Thursday, September 30

Antigone Now

Voice Professor has attended some of our rehearsals as our vocal coach. Here are some of the notes I've gotten from her:

- On the line "We're through with wailing": grabbing in the throat. Remember expansion in heightened emotion and when increasing volume.

- Be cautious of glottal attacks on initial vowels. It sounds find, but it's stressful on the voice.

- Use final "z" sounds. Especially in lines like, "Crossing rivers and oceans, cities and ruins, mountains and plains...", and "He makes cities where there was swamp and wheat fields where there was forest. He builds factories where there was jungle and mighty freeways where the prairies stretched."


Wednesday, September 29

Antigone Now

We started rehearsal early, in a brand new space.

Because this is a touring show, we have to get used to performing it in all sorts of different spaces. And today, we tried one out.

In mid-October, we will be performing on the second floor of a museum, in what is sometimes used as a gallery. It's a huge, echoing chamber of a room. They will be putting in a platform for us to use as a stage. But we have a much shallower space to work in than we're used to. So we had to change some of our blocking. And I kept wandering off the edge of the stage (which is not yet clearly marked). Whoops!

My notes included:

- Don't fall off the stage!!!

- When doing "Desire" speech, align self with DSR corner of the square

- Back up when doing Creon speech chair rotation.

- x US of Newbie on "Poor Babies" line.

That sort of thing.

We're going to have to do this (to some extent) in EVERY new space before performing. It's going to be insane.


Tuesday, September 28

Antigone Now

Here are my notes from today's run (from Voice Professor):

- Don't give up on your text when someone is cutting you off. Your line is still important. Don't drop volume. Don't anticipate being cut off.

- On the word "lost", don't glottal stop. Make sure to plode the "t".

- My "Aphrodite" monologue was "exemplary".

- In general, using voice very well.

We talked briefly about things that we should expect while touring the show. We are expected to always carry an ID. Some of the schools are doing background checks on us. Luckily, I think we're all pretty safe.

Mad Dog Theatre: Shameless Plug

Hello readers,

If you are in/near/visiting New York City, then you should totally check out Mad Dog theatre company. It was founded by friends (and former schoolmates) of mine, and they're having their first production in November. So happy for them!




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jennifer Logue
September 28, 2010 917-330-4533

NYC’s newest ensemble, MAD DOG THEATRE COMPANY, gets their feet wet with Levey’s All the Way From China World Premiere!

The brand new theatre ensemble, Mad Dog Theatre Company, which is devoted to creating new work, will present the WORLD PREMIERE of Barry Levey’s All the Way From China on November 10-21, 2010 (8pm and 2pm). Performances will be held at The Gene Frankel Theatre located at 24 Bond Street in NOHO (Bond and Lafayette). The production is an Equity Approved Showcase.

The cast includes Kevin O’Callaghan*, Heather Kelley*, and Ghafir Akbar. The stage manager is Sarah Gleissner*. Joel Waage directs (*denotes AEA Member).

One year after his girlfriend was killed on campus, Yale dropout Jack holes up in Austin with a temp job, a guitar and an underachieving rich girl who toys with smack. The anniversary of the unsolved murder brings Jack a stream of fresh torments: renewed media attention, additional police interviews, and, weirdest of all, a Yalie named Ralph who arrives at Jack’s door with urgent information. All the Way From China explores how we hoard or share our grief, and asks how close must we be to a tragedy to be entitled to mourn it. Is grief a process of communal healing or competition for personal attention—and how far will we go to feel included?

Tickets are $16.00 and can be purchased at www.maddogbarks.com or directly from Brown Paper Tickets online or call 1-800-838-3006.

