Posts Tagged ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Well, Jekyll & Hyde is over. And I feel a little lost, to be honest. Our performances went very well & we had decent audiences each night. Our 2nd weekend generated more buzz than the first, but we got several comments from local theatre lovers that said it was the best realized show that they had ever seen in Lynchburg. Dad was able to come see it, and so were Patty & Laura (my aunt & cousin). I didn’t invite my mother because I didn’t want her to come. I know that sounds terrible, but hear me out.

Firstly, she is a mess & she wouldn’t be able to hold it together & act normal for that long. Secondly, she would be uncomfortable & utterly disapproving of the content of the show. Thirdly, she would insist on bringing my super-conservative grandmother & aunts to see it & that would have gone over like a lead balloon. I was playing a whore in one scene & my tits were practically shoved up to my collar bones. It would not have been a pleasant situation for anyone involved. Even having my dad see it I was nervous about the content. Luckily, I warned him about the hooker scene & had him sit on the opposite side of the stage so he couldn’t see me very well. He loved it, and was so proud. It made me cry. Brandon’s mom also came to see it. She brought me flowers, and was so lovely about it. She is incredibly conservative as well, but she had an open mind about it. She wasn’t terribly offended for which I was grateful.

This week myself, DaShay, Dustin, Tim, Tom, Brittany and Aaron went down to Aaron’s house in Newport News. We stayed for three days, and I actually had a great time. With one exception. Brittany. She drove all of us utterly insane, but she offended and alienated me to the very core of my being. I couldn’t even stomach riding in the car with her.

Day one: DaShay, Aaron & I drove his car and the others took Dustin’s. There was a hold-up before we even left Lynchburg because Tom’s car seats more people comfortably, uses less gas & is in better working condition. But Tom didn’t want to drive and so she just ignored every sound argument made to take her car. We got on the road late and wound up hitting terrible traffic when we got near the beach. The troupe in Dustin’s car stopped to see one of Tom’s friends on the way down, so our car wound up at Aaron’s house far earlier than they did. We had planned on going in to VA Beach but since they got there so late, we went to a nearer small beach-type town. It only had a kind of paddling area, about waist deep, but it had a walking mall area. So we walked in the water & then took off to explore the area. Aaron took DaShay and I and showed us the area; afterwards we all met up and looked around the little pavillion together. Once we got back to the house, we hung out for a bit and then pretty much called it an early night. DaShay & I stayed up talking late into the night, but it was a great conversation so neither of us missed the sleep 🙂

Day Two: We got up insanely early, slathered on sunscreen, filled our water bottles with margaritas, piled in the cars and drove to VA Beach. We spend the entire day there. Literally. I took SPF75 and came out of the water religiously to put it on, I even waited after putting it on. I followed all the stupid sunscreen rules that I have learned in my 25 odd years of getting awful sunburns whenever I go to any beach, anywhere. But I still managed to get so burnt I could barely raise my arms to get my bathing suit off. You should have seen the idiotic little dance I had to do in the public restroom stall just to pull the damned thing off. Imagine, if you will, a very small, completely metal version of your nearest public washroom. Next, place in your imaginary metal cubicle a beet-red, hopping moron with sand and seaweed falling from her body onto the cold concrete floor. One might wonder if she were practicing for some sort of underwater Jitterbug contest, but no my friends. This terrifying vision is none other than your favorite redhead trying with all her might to extricate herself from the torture chamber masquerading as a bathroom stall. It was rough. But I refused to complain about it. Brittany was complaining enough for all of us put together. While we were in the water, I spent a lot of time out away from the people by myself just floating. I love to float and just listen to the water sounds. But this time, there were families of dolphins within earshot. It was amazing! I got to listen to them all day. When we finally got back to Aaron’s house, his mom had made us spaghetti with a deer meat marinara sauce. Scrumptuous. After dinner, we all sat around and played games. I learned several new games that I was profoundly bad at and some that were not all that horrible. We did one, called Psychiatrist, in which 2 people remove themselves from the room during which time the remaining players all come up with a “malady” to portray. The affliction could be anything from personas to accents to physical attributes or racial origins. DaShay does the most hysterical ghetto impression; I thought we were all going to piss ourselves laughing. Overall, it was a late night, but so much fun. I knew the next day we were going to be spending an equal amount of time out in the sun, so before I went to bed I developed a strategy to keep me from blistering the next day.

