I Don’t Make Resolutions…

humph

Welcome to the time of year when people swear specifics on how they are going to change.

The problem is that the failure rate for resolutions is HIGH!!  Instead of making specifics, why not make them more general? Vow to be a better person.  Help people.  Simply doing that, I feel will go a long way to getting me to those specifics that I am looking for.  For me, it is to simply be a good person.  Give when and what I can, when I can.  And be grateful that I can do so.

Thank you 2013 for the crazy ride.

While I bid you adieu, I would like to ask you for a favor.  I know that you are close friends with 2014.  Heck, for all I know you may even be BFFs.  I don’t even know if you feel comfortable doing this, but here goes:

Can you please ask 2014 to be better?  Not for me, but for my friends and for the many, many people that are struggling, although, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind the extra help.

Friends that have had a rough year of first not being able to find a job, but then landing what could’ve been a great gig, only to have it turn out to be less than ideal, and people that have seen all that they have worked for disappear through hospital bills or tragedy.

It’s not that you were a bad year ’13, can I call you that?  I feel like you and I connected in a very moving way.  It’s just that there are a lot of good people out there that just need a break.  Take for instance, my BFFs Sarah and Tom.  To me they are amazing people.  Objectively speaking, they are well above average in creativity, intelligence, hard working, and thoughtfulness than many.

Sarah is motivating and motivated.  She is funny and contemplative.  Her big heart is only matched by her incredible thirst for knowledge.  She is a smart cookie that people only smell that she’s baking.  But some people think “Is that too much to be in a cookie? I like the simple ones best.”

Tom is brilliant.  He’s a funny people person that looks at things from a different angle.  He’s analytic and creative.  Much like Sarah, he too has too many ingredients for people to appreciate and I worry that all that incredible potential wouldn’t be utilized to it’s fullest.

And there lies the problem.  Can you ask 2014 to wave its magic wand over the world to get people to open their eyes that simple isn’t enough anymore.

Much like the nursery, it seems as though people want to get information from them only to leave and find a cheaper way to put that new found info to work.  Speaking of the nursery, can you please get people to show some sort of loyalty?  Other gardening companies refer their customer to come to us for problems they can’t solve but we can! Yet, for all the amazing knowledge that is in the minds of the nursery people, customers simply walk away with thank you, if we are lucky.  It is bothersome to watch this happen. To see what it does to the morale of great people.  It’s like watching people drain a lake of fish.  Keep going back and taking and soon there will be nothing to take.  I recommend if you buy your plant at the orange box, get your information from there too.  If they can’t help you, maybe they shouldn’t sell it.

It’s been heartbreaking to hear of the natural disasters that have taken their toll on the human race, so can you please ask for a little less of that too? I know we are causing global warming and it’s just a side effect of our own making, but I am certain more people will get involved with making more environmentally conscious choices in the new year.

I know I am asking for the impossible, but if you could just at least ask 2014 to be… easier, shall we say?  Not “better” but easier.

Thank you for every thing ’13! I will miss you, but remember you with such fondness. You have brought some amazing people into my life and that is the best part.  Be well, my friend!

j.

5 Musicals, 1 Staged Reading, 1 Webisode, and 1 Play in 12 Months…

Crazy cast of Sugar
Crazy cast of Sugar

To say that 2013 has been a busy year is redundant.  I have spent countless hours in rehearsals and still more in performances.  But it was such a wonderful, exhausting and yet fleeting year.  There were so many high points and a few low points.  I don’t want to bore you with them as I have feel I have already shared them with you.  There’s nothing that bothers me more than repetitive blogging.  That’s part of the reason that I’ve been a little less productive on the site this year.

Crazy cast of Promises, Promises. (rehearsal)
Crazy cast of Promises, Promises. (rehearsal)

One thing that never changed throughout was my positive outlook.  Life is too short to spend too much time marching in the “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” parade.  I always say honor your feelings, so if you feel sad, do it.  Feel that sadness, but only stay in the parade for a block or two. Don’t let it drag you down the street! There were a times when I was kicking myself for getting in way over my head. I worried and stressed about it, but once I worked through it, I had to come up with a way to fix my predicament.  I don’t like to be a victim of my life.  I don’t see how it helps me.  So the only thing to do is to remain positive.  Except when it comes to a strep test.  THEN you wanna be full of negative.

