Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Musings

I miss auditioning. I must be deranged but I really do miss it. Perhaps its the possibility of every call. Or just the pure insanity of it. I don't have any crazy stories- just sunshine and cockneys.
The weekend was eventful enough. I had a peticoat malfunction and lost it front and center in the middle of a cockney dance break. Oh well. It makes for a funny story and no one got hurt. If only I had received tips.
Some of the local reviewers have been around. The locals are hugely concerned with the critics and their local theatre awards. They reviewers don't like our tracks and are scared by our acrobatics. One didn't care for us being a messy chorus and another thought it was busy. (Oh wait. Let's have the cockney rockettes out instead. That would work well.) Meh. I could care less. There are definitely problems and weak spots in the show, but for our audience it works well enough.
My Fair Lady is one of the classic warhorses, but it did it ever really need to be a musical? It certainly gave someone a chance to edit Shaw's prosier moments, but is it really an improvement on Pygmalion? As with most golden age shows, community, high school, and even many regional theatre productions have proceeded to paint over the grit and balls in the show with a coats of pink sparkles. There is something nice and meaty to these shows that is quite often forgotten. They can work with the original thematic material and still be crowd pleasers. They just normally aren't anything but crowd pleasers when done today. As theatre folk, why wouldn't we do both when we could? We might be poor gypsies, but we should have some pride in our work. Focusing our energy and creativity a little bit more could help so much. The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented. It just needs to seen from another angle. Will it look different from that angle? What can we find that we didn't find before?
The Stage Door's simple minded cockney fun falls under the glitter category. But for our audience of seniors, pretty is what they want to see. They want an evenings entertainment, and more of them can follow the scenes that mimic the movie. There was an ancient couple in the front row last night whose daughter had brought them to the show. Busking my beans at the at the beginning of the show, I was beyond their comprehension. The daughter translated my cockney cackling in a loud voice for her mother. Then the teeny tiny old woman beamed up at me. That is what we are doing at the Broward Stage Door. It makes it all worth while, even if some little man who critiques what he cannot do didn't care for it. The only fans we need are smiling up at us from our house. Even if they forgot to turn their hearing aids on and leave for the bathroom before the first act is over. :-)

My personal favorite Oscar look from last night. I love her!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bette Davis Eyes

I almost always have shadows under my eyes. And then mascara, liner, shadow, and such residue. Not matter what I buy, they emphasize those shadows. I wish I could pull them off with off with glamour like Marion Cotillard does. Instead, I have Bette Davis eyes. Not quite so glamourous. Much more psychotic. (My post wig hair frizzy and cowlicky, not quite curls are also not helping.)
One of the locals in the show has remarked on it several times. In Gypsy, my June got likened to Baby Jane by more than one audience member. At least I like Bette. But she's not always an easy one to live with. Neither am I.
The show continues well. Minor injuries here and there, and a cast full of stellar troopers. Standing Os from every performance. Old people love us. My cartwheels and cooter slamming splits are in great shape. And our costumes smell beyond lovely. Another double tom, then two days off. Unfortunately, the weather does not look promising for any beach fun. Boo!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Whitest Girl I Know

Things are settling in quite nicely. Our audiences are full and lively for their advanced age. Plus they are their feet every time for a standing o. The old people are spoiling us!
Our schedule is a little weird, but in a good way. One matinee Wed and a double Thurs mean that we get Mon and Tues off. Which is fabulous. I find myself confused by my wide open Friday right now. Especially after the hell week we had. My feet fit in my granny boots again now that they aren't beyond swollen.
I don't have to be anywhere until 730 tonite. Which is lovely. So I put on my hat and sun hiding clothes and walked to a nearby French bakery. I'm sitting outside by a fountain underneath an umbrella. A taste cup of Joe and a super yummy chocolate covered elephant's ear have made me one happy girl. And the whitest girl in Florida. Who keeps freckling in the sunshine. Despite the SPF 75 baby sunblock.
Rosie is suspicious of these tan Floridians. Where are their excessive freckles?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Speedo Bus Pictures :-)

My camera tablet hook up thingee came in. So I give you the best of the speedo pictures!

It's back to work today. Blue hair Wed matinee and a brush up rehearsal afterwards. Back to Cockneyland I go. With my matinee mole!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dresses, Submissions, and King Cakes

