Lush lip scrub. My favorite is the Popcorn one- it’s salty and sweet, and it wipes off easily. My lips always feel so soft afterwards.

-I use Vaseline. Yep, good ol’ Vaseline. The skincare favorite for Hollywood starlets in the 30s and 40s is a favorite in the winter for me. The Vaseline lip balm can come in a tiny tub or a round tin, and it’s usually pretty inexpensive. It’s thick and creates a protective layer over my lips, and at night time that’s plenty of time to let it sink in and do its thing. One of my major issues is the corners of my mouth; the skin tends to crack and even bleed sometimes. Putting Vaseline on at night seems to be the best thing for me to heal the skin.

So that’s what I do on a daily basis to keep my lips healthy in the winter! Do you have a favorite lip product to keep your lips healthy? (Anyone else still have a soft spot for Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers?)

Costuming the Wedding Singer

Before I costumed The Wedding Singer…I actually hadn’t listened to any of the songs from the show. Oops. I had seen the Adam Sandler movie, ages ago, but I had some research to do for the production.

Wedding Singer is a super cute, super lively musical about a (duh) wedding singer and a waitress who fall in love, even though he’s not over his ex who left him at the altar and she’s engaged to a (really awful) CEO. It’s an incredibly high energy show from start to finish, and it’s set in the 1980s, so clearly that makes it a lot of fun.

I just didn’t have any idea how challenging this show would be to costume! Here are just a few of the problems I ran into:

-a huge cast! There were about 25 people that needed costumes. Not only that, but each lead had an understudy, plus all of the ensemble members had multiple costume changes.

-multiple specialty costumes! I needed three blue blazers, plus four wedding gowns, plus four sets of bridesmaids. It was super intense.

-minimal budget and no wardrobe to pull from! This production was done through the Stage cast club, which is for Disney cast members, so we didn’t have a specific theater that belongs strictly to us. The show was actually performed in the Ballroom of the Americas in the Contemporary resort. So you can see how it was an interesting set up from the beginning.

I pulled as much as I could from Goodwill and from the actors’ wardrobes, but I did end up making a lot of specialty pieces.

One of the actors actually found the iconic blue blazers online! They weren’t exactly, uh, the best craftsmanship, but it was easier to alter these guys than sew blazers from scratch. The director also found the piano ties on eBay. George’s top was a ladies’ blouse from Goodwill and I added copious amounts of ruffles.

IMG_1506 (1)Robbie also had some pretty sweet parachute pants “that his grandma bought for [him].” They were actually tracksuit pants with extra zippers attached.

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The ensemble for “All About the Green” needed to be identical, so there were about ten navy dirndl skirts. Yikes. Luckily, one of the cast members, Madison, was an absolute angel and helped me with a lot of projects, including this one.

The impersonators posed a definite challenge- Mr. T, Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, Imelda Marcos, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Nancy’s dress and cardigan was already in her closet; Ronald and Imelda got their outfits from Goodwill with some alterations. Mr. T and Billy Idol pieced their costumes themselves (with some extra fringe stitched carefully to Billy’s vest). Cyndi was the biggest challenge. I pulled a cute Betsey Johnson dress from my closet, added some multicolored tulle left from Holly’s skirt (you’ll see in a second), and we added a lot of accessories. A lot. Unfortunately the zipper popped during tech week! We had to replace it at the last minute. But it worked!

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Linda, Robbie’s ex-fiancee, also got a great pleated skirt. I made it without a pattern and it worked out really well, especially with the leather jacket.

There were also four wedding dresses used in the show! One was donated to the production- a truly massive 80s satin nightmare. I also donated a wedding dress from my own closet for the bride in the opening number; the crinoline was cut out to make it easier to dance in, and I added a set of massive puff sleeves.

The bodice of Linda’s dress was sewn from an out of print McCall’s pattern, 5580. It’s a simple bustier pattern that I made from muslin with a lace overlay. The skirt was also muslin with a lace overlay, and then a truly bonkers high-low hem tulle skirt. It moved so well during Linda’s act one number, and with combat boots and a silver belt it was perfect. (And that wig…just look at that glorious wig.)

Julia’s wedding gown was a super important project for me. She’s the female lead and the object of Robbie’s affections, so it was important that her wedding gown was as simple, sweet, and lovely as she is. My friend Molly played the role with the perfect balance of sweetness and quirkiness and it was so fun making her a gown. I used an actual 80s formalwear pattern that I found on eBay, Butterick 5965, but I made the skirt long and full. The dress was lined in muslin (no budget to be had!) with a layer of satin over it, and then a layer of very soft tulle over it. It actually wasn’t even tulle- technically it was mosquito netting. But it draped beautifully and it looked so soft and dreamy. The dress itself is very simple, but I made sure it fit her well, and I added a rhinestone trim (also from the 1980s- it was actually vintage!) so that Robbie’s question about “is that bedazzling?” made sense. She wore it with a veil from my closet and a petticoat, but there wasn’t a train to make it easier to dance in.

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(you can also see the super cute bridesmaids’ skirts that Madison whipped up!)

Holly, Julia’s cousin, had one of the most challenging costumes. For most of the show, she wore an IMMENSE poofy skirt. It was made of three layers of pink organza, with multiple layers of tulle circle skirts in a rainbow of colors. It was so time intensive to make, but isn’t the final result great?


But guess what! That isn’t even the final result! Under that skirt, Holly is wearing a mini dress made of pink swimwear material! See, at the end of act one, Holly pulls a Flashdance and does the whole pull-the-chain-and-the-water-comes-down bit. She needed a dress that could get wet and be completely dry by the next performance. So you see that fancy tulle circle skirt? Yeah, it’s actually a tearaway! It fastened with two extremely sturdy magnetic snaps at the waist so she could pop it off, and underneath was a pink minidress made from McCall’s 5580. If I could do it again, I would make my own bias tape from black spandex rather than using the woven premade tape, but it still worked out and she looked great. (“Like a fairy godmother…only slutty.”)

