The show will be presented in early April in Millenium Park. It will be a thrill!
Great news! I will be working on a new musical with the super creative and innovative folks at Lookingglass. (See my previous post about how much I loved auditioning for them.) The show is called "Eastland" and is a musical about the stories of the 1915 Eastland Disaster of Chicago. The music will be in the American folk ballad genre. I can't wait to get the script and score.
The show will be presented in early April in Millenium Park. It will be a thrill!
First post of the new year! It has already been a busy audition season here in Chicago. There are so many great theatres holding season general auditions this month. I attended the Drury Lane generals and I'm so excited about their new season, whether I am involved or not. Sweeney Todd, Sound of Music, and Gypsy!? I'd love to snag roles in any of those shows, but if not, I will definitely be in the audience. I fell in love with Drury Lane while doing Christmas Carol this past season, and I would love love love to work for them again. And not just because you get free food from the steam table at lunch break (but that IS a big plus in my book, hehee.) Free food? What!? Yes, please. That and the fact that Drury Lane has been putting on some top notch shows the past few years. I can't wait to see Spamalot, which is currently playing.
I also crossed a resolution off my list, which was to audition for more Shakespeare. (Or ANY Shakespeare, for that matter.) I went to the Oak Park Shakes auditions and to the St. Louis Shakes Taming of the Shrew call. I'm still honing my verse technique, but I feel good that I went and tested the waters. I hope to be "sexy with my Shakespeare" soon, as Susan and Jeffrey (my Shakes teachers) would say.
Then today I met some of the team at Lookingglass, and it was a lovely day. (I had attended their general auditions for the first time this year and was invited to audition for a new musical today.) It was a rare experience of working with the director and authors and trying new directions in the songs and scenes. It was not your normal 16 bar in-and-out musical audition. I'm so glad the team took the time to work with me and gave me a chance to try new things. Plus, auditioning at the Hancock Building is just plain cool. I know... I am a suburban nerd.
So, happy new year, and happy new seasons of theatre!
A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane Oakbrook opens tomorrow! It is a great show for all ages. Please come and see us bring this classic story to the stage.
Oh. My. Gosh.
What a fantastic night it was at the Chicago Humanities Festival. Follies in concert! I got to play Young Heidi and sing "One More Kiss" with Renee Matthews. Also on the stage was Rebecca Finnegan, Hollis Resnik, Peggy Roeder, Iris Lieberman, and more! Every name was a Chicago star. It really was an honor to be a part of it. Thanks to Rob Lindley and Doug Peck for the opportunity.
I will be floating for weeks.
Please come see The Music of Follies this coming Tuesday, November 9th at the Chicago Humanities Festival! The cast is an amazing group of Chicago actor/singers and it is a night not to be missed! Here is a link to more info/tickets:
You can also now purchase tickets to my next project- A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane Oakbrook. This is my first performance opportunity at Drury Lane and I am loving it! The show is sure to be fantastic for all ages. More info to com
Just had a fantastic photo shoot with Brandon Dahlquist! I got my hairs cut so I needed new headshots. I love my last set of photos from Kim Thiel, but she is busy shooting gorgeous wedding photos in Wisconsin and my schedule has been too crazy to nail down a date. But luckily Brandon fit me in and I am very happy! I am in the process of picking out which photos to use from the session this afternoon. Be prepared to see some new pics on the website soon!
So many ups and downs this week.
I just sent in my contract for Follies. Stay tuned for details on the 2010 Chicago Humanities Festival. I'll be singing in the concert version of Sondheim's Follies directed by Rob Lindley and Doug Peck. The cast is filled with Chicago's finest! So far I know that Kevin Gudahl, Peggy Roeder, Hollis Resnik, and Barbara Robertson are all involved. How did I get in there?
I had an audition with the Chicago Children's Theatre for the remount of The Hundred Dresses. (Thanks Peggy for helping me with my Polish accent.) Meeting Sean Graney was a trip.
I also finished my last day in my 5 week Shakespeare class. I'm now starting a new 5 week session with the fabulous Susan Hart and the amazing Jeffrey Carlson. Jeffrey sat in on our class today and brought such an energy to the room. I can't wait to learn from him over the next course. Google him. He is pretty fantastic. I wish I would have been in a better state of mind in class today. I had some walls up, but next week will better, I hope.
But now onto what has really been the focus of this week... This past weekend the world lost a really good man. Brian Wood, a person that was a huge part of my life in my college years, was killed in a senseless car accident. Brian was a great singer and a funny guy. He was kind-hearted and he loved life. (He was also a damn good Sweeney Todd. I was just talking about Sweeney last week and remembering what a great show we put on. The memories even made me consider getting over my stubbornness and dropping him a note to say hi, but alas, I left things be. We both moved into different circles and I didn't want to awkwardly overstep any boundaries.) We parted ways after college, but I had always hoped that one day we would be able to reconnect as friends. I'm thankful that our last words to each other were positive, even if that was many years ago. I've been struggling to express my feelings on Brian's passing. I've struggled because I feel as if I don't have the right feel such a loss, since I have not been a part of his life for so long, but I can't help but feel it. I wish I would have reached out to make an effort to stay connected in the recent years. It has been hard to concentrate on auditions, work, and classes this week. My thoughts have been with Brian's family and friends, especially his wife and soon-to-be-born baby. There will be many people grieving his loss. I hope his friends and family find strength. My deepest condolences to those who knew and loved him.
