Saturday, November 27, 2010

We've Moved!

Acting Sweet has moved to a permanent new web address!
(copy and paste to your browser)

Follow me there!

Friday, November 26, 2010

"I mean, you made it to Ohio. Who knows where else we can go."

Meh - Its been a while. Where to begin.

I've been so disconnected from the theater scene lately, its so.... unusual.. and I don't particularly like it. I guess that's what happens between shows, not much to do about it except involve yourself in other less committal activities. Such as the film and scene.

The film was quite an interesting experience. The first time I've done anything like that. Having to be conscious of where the camera is, how loud you say your lines.. And the most interesting part was the WAY you say them. If you say it in a theatrical way the way you'd say it on stage - it looks phony and unrealistic. Film is so pure and natural that its a whole different style of acting. That was interesting.

It was draining too. We worked for maybe.. four, five hours? Which I know is hardly anything compared to alot of film projects. But I think it takes more out of you then stage performance. There's so much stopping and starting in between lines that its SO hard to carry on emotions throughout the whole scene. The focus required is insane. Along with that keeping consistency with where you are, where your looking, so that different shots look like a whole scene... that's hard too.

Overall I liked it because it was a challenge. I definitely want to to more of it, especially because I know it gets much more pro from here. We still have one more scene to shoot. I'm excited to see the final product! And maybe, just mayyybe if its good I'll post it on here :)

The director scene also went well. I think. We had our first performance so that it could get critiqued and we could work from there. And as an actress, I knew the scene was off. I felt boring. The next rehearsal we changed things around a bit which I think will make it more interesting. Not much to report.

I had an appointment with my academic adviser the other day, and I can't even tell you how amazing I felt afterward. She officially changed my major to Art and Technology and was genuinely excited for me. She said that those two things go so well together... something I had never really thought about before. Theater and Animation are compatible? She was so interested she wants to schedule another meeting to talk about all the career possibilities I have. WOW. I never thought I had any possibilities other then an Actress. If I wasn't an actress I was just going to stay at home, raise a few kids, and encourage my husband to make more money.

Kidding - but really. The idea that my interests are going to combine into the ULTIMATE career is an incredible realization for me. Of course, being an actress will always be my top priority. But now, I have another option. Another goal. And having that security that no matter what my life is going to be enjoyable... now that's a great feeling.

Random thoughts of the week:

I scheduled an appointment to get head shots done!

Looking for a job this summer to teach/help out with children theater. Can't really start looking till the spring. But I'm searching for some options.

Invited to a theater kid dodge ball game.... that can't be a good idea.

Saw 'Love and other drugs' - pretty good. And I think someone who works in the theater department at Ohio State was IN IT. could be wrong, but i don't think i am ;)

AH ALMOST FORGOT - I jumped into a lake the other night in 20/30 degree weather! IT WAS AWESOME. Granted, i had stage two slight stage three hypothermia.... the thousands of other people there made it one of the best nights of my life.

The Ohio State vs. Michigan game is tomorrow. Its the biggest rivalry I've ever witnessed in my life. People have been preparing all week. Taping over all the letter 'M's on campus signs and what not. I sold my ticket for $100. I think football is dumb. If we lose, cars will be flipped and set on fire. COOL.

It was my roomie, Ali's, birthday! Check out her blog. 'Ali's Blog About Nothing'. YAY!

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving happened. Yesterday. Woo.

Two weeks until I go HOME TO JERSEY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Theatre and Art and Technology OH MY.

I've gotta say, Its been pretty weird not having a show to indulge in every night. For the time being, its nice to have my nights back but I know its going to get old fast. I'm grateful at least for Corbin's directing project whichhhhhh I will take the time to explain now.

Corbin is directing a scene called 'The Class' in which I play a student, Ellen, who successfully convinces her professor that he sucked in the last show he did, Hamlet, because he knows the lines and all the logic behind it but he cannot connect the emotion of the character on stage. In order for her to take his acting class next semester she proposes a whole new way for him to teach. She will act out a scene, he will explain it, then he will act it out, and she will tell him what he 'teaches' but doesn't 'do'.

Well that's a little confusing, but its a cute 10 minute scene. I actually quite admire his directing technique as well. He's sort of directing it as if it were a film, so very levelheaded emotions and no big movements - or movements at all really. As a matter of fact, he sat a foot or so away from us the last time we did the scene, stared at us in the face, and called out 'BULLSHIT' every time we were too big. It helped me a lot, I was totally focused. I have never acted for 'film' before so it was good.

Speaking of 'film' I was perusing the notices that the theatre department puts out every once in a while and a film student was looking for an actress to help her film a 5 minute segment. I emailed her saying I was interested, and we're meeting today to go over it. Basically - I have the time, I don't have the experience, so its a win win. I'm helping her, I'm helping me - and Its something I enjoy!

I also put out a notice myself on the art department 'blog' asking for a head shot photographer. I've never had head shots taken before, and rather then spending a ton of money when I'm basically just starting out I decided it would be good to have another win win situation by getting a student to take them. Helps their portfolio, and I get them for dirt cheap or free.

While I was looking over the art website, I came across this Godly revelation. A major I never knew existed.

Art and Technology.

I'm currently majoring in computer science, because I thought they didn't have an animation major here. Well look at that, I didn't do my research. Now I get to skip all those really lame and boring Math and Physics classes and skip right to the heart of what I want to be learning, 3D animation and design!

