I have been pussyfooting around the acknowledgement that this show that I have lived with for the last 13.5 months has finally come to an end. On my last two days off of work I was expecting to get hit with a blast of depression that comes with ending a show. One of this magnitude, I was sure would take me out of the game for a while. But it never came.
When we started this show, I said I see this show as a fight for love. Instead of the show being a simple Judas wronged Jesus, it was accidental. There was no one to “blame.” Everything was supposed to happen. Like Jesus sings, “You’re far too keen on where and how but not so hot on why.” I wanted a positive spin on the show. I also wanted Jesus to be as human as everyone else. My hope was that people would be moved to see a fellow human being treated so horribly during act 2. To see that he was afraid and sad but still willing to go through this for his love of the people. I had the white out at the end to ask the audience to look inside and find your love for your fellow man and for hope that this world can be a better place in doing so.
Then I was lucky enough to get this amazing, supportive cast! But my luck didn’t run out there. One of the very first things I fought for was an amazing sound department which was an incredible 3 man team. So John, Dan, and Brett: Thank you for an outstanding job with this difficult show! The crew was small but mighty and headed by an amazing Stage Manager, Ms. Pye! I am grateful to the amazing producers Nancy and Liz, who worked so tirelessly to ensure that the vocal director, Judy, and music director, Jean, and I had everything we needed.
I have realized that there is a reason for the non-depression. As I disassemble the Blooming Wall, I have the chance to read all the beautiful paper “flowers” with things that people love. Simple things. And I understand that we did exactly what we set out to do. We did share the love.
And so did they. With that in mind, what is there to be depressed about?
As I spent the last few days worrying over JCS, that little voice in the back of my head began to whisper to me. Just ever so slightly. Kind of like seeing something out of the corner of your eye.
After a week of rehearsals, the cast got to sing through all ov Act 1 witb minimal stopping. To get them into the spirit of the night, we kicked off rehearsal with some vocal warm ups. After a couple of standards, we threw in something goofy just for kicks. Once they fully comitted to the exercise, I threw emotions at them as they sang “do you want fries with that?” I wanted them to build from a “it’s a great day” to “if you don’t get out of my face i will kill you!” It was fun to see them take this group exercise and make it into mini scenes. Some were more believable than others and when I came across those, I would say that I don’t believe it and I could see the shift in their intensity. It was a lot of fun. I hope they enjoyed the experience.
From there, the cast did a mini sit and sing of Act 1. It went really well and totally made my night to see the cast react to hearing the leads for the first time. It was great to see them really get into it with everyone being in the same room and enjoying the music.
After a small break, we cleared the chairs and told the cast the move around the room in the spirit of a character. It was like watching a show in itself.
To watch the characters begin to take shape, to see the reactions of the rest of the cast, and to know that we are on the up slopes of this process made for an incredible night!
Cut to 3 weeks later…
We’ve managed to get all but 6 or 7 numbers staged and begin stumbling thru acts this week. Every day I am excited to see what is in store and what is inside these actors. Every day I am grateful that they work so hard. I feel so unbelievably lucky that this particular group of people accepted parts in this show.
I hope that they are still enjoying themselves, even inspite of my frantically worded explanations. As I watch them laugh and chat, I know they are enjoying each others’ friendships. That gives me hope. Hahahaha!!
In all honesty, this incredible group of actors and I cannot wait to share this show with y’all!!!
This is gonna be scary/fun/exciting/anxiety-filling!!!! Yes, all of those things rolled into one big night.
IT OPENS TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are a multitude of emotions that are zipping through my head right now and ever since I opened my eyes this morning.
I am excited because we get to see what the show is like with people watching and seeing if everything we’ve done works like we are thinking it will.
I am nervous about making sure I’ve got all my cues and props right. And all the stairs.
I am happy because, in totality, these cast mates of mine and the show staff are a tremendous group of people. Their onstage ethic is a joy to be around and their off stage personalities and kindnesses have made this process relatively stress-free. Relatively because I stress myself out. But I COULD NOT have asked for a better group of people to be on this journey with.
I am anxious because we all know there’s gonna be judgments. Ben Vereen was a master at this role and he did a magically amazing job. I am not Ben, so my interpretation is different, but I know there will be those people… Hell, I am sometimes one. Sigh… There’s nothing I can do about it, so I shall say, let the judging commence. It does help the our music director worked some magic of his own on the show. You will have to see it to find out what I mean.
I am grateful to the staff for believing that I can pull this off.
