Sunday, March 30, 2008

Random Posting

Found in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe script.

I Acquire(d) The Fire!

Well, it certainly didn't take long! Last night I worked my first LJVM union call - breaking down the Acquire the Fire concert.

Once again, I was initially intimated. There were so many people there! Everyone seemed to know everyone else, but I made it a point to introduce myself. Two people had worked the Opera with me, so there were some familiar faces. I was a bit nervous when Ricky put me on the "electrical crew". I don't know much about electrical concert stuff, but I was assured the work was mostly rolling up electrical cable. I wouldn't have ever guessed that rolling up cable would be tough. The cable is extremely long and, after winding it into a circle, gets quite heavy. Ah, muscles!

After that I helped take down the lights. The concert lights are very expensive and extremely heavy. It takes two people to lift them off the pole and carry to the storage boxes. The storage boxes were then moved to the end of the stage where Ricky was waiting with a forklift. Spencer and I rolled the storage boxes into place and Ricky took them away. There was more cable to unhook and roll, and more heavy stuff to store.

It took us 4 hours to break down the concert and load into the trucks. It was definitely work, but not back breaking work. It was more like muscle developing work. I impressed many of the "gorillas" with my willingness to take whatever job they gave me without complaining. And believe it or not, I actually had a good time. And I've got the ATF concert shirt to prove it!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A New Career For Me?

I'm excited to tell you that I started a new "job". Yesterday I worked as a professional stagehand, for the IATSE Union, Local 635. The call was at the Stevens Center for The Piedmont Opera, loading in for Die Fledermaus.

Initially I was a bit intimidated. I didn't have a crescent wrench (who would have thought?) and within the first 15 minutes, it was obvious I needed one. As one of only two women on the job, and the only newbie, I was concerned about asking one of the guys for a tool. I didn't want anyone picking on me or thinking of me as an inexperienced girly girl. (After all, I did purchase good gloves to protect my manicured nails.) To my delight, one of the guys saw my distress and offered his wrench. I can now guarantee the railing on the back staircase is secure.

As time wore on, I became a little more comfortable. In working with community theatres, I am accustomed to loading in and striking sets. So I was able to look like I knew what I was doing as I moved flats and doors and unloaded set pieces. Even though I was "green" I apparently impressed the steward. He called me back for the second call of the day, and gave me a special assignment - coordinate the unloading of the props.

Even though stagehands refer to themselves as gorillas, they do look out for each other. No one is left alone to move a flat that is too heavy or difficult to control. It's all about teamwork, and the gorillas accepted me after they realized I wasn't afraid of manual labor. It wasn't back-breaking work, so I'm not sore today. I did injury myself yesterday. I bruised my thumb beating up Doris' headstone - at rehearsal.

Because I am not (yet) a card carrying Local member, the work won't be regular, and that's okay with me. While yesterday's work was actually kinda fun, I've heard that working at the LJVM is akin to being a roadie!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past will change.
Life is like a jar of jalapaneos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.
Your perception is reality.
A person is only limited by the boundaries they place upon themselves.
Never say I can't do that. Be in a position to say I choose not to do that.
There are only 3 basic methods of communication: word, gesture, spirit.
The art of communication is not in the ability to speak, but in the ability to hear.
Don't let someone else create your world for you, for when they do, they will always make it too small.
Faith, and fear, is believing that what you cannot see will come to pass. Fear attracts the negative. Faith attracts the positive.
Images are more powerful than words.
To learn you must want to be taught.
Knowledge is the acquiring of facts. Understanding is the interpreting of facts. Wisdom is the application of facts.
We tend to judge others by their actions, ourselves by our intentions.
Enthusiasm is an emotion. Optimism is an attitude. Faith is a substance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

At the Movies

This afternoon Mikey and I decided to head to the movies. Since he likes dance movies as much as I do, we went to see Step Up 2: The Streets

I did not see Step Up (1), but I would imagine the plot was fairly similar. Wait. Plot? Oh, yes, plot...there was one, I think. Girl dances with street crew, girl is accepted to prestigious dance school where she is outcast for her "streetness". Girl grabs the attention of cute ballet dancer boy. Lines are drawn, rules are broken and everyone dances in the rain.

