Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust...

Well, Almost. 

As the closing weekend of Rent draws closer, I have started thinking about how many of my fellow cast mates I won't get to see. Boo-hiss. The people, one would hope, are usually the most memorable part any production. I can smile and nod to that, as far as Rent is concerned. This cast/band/crew/artistic & production/technical staff are all lovely; truly delightful. I really do adore everyone. There has been no drama, no in-fighting, no malarkey. I am going to miss the Rentheads, and our sanity-questioning mix of vulgarity, silliness, love, and talent. 9 (sold out) performances down, and 3 (sold out) performances to go. Wow. Thanks! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One Down...

The first weekend of Rent, three performances, has come and gone. I thought that I would be nervous for opening night, but I wasn't, not at all. It's hard to be nervous for opening night, when our preview went so well, and was so well attended. We had over 100 people there on Thursday, including a reviewer. That's not a preview-that's opening. Our real opening night, Friday, was therefore in the bag. 

All three performances went well, and each was stronger than the former. I felt really good about our performances and their reception by the audiences. It was very interesting to see how some people reacted to the different moments, especially when we were directed to interact with...or to get very close to them. As to be expected, some people really liked it, and some people where somewhat offended or put off. All in all, I think the audiences enjoyed us. Three or four reviews have come out this week, all of them glowing. That, too, is nice.

Having a four day break in between performance weeks is a blessing. We all need time to recharge, to rest, to sleep in, and to have lives outside of the theater. Personally, I just enjoy having time that isn't borrowed, ya know? I always feel hurried throughout the day when I have a performance at night. That's not a bad feeling at all, just one of fewer hours in the day to be myself, before I get to go be other people :-) 

We are back at it again, starting this Thursday night (March 13th-15th). We have performances on Friday and Saturday too, all at 8:00pm. I've not heard that any of these nights are sold out...yet, so please come and see what all the fuss is about! We'd love to see you there, truly. What we do is void of purpose, if we don't share it with you! Come...give us purpose, and share in our work, our love, our joy..our sweat, haha. 

Several of the Rent cast have been in productions of  Les Miserables, so this picture makes me laugh.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No Day but Today...

...It's finally here. New Line Theatre's production of Rent, previews tonight!!! We are completely SOLD OUT for this Friday and Saturday, and the total ticket pre-sales are well over 800, already. We are ready for this. The final step to any production is the audience. We cannot wait to get asses in seats, and to finally have people to share this story with.

On a slightly different note, I'd like to thank some folks, who don't get applause at the end of each performance. To be clear, theatre is a collaborative beast. Musicals ain't all actin' and singin'! 

 -----> Let's talk TECH, folks. Rob Lippert's set is divine, his lights are uber cool, Marcy Wiegert and Sarah Porter's costumes are original, detailed and hilariously 90's,  Kerrie Mondy is rocking the sound design and mix, our (Starbucks infused) musical director- Justin Smolik, has made us and that band sound goooooooood, and the dynamic trio of Gabe Taylor, Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy are keeping busy...keeping us in check. Pulling a production like this together, one that's insanely famous and riddled with people's opinions of how it should be,  is no small feat. 

Everything leading up to today, our opening, has been part of a process. We have auditioned, been cast, rehearsed, teched, and have done full runs of this show. Now, we are ready to perform this bitch. I've had my own ups and downs with Rent. I had really good/fun days, and really frustrating/bad days. I have been stifled by self-doubt, and proud of myself, too. That's how it works. Here goes...welcome to Rent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This just made me laugh...

1 - 2 - 3 -

1.)  Over 740 tickets already sold!!
Another piece of AWESOME news just trickled down to us in the Rent cast; the pre-sales for our run are insane. That's so crazy. Crazy good!! Again, thank you ST. Louis!! Friday the 7th, opening night, is totally sold out. Saturday the 8th, has about 5 tickets left. Preview, on Thursday the 6th, has a fair amount of open seats, so come on down!!

2.) Tech week has begun...which of course means that we are all terribly busy and have no lives. That's alright, Spring Break is right around the corner!

3.) Last night we did our first full run of Rent with all the trimmings: the band, costumes, lights, sound, props...etc. It went well. A few line blips here and there, a few songs sounded a wee bit funky, a few sound FX were missing, but no real casualties. That's comforting. It feels good to be in the last stages of rehearsal, and to actually be in the last stages of production, haha. We are back at it again tonight and Wednesday.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

are you friggin' kidding me?


We just found out last night. Are you friggin' kidding me? Already, over 500 tickets have been reserved, and more than 200 people are so excited-interested-intrigued to see our musical that they bought bought out opening night, all in advance...wow! Thank You St. Louis!! Thank You for supporting fine arts, local theatre, local and emerging-working actors, and just thank you for braving the cold to come support us. THANK YOU!

We have sitzprobe for Act One tonight, and I am so looking forward to adding in that band! Justin has been an excellent pianist (like damn) and a great music director, but it's hard to rehearse a ROCK OPERA (and really feel it) with just a piano or a keyboard...ya know? Bring 'em on.