It is almost fall! Huzzah for a new season! Fall is my favorite time of year and I can feel it approaching. Scarves and boots and pumpkins and apple-picking, here I come! Sorry Summer, but Fall and I are in love.
Fall also means the start of a new school year. Once again I'll be venturing back to Appleton, Wisconsin to work at Lawrence University. I have worked as a costume designer in their opera and theatre departments for (cough cough) years. (I still often get mistaken for a student, and it thrills me every time it happens. Every year there is some freshman that asks me what year I am.) This year I get to design costumes for the fall musical, which is... Into the Woods! Fall in Wisconsin AND Sondheim? Yes, please.
I also have another Sondheim project to look forward to this fall, which is the Follies concert at the Chicago Humanities Festival. I feel lucky to be part of what I know will be a fabulous group of singers.
And the fall auditions are picking up! Yay I love the change of seasons.
It is about that time of year when all the contracts for the rest of the season are lined up and there is a lull in auditions. For those of us who didn't land a fall show (or a spring or summer show, for that matter) it is time to look toward next year. It is time to spruce up the resumé, update the website, maybe get new headshots, take some classes, and basically be optimistic about next season. Now there is a word I have often loathed... Optimism.
It is so easy to fall into complaining mode. I could go on and on about how hard it is to land an Equity contract in the tight-knit Chicago theatre community, especially for women, but I'm not going to fall into that this time. I could make excuses, I could beat myself up, I could give up. But that would just be jumping into a pessimistic black hole. For years I considered myself a pessimist, but I realized recently that if I was a true pessimist I would have given up on this cruel business long ago. Actors hear "no" so often that is rolls off the back of their cute audition dress (or smart sport jacket for the male variety). Anyone who is willing to endure audition after humiliating audition just for the possibility of rare "yes" once and a while has to be an optimist. (And yes, I said auditions are humiliating. Don't get me wrong, I actually love auditions. But what other job interview are you required to pretend to be someone else and sing a song to a wall? OK, that is obviously a simplification, but it is an odd process no matter how you put it.) So recently I realized that I have an optimist inside of me somewhere. Ah, I can't believe I actually said that. *Deep breath* I'll at least call myself a "realistic optimist."
It is the perfect time of year to put those positive thoughts to good use. Regional theatres are announcing their upcoming seasons, new Broadway shows are being workshopped, and optimistic actors are imagining themselves in fantastic leading roles next year. (Or at least the chorus! OK, that was the "realistic optimist" speaking.) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some resumés to send out.
I spent the last 5 days back in NYC! It was a vacation, for the most part. I planned a trip with my good friend who also has family in the city. We got to hang out with our respective siblings and do some fun things that I normally
don't have time to do while I am in New York. I got to see 3 shows.
First, we saw A Little Night Music. The new leads (Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch) had just joined the cast, and I was so excited to see it. I was not disappointed. While some of the tempos were slower than I expected, the music is so intoxicating that I was in gloomy waltz heaven. It was also fun to see Hunter Herdlicka in the role of Henrik. (He was my scene parter when I was called back for the role of Anne last year. I think I remember him telling me it was his first Broadway audition. Figures.) ALNM is one of my favorite musicals. Hands down.
Then we got some last minute cheap seats to see Next To Normal. Woah. I knew it would be good, but holy smokes. It was intense. Each song was more heart-wrenching than the next. We were in the third row, and seeing the tears and the emotion on the actors' faces was amazing. It would be so hard to do that 8 times a week. We saw the lovely Marin Mazzie in the lead role.
Our last show was Fela! So much booty shaking was involved. They even have the audience get up and attempt some hip action. (I attempted half-heartedly.) But I leaned a lot about Fela Kuti's music and political ideals and aspirations. I wanted a bit more of the music and dance, and a bit less banter, but I guess the dancers had to rest at some point. There were some FIERCE dancers in that show.
I also was able to attend a couple of auditions while I was in town. I hit up the Sister Act EPA and the ELF EPA. Of course I had forgotten to order a new Equity card after my wallet was stolen a few weeks ago, so I had to go to the Equity building and get a day pass before signing up for the auditions. AND it was about 100 degrees outside. I walked from Pearl Studios to AEA to Telsey back to Pearl and then back to Telsey again. Sheesh. Luckily both auditions were sparse and I was able to get time slots with no problems. (I think both shows are pretty much cast already.) But both auditions went well and I am finally getting to know some of the Telsey associates a bit better.
And finally, I got the Gowalla iPhone app and I am officially addicted. I spent my whole trip collecting new places and re-visiting old places. If you don't know what Gowalla is, check it out. If you are on it already, add me as a friend!
Now I'm back in Chicagoland! Time to catch up with work and get ready for some new classes and coachings! I feel like I have been gone for a month.