See “How To Succeed” for FREE!!

 CONTEST!!!  CONTEST!!!  CONTEST!!! CONTEST!!!  CONTEST!!!

I know that we are all kinda strapped for cash nowadays and let’s face it, the ticket price of live theatre is kinda steep.  I mean, yeah, local shows aren’t nearly as pricey as seeing a Broadway production but still $30, $40, $50, heck even $20 is sometimes tough to hand over.

Here’s all the details:

HOW CAN I ENTER THE CONTEST?  In order to enter, simply post a comment about how you would climb to the top of the corporate ladder!  The more clever the answer the better!! Please keep it rated PG! Comments on Facebook or Twitter are not applicable.  It must be on the website: http://www.TheActorvist.com.

IS THERE A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF ENTRIES BY A SINGLE PERSON?  In order to be fair, YES!  Everyone is allowed three (3) entries maximum.  More than three entries will disqualify you.

WHO CAN ENTER?  This contest is open to all with the exception of direct members of the cast or crew of WVLO’s “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”  All entries must be in by 11:59 on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

WHAT IS THE PRIZE?  The prize is two (2) tickets to ANY of the performances of WVLO’s “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” including Opening Night which has a champagne gala that follows!  I do have to caution that should the winner be interested in attending any of the matinees, you must first double check with the Box Office, as I understand seats are few and far between.

WHEN ARE THE TICKETS REDEEMABLE?  Tickets are good for any performance of the production which opens on November 5 and closes on December 2.  The show runs Fridays 8PM; Saturdays 8PM; and Sundays 2PM.  NOTE: No performance on November 25 due to the holiday madness.  Also, Saturday, November 19, the performance will be at 2:30.  

THE WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3.

What are you waiting for?  

 

More notes from the SF conference…Pt 2

I got to see the beginning of great clip of Ben Cameron talking about his passion for the Arts.  Sadly, 5 minutes into it, they had to turn it off because it was time to move on to the next phase of the conference.  In the auditorium, one could hear me yell “Noooo!”  It was getting interesting, and we ran out of time… ran out of time!  Luckily, it was very easy to find on the youtube.  Yay!

This is a must see for anyone who has a love for the Arts.  He brings up a really interesting parallel between the religious reformation and its use of media and the opportunities for the Arts and the use of social media and technology.  I found it really fascinating and insightful.  My favorite thing he says is about “conspiring.”

Enjoy!

(Yeah, what he said!)

 

Cool conference in SF made me wonder Pt. 1…

how many different ways the audience can participate in a performance beside simply being spectators. I was stunned that I couldn’t think of a single way that hasn’t already been done before.  Actually, I’m not really stunned.  I think I more than likely didn’t really try.

Now, it’s not that I don’t want to have ideas, but lately it seems that regardless of who it is that’s asking (my boss, the producer of H2$, and sometimes friends) when I offer ideas, they aren’t used or they are not what the person wants to hear or they aren’t interesting to the person asking for them.  So, I kind of just give half-assed suggestions.  If they want to know what I mean, let them ask.  Sometimes, I will just say something just to appear that I’ve tried to help.  In honesty, I’m not trying anymore.  I’d like that to NOT be the case, but how does one get around it?

The answer was simple.  Inspiration!

From L to R: Dante Di Loreto, Ben Cameron, and John Killacky the Panel Moderator

The Beyond Dynamic Adaptability conference in San Francisco on Monday was ah-mazing.  I got to not only see stunning, smart, and moving performances, but I got to network and learn about things that I’ve been wanting to understand.  The opening panel discussion was full of big wigs like Ben Cameron of the Doris Duke Foundation, Josephine Ramirez of the James Irvine Foundation, and Nina Simon of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art. The biggest wig by far though was the GLEE producer, Dante Di Loreto.  One of the things that stuck with me about his segment is that after an episode of GLEE airs, the internet is filled with fan videos that recreate the dance moves and feature people lipsyncing to the songs.  Instead of pulling the videos for copyright issues, he actually embraced it.  In doing so, it’s allowed the viewing audience to celebrate themselves with a show that allows so many people to identify with the characters.  It’s a whole different vibe than being a simple voyeur, just like being on stage is way different that sitting in the audience.  You are a part of the show in a sense.   The video that was shared was this fabulous clip:

Mr. D’s love and appreciation of these videos made me want to watch more of them.  I have to admit that I am not a fan of the show. I was turned off during the first season when it was the Finn and Rachel show featuring Mr. Shoe, or whatever his name is.  I do love that they cover all these great songs, but sometimes, there isn’t any possible way to do better than the original.  I was hoping that at some point they would begin to mix in original works as well, but I doubt that is going to happen.  I think it’s great that so many people love this show.  It’s done some good things for musical theatre so I can’t truly hate it, but the easily single episode-happy ending storylines were really bugging me.  Real high school isn’t like that at all.  It’s more soap opera-ish…but I’ll have to rant about that another time.

