but somehow, I can see just exactly how I’d be.

Gosh you guys!  I have been TERRIBLE over the past few weeks, have I not?  I’m stealing a few minutes before bed tonight (well, when I should already be in bed, really) to update.

In short, here’s what I’ve been working on –

  • I ended up being called in for two more days of extra work on the same movie!  Again, not really supposed to talk about it, but it’s definitely an enjoyable day’s work.  I don’t know how much extra work I’ll end up doing, for lots of reasons.  Maybe that’ll be the subject of my next vlog?
  • I had my first rehearsal for the Christmas show at the House of the Seven Gables a couple of weeks ago – I’ll be playing Beth March this time!
  • I had…one other audition? I think?  That I ended up not getting.
  • Last week, we had a rehearsal for the singing competition and I had to bail early to go to class so I have no idea what everyone sounds like?
  • Speaking of which, the competition is this Saturday!!!
  • L & I are going to spend Saturday morning catching up on recording a bunch of stuff we’ve practiced but not performed
  • Maestro and I’s Secret Government Eggo Project (III: THE RECKONING) is well underway!

In non-performing-related-but-busyness-related news, I’ve also been attempting National Novel Writing Month, I started a new job!, and schoolwork has been piling up.  Part of the reason I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year is that I am often better at managing my time when I’m a little overbooked (because I have to be!).  Hopefully I’ll be able to do a vlog or monovlog again in the next week or so!

I also want to thank David-Matthew Barnes for stopping by my blog with some incredibly kind words.  I am still a little bit beside myself!

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when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.

I have been deep, deep into self-loathing mode for the past couple of weeks, at least as far as singing (and acting, and Oh God What Am I Doing With My Life Someone Please Just Throw Me Off A Cliff So I Don’t Need To Make Decisions) goes. Which is why I haven’t been updating, despite the fact that yet more progress has been made on the Secret Government Eggo Project and the Christmas show goes up this weekend.

I figured no-one would want to hear about how yet another session went by where I started off with the highest of hopes but then plummeted back down into the valley of self-loathing and decided to call off the project entirely, only to have a fight with PC and decide not to abandon it after all. I figured no-one would want to hear yet again about how I loathe the sound of my own singing voice. And I’m probably right, so that’s the last of it (FOR NOW, she intoned ominously).

So! Progress actually HAS been made on the SGEP, and this week we’re looking to work almost every day to get my contributions (such as they are) all wrapped up. And then the magic of trying to make it sound good starts, a task that I do not envy. (Hahaha I lied about being done with the self-loathing.)

This weekend is the first weekend of the Christmas show – yay! We have dress rehearsal on Thursday and then the show starts again! I am looking forward to it, while also trying to keep an ear to the ground for anything that might be coming up soon. I am enjoying this – I mean, come on, I’m getting paid to play a teenaged Amy March at this point and sit around a beautiful historical house for a couple of hours in costume – but I look forward to getting to audition for things again, as well.

Oh, and someone contacted me about – essentially – doing photoshoots for a graphic novel, which might be interesting! I have to do a little bit of research and then also dig up my high-quality headshots to send along (as an “audition”). Note to self: remember to do that tonight. That might be fun, if I did get it!

Tonight, though, PC and I get down to business to defeat the huns to finish up the SGEP. I will stay positive! I will, I will!

you hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run.

And with that, the Halloween season is over, and my stint at my first paid acting job is up.

I am sad to see it go, though it is a different sadness than the sadness that comes after a weekend’s worth of performances. Having two or three months of rehearsal and then just a weekend of performance time is (I think) one of the injustices of community theatre. I understand why it happens – renting the space is always very expensive – but it seems such an awful lot of work and bonding only to not see those people again after just a weekend!

With a month-long run and not an awful lot of rehearsal time (and the fact that I’m always That Weird Girl in a cast & don’t like to go out drinking), there wasn’t as much bonding, and we did the show every five-ten minutes for four hours three nights a week, so I definitely feel like I got to perform a lot. And mainly isolated – only a couple of people had scenes with each other rather than monologues. So it was a very different experience! I enjoyed it, most definitely, and I will miss it – but I am also grateful for a short break!

