ūüéľNow I Hear The Music, Close My Eyes, I Am Rhythmūüé∂…

Hello Kind Reader!

I hope this finds you all well and thriving. (Didn’t that just sound like a Kaiser Permanente commercial?)

Many, MANY years ago, I had told a good friend that I wanted to do a cabaret act or possibly a one person show. I have ideas for both, but was always too afraid to write anything down. Now, I don’t view myself as a singer, so that presented itself as a self sabotaging obstacle. I am glad that I can recognize those when they come up. Do I do anything about it? Ummm, not so much, but I am trying to get better. I consider myself an actor that can move and carry a tune. Sure, I need a bucket to hold all the notes, but that is beside the point. Most casting people see me as the funny sidekick or the goofball in a show. These last few years, I have been trying really hard to stay away from the comedic roles because I want to be seen as more than just the funny fat guy.

After years of playing that part, I started being hyper critical of others that were stuck in that same part and seeing if they were trying to differentiate the parts in some way or just relying on the same old tricks. That is what started my kick to not be the comic relief if I could help it. There were times when the part was just too good to pass up, but I have also been lucky enough to have found the right people that see that I can do more.

So when the chance came to actually do a cabaret show with some friends, I leapt at the chance! And I had a blast!

But that isn’t why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share with you, my Dear Reader, some of the ideas that I had for that long time dreamed about cabaret show.

I had wanted to open up with the song “What A Party” from one of my favorite shows, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party to introduce people in the “cast” after a small calm ballad verse and chorus, like “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” or a comedic verse and chorus of “Total Eclipse of the Heart

Then we would all sing a group song or two then they would sprinkle in solos throughout the show. I have always wanted the ending of the first act to be “Saved” from Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Then to open Act 2, I wanted to have this sort of corset and tux tails combo costume. Think of it as a tuxedo vest that has a corset body rather than the traditional body of a vest and instead of ending like a regular vest or waistcoat would, the back would have tuxedo tails. The neck would be like a sort of medieval pirate shirt ruffle with the sleeves. Ok, do you got that image in your head? If I could draw a straight line, I would totally make a sketch for you. This sounds like a unique piece right?

OK! SO! I would saunter in singing “Paris Original.” This song is about having an original, one of a kind, Parisian dress and looking good for someone. Then another cast mate would come in with the same costume in the middle of a phrase and just take over the song. Then a third would come from back of the audience and take over the song in the same outfit and play with the audience to up the stakes. Next a fourth. And from there the song just becomes about one upping one another, which if done right, could be hilarious! What I really love about this idea is that unlike the production it is from, this will have all genders. I don’t want to say what I actually see happening in the ending just in case I actually get to do this. LOL!

Then I would love to have some short anecdotes from the cast a la A Chorus Line which would then plunge us back into the singing. Then I would love to end the show with a big tap number of some sort because I have yet to see a cabaret with tap dancing in it. Most likely something from 42nd Street because that show is so iconic.

I was also toying with the idea of having a moment of the improve game “scenes from a hat” from the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Yet another way to get the audience involved.

Well, I said wanted to tell you a few of my ideas, NOT all of them, because one day, I still hope to pull this off. I just don’t know when. But rest assured, I will let you know. The more I think about it, I really like the “Total Eclipse of the Heart” possibilities.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with any of the songs that I have listed, I made sure to make links so you can hear them. I really need to find someone to sketch out that corset tails thing. LOL!

I was supposed to be a part of an upcoming cabaret, but because of my covid recovery, that put me on the sidelines. Pretty bummed about it, but who doesn’t want to be at 100% when performing, right? I love the fact that the opportunity was there and that should another happen, I will be in that line up. Just have to wait a little longer. ūüĎć The take away is that I am excited to do something that I was afraid of. I can’t wait to support the upcoming event. You can too! It will be on WVLO Musical Theater’s Facebook Live. The event happens February 26 at 7pm Pacific and 4pm Eastern. It is called “From Our Hearts to Your Homes.”

My Darling Reader let me know what you think of those ideas in the comments below. Or if you are handy with a sketch pad and pencil, show me what did my description make you think of for that costume in “Paris Original.” As always stay safe and aware!

Until next time!

Dear H2$ Cast Mates…

Photo created and taken by E. Kwong of Imagewurx

Dear H2$ Cast Mates,

Now that I have a free moment, I’d like to say… Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington?!

Kidding!

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 РYou, 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 РIt 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 РI 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 РYou 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 РI 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 РI 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 РGurl, 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.

All my best,

 

jery

Oh, Saturday night, why dost thou mock me?

Tonight’s performance of H2$ was pretty good over all. ¬†I went it with the focus on getting everything right. Hitting every movement clean and sharp. ¬†Making sure all my lines were enunciated clearly and not too fast. ¬†Right off the bat, after Scene 1 in the first Act, the audience was catching the jokes and giving us on stage some great energy to feed off of. ¬†I knew that this was going to be a great night!

Then we came up to dance break in “Coffee Break.” ¬†At one point, Lea, Stephanie, and myself break off into our own dance steps. ¬†During the step where I swing my arm overhead and turn, my ankle rolled so I turned on the side of my foot. ¬†Luckily, it didn’t hurt, but man!!! ¬†I was kinda mad, but I decided ‘well, one little step won’t be so bad.’

Then the rest of the night was fun and quick and mistake free from that point on. ¬†However, even if I would have gotten the step correctly, I still wouldn’t have gotten to the perfect that I want.

During the number “Secretary Is Not A Toy” the audience (to me) doesn’t respond as well to that number. ¬†I think it’s because of the content which is about sexual harassment. ¬†Well, what we now consider SH. ¬†I think that there has to be a way for us to get a great response from the crowd. ¬†While the subject material may be uncomfortable, our choreographer Val, gave us some playful movement to diffuse the harshness of it. ¬†It’s a fun little number, that just seems like the least favorite. ¬†After my friends watched the show, they were offering suggestions about it. ¬†One of which was that the look of concentration on some people’s faces is a little off putting and that it pulled them out of the number. ¬†While my friends appreciated the dancing, they were saying that using our ¬†faces in character to convey what we are singing and dancing about would make a big difference.

Well, there’s always tomorrow’s matinee!! ¬†Get your tix at www.wvlo.org!! ¬†Also, you can check www.Goldstar.com and see if there are discount tickets available. ¬†Hope to see you there, as my search and reach for perfection continues…

Happy Opening Night!!

Just in time for the Opening Night of WVLO’s How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!!

Episode 21

This one features a brief interview with Brett Carlson! ¬†Come and see him in “How To Succeed” as the snotty Budd Frump. ¬†www.wvlo.org for tix!!

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?