Friday, January 20, 2012

...And that, folks, is how I got preggers.

Oh, god. I didn't mean me. You stop that right now.

I received my preggo belly for rehearsal the other night...just about the most terrifying thing to see on your young body. I mean, to most women it's like "OoOo! The Miracle of life! It's so beautiful!" WHAT?! There is a human being inside of your body! That is straight up science-fiction-Rod-Serling-in-your-face-Twilight-Zone shiz! It even comes out purple and screaming at you. If that's your bag, good for you. Breed away. And, yes, it's how we all got here, blah, blah, blah-whatever. Doesn't make it any less scary. *Shivers*

Despite my obvious fear of pregnancy, it's kind of crazy how much of an effect a wardrobe or prop piece like that can have. I mean, it completely changes the way I hold my body. I can't naturally stand a tad forward or too straight because the bottom of my belly (EEEK!) touches my legs and it's not like I can squish it down per the person inside. You can't stop touching it, either! I felt like a good luck charm all night or one of these...

 I think it's also hilarious how one with such a body type automatically stands like this...

I just see it as a chance for extra SASS. Ive never really had any extreme character physical feature like this. High heels and tight skirts, sure, but not like this. It really is kind of jarring. But, man, does it make Pepper ever more real. I mean, this bitch really IS bad(in a good way). She is a friggin vat of tiny people and handles it like a pro. She's going to sing, dance, hang out with her friends, and she's going to have fun. Being a naive teenager has something to do with it, but I think it's pretty cool she is so willing- and obviously wanting- to raise her kids. She's had to grow up fast. I believe it's the "I had a crap childhood, so I'm going to do it right" mentality. Braver than I'll be in the near future.

I'm a very...VERY...territorial person. I have a bit of guard dog in me (I may even tend to growl) and I don't like people messing with those I love. I'm extremely protective of my friends and family. I keep my friends really close and I become very invested in whatever they have going on. Emotionally, this can be taxing. But, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like Pepper is the same way. In her own ways, she's already a bit mothering. When Lenora tries to get up on Cry Baby, Pepper ain't having ANY of that. Hatchet Face will cut a hoe if they get in her friends' faces. The Teardrops are always backing each other up and are always together. I think "Watch Your Ass", for the Drapes, also has a tone of comradery in it. They watch out for and understand each other. I know in the movie they often refer to themselves as a family and they have to be there for one another through thick and thin. I think that's pretty friggin cool.

Ta for now, darlings.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Upper class? Up her ass.

Last night was a BLAST. It was the first time we've read through the script and the songs in their entirety. Holy crap this show is funny. I mean, I knew it from the songs, but hearing the script out loud- my "squee" meter went up to 11. I'm SO stoked for this.  Ya'll are in for a treat.

So, last night wasn't the best vocally. I know I can sing what I've been given. I know I can. I've done it. I just tend to get all self-conscious at rehearsal and bail on the higher notes. I over think and when I start to do it, my brain goes "NOT TODAY, BITCH" and I get all squeaky. If I could address that nasty little gremlin in my brain who tells me I suck, for a second, I would like to say "knock it off, dillhole". I am much more confident with the Teardrop harmonies. I'm quickly totally falling in love with Sarah and Chrissy. We have a lot of fun together and I think our different voices mesh well. Sarah's rasp gives Hatchet Face some serious grit and Chrissy gives Wanda some kickin sass.We even had some Drape bonding time with the boys last night after rehearsal. Oh, yeah. This was meant to be.

The cast was really fired up and we were laughing at every turn. I know I've mentioned it, but it's cool to see that everyone is as endeared with the material as you are. I adore it. I am blown away by the talent in the group. Every seemed to have a natural take on the words and lyrics. I also have to mention our Dupree, Ari. He. Is. Tearing. It. UP. I get little giggle chills when he sings. His runs are astronomical and he's hilarious. Just wait.

Scott always brings along a big box full of relevant resource materials for the show. He now has one full of 1950's films and documentaries. Ryan and I took a look at "Jailhouse Rock". Gonna say it. Elvis acts like a little bitch in this movie. I always say I don't care how hot a guy may be, if he's a jerk, I want NONE of it. And he was making himself UH-GLY in this movie. Well done, really. I just will never understand those leading ladies who let them treat her like shiz and then get all swooney.  But, I digress.

