Dearest Unnaturally Green Readers,
Onward! It's been a few days, and there's much to report. I'm thinking frenetic, nonsensically ordered, bullet-point-y paragraphs will do the trick. Here I go...
TWO WEEKS UNTIL MY FIRST PERFORMANCE! AAAAAH! Progress report embedded in subsequent writing...
While in my first week I rehearsed solely with the dance captain and her assistant (and so learned firsthand the feeling of being a free-floating particle in an expansive musical theater vacuum), this second week has given me the chance to interact with some of my fellow cast members-- meaning, namely, 1) I rehearsed some more of my dancerly jumps, this time spending an hour or so with the partners with whom I will actually dance during the show. Both of the dudes were awesome, and their performance M.O.s were along the lines of, "We will do what it takes to make sure you look good." Which is outstanding news for me. But, in truth, lately I've been feeling a million times more confident about my ability to exist onstage without looking like this. 2) Today I had a vocal rehearsal with three other members of the cast (DJ, Alex, and Penelope), and we sang through all of my vocal moments as a quartet in order to best replicate the sound of an entire company. This rehearsal rocked, as it was exhilarating to sing the score with three other great voices.
Concerning other newbies' rehearsals: Etai and Jody (the new Boq and Morrible, respectively) have also begun their staging and vocal rehearsals. As I understand it, they've already busted through all of their blocking and dancing, and so have two and a half weeks or so from now to perfect it. I think with principle (meaning, non-ensemble) replacements, the push to learn all the blocking is accelerated, and is then followed by review and scene work. This is, I think, because many of their onstage moments do not rely on weird floor patterns or interaction with multiple cast members, and so can be sketched out a bit more quickly and tersely. In the next few days the two principle replacements will begin to rehearse alongside the current understudies-- so, for example, if Boq needs to rehearse a scene with Elphaba, he will practice his parts with either Vicki Noon or Angel Reda (the current Elphaba stand-by and understudy, respectively). Same goes for Morrible.
In preparation for my own understudy stint, I'm gathering more info on what it means to cover a part in the long-term (specifically, how many maintenance rehearsals are there, and with what frequency? Who else attends them?)-- but rather than go off of hearsay, I think I'll convey this information on the Blog once I experience it firsthand.
BRACING DEPARTURE FROM LONGWINDEDNESS: Behold, a picture of the shoes I wear during the Ozdust Ballroom dance scene!
Oh, and quick side note-- Frasier is on TV right now, and Tom McGowan, who is currently playing the Wizard in WICKED, is its guest star! I guess if we were doing that seven degrees of Kevin Bacon game, or whatever it's called, I would be one degree removed from the entire cast of Frasier-- or, more impressively, two degrees removed from William Shatner, who took an illustrious turn portraying Mayor Phlegmming in "Osmosis Jones," alongside David Hyde Pierce.
OH! Another detail that, oh my goodness, I almost forgot! I got to ride the Defying Gravity levitation lift! During onstage dance rehearsal with Kristen (by-the-by, rehearsing onstage is WAY COOL), the carpenters and electricians were taking a look at the levitator, as it has been a bit pooped out as of late (Elphaba didn't fly during either show Wednesday...), and once they'd fixed it, they offered to take me for a ride. Faulty mechanics be damned: naturally, I obliged!
The whole flying thing is also going to be something on which I report back in much greater detail once I start actually learning Elphaba and going into tech. In the meantime, check out this neat CBS News clip in which Stephanie J. Block (former Elphaba extraordinaire) explains the mechanics behind her taking flight.
(Okay so Frasier ended and now "Runaway Bride" is on TV. What is the deal with this plotline? What is Julia Roberts' problem?)
(As the TV references would suggest, tonight I decided to rebel and play hooky from watching the show. Really, though-- what could be a more rebellious way to spend my Friday night than watching an edited-for-TV-PG film while sipping herbal tea and Blogging about musical theater? I do not know. That is why I am doing it.)
Final, frenetic points: At half-hour (which is a term that means, you guessed it, one half-hour before show time, specifically backstage) the stage managers post an official "Which is Which" memo, a sheet of paper that lists the names of which cast members are subbing in for whom in that particular show. At half-hour, all cast members are required to be backstage. Many arrive sooner, but they are only contractually obligated to arrive at 7:30PM. What else? Oh! There are water coolers in the most upstage wings of stage right and left! So convenient! I will post more details soon on the technical aspects of working on the actual STAGE stage (concerning set storage, cool info about the lighting, quick changes, all that stuff)-- but, again, I'm going to wait until I'm more immersed in the technical before I write about it.
(Whoa! More Frasier is on. Daphne gets pregnant? This must be the end of the series.)
Goals for future blogging: write more frequently and in shorter spurts, thereby avoiding rambly indulgence typified by this post!
As always, thanks for reading.
Your trusty blogger,