You think as an actor words would come easily to us. Our whole lives and careers are made up of these simple utterances yet when asked to document our words; it seems that for some of us, words do not come lightly. So when asked to write this blog, I found the words difficult to find. How do you put love and a livelihood into simple words? I am no writer but I will try. For starters my name is Allison Bauer. I’m 22, completely crazy and utterly thankful for Brian and Shelby and every wonderful person at Brelby. My journey to Brelby started almost two years ago when I went to see Godspell to support my best friend, Melody. I had been to theaters before and seen shows, wanting and wishing to be noticed and given the chance to act there. Yet upon arriving at Brelby, something changed. I felt as if I could be beneficial or make a difference there. As the show finished and the cast filled out into the lobby, Melody and I were quick to find each other, typical us. She gave me a rundown of all the cast, we gushed over who we thought as cute, and special moments in the show. She also introduced me to Brian and Shelby and I immediately went into weird Allison mode, as I often do when I am around important people. In case you couldn’t tell, I am excellent at first impressions. Nearing the end of the night Melody turned to me and let me know that in the morning auditions would be happening for their next two shows. I remember thinking how fun it would be but how I didn’t think I had a snowballs chance in hell. So on the drive home, Melody and I ran through my infinite book of musicals auditions songs and prepared me for my fate of the next morning. With a thrown together resume and a standard Jason Robert Brown in toe, I timidly and awkwardly auditioned for Shelby, praying that I wouldn’t lose my breakfast or forget my lyrics. When it was all said and done, I hugged Melody and make the trek back to Tucson, with the sliver of hope in my heart that an email would appear in my mail box from Brelby in the coming days.
As days passed and encouraging messages from Melody came, I found myself wondering ‘Was I good enough to break into this quirky space?’ I was no stranger to rejection, thus the life of an actor and nature of sheer humanity yet it never comes easy. Yet just as promised and hoped for, one day my inbox ‘pinged’ and low and behold the email that would change much of my senior year appeared. A callback was offered and I was so ready. The sheer joy that came from knowing that my career as a shower singer had paid off was just icing on my theater cake. After that, it all fell into place. I was cast in my first show outside of school. It was one of the best experiences ever. Brelby was a place where I could go and discover that my weird and quirky style was taken and used. From learning an original script to figuring out that I can indeed ‘Belt to the heavens’, I finally had found a place where I didn’t feel judged or misunderstood. Even though my ‘evil’ hands resembled those of jazz hands, Brian and Shelby dealt with me and all my awkwardness. It was an amazing experience, one that I wouldn’t trade and I can even say that I have am on an original cast soundtrack! While school did take a lot of my time, I was fortunate enough to see my fair share of Brelby shows, go to events and even be involved in some of the Cabarets where I like to think I proved that I’m not just the hair and make-up girl.
My next Brelby show came in the form of another original by Jamie Maletz and this show truly changed my life. I had the honor of playing the smart mouthed, all too much like myself, Megaera who is a Greek goddess with some major sass and attitude who ends up falling head over heels for Clark, Zeus’ son. Along with my best friend Mel, I met some of the most important people in my life. While the show had mixed reactions, I grew as an actor, a friend, and a person. The show is about morality and a classic twist on how love conquers all, even in the face of opposition. These ideas and themes did not come as strangers, especially to me and my journey thus far. Now what can a 22 year old possibly know about morality and love? A lot more than one may think but that is a different blog. As actors, we are pushed to not only be true to our directors and the script given us, but we are also obligated to be true to ourselves. Brian and Shelby pushed me to finally becoming truthful with myself in the eyes of this show. They, with the help of a select few, helped break down walls that I had built out of rejection and stereo type. I learned that power isn’t everything, it’s okay to not have control, and love comes in the unexpected ways. Like I said, the show had its ups and downs but it truly is my most memorable show that I have had the privileged of doing with the Brelby Company. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the people or memories that blessed my life in ways I cannot put into words.
Brelby continues to be a force in my life, reminding me that even from afar, their love for me does not diminish because of that distance. Every time I go to shows or events, I instantly feel back at home. From the hugs and ‘We miss you’s, Brelby has become a place of truth and love and creativity for me. Life often leads you on journeys and adventures you didn’t plan on taking and while mine brought me back to Tucson, I can only hope that this adventure called life while bring me back to Brelby.