Sunday, May 30, 2010

HMS Pinafore: The End (Shows 10, 11 and Cast Party)

HMS Pinafore is officially over.

For the matinee, I arrived a bit late with my Timmies and only had time to smear on some foundation before heading to vocal warm-up. Vocal warm-up was always kinda fun. Together, we looked absolutely ridiculous. Some people were in street clothes, some in costume, and lots somewhere in between the two. I usually had my hair and make-up done, but wore normal clothes, or my costume only half zipped up and hanging off with a normal top on instead. For the girls who curled their hair in ringlets with an iron, sometimes only half their head would be done and the other half would be straight.

We were a fairly fugly bunch.

After warm-up, the girls dressing room was an interesting place to be. We had quite a few older ladies in the chorus this year, and some of them had very dirty minds. Waaaay worse than us younger girls. Conversations were always entertaining. For example: vaginal atrophy. Yeah.

Over the weekends, the main theatre was also in use so we lost one of our dressing rooms and the guys had to frequently sneak through ours to use the bathroom. All (well, except one who would barge in wearing tights, bare chest that we threatened to wax, and a hair net) were quite shy and very polite, but a couple times they walked in, got half way to the bathroom, heard a sentence or two of ours, and got very confused. Or shocked. Sometimes they blushed: it was all very entertaining.

Once the show started and the guys were on stage, the girls all slowly zipped up our costumes, darted in our hats, and pulled on our gloves. At the matinee yesterday, we spent quite a while just sitting and talking all together.

Josephine's "Sorry Her Lot" was our cue to begin heading upstairs to the stage. We sang "Over the Bright Blue Sea" from offstage, and the moment the next song begun and the guys began to sing (them onstage dancing, us hiding offstage), we danced.

Again, we have some older ladies in our group. We taught them to krump. And they got into it.  Awesome.

It was a great physical warm-up too because although we don't do any crazy athletic moves, we don't really stop moving much ever once we start. And because it was just us girls, in a dark wooden faux-cabin under the poop deck where no one else could see us, we just went for it. Twice it was videotaped but there was no light so neither of them are viewable. But still: awesome.

We had eight bars to get all of us from backstage, around the side of the ship, on to the stage and into our spots. It didn't work.

Very early on, it was doubled to sixteen bars, and since I was one of the last to come out, that gave me just enough time to get on stage, ogle some sailors near stage left centre, twirl, then run to my spot and start dancing.

I quite liked barely having enough time. It was long enough to get settled without having time to waste . Cool.

The matinee overall went really well. In the audience were several friends, including one who was rapt with attention the entire show and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself from the front row. He's been in the show before so he knows all the words, and also most of the cast. Plus, he's a fairly spectacular guy himself, and my sister's favourite all-time G'n'S actor.

Afterwords, we all got changed into regular clothes again and had a big potluck lunch. Two of us decided to eat in the girls dressing room and the entire cast followed, including all the guys who had to sit on the floor.

FYI, these people are fabulous. And funny. And because we're all in the same boat (figuratively and literally), there's a lot of unity.

Much sooner than expected, it was vocal warm-up again. Because it was our last chance, some of us really took the stage instead of just standing around the musical director. Several people rang the bell. I sat on the top step of the stairs, and two other girls joined me and we sat one above the other and swayed to all the warm-ups. One of the guys, of the silly variety, saw us looking happy and just a tad corny and sat and swayed with us too. Hehe.

Usually, there's a lot of, er, comments on the last show. Like, "this is the last time I will ever have to wear this goddamn dress" or "I am never wearing these tights again" or "This costume would look great in a bonfire".

Although one dress will be burned--it had the malfunction, even the costume woman hates it--I quite liked mine. It fit well, was a good length, my shoe never got caught in the hem (although it did have to be sewn up once), I loooved the trumpet sleeves and the neckline (square) was neither claustrophobic nor cleavage-y. I have no complaints.

Except about the hat. Biiiig complaints about the hat.

My gloves were quite pretty too, and since my sleeves were only three quarter, I never had to stuff them up like some of the others either. Overall, I had it pretty sweet.

One of the more difficult songs to dance is "When I Was a Lad". Our choreography was quite simple, very repetetive, and everyone does the same thing. The trouble is remembering the order. There's the hand wave, then the big eight hand wave, then the bouncing, then the above the head jazz hands, then the big steps, then the box step, then the little end part. We all know how to do each step, but frequently, there's that moment of ahhhh-box step, or ahhhh-why does everyone else have their hands in the air except me?

There's six of us that make up the front row, three of each side, and we form a V. Our side of the V was perfect that last show. We've done it correctly before, but this time it was correct and clean and polished. I have no idea how everyone else did (it's usually good, just sooo easy to hesitate) but I was very happy.

