One, one run through of Act 1, ah ah ah…

We did an actual run through of Act 1 today, and I was very nervous, because I am not off book as well as I would like to be.  So during the scenes I was off stage, I would study the pages in a panicked fury.  I think I did alright, but I think I am infused my “villain” with a little too much of the character of Igor.  Well, crap!

Elisa says it’s good thing, because it shows that only the most “defective” of people would befriend our main villain.  I am just hoping that it doesn’t come off like a big caricature.  I want the guy to be slithery and dirty, but still have a touch of humanity.

I was a wee bit excited because some of the people say that my Spanish is getting a lot better.

The run through itself was great to finally do.  It’s nice to get an idea of consistency. The musicians of the play were creating a score on the spot.  I definitely found that the music added to the overall feel of the play.  There was one problem with having the musicians in the rehearsal hall.  That little problem has to do with echo.  As the music is being figured out, they play at a volume that is much louder than the scene that’s being performed.  It occasionally  made it difficult to focus on the scene at hand.

The great thing that came out of the run through is that there are some gaps that I had from having to work during some of the rehearsal times.

We have tomorrow night off, so you can surely bet that I will be studying my script.

I should get started on that right…about…now!

South Park creators preview on Broadway!!

Hey look, more religious stuff!  Albeit, funny and offensive in all the best ways, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have finally made a musical that is on Broadway.  Previews began this past Thursday at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, so you know it’s gonna get some hate mail by Monday.  When you check out the website for “The Book of Mormon” under the cast list, there’s a long list of young hungry Broadway veterans and also on there is one Bay Area native, Nick Spangler, who makes his Broadway debut with this show!  Congrats to him!!


I never understood a devout person’s need to force feed their beliefs on other people.  I am so happy to say “More power to ya for believing as completely as you do.” and mean it, but its not an invitation for you to try and convert me.  I love that these guys are brave enough to take on the Mormon corporation and poke it with a stick.  Yeah, they are gonna get a ton of angry people and a lot of threats probably, but if anyone can shake it off it’ll be these two.

And so to Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker,  your work on South Park always reminds me that we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously.  In doing that show, you also smartly point out the ridiculous things we, as a society, tend to revere.  As a fan of everything you’ve created so far especially Orgasmo and BASEketball, and except for Team America (the puppets were creepy), I wish you incredible success with this show. AND I can’t wait to see it!!!!

The more you know…

I love when I talk to people that I am working with.  And I don’t mean the usual “Hi, how are you?” kind of stuff.  I was so lucky that I had the opportunity to chat with Teatro Vision’s Artistic Director Elisa Alvarado.  I am currently working on editing the interview for a podcast, so YAY!!

During my talk with her, I feel like I learned more about why I want to open my own theatre company some day.  I doubt that I would be lucky enough to have the same sort of eventful career that she got to have.  I think in my head, what I picture is, as Elisa explained to me in the interview, more of a collective than a “company.”  There’s something to be said about surrounding yourself with people that you truly enjoy working with and creating good times and experiences with.  I hope you enjoy the interview when I get it posted.

The other thing that I love about doing these interviews is that it just inspires me to keep going, to keep working, to keep dreaming, to keep enjoying, and to keep protesting.  To make sure that I should do everything I can to help companies that I believe in and to promote the artists that I admire and enjoy.

If I could see me now…

I’m talking about COSTUMES!

I am trying to figure out what I want my characters to look like and I have some ideas (when don’t I, right?)  I have tried to find pictures, but I have only been able to come across three that are remotely similar to what I am picturing.

Great pic!! Whew! So the play takes place in New Mexico in the 1940’s.  One of my characters, Andrew,  is the older brother of the main character, Antonio Marez.  I (hopefully) am early to mid 20’s. I have returned home from WWII.  Before heading out for the military, I was raised on a farm.  I am not entirely just a farmer boy anymore thanks to the war and being influenced be the world outside of the farm.  So a bit farmer mixed with a hint of city is what I hope this character will look like.

The guy in the lighter colored hat would be my other choice for the character of Andrew.  One of the other ideas is that I could use that look for my random vaquero or cowboy appearances.  It’s not heavily country in look but still rugged.

For my “villian” look, I would like to try and find a look like any of the guys on the above pic, except for the obvious white guy.  Although I am hoping that I can get it to look more dirty.  The character is Juan Blas.  That is supposed to be two characters, but they just combined all the lines and gave them to me.  Yay!  This guy really only hangs around with the true villain of the play because of the free beer.  He’s got no real job, and there’s always dirt under his finger nails. And he’s got no real desire to wash them.  I like the vintagey style, but I want it to be slightly ill fitting and uncordinated, kinda like he picked up these pieces from the trash and uses them.

