Thursday, December 27, 2007


I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! I'm sure that most of you spent the day surrounded by family members, food, and presents, which is how I used to spend the day. Being away from family and friends on Christmas day takes some getting used to, but I have found what works for me.

Let me share with you my Christmas day. I slept in until around 9 AM. I then got up and did my usual morning routine-exercised, showered, ate breakfast (which was a special treat, waffles!). My friend Matt called to see if I wanted to see a movie. I said sure, and he informed me we were leaving in 10 minutes! I scarfed down my waffle and grabbed a banana to go. Matt and I saw the movie "PS I Love You". It was a very good movie! If you want a movie to lift you out of a sad or depressed mood, this is NOT the movie to see. Matt and I both really liked the movie because it had a realistic ending. We both don't like movies that have everything worked out in the end because that doesn't happen in real life!

The first part of the day seemed like any other day off from work. The second half of the day was much more Christmas-y.

I received many text messages and phone calls from family and friends. Most of the texts were from friends that I least expected would think of me on Christmas. Isn't that interesting when that happens?

I spent the rest of the day by myself. It was SO NICE!! I lined up all my cards and wrapped presents (which were 3) on my fireplace mantle. I was going to open my presents but people kept calling me. I finally opened my presents while I sat in bed (that's a tradition) around 7 PM. I received two books and a game. That was fun! Then I lined up all my opened presents on the mantle and took a picture.

For dinner, I ate a turkey frozen dinner. I admit that was the only disappointment of the day. I missed feasting at my grandparents' houses. The turkey dinner left much to be desired, but it did have turkey, stuffing (soggy croutons), and mashed potatoes. What more could I ask for?

Then I spent the rest of the evening concentrating on the real reason for Christmas. I read the story of the birth of Christ from the scriptures and actually took time pondering and really feeling what it must have been like to be the different people in the historical accounts, wondering why the Son of God was born in a dirty, smelly stable surrounded by unsanitary animals, and realizing just how good I have it because the Son of God was born, lived an exemplary life, atoned for my sins, and died so that I could live again and have hope for so many possibilities.

Then I read and listened to the Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean. I really enjoyed being reminded to have more charity in my life and share the love of God that He has given each of us with the world (or more specifically, the people we come in contact with each day).

Anyway, I had a great Christmas! I hope that you had a Merry Christmas too! I wish you all the best for the upcoming year, 2008!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Celebrity Sightings

The latest rumor floating around the dressing rooms at the Grand Ole Opry a few nights ago was that Carrie Underwood was in the audience. I have asked around but I have not been able to locate a witness that actually saw Carrie at the show. My dresser says that when she left about a half an hour after the show, there was a limo parked outside. In my mind, I wouldn't think that a celebrity would take a limo to the Christmas Spectacular. I would think that an 8 year old girls birthday party would take a limo to the Christmas Spectacular. You make the decision.

Last year, I saw with my own eyes Clint Black, his wife Lisa Hartman Black, and a little girl with them (a daughter or niece?). They were backstage before one of our shows. Then they watched that show.

Last year, Dolly Parton was backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. I don't think she saw the show but was backstage to film something in the TV studio at the Opry.

Two years ago, LeAnn Rimes was backstage at the Opry but didn't see the show as far as I know. She was also filming something in the TV studio at the Opry.

Two years ago, Pam Tillis saw our show during our invited dress rehearsal. She has her own show going on in the theater behind ours.

The big rumor two years ago was that Martina McBride came to the show. i didn't hear of anyone that actually saw her so take it for what it's worth. I absolutely LOVE Martina McBride so I like to think that it's true. Martina is an amazing performer and even better person.

If you don't know who any of these people are then you need to spend some more time listening to the country stations on the radio. Remember, I am in Nashville.