The audience was great too. Sometimes, audiences are having a great time and they're chuckling and smiling but because they're not being loud, we can't tell. So they're just dead to us. We need to hear actual laughter to know for certain that they get it. They're enjoying themselves. And when we know that, it's completely rejuvenating and we try that much harder to get more laughter and so on.

This audience--and the one at the matinee too, which had three young girls in the second row who just killed themselves laughing at Sir Joseph!--was really responsive. The perfect way to end a run.

Everything went great until

I just want to pause and laugh at that sentence. Until: that dreaded word.

Everything went great until the middle of Act II when we sneak on stage to help Josephine and Ralph elope. The Captain was on the upper deck--hidden because he was wearing a jacket and no one can ever see or recognize you if you're wearing a big jacket on stage--with the cat-o-nine-tails, a whip. Twice, he hits the deck with the whip and we all jump: "What was that!"

Except our footwork was choreographed. So we all jumped on the same beat as the whip hit--it was a huge sound by the way, the audience usually jumped as well--until this time, the very last time that the Captain would ever use his whip, and he flung it back over his shoulder and then--

It got caught in his costume.

Meanwhile, everyone on stage jumped!

That is one issue with operas and operettas: if something goes wrong, you can't ad lib easily. After we all jumped, the guys still sang "What was that!" and Dick Deadeye still answered.

Other than that, nothing went wrong and it was a great ending to a great show.

After the bows, we do the reprise, and after the reprise, we run off stage.

Then chaos.

Our lovely set had to be completely taken a part, all the props had to be packed away, all the costumes had to be sorted and packed, along with our hats and gloves, and absolutely everything we brought to the theatre had to get out.

It was kind of bittersweet. Everything was okay until I saw the set. It really was a beautiful set. The stage left stuff were dissembled and moved quickly, but stage right has a whole second level so that took a while. The deck itself was built in three parts and they unattached the big middle piece first since it was the lightest. Four men got it up and were holding it above their heads, then one let go since he wasn't really needed, and then at the same time, two more let go and for a split second there was one guy in the middle whose face dropped as he tried to hold the entire eight foot long panel by himself before the others all realized and jumped back in. Hehe.

We got to Boston Pizza for the cast party around quarter to eleven. Everyone was sighing. Happy sighs, relieved sighs, and lots of laughter.

Then came the Crudes. Crude (pronounced cruddey) stands for Creative Really Unusual Dramatic Entertainment.

Aka the screw-up awards. They're given to people who somehow messed up or did something on stage that was really funny and not supposed to happen. They have titles like "Best dialogue without the use of a script" award or "Best costume without a costume designer" award.

For example, one of the guys won Best Costume in Princess and the Pea when he went onstage without pants. Whoops. I believe this years Best Dialogue went to Buttercup's flub in "A many years ago" when she forgot the words to an entire verse.

Not many people actually sent in nominations this year, which was a shame because we screwed up a lot. The wardrobe malfunction with the yellow dress should have been there, and the guy who's pants started falling down during the hornpipe but he had to wait till the end to pull them back up, and my hat and the melting scar.

After the Crudes came the "I Wrote the Words on My Gloves" award. This is a special award for a really royal mess-up. It started the last time the society did HMS Pinafore and the man playing Sir Joseph forgot his scroll, so when it came for the guys to hold the scroll (which is supposed to show the music and words to a song they're just learning) and sing "A British Tar", one of the men took off his gloves and said he wrote the words on them and they sang it like that.

One year, a guy got it for realizing he wasn't supposed to be wearing his hat in this scene, so he drop kicked it off stage. It didn't actually make it off stage.

In Iolanthe, the lead--dressed as a half fairy arcadian shepard--got it for being asked for his ticket right as he was about to enter through the lobby.

That award and the scholarship winner were announced, and then we all partied until the first few people had to leave, and the good-byes started.

There was a lot of hugging. And everyone stood up and squished in between tables and an hour was spent like that as one by one, people had to head home. It's hard because it'll be a year before some of us see each other again, and even that's no guarantee.

There were a couple cameras floating around so one of the guys decided to dip me before he left, which kinda terrified me but worked out okay. But guys are stupid and competitive, so one of the others grabbed me and dipped me really really low, but Guy One got his revenge by taking his sweet time turning the camera on and zooming in and out before he took the actual picture.

Finally, there were just eight us left, and a laptop was brought out and we started looking through the cast photo CD we'd just been given. It was kinda funny because there's parts of the show we've never seen. I know Sir Joseph flirts with Ralph a couple times, but I'm behind all the sailors so I've never seen it. And one of the guys who sings the Englishman solo always got a laugh but I couldn't see why.