Day Three: Another early morning, and we were all kicking ourselves for drinking so much the day/night before. And how did we try and alleviate our chagrin? By filling our water bottles with tequila sunrise for the day. I love alcohol on the beach! I must have looked like an idiot in my long sleeve shirt to prevent further sunburn. But it worked. We swam and ate a good buffet lunch and swam some more. On the way back from the beach today, there was a drive shaft from a tractor trailer laying in the right lane of the highway. Aaron, Brittany & I were able to avoid it, but Dustin hit it. It popped his tire and jarred the car really badly. But after the tire was changed, and the cops were called, the trooper escorted us to the truck that had dropped its shaft & mediated while sh*t hit the fan. We made it back to Aaron’s house & ate dinner and kind of just sat around and talked. Brittany showed her ass by telling us how she supports Liberty University’s policy to expel its homosexual students or send them to what I call “straight camp” (where they are told how to be straight because god wouldn’t want them to be gay). It is repulsive & amoral and completely reprehensible. She goes on to say “well, straight people get in trouble for sex too. And you get in trouble for getting a divorce.” Ok, really? You sure about that? So, if you’re caught having sex so they send you to abstinence camp where you’re told that god would never have made you with a sex drive and you have to abstain for the rest of your life or be sentenced to hell? And if you get a divorce do you get expelled? Well, honey, you had premarital sex at that university with a youth pastor and then proceeded to marry & divorce him. Guess what. You’re still there and haven’t been ostracized at all. What an idiot.

Day Four: We headed back into Lynchburg pretty late, as usual. This time, no one wanted to ride with Brittany, but I flat out refused. I was so hurt & insulted by her whole view point that I couldn’t even stomach her company at all. Tom, DaShay, Aaron & I were in one car, and poor Dustin & Tim were stuck with Brittany. Our car made a pit stop in some little town close to Newport News and Dustin’s kept going. A few minutes later, we get a call that Dustin’s car has dropped its brake system and cannot be driven. Cut to us pulling up to see Dustin, Tim & Brittany standing by the side of the road. We attempt to use my AAA that, unbeknownst to me, had just expired & then we try Brittany’s, but hers will only cover a 20mi. tow which would get us about halfway to Completely-Unhelpful-ville. During all this time manipulative little Brittany has been jockeying for position in Aaron’s car. Her reasoning? Well, number one she is completely in love with the man. And number two, her own comfort and convenience is her utmost concern and somehow waiting on a tow truck didn’t fit in with her grand little plan. We were already leaving a day early because of her & now she pretty much pushes her way into the working car to leave sooner. Cut to everyone in Aaron’s car getting ready to leave (and this should have left Tim, Dustin & Brittany to wait for the tow truck) and who should happen to have plopped herself squarely in my seat with no hope of being able to move her? Yep, you guessed it. So I quickly grabbed my stuff from his car & tucked in to wait it out with 2 of my favorite people in the world 🙂 A damn sight better than riding with her for an hour plus. And it was a good thing she wasn’t in the towed car. Because we couldn’t all fit up front, we had to ride in the car. But the two in the front had to recline completely which left me all squished up in the back. It really wasn’t bad, but if it had been the other person instead of me, all they would have heard was complaining all the way back into Appomattox. Fast forward and we are at Dustin’s father’s bodyshop in Appo. We get the truck and have a nice cozy ride back into Lynchburg.

With all of this having been said, it was still a magnificent trip and so much fun was had by… most. I really love the beach and cannot wait to go back again when the weather permits.

As always, I remain,

Your favorite red-head

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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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Today was a pretty uneventful day until the mid-afternoon. I didn’t have anything to do this morning and still didn’t get any calls about my job applications so I puttered around the house, did some laundry, dishes, and all that jazz. I found out my mother would be coming to the house to meet an insurance adjuster so I wanted to make myself scarce before she got there after the last episode between us. I must have taken the world’s quickest shower and folded all my laundry in record time. It was all for naught though, because literally as I was walking to my truck she pulled up. Great, I thought, here we go again. My good day will be ruined by her manic mess. I always feel really bad for reacting that way, but when your mother is mentally unstable and uses you as her trigger in all situations, makes up horrible things about you to make other people “get on her side” because she feels she needs that, has violent outbursts directed toward you, and is verbally and physically abusive when you see her… all this doesn’t really add up to the most stable loving mother-daughter relationship in the world. And I have to say that I am more used to it now. My mother has been this way for 13 years. This year that will be exactly half of my life. She’s always had these weird paranoid tendencies and cared too much of what other people think about her, but when I was 13 she went over the edge. Now we know that she is bi-polar, has a paranoia disorder, agoraphobia, auditory misapprehension (essentially she convinces herself she hears things she doesn’t. Not hearing voices exactly, but she wants to think the worst so she twists things in her mind until they actually are the worst and then she believes what she has manufactured), and we are all pretty sure that she has started over the edge toward schizophrenia and dementia. Yeah, it’s a mess. It’s times like today when I am so thankful that I take after my father. I do struggle sometimes with caring what other people think of me, and I have a self-esteem issue but I fight both of those daily so that they will not win the battle for my personality. And the self-esteem issues really only set in when I started to gain weight after Brandon left. Those issues are diminishing more as each day passes and I anticipate that they will continue to do so as my weight goes down and my confidence in my abilities goes on the rise.