While I loved Mr. D.’s speech (I’ll have part of it in an upcoming podcast) I was so impressed by Nina Simon.  In six months, she took her museum from being in the hole to being at a positive $200,000! In six months!!  Her ideas are so simple and obvious that it only makes sense that she would achieve success. One of her thoughts was (I am paraphrasing) “we don’t know everything about all of our projects.  We enlist the help of the community to create our exhibits.  We ask the people, what would you like to know about this?” She then shows us a picture of a redwood board and two surf boards on display and in the center is a cluster of post-its with questions.  She also utilized empty spaces like the lobby and common areas for performances or hands on workshops. Those are just two of the examples, but I can’t wait to read her book “Museum 2.0.”

From L to R: Nina Simon and Josephine Ramirez

This leads me back to my original issue, how do you get the audience to become more than mere observers?  There are some places like the Gay Men’s Chorus that have social media opportunities given throughout their concerts.  The conductor will give the okay for the audience to hop onto Facebook or Twitter and let loose about what just happened.  Can you really do something like that with live theatre?  Something that’s being seen more often is “Tweet Seats” where there is a section reserved for people who are allowed to tweet about the show in real time and not having to wait for intermission to post something.  When WVLO Music Theatre produced “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” a few audience members every night got to take part in the Bee.  It was great to see them have such a good time, but you can’t do that with every audience member, now can you.  Well, I guess you could but that would make for a terribly long show!

So, my challenge is figuring this question out and doing it on a consistent basis because every project is a new challenge.

What are your thoughts on audience participation?  Is it okay with you to sit and watch?  Would the social media aspect bother you if you were sitting next to someone who was clicking away on their hand held device?  Leave a note in the comments section.

Paranormal Service Announcement…

Last night, well, Thursday night my sig other and I went to the drive in and watched the highly anticipated Paranormal Activity 3.

You’ve heard me tout how much I love horror/scary/thriller type movies.  Some people aren’t willing to watch these types of movies because they feels it invites something bad to “go home” with them or they don’t enjoy the sensation of being scared. I absolutely love it!  I love the sensation, AND I feel like I take home some of that fearfulness.

When I watch a really good horror movie, I get so freaked out that I totally cannot sleep.  I am too freaked out about every noise that I hear in the apartment, though I know that most of the noise is from the upstairs neighbor’s kids.  Now, I feel like I owe it to you to give you a heads up.

Having seen the original movie at a midnight premier, I still get chills thinking about some of the things that happened in that movie.  I remember sitting in the  theatre in Santa Cruz with my munster and the BFF’s and when the ending came, (where she looks at the camera then lunges for it) I knew there was going to be a close up on her and I didn’t think I could handle it, so I closed my eyes and listened to the packed audience scream.  I think that was more unnerving than having seen it.

I missed seeing the second movie in the theaters, but I caught it on Netflix and I thought it was pretty good. It had some pretty good moments, but it paled to the original.

Then, as I said earlier, we watched part 3 on Thursday night.  I’ve been romanticizing the notion of seeing a movie at the drive-ins for a few months now.  So on a whim, we got in the car and headed over to place.  When we got there, the lines were a mess and on top of that they weren’t moving at all.  So finally when we get to the cashier, I find out that this place only takes cash.  Say what?  Why haven’t they updated their system?  But then again, it’s a freakin’ drive-in so I guess it’s my issue.  So I had to pull over to the side and get out to try and get cash from the ATM.  Wouldn’t you know it, my old card wouldn’t read in the machine.  So we missed the showing that we originally wanted to see, but I had to get gas from the station right around the corner and got some cash from there.  Woo hoo, and we are back to the movies.  Too bad it started already.  So we pay the 6.50 each admission (love that it was so cheap) and go play some pinball.  After we exhaust our funds, we go and scour the radio and find the station for the screen that’s playing “Contagion” and we watch the last hour.  Riveting story that one is.