About the playwright
Barry Levey's most recent play, Hoaxocaust!, premiered last year at 59E59 in a showcase for Prospect Theater Company, and has been optioned for commercial production in 2011. Other plays include Downeaster Alexa (Ars Nova, 2009); Yale Law School (Heideman Award Finalist, 2010; Ars Nova, 2009); Citizens of Rome (O'Neill finalist, 2006); and Critical Darling (The New Group, 2005). His work has been developed at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and the Baldwin New Play Festival at the University of California, San Diego, where Barry received his MFA. Barry is a New Group Artist, Ars Nova Playgroup alumnus, and member of the Dramatists Guild.

About Mad Dog Theatre Company

Mission Statement

Mad Dog is a group of artists who tell stories. We believe the best way to do this is to make the stories our own. Stories that are funny, ferocious, unlikely, sexy, rough, inconvenient, loud, unsightly, and - ultimately - provoke questions. We are committed to producing new work, and strive for passionate collaboration from inception through performance. We welcome the possibility of creating a monster. If we do, we’ll smile, shake its many hands and offer it some enchilada lasagna.

Who We Are
Mad Dog was founded in 2010 by seven theatre artists and artisans (yes, artisans) who met at the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory between 2006-2009. Our founding members include experienced (and aspiring) actors, directors, playwrights, theatre administrators, teaching artists and bartenders. We work as an ensemble and encourage each other to wear a number of hats so that we – like our audience – are always evolving. Fifty percent of our founding members were elected to Prom Court.

Contact Jennifer Logue (PR rep) @ 917-330-4533 or maddogtheatre@gmail.com


Quotations: Volume 57

I realized I haven't posted Quotations in quite a while... So here are some that I've found in my notes. Many are from London.

(Disclaimer: quotations are often taken out of context and may not accurately reflect the way they were originally intended)

"Crack is not a vitamin. It is, in fact, a drug."
- Angela

"I do like dirty stories"
- Mark

(after Killer's first try at a monologue about "losing his man card", his fiancée All-The-Way raised her hand)
All-The-Way: I sort of have a question-slash-comment.
Mark: I'm sure you might.

"Be still, good people. 'Tis I, the Protestant whore."
- Blue Badge Tour Guide Seán, supposedly quoting Nell Gwynne

"I saw Margaret Thatcher there once eating a scone. Poor little defenseless scone. Huge, scary teeth coming at it."
- Blue Badge Tour Guide Seán

(after Angela purchased a feather-pen in a gift shop)
Angela: I'm going to see if I can get the feather to stay in my cap.
Wifey: Just don't call it Macaroni.

"Rando Calrissian."
- Wifey, finding a new brilliant way to refer to something as "random"

Mark: He says some quote, it's either Freud or David Bowie, I can't remember which. "We may be done with the past, but the past is never done with us.
Big Show: It's from The Frogs.

Big Show: She may not be a prostitute, but she's wearing a prostitute's uniform.
Wifey: Well, at least you didn't have to pay.

"A lot of actors try to make it fit, and that isn't the point. It's jazz, actually."
- Patsy, on scansion

"Christopher Marlowe never broke the rules, and then Shakespeare came along and broke them all."
- Patsy

"If you wouldn't say what you want to say to Ian McKellan, then don't say it to anyone."
- Patsy, on not giving other actors notes in a rehearsal process

"All women want to be listened to and asked about. If you do that, you can seduce anyone."
- Patsy

"It's like steam-cleaning all the s*** off the text, isn't it?"
- Patsy, on her way of breaking down Shakespeare

"If you bring a plumber 'round and they don't do a proper job, you are outraged. And so should an audience be."
- Patsy, on how actors need to be on the top of their game during each and every performance

"I've worked with actors in America that, if they were here, would be knighted."
- Patsy, on how the UK respects acting in a way that the USA does not

"These plays are not written with a fourth wall."
- Patsy, on Shakespeare

"You've got to believe it will work. There's no point in speaking anything if you as actors have already judged that it won't work."
- Patsy, on your character fighting for their own happy ending

