ceebeegee: (Snow on the river)
It'th thnowing!!!

Thanksgiving was lovely--stayed with my youngest brother Stuart who's living on Capitol Hill right now with his wife and two adorbs kids.  I took the bus Wednesday evening to Philly and stayed with my middle brother, Erik and he, his family and I left for DC early Thursday morning.  At some point while the bird was cooking I went for a walk around Stuart's neighborhood with my nephew William--I used to know that section a bit, as my voice teacher's studio was near there.  I LOVE DC's street layout--for all of DC's faults (and they are legion), it is truly a beautiful city in which to stroll.  Wide avenues, lots of right angles, low-slung buildings, plenty of sun.  William and I were walking along East Capital toward the Capitol and we passed a white, official-looking building on the left--I asked him what it is.  He thought it was the Library of Congress but then my eyes gleamed as I saw it was actually the Folger.  My temple, o my soul!  How many shows have I seen there???  I literally grew up seeing plays there, love that place!!  William and I walked around the grounds of the Capitol for a bit--he liked tracking our progress on the Google maps app on my phone--and then we took another way home, that took us in front of the Folger.  All along 2nd Street they had these placards attached to the lamposts, with quotations from various plays, so I started asking William to read them for me and then I would explain them.  We worked through "Parting is such sweet sorrow" (I talked about the term bittersweet) and "Nothing will come of nothing" (I decided to skip the introduction to nihilism until he gets a little older ;)  Then we came across a statue:




He read the text at the base (on the front) and I asked him if he knew what a mortal was--he didn't, so I defined it for him, and then tried to explain the character of Puck, quoting some of Puck's initial monologue for him.

Thou speak'st aright
I am that merrie wanderer of the night
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile..


I slowed it down so he could get the feel of the language, even if he couldn't grasp every word.  I consider Midsummer the best kind of introduction to Shakespeare for kids (it was mine, after all! And I saw Midsummer when I wasn't too much older than William who is 7).  All in all, I was most proud of my little nephew's prowess--I will hook him on my vocation yet! ;)

WilliamandMe
ceebeegee: (Puck)
So Dave and I met at Court Street last Tuesday to talk about Pirates. I want to, as I said, streamline the show--some *very* judicious cuts (either Paradox or O False One, plus some of the lamer jokes, like the endlessly jokeboated "orphan/often" nonsense).  And I want some sexitude.  I want Dread Pirates showing a little chest, I want demurely sexy maidens, I want some eye candy, some FUN with my gorgeous voices.  It's such a fun show, so hilarious and witty.  I have this hilarious recording of "When the foeman bares his steel" when the policemen come in again after Mabel, Edith and the girls sing "Go to death, go to slaughter!/Die, and every Cornish daughter/With her tears your grave shall water/Go ye heroes, go and DIE!"  The policemen come in again only they're going really, really flat at the end of each of the "Tarantara" phrases, as though they're literally running out of air. It's HILARIOUS, I truly cannot do justice to how funny it is.  I don't think that's in the score because I've done the show several times now and I don't remember that.  Brilliant choice.

He talked about future projects as well, which got me very excited as there are a couple of shows I've been pushing for some time and now we may get to produce them.  The space where we're doing Pirates isn't quite ready yet but it should be in a few days--and then I get to go see it.  Dave told me it's a small, environmental sort of space which is right up my alley--Pirates is always staged in a proscenium, I get to do something different.  That's pretty much the flavor right there--not your mama's Pirates.  A little leaner, a little sexier, a lot less stodgily Victorian.  In the second act I'm bring the girls on in bloomers.  Rowr!  And we'll have lots of shirtlessness with the pirates.

We had our first rehearsal for the Midsummer reading--I had a blast, a really strong cast.  Shakespeare Saturdays is like that--I had to call in the troops in order to insure good people for Antony and Cleopatra, but everyone wants to be in Midsummer so talent came out of the woodwork.  I like my Oberon a lot--he's, shall we say, less than convincing as an icon of hetersexuality but at least he's there unlike some other Oberons I've known.  (Ryan was terrific--he's the best Oberon I've ever worked with.)  The mechanicals were pretty good, especially Flute who was making us all laugh with his falsetto.  Donna's also setting Oberon's wedding song to music--all the fairies are singing it and it's going to be gorgeous.  I was so busy Saturday, every moment I wasn't reading a scene--literally every moment--I was reading material for class.  We had something like 100 pages assigned this week--Abelard's Historia Calamitatum (40 pp.), plus the intro (35 pp.), PLUS 25 pp. of historical background on that era--the intellectual awakening of the 11th century.  And this is dense stuff too--that intro kicked my ass.  My favorite sentence from all of the readings is when it says "Philosophy and theology, on the other hand, developed slowly but steadily from onwards, reaching their fullest expansion only between 1220 and 1350, after which a rapid decline began."  Hmm, can't imagine why!  There's some juicy shit on Eloise and Abelard's relationship as well, but I'll write about that later.  But let me tell you, shit got real
ceebeegee: (Puck)

