Hello lovelies! I’m Sammy, I’m a mother of four from Australia and I’m a dreamer, a talker and a do-er. I’m fairly certain that that I’m stalked by muses because I am addicted to creating things, like I’m sure so many of you are, and I’ve started this blog because a few people told me that I should. I think it was their gentle way of telling me that the length of my Facebook status updates was getting out of hand, but irregardless of how I got here, here I am! Ta-da! I know abosultely nothing about how to operate a blog and trying to wrap my head around HTML is like trying to read Ancient Heiroglyphics, but I’m sure this will work out fine anyway… *cough*
Anyway this blog is going to be about my love of all things dramatic. My primary passion in life is writing, and becoming a novelist has been my dream since I was about six years old, but there’s a huge part of me that worships the performing arts as well so I often find myself being dragged in two different directions by my two different passions. In fact I’m sort of the living definition of : ‘Up here for thinking, down here for dancing!’ I taught myself to read before I started school (Ahh… Grug…) and had started devouring Stephen King by the age of 9… but I also grew up on a daily diet of Blue Hawaii, Rocky Horror, Grease and Xanadu, which spurned my obsession with all things theatrical as well.
Like most of the other little girls in my generation, I wanted to be a super star like Olivia Newton John (and then Britney Spears in my late-teens), but I grew up in a remote little beach suburb in the 90’s, and because we didn’t have a lot of money or a car, I was unable to participate in things like dance classes or voice lessons, so everything I’ve learned to do was pretty much self-taught. I’m not filing a complaint about any of that, mind you, because not having those opportunities gave me an abundance of time to read and write and dream that have made me who I am today… I’m just setting the scene here so you understand that I am by no means an expert or trained in ANYTHING that I do, except for cheerleading which I did do with a real, ass-kicking team in my 20’s for 8 years. When I’m holding pom poms, I’ve got clout, but when I’m holding sheet music- I’ve got a migraine
But seriously, take my advice with a grain of salt- I learned the ballet positions from looking at pictures in books and then studying my reflection in our display cabinets, because we didn’t have a full length mirror either. Not that I need one- any mirror on the ground will likely fit lil ol’ me into it!
But despite the fact that I didn’t have the access to extracurriculars the way my kids do now, my high school had an awesome arts program so I got to actually study drama, dance, design and art as part of my education, and I have tried to get into as many classes as I can since I started earning one of those wage-things, in order to develop my love of music, dancing, acting, writing and just, well, trying to appease those pesky muses, which poke me in my sleep.
I did do a correspondence writing course in my early twenties and almost scored a job writing blurbs for DVD covers, but unfortunately, a loved one was in a nasty accident while I was making progress with them so they had to be traded in in exchange for working three seperate jobs. For a long time there it seemed like all of my dreams were going to stay on that dream shelf, but I decided not to even attempt to get published until I was thirty to take the pressure off, and that bought me a window of time to live in- really live- guilt-free and indulgently as far as my other interests went, so by the time I was ready to write, I would have something real to write about. You name it, I’ve tried it! Cheerleading, Circus, Debate team, Gymnastics, Musical-Theatre, Artistic Skating, Roller-Derby, Surfing, Voice lessons… but it wasn’t until I hung up my pom poms (Cheerleading proved to be incredibly time consuming, especially once I started coaching it too) and decided to audition for a local theatre’s production of Hairspray at the age of thirty that I truly realised why I had always been involved in a tug of war between the muse of literature, and the muse of music… I want to write a musical! In fact, my entire life so far has been a prelude to that.
And that’s where I’m at now, and that’s what’s brought me here. I couldn’t conceive of blogging about just the one thing- writing or performing arts, so I’m going to write a blog for people like me that know that the only way to live forever, is to live a million lives with the one you’ve got and for me that means trying everything, not sleeping, drinking too much coffee and never sitting still. But why would you waste your time following someone with delusions of granduer but no actual granduer yet? Well, I pay attention to things, I learn quickly, and I have a knack of giving advice that actually helps people. On top of that, I’ve learned a lot of things that hard way, so if you’re a bit sketchy on the idea of taking my advice, you should still seriously consider listening to my ‘What Not To Do’ posts because I’m no stranger to egg face but rarely make the same mistake twice.
Unless you count walking into glass doors that have one of those pull/push conundrums on ’em. I mess that up 9 times out of 10!
I’ve always wanted to live the dream (dreams?) and I’m off to a pretty good start. I am a self-published author, and I’m currently working on my twentieth novel. I’m not successful, as far as fortune or fame is concerned, but I have a very loyal following, a 4 star average on Goodreads and Amazon, and though the cheques I recieve for it are nothing to write home about, they are encouraging enough to provoke me to write more. I haven’t had a major: ‘Yes, I’ve arrived!’ moment yet, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m getting closer, and considering that I only published my first novel in July 2013, I’m very happy with the results so far. I’m actually in the middle of three projects right now- a dystopian romance, an anthology of local ghost stories, and a cabaret-style script that I hope to produce by the end of the year so I’m technically too busy to write this blog but hey, that’s never stopped me before!
As far as the performing arts are concerned, I dove into community theatre a few years ago and I have never looked back. My resume is short, but I was lucky to get to play a minor lead in Hairspray as the evil Amber Von Tussel for my stage debut, I was a lead in two theatre restaurants, ‘Ma baker’s Tonic’ and ‘Stiff’ and I have been in the ensemble for Beauty And The Beast, A Wink At The Sphinx, Rent and am currently in the ensemble for Wicked, which is Wicked. That’s all as a performer, mind you, which is my way of getting the Lah-Lah’s out, but in the name of writing ‘My’ musical someday, I’ve started exploring my inner playwright, and have produced two of my own original shows in the past two years: ‘The Day The Muse-Ic Died’ and ‘The Larrikin,’ and they are both shows that were produced as theatre restaurants that exceeded my expectations. I wrote and directed both, but starred in neither and that was an amazing experience for me too.
In addition to all that I have on my plate, I also have three wonderful daughters, a son, an attention-seeking, time-consuming husband and a pomerarian puppy, so you can add Multi-Tasking in under the expert column beneath cheerleading because I know how to get stuff done. This stuff will slip into my blog, sorry, but I think it’s really important to pass on the word that life does not end once you start going up the hill, and that if you work hard enough, you can actually gather speed during the ascent. And that’s why you should try to check in to read my posts every now and then if you get the time- because I’m as much a cheerleader for other people’s passions as I am for my own, and think motivating people to live an authentic, romantic and fantastic life is the most important message I have.
So that’s what you can expect! Tips for writing, publishing, book cover design and promotion, acting, singing, dancing, auditioning, book and show reviews, what-not-to-do’s and a whole bunch of short cuts to get you taking your dreams seriously as I do my own. If you’ve read this far, thank you, if you’re wandered off, it’s probably for the best 😉