Since we began doing full runs, my confidence has grown, and I've started to have some fun with my individual roles. I'm keeping my finger's crossed, that this trend continues. I still may never know all the words to Christmas Bells, haha, but that remains to be seen. 
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Monday, February 24, 2014

A funny thing happened...

It's true! 
A funny thing did happen since my last blog post. We started doing full runs, with limited stopping for notes. Somewhat magically, if not expectantly, Rent has started to feel like a play. I started to feel a small part of that play. It's a good thing. I'm starting to feel better. better is...better. yeah! I chose to forget that I look like Orca's obese godmother in the publicity shots, haha. I look cute in person dammit, and that's all that matters!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's Been a While...

As the tittle would suggest, it has in fact been a while since I've been in a musical. The last musical I acted in was The Music Man, in 2010...and I had already been in that show, and played the same part. I am, without a doubt, feeling a bit rusty in the musical theatre department. I have been discovering (or perhaps confirming), as I get older and have worked professionally for a few years, that musicals are not exactly my strong suit; they are not where my self-confidences lies.

Having said that, I am not belittling myself, or downplaying my strengths. I feel I am a strong actor-I am a singer-I am an actor that sings. However, I simply feel I may not be a  musical theatre actor. I can do this. I am not without skill or intellect, but there are SO MANY others who shine in a musical; that excel and thrive. I need only look around our Rent rehearsal space to see more than a handful of them. 

That is not me. I feel, for lack of a better phrase, less-than in this capacity. I play my part the best I can-but can't help but feel like I'm flailing.  Where I feel at home, and strong, and confident, is on stage...in a straight play (no pun intended). I am most comfortable as a dramatic actor. I like those meaty roles that force me to look within and allow me to delve into one character. I have never been a "character" actor. I don't have much experience at all with those types of roles. So, I have found being in a musical again somewhat challenging.

Rent rehearsals have been a continual uphill climb for me. It feels like I may have indeed forgotten how to ride a bike. Deep down I know that I will pull through and I WILL perform to the best of my abilities...I just can't shake the feeling, those abilities may not be enough.

Oh well, I'll eat a doughnut...suck it up...keep on trying...and keep my chin up :-) I always tell my students to "fake it, til ya feel it." Perhaps it's time I follow my own advice? 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Leave a message...

Rent Rehearsals are in full swing and moving at the speed of light. Because I don't know the music as well as most, and some songs not at all, I am doing my homework and trying to learn what I can in advance. This Sunday we are rehearsing the voice mails and some pretty big songs. I am playing Alexi Darling and she has some pretty well known VMs. I have listened to about 15 different recordings of them today. Too funny. They, unless I am just not getting it, are not supposed to sound good so much as annoying and somewhat taxing to the ear. Somewhat of a stress reliever, and a good time to have fun!PLAY!!!! yeah!  I am also playing Roger's mom. So...I will learn that one too...before I have to rehearse it, lol.

Hey, also...a few of us from the show are blogging. 
Check them out: 

or look to your right :-) 

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Down...

After three, annoying, cancellations due to St. Louis Snowpocalypse, we finally had our first rehearsal for Rent last night. It was good. We sound good. Like good. I, as was to be expected, was nervous...but really once we got going it was fine. One of the most reassuring, if not intimidating, parts of the whole evening was how well most of the cast already knows the material. I am learning as I go; but a handful of the cast, not counting the folks who have already done this show, seem to know it by heart...freaks. haha, just kidding...no, but really...I'm only half intimidated now. 

Observations from last night:
 1.) There are no two alike in this production! You need only look at the bevvy of hair and clothing styles to see that...and wait until we speak and sing, haha. Talented weirdos of every variety. it's nice.

2.) The production team, maybe even more so than the cast, is super excited to be staging Rent. This artistic team is going to make us look and sound gggooooooodddd! Thanks! 

3.) All the companies who own rights to musicals and books need to get their shit together. I have NEVER worked on a show where the book and the music matched up 100% Why is this? Isn't that their job? Don't they charge a butt load of cash for the rights to perform their property? Well, then buckle down, put on your big gal panties, and fix it! Makes me crazy.

4.) Found out there is an orgy of sorts in this musical...Contact. I didn't know that. OK then...3-2-1 have fake sex on a 12 ft moon. haha. OK.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It didn't snow enough last night: an at work, and in the dark rant...

The tittle really does sum this whole thing up. Im sitting with 7 other Theatre teachers, in a tiny little room, in the dark. We all got done early, but have to stay here until 3....tick toc tick toc...tick toc! 

Tick toc...But, this dark and all this waiting got me thinking....what would it be like to live somewhere with no real heat or electricity? What would it be like to be basically homeless and squatting in a huge loft, with no prospects for money or amusement? Could I survive the sickness and the cold and the hunger and the loneliness? Why do people like this musical? The premise sounds AWFUL!!!! It sounds nothing like what a catchy rock opera, with attractive folks and 5 part harmonies should. I know that the bleakness isn't the point; the relationships-the fighting-the energy-the love-the SURVIVAL is where the heart is. I guess I'll find out soon...like in 3 days.