Posts Tagged ‘musicals’

Show Aftermath

I’m freeeeeeee ahahahahaha

No, I had a great time. All the shows went really well, I had fun, I love everyone, and all that jazz.

Here’s a picture of me in my Act 2 costume (after joy has been brought into our lives):

(Half the braid is not my hair, har. Never done a show with a dedicated hair person before.)

(Also, the costume room/green room/hair & make-up room happens to be the preschool downstairs.)

Rumor says the fall production will be a play, or at least more of a play than the musical reviews we’ve done the last three years (two years of Christmas on Broadway, and then Forbidden Broadway last year which I noped out on), so fingers crossed.

Completing a show is kind of like completing a novel.

I feel like I’ve talked about this before, but I can’t find it, so we’re here again. I’ll explain.

A novel takes a ton of work. It’s several tens of thousands of words. It’s mentally taxing. It’s emotionally draining. It takes a lot of time.

And when it’s over there’s a bit of a period of…depression, almost. Like something huge is missing from your life, especially if it was something you’d been working on for a long time or had unexpected difficulties. And it can be hard to move to the next project, or to get out of your funk.

I’ve found shows are like that too. It’s not as bad with the current theater company, since we only rehearse a few times a week until the end (that last week of rehearsal/shows I spent 45 hours working on the show), but especially back in high school and college, when rehearsal was often every day for at least a few hours, usually for three months, the show ending was very, very jarring.

(And it does depend on novels, too. I’ve found that if I’m working on multiple things, there’s less of a weird period when I finish something up. Or if the writing was fairly smooth, in the great scheme of things.)

What do you think, squiders? Is it hard when you finish up something big? Or is it a relief to be able to move on to new things?

(As an added complication, my husband was in the hospital all weekend unexpectedly, so I split my time between the hospital and the show. It’s honestly mostly a relief to have that all over.)

Ugh, this month. Almost March, though. Just another week.

Brain Dump

Ye gods, squiders, I am exhausted. I am drinking coffee but it is doing nothing.

Opening night tonight, hooray! I took a really great selfie of myself in costume the other night, but our director said something about wanting to keep the costumes a surprise (my spouse has suggested asking if I can keep said costume after the show, actually, so it is pretty awesome) so it’s just sitting on my phone, doing nothing. But maybe I’ll post it next week.

(Also, I am now in charge of moving a window during a scene change. It’s very exciting.)

Four shows this weekend, strike and cast party on Sunday, and then I can sleep. Hooray!

I found a BookCrossing book on Saturday! Do you guys know about BookCrossing? I remember being really into it, like, 12 years ago. It was everywhere then. I remember I found a manga collection at a con once and it was the most exciting thing ever. But the basic idea is that you leave a book somewhere, someone finds the book and checks it in, and you can watch it travel.

I hadn’t thought about it in years, but then in December the kids found a copy of The Night Before Christmas in a bush (I can’t remember if that one was a BookCrossing book or a related idea), and now I’ve found a romance novel in the theater bar. Madness. Crazy to think it’s still going after all this time, because it always seems like a lot of the stuff I really liked from that time period no longer exist.

Actually, speaking of that time in my life, I was at my local coffee shop/gameporium/comic shop this morning, and they had a volume of Bleach on sale for half off. Have I talked about Bleach here before? After checking my archives, apparently not. Predates the blog, probably, which is insane, because it will be 10 YEARS OLD THIS AUGUST (not unlike Hidden Worlds, har har. I was busy in 2010.).

ANYWAY, I was obsessed with Bleach. Hands down one of my very favorite manga/anime series (the live action was okay). I used to download the new chapter each week once it came out in Japan, once some lovely person went through and translated it into English. It was probably the last fandom-related backdrop I put on a computer. I read the manga, I watched the anime (even the terrible Bount arc), I cosplayed it. I had LJ icons. I have a poster signed by Tito Kube (the manga artist) from San Diego Comic-con 2008, where I sat through three panels just to make sure I got a spot in the room and could see him.

But Bleach is one of those series that goes on forever, and after, I don’t know, 500 manga chapters or something, I got burnt out on the cyclical plot arcs (which boil down to: A bad guy shows up, Ichigo gets his butt kicked and then works to get stronger, his friends and associates also get stronger through association with him, they triumph–and then a new, bigger bad guy shows up) and was starting to lose track of the characters (each new bad guy comes with a dozen or so new characters, at least). So I never finished the series (I should now, since it’s complete).