I am still waiting for Kenny Chesney to come to the show. :) And to think that that little Bruce is the hottest thing he has ever seen! With 18 Rockettes in the show, I doubt that last statement will ever happen! I also doubt he would come to the show. A girl can dream, can't she?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Unpredictable is Predictable

I am happy to report that I am all better. The stomach bug that took over my life for the past week has finally packed up all of its belongings and moved on. The only remains I have of my sickness are bottles of Sprite and some extra space in my clothes. (I lost about 5 pounds over the past week! I would not recommend this diet to anyone!) I am sure the space in my clothes will be replaced by me in no time. (Especially if I keep up with eating tempura chicken at midnight like I did last night!)

After being a hermit for the past week, I finally went out last night with members of the cast. After the show, we went to a bar called the Tin Roof that has live music. Some of us just weren't feeling the live music so five of us left and went to Verago's (a sushi restaurant). That's where I ate the tempura chicken at midnight! It tasted great! (But then again, everything sounds great after a week of toast, bananas, Sprite, and apple juice!)

The thing I love about Nashville this time of year is the weather. Yesterday, it was a balmy 76 degrees! I loved it! I spent as much of the day outside as I could. I read magazines and made phone calls outside. I loved going outside in shirt sleeves and not being cold. It was even warm when I left for the theater at 7 PM. If only this nice weather would stay. Today is only about 55 degrees.

Let me see if I can find a picture to include with this post.

This picture has nothing to do with anything in this post. This picture was taken on opening night to show my parents the flowers and balloons they sent me. This picture is taken in the dressing room before I went on stage. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Show Must Go On

Well, I wish I had some more fun news to report but I don't. I have been sick for the past week, but I haven't missed a show. We had picture day at work so I will include a few of the shots I took. Enjoy!

Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Clausettes, and the Elves

The World Famous Rockettes

The cast that stayed for pictures

Even though I am sick, I still love to perform. I am having a great time here in Nashville.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Me and the Baby Lamb

The Lamb (who has not been officially named) visited the cast backstage before the matinee yesterday. We had a good time petting him and taking pictures with him. Lambs don't exactly have a fuzzy soft exterior.

The Lamb does not have a name yet. The animal wranglers are taking suggestions and will decide what to name him. Another suggestion I heard yesterday was to name him Porter. He would be named after Porter Wagoner who started the Grand Ole Opry (I think). Porter Wagoner passed away last month and had his funeral in the Grand Ole Opry about four days before the Christmas Spectacular descended upon the Grand Ole Opry. I will keep you posted on what name is finally decided on.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's a Boy!!!

Much to all of our surprise, it was announced yesterday before the show that Sheep #104 would be out of the show because she had a baby the previous day! She had a bouncing baby boy! Sheep #104 was on maternity leave so those who saw the Sunday matinee saw one less sheep than normal. I think that sheep maternity leave is only one day. Sheep #104 should have planned the birth better and had the lamb this Saturday because we have four shows that day! Sheep #104 just got out of one show.

Both Mom and Baby are doing well. The Little People named the baby BJ. It is short for Baby Jesus. We thought it was only fitting! I just got back from a birthday party for a cast member and other cast members were calling the lamb BJ as well so other people had the same idea.

The cast thought that Sheep #104 was having a bad day at the Friday matinee. The person in charge of her was practically wrestling her onstage because she was having a fit. Who knows? She was probably having Braxton-Hicks contractions! Rumor says that she started having the baby onstage during the Saturday evening performance. For those of you in the audience, you got a little extra show with your ticket for no additional charge! Lucky!

Here's some pictures of BJ. Isn't he cute? Momma was very protective and not very cooperative with the photo shoot.

Kelsie with BJ and Sheep #104.

I have decided to add BJ to my Christmas list. Isn't he cute? I'm wondering if they will add BJ to the show? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Ruined Christmas for Everyone!

Here's the latest Grand Ole Opry story.

