Tuesday, October 11, 2011

trying to focus...

I’m on a summer vacation from acting. [Well, kind of. I’m rehearsing a little project right now called Hit & Run V…but more on that later. And, well, truth be told, I’m still doing my dialect work and constant monologue-ing, more on that later, too. I promise.] I turned down two perfectly wonderful leading roles in the last month. The last three years I have been jamming as much into my schedule and resume as I could handle, but I've always felt that on the cusp of grad school I should be hungry for theatre. Even if you’re not an actor, you’ll relate because that feeling has more to do with coming thisclose to realizing the dreams and ambitions you’ve always cultivated. I was hoping that by starving myself of acting it would make school that much more meaningful in the long run because it filled a spot in my soul, and not just on my resume and in my head. Seemed like a solid plan, too!


But life has a funny way of…changing…your plans. My partner has been toiling away in nursing school for years. He was scheduled to finish right on time this coming summer, so we would be free to relocate for my grad program immediately after. He’s spent a couple semesters doing prerequisites, put in a year and a half on the wait list, and worked 4 quarters into his actual program…aaand he breaks his foot. It wouldn’t be a big deal for an average student, but a nursing student needs to demonstrate their practical abilities in clinicals. So! An optimist might say that we have lots of new options to pick through. But it’s pretty safe to say I won’t be applying to grad schools this year.

...well, I know Reed McColm will be excited to hear that :)

The photo is of Anfiteatro Sagunto, a partially restored Roman amphitheater near Valencia, Spain that I visited in March 2010. When my focus is off, I think of how long theater has existed despite the fact that for centuries it’s been labeled a dying art.

Friday, September 23, 2011

should I work for free?

I've come to an interesting point in my career and have been wondering when I should work for free and when I should decline. In a hazy rage & fit of confusion one night I googled my predicament (not really expecting to find an answer, mind you) and found something that actually helped...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

International press???

Opening night of Much Ado About Nothing is tomorrow and apparently our PR has hit international proportions...don't forget your "weed chair" :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Much Ado buzz...

A cool preview article cropped up today about our production of Much Ado About Nothing. If I'm remembering correctly, this is the first outdoors show I've ever been a part of! Long time coming, if you ask me... so far, it's been very enlightening! It's amazing how much things like sunlight, an airplane passing by, bugs or wind can affect what is going on with your body, voice, costume...not to mention everyone else's, too! If you're coming to the show, here's a tip...bring a blanket and a bottle of wine! We have picnic licenses! And did I mention this show is FREE???!!!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Critic's Choice Awards

Our local newspaper, the Spokesman, has published its Critic's Choice Awards, and hoooly moly do I feel lucky! I was a part of three productions in the past theater season (2010-11), and two scored awards. And better yet, both are ENSEMBLE-based awards! These nods really do reflect my feelings towards both of these groups; I felt challenged, supported, and laughed my little lungs out with each of these amazingly hard-working casts. Congrats to ALL!

BEST PLAY: Opus by Michael Hollinger. "This is the finest play I've seen about making music since 'Amadeus' and one of the best plays I've seen in Spokane, period. Director Jadd Davis put together an exceptional acting ensemble to tell the story of a string quartet struggling to rehearse for a White House performance. The quartet has plenty of relationship conflicts, yet in Michael Hollinger's script, the most compelling conflict is the one between the musicians and Beethoven. The fine ensemble consisted of Dave Rideout, Bethany Hart, Tony Caprile, John Oswald and Patrick Treadway." (that's me to the left!)

BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION: Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman. "...This show featured a huge swimming pool in the middle of the Civic's Firth Chew Studio Theater...In the hands of director Yvonne A.K. Johnson, this was no gimmick. It was a glittering metaphor, illustrating some of the ancient themes in Mary Zimmerman's script, based on Ovid's poems. 'Metamorphoses' competed stroke-for-stroke with 'Opus' for best play, yet this category seemed to fit its accomplishments even more perfectly." (the photo on the top left of the layout is of the Metamorphoses ensemble)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Closing Gift

An absolutely excellent closing gift to the Metamorphoses actors from our Assistant Director and photog extraordinaire, Christopher Wooley!
(from L to R: me as The Spirit of the Tree, Brian Gunn, Dalin Tipton as Erysichthon, & Morgan Gilbert as Hunger)

Just want to re-iterate what an amazing opportunity this show was...what other shows do you get to play in the water to create Hunger? I was two trees in this show. TWO DIFFERENT TREES! What an actor challenge, eh?!

