Sunday, June 28, 2009

I now call Ophelia to the stand - wait... um...

Delightfully clever, fresh, and very intriguing - a split jury proving the genius of the Bard once again.

Hamlet goes on trial, hundreds of years after he was penned. Was Polonius' stabbing pure murder or was Hamlet truly insane? A theatrical event quite unlike anything I've ever heard of, real lawyers and justices and jurors take Hamlet and put it on trial.

I love ingenuity.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Pop of King

Everyone and their grandmother is talking about Michael Jackson and/or blogging about it, and this is going to be brief, but I have to say that I did think about it for a while and come to my own conclusions. Harlequin's Thoughts on MJ:

- WAY. TOO. YOUNG. My dad is only a year older than MJ. MJ might have been wierd and messed up, but it's still far too young an age to go.

- Most people need to shut up about it. If you are my age or younger, your newfound "love" for all things MJ is as genuine as my Coach handbags from Chinatown. Don't jump on the bandwagon just because you can.

- Yes, he was wierd. Yes, he was a recluse. Yes, he was really fucking wierd. But now that he's dead, that does not give anyone and everyone the right to either worship him or badmouth him right out of the grave. He was a person with a lot of issues and a lot of talent. Let his family grieve without anymore stupid bullshit following him around.

- I feel bad for Farrah and Ryan right now because this totally overshadowed her death. Rest in peace, Farrah.

- It's unfortunate, but the novelty of this deceased "tabloid circus freak" will fade and life goes on. Have your moment, enjoy his music, and move on. I know he died yesterday, but obsessing is way unnecessary.

- I came to my own conclusions about him - you'll have yours, whatever. I think that he was a lonely, sad man with a ton of talent. He had no childhood, an abusive family, and once vitiligo set in and he tried to fix his features, it all just went way downhill. He tried to regain his childhood with his Peter Pan obsession and his friendships (and I do believe it was only friendships, imho) with children, and he was a pitious individual. I hope he finds peace now.

This is the last you will hear from me about this. I had my say, and I'm off to continue living my life and practicing music and learning lines and such.

Back to normal soon with updates on music techniques for different kinds of singing and the necessity of researching a show.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I forgot to mention what I was doing when I revamped the page a little - the photo at the top with the Spotlight Sunburn title is one of the first color photographs ever taken in history - TYWKIWDBI provided the link for that (or StumbleUpon, can't remember which right now).

And I've added a link in the gadgets to the right hand side of the blog, a banner that takes you to Support the world and support your vocabulary - play for a little while and feed the hungry around the world.

I start work today, and rehearsals start today. Two of my summer goals have been achieved. A show and a job. This makes me smile, more than a little bit.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bad Seed

1956 - The Bad Seed.

Can children be killers?

Long story short; hell yes.

Classic Hollywood, filmed with the original Broadway stage cast instead of current (in 1956) film stars, absolutely awesome. That little girl is scary and very, very good. Go watch it.

I love TCM. Best channel ever.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Too-rah loo-rah

More on full audition notes later, but in the meantime, here is all I can coherently type.

Walking on Sunshine is for V. (EDIT: I tried to make a palindrome and it sucked, so nevermind.)

And if I fuck up too terribly, may my vocal cords rot. (EDIT: Not really - that might be painful and sad, but you get the idea.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

And Number 23, upstage.

Geez, it's been a while since I auditioned for a musical, and now I'm all squirmy inside for lack of experience. I don't mentally feel nervous, but man, my guts are reacting quite strongly, as they always do. It's frustrating, feeling the bottom of my stomach dropping out as my intestines twist and knot and try to pull my larynx down with them. It's frustrating because I know that as soon as I walk into the room with my music I'll feel just fine. It's all the time leading up to the five minutes I have to show my stuff that kills me.

There has got to be a cure for this stupid pre-audition nerve thing.