Finale of 9 to 5 with some of the crazy cast.  Photo by B. Heninger
Finale of 9 to 5 with some of the crazy cast. Photo by B. Heninger

In my lows, I will admit that it reached points at the nursery where I didn’t want to care about the place.  But again, what good does that do?  It just creates a cycle of waking up, grabbing a shower, followed by 8 hours of clock watching to then head to the theatre.  At that point, I would have to take a moment to shake off my day’s indifference so that I can commit to my characters.  Then I thought of how much more fully involved I could make my characters if I took all the aspect of my life and tried to commit to them. How much more can I experience LIFE and use it in theatre?

The kooky cast of Zombie Prom.
The kooky cast of Zombie Prom.

I began offering ideas to the management at work, and many of them they loved.  It astonishes me that once that line of thinking became vocalized how many other ideas seemed to come out of nowhere. Sadly, it took most of the year to pass before I even had the inclination to do this. Still, it opens a new way of thinking and I cannot wait to see how I can utilize it for future characterizations.

In all honesty, I feel like I have to say that this has been a totally selfish year.  My goal, in addition to continuing to perform, is to help promote the arts and to celebrate the people who create it.  I have been so wrapped up in only my shows that I have failed in helping.  So like my new mindset for work, I would like to throw it out to the wonderful community that I am lucky to be a part of:

How can I help you? 

I am all ears.  I have some ideas in the planning stages so, maybe you are thinking the same thing I am.

Until next time, (which may even be next year!)

jery

 

P.S. Have a safe and happy New Year!!

 

 

Through the Hardest Parts… {edited}

Are still to come.

The original title I had for this post was called “One More To Go…” I had begun writing the night after our penultimate performance of Zombie Prom.   It had a multitude of meanings that were well suited for it at the time.  Unfortunately, it got very late and I couldn’t stay awake anymore, so I planned to pick up again in the morning and posting it before the show.  As it turns out, I woke up 10 minutes before our call time (the time the actors have to be at the theatre to get ready and what not) and the post went into the draft pile.

Photo courtesy of Samantha Stidham.
Photo courtesy of Samantha Stidham.

I said “See ya soon!” to the Sunnyvale Theatre after 5 months, and I looked forward to the shift of taking on Christmas Mouse.  There is no dancing.  There is the tiniest bit of singing. I thought a nice calm small role would be the perfect way to finish out this last month of the year. Now, with only one more performance left, I find myself already saddened by the thought that I can’t audition for a few months and there are all these great shows happening the same time I am working on JCS.

*sigh*

I know it sounds completely selfish, but I finally feel like I have some traction under me; and if I stop for any longer than a few weeks, I will have lost all the momentum I have built. I am sure that this new adventure is going to be as incredible as I hope it will. I have an insanely talented cast, truly. The trouble is they have an insane director.

I will begin creating the dances on Monday and reread and organize all the notes I have made for the last 8 months into something more useful. So much to do still, and rehearsals begin in 3 weeks.

Sometimes I don’t know whether to dance with excitement or pull my hair from panic. I suppose I could always make it a modern piece and dance freneticaly and pause during quiet moments to alternately cackle or tear at my hair. Hmmmm… now to just figure out the right choice of song…

So, it is with this mindset that I will end my 2013. I will be sure to laugh and play in between the crazy times to keep my sense of fun, but deep down I shall always be thinking about what I can or need to do next. That makes this the hardest part. To not be completely immersed in the moments of my life while it is happening always makes me just the slightest bit sad. Even so, this is my passion. I enjoy the challenge and I do not regret wanting to do the best that I possibly can for it and for those I am lucky enough to work with.

So until next time, friends…
Thanks for reading the ramblings!

It’s Child’s Play… I Mean A Child’s Play…

My latest project, Christmas Mouse, is a children’s play.  I have never actually had the chance to do a show like this. Like the movie, Child’S Play, there is the sense of “awwww, that’s cute” and “OMG, this is terrifying!”