Monday, May 2, 2011

50 Hour Slam

I was lucky enough to be asked to do three 50 Hour Slams here in Spokane!
Unfortunately, this 2-day filming spree took place on a weekend that I had four shows at the Civic, so had to decline the last two of them to ask :) It turned out to be a fun morning project with a big group of my friends, and I got word that yesterday that our team (who filmed MemoranduM) won the judge's award! There were 60 or so entries, but about half of
those didn't make it on time, with the secret line/prop, or under the short film
time limit. About 15 of those were screened at the Magic Lantern last night. If you missed that, each complete entry will be uploaded online eventually, and they are currently running on public TV. But the contest still isn't over...a viral award will still be given to the film with the most online votes! So start watching!

Monday, April 11, 2011

best show warmup. EVER.

Actors have a lot of weird things they do to get ready for shows. I've seen one actor lay on the floor and promise the set that if it will be there for him, he will be there for the set. I have a friend who makes a playlist and for every entrance he's got, he listens to a specific song. Another does at least 45 minutes of vocal warmups and tongue twisters, beating on her chest to loosen up so much that you'd think she'd bruise herself.

But this...this will probably always be the best (and most immediately applicable) warmup for a show I will ever be able to do...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meta Pool!


I'm currently in rehearsal for Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman at the Spokane Civic Theatre (Click for ticket info). The script calls for a pool so...BAM! POOL!
(p.s. opening night is a month away & it is sold out...just sayin'...)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

yesterday...

I should still be sleeping to recover from yesterday! I shot another VO/green screen industrial yesterday for 4 hours, worked at my day job for 4 hours, did a callback for the Spokane Civic Theatre, did a show of OPUS at Interplayers Professional Theatre (complete with talkback after), and watched a movie with my husband so we could stay up past midnight because he turned 30 when the clock struck 12! WHEW!

Highlights included:

1) a graphic verbal blunder. I shot the VO/green screen industrial in a city about 45 minutes away, so by the time a coffee-less 11:00am hit, I was tired. So I'm shooting a whole bunch of those (usually) boring medical training videos that nursing students have to watch all over the US. These spots are full of scary vocab and medicine names that I can't prounounce. So when a spot ended with the phrase "bony protrusions", I accidentally say "boner protru...oops." Nice. Needless to say, the cameraman actually had to leave the room to compose himself, and everyone behind camera giggled mercilessly while I tried to make it past that phrase another, oh, 3-5 times. I am SO PROFESSIONAL. jeez.

2) our talkback at OPUS! It was the smallest talkback yet, about 20-25 people stayed. But it felt really awesome. I love talkbacks, both going to and giving them. We got to talk about how rosin-less bows mean no noise, how we trained and practiced for playing instruments none of us had touched before, why our set was designed in a particular way, the challenges and rewards of performing on a deep (almost arena) thrust. One thing I shared was how I had my own dressing room and the 4 boys from the original quartet get a room. I balked at this immediately; I love the pre-show banter. I get to see who's on their game, who's tired or grumpy or distracted...plus, it's just fun! For this production I always leave my door open to invite company, but the boys close theirs. And rightly so; they're dressing for God's sakes! But I hear them discussing that awesome reveiw, and this costume, and that director that came to the show, and this parking ticket...it might seem boring to you, but I feel left out! Which has turned out to be...great for this show. I've learned to really use it to my advantage, because I always feel like an outsider, seeing them as a quartet in more ways than one. I'm trying to use negatives like this to my advantage. Though now that I've spilled the beans, I hope nothing changes for tonight's show...!

3) I got a part! The callback I squeezed in was for Metamorphoses at the Spokane Civic Theatre in the studio! I got to perform in this show awhile back but it was a mask class, and more of a workshop or thesis project than an actual show at WSU. I have also appeared in Arabian Nights by Mary Zimmerman as well (also at WSU), so I have loved this playwright for several years and I knew I wanted to be a part of this show...even before we learned a swimming pool was being brought in for the set! This will be a huge acting challenge (playing 8 parts or so in the pool in a highly-stylized show) and I am so excited for the nice long rehearsal process to do some daring things, character-wise (compared to the 12 rehearsals our professional theatre gets). Yvonne Johnson, our director and the artistic director at the Spokane Civic Theatre, has a really specific vision. She was lucky enough to see Metamorphoses when it premiered on Broadway at Circle in the Square in New York. Metamorphoses subsequently collected the 2002 Tony awards for Best Play and Best Direction of a Play...sooooo I'm thrilled!

