>…and happy ever after!

>daily tarot for January 23 2010:

“The Ten of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in completion. I celebrate and am grateful for captured moments of simple perfection. Satisfying my hearts desire connects me by example to love, beauty, pleasure, and happiness in those around me and gives me confidence to take it to the next level. “”We made it.”” Unconditional love makes a family and home is where the heart is, so at last, I am never alone. I am empowered by gratitude and my gift is emotional fulfillment.”

As sad as it is that we only had one weekend of shows, it made for some very apt Facebook status updates: “One midnight gone!” “Two midnights gone!” “The third midnight is near!”

I meant to write after one of the first two shows, but between getting in after one in the morning both nights, having to put my hair in rollers and then take it out and pin it up to fit under my wig cap, and having to bake three dozen cookies for the concession stand, I really only had a few minutes to spare. I ended up starting an entry but it doesn’t make any sense now that the show is over.

In general, the show went really, really well. I am so incredibly lucky to have been able to play a part I always wanted to play with a cast full of talented, welcoming, kind people. I’d done one show with this group before, but it was so lovely to be welcomed back with open arms. Especially since I hadn’t done a show with them in over a year, the reason being my then-upcoming nuptials.

I still felt like that weird girl in the corner, but…less so than usual.

(And really, I guess that’s okay for getting into this particular character.)

For a while, it seemed like the show was cursed. In the space of a few months, we lost a Jack, a music director, a Snow White and a Cinderella. What we gained in spite of those losses was that much better for having been hard-won.

The shows were full of magnificent energy. Saturday night was our best night (and predictably, they filmed today and Friday), full of enthusiasm and confidence from a well-played show the night before. Friday was a bit nervous, all things considered, and today was a very emotional performance for a number of reasons – not the least that it was closing night!

I wish I could say I did the best job that I know how to do, but I don’t know that I did. I let my nerves and my fear get hold of me and keep me from singing the way I wanted to. I wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t great, either. My low notes were very shaky and any confidence I had in the higher register faltered as soon as I started hearing my notes being played…I’m not a musician, I’m not a singer, and I don’t pretend to be. I’m not saying that I let anyone down, other than myself. But then, I am always my own worst critic.

On reflection, I am incredibly glad that I didn’t take over for Cinderella. Our Cinderella – she’s a singer. She is someone with excellent musical intuition, a good sense of pitch, and a nice “clear” voice. (I don’t know that there’s another way to put that – it’s light, and steady, and not overly ornamented, which are all things I aspire to.) I can’t imagine doing a better job than she did, and I would have been killing myself trying to get up to par. (And I probably never would have.) Our entire cast was just…well-cast, really, and immensely inspiring to watch working.

All in all, it was a good show to get back in the swing of things. There are a couple of auditions coming up fairly soon that I am looking into…hopefully I’ll be able to post about those soon. That, and preparing for school auditions!

>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.