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.

Untwisting My “Knickers”…

Last night, after a super great run, with comments from the audience like “I haven’t laughed that hard in this place in a really long time,” Nana’s Naughty Knickers finally closed up shop.  We were so fortunate to have such great houses for nearly the entire run for which we are so very grateful.

Now while this is November, don’t get the wrong idea that I am going to spout off about how you should take next Thursday to say why you are grateful and what you are grateful for.  No.  I think you should do this every single freakin’ day!  Acknowledge that you are happy for the people and experiences in your life and you will be a happier person..but I am off topic…

Getting back to my first love, acting, has really made me so happy!  So much so that I felt like I could do anything.  HA! Don’t get me wrong, I loved being  in “Knickers” while I am rehearsing for “Promises” and writing that silly little novel and volunteering as an assistant to my dance teacher for preschoolers, but I find that I can’t REALLY devote time to develop these things as fully as I would like to because I have all the other things in life to do still.

So while I am struggling to find that balance of “being responsible” and leading the creative life that I would love to have, I really have my plate super full this month.

Since  I haven’t posted anything on the site in a while I figured I should at least acknowledge the closing of this funny little gem and the wonderful incredible people that I’ve met or reconnected with.

I had some side splitting moments almost every performance outside the stage door with Fiddy during the show and we couldn’t really laugh out loud like we needed to because the audience was just around the corner! I got to chat with Jackie before each show to find out that this quiet young lady is not only a sweetheart but a hardworking student as well.  Then there’s Mary who was a card! Almost always unexpected and often times hilarious, she had these little stories that she would share before shows.  I really didn’t get the chance to begin talking to Sara until the show’s tech week because one of us was either on stage or not at rehearsal.  I am still not sure if I am even pronouncing her name right. She is so nice but can be so evilly funny at the same time. I love it!  I don’t think I have met anyone like Marian.  She has such a presence even when not saying a word.  She is just so nice and upbeat I find her to be so inspiring. Then finally there’s Ms. Mandy.  She had such a hard role to fill.  Not only are her lines almost repetitive, but they are constantly getting cut off so she had to be on her toes if people didn’t come in for cues right away!  Her improv skills are INSANE!!!  Most of the funny lines in the show weren’t even in the script.  They were improvised one night and ended up staying in.

The other half of the “improv duo” is Estelle who I met one or two years ago.  We worked on a trio of plays and of course hers was the one that I had nothing to do in, so we didn’t really get to “work” together until this.  I think I must have told her every night how happy I was to be on this project with her.  I just hope that I get to have even a third of the theatre experiences that she’s had! I was so happy when I walked into the first read thru to see that Stephen was in the show!! We hadn’t been on the same stage since we did “Funny Thing…Forum.” He is always one of the cool kids to perform with!

Special thank you’s to Gary and George let me come to the company and play with this fabulous group of people!  Our stage manager Michael, who thinks I have a problem with the bottle, was always ready to lend a hand and keep the cast happy.  My hat is off to you sir!

Finally thank you to the incredible audiences that came and laughed at us for a few hours a night.  It’s good to get out from “real life” and forget things for a bit.  We are so glad you joined us!

To my friends and family who came I am especially grateful that you took the time out of your lives to share it with me and my new friends.  I love you guys!

And now it’s on to the next!  With auditions coming up next weekend…

When will I ever learn?!

Great Matinee To Be Followed Up With…

Well, this afternoon’s matinee audience for Santa Clara Players’ “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” was awesome.  People were quite lively which is new to me for a Sunday crowd.  Well except for when I was in White Christmas two years ago.  SO let me reword that.  A lively Sunday crowd was…unexpected!! But definitely appreciated!!

Their laughter made the show move to a whole new level of energy and fun!  So hat’s off to them for bringing the party!

But now I have to focus on another task:

Tonight starts the rehearsal process for SBMT’s Promises, Promises!!! I like the movie a lot and the music is good, but the real reason I want to do this show is to work with the director and choreographer…FINALLY!!!!  I’ve been trying for years, and things just never seemed to line up properly.

I am so excited!!!

The novel is coming along.  It’s moving at a snails pace, but it’s moving.  I shall keep you posted!

Playboy for pensioners…

Mary Horne, Estelle Piper and Mandy Armes bring on the funny in Nana’s Naughty Knickers!

What do you call sex kitten outfits for your Nana?  Sex Cats? Hmmm…

After rehearsing this play for the last 4 weeks, I still don’t know the answer! Hahahaha

What have I been rehearsing, you ask?  Well my friends, I have been working with some very funny ladies on the play, Nana’s Naughty Knickers for the Santa Clara Players!

I am very happy to be working with this company on the season opener of the 50th season!

While I am not a fan of the title of the show, I think Katherine DiSavino’s script is hilarious!  The lovable Nana Sylvia, played by Mary Horne, is the sweet little lady that lives just a few doors down from you that always says “Good morning” when she’s taking her morning walk.  Her BFF, Vera, brought to life by the hysterical Estelle Piper, is a feisty, fiery and hard of hearing firecracker that has funny in nearly everything she says.  The amazing Mandy Armes plays Bridget to perfection!  Stephen Maddox scares me as Gil Schmidt.  His big blue eyes staring me down while I am getting yelled at make it easy to back away in fright.

Sara Doeltz, Fidencio Enriquez, Marian Narveson and Jackie Baldinger do a great job in rounding out the cast, each with their own funny moments in the show.

I get to play Officer Tom Grady. I am a simple beat cop that was assigned to the neighborhood.  I love to help people and am always willing to take time to talk to the people I meet.  I had the pleasure of meeting Bridget a few months back when she came to visit.  She’s a sweet girl and smart, too! I have been waiting for her to come back and would love to ask her out, but she makes me so nervous…I get flustered and I can’t think.

The play centers around Sylvia and Bridget, who are about to become roomies for the summer.  It turns out that Nana’s got a secret, but can she tell her granddaughter without repercussions?  What’s worse is that Officer Tom, being the goody-goody he is, is trying to get away with not citing Bridget for parking violations, but will he find out the secret? Or will the penny pinching landlord find out before them all?

I like to think of the play as Three’s Company-esque.  A group of people trying to keep a secret from a Mr. Roper-type of landlord.  Miscommunication creates panic, panic then creates a lot of funny.  Come check out this comedy at the Santa Clara Players!

We play until November 17.  You can find the details HERE.  Get your tickets NOW!!  C’mon!!!  DO EEETTT!!!  Don’t make me give you a ticket!

The opening night crowd was great!!  I loved hearing new responses to these jokes!  Lots of laughing and lots of ooh’s and uh-oh’s happened in the house.  It was fantastic.

Thanks to all of you who came out to the show’s Gala!!