Thankfully I’ll be returning to the same place to be a part of the Christmas show, so I won’t have to miss it for too long. That, and I am thrilled that I already have something professional lined up for the next season. I am pleased that our director liked me enough to want me to come back!

It looks like those rehearsals will start up next week, but it’s a similar rehearsal schedule as this last show (that is, minimal). Since the scene I’m in is from Little Women, I do have my sisters (hee!) to rehearse with, so that will be fun! The shows are shorter, and there aren’t as many of them – thank goodness, since I don’t want to miss the entire Christmas season like I did the Halloween season! – but it will definitely be fun, too!

Plus, now work must begin in earnest on our Secret Government Eggo Project if it’s to be ready for Christmas! <3

would you not rather have your precious little ingenue?

Tonight is opening night for the show in Salem!

Last night was dress rehearsal, and due to the living museum nature of the show, we all got a chance to walk through and see everyone else’s scenes. It was wonderful to finally get into the space we’ll be performing in, and getting a feel for the entire show. We’ve all heard each other do our monologues before, but this was the first time we got to see it in the actual space, which does indeed make a difference.

It’s interesting, because the book the show is based on is set in the actual house we’re performing in – it gives it an extra layer of authenticity. Add in how creaky and dark some of the rooms are, and the secret staircases!, and you have a recipe for a very unsettling but fun show.

I’m nervous, but mostly just tired! The shows this weekend are shorter than usual, so it’ll be a nice ease-in to the rest of what this month is going to be like. Traffic is already horrendous getting in and out of Salem, but that’s sort of to be expected, isn’t it?

In related exciting news, the director spoke with me last night about coming back to do the Christmas show – she’d like me to play Amy in Little Women! YAY!! :D

what’s that playing on the radio?

Ah, sometimes the Universe works in mysterious ways. I’m pretty sure I have a guardian angel and that (s)he is looking out for me, because things just generally turn out to have worked out for the best for me. In this case, the fact that I didn’t get cast as Sandy is actually a good thing, though I won’t go into why here. :)

Thank you, guardian angel, for managing to make my life exponentially less awkward!

Anyway! Last night was our first rehearsal for Grease, and I am pleased to say that the cast looks awesome. I really adore the director from the last time I worked with her, and that was a major reason why I came out to audition for the show at all (since, again, somehow I’ve managed 14 years in theatre without EVER having to do Grease mostly through not auditioning for it!). It was just a read-through, but the cast is great and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

…this doesn’t mean I’ve given up on looking for other auditions, though, so I might have more news soon! ♥

>to fix, to hide, to move, to battle… to see what the trouble is.

>I am almost hesitant to write right now because I didn’t do very well at rehearsal tonight and I am very down on myself for it. So fair warning, this might be a very gloomy entry.

(I know, I know: bad dress rehearsal, good show. But all I can think right now is that I wish we had a rehearsal tomorrow night!)

I am messing up so badly with my ah-ah-ah~!s on almost every turn, and I don’t know why! I honestly never really had a problem during rehearsal unless no-one ever corrected me before and I’m way more tone-deaf than I thought I was. (I suppose that’s possible, though I’m fairly certain I’m tone deaf anyway and oh lord why did I ever think that singing in front of people was a good idea?) I’m honestly kicking myself for messing up so badly and am considering having one of our ensemble sprites (we have a five-person ensemble that are dressed as woodsprites; they are uniformly amazing) to sing my part for me instead.

I was originally fairly pleased to get this role simply because I don’t think I’d ever done a part that was mainly singing or mainly depended upon my singing voice. I’ve always been a better actress than I was a singer, and I’m not even saying I’m all that great of an actress. (Why do I want to do this with my life again?)

In any case, I was always “the girl that can act, oh and if she needs to sing she can do that too” and not “the girl with the great voice.” I’ve had multiple friends with legitimately fantastic voices and I’ve always felt I’ve had to work a lot harder to even sound pleasant at all. (Which has always been upsetting to me; if I could have any one innate talent it would be to have a lovely singing voice.) Recently, with MP’s help, I’ve been gaining more confidence when it comes to singing, but obviously it’s possibly false and not actually earned confidence.