So when our movie finally starts (30 minutes late), the excitement is palpable.  After seeing the commercial and it stating that the last 15 will mess you up for life, I was very nearly sweating because of  the anxiety.  As we got into the movie, I’ve found that the script was alright, but there were some questions that didn’t get answered like in the original, there was a claim of a fire that wiped everything out.  No fire in the movie.  There were scenes in the commercial that they showed that weren’t in the movie, like the two young girls playing Bloody Mary.

There were about 5 or 6 moments that were thrilling, but when the ending came, I turned to Perry and said, that f*****ng better not be the thing they are going to end with.  And lo and behold that was it.  I turned to him and said, are you kidding me?  The last 15 minutes didn’t really affect me.  I was able to sleep just fine.

So friends, don’t don’t don’t waste your money going to see this movie! Wait til you can catch it on Netflix.  It isn’t really scary, and it’s only an hour and twenty minutes.  I felt totally ripped off, but it was of my own choice. Because of that, I feel like I must make you aware of this movie and save your time and money.

Is there something that you’ve seen that left you shaking your head?  Oh, please share, cuz if we can save each other time for more constructive things, that would be faboo!

So This Is How The Bride Feels…

Oh, I love a good piece of clothing!

Ever since the costumer for H2$, Sue Howell,  brought before me a lovely blue pin stripe 3 piece suit, I have been dreaming of how I would use pockets and how I will hold my posture.  The suit pants fit nearly perfectly.  The only thing that concerned me was that the crotch is a little small/tight so one of the dance moves in the “Coffee Break” number is going to be a close call.  It’s a side attitude (the dance move) and I just don’t think the pants have the give or enough fabric to do it propa.

The jacket is great but a little heavy.  It’s like a constant reminder to hold my shoulders back and not to slouch.  Hooray! Momma would be so proud.  Haha!

The vest is so cute!  I can just see myself singing “Gotta stop that man/I gotta stop that man/ Cold” in it during the executive washroom scene.  The problem is that it’s like half an inch from buttoning!  NOoooo….I’m melting!!  What a world, what a world!!

Here’s where the title comes in.  You know how there’s that item, usually a dress for all my gorgeous gal pals, that you have just GOTTA fit into?  I only realized this the other day this sort of obsessing over getting into that suit perfectly. And I can only equate that this is how a bride must feel. Like she has to be that perfect size whatever the dress is and that simply letting the dress out is not an option.  Oh my Gaga, I hope I don’t turn into Actor-zilla!!

Ever since that tragic event (which shall henceforth forever be known as The Vesty Letdown) I have been churning that idea in my head that I MUST have this suit for the part of Bert Bratt!! I don’t know why, but the idea of dancing around in that suit vest strikes me as sexy, and I am about as sexy as a new born giraffe, so I have no explanation of why.  I have made sure to hit the gym nearly every night after rehearsal, but guiltily, I didn’t charge my ipod, so that made me go straight home.  Twice.  But tomorrow is another day and I shall be there with a fully charged music box and ready to sweat!  But what happens if I don’t get that extra inch and a half down?  They don’t have another cute 3 piece suit in the costume shop.  I really don’t want to wear a boring two piece.  I’ve done that already.  Oh no, it’s happening already!  I am getting whiny!

Stop… Focus.

I simply must look good in this suit.  Wait, what am I saying?   I am not being irrational, but when I look at the suit (and criminy, I am kicking myself for not getting pictures) I can see my character so clearly.  I guess it’s true, the clothes really do make the man.

Have you ever had a clothing item that you loved so much you had to wear it?  Not only that, but wear it comfortably.  Share your story in the comment section!  I am curious to see if anyone else has obsessed about this too.

I Am In A Gang Today…

October has been declared National Stop Bullying Month.  In an attempt to show solidarity against bullying, people are being asked to wear purple today, October 20.  I understand the concept and I truly appreciate the intent behind it, but I have to wonder if simply wearing a color is going to stop people from hurting one another because they have some sort of chip on their shoulder.

I think we should take a look at the parenting that’s going on nowadays.

BULLYING: I know children tend to act according to what they see and are taught at home.  While the world is seeming to get more accepting in general, the religious right and the hard core church folk appear to be showing more vehemence in their beliefs.  Also in this age of the New Depression Era, out of work parents or parents who are really struggling to get by, may be having frustrations that are being taken out on the children, who could then take it out on the smaller or “weaker” kids.  Weaker is not the right word, but I kind of feel like that’s how some people view the LGBT community.  Now I am not saying that this is only their doing, I am giving examples of possibilities.

