Archive for July, 2009

So today started out a pretty icky day. Had to talk to the ex about something less than pleasant and so I happened to be in a pretty foul mood by the time I wound up at rehearsal. But Heather Beth & Brady did their best to try and cheer me up before hand.

We all took off for Lynchburg, Heather & I in one car & Brady in the mini-coupe. We parked Heather’s car at Heritage HS and went into the city to run some errands and junk. First it was off to Brady’s bank, then Verizon to pay my phone bill, then the bottomless pit decided he needed something to eat 🙂 We went to this little Chipotle-knock off place called Moe’s Southwest Grill. I guess it was ok, but the menu was really confusing. Why can’t you just walk down the line and tell them what you want on your burrito? Why do you have to choose one of the ridiculously named (I had the vegetarian quesadilla called “instant friend”. Yeah, special.) menu items that inevitably do not have exactly what you want on them? Ok, well at least I got 2 meals out of it. It was a big quesadilla and I haven’t been eating too much lately. That’s one positive side effect of the play: weight loss. A very determined diet and exercise program because I have to be on stage with all these amazingly attractive people. Haha.

Enough ranting, back to the day. So we went over to Best Buy to pretty much just tool around until time to take me over to rehearsal. Brady and Heather Beth bought two seasons of some tv show or another and the boy drooled over $2K TVs and cameras. Such a man. And then after that we went ahead and drove back over to Heritage for rehearsal. Heather & Brady went off to meet one of their friends for dinner (Yes, pretty much an hour after we had just eaten. Haha) so we parted company for the night. Almost.

Going into rehearsal, I was there about 20 minutes early so I tried to find some way to help out with building sets. I am not too terribly mechanically inclined, much to my father’s chagrin, but I can hold a board in place with the best of them. So that is what I did. I had a nice little talk with Dustin’s dad and then went out to start rehearsal. We did a full vocal run through of both acts so we could hear what each group had been working on these past few weeks. And this is an awesome cast. But, we were not in the groove to begin with. We started out on stage because the chorus room was locked and the stage piano is awful. The two castors in the front are missing, so the piano tilts comically toward the pianist and shakes like it is going to fall apart. And it is so soft. I have no idea why an upright would be so quiet, it doesn’t sound like a normal upright though. So we were out of synch and just getting frustrated. All of us were.

Thankfully, the gentlemen who is helping us out with the theater space saved the day & unlocked the door. Once we moved to the other room, Kate our director made us play “puppies in the sand”. Which essentially is a silly little activity where you put on this ridiculously characturized excited expression and quickly paw at your own stomach as though you were “digging in sand.” You feel idiotic, but at the same time you cannot help but smile. So after this, rehearsal went a little more smoothly. We did “Murder, Murder” about 20 thousand times. Which it needed and so did we. Then we continued on through Act II. Dustin did “Confrontation” for us all for the first time. His bodily transformation is just incredible to watch. It’s like watching a masters class for actors. He is just so deliciously creepy and scary when he changes into Hyde. I can’t wait to see him do it full out.

Ending the night on a pretty high note, we all headed out of the building so Dustin could set the alarm. That boy has so much energy; I have no idea how he survives himself from day to day. As Ashley and I were talking in the parking lot, Dustin, Bev, Aaron, Dave, Tom and Tim came out and it was decided they were going to TGI Fridays. Dustin invited us along and for once I went ahead and went. I rode over with Ashley and we got there just as everyone else arrived. This was Ashley’s first drink, she had rehearsal on her 21st birthday and never got the chance. I was in charge of picking a drink that wouldn’t get her loaded, which is good because I believe I have the most experience with alcohol out of the cast. Which makes me laugh a little. I picked a Mudslide, because they are essentially alcoholic milkshakes, and very little alcohol at that.

I slid down to the end of the table to talk to Aaron for a bit, not meaning to ignore the rest of the table at all, but Aaron and I wound up having a primarily one on one conversation for the rest of the evening. There were times when we would talk to other people, like I would talk to Ashley and DaShay, or Dustin would come over and sit with us, and at one point Heather Beth & Brady came so Aaron and I kind of entertained them since we were the only 2 on that end of the table that they knew. At one point, we got into talking about musicals and productions and everything. He mentioned The Last Five Years, which is probably one of my top 2 favorite Jason Robert Brown shows and I played it for a senior show when I was still in college (back in 2002 or 2003). He is directing it for this fall and wanted to know if I would be his music director. He needs a music director who can play the show, because it is very piano driven and extremely hard to play. Extremely. I don’t know that my fingers are up to the task anymore, but I will definitely find out. I’ll give it a shot at the least 🙂

