Always Chasing Rainbows

God walks into a bar…

This post is definitely late in coming, but it’s a fun one!

Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grille was a resounding success! Although opening weekend attendance got off to a slow start (being Easter weekend), we had standing-room only crowds for closing weekend. Word spread quickly across campus and throughout the community- this was a show you did not want to miss! It was so wonderful to see support from the faculty and the student body: The Student Government Association, the University Scholars, and the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization came out in full force! Thanks, everyone!

I truly had a blast during this production. Fellow cast members made the rehearsal process hysterically funny and often poignant, and it felt liberating to be back in the world of comedy (even though the show did have its more serious moments).

The opportunity to play a rougher character was a great challenge; friends and family were shocked that I could exude so much anger and power, but it felt so good to release that built-up tension. I never get a chance to let go of those feelings in daily life, and playing Virginia allowed for a complete emotional cleanse.

My character, somewhat like me, preferred emotional distance and possessed distaste for any displays of weakness. Throughout rehearsal, I tried to find how far she would go with her reaction to personal loss. As someone who hated crying, she wouldn’t bawl her eyes out; on the other hand, she did need to break down to some extent. The perfect breaking point finally clicked during opening weekend, when my family was present in the audience. In Act II, Virginia’s defenses melt as she reflects on the complete loss of her family, gazing at a picture of her niece. I actually used a picture of my sister, who sat in the audience that evening. My own aunt also sat in the front row, and in that moment of the show, something just clicked. No stage tears that night, or any subsequent night. I needed Kleenex to wipe my eyes the moment I exited stage right, and I felt exhilarated when my director commented on the difference. I kept exploring that side of Virginia until closing night.

“Hot damn, cat fight!”
Virginia vs. Shirley!

Character development can be a tricky thing, though; you have to watch that it doesn’t bleed into real life. I must say, I became a bit more outspoken and aggressive during the run of the show, much to the surprise of all involved. I shocked myself a bit, too! I think an overindulgence in Diet Coke also contributed toward this liberation…the world now knows that Kayla can’t handle caffeine. I’ve been banned from Diet Coke! But only after the closing performance, when “God” delivered a glorious can of the energizing substance to my dressing room. What a sweet gesture! He knows a way to a girl’s heart 😉


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