"There is no rehearsal for any of these moments."
- Patsy

"Questions are real."
- Patsy

"It's about experiencing the word enough, and then sending it out."
- Patsy

"Listen to me, all of you. You don't have to make it interesting. It IS interesting."
- Patsy

"You're sort of acting it as an old man. You should eliminate that. Old people don't know that they're old."
- Patsy

"As soon as you decide you can get a laugh on a line and you stick to that, all other options are dead."
- Patsy

"The dialogue you have as an artist with yourself is, 'Is this truthful? Or am I just embellishing?'"
- Patsy

"Judi Dench once said I'm the only one who gives her notes. It's incredibly lonely [to be respected]."
- Patsy

"Some of you might go to LA, but seek out the stage. That's where you learn."
- Patsy

"Believe you're enough. I think that's a great disease amongst you."
- Patsy

"Bring your feet in. Stop looking like Shrek. Or it's the cat in Shrek, isn't it..."
- Charmian

"We have a joke over here that Americans say 'I love you' and 'I hate you' in exactly the same tone."
- Charmian

"If it's difficult to physically say, it's difficult to think and feel."
- Patsy, on heightened language

"[O.D.] can't be the weird one. That would be too obvious."
- Antigone Now Director, while blocking a scene

(Iceman walks in eating chicken.)
Killer: Whatcha got there?
Iceman: It's just a man and a breast.


Sunday, September 26th


There are 2 performances of Red Light Winter today. By the time you read this, you'll still be able to make it the the 8pm performance tonight (Sunday). It's free, and it's excellent. I have a brief cameo in the pre-show, so come say hello.

There was a performance on Friday night that was extremely well-attended. The space only seats about 60 people, so we had a standing-room-only situation, and had to (sadly) turn some people away. I hope they can make it tonight.

It's a seriously great show. Iceman directed it, and it stars All-the-Way, D-Train, and Killer. Come if you can. It's worth seeing.

(Note: This show has nudity and sexual content.)

Rehearsals have been going fairly well, except that half the cast is under the weather.

The show was fully blocked by Tuesday. It's a short play, so we made it through quite quickly. Now, we're mostly just running it and doing work-throughs.

As a 3rd-year, I have understudy responsibilities for the Rep, just as I did in my 1st-year. Our understudy assignments were posted on Friday, which it felt like we'd been waiting for forever.

I'm understudying the Queen Mother/Mother Superior in Las Meninas (bonus: the actress playing those roles is my 2nd-year Acting Professoressa! How cool is that?). I'm also understudying a role in Deathtrap: a Hungarian psychic named Helga. You may have heard about Deathtrap recently, as it just opened on the West End (and there's a decent chance that it will be transferring to Broadway) starring Jonathan Groff (of Spring Awakening and Glee fame). Our theatre magically got the rights to do it JUST BEFORE the rights were locked up by the West End production. So we are the only other theatre (that I know of) that is being allowed to do it this season. So that's kind of cool. I'm really excited for my understudy roles.

And you know what else is kind of awesome? Someone is understudying ME this year! One of the 1st-years is understudying me in two different shows in the season. I've never had an understudy before. Ever. This is crazy.


Monday, September 20

Antigone Now

We've had rehearsals the last 3 days. We've been doing Straight-6s (meaning that we do 6 hours of rehearsal, with a 20-minute dinner break somewhere in the middle).

The show is already mostly blocked, which is great. It's starting to take shape. I had another costume fitting on Saturday. The leads had a photo call this morning.

It's so hard to blog about the rehearsal process. The things I think of are things that mean nothing out of the context of the rehearsal.

Voice Professor has attended a couple of rehearsals as our vocal coach. The notes I've gotten from her include:

- Too choppy
- Falling into vocal pattern
- Watch the vowels on the phrase "our old king"
- Don't get stuck in upper register

But I corrected those pretty quickly, I think.

We've been told that tomorrow a news crew is coming in to shoot some B-roll of our rehearsal for a story they're doing. I just got an e-mail now saying that I'm called from 1:30pm-7:00pm.


Friday, September 17

3rd-Year Class

We have such a long to-do list before Showcase.

I'm in charge of getting the wheels rolling on our website. We might have to purchase Dreamweaver, or another sort of website design program. Or we might end up hiring someone to make it for us. So I'm looking into that.

The Student Rep Board traditionally allocates some funds to the 3rd-years being able to buy some new plays to read for Showcase scenes, provided that the plays then get donated to our Conservatory Library, so that all three classes can benefit from them. We have to figure out what plays we'd like to request.

We're still figuring out head-shots... I hope we can all agree on everything.

We also have to discuss as a class who we might want as a graduation speaker (far in advance, I know... we don't graduate until May). It can be someone we've worked with, or an alum of the program, or even just someone in the business whom we'd like to meet. We have some ideas, but no consensus as of yet.

Also, we have to coordinate how to set up brunch after graduation. All-the-Way is heading up that project.

We read a few scenes to try them out for Showcase. One was pretty good, but needs to be cut. One was way too long. A couple of them were too much exposition.

A sent a few scenes out to some of my classmates last week, but I don't know how right they are for our needs. It's hard for me to read a play and know how something will work out of context.

Fundraising/Late Nights
Next week, there are going to be three performances of Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp. It's a student-produced Late Night event (although they're not always all that late...). Iceman directed it, and it stars All-The-Way, D-Train, & Killer. Two-Shots-Up & I will be appearing in non-speaking roles.

Antigone Now
Today was (finally!) our first day of rehearsal.

We started things off with a short "meet-and-greet", of all the cast, crew, & production team. It was fun. And it made me feel really good about this project.

Antigone Now by Melissa Cooper is an updated version of Sophocles' classic play, Antigone. The theatre is putting it up as an educational outreach project. We will be touring it around the area, mostly to area high schools. In the past, it has been difficult for schools to get the funding to get buses to come see theatre, so we're going to them! We'll be performing throughout the month of October (and rumor has it, the show is quite popular and we might end up booking into November). There will be a talk-back after every performance.

We started rehearsal with a read-through. The cast is:

Antigone: Two-Shots-Up
Ismene: Newbie
Creon: Iceman
Chorus Leader: Wifey
Chorus: Angela, All-the-Way, Killer, O.D., & Thrill

We did a read-through first. After that, the chorus wasn't needed much. We ended up getting out a bit early. A pretty successful first day, I thought.


Saturday, September 11

Our first fundraiser was a book sale on Monday, and it was a HUGE success! Tons of people donated books (thank you!), and we had tons of people shopping and buying books as well (thank you!). All-the-Way and I made some baked goods to sell as well. It went so well that we might end up doing another one later in the year.

Antigone Now
9 of us are in a play called Antigone Now. We just got our scripts, and we had a bit of homework to turn in. We had to answer questions about who our characters are and what drives us. The Chorus (which includes me) also had to say whose side we think we're on. We just got some feedback from the Director (who also directed us in Machinal last year). We start rehearsals next Friday. I can't wait to get going!

I also had my first costume fitting on Friday. I love costume fittings. I pose every time they take a picture of me in a new outfit. The people in the costume shop seem to get a kick out of that. I love trying everything on, and trying to figure out how my character might grow into that look. So much fun.

Intro to Equity
Instead of our regular class this week, a stage manager who is working at the Rep came to talk with us about Actors' Equity Association. We're all EMC (Equity Membership Candidates) right now, and we will all have acquired enough "weeks" to be Equity eligible when we graduate in May.

The SM came with a handout for us! And she had tons of great tips. Here's some of what she had to say...