 Finally, we were down to four and BP kicked us out 'cause it was nearly three and they close at two. We went to McDs and chatted and hung out till five. Both of the guys are going away in the Fall so we won't be doing another show together for at least four years.

And now, I'm home.

Looking at audition schedules.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Messmates ahoy, come here, come here! (Show 9!)

Tonight's show went well.

My hat was all  fixed and stayed on securely, so no problems there.

Two women in the female chorus were drinking tea downstairs when they suddenly heard, "Messmates, ahoy!" over the intercom and realized that that's their cue to be onstage. I didn't even notice since I'm one of the first people out, but apparently, they snuck on without raising attention quickly afterwords.

God, I'm tired.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

With nothing but willpower (Show 8!!)

Stuff goes wrong in theatre.

It's a rule. Shit happens but under stage lights.

Tonight was the night of crisis.

With my mom in the audience again, we opened great and everyone was going smoothly until my friend turned to me with big holy-crap eyes and I realized the clasp on her dress was gone. She wears a yellow dress with buttons down the front and a clasp at the waist, followed by several little snaps. The clasp had flown off and left a gape exposing her black leggings and green shirt underneath.

She was keeping her hands over top it but we move.

Our next song was 'When I was lad' where us in the front go down on our knees. Both of us were a little flustered--it's really hard to stay in the moment while trying to figure out how to get around the problems to come--and for some reason, all three of us plopped down particularly hard. I usually follow my friend who's directly at my left as we start the first move: a big eight with our right hand. The entire cast does it in the same direction, but me and my friend started a hair late and were off.

I thought, but I'm with her?

And I was. Except she was wrong too, so I switched and then nudged her and finally we were on track again. Twice more during that song I hesitated and was late coming in for the first move of the verse. Also interesting, so was my friend, who's the dance captain. Fun stuff.

Right after that song, the three of us clump in the back and the two of them hid me as I tried to unclasp a safety pin that was on her sleeve. Then, I switched positions with her so she was the one mostly hidden as she furiously tried to jab the safety pin where her clasp used to be.

After that exit, we rushed to the dressing room, I grabbed some safety pins and someone called over our costume person and she set to work pinning it all together. We only have about five minutes before we have to go back on for the finale, so there was no time to sew it shut and no extra clasp to sew on either.

The rest of the show went well until the chorus's entrance for the second act. One of the sailors always nudges my hat when we're in the wings and today there were two of them goofing around when suddenly, the clear strap that goes around my neck holding the hat on broke.

We had twenty seconds before our entrance.

There was a moment of oooohh crap before I plonked my hat back on and told my dance partner that he was going to need to help me because it was going to fall of.

Our entrance starts with everyone sneaking so I just toned down my steps a bit and that was fine. The trouble with this hat thought is that I don't wear it like normal: it's just a prop, it doesn't actually serve a purpose because the light needs to be on my face so it's worn very high up. Meaning, more likely to topple off.

Apparently, the string was not piled on my head like I thought because it was actually hanging down on my right, as my friend (with her newly attached dress) pointed out. The next time we all moved, she grabbed it for me and I ripped it off and dropped it during the flurry of motion.

I was very careful with all my moves, because that hat was perched so precariously on my head it was just a matter of when it would fall, and then where and how I would pick it up.

The most difficult part came with the finale. The paired dancing, the big twirls and circles and swishing and hopping. There's hopping. Each time, I felt my hat leave me head and then settle back on. Each time, I wondered what my choreographer would do to me if it fell towards centre and I couldn't pick it up.

My partner was really good and specifically steady, all of our moves were a little less dynamic than usual and more good-lord-please-don't-fall.

There was a moment of panic when I realized that one by one, the girls each begin getting spun down a row of the sailors. And we just keep spinning till we get to the end: I spin three times. So even if my hat did fall, I couldn't stop because it would ruin the line.

We made it through the spins, the pose, the bows, and then came the dreaded reprise: the act one finale. There's a lot of spins. A lot of twirls, of big movements with big arms, and I clung to my partner and miraculously: it never fell off.

The entire second act, my hat stayed on my head. With nothing but willpower holding it on.

A G'n'S miracle!

My mom was in the audience the whole time and said she never noticed my friend's dress. She did notice something was a little odd with me at the end, but then again, no one else in the audience would have watched me that closely. 

I put curlers in my hair again this evening, for the very last time! 

We have one more show tomorrow (that's sold-out!) and two on Saturday and then buh-bye boat!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And the tar who ploughs the daughter (Show 7!)

Today was strange.

I woke up ill. My head was throbbing and there was a general sense of ickyness all over. Thirty-one curlers were in my head and I thought maybe their tightness was to blame, so I lumbered over to the bathroom, sat down and started pulling them out. It was six a.m.

So for my sixth day of work, I called in sick.
I ended up sleeping most of the day, and although my headache came back a few times, I felt immensely better in the afternoon so I watched the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. Just give that cast an Emmy already.
At the show, there was a bit of drama because my sister and her roommate sat front row center. The whole cast recognized her as the girl in green.

Also, during intermission the stage manager told us that one of our sailors had left. Gone. So we should go over spacings without him.

Panic. Dressing rooms emptied and everyone was standing around in the hall, when finally we were told, he didn't leave. He just went to the garden for some air. He'll be back.

Crisis averted.

Seven shows done. Holy crap.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The one and only Sunday (Show 6 -- omagawd we're halfway done!)

Sunday's matinee went really well.There were no slip-ups except at the very, very end--after the bows and at the very end of the encore--Buttercup skips up the stairs to pose with the former Captain and she fell. It really doesn't matter, she was up a second later with a big smile but I know it bugged her. Also, she's keeping score in the green room.

Anyway, afterwords a bunch of us went to BP again and hung out for a while. I had 66 bobby pins in my hair. In case you're wondering, that's a packet and a half. In my hair. Biting into my head. At the same time. Sixty-six. 

Four of us were on our way home in two different cars when my friend got an idea. Stupid other friend had left an empty can of red bull kicking around the front seat and had refused to take it with him, so we raced to his place and left it on his doorstep. 'Cause we're sweet like that.

Then, we had plans. My plan was to wash my hair and blow dry it and then bathe in the beauty of clean, straight hair. Then watch the Grey's Anatomy season finale that I missed last week 'cause of a show while relaxing in bed with my kitty. Awesome plan.

It didn't quite work out, I had to wait till last night to watch the finale (AND OMG HOW EPIC WAS THAT!), but close enough.

I just discovered that Rachel's Mom (Idina Menzel) from Glee has the same last name as HMS Pinafore's Captain. Cool. I wonder if it's on purpose.

On Monday, I worked at the rodeo. It was kinda funny working at the same place as my sister and Dad, although technically he was volunteering. I ended up buying a silver necklace with a big dark green stone pendant and new sunglasses. My Dad bought me a cowboy hat too, so I felt very rodeo chic in a never-wearing-this-hat-ever-again kinda way.

My hair is in curlers again. Good-bye, straight hair.

See you Sunday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday's Matinee and Evening (show 4 and 5)

Today, we had two shows: a matinee and an evening show.

The matinee went quite well, although it was interesting to hear what made the audience laugh. Matinees typically have an older audience, so they laugh at different things. For example, Sir Joseph flirting with Ralph was not funny at all, whereas usually it gets a laugh.

Nothing went terribly wrong--always a plus.

Just after intermission, a bunch of us were relaxing in the mini green room, watching the show on the tvs, when our producer called out for me.

Immediately, I assumed something had gone horribly wrong. What was broken? Whose entrance had I blocked? What could I possibly have done to incur the wrath of the producer?

Apparently, my grandparents had won the 50/50 raffle for the second year in a row and he thought he'd tell me. No freak out needed.

One issue with doing eleven shows is that after a while they all blend together. I know funny things happened during the matinee and not the evening show and vice versa, but I honestly can't remember what happened when.

I know one of the guys got knocked on his bum, and another one was about to go on when he realized he'd left his gloves downstairs, so he rushed down and back up and just made his entrance on cue. Another took two steps on stage, realized he'd forgotten his flask (which is, alas, empty), did a 180, headed offstage, grabbed the flask, and came back on in time to pose and drink from it.

During the break between shows, a group of us walked down to Subway. The girls had all kept our make-up on--although I'd taken off my fake eyelashes--so even in street clothes, we looked pretty silly.

We ate out in the garden at the arts centre, which was quite nice except for three large stereos playing the sound of hammering. Apparently, it's art if the stereos are situated on three plywood stands twelve feet high with sandbags at the bottom.

A couple of us hung out on stage for a bit too, mostly just complaining and exploring parts of the set that we never go on onstage. Here is the view from the upper deck :

I took a few minutes to steer the ship and try to feel like Jack Sparrow. It worked.

