Good times…

All week I have been paranoid about forgetting lines or dance steps or just the order of scenes altogether.  It’s made for many a sleepless night.  However, since I don’t usually get that much sleep, I guess it didn’t feel like it’s impacted me that much.  The only way that I know how stressed I have been is that after the final curtain was closed last night, I could feel the tension just fall right out of my shoulders and my back.  And guess what…I remembered my lines, (give or take rearranging of the few words) and everything else.  Well except for a second suitcase that I was supposed to bring out.  Woops.  After the show, the lobby was once again filled with smiling, happy faces.  I had no qualms about telling those faces to let other faces know about the show.  I was even surprised that they said they would be back to see it again!

A few of my coworkers were there too.  I can’t believe that they spent their Friday night watching the show!  I am forever grateful to the kindness and support that Yamagami’s Nursery has not only shown to me as a simple I-don’t-know-nothing-’bout-plantin’-no-gardens cashier but also to West Valley Light Opera and the show itself. Preston, the owner, while he is unintentionally intimidating, is such a great person to work for.  The rest of the management staff is fabulous, and that just keeps going down the ladder to the rest of the employees.  So Ms. Poli, thank you for the referral.  I owe you big time!

But back to the show…

I know that I was harping on and on about having a brush up, which I still fully feel like we should have every week.  Just to be safe.  For the most part everything went smoothly, and for the times that didn’t… well it’s now preserved in the WVLO archives.

Most, if not all theatre companies record at least one performance of the production that they are working on.  It is not something that is available for sale.  They do this so that they have research material if they ever decide in the future that this show or that show is something they’d like to do again.  Then they can see what everything looked like, how they changed the scenes, placement of the orchestra.  They can see what worked well, and what can be changed.  Things of that nature.   It’s a great reference tool.  I know when I worked for AMTSJ, I had to send the copies to an actual library that stored most professional productions.  I am a little bummed that I can’t remember where that is.  I want to say San Francisco, but I am not 100% sure.

While there may have been a few missteps or forgotten lines, the show can often times get away with it because a lot of the numbers take place in “rehearsal settings”.  I just love to not only have a good time on stage, but for everyone else up there with me to have a good time too.  That’s what make the show great, because then the audience has a good time with us.  If you would like to have a good time with us, you can get your tickets by clicking HERE or by calling 408.268.3777.  Tell’em Jery sent ya!  Come and sing along!!

Here’s to some more good times!!

Cheers.

White Christmas after Opening Night.

 

Now that a few days have passed from the high of Opening Night, I become a ball of nerves once again.  Most people think that once a show has begun performances, the hardest part of the process is over.  To me, I think that this line of thinking is a dangerous trap to fall into.  Especially when you have 4 days off in a row.  This is when complacency tends to sneak in.  Complacency because Opening Weekend went so incredibly well. So now, some people could convince themselves that it’s unnecessary to put any energy or thought into the show.  This is when you forget to think about the show, because you have new things to do and think about during the time that you would have been rehearsing.  Some people have significant others to cuddle with during the evening instead of pouring over their scripts or thinking about dance steps.  Personally, I try and figure out what I can do differently, better, but differently.  I tend to dwell on any oddity that happened to me or that I created during the show, and how I can fix it or make it work.  Because of this, I love to have brush up rehearsals so that the first show you return to is just as good as when you left the weekend before.

Well there’s another reason too.

So far this show has sold pretty well, but I really really want West Valley Light Opera to have a HIT!  A big fucking smash hit show.  Sorry for the expletive, but I feel that it was the only word that could emphasize it the way I meant it.