It was an okay dance movie. Still, Take The Lead and Honey are my favorites.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Another Evening at the Theatre

Still supporting The Little Theatre's North Carolina Voices Staged Reading series, I attended their final production tonight, Green, by Bekah Brunstetter.
When Clint returns from Iraq to his strangely liberal bible belt college community, Alex, his Bush-trash talking best friend, and Rhea, Alex’s confused and beautiful girlfriend await him with baited breath. Clint wants to settle back down into normal life, but his memories of his experiences at war make this adjustment harder for him than he ever anticipated. Green is a fresh look at the high price of service, using magical realism and an amorous anthropomorphized fire-arm.
Collin Norris, as Clint, was very good, as was Ken Ashford as Clint's best friend Alex. Lan Holtsclaw did a fine job bringing Clint's gun and cigarette to life. Kevin and Spencer Owen were okay in their respective roles. The rest of the cast sucked the life right out of the play.

Final Performance, The Velveteen Rabbit

Our final performance was this afternoon at the Main Library. As you can see from the pictures, they have a very nice stage, and our 'set' worked very well in the space.

While we performed for another full house, this afternoon's house wasn't overcrowded. There were enough chairs for everyone and some of the kids sat on the floor directly in front of the stage. Most of the kids got over their nervousness from last night and today they really seemed to have fun. I know that I had a blast!

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Night at the Theatre

Mikey and I continued our support of The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem's NC Voices Staged Reading Series. Tonight's offering was Raney. John Justice adapted the script from the book by Clyde Edgerton. The staged reading was directed by Mark Pirolo.

The play follows the early days of the marriage of Raney, an innocent, Southern Baptist, and Charles, who is considerably more liberal and sophisticated than Raney. Jackie Hansen and Brian Joyce brought Raney and Charles to life beautifully. Jim McKeny and Kelly Wallace were superb as Thurman and Doris Bell, Raney's parents. I especially loved Jim's tobacco spitting. Kelly is always a pleasure to watch. Karen Robertson was wonderful as Naomi Purvis, Raney's aunt. Like Kelly, Karen is facinating to see. Both women truly embody their characters.

Peter Juran was great as Dr. Bridges. His voice was as soothing as a therapist's, although he is a lawyer in real life. Roberts Bass played Mr. Simmons and came off exactly as Mr. Simmons should- a jerk.

Mark March, as Nate Purvis (Raney's uncle) was outstanding. I've had the pleasure of seeing several of Mark's shows and of sharing the stage with him. As such, I believe Mark to be one of the most talented actors in our area. His final scene made me teary eyed, and this was only a "staged reading".

The Cast of The Cemetery Club

Ida - Pat (Mathews) Garner
Lucille - Cheryl Ann Roberts
Doris - Pat Shumate
Sam - David Webster
Mildred - Debra Hanson

We might be able to start playing the Kevin Bacon game using me. I've shared the stage with everyone in this cast!

Pat Garner and I were in SGP's 2005 production of The Boys Next Door. Debra Hanson and I were in KLT's 2004 production of The Curious Savage. David Webster and I have been in 3 other SGP shows: Harvey, The Sunshine Boys, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Pat Shumate and I just appeared in The Little Theatre's production of The Foreigner. We also worked together in KLT's 2006 production of Grace and Glorie, where we went on to win Best Ensemble during the North Carolina Theatre Conference festival.

John Collier is directing The Cemetery Club, and even he and I shared a past stage. I played his dead wife in The Paramount Acting Company's 2004 production of Jake's Women.

This will be a funny, funny show so make your plans to attend now!

Opening Night, The Velveteen Rabbit

Who would have thought our little "staged reading" of the popular children's book would be so popular? I figured the audience would be rather small. With a 6p curtain time, I didn't think some of the parents would be able to make the show. But, boy, was I wrong!

The rehearsal hall was overflowing with folks! There weren't enough chairs set up, so most of the audience was standing. This made it a bit difficult to make our entrances from the house, as we had to weave through the crowd. Still the kids were troopers and managed to adapt without getting thrown.