The weekend passes quickly when you have double of a lovely but very long war horse. Yesterday and today are my first two days off in a row. Rejoicing and lots of sleeping. And shopping!
I bought a new pair of sneaks cheap. I needed them. Not very exciting. But Diana (our fabulously tall drink of Eliza Doolittle) and I were at the Mills outlet mall a little ways from us. It was a little small for a mills mall, and a lot of the stores were tiny. But they have a little tiny Betsy Johnson outlet crammed full of fabulous dresses. On sale. I'm a sucker for a pretty printed dress. A cute red silk dress with a blue floral print, tiny matching cloth buttons down the front, and a forties play on mutton sleeves that then get snug around the wrist, seemed to be calling my name. It was super cute and fit perfectly. I felt and looked like Claudette Colbert. And it has pockets.
It was in my typical audition dress budget, so I came home with my hot pink Betsy Johnson bag and yet another Retro dress. But that dress and I will work in New York. Also in Florida. Though I will stick amongst the flip flops and cut offs, I will work that dress. In my mind, I'm totally in the Palm Beach Story. Now to find me a sweet million are on vacay.....
A couple girls on this gig got the job through video submissions. They are fabulous and quite deserve their spots in Cockneyland. I've been emailing and sending things to lots of companies. How nice would it be to have a job when I get back? We shall see. For now, I'm learning lots about large files and creative swearing when I muck things up. If only technology was more Courtney proof....
I'm of to search for a King Cake. My family was always in and out of a lot of the Catholic eating things in spring, but we always stuck to Mardi Gras. Religiously. My mom would always try to do no meat. I would grumble at my peanut butter sandwiches (I wanted chicken) and then she would buy fish later on in Lent. My dad and brothers aren't big fish fans, whereas my mom and I love it and didn't get it very often. My dad would grumble, buy himself and the boys steaks, and quite often, that would be the end of our peanut butter Fridays.
Hoping you all have fabulous and fun Fat Tuesdays! It's party time! :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Freddy, Where Are Your Pants?

Our Freddy was waiting for his pants to be altered during dress rehearsals. And our Eliza, being awesome, talented, and fabulous, took pictures. That are well worth sharing.
New coture fashions backstage? Work it, Regan!

On the street where you live without pants....

Hopefully that made you smile! :-)

I Could Have Snorted All Night. Oh Wait. I Did.

We opened last night. It came together quite nicely at the last minute push. There are still tech problems but not bad. The old folks keep giving us standing ovations. Or maybe they're just already getting up because it's time for another bathroom break. God only knows.
Best opening night decision ever- my cockney character (Rosie patron saint of the vegetabke cart) became a snorter. Which made the crowd scenes fun. And super classy. Wiped me nose on my sleeve and I was ready for a cotillion!
It's been so long since I've done a golden age legit singing show. I have to take much better care of my voice and allergies. A little bit of stuffy nosed mouth breathing thru the night rasp sounded great in JCS. It actually sounded better and hardcore. Here, not so much. The Alto lines are weird and need to be mixed to tune. Keep it smooth baby.
Brush up rehearsal and a double today. I'm on my break before the evening show. I needed a change of scenery so I hauled myself to the Starbucks a few blocks away. Things that are different at Starbucks in FL compared to my NY haunts include
1. Palm trees
2. Lots of old people
3. Dress code-my pumps, black jersey top, and skinny jeans look super chic and dressy. As does my scarf tied around my pin curls. I should have worn a t shirt, board shirts, and flip flops. Cringe.
4. There are no other gypsies on break hiding their pin curls
5. Outdoor seating
6. Sleeveless tops in Feb.
7. Mosquitos. I hate them.
It's back to the Stage Door to go snort and sweat some more. I forget the joy of petticoat period shows. And the smell.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speedos, Maids, and Hearing Aids

So I beached it instead of the bakery. Got sand in my shorts, borrowed a big floppy hat, and remained as pale as I was before. Best part of our beaching. A gaggle of young men comes by. 15 of them heading down to the beach. When they ran en masse into the water to frolic about, they were all wearing speeds. Later they had chicken fights. I got out my camera zoom and took pictures. I will post the best once I get the piece to hook my camera up. I actually brought my camera. Goofy maid pictures are coming soon!
I get too much joy out of my caps and aprons.Something about maids and snotty rich people makes me laugh. I just misbehave in general. I want to be a Moliere maid. Like Jeeves, she fixes problems and gets the dumb rich people to do the right thing. Shaw maids are just there. And I am also imagining spitting in Mrs. Einsford-Hill's tea. Teach her to ask for two sugar cubes!
We're getting close to opening. This week has had it's share of long days and a blessed few fuses blown. One more ten hour day, a run to spare, and then an audience full of old people. Welcome to cockneyland! May your hearing aids assist you in your understanding of Shaw. Or if Shawee was being difficult, just ignore the words and look at the pretty paintings and cartwheels.
It's all coming togther quite quickly. It's not at all what I expected, but it will work very well for the buses of seniors that keep the Stage Door up and trucking.
"Look at all then young things, Vern. They sure can hop around."
"Whats that Loretta?"
"I reckon so. It's just like Broadway."
Playing to your audience is always a good idea. And having fun doing absurd things is an even better idea.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is That Producer Proof?

