If you read this site with any regularity then you know why I haven’t been updating much. And I think this will be the final word on the musical revue I have spent the last month rehearsing and performing and which was my introductory experience into the theater.
Warning. This will quite possibly be insanely long and boring.
I was bitten by the hey-you-lazy-slob-sitting-on-the-couch-why-don’t-you-get-up-and-go-do-something-fun bug some number of months ago. In my case it was the acting/performing species of bug. I called my doctor about the bite and he said there was no medication I could take; I could only heed the bug’s bite and do what it wanted. What a quack, he doesn’t know anything is what I thought.
I attempted to find my own cure and I tried everything but nothing really scratched the itch just right. I started this blog and that helped but it didn’t cure me. I went knocking screen door to screen door in my trailer park reading Shakespeare to whom ever would open their door to me, but all that got me was a ferret bite, two empty Jack bottles thrown at my head and me being blinded by seeing too many femullets with nothing on but a bra-less wife beater. *whimper*
I apologize for that last link.
Eventually I called up my friend B. to ask what was going on at the local community theater. I found out they were having auditions for a summer musical revue in like 4 days. Well that leaves me lots of time to find a song and prepare I thought (sarcastically). Especially since I’ve never sung a solo in front of people before and never had a singing audition before or been on stage for that matter. But I was determined to give it a go and find out if I could do it or not. I covered the audition here and here.
The last weekend of June we had a “bootcamp.” We ran through as many of the songs as we could to get a feel for what worked, what might work given more effort and time and what absolutely didn’t work at all. Rehearsals started in earnest on July 5th (I thinks). In general we met Sunday through Thursday evenings with a set construction work day on Saturday. That’s a lot of rehearsal time you might think but keep in mind our first performance would be July 28th. And there were piles of music to learn.
Well, anyway, I showed up to rehearsals like a good little soldier and sat quietly in my seat and sang my little heart out. I get the impression now that everyone was afraid I was really shy and was worried how I might do on stage since I never opened my mouth during rehearsals except to sing.
I’ll admit it takes me a little while to open up to new people. Some people just don’t get me and my brand of humor and personality so I’m usually a little shy and quiet at first. Actually I probably opened up a lot sooner to the theater people because of this blog. Somehow someone found out about it. I think I had it in my email signature for a very short period of time, like half a day. And I corresponded with someone in the theater via email. And let’s just say it made the rounds. And I was found out. Oh, apparently the new guy does have one of those personality things. After the Amazing and Totally Awesome Sound EFX post, there was really little point in me holding back any longer.
This also happened to correspond to the time we started actually getting on stage and working out the blocking. It suddenly became a whole lot more fun for me. See, sitting in a chair for hours on end working on music didn’t prepare me for the experience on being on the stage. I’ve sat in a chair for hours on end working on music before, that’s nothing new. But being on stage, oh baby, that was new.
Now I’ve performed in some way or another my whole life . Church choir, school concert and marching band and other singing groups, but this was completely different. I wasn’t another faceless kid with a horn to my face or stuck out of the way in an orchestra pit or part of the backup singers for the music leader. I was on a stage with really bright lights and I was in your face to either suck or stand out.
And I don’t like to suck.
Soon I started hearing things like “applause whore” associated with my name. Well I was offended. I was just trying to do a good job and show that I’m having a good time. Then I found out that being called an applause whore isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Well maybe we should come up with a new name. I nearly cried myself to sleep that night. Not really, but it was a bit alarming at first. I think it’s a compliment of some sort.
Meanwhile, I’m starting to get to know the people that I’m performing with and find that they really are a friendly, cool buncha folks to be around; they were just waiting on me to open up so that they didn’t seem pushy. They are all friendly, helpful, complimentary, encouraging, patient, cool, beautiful people that I am a better person for knowing. If you are an SCT person reading this, then I mean YOU. I am talking about you. Are all theater people this cool or did I just luck out on my first go at it?