The super-finale is actually more fun than I thought it was going to be because of all the snow. It starts with hearing a room full of people singing a Berlin classic, and then it tears into a frolicking snowy good time and everyone looks so happy!  I love looking out into the audience and seeing the people smiling, or nodding their heads in time to the music or best of all singing along.    That happened on Sunday’s performance.  I saw a bright and cheery lady singing along with me during “Best Things Happen When Your Dancing.”  She was sitting in the third row and just looked like she was having the best time ever and that’s only the fifth song of the show, and there are nearly 20 of them!  To top that off, there was a lady in blue right in the front row that was beaming the biggest smile during “I Love a Piano” when the Duncan Sisters were singing their part.  I know that the possibility for having that hit exists with this production, but I worry that one bad performance could jeopardize that chance.

This Friday’s show isn’t selling the way I hoped that it would, but there are $20 tickets available.  Maybe that will help.  I hope that people who have come to see the show, get the word out that it is a good show.  I do have to say thanks to my BFF over at NotBlueAtAll, for the incredibly kind words and for attending Opening Night. Also, a big thanks to Ronnie Misra for all of his amazing support.

If any of you have seen the show, please leave a review, especially if you loved the show, at Artsopolis. Like Ronnie did!

I love working with this company and I worry about it sometimes.   They are one of the few companies that take chances on their casting and don’t constantly cast the same handful of people for their shows.  Another company that takes chances is Sunnyvale Community Players, and I applaud them for that.  But, they are getting back on track, so they don’t need as much help.  When I began to make the rounds in the area for auditions WVLO was one of the first to give me opportunities and to this day continues to do so.  Needless to say, I feel like I owe them in return because they have always welcomed me with open arms.  I am keeping my fingers crossed  that there are 13 more full houses for this run.  Please cross your fingers with me.

OMG…I thought it would never happen!!!

I have finally forced time to bend and created a way to make a podcast for White Christmas!!  Thank you to Ben Perez, Stephen Evans, and Valerie Valenzuela for taking time out of their day to sit around a table and talk about the show.   Don’t worry, we all love the show! You will too when you come and see it!

Episode 11

(Click to listen)

Show notes to follow shortly!!!

Thank you, Yamagami’s Nursery!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I work for a local nursery called Yamagami’s Nursery.  It’s a gorgeous place that has a ton of product.  Well, I guess I should say had a lot of product.  We had the anniversary sale, and that wiped us clean of many, many things.  But…that’s quite alright because we needed to make room for Holiday Trees.  People get a little touchy if you say Christmas, but then again, people get touchy when you say Holiday, so I guess there’s no winning that argument. I’m gonna say Winter trees!  With that being said, I wanted to say a big, wonderful thank you to Yamagami’s because they are going to be a partial sponsor of WVLO’s White Christmas!!!!  Some of the cast will be giving a sneak peak performance on November 6th at the nursery.  The performance will begin at Noon and last for about an hour.  So here’s the deal.  5% of all sales that happen on the day of November 6 will be donated to WVLO and the production.  So come on out and pick up a plant, grab a cookie, and enjoy some cider while you are entertained by some of the cast of White Christmas!

Also, Yamagami’s is taking pre-orders for “Winter” trees.  If you order before Thanksgiving, the trees would be 10% off.  You can order buy phone if you can’t make it into the store.  I hope that if you are in the market for a “Winter” tree, you will call the nursery on November 6th at 408.252.3347, or stop by 1361 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino, CA and pre-order one.  The trees are shipped from Oregon and are in high demand.  I took an order today by a lady that has been purchasing her tree from Yamagami’s for 20 years!  That’s saying something!

If you happen to be like me and many of my other actor and artist friends and you don’t have any spending money, you can still stop by and cheer us on.  I have a bumper sticker on my car that reads: Support local artists.  So I am asking you to do the same.  Your purchase will support not only the arts, but also a local business!!

White Christmas Update #2!

I know that I’ve said this before, but HUGE thank you to the cast for all of the help they have offered throughout the week.  Today, we tried to run thru all of act one, and well…I’ll get to it in just a few minutes.