And Thyme is over.  As Duncan said, there was a good amount of stress with its going up, but once it settled in, it was a fantastic experience.  I absolutely love playing my merrie trickster, my id, my easily amused little child Puck.  Not an easy role, though--I worked my ass off on its physicality.  I was going for a couple of things--a kind of animalistic movement, because Puck is so much less restrained by societal norms than a human would be, there's a closer connection to the id, the purely physical.  So I was going for the immediacy you see in animals, especially predators--that springy, immediate action paired with that absolute stillness when hunting animals "point"--that is, when they sight their quarry (you see it in dogs and cats).  The other thing I was incorporating was a kind of cartoonish, exaggerated expression, where every emotion is fully committed to and physically expressed, a la Roger Rabbit.  I felt pretty good about how it came out--it felt organic, I don't know how well it read.  But I did get some nice feedback from audience members so something I was doing was working.  I really would love to do Midsummer again--doing Thyme made a lot of those lines come back.  My mistress with a monster is in love!...The king doth keep his revels here tonight/Take heed the queen come not within his sight/For Oberon is passing fell and wrath/because that she as her attendant hath/a lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king/She never had so sweet a changeling...Captain of our fairy band/Helena is here at hand!...I remember absolutely flying in from stage left for that entrance, so much fun.  I do have specific ideas about how Puck should look, because of all that energy.  He should be small/thin and very fast--there are numerous textual references about how fast he is.  He shouldn't be this huge lumbering dude like Stanley Tucci, ugh!  So miscast...

At any rate it was so completely awesome to get to work with so many old friends again, like Michelle and Kelly, and then to meet new ones like Matthew.  He is such a talented actor, although I REALLY WISH he nailed the lines better.  I think once he'd gottten to the point where he basically knew them and wouldn't go up on them during a performance, he was so relieved (he had to learn that part quickly) that he never looked back over the script again.  Regardless he is terrific, he always made me laugh during the "Demetrius is in love with Lysander" scene.  (My favorite line: "Blah blah blah, your tears do make me yawn."  I just love his unabashed selfishness.)  I told him he made that scene great for me--I didn't get bored with having to stay still for 7 pages or whatever it is, because I genuinely found him hilarious.  He told me "you give the nicest compliments!"  I also loved Rebecca's performance in that scene.  "Does no one want my ladylove?"  So cute!

The one kind of annoying thing was the whole festival thing--argh, I just hate that 15 minutes in/out restriction.  It is SO frustrating when you have very specific hair and makeup *and* you're the first one on stage (I had this problem for Prince Trevor as well).  I loathe getting ready in the hallways or the lobby of the theater, it seems so amateurish.  I get that they want to maximize the theater rental by cramming in as many shows as possible but still *grumble.*
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
I saw A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Delacorte tonight.

I'd intended to get up this morning to stand on line but slept through it. After I got off work at 7, I decided to try for the cancellation line, getting there at 7:30. It didn't look good--there were at least 50 people ahead of me--but as I stood on line, concentrating on my crossword puzzle, suddenly a male hand stuck a ticket in my face. "Here, enjoy the show." I looked at it and two thoughts went through my head: 1) I should do the right thing and ask if someone ahead of me wants it, since they were on line first, and 2) he's probably already done that, and gave it to me because it's apparent I'm alone. Then someone behind me said "Go ahead, and good for you." I said thank you to the guy and bounded off toward the theater.

It was good--worth an evening out, and I always love seeing Shakespeare at the Delacorte. But I wasn't blown away--there was a lot of additional, unnecessary business that I thought distracted from the language. For example, the First Fairy's speech was done as she climbed down a rope a la "A Call from the Vatican." As smoothly as she did it, it was still a little...busy and strained. Puck's last two addresses ("Now the hungry lion roars..." and "If we shadows have offended...") were set to music (and the guy was not a terrific singer--vibrato was very strained), and the entire company joined in the last one. I just don't think that stuff needs music, and I think having everyone join in, holding hands, sentimentalizes it. I love the mysterious, spooky, moon-washed romanticism of those last two addresses--they're so Halloweeny. Now the wasted brands do glow...