Oofta. Does that man have some sex appeal. I never really understood all the uproar about his swinging hips on TV, but for the first time, I GOT it. I found myself nervous giggling at his fervent twists and shakes and thought, "damn, look at him go. I do believe I'm getting the vapors." It was interesting watching him change vocally and physically through out the film. I'm paraphrasing but I think my favorite reaction from Ryan during "Jailhouse Rock" was, "Elvis is SO awkward." Haha! I don't think Ryan can pull much personality tips from "Vince Everett", but that slightly pouty, tortured dream boat persona(not to mention those sweet moves and vocal kicks) could definitely inspire. Plus, it's good to observe the environment of that time.

The idea that we are only the SECOND group to take on this show is really sinking in for me. I believe some of my cast mates mentioned this in their blogs. I'm the second Pepper! That's incredible. And because there isn't too much information from the first performance, we are completely re-structuring and doing a fresh take. It's such a unique opportunity! I feel super friggin lucky and honored.

Abiento, darlings.

I leave you with some hip swivels.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

That looks infected...

Friends, countrymen, and randos who come across this blog thing,

I was able to hear Ryan and Taylor, our Cry Baby and Allison, go through their lovey songs last night. They are sounding effing rad. The contrasts of their vocals styles are perfect for the characters and it's fantastic. "I'm Infected" is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs in the show. Not only is it beautifully sung, but I mean, how can you not adore a romance song that simultaneously makes you think of gross bodily diseases? That's zombie love right there. It's gross while sexy. "Now you're pulsing through each vein and you're pounding in my brain. Oh, baby, I'm infected with your love." Am I alone on this one?
The more we are able to really dig into the songs, the more I LOVE the lyrics. There is some seriously clever stuff up in here. "Sign me in your register as Baby, comma, Cry"? Friggin brilliant. There are some ensemble vocal "swells" that make my knees go weak. I feel like everyone is really enjoying the music, which helps. It sucks to sing a song you don't really like. There's, that I'm not too keen on, but I don't feel the need to share. The night is still young. Maybe it will grow on me.

People never really take teenagers seriously when it comes to their emotions. But, what the youth of America has been struggling with for years to try and make people understand, is how INTENSE it can all feel! All those hormones while at the same time looking like a genetic mutation experiment who got loose, trying to figure out who you are, where you belong, what you want your future to be's nuts. These songs directly display how desperate and deep those first pangs of love can go. Shit stings. You can't quite explain it, but it's just your "self" saying, "THAT person. Yup. That one right there. I will evaporate if they don't love me. I can seriously feel myself die as I look at them."

It can even make you cray-cray. Take it from Lenora(Terri). Our friendly, neighborhood schitzo who scratches Cry Baby's name on her arm and fakes being preggo with his baby. I think she pretty much sums up every single girl in high school at one point (and some people I know in their twenties who didn't quite get the memo to go past that stage...). Unrequited love. Oh. Damn. Does it hurt. I don't think I need to elaborate. You know what I'm talking about.

It's not just love either. It's the struggle with forces around you you can't control: upbringing, class separation, peer pressure, authority, blah, blah, blah. I won't lie, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to high school. Lord, what a great, hot mess. But, there is something to be said about the intensity of those first experiences for yourself. Not totally independent, but enough to make some stupid decisions and still get away with it(if you're careful). All that wrapped  up in rockabilly songs? Sounds like a good time, donn't you think?

Salut, darlings.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Your face makes me nauseous.

Oh, snap! The Teardrops (Sarah, Crissy, and I), Cry Baby (Ryan), and DuPre (Ari) basically make up the Drapes- the misunderstood rebels of Baltimore. In short: we's badass. We rehearsed two of my favorite songs in the show last night: "A Whole Lot Worse" and "Watch Your Ass". I had happy feet before rehearsal I was so excited! I think they are two of the most compelling songs in the show.

"Watch Your Ass" is basically an introduction to the Drapes and our "hard ass" life style. Interestingly, it may be hard to catch this when listening to the show the first time, there's a pretty poignant message. CB basically points out that we are not really that bad, but merely different. The group is deliberately chastised and made as outcasts for really nothing more than they seem "different" than the norm. Man. Do I hear that.
"It's a perfect day to scare a Square for no apparent reason: by singing, dancing, standing there or maybe just by sneezin'. Your fear of other people never ceases to amaze. You call that class? You better watch your ass these days..."
Basically, if you've made the choice of being a small-minded, obtuse, bigoted shit head...then you best watch your ass. They have grown up in a lower class and stifling atmosphere by people who feel like they have the right to treat them as lower people, so what choice do these kids have but to react that environment and treatment? Being from the "low end of society", you gotta watch your ass. Aw, damn. Getting deep with CB.