Of course, Theatre is always my top priority - but I'm so glad I don't have to have a sucky Computer Science major along with it that no one thinks makes sense and I have to explain. A huge weight is lifted off my shoulder.

So, my schedule for next semester is so ARTSY.

Intro to Art
Beginners Drawing
Theatre 280 - next class after 100... which i still haven't taken yet.
Theatre 688 - New Works Lab (creating and performing original works)
Theatre 405.10 - Alexander Technique.

I finally feel like I'm doing what i WANT to be doing! And although I am hesitant because both Art and Theatre are very much competitive and lofty majors - I'm more of the person to do what i want then do something I don't want for the money.

And my new friend Lauren who is in Aida this semester is taking 280 with me! I have an awesome semester lined up! Even if Drawing is at 8:30AM on three days and Alexander technique is at 9:30AM on the other days.... at least its not math or physics!

So much exciting stuff coming up for me. Next semester is going to really be a learning experience! The first run of Corbin's scene goes up Friday and the filming for this girl's project is over the weekend! I'll letcha know how it goes :)

BTW - i got my third ear lobe piercing last week. I'm at 5 in the left ear and 3 in the right ear. I had to convince the piercing guy that I couldn't pierce anything else because I was an actress. Actually I think I was convincing myself that i couldn't pierce anything else!

I will not be the girl stuck at home in the 'burbs, with the baby, the dog, and the garden of herbs. I will not be the girl in the sensible shoes pushing burgers and beer nuts and missing the clues. I will not be the girl who gets asked how it feels to be trotting along at the genius's heels. I will not be the girl who requires a man to get by."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Leaving The Shore

So, that's a wrap! On The Shore of the Wide World has come to a close... and its surreal.

(The show poster.. which for some reason I didn't post before... but just found online!)

All of our hard work, memorization and analysis has paid off in a great run. This weekend has had its highs and lows, but all together I think we were really proud of what we'd accomplished. I'd say the general consensus was that everyone was happy that it was over so they could have their time back, but sad because it was such a great group of people.
Tuesday night was incredible. By far the greatest show for me hands down. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was having a day off to kind of recoop, and since we had just done 4 days in a row i kind of needed one. And it also might have been that on Monday I worked with Corbin and Taylor on Corbin's directing scene. I don't know if I've already explained this but Corbin needed some people to act in a scene he's directing and asked me to help... so we rehearsed that on Monday. And what really helped was that he introduced me and Taylor to a new technique called the "Meisner Technique". What we basically did was sat in chairs facing each other - one of us looked down at the script and memorized as much of the line as we could - looked up - looked at the other - and without any emotion or anything spoke the line. A very interesting technique which called for extreme focus. By the end of that rehearsal we were in the zone! And i believe a little of that carried over into Tuesday's performance.
I really don't know what it was Tuesday, but i felt GREAT. I was pumped beforehand. I hardly warmed up, but I just had loads of energy inside of me - i was ready to burst. The second I hit the stage for the preshow, i was in character. All of the energy was channeling into the perfect character. It was the only day i really walked offstage after my scenes saying 'YES'. brilliance.

Me and Corbin tryna be cool backstage with electronic cigarettes.

Wednesday on the other hand. Horror story. Nothing went wrong like lost lines or tripping and falling, but the energy was horrific. We weren't our characters, i don't know who we were. Or I was at least. I think we were all a little down about the performance. Especially because the people from the Royal Shakespeare Company were there - and they saw the original production of the show in London. Huge step down on Wednesday.
Thursday we had off. Friday was another good day. Slightly less good then Tuesday, but still good. My dad and my Aunt Shelly and Joan were there, so it was nice for them to see a good performance.

Allison and I, love her fake pregnant belly!

And tonight, tonight was bitter sweet. The energy was a little low because we were upset. There were a few flubs, but it was a nice closing night. Not the best ever, but i think we had fun and thats all that matters. After the show was photo call. First time I had one of those... after a performance. We staged a few scenes so the photographer could take some pictures. And we also gave Mandy (or director) a gift - it was so nice! Allison got a matte frame for all of us to sign, that framed the show poster (posted above) so we all got to sign it and a card for her and Sam (the stage manager).. and I think Mandy really liked it. Very cool.

Classic dressing room shot.

So whats next for me?! Well.
- Corbin's director scene. Gotta memorize that. Its a cool teacher/student piece, I play the student. I think I'll post a little about that later, but we have our first 'show' kind of thing in.. wow... 5 days? I have to memorize. Its a 10(ish) minute play... for a class.
- SPRING'S AWAKENING! That starts in January. I plan on being off book by Jan. 3rd. I have from now till then to get cracking and analyze the play too! Gotta make a good impression on this one, but i'm SO excited for it to start. Its gonna be quite an experience.

So, here's to being 'On the Shore' :) Can't believe its over. Much love to the cast and crew <3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Four More On the Shore!

Me and Zach (who plays Alex, my boyfriend) Corn in the background in Aida garb!

Opening weekend is over! Shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all went swimmingly, there were the minor complications but they're to be expected!

Thursday was a good show, full house, minor problems. I actually don't remember it too much... that's kind of sad. I didn't have anyone there for me so it wasn't a big hype. It was a big deal because it was my 'debut' though! I do remember the feeling distinctly when i bowed for the first time. It was very rewarding!

