Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Amazing Opening Weekend

The opening weekend of The Wild Party was fantastic! I was thrilled with the whole experience. Every audience seemed to like it more, and we really started solidifying a truly unique and great product. It’s interesting that I didn’t feel a truly significant change transitioning from dress rehearsals in front of empty seat to performing for a crowd. The only thing that threw me was the parts of the show when we literally look at the audience. There is a piece of me that always is aware that I’m being watched, and I have to kick my acting chops into gear and push that feeling away.

I’m really glad that Thursday was technically a preview. Nothing went significantly wrong with the particular performance, and it was great to ease our ways in. Besides some extremely rude audience members who talked and texted the entire show from the front row, everything felt great. It’s always so thrilling to put all the final pieces together and see what happens, and it’s even greater to have the final product be something to be proud of.

Friday’s show was really interesting. The major event for me was a slight miscalculation in a piece of choreography that resulted in an injury. In a particular scene Emily and I share an… intimate… moment where I am on top of her with her legs in the air. However, in one thrust towards her I did not move her leg far enough and I ended up ramming my head into her stiletto heel. It hurt like hell!! But, as a professional, I just continued the dance number as choreographed. Towards the end of the number when the cast moves right near the audience, I then saw some very odd looks from audience members staring directly at me. All I could think was “great, they all saw me bash my head and think I’m an idiot…” I tried to feel after the number if I was bleeding, but couldn’t feel anything.

Well, turns out after the act that I have a pretty significant amount of blood that has pooled on my forehead for the last 20 minutes or so! It was a small cut, but it sure did bleed. At first I was freaked because I thought it was worse than it was. But after washing it I felt better. Then I realized… No one in the cast even tried to tell me onstage that I was bleeding! Really, guys? No “hey, by the way, FYI?” I could have left the stage early to take care of it, but I had no idea. But, in hindsight, it’s actually kinda funny. I thought back through those minutes and remembered a point when Margeau held my hand through Eddie and Mae’s number. At the time I was thinking “How sweet! Maybe our characters are that close, what a nice choice Margeau.” Turns out the Margeau had seen the blood and didn’t know what to do… so instead her motherly instincts kicked in and she just held my hand! :) How sweet is that?!?

Anyways, the show overall was really great, Cheesecake Factory with the cast afterwards was a ball, no complaints there.

Saturday I was excited to have my first friend come see the show. At the last minute though, I asked him who his guest was going to be. He then told me he was bringing his younger brother who has Down Syndrome. His reasoning: He may not understand the adult content, but he will just enjoy being able to see a musical. I realized this was probably a bad misconception… yeah, if you envision a musical having pretty music and costumes with colorful dance numbers and happy faces. But I also have a sister with Down Syndrome, and I knew that the level of violence, yelling, and profanity that litters the show (not to mention the sexual content!) had a very good chance of upsetting him. My friend is still going to come see the show this coming weekend, but I’m glad he chose not to bring his brother.

At this point I panicked… someone had to see this show! I had to hear from a friend what they thought! I started texting lots of people to see who could come at the last minute, and finally another good friend agreed to come. I bought him a ticket, he really enjoyed the show, and we were able to catch up afterwards. Phew, I was glad to get that out of the way.

Now I haven’t been to the theatre in three days. Not gonna lie, I’m really enjoying the time off to catch up on important things like my TV shows and web surfing ;). But I really love doing this show, and cant’ wait to do it again tomorrow. I have a lot of friends coming this week, and I am looking forward to sharing my love of musical theatre with them through this vehicle. It looks to be another exciting weekend.

I will be sure to report on this coming weekend soon. Come out to see The Wild Party!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

A-Game: Bringin' It Tonight!

The show opens tonight and I am PUMPED! The energy through this week has been phenomenal. For a lot of shows I’ve done, hell week can be just that… Hell. I end up feeling like things are boring, or that we are just working hard for the sake of working. But every night this week things have grown for us. Literally, pieces of the set and lighting have been added. But more exciting has been the unmistakable energy of the cast as we keep adding and forming this story and this group of characters. It might sound odd, but each night this week I felt like this show was closing in around me. The mood kept getting darker, the story thicker, and the lighting more emotional. And what’s fantastic about this show is that even though there are four main characters, it doesn’t work without the entire ensemble. The cast is very talented though, we are all blending together really well, so when all of this commitment melds together there are some really exciting moments onstage. Of course, there have been the few off moments, when we are off the beat musically or someone yells a line ridiculously too early :)

Tonight is certainly going to be exciting. It will be really interesting to incorporate an audience into our story and into this world. Not literally, but there is going to be a whole new element to this intimate theatre. I am curious to hear and feel the reactions as we share this wonderful piece of theatre.

See you there!!


Monday, April 19, 2010

All Coming Together


Ah, I haven’t been keeping up well with this, but I am excited that we are in the FINAL WEEK! I am just going to summarize some of the recent highlights in recent Wild Party-ing :)

-The band sounds great! We had sitzprobe yesterday, and it’s going to be an exciting musical experience for sure!

-Our cue-to-cue was LONG… I mean, that’s normal to take a long time to set the lights, but it led to some interesting cast bonding, including read-alouds of sex tips from a former porn star, and games of Scrabble on various cell phones.

-Cast Bonding! We had a benefit party last weekend, and it led to some really great time to hang out with the cast outside of the rehearsal process. Three cheers for a lovely host!

-I had to get a haircut… after months of growing out a shaggy head of hair, I shortened it up in order to achieve the slicked-back gentlemen’s style of the 1920’s. It was a little sad that day, but the new look is growing on me ;)

-I lit my hair on fire. I won’t go into details about how that happened, but bottom line, long hair in your face is more likely to catch a flame. Good thing I was getting it cut the next day!

-The set is coming along slowly… There are some really angular windows and furniture pieces that I know will give a really cool look to the stage. Just one of the many things that I am looking forward to this week! (that is, seeing it all come together)

-I am TIRED! I of course have other obligations beyond this show, and let me say that there are many days I am finding it difficult to have a lot of energy to teach my students. This doesn’t mean I’m going to just watch movies in class! (I am NOT that kind of teacher). But I may be taking a day off this week. Looking forward to it!

-Overall, the show is in such good shape. We are all having fun with the material, every time we run through it there is a new energy and new discoveries that are made. As I’ve said before, this is just such a fun musical, I am really excited for the people coming to see it!

Now for the fun part… dress rehearsals!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

AC Woes

We moved into the theatre now… This experience has just stepped up a big notch! My only woe is the heat: the AC in the theatre is being fixed right now, so rehearsals have been HOT! I leave so sweaty… but I guess that means we’re all working hard.

Rehearsals have also been hot in another way ;) It is so nice to be in the actual space, because the intimacy of the theatre I feel has really brought the show together. I mean, it is a party, so it’s nice to be in a darker, messier area that feels more like a place I would actually be doing all these crazy things (not the St. Mark’s Fellowship Hall feel). And now that we are doing runs of the show, my favorite thing is playing with my personal arc in the show. [Maybe in need to do some more research?? Who’s having a party!?]

We are all just supposed to be having fun at a party for most of the show. I would not call myself a method actor (because I do NOT like labeling people) but it is pretty fun to play with some different levels of drunk/high that I may (or may not :/) have experienced… my current arc starts with low-key first buzz phase, then I move into smoking and enter a more chill/relaxed high phase, pick up the drinking and enter a more excited/electrified phase, then into a needy/center-of-attention phase. The 2nd act I start my hornier drunk phase, where I really start wanting to touch and kiss people… but as the drinking continues I go through a tired/trying-to-stay-awake phase and finally end up really sloppy/gross/clearly-no-one-wants-to-deal-with-me-so-keep-drinking-more phase. Of course, then I have a huge hangover to deal with at the end of the show… and at that point all I can do is BALLET!! haha So yeah, fun things to play with, and who knows how this might change as we continue rehearsing.

One other fun point of rehearsing the last few nights has been our discussion of a particular scene near the end of the show… we lovingly call the orgy scene. This has been a difficult scene for the ensemble as we are supposed to provide a background and atmosphere for another intimate scene, but have had trouble coming up with a group idea of what this should look like and feel like. It’s kinda hilarious the descriptive words that come across as we explore our thoughts: “make it more demonic” “imagine you’re in a Fosse number” “Can we touch each other?” “Am I supposed to enjoy this?” “Make a clump of people. More long than round” “The hands are good, but they need to be touching breasts and crotches more” … and so on and so forth. It’s getting much better (at least it feels better  ) but I know we will continue to explore.

I can certainly say that I am really looking forward to playing with the show in the next weeks. There is so much room for creativity and character development, and it’s just a real joy to have a cast that’s willing to play with me every night. This is the kind of show that I know I’d enjoy watching multiple times, because everything going on is going to have so much depth, you’ll want to watch it all!