Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Run, Freedom, Run!

Well. I had hoped that with our fall play being a class production, I wouldn't run into what has become expected - kids dropping out of the show. In fact, every play I've done at KJHS, I have had at least one actor (in a minor or major lead) miss a show. Alas, this time is no different. In fact, we're well on our way to a new record of leads dropping out.
The first, the evil stepfather, I forgive, since he handled it rather responsibly. He realized about a week after I casted the show that it would be too much for him to handle his class load and memorize lines, so he dropped the class. Fine. I moved the male understudy into that part, and he's been doing wonderfully.
The second, the Godfather, I have to forgive. He dropped out a month into it because of religious reasons. His father objected to the implication of magic in the play, so this student dropped his part. Harder to replace, since I'm short on guys anyway, so the female understudy is now this character. Oy.
I thought I was in the clear. Two leads out, and relatively early, too. I was wrong.
I learned today that one of my narrators ran away from home over the weekend. When she is found, she will not be coming back to our school.
I don't mean to sound unconcerned. I actually am worried about her safety, but I also tend to be rather...focused... as the show draws closer.
I do have two weeks to get the part covered, so I think I'll have an actress with a smaller part take the narrator's on in addition to her own.
I just hope everyone else is in for the long haul, and I don't have to do any more part shuffling. Two weeks. We can do it.
(knock on wood)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

And All That Jazz

Hello from a 26-year-old!

Yes, another birthday has come and gone. As one friend said, "Huh. I guess you're still young enough to want to celebrate those." Yes I am!

Trip update:
Last weekend I went to Chicago with mia familia. The excuse was Dad's AAO meeting. What a great town! The weather was gorgeous, excellent museums (especially the Art Institute), a great aquarium, and a giant chrome bean. We had some wonderful food, saw Wicked (which was excellent, by the way. I had no idea Ana Gasteyer could sing so well! I actually liked this production better than the one in New York), and shopped, of course. Tres amusant!

I eased back into school this week, thanks to UEA. That's the annual teacher's convention for our state, which is always conviently scheduled at the start of hunting season. Utah does have its own culture, it seems. In any case, we had Thursday and Friday off school. And I have kept busy.
Thursday: Janelle and I went to the convention to get free stuff. We spent the morning browsing the vendor booths. Best one? Staples. A whole canvas bag of office supply goodies (Janelle and I are both office supply junkies).
After that, we grabbed lunch at Mocha Salsa, then went to her house for a beauty session with her friend Christine. Janelle did her nails, and I dyed my hair. Exciting, since I have never done that before. I did get "Midnight Black", but my hair only went a couple of shades darker, which my mother will be happy to hear. I actually kind of like it. I can see how hair dying gets addicting.
After an hour or so in a bookstore, I went to an institute class with my grandmother.
Friday: I taught a workshop on drama in the classroom at Westminster College, thanks to an invite from my friend, Heidi. That afternoon, Heidi and I met with our writing group to swap some new pieces and continue work on our "Edgy-cators" show. Then I went home, cleaned my apartment, and watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Janelle and Christine.
Saturday: I slept in, did my elliptical routine, and went shopping for props (including Rapunzel's hair, a giant book of fairy tales, and paint for our set). I spent the night watching Blue and painting the book of fairy tales.

I'm having fun, luckily, even though October is zipping by.

Toodle-oo, my friends. I'll post some Chicago pictures when I get them uploaded. For now, here's my favorite shot of the trip (taken by my Dad):


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Only in New York

5 shows in 2 days, baby!
Last Friday I flew to NYC to see mon ami Jason and, of course, to see shows.
Thanks to a prolonged wait at the baggage claim, and a slow A train to town, I arrived with just enough time for us to toss my suitcase in his room and dash off to see Wicked.
Pretty good show! It was terribly satisfying to finally know the whole plot of the show, instead of just what I could piece together from the CD and the book it was based on.
I liked the show far better than I liked the book. The music is just wonderful. The gal who played Glinda did a great job. Ben Vereen is a relic (not necessarily in a bad way), and Rue McClanahan gave a fine example of the Rex Harrison school of "singing". The best part was how they weaved the references to the original "Oz" in. I am looking forward to seeing it again next weekend.

After the show, we grabbed a falafel from a hole-in-the-wall next to the dorms and decided to take advantage of being in a big city, and went to a midnight showing of Proof. It took us a wee bit to find the theater, but we only missed the first minute or so. The movie was actually rather faithful to the play. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Fine acting, good script (of course!), and it reiterated to me why I love films so much - they are just so much more intimate than theater (ironic, I know).

We slept in the next morning, then walked around NYU. Such a great campus! Then we changed for the opera and headed to the Met at Lincoln Center. They were doing La Boheme with sets that almost made me cry with happiness. It was so fantastic. That is, however, what you get when you hire Franco Zeffirelli to design them. Seriously, though. Sets to make me cry.

After the opera, we had dinner at the Gray Dog Cafe, next to the dorms. We shopped at the best-named bookstore ever (see photos below). I was good - I only bought 3 books. Which was remarkable, given the price. Then it was off to "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

Putnam County was hilarious! They had an excellent set-up in the lobby. The cast was outstanding. I enjoyed seeing a show in a smaller space, too. The show lacked the spectacle of "Wicked" and other multi-million dollar shows, but in some ways it was a better production. Not to be cheesy, but it had more heart. Plus the fact that I could easily name students of mine to match each and every character on stage. If you get a chance, go see this show. Or you'll just have to wait until I have my community theater and I direct it. :)

Because we weren't tired enough, we actually went to another movie that night - Serenity. I was worried at first about falling asleep, but this movie was so great. I have to say the best part, as with "Lord of the Rings" was seeing it with fans. They lost all restraint and reacted quite vocally the second half of the movie. My two favorite moments were 1) when the fans vocalized the full gamut of emotions ("Gasp!" "Awww!" <> <>) at the sight of two key characters "getting it on" and 2) The guy who said "Oh, s***!" loudly at the sight of the Reavers, so caught up was he in the action on screen.
Aside from the fans, it really is a good movie. Proved even more so by Jason's enjoyment of it without ever having seen an episode of "Firefly".

We slept in again the next morning, then got a mandatory breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese, and shopped Soho. Back to the dorms to get my bags, and off to the airport.

As a final piece of advice to you, let me caution this: When flying out of New York, be sure to check not only your flight time, but the airport as well. Because going to JFK when your flight's out of Newark is a costly mistake. You can imagine the scenario, but I will tell you this: the guy at the movie was not the only one who swore this weekend.

Au revoir, mes amis!

I Want to be a Part of It

Pictures from the trip:
1. Jason at the NYU library
2. Me at the opera (avec gloves and glasses!)
3. The two of us outside Lincoln Center
4. The best name for a bookstore ever!

The Book Report

After a long process, Tom's book has been published. It's not widely circulating yet, but hey, it's online!


Here's a picture of the two authors: