Monday, July 13, 2009

One more week to go...

We made it through the second week of performances OK. I was worried about Thursday's performance and while it went pretty well, it was definitely obvious to those of us in the show it had been almost a week since we had performed it last. That's not to say it was a bad performance, but it seemed to lack the high energy we needed and had a lot of small errors. The biggest problem was with the lights, though. Apparently a cable got unplugged and it wasn't checked beforehand, and on top of that we had someone new doing the lights (don't ask me why!). What that translated to was us coming on stage to open the show and not having the stage lights come on until I was in the middle of my lines. Usually, as soon as we all start singing, the stage lights come on and then once we're finished and I start my lines, they come on to full brightness. With the darkness, I just waited until I got some light to do my lines. They got the spotlight on me and then while I was doing the "prayer" that's part of my lines, the lights came on. It worked well enough that no one really noticed there was a lighting problem if they hadn't seen the show already. I waited to give my lines for two reasons: first, it would be pretty pointless for me to start my lines in total darkness on stage since no one would have a clue who was giving them, and second, giving my lines like that with no lighting would really have shown that there was a problem. As it went, it all looked like it was supposed to happen that way.

Each performance had it's pluses and minuses. Overall I think we can all agree Friday was the best, though Saturday wasn't too bad either overall. For me, as well as Friday went, it was the night I nearly missed the main lift and the cartwheel. Overall on Friday, though, the couples dance looked great as we were all together more than we've ever been. Lacey still did the cartwheel, just not using my legs. For me personally, Saturday was my best for several reasons, one of which was not having to worry about my collar! Before the show I starched and ironed it, so it had no problems staying up. I also ironed my white tie, which helped as well.

My dad and Lisa came on Thursday and he took a bunch of pictures. He called me before the performance and asked what I wanted him to take pictures of and I was like "um, ME!" He ended up taking 101 pictures and I'm in 100 of them :). I have included some of the best pictures here. For those of you on Facebook, I also uploaded several more there, so if you've seen them there, these are the same ones. I've been pleasantly surprised to have had someone in the audience every night that I know, whether it be friends from church or family. In years past, it seemed I'd have several nights where there would be no one in the audience I knew, so I'd come out after the show to greet people, but then I wouldn't be out there long. It's always fun to have people you know in the audience. It gives me an extra energy boost to do as well as possible and really have fun.

Well, today is the cast party in Euclid and then we have three more performances this week. As excited as I am for them, I'm definitely not looking forward to the show coming to en end. It's been so much fun being a part of this year and I've really enjoyed being around the cast. I'll definitely miss them all since I won't be seeing hardly any of them after the show is over since all but one live in another stake. Thank goodness for blogs and Facebook!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Open for business!

Last night I was reading the post I wrote last year about "This is Kirtland!" and was having a hard time believing it's been a year since then! SO much has happened since then, it seems like a lot longer since I sat in the audience and watched the 2008 version of the show. I'm so glad I'm back on stage again this time and won't be in the audience!

Opening night was last Thursday, July 2. I don't think it could've gone much better. Most importantly, I got the main lift in the couples dance. You'd think I'd be more concerned about my lines or the songs I sing, but really, that first lift where my partner jumps on my back and I have to stabilize her and prop her up is my biggest concern. We have a second lift too where I essentially catch her leg with my right arm as we're turning around, but I haven't had much trouble with that. Anyway, I got both lifts the first two nights, so I'm feeling much better. In fact, all 4 couples (myself included) have gotten the lifts both nights so far. Very cool.

We've had pretty good audiences both nights, though opening night was a little bigger. It was nice to have ward members both nights. My mom and Derby grandparents came opening night along with a number of ward members. Another big group came the next night and so they announced our ward name right before the show started. Go Rootstown ward!! :) Friday night wasn't nearly as good a performance as we just weren't as sharp. That's not to say it was a bad performance, but a lot of little mental errors and it didn't flow as well, plus it seemed we had a bunch of off stage crashing with benches falling over and making noise. Even I slightly botched one of my lines in scene 3, but not enough that it was obvious to anyone who hadn't seen the show before. A lot of the errors were just not being totally aware of what scene it was and having mental lapses on things like the cues. Our director Nate told us to be careful about that, so I'm not sure if he prophesied or cursed us by saying! It was still a great show (I thought the couples dance went a little better on Friday), but I hope we learned to be sharp and not let our guard down even after such a great performance like opening night.

I can't say enough how much of a joy it has been to be a part of this show and how much it's uplifted me. With all the crap I've had to deal with the past year with the house and school, it has been so nice to be able to go to rehearsal and now the performances and feel valued and appreciated. I get to do something I really like to do with people I have really come to enjoy being around. About the only thing that would make it better is if I could make a living doing this! For now, though, I'll be content with the experience and how it has benefitted me mentally. After the show opening night, I went out with some friends from church who came to see the show. It was so much fun finally being out with friends! I've been wanting to do that for awhile but it seemed all my friends live way out of range right now and I'm in no position to go visit!

We still have 6 performances left, next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday July 9-11 and the following Thursday, Friday, and Saturday July 16-18. I'm way excited for them, but am a little nervous we have so much time off between performances. I kind of wish we had one practice on Wednesday or something more for the cast's sake than anything. Lot to forget in almost a week!

Left: Opening scene leading the congregation of Campbellites; Right, singing my first solo to my wife Phebe, played by Rebekah Ort in the second half of the opening scene.

Left: part of the temple scene where I instruct the brethren about the temple site; Right, final scene- dedication of the Kirtland Temple.

Notes on large pictures: 1. End of the big feast scene just after the couples dance. I love how I'm way happy and totally centered in this picture! 2. This is the main lift that I talked about. This picture was taken at our last rehearsal July 1st and ended up not being a successful lift. At least the picture turned out! 3. Shot just before the final pose in feast on opening night. I love how Lacey (my dance partner) and I look so excited. You can totally tell we got the lift that night! It looks like our team just scored the winning run!