4) Finally...spending time with my partner on his bday :) He is THE reason I can pursue theatre on a daily basis and insists I will continue to do so for the rest of our lives together. This alone makes me a lucky, LUCKY person...not to mention how much fun we have together when we can squeeze it in between all the other stuff! Love you, Ben!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A show of support for OPUS

Our director Jadd Davis narrates a slideshow of a dozen or so images of OPUS for the local alt-newspaper, The Inlander. I must say, publicity is really cooking for this show; for two days in a row, OPUS landed on the front page of the Entertainment & Today sections in the Spokesman Review! I'll scan those in at some point later on.

And a quote from a local blogger that sums it all up for me; "In a nice show of mutual support among local arts community members, the Spokane Symphony Orchestra has bought the house for an added performance of Opus - which is great for Symphony employees and their families, and terrifying for actors who have to mimic playing instruments in front of musicians who actually do so for a (partial) living."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

OPUS tech is overrr!

What to say??! We are well underway for our opening of OPUS and, if I may take a moment to gush...I love this cast!! The chemistry is really interesting, I find something more every run, and the dedication is just there! I'm SO LUCKY!

I performed a few things for the 2011 Interplayers benefit, and got to experience a quartet in their finest moments; backstage. This was really pivotal for me and the timing couldn't have been better. I got super creepy and eavesdropped relentlessly while the super fabolous Tedesca String Quartet out of Spokane prepped for their performance at the benefit. I heard the last-minute debates about bowing patterns, I saw the rosin come out and the good luck charms stashed in the cases, and I watched the warm-ups and tuning. They were really interested in our show; I'm really enjoying the crossover of our artistic mediums. And holy goodness, are these ladies talented. Wow.

We took a musical rehearsal in dance studio so we could utilize the mirrors and our fabulous coach, Charlotte Bickford of the Tedesca String Quartet. (Photos of that coming soon!) Ever helpful, as always, we finalized lots of bow choreography. The set is more than taking shape (sneak peek at left), and the costumes are done, publicity photos are surfacing in the news and online! The only thing that's left is my job...!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

OPUS at Interplayers

My nail polish is chipping!!! After watching several quartets (one being the amazing Spokane String Quartet in November at the Fox...what a show!), I noted several things like hair styles, jewelry (lack of, rather), shoewear, and the lack of nail polish that string players tend to cultivate. Since I desperately want to fit that mold for OPUS by Michael Hollinger at Interplayers Professional Theatre (Jan 20 preview, shows Jan 21-Feb 6 - tickets & info for OPUS HERE), I'm doing my best to figure out not only what is appropriate physically, but why. And the reasons for not wearing bright pink nail polish struck me after about 5 minutes of viola playing at our first rehearsal yesterday.

Our awesome (and patient) coach, Charlotte Bickford, improved my posture and positioning...apparently! "Is this right?" I asked, showing my best and most tension-free positioning as I bowed. She scrunched up her face a bit and walked over to me, reaching for my wrists and pinkies. Her adjustments made my joints feel like they'd never been used (yeah, yeah...ominous words for a 25 year old) and I could tell that my biceps and my collarbone were going to be sore the following day. "Better?" I asked, hoping to lock this contortionist position into muscle memory. "Well..." she sighed, and keep tweaking. Then, finally, "TAKE A PICTURE! THAT'S IT! THAT'S PERFECT!" she said, as she stepped away. If this is it, I thought, I don't feel like a professional violist. I feel like...I don't know...Gollum? Christian Bale's Machinist? An idiot?

My dogs definitely don't approve of my home practicing, alternately howling and running for cover. But they're both going to get used to it because I'm going to make this thing legitimate and authentic...at least if you're sitting offstage!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

wonderful predicament!

As an actor, I shouldn't even venture into this territory. Complaining about too many audition invites is NEVER a problem. Buuuuttt...I am about to do an audition that I don't exactly want to do. Don't get me wrong - It would be an awesome project, huge acting challenge, great on the resume and I would probably learn a ton. So why am I reluctant? Because I want to do something else in the same time slot...and the audition for the "something else" is later this year. Either way, I may not get cast no matter what I decide to audition for. Which is why my wonderful partner asked me to do this audition as a "favor to him". Too bad he knows that nothing would get me to prep a monologue faster than that plea! That is a potential weapon!

I do know how blessed I am in a city this size (*cough* Spokane is SMALL) to be faced with this, so I'm just going to put my heart into both auditions and see what happens!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Murder Mystery MADNESS.

Have you ever done a project that you were NOT proud of???

It's official! I'm definitely sailing on that boat! I probably wouldn't usually burn bridges by blogging near-artistic-death experiences (I'm just getting the hang of this "networking" thing) buuuut, I gotta say....my fellow artists were fantastic. I've worked with several before (we were all pulled from the same agency), but I also got to meet some fun, new people. I loved the other actors on this project, they were such troopers! Okay, hold on, let me start at the beginning...

I get a call from my brand-spanking-new and wonderful agent. She says I'm up for a project in a city about an hour drive from my house, and it'd be an easy project. It is a benefit for a pretty cool nonprofit. From her point of view, it's only for resume credit and networking, since it would also be free. Well, in my mind, I immediately see an opportunity for some characterization/experimentation I normally wouldn't pull while getting reviewed in the local papers. I don't consider for a moment and say YES! She gives me the details; it's a murder mystery, I'll be a brainy bridesmaid in a wedding, it'll be really easy, just show up and act (possibly improv)...Sounds right up my alley for filling 2-3 otherwise empty weeks, since I'm booked doing some VO work during the day.

So I get an email with half of the script attached. I was in a show with two of the actors at the time, and we were thinking it might be a 15 page script/10 minute gig based on our agent. The script is 45 pages. And wait! The email says it's only the FIRST HALF. Script is actually 90 pages. One of my friends drops out immediately. BUT okay! no prob! I'm still on board! I can do it! Though, to my chagrin, the prospect of character experimentation swiftly flies away.

But then (dun dun dun)....I see that one rehearsal is planned. ONE. And it's only an hour and a half long. Ummmm.

So I show up, guns out, ready to ask for either 1) a cut script! or 2) more rehearsals! But "director" won't budge. "Director" says she's making this easy on us by having one rehearsal. I'm definitely not the only one protesting (though I'm one of the few that live far away) so we keep at it. We finally get another rehearsal scheduled. At this point, "director" says to just improv, that it's okay to make it up!! *RED FLAG!* Well, not only is that unfair to the playwright and the audience, but the script is a comedy absolutely FILLED with one-liners, not to mention a murder mystery to solve! We have to carefully drop hints AND comedy! NO improv will work here! I begin to wonder if "director" has ever done theatre before but I keep my mouth shut and decide to just go with it.

Moral of the story: ...okay, I haven't figured it out yet! I was mortified when two people recognized me during the mingling portion (and one told me that I can do better than projects like these...hmmm) which might not be a fantastic thing for my credibility . But on the upside, two people recognized me and wanted to chat with me about it! Though I stayed in character, I can twist that around and make it a nice compliment! And better yet, the actors all had this really fun rough-and-tumble approach, and we all kind of spilled our guts on the floor...together. It was kinda fun after all! (I just want to point out here that we, as a talent pool, have figured that our agent was mislead, instead of our agent misleading us. Just want to be clear on that.) In the end, we had 100 or so people in the audience and only one person guessed the murderer because the murderer was not even in the cast. By script, the murderer is a person in the audience and NEVER had a line, entrance or exit. Would you have ever guessed that???!!

But aren't we just a gorgeous cast :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rehearsing rehearsing rehearsing....

We wrapped Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? over the weekend! It was a short project, but felt a bit extended because of the hour-long drive to get to rehearsals and shows. The audience was tiny one night (but not small enough to check one of my list items off - perform to 5 or less paying ticketholders) and the numbers improved the next, which made the commute worthwhile (not to mention the text...gah!). It was a very rewarding project as far as the artistic team goes (the team directly related; does not necessarily apply to the big hats at Lake City Playhouse), which really melts my butter :)

BUT I am still rehearsing three (count 'em, THREE) staged projects right now. More to come on that.

