What Is THIS Feeling?…

With David Lampke, Amanda Vogel, Andrea Furtado, Samantha Stidham,  and Andi Kline
With David Lamcke, Amanda Vogel, Andrea Furtado, Samantha Stidham, and Andi Kline

With “Sugar” now officially open, I have this slight sense of sorrow.

For the last six months, I have been bouncing from one show to the next.  I’ve met so many amazing and fantastic people that have made me laugh, given me the creeps (they were supposed to), or terrified me, and I have enjoyed each moment.  There wasn’t a day were I thought “I don’t want to be here.”  Even on the really REALLY tough days.  I just thought “how can I make it better”

Last night, when I got home from the theatre, I kept walking to random parts of the apartment.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  For the rest of the night the only thing that ran through my head was: What do I do now?

My friends and I am sure my job would say take a break.  But my head and my heart are saying FIND SOMETHING!!  No, it’s more like they are screaming it! It’s been a blast just letting loose and throwing every idea I have in this last role.  It’s like I’ve been given free reign to do anything that I can think of (within character, of course) to bring life to my version of Daphne.  But now that the rehearsal period is over, I don’t have a new persona to “create” and I am feeling a little saddened by this.  Finding my good boy cop for “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” and my inner lecher for “Promises, Promises” and my cocky masculinity that turns to kind-hearted lady for “Sugar” let me explore my brain and feelings.  It was like exercise for those things.  The things that get missed because they aren’t used the same way our bodies are for dancing or brains for doing crossword puzzles.  I got to play pretend on my quiet by myself times and I saw such great things.

I think the best thing that someone said to me last night, even though I can’t say I agree, was “there were times that I forgot you were a guy!”

That is all thanks to the scenarios I got to play with in my head.  I had to think and feel things like what’s it like to be swept off your feet by someone you just met? Or how do you break the news you need to break without hurting anyone? Or how do you feel happy for your friend that’s happy but jealous and upset with your best friend for that same reason?  All of these from a female and a male perspective.  I hope that some of it comes through in this show and I don’t know for sure if it does because everything is so gosh darn funny.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that this show is FUNNY!!! So ya gotta keep on top of that too!

And I think that’s what made these last six months so incredible… it kept me on my toes emotionally and mentally.  Now I have this fear; what if it doesn’t happen again?

So we’ll see…

I hope you get the chance to see “Sugar” which is “Some Like It Hot” in musical form.  You can get tickets at WVLO.org or by calling 408-268-3777 and leaving a message on the voicemail.  It allows you to actually pic the best seats available this way.

In the meantime, since I have some to spare, I will be out and about looking for mischief and updating the blog a lot more.

Thanks for your patience during these busy but SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME few months.

♥♥

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 – You, 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 – It 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 – I 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 – You 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 – I 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 – I 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 – Gurl, 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?  

 

It’s a bit premature, but…

I TOTALLY love the cast of Bless Me, Ultima!

Boy, oh boy, Saturday was a blast.  The day started with a welcome by our director Ms. Elisa, then followed by the exciting news that Bless Me has actually just wrapped up filming as a feature length movie!!

Next up were the sound, lighting, and set design presentations.  The set designer said that the stage will be raked, or slanted.  The plan is to keep the show minimalistic to keep the momentum as swift as possible.  There are mini-scenes inside larger scenes, and if there was a need to pause, even the slightest one, for each shift, we could be in trouble of losing the audience’s attention.  In keeping with the less is best idea, the raked stage is supposed to have images of the landscape on it.  I am curious how this will work.  Will the images be projected from behind the platform, or from above? If it’s from above, isn’t the image going to show up on the actors as well?  We shall see…

One element I am really impressed with is that there will be a massive attempt at using as much live music as possible.  Hooray!  I can’t seem to do a show without having to sing.  Haha! Even in the last play I did with Teatro, Hero,  I sang the line: High School…High School Musical 2!

After the presentations, we all introduced ourselves to each other. We took a short break, and then dug into the script.  Things have been changed and reassignments were adjusted, and the train began to move forward.  At first as we began to read, things felt a little tense to me. Not for any particular reason.  It could be that sometimes it’s uncomfortable to read aloud.  It could be that the cold in the room was a little distracting.  It could be that some of the people were missing parts of their script.  After we got about six scenes into the read thru, Elisa stopped us and asked about the themes that we’d come across so far and how we feel about them.  People brought up religion, good v. evil, and duality just to name a few.

Then it got a little weird.  I understand what was meant, but I think it’s a bit trivial as far as the issue went.  What happened was someone said they didn’t like the fact that the word “magic” was used to describe the things that Ultima could do.  The reason was that the term “magic”  made them think of pulling a rabbit out of a hat or something along that line,  or that “magic” was only used for evil things.

I am a little torn that there is talk about changing a word that is the supposed school of altering things either by supernatural means or through knowledge of natural laws unacknowledged by science. It goes back as far as alchemy does. Magic was used long before the likes of Harry Houdini and others had began to create tricks and illusions for entertainment.  What I wonder about is was that something that offended the person who purposed the change due to their religious beliefs or was it because it truly reminded her of parlor tricks?  If its the former, isn’t that why we are here to do this play?  If it’s the latter, do we really have the power to change the words of the playwright if a wording change diminishes the power of the script?

It also made me wonder why no one had problems says “miracles.” Aren’t those just magic?  The difference that was told to me was that one is religious based while the other was more of a hedonist term.  WTH?  This lead me to believe that this group was more religious that I thought and that’s where the whole Magic debate stemmed from.  That makes me a little sad.

When I read the book, what I came away with is that you should question religion.  It’s not something that is only contained inside of four walls.  There’s a lot of back and forth for the main character, Tony, about the belief in the churchy god and the energy that’s everywhere that just is.  That church god and cosmic energy are one and the same.  It’s okay if you wanna believe in both! Now, I don’t mind either way what anyone believes.  That’s what makes the word go ’round.  However, with the church being all greedy and stuff, it acts like a child.  If you were to compare the two, Magic is much older than most religions.  Just sayin’! Churches say, you can’t do this or that.  You can only worship in a confined space surrounded by others as witnesses to make sure you are doing what you’re supposed to.  With the energy, there’s just possibility.  There’s no one saying you can’t.  You must follow your own moral compass and decide if what you do will hurt someone else.

It was a great conversation, sometimes it did go off track, but THIS is why I love working with Teatro Vision.  I don’t get anything like it with WVLO, or Sunnyvale Players, and Saratoga Drama Group.  The people in this cast are all fun loving and easy to laugh with.  It’s going to be a happy, happy experience working with these folks.

Also, for those of you interested in another fellow theatre blogger, my cast mate Jess is the author behind Theatreg33k.blogspot.com.  I am thinking a podcast with her will be a blast!  I’ll keep you posted on that.