Last Saturday at our 3:30 PM performance an interesting thing happened. I was going along in the show minding my own business and doing everything that I was supposed to do. I walked over to dust off Santa to get him ready to leave with all the sacks of toys. After I dusted him off, I noticed there was a letter to Santa on the floor of the stage. I picked it up off of the ground and put it in the basket I was carrying. It kind of threw me off but I kept going. After I got off stage, I wondered why Santa had a letter in his pocket to begin with because he doesn't read any letters in the second act. I was totally confused but didn't really think anything of it. I just felt proud of myself for being so professional to roll with out of the ordinary stuff.

Here's the rest of the story.

After the dinner break before I was getting ready for the second show, I was talking with my friend Matt. He was telling me about how in the last show Mrs. Claus didn't have the letter she was supposed to read after the elf scene. My jaw dropped open! I ruined Christmas for everyone! I felt so bad that I had taken that letter! I told Matt about how I found it on the ground and put it in my basket. Anyway, he said that Mrs. Claus played it off really well and improvised until one of the stage hands off stage gave her a copy of the letter.

Apparently during the dance that Santa and Mrs. Claus have the letter fell out of her pocket. She didn't realize the letter had fallen out until she went to get it out of her pocket.

I felt so bad that I had taken the letter! I went and talked with Tina who plays Mrs. Claus and apologized for taking the letter. I hadn't even put it together that the letter was hers. She wasn't mad at me! (Thank goodness because I would hate to get on Mrs. Claus's bad side! No presents for me this Christmas!)

Life onstage. Expect the unexpected. No two shows are the same (thank goodness)!

The Family Invasion

Well the Fam made it out to Nashville for a week of fun! Mom and Dad flew in from Salt Lake City and Chris and Allen flew in from Orlando. It was nonstop excitement (or at least it seemed like it) while they were here! Mom celebrated her birthday while she was here. She loved having all of her family with her to celebrate. Her favorite part of her birthday was seeing her favorite child (me!) perform in the Christmas Spectacular. Here's some pictures of us and the many things we did.

My parents and I drove to the state of Alabama. I can now add that to the list of states I have visited.
Our first full day began (way too early) with a trip to ICE. ICE is an exhibit filled with ice sculptures. Everything is made out of ice. This year's theme was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. ICE was super fun with all the bright colors and super cold! My fingers were frozen by the end of it.

There was even an ice slide which Mom totally loved. She had to be dragged off of it!

Then we headed off to the Belmont Mansion. (Yes, Jim, apparently you have a fortune awaiting you here in Tennessee. Who knew?) This lady named Adelicia had a HUGE fortune. She had three husbands and gave birth to 10 children. (Only 4 children survived to adulthood.) After touring the mansion, it made me immensely grateful I live now instead of 200 years ago. Here's a picture of Mom, Chris, and Allen on the steps of the Belmont Mansion.

Another day we went miniature golfing in the outlet mall near the Grand Ole Opry. The miniature golf was totally dark inside but the course glowed thanks to flourescent colors and black lights. That was a lot of fun! I even got two holes in one!!

Thanksgiving Day was spent with my cousin Vanessa and her family who drove to Nashville from Blacksburg (or something like that), Virginia. We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, via buffet, at a hotel. I ate too much because I felt lazy the rest of the day. Lazy is fine if you sit around and watch TV the rest of the day. Unfortunately I had the privilege of playing perky elf that evening. Boy, was that fun! Anyway, I had a great show which my mom and Vanessa were able to watch. Then I gave Va the exclusive backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry (which I gave my family the evening before when they came to the show)!

I love my family and am so grateful they took time out of their busy schedules to visit me. But I must admit, I love being back on my own time. I enjoy not being rushed in the morning to be ready by a certain time. I love to lay in bed until I am ready to get up. I love to exercise at my leisure (is that an oxymoron?). I love to eat breakfast between 11 AM and noon. Oh yeah, I HATE alarm clocks! They are the bain of my existence!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Opening Night

Well, all our hard work for the past few weeks has paid off! Last night was opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! Yea!! I had a great show last night. When I made my entrance, someone actually cheered (loudly)! I would like to give a shout out to that person who ever they may be! One of my many admirers! :)

I received some great gifts for opening like some roses and a balloon from my parents. Radio City gave us an awesome umbrella for opening!

