Hello gentle reader,
My first time walking into Limelight Actors’ Theater was filled with so much anxiety. By now, you probably are thinking “Jeez, what doesn’t make you anxious?”
I was brought into this project by some fabulous friends, so I felt it super important to make a good impression on the director-fella, Kevin Heath, who is also happens to be the co-owner of the company, along with Alan Obata.
Weeeeelllll, walking into rehearsal 15 minutes late was NOT the way that I wanted to start off our first encounter.
Now, lemme ‘splain.
I had my GPS set for the Limelight address… but for one that was from a while ago. LOL! And what, bummed me out is that I circled the block twice with 10 minutes to spare trying to see if I was in the right spot because the only place that looked open was a car repair shop. Then somehow, I managed to recall that our fearless leader had sent an email about the location for our read through.
One minute after the scheduled meeting time, I sent him a message letting him know of my goof and he was kind and understanding. So I drove down the street and made it to the proper spot and shamefully walked into the venue.
Right away, Kevin popped up out of his chair with a big smile and a ready handshake. Easily one of the kindest people, I have had the pleasure of meeting. We traded pleasantries around the table as we took seats to begin the reading. Like the first read through of “Super Villain” at the Pear Theater, I giggled the whole way through, and in the process stumbled on some of the words.
When we reconvened, after a month and a half away, we got to work putting this show on its feet. I felt a little like I was bumbling along through the blocking, because I needed to get my awkwardness into gear. I hoped that it didn’t look too spastic when I panicked. Then when we were told that a piece of the furniture was going to be a bean bag that I jumped on, I felt my stomach flip flop. A big guy like me? Jumping on a bean bag? C’mon!!!!! Talk about panic.
We rehearsed and rehearsed with no problems. Things were piecing together. The motions a bit more natural even though they sometimes were opposite of what I would normally want to do, thanks to my want of being a dancer. Graceful wasn’t what Robert was about.
Preview snuck up so fast! The people that were there got to bear witness to my fear ever since the announcement of the bean bag.
The Bean Bag Incident…
Yes, dear reader. You can probably guessed what is to come.
All I remember is putting the handbag I was suppose to hide in its place then rushing over to get the bean bag. I recall getting my hands on the white, smooth, faux leather and jumping in the air and suddenly hearing “pfwhoosh!!” Then an eruption of laughter.
I flailed around on this ever shrinking bag of beans and the laughter escalates in the midst of my flailing! I finally feel the giggles dying down and calm my motions as well for the scene to continue. Oh boy! When I stand up, there is a mess of little white puff balls littering the stage and I worry that someone is going to fall. GAH!! Why a bean bag? LOL!
It wasn’t until after the performance that I was told that every flail resulted in those little beans flying out of the hole in the bag which happened to be near my crotch, thus making me look like a seahorse on dry land birthing my offspring. Can’t visualize it? Check out the bottom of this post.
After that first audience, I always had to mentally prep myself for the possibility that it could happen again. That’s when I found Leo (image at top). He was just a pattern on the back of the set. The natural lines in a wood pattern that my brain decided looked like a lion. Every night there after though, I would take a moment and run down that particular sequence of events so that everything would be fine. He was like my little mascot for the show.
I really don’t want to gush about how fabulous it was to work for the Limelight Actors Theater Company. Not because it isn’t true. Absolutely not. I had a marvelous time! I don’t want to gush because then everyone is going to want to work there and they should, but I don’t want to have so much competition for roles. Selfish? Totally. I wholeheartedly admit it.
That being said, I think people should experience what it is like to work for someone who cares so much that the actors are able to focus on their roles and fosters an environment that truly feels like we are creating something in tandem. We were welcome to try out as much as we wanted, and believe you me, I took full advantage of that. I don’t think I did anything the same more than twice while we were rehearsing because I kept having different feelings appear in my noggin so I would run with it. Sometimes it worked out better than the last thing I thought of, and sometimes it didn’t. I appreciated that whenever I would say “it feels weird to do…” this motion or that one, I knew that I was heard and got to talk about it.
*sigh* I already miss the place. Not to mention the amazing people that I had the chance to work with! I always love getting to work with my buddy Aaron Weisberg and the superb Cindy Powell, but to play on a stage with the very funny trio; Christine McElroy, Rachel Perry and Heather Bass was sheer joy! Everyone was genuinely interested in our castmates’ lives outside of Boeing Boeing and it was so fun getting to really know these outstanding beautiful people.
So… thank you to Kevin and Alan of LAT for letting me be a part this crazy and kooky show with a whole slew of great people. Alas, now it comes time to depart for the next destination, but I can’t wait to be for a return visit!