We did have some problems hearing some of the kids. Charlie started out a bit quiet, but did increase her volume as she fought her nerves. Jasmin, our little fairy, was so cute you didn't care that you couldn't hear what she said!

Most of the kids were nervous and dealt with it in different ways. Adam was actually pretty sedate backstage, which was a welcome change! Caroline became famished and downed a small bag of Oreos (sans water - it was not pretty).

Overall, opening "night" was a success. There were only a few dropped lines. I did end up using the prop book, and the audience didn't seem to mind. The kids were great and I was so proud of them!

Our final performance is tomorrow at 2p. We will be performing in the auditorium of the main library, downtown. Remember, it's a free performance so come early for seats!

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Book Report

I just finished Zoe Heller's What Was She Thinking? [Notes On A Scandal]. This was another book I wanted to read before I saw the movie. I should have saved myself the trouble, and just rented the DVD.

The book did not captivate me like I thought it would. I guess I was thinking the story would be more sensational, like a Mary Kay Letourneau read. The book actually centers around the friendship between two teachers: Sheba is having an affair with her 15 year old student, and Barbara is a spinster obsessed with Sheba. While the characters are very well developed, I just found the book very boring.

So boring, in fact, that I'm not sure I want to trouble myself with renting the DVD. Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench play Sheba and Barbara respectively, and both are outstanding actresses. I'm just not sure I want to waste my time.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

New Horizons Continues

Mallorie, Mikey and I decided to head to Krankie's Coffee to see Rubber Doves, a brand new, two-man magic comedy and the 2008 Winner of the New Horizons Playwriting Competition. Matt Gutschick and Ben Whiting star. During rehearsals, Ben wrote:
Combining magic and theatre is always touchy business and you never know until the last minute whether or not it's going to play out the way you hoped. You have to consider the multiple possibilities of how each illusion could play out and know how your character would handle each of them. There are a lot of things that could happen. But I'll tell ya what, no matter what happens I can promise that who ever is in the audience will be THOROUGHLY entertained! hahaha!
He was correct. The show was funny and the magic tricks worked perfectly. Matt and Ben work very well together.

As an added bonus, they also performed Alan Arkin's Virtual Reality. There are only two props in the show, a piece of paper and a pencil. The rest of the props are imaginary. It was a very interesting show, to say the least, especially having to pantomime the props. Matt and Ben did an excellent job and kept up the pacing. I enjoyed the avant-garde production; Mikey and Mallorie were less than impressed.

A Night at the Theatre

Last night, I attended The Battle of Shallowford, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem's second entry in their New Horizons Series (staged readings of original or adpated plays by NC authors). The reading was held in the rehearsal hall, and there was a nice sized crowd in attendance. Ed Simpson, the playwright, also attended the reading.

The Battle of Shallowford is an endearing story about what happens when the residents of Shallowford (based on Lewisville, NC) believe Orson Welles' radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds". They grab their pitchforks and hunting rifles, and run out to do battle with the invading Martians and save the world.

David Bowen, who played Burton Mock, and Grace Lineberry, as Ruthie, were wonderful as father and daughter. Jere Dailey was perfectly cast as Ray Sprinkles, as was Jeremy Byrd as Fred Martin. John Schwabe played two very different roles, Dewey Sowers (football hero) and Doodad Jarvis (slow witted), and transitioned well between the two. Stan Berstein, who also "directed" the reading, played Newsome Jarvis, a man of very few words.

Because it is a staged reading with a reduced rehearsal period (one night!) you usually don't see much movement and even less characterization. Two actors deserve a special shout out for this very reason. Mikey Wiseman actually brought to life the very crusty Clunette Campbell. If the audience's reaction was an indication, he was the favorite. Elliot Lerner also breathed life into Lonny Hutchins, a shy teenage dreamer. Both men gave outstanding performances.

The staged reading of The Battle of Shallowford was one night only. But keep checking your local listings. You will definitely want to see this show as a full scale production!