My biggest regret in all of this is that I DIDN’T JOIN SCT SOONER. I’ve spent years sitting on the couch when I could have been helping to create a new and exciting show and hanging out with terribly cool friends. These people are everyone. Doctors, financial professionals, technology geeks, educators, home makers, media professionals, etc etc etc. Yet they all have a love of coming together to create something greater than themselves and they do it beautifully. I have been honored and privileged to be a part of it. And dang it, I want to do it again.
Like I said, I’ve never been on stage before but I found out something through this experience. I am completely comfortable there. I don’t get really nervous. Sometimes, I might be over-the-top but it’s because I want to do things that I think are funny or awesome and I hope the audience would think so too. Is doing a James Brown kick-slide-split over-the-top for a curtain call? Probably so, but dang it I would think it was cool if I saw somebody do it. I didn’t plan on it, if anything I was going to do it during Footloose but I chickened out. The spirit just moved me and it had to be done right then.
Ok, this could go on forever so I really should wrap it up. Just a couple more things before the summary.
You know, it’s not that hard to learn some music and where to stand when, but putting all the small details together to make an impressive show is something that I can’t fathom doing. And Pattye Archer, the Director, pulled it off with aplomb. How does she do it? I don’t know. She has help, but wowzer did she put on a great show. Thanks Pattye, the show was great and so are you!
To all the SCT cast and crew: Thank You. From the booth peeps (Ty, Chad, Dave, Michael) always hitting their lighting and sound cues, to the stage managers (Ellen and Alison) having us all straight back stage so we knew what the heck was going on, to the musicians (Becky, James, Boogie Daddy) for learning a jaw-dropping amount of music and making us sound good, to the box office and reception volunteers for all the work and cooking they did, to Jansen for everyone’s fab hair (especially mine) and to the cast:
M.J. – You are terribly cool and talented. Teach me everything you know!
Cherri – I love your voice, it’s so classic.
Maddy – I’ve so much enjoyed being your stalkee, I can’t wait to see you in the next show. Maybe you’ll be the stalkee this time!
Tess – You are very funny and interesting. Thanks for being my Cleopatra.
Brian – We’ve known each other a long time and have done a lot of things together, I’m glad to add this chapter to our friendship.
Casey – Fellow newbie and applause whore! You are so fun and talented, I hope to see you in future shows.
Thomas – My sister. Your skills range all over the theater, I have a lot to learn from you.
Michael – A man of serious talent. It was a blast, thanks for the tips and I’ll share my Gold Bond with you anytime.
Bonnie – I’m still amazed at how fast you can get all the way around the building and back on stage. You were great!
Cindy – You have a lovely voice. I had fun singin’ in the rain with you.
Paul – You played so many great roles in the show. It was fun watching you. It’s obvious you have many friends who love you at the theater and I can see why.
Lyle – Outstanding voice and character abilities. Terribly friendly and supportive. I hope to learn a lot at your side on stage in the future.
Kyle – My secret pal. You were fabulous and I hope to see you on the stage again.
Marianne – Beautiful, talented, a little crazy (in a totally good way). And so much more.
Andrew – Very entertaining on the stage and backstage. You never knew what he might do. And I’ll try not to kill you with the back door anymore.
Molly – My Elvis dancing partner. The Pretzel just can’t be beat. Thanks for including me and being so friendly.
Krista – The trophy girl. And I totally made out with her. Well not really but it was close. You were so enjoyable to watch on You Lost That Loving Feeling. Your expressions were priceless.
Marcus – The trophy girl’s man. I did not make out with him, at least not that I can remember. Dude you have serious acting skills. Your impressions and accents are sweet.
And last but not least:
My wife – Thanks for being patient with me as I was out playing with the other kids. I had a lot of fun but I came home late many nights. Next year you’ll have to join me! I love you!
Whew, if you made it this far, I’m sorry but don’t you have better things to do?
Executive Summary: I was bitten by a bug that required me to sing and dance in front of really bright lights. In doing so, I met scores of very cool and talented people that I hope to stand in front of really bright lights with again. I wish I would’ve done it sooner and if you didn’t come to the show you have no idea what you missed, which is good because if you knew what you missed you would cry for 40 days and 40 nights.
I will post some pictures when they are available to me.