Friday my Aunt Mermie was there. We had a great day touring the campus and the show was good that night too. Not as sold out as Thursday cause everyone wants to go out on Friday nights but hey, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else!

Friday my Mom and Grandma and Aunt Rhonda and my roommate Ali were there, that was a great day! We went shopping in Polaris and Easton and then topped it off with the show. They weren't too jazzed at all the cursing and the electronic cigarettes, but I think they liked it otherwise. That was the night we had big tech problems. The show began and me and Zach have the first scene, so I'm trying to get into it and midway through the scene when I have to look up and see 'the moon' i realize that... the lights aren't how they usually are. And as the show continues... the lights don't change. When i finally exit the stage a few scenes later the stagemanager informs me that the cues were frozen and they couldn't fix it without restarting the system. So for about the first fourth of the show we only had one set of lights. (But at least we had them) They somehow got it to work and the show went on, I dont even think the audience noticed.

Sunday was sold out. A lot of people from the other show going on, Aida, were there because they didn't have rehearsal so it was cool seeing some familiar faces. Something interesting happened during this scene too! So as i've said before the seats are kind of in bleacher form, so you can walk under them and stand next to them and look up... We have one scene thats on the railing of one of them. So my knees basically touch an audience member. So as we're doing this scene, the spotlights on us and on those lucky members of the audience who just happen to be on the edge. Well. The dummy right in front of me thinks its a good idea to start TEXTING in the spotlight. When the show started we were told that since we were trying to be 'real' in this show, and since in between our scenes we became a member of the audience, if we caught someone texting we were to let them know to stop. Well Hannah, who plays Alex's mom (or my kind of mother in law) sees him texting, crawls over to him - in the spotlight, and grabs the phone from him. All during the scene. And i'm wondering why this guy is laughing right in front of me. What a dummy.

Hannah and me and Amber (helps with costumes!)

We had Monday off which was nice but also kind of depressing. I didn't really know what to do with myself. Well, Corbin (who plays Cristopher.. Alex's little brother) is in a directing class and needed some actors to do a scene that he's directing so me and Taylor (who plays Paul.. Alex's friend) went to the theatre to work on that with him. At least my day wasn't totally acting free.

Corbin and I

But not all of the weekend was just fine and dandy. We got a not so favorable review which I regret to post.


No ones taking it to harshly and we're all having so much fun and learning so much along the way.

Its actually quite interesting how much each day is different. I can feel when a performance is good or bad. Audience reactions have a lot to do with it. The Theatre 100 classes are required to come see the shows, and most of them aren't too thrilled about attending. We don't get a lot of reactions from the audiences full of unwilling students but that raised another question.

Is it really the audience's fault for not reacting, or am I not allowing a reaction? We.. or I have been struggling with this idea for a while. I don't have many moments that are comical - the play itself is not comical in nature. But I want to make sure that the audience is receiving my emotional moments too - laughter is just the only one we can hear and acknowledge.

Tori (who plays Ellen - Grandma) and Myself.

Needless to say I'm still so thrilled to be working on this. I haven't been this happy in so long. With just one day off I'm getting twinges of what its going to be like when the show is over, and I'm already getting depressed! I'm happy to have another show to look forward to but none with be quite like this.

Me and Allison (who plays Susan - pregnant lady!)

Stage Managers Eve and Sam prepared BLT's for the cast!

I'm actually starting to have to consider working for this summer and next year already. I'm thinking about trying to teach or assist at a children's workshop for acting. I kept thinking about my grade school productions and how much I'd love to go back there and just revamp the whole program. Might be fun! If someone trusts me enough to teach their children. haha!

Four more to go, I couldn't be more excited to savor them all. More pictures to come, and I'm sure tons more stories too :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Its opening night! All of our hard work is finally paying off with an audience tonight!

Things have been turning out really well. Monday's rehearsal was rough, and we were a little scared we weren't going to make it work in time. But something happened Tuesday and we were ON! Things started getting.. fun (not that they weren't already, but it was like we were discovering something new), which showed.

Yesterday was our 'Preview' which was a new concept to me. A preview is the night before the show when all the theatre majors and grad students can come to the show for free. (Which is AWESOME for us - audience practice, and awesome for them - free show). We had an audience of about 20 which was just enough to pump up the adrenaline and give us practice for tonight.

No drastic mistakes, the whole performance felt great. The one little pinch in the night was that two people decided it would be a good idea to sneak in to the theatre after the show started (doors close for good once the show starts, no late entry) and they came in through one of the doors in the wings. So as I was making an exit offstage, I exited through the audience kind of and had to go behind the seats against the wall (the seats are kind of beacher esque so i exit underneath them) they were trying to get in! Cool guys. haha.

So we're ready tonight, for sure. Its my Ohio State University theatre DEBUT! It finally hit me when I saw the program.

Its actually quite a fun experience backstage. Our call is 6:35, we have a warmup onstage which is really great. Thats about 10 minutes. Then we hit the dressing rooms where we have some costume people helping us get dressed and such. The show is hooked up to speakers throughout the greenroom and the dressing rooms so we can always hear whats going on, as well as a monitor so we can see it too! Its kind of fun now because in the Thurber Theatre Aida is working, so sometimes we have two sound streams and two monitors going at once! Then at about 7:20 we're released into the theater to do the preshow which consists of talking to the audience in our accent, but not necessarily in our character. One person starts a stomp-clap that gets us back onto stage, we introduce ourselves as our characters, and we begin the show!

8 Shows! Lets do this! My Aunt Mermie is coming tomorrow. My mom, grandma and Aunt Pam are coming on Saturday, and the following weekend my Dad, Aunt Shelly and Aunt Joan are coming! Hopefully along with that a bunch of friends will show up too. Looking forward to posting tons of pictures! A photographer actually came to the show on Tuesday and took tons of pictures which I am hoping end up on the Theatre server so I can get my hands on some! We'll see!

On a different note, I got an e-mail from the Spring Awakening people that informed me that they are giving us a new script! The one we originally received was the original translation which had a lot of dense language. This one is a more modern translation, so not much is really new except it will be a lot easier to memorize, listen to, and have fun with!

AH I'm trilled, here we go!!

"There's things we all want to do Alex, but we can't always do them...
You know what I mean? Like... live until I'm twenty five - at least."

- Sarah Black (On The Shore of the Wide World)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cue to Cue to Cue to Cue

Tickets for my family!

So here's something I've never done before! Cue. To cue. Okay so maybe I've done in on a much smaller scale, but this right here. This is legit.

Basically what my last three rehearsals have consisted of has been starting a scene, saying a few lines, getting a hold, going back to that spot, entering again, saying your lines, getting a hold, either doing it again, or skipping to the ending transition. This is all while the lighting people and the sound people get their cues down.

And I'm actually enjoying it a lot! Lights have always been the icing on the cake for me. Once you are doing your scene with lights on you, it brings some sort of magic into it. I know its cheesy but I kinda get emotional about it! Like my passion for the art is brought out under the lights.

It is astounding how absolutely beautiful these lights are. They compliment the stage so well and bring out almost a fairy tale like color in all of the scenes. Its really making our good play turn into something great.

So, SIX DAYS until opening! SIX DAYS We have all of our props, and I believe our costumes start today. Wow. What an addition that will be. We're finally going through a real, live run of the show.

Oh! And we started playing with the electronic cigarettes. So fun and interesting! Granted, it tastes like crap - its pretty legit. The smoke is so realistic. Just as long as i don't try to smoke it the wrong way or ACTUALLY light it on fire when i'm 'pretending' to light it. We'll be good. This is a pretty fail proof play. haha.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Crew Watch... out!

My dorm room door! - every single thing about my shows ha.

'On The Shore of the Wide World' opens in 12 days! Unbelievable!

Last Friday began our official turn into almost tech week / basically tech week status. It was crew watch! 'Crew watch' was a new concept for me. I'm used to actors rehearsing until tech week and then lights and other crew people coming in a few days before we open to just throw in some lights while we're rehearsing one day. So Friday, the entire crew of OTS sat in our our rehearsal, just to watch the show. All costumes, lights, sound, vocal coach... anyone who's involved with the show got to see it all the way through before starting any work. Fantastic. Plus, an added bonus to basically have a small audience to bump up the energy in the room.

Sunday (Not Saturday, because Ohio State had a football game on Saturday... so of course the rest of the campus stops all other activities) we were in a classroom, away from the beloved stage because of all the light work that needed to be done. How strange - lights getting done BEFORE tech week and WITHOUT the actors present! How.. professional. I got to rehearsal an hour early to participate in an optional warm up lead by the lovely Allison, playing 'Susan' in OTS. I was a little late, so I didn't get to completely indulge, but my goodness. She knows how to make you relax! Its so nice to know that there are legitimate warmups for actors with the body andddd the voice. Voice isn't just for singers! Quite a lovely learning experience and something I will certainly keep in my bag of tricks.

But Sunday was a good rehearsal. We have started perfecting the 'transitions' of scenes which we started the other day. Its such an interesting concept. At the very end of one scene, (most scenes only consist of two characters) each character says a line. Then the next scene says two of their lines, and they alternate until the first scene is done and by that time the other scene has already got started! It is the perfect addition to this play especially because the mood is so deep and kind of depressing. It gives a nice movement and flow to the show and definitely will keep the audience's attention high!

To make Sunday even better - my director surprised us all by having written HAIKU's about every character in the show! It was incredible, she's such a lovely lady. She read each of them, and we had to guess which character they were about. Here is mine

"Damaged by parents. Searching for a better tribe. Trusting the tight rope."

I just keep on learning so much every day. I've never actually filled up a notebook with work from a show, and doing it for this one is a great feeling. My momentum is at full force! 12 more days until we step off the shore!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What an awakening!

WOW a lot has happened!

So, i auditioned for winter quarter on Saturday morning. I was auditioning for Spring's Awakening (the drama) and Midsummer Night's Dream. I did a monologue from The Misunderstanding by Albert Camus. Which is apparently pronounced Alber Camu - and i was like 'yeah its a monologue by ALBERT CAYMUS. The director corrected me at the end of my monologue. So embarrassing. But heres the results!

Wooo! I was thrilled. Speechless. And terrified. I wanted to be in Spring Awakening so bad, and I got called back for one thing. I was going to have to kill it. I biked to the Drake and picked up my sides which were conveniently taped to the door outside for easy pickup.

The first callbacks were for midsummer. I read for alot of things, but mostly puck. The concept for the show is in collaboration with The Royal Shakespeare Company. The graduates are doing a production of Othello with them. A handful of schoolteachers went to study with the company, and the purpose of Midsummer was to tour to those gradeschools and spread the content with younger children. That was from 3 - 6.

At 7:30 was Spring's Awakening callbacks. I was dying. I had sides for the 'beating' scene with Melchoir and a scene with Thea and Martha. These callbacks were different then I've ever done, they terrified me. The director Jimmy paired us off with scene partners. We had one shot. he wouldnt call you back in, even if he liked you. So he never called back in the people he was going to cast to see how they worked together. No one had any idea how it was going to turn out. And the scenes were LONG, so callbacks went forever. I was so scared. I wanted it so bad.

So, the moment you've all been waiting for. Heres how it turned out.

I don't know if you can see my name that well but I'M WENDLA! What a dream! This is the biggest role I've ever gotten. I'm thrilled! Such a beautiful, dramatic role. I have yet to read the script, I'm picking it up tomorrow. But my goodness, a lead. Already. Winter quarter, freshman year. Wendla. Once I take this all in I'll be able to write more, but I can't even process it. Not to mention were not even at tech week yet for On The Shore - I'm still Sarah! So shes got my focus right now.

Speaking of On The Shore, we're moving along swimmingly! Everyone is offbook - we had the most painful rehearsal on Saturday. We read through the script 3 times. Just read it. With the scripts in our hands, even though were off book. We need to have the words down perfectly, so it was painful. But other then that everything is AWESOME. The floor is painted like an earth. Were setting around little nick nacks like books and bottles to decorate the mismatched stage. I can hardly describe it, and I would post a picture but apparently the set is under a copyright so I cant! So, we've got a few weeks left but we could probably go on tomorrow if we needed to. We have this stuff mostly down :)

We actually started this new idea of overlapping scenes. So for the last like 10-20 seconds of a scene, the other scene starts. So two sets of lines are going on at once. Two scenes, one stage. Even if the same character is in both scenes. Its insane, but AWESOME. It makes the play move along so quickly with so much fluency to it. Really awesome move.

I have my costume fitting on Thursday - can't wait to see it! God theres so much I could go on about but thats enough for now. WHAAAAAA

BTW - I did not get cast in Midsummers, but It was all okay! I'm so happy with what I was given!

My life is awesome. I'm Wendla. I'm Wendla.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Mahnchestah Is a Luvely Ci'y"

(Me and Zach who plays Alex my boyfriend)

I believe we're about a week and a half into production of 'On The Shore' now and we're farther then I have ever seen at this point. The entire script analyzed, completely blocked, and everyone off book.

This show has introduced to me something called 'Table Work'. Instead of jumping right into blocking after the read through, there is another step involved. Our little cast gathered around the stage and painstakingly, cut, read, and analyzed every scene individually. We found symbolism in everything from counting stars to brushing teeth to tuna. I gained so much insight into who my character was, why she does what she does... it made me wonder how I even could act before without knowing who I was. Needless to say, having this kind of knowledge toward the show is going to bring it up a whole new level. I not only learned about the play itself in this time, but how to think and analyze and put that knowledge into action. This is what acting is about.

After that the blocking began. The most painless and enjoyable blocking I've ever had to do. "Here's your area. Now do the scene." - This is how you know you're moving up in the world and being trusted for you abilities. This sets apart the "I can act when you tell me exactly how to" from the "I can act because I AM an actress". Seeing how people take that liberty and make it into their character is another great learning experience. Aside from that - being so engulfed in your character that YOU get to choose the blocking that THEY would do adds a lot of depth. The show is molding into a complete masterpiece already, and its only a little over a week in.

So now that everyone is off book we're moving into individual scene work. Everyone has been given call times individually and given about a half hour to work on their scene. This starts tomorrow.

My character has quite a few piercings. Lip, Eyebrow, and all over the ear. I've been wearing a lip piercing to get used to the mannerisms and how to talk with it in. I went on Thursday to get 2 piercings in my helix (cartilage). Its going to be a nice way to remember this show for the rest of my life!

The accent is also quite an interesting learning experience as well. I would like to say that I've just about mastered the Manchester dialect - my only problem is that I sound too pretty. I sound like a proper english lady and my character obviously is not. So, I have to work on... relaxing my jaw. Using my lips more then my teeth. I need to be a dirty english girl from Manchester damnit! Haha.

Still, learning so so so much every day. Believe it or not, auditions for Winter quarter are on the 16th already. Like a month before On The Shore even goes up! So I have to memorize my monologue for that too now. I'll be auditioning for Spring's Awakening (the drama) and Midsummer Nights Dream WHICH will be working with THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY. I won't get into the importance of that until after the whole audition process haha.

So basically. I'm in love.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New & Exciting Shores!

I got the part. I got the part of Sarah Black in On The Shore of the Wide World. Who in the world would have thought, freshman year, autumn quarter, i would step up and defy the odds this way. The list went up yesterday. I swear I talked and screamed to myself all the way throughout my bike ride home. Im ecstatic!

