Saturday, December 25, 2010

Northside Theatre: "A Christmas Carol"

When James initially asked me to stage manage/A.D. for him I was pretty nervous. I have previously only been an assistant stage manager, which I honestly feel doesn't fully prepare to become a stage manager-they're completely different jobs, and I had never been an A.D. But I have a temporary back up plan that if acting doesn't work out for me I could become a stage manager. So I was certainly looking forward to gaining some experience as well as doing some networking. I never try to pass up an opportunity to network.

I did know about a quarter of the cast already, although not well. So this was a great chance to get to know people better as well as to establish myself with a new company. I think I proved myself very well as a decent stage manager. Even though I don't think being an A.S.M. really prepares you I'm pretty observant and picked up a lot of useful tips from working with Shady's S.M., Chris Tani. He's currently attending Cal Arts to get his Master's in Stage Management, hardcore!

After a couple of weeks of busting through rehearsals I started to feel very comfortable with my role as a S.M. As far as working as an A.D., well, I certainly assisted the director in lots of various ways. I did not actually direct any scenes, but I was ok with that. From my understanding an A.D. does anything to actually directing to working as a S.M. But I will certainly take the A.D. title on this one, even without directing.

Overall this was a great show to work on. We didn't have any major problems until tech week, and even then we muddled through it very well. Once we made it through tech week, the rest was just getting down the timing of everything. I honestly felt really bad for the actors, the costumes were a nightmare to work with because clothing is so heavy and had a bunch of pieces to deal with for quick changes. Eventually we got the hang of it.

At Northside things run a bit differently then I'm used to. The stage manager actually becomes a backstage manager/house manager/costume assistant/whatever else is needed. I didn't get to sit a booth and say things like, "Light cue 1, go," which I was actually looking forward to doing. Instead the light and sound tech call the cues from the booth and the stage manager becomes a "back stage manager," which seemed to me an assistant stage manager job. I hit fog ques, helped actors with costume quick changes, kept track of/helped actors with props, and occasionally helped Tiny Tim with his makeup. During intermission I set a bunch of props on stage for Act II, called times, and acted as a psuedo house manager. It was definitely an interesting experience.

And of course, what's theatre without mishaps. There were some funky lines (leading to saying "Are there no scripts? Are there no actors?"), lots of stumbling on and off stage (those dresses were easy to trip on), the night a cloak got stuck in the trap and was sitting onstage for a couple of scenes, and a couple of major bumps and bruises. But my actors were troopers and muddled through the pain.

It was definitely a long run. Shady is a long run with shows running Thursday through Sunday for about 12 weeks. For some reason running a show Wednesday through Sunday, with double shows on Saturday just felt intense then Shady. Especially during hell week and opening week where the show ran for two weeks straight with no breaks.

However closing "weekend" finally arrived. We pretty much had sold out shows the Saturday and Sunday before closing as well as closing. I have to say closing audience, which was a Christmas Eve matinee, was so receptive and fun. You could tell people just loved coming to see a Christmas show on Christmas Eve. I wish all my audiences were that much fun. The cast pitched in and got me a collection of Dicken's stories. Adrienne made actual figgy pudding to share. It tastes just like a fig newton. We got in some great cast photos, which I can hopefully share later. We did a quick and dirty strike. Luckily we aren't responsible for lights and set on this production. Strike mainly consisted of getting costumes on the rack, cleaning the makeup room, cleaning the green, cleaning the lobby, putting away all the chairs, and picking up our paychecks (yay!). Richard, the artistic director, gave us some numbers for run. It turns out this particular show was the number selling of all time with some great audience numbers.

I'm very proud of everyone on show and the work we all did to bring it together. I had so much fun and am very much looking forward to working with everyone again, hopefully as an actress. However, if I have a bad run of luck I feel comfortable knowing I could always go back to Northside as a techie.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Upcoming Auditions: Now thru January 9, 2011

Happy Early Christmas!

Notes about audition postings: This is just a quick overview of info I've received on Bay Area auditions. For detailed information please subscribe to Theatre Bay Area or bayareatheatrebums. Please do not email me for more information.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Looking for an actor/actress to play "Warren." Calcall 510-683-9218 immediately. Rehearsals start late January.

Lend Me a Tenor
Auds 12/27 7p.  Cold read. Email Sue Ellen Nelsen for appt.

Speech and Debate
Auds 1/3-4 7-9p. Cold read and monologue. Call David (650) 784-5303 or email for appt.

Mary Rose
Auds 1/3-4 7-9p. Cold read & prep 2-min monologue (accents required for some characters). No appt. necessary.

Altar Boyz 
Auds 1/8 11a-4p. Prep 2 upbeat pop/rock songs. Email for appt.

Auds 1/8 1:30-4p. Prep mono from play (given when appt. confirmed). Send a H/S and resumé to Jovan Olague for appt.

Auds 1/9-10 6-9p. Prep 32 bars musical theatre song. Go to for appt.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Playbill Newsworthy: December 20th

Cast announced for World Premiere of The Innocents. According to Playbill the Asolo Reperatory Theatre has finished casting for this play for it's Spring 2011 premiere. This certainly looks like it will be a great piece of 21st century theatre.

Anyone else have some doubts about this musical: Spiderman Turn-Off the Dark? Topless Robot has reported many of the mishaps that have occurred during its production. I respect the idea of turning some great comic hereos to the stage, but this play really seems over the top.

OMG! Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Al Pacino in Merchant of Venice?! New goal: get my ass to New York ASAP.

A musical from the creators of South Park? Yes, please. I will be google-ing this musical, The Book of Mormon, obsessively when it premieres Feb. 24, 2011,