SUICIDEES: Sometimes single parents are so working so hard that they don’t see the changes in mood in their children.  Fatigue is draining and I understand completely that when you get home, all you want to do is shut your eyes and rest. But does it take that much more time or energy to check in with your kids daily to ask how they are and get a good look at them?  On the other side of the argument, there are the parents that coddle their children, so even the slightest bit of negative attention seems to shake their entire world to the ground.  Again, I am not a therapist or a student of psychology (although it is fascinating!)  these are just observations and ideas that maybe there is a truer solution to all of this misguided behavior other than wearing Purple.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to assume that all of this behavior is only coming from the home, but if we can change the mind set of people  that negative aggression doesn’t have to be the answer for everything, especially when directed at others, well then we may just finally have a true start to ending this.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the other possibility is the whole social food chain.  Where the outcasts… Well, just think of high school and the social hierarchy that rules the majority of the student body.  Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s version.    This doesn’t just end at high school, but it does prepare you for what’s ahead.  So getting through the worst of it as a young person will only make you a stronger.  You can also use that guide as a tool to learn about all those things.  That’s what I did.

I think that’s why to this day, I still try to learn a little bit about everything.  I can’t tell if it’s habit, or if I am truly interested.  I’m a mess.  A fact that I can happily acknowledge.  I’ve been through the bullying, have been mugged for being an easy target, (then again it’s always easy to mug someone from behind. All they got was my DTBD back pack with a book called “Tales from a hot pink diary” and my Gypsy sweatshirt, so the laugh is on them!) and I am no worse for wear.   It did help that I had people to talk to, so friends were just as important then as they are now.

Now friends: Your job is SO vital, if you are truly a friend.  If you even suspect that things are getting too heavy, it is your obligation as a friend to TELL SOMEONE!  Yes, the person wanting to commit suicide will be so angry with you, BUT at least they will be alive to do that!  Please don’t be afraid, be a friend.

Today, I am sporting my Purple, and I hope to be visible enough so that someone who needs it may see that I would be happy to talk to them.  Look for the Purple if you want to talk!!!

Today, I am wearing Purple in solidarity because I know what it’s like to be bullied.

Take a picture of yourself with your Purple and a positive message and I’ll happily post it!  Let’s stop the bullying! End it here, then around the world!!

We're Against Bullying but not having a good time! L to R: Samantha Stidham, Me, Lydia Merriam-Pigg, Elizabeth Claire Lawence

2 Weeks Till Showtime!!

The Few, The Proud, The Early...

Today was our first opportunity to work with the orchestra before moving into the theatre.  The sitzprobe or “sit and sing” is the first meeting of the cast and orchestra to try and become one entity. One organism that creates a cohesive and exciting show.  Today’s rehearsal was a good start.  The cast was excited and I think it’s safe to say we had fun.  If I am wrong, I do hope someone would correct me on that. At least I had fun.  We met over at the Obi Studios in the south side of San Jose.  It’s a nice looking place.  In some past sitzprobes, or prova all’italiana as the Italians call it, the rooms were kind of cramped and usually get very warm very quickly. I wish we could sing here every time!

About this time in the rehearsal process, the tension begins to build because there’s only a very short amount of time to perfect everything that the staff has given us to work with.  The little bit of time that’s left is when I try and refine or tweak or even change some of my goals in the scenes or tactics that I use to try and get what I want.  It’s also really when I get the butterflies and the queasy stomach.  Then, at night, I lie awake thinking about the show and stressing even if I know that I’ve done a ton of work and am solid on everything.

Then, magically, Opening Night is a breeze. It’s like all the anxiety that I am supposed to feel at that time is what I dealt with weeks before, so now I am good to go.  Yay!  But first I have to deal with it.  And the sitzprobe is usually the point at which the slow tummy grumblings start to happen.

Now with only two weeks left to tighten and perfect this little gem of a show into performance level, all the people involved in the show must begin to put forth their focus. This is when we must utilize the suggestions and guidance that the staff have offered up for us to work with and sculpt and re-sculpt our characters until they are so much a part of us that a part of them lives in us even when we aren’t on stage.  We must deliver at each precious rehearsal that’s left so that we know we have this in the bag.  It’s okay to have fun, but when it’s time to work, we must be prepared.  We simply must.

This sense of urgency permeates the cast usually and things begin to fit into the mold our fearless director, Meg Fischer, has made.  So if I were to follow this analogy, I’d say that tonight was when we poured the show into the mold.  Now, we have to get it to set.  Woo to the Hoo!!!

With only two weeks left, the show is very nearly on the road…

And I suggest you get your tickets NOW!