Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where did the week go? We are at the airport. Show was yesterday, we sold out! Every joke landed. Very gratifying. Lots of questions after the show. Amy should be glad, people gasped at end when I spoke with my American accent. I don't know if I'll get any kind of review but I was very happy with how the show went. And I was nervous beforehand. The Wessex Suite was a lovely venue. The platform ended up working better than I expected. The people were responsive, laughed alot. Expect the unexpected. Many were in costume and I loved that. Acoustics mediocre but not as difficult as the library - those books absorb sound. Our little one came in for part of the show, she watched for a while, Mummy very distracted but stayed on course. Tech started at 12 noon. Jackie had everyone in place. Worked thru lights and sound and with folks playing my family. Everyone was happy to be there and in the mood to have fun. Once finished with all that, there was another show at the venue. I went downstairs, slowly applied make-up, wig, put on jewelry and started running the show full tilt. My voice finally seemed warmed up and I got thru most of the play before it was time to go upstairs again at 3:15. Ran Miss Bates several times over, as I got confused the first few times. But glad I stayed with it because the pay off came in the performance where I stayed straight on course. Around 4:00 I went downstairs again to do final prep, write some thank you's, suck on cough drops. Then up again at 4:25 as they were getting the last few audience in. You enter and you are terrified. Heart pumping. Will they be cross with me or go with me. You ride it out. Intake of breath, terrified look, sudden smile, everyone laughs. I think they'll go with me. Next joke coming up, "Fanny and I are just back from London, I was hardly there a minute before I could feel my morals declining." Big laugh, I've got them. Tense during the Pride and Prejudice sequence, aware everyone knows it. Susan and Amy admonishing me to go slower here paid off. Just trusted the words, welcomed the audience in the world. After P & P, things got easier because I trust more. Fun with Northanger Abbey, Henry and Eliza, Lady Susan. Wandered into audience after Tom Lefroy for the Three Sisters section. Jane's language in that is great. Miss Bates was hysterical, warm responses from everyone. Ann says I'm a clown. I love playing comedy. Who knows if I'll get to do this again? But much joy experienced in making people laugh. I must continue somehow. Don't know if anyone reads these posts, but they are fun to write.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Night before show. We've been to Cornwall and back. Visited Stonehenge and Salisbury too. Saw Knee High's production of the Red Shoes at the Bristol Old Vic. Yesterday drove to Lacock - the Abbey and the village kept pristine. Delightful meal at the Red Lion. Today toured the stage area of the Theatre Royal with the Jane Festival talk on Theatre. Tired. Late now. Going to run lines and a bit later supply more details.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arrived safely. Love landing in England or Europe. Always feel ready to go do something! Looking out from the office of our illustrious hosts, Ann Garner and Andrew Ellison. From their window I see a terrace with white, pink and red geraniums in pots of all shapes and sizes, very homey yet classical at the same time. Beyond I see some of the old stone buildings of Bath - that gray/blond stone that is emblematic of the architecture of this great city. Ivy climbing walls everywhere still very green - a cool day with a warm sun. My eyelids drooping - still want to attend the Next Stage production tonight! Must be off for now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lists and lists of things to do. Little gifties to buy. Each day though a little more progress is made. Worked on Henry and Eliza and Lady Susan yesterday. Tom Lefroy and Emma sections will come tomorrow. Have always loved working on H & E and Lady S. but always felt like I needed to be something more with Lady S. Am doing more mirror work now - like she is fixing her face getting reading for a secret meeting with Mr. Manwaring! "Poor fellow! he is quite distracted by Jealousy, which I am not sorry for, as I know no better support of Love." Jane Austen from Lady Susan. Photo above taken at Hanover College performance! Here's a link to Verses to Rhyme with Rose on You Tube!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am working on the dance every day! It occurred to me I should use that as my warm-up, always! Tonight I added music and reminded myself the count is much faster than what I was doing yesterday for myself. Over and over again will be the only way for me. Must stick to this resolution. Breaking the play into five sections also works very well. Allows me to do detailed work on each section. Tonight was the "Novel writing and Northangar" Section. Susan suggested I make the novel section really personal. Amy wants the lines leading up to and including "Perhaps, someday, everyone will know who wrote P&P" to be as if I am revealing something for the first time. I'm not articulating this well. Certainly the whole play should be like this. Jane's words are best: I dined upon goose yesterday, which, I hope, will secure a good sale of my second edition." Jane Austen's Letter to Cassandra, 11-12 October 1813.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Preparations continue. Not getting as much done as I want to each day. Love the work and have learned to love all the work leading up to the work. Program not done. Thinking out loud now. Worked on dance section alot tonight. I don't possess it yet. Very hard for me considering my feet. The P & P section goes better and better. Silly fun too - love to make faces and mug insufferably! What can be said of that except it offers genuine enjoyment. Facebook invites done though - quite an accomplishment. Liked going through all the faces of my friends, I mean looking at all the photos. So lucky, so happy to be blessed with such friends. It's the sort of thing that boosts one on! "Your silence on the subject of our ball makes me suppose your curiosity too great for words." Jane Austen's Letter to Cassandra, 24 January 1809

