Monday, September 21, 2009

Outside the Box

"Talking of Michelangelo" image (originally uploaded to FightBoy Theatre)
Due to the recent surge in some of my closest friends and colleagues encouraging me to step outside the box, leave my comfort zone, try something new, etc., last week I went to two auditions that pretty much scared the hell out of me. But, due to the strong desire to have something other than the two (wonderful!) Denton musical theatre companies on my resumé, I swallowed my fear and got my audition materials ready for the week.

The first audition was for a concert version of Show Boat at Lyric Stage in Irving, TX, which will not even begin rehearsals until January of 2010. Lyric is a highly respected company in this area, due to their diligence in producing beautiful productions with full, lush orchestras. The thought of working with a theatre of this caliber, especially after performing my last role to a recorded orchestra, was too wonderful to pass up. I don't have high expectations for this one, especially due to it being my first audition outside of community theatre, well,....ever. I just wanted to feel as though I did my best and gave a good audition. I think that I achieved that. The jury is still out on casting, as far as I know, but overall I'm pleased with the experience and am very glad that I got my first audition for an equity theatre out of the way. It will only get easier, right?

The second audition was for a straight play, which I have not done since high school. I won't even tell you how many years ago that was, but suffice it to say, I'm a little rusty and anxious when there is no big musical number (or several) for me to fall back on! The play is called Talking of Michelangelo, and it is an original work by FightBoy Theatre founder (and friend of mine) Joshua Scott Hancock. This audition was so much more intense - but relaxed at the same time - than most musical theatre auditions, and I really had to step outside my comfort zone a few times. It was incredibly fun - and liberating! - and the eclectic group of talented people that showed up to auditions made me feel very comfortable, and not quite as vulnerable as I was afraid of feeling.

I ended up getting cast as an ensemble role in the play, and our first rehearsal/read-through is this evening. This will be a very short and intense rehearsal process - the show opens on October 21st - and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Finally, I'd like to say congratulations to another of Denton's indie theatre companies, Sundown Collaborative Theatre. They opened Nina Raine's Rabbit this past weekend and have been receiving great reviews so far, both from my colleague Gina Robertson of The Column as well as Mark Lowry from Theater Jones. I hope to catch a performance this weekend, and I encourage you to do the same and support the indie theatres!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Answer to a Repeated Question

After a relatively short (for me anyway) hiatus from all most things theatre, things have been picking up a bit more momentum lately. I reviewed two shows last week, and the reviews are up online: My Way can be found here, and Funny Girl here. I also have two auditions this week that could not be more different from one another–one is for a musical at an equity theatre (my first audition for equity…aaaaaaand vomit) and the other is for an original play (yes! Play!) written and directed by a good friend.

When I was talking to someone about my busy recent schedule, that person asked me, “How long do you think you’ll be able to perform and be a critic?” I believe my response was a shrug and, “Dunno. As long as I can do both, I guess.”

Here’s the thing–I love doing both. I love being onstage and performing, and I honestly cannot go to a musical performance without aching a little bit on the inside as I sit in the audience thinking “When, DEAR GOD WHEN, can I do this again?” Those of you who are also performers know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s intangible, really. I can’t answer why I love doing it, just like I can’t answer why I continue to do it even when I’m exhausted, frustrated, stressed, etc. It’s just…because.

And on the other hand, I love being, even in my very small, insignificant way, a theatre resource for people. If a review I write convinces someone to go see the show, even just out of curiosity or to see if what I said about the sets/costumes/actors’ performances is really true, that’s fantastic. If one of my Facebook friends clicks on a link to an article or a link to a YouTube performance of something particularly fierce, that’s excellent! If six people read and enjoy this blog, that’s great, too! It also broadens my own horizons. Reviewing gives me an opportunity despite the financial limitations of being…ahem…a twenty-something newlywed to go see shows all over the Metroplex and, who knows, maybe even farther some day. Plus, as someone who has always enjoyed writing and blogging, I’m getting the added professional benefit of having my reviews published in such widely read online publications such as The Column and

However, I know what this person meant by asking me that question. Eventually, despite my intentions and my desire to write with tact and objectivity, I’m bound to someday get on the wrong side of an actor, a director, a choreographer, a producer…you get the idea…and it could very well affect whether or not I’m cast in some places. And that’s fair – it’s their prerogative! My career aspirations are not to make a living on the stage; if they were, I’d stop reviewing now and focus on performing only. My goals are to just keep doing what I’m doing for as long as someone lets me do it. I want to perform as often as my schedule, my day job, my home life will allow – and not necessarily in that order. And I want to continue seeing the myriad high-quality theatrical productions that Dallas/Fort Worth and its surrounding suburbs have to offer.

I also want a million dollars, a new car, and maybe just one pair of Jimmy Choo mary janes…so if someone could get on that for me, I’d be much obliged. :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quick Update

I logged into Blogger this morning and found that I have more followers of this blog now for a grand total of ::drumroll, please::.......SIX! Woo hoo! Hey, you've got to start somewhere, right? I'm just thrilled that anyone stops by here, adds me to their Google Reader, etc. Welcome!

