Enter Stage Right

Yesterday we had our very first “real” rehearsal as Sean called it. It was rehearsal #4, but it was our first blocking rehearsal. For those of you not familiar with theater, blocking is when you actually get on stage and plot out the movements in each scene. This is the first feel you get of actually performing.

Our first 2 rehearsals were read-throughs. True to the name, we read through the play and discussed plot points and important scenes. The third rehearsal was an informal rehearsal where we had a very passionate and in-depth discussion as a cast about our characters and their relationships. And somewhere along the line this happened:

We don’t get that crazy every rehearsal, but so far this experience has been the most in-depth, the most thought through performance I’ve ever done. This is what I hope every performance will be from now on. By delving into your character’s personality, their relationships, their journey from beginning to end, you shape your portrayal of them. Suddenly, a character created in the 16th or 17th century becomes relatable . That’s one of the beauties of Shakespeare. Hamlet may have been a prince from the renaissance period, but when it all boils down, he’s a college guy who’s trying to deal with his dad’s death and his mother’s remarriage. He’s suddenly part of a broken home, trying to get over the first close death in his life.

This cast is fabulous as well. After trying our scene for the first time, George, who’s playing Laertes (Ophelia’s brother), and I went to the lobby and worked it over separately. We brainstormed and mapped out movements and actions until we had a completely refreshed scene for the second run through with the director. It was at least a 130 degree shift. Suddenly there were a brother and sister on stage, natural movements and reactions…in our first blocking rehearsal! I left thoroughly pumped up.

Now to get the scripts out of our hands…


Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

After an audition on Monday, Sean and I got the calls that we’d be playing Hamlet and Ophelia in Stageloft Repertory Theater’s upcoming production of Hamlet. I can’t tell you how excited we are. I’m excited for the challenge of portraying Ophelia’s journey into madness, but Sean? Sean has been wanting this role since he first read the play in high school. As he so lovingly told me yesterday:

“I am going to destroy you!”

Only in theater can that be a good thing.

Actor’s Itch

It never fails. I can only go so long before I’m itching to get back on the stage.

Some shows you never want to end. Others you wish were over before opening night even comes. Sometimes, we can be so burnt out that we look forward to the end of a show so we can have a “normal life” again. Do mundane things like laundry on a week night. Ok, I’m kidding there…we’re more likely pining over the fact that we have so many shows on the DVR that we’ve run out of space (who watches shows live anymore???).

But what no matter how ready we are for a break, it’s only a matter of time before our feet itch to tread the boards again.

That itch turned nasty for me this weekend. Friday we went to see a friend in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a production I had auditioned for myself, and Sunday I saw Mamma Mia at the Hanover with my mother- and sister-in-law. Sean’s currently in tech week for his show that opens this weekend and me? I’m filling my time, but with this infusion of performance energy I’m twitching in my seat. Luckily I’ll be auditioning on Monday for Hamlet. I’ll keep you posted.

Felt the Fear, Did it Anyways…

…didn’t puke.


I auditioned for a musical on Tuesday. I can’t begin to tell you the years I shaved off my life worrying about it.

You see, I’ve always wanted to do a musical, they look like such fun. Problem #1 – Sean and my kitties are the only ones to have heard me sing. Sean can’t carry a tune in a bucket (sorry hun) and my kitties always run away. Not much of a boost for the ol’ confidence. So I got a vocal coach. stuck with her for a few months before schedules became too erratic. But, I augmented my audience by 1, and she didn’t shove me out the door covering her bleeding ears after my lessons, so that’s a good thing.

Problem #2 – I was scared. Like, ridiculously scared. It’s the perfectionist in me. I don’t want to disappoint, so I didn’t put myself out there. The theater group I work with now is like family, I love them. But they’ve never heard me sing. They think I’m talented. I didn’t want to tarnish that if I sucked at singing.

Problem #3 – The mere thought of getting on the stage and singing had my insides churning all day, and I was afraid I would lose my lunch.

But with a little encouragement from Sean and my voice coach, and a committing post to my Making Things Happen group, I found myself driving to the audition. To be completely honest, I cried before leaving my house. I was that scared, but the thought of chickening out pissed me off more. So the entire drive I kept expecting myself to turn the car around.

But I didn’t. And by the time I’d gotten there, the original crowd had dissipated so I went in almost immediately. The time came to sing and I just did it. And I didn’t suck. I got good feedback.

And I didn’t puke. This is key.

I left still shaking, but I was empowered. If I get a role, great. If I don’t, it’s OK. The important thing is that I did it. I put myself out there. You miss 100% of the shots you never take.

I felt the fear, did it anyway, and am all the stronger for it.

Decking the Halls and Christmas Carol Plague

I write this post with tissues and hand sanitizer close at hand. I have my sick face on and it ain’t pretty. I caught the Christmas Carol plague over the weekend. 30+ people (half of them children) stuffed backstage means it’s only a matter of time before a cold makes the rounds.