The coffee shop has Volume 73. Now, remember, I read the chapters directly through the Internet as they were released, so I was like, hey, I wonder where this falls in the series, and if it’s before or after where I left off. But it’s definitely after, cuz I had no idea what was going on, and also there are yet more new characters.

But now it’s back in my head, so maybe I’ll pick it back up.

Once the musical is over.

I’m reading Fixing Your Plot and Story Structure Problems by Janice Hardy for my writing book for the month (it was a birthday present from my spouse back in October, so I haven’t been sitting on it for years like some of the other ones). I think I must have been confused when I put it on my wishlist. In my head, I suspect I thought it was an in-depth look at plotting and structure, but what it is in reality is a bunch of exercises to use when you’re revising your novel.

Which, I mean, great! But I’m actually really good at fixing plot/structure during revision because I’m not great at plot/structure while I’m drafting. So I’m not finding a lot of new information. But it’s my own fault, because it’s not like the book description is unclear. I suspect what happened, since I follow Ms. Hardy’s blog (Fiction University), is that she had an ad for this particular book at the end of an article that was more plot/structure drafting than revision, and I just looked at the title and said yes, that is something I could probably use.

Anyway, I think I’ve blathered enough. I hope your week is going well, squiders. Hang on for another week, and we’ll be out of February.

Musical Interlude (Literally)

Hey-o, squiders, happy Tuesday. (Except my back is killing me, aauuugh.) How are you?

I’m in the midst of pre-show jitters, because the musical I’ve been working on is this weekend!

(I did tell you about the musical, right? We’re doing Music Man.)

The pre-show jitters are bull, because my part is so ridiculously easy I could honestly do it in my sleep. Most of the songs are in unison, there’s very little dancing (on my part), I’ve got no lines. Easy peasy lemon squeeze-y.

I’ve found that nerves rarely listen to logic, however. If they did, I wouldn’t blow my auditions all the time.

(It’s really aggravating, because it doesn’t matter how much I practice my audition song beforehand. I could spend months on it–and have–and still manage to forget the words, or screw up the rhythm, or be horribly off tune. And I can tell I am, and yet can’t seem to do anything about it.)

(And yet, performing is fine. I have never screwed up a song during a performance, even if it’s a solo. Brains are stupid.)

I tell you this, because it does mean I may miss my Thursday update. Not on purpose. But because I may be exhausted. Tech week sucks, and rehearsal runs late because we do it after the normal workday. I’m not worried about the show itself–we’re in a really good place to be ready to open on Friday–but it’s just a lot of time.

And also because this show has really made me think about what I’m doing with this particular theater company. (I suspect I’ve said that before, about previous shows. I probably forget in between shows or something.)

But I am especially thinking because the company is trying to move in a new direction, one that I suspect will make it even harder to get anywhere than it already is, if not impossible.

I like this company because I adore the people who are in the cast, and it’s convenient (it’s based at my church, so it’s close and familiar), and because they tend to do large ensemble shows that allow lots of different people to participate. (Lots of potential new friends and old favorites.)

But I don’t like it because it almost always does musicals, which are not my preference or strong point (God, I would kill to do some Shakespeare). And I don’t like it because I have no opportunity to show off my training, so I’m always relegated to the ensemble. And I don’t like it because the same people always get the leads, and there’s no opportunities for other people to advance.

I should look at other local theater companies, and see what their rehearsal schedules are/where they operate out of. It may be that none are doable at the moment, and may not be until the small, mobile ones are more independent. Ah well. I had my chance to go into theater more seriously when I was younger and I chose to do other things, and you reap what you sow.

And, I mean, it is fun, most of the time. Not terribly high stress. And the people are lovely. I’d just like to actually get to do something now and then.

But hey! Show this weekend! Should be a great time. ūüôā

What are you up to, squiders? Thoughts on community theater?

(ETA: After I posted this yesterday, I went to look around to see if there were other local alternatives, and I found one doing Macbeth in July! Hurray, Shakespeare! And I’ve done Macbeth–or the Scottish Play, as it’s often referred to, since legend says saying the name of the play in a theater is bad luck–before. I played Macduff. We gender-reversed the parts because, like many theater groups, we had a surplus of women and a handful of men. I got a sword. It was awesome. I kept Macbeth’s “head” for several years after the show and it took three tries to finally throw it out. Before that I’d throw it out and it would show back up, but it hasn’t again…that I know of.

Yeah, that show is definitely cursed.

But, alas, I don’t think I can do the show, if they’d even have me. Auditions are on a day I can’t do, and with the spouse’s ongoing medical needs, doing a show over the summer is a bad choice.)

