Friday, August 20, 2010

NATIONAL TOUR: ENSEMBLE?

Back in the days of my early 20's, attempting to make a living in NYC, fighting with the constant conundrum of "Do I keep a roof over my head" or "Should I really start paying off these Student Loans?".

I was working part time as a receptionist and office assistant for Richard Frankel Productions (Hairspray; The Producers; Stomp; Young Frankenstein) when I get a call from the secretary of Candlewood International Productions.

"We'd like to offer you the role of Lancelot in our National Tour production of CAMELOT!"
"Sure! Send me the information and I'll get it right back to you!"

Without hesitation I leave my desk call my mother and she screams outrageously over the phone.

"It's Lancelot, right?!"
"That's what the lady said! I'm assuming that since that's what I auditioned for?"
"Oh... Okay, well call me back once you get the details"

Sure enough, I check my email and there it is!

LANCELOT COVER... Hmmmm...

I called the office back...

"Hi, there must have been some confusion, I thought you were offering me the role of Lancelot?"
"Oh no, we'd like you to be in the ensemble and be the Lancelot cover"
"Sorry, I can't afford to leave my job and my apartment for an ensemble role"

Now, I know what you're thinking, but don't scoff at me just yet, this was not an ego trip that I was on, I was barely making ends meet, I was working 2 1/2 jobs before the summer, had just gotten back from a summer stock and found a new job and although a National Tour is still a good thing, I had a little pride and I really couldn't afford to leave the city AGAIN just to put "NATIONAL TOUR: ENSEMBLE" on my resume.

Full of dismay I went back to work, I had been so excited, I had a scale of plans from the time I graduated college that included getting onto a National Tour and I felt like my dreams just punched me in the gut.

Luckily, not two days later, I got another phone call...

"Hi, sorry about before, we DO want to offer you the role of Lancelot on our Tour!"
"Are you sure?
"Yes, I got it right this time"
"Good, because I can't go through another pint of Ben and Jerry's"

"In short, there's simply not....

...a more congenial spot, than here in Camelot!"

I couldn't agree more with the Messrs. Lerner and Loewe! It's a joy to watch this production progress with each rehearsal. There is a lot of hard work going into each scene, song, and sentence so that when we bring it to you - our audience - it, in turn, brings you something to love, something to think about, something in which to take joy.

Pardon me, I should introduce myself: I'm Sarah and I am a member of the lovely ensemble. I'm proud to stand in the midst of this incredibly talented little group. And what better way to present the glorious and tragic story of King Arthur than with an armful of people truly devoted to it. This story is, indeed, dear to my heart. As a student of literature and the English language, I fell in love with Arthurian legend (all tales related to King Arthur, Camelot, etc.). The tales of chivalry, courtly love, and loyalty make me a little bit giddy. This musical adaptation of the story takes a good long look at the relationships between lovers and the loved. In fact, this show is entirely about relationships and how we handle them. It is also a story of incredible hope in the face of trying circumstances. But I'll stop there, I don't want to give anything away. ;)

Anyways, I hope I didn't get to carried away there... I really love this show and this story. :) I wonder, would you be interested in some other Arthurian resources? For some pre-show reading material, I highly recommend The Once and Future King by T. H. White (if you don't have time for the whole thing, the first book - The Sword and the Stone - will do nicely) and Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. Also, here's a great internet resource for all things Camelot: The Camelot Project.

Thanks for listening and I can't wait for you to see this show!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fun at our alternate rehearsal space

We spent two days at our alternate rehearsal space this week since Seattle Musical Theatre's Summer Stage camp's production of Annie needed to use the theatre. Before we could start with music rehearsals we had to move our old piano (the newly donated one we'll keep at the theatre) to the space a few blocks from the theatre, but within Magnuson park.



Thanks to cast members Britt, Nicholas & Jontom, resident sound designer Joshua, production manager Dan and SMT friend James, the piano was moved down the street and up the stairs quickly.

Later that night, when I was gathering chairs from other rooms in the building, I (perhaps somewhat foolishly) opened a door in the basement. It was starting to get dark. The door made a creaking noise right out of a horror movie. Then, I found myself eye to eye with a life-sized paper-mache person. She stared right at me and was wearing a surgical mask and curlers in her hair. In one bloodied hand she had a stick of some kind and in the other arm she carried a severed head. I screamed. And then laughed until tears were streaming down my face. Then made sure to show everyone at rehearsal that night.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Camelot!

It really seemed like it was just last week that we closed 110 in the Shade... but here we are: a new season, a new show, a new cast and new blog updates!

Although the production team has been meeting for a couple of months now, yesterday was the first rehearsal with the cast. We are extremely fortunate in both our creative team and our cast members and I can't wait to see everything coming together!

Onward. To Camelot!

In the beginning...

...there was a meet-and-greet...

The first rehearsal of a new show is such an exciting time! Even though the production and artistic staffs have usually been meeting for a while, this is the first (and often last) time we're all together until tech week.

Meet-and-greet is the night where everyone gets to introduce themselves and what their connection is to the show. For some of us, it's really easy ("I'm Britt and I'm in the ensemble.") Others (Joshua!) are doing so many things it's difficult to keep them all straight! One thing that's always true is that most of us won't remember anyone's name for more than five minutes. For weeks, you'll be known as "the sound guy who lurks in the back."

Remember how much you loved show-and-tell in kindergarten? Meet-and-greet has it's own grown-up version. Models of the set, reams of costume research-- it gets your imagination going! Camelot is going to be a gorgeous show and it's fantastic to see how passionate the designers are about creating this world.

PS... the actors are pretty amazing, too! After listening to last night's table read, I can't wait to see this show come to life!