Helena was pretty good but I was a little disappointed in Hermia; she threw away a LOT of the humor. COMPLETELY swallowed the "I am amazed and know not what to say" line, it got no laughs at all. I've seen that Hermia before--she was in Absurd Person Singular which I really liked (and she was good in it) but she has some really specific vocal patterns that are a little distracting (she has this lugubrious quality to her voice). A good actress, I just don't see her as Hermia. The Oberon was quite good, as was Titania and Bottom. However I didn't care for the Puck--I couldn't figure out why he was doing anything, what motivated him, what pushed him, I didn't see that NEED, that drive in him. He kind of sauntered through his stuff.

They cut a lot as well. First Fairy's speech was chopped up, they cut Puck's spell on the mechanicals ("I follow you, I'll lead you about a round...") as well as "My fairy lord, this must be done in haste..." The loss of the latter seems in keeping with the sentimentalization--I love that speech because of all that thpoooky imagery (just like the hungry lion roars address). It also adds tension--I don't know why they took it out. Frankly I wouldn't cut anything in Midsummer--it's not that long, and it's just so perfect.

Also, they didn't really do much with the fairies' costumes. They were dressed in Edwardian wardobe just as the Athenians were, but they had on dark colors. Man, take the opportunity to go crazy with the fairies! Colors, fabrics, all sorts of possibilities...

The scenes that actually needed blocking (the big fight between the lovers, for example) were well-done, and the Theseus/Hippolyta stuff was quite funny. Also, Pyramus and Thisbe was very well-blocked, although I will say our mechanicals were funnier and cuter. Ah, even though I love to disagree, I still loved it. When Oberopn began "I know a bank" I just closed my eyes and drank it in. Man. I will never stop loving that play.

Oh, as a side note--obstacles included innumerable birds, moths and bugs, Helena's mike going out as often as not, at least ten planes and helicopters flying overhead, obscuring the sound, the rattling of various dishes and whatnot below the seats (is there a kitchen at the Delacorte?) and some people in a tower at Belvedere Castle, shining some sort of reflector into our eyes (I was sitting house left, in section O).

But you know what? It was Midsummer in New York City, for free. Outdoor theater giveth and it taketh away--and it was beautiful. Something to remember when we get frustrated with the obstacles at Clinton Cove Park.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
When Duncan and I left Tesse's party, we walked through the park on our way down to the train, and we saw a flotilla of fireflies. They were so beautiful--I told Duncan in the next segment of the Thyme series, we shoud name one of the fairies "Firefly." I called to them and one of them landed on my hand. I named him "Wild Thyme." Wild Thyme stayed on my hand for quite some time, crawling up and down, up and down my thumb, my hand, my wrist, until we reached 145th Street whereupon I debarked and walked through St. Nicholas Park. Wild Thyme did not want to leave me but I talked to him, explaining why his place was in the grass on the park and not on my hand. Eventually I bent down and held my hand next to a blade of grass, whereupon Wild Thyme crawled off my hand and onto the grass. I said goodbye and continued on. It was difficult but you know, sometimes, you just gotta cut the cord.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
I sent out a thank you email to my cast, since I hadn't had a chance to say goodbye to some of them. For the past couple of days I've been receiving responses.

From Kyle (Oberon):

Thanks, Clara for everything: the pix, the clothes,the check/card, the studios/crib, and the performance space.

It was great acting opposite you throughout. You gave us a Puck that we haven't seen before, but that was still comfortably familiar, which I think = Mission: Accomplished.

Thanks, also, for having the confidence and insight to cast me as Oberon; truly appreciated the opportunity to work in this production in a genre that I love doing (Shakespeare)...

Here's to the future, where Holla Holla takes over the (acting) world!


From Celia (Snout/Lion):

You are so sweet! I know that I said this drunkenly, but I wanted to tell you seriously and soberly- I really had a great time. You and Jason were professional and generous that you made this show such a pleasure to work on. It was my first show in so long and it was such a nice way to come back. Thank you. Really.

From Anita (Mustardseed):

I loved working with you too and keep me posted with any projects that you are working on or starring in.

From Don (Theseus):

I had a lot of fun with this role, and it was my biggest role to date, so it really helped my growth as an actor. And being in the park is so much fun...Love ensnaring people who are walking by with our badassness...