I have never by ANY means been a bad ass. The quite opposite, really. A goody two shoes. I've never really gotten in trouble. If anything, just been scolded for cursing like a sailor. But, I DO sympathize with being  treated a certain way simply for looking or acting different. There was a stage in the beginning of college where people didn't even talk to me and I'm a nice person, DAMN IT. I had several-as in more than one- people say they were sacred of me. Really. Their actual words. All because I had blue hair and a polka dot trench coat. I've been called a freak show by a 5 year old and scoffed at by many bitches. My sisters were tormented in high school for because being their own person (schools who thought they were living out "Christian"values. PAH!) and it's always stuck with me. Just like the Drapes, it's hard not to be defensive or territorial when people have treated you a certain way.

Now, I have had a wonderful upbringing full of love and friends and family. But, when you get dirty looks or a judgmental comment from entitled butt-munches who think they have some sort of invitation from your sense of style making it okay to criticize you... it makes you want to stomp someone's face for being so blatantly rude and tend to keep your guard up. BUT...I digress. I'll get off my soap box. VIVA LA DRAPES!

Now, back to the music. "A Whole Lot Worse" is basically the Teardrops giving Allison the 411 on being a sassy, bad lady.  I love blues music. I think it is SUPER sexy. It's that churning tempo and the gritty soul that goes into it. This is really the first blues song I've ever performed and I LOVE it. Being a belter (aka a very loud singer) I am sinking my teeth into it. I think we tore. It. UP. Still some harmony tweaks here and there (always a difficult aspect for me) but that will come with time. Only the first week and and I'm SUPER stoked. Can't for the dance portion to start. Eee!

Cheers, darlings.

P.s. I wonder how many times I'm going to ass during the run of this show. Ass.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 and all I get are these Cry-Babies...

Hello, darlings.

I'm going to give this blogging thing a whirl (since I epically failed trying last time...).  2011 was full of a lot of crazy stuff for me. Lots of emotional highs and lows and major life changes. Still feeling unsure about a lot of things, and trying to find my footing, but I'm ready to kick some ass in the 2012 and conquer some new...stuff.

Hot damn, have I missed being on stage. It's been about a year since I've been in a production and I'm ITCHING to get back in the groove! I've had some fabulous opportunities over the past year with crew work and costume jobs. I even designed my first show! (WEE!) I refuse to stick to one thing and get stagnant. I love, love, LOVE theatre in all it's aspects but, when it comes down to it, I loves me some stage performance and I feel back in my element again

I just about hit the roof when I got cast in Cry Baby at New Line Theatre. My last production I performed with the company, HAIR, was one of the most life altering experiences I've had thus far in my short years. I still think about it and get teary eyed. I love those damn hippies and it's not really something you can describe to someone else. From the power of the music, to the passion of the performers and the audience members, it was WONDERFUL. From the start I felt welcomed and at home in the company. I was a wee babe at the time and I never felt condescended to or out of place. So, needless to say, I'm very happy to be working with these fabulous people again :)

Scott, our fervent director, is pumped, so naturally we are all pumped. It's a relatively young cast, which will bring an interesting dynamic to the show. Learning about the brief history of the show, it's a shame that it was poorly received- it's so much fun!!  A soundtrack wasn't even recorded, which is terribly frustrating. Scott is ready to tear this shit up. This is TOTALLY his type of show and he will dominate it. There are even some new designers in the mix, too! *Excitement squee!* Another very exciting aspect of our production is the fact that it's being performed for the FIRST time off off Broadway. There haven't been any re-dos or revivals. It's new and we get to perform something in it's beginning stages. That's incredible.

Our first rehearsal was great! Sitting near the front of the group, I was able to hear everyone mixed together and it, in a word, rocks. Ryan and Taylor, our leading duo (CB and Allison), are going to melt your faces with their awesomeness. As, always, I'm nervous. I don't want to disappoint or embarrass myself. Ever the self-critic. But, thankfully, Pepper Walker gives me a chance to belt some great, bluesy bits. I've never sung (sang?) with this genre of Rockabilly/blues type of music and I. TOTALLY. DIG. I'm trying to find her voice. The actress on the soundtrack gives her a rather raspy, ear grinding squawk. Even though I'm used to doing character voices, but I really don't click with that choice. Haha, I love being obnoxious.We shall see, you pregnant miscreant, we shall see...


P.s. Can't wait to scare the crap out my family wearing that pregnant belly on stage...nightmares galore.