I have been asked to explain this show to TONS of people. It is such a hard thing to do. But here’s my take on it.
Pippin is trying to find the ONE thing that will be completely fulfilling. We all know there is no such thing. We have to put our best into every opportunity we are given which is what the Leading Player provides. The only thing you can really find fulfilling is looking back on your accomplishments in your twilight years knowing that you were a good person who helped people and set a good example. In our current age of “Gimme Instant Fame” we forget this. Does he learn his lesson? You will have to come and see. Get your tickets here: Sunnyvale PlayersI think the majority of the Goldstar tickets are sold. There may be one or two for later in the run.
Because there is SO much to do today, I have to keep this short.
I honestly hope that you do come out and support local theatre. See a show, even if it isn’t ours. Support those people on stages that put their hearts and souls into something that affects people. You are supporting the oldest form of entertainment, storytelling. Keep this in mind whichever performance you see this weekend. And now, I shall be off. After all…
In the past, I have always had a period of time in between shows. I’ve never been this busy with shows. Ever.
I seem to have a pattern. For approximately the two weeks after closing a show, I tend to fall into a slight depression from the sadness of not seeing this make shift “family” we’ve created over the past few months. We spend a lot of our time rehearsing and, as of late, getting together outside of theatre and hanging out. I truly regret not spending this much time with the amazing and incredible cast of “Promises, Promises.”
Well, these last few months have been so tied together that I haven’t had any time to mourn the finale of not only “Promises” but also “Knickers.” Once “Sugar” gets dissolved on Easter Sunday, I have several weeks before I begin working on “9-5” that I am dreading because it’s gonna hit me all at once. The sadness of knowing that there are some people you may never get the chance to work with again. That feeling of “it’s okay if you are totally bonkers, we like you anyway” gets pushed aside for the real world that frowns on anything other than the social norms. Some of your inside jokes won’t get shared anymore. And some of those amazing people won’t be there with hugs or smiles or laughs or all three when you’ve had a bad day. And speaking of bad days, there is no place for you to run away to for just a few hours to forget that day so you can think about it with a clearer head later on.
I’ve become friends with at least 60 new people over these last few months and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with at least 20 more. In the age of social media, there is nothing better than meeting wonderful people in person rather than on a website. I find there is something so invaluable when it comes to that personal interaction because it lightly ties you emotionally together through memory.
There has been a beautiful Maya Angelou quote floating around on the old F B:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
And I feel so blessed and grateful for meeting every single one of them.
I am honored that I get to call them Friends.
If you don’t hear from me after Easter for a while, now you know why…
Now that I have a free moment, I’d like to say… Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington?!
I know it’s going to sound unbelievably unoriginal and uninspired, but I have thoroughly enjoyed working along side each and every one of you. I’ve only been in one show where I’ve laughed as much as I have in this one, so I cannot thank you enough for the tremendous hilarity you have infused the entire rehearsal process and production run with. I actually looked forward to rehearsals, a little less so when it was hot outside. But still, I looked forward to seeing all of you wonderful people. That’s why every night when I left, I said “goodbye all you wonderful, beautiful people.” For you truly are. There’s a small part of me that is a little sad that I won’t be seeing you all this coming weekend.
Now, while the previous words weren’t super original, please know that they are extremely heartfelt. I do however want to tell you the following:
Andrea – I have absolutely loved watching you on stage. Your commitment to your character choices is always 100% and makes me want to be that focused. I still want to do a project that features you! I don’t know what, but just a head’s up!
Brett – You have brought jack-assery (that’s a Brett Carlson term) to another level. There were subtleties in your performance that were genius and I take my hat off to you sir! It’s been an honor sharing the stage with you once more.
Sean – Thank you for being stuck with me once more and allowing me to interact with you. It’s always a riot when you come up with an unexpected remark. Enjoy your break, but don’t stay off-stage too long.
Greg – You, sir were so well prepared and only because you told me, I would never have guessed that this is only one in a small handful of performances. I look forward to some good things from you. Thanks for the laughs!
John – It was a pleasure sharing the stage with you. You have great energy and your so charming on stage! Keep up the good work!
Doug – It was great to do another show with you. I loved the new energy you brought to Act 2 every night. I hope it’s not another 6 years before we share the stage again.
Mike – This show, I’m sure, will have specific memories tied to it. For me, your incredible heart and friendship and kindness will be something that will always be thought of when I think of H2$.
