I got cast as Stanley Kowalski

Nice holiday weekend.  Managed to get myself down to the Detroit Jazz Festival, out to Royal Oak for Arts, Beats and Eats, spent time with my new classmates and with my wonderful GF.  Oh yeah, I also got cast in the role of Stanley Kowalski in our upcoming production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Check it out.

 

Episode 5

Let’s say this episode is light on the theatre and heavy on the lifestyle. Come see where I try to do my shopping every weekend.

 

Jeff Recommended

What an absolutely amazing opening weekend.  I am so proud of my cast mates, our director, musical director, stage manager, designers, musicians….every single person that has been involved with Under A Rainbow Flag since the first staged reading. Thank you all so much for the hard work that you put into the show to make this opening weekend such a success.

Our performance on opening night was by no means perfect.  I know that I missed a couple dance steps among other slight hiccups (that only the people who have been with the show would notice) throughout the night, but, and I kid you not, they laughed they cried. We were all having a very fun time and the energy was fantastic.  Everything you could hope for in an opening night.  Overall I was pleased with my performance but I am also continuing to look for and make new discoveries with my character.  Paul Gibbs is an interesting man.

This morning when I found out that we were Jeff Recommended I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to get to the matinee performance.  The Recommendation means that 7 judges saw the show opening night and enough of them liked enough things about our show so that now the remaining 20ish other judges will come see the show.  Now this does not mean we are Jeff Nominated, we won’t find that out for a few weeks, but I will certainly be posting about that if it happens.

Tomorrow night, we are performing a promotional segment of 2 songs at Sidetrack during Musical Monday.  We will be going onstage at 10:30, right in the middle of busy time…peeps got connections I guess.  Then hanging out, drinking and singing show tunes. Nice.

Opening Night Under A Rainbow Flag

In life you plan, train, practice, rehearse, re think, adjust, tweak, change, and prepare as best as you can for your moments.  Whether that is a presentation, a game, a test or any other number of important things.  Sometimes you are nervous and scared, other times you are excited and ready, but no matter how much preparation you do, eventually, you have to take a deep breath and go for it.

Fortunately, for myself, I am in the latter position in regards to my opening night feelings for our performance of Under A Rainbow Flag.  I have been involved with this show for about a year now and having seen the changes it has gone through, both in script/composition as well overall feel, I am confident and proud to say that this show is ready to be performed in front of an audience…hopefully a large one.  All of the people in this show are exceptionally talented and that isn’t limited to the actors.  The director, designers, musicians, stage manager, choreographers…everyone has brought an incredible amount of passion and dedication to this project.  We are ready.  Hopefully you will be able to join us for a show, we run for 5 weeks and I would love to see you in the audience.  I will also post reviews, good or bad, if they come out.

TICKETS CAN BE BOUGHT HERE

UARF Poster

Planning

When you are working as an actor and setting your own schedule one thing that is often overlooked, by myself at least, is to schedule days off.  It seems like an odd thing because I am constantly doing exactly what I want to be doing: Acting.  The problem is that sometimes you do need to step away from what you love, just to realize how much you love it.  So today I got together with my friend Carey (who is all sorts of awesome) and we planned out roughly a week of our schedules making sure to include a day off.  I’m going to go ahead and count today as my day off because later I am going to see Les Miserables and then just take it easy.  Tomorrow will be my first rehearsal for The Princess Bride as well as coaching speech and debate. I might get bored sometime later this evening and decide to listen to a new musical or read a script but mostly I am going to focus on just enjoying a relaxing day.

UPDATE: I put up 3 new videos in the Reel & Video section of my site, go check it out if you want to see some of the other work that I have done in the past few years.

