Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Straight up murdering me

  Yeah. I'm still living three or four lives inside of mine. This week, I have several days that begin at 5:00 am and end at 2:00 am. Work, then classes. Work, then double rehearsal. Work, then class, then double rehearsal. Voice practice. Theory homework. Lines to learn. Poetry to memorize. And work.
  On the bright side, I have two days off from work this week. Thank God, because I need a bit of a break. I'll be cooking up the traditional feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, stuffing, rolls, and I'll be baking a pumpkin pie as well. Guests at my table this year will include: Vacant chair 1, Vacant chair 2, and Vacant chair 3. They're all regulars.
  In all the flurry of back and forth, things are going very well. I seem to be the favored student coming out of Voice I, and my scene for Character and Emotion class is rockin. My guest acting in the Principals class is also going very well, and I have a scene to perform there tonight, in fact. Here's a picture of that character, Joe Mitchell from "Waiting for Lefty."

  I have to admit, it does get a bit confusing at times, trying to keep track of which lines go with which show, and what cues belong where.
  Last week, I was asked by three other people to play in their scene improvs, and so I ended up being in four or five different scenes that night as four or five different characters. The class joked that it was "The Brian Show" that night and I caught a lot of grief. I feel loved in there, though, and I'm pretty much a giant smartassed goofball a good deal of the time.
  I have some rather major news developing in my life, and some big decisions to make soon, and I'll be posting more about that in the near future. I want to get a few more things sorted out first and make some solid plans.
  Happy Turkey Day, everybody!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Role-ing right along

  I keep meaning to write a blog about all that's going on, but I get so damned busy that I put it off. Then, more stuff happens and pretty soon, I don't want to blog because it takes too long. Here we go, rapid-fire bullet style.
  I'll be pulling double duty this semester after agreeing to guest-act in one of the other classes. Even though I'm already stretched so thin for time every week, I couldn't resist when asked. The opportunity was too great. I'll be playing Joe in "Waiting for Lefty." It's a great part, and I rehearsed for the first time this weekend with my scene partner. We have our first performance together tomorrow night.
  My main role as Bernie Dodd in "The Country Girl," is coming along nicely. I am performing a scene tonight, totally unscripted, that deals with the breakup of his marriage. It's a knock down drag out fight that is going to get really, really ugly. Should be fun. I've worked out almost all of the details of how I'm going to play this role, and I'm patterning my look after the one and only Cary Grant:

  The time period is a match, and Cary Grant stuck out in my mind after I read the script. I'm lucky to get such fantastic characters to play.
  Yesterday, I performed an assignment for class where I needed to connect to some very deep emotions and break down and cry. This is one of the hardest things I think there is to do in the world of acting, but it's an absolutely neccessary skill for a variety of reasons. I'm very, very proud to say that I nailed it. Everybody in the room cried, even the teacher. It was a huge confidence booster, and I worked really hard to get there. Those are the moments in performance to savor.
  After this week, we'll be on script and spend the rest of our semester rehearsing our scenes. January 18th and 19th, I'll be performing them back to back for the public.
  Additionally, I made some wonderful breakthroughs in my voice lessons this past week and got to hear a small piece of what my voice can really do when things are lined up properly. It was incredibly exciting, and I feel like I'll be in good shape to perform at that recital in January.
  I'm leaving a lot out, but those are the big points. Good times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Frankie Valli, zombies make a good weekend

  What a weekend! Thursday, Kendra and Colby drove down from New York and we went out for a nice dinner at Chef Geoff and then saw "Jersey Boys" at the National Theatre. It was a great show with fantastic music, of course, but it still didn't trump "In the Heights."
  Unfortunately, it was a very short visit, and Kendra left late Friday afternoon. We had a nice time, though, and it was a great mini-break for both of us. Despite the pain-in-the-ass drive, hopefully I can coax her into coming back again sometime.

  Saturday, I had class in DC, then spent the afternoon decorating my house for Halloween. Kendra helped me design the faces on the three jack-o-lanterns I put out, and I busted out the cobweb gun as well. In the entryway, I had the fog machine set up with a red light behind it so that every time I opened the door, a huge cloud of red fog came out around me. The kids this year lucked out big time on the candy, because there were so few of them that I gave out pretty large handfuls of the stuff.

  That night, I dressed up as a zombie doctor and went to a Halloween party one of my classmates threw. It was pretty fun, and everybody was really grossed out by my white contact-lensed eye. There were a pretty insane array of costumes there, including one girl who came as a giant box of menthol cigarettes. There was a lot of dancing and some fantastic jungle juice that took hold of me a bit. At the end of the night, I ended up giving a girl from the party a ride home, and I don't think I've ever heard somebody use the word "like" so many times in my life. On the forty-five minute trip with Chatty Cathy, I maybe got to say "uh-huh" and "yeah" a couple of times and that was it. Yikes.
  Great weekend, overall, but for now it's back to work.