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Archive for the ‘Rehearsals & Performances’ Category

Thanks

The final performance of Questions and Declarations was beautiful. I’m so thankful to have been a part of it– to be in ‘Necropolis,’ which was an excellent experience from start to finish; to perform again after a year and a half; and to be part of another HopeWerks, five years after my own. Mega, mega thanks to N (and also D) for allowing me to be part of something wonderful.

Our final audience was fabulous! Every seat was full (it was a studio showing with 28 chairs, but still!), and they were really engaged in the performance. They seemed to notice (and respond to) all of JAE’s sly puns in ‘Necropolis’ and cracked up at N’s singsongy solo poem “Early Morning Prayer.” They responded well to D in “If No One Ever Marries Me” and “Secrets of the Rebel Spinster,” laughing at all the right places (doesn’t hurt that D is a great performer— really funny, with a perfect sense of timing!). Best of all…my husband came, and he loved it; he said I was amazing and he was proud. ❤

I really enjoyed watching “Family: Leporidae” (I worked the iPod, so i got to see it from the back). Not only is D funny and entertaining, but the two dancers who did solo pieces were incredible! One woman I had performed with before; the other I’d never met. I loved watching both of them!

We had a talk-back after each performance, plus the audience members stayed to chat with the performers/artists afterward. One interesting reaction from people was that the ones who knew me as a dancer were surprised that I could speak so well. Frankly, I was, too!  I was heavily involved in theater through middle and high school– doing several mainstage shows a year and taking acting classes– but it had been a long time. While I was a good little actress at age 13, I wasn’t sure that would be true at age 26, especially being almost ten years out of practice. Turns out all those years of PYT paid off after all.

Another interesting thing was to observe the different ways people pronounce “poem.” There’s “po-em,” “poam,” and “poim;” and I heard all three over this experience.

* * *

After that I … slept. No, really. Aside from ten minutes of work-related phone calls, I spent Monday in bed (I’m really thankful to have Mondays off). It was glorious.

You know how everyone on facebook does those “Today I’m thankful for….” posts every day during November? I never got on the bandwagon; but yesterday– the last day of dance before Thanksgiving break– I was thankful for Five-Hour Energy Extra.

* * *

…and that brings us up to speed. It is now Wednesday, day one of my three-day “vacation,” and in a few hours we’re leaving for Orange, Texas to visit Craig’s family. We’re both looking forward to seeing the ETX family members and to just “getting away” for a few days. That said, I’ve got to make sure the cats are situated (we’re just going to leave them to their own devices for 48 hours and pray the apartment isn’t in shambles when we return), finish packing, shower…I should probably squeeze some exercise in, too, before CalorieFest 2012 (maybe shouldn’t have skipped my morning yoga in favor of blogging)…

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Peace and love.

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Dress rehearsal was Thursday night, and it went well. I finally got to see the other piece on the Hopewerks Bill, “Family: Leporidae.” It’s an interesting piece: two contemporary dance solos, a poem by Laurence Alma-Tadema, and a original monologue by D called “Secrets of the Rebel Spinster.” I really enjoyed it!

We started our run at about 8:30 and it was over at 9:15. It went well– no disasters– and we all headed out around 9:30 to get a good night’s sleep.

* * *

Friday night the crowd was thin (there were several different dance performances this weekend, including a one-night-only concert last night). Still, the room was about half-full (not half-empty), and the audience was appreciative. One of my friends from church came out to see it, as well as a handful of other people I knew from my dancing days.

Opening night I got to see the final element of “Leporidae”– the art dolls. The dolls, made by this fabulous artist, served as a sort of backdrop for the piece, and added to the quirky charming feel of the work. I also learned why it was called “Leporidae”– there was a recurring, yet completely accidental theme of rabbits throughout the piece (each section had some sort of reference to a rabbit, etc). Well, you know, you start with two…

On a personal level, I’m glad we didn’t have very much of an audience that night– it wasn’t my best performance. I felt good about parts of it, of course; but I feel like I “missed” more than I “hit.” Adding minor insult, I got a tickle in my throat at the end of “What (C)remains” that stayed for the rest of the piece, which was really annoying. I went straight home after, since my alarm would be going off at 5:30am.

* * *

Saturday was the second showing, and– drumroll!– the poet was there (we knew in advance that she was coming Saturday night). I was excited to perform her work for her, but also nervous– would she approve of the voice I gave her words? Would she feel I had done them the proper justice?

The performance went really, really well! The audience (bigger this time) laughed at all the funnier parts, and seemed to be having a very good time. They loved N’s sing-song “Early morning prayer” and the Alma-Tadema poem.

I felt strong, especially in my two poems.I finally felt like I nailed “What (C)remains” (and no throat-tickle this time, thank goodness)…

…and later found out from the audience– and from poet Jill Alexander Essbaum herself– that I did exactly that! =D I learned that I made at least two people cry (which is an odd thing to brag about, granted, but it’s a sign of an effective performance). One of the audience members (who goes to pretty much every performance, and has seen me perform in things since I first moved here), commented that I seemed very comfortable performing spoken word, and that I should perform more often. I told him I’ll try. 😉

I got to talk to Jill after the crowd thinned down a bit. She told me that I had performed “Interoit” almost exactly as she read it at readings; she had written the poem at a time when she took lots of early-early morning walks.  And what do you know– years ago I went through a phase with lots of introspective pre-dawn walks around my neighborhood (you can do that when you live in River Oaks), and I’ve been re-living those walks in “Interoit.” All in all, Jill was very appreciative of my performance– I “nailed it out of the ballpark” (yes!) and made her cry.

See?

It was a great night.

* * *

It’s now Sunday. Last night was great, but I can’t “rest on laurels”– we have one more performance to go! I’m laying low and resting up in the meantime, though. And laundry– I must fold laundry. I managed to get clothes washed and dried all week, but I lacked the time to actually sit down and fold things, and the clean-laundry basket went beyond full and into Mountain Mode. My wonderful husband let me sleep late this morning and got started on it, he’s at least leveled off the “mountain” part of it. I better go fold the rest before a cat decides to climb into the basket.

……

Too late.

* * *

Wish us merde for a great closing night!

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We had our last pre-dress-rehearsal rehearsal Monday night. It went well– we ran through it three times, and felt pretty good about it afterwards.

I’d been playing with “Interoit”– the opening selection, which I perform as a monologue. The poem, which begins with the words “I was dead, and I went for a walk this morning,” is a reflection on a life; with moments of anxiety and moments of wry honesty. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I like how I perform it, although I’m still tinkering with the delivery of certain lines (and the word “unaccommodating,” which for some reason sounds odd in my voice).

I”What (c)remains” is another poem that I perform mostly alone, and I’m having the opposite experience with it– a few weeks ago I liked how I did that piece, and was confident about it. I the last few rehearsals, however, I’ve failed to get “there”– each time I’ve felt like I didn’t hit all the right notes. It’s frustrating. Before tonight’s dress rehearsal I am going to do some meditations on it and try it a few more times.

As much as I want tonight’s rehearsal to go well, the superstitious part of me has always found “a bad dress rehearsal means a good performance” to be true. Either, I think we’ll be swell, we’ll be great, gonna have the whole world on a … where was I? Oh, right. Dress rehearsal is tonight, three performances this weekend. I think we’re going to be just fine.

Still, wish us “merde!”

* * *

You can read more of my thoughts on the ‘Necropolis’ process here.

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