But for now I want to address something to the artistic community out there (*wave*). I have a question. I had a six-day project with a
commercial company (VO, green screen, teleprompting, you name it) which I actually wrapped in two. Of course I could have stretched it out to bulk up my paycheck (and probably my agent's, too), but then again...if I finish to their satisfaction waaay under budget, won't they HIRE me again? Those words were my farewell the other day, and my heart jumped to hear them...but how often does this really happen? Then there's the big-kicking-fact that I was sick to note; check out my post regarding my first day of shooting. So, actors, what's your take? What do you do in these situations?
EDIT: Alright...I got hired again! But is that a one-time thing? Did I luck out? Or has the industry rewarded you as well by giving you more jobs when you are an efficient performer? I need some input, people!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SOOO many updates...

I have added so many projects for this month I'm about to go crazy. I just tried to schedule a film audition on a Sunday...which, of course, did not work out (who does that?). I'll tell you about a few more stage pursuits in the next day or so, but for now I have to mention a booking that I did this morning.

There is a company in the next state over that does industrial videos (VO, green screen, teleprompting, etc.) and I landed a big gig with them for the entire week! Well, this morning, the Murphy's Law fairies landed and I woke up with zero voice. None. I couldn't croak if I wanted to. I didn't even know that I was sick!! And for my first day, too! If I called would they replace me? Or worse, try to reschedule? Or if I went in, would my voice match from day-to-day? All of these things were banging around in my head while my sweet husband woke up to find meds, cough drops, Throat Coat, boil water for tea...you name it. So I decided to grin and bear it. Thankfully I had an hour-long drive to warm up (*ahem* sing along at the top of my lungs), and nobody noticed I played the game injured!

I'm glad we weren't doing anything on-camera...can't imagine what Murphy's Law could have done to mah hair...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dream role...check!

Checking these ladies off one by one lately! Come to Lake City Playhouse on October 15 or October 16 to see a staged reading of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?! I'm beyond excited to take a crack at Honey - a role I've had on my list for years. And this will be a first time working in Coeur d'Alene at Lake City Playhouse; another fun first!

I have never had an opportunity to see a staged production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? before, so about 7 years ago I resorted to watching the DVD. Yes, THE DVD. Not something I would normally do, but I didn't understand the gravitas on paper, really. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton gave me some definite answers & flew off the screen! But I couldn't for the life of me remember why I put Honey on my dream role list instead of Martha. So recently, I watched it again...and I'm eager to show you why I put Honey on my list!

Tickets are only $10, and if nothing else, you'll hear a great (GREAT!) Tony-award winning (and Pulitzer enough for my book) script. See the news release for more info!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Together 2 Review

The Inlander's review was posted! I'm so pleased to have originated a professional role...twice! This show has been so fun onstage and backstage. I will definitely choose small casts if I can, but there are so many fun things about a large cast like this one! It's a party every night, that's for sure!

That's me on the far left, with Christine Cresswell in the center and Micah Hanson on the right. Sisters!

Friday, September 17, 2010

to be Hyper-Aware or to be Tension Free...?

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." ~Chinese proverb

As an actor who has taken Alexander, years of dance, yoga, and mask classes to deal with the issue of physical tension, I will tell you...I STILL STRUGGLE WITH THIS! And I feel like I always will. I do feel like I have a body-awareness mastered, though. But to the point where it's always on my mind, and probably not in a healthy way for my performances. The moment I become aware of tension in my neck, I start working to get rid of it. A few months later, I notice the tension is gone in my neck, but something weird is going on in my fingers. Or I'm curling my toes. Or I'm so loose, I'm hunching my back or overextending my knees. It's like...tension displacement. Will I EVER be satisfied and totally tension-free???
I'm really hoping I'll find a coach in a master's program that can help me to find balance.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GOOD NEWS!

Thought I should balance out that last post a bit and add some good news...Although I haven't seen the script yet (AAAH!) I agreed to reprise Sandra and originate my second role ever by appearing in Together Again for the Next Time! Yes, this is a sequel...of sorts! The best thing about it is you should recognize a lot of the names and faces from the first time around. I am elated to work with this family again! The first script helped us win a 2009 Spokie for Best Comedy, and I can only imagine the shenanigans that will only heighten this time around (PLEASE don't let the sink explode)! We extended Together Again for the First Time due to the sold out houses but I doubt that bit of good luck will come around twice. We run September 9-25 -- SO get your seats early via the Interplayers website!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SAD NEWS!