When I got the call on Monday asking if I could step in for the role of Phil, I was actually planning on beginning interviews with cast members this week.  Unfortunately, that meant that I had to focus every moment of free time on learning new music and lines.  Of course, trying to soak it in like a sponge through repetition isn’t the most effective way for me personally.  So I have to admit, that I had to take some time out and do other things. Like Wednesday night, I went karaoke-ing with some friends.  And I did watch a double feature of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Peter Hyams(?) sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact.  Both were fantastic! However, the latter did have MUCH more dialogue than the original.   There’s something about that anticipatory silence that made me LOVE 2001. It kept me riveted on the couch as the laundry was calling for me to clear out of the dryer.  Anyway, back to White Christmas!

On Monday, we worked on the vocals for most of Act 1, which was fun.  It was a little touch and go for me, but I wanted some really great belty high notes.  Alas there isn’t any for me to sing in this show. BUMMER!  It was the first time that I got to work closely with Sean and try and build that BFF rapport that must exist between Phil and Bob.  It was also a chance to feel out Sean’s demeanor as he was “in” the Bob role.  I think it gave me a starting point to see how laid back I can play Phil without making him seem like an idiot.  It was a breezy rehearsal, and within an hour and a half, maybe two, I was on my way home!

Tuesday was AWESOME!  I got to learn most of the dance break for “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing.” Fast doesn’t even describe the pace of this little ditty.  It’s manic!  I swear!  There’s some waltzing, polka-ing, folklorico, Broadway jazz in it.  It’s sheer physical madness that lasts for nearly 4 minutes.  And from what I learned today, I have to stay on stage right after the dance and I cannot show that I am exhausted.  That truly sad thing about this is that today, I didn’t even do the whole dance, and I was SOOoooooo out of breath.  Almost nearly bent over in two right after the number.  Of course, maybe the fact that I didn’t have breakfast, or coffee could have been a culprit.  That’s just a  theory.  It’s more likely that I need to jog some more.

Wednesday, it turns out I got to work with the super talented Jillian Cummings who plays Miss Judy Haynes, and my romantic interest in the show.  Wait, that’s a bit of a lie.  Phil Davis tends to flirt with nearly every lady that walks by.  So let’s say that Judy is another of the romantic interests for Phil.  Just so you know, Jillian can sang!  Lawdy, lawdy…that girl’s got a set of pipes.  It’s a great to play off her energy.  She was a help as well when it came to learning the dancing on Tuesday.  I almost had a stroke when Rachel pulled me and the four young ladies to the front of the cast, once they arrived, and she had us sing the number that we had just learned.  My knees were shaking, and I was sweating like Whitney needing a fix.  (But I still love you gurl! )  So I got through it, and the ladies who are lovely youngsters were brilliant.  The cast gave us a great round of applause, but I think the girls earned most of it!

Thursday was unfortunately a conflict, so wasn’t able to be there. And Friday, was a free day.  But I did take a couple of hours and run thru some of the scenes with Sean during the morning.  Although, that was the movie/laundry day I wrote about earlier.

Today, Saturday,  Katie taught us a lot of “Blue Skies.”  Like I have said before, I love what she is giving us.  Although, I will have to admit, during the dance practice bit of the rehearsal, I kept thinking of Fosse’s “Bye, Bye Blackbird.”   Regardless, I am thankful that Katie’s letting me dance in this number.

So after an hour and a half of dancing, she had us take a ten and come back to run all of Act 1, which I have not received any blocking for.  So I felt like I was in sink or swim mode and I was just floundering.  Because of the lack of blocking knowledge, I think I was screwing up other people.  But we chugged on and only missed completing the run thru by 20 pages or something like that.  I sang what I remembered to sing, but I kept wanting to sing the part that I learned as a chorus person for the song “Snow.”  I really have to harp on that song!

With a new week starting, I think I need to set some goals so that I can help push the production forward because I held them back this afternoon.  So I want to be off book by Wednesday, and have all of my music known by Monday.  As for dancing, well…that ones gonna be a little harder.  So I don’t know what to set for that.

Here’s to an awesome next week for you and me!

Cheers!