Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So fast, so far gone.


I'm tired, ya'll. Really tired.

I have to say, the more I spend time with her, the more I think Kelli and Greg are basically the representation of my entire generation right now, hah. She's just a girl trying to make shit better for herself and feels trapped by her circumstances. Sure, she has a job. Sure, she should be grateful because so many people are worse off. But, dammit...who said that you should just shut up and be happy with settling for what you can get? It sucks. We all know that it sucks but for some reason, people think we shouldn't talk about it. I never, ever want to come off as disingenuous or ungrateful, but I feel if you are unhappy with what you are doing, it would be a disservice to yourself to just accept it and never try to change it.

If Kelli is the rep, then"I'm Gone" (the duet Kelli sings with Greg) is the anthem. "Gone- like all good innocence and summer flings...a dandelion you blew a wish upon..." breaks my damn, nostalgic heart.

She sings the lines:

"My mama still works today, her 401K blown away. 
When she needs cash, she finds something to pawn. 
She'll probably never get the chance to see Paris, TX or Paris, France or
 life that's lived beyond her own front lawn...
But that ain't livin', that's just hanging on and I'm gone."

This whole phrase is terrifying. I'll probably never retire the way things are going now. But, that last line really gets me. Just getting by is no way to live. Constant wandering, stress, uncertainty. Unless, you know, you're into that sort of lifestyle. 

We were told from a young age that you go to school, go to college, get out, get married, buy a house, have kids and work until you retire (yikes). Welp. That "American dream" is pretty much dead unless you are lucky enough to win the lottery or land a rare full time job with benefits (both are pretty synonymous with each other at this point). The world...well, the US...isn't the way it used to be and we're all trying to figure it out. Our degrees are being used waiting tables and working hourly jobs. I think these characters are in the thick of this world and seeing how they all deal with it is really intriguing- both sad and fascinating.

Costumes are coming along! Almost done. Just a few things here and there. Everyone looks delightfully hoosier and ready for a truck contest.

This cast is super talented and hilarious to work with. Although this cast has been plagued with random illnesses and scheduling issues, everyone has a really big heart and I love being in the same production with them all. Sitz probe is always the next exciting element. I think right now with just the piano, we are all feeling like we are pushing for the effect. I believe this show definitely needs the full band for us to really get into it because know...the constant standing. Can't wait for Sunday! 

Next step TECH week...(already?!?!?!)

Ciao, honky-tonks. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bootscootin' Bitches

Well hello, theatre world. We meet again.

I opted out of doing a blog for RENT because I literally had 0 time to even sit to think. Double dipping with costumes and performing for RENT was a much larger monster than I think Sarah (Porter who played Maureen)and I had anticipated. In the end, everyone looked god damn fabulous and even though we had to take liberties with certain style choices and artistic desires because of budget, I still am very proud with our result. With the help of Mootus the cat, fried chicken, champagne, digging through our own closets, and 50s pop music...we pulled it off.

So, here we are again, except this time...we are far from the ghetto of poor artists and drag queens in New York into the redneck country of Texas. GOOD GOD. 

Not going to lie: I have never...ever...EVER been a fan of country music. The twang with the God/'Murica talk and the vocal scoops just always turned me off. Not my "thing", ya know? So, when I heard about HANDS ON A HARDBODY, I was skeptical and it took a few listens for some of the songs to grow on me. But, as I've been rehearsing it's becoming less about the twang and more about the beautiful arrangements and stories behind it all. And there isn't just "country" style music. There is some funk and gospel as well! I mean, a musical based off of a radio station truck competition from a small town in Texas in the 90s? That's obscure as balls.

When I watched the documentary, though slow at times, these people were so charming in their own ways. The one thing they had in common was how dead serious they all were about this competition. I mean, if you think about it, you'd have to be serious to stay up for days on end without leaning or sleeping in Texas heat next to a bunch of strangers. But, it wasn't just about the truck for any of them. It was about making a better life for themselves. They were either out of work, or didn't have a car, or their car broke down, or needed it to pay bills. All of them had a legitimate excuse for their drive to win.

Some of these songs really are very gorgeous. The harmonies are pretty powerful. With a few exceptions, Scott tells us that the chorus in the background always has to be strong. Each of the songs tells a character's story and each of them is profound.

I mean, LISTEN to that! :) (Anna Skidis who plays Norma, of course KILLS it.)

COSTUMES...let me tell you...after the madness that was RENT, Sarah and I breathed a sigh of relief when we figured out what we needed for this show. Tennis shoes, denim, and lots of cowboy hats. It's like a costumer vacation! But I will tell you this...NO one will look glamorous. Muah haha.

Cardboard hats = REAL LOVE. 
 One of the strangest parts about the whole show, however, is the fact that when we aren't on a scheduled "break" in the competition, we MUST keep our hands on the truck. We also can't lean on or squat next to the truck. If we don't follow the rules, the effect just won't be there. In the original production, the actors took their songs away or next to the truck essentially making it like a dreamy "soliloquy". But, in typical Scott Miller fashion, he's going for natural...which means...we are sticking to that damn truck whether we like it or not. This...shall be interesting.

UM. You're both out.
I am not a religious person. I don't believe in a "God" that guides us and gives us what we need when we pray to him or her, but I do believe in spirit. I believe in the spirit of people who try to constantly move forward, create, love and strive to be a better part of this world. And though it may seem silly, you can see some of the most profound spirits in the strangest of a truck contest.

Ciao, ya'll.