Posts Tagged ‘theater’

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. 🙂

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.)

Dramatic Interlude

No landsquid today, Squiders–my holiday weekend was overstuffed (pun intended, haha) and I’m still recovering from it on some levels. Thursday, I promise, and if I’m wrong I shall let the Alpaca have my favorite hat, even though he will probably eat it.

So, moving on. I’ve always said that it’s good to try new creative things every now and then. I think it helps one grow as a writer and/or an artist, helps clear the mind, and gives one experience they can apply to whatever their main creative occupation is.

With that in mind, Saturday I am going to try out for a musical.

Am I terrified?

You bet!

My local community theater is doing Into the Woods, which admittedly I know nothing about aside from it being a Sondheim musical and a mixture of fairy tales. And that Chris Pine rips his shirt off during a song in the movie version (which I have checked out from the library, but still not actually watched).

Am I expecting to get a part, or even make it to call backs? Not especially. I am what I would call a competent singer–I can sight read, have good rhythm, and can stick to my own part in a multi-part song–but I don’t think anyone will ever say I have the voice of an angel. I was an Alto II in high school and an Alto I in college, but I can usually do the mezzo soprano and Soprano II ranges without any issues. On the other hand, I have had a death cold for about a month and it’s only within the last few days that I can sing at all.

Musicals and I don’t have an especially good relationship anyway. I didn’t get cast in a single one in high school, despite being in the advanced women’s choir and also a regular lead in non-musical plays. I was only onstage for my senior one because one of the chorus (a freshman, alas) dropped and they needed to replace her. And I’m pretty sure high school was the last time I tried out for one.

But it never hurts to try, right? Experiences! Variety! Theater-based mysteries! (A friend and I went to see Curtains about a month ago, which is a musical about a murder during a musical, and it was lovely and I enjoyed it a lot.)

And maybe I’ll actually get a part, and then get to sing, by myself, in front of all sorts of people…

But maybe dressed as a princess! That would be okay.

But first, I need to pick–and learn–an audition song.

Have you tried anything new lately, Squiders? How did it go?

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.