We've asked our Male and Female Swings, Jared Michael Brown and Sarah Davis to give us a backstage perspective on what it means to be a Swing in a brand new show like A Christmas Story: The Musical! First, get to know Jared with this fun journal entry from last week's tech rehearsals.
We’re underway with day four of tech rehearsals for ‘A Christmas Story,’ starting Act II this afternoon and hopefully wrapping up the entire show before tomorrow at 11:30pm. I can tell you, from my seat in Row J, orchestra right, it’s been a whirlwind of a tech rehearsal process. This will be my second experience here at the 5th Avenue Theatre, but my first main stage show I’ve been involved with. I was a part of the Adventure Musical Theatre tour last season and had an absolute blast! ‘A Christmas Story’ has more than a few rolling backdrops, though, and by looking around the house right now, I see a lot more people involved in the process.
My role in the show is a ‘Swing.’ As defined, I am a cover for the seven ensemble men in the show, able to step in for any of the actors at a moment’s notice, and responsible for performing the track exactly as the other actor would. And because I’m not on stage during the tech process I’m able to observe and take extensive notes on each of the actors’ track. These notes will be moved into separate track scripts I’d be able to use if I ever had to step in for someone. It’s a daunting task and it’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun.
During the long hours of tech rehearsals people get a little run down after dancing a number 15 times to try and time lights out perfectly. Run down, and sometimes a little crazy. I’d like to take this time to share with all of you some of the gems we’ve heard here at the swing table during rehearsal:
“Let’s take it from the top of the Riverdance” – Amy (Stage Manager)
“Can I wear these shoes in my fantasy? / Can we make it so I slide down the banister into my fantasy?” - Carol Swarbrick (Miss Shields)
“People are much funnier on God Mics.” - Sarah Davis (Swing)
(Upon discovering that the lamp doesn’t light) “Boys, check the fusebox!” – John Bolton (The Old Man)
“You’ve got the longest legs in the world, Carol!” – Kelly, “Three of ‘em!” – Carol Swarbrick during the leg lamp dance.
“Funny, Eric, but be gentle with your leg.” – Amy (Stage Manager)
“Kids, please don’t eat the snow… It’s plastic.” - Kelly Devine (Choreographer)