From Tracy (Hermia):

I'm at work, but I just wanted to drop a quick email and say thank you and I LOVED working with you and Jason...I love you, producer-woman, thank you so much, T

*Sigh.* I love my cast and crew. We done good.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
So Saturday, as Jason and I were walking down 72nd Street toward the park, we were walking past the Dakota and guess who passed us? Yoko Ono!

Anyway, Saturday's shows were terrific--good crowds, especially for the second show (due to the sign, I'm sure) and the Roller Disco thing was MUCH quieter. Seth and Rachel came to the first show and at the end, when the fairies walk through the audience, they played a lot with both of them. Ryan also came, as did one of my co-workers. Michelle came and RAVED about the show--she said some extremely nice things about the show and everyone's performance. Paul also had some friends (relatives?) who were very complimentary afterwards--we were talking about Puck and I said he's a hyperactive kid, very mischievous and sometimes that spills over into disturbing, that there's a darkness there that's interesting to explore. One of them said "Okay then--you looked a little disturbing!" Which I loved--Puck is NOT safe, he is a little dark and disturbing. I was finding a lot of new beats in my Puck stuff--for example, when Oberon says "Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:/Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night..." I found a new way to play "Up and down, up and down,/I will lead them up and down..." I had a ton of energy for the show too. For the second show, Michael came, as well as my friend Amanda with some of her friends, one of whom had cast Patrick in something, but then he dropped out to do Midsummer. Mike and Holly were also there, as was Marion. Doug had called me between the shows--he'd been planning to come but had to pick up a suit for Jon and Joanne's baby's baptism, and didn' think he was going to be able to get there in time. We talked about getting together later that night. It started to spit a little bit during the second show but everyone in the audience put up their umbrellas and after a few minutes the rain stopped. No crazies for the second show this time, thank goodness!

Saturday was cooler than the previous weekend, which is probably why I had more energy at the end of the day. Jason, Chris and I went back up to my place to drop off stuff, and then we repaired to the Gin Mill. Mike, Holly and Marion were there, along with a bunch of cast members. I'd called Doug to let him know where the Gin Mill was--sometime after Mike and Holly left, he showed up! I introduced him to Silas, since both of them went to the same acting school at Rutgers.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
So as everyone has said already, both shows were rained out yesterday. The timing was dead on--it had been spittin' off and on and I was hoping it would hold off, but just before 1:00 the skies opened. It was especially frustrating because when Chris, Jason and I arrived at the space at 11:30 I discovered that I'd left my makeup at my apartment, so I bounded home and back in an hour. But something nice happened--first off at Saturday's second show, two adorable little girls and their dads were eyeing the show from afar--Sami talked to them briefly at one point, and then I was crossing behind the audience to get something from our right wing area, and they buttonholed me and asked about the show. I was explaining to the girls what the show was about and I said it had been written by a man a long time ago. One of the girls chirped "William Shakespeare!" I applauded her and said "Yes, that's correct and when you get to high school you'll learn a lot more about him." God, I love precocious New York City kids--well, I should say that's the cute (not annoying) level of precocity. I told them there were a bunch of lovers who were under magic spells that made them act crazy, and some fairies were behind the whole thing playing tricks on everybody. I said they should hang out until the fairies come out, and I told them about the four fairies being Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They watched the show for a little bit until the third act or so--I was hiding behind the rock when I saw them go. The girls spied me and waved to me, and I waved back and then they gave me the thumbs up signal. SO cute! Aaaaughh! My ovaries hurt around adorable kids like that.

ANYWAY, as I was tearing down 72nd Street toward the park with my makeup yesterday morning, I passed them and I heard one of them squeak "HEY! That's her, she was in the show yesterday!" They recognized me from my hair, in my Puck hairstyle (which I wanted to suggest to be horns, because Puck is frequently portrayed with horns). They were on scooters and I chatted with them, still continuing toward the park. Their names were Libby and Rebecca. (I wanted to say "nice Biblical names" but then I thought maybe their dads would think I was some kind of Xtian evangelist.) Their dads joined us and they asked about the play. They ended up joining us--they were going to try to watch the whole thing but of course, the shows were rained out.

So foul and fair a day I have not seen... )

And we faeries that do run... )
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Midsummer is still on. Meet at the usual place; we will hold if there is rain, but as of now we are still on!
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
I've been checking Accuweather somewhat obsessively today. No final decision will be made until tomorrow morning (as we did last Sunday) and I won't worry until then. In all likelihood we will have both shows. I would advise everyone (including spectators!) to bring an umbrella and a blanket--if we start the show and it starts raining we will continue until we are forced to stop and then we'll hold.