In college, we had a fabulous technical director. Curt was amazing, sweet, even headed, funny, and he could make what needed to happen happen. As he told us "There is no magic in the theatre. I just build shit." But he built it well and safely. Quite often, his sets were the most gorgeous sets of the season. He would "actor proof" them. His theory being that you loose huge amounts of common sense and safety sense when in actor mode. Which is quite often true.
I miss Curt down here in non union FL. No one bothered to actor proof our set. The back platform is only a few feet wide with no railing on the back. Just a nice long drop. And one of the producers fell down it yesterday morning before we arrived. Whoops.
While some union rules are very stringent and unnecessary when it comes to building sets, others are so practical. A set should not just be a work of art. It should also be designed for practical use and safety. In this case someone got hurt. Hopefully he has workman's comp through the company cause we performers don't. General consensus in cast housing: better him than us. Maybe they will be safer in the future. If wishes were fishes...
On a cheerier note, we celebrated the eve of our last day off before opening with taco Sunday. We watched the Grammys, ate enough guac for a whole village, had margarita out of bowl, and went to bed content and full. Here's to many taco Sundays to come!
Today's dilemma: beach or bakery. Perhaps both.... :-)
One of Curt's best moments and one of my pinkest moments. The spiral staircase that graced this set was stunning. And had a railing I could desperately cling to. Curt can come work on my manor when I marry my rich man or suddenly become classier Diablo Cody. (Though she is as pale as I am) Funny enough, I was living with the "purple cloud" as she called herself at the time. We drank lots of tea together! All my love, Leta darling!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day Off!

Today is our first day off in nine days. Plans currently include being lazy, sleeping, and possibly shopping. Sounds good to me.
As we get closer to opening next week, more and more of the show is coming together. Shawls, petticoats, and granny boots are going to be my reducing diet for tour audition season. Sweat my thighs off! (Nice thought in theory, but in reality I won't trim down that much at all. Oh well.)
There's not really anything exciting going on. I split the sole of my boots yesterday. They are headed to the cobblers for repairs. We keep baking cookies in the girls house. And I'm not sure why I'm writing any of this down. Hopefully it entertains my father as he sits and waits in airports.
Trey McIntyre is coming to Coral Springs while I'm here. Hopefully I can find a class with him or a company member somewhere. They are amazing and superchill. If you're in Houston, Houston Ballet is doing his staging of Peter Pan next year. It's awesome. Get tickets. (Peter is extensive man candy flying through the Wortham. Even if the choreo wasn't as amazing as it is, their man candy is fabulous!)
Check it out! I love how fluffy Sara Webb is in this!
Their entire season is chock full of half naked man candy-La Bayadere, Clear, the Rite of Spring, some shirtless action in Butterfly. I approve! In the old days, I would take mygrammy down to the green room when she could still come to the ballet. As her mind started going, I was afraid she was going to do more than just look at the man candy. Their 2012 season would have been bad news for teenage me. Hold onto her hands....or else!
This shot is from Clear. One fo the many nudy ballets Stanton Welch has made. :-)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So You Think You Can Cockney?

In the interest of time and an aged audience (they fall asleep very quick after getting off the bus from the senior center), our production team has cut verses, lines, and dance breaks all over the show. They want it to be tight. Yeah.o when we started on "Get Me To The Church" today, I was astonished when we kept the full dance break. Then we started working on it, and I was even more astonished. Trick after trick after trick occurs. I've cartwheeled, splitted, andeen thrown in one hour than I have ever have been. It's not ballet partnering. That I have down pat. It's gymanistic tricks. I turn cartwheels all over the place and then turn more cartwheels in a string with partner. All in five millions layers. Holy shit. (May my dead grandmother excuse my French. She would if she could).
Chatting with one of the locals, I figured it out. Apparently our choreographer works for So You Think You Can Dance (the Canadian version). This definitely leaks over into his "My Fair Lady." If anything, our audience will be amazed by the young people's antics. And we will continue to use the gym only for the Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room. We already had our workout. :-)
"My Fair Lady" is currently playing on TCM. Guess what we've been watching. Hahaha.
She is a secret Cockney...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Friday-Friday-Friday-Oh!

The days go by full of rehearsal. 10 to 6 with lots of of dancing and singing. Working on my cockney (thank you Lilly Allen and Kate Nash) and kicking myself in the face whenever possible. Yesterday we tried on our costumes during rehearslas. Especially in my multiple maid outfits (ma and son Higgins put their maids in different outfits).
We're putting on a show. The days are fairly uneventful on one side but full of fun and new friends on the other. Lots of lifts, high kicks, and cockney skirt swishing. I bought knee pads in an attempt to save my knees from excessive bruising. Hot tub antics at the gym in the evenings and coffee in the mornings. Our Friday isn't the start of our weekend but it's our hump day.
Tom- Another long day of glottal stops and country dancing. We'll have to wait for Thurs for that blessed day off.
What I think I look like playing in Jacuzzi foam...

What I actually look like....