Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City of Angels

  I meant to put up a post about Los Angeles as soon as we arrived, in keeping with my current scheme of up-to-date blogging, but I failed. Sitting here now, writing this, the LA showcases are already done! We just concluded them about an hour ago, actually. I'm now waiting to join everybody for drinks to celebrate.
  Turnout was really pretty good, and I think all the scenes went very well. Yesterday, during rehearsal at the theatre, I was sitting outside with my scene partner, going over lines, when Garry Marshall happened to stroll by. He smiled and said hello, and... I didn't recognize him. I thought he was just a friendly old man. A minute later, when somebody said, "Did you see who just walked in?" I felt kinda dumb. Guy is a legend in TV. We had a fantastic character actor show up with some of the industry pros today to watch one of our three showcases- a man named Michael Ensign. Google him, and you'll recognize him from just about every movie and show ever made. Total class act, and he stayed behind to talk to us for about twenty minutes about the biz. Awesome.
  So, now, we'll hang here in LA for a few days, go to the beach, drive up PCH1 to San Francisco- just basically enjoy California, and hopefully have a few meetings with agents or casting folks. Pilot season has ended, unfortunately, so the chances of being put into any tv work right now are slim. Still a damn good opportunity to be seen. I'll keep you posted, as always. Cheers!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Everything Goes

  With business here in New York nearly finished, we took a break last night and headed down Broadway to take in the brand-spanking new revival of "Anything Goes" playing at the Stephen Sondheim theatre. On the way over, we were walking down 7th Avenue when I brushed elbows with a guy walking by who had a kid sitting atop his shoulders. At the same time that I recognized his voice, I recognized his face. It was Hugh Jackman. Kinda crazy just running into him on the street like that. New York!
  "Anything Goes" was spectacular. I loved the production design, and the lead, Sutton Foster, was, unsurprisingly, absolutely amazing- truly a triple threat. Others in the cast were great as well, including Joel Gray, and in a small part, Jessica Walter (the Mom on Arrested Development).
  Through a friend, I was able to meet Laura Osnes, one of the other main stars of the show. She was very sweet and warm, and was gracious enough to take us backstage and even let us walk out onto the main stage and take a look at the set. Standing on that Broadway stage and looking out into the audience was pretty amazing. What a fantastic night!
  So, today's our last day in New York. Tomorrow, it's on to Los Angeles and more showcases. Here we come, west coast!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reporting from the front

  Just throwing a quick blog up here for the loyal 'bucklers. My two New York showcases are done! They went very well, and we had some great folks show up to peek at us. Some of us got immediate contacts from agencies, and that's very encouraging. All of us were asked to send our headshots and C/V's to a major player I won't name here for understandable reasons. Very exciting.
  Now it's time to enjoy NY for a few days and then head on to the west coast for more. Tally ho!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In a New York minute (or week)

  No, there's not snow on the ground here in New York. I took this picture the LAST time I was in the Big Apple, which, funny enough, was when I was auditioning for LAMDA in February of last year. Now, I've got a diploma in my hand from that institution, and I'm here to show industry professionals why they should hire me and pay me money.
  My fellow grads and I will be here for about a week before moving on to the west coast where we will thoroughly entertain professionals in Los Angeles. We have two performances here in NY and three in LA. My goal is to one day guest star on one of the three hundred versions of Law & Order now running on network television.
  So, LAMDA. All done. Can't quite believe it. The time went by so quickly. We learned so much, and we were all put through an insanely intense courseload. We all grew though, through our ups and downs, our triumphs and failures, and I came out of it all with a renewed purpose and confidence. Now it's up to me to not let that momentum die. Gotta keep going, keep pushing; because if I don't, then I don't have a chance in Hell of making it. No pressure, right?
  Thursday was our performance of "A Winter's Tale," and it went quite well. We had a packed audience, and people seemed to enjoy the show for the most part. It's not the most entertaining of Shakespeare's works, but we had some really great performances.
  Friday, we hit school early to rehearse our medley of Noel Coward songs, our showcase material, and our big dance number. 15 minutes after rehearsals ended, we performed all three of those back to back for the Principal of LAMDA, the head of the drama department, our instructors and a few invited guests. The songs went beautifully, and the showcase material went off without a hitch. During my duologue with Laurine, she threw a remote control at me, which struck me in the knee and exploded all over the stage. It was pretty epic, and I had to fight really hard to not laugh.
  Finally, it was time to close our performance with the big 10 minute dance number "The Liberty of Norton Folgate." The lights went down, and we filed onto the stage, placed ourselves and held. I looked up and saw my classmate Liza, who was positioned with her back to the audience. She smiled at me and I winked back. She grinned and the stage lights blasted on, the music coming in right on top of them. We tore the dance up pretty good, and surprisingly, it was my best performance of it. I say surprisingly, because when we originally performed it, weeks ago, I had a lot more rehearsal, but made quite a few mistakes. Strange how that works. Overall, we had a great time, and I think the faculty was really pleased.
  At the end of the performance, we were called up to the stage one at a time to recieve our diplomas, and then we spent the afternoon in tutorials with some of the instructors, hearing about our progress over the two terms and what was good and what needed improving. We concluded the day with a big party at Hogwarts (the nickname for room V1, which looks straight out of Harry Potter). There was quite an array of food and drink. We laughed, we cried, said goodbye to our non-American friends who wouldn't be joining us on the American showcase. It was a bittersweet evening.
  And that brings us up to this moment. Sitting here in a hotel in NYC, capitol of the world. Tomorrow morning, we rehearse our showcase, and then run it for the bigwigs on Tuesday. Then, the rest of our time will be spent enjoying the city and hopefully taking some meetings with agents. I'll blog more as we go. Catch you on the flip-flop!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Of High-teas and Finales

  Here we are at the (almost) last. Tomorrow marks the beginning of our last week at LAMDA. It's hard to believe our two short terms are already up and we're graduating. It's been one hell of a ride in every since of the word. There's been a lot of hard work and a lot of wins and losses. I couldn't begin to sum it all up here. Maybe in a month, when I've had time to decompress a bit.
  Today, we all went out to high tea together to celebrate and have one more family get together. It was wonderful and delicious, and I could see the fatigue and apprehension and sadness in a few eyes.
  Saturday, we'll all be flying to New York, where we'll perform our showcase for Agents and the like. We'll be around the area for meetings for about a week before we move on to Los Angeles and repeat the process. Then, we'll all go our separate ways. I'll be returning to Albuquerque for about a month before moving back here to fair London. I've earned my Equity card here in the UK now, and I'm more than anxious to start work. I am chuffed to bits at the thought of living and working in this wonderful corner of the world.
  But make no mistake, this week is no coasting free-ride. We have Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale" to perform Friday, in addition to our 10 minute dance piece "The Liberty of Norton Folgate," a musical medley of Noel Coward songs, and a performance of our showcase material. I still have a lot of lines to learn, and a lot of rehearsals to go. This week, like this time at LAMDA, will be gone in the blink of an eye.
  Can't wait for what's next!