Anyway, enough back story. Now back to the day at hand. We had a pretty quiet interaction. I didn’t say much so that I wouldn’t unwittingly cause her to attack. That’s pretty much the way it goes with us: I don’t say anything because I don’t want to set her off, and I hold my tongue until I just can’t anymore. Then I speak my mind, and she has a fit. I do feel bad for my mother. She used to be so put together and intelligent. Now all of that has left her and she can barely muster the will to take a shower and get dressed. But the fact that I set my mother off means that I cannot be around her very much, for both of our sakes. It’s not good for her to get that upset and she is pretty much the only person on the earth who can make me feel bad enough about myself to contemplate self-injury.

After the encounter, I left the house and drove out to Lynchburg. I was early so I met Heather Beth at PetSmart to do some shopping. She went home to take a nap & I puttered around Barnes & Noble for awhile. I bought a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mister Hyde which I did not have up until now. There are a couple of books that I wanted to have with me while my other copy was in storage (and buying a 2nd copy was less expensive than driving the 6 hours to get stuff out of my unit) but this one was a new one! I love getting new books, and I am hoping that reading this novel will help me in developing my characters for the play.

After Barnes & Noble, I drove on over to Heritage HS to wait for rehearsal to start. I got there about 20 minutes early so I was the first one to arrive. Once someone with keys showed up I went on in & tried to see if I could help in any way. There wasn’t really anything I could help with, so I went on over to the chorus room to wait for our choreographer. I got to talk with DaShay, our pianist, for awhile. I absolutely love him. Probably one of the nicest men I have met in a long time. Just inherently nice. When Kenda, our choreographer, showed up we ran the song so she could see who sang where and so on, then we jumped straight into the movement aspect of it. The song is “Façade” and the premise is that there are two groups on stage, the poor and the rich. The interplay between them is told by the lyrics and dance interplay. To open the song, Ashley & Aaron playing two poor beggars run through the aisles of the audience and jump on stage & at the same time at the back of the stage are myself, Bev & Terry who are three laundresses. I have a heavy, heavy basket of sheets to carry and slam down. Bev & Terry have an interplay with one of the sheets from my basket and then the rich begin to walk onstage. The next part for me is really fun, but kind of scary if I do it incorrectly.

Scott is playing a rich man sauntering slowly and haughtily by the laundresses, and as he passes I flip my sheet at him making a very loud snapping noise (that’s the plan anyway. It will depend on whether or not we can find a sheet that will snap well). He sneers and walks on his way. A little further into the song, the poor begin to converge on the rich and make rude and vulgar gestures at them to make them uncomfortable. I get to shake my chest, Aaron is doing pelvic thrusts at another man, Terry accosts our only rich bitch, Bev chases a man up the stairs doing a shimmy and Ashley hikes up her dress hem. It’s a really amusing part and I can’t wait to see it play out on stage. Since the show is so dark, it is up to the ensemble to add little comedic elements whenever we can fit them in to lighten it up a bit. It’s a good thing that we have Aaron in this number, because that is kind of his default setting: comic. He’s our one male poor person and he acts as our protector through the rest of the song.

Not too much real dancing in this one. We have lots of stage movement and character acting, but not like “step one, step touch, raise arm, gesture wildly” or any of that crap. And thank goodness, no umbrella choreography like they do in the video version with David Hasselhoff. The man literally sounds like he is being overtaken by a goat when he sings. Too bad they don’t have a video version with a better Jekyll/Hyde. After rehearsal, I drove to Appomattox to Heather Beth’s house to stay the night. She & Brady have been so kind to let me stay with them some nights to help me save on gas money. They have a WiiFit so I decided I wanted to work out for a little while. I did 32 minutes worth of aerobics and I was spent. I do love that it tells you how many minutes you are doing and what kind of weight you are losing, and how your BMI is reacting to your weight loss. I have brought my BMI down just shy of one point since I started doing the WiiFit and now that I am on my diet I anticipate that dropping even more! I am so excited to be motivated to lose the weight I gained. I felt too sorry for myself to really do it after the breakup, but now my confidence is on the rise and I want my body to feel good and be in shape. And I know I will get there 😛

Ok, that’s all for tonight. Have a good one!

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