Tag Archives: prep

Another Tech Week

6 Jan

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I dunno how many blogs have been dedicated to this subject versus all the rest, but I’m fairly certain that based on the stress blowout needs that they bring: it’s gotta be a lot.

…Someday, I’ll attack one of these without topping onna 40 hour office work week as well, and am sure it will be like adding a great big dollop of cream cheese to a dry bagel.

…How much easier must it be to get it down without such harsh requirements from all corners and directions. What if you actually did these things on a full night’s sleep? With time for proper meals? No need for five cups of black coffee before noon? Or after 4 p.m?

…Being awake at two a.m. fixating on lines you fucked up in the run, wouldn’t cost so much the next morning. You wouldn’t have to be fighting so hard not to get the office cold everyone has…because there would be no “office”…

…And your “mind”…

…Your mind would be totally focused on only one major thing: to open this show and not fuck it up.

…Your whole entire day would be spent just in the service of this. To sleep until you wake up. To take a walk or workout or detox in your own favorite manner. To eat meals like a human being: at a table. With silverware. With nothing coming from a greasy bag or box. Time to run your lines and do more book work, time to blow out the stiffness that can happen after a long rehearsal process when the words start to become too taken for granted or automated. You could spend three hours just rehearsing that one scene with mock props, to get it as clean and seamless as it was back when you were just miming.

…How awesome to not have to wear out your voice all day long on phones and over report explanations, but be able to vocal rest, and warm up slowly and specifically, to exactly the parameters which service that particular role the best?

…In every way, on every day, it would be infinitely easier to do the Actors job, if it was the only one we needed to do. If every discipline of it could earn a living wage so that non-Hollywood-elite could have personal trainers to keep us fit, get us prepared for physical makeovers, smack fast food out of our hands and replace them with green high energy things. How much easier to have the beauticians do all the coloring and styling and preshow makeup. To just show up and do our job, and that would be enough.

…Sadly, of course, this isn’t the way. We do all that shit (and more) on our own, plus hold down whatever job we can manage to pay our bills.

…Which is what we all expected when we started this gig. But it doesn’t make the job any easier, knowing that.

…And it doesn’t make this Tech Week any less of a general living hell, than the last one was. It’s just a long-ass labor, you know is coming from the beginning. It’s mostly always worth it. This one will be. You just gotta think of that beautiful baby being born on Friday, suck it up, and take the sleeplessness, exhaustion, anxiety, and (often) literal pain, like a Boss.

Own it. As best you can.

Almost there…

…Almost…

…Almost…

…And stop fucking up that line…

~D

If It Doesn’t Scare The Crap Outta You…

3 Jun

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I don’t like new things. 

You know this about me. 

…However, my post-BD, Super-Awesome-Life-Reboot requires new goals and new challenges in order to move forward and thrive, so I am actually surrounded by “new,” researching “new,” and actively hoping to bust my ass so hard, that my entire life will change within like one year.

…None of that is normal for me.

…In fact, frankly, it is downright terrifying. 

…If all goes well, the best-case scenario has me leaving my job, my apartment, my friends, my family…in fact the entire state, and relocating to a place where I know no one at all, but with freedom to apply 1000% of my being to art.

…And the worst case scenario is: I do all the same amount of work-prep, don’t get the gig, but still continue to slam my head against the “opportunity” wall, until I do.

…Which could be… I dunno…years?

I’m in a section of my life where basically, I’m just gonna be scared shitless no matter what I do, because it all comes with gigantic odds and gigantic repercussions.  And if I DON’T take the chances …right now…well, that comes with gigantic repercussions too.

…Mostly involving life-long depression, blatant alcoholism, and prob’ly a weight gain of like 500 lbs.  I’m sorta not too stoked about that life-version…which means I gotta do the other thing, and I gotta do it now, and I’m basically twitching with “oh-shit-ness” at the thought of whatever outcome pops up, either way.

Do you know what I mean?

Presently, we are in “prep,” the early Phase 1 of the plan…which is the only thing I excel in. Research. I am BANGIN’ at research.  Currently reading the world-over of scripted works…anything people will throw at me, pulling massive chunks of monologues, compiling, categorizing, and editing like a machine.  Phase 2 begins next week with piece-prep for Phase 3, which are initial Season Generals for Theatre #1.  Which is only really a grand-gesture-prep for Season Generals at Theatre #2: my actual ending goal, several months from now.

…All of which could be side-swiped at any time based on slot availability, willingness to see me based on resume and head shot alone, and…well…being up against a whole HELL of a lot of people for not a whole hell of a lot of casting slots.

…And in my head, I am all the while trying to balance the cheerleader, the reasoning practical entity, and the fall-out voice in my head…so as to be prepared for whatever occurs at whatever time…which for me, feels like saying goodbye forever to loved ones, before undergoing the knife in a basic surgery…just in case I die.