First of all, lets cover callbacks. I got there a little early, and its a good thing I did because people had picked up their scripts (or 'sides' as they called them - ive never heard that term before) a day in advance, I was just receiving mine then. I'm a total noob, and it was showing. They called us in, talked a little about the show, and we began. There were four girls going out for Sarah. I read for the first scene twice. I was called back in for a second scene. The third scene, they called me in along with two other characters. They rotated one of the other characters out about 4 times, but I stayed. We left, and we waited. Callbacks - majorly uneventful except for meeting a few people, getting an adrenaline rush, and then knowing I had to wait.

Callbacks for 'The Fair Maid of the Exchange' went very well also, although I did not get a part in that. The concept of the show ended up being very interesting and I would have liked to be a part of it. I'm almost positive it was the project of two graduate students. They described the show as a long shakespearian type script. But the scripts were very odd. Say two people were having a conversation. Well I would be given a script with all of my lines, and only the last few words of the person in front of me's line. So I basically have no idea what the other person is saying, and I have to make inferences about the scene from only my lines. Apparently this was used in Shakespeare's day, and they wanted to replicate it. Very cool. Also, they were following a shakespearian rehearsal schedule which means four rehearsals, then a performance. Thats a lot of work. Also involved was cross dressing, no lighting (as in... the audience has the same light as the stage), no fourth wall, and most likely cue cards. It would have been a very interesting experience and I would have learned from it a lot, but I don't think that it would have been possible for me to do two shows and thats why I didn't get it! Okay! So!

Tonight was the read through for On The Shore. Not only was it a read through, but at the shows here all of the technical staff gives presentations. The first guy to speak worked with the actual playwright himself when he was writing the script AT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. He had original playbills, scripts, the whole thing. Pretty cool. The set. My god the set. It is going to be incredible! The Theres set designer got up to speak prepared with a powerpoint and one of those 3D objects that architects make of houses before their built.going to be windows coming from the ceiling and the wall going out into the audience... The floor is going to be painted like an earth. Really, I can't wait to take pictures. The costumes are very natural and modern. My character has eyebrow and lip piercings with a possible tattoo - I was described as 'the girl you do not want to take home to your mother'. The lights were researched very in depth and are going to be... hmm how do i describe it. They said - expanding and coming back in. Like at one point the whole room will be lit up and characters will be able to expand their stage into the audience. So the fourth wall is a little down in this play too. Like in one scene I'm in a taxi, lights will be flying by, flashing, they are really going to be amazing. Wow, I'm going on and on now but I'm just so impressed. I guess I didn't have very high expectations of plays beyond Notre Dame. For a team to surpass my expectations like that is not only completely surprising but EXCITING! I am thrilled to be moving a step up and actually for the first time in a long time learning something NEW.

The play itself is extremely deep and intricate and there's soooo much to learn just in that. Already I'm falling in love with my character. The cast seems to have a ton of talent and I'm so excited to bring it to the stage. I can't wait to record my progress and share the new things I learn because I know there is so much to come with this one!

Plus i get 3 free credit hours. WOOOO.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thats my name alright.

^ I got called back for Sarah!

^ I got called back for this one too!

Friday, September 24, 2010


(The Oval)

And thus, with the closing weekend of Cinderella, my performance motivation came to a halt and up until now have I had the opportunity to take up anything else of theatrical interest. But I'm finally here THE Ohio State University and I'm having a blast! I moved in on Sunday and everything has just been a whirlwind until about now. I'm finally settling in, classes started on Wednesday and it finally feels like home.

The other day was a huge event called 'The Involvement Fair' where almost all of Ohio State's 1,000 student run organizations set up a table on 'The Oval' (A large patch of land with criss-crossy sidewalks thats in the middle of campus). Immediately I headed towards the lane that contained the performance clubs! Two which really stood out were OUT (Ohio Union Television) and Off The Lake. OUT is an organization which works on the three parts of creating filming/broadcasting, content, production, and talent. They need talent? Sign me up! Its been a goal of mine to expand my horizon to film and television. The video clips created by this club are mostly blurbs about what is happening around campus, and they play in the Student Union on many of the televisions. Exposure, Experience, and Involvement! It sounded great to me. Even better is the club called Off The Lake. The University itself can only put on so many shows a quarter, so this club puts on a few more musicals that are more student run. They don't start until January, but any more opportunities to get me into a show is exactly what I'm looking for!

And then for the actual University productions. This year they are putting on a musical called Aida, and their main drama is called 'On The Shore Of the Wide World'. In the midst of this whirlwind of a week, I checked on the theatre website to see when auditions would be held. Well, this was Wednesday, and auditions were Thursday. No monologue prepared, no sheet music in sight. Luckily, in anticipation of a surprise audition I had a few monologue books handy and had lightly skimmed a monologue I thought would be good for any type of show. I picked a modern version of a monologue from Antigone because I felt like it got deep into a powerful and demanding character. I locked myself in the basement, and I read, and i read, and i memorized, and i yelled, and i got it done.

