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

a melody that’s calling your name.

(“Those Magic Changes” is my favorite song in the whole show, can you tell?)

So I’m into my first week of rehearsal at Grease, and…frankly there isn’t a lot to write about yet! It seems like a good group of people and a good cast, and really that’s all you can ask for at the beginning of a rehearsal process.

I do really love our director, though; I know I’ve said it before but she was my main reason for even wanting to do the show. I love that she cares to work with us on our character background, and not really in a touchy-feely way, she trusts us to make our choices. She works with us on movement and vocal modulation and interacting with our fellow cast members and it’s all stuff that I love in a director, because she doesn’t do it in a “first year theatre teacher” sort of way where we have to talk about our feelings and our motivations and how we use our own pain to motivate us. I’m intensely private in an emotional sense, so I do have reasons for making choices but I don’t always want to share why I do certain things the way I do them.

One of my weaknesses as an actor is using my body and gesture effectively and I like that she’s helping me get better at that, too. Sometimes I feel like everything I do physically onstage is “messy,” if that terminology makes any sense. I feel like I have little control over what my body does and everything is very fluid and not always done on purpose. Sometimes that is a conscious thing that I do but other times it’s just sloppiness on my part.

In other news, I haven’t had a voice lesson in a couple of weeks because GG was sick the last time I had a scheduled lesson and I already miss it SO much. It helps having rehearsals to attend (at least I have an outlet to sing!) but I can already feel myself getting vocally lazy and I need to practice more!

Along those same lines, I keep forgetting to buy my keyboard. PC helped me pick one out on Ebay but it’s probably gone by now so I’ll need to go looking again. Boo.

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! ♥

>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!

>"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.