Posts Tagged ‘tech week’

Some of the Chorus Line cast

Some of the Chorus Line cast

If you would have told me that Tech Week for A Chorus Line would truly begin one wild ride, I may have rolled my eyes.  It seems like tech weeks have gotten much easier in recent years.  I don’t know why.  I can remember that first decade of shows and the tech weeks truly living up to the name “Hell Week.” This one started out simple enough and as we progressed further into the middle of the week, I could feel the tension rising through the cast.  Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely excitement mixed in there as well, but knowing how exact this show had to be there were repeated clarifications and adjustments.

Then, I got laid off from the nursery.  Oy!  Right smack dab in the middle of tech, I suddenly find myself without my financial stability.  So the practical part of my brain, as small as it is, panics and stresses.  But then the actor in me took over and said, this is probably the sign you need to get off of your ass and really try! So I didn’t even think about that situation until after we opened the show.  What I did do, however was use it to add to my character.  Since all I had was A Chorus Line, it made the determination to make it into that fictitious show all the more real for me.

What I didn’t expect was that because there was so much invested into that “reality” for me, I found this show so much harder to say good-bye to.  When we were in rehearsal mode, I never thought I would be so sad that I wouldn’t be dancing these steps with these people eventually.  I just thought that it was one more really good show that I was a part of and I will work with some of these fabulous people somewhere else down the road.

Yamagami's Family

Yamagami’s Family

Could it be that I now tie the nursery and the show together and I am really mourning the loss of both?  I can’t say for certain.  While I loved working with the people at the nursery, I was feeling like I needed to move on  so I have absolutely no ill will toward those wonderful people. But I will miss them. But because of that little work hiccup, I truly got to experience the out of work actor feeling. It’s one thing to be able to create and pretend the world you need to “live” in for the stage, but to actually really know how “oh shit, how am I going to pay my rent?” feels gave me a link to the physiological changes I experienced.  Like when I get really angry my heart beats faster and stronger,  I can access that whenever I need to for a scene. Now, I have this link to help me when I next have to create this particular feeling.

I am so grateful for the show because it was an incredible feeling to not only represent this character written for the show but to be able to identify with it not because of where they come from or their sexuality or their religion but because they are actors. I know firsthand how those songs like “I Hope I Get It” and “What I Did For Love” live in that character’s soul because I have lived them too.  From the nerves and self doubt at auditions and sometimes even in the rehearsal process to the sacrifices and dedication we give to our time for the theatre.

I don’t know when I will be able to listen to “What I Did For Love” with out bursting into tears. Or looking around to see if I can see those beautiful faces that were on the stage with me.  Or recalling all the missed time with friends and family that I cannot re-do because of rehearsals or performances.  Or remembering the good times and laughs that I had during all those rehearsals.  Or thinking of all the incredible people that I have been lucky enough to call friends over the years. Or being able to help others learn a step or lines at one time or another.  It is the ultimate love song to the theatre in my humble opinion.

To the amazing cast that I was so lucky to play with: I hope you know that even though I may not have been one to join in the social gatherings outside of the show that I love you guys so much.  It was an honor to be able to share the stage and share our vulnerabilities with each other and the audience. I can only hope that our paths cross again.  To our directographer (yes, it is a word… at least I have forced my system to recognize it as one) Jenn Maggio, you are incredible. What a task you had and what you gave us and in turn made us give to the audience was nothing short of magical.  And of course all that other stuff I told you after rehearsals.

So for now, I’ll “kiss today goodbye, the sweetness and the sorrow.”

Wish me luck.

The same to you.

The light at the end of the tonight's tunnel.

Woe is me…Ah, Shakespeare! Never in theatre have truer words been written.

The cast ran through act 1 this evening.  We had use of the sets and some of the props.  For the most part things moved along.  We did stop to fix a few issues like getting the cast to help with some of the set pieces during the changes.  The spacing NEEDS to be addressed, but when I tried to do it on Sunday, there were so many people missing that I don’t know if it was worth the time.  The good thing is that Bill said that if there is anything that needs to be fixed, I can stop and address the issue.  I had no idea that I was allowed to do that.  I guess I was just under the impression that only the director had that authority.  When I worked for AMT, I never saw the choreographer stop the scene.  Now that I have that juicy bit of knowledge, I think I’ll be good to go.

The set changes were slow, and they take up SO much room that the wings have no room for the cast when they have to make the 3 second (seriously, it’s 3 seconds) quick costume change.  I am excited that Bill liked my idea of repurposing some costumes from West Side Story to give to Charity, Helene, and Nicki,  I just hope the costumer isn’t too upset that I brought this up and tried to fix a missing piece of the puzzle.

I feel that at this point, my head is going to burst and a mixture of Skittles, thumb tacks, and erasers will come pouring down like confetti.  I know it’s not my job to get them to rehearse on their own time.  I’ve worked for theatre companies before, and the cast usually find their own time to get the steps down.   Then again, I do feel that I have to do everything that I can to make the show the best that it can be.   So I’ve decided to open the rehearsal hall early everyday this week, and possibly next week if we can’t be in the theatre.

I tell you what, friends, this is going to be the longest tech week EVER.

I am so bummed because there was a piece of audio that I really wanted to bring to you, but I experienced user issues.  Yeah, like I turned on the digital recorder, but not the actual mic.  Ha, here I am talking about details, and yet, I can’t even pay attention to my own details.  So that will be my note to myself.  Turn on your microphone, Jery.

Bill Starr sets Act 1, Scene 1

The light at the end of the tonight's tunnel.

Woe is me…Ah, Shakespeare! Never in theatre have truer words been written.

The cast ran through act 1 this evening.  We had use of the sets and some of the props.  For the most part things moved along.  We did stop to fix a few issues like getting the cast to help with some of the set pieces during the changes.  The spacing NEEDS to be addressed, but when I tried to do it on Sunday, there were so many people missing that I don’t know if it was worth the time.  The good thing is that Bill said that if there is anything that needs to be fixed, I can stop and address the issue.  I had no idea that I was allowed to do that.  I guess I was just under the impression that only the director had that authority.  When I worked for AMT, I never saw the choreographer stop the scene.  Now that I have that juicy bit of knowledge, I think I’ll be good to go.

The set changes were slow, and they take up SO much room that the wings have no room for the cast when they have to make the 3 second (seriously, it’s 3 seconds) quick costume change.  I am excited that Bill liked my idea of repurposing some costumes from West Side Story to give to Charity, Helene, and Nicki,  I just hope the costumer isn’t too upset that I brought this up and tried to fix a missing piece of the puzzle.

I feel that at this point, my head is going to burst and a mixture of Skittles, thumb tacks, and erasers will come pouring down like confetti.  I know it’s not my job to get them to rehearse on their own time.  I’ve worked for theatre companies before, and the cast usually find their own time to get the steps down.   Then again, I do feel that I have to do everything that I can to make the show the best that it can be.   So I’ve decided to open the rehearsal hall early everyday this week, and possibly next week if we can’t be in the theatre.

I tell you what, friends, this is going to be the longest tech week EVER.

I am so bummed because there was a piece of audio that I really wanted to bring to you, but I experienced user issues.  Yeah, like I turned on the digital recorder, but not the actual mic.  Ha, here I am talking about details, and yet, I can’t even pay attention to my own details.  So that will be my note to myself.  Turn on your microphone, Jery.

Bill Starr sets Act 1, Scene 1