Don't Break the Rules

Photo Credit: Edmond Kwong of ImageWurx

Hello Gentle Reader!

So far, I’ve “caught” him every show! LOL!

Let’s talk about CMIYC. 🎭

This has been a great experience overall.  I know that wasn’t what you were expecting me to say.  Yes, it did have its struggles like all rehearsals do and I will get into that in just a sec.

This has been so much fun to play Carl Hanratty. 😜 I have begun to love the end of this show so much.  “Goodbye” is such a great song to tie the two men’s lives together.  This begins with Agents Cod and Branton mocking the hotel room mess left by Frank Jr. as Hanratty’s. Then, the realization that it could be true is in “Man Inside the Clues.” 😱

The great thing about Carl, though, is that he has this arc in the show where he goes from  strictly seeing right or wrong to having some doubts about whether things are as simple as that.

Dear Reader, do you recall last year when I spoke of having a hard time with the rehearsal process of Lend Me A Tenor because I wasn’t understanding what was being asked of me. 💀 I wasn’t asking the right questions to get what I needed so in the end, I just had to let it all go and focus on the mechanics.  And that helped.  But I learned that I needed to work on MY communication.  In this process, I would hit points where I wasn’t understanding how A and B connected, but knowing what I knew now, I was able get what I needed to give the director what she was asking for.  That experience itself ended up not only being super fun but it was one of the greatest lessons I learned.💖 I will be forever grateful that I was a part of it.

The one area that freaked me out the most was that they respected our time a little too much, I felt. 😳LOL!  😂I had almost two weeks off in the middle while they worked on other scenes I wasn’t needed for. It was cool and all, but when it came to putting all together, I was in panic mode trying to make sure that I was synced up with everyone in the scenes we had together.  However, in the end, through all the stress and panic, the show quickly smoothed itself out and the nitpicking got to happen almost right away when it came to full run-throughs.

The time moved so fast that our first time on the set through to Opening Night felt like a blur. It is incredible to think that this show is already nearing the end of its run. It also makes me a little sad to think about. I have had such a great time working with these folks that I know I will be bawling in my dressing room while Rachelle Abbey sings the hell out of “Fly, Fly Away” on closing night. 🎶

Gentle Reader, this has unexpectedly become a favorite role in my list of credits for sure. Have you ever had an activity or event that you weren’t certain about that ended up being one of the best things you’ve ever done?  What made you nervous about it? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, Dear Reader, have a wonderful day!

 

Keep calm & wait

Just hear me out…

Dear Gentle Reader,HOW ARE YOU??

I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post.  It didn’t seem like that long ago. My apologies!😳

I guess I was stressing myself out over Catch Me If You Can more than I thought! Even Opening Night was unnerving.😱 I think I added to my collection of gray hairs over the last three weeks. But that isn’t what I wanted to muse about today.  I will certainly be talking about CMIYC soon.  Let me add it to my bullet journal…  for tomorrow.  DONE!✔️

On my drive to rehearsal for Funny Thing… Forum, I heard a song that recalled a conversation that I had with a former coworker which inevitably wormed its way through all the different posts/articles/reviews/conversations that I have read/heard/had with others.

The theme of those interactions basically boiled down to a kind of “I can do it better” mentality. 😮 I recall that one of my friends kind of gave me a smirk of “oh sure” or “yeah, right” when I told them in all honesty that I don’t understand that line of thinking.  Yes, I do say things about an actors’/directors’ choices but NEVER with the thought that I would have done the project better.  First, it is hard enough to do either of those jobs. I find encouraging is a much more enjoyable feeling. Second, if I auditioned and didn’t get the part, the director had something in mind that I didn’t fit. Secondly, if I didn’t audition, I would think it is kind of egotistical to assume that I would have done better.  Maybe I wouldn’t’ve even been offered the role – which takes us back to the second reason.

I, in all sincerity, make critiques with curiosity. I want to know why a certain choice was made.  I try and play out all the different versions in my head but maybe there was something I didn’t know that created the choice in question.

I welcome criticism and critiques because I want to always improve, but I don’t feel that tearing someone down is beneficial.  I’ve experienced it school and hated that, so I would never want to make someone feel that way. The funny thing about school was that they thought the tearing down would solve the issue that I was quick to finish my work and help out my classmates.  LOL  Ah, good times, good times!