Other than the plague, my weekend was wonderful. Christmas Carol opened to full audiences and a 3 1/2 star review. I had a headshot session Saturday with my formal voice coach who is a riot. And the Christmas pageant is next week at the Sunday School, so Sunday was role assignment and read-through.

Now I have until Friday night to rest in the evenings and get better. You better believe I’ll be wielding the Lysol and Emergen-C next weekend backstage to keep from getting the plague again.

Switching gears,  Maison Gardell isn’t looking any worse for the wear. In fact, it’s looking quite festive. Our latest addition is a delightfully full and bushy fresh cut Christmas tree. We don’t fake things here, we went out to a tree farm and sliced this baby down ourselves. It smells so wonderful. Well, I can’t smell it right now but I promise you, it’s refreshing.

We decorated it Sunday night, and halfway through I had a photographic vision that I simply had to act on. Out came the tripod, the remote trigger, and despite my oozing sickness, Sean joined me for a quick, tangled up photoshoot.

I love it. And I realize that I need to make the effort to capture more of these memories.

We’ve had our first ornament casualty of 2010.  I made the mistake of leaving a small silver ball on the table, and London decided to test its bouncing abilities. We heard it bounce once and shatter. London stared at it, intrigued and slightly disappointed at the result. Then he looked at me as if to say, ‘You gonna get that?’

Kitties: 1, Ornaments: 0


A Little Bit of Everything

In the photography world, I actually was in front of the camera the weekend before last, when my fellow photographer friend and I swapped photo shoots. She finally posted some of them on Facebook and I like most of them! There are a couple that I actually love. Which is HUGE for me. I also am now on a diet thankyouverymuch.

In the theater world, we had our first full cast Christmas Carol rehearsal last night. Swarms of kids everywhere, and our saintly (and I think slightly insane) costume mistress in the middle of it all, shouting “All Crachits on stage NOW!” or “Where are my Fezziwig dancers? I need my Fezziwig dancers!” My costume won’t be ready til next week, but I saw the pattern and fabric and I’m going to have the prettiest dress in the whole show. This makes me happy. I am a total princess, I know.

In the NaNo world, I’m managing to hit my daily word counts which is fine for now, but will run into problems when I have days when I can’t dedicate any time to this fuzzy plot bunny of mine. Bad news is that the plot still isn’t crystal clear in my mind, things keep shifting. Good news is that I’m not frustrated and lost and ready to hand over the bunny to be cooked for Duello…yet.
4,022/50,000 as of this moment.

In the Home Improvement world, Sean hasn’t blown anything up yet. The banister is stained, but the “stainable wood putty” we bought? Bull pellets. Maybe it’s just because we are using light stain, but it doesn’t blend in at all. The downstairs bathroom is still in shambles, everything is in flux (aka piles) because the office is not yet an office/craft room and we have company arriving in less than 48 hours.

And finally, in the San Francisco world, I have booked my hotel. I have a king sized bed to myself for 2 whole nights! No hubby, no kitties, no disturbances. I love my boys, but a night free of London pawing me in the face…yeah I’m almost as excited about that bed as I am for the Intensive. I fly out Monday 🙂

Where did October Go?

So I’ve closed the book on Prescription for Murder and have jumped directly into Christmas Carol. As close to literally as possible without physically jumping.  I drove like a madwoman after the last show to my first rehearsal.

I missed being on stage.

For the first time, I’m working in a show with kids…and there are a LOT of kids. I leaned over to my dear friend ‘Mrs. Cratchit’ and whispered “We’re outnumbered”. But while I was prepared to loathe a swarm of screaming brats (as a couple of other friends had made it seem), these kids are great. They are well behaved, eager, and wicked cute. I am smitten with our Tiny Tims, who are more like Tiny Tinas, or Tabithas, or…well, you get the idea, they’re girls. Both are teeny little things that elicit an ‘awww’ from all watching after saying their lines. I want to stick them in my pocket. Freaking adorable.

In other literary news, I’m tackling NaNoWriMo again next month. Yes, I’m insane, and will be yelled at once my mother finds out I’m putting something else on my plate, but there are a couple of plot bunnies hopping around my brain that are dying for some attention. I’m hoping to trap one of them and fatten it up. I do love to write, and I have some long plane rides in the near future.

And lastly, Duello is fast approaching. I went over and helped Rozi make little chess pieces on Monday. I have a blister to show for our hard work. I’m excited to be deputy since I’m not a fencer and I can’t even tell the chess pieces apart (although after cutting them all out, I’ve almost got it down). Perhaps I should just give in and let Sean teach me the game.

Ok, super lastly, San Francisco in less than 2 weeks 🙂

I am a Zombie Widow…

I was not aware that in our vows, they meant “til undead do us part”…

This week Sean is in tech for Night of the Living Dead. I get a kiss as he’s out the door to work, a kiss as he’s out the door to rehearsal with sad excuse for a dinner in hand, and a bloodied shirt at 11:30pm when he gets home with a “Can you throw this in the wash while I jump in the shower? Thanks babe.”

It’s a good thing he’s so cute…