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

Princess Bride Opening Night

What a wonderful opening night my friends and I got to experience last night!!!  The show went quite well but in the aftermath of the performance we started doing a little bit of reflecting and the things we realized were remarkable:

  • First rehearsal was on January 17th
  • We only had 16 total rehearsals
  • Of those 16 rehearsals we NEVER had the whole cast together
  • 4 of those rehearsals we did with a guest director
  • We did our Cue to Cue rehearsals without our light board operator
  • We had a stage manager for the first 11 rehearsals but not the last 5 and not for the run of the show.
  • The first time we ran the show with the entire cast was the opening night performance…

Not to be excluded are things like some of our ensemble members went above and beyond with contributions to costume, props and set work.  On Saturday night one of the ensemble will be stepping in to play the role of Inigo Montoya. Our Count Rugen is also running the sound for the show. We are going to end up meeting our ticket sales goal and make money for Edge Youth Theatre…The list just goes on and on.  I know that I want to work with all of these people again in the future and I hope that it happens.  Another sold out show tonight and hopefully we will sell the last few tickets for Sunday to make it a sold out run!  To all those who see the show and to all those who took the time to look at my website, as you wish.

Westley and Buttercup

Westley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

Ladies and gentleman I have been having an absolute blast the last 4 weeks preparing for this weekend.  Edge Professional Theater company will be performing a stage adaptation of The Princess Bride as a fundraiser for youth theater and I am fortunate enough to be playing the role of Westley.  The entire process has been a labor of love and here is a little movie trailer style preview of the show

Movie trailer on facebook 

Tickets are still available and I would love it if every show was completely sold out so that we could help raise as much money as possible for children’s theater.  The group of artists that I have been privileged enough to work with is incredible and I truly hope that I get to work with each of them again.  Originally I thought that fighting left handed was going to be the most difficult part of this show but I was mistaken, I guess that having two left handed parents means I have some of that skill somewhere in my DNA.  The most difficult task has been focusing on my life outside of this show because I honestly just wanted to keep working on Princess Bride everyday.  Come see the show and remember, every single one of you that reads this, “As you wish.”

Gentleman’s Rule

20121115-175837.jpg Last night I had the privilege of attending the second ever performance of the acapella group Gentleman’s Rule at The Royal George Theater with my friends Samara, Miquela and Carrie. The group is comprised of 10 men and they sang a wonderful mix of love songs, hip-hop, 80’s jams and 2 original compositions. Both of the original songs were arranged by Dan Ponce, the founder of Straight No Chaser, who is also the Producer for GR along with Charlie Blum.

Now I am by no means a professional critic for acapella, or music in general, so my personal review of the show will be looking more at the production as a whole.

Singing: Awesome. No need to be an expert here these gentleman clearly know how to sing and they killed it.

Costumes: all the gentleman were wearing black t-shirts, dark gray sports jackets, dark blue jeans and gray Nike high-tops. Simple and effective it showed that this was a group effort. At one point they took the jackets off and hung them on hooks all over the set.

Sound: Overall the balance and volume of the sound was very good. Hand held mics were used and luckily all of the guys actually knew how to use them! I know that might sound stupid but it is important to know how to hold a microphone. The sound only had a few stumbles throughout the night and only one that was bad enough to really take me out of the moment.

Set: The build was a very basic box set with ~8″ platforms DSR & DSL, exits MSR & MSL, a 6 (I think) step staircase USC leading to a platform about 5′ high and 15′ wide. There was a small proscenium atop the platform as well. The whole set was painted a olive green with deep red trim. All facets of the set were used which I always appreciate.

Lights: This was by far the worst part of the show. Unnecessary / clearly unintentional blackouts, poor spot work, lighting up the wrong part of the stage etc. occurred throughout the show. At the top of the show a soloist stood on the USC platform and he either needs to move down one step or they desperately need to fix where the light is hung because his whole head was in darkness. Fail.

Choreography: It was simple but effective. The most distracting part was when one or more of the guys wasn’t committing to the moves. I’m not sure if it is because they thought they might look silly or what but I will say this, you look more ridiculous when you aren’t doing the dance. Nike that shit.

Overall: This was only the 2nd concert that these guys have done and they did a great job. They got better as the show went on and they got more an more comfortable. The transitions between the songs were hit and miss depending on which member of the group was just bantering with the audience while they introduced the song. I highly recommend that people go check out Gentleman’s Rule if you have the opportunity. They have 13 more shows at The Royal George and I know that they will only continue to get better with each show.

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.

 

Weekend Catch Up

Ahhhh I have fallen behind but I will catch myself back up…in one post!

Streamwood Sabre Speech Shindig: The kids did great!  I was so proud of the students who placed in the tournament because it was a perfect representation of hard work = results.  The kids who have been showing up to practice, working with coaches, working with their peers, stepping out their comfort zones, challenges themselves etc…all of them have shown great improvement and a lot of them placed in their respective events.  If you are interested in the specifics for the tournament you can see the overall team scores as well as the individual results on an amazing website called Speechwire. I look froward to more hard work from all the kids as we approach the first holiday break of the year.

 The Rover: Our second weekend of the show went quite well.  On Saturday and Sunday we had good houses of about 20~28 people each show.  The energy of the production was not lost due to our 3 day break, in fact I think everyone was rather well rested and energized from some time off.  The second weekend of a show is alway very interesting to me because typically the actors and crew have just spent about 7+ days of constructing the set, doing a cue to cue rehearsal, 2-3 dress rehearsals, 1-2 previews and then the opening weekend of the show.  After having been immersed in the show for that solid week+ I am always curious to see how everyone comes back to the production.  Thankfully this group of actors is very talented and professional.  I am excited for another 8 wonderful shows with these crazy goof balls.

Titus Andronicus: On Monday evening I attended a production of Titus Andronicus produced by The Right Brain Project (RBP) which my friend Zack Meyer was performing in. The show will be running for one more weekend and I would highly recommend that you GO SEE THIS SHOW!!! First off I love Titus Andronicus, I think that it is a brutally beautiful piece of work and when staged correctly can be exceptionally powerful.  The RBP does a good job with this production, the acting is solid, the scenic and costume designs work together (love it when that happens) and the fact that the amount of fake blood used in the show warrants a poncho for every member of the audience is awesome.  Check out their website for purchasing info, tickets will most likely be going fast for this closing weekend. Also, Zack was awesome.

That isn’t everything…but it is a lot of things and that’s good for now!  Till next time.

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.