Movie Round-up

I don’t get around to a lot of movies (a combination of small, mobile ones combined with just not liking to sit still for that long in one go), but I have actually watched three in the last week. Madness, I know. And since movies seem to be more of a common element than books (i.e., a person is more likely to have seen the same movie than have read the same book), hey, let’s talk about them.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

While we are generally Star Wars people, we didn’t go to see this last summer, partially because summer was very busy, and partially because the hype around the movie was very lukewarm. (We did however, get tickets to go sit in the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit.)

But I actually really liked this. I thought the story was fun and while the guy playing Han doesn’t look like Harrison Ford, he did sound and act like him. And I ‚ô• Chewy. So if you missed this for whatever reason, I’d give it a try. I’d watch it again.

Lego Movie 2

So, hey, my sister-in-law got us tickets to a special preview showing of Lego Movie 2 (which comes out on Feb 8). In general, I liked it. It’s about what you’d expect, though I had this weird feeling for a bit, like, uh. How to explain this. Like, the Lego Movie is self-contained and I’ve seen it so many times (it is a favorite of the small, mobile ones) that it felt like the existence of a sequel was some sort of weird fever dream. I missed part of it because the smaller, mobile one had to go to the bathroom, but I don’t think it was anything terribly important.

Also, there are Lego velociraptors.

The Greatest Showman

The husband came home and was like, “I ordered us a movie from the library!” Like, weirdly excited. This is the movie from 2017 with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, which is honestly all I knew about it going in (and I think I also knew it was about P.T. Barnum but I’m not 100% on that).

Guys, I enjoyed this stupid movie so much.

The music is amazing. And the story itself is mostly fluff, which I appreciate in a time when it seems like everything has to be gritty and realistic. I have already watched it twice.

(I got chills during the first number, which probably means I have to buy the movie now. That’s why I own the 2004 version of Phantom of the Opera. Have you seen that? When it goes from black and white to color and the Phantom theme starts…that’s my favorite part. Sometimes I watch just that part. The last time the play came through they’d taken that part out of the musical which is SACRILEGE.)

(I’m not a huge Phantom fan–I think the characters are dumb, except for Meg–but I do like the music. And the beginning.)

ANYWAY, that’s what I’ve seen lately. Watched anything good yourself? The new season of Star Trek Discovery has started, so I need to get on that ASAP.

October!

It’s that time of year again.

fear them

October! Best month of the year! You guys are probably sick of me saying that every year, but it continues to be true.

The temperature is finally dropping enough to wear, you know,¬†pants. And other fun things like boots and sweaters. The leaves are changing. People don’t look at me as weird for drinking tea all the time. The world turns a little bit goth, just for fun.

Here’s what October looks like on my end:

  • Rehearsal starts tomorrow for the Christmas review show. They gave me a¬†solo.¬†They weren’t supposed to ever actually do that. But aside from never having sung by myself in front of more than about three people at a time (aside from auditions), I’m pretty excited. Some of the songs are the same as last year, so less work for me. <_<
  • I’ve got a major client edit. It’s my fourth book for this client, and his books are just massive. So that will probably carry me through til the end of the year.
  • Also I have a beta that I’m about 60% done with that I need to finish up and get back to the author.
  • Red Mars¬†needs to be read by Nov 1 and I have yet to start it. (Not too worried; I read pretty fast. Got distracted by a book talking about the relations between haunted places, our psyches, storytelling, and ghosts. Seasonally appropriate.)
  • I’m two-thirds of the way through my Python class. Did I tell you I was taking a Python course? I am. Programming seems like a good thing to be generally proficient in. Said class takes between six and twelve hours a week, so it’s more of a time commitment than I was expecting going in.
  • I’m halfway through my fitness challenge.
  • On the writing front, it’s all Fractured World, all the time. All the plans I had for September got eaten and it may be December before I get back to most of them. Priority is working on the sequel to¬†City of Hope and Ruin¬†as well as a related anthology (which I am super excited about–really looking forward to writing my story, as well as seeing the other ones).
  • My birthday is next week! I keep trying to direct people to my Amazon wishlist but no one ever listens. (Also, on a related note, can you make Etsy wishlists?)

I’m not a pumpkin spice person myself, but I always hail the return of pumpkin spice season, because it means peppermint everything season shall be here shortly.

October, squiders! Do you love it? Grand plans for the month? People doing Nano? Should I talk about Nano?

