Saturday, March 24, 2012

Post-show partum

Ugh. I'm so drained. In so many ways. I got to the theater at 4:30. We started our dress rehearsal at 5. Maxx (lighting tech) and Edna (sound tech) both assured us that they were ready for a full run through with no stops. Afterall, they have had the script for three weeks and should know all their cues. We didn't even get through the first half of the piece because Edna and Maxx did not know their cues or lighting/sound levels AT all. At 6:15, when I finished warming up and went to change, my workshop director was still going over the cues. 15 minutes before the show I was running up and down stairs of the Phoenix theater to finish warming up. I ran all the way to the 8th floor of the building and did vocal warm-ups. There was a moment right before I went downstairs when I asked my mom (she passed when I was 17) for her help and guidance. I don't know if these kinds of things work but I guess I also just missed her and knew she would be proud of what I've done. I know it wasn't my best performance and it took me about 20 minutes to warm into the piece, plus I forgot lines here and there but I got a standing ovation! Everyone was so gracious. When the lights came up people just say in their seats and didn't move for 10 minutes. I debated whether or not to do a talkback but decided against it because I figured I would be too vulnerable to take feedback my first time performing. Maybe I should have? We struck the set and a group of us went out to dinner at a local Italian place. I asked my best friend Jessica to join us and she said she would meet us there. She showed up as everyone was leaving. I stayed over at Jan's. We drank whiskey until 4am and I broke down crying. She said that was normal given all my hard work and build-up for so long and that she wouldn't be surprised if I did that for awhile. The next day I went out to brunch with my workshop director. We were both exhausted. I could barely even talk about the show except to say that I was really disappointed with the lack of support I received from my best friend, Jessica. She wanted to "talk" with me about the show. I sensed that there was going to be some criticism from her in some way  I texted Jessica and told her that I needed a break from her for awhile.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Showtime distraction

Ok, there are 60 rsvps. My sister is flying in from DC.
We found a lighting designer who met with us on Wednesday to do the cues. He was very professional and we were in and out of the theater in 3 hours.
I have been rehearsing my blocking cues in the theater for an hour three days this past week.
And now I've finally reached the big day!!
 I woke up so nervous this morning that I literally passed out from anxiety. I woke up from a 3 hour nap and there was still 4 hours until call. So I went over to Jan and Alex's house for some distraction. Alex and I found some pink streamers and took turns wrapping each other up like mummies. Then we "un-mummied" each other and left a ratty pink shredded mess that I made Alex clean up. I just helped Jan load up the car with wine. And now I'm headed off to dress rehearsal and (aaaaaah!) the birth of my piece. I can't believe I'm finally here. Just hours away. I've worked my ass. Hours and hours and hours boil down to 70 minutes. I do have to remember, though, this is only the first time. So I will do my very best AND know that there will be plenty more performances in the future. The next time you'll hear from me, It will be post-show!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lighting guy is out

Gregg bailed. He stayed at the theater after we finished our disastrous first rehearsal to continue rehanging the lights and he accidentally left a cord dangling. The tech manager called to inform me about this and told me that I needed to rehang the cord asap if I still wanted to perform my show. I was in band rehearsal when she called so I left a message with my workshop director and asked her if she could contact and tell Gregg to go down to the theater and move the cord. He was irritated, but agreed. However, when he got down to the theater there was a class going on and they would not let him in. He called my workshop director at 11pm to tell her that he had tried but that no one told him there was a class going on. He said that due to our lack of professionalism, he could no longer move forward with the project. My workshop director drove into the city from Nicasio at 12am to restring the cord. She got home at 3am. I can't deal with this. Now we have to find another lighting designer and arrange an extra time to do sound and lighting. I am to the point where I feel like crying about the production aspect of this piece. It's difficult to wear all three hats: actress, writer, director.
 At LEAST I finally succeeded at my piece after performing it so flatly at the tech rehearsal. My workshop director and I met all day monday whereby I totally failed at performing it two times in a row. My workshop director was literally catatonic by the end of that rehearsal. She kept telling me that I needed to work on singing and resonating the words and I got very confused and frustrated.
Then tuesday, I nailed it. The piece came out of me effortlessly, naturally, and I remembered all my blocking. I also did really well at performance space on Friday. Thank god! The "actress" part of me can rest easy until the dress rehearsal.
The writer part of me is still making last minute changes -- taking out parts, rearranging other parts. MWD agrees with the edits. I think she's exhausted. I don't blame her. This whole self-production thing is a bitch. Plus she's not getting paid. Yet...
I really do hope that money will come through soon. I will focus on fundraising after the show.   

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tech rehearsal sucked!

It couldn't have gone worse. Gregg, (lighting design) rolled in and immediately took charge. He has a very alpha male energy that was quite abrasive compared to the bubble that mwd and I have been in. His energy was great for certain things -- he quickly rearranged the audience in a much more intimate fashion, he helped stage the piece, and he got right to work on re-hanging the light board. Then it was time for a run-through. Mwd told me to warm up beforehand but that was really difficult to do because I was busy blocking out the stage and fielding questions. Mwd seemed a bit overwhelmed by Gregg's energy as well and sort of just defaulted to his commands. This bothered me a bit because I felt like her job as workshop director was to take control of the lighting design and tech and let me focus on performing my piece. That did not happen. Gregg interrupted my run-through every like, 20 minutes with his opinions about blocking, props, writing changes, lighting overrides. I kept feeling smaller and smaller onstage and I started getting pissed that mwd wasn't saying anything. By the end of the run-through I was delivering my lines in an angry and forced way. Edna (sound design), couldn't make it until the last hour of the rehearsal so mwd had to help her with sound cues but she forgot a soundboard attachment so we couldn't get sound over the loudspeaker. That was a fail as well. I ended up pouting all the way home and I never expressed my frustrations to mwd. I just turned them inward and starting doubting about going through with the piece.
I emailed Amanda about the rehearsal disaster and she said, "Congratulations! That means your dress rehearsal will be a success!"