I need to stop that now. I can go on thinking that but writing it down is probably a bad idea.

On the brighter side, our Baker’s Wife told me about an audition that’s coming up that sounds interesting. (The next show the company I’m doing Into the Woods with is doing is Guys and Dolls, which – frankly, I would love to play Sarah Brown but it’s not going to happen.) I’ve had my eye on a couple of others, so hopefully I won’t have too much downtime after this show is over.

>curtain up, light the lights!

>So, I’m late in updating on this since technically (unintentional pun) tech week started on Sunday with our cue-to-cue (which was intensely boring, as always). Monday we had a run with only essential costume pieces (aka my ten-foot-long three-piece wig) and full tech. We didn’t get all the way through the show, which was slightly worrying, but we did keep stopping and starting throughout to make sure everything was set correctly in terms of set pieces and props and lights and sound cues.

And last night was our first full dress rehearsal, which went fairly well, all things considered! There are quite a few quick changes, and they were all pulled off masterfully, in particular considering how elaborate some of the costumes are.

My wig, as previously mentioned, is about ten feet long all-told, and curly. It catches on literally everything and anything, including but not limited to: the tower/tree I sit in for most of the first half of the show, the Witch’s robes, my dress, every single piece of the set that hasn’t been sanded down (all of it), the ladder I walk up and down to get to the tower, etc. I wear it wrapped about my shoulders like a curly blonde scarf when walking about the backstage area and still manage to get myself snagged on everything. I’m going to talk to KD tonight about possibly staying up in the tower until “Stay With Me,” which is the first time I appear outside of the tower, simply because getting up and down the ladder with a long flowy dress and my wig is impossible to do quickly or gracefully.

I love tech week. I always have. Everyone refers to tech week as “hell week,” which it can be, but I unabashedly love having rehearsal every night until the show and basically running on caffeine, sugar, and adrenaline for a solid week. I love costumes – I used to joke that getting to play dress-up was the primary reason that I liked doing theatre. (It’s not true, but I do love playing dress-up!) I love bonding with castmates in a way that you don’t really do until tech week. I love hanging out in the green room (our green room is purple and mustard yellow, by the way). I just love the final surge of energy and dedication going into the opening night of a show. I wish we had more than one weekend to perform. That’s one of the few things I’ll miss about the Place That Will Not Be Named; at least they had a whole three weeks or so of performances.

But most of all, I just love doing what I love to do. I’m grateful to have the chance to do it. And now I must be off to go to our final dress rehearsal before the show starts on Friday, since tomorrow we’re going dark!

>nobody out-crazies ophelia!

>Rehearsal went well today! P, our original music director, came back to help us with music since M had a concert. We ran through both finales (Ever After for Act I and the Into the Woods reprise one million or so for Act II), and we tightened up the scene where the Narrator and I die. And…that was pretty much it, not much to write home about. I marked the screaming again, since my throat isn’t really feeling any better yet.

A lot of today’s rehearsal was spent finalizing costumes and making last-minute adjustments. The costumes in this show are seriously, seriously amazing. Easily some of the best I’ve ever worked with. KD fixed my wig, it has a big flower and lots of ribbons on it now and it looks less like I just stepped out of the 70s. I’m going to be using my own hair after it gets chopped off, so that reminds me that I have to get my roots done.

That reminds me, I never mentioned my inspirations for Rapunzel! They are as follows.

Act I:

Act II:

…there’s actually not a whole lot of acting involved in this role, to be honest. ;)

And now we’re on to tech week! Sunday is our cue-to-cue and then after that we have full-dress runs! And Friday is showtime! Whee!

>well, not simply.

>today I worked on
Love Makes Such Fools Of Us All
Take Care of This House (this is the only solo version I could find)
I Feel Pretty
Somewhere (no-one really needs links for these, do they?)
I Couldn’t Be Happier/Thank Goodness (this isn’t the whole thing; it’s a weird arrangement in my book)
Glitter and Be Gay

So I worked on LOTS of new stuff today with MP! I’m sort of shopping around for an awesome audition song-slash-something that I might be able to sing at the concert this year. I didn’t realize that the character in Barnum that sings “Love Makes Such Fools Of Us All” is Jenny Lind, ha!

