Honest Review

A critical one, I’m afraid, but the writer walked away from the night enjoying himself, nonetheless, and praising the gusto and heart of our little community production. I chuckled at what could be a stretch to find something nice to say about us, but it really did warm my heart: “The company’s exuberance and commitment filled the space with energy,” he wrote, and he’s right. “I couldn’t find anyone doing it halfway.” In other words, Wellll, they tried really hard, and good on ’em. (Thank you.)

I appreciated the author, too, because he was very thorough and thoughtful, and because his findings are precisely how I feel about our show’s weaknesses. For whatever reason, they chose to do these cheesy-ass projections behind us on set. I finally watched them Saturday before the show, and they’re worse than I could have imagined. Awful! So distracting, awkward, and embarrassing.

(Oh, and the face I complained about weeks ago is up there larger than life. Not even one smiling shot of Adelaide to introduce her. Just that bitter, angry mug of aged disappointment, haha! That was so dumb on the part of production. “Angrier!” the photographer commanded, with no sense of character and variety. Production told him “Angry,” so he got one look locked in his brain. He wouldn’t even take the shot unless I exemplified something akin to rage. So ugly and out of character. Duh.)

I’ve also been sincerely annoyed by our choreographer, bless him. While I do appreciate his demand that we Level Up, he has to choreograph to the group’s ability as a whole. It’s so disjointed and glaring. Some are dancers, and some are not. You blend. That’s your job. But his ego required this frenetic, intricate stuff that some simply can’t do, and it looks out of balance and amateur. I can, but barely. (I’m OoooooLD, and man! My feet are starting to scream.)

(I get to wear my beloved patent-leather red stilettos for 5 minutes in the closing scene. I will pay for this.)

Finally, the performances. He liked us, though we don’t “overflow with triple threats.” (Ouch!) He said that my choices “told a million tales in subtext,” which I appreciated so much! I always wanted to play Adelaide’s sincerity. She’s a caricature; that’s why she’s great. But she’s a real girl with a broken heart and massive, hilarious anxiety. I love her.

I love our amateur production. I love my castmates. I’m glad I have time left to appreciate and enjoy our show and my new friends. Hell Week is hell. I try always to keep that in perspective, but ours, as I mentioned, was the worst I’ve ever experienced. I was pissed.

I was also moving, having a nervous breakdown, and being terrorized in a tag-team assault by my ex-boyfriend and his new bride (whom he dated for 5 weeks). I was stuck in the home with them, when they didn’t need to move in before my apartment became available 3 weeks later (and hadn’t planned to before they decided to torture me in their first act as family). The man with whom I was trying to have a baby just months before, who had chosen my move-out date himself, was now mercilessly harassing, abusing, and mocking me, and I couldn’t get free.

Oh, and motherhood passed me by. The plot is known at last, at 44. I’m no one’s mom. Ever.

I forgive myself for losing perspective.

It’s back now. I’m looking forward with some hope and joy.

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One Big Union

one big union.jpg

So excited to see this show today! Joe Hill was a labor activist and musician who was executed 100 years ago for a murder he may or may not have committed. This Plan-B Theatre original play contains Hill’s own songs, recently released to the public domain, and also highlights his work with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who visited him in jail here in Salt Lake, and went on to co-found the ACLU.

rebel-girl

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was the inspiration for this 1915 battle hymn.

Plan-B is the only theater in the United States that produces entire seasons of original works by local playwrights, with emphasis on socially conscious themes and issues. It’s owned by one of my dearest friends and his husband. http://planbtheatre.org/

It’s a relevant stage experience, following a week that has seen boys at a local football game chanting, “Grab her by the p*ssy!” and a white van trolling Rose Park, a Salt Lake City neighborhood rich with immigrants, screaming, “Trump is President! Build the wall!”

Don’t mourn… ORGANIZE!
joe-hill

*****

It was amazing! Very emotional at times, as they were describing precisely what we’ve been living with this week and for the last 18 months.

I have to go to more shows at Plan-B! I’m so cheap. I always say, “Next time,” and next time never comes. If nothing else, I should be supporting my friends. The real reason, of course, is that theater transforms us! It makes us think, laugh. It gives us a break from everyday and all that that entails, but it can also light the fire of our own creativity. Above all, theater connects us. This was wonderful.organize

Ugh!

Rats! Curses!

It’s hard to feel like “Success is showing up” when you show up with quivering voice, forgetting your breath, ruining your phrasology and musicality. It was… not good.

First, the age-old problem of hands. What the hell do I do with my hands? Amateur! You never clasp your hands. If you can’t engage in a natural way, they hang at your side!

Next, eye contact… I could NOT look at them. So I tried the over-their-heads trick, but then I thought, “No, you’ve already broken the fourth wall. Too late to sing to an invisible audience now. PERFORM! Look at them and sell it!”

So there’s ME have this internal dialogue – not a character, not a professional – lacking any joie de vivre! I was completely removed, talking to myself, not to them.

You know what’s worse than singing a big song? Disappearing inside of it. “You Can Always Count On Me” is such an easy piece to love, but I was a frightened little girl, certainly no woman known by “lots of smirking motel clerks who call me Mrs. Smith.”

They did let me finish. It was hell, but the girl before me was cut off. I think they could see that I can sing; I was nervous. They gave me ample time and opportunity to relax into my performance. I didn’t! In the second verse, I made exactly the same mistakes with my breath as I did in the first. Only this time, rather than cheat the breath in, I just ran out and faltered weakly at the end of the phrase!

I’m disappointed. But resolved, I suppose. Voice lessons it is. I didn’t practice sufficiently. That’s all there is to it.

They liked my joke. 🙂

First Audition of the Year

I scheduled my audition today for Voyeur. It’s on Wednesday at 2:35 p.m. Ack! I had an upbeat song in the arsenal but they want a comedic, upbeat song. I have something else in mind, just need to find it at the library and refamiliarize myself with the lyrics.

Here’s my headshot. It’s fine, inasmuch as I look fine. I just lacks an “It” that says, “I belong on the stage, YOUR stage!” I don’t know. I’m sure I’m psyching myself out.
headshot 2012Oh, and there’s the small problem of the audition notice, which calls for men and women ages 20 – 30. Uhhhhh, yeah. I’m… outside the box, ‘s all.

(Jan. 19) My actress friend (Glee, Parks & Rec) said it will do for my audition Wednesday, but to try in future for something with more “zhuzjh.” I guess I’ll have to pay someone I don’t know. It’s hard to pose for anyone familiar. This one, by my bestie, is by far the best I’ve taken, but a stranger provides more freedom to vamp it up, ham it up, sex it up, glam it up until there are enough to choose from that don’t look like, “Okay, let’s be done and order pizza.” My professional friend told me to crop it, so here it is very, VERY close. Egad!

I see into your  soul and pores!

I see into your soul and pores!

What do you think? I’m nervous!

Oh my gosh… Rudy! Oh Christie, honestly. You had time enough to get this done. How is he not occurring to you until days before it’s due? I adore Rudy and we visit at fair length on the urban scene… where he’s my photographer! I think I would feel comfortable enough in that awkward sitting-by-your-cheesy-self setting that I could relax and settle into an hour or so of portraiture with him. And the friend-price is sure to match my budget. Phew!

Ugh… Now I’m being told the trend is color vs. black & white. Guess I’ve been out of the biz for near 2 decades. 🙂 Ah well, it is what it is for now. I don’t expect much anyway. I’m just glad for audition practice. My goal is a call back. Success is showing up.