Well, Dear Reader, I must away to the theater for another performance of CMIYC.🎭What do you think of the whole “I can do it better” line of thinking?  Have you caught yourself in that mode? Leave me a comment and lemme know.  Don’t be shy.  We’re all friends here. 👍

As always, Gentle Reader, thanks for reading.

UPDATE: Some people have asked if this was in regards to something someone said about me. Nope.  I can’t help how people feel about what I do, but I hope I do it well enough so they understand what I did. It just bums me out that the most common way of thinking is that the performer didn’t do what was asked of them and that somehow the “critic” could step in and do it better.
I just want to be inspired by my fellow performers.  If something is odd, I want to know why that choice was made because maybe I missed something (which is HIGHLY likely.) I don’t ever want to be the kind of person who believes I am better then anyone else because we all bring something different to the table.
*end of rant* 😏

 

thetunnelDear Gentle Reader,

Last night, towards the end of rehearsal, I finally had the opportunity to listen to Rachelle Abbey sing “Fly, Fly Away” from Catch Me If You Can. Now, look, I think Kerry Butler is great, but I what I heard last night blew the cast recording out of the water. I can’t stop thinking about it to this very minute. I am so excited to hear this at every show.  I got chills and everything. This is one thing. The other thing, not so good.

But then, Dear Reader, I got home and I heard about the terrible news from Manchester. It is just so utterly heart-wrenching. Of course, to feel bad for the victims is natural, but I also feel terribly for the artists that were performing.  What a weight that must be! I know it isn’t the artists’ fault in the least, but if it were me in that situation, I would be devastated. Such a cruel act and for what purpose? The average age of Ariana Grande’s fanbase is estimated at 18-23.  What is the purpose of targeting young innocent people? A group has taken credit for the attack, of course. If it is them, ( like King Cheetoh, I refuse to say the name as I do not want to contribute to their self glorifying ways) I suppose the idea of a strong self assured woman really terrifies them. And for that same woman to be a beacon for younger people must really shake their manliness to nothing.

All I can think about today is the loss of life, the unrealized potential of the victims.  It truly is a sad situation to realize that the possible ideas and lives of the victims could have advanced our world to peace, or not (I mean, I have to be realistic. However, I am ALWAYS hopeful of the positive.) The other think I am also dreading is how politicians will use this.  It is a terrible thought, I know, but again with the realism here. Why is it that those few awful people can bring millions and millions of good people to their knees in sorrow.  Why don’t the acts of kindness change the world in the same fashion?

In this situation, Kind Reader, these two things just seem to hold hands in my mind now.  Most notably for lyrics like this:

We didn’t get to say goodbye,    

Goodbye  

No need to tell me why, my baby

Maybe it’s because you’ll fly back home to me one day

Baby when you’re in the clouds

Please keep a lookout

Maybe, darling, find a hideaway

For you and I          

I know that this song is sung by a someone in love to her fiancé, but when I think about the kids at that show, I also think about the pain of the parents.  It is such a heavy, heavy situation but I can’t stop thinking about it.

Dear Reader, I hope you are safe where you are.  I hope you follow what makes you happy. I hope you remain strong in spirit and hope.

Until next time,

Exhausted-tired-weary-exhausted-smiley-emoticon-000757-huge

Oh Gentle Reader,

Last night we had dance rehearsal for my big dance number “Don’t Break The Rules.” OH. MY. STARS!

Since A Chorus Line ended, I have been really lax on getting some cardio done. I love to run, like I LOOOOOOOOVE to run.  On an elliptical.  I should specify.  With all the crazy things I have done over the years in these shows, my knees don’t like the impact that jogging or using a treadmill cause. Any way, I love to spend at least an hour running when I stop at the gym and for the last three and a half weeks, I haven’t stepped on one.

One of the things that we are playing with for Hanratty is that he is not particularly fit. Having just come off a dance heavy show, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to get down with the boogie.  That’s what the kids say, right?