Let me try and explain…
I enjoy working with kids. Before our contract expired, I volunteered with Zohar teaching dances to kindergartners. I loved dancing with these little ones as the first thing I did on Thursday mornings. When I was first brought on board, the kids were shy and some opted to watch from the side of the room. I totally get that. Meeting new people is hard and if you don’t do it often, it is hard to get the hang of. Hell, I still get like that a lot of the time, especially during orientations for new shows.

The terror thing that gets me is that we don’t have weeks to get the children that come to the show to get over shyness. We have minutes. Before each show, I get so nervous for that very reason. What happens if the children don’t join in the participartory sections? What happens if the children get bored and want to go? After the initial wave of panic is done washing over me, I can shake it off and refocus.

Then, after the curtain speech, when the kids actually talk back to me, I feel so much more excited and excitable. Sunday’s audience was outstanding. Lots of people, that are responsive and in good spirits, always make for a better show.

Next, the narrator comes out and begins the show. It never fails that the little ones love being recognized and offered the chance to participate in the show. So all my worrying was completely pointless. Now the “awwww’s” have kicked in. Getting to hear them cheering on our protagonists reminds me of how much fun it is to mix kids and the Arts.

Our first weekend was really fun as we got used to having an audience. I am hopeful that our second weekend of audiences enjoy this adorable show and we are sold out.

So, like I said, it IS like the movie. Just in a very different way.

A Christmas Mouse plays thru Sunday, 12/15 in Santa Clara. You can get you tickets by calling 408.248.7993. Bring the kiddies and enjoy a little holiday fun.

I Have a Cast!! Well, Mostly…

special announcement from us

I feel JUST like this right now!!

I have been chewing my fingernails for the last week trying to work out something to finalize my major players in the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar and finally today, on my lunch break I got a text message that gave us the green light!  I just now was pacing for a good 15 minutes because I couldn’t sit down to write this since I am so excited.

Yes, Oprah, honey I am so happpppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyy!

We did have some gentlemen decline our request to join us as apostles, so at the time of print our role for Matthew  remains open. But fear not, there are options on the horizon. And there are some confirmations for female ensemble that we are waiting for.  I just cannot wait any longer.  I am so EXCITED, I have to tell you!!! Keep in mind there are a few more players that will be added.

Here’s the breakdown for my cast:

Welcome

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

CAST LIST

Jesus of Nazareth……………. Mischa Stephens

Judas Iscariot………………… Andy Cooperfauss

Mary Magdalene…………………. Angela Cesena

Caiaphas……………………………. David Murphy

Annas……………………….. Jessica Whittemore

Herod…………………………… Aaron Weisberg

Pontius Pilate…………………… Jeffery Henson

Peter…………………………… Kevin Brownstein

Simone………………………… Jessica Ellithorpe

James the Great…………… George Fernandez

John……………………….. Carmelo Rosado, III

Andrew………………………………….. Jeff Tuttle

Thaddeus……………………………. Ronnie Misra

Thomas………………………….. Robert Summers

Nathanael……………………… Chris Cruz-Collier

James the Less……………….. Samantha Stidham

Matthew…………………………………………………..

Philip……………………………………. Gaby Catipon

Priest #1…………………………………. Ian Douglas

Priest #2………………………………….. David Cori

Priest #3……………………………… Michael Carey

Soul Girl……………………………….. Nique Eagen

Soul Girl……………………………. Jen Wheatenfox

Soul Girl…………………………………….. Lisa Allen

Soul Girl…………………………. Valerie Valenzuela

Soul Girl………………………… Elizabeth Lawrence

Soul Girl…………………………… Maggie Velazquez

Female Ensemble………………………. Amy Wright

Male Ensemble………………….. M. Gerald Crofoot

Male Ensemble………………………. Frank Sherlock

I am so excited to be working with such an amazing group of people.  Lots of people.  How I am going to get them on that stage will be a challenge.  But in the words of the great Barney Stinson “Challenge Accepted!”

GAAAAHHHH!!! I am so excited!!