Auditions were last night. My appointment was at 8:18. Two hours ahead of time I'm practically pacing the halls, not knowing what to do with myself. I had the monologue down, my hair was done, i was dressed, and I just wanted to go. I decided to go about a half an hour early, and I was lucky I did because they were running ahead of schedule and I seemed punctual! I signed in with the stage manager, they took my picture, and I waited. Walking into the audition room was unlike any other audition I've ever encountered. There was a small stage with seats that resembled bleachers instead of a small incline that go far back. There was a woman on paino on stage for people auditioning for Aida, and there was about 20 people in the audience watching. I stated my name, my piece, and I waited for a nod to begin which never really came so I begun. First line, mess up, second line, worse. Ok Mackenzi, get in the zone. The third and fourth lines shakily took me there and by the sixth I was Antigone. I left that theatre and I was so engulfed in that performance that I couldn't see the lights, the walls, the people staring at me. I finished powerfully, thanked them, and left that room with so much adrenaline I could have screamed. I could have swore I heard a woman say under her breath 'that was great'. I'll never know but I'm sticking too it!

That was hands down the most invigorating and powerful audition I've ever had. I was so proud of myself, I thought I did great. (Which is going to kind of suck if I don't get a callback). The list is posted tonight at 11:00. I can't wait. I will be disappointed if I didn't get something, but I know I did my best. Next time I'll take a week to prepare at least!

And so begins my theatrical reign at The Ohio State University. Lets hope I got it right.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Closing Weekend - Critically Speaking.

The second weekend of my show begins now. And to be quite honest, I'm not really excited to perform. Could be because it is a different experience not to be doing a show with all of my best friends. Could be because no one I really want to perform for is coming. But doesnt that go against the point? Shouldnt I want to be performing because acting alone makes me happy?

Click: Our Review.

But come on. I'm a pro (so i tell myself). Put it all aside and be GERTRUDE. Gertrude needs to get to the freaking ball.

New lesson - Perform every show like there is a critic front row.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Opening Night! - Trust, a must?

Opening night was last night!

Finally, all our hard work has paid off. A nice, responsive audience filled the seats.

Thursday, the night before opening was something to be scared about. With new set pieces, changed to choreography, missed lines and steps and notes, broken characters and more... I was not feeling too good about where we were going. It felt like that should have been the rehearsal on Monday, instead of the day before opening.

Someone (not in the cast) started talking about trust. Trust that this will come together, trust that this show will take off tomorrow. Acting is about trusting, on stage and off, that you will make a performance work.

I was highly skeptical. Why should I trust something over which i have no control? I can make myself the best possible, but when other people blow it big time... how, and why, should I feel bad about it? I can only control so much.

And then, another mentor of mine told me something that made sense. You have to take care of yourself, be the best you can be. If other people slip up, its not your fault. You can't take responsibility for it. You showcased your best abilities and thats all that matters.

Sure, It will effect the overall view of the show, but what it really comes down to is that I know that I had a great performance, dispite everyone elses.

Now let me just brief this by saying that these were my worries during tech week. We had a wonderful show last night that I was proud of! But I learned a big lesson.
Be the best you can be & don't hold yourself responsible for everyone else. You have to want to do it for yourself, your goal shouldn't particularly be impressing everyone else.
Besides this, I learned something else valuable. As I was walking to set one of my costumes in the 'wardrobe' set piece for a number, the stage manager stopped me. "What are you doing?!" He asked. "I'm... setting my props?" I froze. "Get back in the dressing room! You're a principle, we do that for you. Its a luxury." - I just moved a step up in the world. I don't expect to get this treatment again any time soon, but it sure was nice. Along with the first time I've ever shared an ACTUAL dressing room with lights and mirrors and chairs. Hey, I could get used to it is all I'm saying.
One down, 5 more to go! As much of a stress it has been, I'll be very sad when its over. Especially because I don't know when I'll be in another one considering I'm moving to Ohio!

Planning on hopefully posting some of the performance or some new monologues/scenes.
"A flick of the wrist, and a wave of the wand and a magic word or two, and you're fairy godmother will always rescue you!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hell Week = Heaven?

It's finally happening! Tech week is upon us and were finally getting a move on.

This week has been a plethora of new experiences for me. Yesterday was my first time in a legit dressing room. There was lights and mirrors and chairs. I felt special because it was only for the principle actors. Which, yes, also means we are finally on stage for good. This is also my first time navigating the wings of another stage. Some actor right? Ha, well twelve shows at Notre Dame has consumed me to the point of not having the opportunity at other companies. This is so much fun! It was the first time my hair was almost too large to fit in my car too, but that was quite fun as well.

All in all, my doubts are totally at ease. Once the show began yesterday on stage with costumes makeup and some lights (no set or sound) something powerful overcame me. It was one of those moments like "Wow, I was born to do this. This is my element, my calling.. I am incredibly happy." And that made all the worries, long drives and other little things so unimportant.

The show is almost ready to open! A few more tech rehearsals and we've got a great thing under our belts. I cannot wait to have an audience!

So what I've learned for now is, its all worth it. Your passion will make your performance a spectacle. There's always so much more to learn no matter how much you think you know.

And most importantly, "Just keep on dreaming!"

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time To Choose!

Failure of the week - time management. I write to you at eleven o'clock at night, with only a whopping 3 hours of sleep under my belt from last night. How do i do it? Coffee. But we won't get into my escapades with that evil drug.

This week has been a series of extreme ups and downs. Life changing losses and gains have got me in a daze. On top of that, rehersals are getting longer as tech week aproaches. Lets give you a layout of my schedule so you can get the idea.

