Sunday, January 29, 2006

Miss Saigon

I'm cast in that production I told you about. Not as a big role, like the Engineer (rats!), but they offered me an ensemble role. I was disappointed because my fantasy was to do the Engineer, and since I have issues with time and my on-line school, taking a part in the ensemble would be taxing.

However, it's a great show. And the ensemble gets to do a lot of dancing and that big scene with the "helicopter." So I took a part in the ensemble. Besides, if I want to do the role of the Engineer in the future, I'll need to know the show. I told Bob about my decision, and he shook his head, saying I don't have the time. But this will be fun for me. I'll just have to make it work.

I've just got to make every minute count.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

No News But Pounds Lost

No news about the local Miss Saigon auditions yet. It's nerve wracking because I think I really want to do the show. Anyway, on the Big Loser front, I've lost eight pounds over the past three-and-a-half weeks. Whee!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Audition News

Against my better judgement, I auditioned for a community production of Miss Saigon. I say against my better judgement because of my commitment to my online school (and of course, to my day job). But this opportunity presented itself and I couldn't resist. I've never been in the musical and it was an opportunity to not only do it, but to be considered for a role that I would actually look the part (the Engineer).

So I went last night. It's at a college in the city, which means there are resources there to make the production values great, and the facility is modern.

Well, at the audition, my initial songs were very constricted. I was so nervous and needed to have a better routine of practice so that I could break through it in crunch times. Well, thankfully, they asked me to sing the Engineer role from the musical. I had relaxed a bit and I felt my singing came through. I felt an excitement from them too. My fingers are crossed, but if I get it, I'll really have to work triple hard over the next three months to keep all of my commitments. I'll let you know what happens. I should hear by this week.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I'm off to Lansing, Mich., today to visit a friend. Should be fun. I'm going to try to stay on my little Big Loser campaign (two pounds so far, nothing astounding). I'll be taking a bit of work with me from school, but it'll be nice to just drive for a bit. It's been hard the past couple of weeks trying to do school, change my diet and still push at work. But it's exciting too. I feel I'm making commitments to my choices and that each day, meeting the challenges has been rewarding.

Each day is a new day, and I'm trying to live in each moment. The tracks are set. And I'm starting to enjoy the ride.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Employee of the Quarter!

Okay, here's the back story. Six months ago, I was on the brink of losing my job. My editors were not pleased with my deadline performance, the thoroughness of my stories and my "behavior" at a recent conference (drinking). I sound like a total slob, I know, someone spiralling into a hopeless mess. My perspective on the situation was totally different. I felt I had been doing as good, if not better, at my job in recent months and that in my party mode, I was garnering new contacts for my stories. I was shocked to hear my editors felt the way they did.

In any case, I surrendered to their feedback, put my own emotions in a little cage and just got back to work. As part of my probationary period, I was asked to start coming into the office on a regular basis (I had been freelancing from home at the time). That for me had more pluses that minuses, since I am a people person and focused on team-building.

Well, here six months have passed. In that time, I've worked on everything my editors have asked, improving my deadline performance, responding to my editor's feedback and cutting off alcohol at all company-sponsored functions. One of my investigative pieces created a lot of buzz and feedback in our industry, just as we were going into our annual convention and trade show. And as a whole, the body of work since July has hit if not surpassed my editors' expectations.

Last week, during our first-of-the-year company gathering, they held an awards ceremony. Lo and behold, the winner of Employee of the Quarter ... Me! I screamed like a pageant queen and accepted my plaque.

If I were to summarize lessons learned, I'd say this. I forgot that I was providing my company with a service. If I were a mini-company, Angel Inc., I stopped listening to my main client. My own feelings aside, their needs were not being met. And looking back, the things they wanted were fair requests. Hard work, focus on quality, commitment to deadlines, a perception of professionalism and helpfulness towards the outside busienss community.

Even more importantly is the mutual knowledge that those goals are lofty and difficult to maintain. If we fall below, then an honest effort to move back to excellence is all that's required.

Those are tough lessons. And I'm happy to now take them to heart. I know this may sound corny, but I'm grateful for my little plaque. It makes me pround of myself and what I've been able to accomplish.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Big Loser

I had an online university deadline yesterday, but I spent almost the entire day watching The Biggest Loser marathon. Imagine sitting on the couch, eating leftover New Year's pastries and idly watching people lose weight all day.

I was insprired to do 40 minutes of cardio on my little stationary bike and then the portable stepper I have at home. And I put my weight (I'm officially 20 lbs. heavier than when I was dancing) on an index card and taped it a foot above my bathroom scale. Yes, I've embarked on my own, personal Biggest Loser.

I'll keep updating my progress as time goes on. Cross your fingers!