Well, four days; six long performances. It's been a busy weekend.
After good shows on Thursday and Friday, we entered into Saturday and Sunday with double-headers. One afternoon and one evening performance both days. Roughly nine hours of theatre, to be exact. But it went well. We had excellent audience turnout (even a sold-out house of over 300 on Sunday afternoon!), lots of fun among the cast (onstage and off!), and plenty of good vibes from those we sought to entertain. Now we get to start the new week away from the theatre, take a little break, and then come back for five more performances starting Thursday. What fun! :)
So, here's to a few days off, and a great third week of performances! May the murders be baffling, the mystery unpredictable, and the sleep friendly!
Nearly four months ago my grandfather passed away. Today his wife joined him. But even though this is sad news in the here and now, there's singing up in heaven, for my grandparents are together again, and they've found their eternal rest in the arms of their Savior Jesus Christ.
I decided to pass on a stage audition tonight. I had strongly considered trying for a part, but in the end, it wasn't quite my type of show. That, and I seem to have caught a small cold -- no sense in sharing that! So, instead, I stayed home and rested up. Considering that I still have three more weeks of "A Murder Is Announced" to be healthy for, that probably wasn't a bad idea either. :)
And, of course, while this may spell a short break from the stage once my current show wraps, it also opens up a bit more time for me to dedicate to other projects. For the first time in nearly five months, I don't have rehearsals for another show waiting in the wings. I can just sit back and enjoy the rest of this one... and then take a break for a short bit while I catch my breath.
And believe me, that breath is something I'm looking forward to. It's been a busy past five months. I'm about due for a short vacation!
Have a blessed Wednesday all, and until next time,
For those that are interested, here's a photo from my current performance run of Agatha Christie's "A Murder is Announced". In this shot, my character (Edmund Swettenham) and the woman he has secretly been dating (Phillipa Haymes) look on as the murder that has been announced is discussed by those who have shown up to witness it.
"Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards; but do your utmost to find an entry into the world of beauty." - Konstantin Stanislavisky
I've never been a social drinker. I don't care for the taste of beer, and unless on rare or special occassions, I just avoid drinking alcohol altogether. It's a personal preference really. I just choose not to drink. And I choose to be strong-willed about that decision as well.
When my friends order a beer, I order a Sprite.
I've never seen the thrill in losing my inhibitions, weakening my senses, getting overly emotional, and being unable to speak clearly -- all in the name of alcohol. I've never seen the fun in that. I appreciate remaining stable and in control of my facilities. That's just who I am. But, sometimes, just sometimes, that decision becomes a challenge for me -- and it's a challenge I have yet to overcome. It's a challenge that sees me fully coherant while the company I am with is not.
That happened last night, and while I dearly love the company I was with -- regardless of how intoxicated they may have been -- I have to ask myself, what do I do when those friends are drunk? I can't just leave. I care about them. But I can't join them in their amusement either. I'm caught in the middle somewhere, no longer able to share in the new definition of fun.
It's an odd place to be in. Did I enjoy their company last night? Oh, yes, of course. Very much so. I'd gladly hang out with them again. But how the heck do I show my appreciation in those kinds of situations, when I cannot and will not consume alcohol... and when it hurts to let them see how uncomfortable I am?
In the end, I get relegated to playing the role of concerned friend, trying to keep health and safety foremost, while not denying them the right to have their fun. How exciting is that?
You know, at least last night answered one question for me. I'd be a horrible bar tender. :)
Tonight was our first "unofficial" performance of "A Murder Is Announced" here at Milwaukee's Sunset Playhouse. Overall, I think it went rather well. It was nice to finally have an audience to entertain, thilling to present them with a clever little murder mystery, and helpful to determine how an audience might react to certain elements within the story -- before we start the run for real. Having taken note of all these things tonight, I think we're ready for Opening Night tomorrow.
So, here's to a great run of eighteen performances! And here's to the thirty-six deaths that will take place over the course of those performances. Let the mystery begin!
The following quotations are taken from official court records across the nation, showing how funny and embarrassing it is that recorders operate at all times in courts of law, so that even the slightest inadvertence is preserved for posterity. Here are some examples:
Lawyer: "Now sir, I'm sure you are an intelligent and honest man--" Witness: "Thank you. If I weren't under oath, I'd return the compliment."
Lawyer: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?" Witness: "No." Lawyer: "Did you check for blood pressure?" Witness: "No." Lawyer: "Did you check for breathing?" Witness: "No." Lawyer: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?" Witness: "No." Lawyer: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?" Witness: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar." Lawyer: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?" Witness: "Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."
Tonight at rehearsal, we were finally able to move from the rehearsal hall downstairs to the stage upstairs. And it's been a welcome move. The set is up (although it still needs to be largely dressed), and we now have something concrete to interact with (aka, real doors, windows, etc). And, might I add, she's starting to look very lovely too! If you've ever seen an Agatha Christie play, you know that her sets are quite charming. They have that early to mid 1900's British appeal that still hasn't gone out of fashion. It's comfortable, yet slightly stuffy. Functional, yet classy. Perfect for a murder mystery.
Afterall, what good is a who-dunnit without an eye-candy set, eh?! If the wealthy of 1930's England are going to mysteriously turn up dead, one might as well do so in style, right? :)
So, with only a week to go, we now get to start playing with the real thing. On Monday we add in costumes and tech, and on Thursday (Oct. 20) we gain our first audience. We're down to the wire now. Time to start playing some serious pretend!
It doesn't happen very often in theatre, but when it does, it's pretty big news. We found out tonight at rehearsal that the actor who plays the 50-year-old Inspector Craddock had to drop out of the show due to serious health issues. As a result, that leaves us with a fresh new actor stepping into the role, and only a week to go before we open.
Yeah. One week.
So, instead of our normal rehearsal plans this evening, we dedicated the entire night to getting the new Inspector Craddock acclimated to the role. In theatre, "the show must go on", so we're all hoping Doug can get comfortable with the sizable role in the next seven days. My thoughts and prayers are with our original Craddock, though, and I hope he's able to recover from his health issues. In the meantime, we've all got a little more work to do. :)
Here's hoping everything works out well and we can open next Friday without any further obstacles. I'm pretty confident we will. Theatrical casts are usually some of the most resilient group structures out there, but, nonetheless, real life should always come first. So, we'll see how things go.
As for me, however, I'm off to bed. It's been a long day, and I think sleep is in order. Have a blessed Thursday all, and until next time,
It's official. The Milwaukee Brewers are no longer a losing franchise. As of today they have ended the 2005 season with an 81-81 record, managed to finish third in the NL Central, increased their payroll budget, gained a dedicated new owner, and have won back back quite a few Brewers fans. If you ask me, I'd certainly call that a season worth celebrating!