This wait-and-see approach is how they always handled it at The Lost Colony, BTW. If it started raining during the show they toughed it out for a bit, then they held until it cleared up, or until it turned into a deluge. I've acted in the rain and I've played baseball, soccer and tennis in the rain--a few raindrops won't hurt us!
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Okay, just awhile ago I got off the phone with Bob Nichols, one of the guys who runs the Roller Disco operation and with whom I spoke last Sunday (he wandered by as I was waiting stage left at the rock during Act 1). The guy was very sympathetic and concerned, and he stayed on the phone a long time trying to work out an arrangement--he remembered immediately who I was when he picked up the phone and he said he'd been thinking about us all week. He also has some background in the arts so he was very supportive of the whole endeavor. I laid it out for him--I said we have two shows per day, from 1-2:45 and then 5-6:45, and then after Sunday we're gone. I said obviously since they have a permit, they have the right to go as far as the permit lets them, but if there's any way they could just try to keep it down for those two segments of the day... He said he would speak to the DJs about the first show on each day to keep it down, that should be quieter. He also apologized several times for the initial burst of loudness during the early show on Saturday (the one that we tolerated for 5 minutes or so until finally Alex went over to kick ass) and said that absolutely would not happen again.

The problem is the second show--since that's their last blowout, it's "climactic" (the word he used) and it's really difficult to keep the DJs back, because they are naturally more pumped at that time of day, right before it ends. We talked a long time about possible solutions, including "lavaliere" mikes (the kind that clip to your lapel), body mikes, BOOM mikes, acoustic boards, etc. etc. etc. My problem with an electronic solution is that I don't have a permit for amplified sound (as well as, that would involve buying or renting the equipment, getting a sound designer, and generally making my life insanely complicated in the next two days). My main problem with an acoustic board is that it really interferes with the whole concept--Shakespeare in this beautiful verdant setting. Who wants to see a frickin' board? We were talking about what we might put up to absorb the sound and he was telling me about his loft bed and he has a fan up there, and when his cat crawls up sto sleep with him, she absorbs the sound of the fan. I said "So what you're saying is, I need a wall of cats to absorb the sound." I told him I have two cats who would love to help Mommy with her show. He said they'd have to be big cats--I said "Oh yes, one of them is pretty big. And the other one is loooong."

Bottom line, he's going to try to get them to pull it back a little bit for the second show. I think if we really project and cheat out (y'know, all that Acting 101 stuff) and consolidate the audience, as well as encouraging them to move closer, we'll be fine. Annoying will turn into Still Audible but Not a Problem. I'm glad we were able to work together toward a solution--the most frustrating thing about Saturday was what seemed like a total lack of accountability--everyone disclaimed responsibility and just kind of shrugged. This conversation made me feel a lot better--he really was trying, I was ready to end the conversation a long time before he was. (Oh, and I encouraged him to come see the show.)

Addendum:

Oh, I almost forgot (good thing I wrote it down). He's also going to angle the speakers differently so they don't leak as much sound. This will also help with the second show.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
This weekend I was adding a bunch of new notes to my production log. I've been keeping a log ever since we started rehearsals--I've been writing down things like how many Equity actors are at each rehearsal (so I can reimburse them properly), how much rehearsal space has cost (I've been keeping diligent receipts as well), etc. This weekend, since we actually started performances, I added some new notes, like what exactly we did to prepare the space (how many balloons), what I should write on the postcards/publicity notices (need to tell people "bring a chair/blanket/picnic basket"), how many people were at each performance, unusual challenges/interesting things (like the music, the Weedwhacker), what to bring for the actors. I also wrote down "get easel sign with Midsummer notice to set by entrance"--I'd originally meant that for the next show, but thinking about Duncan's recent posting, I could do it this week. (Although I will say re: Susan--I'm not sure how much clearer our map could be! The one discrepancy is the name of the cafe--the online map says Mineral Springs but the actual cafe's signs say Sheep's Meadow Cafe. Le sigh.) But he's right about walk-ins--anyone walking by might well be interested in seeing some free Shakespeare. This is the problem with producing--I enjoy the challenges but inevitably I will miss something like this.