This kid, he’s only 22 after all, is one of the sweetest funniest people I have met in a terribly long time and I would probably make a move on him if I had shed all of my break up weight and had my confidence back. But he says these really sweet things that he doesn’t have to say, and they really make me feel all girly and giggly. Like tonight he told me “When you can to the first audition date and were so nervous, I thought she’s not going to audition and I felt bad. But you said you’d come back the next night and you actually did. Most people say that and then get to scared. But when I saw you back again, you immediately gained my respect. Then I heard you cold read, and you cracked me up. Especially as Nellie… your instincts are so great and I don’t even think you know what it is you have in you, but you’re natural timing is hilarious. And then when you sat down and started playing the piano when DaShay was gone, I thought to myself I love this girl. I was so happy you were in the cast.” I mean, come on. Who’s heart wouldn’t just melt if they were told something that wonderful? But now I feel like this mushy little high school girl, instead of the almost 26-year old that I am. It’s a nice feeling for now, but if it sticks around I believe I will begin to irritate myself. Haha. At the end of the evening, there were hugs all around and Ashley and I departed for Heritage. Ashley kidded with me that Aaron and I focused on each other for so much of the night, I thought no one else would notice or pay attention, but unfortunately at least one person noticed. And I admit there was an awful lot of one on one convo and a lot of eye contact, but I really didn’t mean to be antisocial with everyone else. I just enjoy his company, we’re similar in a lot of ways, and he’s very easy to talk to (which he said to me in those words, again just melting my heart a little). And that was the end to my day. Started out very wrong, but ended very right. 🙂

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Yes, my friends, that is correct. I am posting yet again. This time with all the fun details of my night at rehearsal.

I am absolutely loving this experience and it is drawing me out of my shell a bit. I’m excited to do it in front of an audience for the first time. By that time I am sure it will all be so ingrained in us that we could perform in our sleep (that is, if we could make the costume changes in our sleep). We ran & blocked Act I, scenes 1A through 1M. The women also learned a new song as I mentioned earlier.

After the song, we all converged on the big stage to figure out how to arrange our choreography from yesterday so everything would fit and the stage would be full of activity. At the beginning of the show, we have to be insane asylum inmates, making gutteral awful noises when the curtain is ripped down. As Jekyll rips down the curtain, there is a tableau and all the inmates must freeze in position and hold it there for what seems like an eternity. I will be on a flight of stairs and wound up this time lying on my back with my head on the step below me and my foot in the air. I shall try my best not to wind up in that position again because all the blood rushed to my head and I felt a little drunk when I had to spring up and make my exit. I’ll have to play around with it to see what feels comfortable.

But I think the toughest part of tonight was the Engagement Party scene. It’s easy enough: walk on, sing, turn to partner, create inaudible party conversation in character, react to principals entrance, etc. However, the inaudible party chatter goes on for about 5 minutes. Yay. After this part we exit to the ballroom and the ensemble was free to leave. I stayed to watch the rest of the rehearsal, primarily to get a feel for it since I won’t be able to see it from backstage, but also just because I love our male lead’s voice.

As I was leaving, Dustin (Jekyll/Hyde) gave me a big hug and told me he thought my voice sounded amazing in the ensemble songs. I tried to play it off like it hadn’t just made my day, but it did 🙂 It pretty much made my month. It’s one thing to be told by your close friends that you can sing, but it is another thing to be told by someone you respect as a performer and person who doesn’t have any reason to lie to you to make you feel better. He didn’t have to say anything at all & the fact that he did makes me feel amazing!

After rehearsal, I drove back to Heather Beth’s and this is where I will pass the rest of the evening. I’ll probably read some more of the Stevenson novella, get a stronger feel for “who” I’ll be in the show. Take care all!

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Well today is the 2nd day of my diet & after last night’s dance rehearsal and workout session, I woke up ravenous. If I had been a bear caught in a trap I would have gladly chewed off my own foot to get to a Sonic Drive-In. Luckily this was not the case, and I will not have to hop on one foot to get from point A to point B.

We have another rehearsal tonight for Jekyll & Hyde. I am so blessed to be in this show with these amazing people. My only fear is that I will be the one who sticks out like a sore thumb and brings down the quality of the production. I haven’t gotten called down for anything, so maybe that isn’t the case. Yet. There is still the possibility that dancing like an epileptic walrus could damage the choreographer’s vision 🙂

Tonight we are learning a new song. One of my favorite numbers in the whole show is called “Good And Evil” and it pretty much explains the entire show’s theme: inside each person there is good and evil, and we must all make our decision to be one or the other; but ultimately we will be both regardless of our intentions. Unfortunately, Wolfbane couldn’t get the rights to the song, so we’re doing “Bring on the Men” which I also really like but for a different reason. This one is really brash and funny. But it has a 10 measure dance break in the middle where all of the whorehouse ladies shake it. I am really really worried about that dance break. I am neither graceful, nor sexy so I’m not sure how I’ll fare with this choreography. All the other women (and in Tim’s case, man) are dancers and then there’s me. I do have to admit to feeling like I’m the stretch cast in all of this. I am not a great actress, I can’t dance my way out of a paper sack and my singing abilities are greatly diminished from where they were when I was in college. But everyone is being really nice and not saying any of that to my face. One lady even mentioned to me that I had one of the prettiest female voices she had heard in a very long time. Which was a huge compliment because it was right after a vocal run through where we heard our principals sing for the first time.

But I do have to just gab for a minute here. There are so many cute guys in this show. Even though we are a small cast, we are powerful and everyone is just gorgeous. We have the smouldering dark dramatist, the adorable blond comedian, the wolf-like blond mystery, and the funny independent goofball. Something for every woman 🙂 It’s pretty bad that for my first performance in 5 years I have to work with so many hot men, because hot men make me nervous. Really nervous.

Well, I will sign off for now. I’ll return and write more later.

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