After the show, the cast headed off to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel (which is as big as the state of Rhode Island I think) in style of course (Hummer limo)!

The Party was so much fun! There was so much food! There is nothing like eating pasta, chicken, fruit, vegetables, and a chocolate fountain that was taller than me after 11 PM. After eating everything in sight, I spent the rest of the night dancing and taking pictures. Here are some pictures of me and members of the cast. Enjoy!

Me and my dresser, Tammy (She gave me the shirt I am wearing for Christmas last year!)

My good friend Matt Hoglund (This is our 3rd year of doing the show together in Nashville!)

Me and the boys (the two little boys switch off shows and of course Matt)

As my Dad would say, "Here's my people!" (from left to right: Laura Atkinson, Julio Maldonado, Julio's date that's not in the show, Blake Windsor, Steve Cotoia, and Kelsie Hankins)

I danced and danced and danced.....I got home about 2 AM. I had a great time. The only thing that would have made it better was if my dancing partner was there. I had to make up for his absence and I think I did. Well, I better get ready for the next show!

If you are in Nashville this holiday season, please come see me in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular performing at the Grand Ole Opry. It's a Christmas-palooza! You will be entertained to the max!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Last of the 20s

As most of you know (because I reminded you frequently), my birthday occurred over a week ago on November 1st. I turned the awesome age of 29!! It has been a week and a day and I love it! I had a marvelous birthday (many times over).

Before I left for Myrtle Beach, SC, my parents celebrated my birthday. They took me out for dinner at Market Street Grill (which I highly recommend). Then I opened presents at home and blew out the candles on my birthday cake. My birthday cake was delicious-cinnamon cake with white frosting! YUM!!

I was in Myrtle Beach, SC for my actual birthday rehearsing for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I spent most of the day at the rehearsal hall watching the world famous Rockettes do what they do best-kick! It was great! I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday. Just before the cast went to lunch, they all sang Happy Birthday to me. It was awesome! I loved the attention! After work, about half of the cast went to Fiesta Del Burro Loco-a local Mexican restaurant-to celebrate my birthday. Apparently the birthday person has the privilege of riding the burro loco (crazy donkey) around the restaurant. I gracefully turned down the offer to ride the donkey but agreed to wear the sombrero and stand next to the burro. We all had a great time eating, drinking, and creating friendships.

I had an awesome birthday! Thanks to all those who sent me emails, voice messages, and text messages wishing me a Happy Birthday! I loved them!

Friday, October 19, 2007

NYC-The Big Apple

As most of you know, I went to New York City last week with my mom. We had a blast!!! My aunt Caren met up with us for five out of the six shows we saw on Broadway. So here goes the travel log....with pictures!!!! I know you are jumping up and down with excitement aren't you?!

OK. We got into the city early Wednesday morning after about five hours of sleep. I felt like I was coming home! My mom and I saw Legally Blonde the Musical for the matinee. It was super cute! Just like the movie only with a lot of singing and dancing.

I met up with my friend Jenny who lives in NYC for dinner. We had a fabulous time catching up with each other since it had been a year since we had been together. Here's a picture of me and Jenny.
Jenny and I, along with my mom and Caren, went to the musical Wicked that night. This was the 11th time I have seen Wicked. To say I'm a little obsessed would be an understatement! I truly think that Wicked is the BEST musical of ALL time!! These actors did not let me down. I absolutely LOVED it!! Since I am the obsessive fan, I stood by the stage door and got autographs and pictures with the actors after the show was over. The actress that played Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the East, (Stephanie J. Block) is amazing!! This was the fourth time I have seen her perform. AMAZING!!!

Stephanie J Block and Me

OK. Thursday morning, ok afternoon by the time we got up and ready for the day, was spent in the Manhattan Temple doing an endowment session. I love that temple! It is the fourth time I've been there and the people that work there think I live in the area! How funny! There's nothing like riding the subway to get to the temple. It's amazing how quiet it is in there, especially compared with the noise outside. LOVELY!