So can anyone suggest where I could get an easel (not too big--maybe waist high or so)? I have NO idea--maybe an art supply store?
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
So tired. SO tired. The joints between my thighs and my hips especially hurt. But a good tired. Midsummer went pretty well this weekend, all things considered. We had four EXCELLENT performances, and we'd never had a runthrough in the space, and most of the cast had never even seen the space before Saturday.

Jason and I got there a little after 11:00 on Saturday and we were running around trying to set stuff up. Set balloons to define the audience area, lay out the programs, make sure the permit is on hand, get water for the actors, test out the space (jump off the rocks, etc.), lay out blankets for the props and the actors, warm up, put on makeup...blah blah blah. Lots and lots of running around. Then we had our first show--Dana had a ton of people there, something like 30 people. They'd all chartered a bus from Connecticut. Melissa's mother was there, as were Clare's family. Tesse was also there. A LOT of people talked to me (and, I assume, others) after the show, telling me how much they enjoyed it. Melissa's mother was raving about the show, and has come to every single performance so far. Clare called me over and introduced me to her family and they were also extremely complimentary which of course made me feel fantastic.

We did have some problems with the roller disco show that was going on behind us--they started "sound testing" (loudly) a little before 2:00 and Alex went over to open up a can of whupass. They did have a permit, but I went over between shows to try to coax them into lowering the sound a bit. I wore my Puck costume (flame-edged suede halter top and black britches), thinking a blonde in a skimpy top might soften them a little. I have a feeling it was wasted, since everyone was so damn baked there, I'm not sure they knew which was up! I tried talking to the DJ who waved his hands around vageuly and said they had an 85 decibel limit and pointed to the meter (which, uh, said they were at 86 decibels). He pointed to some skinny older guy flying around on skates and said that he was the one in charge--I tried to flag him down but he never noticed me. Finally I left in frustration, and filed a noise complaint during the second show. Interestingly, today, during the first act of the second show, that guy was walking by and started talking to me. He introduced himself and was asking about the show. He was MUCH more approachable than the DJ the day before--I explained about the noise and said we just wanted it down a little, so the actors weren't so distracted. He said that "they" (the DJ, I guess, I didn't talk to too many other guys there) thought I was a member of the Central Park Conservancey! In that outfit? I said to Jason, that just proves how baked they were!

So, it was annoying but not insurmountable. My bottom line is, the audience didn't seem affected--as I said they were all very complimentary. I was watching them during the show and they all seemed quite involved, plus I talked to Melissa's mother and some others, and they all said "yeah, it's noticeable but no big deal." Jason was pretty unhappy about it but I was thinking, I think it affects him more than it does the actors or the audience. The actors don't notice it as much, because we are in the scene, we're expending energy, we're doing something--the same with the audience because they're in the scene as well. Jason is the director--he is watching the audience, watch us. It's a more passive role, and of course he's a worrier. So--what are you going to do? It's outdoor theater. *Shrug*

I LOVE playing Puck. LOVE it. I am having so much damn fun stomping around, jumping off rocks, rolling around on the grass. Goddamn, I love this role. It does take a lot out of me though--I'm naturally pretty high-energy anyway, and I kick it up a notch for this. I have one monologue in the 4th act where I really have to watch myself--I am almost breathless by the end of it, because I'm literally jumping around so much.

I had fun between shows throwing around the football between shows. Today I was tossing it with Silas and then Mickey. I called myself a tomboy and Mickey said he didn't think I was. OH YES, I am! I earned three varsity letters in high school! (which I told him) I am not butch though; I'm a girly tomboy. But damn, I love throwing balls and climbing rocks and trees.

Both 5:00 shows seemed to bring out a greater crazy quotient. Saturday there was a guy sitting behind us on the rocks (behind the fence) working his weedy piece of meat (I called him the Weedwhacker). Sami was mocking him but Melissa was horrified, saying she thinks her innocence was gone. She's so cute. All the fairies look so beautiful--I'm very proud of them. They really look great. I love it during what I call the Clash of the Titans scene (the first Oberon-Titania scene) when they're all sneering at me. I give them mean looks right back--the subtext is all very West Side Story. Anita gives me the best snotty looks--she has this very prim look and very calmly sticks out her tongue. Love my fairies!

More thoughts later. Tired. But very happy. We pulled it off. I love my cast and crew.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
I just finished the program, printed up 120 painstakingly-laid-out sides and noticed a slight error--I didn't list Chris as the trumpeter. ARGH.

Oyez, oyez. The trumpeter at the bottom of Act IV is Chris Combs. Thank you!