…Because that is how my brain works, friends.  It’s always all or nothing.  Which makes this new current Reboot downright fucking terrifying.

…Meanwhile, (in the real world)…today is  just a Wednesday in June.

It’s a lot of work, being me.

~D

Netflix Whore

4 Nov

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Books.

Back to paper and words again. I’m getting office fever as every day our sells drop and the hours slow to the point of almost going backwards.  So am back to treadmill-stepping in between phone calls, and feeding my brains with other people’s lives and words.

…Just finished this for instance:

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…Purchased as part of my usual actor-stalkiness.  Because, yes, it is in fact THAT Lauren Graham who wrote it.  Cuz guess what?  She’s an author too. And she ain’t bad.

…If you’re an actor, you’ll totally get it in a “call-out-during-baptist-sunday-service-amen” kinda way.  If you are not an actor, but like Lauren Graham…you can totally hear her quirky line delivery with every sentence. If you are a little (or lot) frustrated with how your life-plans are behind where they are supposed to be, you can treat it like a drinking game every time she nails what you feel like right now…(then drunkenly commiserate that at least you aren’t totally alone in feeling like this.) 

…And if you aren’t any of those things…sorta screw you a little bit.  You’re a giant big fat Gilmore-hating, money-making success.

Congratulations, asshole.

…Now I’m on this one:

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“…That’s one hell of a segue,” you may be thinking right now.  And it is, but then, I realized like yesterday how two giant show auditions are just around the corner.  I was caught off guard, understandably, on account that both are like 4 and 6 months away from opening…but the powers that be, wisely looked at three major holidays ‘tween now and then and thought (I imagine, anyway), “Well, damn…plop all that together and it’s like a month of conflicts, we best get on this shit!”

…I specifically like the powers-that-be for “Miracle Worker” thinking that…just because shocking contrast makes me smile. (As if you haven’t guessed.) Almost as much as incomplete sentences, ellipses, and sinking smarmy parentheticals into everything.  I’m like a grammatical hooligan all up in here.  Not as blatant about it as the Twitter/texting aficionados, but then they are just secret freaks with their special number-acronym-mystery-language.  My stuff mostly makes sense at least. And rarely contains hashtags…which, BTW* are called POUNDS.

…Try telling that to a 20-year old sometime.

Go ahead. Try.

…Anyway…the book.  It’s about study time.  It’s time to hit the books again for this and other shows that will be popping up.  To get my jones on.  I feel it, already.  Plus, it’s got a two-for-one bonus of keeping my brain occupied until the next OITNB* season starts.  

(* yes, I note the irony. It’s part of the joke.  “Oh, there was a joke,” you ask?  Yes.  But it’s not funny now that I have to explain it. So thanks for that.)

So maybe I’m a little grumpy right now.  But only a little. It’s the “I’m busy reading don’t bug me” grumpy…not the real mean kind.  It is partly mixed with depression though…the depression of exhausting all my streaming joy sectors on Netflix. I’ve Gilmore-Girled, Parenthooded and Orange-Blacked myself through a wildfire of epic consumption.  All seasons…ALL…since just October 1st.

…I realize there is a wealth of “more” out there still to be had, but frankly, I don’t think I can get this close to another cast of characters again in such quick succession.  I sorta feel like a giant  streaming whore right now…just voracious appetite and flying through them faster than a bag of Costco Halloween candy on the day-after sale.  It’s a lot to hold onto. Like, in my head and heart.  I get too close to fake people.  And obsessive.

…Just ask my google history.

…Anyway…there is where we are. 

I’m on books now.

It somehow feels more personally productive. 

…Though as Lauren states in her book, it’s not like binging on quality TV isn’t an educational and worthwhile tool.  For instance, what if Netflix calls me up from that audition I never took and says, “Hey, we really need you to be in season 3 as Vee’s secret drug-mule daughter she left in Mexico that one time, but gets caught crossing the border, is put in the clink, and decides Red is gonna be her oedipal mom substitute. Do you need a character/family chart for that?”

…Now, (thanks to my diligent hours and hours of study), I can be like: “Dudes, I’m already on it.”

…And I’ll totally own that part.

…And win the Emmy.

The end.

~D

 
 

Manic, Twisted, & Sexy

28 May

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Today, I have three less personalities to concentrate on, still leaving me with a sizable deck yet to be sorted.

…A great new program at the UWT has been attempting to launch a theatre works interest, not only to the student body but local community as well.  Some of it’s leading professors have brought in a handful of actors to work both with the student playwrights and faculty, to do read performances with talk-backs to get the ball rolling, and I’ve been supremely lucky to be amongst those handful. 