Well, Dear Reader, I found out last night what it could be like.  Oh! Boy, did my gym vacation come back and bite me.  Bit me gooooood!! We made it through all 20 pages of the song and not only did I stumble on some sections of the dance, but I couldn’t spit out the words fast enough! Oh man, it was kind of a mess, I am ashamed to admit. LOL! But it was fun and I think we all had a good time.

All in all, it is gonna be a friggin’ great number.  I can’t wait for the Charleston at the end! I was given the chance to just park and bark (that’s the “official” term when one stands and sings) but HELL to the NAH! I am going full out dance and vocals on this number cuz that’s what it calls for!

So, Kind Reader, y’all know what this calls for right? I’ll get back to ya, I gotta go for a run… 😀 But first, have YOU ever accomplished something purely on accident?  Has laziness ever given you an opportunity to see something that you wouldn’t have done otherwise? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, Gentle Reader! Gotta go catch my breath. Hahahahahahahaha…

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This is, perhaps, my most favorite picture taken of me. This is wholly and fully everything about me in one shot. Thank you to the amazing Rhona McFayden!

Dear Gentle Reader,

Hello!  How have you spent the last few weeks? I have been working through the closing of one show 😞, starting a new job 💵, and beginning rehearsals for a new show😄, so life has been a hurricane of madness!  But it is all working out in the right direction, so I shan’t complain about it. How can I, when there are worse things in the world?

🎭A Chorus Line ended three weeks ago, and still this week, I am reminded of the show by people who happened to have seen it. I am grateful for the many very kind words of the show and my portrayal of Paul.  It means the world to me.  The thing is that they don’t mean so much because it may be validation of whether or not I am good at acting, but that the approach that I took with the big monologue to make it my very own while keeping true to the show’s legacy, and as powerful as it should be, worked. I am a very physical actor.  I gesture.  I use all of my body for everything and not just my face to tell a story.  This means that to do the monologue the same way it is traditionally done would totally ring false in me, which could show in the performance.  It was a chance I really didn’t want to take, especially since this was such a personal role to play. So, I set it up the way that felt good to me and when I rehearsed it for the first time the director, Bill Starr, loved it. There were, of course, tweaks made and suggestions, but what we were able to wring out of each sentence felt like truth. And it felt right. For me. The hope was that the audience wouldn’t be pushed away in this version.

Then, something remarkable happened. People began telling me that as the monologue went on (the first few times I rehearsed it, it felt like it went on and on and on…) people said they began to lean in; they wanted to know more about Paul’s story! ❤️ I am certain that there were people that wanted it to be traditional, and I get it, but they didn’t dislike what they saw. What at first seems like a wonderful dauntingly incredible challenge became a piece that I am extremely proud of.  I have loved ALL of the amazing opportunities that I have had but to say I am proud (which I almost never do) of a piece of work is rare. There are literally a handful of pieces that would qualify.

And that being said wraps up my second run of A Chorus Line. I loved the show the first time I was in it and I loved it this time around too. So many wonderful new people that I can now cheer on and be a fan of. ❤️ That’s one of my favorite things about theatre.

Dear Reader, last month, I made mention of job interviews and the need for adjusting my financial course 💵.  As I hinted at in the beginning of this post, I got the job! I am excited for all of the new challenges and security this will bring, but first I have to play catch up with the two and a half months of work that has been left behind while this position was vacant. 😜BUT this is not a blog about working stiffs, so let us carry on!👍

Two weeks ago, we began the process for Catch Me If You Can. Kind Reader, if you have seen this show, please tell me, did you find it strange that nearly every song has to have a scene in the middle of it?  While going through the script, I found myself wondering what Terrance McNally, Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman were thinking. There is incredible music throughout this show and it feels like it abruptly stops the number to add the scene.  Maybe that was just because I was reading through and making notes and whatnot.  I shall keep you posted on the findings of this query. The other thing that struck me was that even though the script is only 120 pages, if FEELS longer. I am curious if that is because of the song scenes. Only time shall tell.

Good Reader, if you have input on the Catch Me question, I beg you, let me know in the comments below!  Am I the only one in thinking this script setup is awkward? Does the show feel like it has a Lord of the Rings-esque ending? Do you get what I mean by that reference? GAH!! The questions seem to never end…

Until I find my sanity, Dear Reader… 💖