Monday, November 29, 2010
Tonight is our first orchestra dress rehearsal! I will probably be watching from the balcony to get a different perspective of the show.
A friend of mine is in town and she is also swinging on a tour right now and she thought my little color coordinated books for the actors were amazing and super organized! Score! The more I watch the show the more I fantisize about going on for Miss Shields... Sadly, I'm not the Miss Shields understudy ( but I have all her blocking down just in
case!) I'm pretty sure if I ever went on for Miss Shields for some odd reason I would just be playing Carol Swarbrick as Miss Shields, which could also be quite hilarious. Carol Swarbrick is a complete genius. She is the most hilarious woman on and off stage and no one should miss this opportunity to see her in the show.
We have our first preview Friday and it occured to me that I need to be just as prepared to perform Friday as the rest of the actors, which is slightly frightening because that means mastering all 6 tracks but I have no doubt that I would be ready and I know my cast would help me out.
Starting with our first dress tonight I will start to really focus on one track at a time because now I have all 6 written down and it's time to really follow one at a time, and I'm finding that to be the hardest part of being a swing at this point. I have so many details and notes flying through my head that it's hard to focus on one thing at a time...
(point being made... I just got distracted writing this because three ensemble members dressed as elves just did the single ladies dance on stage... I love it here) and I could write a whole blog on how fabulous Clarke Hallum is as Ralphie... But sadly I do not cover him so I will save my gushing for later.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tech week went really well... We finished up our 10 out of 12s yesterday and we got through the whole show! Amazing! It's so much fun to watch and I'm amazed that it is still hilariously funny to me and I've seen it so many times. Sitzprobe was Sunday....there are no words for how beautiful the arrangments are! Ian wanted Jared and I too sing along with the ensemble which was really fun. I can't lie though...
It's very different sitting in the house watching for 12 hours as opposed to being onstage the whole time. Both are exhausting in very different ways. I'm certainly getting a whole new perspective on being an actor though... Being able to watch how everything comes together on the stage and taking that step away from it all to look at the big picture has been really interesting. My tracking books are coming together though ... Almost all caught up with writing all the entrance and exits and such, but as expected things are changing so I will keep updating them.
This is Sarah Davis’ method to swinging the show – a
different color highlighter for every track she’s covering.
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)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Need another reason to catch A Christmas Story: The Musical? We've got 13, and despite these hilarious lyrics, trust us, these kids are anything but wimps! Catch a sneak peek of the children's ensemble performing "When You're a Wimp" from A Christmas Story: The Musical! here: