Friday, August 31, 2012

Bringing It Into the Central Park and Tracing USA.

I had the pleasure of seeing three shows in this past week, and at first I was very concerned.

I take pride in enjoying everything I see live in the theater. I am the person that LOVES the show even though everyone around me did not like it. At least - I used to be. What we do is so incredibly difficult, so, going to see a show with a critical eye does no one any good. I still believe that, so, seeing shows that I didn't enjoy concerns me. I refuse to be the critical, bitter, out-of-work actor that doesn't like anything because nothing can be perfect or because I'M not starring in it.  I know it can be difficult to watch people who can't sing the role very well have a part when getting a job as an actor can be like winning the lottery. Yes, I know, it HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I'm prepared for it, but it still feels bad sometimes. So, let's talk about the shows. 

BRING IT ON. I really had high hopes for this musical because it was written by Tom Kitt and Lin- Manuel Miranda. I LOVED their previous shows, and I thought using the plot from this movie would translate beautifully. It just wasn't what I expected and at times I felt a little bored. Even though this was not my favorite thing I've seen on Broadway, there are still aspects of the show that need to be congratulated. The cheerleading tricks were entertaining and Adrienne Warren, who played Danielle, had an amazing voice. I'm glad I saw it because it was an experience.

INTO THE WOODS. This is such a magical experience that The Public does for us every summer, and last summer I did not take advantage of this gift. I almost missed the opportunity THIS summer and it would have been unforgiveable. Anyway, The Public puts on two FREE shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The event is called Shakespeare in the Park. Usually they do one Shakespeare show and a musical. To get tickets you can either stand in line starting as early at 3am and wait until the ticket distribution at 1pm or you can play the virtual lottery and see if you can win tickets. You can also try and get tickets in the standby line. That's what I did. I got in line at 6pm and waited until 7:45pm and I got a ticket to see the show because someone didn't claim their ticket. I sat in the second row! The whole experience is truly magical, and if you and your friends can do it right. It's such a summer treat. You can picnic all day, drink wine, and enjoy the summer weather in the park. The trouble is that we all live here so it's so easy to just say we are going to do it, but then everyone gets too busy. It's not going to happen next summer. I'm going to make it happen. I got to see INTO THE WOODS starring Amy Adams as the Baker's Wife, Denis O'Hare as the Baker and Donna Murphy as the Witch. My personal favorite for the entire evening was Jessie Mueller as Cinderella. She has such a stellar voice and stage presence. The scenes between her and the prince were AWESOME, and she could sing me the phone book. I loved the choreography: simple and sharp. The little red and wolf scene was a little intense and I thought it made her song not make sense at the end. Some of the singing wasn't my cup of tea, but the show on the whole was great. It's closing this weekend and it just feels like the end of summer.

TRACES. This was one of the most beauitful things I have EVER SEEN. If the muscial Once and Circ Du Soleil had a baby, it would be this show. I'm so disappointed that this show is closing this weekend and if you can get out there to see this gorgeous show you MUST. It's short. 90 minutes no intermission. It's a stunning acrobatic dance show. The way these performers can move and use their body is truly astounding, and their individual artistry comes through in the movement. It is a show that everyone can enjoy. It's gorgeous and breathtaking. I'm so disappointed that Sunday the 2nd is the last time to see it because I would make all my family coming into town see it. 

I guess with labor day coming up it feels like the end of summer. Everyone is back to school and I'm about to finish school. Looking forward to the Fall, to the change, and to a new season of theater. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

So, You Had a Mortifying Day at the Gym....

I finished Insanity a few weeks ago and I wasn't sure what to do with myself after I finished. I had mentioned to a few people that I was thinking about getting a personal trainer and in a few short days I started working with Norman at the New York Sports Club. He came highly recommended and I have not been disappointed.  I wish I was rich and could work out with a trainer three times a week because it's awesome. Every time I feel my limit and know I would take a break, he makes me do 5 more reps or 20 more seconds. Anyway, he's been making me do cardio on the off days.

After rehearsal on Saturday, a few friends and I decided that we were going to grab lunch and then go shopping for showcase outfits. I called the gym around school in the morning to reserve a spot in the 5pm spinning class and planned on taking the 4:30pm abs class. I packed my back in the morning and waited around all afternoon to take the classes. Not sure why I waited until ten minutes before the class started to try on the pants that I had packed earlier that morning because when I put them on, they were two sizes too small.

I wanted to die.

I literally contemplated leaving the gym because I could not disgrace myself any further than the woman's locker room. Being naked would have made me feel better than wearing these spandex pants that were cutting me so tightly I couldn't do a squat without exposing my entire butt. Clearly, my only options were to leave or walk out with a towel around me even though I had clothes on. I tried to hike up the pants to function more like spanks than pants, but that wasn't a flattering look either. Woof.

I'm comitted. So, I left the locker room and let myself feel mortified. I worked out in the back of the classroom and just told myself over and over I'll probably never see these people again. When I finished, I threw those pants out before I even left the gym. Yikes!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet the Summer 2012 Practicum Students!

Showcase is coming up and I'm so excited, nervous, anxious......

Mostly, I can't wait for my friends and family to see it. I think it's a great complication of all the work we have put into our craft over the years.

