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You know when you’re so tired you feel drunk? Only you haven’t had the pleasure of the drinking of the drinks? That’s me today. We’ve had a sudden heat wave and it was 38 degrees in Hobart today. That’s not supposed to happen. I MOVED HERE FOR THE COOLER CLIMATE. It was windy too, like being in a furnace. Well. How I imagine that would feel, never actually having been in a furnace. Obviously.

Because it’s been so hot, sleep has been in short supply. Our house is not really built for hot weather (BEING IN TASMANIA AND ALL). My bedroom is probably the hottest in the house as it gets the afternoon sun and just doesn’t get any airflow. So last night I tried to sleep on the couch with the air con on, but just couldn’t get to sleep. Until my alarm went off at 5:45am (or so it felt…I’m sure I got a few hours). Then up and out the door to drive to Hobart for Mark’s ordination. I’m not a morning person at the best of times, but on a couple of hours sleep and driving three hours through lots of roadworks…I needed a lot of coffee.

I was so pleased I got to go! Originally I was to have had rehearsals, but they were cancelled. St David’s Cathedral was packed, and we were sitting in the back row, which was crammed up against the sound desk so it was like being in the worst economy airline ever, where you couldn’t even stand up straight when you had to stand up. Also there were TV screens all around the cathedral which were at the perfect height to read the song lyrics if everyone was sitting down, but impossible to see when everyone actually stood to sing. D’oh.

But those are little niggles. It was really special to see a dear friend take such a big step forward, especially having worked with Mark for years and being led by him in Bible study and just generally enjoying him as a human being. I know he’s already been an asset to St John’s, but it’s extra cool now that he’s a Rev.

We eschewed the sausage sizzle in the 38 degree afternoon and went to Fico for lunch, on a whim. Delish! I had duck ragu tagliatelle and, for dessert, bee pollen gelato with balsamic glaze and meringue. We really liked the restaurant, it was just right.

Side note: my darling brother Nick, when are you coming down and opening up your own restaurant? I could see you doing a place like that. Only make it in Launceston so mum and I can hang out there more often. And make it French. Or Malaysian. Or Malaysian French…wait. That’s either the best or worst idea I’ve ever had (probably the latter…there’s a reason I don’t work in hospitality).

I was so sleepy on the drive home I had to stop and get mum to take over. She was a bit nervous, never having driven my car, but I was so grateful to just have a rest of my eyes and get to see some of the scenery roll by, which you miss when you’re always the driver. The roadworks are a killer though. Soooo much of the drive is 60km/hr and it feels like it’ll never end.

Apart from work, which is super busy but going well for the most part – my favourite thing last week was taking photos of Grade 5 getting up close and personal with bees…impossible to take a bad photo of these kids! Also I’m getting super obsessed with bees…but that’s for another post – the thing that’s occupying all my time is, of course, Strictly Ballroom. Tickets are apparently selling really well, and I can’t wait to get into the theatre…next weekend! Eep. Do book your tickets soon if you’re planning to come, and stick around at the stage door afterwards to say hi.

Have had a few days off rehearsals and honestly I’m missing it. This one is going to be much harder to part with than The Sound of Music was. I think because SOM is so familiar, and long, and I had long stretches backstage, I was quite satisfied to leave it. I’d had my fill. But perhaps also going straight into Strictly helped with that. I think I’ll definitely miss this show and all the wonderful people I get to hang out with a few times a week. I love my character, Abuela, her sassy Spanish dialogue and her warm, soft heart. I still have a lot of backstage time, but I am singing side of stage for all the ensemble numbers and helping with some of the quick costume changes, so the time flies by.

Just some of Liz’s costumes – I was so excited to see they matched her yellow suit from the movie!

We still haven’t hit on my costume yet, so I’m keen to see whether the wardrobe wizards have found anything for me tomorrow when we do the costume run with the band. We are using a lot of costumes from other productions (as happens in community theatre…share the love and cost!), and only one of the three sent for me fit. One I couldn’t get over my ample bosom, and one I couldn’t move my arms in. We had come up with some outfits cobbled together from bits and pieces sourced from costume storage and op shops, but our director Danny hasn’t been happy with the look. And the look of the whole show is so huge – honestly there are so many feathers and sequins and flounces on the dancers you won’t know where to look (and that’s before they’ve even done the wigs and makeup and fake tans!) – that I’m glad the attention to detail extends down to li’l old Abuela.

Actually he said something that made me pause – along the lines of “she needs something suitable for a lead”. Okay it might be obvious to everyone else but I thought “Oh my goodness. I’m a lead.” and my heart jumped a little. I don’t know why I just have this imposter syndrome thing – even when I’ve been cast in a show as a significant named character who has two solo songs. What is wrong with my head? But then I was talking to one of the other actors, who is doing a phenomenal job of singing, acting and dancing, and he was feeling inadequate too and I could hardly believe it.

Since coming to Launceston and getting involved in theatre, music and church things, I’ve seen so many marvellous people taking big risks and putting themselves out there. It’s admirable but also scary! Especially for those who have more of a public profile and cop all sorts of nonsense on social media.

We need to build each other up, creatives! Whether it’s theatre or writing or illustrating or dancing or singing or playing music or…whatever. It’s so easy to second guess and doubt and think we’re going to be negatively judged and allow that to make us nervous or less inclined to try. I mean there’s always room to improve and wanting to be better is a good thing. But we also have to acknowledge the good stuff we actually do manage to do. We’re creating new things! We’re putting something into the world that didn’t exist before. We’re in the arena. Here’s my hero Brené Brown to sum it up nicely:

So yes it’s scary stuff but it’s also exciting and I wouldn’t give it up for the world, no matter how tired I get. Get into the arena. It’s fun in here.