My own personal pre-audition routine includes eating several hours before the actual audition and then not again until afterwards. I can't eat before an audition - I just can't do it. I ate lunch earlier, but even that was tough. I don't like the feeling of anything weighing me down when I'm in there. I'm having some water right now and suddenly fighting the urge to nap. I can't figure out what my body's trying to do to prepare. Jeez.

And I know I'll be fine! What the crap, people. If I ever figure out a way to make auditioning easier, I will most assuredly inform you. I think there's a link in the Starry Eyed Idiot bar on the side of the blog about auditioning.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tap on my window

Music has been speaking to me more than usual, lately. If I take enough time to stop analyzing the vocals and performance by the singer, I actually hear the words and how they are strung together, the way they were meant to be heard. I can hear the word painting, how the music details the lyric until it becomes something other than just sounds. It gives me a new appreciation, I guess.

Audition in three days. I need a pianist.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inspiration 2

Oh, to dream.


(From Rolling Stone's Top 100 Singers of All Time:)

Even as he was dying, Mercury threw himself into his majestic, operatic singing. Queen's Brian May recalls that Mercury could hardly walk when the band recorded "The Show Must Go On" in 1990.

"I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing,' " May says. "And he went, 'I'll fucking do it, darling,' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."

A healthy dose of respect for Freddie is equivalent to sheer and total awe.

Friday, June 5, 2009


[I'll elaborate on emotional memory later on - this is a lesson that needed to be discussed right now, however, so we'll talk details and specifics in another post.]

A professor of mine at school described the acting tool of "emotional memory" as a swinging door (I always pictured one of those old west saloon doors, but a little tougher and harder to get through) that requires a muscle to open and close.

Human beings, by their nature, are very adept at closing those emotional doors. As a defense mechanism, we tend to hide our feelings and bottle up all intense emotion. Learning to access this emotion, these taught, barricaded feelings, is definitely something that takes practice.

I tried using in-class exercises, but for one reason or another I could never open up the way some other people did. Asking personal questions never prompted an emotional response - my saloon doors never even started to swing open. I didn't even know how to get them to start moving. I could shut them to hide anger or fear or sadness in everyday life, but opening them is so against our nature it's very hard to do.

I began to learn how tonight. Yeah, maybe it did take some rough emotional times in my life. Maybe it did require some booze to loosen my tongue, but one way or another it happened.

I felt it deep down, that buried sensation of being able to cry, under layers and layers and layers (I personally feel it behind my face, far back, but still pressing up from my chest and behind my face - it may be different for you - be aware of the small, distinct feelings like this. It will help you access emotion and action later on) pressed back behind my face, coming up from my heart area. I knew I could, but I've never known how - I said so. I don't know how - it's there, but I can't get to it. The muscle that opens the doors is too weak.

He said, "What scares you? On a deeper level, what are you the most afraid of? Losing something, anything, what scares you?"

And I knew exactly what it was. I felt my instinct trying to push it down, to make it go away. It's just my nature to hide it - it's all of our natures to hide our weaknesses and hurt. I felt it in my brain and then, the strangest thing, I could physically feel those doors I was talking about before, I could truly feel them moving and cracking open. And as they opened, he kept talking to me and I was afraid at first, but two tears ran down my nose and then I couldn't stop. I needed to cry.

I was aware of those doors, and every time they started to shut I just remembered what was hurting me so badly, what I was so scared of right then in my life, and I could reopen the doors. As much of a therapy session as it was (and it was, trust me), I exist in my actor's mind, so I'm always working on something. And this was a major step in accessing emotion for me. It was good to cry. I haven't cried for a very, very, very long time.

Feeling is a frightening thing. It's not tangible, it's not truly logical, and we try to protect ourselves from it. But as an actor, we have to be able to access those feelings to be able to portray a true person trying to protect themselves from their own emotions. You can't bury an emotion that isn't truly there. All part of the learning process.

And I needed that hug. More than I think he'll ever know.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stages of Decay

"We do things onstage that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as an entrance somewhere else."

- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead