goodbye, sally liu

this past weekend we closed how to succeed in business without really trying. it’s been a really emotional ride for me, seeing as this is the first time being up on stage again after six long years.

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it feels weird to say that it’s been so long – the last time i got to perform was in college, singing alongside my choirs timesquare and soundcheque. it’s not from lack of trying, life makes all the decisions and sometimes you’re just along for the ride. i’ve been auditioning for local productions the past three years and after a ton of “no’s” i was about to quit. tony pushed me really hard – insisted that i don’t give up, and i agreed to go on this one last audition. and now here i am, three months later, excited for my next chance to get on stage again.

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sterling playmakers enjoys the last show of its 23rd season with how to succeed in business without really trying. don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a pyramid scheme or a lecture – it’s a satirical musical about working in the office. written in the 60’s, the jokes are a bit dated, but a lot of the themes still ring true almost sixty years later.

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seeing as i was lacking in experience and even just the mere ability of getting my foot in the door, i was beyond ecstatic to be cast in the ensemble and even more so, as a featured dancer! i’ve never considered myself a strong dancer, so being recognized made me immensely happy. i was even able to play a body double for the lead – which although i wasn’t credited for, i  really enjoyed. building my character background was the part i enjoyed the most. my nameless character was transformed into sally liu, a very shy and nervous girl, who, fresh out of college got a job as a secretary at world wide wickets. i became very attached to her and her signature headband look.

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i met a ton of amazing people, it’s incredible to me how many talented people there are in just this area alone! people in theatre are very quirky, which suits me perfectly. i was easily accepted in the community just by being myself – which has rarely happened to me in my life. i made some great friends, people i hope to get on stage with again. i also learned so many things from everyone, about ways to train yourself, new shows to watch, and how to make my audition game stronger.

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even more than just meeting new, awe-inspiring people, i got closer to the people i already knew i love. so much support flooded in from the people around me. coworkers came out to see the show, my friends brought me flowers, my family either came and suffered through one night without a/c or drove up two hours just for the show, and tony saw a whopping six out of the nine shows. i just couldn’t believe how much love i was showered with.

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the show taught me a lot – about myself and my limits. i didn’t realize how exhausted i could be. i was even more overwhelmed the last month leading up to the show than i was when i had a second job or when i played volleyball four nights a week. the days were long, sleep sparse, and my temper grew shorter. but we made it! the show came together and i’m proud of how it turned out.

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i’m sad, yet relieved, to be saying goodbye to my dear sally liu, i spent many hours trying to be faithful to the girl i created so it’ll be strange not wearing the concerned, doe-eyed expression anymore. as i put her away, i hope i can portray someone new in the future again soon.

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although i thought i knew what community theatre would be like, after this experience i realize, i didn’t even have the first clue.

-some photos thanks to alan price-

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