I've been putting off reporting this for quite some time in hopes that it could change, but Much Ado About Nothing this summer for the Spokane Shakespeare Company has been cancelled/moved!!! Too many cast members decided they needed a summer vacation rather than a Shakespeare fix...BORINGGG! But our director says that next summer he will resurrect the show. Maybe next time I will be ready to audition for Beatrice (this season I flat out refused, but maybe next year I will have more courage!).

You know, this has happened more than once...most notably with The Tempest last year. I am so tired of my directors giving up when the going gets tough. Have heart, artists! We can put up an independent show!

Photo is from the 1993 film version...LOVE IT!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2009-2010 Critic's Choice Award Nominations

I was lucky enough to belong to three shows over the past season (2009-2010), and in some capacity, each was nominated for a Spokie award! It's a local Critic's Choice award, and just kind wonderful that someone thinks through all of the amazing theatre that happens in Spokane and publishes their rankings (and even more wonderful that someone in Spokane attends everything theatre). I know a TON of the people mentioned in the column, and it feels akin to someone on the street saying, "hey! I remember you! You were in..."! It's just FUN! And taking just a second to look back and feel proud about the productions and ensembles that I was blessed to contribute to last season feels pretty good ;)

Congrats to my fellow ensemble members on individual noms!!!

Doubt (Interplayers, fall 2009)
Aaron Murphy as Father Flynn for Leading Actor, Play
Ann Russell Whiteman as Sister Aloysius for Leading Actress, Play
Roger Welch for Direction of a Play
Best Ensemble (excited about this one!)
Best Drama (even more pleased for this nom! EDIT: We snagged this one! Woo HOO!)

(EDIT: I just realized in the Doubt photos below...I have the same exact expression! Got to say, I was terrified of our Sister Aloysius!)

















Steel Magnolias (Spokane Civic Theatre, winter 2009-2010)
Wendy Carroll as Clairee for Featured Actress, Play
Kathie Doyle-Lipe as Ouiser for Featured Actress, Play
Bethany D. Hart as Shelby for Leading Actress, Play (cool!)











Psychopathia Sexualis (Interplayers, spring 2010)
Dan Anderson as Arthur for Leading Actor, Play
Caryn Hoaglund-Trevett as Lucille for Leading Actress, Play
Best Comedy (stiff competition; but admittedly hard not to be biased!)














(I hope Don McLaughlin at EWU wins set design for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...EWU puts on some amazing productions, and Brodie was no exception. They're not mentioned enough; likely due to the fact that they are a collegiate theatre...but still.)

Hello, Hero!

I auditioned for a specific role and landed it! I was planning on taking a break this summer, but then I got an email from an actor friend about Much Ado About Nothing. Performed outdoors this summer. In Spokane. PERFECT! I've seen it before and read it before, and I decidied I want to be at least 35 to do Beatrice (yup, more than 10 years away). I haven't done Shakespeare since Lavinia in Titus Andronicus in 2007 (?), I believe. So I auditioned for a smaller part...sweet, innocent Hero! And stuck to my guns despite the fact that this is clearly a college-aged cast.

Something that struck me in auditions was the director, Kevin Connell. He knows his stuff, and he knows this play; he was teaching me all sorts of things even as we read. I took 4 Shakespeare courses at WSU, and studied Much Ado About Nothing at least three separate times in them, as well as seeing the play / movie versions more than once. And that's exactly the thing that amazes about Shakespeare...it's text that won't ever be mined to its depths!

The script is (beautifully) pared down to 90 minutes, will be performed outdoors at the enclosed area on the West side of the Gonzaga Prep High School, and will be FREE! Bring your coolers & picnic lunches!

I am so excited, I can't even see straight! I'll post show details really soon. Promise!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Psycho Sex is almost over...

Psychopathia Sexualis by genius John Patrick Shanley at your local professional theatre Interplayers is about to close. We are having so much fun, it's kind of ridiculous! I'd feel bad if you missed this one, and I heard through the grapevine that tickets are going fast for this weekend! Here are the final dates...
  • Thursday, May 27 @ 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 28 @ 8:00pm
  • Saturday, May 29 @ 2:00pm
  • Saturday, May 29 @ 8:00pm
Just an observation, but are the crowds for this show young or what??!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reviews Psychopathia & Steel Mags

I'll address the most recent post later on...pretty much insecurity creeping up on me, I think! I'm so happy with Psychopathia Sexualis! Backstage, this has been one of my favorite casts at Interplayers. So far :)

Anyway, I realized I never posted the Steel Magnolias reviews; for me, personally...well, they balanced each other out quite nicely! (Photo at left backstage as Shelby; courtesy of Chris Wooley & Your Beautiful Photo!)

