I have officially been a teenager for 14 days now and guess where I spent my 13th birthday? . . . . Yes, the theatre. As the understudy for Cathy in The Hard Problem, my night for shadowing Cathy aka Katie Beth Hall fell on Groundhog's Day, which happens to also be my birthday. But I'm not complaining . . . . Yes, it's true that sometimes I feel like I spend all my time refusing invitations from my non-theatre friends, and politely explaining that:
or "I can't, I have a performance," or "I can't, I have to shadow Katie Beth," or I can't, . . . . " Lucky for me, I have cool non-theatre friends who keep asking anyway.
Even though I was "working" on my birthday, I still got to spend it with a friend, and if you are going to spend your birthday "working" at the theatre, no better way to do it than with theatre-friend bestie, Katie Beth Hall, who totally understands that theatre kids are likely to spend at least a few of their birthdays at the theatre . . . . after all we did spend HER 12th birthday together at the same theatre the week before! And yeah, sure maybe neither of us had a traditional birthday party, but we are living proof that two theatre nerds can have a really good time backstage in the dressing room in between scenes as long there is lime green Silly Putty involved!
And before anyone gets too worried that I am giving up "just being a kid" for "work," remember that actors who are acting are some of the luckiest people in the world because their work is doing something they love. Plus, when you are working at the theatre, you are with other actors, and that usually means that something exciting or funny will happen before the night is over. Coincidentally,** on Ground Hog's Day 2017 - which happens to be my birthday - the adult cast of The Hard Problem - which happens to be the entire cast except Katie Beth Hall - had planned a party for after the show that night. I can promise you that when I woke up on my 13th birthday, it never crossed my mind that I would end up spending it at my first margarita party singing songs from Hamilton -- and before anyone gets too worried, our ever-so-creative stage manager, Anthony, came up with a recipe for non-alcoholic margaritas for the 13 and under crowd (aka Katie Beth and me). So, see turning 13 as a theatre kid has certain advantages - not the least of which is forever having the story to tell of how I celebrated my first day as a teenager. How many other 13 year-olds get to celebrate with awesomely talented and cool people at a margarita party hosted by a guy named "Spike" - okay his real name is Kyle Cameron - but he plays a guy named "Spike" and that kind of adds some "edge" to my story so let's go with that!
Thanks Kyle, Tessa, Joy, David, Emily, Shravan, Nancy, Anthony, and Victoria for letting Katie Beth and me crash the party with our chaperones in tow (aka my Mom and Katie Beth's Dad -speaking of coincidence, it was Katie Beth's Dad's birthday too! - but he was not turning 13).
**Note: I am pretty sure it was a coincidence that Kyle planned a party that happened to fall on Ground Hog's Day, my 13th birthday and the evening I was shadowing Katie Beth - but to be entirely sure it was a coincidence, we should probably check with David MacDonald, as it might be that we just did not have enough information to realize that it was bound to happen. And while it does not rise to the level of miracle, I think it is a coincidence that Katie Beth's Dad's birthday falls on February 2 too - but again, I defer to David MacDonald. And if those of you reading this do not understand the significance of this discussion about coincidence, you have not seen The Hard Problem, AND YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR TICKETS AND GO SEE THE SHOW BEFORE THE RUN ENDS ON FEBRUARY 26!