Monday, October 27, 2014

"The time is near...."

   That's right, folks! Les Miserables opens in one week from Friday! (HOW CAN THIS BE.) Of course I am SUPER excited about it all, but as it's getting closer I am definitely starting to feel the pressure of being in such a huge production. Because it's Les Mis, people. HUGE.

  Anyway, today I am going to share some pictures that were taken at rehearsal a few weeks ago. These are just from Act I, and the people who were taking them are in the show so there couldn't be pictures of every scene, but these are the only ones I have so far and I thought you'd all like to see them. :-)

   This is our Valjean. He's really amazing.
Valjean and the Bishop
Fantine, singing I Dreamed a Dream
"You let your foreman seeennnnnnd me away! Yes, you were there, and turned aside!"
"Come to me, Cosette, the light is fading..."

I LOVE this part. It's actually really romantic, because Valjean and Fantine are married. :-)
Valjean and Javert
Javert singing Stars.
He's also really amazing. We just have a really great cast, that's what.
Thenardier, marveling about how all the bits and pieces increase. ;-P

"This weighs a ton!"

Thenardier with little Cosette. Madam Thenardier was absent from this rehearsal.

There's me! :-) Marius and Eponine in The Beggars-- and by the way, those aren't his lines, what you see there is the early stages of a prop. ;-P

"Eponine, do this for me, discover where she lives..."

"Eponine, you're the friend who has brought me here,
Thanks to you I am one with the gods and heaven is near!"

Attack on the Rue Plumet

Eponine standing alone in the shadows, while Marius and Cosette sing A Hear Full of Love.

     Those are all the pictures I have right now, but hopefully there will be more, from Act 2 and with costumes. Yikes, I can hardly believe the show is almost here! It seems like only a few days ago I found out I was cast! Being in a show like this is like nothing I've ever done before, and it hasn't been quite as I'd expected-- that is, it's more challenging than I might have thought. Acting takes some getting used to, especially for someone like me who normally just sings. But, with practice, and thanks to some other members of the cast who've taken the trouble to give me some advice, I'm getting more used to it and more confident of myself. Seriously, this show is going to be amazing. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of this! :-)

  That's all for now, folks! If you think of it, I would really appreciate your prayers in the next few weeks! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Novel Destination

    I love books dearly, so naturally I love bookstores. I love being surrounded by so many books, having the freedom to browse them for hours, and the excitement that comes when you find exactly what you were hoping to, or a book that you've been looking for for a while and didn't think you'd ever find, or just something that strikes your fancy. I just love communing with the books.

   Yesterday my mom and my cousin and I finally visited a little used book store in town which I've been wanting to go to for some time now. It was absolutely darling!

    It's just a very small little nook, in the back of a barbershop, and such a cute little shop. And so many books to be found! Oh my goodness, I was in ecstasy. :-)

   There were three rather small rooms, but they were absolutely filled from floor to ceiling with books of all kinds. There was a large shelf of Christian fiction, which I was pleased to find, and even more pleased was I when I saw my two favorite Ann Tatlock books on the shelf!!! And in top condition too! Promises to Keep and A Room of My Own are now a part of my own collection and reside on my humble bookcase. :-)

I love the back of this book-- even more than the front, actually. ;-P
   Among the other books which caught my interest were these two by Kathleen Y'Barbo:

     Yes, they look a little cheesy, I know, but when I looked at the back and saw the words "Pinkerton" and "Doc Holliday" I just couldn't help myself. :-) They look like fun little stories, and I'm very excited to read them (once I finish the other three books I'm currently reading at the moment.....). I plan on reviewing them on my book blog..

