bluecastle: (Default)
Hello Friday. 

What's my name again? 

Seriously still not sleeping. But at least there was rehearsal last night, and free pizza, and way more innuendo than you'd think concerning the making of butter in little plastic containers. [sudden flashback to Kate and Leo and Hugh Jackman saying "fresh creamery butter." LOL]

Chaos reigned, and whatnot, but I have a dress, and a speech -- words mostly by Mark Twain -- and can now commence FREAKING THE FUCK OUT about having to be by myself tomorrow between 1 and 4 at the town's coffee shop being Miss Marmalade and running a schoolroom for the kiddos. Who get to play with letter stamps and make little fake horn books. Meanwhile I have to be charming and entertaining and in character the whole time. Oh and at least a little edumacational. Without a script! Like I have to MAKE STUFF UP!

I do not always do so well w/o a script. So I am trying not to think too much about it as that will just keep the freak out flag flying! 

Hopefully it'll be a good day. We have a music lesson at the local town museum. Readings by "Emily Dickinson" and "Louisa May Alcott" at the town library, jackstones and yoyo lessons at the town toy store, games in the park, and then after the banjo performer and the barbershop quartet, we have our finale Traveling Medicine Show in the park with the sack race finals, and then we can all collapse!

Hey, that actually sounds like fun :)

Now to figure out how to introduce the horn book craft, and come up with some filler activities like a spelling bee (words needed) and some stuff like deportment lessons and things.

The trickiest bit about doing public theater like this is keeping things going while people just wander in and out. It's got to be coherent, but its also got to be able to be on something of a repeating loop without getting too boring.


Please pass Miss Marmalade some smelling salts. (Where's Hathaway ... he keeps 'em in his suit pocket... ;)

(oh, and the guy playing Professor Bigler, the patent medicine man, does a short excerpt from ACDs The Red Headed League, but does Watson's voice as cockney and I CANNOT keep a straight face. Oh dear god no Watson has ever sounded LIKE THAT. hee)
bluecastle: (Default)
It's sort of sad but also the way my life is going lately, when I end up being linked on an LJ of someone living in Chicago to something that is taking place in my town (sort of) ... but thanks to [ profile] copperbadge 's monday linkie post ... I now have a ticket for a screening of a televised performance of the National Theater's production of Frankenstein starrring Benedict Cumberbatch!

He and Jonny Lee Miller are alternating Frankenstein and the monster/beast. Can't tell from my local performing arts center's crap description which way it'll be when I see it ... but whichever way it is cast I think it'll be fascinating. Read some review just now that said the script is  a bit weak, but time will tell I guess. So March 27th I'll be sitting here in Central PA watching a performance of a show in London (um. I'm assuming). Anyway...

Pretty much all anyone had to say were the words "Benedict Cumberbatch." LOL

piccie under the cut. )
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So, by the end of today I will have a ticket reserved for a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the summer theater barn next Friday.

and I just reserved a ticket for another local theater group's production of "Waiting for Godot" for this Saturday afternoon.


Interested to see what the professional who is directing Streetcar does with it. (Professional as in someone you probably have seen at some point on your movie and tv screens) The BFF is playing Mitch and the pro was really really pushing him during rehearsals to be a more active actor. Not sure I really see Mitch as sexual predator ... but challenging the BFF is a good thing (even if he hated it at the time. The boy has talent, but doesn't get challenged often enough).

And Godot ... as one of my pals said, I am going because I know the people in it, not because I care about the show as such. All local talent, and one sort of local who used to live here, but now lives in Brooklyn, but comes in over the summer to do theater.

He's Benedick in next month's local prod. of Much Ado as well.

Look at all the pretty theater *pets it* ... sort of regretting not auditioning for Much Ado, but their schedule is nuts. Also, my friend with the bookstore (who is directing Godot) was supposed to be Beatrice, but obvs. had to drop out, and my other friend, Director Cee is taking over. Cee Cee's already been on me to see if I want to be her line coach... :) So I may end up involved in it in some small way.

(As you can see, the local theater crowd is very insular)

Oh, speaking of my friend with the bookstore... not ALL that much to tell. She will almost certainly have to close the current location at the end of the month, but there are talks with realtors and banks ongoing. Also there have been numerous fundraisers in an attempt to get the store some capital to reopen with. They're shooting for a pot of $50,000 and I think they're about 10% of the way there. And the community building goes on...