Do you have any suggests, or even better, pictures that you can send me that would be closer to what I described?  I want to get this type of info to the costume designer as soon as I can, so time is of the utmost importance.  Thank you kindly for reading!!


During rehearsal tonight, I happen to be passing by the table that the director and the stage manager tend to work from.  I looked down and began to stare at this neat picture of Death…on a cart.  I think it was possibly a chariot, but it looked like there was no way to hook up a horse to it, so I am gonna call it a cart.  Very long bones, Death has.   I know weird thing to notice, right?  So I picked up the paper (cuz it was a photocopy from the web, I thought) and underneath it there was a book.  And I already forgot what the book was called.  Crap! Anyway…I began to flip through the pages, without any true interest in the book as I was killing time before we got started.  After flipping all the way through and not really seeing anything that caught my eye, except to find out that the Death Cart was a photocopy from the book, I put the book back on the table.

As I begin to walk away, I looked at the cover once more and I recognize that little picture of a boy just sitting there.  Then, I hear in my head, my nina’s (or godmother’s) harsh shrill voice!  She’s calling me a child of the devil and telling me that I am possessed.  Then I begin to remember how I got a spanking out in the parking lot of that little place in Bakersfield where a statue of this kid is located.  That creepy ass little kid statue.

Let me backtrack a little bit.  I was baptized apparently and I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to spend the summers in Bakersfield.  Bakersfield if you don’t know is as hot as…well, hell! Back then, in the early 80’s there wasn’t much in the way of shade in that place.  I only remember one big community pool, a lot of running around in the sprinklers, and burning sidewalks and roads at 7 in the morning.  I would stay with my nina and listen to her yell at her daughters that they couldn’t have this or that. I don’t recall ever needing to go to church, ever.  But there was one time when she wanted to go and see this thing what I always thought was called “Santonio Toucha.”  I didn’t know Spanish then either. And they spoke it so fast, I hated having to stay there for 2 and a half months.  I didn’t know what they were  talking about half the time. I have since come to learn that the little bugger is called “Santo Nino de Atocha” I was close. It translates to the “Holy Child of Atocha.”

I don’t remember what the outside,  or inside actually, looked like. I just feel like it was small.  If I had to compare it, I would say that I felt like I was in something that was that size of a crypt or small mausoleum in a cemetery.  There weren’t other people in the place.  Just my nina, Cecilia, my Uncle Robert, and their crybaby daughters, Angela, Rita, and Lena.  I remember walking into the room and half of it was enclosed like the picture above.  You were supposed to walk through the gate and kiss the statue’s feet or shoe or something like that.  I remember watching my cousins do it, but not my Uncle.  Then my nina tried to make me go in the gated area.  I remember not wanting to go and holding my ground as she began to shove me through.  I grabbed onto the gate, not wanting to go near that thing.  Finally, she pulled my hands off of the gate and picked me up and carried me up to the statue.  I went NUTS!  I know I pulled out some of her hair, because I still hear about it from my cousins on the extremely rare occasions that they are in town. But I flailed and screamed and cried for everything that I could so that I didn’t have to touch that oddly shiny little boy sitting in his gown.

This picture is just a small ceramic statue for the tourist to have.  The ones in the shrine areas are pretty big.

Thankfully my uncle said “Let him go! He doesn’t want to do it.” So my nina dropped me and I “teleported” outside of the gated area.  Hell yeah! It was instantaneous.  As soon as my feet touched the floor, I was already at the gate.  She did her thing, and whirled around and grabbed me by the arm, under the armpit as she dug her nails in as was her custom, and was screaming at me that I had the devil in me as well as the things I stated previously.  As soon as we were out of the (room?) (building?) whatever the hell it was, she whipped off her  chankla.  Urban dictionary has a great entry for it! It reads:

a flip-flop, sandal or slipper. 

If you’re hispanic, you know all of the above are known chanklas and considered sloppy attire.

Gangsters are notorious for wearing them with white tube socks & shorts when having bbq’s at the park.

Abuelitas are also known for slapping you with a chankla if you get out of hand.

Vas a salir con esas chanklas? 

Te voy a pegar con me chankla si no te sientas!

Don’t make me take my chanklas off! (spanglish)

I don’t remember how many times she hit me, but I do remember having large red welts up and down the front and back of my legs.  I don’t care if I did have the devil in me, I was not going to touch that thing, and still won’t to this day.  Of course, now it’s a different matter, but that thing is still gives me the willies.
On a different note, I will begin posting pictures of the Bless Me, Ultima rehearsals on my Facebook page.  Check ’em out here!  That’s all for now!