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Monday, February 1, 2010

Fo' mo' days

Dear Unnaturally Green Readers, 

I have been terribly remiss in keeping you abreast of my WICKED whereabouts! So sorry! Lots of updates, thoughts, musings (both relevant and irrelevant) brewing these some-odd days...  But rather than attempt to construct a narrative through-line, whereby I overcome obstacles, realize that life is bittersweet, and come to terms with the fact that the things you love can get taken from you, but you find love in other places and emerge a sadder, but wiser, young adult, whose father runs a funeral home (in other words, rather than recount the plot of "My Girl"), I am --  you guessed it -- going to bullet point to the MAX!

1) Got an email from a lovely woman named Ellen whom I had the good fortune to meet outside the stage door last week.  She asked me, "What does Elphaba eat during her scene with Dr. Dillamond?"  Good question, Ellen!  During a long understudy rehearsal Friday (more on this soon) I relayed this question to Kyle, our super cool props master, and he explained that she eats a Lemon Zest Lunabar.  When questioned further, he let me in on the careful thought that went into choosing this particular comestible (which was, in my opinion, emblematic of the care and attention that go into all creative aspects of WICKED): Lunabar has a relatively vague look and feel to it, and so could be any manner of lunch-time snack.  The reasoning behind the particular flavor is what gave me the biggest kick: in order to keep the performer in good voice, Kyle explained, the bar couldn't have either chocolate or nuts in it.  This left two options: Chai or Lemon Zest.  Chai, Kyle explained, was considered by most to be "questionable."  And so they arrived upon the ever-enduring Lemon Zest. Which does, I would wager, have incredibly widespread appeal.  I also like that the snack is a Lunabar-- which is to say, a bar for women.  And Elphaba is a woman.

2) I had an understudy rehearsal Friday!  We danced, we kissed, we schmoozed, we carried on, we went home happy.  This is a near-direct quotation from the Disney film "Hercules."  James Woods says it as Hades.  In any event: I had the good fortune to be joined by about ten other cast members onstage and we ran the entire show (skipping certain solo moments, like "The Wizard and I").  It was very, very helpful.  As far as theaters and stages go, the Orpheum's facilities are totally kick-ass.  Whatever suffering that's incurred from hard rehearsal work is tempered significantly by the exhilarating feeling of being onstage.  (<-- Corniness alert, I know.  But it's true! So back off!) All in all, it was a successful, and affirming, day that really helped me internalize all I had learned.

3) David Stone, the lead producer of WICKED, held a meeting with the whole cast and company this past Saturday, congratulating us on having been open for one whole year in San Francisco.  On Sunday, I was able to reap the fruits of what others had sewn when I attended the WICKED anniversary party extravaganza at The Ambassador!  This was way cool, particularly because the servers were dressed in semi-burlesque attire that could best be described as a cross between WICKED's Emerald City costumes and a bikini.  Nearly everybody from the cast was there, and I had a chance to chat it up with Teal Wicks, our super fab Elphaba.  Lots of cameras were flashing everywhere, so I suspect there will be all kinds of photos up on Facebook and the like, a few of which I will post on the Blog (provided I look moderately attractive (I was wearing a romper (for those of you who don't know what a romper is, picture a couture rendering of a janitor's jumper, without the pants or sleeves))).

4) David Stone also imparted WICKED's official stance on production-related disclosures via the internet, which I (as well as some other blog-inclined cast members) took to heart.  Basically I'm restricted in the copyrighted imagery I can purvey online, and there's a tricky line to toe when it comes to announcing, publicly, the dates I'll be performing as Elphaba.  I will expound more on this later when it will actually become relevant....

5) ....which could be sooner rather than later, because I start learning my Elphaba vocals TOMORROW! AAAAAAH!!!!  For those of you who are just joining the Blog: so far all my rehearsals have been ensemble-related vocals and staging.  But everything changes come sunrise.  (<-- I don't know, I wanted to sound dramatic just then.)

6) Oh, and as this post's title suggests: four days until my WICKED debut!  WHAT! 

7) Today I walked to the Castro and on my way home had a scoop of salted caramel ice cream from the world-famous Bi Rite Creamery.  It was delicious.

8) I miss my boyfriend. There. I said it. (Hi, LDBF!)

9) I still don't have internet in my apartment and so, to temper the sting of non-technologically-mediated loneliness, joined Netflix.  I decided to limit my selections to mindless drivel.  First on my queue: Step Up, starring Channing Tatum.  I welcome more suggestions in the comments section!

10) Speaking of the comments sections, feel free to submit specific questions (a la the Elphaba's lunch query) below. Maybe we can start a question and answer series -- preferably relating to WICKED and/or theater and/or San Francisco, but hey, if you want my advice on how to get yo' baby's daddy to pay them billz, go right ahead.

Must be off!  More updates soon!  And pics!  (Maybe.  If I look attractive.)

My man ain't yo baby's daddy,


  1. Ooooh, good luck with Elphaba rehearsals tomorrow. You'll kick ass, I'm sure!

  2. I don't quite understand the logic of you not being able to announce any Elphaba dates that you could potentially get in the future - surely (if announced on this blog, rather than slapped across the theatres boards) would only increase sales for a particular show, because Wicked-freaks LOVE their understudies [aherm....]. I suppose they must have their reasons.

    Anyhow, once again - another entertaining and endearing blog entry. Keep it up!

  3. Hey Felicia,
    1) Shout out to Felicia. Holler! thanks for answering my questions, you ROCK!
    2) What? No details on the kissing scene?
    3) WICKED people know how to party!
    4) No.....your fans would never ask you to violate the "official" rules. So, Felicia, when are you getting the green manicure?
    5) Hey, by tomorrow, you can truly say, "Something has changed withine me, something is not the same..."
    6) T-3 'till show-time!
    7)Yes, for Bi Rite Creamery therapy. I'm sure it is well deserved after working so hard kissing Nicolas. LOL.
    8) holler to Felicia's LDBF!
    9) Regarding Netflix, don't get Wizard of Oz, I've heard that old movie is grossly inaccurate!
    10) WICKED question: How does Boq become a Tinman in less than a couple of minutes behind the cabinet?

    Okay, have a great day

  4. Ellen, I can answer the Boq Q. Somebody else dressed in 'tinman' make up is hiding inside the cabinet (which has a 2-way mirror and an open back on that side). When Elphaba wheels the wheelchair with boq behind the cabinet, the tinman and boq switch places. Boq gets into the cabinet and can see out onto the stage. He speaks and the tinman mimes at the same time.

  5. I've actually got a question that I've been wondering about for a while... I once saw some backstage video with an Elphaba preparing before the show (can't remember who it was), and she made sure she had some little candy in her pocket, because she would suck on it onstage at some point in the show, to help her voice I think. Do all Elphabas have that? And at what point in the show do they actually eat it?

  6. How long do you have to change before One Short Day, and how much of your costume changes?

    How awesome/terrifying is it to do Popular in rehearsal with Kendra? I read an interview with Julia Murney once in which she said "I never know what she is going to do".

    This is an awesome blog, by the way :) It's very interesting to read about the life of an understudy.

  7. Hi Felicia! Your blog is great.
    Thanks for answering the question about the Elphaba lunch. I had wondered, and being a huge Lunabar fan, suspected that' what it might be. Lemon Zest is good, but may I recommend Dulce du Leche?? Sweet deliciousness, although hmmm maybe a bit too sweet for unstage? See you Sunday at Teal's last show. Mrs. Peggy ;)

  8. Very, very, very late movie suggestion: RENT. The final Broadway filmed version rather than the movie version preferably. Or both. :D