From Halee Towne: Actor, the one in the photo with the antlers ...
Every year I do my best to get in the holiday spirit; I watch Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, eat monster cookies, stare at the lights on the tree, sing my favorite carols, and bawl when they play "Christmas Shoes" over the loud speakers at department stores, but sometimes Christmas comes and goes and I am left completely unmoved and unaffected. It leaves me feeling cheated somehow... all of the hype and buildup of Christmas and the "magic" of the season, and I miss it. There is a certain mystery about Christmas... sometimes it sinks in, makes sense and leaves you loving humanity and ready to tackle the brand new year that is ahead... and other times, it kind of lets you down and makes any pain you already feel about every day life 1000 times worse.
You never can tell what it will bring.
A Christmas Survival Guide deals directly with the mystery of Christmas and I am loving the process it is taking me through. Today, Marco and I rehearsed a scene where we are a couple in love, ready to spend our first Christmas together and how excited we are as we decorate our tree until we start realizing that Christmas means two completely different things to each one of us, and our day and tree are destroyed because of it. Sammy does a brilliant number where he is trying so desperately to love the season but he is never allowed to connect with it with all the chaos around him. Sharon Kay is left alone with her TV after a party, trying to reconcile her loneliness with the happiness she is supposed to be feeling this time of year. Carmen needs all of the the fruitcake and Santa and plastic reindeer and Johnny Mathis in order to experience the joy of the holidays. As we look to a book to find our answers to the millions of questions we have about Christmas, at the end, we are all left with the one question... what is Christmas all about?
I have loved exploring this question with the four FABULOUS other cast members, our director and musical director and the designers of this show. It has been impossible for me NOT to connect with the heart of Christmas Survival Guide.
What a gift it has been to me!