  The bookstore was delightful, and the lady who owns it was very sweet and very helpful. (The prices were also extremely reasonable, which was great of course!) I would love to go back there again and again. The lady told us that there's usually a cat there, but she was out that day so unfortunately we missed seeing her. :-( It was such a cute, cozy atmosphere. I can see myself owning a little used bookstore like that someday, being surrounded by books and my cats and listening to show tunes all day. In fact, when we left my mom said, "Emma.....that could be you in 30 years!" And I was like, yep, that'll be me. And you, my friends, would all come and visit me and we'd have apple cider and peanut butter cookies and talk about all sorts of lovely things. :-)

~Emma Jane

Monday, October 20, 2014

Emma Week Tag!

    This week is Discovering Emma Week at Along the Brandywine! Heidi has lots of fun things planned for this week, and I know it's going to be a lovely event! Do hop on over and join the fun! :-)

 Here are my answers to Heidi's Emma tag:

1. Have you ever read Emma?

    Only about a third of it, I am slightly embarrassed to say. :-( I started reading it several years ago-- I think I was twelve, maybe?-- shortly after we'd watched the 2009 miniseries. I don't remember why I didn't finish it-- I probably got distracted by some other book, and I've just never gotten around to finishing it since then. I do hope to read it all someday though!

2. If so, is that how you first made her acquaintance? (If not, feel free to elaborate!) 
   I can't remember a time when I didn't know Jane Austen had written a novel called Emma-- my mother had read it in college, and somehow I had learned it was about a matchmaker, but my first real encounter was about four years ago. I had seen Romola Garai in several movies and really liked her as an actress, so when my sister and I found out she was in Emma, we got it from the library and watched it. I loved it at once, and to this day it is one of my favorite period dramas. The Romola Garai version is the only one I've seen, but I also have a slight interest in the older Kate Beckinsale version. I have seen the trailer for the Gwenyth Paltrow version, and frankly, it looks nauseating. But that's just my first impression, and I know lots of people like it.
3. Do you have a favorite film adaptation? 
     Yes! The 2009 BBC miniseries! Of course, that's the only one I've seen, but if I had seen others I'm confident the answer would still be the same. :-)
4. Favorite dress(es) from that film?
     Oh, boy. Now you've really got me in a tight corner. I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH!!! Seriously, this is one of my favorite period drama wardrobes ever. But I will try to pick some of my favorites.
Emma's yellow flowered dress
Emma's green Christmas dress (sorry, there are hardly any full pictures of this dress, but I'm assuming most of y'all know what it looks like).
Emma's pink dress with the green waistband
   Emma's flowered dress-- this is actually probably my very favorite. Really, Emma has a whole ton of dresses.
5. Share a line you love from either the book or movie/s—several if you like!
   "Mr. Knightley, if I have not spoken it is because I am afraid I will awaken myself from this dream."
"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."
~Mr. Knightley
"Really, Emma, it is better to be without wits than to apply them as you do."
~Mr. Knightley
"I really think it is time for tea, and yet it has not arrived, do you think I should call Father in?"
~Emma (mainly the reason why I like this one is just because of the way Romola Garai says it)
"I have been so busy managing everyone else's hearts, I do not know my own."
"Nonsensical girl!"
~Mr. Knightley
6. Is Emma one of your favorite heroines? Why or why not?
     Although I think Emma's absolutely darling and I like her a lot, she's not one of my top favorites. Mainly because I just don't identify with Jane Austen's heroines as much as others. While I love Emma's personality, she's not one of the heroines that I am most fond of or admire most.
7. What is one of Emma’s strengths (good qualities)?
   Emma cares about her friends and wants the best for them, although she doesn't always go about it in the right way because she wants what she wants and often doesn't give much thought to other people's feelings or preferences. Emma is also good at making people feel welcome and at home, and she's lots of fun to be around.
8. Describe in one (or two…or three) sentences, why Mr. Knightley is so wonderful.
  Oh goodness.
  *scratches head* Well, okay.
  Mr. Knightley is just wonderful. (Okay, I already passed the one sentence mark. ;-P) He's the perfect gentleman, a kind and dependable friend; he's considerate, practical, clever, and wise; he doesn't really care what other people think of him, yet he still maintains a spotless reputation. Mr. Knightley is just the man.
9. Why do you think Mr. Knightley and Emma are so well suited to each other?
    They understand one another. They can advise each other, tease each other and even criticize without worrying about really offending the other, because they know each other so well. She's very social and talkative and gets worked up about things easily, while he's more of a solitary person and is much more cut and dried, but yet they compliment each other so well.
10. Would you rather spend a week in Highbury with the Westons—on Abbey-Mill Farm with the Martins—or in London with the John Knightleys?
   Hmmm.....I'm going to say Highbury with the Westons, although Abbey-Mill Farm sounds delightful as well. But I know the Westons far better than I know the Martins, and I'd probably get to see Mr. Woodhouse and Mr. and Mrs. Knightley at some point during the visit. :-)
   Thank you, Heidi, for hosting this fun event! :-)