I some wonderful feedback from the Inlander with this one: "As Shelby, Bethany Hart maintains a quizzical grin on her face through most of the beauty parlor banter – amazed and amused by what-all she’s hearing, but also strong-willed enough to insist, gently, on her own way. A diabetic-attack scene is handled with exceptional realism. Throughout, Hart looks stricken but upbeat, pale but spunky. It’d be the evening’s best performance if it weren’t for Kathie Doyle-Lipe in which is apparently her third local performance as Ouiser…" Just a little background on this...Ms. Doyle-Lipe was my first Civic director for (surprise) The Wizard of Oz in...1997! She's been one of my local idols for yearrrrs and I am smitten with her work. I cannot wait to work with her in director-actor capacity again, and I felt like keeling over at that pesky last line. All five of the wonderful women I was fortunate enough to work with made this job easy...action / reaction basics! Wendy Carroll (who played Clairee) and Melody Deatherage (my mother!) in particular placed some wonderful things at the forefront of my mind each night, not to mention director Mr. Green!

But, TRULY, thank goodness for subjectivity. With the good comes the bad, and a healthy dose of perspective! I think this was a shout-out to me in particular..."Plenty of magnolia was in evidence, but not enough steel" via the Spokesman Review! A vague line like that will keep me working hard, eh?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Reviews!

So. I want to be pre-emptive here. I try to avoid writing journal entries for shows that I'm appearing in, but this time I can't help it. The reviews for Psychopathia Sexualis will be coming out anytime now, and I'm struggling with wanting to read them. I will, of course, but it's hard to predict what will be printed and how I will react this time.

I apologize in advance, because this part will be pretty cryptic, but hopefully it is a very broad generalization that you will empathize with. I'm in between. I want to be taught, but I want to be intuitive enough to make correct and bold choices the first time. The last production I was in was punctuated by some very clear direction, which I was grateful for. In this, the director obliged me. But in hindsight, I felt something else. Not big dramatic changes, but leanings toward something just a bit different. And then, to top it off, one line in a review confirmed my thoughts. Now had I been insightful enough to anticipate these tendencies, I could have asked for a bit of artistic liberty and I'm sure my director would have agreed. I could have made choices that felt correct within the confines of the script, the cast, the technical aspects, and especially myself. Which means I'm supposedly learning, right?

Welcome back to the here and now...I have a show tonight. And I am struggling. Over the last two days I realized something; I was in Shanley's Doubt earlier in the season, a show baked in reality...whereas Psychopathia Sexualis has reality just laced in. Often I wonder how the same man wrote both of these, but I guess that might be beside the point. Anyway, my character is pretty minimal, which is a blessing (because I have the freedom to make some bold choices) and a curse (because I have a lack of hard character definition). Thus, I was oscillating personally between a farce-y, over the top Ellie and a realistic Ellie with feelings and choices that anyone can relate to upon the show's close. I attempted to take a look at my cast members to make my choice...and it seemed like half-and-half. No help there. Then I attempted to look at my space; it's a very intimate theatre. Realistic lighting, but then some farce-y music. When the theatre is empty, it's difficult to go overboard. Instead you want to bring the audience to you. But on the other hand, when it's full, it's almost overwhelmingly noisy and the laughs carry you instead. No help there, either. So I may have made a bad decision: instead of making a choice, I split the difference. I couldn't make a distinct effort either way to stand out. BAD BAD BAD. And now I'm upset. I absolutely will not change my character over the reviews...but what if I secretly agree? And what if I agree with opinions from my husband, my other theatre friends, the random audience member?

Here's the rub; the Ellie that I am playing works...she makes sense and the audience seems to agree. Our sold out opening night was an absolute blast! But I'm wondering if I watered her down too much, if my choices were too similar to the style I used for Doubt? And now that I've heard some opinions that echo my own, do I change? Probably not. Those thoughts may be confined to the retrospect. I take this as a lesson learned and do more work and make more decisions and ask for more table work earlier on. Since this is my second time feeling this way, I AM BEING PROACTIVE NEXT TIME!