Aaaaaaahhhhh

Good afternoon, Squiders! (Though it’s inching onto evening at this point…) I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I didn’t have to host anything so mine was quite nice indeed.

We’re into tech week for my musical review. We started on Sunday, and on we go, three hours a night, until Thursday. Friday’s off, and then the performances are on Saturday. Ha. Haha. We got a new song¬†last night¬†which tells you about the general put-togetherness of the whole thing.

The music sounds lovely, for the most part, though there are still a few songs that are a bit shaky (ironically, the new song actually already sounds pretty good). Mostly it’s songs where we’re expected to do something as well as sing, but not always. Also there is a children’s choir singing songs which I was unaware of until Sunday. Ha. Haha.

We finally got the order of the show sometime at the end of last week and are expected to have it memorized by Saturday, which may be wishful thinking. Said show flow also included a ton of new lines for people, so that’s also been interesting. (My sole line–“Uh, I don’t think so”–has luckily been easy to remember.)

This whole thing has been very interesting. I love the people and the music is super fun, so whether we sink or swim on Saturday is kind of moot for me (also it is a free show and the audience shall be plied with cookies and cocoa). I think we’ll probably pull it together. Everything always seems to do so, no matter the odds. And, as I said, the singing sounds good, and isn’t that really what you need out of a musical review?

In other news, people from the shows have been bugging me to join the choir, and so I have, at least for the big Christmas concert. This is an hour-long concert that they do during church service, so I figured we were talking 3-5 songs (since there are children’s choirs and bells and brass and all sorts of various musical groups included) but I got handed 10 different songs last night, all of which are 4 or 8-part pieces. And the concert is on the 10th.

Ha. Ha?

At least for choir, we get to hold the music in our hands. So thank goodness I don’t have to memorize all those, just know how they go.

Just know that I will probably be a little frazzled for the rest of the week.

And probably next week.

We¬†should¬†still have a common writing problem on Thursday. But I’m going to hold off on picking a readalong book until next week or the week after. I’ve done what I tend to do around the holidays, and that’s descend into cozy mysteries. I mean, if everyone’s into cozies we can totally do that, though it’s somewhat out of the scope of this blog.

(I’m on my third in the last two weeks. I read a Poirot book, and then the latest Meg Langslow–How the Finch Stole Christmas–and am now onto the first of a cozy series called¬†To Helvetica and Back¬†which was recommended by the cozy mystery group on Goodreads. And I love punny titles and also font jokes, so…)

Anyway! If you have cozy recommendations, let me know. I’m not generally one for baking-related cozies, but other than that I’m pretty open to themes, and if the baking ones are good, I’ll read them too. I’m really not picky. And otherwise, I shall see you on Thursday!

Play/Musical Logic

My husband and I are rather avid theater-goers. We have a season subscription at the local major theater complex for the big musicals that come through, and we supplement that by going to various local theaters’ (and occasionally high schools’) productions when they’re putting on something that looks interesting.

We’re going to three shows this weekend. Last night we saw George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House (very good, and very funny in parts), tomorrow is Fahrenheit 451 (how could we resist, right?), and Sunday is I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which is part of the subscription. (We get a couple of random non-musicals in with our musicals. Not sure why.)

After the play last night, my husband and I were discussing things, and while it’s not particularly true of Heartbreak House, which is one of those plays where people mostly sit around and talk and are amazingly witty (like Lion in Winter, say) and nothing much of note happens, I’ve noticed that a lot of plays – especially musicals – have a very strange sense of logic that prevails.

I suspect it’s because they have such a short time to tell their story, and so they have to make weird leaps in order to get through the plot in the time allotted (usually denoted by how long an audience is willing to sit still).

In some ways, it’s a form of Fridge Logic (warning: TVTropes link). Fridge Logic is where, while something is happening, it seems perfectly reasonable, but when you think about it later, you realize that it doesn’t actually make any sense.

Some examples: Maria forgiving Tony immediately for killing her brother in West Side Story, the entirety of the plot of Phantom of the Opera, the ending of every farce every written. (And oh, how I love farces.)

People fall in love at the drop of the hat, with nothing in common and without even knowing each other. Villains, previously unstoppable, are brought down by something relatively simple and sometimes contrived. A single song can change a character’s entire way of thinking.

Yes, on some level I think it is necessary. You can’t put the necessary background in that you could in a novel or a TV series. And you can be distracted a lot by clever staging, a fun dance number, or beautiful costumes.

Still, next time you go to see something in the theater – look at the plot afterwards. I bet you’d find at least one place where, when you think about it, something just doesn’t flow right.