Friday, May 29, 2009

Decision, Decision

Late night post on the night before I am to, presumably, go to the Winchester Little Theater for a "Train Wreck" audition. I have talked about it auditions, writing of a script, lighting design, costume procurement, memorization of lines, blocking, rehearsal and performance ALL take place within 24 hours. Hence the name.

It is indeed a fascinating concept, but I have not yet decided if I want to do it. It is such a long drive for me to go all the way to Winchester, Virginia, just for a one day affair. (Assuming I would get in, of course, which is not sure thing.) However, the ride may be worth it, for such a short amount of time. And plus what a wild concept...I will say I am tempted.

I have been in a few train wrecks on stage, but never one designed to be so. I will keep everyone posted.

I didn't end up going after all... the idea is a good one, and I think it would be great fun to take part in someday...but last night I just didn't have the stamina to make that long drive twice (and hour+) And then to get up early this morning and do it again.

And in fact, I probably would have gone through with it, if I had no other chances for theatre in the near future. But next week I have Romeo and Juliet auditions, and if I get into that it will take about about a month or so, and that will be nice. Plus, if I am chosen, it will be great to be doing Shakespeare again. (I haven't since college.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

In general.

Loyal blog readers, a potentially busy time is approaching.

I have in fact signed up for the playwrighting class at the Full Circle Theater Company that I have mentioned in previous posts. (Which are not coming as frequently as I would like, and I again apologize for.) The course will meet three times in June, for 90 minutes each session. I don't yet know what to expect exactly, but I know many of the people involved with it, so I am already comfortable with the notion. I will keep you all updated on how that progresses.

Also in Full Circle news, I will be taking pictures tomorrow night for their upcoming show, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. Click on their name for a link to their website, if you are interested in learning more about getting tickets for this classic.

Secondly, coming up soon as well, are auditions for Romeo and Juliet. Those are on the 6th of June. I have mentioned before the pieces I was thinking about using as my audition piece, and I have made my decision. I will be doing "I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth", from Hamlet. It is a frequently used classical piece, no doubt. But I want to audition with a piece that shows my overall comfort with Shakespearean language. While I am not saying I would require no work to do the Bard's language in any given play, I am in fact very comfortable with that particular speech, and I know with work and attention I always become comfortable with the language of such plays. So I am going to go with that one. I need to start working on that soon. To sand off the edges, as it were.

As for the one man show I have been working on, I have completely memorized the first "major chunk" that I arbitrarily mapped out when I got the script. I do not recite it each day, as I should, but I do most days, and I did so just a half an hour ago, with no real problems. I have no at last decided it is time to move one to the next "major chunk". (Such a technical theatre term, is it not?) The way I prepared myself for the first one was to simply read it through silently several times each day, when I had spare time. Seeing as how there is no deadline for this show at this time, I see no reason not to continue that method for the next section. I have broken up the major chunk into smaller minor chunks, to coin a phrase, and I will, once I have read and read and read the section, work on memorizing one of the minor chunks at a time, until it adds up to having committed the major chunk to memory.

One I have that second major chunk in my head, that will be, I would guess, two-thirds of act one. When i put it in those terms it makes it sound like I am making more progress. So I shall continue to do so.

Act Two, as usual, is shorter than act one. So, if I keep the fire under my backside burning at a constant heat, I am willing to project, based on these early exit polls, that I can have the whole show memorized by the end of summer of 2009. So we will see how that goes. Pull for me, loyal blog readers. I may be able to find a place to perform this locally. Maybe even more than one.

Last year I attended auditions for the Winchester Little Theater's "Trainwreck" and Reader's Theatre". I was not available for the Trainwreck last year, but the auditions for it are coming up in a week or so I believe. I am trying to determine if I want to show up for that one this time.

As I mentioned last May, the concept is to try out for a play that has not yet been written, get cast by the writers that day, have the writers work all night to write the piece, which will be rehearsed all throughout the following morning, and performed, for the one and only time, that night. Winchester is quite a long drive for me. So far the longest I have made to a theatre for auditions. But given that it is a one shot deal, I may consider it. Certainly a wild experience the likes of which nobody else around here provides. That I know of. I will make a decision on that soon enough. (I will have to, of course.)

That is all to report at this time. I will try to make my next update much sooner than this one was.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Potential Projects Aplenty

Several things, loyal blog readers, will soon be upon my plate, all of which are related, in some way, to the very purpose of this, your beloved Always Off Book.

To begin with, I am planning on taking voice lessons. To improve singing. I have a few places in mind, but have not yet made any decisions. Seeing as how I have never taken such lessons before, it is a bit hard, if not intimidating, to determine exactly what I want from them, and where to best obtain what I am looking for.

I think the key is to find a place, (I have several in mind) that offers beginner lessons. My gut feeling is that I am somewhat above beginner, but I am certainly not far above it. I can always advance to a harder class with the instructor, if I find my experience puts me on a higher level.

And I do have experience. I have sung in talent shows, and gotten into a few musicals here and there. So I must not be that bad. In fact, based on the compliments my friends usually give me, I am actually fairly good at singing. My goal with these classes, whenever they start, is to assess just exactly how good I am naturally. From there I hope to learn techniques and knowledge which will improve upon whatever it is I already posses.

My hope is to make myself impressive enough to almost certainly get into any community musical I try out for. Since I do not try out for them that much, and I have learned over the years that it is usually the voice, and not the acting ability that gets one into such a show, I feel it only makes sense to improve my singing prowess.

Even outside of theatre, I have wanted to hone my singing for quite some time now. The moment has come to stop putting it off. Money where the mouth is, and all of that sort of thing. I am hoping to start them, somewhere, this month.

I am also looking into taking a playwrighting class. Adult intensive class offered by a local theatre. I am not sure about that one yet, as I am not sure how quickly it will fill up. But I am working on getting all of the information and money together for it. That of course, is not technically performing, but it would, if I got into the class, certainly be a direct connection to the experiences I have had as an actor over the years.

And of course, i continue to work on the one man show I hope to perform somewhere later in the year.

An interesting experience. I have been falling behind on my planned schedule for working on lines. But I have pretty much committed the first "French scene" I created to memory. I would say that is about one third of the first act.

Very odd to be doing things theatrical with only yourself to report to, and nobody else. I don't even leave the house to work on it. I am finding that provides both a certain freedom and a certain obstacle. On one hand, I can take my time, and really explore the character, and think about how I want to do it. On the opposite hand, some of the synergism one gets as part of a cast is absent. I can do it, but I am finding that even in the less favorable casts I have been in, there was a sense of collaborative motivation. With this project, I have to summon it up myself.

Finally, I still plan to try out for a friends production of "Romeo and Juliet" which will take place in July, but will of course audition sometime in June. I need a classical monologue. I am thinking of using Hamlet's "I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth", speech, if it is long enough. I am sure many people choose that one, and for that reason I may memorize another. But I relate to that one so much, and I have been reciting it for years. It is very natural to me now, and I think that is the most important thing to keep in mind when auditioning...feeling natural. So, I would say I will probably keep it. More on that as the weeks go on as well.