Numbskull. (Me.)

Saturday

Aug. 14th, 2006 10:38 am
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
God, do I need coffee.

It was a loooong weekend, but tons of fun. My cousin and I hung out Friday night--I met her and her friend at the Blue Point on the corner of 46th & 9th (a cute new place in HK, with lots of color accents and recessed lighting--one of those More New York Than Thou places). Then we headed for the secret bar--Roslyn has been there before but her friend, who is this adorable half-Puerto Rican, half-Jewish/Polish girl who is just all kinds of 19 years old awkward and sweet, was in awe of the place. She was especially thrilled when I got beers for them, and didn't even pay (some very nice guy at the bar with whom I chatted for a little bit paid for my order).

Saturday, I got to rehearsal early, so Mickey could play for me the music he'd composed for the Bergomask, and I could put some blocking/'ography together for it. Something occurred to me pretty quickly, some very basic 'ography with the R&J kind of courtly dance with the palm to palm stuff, and some bowing. This is actually right on target, since the definition is "a clumsy rustic dance (cf. Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, v. 360) copied from the natives of Bergamo, reputed to be very awkward in their manners." Mickey said that he'd been thinking along the same lines. Good that the team is all on the same page.

The cast and Jason arrived at 12, and I taught the Mechanicals the dance. The other cast members were sitting and watching, and some would make comments or jokes which is fine but after awhile it got to be a little disorganized and social. I had to lay down the smackdown so the Mechanicals could concentrate. I'd brought Duncan his Bottom ears and nose--the nose looks HILARIOUS. Ears are a little slidy though. Gotta anchor them babies.

The runthrough went fine. We are in excellent shape.

After rehearsal I went home and changed for drinks at the Yale Club, one of the events on the agenda for Lisa Pierce's wedding. I was all kinds of prepped out, in a periwinkle blue eyelet cut dress with a pink, bejeweled belt, pink pumps, coral lipstick and my coral Kate Spade bag. And pearls, of course. Preps represent! I hung out with Lisa's parents and friends for a bit, then left for another wedding event, a walking tour of Grand Central Station that my parents and my brother, his wife and their baby son also attended. The tour was fascinating, combining two interests of mine, history and architecture. I learned about Beaux Arts architecture, and the Campbell apartment (an apartment that was hidden in GCS for many years--it's now a cocktail lounge) and the whispering gallery and that the clock faces in the middle of the main terminal is made entirely of opal. Also, GCS (or, as it's correctly termed, Grand Central Terminal) is a celebration of rail travel, and right near by is the Chrysler Building (travel by auto) and the MetLife building which used to be the PanAm Building (travel by air--and it's designed in the shape of a propeller, with the tapered edges). So cool! There seemed to be such a spirit of optimism in design back then--a lot of the design of GCT was intended to exalt Man, to make us like Gods. It's interesting that this spirit lasted even through the '30s (you can see it in the friezes of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center), when the Depression was in full swing.

After that I headed out to Queens for Sami and Silas's doodad. Since I didn't think I'd be able to go until that morning, I didn't have anything prepared but I earned my keep by whipping up some margs when I got there. Attend-the-tale-of-Katie-Stodd (our Peter Quince) was there, as was Paul (Flute), Dana (Helena), Mickey and Jason. Had so much fun! I slurped margs and had remember-when conversations with Paul (we go waaaaay back) and talked with Mickey about my planned cabaret this winter and which potential hotties in the Midsummer cast. I would make a good pimp. I just want to see people happy!

I left around midnight (I think?) to meet with Roslyn and her friend again. We wanted to go to Vnyl but the kitchen was closed (the girls were hungry) so we went to Galaxy (which has reopened!). The funny thing was, when we entered Vnyl I got some rather snarky looks based on my preppy look--I wanted to say "Guys, I don't normally dress like this! I had to revert to my roots for the day, but I'm much hipper than this, I promise!"

Et Cetera

Aug. 9th, 2006 05:22 pm
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Had another quite bad headache this afternoon. Stopped that mofo in its tracks with 4 Advil.

As I left for work, I passed by a general merchandise store on Broadway and 136th St. I thought they might possibly have some craft flowers I could use for Midsummer--and they did! I got a bunch of different kinds of flowers, plus more glittuh (cheaper glittuh than I'd get in Midtown), plus glittuh pens, and butterfly barrettes for the fairies. They are gonna look awesome.

