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?