Then there's always the possibility that the reviews hail Ellie as perfect :) And then I can attribute all of this to insecurity, riiiight??!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Based on a true fetish.

This show will be my second John Patrick Shanley of the season! Our last dress rehearsal is tonight. Reed is directing! If you'd like to come to Psychopathia Sexualis, see the dates via the Interplayers Website. This one's a real comedic gem, and I'm doing some new things that I'm excited about! There are a few set things and costume quick changes to worry about... thankfully, I'm a change-er, and not the change-ee?? So I won't be the one to go on half-naked if things go wrong, but I'll feel even worse for that if that occurs! We had press photos a day before the set was painted (oh-so-typical) but I think we worked even harder to showcase ourselves in the portraits for it! Case in point...
Anyway, working with this ensemble has been an absolute
delight top to bottom.
I've been very lucky the last two projects in particular in that realm. God love it when professional relations are smooth so we can all just focus on the characters!!! Cast includes Damon Abdallah, Dan Anderson, Caryn Hoaglund-Trevett, and John Hart (haha, no relation!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lynn Redgrave

Broadway's lights will be dimmed in her honor tonight at 7pm. I remember reading her last review in the NY Times, which mentioned she was on book. I wonder how the Lunt-Fontanne fellowship will work this year. Finally, I'm curious how many people have had the lights of Broadway dimmed in their honor. What a wonderful tribute to a dedicated actor. If I am still a working theatre professional at 67, Broadway or not, I will consider my life an immense sucess.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

help me

Theatre needs a hearty dose of decentralization. Everyone acts surprised when I say my goal destination is not, in fact, New York. Hopefully this will tell you why....



But even as I feel my spirit fading, I think of the next show that's coming up for me. (I wonder how I'd feel if I didn't have something on my calendar?) Right now, I feel pretty good! And I'm not stopping anytime soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I didn't TELL YOU THIS??!

I'm backdating this post because it belongs waaay-back-when....and because I can!

During our run of Steel Magnolias we were warned that a wrench or two might be headed our way. THANKS for the heads up! because this is harder than you think! If you were given a word on a slip of paper to incorporate naturally into your dialogue just an hour before showtime, could you do it? Sure, no problem. What about if you were given THIS WORD to put into a 1980's beauty parlor...
THAT'S RIGHT! ROBOT! My heart was pounding as I thought and thought before the curtain. I was waiting backstage for my first entrance when it hit me...the hair dryer things look like robots...right??! This goes back to an old adage I was taught in undergrad at WSU...If you're going to stink, stink with authority! So I did! And it was awesome! I remember another secret word, ANTLER! It seemed as odd as mine, but they were fun to hear from the stage...it felt like a twist on the actor's secret!

Our director, the infamous George Green, also had a secret prop night. There were small scattered props onstage (most out of audience view) for each of us. We just had to keep track of them. It seems simple, especially after you start calling the set home, but keeping track was the hard part!

I love these fresh-savers! Does anyone else get to play games like this to keep you thinking onstage??? What are they?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

STARmeter???

An acquaintance of mine works at the Spokane Visitor's Bureau. Part of their job is to make sure Spokane gets publicity for...pretty much every little thing it produces and/or nurtures. Which includes me! She sent me a link they found titled "Most Popular People born in Spokane, WA" (and take this with a grain of salt due to the fact that this is according ONLY to IMDb). I am #28 on the list...out of only #145! I think it's hilarious...Spokane is so small! I don't have a photo on IMDb (I'd have to pay for it...ummm, no thanks) but I guess it's kind of fun that she recognized my name! I saw a few friends that I've acted with before on the list (Kris Higgins, Lisa Foiles, etc.) so I'm passing this on to them as well!

I just might miss Spokane when I move away. Maybe!

GO RENT TEENAGE DIRTBAG!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Steel Magnolias - Cast Parties!

We recently had our opening night cast party with Steel Magnolias playing at the Spokane Civic Theatre (come see it!). A wonderful Civic patron gave the most hilarious (and scrumptious! and all 100% completely edible!) cast gift ever...and if you are not familiar with why he made us a cake in the shape of an armadillo (complete with "BLOOD RED" velvet cake), well, I refuse to explain it to you. You just have to come see the show!