The Wild Party

Monday, April 19, 2010

We're All Amused...

OMG - it's here! Tech week for 'The Wild Party'! I can hardly believe seems like this journey started oh so long ago, and now here we are! The cast is SO incredibly excited about tonight after spending the weekend together in LONG LONG LONG rehearsals. We did our cue to cue on Saturday and our sing-thru with the band yesterday.

Even though we were at the cue to cue practically all-day on Saturday, the cast had a great time with one another. It was probably the most random and yet the most fun cue to cue I have been too. This cast likes to have fun and likes to have fun with one another. Nikki was reading the autobiography of Jenna Jameson...and she leaned over to me to tell me that there was a 'Top Ten List' for a particular sexual act. Well, being the extrovert that I am, I took her book and proceeded to read them out loud to the cast - while on stage. Everyone stopped and was quiet comical and made the day a bit more bearable. Well, that and the numerous games of Scrabble that were being played on phones as well as cuddling on the bed, floor, or wherever cuddling can happen! And even after being there all day...some of the cast went and grabbed food and hung out some more. Sidenote: this is an awesome cast and we kind of all love each other.

On Sunday the cast was pumped because we got to hear the six-member band for the first time. Sidenote: they sound amazing! It totally got us energized and excited about the week ahead. We were good last night and decided to go our separate ways and spend time with our loved ones and other lives after rehearsal...knowing we would be together the next seven nights.

That brings us to tonight and this week. I have already talked to some of the cast today, and we can't wait to get to the theatre tonight. Lights, set, costumes, props, full-band, etc. tonight - all the final pieces minus an audience. The energy is going to be high...and I hope I don't disappoint myself and I get all my music, steps, and energy right. This is such a fun show to do every night, but it is also so dependent on everyone in the cast. We are such a unit for this show. It was funny, I was talking to one of my friends about the show and explaining that we have to be so comfortable with ourselves, with our bodies, with everyone else's bodies and have no inhibitions. A lot of the show is very personal and we are very physical with one another - we have to trust. And trust we do. It's not every show you can bring 16 random people together and have such a trust and a comfortableness...but with this show you have to, and we do. And Scott is brilliant in his casting with that - every show he does. You always see that trust and commitment from his actors.

So with that...let the fun continue and bring what it will tonight and the rest of this week. Get your tickets for this show - it's gonna be hot, it's gonna be dark, and it's gonna make you think. Opening day is just three days away!

Friday, April 9, 2010

We're In The Theatre!

Wow - what a week! Monday we moved into the theatre space for the first time - everyone was so excited, as up until now, we have been rehearsing in a church rec room and the dance studio. While I will miss getting to look at myself in the mirrors at the dance studio (take that whatever way you would like), I was pumped to get in the actual space.

This is my first time performing in this space. I have seen a number shows in the theatre, just never made it to the other side. The audience is close. I mean - close. A lot of the show we are the 'greek chorus' of sorts, providing insight for the that means we're right up on the audience - in their face. This also means I have to be precise with my harmonies and lyrics and have total control of everything at all times. There's no room for error.

So, the first night in the theatre was good. It took a bit of work to get familiar with the space and how the dance numbers would play out, etc. The bed was WAY bigger than we were expecting. I mean WAY bigger...but it's very cool looking. I'm anxious to see the set come together even more over the next week. When I left rehearsal Monday night, I knew I still had a lot of work to do on my own. I knew I needed to still go over the music and some of the lyrics. There are a lot of words in this show. This is a hard, hard show. Tuesday night was a bit more difficult...but we got through it. We didn't really move forward with the show, just kind of came to a halt. I may or may not have been a bit frustrated when I left on Tuesday night (usually meaning I was).