For the most part, rehearsals have been very individual. We go in for 30 minutes and rehearse our song, and then we go home. We also go in for an hour and rehearse our group numbers, but we haven't gotten to see the work that our fellow actors have been doing. So, on Saturday when we did a stumble through I was blown away with by my friends. Usually, we get to watch and see the process, but not this time. I learn so much watching someone else's process, but getting to see my friends do their thing is so inspiring. It goes by so fast, and it's awesome.

The public performances are:
Saturday, September 8th 7pm
Sunday, September 9th 3pm and 7pm
Tuesday, September 11th 7pm

$10 in advance and $15 at the door
all funds benefit the practicum fundraising goals.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New York Walking Tours

I have such incredible friends that continually blow me away because they are talented in so many ways. This past Saturday I had the chance to go on an awesome walking tour created by my friend Tim Dolan.

The company is called Broadway Up Close, and seriously, it's such a great time.  I learned so many new things about the industry, specific theaters and their haunts, great anecdotes that aren't public knowledge and so much Broadway history.  Theresa is also a tour guide with the company and I can't wait to go again and hear her tour. 

Everyone that comes to town to visit me is going on this tour because it's the jam. Seriously, if you're in town, you should check it out. It's so informative and you'll have a really good time because the guides are so fun. 

GO! You won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Living the Dream

I've talked about my first few days in New York City many times before and one of them was spent sitting in the Laurie Beechman Theater feeling incredibly overwhelmed learning about the theater industry here on the east coast. Yesterday felt different. I walked into that theater with confidence and familiarity.  I thought - oh, I've seen some great work done here and yesterday was no exception.

I was lucky enough to see Fiction In Photographs - The Musical, and it was such a special experience and show. Just a little background: during the two years at CAP21, one of the projects the students must complete is a "Pop/Rock" concert/night. In the past, it had been set up like a cabaret/ pop concert type of show with maybe a thin through line. When our class got to the pop/rock project, our inspiring director - Randy Redd, had the idea to put a show together based on the music of the extremely talented Dan Mills. If you haven't had the chance to listen to his music - go. do. it. now. 

Anyway, in February 2012 the students in my class at CAP21 put on the show using the original music by Dan Mills and it was a complete success. Then Randy Redd and Dan Mills revised that show and created Fiction In Photographs - The Musical, which I got to see yesterday at the Laurie Beechman Theater. While it may seem that my love for this show is only based on my involvement in the very beginning stages of the project, that was six months ago and the show is very different now. I just had the luxury of knowing the music when I saw the show, just like any other fan of Dan Mills would.

I don't want to give the plot away, but I will tell you that I laughed and cried throughout. I saw a concert version and it was very enjoyable. I can't wait to see the full production version coming later this fall. It was clear that the cast really loved the material, and they sounded fantastic. The music allows the audience to go on a journey with the characters and they are people we care about - we want to know what happens to them. Cast included: David Mizzoni, Lauren Pritchard, Cole Burden, Alysha Deslorieux, and Adam Day. Take a moment listen to the music and then "Like" it

Everyone involved in this project should be very proud because it was an amazing show. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Life After Insanity

I finished the work out program that I described in this post, and I don't know what to do with myself! Ha! I didn't start to really shift my eating patterns until the last week of month two and that is when I really started to notice a difference in the shape of my body. So, I feel slightly disappointed in myself like I did myself a disservice not starting the diet and the workout at the same time. However, I was trying to not completely throw my body into whack and start off slowly. It's very difficult to go from zero working out and zero attention to food and into intense working out and complete shift in diet. I didn't want my body to go into shock especially because I had practicum to maintain.

We still have four weeks and three days before we start showcasing. So, I still have some time to get rid of the vanity pounds that I have been talking about. I think for now we're going to do the recovery week again, and then start over. Some of the workouts were just too hard. Maybe this time around I will be able to do more of the moves. I could do the recovery week and then start a different plan. Maybe a different DVD or start going to the gym's classes. I'm not sure yet. I can't decide. I need to do the recovery week first because I need to give my body a little bit of a break. I've been giving it a a pretty intense workout for the last four consecutive weeks.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Last Day of CAP21 Classes

It's such a weird time/sensation. At the end of last semester after we finished Children of Eden we did a graduation because technically the two-year conservatory program technically finished. However, it never felt like the end of school because I knew that I had practicum in the summer and then showcase. I thought that the class portion of the practicum was going to be similar to the classes taken in the conservatory that it wouldn't feel like I had graduated. In someways it didn't feel like I had graduated, but in a lot of ways it did.

The classes in practicum were very different than the classes we took in the conservatory program. They were geared to working on the audition songs for the casting directors and agents and then working on the callback material that was given to us. The mock auditions didn't feel like class - they felt like they were real. While the room is always set up to be a safe learning environment, I still know that the person I'm singing for right now casts eleven Broadway shows.

Anyway, today was the last day of the home classes in the practicum and we have one more mock audition for an agent. Then we go into rehearsals for showcase. I got to class feeling like I had breezed over graduation so much so that nothing was going to feel like a real ending. I suppose when a lot of my friends and family come out to see the showcase, THAT will feel like a real ending, but our vocal performance teacher gave us a few parting/inspiring words to help remind me that this is the end of an era.

Surround ourselves with the people that will go to auditions even when we don't want to. Find away to push through the sludge and go. There are definitely days that I'm not going to want to go to auditions, but I have to muster my energy and do what I love to do.