ETA: Went and looked at the local fundraiser's page ... the goal is $40,000 and we're 31% of the way there :)
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So I'm back in the land of community theater. Went to auditions Friday night with no real expectations.

This particular group has a mass audition in the spring and casts it's whole summer's worth of theater in one fell swoop. So depending on whether you are going for a play or a musical, you have different hurdles to get past. Since I only ever audition for plays I don't have to do the dance and singing auditions, which makes it one stop shopping for me. But you still have to sit in a room and have four directors looking at you as you read for 45 seconds and they move on to the next person in your group.

And there's the usual flurry of paperwork and picture taking when you arrive. Then you stand around clutching script pages in damp hands (it was VERY warm in the waiting room) until they come around and call your name. I happened to get there the same night as my BFF. I hadn't seen him since January, so it was nice to get a chance to catch up.

We were there the second weekend of auditions, and we were only auditioners 40 and 41. This rather explains the personal Facebook note from the prez of the organization to me asking if I would be attending, I think. Over and above the fact that we did a show together year before last and had a great time.

Anyway, you do you thing, with the usual standard speech about "just because we don't read you for a particular role doesn't mean we're not considering you for that show. We can tell a lot from your audition, from whatever reading we give you." Which is true and all, but it does rather mean that your chances of getting cast come down to a reading of maybe a minute or two in length. It's a distinctly unfair process to newcomers. If you've already worked with a director, they know what you can do ... if you're an unknown quantity, you've got to sell yourself IMMEDIATELY. And if you happen to get a reading that's not a good fit -- or as has happened to me, you're reading with someone really inexperienced -- it can be hard to break through. But that's the way the cookie crumbles in this kind of a set up.

In years past, the directors have gone right from the Saturday morning auditions into the casting room where they all sit around and fight over the talent pool. This year they waited a day, so we didn't get our calls until Sunday afternoon. So right after I got to my parents house for Sunday dinner, my phone rang, and lo and behold it was the director who's cast me in 4 out of the 5 shows I've been in with this group! Not having done any prep work for auditions I had no idea what the part was that I was agreeing to. She just said "I want you to be Eva, one of the sisters" and I said yes.

The play is Mrs McThing ... and I haven't read a really good synopsis yet. It was written by Mary Chase of Harvey fame. Something about witches and gangsters and a boy turned into a Stepford-y version of himself. I found an excerpt on Google books which had a bit of some of my lines, from which I can see that I am the bossy sister (of three), and that "Radcliffe taught us how to dress." Over-dressed and bossy. Hmmm... Okay, make with the wise-cracks. LOL. Hey ... Helen Hayes was the lead in the show when it was on Broadway in the 50s. Also Ernest Borgnine and Fred Gwynne -- who went on to be in a little show called The Munsters. I sort of hate hokeyness.... but it's summer theater in a BARN for goodness sakes...

Also good is that the BFF is also in the show as the mobster man. Of course he's also in Streetcar as Mitch, so he gets to be busier than I this summer. They did a lot of double casting, especially among the men, but that could be partially because the first show the season is Twelve Angry Men. Which needs at least 13 men. That's a LOT for a smallish community theater to put together, especially when there are three other plays and two other musicals to cast. And I about fell over when I saw the chorus of 30 in Hello, Dolly. Where they're going to put them all I just don't know. The "stage" (it's theater in the round, so it's more like "the open bit in the middle of the seats") is like 20 by 30 feet. It's TINY. But the way these things go, the more actors, the more audience, especially when there are kids in the chorus, so you have to factor that into the formula.

I get to go and pick up my script tomorrow, so I'll be able to tell more then what I'm in for. But it's going to be one wacky May/June!!
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I do not think I have any coherent words about AVENUE Q.

Are there coherent words about AVENUE Q?

Totally hilarious of course. My “date” nearly had a coronary at what she termed the “puppet fornication.”

Seemed like a pretty hip crowd on the whole. They had plastered “This show is NOT FOR KIDS” warnings all over the ads which was good, but also somehow hilarious.

Cutest moment -- during the “The Internet is for Porn” number when the performers all look out at the audience and say something like “no normal person sits at home watching porn on their computer…” and a guy behind up piped up “We do!” Way to participate there dude!

I feel like I need brain bleach however to remove the skeezyness of those “Bad Idea Bears” from my memory. Evil Care Bears. Who comes up with this stuff? [Although I have to say, a crack fic threesome with those bears and Jack Harkness just begs to be written. And it’s so pretty when it begs… ;0)]

Brilliant and all, but we kept saying “I want to meet the mind behind this thing…”

There actually is a local connection with the guy who designs the puppets.

Was a bit frustrated that I was nearly always about 20 seconds ahead of the joke.

And those little TV scene snippets were messing with my head. Quit effing with my childhood here people :0)

So, a good time was had by all, and my date was totally jazzed that I was going to be joining not only her scene study class (which was just her ‘til I agreed to partner her, although likely she doesn’t know that yet) … but also the Thursday Improv class.

Bonus was that I had saved enough calories to be able to stop at Sheetz on the way home and get a cinnamon bun for my bedtime snack.

Extra bonus – I suspect the Criminal Minds I watched after I got home might have been the pilot. The credit fonts were all different and they spent an inordinate amount of time introducing each other to people. All good signs for a first episode.

Extra Extra bonus – I promise not to be one of those totally obsessed dieters who talks of nothing but food and their abstinence from it … but I just have to say that four days ago I started limiting myself to 2000 calories a day … and when I stepped on the scales this morning I was 3 1/2 pounds lighter. Cause and effect. I like it!

bluecastle: (Default)

So unless I type like a hellucat... I will probably not get this posted today (too much time reading about my flist's interesting lives... me I just sit inna corner punching buttons).

So opening night went ok. Perfectionist me prompts me to fess up that the clock chime cue was four seconds late that first performance. Which sounds like nothing... but four seconds for an actor waiting on stage for the cue that prompts their next line... eternity. But no sub-etheric resonators were damaged by this small flux in time... so no lasting worries. (And I nailed the fuck out of that cue second show today).

Pretty good houses -- for this particular group. They do small shows, and we do it in a small room -- we're at somewhere around 50 seats max with this particular set up. So 44 for opening night, and then 22 for the matinee and 19 for tonight's performance are OK numbers. And I think we've already sold 35 for tomorrow. So yay. (petty me likes that the better the show sells, the more of a honorarium I usually get. far thinking me is glad for the co-artistic directors that run this outfit!)

Ah. The set. I have pictures. Well... I'll post A picture and you can fill in your own thousand words. The flash from my camera makes it look a lot starker than it really is. Dig out some bastard amber gelz and put them in your 3-D glasses and look again for correct levels of moody awesomeness. I picked this one -- which is taken from my little seat in the corner -- mostly as it actually includes one lighting fixture you can identify as "theatrical." And that's the annoying fixture that keeps whining all the time. Stupid lights.

Oh, what the hell... I like my staging of Emily's desk... so here 'tis...

So the theater thing has pretty much eaten my weekend so far, and it will kill tomorrow what with another matinee. Then we get to pack it all up and take the week off. I will be so glad to get my life back when this is over. I have writing to be doing, and lots of teevee I should be looking at.

But as long as we can keep annoying the audiences with a certain amount of participation, it continues to be a hoot. You should see them when we hand them recipe cards and pencils and make them write down the longest fruitcake recipe known to mankind. (It calls for 19 eggs and bakes for 7 hours... ) They freak out. But we give them samples. Well, of something close. And it's cake baked by a guy who just got home from the hospital LAST WEEK after open heart surgery.

Theater with love and cake. Does it get any better?

And I'll close with another stanza from the "bits of emily's poetry that didn't make the final cut" department:

Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed --
I hope the "Children" there
Won't be "old fashioned" when I come
And laugh at me -- and stare
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It’s opening night. I’ll be running around like a crazy woman today trying to take care of last minute details – (while pretending to be doing actual work work). But I’m so glad we’re finally putting this thing on it’s feet. We’ve been rehearsing off and on since FEBRUARY and I’m kinda over it.

In the “yes I am a dork who can’t read” category … I screwed up one of the four recorded sound cues last night because I suddenly had brain!fail and couldn’t remember the difference between the play button and the skip button. I hate sound cues. My brain does not accept their reality.

But despite a number of really little things that didn’t go according to plan… tech/dress went pretty smoothly. So now it’s just down to niggling out the deets … and we’ve got a show!


If you ignore the random dudes … here’s the best shot of the front of the theater I could get last night standing in the street and dodging traffic! But there we are up in lights. I used to work at this theater/theatre as an usher so it was fun to watch the staff change out the posters and the marquee and stuff without feeling like I had to help!

so I’ll leave you with Emily’s words. I think I could post a poem for each show day from the ones we cut from the script! This one is supposed to be the curtain speech.

It’s all I have to bring today --

This, and my heart beside --

This, and my heart, and all the fields --

And all the meadows wide --

Be sure you count – should I forget

Some one the sum could tell --

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the clover dwell.

ETA: Also. Am being theater rebel and am wearing WHITE, and not the traditional black of stage hands everywhere. It seemed only appropriate for a show about Emily Dickinson. Apparently I had to wait til I was 42 to hit my rebellious phase?
bluecastle: (diary)
So, hey cool, I just got an acting gig. {Granted in my head there a lot of screaming that sounds like OHMYGODHELPIGOTANACTINGGIG!.} My shyness just gets in the way sometimes...

Anyway, while performance art's never really been my thing, a friend is setting up a community wide interactive, audience participatory, arts "performance" with an Alice in Wonderland theme weekend after next. The "audience" gets to be Alice and wander around town interacting with the characters, and it all concludes with a croquet game in the park.

And I now get to be the Dormouse. Cool. I can sing badly and fall asleep. Heck, that's often a feature of my real life :0).

We'll see how it goes. It's a small town that doesn't always know what to do with artistic stuff...

twinkle... twinkle... twinkle...zzzzzzzz
bluecastle: (NYC)
...Till it's time to catch the bus to the bus station, to take a bus to another bus station, in order to take a train (or possibly a bus) ...

Public transport is my friend today. I thought about taking the bus to work just to complete the cycle... but it was easier to have my dad drop me off.

Try not to have TOO much fun on the internets without me!!

See y'all in a week ... at which time I expect to need a vacation to rest up from my vacation!!
bluecastle: (NYC)

Suitcase packed. Ready to be dropped off at the studio tonight so the director can take it with her in the morning.

Commemorative journal/mini-book (that I probably won’t have time to write in) created and ready to pack.

Instructions for the cat-sitter typed.

Camera batteries charging.

Pens, pencils, & highlighters; first aid kit; sewing kit; script ready to be tossed into my stage manager duffle.

Three books I won’t have time to read tucked into my suitcase.

Still must:

Charge iPod and phone.

Pack phone charger

Must stick extra labels on the cat food to help out cat-sitter

Wash dishes and take out trash

Spend some quality time with my kitty

Check campus bus schedule to get me from the office to the bus depot

Buy some additional energy bars just in case…

bluecastle: (NYC)
Time to dig out my travelling shoes.

A friend has offered me a week-long, out of state, stage managing gig, and my day job boss just gave me the OK to take the week off. So in a couple of weeks I will be spending a week in New Jersey stage managing children's theater.

So am excited about getting out of town (heck, out of state) and working with "real" "working" actors. And, you know, the cash. :)

The down side is a week's worth of squealing kiddies... but balanced against the opportunity to do theater for a week, get paid for it (and use paid vacation days for the RL job...) there was no hesitation.

Of course being the obsesessive type now I will spend the next two weeks making lists and gathering a wardrobe and packing and re-packing a bazillion times. But would you want a stage manager who didn't do those things???
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 So I finally got (got around to) watching the first three episodes {thanks Netflix} of "Slings and Arrows."

My more erudite/knowledgeable/drama-heavy theater pals had seen this Canadian satire and have been raving about it for nigh on years.

Being a theater nut, any fond insider-trading type satirical nonsense is always good. {drunk and raving stage managers a definite plus} I wrote down... "Six Feet Under meets Waiting for Guffman" as I watched the first episode. Took a couple of episodes to get rolling and get all the cast introduced, but I have a feeling its only going to keep getting funnier. And having the lead character be an ex-actor who cracked up playing Hamlet having to deal with being haunted by his former friend who was run over by a Ham semi truck is just a delightful piece of nonsense.

and those stuffed sheep in the giftshop... la... too funny... apparently I am one of the 41% of the 81% of people who visit the gift shop who want one...

it's no "Noises Off" ... or on the literary end of things "Downwind of Upstage" ... but it's a definite giggler if you are at all into the absurd business of show business...

[and of course being all Whovian and whatnot lately the words "Tennant" "Shakespeare" and "Hamlet" have a whole 'nother level of resonance...]


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January 2015

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