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Her name was Eponine..."

  *Long-winded intro to the big news*

  You may be aware of the fact that I am a Les Mis fan. An ardent one.

  Les Miserables is my favorite musical, and rapidly becoming one of my favorite stories. I love the music, the characters, the drama-- everything about it is just so epic. It's the greatest musical ever written, in my own not-so-humble opinion, and I love it. To death.

  Of course, it wasn't always like this-- believe it or not, there was a time when I was indifferent to the musical (perish the thought!) But we're not going to go into the whole backstory of my Les Mis indoctrination right now, because that would take too long and probably bore you all to an early death, and I certainly wouldn't wish that. Suffice to say, I have joined the ranks of the Miserables. I am officially obsessed. And, like so many other Les Mis fans, it's long been a dream of mine to actually be in the show-- to be part of the story, to actually sing the songs with other actors instead of just singing the whole thing through by myself while I'm cleaning the house and washing dishes (which gets pretty hard when you're trying to do two or three parts all at once). Well, my friends, the purpose of this post is to tell you something exciting that I've been waiting to divulge, something I'm so thrilled about that I'm just about ready to burst at the seams. My dream has come true. I'M IN LES MISERABLES.

   And the best part (which you've probably already guessed, given the title of this post and the considerable hint I slipped in another recent post, and since I know you're all pretty bright)*drumroll*


  Yes, it's true! I'm playing Eponine Thenardier in a local college production of Les Miserables! This is one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to me: playing one of my favorite roles in my favorite musical. It's always been a dream of mine to be in a musical, but being homeschooled, one doesn't have the opportunities to do it as often. So when I heard last spring that our community college was putting on Les Miserables in the fall, I was there. :-)

    I feel so blessed to be playing this role! I'm so terribly excited about it. A first it seemed almost unreal that I'd gotten the part-- I've never been in anything so big as this before, and I'm about ten years younger than most of the rest of the cast. It's so awesome being a part of a show like this, and I'm so thrilled to be a lead. ;-P It's been challenging, but I'm loving it.

"That's Eponine, she knows her way about
Only a kid, but hard to scare"

"....Anywhere where he is
If he asked, I'd be his."

"One more day all on my own
One more day with him not caring!
What a life I might have known
But he never saw me there!"

"....without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near, now I can make believe he's here."
"Took the letter like you said,
I met her father at the door.
He said he would give it,
I don't think I can stand anymore."
"Don't you fret, M'siuer Marius, I don't feel any pain
A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now
You're here, that's all I need to know."

"Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation
Take my love, for love is everlasting
And remember the truth that once was spoken
To love another person is to see the face of God."

   This is going to be so awesome! There are eleven performances in all, and the show opens IN LESS THAN A MONTH. Eeeek!!!!! It might get pretty tiresome to live with me for the next few weeks, since the Les Mis syndrome has officially set in and I've been singing the show 24/7. And it's only going to get worse, mark my words. But that's just what happens when you're in Les Miserables. :-)

Have you ever been in a musical before?
Have you ever seen Les Miserables live?

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