I know that I’ve said this before, but HUGE thank you to the cast for all of the help they have offered throughout the week. Today, we tried to run thru all of act one, and well…I’ll get to it in just a few minutes.
When I got the call on Monday asking if I could step in for the role of Phil, I was actually planning on beginning interviews with cast members this week. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to focus every moment of free time on learning new music and lines. Of course, trying to soak it in like a sponge through repetition isn’t the most effective way for me personally. So I have to admit, that I had to take some time out and do other things. Like Wednesday night, I went karaoke-ing with some friends. And I did watch a double feature of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Peter Hyams(?) sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Both were fantastic! However, the latter did have MUCH more dialogue than the original. There’s something about that anticipatory silence that made me LOVE 2001. It kept me riveted on the couch as the laundry was calling for me to clear out of the dryer. Anyway, back to White Christmas!
On Monday, we worked on the vocals for most of Act 1, which was fun. It was a little touch and go for me, but I wanted some really great belty high notes. Alas there isn’t any for me to sing in this show. BUMMER! It was the first time that I got to work closely with Sean and try and build that BFF rapport that must exist between Phil and Bob. It was also a chance to feel out Sean’s demeanor as he was “in” the Bob role. I think it gave me a starting point to see how laid back I can play Phil without making him seem like an idiot. It was a breezy rehearsal, and within an hour and a half, maybe two, I was on my way home!
Tuesday was AWESOME! I got to learn most of the dance break for “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing.” Fast doesn’t even describe the pace of this little ditty. It’s manic! I swear! There’s some waltzing, polka-ing, folklorico, Broadway jazz in it. It’s sheer physical madness that lasts for nearly 4 minutes. And from what I learned today, I have to stay on stage right after the dance and I cannot show that I am exhausted. That truly sad thing about this is that today, I didn’t even do the whole dance, and I was SOOoooooo out of breath. Almost nearly bent over in two right after the number. Of course, maybe the fact that I didn’t have breakfast, or coffee could have been a culprit. That’s just a theory. It’s more likely that I need to jog some more.
Wednesday, it turns out I got to work with the super talented Jillian Cummings who plays Miss Judy Haynes, and my romantic interest in the show. Wait, that’s a bit of a lie. Phil Davis tends to flirt with nearly every lady that walks by. So let’s say that Judy is another of the romantic interests for Phil. Just so you know, Jillian can sang! Lawdy, lawdy…that girl’s got a set of pipes. It’s a great to play off her energy. She was a help as well when it came to learning the dancing on Tuesday. I almost had a stroke when Rachel pulled me and the four young ladies to the front of the cast, once they arrived, and she had us sing the number that we had just learned. My knees were shaking, and I was sweating like Whitney needing a fix. (But I still love you gurl! ) So I got through it, and the ladies who are lovely youngsters were brilliant. The cast gave us a great round of applause, but I think the girls earned most of it!
Thursday was unfortunately a conflict, so wasn’t able to be there. And Friday, was a free day. But I did take a couple of hours and run thru some of the scenes with Sean during the morning. Although, that was the movie/laundry day I wrote about earlier.
Today, Saturday, Katie taught us a lot of “Blue Skies.” Like I have said before, I love what she is giving us. Although, I will have to admit, during the dance practice bit of the rehearsal, I kept thinking of Fosse’s “Bye, Bye Blackbird.” Regardless, I am thankful that Katie’s letting me dance in this number.
So after an hour and a half of dancing, she had us take a ten and come back to run all of Act 1, which I have not received any blocking for. So I felt like I was in sink or swim mode and I was just floundering. Because of the lack of blocking knowledge, I think I was screwing up other people. But we chugged on and only missed completing the run thru by 20 pages or something like that. I sang what I remembered to sing, but I kept wanting to sing the part that I learned as a chorus person for the song “Snow.” I really have to harp on that song!
With a new week starting, I think I need to set some goals so that I can help push the production forward because I held them back this afternoon. So I want to be off book by Wednesday, and have all of my music known by Monday. As for dancing, well…that ones gonna be a little harder. So I don’t know what to set for that.
Here’s to an awesome next week for you and me!