It was probably good we had Wednesday night off - gave us a chance to re-group on our own, collect our thoughts, and re-focus. It was funny...because as I was talking to the cast, everyone felt the same way. And Tuesday night almost made us stronger as an ensemble and we were ready to tackle whatever came at us. There was so much energy amongst us last night - you could totally feel it. As soon as the first number ended, we all walked off stage and were like, 'yeah, that really felt good'. I think Scott and Allison realized it too - Allison kept commenting that she couldn't take as many notes on the show as she wanted to because she was being pulled into the story and all the cool stuff that was happening on stage. We took a gigantic step forward last night, and it felt good. It felt really good. This is going to be a show to be proud of and we still have two weeks to get it to an amazing's only forward and up from here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rehearsal Withdrawal

I haven't had rehearsal since last Thursday. LAST Thursday! Can you believe that?! I am going through terrible withdrawal. No rehearsal for a week is totally understandable, though. We never have rehearsals on Fridays or Saturdays, and Sunday we had a week off from choreography due to Robin being in a tap cabaret the night before (which was fabulous, by the way). Monday night was the fifth annual Kevin Kline Awards - recognizing professional theatre in St. Louis. Tuesday night was just the four leads, we always have Wednesday nights off...and that brings us to tonight! FINALLY!

Although, I am a bit worried about tonight. I haven't been feeling so well lately. A lot of sinus stuff, a lot of throat stuff, a lot of coughing. I think I'm finally getting better though. It probably didn't help that I had a great time at the Kevin Kline Awards on Monday night. I had the honor of being invited to the awards by Ron Gibbs and I had a blast. It was so great to see so many theatre people from around town and re-connect and feel the energy of the room as everyone was there because of the same love and passion. Needless to say, Mara and Mike (both in "The Wild Party" with me - had a great night...and morning. We stayed out until 3 a.m. Networking with other theatre folk, of course! As a result, I took last night to stay-in and rest my body and my voice.

Speaking of tonight, I need to get back in "The Wild Party" frame of mind. People were buzzing about the show on Monday night and I was excited to talk about - even though it's been a week. I need to really get focused and realize what we have ahead of us. Tonight is Act 2. We are tackling it for the first time. Act 2 is mostly the four leads...but we have a lot to do towards the middle to the end of the act. It will be interesting to see if we actually leave stage during this act or not (we're always on stage in Act 1).

It will be good to see everyone too. In fact, we have even planned a 'drinks after rehearsal' thing tonight. I sent out an email earlier in the week to the cast to see if people wanted to do this, and they overwhelmingly responded yes. We all really like one another and haven't really hung out as a group outside rehearsal, so tonight will be fun. I still haven't decided where - I guess I better figure that out. Ugh. Nevertheless, rehearsal withdrawal will be non-existent in a few hours!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do The Juggernaut...

My body hates me - it's official! My voice, my arms, my legs, my head...everything. I am at war with my body, and I think my body is winning! And I love it. I adore being in this show and getting to really dance again. Robin has outdone herself with the choreography. This past Sunday we learned 'The Juggernaut" - to give you an indication as to how difficult the choreography is, an excerpt from the song that we actually physically perform over and over again is as follows: one foot, one hand, one step, one turn, one touch, one hip, that's all you have to do. It's exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting all at the same time. This number definitely has the most going on, but for some reason I have been able to pick this one up easier than any of the others. It makes sense to me in my head - it's more of a continuous dance number than the others.

Last night we blocked more of Act 1. Some things are really starting to make sense to me while other things do not at all. It will all come together, but we're in the period where everything is kind of a cluster f#*k. It's sinking in more and more each day...being able to anticipate what is next and have it be natural is the struggle I am facing now. The 12 of us backing up the four leads have to constantly be aware of our surroundings at all times. Scott has really been emphasizing the need for us to establish our characters too and have a back story. He wants it to be clear to each other and to the audience how we know one another. In fact, he asked us last night to think of three questions, one of which was: who would we sleep with right now. As the bi-sexual producer of the group whose apparently always sex hungry, I easily answered yes to everyone! Regardless of this, though, I really need to make sure I'm staying in character and building relationships with those around me.

Tonight we are finishing up the blocking to Act 1 and then Thursday night we are running all of Act 1 off book. Ugh. Really? I don't know if I'm ready for that. But it's one of those things that I think will just happen and it will all fall into place. I mean you have to put the book down at some point...and we really can't start getting into the meat of the show until we get those damn scripts out of our hands. I also need to figure out how I'm going to continue to listen to the music - my car battery died on Friday night - when my car started again, the CD player/radio didn't work. Apparently there is some code that you have to put, I don't know what that code is. So, I need to start remember to grab my iPod when I leave for rehearsal (I like to go over the dance numbers in my head before rehearsal). So - if you know how to get my CD player to work again, let me know - I would be ever so appreciative. For now, though, it's back to the script to review what we have done thus far.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Read-Thru/Sing-Thru

Pretty damn exciting! Wow - you could just feel the excitement and the energy in the air at rehearsal on Tuesday night. It was our first read-thru of the script (which there isn't much of), and our first sing-thru of the whole show. Until now, we haven't heard much from the leads (they have been learning music off on their own with Scott) - so we were all anxious to hear. And we were all quiet impressed...which made us even more excited to be on this journey of "The Wild Party".