IMG_1505 Wedding Singer is a complicated show to costume even without the constraints I had, but overall it was a great show- definitely one of the most high energy and dedicated casts I’ve worked with! I’m glad I had the chance to make them look good onstage. And I can’t wait to costume the show again this spring!

Winter Hair and Skin Care (Even in Florida!

Disclaimer: All the items I talk about in this blog were purchased by me, except for two items that were gifted to me through the Influenster program. This post isn’t sponsored, I just like stuff!

I know, I know. I live in Florida. The sunshine state, right?

WRONG. It got into the 30s last week! I think my friend Ronnie summed it up the best.

I have super thin Floridian blood that is no longer accustomed to anything colder than 60 degrees. I’m a delicate magnolia blossom who withers in the frost, y’all.

The other problem is that Florida is the land of humidity- after all, I work in the middle of a renovated swamp. It’s constantly humid, but when it gets cold out the air invariably gets a lot drier. And that means I get a lot drier. I’m basically like Spongebob on that episode where he goes to Sandy’s treedome for the first time. So here’s what I do in the three weeks of Floridian winter to keep from freezing and drying out!

-A good shampoo and conditioner. My hair is super fine and porous, so I try not to wash it too often. That’s the nice thing about the Floridian winter, though- my hair is less frizzy in the drier air, and I sweat much less than I do in the summer, so I can get away with even third day hair. But I still want to keep my hair moisturized, so I splurged a little on the OGX collagen shampoo. Hopefully it’ll help. I also will typically braid my hair at work to keep it out of my face and reduce the likelihood of snapping my fragile strands as I yank a headseat microphone off my head ten times a day.

-A thick, moisturizing body wash. My skin gets really dry in the winter after a summer of heat and humidity, and I don’t have time for lotion. (Seriously, who has time for lotion?) Instead, I use the Dove winter care body wash. It’s very thick and creamy, and it keeps my skin soft and moisturized for the winter without having to go through all the effort of slathering on lotion. I think Dove has a summer care body wash, so when it’s hot again (so like…March) I’ll give that one a try too!

-thick eye cream. I started using eye creams when I was still in college, so I have very few lines around my eyes (thanks, past Caitlin!) The skin around my eyes is very fragile, and I’ve noticed some new freckles popping up under my lower lash line. I’ve been using the Origins ginzing eye cream (via an Influenster box) in the mornings and it’s just the right combination of creamy and fast-absorbing. I might switch to something even thicker though- any recommendations?

-thick face cream. I luckily have pretty good skin (combination: normal on the cheeks and the chin, slightly oily on my T zone) but I try to take good care of it. I’m pretty vigilant about washing my face in the morning with a mild cleanser (currently the Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity) and using a toner, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen immediately afterwards. Right now I’ve been using the L’Oreal Revitalift cream, (also via an Influenster box). It’s a thick cream but I’ve noticed that it’s really helped with the slight texture on my forehead. Night time…is a different story though. I rarely wear makeup to work, but unless I shower before bed (a new habit I’m trying to develop) I usually forget to wash my face! When I do, though, I use the Ponds Crema S for dry skin. It’s ridiculously thick and I joke with my boyfriend that my face smells like a grandma, but there’s a reason that Ponds has been around as long as it has. I get the tiny travel jar of the cream and it lasts for literally months because you don’t need much of it.

-hand sanitizer and lotion. I keep hand sanitizer everywhere! This is a year-round thing for me. I spend all day touching stuff after other people- steering wheels, headsets, stroller handles, push buttons, handlebars. And that doesn’t even count for how dirty the entire attraction! Everything is covered in a thick layer of dirt. So to stay clean and germ free, I keep Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer everywhere, especially in the side pocket of my work backpack and on a loop on my water bottle. (Right now I have Twisted Peppermint and a blue summer scent; I have several aromatherapy scents ready to go as soon as they run out.) But that dries out my hands, so I carry around a tube of hand lotion as well. I have literally a box of mini hand lotions (thanks, Ipsy and Birchbox) but right now mine is…well, it’s from our resort room from the time my family got a surprise upgrade to a villa in Saratoga Springs. It’s the H2O Marine Sea Salt scent. It’s more summery in scent, but it’s very thick and smells amazing. (Also apparently people are selling the resort freebies on eBay for like $15?? Wow, what a market.)

So that’s a few of the things I like to do to keep my hair and skin in shape during the winter! What are some products and tricks that you recommend?

OOTD: The Last Jedi (again) and Orlando Fringe

Yes, I totally saw Last Jedi again. My friend Bri is visiting from out of town so a group of us went to see it together. Honestly, it was even better the second time around. But it was cold!! Florida has been in the 40s and 50s and it’s been nuts. I wore my favorite shirt jacket and I unearthed my convertible glove mittens. We grabbed pizza from Blaze afterwards, and then I headed to the theater.

For the past few months we’ve been rehearsing our Fringe Festival show off site, so we only had a few hours in the space before our first performance. We got there at three thirty, did a run with the tech added in, and then ran the costumes changes. We also had an interview with Fringe, so we ran over to the Shakespeare to do that before the first show. I’m so tired and I definitely ate my weight in Taco Bell when I got home.

Top: Disney

Skirt: Forever 21

Leggings: No Boundaries

Boots: Target

Purse: Betsey Johnson

Coat: Converse

Gloves: Claire’s

Glasses: Eye Buy Direct (Sophie frames)