I LOVE contributing in my own backyard…my own city…blocks away from my little home.  I love that they are eager to bring more arts to the area, use it’s local artists as resources, engage audiences made of faculty and students and community, in talk-backs about social issues, politics, art, and literature.  I love being part of a grass-roots movement, and that as more and more educational systems are phasing OUT the arts in their schools, we have a very esteemed University staff stating, “No!  In fact, we don’t have ENOUGH!” 

…How awesome is THAT?!

(I know, right?)

…Which is WHY I now have three less contributors to my psyche, in as much as last night we finished another such read, with a wonderfully alert house-full, engaged in the process, the structure, and the event as a whole. A fine study on mental illness and addiction and the affects they leave in their wake. I had a hell of a lot of fun as the bipolar, self-drug-prescribing, alcoholic root of it all, playing with tight text, exercising a little of my own demons, and having an exhausting wale of a time. These are the kind of work outs, (when married with a dream cast of close buds), when you really getta blow it all out there with full conviction, knowing full-well you are supporting, and are supported by, the best.

It only gets better than this, when it’s up on it’s feet and in full performance…

…Which, speaking of, leads us to the next part of the personality deck: A twisted little tale of sisterly sexual obsession and dark deeds.

“The Maids,” a translation from the Genet original, is next up on the calendar…with hopes to butt it snugly up against a mainstay of my bucket list, which will be auditioning next week.

…So, currently, I’ve a Scouser hairdresser a-la Pygmalion (“Educating Rita”) sharing space with a twisted turn-of-the-century homicidal Frenchy who likes to play-act as others. It’s an interesting combo up in my head these days, to say the least…which I obviously love, as only an actor would voluntarily piggy-back that range and number of personalities together at one time. Dropping the manic-bipolar-drugged-up-drunk off my back, makes the rest left over seem almost feasible at this point.

…So now I’ve only to concentrate on the massive “Maids” line load, break down my script as to whom I am “playing” when, and prep a monologue. Pffft!! Piece of fucking cake!

…Except, minus the cake.

…Cuz I’ve seen what we are wearing in this little French horror story, and the deconstructed waste of seedy, stringy undergarments we will be sporting, while slithering all over one another, requires yet another diet regime to flog and whip my body into a submissive state that I feel comfortable slobbering all over a stage in my “altogethers.” Well, as comfortable as one can be, anyway.

…I wonder if going vegetarian is the key? I wonder if I could even fathom a world without meat for any real length of time?

…I wonder if The WHS Pimp would survive the wasteland of this office with an hormonal and pregnant receptionist, and a meat-addicted me on the wagon?

…Fuck that…would the WORLD survive it??

…This is prob’ly TBA.

…But definitely not till after I finish this donut…

~D

Liberal Seasoning

23 Jul

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Walk n’ monologue work with Cecily tonight. 

…She: prepping for next audition, brought the script to review, plucking out the key focus monologue…both of us character Q & A-ing before beginning the attack.

I love monologues.

…I love that inner sanctum of information they dispel, the challenge of beats and variety of layers that can be added…like seasoning a good piece of meat. To break down the thought process, negotiate the change of emotions, the gestures indicating words you have to look to find, the maybe stammer or lingering on a juicy adjective…the seduction and savoring…the confusion and frustration…the arriving at metaphors as if such a suggestion has just this moment occurred to you, opening an entirely new perspective…in this instant: now. Immediate. With no filters. 

A good monologue is a showpiece of thought process, motivation,  desire, fear, eagerness, earnestness, hope, despair, and every other form of emotion coinciding with humanity.  When breaths are taken, pauses are earned, and words are searched for: there the homework begins.

…To deliver a “speech” as NOT a rehearsed word-for-word recitation, but as a word-to-word invented inspiration, takes time…takes hours scouring the script for alternate clues…takes breaking down the text into main ideas and beats…word stresses, setting of seamless shifts in emotion and intent, playing with the energy and tempo, manipulating the affections and emotions…

A good monologue is a story unto itself…an intimately shared experience of what it is to be in the mind and/or circumstance of a character. 

A good monologue is a living, breathing entity, ripe for the picking, ready to explore, and infuse with interpretation. 

…It’s the first step on the road to our final destination as an audition piece…our calling card we leave at the door and in the mind, slating who we are as performers and artists. 

…It’s the well-rehearsed solo in the orchestral piece of a show’s actual culminated performance.

…And with all that, it has the power-potential to make or break you…in two minutes or less.

Whoever says theatre isn’t a brutal sport, has clearly never played. It’s like our own little Hunger Games, out here…amidst a giant casting cornucopia.

…May the odds be ever in your favor.

~D

 

For The Go

19 Apr

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A short one

…A small peek.

…Before the Attic comes prep.

One of the best parts of theatre: Arriving at call time, with a whole show of possiblities ahead of you 🙂

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~D

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