• Actors' Equity Association - http://www.ActorsEquity.org
- Document Library has every form, code, agreement, and rule. If you have a question about AEA, you can likely find the answer here.
- Casting Call lists upcoming auditions and requests for Photos and Résumés (She said it's unlikely that we'll actually get work from something posted on the website, but it couldn't hurt to know what's going on and stay informed.)
- Member Benefits will link you up with all EYE member perks, from discount gym memberships and car rentals to VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). You can get your taxes done for FREE by people who are trained by the IRS to know all the ins and outs of filing taxes specifically for actors. (And we can write off crazy things... even manicures and pedicures!)

READ your contracts! Every contract is different. Hold the theatre accountable for what's in your contract, and don't let them get away with anything illegal. (Check rules in the Document Library)
- Also, sometimes there are hidden perks. At our theatre, most contracts get to ship things for free. Take advantage of stuff like that!

• Actors' Federal Credit Union - http://www.ActorsFCU.org
- Great online banking features (which are helpful to actors, as we move around a lot)
- Members qualify for home, car, and small loans for computers, headshots, medical expenses (even plastic surgery!)
- Has reciprocity with other credit unions

• Actors' Fund - http://www.ActorsFund.org
- Al Hirschfeld Free Clinic (FREE flu shots!)
- Subsidized housing for people in the entertainment industry
- Day Job counseling and training
- Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund (Actors can get reimbursed for up to $40 for shoes every year! Which, if you shop like me, means FREE SHOES!)

Good rules to know...
- Be on time! If you're running late, call or text your stage manager. It's better for you to call them than for them to have to call you.
- We work for 55 minutes then take a 5 minute break OR work for 1 hour 20 minutes and then take a 10 minute break.
- When you work a Straight-6 hour day, you have to take at least one 20 minute break.
- The Rep works on a "LORT (League of Regional Theatres) C Rep" contract. Actors are allowed 48 hours of rehearsal + additional time for costume fittings each week. We work mostly "8 out of 10s" (meaning that we will rehearse for 8 hours over the span of 10. Usually it's in two 4-hour chunks with a 2-hour break. That's a long lunch break, but it's because of the nature of the Rep: we might be working on a completely different show after our break, so the longer break helps us to be prepared for that mentally.) We also work two "10 out of 12s" per show during tech week (musicals have three "10 out of 12s).
- Costume fittings have to be scheduled directly before or after rehearsal or during the rehearsal day for all Equity actors. (That means that all the students -- who are not Equity yet -- get stuck with the not-so-great fitting times.)
- Prop and Costume requests need to go through the Stage Manager.
- The Equity Deputy is the representative of the cast. The Deputy is elected in the AEA meeting on the first day of rehearsal. If there is a problem (of any kind), go to your Stage Manager first. If the problem is not resolved, then go to the Deputy, who will most likely talk to the SM, and then go to the appropriate administrator. (She recommended that at some point early in our career we take on the job of Deputy. It's daunting, but it really helps you learn about the union. And she says it usually ends up being a fairly easy job.)
- Also voted on in the AEA meeting is the length of the meal break, and if the company will work Straight-6s. The meal break can be 1 hour, 1 hour 30 minutes, or 2 hours.


Thursday, September 2

We had a short class.

Iceman and O.D. brought in a scene to read (for potential Showcase use). It was funny, but Head-of-Program cut them off halfway through. He said they were too young for the roles. Oh well. He did say that the tone was great, and that they're on the right track.

I was reminded to get on the Internet stuff.

We got a few more playwright suggestions to look into.

Everyone met at my house and we had a potluck, giving us a chance to talk about some matters at hand.

Primarily, we discussed fundraising whatnot that we're going to attempt throughout the year. We have a ton of ideas, which is great because we have huge goals. It was nice to have everyone there at once, so that we could attempt to get on the same page.

We also started discussing headshots and group photos. Two-Shots-Up has been doing research into it, which is awesome. It's tough, because people want different things out of their headshots. Additionally, we have different ideas of what an appropriate amount of money to spend on headshots is. So this might be a tough thing to get organized. *fingers crossed*