Wednesday, August 16, 2006

1..2..3.. smile!

Actually you're more likely to hear someone shout "Hold it!" during a photo call. I remember once when my sister told me she was disappointed to hear that the photos of shows and dances for archives were posed rather than shot during a show. You do lose a little of the honest intent, but you get a better shot and more faces and sometimes you can even make the designers somewhat satisfied with images for their portfolios.

As you probably guessed, we're in the midst of taking production photos of the shows for the company archives. Maybe it would've been a better idea to spread it out throughout the months, but we opted to squish all the photo nights together in a week to get it over with - I say 'get it over with' even though we're doing it the second to the last week of the season. But, sometimes that's the way the tea leaves float.

We got Pirates done last night and got out of the theatre around 11:30. That'll be the easiest one, with the fewest costume and set changes. At least most of the scenery for the other shows rolls. Mostly it will be costumes that eat up the time, I think, and people snapping extra shots for everyone's benefit. That's lucky for everyone although when there's seven or eight people taking pictures, it can be slow going. That's one thing I'll say for an Equity photo call - you have to get in and out of there. But I enjoy our looser structure here too so that everyone can get a decent picture of themselves in the show and so on - and a goofy one here and there. Major General Stanley in enormous, dark sunglass? Sure...

These last couple of weeks will fly. It feels as if we have so much work coming up ahead of us - and we do, but it's already Wednesday and before we know it, photos will be done. We'll have a couple more company parties and special events thrown by locals who love the playhouse. Play adn win or lose a softball game against the Townies. Next week we'll have a couple performances and strike the first show...then the second. Space will clear up backstage and on the costume racks. Props will migrate back to storage and backstage will seem miraculously tidy. Actors will return scripts. People will be double checking their flight itineraries, sealing boxes scrounged from UPS and the IGA and shipping them home...

I'm probably thinking too far ahead, but before we know it... so long Bigfork 2006.

But hey, there's still another week and a half.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A taste of History

Last night was an excellent example of what keeps us going in this exhausting business. At the end of 'Seven Brides' a woman came up to me and said that her little girl was just 'in love with Benjamin - sorry I don't know his real name!' but could he come out and sign her program. So I told Jon G. and he went out to meet his fan - a cherubic little girl, clutching her program and waiting by the stage, bursting with childish anticipation. When she saw Jon she erupted into a smile and squeal and started jumping up and down - not shy at all. I could've punched myself for not having a camera. But how wonderful for a child - to adore someone they've seen onstage and get to meet them! You don't get that with movies. Hello, parents.

Lorsey, Alan, Rory and Jon and I went down/over to Virginia City, MT to see Nora's show on Sunday. We also saw the Brewery Follies while we were there - how exquisite to be able to sit and Watch a show - with a beer in my hand! I felt positively decadent. The show was fun, funny and filthy with all the innuendo (and sometimes outright blatant in it's humor). We sat in the front row and Lorsey got picked on during one of the actor's numbers in which he played 'Carlos, the Love God.' So you can imagine how entertaining That was. Another young fellow in the front row made the mistake of wearing a 'Hooters' t-shirt. He got picked on for the Whole show.

Nora's show was excellent. V.C. has preserved much of its history - the buildings retain their old fronts and small, western frontier feel. The tiny stage and the old oil-style lamps hanging down from the low cieling conjured up images of shows in the past. I loved imagining actors of the old west up on that stage, entertaining the dusty, hard-working folks of the town with vauedeville, song and plays. I find myself hungry for history, to know about the lives of people in my business in a different time and place. The brightness and strength of the human spirit shines through when you see theatre alive and cherished in the most unlikely places. V.C. has done a beautiful job of keep alive that old feeling - a short play, then an hour of vaudeville, comedy and songs. What a treat.

Our shows are just carrying right along. Cliche as it is, it's hard to believe we have only a couple of weeks left. It's going to fly by with company events, workshops, photos and all. Now is the time we're all clinging for extra time with those we've made friends with - and also scraping for a little time for ourselves to absorb this experience. Phase 3, if you will. We're tired of eachother, but we realize that we love each other (and sometimes want to pummel each other), and for a few months we've been a family - dysfunctions and all. We're all working for the same thing, for whatever reason, and now is just the time to drive it home and put it together in our hearts as this, "Wow. Remember 2006? What a great summer..."