Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Talking of...the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yes, there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel I so gladly stepped into on January 5th, 2009 at our first Company rehearsal! Tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 28th) marks the first of the final five performances of Fight Boy Theatre's production of Talking of Michelangelo. Which also means I'm just that much closer to taking a break from theatre for a while. Yes, I have agreed to help out DCT's production of A Tuna Christmas, but that will be in the role of Assistant Stage Manager, and my duties will not begin until November 30th. I will have four whole weeks off! Amazing. I honestly think that will have been my longest break since the beginning of the year.

And what a great experience it all has been! Every director has been different and amazing in his or her own way, each cast has taught me something new about myself as a person and as a performer, and each script and/or score has been a challenge in its own way.

I've also started and - for the most part - maintained this blog and become a theatre critic for The Column. All in all, I'd say a VERY artistically successful 11 months once it's all said and done. No wonder I'm exhausted, though!

So, back to the current production. I have to say, I definitely had reservations and trepidation about stepping outside my comfort zone and into the world of guerilla theatre. However, this experience has been no less rewarding than any other I have had this year! The cast, the script, the director, the...ahem...weather we have had to deal with...all have been amazing. Plus, I've discovered a new love for Art Six Coffee House, the venue at which we perform each night. The space is absolutely beautiful (a restored house with a spooooooky story attached), the coffee is delicious (I need to set up an IV of the toasted coconut blend), and the staff is amazing. Imagine my surprise when I realized that two figures from my brief foray into the UNT Theatre Dept., Olivia and Tommy, run the place!

It has truly been my pleasure to encourage people to support both an indie theatre group as well as my friends' establishment. In case you'd like to check us out (bring weather-appropriate items, dress in layers, etc....some nights are chilly!), we have five more performances: Weds (Oct 28th) through Sun (Nov 1st) all at 8pm! Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, and Halloween night (Sat) is a pay-what-you-can.

Enjoy some photos below that I took at one of our dress rehearsals! Pictured: the muy caliente Kristina Lujan and the man your mother warned you about: Kevin Wickersham.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 16, 2009

CHICAGO - Backstage: A Picture Essay

Since this blog is entitled "DFW Backstage," I thought I ought to do my part in making the name logical and take some backstage photos at last night's pick-up rehearsal/benefit performance! Enjoy!

My dressing room spot! Makeup and hair are done, I'm just killing time before they call "Places!" which is when I put on my microphone, costume, and lipstick. (Don't worry, I don't go onstage for a good 15 minutes or so after the show begins!)

Our wonderful dance captain, Whitney, leading warmups! This is a very dance-heavy show, so we spend quite a while warming up.

No final weekend of performances is complete without a cast party! Two of our cast members made flyers with all the pertinent information, and we made sure to let our orchestra members know the deets, too!

Three members of our OUTSTANDING orchestra always arrive early and get set up, go over some tricky passages, and generally heckle us as we warm up. :)

A great photo of "They Both Reached for the Gun" from my spectacular vantage point in the wings!

Very blue shot of one of our prop tables, and the fans used in "All I Care About is Love."

Very green shot of two of our sexy ensemble members, as well as all the spreadsheets with set change assignments, etc. on the wall in the stage left wings.

Assistant stage manager SarahAnn Sutter on headset Stage Left! She's amazing!

The other fabulous ASM, Olivia Norine on Stage Right headset!

Going over my lines and blocking again before I go onstage!! I'm terrified not to do this, because I've had very little time to let this show saturate my brain!

Who's that sexy "Mama?" It's me! I'm ready to go onstage!

This is the final weekend of performances, and it has been such a rockin' good time! I'm going to miss it, but I'll have Talking of Michelangelo to keep me busy for the two weeks after this show closes, so I'm never facing an excess of spare time, that's for sure!

OH and did I mention that Chicago is SOLD OUT? Well, it is! Wahoo! And you can read the review in The Column by clicking here or by clicking on the show poster in my sidebar ------->

Friday, October 9, 2009

Razzle Dazzle 'em

(photo by Khai Ha, NT Daily staff photographer, originally uploaded to NTDaily.com)

Another openin', another show...

Yes, tonight is OPENING NIGHT for Music Theatre of Denton's first show of it's 25th season - Chicago. You may be wondering why I didn't mention that I was a part of this show back when I was talking about auditions and such, or perhaps you remember this post in which I discussed my husband being in the show and me enjoying my nights off.

Well, it's been a bit of a whirlwind three days.

Due to reasons I will not disclose so don't even bother asking me, the original Matron "Mama" Morton in this production needed to step away from the production, and I was asked to fill in—with about 3 days before opening night (tonight).

As you can probably imagine, it's a delicate and potentially awkward situation, but I am good friends with this actress and respect her tremendously as a colleague and as an amazing woman. I am doing my best to fill her shoes and to rise up to the caliber of talent in this outstanding cast while at the same time trying to remember all my lines, blocking, lyrics/notes and trying to match the style of the show and find my inner Mama.

What has impressed and humbled me, though, has been the incredible support I have been shown in the past three days! The cast and crew and production team of Chicago has been welcoming and helpful, and I find myself being hugged backstage, slapped on the butt a few times (ahem, Tyler), and even gently nudged or guided (discreetly, of course) onstage. Talk about making a scary situation easy on a girl!

Beyond that, even, the cast and production team of my other current show, Talking with Michelangelo has also been incredible and supportive. The director is being supportive and accommodating to my suddenly crazy schedule, and he and our leading actress have even offered to meet with me at odd times to work on individual scenes so that I can stay up to speed on that production as well.

Finally, I have been ridiculously impressed with the way the two directors of these two vastly different companies have helped one another out, making absolutely sure that neither show gets slighted in any way, but that each production is promoted and rehearsed to its full potential. That, my loyal readers, is what I think that theatre—especially community theatre—should be all about. This situation, which could have been much stickier, has been not only smooth and pleasant, but incredibly rewarding and uplifting.

So? Here we go. Off to OPENING NIGHT tonight (aka my 4th rehearsal) and kicking off what I hope will be a fantastic and successful run of one helluva show.

Here's a bit of press about Chicago, for your viewing/reading pleasure:

Murder, Fame and All That Jazz - NT Daily Article (10/9/09)
Chicago - NT Daily video (10/9/09)
All That Jazz - Denton Record Chronicle's "Denton Time" (10/8/09)