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Though rainy, another great day of rehearsal in the city. Today met with vocal coach and co-director, Amy Stoller. More refinements on the text. Very happy to run entire show. Vocally hoarse. Ricky (Amy's cute little dog) approved of everything I did! He looked quite dignified as Amy gave me notes, as if to say "Now pay attention here!" I am still tending toward rushing moments especially in the Pride and Prejudice section. But I enjoyed trying out the new ideas Susan gave me too. I took so many notes I hope I remember which ones are the new ones. Feels so good to be up on my feet acting again! Don't know where or how I can find my way into another show but ... somehow. I know I am a better actor now than I have ever been. Isn't it funny that by the time you learn enough of everything, you're almost too old to do anything? But Susan actually said yesterday that I was too young for a part in a show she is directing. This was very gratifying. Nice being told I am too young for something. "My black cap was openly admired by Mrs. Lefroy, and secretly I imagine by everybody else in the room." Jane Austen Letter to Cassandra, 24-6 December 1798.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A sad day in New York City but decided to make it a productive day. Just finished an inspiring and thought provoking rehearsal with Susan Pilar. We did some sensational work on the piece today and I've got some great stuff to work on in the coming week. She reminded me about taking more moments to reveal the inner Jane, being more selfish for her sake as it were. These are thoughts I have not allowed myself to have. In the beginning you're always so worried about losing the line. Then you are cowed by the fact you are uttering such famous words. I have to remind myself that the audience is seeing this for the first time, that they don't know the conventions and that I can take my time! What joy there is in this - creating life on stage. Being reminded of that again. Husband and baby did fine without me as I knew they would but I missed them. "I cannot determine what to do about my new gown; I wish such things were to be bought ready-made." Jane Austen in a letter to Cassandra, 24-6 December 1798.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day in the US. Show at the Glen Rock Library tomorrow. Super happy about it, chomping at the bit to get out there again. Had two run-thrus today. Our little daughter witnessing the first one, or rather disrupting it! But I got through. Ready to rumble as they say but not "mumble"! No mumbling permitted. Working on conserving energy tonight. Lots of pr out there - 44 attending as of last Thursday and show in UK - all but 29 tickets are sold! "One cannot have too large a party. A large party secures its own amusement." EMMA by Jane Austen, 1816

Monday, August 30, 2010

More than a week since my last posting! Difficult to do everything and manage the baby too! But things are moving along. Almost finished sending email notices. Already have 30 reservations at the Glen Rock Public Library. The show is going to be crowded! Fun, fun, fun! Today tried to run wig over to Nilda but shop closed on Monday. Must go back tomorrow. Working on poster and flyer for England. Library flyer sent to Staples. Will post in local shops as soon as I can. "Our pleasures in this world are always to be paid for." Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, published 1818.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rehearsing Jane Austen all week long. Today worked from the widower section to the end. Love working on Miss Bates - she is fast and fun! Started sending press releases to Jersey papers about the September 7th preview at the Glen Rock Library. Bath, England, here we come - "Did you ever see any such thing?!" Miss Bates, Emma by Jane Austen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just back from playing the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover, DE. I don't want to forget any of it. I did "Love Arm'd, Aphra Behn & Her Pen". First time back after a hiatus. The space is a restored old vaudeville house, breathtaking and beautiful. Consumes sound. Had to make sure I got all my final consonants in there. Before one starts a show in a place like that one thinks about the ghosts of the folks who went before. Such a place is an honor to appear in. The seats, the balconies, the hugeness of the house. Had a great lighting designer and sound man for the show. Professionals. Leafy gobos! Loved those. When I was in prison, I was really in prison. I struggled physically with my feet and did not want to pound them into the floor which was cement. But when you're in the midst of the thing you must accept your body for what it is and what it will do at the time and keep moving on with the show. There was much to learn in this place. My hosts were kind and generous. I've been there three times now! But I want to describe the feeling of it. I never know how many more of these performances I will have. I still love to perform the show. After all this time, the language just doesn't give out on me. I don't get bored with it. And I never quite know what will happen next on stage. And it has to stay that way. Once I know, I'll be done. I will write more as time permits.