Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Dear Friends..."

Disclaimer: I'm not dead. Just juggling many many projects, the combination of which has put a dent in my blogging mojo. One of those projects was Letters You Wrote...

...which we performed last night. It was really a nifty and fun experience from start to finish-- our choreographer and myself are the only dancers left from the "original" cast (of the ill-fated December performance); the second time around we were joined by P (whom I hadn't danced with before) and A. Since most of the show was solo work, we didn't all work together at first...until it was time to block out the scene for my letter (affectionately known as "The Christmas Dance"). Once we all started rehearsing together, though; we had a blast.

A, P, and S played my character Beth's "children," and for being three adult women they were astoundingly good at being children. We played up the physical comedy aspect where we could-- I think our favorite "bit" was when I had one of the kids "blow her nose" into a tissue, which I then unceremoniously tossed at one of the actors on stage left (Later: "Hey man, thanks for letting me throw my fake-kid's fake-snotrag at you.").
There were also some segments where they would interrupt my solo dance with typical childlike antics-- trying to get Mom's attention, horsing around, harassing each other-- which would always disrupt Beth's otherwise-cheerful disposition. It was the choreography's way of contrasting the perky-perfect tone of the letter with the more realistic stresses of....oh, I dunno, HAVING SIX KIDS.

Cut to: Yesterday! We were performing downtown in the Magnolia Ballroom, which is A) a pretty popular destination for weddings, and B) HOLY HELL MICHIGAN GORGEOUS. We were performing with the windows behind us.....making our backdrop a view of downtown Houston at night. S gave us a warm-up class in the performance space, we walked through my scene, did our pre-sets, and disembarked to our hairspray tent dressing room to get ready (the most complicated part of that? Getting my hair up. I had to wear it piled on my head in a 60's-style pouf, not easy when you have astroturf-thick hair like I do).

Cut to: Showtime! I wasn't on until the very end, so I kept myself moving and helped the other girls with quick-changes. Once it kicked into action, the show went amazingly fast...the next thing I knew, it was Christmas in 1961.

The kid scenes all went really well. I felt pretty good about my solo stuff, for the most part. There's a section in the middle where I do a lot of jerky, frantic movements standing in one place that...well, let's say it didn't feel as strong that night as it had in the past.

We had a lovely reception afterwards, and we all got some really wonderful compliments and feedback from audience members. I chatted with a lot of buddies from around the arts scene, met a very famous former ballet teacher from Houston, and one of my students came with her mom! That was pretty special (always is). I introduced her to S and the other dancers; she and her mother said they really enjoyed the show.

Before we went on, the four of us had a group hug and S told us that we were "so fun to work with." We all concurred that this project was-- in the interest of not mincing words-- fun and awesome, all the way around. I'm so glad to have been a part of it.

1 comment:

A said...

Pictures! I want Pictures!