After 5 weeks we are FINALLY there… the homestretch… In the words of the 1980s Swedish rock band Europe…
It’s the final countdown
The final week of John Loves Mary rehearsals have begun. There’s only a few days left before we open this Friday 7/28! This week is better known as “Tech Week”… or “Hell Week” in the acting community.
“Tech Week”… because all technical aspects of the show are added… most notably lighting/sound cues are added & set changes are rehearsed.
“Hell Week”… because for the actors, director & stage manage it’s a week of late night rehearsals… waiting for technical issues to be resolved… and… of course wardrobe malfunctions (of varying degrees)!
Although it’s a LOT of work… it’s also the week during the rehearsal process I LOVE the most…. Because of 1 simple reason… it’s the week the magic happens! The show suddenly comes alive… in a way that was unimaginable 5 short weeks ago when this all began.
While most call it “Tech Week”… and… others call it “Hell Week”… I call this week “Magic Week”…
Welcome to the magic & wonder of live theatre!
Let The Countdown Begin…
The below video doesn’t have anything to do with John Loves Mary… but the title is strangely fitting… and besides… I grew up in the 80s & kinda like the song
How time flies when you’re having a blast! I can’t believe there’s only 2 weeks left until opening night on July 28th!
This means 1 major event is about to occur… a day during the rehearsal process actors simultaneously love & dread… the infamous “Off-Book Day” (insert dramatic sound effect DUN DUN DUUUUN)!!
Starting on this day, actors are no longer allowed to rehearsal with their security blanket… better known as their scripts. This is the one day during the 5 week rehearsal process that’s completely like a box of chocolates. In the words of Forrest Gump
“You never know what you’re gonna get.”
In my words…
“You never know you’re off-book, until you’re off-book.”
In the past my typical off-book day experience has gone something like this… I know my lines backwards & forwards… I recite them while taking a shower… while doing dishes… even while cleaning the bathroom! By the time off-book day arrives I’m totally prepared.
Feeling confident, I put down my script as I walk on stage for my first scene. I look my scene partner in the eye as he/she gives me my cue. Then it happens… my mind goes completely blank! I have NO idea what I’m supposed to say next! Feebly I call “line”… our stage manager helps me out by giving me my line… the scene goes on. This continues throughout rehearsal as other cast members do the same. Eventually we all get through the rehearsal… everyone is little bit humbled.
On a positive note, this is the day the “magic” really starts to happen. There’s a theory among actors & directors that says characters really don’t start to emerge until an actor puts his script down. It’s a theory I endorse 110%.
As in life… Sometimes we take 1 step back before taking 2 steps forward.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever taken a step backwards in life, before taking 2 steps forward?
Weird question…. Have you ever had so much fun you didn’t know what to do with yourself? Well…. I happen to be in that same situation right now!
John Loves Mary Update
We have officially reached the half way point in the rehearsal process of John Loves Mary. Since we’re a little less than 3 weeks from opening night (July 28th), it’s time to start focusing on character development.
One of the things I LOVE most about acting & live theatre is how every role presents its own set of uniquely fun challenges. This show is no different. In this case it’s the fact I was cast into two very different roles…
An Irish elevator operator
An American Red Cross officer
In the past… the best acting compliments I have ever received was from close friends who didn’t recognize me while on stage.
Now I’m faced with that same challenge… twice! I’ll have to reach deep down into my bag of tricks to pull this off! This “bag” gets bigger with every show… now let the fun begin!!
Here’s a picture from my last show… how do you think I did? Do you recognize me? 😊
I know it’s been a LONG time since my last blog post. I apologize for that ☹ “Life” has been a little hectic with projects & personal “life” stuff. My mid-year resolution is to improve on keeping the lines of communication open.
That said… my goal going forward is to post a short update every week. This is just another way to share my artistic journey & life story with you.
4th of July
Abbi & I went to see fireworks on Saturday night. As a father, I always strive to have a lasting positive influence on my child. Needless to say Saturday was a perfect time to make memories! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best, so I didn’t get many good pictures. However here is a quick one I was able to capture on my phone!
Newest Acting Project
I was recently cast in a play called “John Loves Mary”. The show originally ran on Broadway in the late 1940s & was later turned into a movie starring Ronald Regan & Patricia Neal. In this production, I was double case in 2 of the supporting roles. Getting double cast always presents itself with some uniquely fun challenges! Needless to say I’ve been super busy with rehearsals, prep, running lines, etc. The show opens the last weekend of July!
I’m in the process of making some new & exciting changes to my website. Stay tuned for a big announcement in the coming weeks!
That’s all folks! Remember… don’t be a stranger! Let me know how you’re doing! I would love to hear about your 4th of July. Send or post pictures to one of my social media accounts … as they say…. A picture is worth a 1,000 words!
The last few weeks I’ve been posting a lot on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook about my newest live theatre project, “Take Me Out”. Most notable for winning the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play, the plot of the show can best be summarized as follows:
Much of the play is set in the locker room of a professional baseball team, and as such has an all-male cast that explores themes of homophobia, racism, class, and masculinity in sports.
The play’s main character, Darren Lemming, is a popular and successful mixed-race baseball player at the peak of his career when he decides to come out. Several of his teammates react strongly (some supportive and accepting, and some not), and the drama plays out over the course of a baseball season with tragic consequences.
I play the role of Toddy Koovitz. He’s one of Darrian’s teammates who is not supportive of the so called “coming out”. Toddy offers some levity & a little comic relief in a play with heavy themes & dialogue. Below is my description of Toddy I posted on Facebook last weekend:
Toddy Koovitz; Self-proclaimed ladies’ man, fair weather teammate & all around idiot.
His unconventional usage of the English language includes gems such as “rackled” and the timeless classic “Sancchewy”.
Sounds like someone only a mother can love… right?!?!
One of the things I absolutely love about acting, is totally “becoming” the character. There are several techniques actors employ however sometimes something as simple as a different hair cut or a change in facial hair can do the trick…. Observe the following
In my own daughters words…
Daddy, you look freaky!!
I took that as a compliment!
Get Your Mustache
To pay homage to the new mustache I grew for this show… and mustache lovers everywhere….I’m offering the following mustache kit for FREE. Just pay a small shipping charge & I’ll send to you.
Be sure to post a selfie picture in the Facebook Groupor Twitter after you get it. I would love to see if your mustache looks as cool as mine! Be proud of your stash