My Bag of Lemons Rotted…

imagesThey say when life hands you lemons make the situation better by making lemonade. They don’t tell you what to do when the lemons begin to rot because you are taking care of life and time just. will. not. stop!

My Dear Gentle Reader, this summer was a hard few months to get through. I have had ongoing issues with my #survivaljob that makes me want to swat “decision makers” (I use that term Über sarcastically) with a rolled up newspaper in their face. I know, I know.  Violence never helps solve anything.

Then we had a visit from the cancer fairy. Luckily, we had medicine men and women fix THAT issue. Then there was the recovery which took the longest time and made me worry. That was all I did. Night and day. Day and night. Sometimes I still do. That whole mess floored me.  I wasn’t the patient but the caretaker with TONS of help from my mother in law and our incredible, wonderful friends. That level of stress really cuts a big gaping hole in the sails and just left me feeling like all I could do was hope the waves would take me close to land.

I have also had a number of deaths in the family that left me numb and again, unable to process. Just last week, I lost another cousin. I worry about the mental health of my father who seems to be getting a little more and more forgetful. I worry about the health of my mother, who takes care of my father on top of her job and most of the rest of my siblings. It gets SO overwhelming that I just turn it all off. Everything.

When I thought about writing a post, I would sit at a blank screen and just watch the cursor blink. I didn’t even read plays or work on my own show. I kind of abandoned Facebook and Twitter. Only occasionally did I make a post on Instagram.

I think that the worst is over. I still haven’t recovered that missing magic from March.  I don’t know if you recall that post, Dear Reader. That particular event was that I totalled my car in an accident and rolled it down a small hill. We walked away with some cuts and bruises and soreness, but otherwise intact. I don’t think I have still processed that because I still think about what I could have done to prevent it, and then I get worked up and anxious about it all over again. I know I have definitely lost even more magic.

I know that I don’t feel the same emotionally or physically.  I just feel a little “off” but hoping it is just cobwebs creeping into places I haven’t used in the last 10 months.

Things are looking up though! In 9 days, I have auditions for Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and two weeks after that, I begin rehearsals for my return to the stage.  I will be working on a production of the “Making of the Star Wars Christmas Special” at Dragon Theatre Productions. We open in December for one lone weekend.

I have my fingers crossed that the magic will find me again. I am officially excited for theatre to come back into my life as something more than just an observer. I need it.

If you have read this far, Kind Reader, I thank you for letting me bend your ear/eyes for a moment or two.

May the magic bring all your dreams to life.

Until next time, Gentle Reader…

The Dragon And The Killing Jar…

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At first, I hadn’t planned on auditioning for the New Play Development Factory.  I was too much of a chicken.

It was totally last minute that I found myself hopping into my car and driving over to the Pear Theatre.

I had NO idea what to expect, let alone who I would be auditioning for.  But SOMETHING in my thought jelly kept saying “ya gotta do this.”

So I waited in the lobby.  I think I was that last one there.

The Factory producer, Jeffery came out to collect the headshot/resume and only gave me one side to read after looking at me.  A side, just in case you are unfamiliar with the term is just another word for a scene or section of a scene.  At first, my head told me the usual, “oh, he only gave you one side and other people got multiples. You are a courtesy audition.”

Finally, when it was my turn to read, I took a deep breath and said “Welp, let’s see what kind of wacky choices you can make with these pages.”  I didn’t care if it was going to make sense.

I was told to look at Mr. De La Cruz for the play The Killing Jar by Jennifer Lynne Roberts.  So that’s what I focused my peepers on.  At first, in the pages that I had, I could see the good nature of the guy. There was no information about where the scene took place, so I placed it in a large building, in the lobby, and the majority of the chatting was happening while the characters were walking down a long empty hallway.  After my first read, they asked me to make it a little more serious.  I was happy do do so.  So I started off upbeat, but then shifted gears after a third of the way through.  I thought I was done after the second read, but then, much to my surprise, they asked me to read one of the other sides.

I didn’t have much time with it, but I feel I made some strong choices that may not have been what they wanted, (I even turned my back to them at one point) but I figured maybe I’ll be weird enough that they would remember me.

After  the audition, I went home and continued work on my role as Daphne for “Sugar.”  I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks.  So I began rehearsals for “9 to 5” and I almost completely forgot about the whole thing.

Then, I got an email.

It was from the director, Heather Noelle Robinson, offering me the part of the guy that I read for the first time.  Well!  I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!  I didn’t think I’d made the cut.

I have been so excited to to participate in the NPDF because it was another new experience.  The idea behind the event was to allow Bay Area Playwrights have their work read to the public three times with the chance for feedback and to adjust the script to fix anything that’s unclear or simply didn’t work.  So we have one rehearsal during the week.  Then we performed the show for an audience.  After, the playwright went and worked on suggestions and would come back during the next week and give us any new scenes or pages or cuts to the script.  Then we’d rehearse the play.  Then repeat the process twice more.

This play is very well constructed and, I feel, clearly shaped with new things being discovered throughout.  Some of the feedback that people have is “feeling like there was no closure with (insert character name here)”  I know it’s just because I have lived with the script for a month, but I know the closures are there.  They are written out.  We spoke the words aloud.  I honestly felt that  feel like this play is ready for production.  I believe in it so much that I find myself wishing I had a theatre company of my own to mount this play.  Hmmmmmmmm….THAT is something to think about….

For now, I have decided to keep all of my pages and all the new ones to see how much it changed during the event.   I cannot wait to see what the finished script looks like.

Congrats on an awesome play, Jennifer!

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Working on this production at the Dragon Theatre was wonderful.  We had a number of helping hands, and I got to see my buddy, Jason more times in those 3 weeks than I have in a year or even two!  Artistic Director, Meredith Hagedorn, said one of the things that she hoped the actors got out of this project was that the Dragon was a great place to work.   Mission Accomplished!   I had fun and I can only hope that one day, I’ll make it into one of their main productions!

I think I was so lucky to work with such an amazing cast.  It was only 5 people but I had so many laughs and was  amazed so many times by these incredible people.  If you are curious about who these people are, here’s the list – Michelle Cabinian, Brian Flegel, Chris Gaoiran and Amber Somerfield.

Here’s to more wonderful projects with more wonderful people just like this.

Thank you, Dragon Theatre for the New Play Development  Factory!

♪♫ Working 9 To 5…♩♩♬…And 7 – 10…

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So the kick off rehearsal for WVLO’s 9-5 was tonight and I feel like I can breathe again!

Without having a show to go to after work, I felt like I was going stir crazy.  I focused on a lot of random and mostly useless things.

Then yesterday, I had this random burst of productivity.  I have my suspicions that subconsciously I wanted rehearsals to have begun yesterday.

Things are taking off! While I am on the hunt to find my staff for Jesus Christ Superstar, “9 to 5” begins rehearsal.

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Then I was offered a role in the staged reading series for Dragon Theater Company.  The character is an Artist’s Agent and kind of a jerk.

I have a feeling that 2013 is going to fly by!!

But let’s focus on the now…

“9 to 5” is gonna be so totally, radically 80’s.  I am told there are going to be some great dance numbers.  I cannot wait to get my Roger Rabbit on or maybe some other 80’s dances.

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Yeah, I know these are totally terrible, but it’s pretty close to the actual dances.

Once we get our 80’s on, I will try and get the cast to do some of our own videos.