There is A LOT going on in this show and it's time to start focusing even more than before. It's non-stop. Sure it slows down for us in Act 2 a bit...but Act 1 is a whirlwind. By intermission I don't even know if the audience will know what hit them - so much to take in. So much to process. In fact, I don't know if I still know everything that is hitting me in Act 1. I do know; however, that I will be making out with Theresa at one point during Nikki's AMAZING that's worth the price of admission right there, right?! (Theresa don't act like you're not excited...that we have to kiss...yet again).

Basically I left rehearsal on Tuesday night totally excited about everything - even more so than before - and I need to count my beats in the music even more so than before! Nevertheless, the show is in a really good spot at this point - and we have so much to go. We just keep layering it on, and tonight we continue those layers with our first blocking rehearsal of the first 22 pages (or so). I'm so pumped to get this on it's feet and begin building the characters and the story!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Words, Words, Words...

"...Left, left, right, left - jab - a slab, a rab rab on the jim jam right upper cut to the body body punch! Pow! To the belt - Ow! What a wallop! Jab, jab, flip, flam, on - the limb lamb, take it on the chin pull it out put it in. What a party what a night What a rock'em sock'em throw away the lock'em fight! Whoa..."

An excerpt of lyrics from our most recent song we learned last night - 'The Fight'. Yup - Andrew Lippa has filled this show was some incredibly hard music and a TON of words. God, this is such an ensemble show - and it's great. I mean, we have our four leads, but the ensemble is so essential to this piece and each night you can feel us becoming more and more connected.

Being connected may have something to do with our choreography rehearsal this past Sunday - we staged the number, 'A Wild, Wild Party' (which is awesome, by the way). The connection came in the fact that we are having simulated sex acts on stage - luckily for me, I have the pleasure of acting out my sex acts with the Mara Bollini (Dolores) and Deborah Sharn (Kate) - we have a bit of a three-way going on. I'm seriously hoping Mara and I don't have a child to look after eight months from now (if that gives you any indication). It's full of 20's-style dance moves and stylization and it just gets me more and more excited to continue putting this show together.

Thursday night we learn our last musical number - 'The Juggernaut', and then we review all the group numbers again. I will definitely be reviewing those with my iPod between now and then. There are such awesome harmonies, etc. that I want to make sure stay in-tact and there is a bunch of music that we sing that is not on the recoding, which means I need to look at those even more.

I am having such a blast rehearsing this show, and can't wait for all that is in store.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Never Stop Thinking!

Two music rehearsals and one choreography rehearsal down - tonight music rehearsal three. This is SO much fun. The music. The cast. The choreography. The cast. The harmonies. The cast.

So last week at this time, I was nervous because I didn't know a lot of the cast...and now a week later I am adoring the cast! Everyone is so kind and so funny. It's just a really great group and I think we started to feel that this past Sunday at our first choreography rehearsal. Robin did a great job of getting us comfortable with one another and it was really a time for us to support one another too as we did our dance steps across the floor - everyone was so encouraging of everyone else as we laughed and stretched. And boy, did we stretch. My body still hates me from Sunday...muscles are sore that have never been sore. But that's a good thing! I was a bit irritated with myself on Sunday, because I wasn't dancing clean a fluid like I wanted's just been a while since I have really 'danced' in a show. I have to reteach my body what it's like to full out dance again.

As mentioned, tonight is our third music rehearsal...and this is some tough music. It's amazing music, but you have to constantly be thinking while you sing. Tight harmonies, notes you have to literally pull from thin air...and "ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo's" that the guys NEVER get right (but I am trying to convince everyone to do the diva hand motion when they sing it in the car - maybe that will help). Or not. We'll get all goes back to remembering to think. And we need to get this music down before we start getting on our feet, because we'll have a whole new plethora of things to be thinking about. Needless to say, my iPod is getting quiet the workout when I'm not in rehearsals.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight and learning more of the music - "went Kate to conquer all...".