Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Alive!!



I really am sorry for not being able to blog more. But it's impossible, because 1) we were internet-less for about a week or so and 2) when I'm not in rehearsal or doing a show, I'm sleeping or eating and there hasn't been time for much else.

The day we opened Honky Tonk was the day we started Wizard of Oz rehearsals. Crazy. There have been moments in rehearsal when I think I might just drop down on the floor, criss-cross style, and cry. Mostly because of exhaustion but also because of the demands of the roles I'm playing. But the moments pass quickly. All in all, when I'm rehearsing or doing a show, I'm totally engaged and loving every minute.

Playing the role of Dorothy is more demanding than I thought it would be. To be able to sustain a sense of honest-to-God wonderment and child-like awe throughout an entire show takes work! Lots of work! Lots of work to listen as an actor like you're learning so many things for the first time. An actor should be present in the scene work, listening and hearing things llike they're hearing them for the first time, though they've actually heard them night after night. I knew this. But to play a child who is not only listening, but continuously learning... That's really really hard. I had no idea. Everything about Oz is new, never seen before by Dorothy. Witches, munchkins, wizards, the Emerald City, the jitterbug, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion.... To honestly receive all of that is exhausting! And of course, then I'm excited cuz I'm going home, then I'm crying cuz I'm not, then excited cuz I am, then crying cuz I'm not, and so on and so forth. Whew! What a ride. But it is such a beautiful show. The story in it is so beautiful, and the lesson I learn from my journey is such an important reminder of where happiness lies.

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there....I never really lost it to begin with."

And I get to carry around the cutest little Toto you've every seen in your whole life. A real live dog. She's actually played the role before! But we're having trouble getting her to actually DO stuff on stage. She's supposed to run away from the witch, but when she "escapes," a.k.a. the Witch's monkey puts her down on the ground so she can run off stage, little Zoe (her real name) just stands there. And when I put her down so she can go find the man behind the curtain, she just stands there. She doesn't find anybody at all. Just stands. We'll have to remedy this situation somehow. I think the solution involves Vienna sausages.

Anyway, I am so grateful for this opportunity. This has been a pretty hard gig in a lot of ways, maybe I can expound on them later, but nevertheless I love what I'm doing.

I'll try to keep updating! Hope you're all well!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We made it!

I wish I could be more present these days. We're in 12 hour day rehearsals. Trying to get a show up in 11 days, well...5 more days now. I'm exhausted. But having a blast. Just tired.

The first show to open will be Honky Tonk Angels. I'm diggin' this old country music. I'm actually falling in love with Dolly Parton. Have you heard "Front Porch Swing"? Such a beautiful song. And 9 to 5 is crazy fun. And Paradise Road, great stuff. Dolly just has this facility of voice that's unreal. Such vocal flexibility, while keeping it so pure and beautiful and natural. Love her. I'm also loving Bobbie Gentry and Loretta Lynn.

Other songs...we do a clogging bit in Rocky Top. That's fun. And what else is there...ummm...Cleopatra...Boots are Made for Walkin...The Pill...Stand By Your Man...Honky Tonk Angels (course)...Calling All Angels...Good Girls Gonna Go Bad....Night Life...Harper Valley PTA....Coal Miner's Daughter....Ode to Billy Joe...and my personal favorite.....FANCY!!!

The cast and crew are really great here. So far, no divas. Just sweet people. And that's saying something because this first show is all girls. Except Seth and the band. Three female characters in the show, that's it. And then we have our understudies. And both the director and music director are women. Now that could get crazy, y'all. But so far so good. Seth has to be at all the rehearsals as the asst. musical director, and he plays keys for this show, so he's witnessed an (un)fair share of estrogen-slash-stress induced breakdowns this week. I'm sure there'll be more to come. I'm so glad he's here.

I've never crammed so much information into my brain at one time. I'm loving it.

Kentucky is...Kentucky. It's beautiful here, but it's a culture shock. A little depressing at first, but I think once the rehearsal schedule slows down in July and we have more time during the day, I'll get to enjoy the state park more. Hiking...the lake...sleeping in.....

Hope to post more in the coming days.

And I hope you are all well and enjoying the beginning of summer!

I'll leave you with this, because it's Dolly and I'm just now understanding why everyone loves her so much.