Accountable

Following another weekend of keeping quite busy with performances in the evenings, speech and debate tournament on Saturday, rehearsal on Sunday morning, closing matinee and then strike for The Rover…I suddenly find myself with some extra time on my hands.  Now that Rover has closed I have Thursday-Satruday night and Sunday afternoons free.  What to do with that time….hmmmm.  It would be so easy just to take that time off for the next couple of weeks and slowly try to figure out what I would like to do.  But that is exactly what I am trying to avoid doing, wasting a day.  I need to hold myself accountable for my time and wasting a day is something that I am realizing that I don’t want to do, but more importantly, something that I can’t afford to do.

This week I have been listening to a mix of motivational speeches that thedjraz posted on 8tracks.com. Most of the speeches, but certainly not all, are given towards athletes but the same principles can be applied towards a career in the arts.  Becoming a professional actor requires a similar level of insane dedication that it takes for those who work towards becoming professional athletes.  Currently I have 18 more days of P90X to complete before I reach the “end” of the program.  That being said I will go ahead and say that I am already looking forward to the second round.  I’m looking forward to the pain, the struggle, the discipline that is required to survive the next 90 days, and I know that I will be looking forward to another 90 days after that.  For the second round I will be adding more daily goals, not just working out everyday. I need to sing, practice piano, read, run monologues, study movies, study other actors, see shows, network…I need to work.

The best part about all of this?  I am the one who gets to make it all happen.  I get to look back on my life when I am older and I get to see this period in my life as the time that I really started to figure out what it actually takes to become a successful person.  That I held myself accountable and was able to make things happen.

Humorous Interpretation

Speech and debate played a very big role in my high school life and continues to be a large part of my world to this day.  I loved the competitive aspect that was brought into the world of performance and nothing helps a young performer more than doing just that, performing.  A Lot.  Though I am a coach now and no longer perform in speech and debate I am lucky enough to have a copy of the piece that I performed my senior year of high school.  In an effort to avoid losing that copy accidentally due to a hard drive crash or the DVD hard copy getting lost or destroyed I have finally uploaded the video on YouTube! Yes I am on a bit of an uploading kick as of late but it makes sense considering that I have done a lot of work in the past that friends I have now haven’t ever gotten to see.  So for those of you who want to see what Nick looked like one week before he graduated Niwot High School look no further! I present to you Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes by R.L. Stein.

 

Spot On

Just watched this video and loved it.  A Lot. Quite accurate.

Now yes it is true that my generation was the first group of people that started stealing music and thus changed the market for music videos in a large way but for me and my criminal activity it boiled down to 3 main points:

  1. I was a kid with no money to buy music.
  2. It was infinitely easier to download/steal music than purchase it (especially if my parents wouldn’t buy me explicit lyrics CD’s).
  3. When I found out how little of the money actually went to the Artists I was much less inclined to purchase a CD.

Now is the system improved with Pandora, Spotify and the iTunes store (to name a few)…possibly a little bit but artists are typically on the short end of the stick in all of these situations.  The best thing for an artists in terms of profitability is to do what Louis C.K. did. He has a website which he runs without a record label where he distributes his comedy albums for only $5. It is exceptionally easy to use, you know that the money is going directly to the artist and after you have purchased the album he has said you can do whatever you want with them.  Freaking sweet.  Granted Louis C.K. is an established comedian who people know about but hey, bands go on tours, they have websites, they have twitter, they could do this.

Now I am off to two auditions this evening and then I’ll be playing some Assassins Creed 3 later. Nice Monday

Streamwood

Today is a wonderful day already. Currently I am sitting in the cafeteria at Streamwood High School attending my first speech tournament of the 2012-2013 season. This tournament is a Novice/JV tournament which means that only first and second year students can compete while Varsity students are assisting their teammates and coaches with all the duties associated with running and participating in a tournament.

