Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pippin and Other Projects

As you can see, I've been on a bit of a hiatus since NaBloPoMo ended.  But I came by it honestly.  After a long week of tech, Pippin opened on August 3rd, and closed on August 12th.  During that time, I hosted three (!) cast parties at my house and went out every single night after the show, often with most of the cast, as we became very close.

It's been a beautiful summer, in which I learned to really dance on stage, sported more than my share of sequins, got called "baby girl" by beautiful gay boys, and had a whole lot of fun ad-libbing in a British accent.  (Favorite Sam moment:  when Prince Lewis tells Pippin that another king "demands his reproductive organs on a pike staff," I exclaim "Kind of a deal breaker, that." in a concerned deadpan.)  I also got to wear my hair crimped for the first time since the '80s (and learned that it will stay in indefinitely if I don't shower) and discovered that it is possible to wear three shades of eyeshadow at once, as well as glue rhinestones to one's face with eyelash glue.  Yes, I'm getting an education here, people.

And when the last of the sequins had been swept away, the facial designs scrubbed off for the last time, and the trays and trays of cookies packed up and sent home with younger people, I didn't have much time for sadness, since the very next day I started auditioning for my playwrights festival directorial debut.  Two nights of 3-hour monologue and improv sessions ensued, and I'm happy to say that I've completed my casting.  Sarah will be played by Loni, a gal I fell in love with during the auditions, and I wasn't the only one, so I was lucky to get her.  Larry will be played by Andrew, from our 48 Hour team this year, who serendipitously showed up for auditions when I'd been thinking he'd be sort of perfect.  We have our first read-through tonight.

Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll be acting in this year's festival.  I've been so distracted by Pippin that I didn't prepare a monologue until the morning I planned to audition--Mabel from Wilde's An Ideal Husband, a great piece, very funny.  But when I tried to do it for David right before leaving and messed up three times, I knew it wasn't going to showcase my brashness if I stood up there stammering and shaking.  I made a sudden, bold decision while I was sitting there to submit to on-the-spot improv, and I think I got a pretty difficult topic:  "The apes have taken over the world and put the humans in cages.  What do you say to them?"  Going on a tip I'd received from a 30-year improv pro the night before who totally killed it ("Just start talking.  No silence at all.") I started yammering about how I can't take any more bananas and wheedling that I'd be happy to pick fleas off each other so we could relate to each other better.  There was a lot of laughing, but then when I said I was only free the last weekend of October, there were also a lot of audible "Awwwwwwwssss."  Which is flattering, I guess.  I got approached by three directors who said they wanted to use me, but they weren't Week Four, so that was that.  In the second half of the night, directors had different groups of actors up on stage to read from their plays, but I didn't get called even once and felt grumpy about it.  And now I haven't had any calls.  David says I'm being silly since I said myself that I'd limited my chances by 75 percent because of our October trips.  But it still stings.  I had a lot of fun acting last year.

So, onward to focus on directing for a while!  I really am very excited about that part.