Sunday, July 25, 2010

Where Did My Oxygen Go?


Breathe? Who needs to breathe? Certainly not me.

So we left off at Tech of Gamma Rays. Tech was long, but no where near the length of a musical. So we got out around midnight. The set looked amazing, filled with all sorts of junk from the family's years of abuse. We spent the tech respacing our blocking (movement patterns) since there weren't a lot of sound or light cues.

So Tuesday night came and it was a great opening night! Many association members come on Tuesdays, and they're some of our biggest supporters. And mom was there. The energy was high, the lines were correct, and we got a standing ovation! It's difficult to get a standing O for a drama in Boji.

Wednesday and Thursday were our learning nights. We found great moment to moment work, which means that we found new interpretations of scenes and characters to play with, but the audiences were lower energy and we had to learn to not let it affect us. Thursday we also had 'the laugher' come. He's usually the person that laughs at really inappropriate moments, which we prepared ourselves for. What we didn't prepare ourselves for was his outrageous yawning! He was bored to death the whole show, and made sure his neighbors knew it. That was an interesting challenge to face.

Saturday and Sunday were our best performances. It was an amazing run of a show. I finally understood what it would be like to run a show consistently. By Sunday I could tell that I would be able to wake up and give the same performance the next day. There wasn't anymore blaming energy on the audience or saying we had an off day. I really didn't feel like a student giving a limited run anymore. I felt like I could have kept going. It's comforting to discover that I think I could sustain a professional theatre job.

I had so much fun with this play. I thought maybe doing a drama in such a short amount of time would be a downer since it was total immersion. But I just focused on character, and on the story we were trying to tell, and I felt like I was doing something right. I was so excited to open the show. I was excited to have a seizure every night just to bring a reality to the stage.

I wish I had more time to dwell on the performance I gave and the experience I had and really decide what it means to me, but time moves so fast here I've barely even thought about it. Maybe I shouldn't think about it.

Right after the show was done I went into rehearsals for Unnecessary Farce which I'm assistant stage managing. I was so excited to be ASM because I wanted to work with a guest director, which isn't something I've gotten to do this summer. And I would be working with actors that aren't in my other shows. First off Director B is phenomenal. He's the most amazing man I've ever worked with. He's a master of farce and he knows how to communicate exactly what he wants. He's one of the most unassuming, good natured people I've ever met and I truly hope I get another chance to work with him.

That being said--the play will be amazing. We actually open on Tuesday, and we tech tomorrow night, so I have a busy week ahead of me. I start Rebbit Hole rehearsals this week so it will be rehearsal morning and afternoon, and performance at night. Much the same as this past week has been. I've been the Light Board Operator for Company, so it was the same schedule. Company has been a blast as well. I've gotten to work with a very talented lighting designer and a great crew. I love learning about lights. I've taken a lighting design class in college and done a couple light crews, so I know some about the subject. Designers are always interesting people to talk to. They have such vision. And we had an interesting conversation about the pros and cons of New York vs. LA. Thanks JH.

I wrote this in two parts of my non-existent spare time. Here's the second:

Unnecessary Farce has opened now, and the run has gotten great audience feedback. We haven't had too much maintenance on the set yet, so that's nice. We've only broken 4 doors and the molding a couple times, which is better than we expected I think. With the energy and pace of the script, I honestly expected there to be even more upkeep. The cast is having a fun time being loved, and the audience energy is really making great things happen for them. We're planning on sending a copy of the show and photos of the show to our director as a present. I hope they find him well.

Rabbit Hole rehearsal has been a blast so far. As intimidated as I was by the depth of this script, I'm having so much fun jumping in and wading through the different emotions of this character. I've never been so challenged before, but I couldn't be surrounded by a more talented group of people. We're all striving to give this story the justice it deserves, so people can walk away from this play changed. The strength of these characters is uplifting and the way that they deal with their problems is so true to life. Everybody should see this play sometime in the life. Of course, it's being made into a movie this year, so at least they'll see it in some capacity.

So, as a wrap up: I've been involved in 4 plays in the last 4 weeks, most of them at the same time, and they've all been great. I'll reflect on that later though. After I breathe.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tech Day, Then Opening

This has been one crazy rehearsal process. We blocked the show in two days. We were off book by Tuesday. We were working Act 1 by Wednesday and Act II by Thursday (which is 1 week of rehearsal). Then by Friday we were running the show! We ran the show twice on Saturday. The first time we performed it for our designers so they could get a last minute look at things they needed to consider, and for some of our production staff.

Instead of doing a full run the second time through, we did a line-through. Director B is really great about trying not to wear down the cast since it's such a heavy show.

I'm happy that I was able to get off book on schedule. Working in the Box Office for the week helped since I could study lines in my down time. I had a ton of costume fittings this week as well. My character wears really tight clothes and so our Costume Designer C, the same designer I had for Playhouse Creatures, decided that she wanted to build all my pieces. So she spent the week measuring me and making my costumes by hand.

They're amazing. She had a lot of help from our guest designer for Company that has been watching my process--she's a great teacher. So I had two skirts and a dress constructed for my character, and then distressed to look older on stage. It was really cool to be a part of the process, since at school they usually pull from stock whatever they want you to wear. I'd never had someone take the time with me to build my costume. That's real dedication there.

Last night was Strike and Change Over, and it went pretty fast. We were out at 1:30 again. The set looks great, and today we get to dress it. The house is full of junk, so it's going to be a fun job for props to throw things around and make it look messy. Today is Tech Rehearsal as well. So starting in the afternoon we'll do that, and by late tonight, probably around 9 or 10, we'll start our Dress Rehearsal. It's going to be a long fun night. This is the one night we have to see if we need to change blocking now that we're on the set, or costumes now that we're moving in the real space. We'll see how it goes!

And Mom gets here tomorrow!!!!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

50 Posts, 7 shows, and 6 more days of Rehearsal Left

This will be my 51st blog post; can you believe it? I can't believe I've managed to keep up with it so far. Though I suppose the term 'keep up with' can be used loosely since I've arrived at Boji.

I had a really great week of rehearsal and by Saturday we had finished blocking the whole show, which is great progress. This next week we'll be working scenes and running the show. Tuesday opens the run of See How They Run, a British Farce, which will be hilarious. And then next Tuesday my show will open! Just one more crazy week.

Saturday we had two shows and then we kicked off our 4th of July celebration with a bonfire and fireworks show. It was a lot of fun, and it made up for me not being able to watch fireworks on the real 4th of July.

Then Sunday we had a parade in the morning. The company all dressed up in festive American gear and we grabbed some flags and drums and marched our way around the lot. When we got to the end the staff had set up a kiddy pool with a sign that said 'Boston Harbor' and we all threw tea bags into the water...and then dunked people. After that there was a volleyball tournament. It was students versus students and then staff versus the winning team. My team lost before the staff round, but we had a lot of fun getting the line officials to give us points.

I went off the lot for a bit with Katie Mac to find a flea market that one of the staff had told me about. It was HUGE and I found some really cool things there.

Of course, last night was also strike/change over night, so we had a long night. I was assigned to the scene shop to dismantle the in-going set and then the out-coming set. The only bad thing about the night is that the mosquitoes were horrendous! I literally have about 15 bites, and that's after spraying my clothes and myself 5 times throughout the night. It was ridiculous. I hope the next strike isn't so bad as that.

Today I did box office for the first time. I really enjoyed it, and I'm excited to spend the rest of the week in box office as well. I like that I get to rotate and be around different people every week.