So, I'm enjoying my time without a show right now, believe it or not! I've had time to make dinner plans with friends, catch up on my poor, desperately neglected house, spend time with the puppy, do some leisure reading (in the past couple of weeks I've finished The Time Traveler's Wife and Son of a Witch), and think about upcoming auditions/projects with a much clearer head than I do while in the prep for another show.

My husband is working very hard preparing the role of Billy Flynn with MTD's Chicago, which I hope you will all try to see. Click here for more information on that one. You can safely assume you'll see me, no matter which evening you decide to attend!

"My Way" cast, L-R Brynne Huffman, R. Bradford Smith, Claire Moore, Silas Moores. Photo by Jan Toms, originally uploaded to

Kristin Dausch will play Fanny Brice in Lyric Stage's Funny Girl. Picture originally uploaded to

In reviewing news, I have a couple coming up this week...back-to-back, actually, so it will be a weekend of writing for me! The first one is on Thursday night (tomorrow!), and it's a musical tribute to Frank Sinatra entitled My Way. The second is on Friday night, when I will be reviewing Lyric Stage's production of Funny Girl. I am very much looking forward to both of these productions!

Other than that (oh, is that all??), there are a few auditions coming down the pipe that I've got my eyes on, including a straight play (gasp!), and potentially becoming a Local Correspondent for a fantastic new web site that is getting the finishing touches put on it this month called The Opera Insider. Kala and her mom, Carol, started the web site together, and this is a quick excerpt from their "Why We Are" page:

Now, through The Opera Insider, there exists a virtual venue for a local,regional, and international, cutting-edge, focused,intimate,opera-loving, opera-perpetuating community. We don’t and won’t compete with anyone. Opera company websites, sites that provide performance information, even websites that do some of what we do exist; we know that. We invite them to grow and thrive with us, link to us, work with us, and we’ll work with them. Opera bloggers, critics, patrons, singers, technicians, everyone from in front of and behind the curtain, we invite you to join us to create something unique, supportive, and inspiring. We invite you to join with us and become an opera insider.

Cool, huh?? Kala contacted me through Twitter (if you're not following me, start now!) and I'm very excited for what this web site will do for the operatic community - both on and offstage.

So that's it! That's what's been going on around my life lately. I'm really trying to increase following on this blog, so let me know what you'd like to see on this blog, topics you find interesting (related to the performance arts, preferably), etc. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Theatre Wish List

I just did one of those theatre survey things on Facebook, and one of the questions was, “What is your dream role?” Wow. That’s a question not easily answered. I’m sure there are tons of roles I’d love to play some day, and some of them are qualified with “…but only if I can sing it with and/or play opposite __________.”

So then, I started thinking about other “dream” situations. Which director(s) would I LOVE to work with? Which local or regional actor/actress? Which roles would I love to sing even though I’m not right for it because of age/gender/ethnicity?

I decided to make my own quiz. Here it is, with my answers, in no particular order and by FAR not complete. Also, by "regional" I mean in the D/FW area and by "local" I mostly mean Denton. Feel free to copy/paste and repost. I’m limiting each to 5 with one alternate…just because I hate choosing only 5 (hey, it’s my survey and I can do what I want!).

Dream Roles – Musical Theatre
1. Aldonza/Dulcinea in MAN OF LA MANCHA
3. Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL
5. Eliza Dolittle in MY FAIR LADY

Dream Roles – Plays
2. Jacqueline in DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER
5. Catherine in PROOF

Directors I’d Love to Work With (mine are all local/regional)
1. Terry Martin
2. Emily Scott Banks
3. Bonnie McCormick (again)
4. Tashina Richardson
5. Dennis Sloan
ALTERNATE: Bill Kirkley (on a play this time)

Local Actors I’d Love to Work With
1. Kenny Fudge
2. Kevin Wickersham
3. Justin Harmon (again)
4. Tyler Donahue (again)
5. Joseph Montgomery Brown
ALTERNATE: Buster Maloney

Regional Actors I’d Love to Work With
1. Regan Adair (who intimidates the hell out of me because he’s so good)
2. Tom DeWester
3. Donald Fowler (I’d be rendered speechless in front of him, though, so not likely)
4. Christopher Deaton
5. Dan Forsythe
ALTERNATE: Keith Warren

Local Actresses I’d Love to Work With
1. Stephanie Felton
2. Erin Turek
3. Jeannene Abney
4. Jennifer Ehrhart
5. Olivia (DeGuzman) Emile
ALTERNATE: Sharon Barnhill

Regional Actresses I’d Love to Work With
1. Jessica Wiggers
2. Delynda Johnson-Moravec
3. Sara Shelby Martin (I never know where the hyphen goes)
4. Stephanie Hall
5. Marianne Galloway
ALTERNATE: Kayla Carlyle

Songs I’ll Never Sing (within the show)
1. “Wheels of a Dream” – RAGTIME
2. “A Call to the Vatican” – NINE
3. “Tonight” – WEST SIDE STORY
4. “Maybe This Time” – CABARET
5. “Being Alive” – COMPANY

Now…what are yours??