For those people who do not know what a speech and debate tournament is, I will provide you with a brief summation. Students typically need to arrive at their own high school between 6:00 and 6:30 am to catch the bus depending on how far away the host school is. Materials that are kept in the school that the students will need are picked up and loaded onto the bus. The bus lives exactly on time so NEVER be late. It is definitely a “5 minutes early you are on time. On time means you are late” type of situation. The bus will arrive at the tournament location and everyone will unload from the bus and move into the cafeteria where the team picks a table and drops off their stuff. The students then head off to a room where they do a vocal and physical warm up as well as perform their piece. Following the warm-up the coach will give the students their codes so they know which rooms they will be performing in throughout the day. Typically the students will compete in 3 rounds with each room per round containing 5-7 students depending on the size of the tournament. The students are given a rank (1-7) based on their performance weighed against everyone else in the round. Some tournaments will then take the scores and be done after that, other tournaments prefer to take the top 6 scores and have a finals round. Following that the tournament awards ceremony for all events is held and then we get on the bus and head back home. Yikes! What a crazy day.

So yes today I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, which has been my bedtime far more often than it has been the beginning of the day in recent months, and got myself ready to motivate some youngsters!!!….and by that I mean I got a venti coffee and downed that beast. While waiting for all the kids to arrive one of the young men on the team showed up with his tie all askew and this was my first assignment for the day: making sure that all these young men look like young gentleman. Sadly I must report that I did fail some of them. Most of them need combs and clothes that fit! Baby steps.

Currently we are two rounds into the tournament, the team seems to be doing well so far. I will post the final results later.

Only 2 days

Now that it is Monday morning I have the opportunity to sit, breathe and look back at this past weekend. Wow. An awful lot happened in only two days. Saturday was go go go from when I awoke till I fell asleep on Sunday morning! All three auditions seemed to go well and hopefully I will hear back from one or more of those. I had been told by two of those projects that they would be letting people know in two weeks, so now I will just be keeping an eye on my email. The treasure hunt at the Art Institute of Chicago went really well. Honestly it is a great job that reminds me a lot of being a camp counselor. I am just supervising an activity for a group of people, the only difference being that they are adults not children. But the same rules apply, if I am excited, they get excited. If I am having fun they are more likely to have fun. Simple observation, but very important.

The biggest event on Saturday was the opening of The Rover!!! Our first rehearsal was back on Monday, August 27th and then 62 days later the final result is one that I am very proud of. We will be performing the show Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. Our closing performance will be on Sunday, November 18th. Both shows went well this weekend and I am hopeful that we continue to have a great time performing this production. We did have some reviewers come see the show and I will post the reviews as I find them.

Following the show we went over to one of our cast mates houses for a costume/opening night party.

20121029-142658.jpgThe theme was Peter Pan so I got myself dressed up as the one and only Rufio!!! We had a tinkerbell, peter pan, hook, smee, wendy and a few loat boys as well. The evening was a blast. It is a wonderful cast and a good group to hang out with.

Following the show on Sunday I had a first rehearsal at Gorilla Tango for one of the films I had auditioned for on the 12th of October (got cast!) which went really well. The director cast 6 actors (4 men 2 women) whom he will be working with to organically create a script and then film. I really had a good time and think this project definitely has some good potential based on the director and other actors.

Now sure that right there could have been the end of my weekend but no! Post rehearsal I biked down to Pilsen to see some of my friends in a production of The Kindly Ones. The script was written by my friend Bohrs Hoff and it is an adaptation of The Eumenides. The story is the first ever democratic trial conducted my the Greek Gods (and siblings) Apollo and Athena. We the audience act as the jury in this trial of Orestes for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra. Every audience member was given a white and a black stone which would be used to determine the final judgment. Apollo is representing Orestes and defending him because he deeply loves the mortal. Athena is representing the Erinyes as well as summoning the spirits of the dead that would be the witnesses (Iphigenia, Agamemnon, and Clytemnestra) in the trial. Overall I enjoyed the show, was very impressed with my friend Bohrs for writing that script, and proud of the work all my fiends did. Good physical and vocal work as well. Post show we went and had a taco (delicious) and then I biked 8.5 miles into a headwind to get home. What a weekend.