Friday, June 24, 2011

A Lovely Night

A solid first run-through makes for a happy cast and creative team. :) Although it was by no means perfect, our rehearsal last night gave us a taste of what this show is going to look like come the end of July, and it was quite an encouraging snapshot.

The constant reminder written on my hand put a smile on my face and in my heart and helped me to keep a positive attitude throughout the evening. I also had some encouraging words from the director which are buoying my spirits and filling me with warm fuzzies.

Tonight, dancing for fun with friends in Pittsburgh!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's Possible . . . I Just Know It Is

Rehearsal did, indeed, prove to be difficult. My brain failed to cooperate as I hoped it would. The verse was not at the front of my mind, and though I did not complain throughout rehearsal, I did vent on the way home instead of surrendering my frustration to God.

Today, the verse is written on my hand, in the hope that the constant reminder, closer than an index card on my computer, will burn the verse on my heart. Above it are listed the fruits of the Spirit, as defined in Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. They will be before my eyes as I dance, impossible to ignore.

An unfortunate side effect of writing something on the back of my hand is that it is also constantly bringing to mind Professor Umbridge's punishment of Harry Potter, during which the lines he's writing are carved into the back of his hand. So I guess I can also remember "I must not tell lies."

Although there were challenging moments, much of rehearsal was actually rather fun. We're getting the hang of the opening number and adding character layers. During the gavotte, too, we are breaking out of the "oh, no, I don't know what comes next!" mentality and beginning to enjoy ourselves a bit. The waltz is another story altogether, and the ability to sing while dancing is proving to be as elusive as ever. Practice, practice, practice, right? I'm relishing the refinement of my character and next will be exploring how she moves and what exactly makes her move that way. It is an interesting challenge of a different sort than that to which I am accustomed.

Tonight we're running the whole show. Waltzes, gavottes, and singing, oh my!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Negative Nancy --> Positive Penny!

Tonight has the potential to be a stressful evening. We are rehearsing chorus scenes for the first time since Thursday, and even then, a number of folks were missing. As we get into the thick of rehearsal and particularly as opening draws nigh (We are still more than a month out.), nights run long and tempers run high. Performers grow tired and directors weary of repeating themselves ad infinitum. Despite those hurdles, we must all strive to maintain a positive attitude. To that end, I shall take my cue from the verse that is taped to my computer tower on my desk, a constant reminder of how I ought to behave:

And failing that, I shall think of this smiley fellow:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grown-Up Catholic School Girls

This weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, DC, for a gathering of alumnae of Wheeling's Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy. In May 2008, the Mount graduated its final class, closing its doors after 160 years of educating young women. The 2009 and 2010 alumnae celebrations were still held on campus in Wheeling, but now that the property has been sold, we have to find a new home. Fortunately, our sister school in Washington was kind enough to welcome us.

It was a bittersweet visit. Roaming the halls of someone else's school, no matter how very like your own it may be, is not at all the same as roaming the halls of a place that holds so many memories, as the Mount does for me. Still, sitting in chapel with the other alumnae, singing hymns while Sister Joanne played the organ, held a kind of joy.

I look forward to future visits to Georgetown and am grateful to have been able to chat with the sisters and see the campus that I may now call home, as the mother superior there has said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Second Girl: Eloise Esterhazy Weaver


Over the next several weeks, I'll be writing the comedic tale of my Cinderella summer in the person of my character. In the script, her moniker is "Second Girl," but I've decided to call her Eloise Esterhazy Weaver. You can read more about her over here. Of course, the actual events of the rehearsal process will be adapted to Eloise's peculiar little life, but it should be much more interesting than a day-to-day review of what really happens at rehearsals.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Chorus Girl: A Lesson in Humility

I’ve gotten spoiled playing lead roles in the past couple of shows I’ve done. In October of 2009, I was Lucy van Pelt in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and just this past January, I played Beauty in Beauty & the Beast (the play by Warren Graves). So when I went to audition for Cinderella on Friday, I had some high hopes about how I’d be cast. Those hopes were dashed when I awoke Saturday morning to find the cast list in my inbox and my name in the list under “Chorus.” My reaction was . . . unbecoming, to say the least.

I spent much of Saturday stewing, quite pathetically, over this revelation. Then I had a few wise words of encouragement from a few fantastic friends. So here are some things I’m trying to keep in mind throughout this production, some of them relevant to the above and others not at all:

  1. There are no small parts.
  2. There could be no show without the chorus. (Thank you, Megan!)
  3. No one can be in the spotlight all the time.
  4. Everyone deserves a chance to shine.
  5. Singing in the chorus is a marvelous challenge vocally and physically (dance-wise). It will make me a stronger performer all-around.
  6. I’ll still get to see a certain someone fairly frequently over the next couple of months.
  7. There will be plenty of time for me to (finally) learn to drive.

So there you have it (or perhaps I should say “there I have it”): seven optimistic things to think about being in the chorus.

I hope you’ll join me for the show on July 28-31 at the John Marshall High School Center for the Performing Arts in Glen Dale, WV. Visit the Strand Theatre website for more information and stay tuned for pictures and updates.