Friday, April 27, 2012

The Semi-Final Word on DROWSY and Re(ImagiNATION) and an Announcement of Sorts

That was a longer title than I anticipated. However, it is a three-thing title and covers all of the bases. Oh, and look at that! I don't need to give an intro now!

So this past Wednesday, the cast of The Drowsy Chaperone partook in an event called a "Set Strike." Basically, what happens is that we take a beautiful set that was used on Sunday and reduce it to a dumpster in back and a whole lot of wheels (I'll get to that soon).

So we started at about 6PM, our regular start time for a rehearsal and started moving wood and screws and the sort off of the floor.

When taking things apart, it helps to have some form of background music. Our director decided to play the entirety of 3 year's ago's musical My Favourite Year. I began dismantling anything with wheels.

If you saw our production, you would know that there were a lot of moving parts. Each of those moving parts were either dangling above a stage by wires, or had at least 4 pivoting wheels with 4 bolts each that needed to be salvaged while the things that they were attached to were being dismantled around me. Not to mention, we only had one ratchet that worked. 

All aside, as we progressed dismantling the set, the soundtrack progressed. We moved up to 2010's production of The Wedding Singer and then finally to last year's production of 42nd Street. Slowly, piece by piece, the set we had made great memories and laughed, and Toledo Surprised on faded. We finally made it to The Drowsy Chaperone with the stage looking more and more like just a stage. 

By the time the finale came on, the stage was bare. The cast lined up and performed with the Broadway Recording. One of the things our crazy vocal director kept on asking for was for a push on the final four measures of the show. 

Just as we began rehearsing with no set and nothing but a stage, ourselves, and some music we ended. We gave her those last four measures. We swept the stage one last time, and The Drowsy Chaperone passed into history as a Carlynton Musical.

I'll give this a line. Re(ImagiNATION) is May 5th. I am encouraging everyone to come out and show your support for the WYEP Re(Imagine) Media project, as well as the bands performing.

Finally, I leave with you with an announcement that I will be working on a journalism project with Carlynton High School. I was just greenlighted to create a somewhat blog-esque style journalism project within the Carlynton District Website. If you are interested writing (Sorry, out-of-area people, but this is really just relevant to Carlynton district content) feel free to email me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This Week On Re(Imagine)...

Sometimes I feel like my life is a never-ending television show. There are certain things that happen all of the time, and others that are huge events (IE, this show that just happened) that are worthy of a marathon run of past episodes. One of the amazingly regular events that is just so much fun to partake in is WYEP's Re(Imagine) Media.

This week we sat round-table style in our conference room listening to the entries to our band competition, Re(ImagiNATION).

As in classic American Idol audition style, there were some bands we loved and others not so much. In the end, we narrowed it down to the bands that will appear at 4PM in Schenley Plaza competing for the top spot and some grand prizes.

The meeting sparked some interesting debates on music taste and content and other things of the sort. I didn't say anything two controversial, seeing that I was outnumbered like 7 to one by girls in the room. However, I must say that I did agree with most of the final choices.

This little meeting with the fourteen or so of us every once-in-a-blue-Saturday reminds me of a few different things. For one, there is a group of us who genuinely care about the world around us. There are a few mature individuals who want to be informed, have a heck of a fun time, and want to share it all with the world.

It reminds me that there is hope for the world, and that I can enjoy myself in the outside world.

Returning from the philosophical, I am again returning to my regular Friday-ish postings starting this Friday.

That's about it. I'd like to thank everyone who was a part of our show. The French word "to attend [a concert/event]" is "assister" which I think has the hidden meaning that for any production to go well, everyone assists. I'd like to thank from the bottom of my heart the whole cast, crew, staff, ushers, backstage people, and last but certainly not least, everyone who showed up and made the musical great.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Musicals, and Singing

Note: I am taking a break from April 9th - April 23rd due to my show, The Drowsy Chaperone. I will post when I can. This post is pre-written.

So I was asked to talk on Tuesday when we took the Drowsy Chaperone on the road to the elementary schools about singing. This is what I wrote:

I joined the musical not because I have a dancing skill - Trust me, I don't - but rather because I enjoyed singing. I thought that it would be kind of fun to just try out this thing anyway. Just to put this into perspective, this is not only my first music, but back in January when we started practice I had never even heard of the Drowsy Chaperone.

Music is the thing that differs a play from a musical. Over the past three or so months, we spent hours in our vocal director's room running the same numbers until that room resembled somewhat of a musical prison. HOWEVER, in the end, the 46 or so of us cast members forged this bond based in rhythm and other various stuff. Those who know how to read music helped those who couldn't and by now everyone can conceivably randomly sing the entire show in our school hallways in perfect harmony. BUT we won't be doing that anytime soon because that would be weird.

Through it all, this weird rhythmic bond has grown tighter. The music sticks with you, whether you want it to or not. We've learned 10 or so numbers ranging from backup on a bluebird song main vocals about a monkey. Musicals are the marriage of having fun with singing and enjoying it all.

Four months ago, I had no idea how close 46 or so high schoolers could get with 10 music numbers. Wanna see it in person? Check out our show.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Love, Family, and Why That's Important

I am writing this on the couch in my grandparents' house with limited Cell service and internet in the beautiful village/town-ish place called Petrolia. I am here on the occasion of Western Easter* with my maternal family. It is kind of nice to be able to celebrate a holiday with most of my family.

In doing this, I have been default babysitter for my 6 cousins which is, to say the least, interesting for an age range of 2-12. Being in a semi-rural area, the older ones decide to burn some stuff in the back yard, and naturally the younger kids gravitate in that direction. The issue - IT ISN"T THE LEAST BIT SAFE to have small children around the older kids and their fire.

This is a recipe for me being semi-exhausted and drive me to three conclusions. Number 1, I am not in ANY position to handle small children in bulk anytime soon. Number 2, I have come to love these small children who seem to have no purpose in life other than to do exactly what you tell them not to do (Don't run out in the street---and, oh, he's gone) and Number 3, this is what family is.

By definition, family is relatives. Family is the lineage that bonds a group of people together who can trace to the same last name. However, there is a meaning that far goes beyond these simple technicalities. These are the people you love just because.

In reading for theme (I never do this unless prompted [Rather, Required], mind you) one looks for an idea that is universal. Now, every English teacher in history (except the crazy ones perhaps) would disagree with the idea that a theme could be, quite simply, family. It fits all of the definitions, and it bonds us all together. So, I am rolling with it.

I guess another thing one could consider is what the definition of this "love" truly is. {The next part or so of this post may prove irrelevant to anyone but me or those around me, so I recommend skipping it if you're not feeling particularly philosophical today}

Love, as defined by, is "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person." That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. I see love as an understanding between two people that there is something more. Love is this concept one cannot quantify in mere words, but rather through this mental understanding. There are ways of showing this love, but in the end the love itself is this understanding of one another. The understanding goes as far as knowing who that person truly is as well as this universality of being human, and having an attraction to one another.

Now I tie it all into something amazingly profound. Bottom line, we can all identify with the ideas of Family and Love because we have all have attachments as humans. This is the closest thing I could manage to type to an Easter Sermon without a church service. Happy Easter.

*For those of you playing at home, I am Eastern Orthodox and celebrate on the Julian Calendar. In other words, 2012 Easter for us is on the 15th of April**.
**For those of you playing at home, my birthday is the 15th.***
***For those of you playing at home and feel compelled to do something, send cash.