Roberta – Gurl, you are all kinds of fierce. Your calmness always helped me focus right before we had to go on stage. I love that you also delve into your character’s past and see what you can use. It’s inspiring.
Stephanie – I really only got to watch you dance during Yo-Ho-Ho, and every time, you were fabulous in it! Those doubles! Bam! Every time. You are without question one of the nicest people I have the privilege of knowing.
Kim – You have some of the best reactionary expressions in the show! So much fun to watch you each show during Cinderella Darling (I was all stalkery and watching from the lobby)
Elizabeth – You took funny to a whole other level! I could see you doing very well in a stand up comic situation. You have a wonderful way of telling stories and finding the funny in them. You definitely were one of the wickedly funny people in the cast. Your drawings were adorable, and I will always remember the humpy camel.
Lydia – FLAWLESS!! You brainy chica! Your interpretation of Hedy was brilliant! Nuff said!
Ronnie – I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity to work with you. You humor was completely unexpected but totally gut busting! I am forever going to think of you as a closeted smarmy fella!
Cindy – I am shocked that you haven’t done more musicals! You’ve got such a great voice! So sultry, or should I say slinky?! You are an absolute joy!
Sven – I am in awe of how dedicated you practiced the Chipmunk Cheer every night. Your applause were honestly well deserved! Chip-Chip-Chip-Chip-Chipmunk! Hmph! Keep up the great work!
Karl – You are so devilishly funny! I love how much thought you put into your character. My favorite moment is when you leave the stage after “Coffee Break.” I am SO glad you are back in theatre, you’re so natural there.
Frank – Once again, you are a delight to work with. You’re always such a consistent actor, and it’s a great comfort to work with someone so dependable.
Lea – Diva, my diva! You have THE best expression the first time we see Hedy! I love that you always have strong characters. Even, if they aren’t written as such. You always give them an immense dignity that makes your characters so likable.
Chris – Another fabulous job. You’re song was always one that I really enjoyed watching from the wings. You’ll have to keep me posted on your next show.
April – Hello, Ms. Fabulous! Getting to know you and to perform with you was an absolute joy! My regret is that we didn’t get to gabbing sooner in the rehearsal process.
Samantha – Gurl, I love you! I just think the world of you. Your work at the conservatory is super evident. Every night, I loved watching you storm out angry then change your tactic and rush back in 5 seconds later. So incredible to see that transformation backstage.
Robert – Davis!! You were a rock, solid! Thank you for all your help when I missed stuff! It’s been a honor to work with you again. I can’t remember how long it’s been since the last show, but it better not happen again!
Jeff – To my “Fraternity” brother, it was a blast dancing with you. Thank you for your help during the set up of Act 2 scene 4, I appreciate it.
Melissa – Okay, you were the one I was not expecting to hear such wicked yet frackin’ funny things from. Not only that, you are so quick with the funny! I wanna be able to sing like you when I grow up. Such a fabulous voice. I am going to miss helping you down from a table.
Jen – You are a wonderful dance partner. Thanks for trusting that I wouldn’t drop you! Thank you for helping me figure out all the things that I missed during “Coffee Break” due to work. Also thanks, for the info on how to help my shoulder.
All of you have a place in my heart, and I would happily work with any and all of you again anytime! I wish you all nothing but the best in your future endeavors and incredible success in 2012!!
I love you and cannot thank you enough for the laughs and the wonderful memories and friendships that you’ve shared with me over the last 3 months.
After doing 6 shows this weekend, I am SO glad that Monday is right around the corner!
With the major bulk of the play performances now over, I am starting to feel both a little sad and a little relieved. Sad because I know that a lot of the wonderful people that I am now surrounded with will move on to the next thing, as will I. Relieved because I am just a wee bit tired.
Now that I have been talking more to the crew, I am kind of wishing for just a little longer of a run. I always feel bad that I hardly ever get to learn about the crew people the way, I learn about the cast. Since we only have a 3 person crew, it’s a little easier, but because we were so focused on getting the show right and tightening up the shifts, there wasn’t much time to chat. As things come together, I have really enjoyed truly meeting Hugo, Rodrigo, and Hilda. Hilda was in the booth, while the boys worked the fly rail and move the sets.
At first, I was a little hesitant because they spoke in such rapid spanish with not only one another, but with other members of the cast, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, I’ve picked up some stuff from them as well as a whole lot of laughs that I am grateful for. I still have to ask for A LOT of translation. Luckily, there are many people in the cast who take pity on me and help me out.