Thursday night, my mom, Caren, and I saw the musical Jersey Boys. It is the story about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I knew a few of the songs like "Cherie Baby" and "Oh What a Night". It was a great musical! We had a lot of fun! Although there were quite a few "older" people who were totally in love with it and were crying through it. Interesting. Like a good theater goer, I stood by the stage door again after the show to get autographs and tell the actors what a great job they did. There were only me, my mom, Caren, and a young lady from Canada that stood at the stage door. Sure it was raining but who cares?? The theater goers should still take the opportunity to tell the actors what a great job they did!! Plus those guys were hot!

Friday morning was spent wandering around Grand Central Station. That was a lot of fun and I had never been there before. It was like a miniature New York City in the train station. They had the coolest marketplace in the middle of the station. You could buy everything, including cheese for $20 per pound! We bought some delicious cream filled cupcakes from a company called The Little Pie Company. DELICIOUS!!

I met up with my good friend Kimberly Rehfuss for dinner before going to the theater. She entertained us all with the colorful tales from her life. We caught up on the past year along with passing on any Radio City gossip we knew (which wasn't much!).

Friday night, the three musketeers saw Young Frankenstein. It was HILARIOUS!!! I loved it! (It was a good thing I had previously seen the movie because I would have not know what was going on!) Megan Mullaly from the TV show Will & Grace was in the show. Along with one of my favorite Broadway stars Sutton Foster. Once again, the stage door. We saw Sutton which I was happy about. We waited around for over a half an hour for Megan Mullaly to come out. We finally got tired of waiting and walked back to the hotel. Her loss!

Saturday was a fabulous day of theater. Before the theater, the three musketeers went to a street fair just off of Broadway. It was so much fun and I spent way too much money! Oh well, I was on vacation! Street fairs in NYC are so much fun. Sure every fourth booth is the same but who cares??

Saturday matinee we saw the musical Curtains. I LOVED Curtains!! It has to be my 2nd favorite show we saw. (Wicked is 1st of course!) Curtains has it all-mystery, comedy, romance, etc. You name it, you would have gotten it! So very good!

We ate lunch/dinner at this great BBQ place called Virgil's. Virgil's has the best banana pudding EVER! Complete with Nilla Wafers! They have great BBQ chicken wings too. I'm still digging the BBQ out of my fingernails!

Saturday night, we saw the musical A Chorus Line. It just reminded me why I love acting and why I jeopardize my job every year to do it. It was great!

Sunday afternoon before I flew home, I spent a few hours with my friend Brad Galey. Brad is an amazing actor who I had the privilege of working with for 2 years in Nashville in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Brad is so awesome! He has caught my fall many times and dressed me! He gets to be in New York's production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He's a lucky guy! Here's a picture of us at the deli we had lunch at.

They are two good looking people if I do say so myself!

Anyway, are you ready for the exam? Here it is:

1. Where did I stay in NYC?

What? I didn't tell you to take notes while you read and that there was an exam at the end? Oops, my bad!

Just kidding! I hope you enjoyed reading my annual adventure in NYC. I had a fabulous time with friends, family, and theater. Now off to my next adventure....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So I'm A Little Slow...


Well, I decided to start this blog before I blast out of Utah for the beautiful beaches of Myrtle Beach, SC for "intense" rehearsals. Another season of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is upon me. I did the annual quitting of my "day job" on October 4th. That was quite the glorious day!! In past years, when I have quit my jobs, my parents would take me out to eat. Although last year, my parents made me pick up the tab. This year there was no eating out.

So my bathroom and bedroom look like all the drawers had some bad food and threw up everywhere. The joys of preparing to live out of a suitcase for 2 months. How can you fit all the clothes you will need for 2 months in 2 suitcases when your closet and dresser are bulging at the seams? Such a difficult life I lead! :)

Anyway, the more I get a hang of this blogging, I'm sure my blogs will get more interesting. So for now, have a fabulous day!