My cousin Roslyn is coming over tonight--I think she's going to meet me at rehearsal and then we'll ride uptown together.

Oh, and it's official--my mother cannot come up at all this weekend. Yesterday the doctor told her she had to stay off her ankle for at least two weeks. She is definitely bumming about this, so I'm going to try to visit her the week between our Midsummer performances.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Holla Holla Productions


Presents

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Directed by Jason Specland

Central Park, North of the Sheep's Meadow just beyond the Mineral Springs Cafe

August 19, 20, 26 & 27--Free!

1:00 pm and 5:00 pm each day--Weather Permitting

Starring:

Melissa Bayern, Patrick Cavanagh, Dana DellaMonica, Alex Finger*, Celia Finkelstein, Clara Barton Green, Carrie Heitman*, Silas Hoover*, Paul Martin Kovic*, Kyle J. Martin, Jamie Milward, Clare Patterson, Don Pflaster, Duncan Pflaster, Sami Rudnick*, Anita Sabherwal, Katrina Stodd, Michael Vaccaro* and Tracy Walsch

Featuring the music of Mickey Zetts


*indicates member of Actor's Equity
An Equity Approved Showcase

How to get to the Enchanted Grove where we play our play:

Enter Central Park at W. 66th St.
Cross to Mineral Springs Cafe just North of the Sheep's Meadow--the performance space is in the dell just beyond the cafe (see map)







ceebeegee: (Helen of Troy)
Working on Midsummer costume stuff right now. I just tried on the black Conway pants I got on Sunday. My God--I think these are children's sizes. It's probably a good thing I have a weight problem right now because I don't think they'd fit otherwise! I *do* have hips...

I had meant to bid on this



beautiful garland last night after rehearsal but was so tired when I got him I forgot until after the auction was over (it ended around 1 am). So I emailed the seller saying I would love to do Buy It Now at the same price (since the seller hadn't gotten any bids on it)--I would pay for it today (Tuesday) as I needed it immediately. The seller emailed me back saying she would do it but was going to add $5 to the price, and I could just pay directly so she wouldn't have to relist it. This irritated me mightily--I felt she was just trying to take advantage of the fact that I "needed" it. Every time I've done that (emailed a seller after the auction closed, asking if I could still buy it), I have NEVER had them increase the price. Adding on an extra $5? Bitch, please. You didn't sell it the first time. And she was going to save on the relisting fee as well. Stop trying to gouge people. I found a much less expensive garland on eBay that is not as elaborate, but I can buy roses and attach them myself. It's a shame as the first garland was gorgeous but I ain't made of money, and I get very stubborn when I feel people are being greedy.

Think pink!

Aug. 7th, 2006 02:05 pm
ceebeegee: (Beauty)
Jason and I had a funny conversation Saturday. We were talking about costumes, and he asked me what Egeus would be wearing, to distinguish Silas from Starveling. I said Silas would don just one piece, rather than a full costume change. Jason asked what piece; I said Silas had suggested a Hamptons jacket. Jacon looked blank. "What" I said, "A Hamptons jacket." Jason didn't know what that meant so I tried to elucidate. "You know, made of seersucker." He looked even more blank and I started laughing. "I am blind; what is this thing you call color? What does it sound like, what does it taste like, how does it smell?"

Seersucker! How can a guy not know what seersucker is? This just proves Jason is not from the South :)

Costumes

Aug. 7th, 2006 10:17 am
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
Headache again last night. It took me awhile to fall asleep, even after 4 Advil. *Sigh.*

I actually got a lot done with costumes yesterday. Clare Patterson met me at Ricky's on 5th & 43rd and I bought some glittuh--special makeup glittuh with a special kind of applicator and glue so the fairies can draw patterns on their bodies. I got it in several colors-- purple, green, turquoise and silvery-multicolor, although I'm still looking for orange-red. We wandered in and out of the various trimming/buttons/jewelry stores and I found a good necklace for Hippolyta and another necklace for Mustardseed/Fire. Clare was extremely helpful and had some great suggestions--it was she who pointed out the glitter glue and said the fairies could draw patterns with it. After that we went to the hosiery store in Penn Station where I'd hoped to get the cloud-patterned tights I wanted for Peaseblossom/Air but they didn't have them, so I ordered them online.

Then we hit Conway and I found a little white, sheer, star-patterned tank top for air, a white polo shirt for Demetrius, and some black pants for Puck. I actually kind of wanted the white but then I though they would get pretty dirty as I going to be down on the ground.

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