mrdreamjeans: At concert in Sugar Land, TX, January 2017 (Default)
The performance of "Man of La Mancha" tonight is an example of why I love to do live theatre. We had a rare sellout on a Thursday night and one of the main performers was out with a foot infection. The understudy was given two hours to be ready to go on, having had no complete rehearsal in the role. The swing had not been involved in any of our rehearsal process and had not rehearsed with most of the cast. Both went on and did a nice job. The difference in performers, their timing and choices, put the rest of us on our toes and it was a very spontaneous, energetic show.

Due to a high school choir competition being held in Seattle this weekend, our audience contained 160 teenagers from Idaho. We were their special night out on the town. It was an enthusiastic group, but surprisingly attentive to the material. I have been constantly surprised by the enthusiasm of our audiences for our production of this old workhorse. Maybe we should believe some of our press!

After the performance, most of the cast stayed for a question and answer session with the kids. They asked good questions for the most part. Our cast was pretty articulate in answering them. A couple of responses were pretty funny.. When asked if any of us aspired to be Mel Gibson, Bobbi who played the Innkeeper's Wife answered, "Sorry, I can't. I don't have a penis." That made the kids laugh and the adults gasp:)

A couple of the questions made me ponder my truth as to why I do what I do.

1. I came to theatre because it provided a place, a haven, where I could find acceptance and a peer group where I was celebrated for my strengths and talents, not for what I lacked. It gave me a safe place to explore who I was on the deepest personal level, and exposure to the rush of approval called applause. I think actors need a "greater love" than they can just get through family and friends.

2. All the training in the world doesn't make you talented, it makes you trained. If you are truly talented and determined, you will find your way. I got a history degree from Texas A&M, played in band in high school and never sang a note till college.

There was no theatre or music degree offered at Texas A&M at the time, yet I have made my living in the theatre for the better part of 25 years. Nothing is better experience than getting up on the boards and taking stage. You learn good (what works) and bad habits (what not to do) by standing in the wings and watching the work as it happens.

3. I love making a living being other peoples' windows to the arts. They are spending hard-earned dollars to be educated, entertained or as escapism. I love trying to make each performance better than the one before it, yet create within the boundaries of what I've been given to do. How many people get paid to do what they love the most?!!

4. After 25 years in the business, I am still learning and growing as an artist. I am singing better than ever and what is a better feeling than becoming better at your profession, instead of jaded and cynical. Use it or lose it really applies when it comes to the voice.

Regardless, I never feel more alive than when I am doing live theatre. My friends, I am interested in knowing if you still follow the passions of your childhood and formative years. What brings you joy? What activity or hobby, if any, has affected your development and quality of life the most?
mrdreamjeans: At concert in Sugar Land, TX, January 2017 (Default)
The performance of "Man of La Mancha" tonight is an example of why I love to do live theatre. We had a rare sellout on a Thursday night and one of the main performers was out with a foot infection. The understudy was given two hours to be ready to go on, having had no complete rehearsal in the role. The swing had not been involved in any of our rehearsal process and had not rehearsed with most of the cast. Both went on and did a nice job. The difference in performers, their timing and choices, put the rest of us on our toes and it was a very spontaneous, energetic show.

Due to a high school choir competition being held in Seattle this weekend, our audience contained 160 teenagers from Idaho. We were their special night out on the town. It was an enthusiastic group, but surprisingly attentive to the material. I have been constantly surprised by the enthusiasm of our audiences for our production of this old workhorse. Maybe we should believe some of our press!

After the performance, most of the cast stayed for a question and answer session with the kids. They asked good questions for the most part. Our cast was pretty articulate in answering them. A couple of responses were pretty funny.. When asked if any of us aspired to be Mel Gibson, Bobbi who played the Innkeeper's Wife answered, "Sorry, I can't. I don't have a penis." That made the kids laugh and the adults gasp:)

A couple of the questions made me ponder my truth as to why I do what I do.

1. I came to theatre because it provided a place, a haven, where I could find acceptance and a peer group where I was celebrated for my strengths and talents, not for what I lacked. It gave me a safe place to explore who I was on the deepest personal level, and exposure to the rush of approval called applause. I think actors need a "greater love" than they can just get through family and friends.

2. All the training in the world doesn't make you talented, it makes you trained. If you are truly talented and determined, you will find your way. I got a history degree from Texas A&M, played in band in high school and never sang a note till college.

There was no theatre or music degree offered at Texas A&M at the time, yet I have made my living in the theatre for the better part of 25 years. Nothing is better experience than getting up on the boards and taking stage. You learn good (what works) and bad habits (what not to do) by standing in the wings and watching the work as it happens.

3. I love making a living being other peoples' windows to the arts. They are spending hard-earned dollars to be educated, entertained or as escapism. I love trying to make each performance better than the one before it, yet create within the boundaries of what I've been given to do. How many people get paid to do what they love the most?!!

4. After 25 years in the business, I am still learning and growing as an artist. I am singing better than ever and what is a better feeling than becoming better at your profession, instead of jaded and cynical. Use it or lose it really applies when it comes to the voice.

Regardless, I never feel more alive than when I am doing live theatre. My friends, I am interested in knowing if you still follow the passions of your childhood and formative years. What brings you joy? What activity or hobby, if any, has affected your development and quality of life the most?

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