Monday, January 18, 2010

Something New

Hello!

Because I'm on hiatus from theatre, I've started a separate blog for my general adventures in life, writing, art and beyond. Come check out my new stuff here!

-Jess

Monday, November 30, 2009

Intro to Stage Management...

This is a video project I did for my friend Monica, for her first year students. I think it might be fun to do a series of these around different professions...of course, now that I'm separating myself from some of my colleagues and buddies it would be more complicated...

Anyway, so this is me..pretending to be on a 'show', and this Episode is a crash course in stage management :D


video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Things I'll Miss

...things we say backstage, in the vans, to each other...that no one outside the company will understand.

...my new nickname 'J.O.' ...will become unneccessary. *sigh*

..Driving. Yes, drivin' in my Blue Van.

..Fun local crews.

...beautiful theatres.

..old haunted theatres.

..new awesome theatres.

...finding the little coffee shops and delicious restaurants in out-of-the-way places.

..watching audience reactions.

...all the people in the cast. Yes, all of them. Especially my Montana colleagues, my old tour buddies.

..headset chatter.

...surprisingly awesome hotels (Holiday Inn Express!)

...free food.

..the preshow music.

The tour.

At this time I don't know when I'll be touring again. Maybe 2011, who knows? This blog may go quiet for awhile, because I'm working on a different project, but I'll try to update with theatre trivia, stories, pictures, opinions and fun. I will also keep you posted on the project I'm working it.

Happy trails, have a good one... and hey, go see a show!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home is Where the Amenities Are

Brief post today, about to leave for a morning show!

One of the fun things about tour is knowing that you'll have immediate allies when you roll into town. Some crews are better than others, of course. Some adopt you into their fold right away and you feel as if you might have known each other for ever, that you love theatre for the same reasons and you can connect on a fun, deeper level and enjoy the work even more. Those are the best days.

The other best days are when you can tell some money was dropped to make the theatre itself a comfortable place for performers to "live" and work in. Really, rolling into town to find a small, dirty, 'cold' space...not a dream come true. But rolling in to find a -maybe older, settled, but still comfortable theatre? Where the dressing rooms are thoughtfully arrayed near the stage, there are sofas and sinks and showers and carpeted floors so that offstage time is as comfortable as possible? That's a treat.

Some theatres actually have cable and wireless internet, and a comfortable, local coffee shop three blocks down. Thanks for that, Danville Kentucky!

On days like that, there's really no reason to go back to the hotel, right? I mean, if there's a place to sleep, check email, wash your face, get a cup of joe? ...that's all I ever need in a day. So that's why I say, home is where the amenities are.

Have a great Tuesday.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them



Elizabethtown, Kentucky


I want to lead off by saying that Kentucky is still one of the most beautiful states in the nation, and it doesn't seem to matter what season. In the spring it's bright green, and in the fall are autumn colors splashed everywhere, rolling mists and frosty mornings. Yesterday as we drove (early!) everything was gold and smelled like woodsmoke. For a couple of minutes, I felt like I was driving through the Flathead Valley.

We had a small but mighty audience here in Kentucky. The best crowd was last night. They loved the humor, they wept at the parts full of grief. And many of them stayed for our post-show talkback. The most poignant part of that was how many families attended the show and stayed to talk with the cast.

The first audience member to meet the cast was a tiny boy, whose father lifted him onto the stage so he could introduce himself - his name? Atticus. He shook hands with the cast and, of course, I was too slow on the draw to get a picture of this beautiful moment. Next a young girl in the balcony started to charge downstairs to ask her question when Katie said she could call from the balcony. ("How long have you been doing this?") Then the family came down to sit at the orchestra level for the rest of the talkback.

Another young girl asked if it was hard for Tom to be sad during the play, and for Atticus - "The man in the white suit" how long he had to work on his lines, and how old was the character Jem... I loved that not only did these families come to see this show together, but they remained to talk about it with the people who came to tell the story... and I hope they're still talking about it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

From Georgia

Happy Hump Day all!

Going through some serious brain re-structuring the last couple of days, mostly because I had too much time on my hands. Day off? What? There are no days off in theatre!

Anyway, just considering what I want to do with the blog, if I still want to participate in Nanowrimo (see exciting orange icon to the right), and so on. Now, before anyone who I happen to have pressured into also doing Nanowrimo gives me any grief, let me say I have 'played' and won for several years running. I know I can do a rough, clunky, awkward draft in a month. Just deciding if it's what I want to spend what's leftover over of my precious tour energy on - especially when I have a novel that desperately needs its ending rewritten so that I can submit it before the end of the year. That was my promise to myself, and time is ticking. I feel very little passion for any story that's in my head right now, except the one that's been clinging to me for years and has yet to be really completed finished - in the sense of a final draft. This may be the first year I bow out of Nano, but not because I don't want to Write. So I'll keep you posted on that.

In real theatre news, today we depart from Newnan, Georgia. It turned out to be one of those towns you never hear of until you show up, then meet with pleasant surprises. Turns out, not only does this part of Georgia have beautiful crisp fall weather complete with autumn colors, but Newnan is a charming (if quiet) town that doesn't mind dumping a little money on the Arts. I was hopeful as we drove down a winding, tree-lined avenue toward the theatre and saw that it was across the street from a members-only golf course, reminiscent of the pricey clubs back home.

Not only was the center itself beautiful, filled with art exhibits, a decent stage, clean house and a green room worthy of an episode of Masterpiece Theatre, but they treated us well. A beautiful meal and warm welcome awaited us.

It turned out that our load in crew consisted of white-collar convicts from the local prison, but hey... you can't have it all.

Happy trails.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Halloween Pics

Here with my beautiful friend Lily...any Futurama fans out there?

Leather band was purchased and distressed. Metal bits found in a junk bin in the pawn shop. Gold pocket watch found at "Paul's Shop" in Cleveland, MS.


Calling the show in style!

The whole picture :D

All righty! Here are the pics of the costume. I was pretty darn happy with most of it. I still need to get detail shots of the goggles. If I'd had more time and resources, I would have made them truly functional in my usual obsessive way.

The watch is functional. :D And I "built" (as we say in theatre) both those pieces, and the broom.