Thursday, October 6, 2016

we are just the best of friends and nothing else matters


We are such goofballs, but honestly, nothing else matters, Ivan is everything to me.
Here is my little memento to my sweet man (NOT my 3 chins in this photo) that my husband is really just my best friend.  I am beyond grateful for his love, his hard work and his humor getting through life. Ivan has taught me to laugh through everything.  He makes me laugh, I make him laugh and it just goes on from there! I'm so proud of him for getting through #LongDistance this year. Ivan stayed at home working 3 jobs this year.  He performs in Showstoppers at the Wynn and he is just so dang talented. I am so proud of him and I love being his fangirl and I love being his girl.

Thank you for being mine Ivan!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Look at me, I'm on a boat




Ladies and Gentleman, presenting the Fantasy 9 Cast!

Here we are, we are ON THE BOAT.  I have already made such great memories with this cast, I can't imagine what's more to come! I am most excited to be performing onstage for our guests.  Being here is daunting because I am SO far away from my family, far away from home and far away from Ivan.  I miss him terribly when I'm here.  Performing is such a passion of mine and this is such a good opportunity- truly once in a lifetime- I have to embrace it! I have to love it- can I possibly love it even more?  Soon I will be spending more and more days at the beach and with my friends.

My Dreams are Coming True. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Castaway Cay

First, I need you to do something- close your eyes and imagine Paradise. 
In my mind, the closest thing to paradise on earth is Disney's Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay is pronounced Key. It's a private island and our cruise ship pulls up right along side! You spend all day eating island fruit, floating in the water and catching the sunshine.

The water is so clear and the sand is so white.



Being with amazing friends only makes it that much MORE fun!
On our ship, we go to Disney's Castaway Cay every single Friday 
Blue Skies and Sunshine?
Guaranteed
xo

Thursday, March 3, 2016

we're going to DISNEYWORLD


Plane wings- one of my favorite views. My husbands face? Even better!


Look who's here to play at Disneyworld with me?  Guys, I'm so excited I can't even blog about it- I'm going to go have fun now! We'll see you later!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Niagara Falls







This was my first time ever at Niagara Falls and boy is it gorgeous! I rented a car with a few of my fun castmates and we headed straight for the falls- lots of photos and videos were made for sure! Niagara Falls is kind of like a mini Las Vegas- very touristy. There were rides, mini golfing, arcade games, haunted houses and so many candy shops (delicious by the way.) The best part of the trip was the yummy Nanaimo Bar I ate and riding the ferris wheel, the view was phenomenal! The water was loud and misty, and for being late February, it was actually a very sunny day!  I definitely recommend a fun day trip to Niagara Falls to everyone that is close to Toronto. It was a view I will never forget!



And for now, one last selfie before I go..



 xo, the traveling Mormon wife

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My little sister Kayla is on a mission


I was lucky enough to be so close to my little sister while she was on her mission. She was just one hour away from me in Toronto.  My sister, Kayla Womack is serving her mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the gospel we both believe in! I am so proud of her and lucky that we got visit for an afternoon today!


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ivan's in Toronto

Ivan and I together in downtown Toronto on a cold Sunday Morning!


The Bitter-Sweet:
What is sweeter than being with Ivan? Being together after 3 weeks apart. 
The bitter part is- this isn't even the end of long distance, it's just the beginning.
I love performing. I love being part of a cast. I love being onstage. And what's amazing- Ivan loves it too! We love it so much that we sacrifice our time together to perform. This time, we will have to do it back and forth for 8 months. I know it's going to be hard.  But I know that we love each other.  
I've written about Long Distance before and we've always gotten through.  I know we can do it again.

THIS is what makes us the surviving Mormon couple.

Us visiting Lawrence Market, shopping for antiques and Brunching! Pretty much the best weekend ever. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and being away makes the time together so much more special!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lookie, Lookie, Where I workie...



OK, I can offically announce, I work for Disney Cruise Line! Rehearsals are here in Toronto for 2 more months and then I go aboard to work on the Disney Fantasy!  I feel like my dreams are coming true! I have wanted this job for years and I'm finally here!  I am looking forward to all the adventures I will have and I will try my best to share them all on the blog!

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's my Birthday



Thank you Ivan and my sweet sweet friends for my balloons, card and all the surprises! I'm 27 now!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I'm in Toronto!!!!!


Ok guys, I am in Toronto and it's cold and it's far away, but it's amazing!
All the lights, the skyscrapers, the bricks- it makes me remember why I LOVE the city!


Here is me and my new cast- aren't they beautiful?! I can't believe I'm going to be away from home so long,  I miss Ivan already and I miss the warmth of Las Vegas. I know being here and being with these people is just going to be a wonderful experience. This city is just amazing!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Little Christmas

It's been a while, and I fully own up to a very low amount of blog entries this year, but the year is almost over, and what can be better than ending with a wonderful 2 person Christmas celebration! (...and a massive run-on sentence)

Just little ole me and Ivan in Las Vegas in December. It's warm, crowded and full of gifts!! Ivan and I tend to sing a lot more often around Christmas time, this year we sang Silent Night for our church congregation and we listened to a lot of music around our home!
It was nice to be with friends, and have a visit from my parents and grandmother on Christmas Day! 
I consistently believe that the best day of the year is CHRISTMAS DAY! This year was nearly perfect!! It was so much fun to wake up, be together, Skype with our families, eat delicious food, be with friends, family, pets, relax together and eat more delicious food!

I want everyone to know that I know, Christmas is about Christ. It's about believing, giving and loving! Thank you for reading along with my blog this year and I wish you all a merry Christmas!!



Monday, November 30, 2015

Fall & November Gratitudes

This Fall has been beautiful weather in Las Vegas. It's sunny and beautiful, but it's also COLD! It's really starting to seem like the holidays are approaching!

Previously, I have written several November Gratitudes each month, this year I just have to cram it all into 1 entry!

This year, I am most grateful for ADVENTURE.  Having the opportunities to travel with my husband  has been the blessing I could ever receive.

Over the past few years I have built such a love for HIKING and being in the OUTDOORS


I am grateful for LOVE.  Ivan and I have grown so much closer.  I am grateful that above everything, he is my BEST FRIEND!
Love to All!
And the most Gratitude to my Father Above!
XO~M

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

the surviving mormon couple goes on vacation

Although I agree that most of our life is already like a vacation, but I haven't flown on a plane for 10 months and we were starting to outlive our namesake of a traveling Mormon couple, because we hadn't gone on a big trip with the two of us all year. Needless to say, I REALLY needed a trip!


Where else as beautiful as the island of St Lucia!
I knew nothing about St Lucia prior, we actually just spent one day and night here, before we boarded a cruise ship, the Norwegian Getaway as we cruised around the Caribbean. To top it all off, it was actually my very first time in the Caribbean! And boy did I love it!

Ivan performed as a guest artist on the cruise ship with a group called Oh What A Night! He did such a great job and I loved watching him up on stage!


I feel so lucky that we get to combine work with vacation! Ivan started this group a year ago and I have been wanting to go with him ever since! So happy for this opportunity!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What a Week!

You know that story 'Foorprints in the Sand'? Well, this was a week I was the being carried- I would never have been able to do it alone! I could show you my calendar, but I don't mean to stress you out any further!

This week was full of late night rehearsals- like home at 12:45am late rehearsals, a full 40+ hour work week, co-hosting the Playlists show at the hotel Tuscany, a show that lasted 9pm-1:30pm, and 6 performances of our Halloween show at Springs Preserve! 
Amongst it all, I made it to the gym twice and one of those times, I came back to my car and found the window smashed open with my purse and wallet stolen.
My credit cards were charged three times, banks were called, insurance claimed, police reported and the long process of protecting my identity has "only just begun." 

Today, Monday, was my day off. My voice is pretty much gone, I sound like a man, I desperately need a massage.
Instead, I spent 2 hours at the Police station filing my Fraud and Auto-Burglary charges, and another 2 hours at the DMV getting a new Drivers License number.

Despite this all, I still feel carried. I only cried once, right before one of my shows I started thinking about why someone would do something like that (smart...right??) and had maybe 3 tears. The rest of the time I was too busy on phones, making claims, or working my actual job or singing in a show! I am so GRATEFUL I had so much going on so had no time to dwell on it and think about "why something like this would happen to me?" or what I could have done to prevent it. Being busy prevented me from going down the dangerous path of "What ifs." And let me tell you friends, the road ain't pretty!

So here's a humble "Thank you" to my friends I get to perform with- seriously being on stage is more and more fun each night. "Thank you" to my husband who is helping me every step of the way and "Thank you" to my HF who is really looking out for me when things could have gone much, much worse! I feel so loved!

7 shows, 6 rehearsals, 5 days of work, 3 fraudulent charges & 1 auto burglary. Not too bad of a week.

XO,
Melissa

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ivan the Showstopper

This August, Ivan got a new job as On-Call Vocalist for Steve Wynn's Showstoppers!
 This week, he made his debut! 