She kept mentioning that songs would make “great encore songs” for me, which, what? Also she said that she can really imagine me singing “Glitter and Be Gay” which makes me :D because I’ve always wanted to sing that song. I…can hit the high E-flat(s) on a good day?

Other than that, had yet another lesson where I couldn’t get out of my own way or out of my own head. Or out of my own way. In my defense (am I really defending myself to myself?) I am not feeling well and my throat is scratchy and I’m afraid of straining my voice when we go into production next week. If I’m going to be honest, and really, what’s the point of this if I’m not, these are all excuses for me babbling and making stupid faces when I hit wrong notes or things feel wonky to me.

MP was very strict about my unconscious naysaying and judging myself today; I really have no excuse for it at this point. It’s not cute and it’s not funny and it’s not endearing, it’s not even proving that “I don’t really sound like that,” it’s just distracting me from doing what I need to do. Because every time I do it, my mentality goes further and further downhill, and eventually I just have absolutely no confidence left and I waffle about. Note to self: STOP THAT.

Rehearsal went really well today! I finished painting my second rosebush and started in on some vines and ferns on the bigger set pieces. (What? That’s important!) I marked all of my screaming (we only did the second act today) because I’m worried about straining my voice too much. I finally hit the right tone with the hysterical laughter before “oh nothing!” and everyone cracked up, including M. :D Now I need to solidify what I’m doing with the final “ah-ah-ah~” at the end.

>"stop being such a coward."

>I’m starting to think maybe I should just write this stuff down in a paper journal because I can perhaps be a bit more long-winded and honest with myself there. It’s easier to scribble words down on a piece of paper than look at them in black and white on a computer screen. Or something.

Yesterday’s rehearsal was disastrous, for me. In general, it went well (the first act, especially). But my singing was terrible, basically through the whole thing. We started off working on “Our Little World” and I sounded awful and had issues with things I’ve never had issues with before (the aah-aah-aahs in the beginning and middle?! seriously??) and then C got all huffy with me (like, “what is your problem today!”) and it threw me off for the rest of the rehearsal, it seemed like. I couldn’t get any of the aah-aah-aahs for the rest of the run, for some reason. I might be (probably am!) getting sick, but that’s no excuse for getting shaken once during a rehearsal and then letting it affect the rest of my performance. What is wrong with me indeed.

Part of that might be the fact that I spent the night before with PC and L recording “Ridin’ Solo” with L on ukelele and both of us on vocals (and then making PC record the ~*~soulful piano version~*~ of the same after L went home, which was both legitimately awesome and incredibly hilarious, especially him spelling out “S-O-L-O” during the bridge).

Listening to my voice played back at me like that always unnerves me – I’ve only done it once before but last time it made me feel awful. This time it wasn’t as bad because it was both me and L and we were basically goofing off and not taking it too seriously. It came out pretty cute and he might be able to make something good out of the raw materials we recorded with him. (It sounds awesome with the accordion synths.)

After that PC and I talked about lots of things but eventually came around to the fact that the reason I don’t sound like I want to sound when I sing is because I’m afraid of it, that I’m afraid of “owning it,” is the way he put it. (Especially anything even the slightest bit outside my (teeny tiny) comfort zone.) And he’s right, I want to sing it “right” and “well,” but I don’t put any heart into it. I thought that I had started to get over that but I guess not, because clearly I was still feeling the effects of being shaken like that the next day, with C setting me off again.

I made mention of this, obliquely, earlier in this journal saying “why can’t I act when I sing?” I’m not having too much of an issue with it for Into the Woods because most of my acting while I’m singing consists of “blank and happy” or “blank and kind of crazy” anyway. But singing with MP on arias and such, it’s too hard for me to get past the I HAVE TO DO THIS PROPERLY fears and instincts to even try to emote. And that’s what it is, it’s fear: down at the base of the thing, it is fear.

I was going to go on about the fact that I am awful and shouldn’t try but that is not productive at all so I won’t.