6:30 - Wake Up
7:30 - Arrive at Babysitting
5:00 - Leave Babysitting
5:30 - Get home
6:00 - Leave to pick up people for rehearsal
7:00 - Start Rehearsal
10:00 - End rehersal
11:00 - Get home

What you see here is a massive 30 minutes to cram food in for dinner (if i can even get my hands on food - today was the first day this week) and by the time i let myself have an hour or so to unwind and breathe after I get home from rehearsal - a good 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night. Can I cut anything out of my schedule for 'mental health' time? No. So when am I supposed to be getting in time to keep myself healthy?

Last night I decided to meet up with some people after rehersal to see a movie. I'm glad I did, considering it was one of the life changing gains that has graced my life this week, but it did end up costing me a couple hours of sleep which i could not afford. Yesterday I did not eat, and the only thing I had consumed was two cups of coffee and a red bull. I went to bed at 3, and was asked to go into babysitting early. Needless to say, my muscles felt as though they were deteriorating this morning. Nap time during babysitting is not an option either - i've already gotten in trouble for that one.

I obviously have bit off more then I could chew this summer. I needed the money, so I chose to babysit. I love acting, so I chose to be in a show. At this point of sleep deprivation, I am so frustrated and confused I don't know what to do.

I've come to accept that I cannot change anything and I have to ride this wave out until the show is over. Tech week is next week, which means earlier rehersals that go later. If I even survive this next week, I will probably leave with one lesson under my belt.

Acting for free is way better then babysitting demon spawn for mega bucks. Doing both at the same time will kill you.

You can't have your cake and eat it to. Always choose doing what you love, even if it means you will be a poor starving college kid.

(I'm on the far right)

I'll suffer through this lesson learned, sleep an entire week before heading off to a full college schedule, and make sure i never, ever babysit full time again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So I thought I could dance.

There are a few qualities about me that everyone in my theatre world knows. They know that I am an actress who can sing, not a singer who can act. They know that I am a character actress, and do well with comedy. But one of the most distinct features of my performing abilities is that - I cannot dance. Not a turn, not a tap, not a slide. I'm completely uncoordinated, and directors have come to accept that about me. And I've come to accept that acting is all I excel it, and I'm quite happy that I at least have that.

But I was not always this way, imagine that! Once upon a time I really was a ballarina... or so I thought. I would say up until third grade I had two goals in life. Number one was to grow up and become a butterfly. If that didn't work out, I had my sights set on ballet. Don't believe me? Heres proof.

(Click To Enlarge)

Ah, look at that form! So you may be asking, "What happend? You looked like a natural!". Wrong. Very wrong. I can't remember the reason why I quit taking those ballet, jazz and tap lessons. It could have been one of two reasons. 1 - I got bored, as most children do when they end up trying out a niche thats not really their thing. 2 - I could have been a really horriffic dancer. Both are very likely answers - I'm sticking with the second. However, heres living proof that I got a little bit of moves in me!

And inevitably, here is when dancing became a joke.

There it is, the Mackenzi you know and love. Dancing like a fool.... in a cat mask. I should have known when my favorite part of dance class was free dance to 'I'm a Barbie Girl'. Some things never change.

At least now I've come to accept my place in the world. Who KNOWS what would have happened if I would have convinced myself that I STILL wanted to be a ballerina. Thank goodness I let the ballet go. Dreams of becoming a butterfly however... That one still needs some work.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cinderella is a little late for the ball.

Hello! And welcome to my blog! Am I talking to myself, or to you? Both I suppose, considering this is my first post.

For years I've had my attempts at blogging. I usually get a strong motivation to write, lose it, and by the time I come back I delete all of my posts and start over. But not this time! We're going to keep this one going because this time, I have a story to tell!

I'm about to start college. THE Ohio State University. My story is not about where I found myself waking up over the weekend. Nor is it about that super mean professor who hates me because I fall asleep in class. I'm a theatre major, along with Computer Science, but my story is mostly about my acting endeavors. Its a tough business! Especially for a college kid who's taking a shot in the dark. I'm going to take you along as I figure out the business, and have my fair share of failure and success.

Lets start it off with my current work of art: "Prince Street Theatre's Cinderella " I play Gertrude - one of Cinderella's evil (and partially retarded) stepsisters. This fun little number started the very beginning of this month... and is about to open on the 30th. Thats right, one month of rehearsal for a relatively large musical production. And to top it off, we've only had ONE rehearsal on the stage we will be performing on. We open in two weeks.

Ok breathe! It always comes together in the end, doesn't it? This one will. We've run the show through... once. Oh and did I mention we haven't had rehearsal since Wednesday and we don't have another one till Monday? Ok, obviously I'm a little stressed, but our cast and director is amazing! This week we're gonna get this show on the road, literally. Just gotta memorize those lines and dance steps (you should learn now that I am one of the most horrendous dancers you've ever met). Its a great role, so funny and a lot of substance! I'll post a bunch of pictures and videos once the shows been on the stage!

Alright so Cinderella is on its feet, I just got a contract to do some voice over work for story recordings through oDesk. oDesk is a website for employers who need work done such as programming, data entry, graphic design, or in my case writing and voice acting. I've been doing a bunch of work there recently, its been getting me through those long and strenuous days as a babysitter. It seems like things are really working out for me. And I'm sure they will, as long as I can survive a couple more weeks babysitting three little demon boys and late rehearsals. I'll be off to college in two months and ready to start a whole new adventure.

So you ready to join me for the ride?