He sang songs from Cabaret & Damn Yankees! He should be covering more in February and this holiday season! We'll keep you updated so our friends and family can come see him perform!

On our backstage tour:


Congratulations Ivan!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Things Going Just Right/ Where do we go from Here?

There are many thoughts and quotes going through my head recently.  This summer seriously was more than I could have prayed for. (that was almost word for word one of my lines in the show)

After a magnificent experience like this show was, I spend a lot of time thinking where do I go from here. First I get all the things "I've been meaning to get around to" DONE, I spend hours missing my friends and trying to come up with ways I can see everyone again, and I try to feel normal again- but i don't want to feel normal- I want to feel better, because this show and summer has made me BETTER, and my expectations grow larger- a problem I have made for myself my entire life!

I don't know if I am expressing my confusion/feelings in a way that anyone can understand, but I have felt tied up in knots of hopeful, depressed, encouraged, second-guessing and peaceful- so basically, bipolar. 

Here is a little backstory- The theatre world is full of... (fill in the blank)

I studied theatre at BYU. BYU/Mormon world is full of.... (fill in the blank)

Many theatre students who graduate BYU, leave the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mormonism) for varying reasons. However, we narrowed down the reasons to the simple answer that Theatre IS Religion, and you cannot simply have 2 different religions.

For this case, it made an interesting summer for myself. My rehearsals were on Sundays, i filled in my separate 40 hour work week and Show schedule by going to work on Sundays and I was not the best book for book "Mormon." Sure enough, I switched religions this summer. This show became my religion.

I felt a strong closeness with my Heavenly Father, but everything else in my life was so busy, I did not feel like the same matter-of-fact Mormon I was before.  Maybe it lost priority, maybe I was overlooking things, but regardless, I felt worried. All of August this quote circled through my thoughts:

“Somehow we get the message that Heavenly Father doesn’t want the real us. He wants the prettied-up us, the does-everything-right us, the almost-perfect us. Sometimes we believe that Jesus is saying, ‘Clean up your act and then come back.’ But He wants us just as we are – broken, feeble, imperfect, limited in understanding and limited in achievement.”
Chieko Okazaki

Then This video happened:

And I said, ""I think that the Lord, His wish for us there, and his answer to our prayer was to get us on the right road as quickly as possible with some reassurance, with some understanding, that we were on the right road and we didn't have to worry about it, and in this case, the easiest way to do that was to let us go 400 yards or 500 yards on the wrong road, and very quickly know, without a doubt, that it was the wrong road, and therefore with equal certainty with equal conviction that the other one was the right road."" I have absolute certain knowledge, perfect knowledge, that God loves us. He is good, He is our Father, and He expects us to pray, and trust, and be believing, and not give up, and not panic, and not retreat, and not jump ship, when something doesn't seem to be going just right. We stay in, we keep working, we keep believing, keep trusting, following that same path and we will live to fall in His arms and feel His embrace and hear Him say, ""I told you that it'd be okay, I told you it would be all right.""


My worry can be blamed on my constant urge for perfectionism. But these quotes are resounding messages that THINGS ARE GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. 
I just need to take it one day at a time and know the He is always there.
I need to be happy and know that I am blessed.


One day at a time, 
M

Friday, August 14, 2015

Becoming Jane Porter

I've been Waiting for this Moment....

"Tarzan the Stage Musical based on the Disney Film" has finally opened at Spring Mountain Ranch here in Vegas! It's only been 2 months for me in the works- but many more months for the producers and crew. My experience has been nothing short of magical! I have learned so much about myself, my voice, my body, my patience, but I have also learned so much about love and families!


My character journey is so much about DISCOVERY. The last two months I have been able to slow down and really live in the moment in my own life because that's who Jane is- she is on a road of constant discovery and realization, ideas, tangents and humor are all part of the way she operates: 
340 meters per second! And that's just how I have been- never slowing down!




These are some of my favorite photos we have so far! Everything about the sets, lighting, my costumes, hair make-up and props are seriously gorgeous!


I am simply in love with this show.  Yes it's Disney and yes, it didn't last long on Broadway, but it really is a beautiful show! Plus, it has become more than a show to me.  Not only is it about discovery, it's about love.

The lyrics have such a power and spiritual message:
Put your faith in what you most believe in.
This is SO appropriate because this show has honestly become my religion the last two months- The arts just have that magical way of making me fall in love again and again! I have put so much faith into this show and it has challenged me to trust myself and trust my show family in so many ways!


All the songs repeat the message of faith, love and families. 
It is so beautiful and I am honored to be a part of it.

TRUST
for me that is what I am working on the most-
Trusting my heart and "letting fate decide" has been the scariest thing for my controlling personality to just let go and let things happen- my whole life. But singing those lyrics every night, knowing that there is a real purpose I am in this show and doing the things I am doing, I learn that I need to give all my faith and trust myself!

With Love,
Miss Jane Porter

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Blast from the Past: or, a Blog's To-Do List

If you have gone back to recent blog entries, you may have realized that not a lot has happened this year on my blog, or rather, this entire year, well, you are partially true!

Moving to Las Vegas 13 months ago was definitely an attempt at this surviving Mormon couple trying to settle down- buy a house, maybe have a baby or two- but not a single ounce of progress has taken place- there is a lot to cover and there is a lot I still have planned with this fateful blog of mine. For now I will share with you only a preview of settings, in the form of a Blog's To-Do List:

ASIA
Hong Kong
The Wishing Tree
Thai Food Regrets: or how I Still Didn't get to eat Fried Rice out of a Pineapple
Tokyo
Tokyo Disney
Osaka- The largest Aquarium and Largest Spinning Wheel: or So I Thought
Russia in the Winter

ALASKA
Klondike
Abercrombie State Park- not the one with Fitch
Alaskan Sun

USA
Seattle Trip December 2014
San Diego Trip April 2015

PERFORMING
The Me & Ivan Cabaret
Setting the Stage for What's to Come
Becoming Jane


Ok- So there is A LOT to cover here- and I managed to prove myself wrong that a lot HAS happened this year... yet... still no blogging! But at least the world is well aware of my honorable attempts and my successes at procrastinating! I'm continuing to sort through all my photos, and continuing to wish I finished doing this all one year ago, but I will still try and make it happen... soon!
~~~

I'm not quite sure what order I will put this in- for now all I want to write about is Becoming Jane or.. #becomingjane, or My Long Road back to playing the Leading Lady after many years...
During the last several weeks, I have been cast as Jane in Tarzan at Spring Mountain Ranch here in Las Vegas! I'm already in the middle of rehearsals and it's almost all I think about. When I first found out, I called my twin sister and we were just ecstatic over the phone. It seems to have been far too long since I have been in a MUSICAL- opposed to cabarets and tribute shows and "sets" and 40 minute cruise ship shows. This is so much more of a JOURNEY- a journey becoming Jane! A journey that I am all too thrilled to be a part of.  Sarah also brought to mind that it has been a long time since I have been a lead in a show- too long.

Now, there is much, much more backstory and details to this recollection, and only my oldest friends could possibly understand, but for now I will just state it- that one of the best times in my life was during high school theatre. Some combination of the friends, my best friends, my family, the school, the small town, feeling like I was known and heard everyday- it just made me feel so alive- like everyday I had something to be over excited about! Some plan or event, or new person to meet that made me laugh, or a friendship to keep growing- those were the feeling of just unreserved LOVE and FUN that helped me grow into an optimistic, sassy, excitable human.

Ivan and I talk about what was that FIRST moment that made you fall in love with theatre- I compare this experience with that of my other performing friends and the typical answer is always "The Arts, It's my passion, I love it" but in general, I think it can all be traced down to a few reasons: The Fame, The Money, The Love.

Ivan was 11 years old in Oliver at Music Circus in Sacramento and made about $2,000 one summer- and was hooked! -The Money
I remember being 10, the lead role in a Christmas show, Gift Rap, and having everyone clap for me, compliment me, bring me flowers and my little 5th grade self felt like a princess! -The Fame

So, it very well can be traced down to those very 2 purposes, but I threw in "The Love" assuming most artists in the world are less shallow that me and my husband (oops)

So as I suppose my long explanation of this qualifies for the blog entry: Becoming Jane Part 1,
I'm starting to reveal my heart and tell you that playing a lead role again is helping me to become more of myself. I felt so alive when I was 17, surrounded by friends and a cast that I loved and we experienced art together. Art that made me grow, dig deeper, and find out who I was and what I wanted to be.
It reminds me of my most favorite quotes, that became my favorite during this same time.

To feel most beautifully alive is to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend, in the flow of language, the sudden flash of poetry.
     gaston bachelard

Inspired art speaks in the language of eternity, teaching to the heart, what the eyes and ears may never understand
    m. russell ballard

Our ideal should always be to strive for what is eternal in art. that which will never die, which will always remain young and close to our human hearts
    constantin stanislavski


This is my Blast from the Past.
Feeling connected to myself and truly loving myself because I am doing what I love most- being me!

More to come, Melissa