After a second vocal warm-up, we all touched up our make-up, struggled into our costumes once more and did it all over again. Backstage, exhaustion was taking over. Being on stage is a huge adrenaline rush, you're constantly living in the moment, over-exaggerating things, big movements, big reactions, big everything. You have to be aware of what you're doing, what your castmates are doing, how the audience is reacting, and what you're showing them. For example. you shouldn't be showing them that the hem of your costume got stuck on the bottom of your heel and now you're stuck when that happens (and I say when, because it always happens at least once a run).

So overall, it's just a big kick. And then you got offstage and crash. Normally, that's fine. We pack up, go home, stuff our faces (I'm always hungry after a show), and then pass out on a couch with our make-up still on because we're too tired to take it off.

However, a second show complicates things. We tried to keep our energy up, but it's difficult. During the second show, the women's entrance went quite well actually, but it was very draining. Usually, I don't have to think about smiling because it's automatic, tonight I had to think more.

Also, I think my French teacher was in the second row.

She was very distracting because I think it was her, but I haven't seen her since school ended, and I never told her about the show so she must have come for another reason.

Either way, I wasn't as focused as I usually am.

It was also more difficult because this was the first show where I knew no one in the audience (the teacher doesn't count because I'm not even sure it was her). I like to know someone because then it makes the show more personal and I think I perform better. So tonight was a little odd.

I also have a secret confession about the matinee but I ain't admitting anything online.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gala Night! (Show 3)

Gala night was extraordinary.

I'm not going to describe it, 'cause it was filmed so I can always watch it a few years from now instead of reading about it. The sold-out crowd was fantastic, they got all the jokes including the little sneaky ones ("and the tar who ploughed the daughter!")

At the end, after the bows and the reprise, we got a standing ovation and took two more bows until the house lights came on and we ran off. Awesome :)

Afterwords, we all scrambled into our gala dresses and fancy schmancy formal wear and went out to mingle. I saw a lot of people who I haven't seen in several years, which is always fun, and everyone had positive comments about the show, which is even more fun.

After taking far too many pictures and goofing around until the theatre staff kindly reminded us to get the hell out, we went to Boston Pizza. My friend was driving me and two others home and we were halfway to one of their houses when we got pulled over by the cops.

Apparently, we hadn't had our lights on, which is why he pulled us over. However, my friend has her N, which wasn't displayed on the back window, and had three passengers, none of whom were family. Not cool.

Thankfully (and even more awesomely), the cop decided to not give her a ticket, or tickets, and we just pulled into the nearest parking lot and I called home for a ride for two of us. What could have been really really bad (technically, she could have lost her license), turned out pretty good actually.

Yay for Gala nights :)

It is now three twenty two in the morning, I am exhausted (I had work today too) and my hair is finally back in curlers. I was a little sloppy in my hairdressing though, so my eyebrows also got hairsprayed, and I think some went up my nose too.


Tomorrow we have two shows, a matinee and an evening: it's gonna be a long day..

Friday, May 21, 2010

Opening Night! (Show 2)

It took me forty-five minutes this morning to take the curlers out of my hair, and then pin all the slightly damp and falling ringlets to my head. Forty-five minutes. My estimate had been twenty.

If hair should talk, mine would be shrieking about now.

Work went well (I picked up Timmys on the way and woke up officially about nine fifteen). I was mostly sorting and re-organizing papers. Tomorrow though, we're heading to the rodeo. I'm not sure how an arts exhibit is going to do at a rodeo, but we'll find out.

After work, I hurriedly painted my toenails for tomorrow's gala (!!), got my stuff together, and out the door. Hello, Opening Night!

Our entrance went really well, at least for me. I didn't miss anything, but my friend--who's the female dance captain 'cause she's so perfect--got a little freaked out at seeing her mom in the audience and blanked a couple times. No biggie though, the audience wouldn't have noticed.

My mom was also in the audience, but I think that made me perform better actually.  Both acts went relatively smoothly, although my friend hurt her ankle at the very end. Nothing too serious, but not cool. Also, in Buttercup's song just before the finale, she describes a huge plot point, and after each line, the choruses come in and repeat it.

Except tonight, she forgot one of the lines.

She faked it really well, and the chorus came in with the correct line and she adlibbed in between phrases and then got back on track. It was funny 'cause (in our version), the story she makes up is false. And it's stupidly false, and everyone except Sir Joseph Porter K.C.B. gets that it's false, but they just think it's funny and since it doesn't hurt anyone, okay! But because the chorus suddenly jumped in with knowledge that she hadn't supplied, it made it seem like we knew all about the story in advance and were conspiring with her. Oo conspiracy!

One note we'd gotten yesterday from our director was that at the very, very ending, after the bows, when we repeat part of the Act I finale as an encore: we looked exhausted. And we were exhausted, but the audience wasn't supposed to know that and that's certainly not what we want them remembering as they leave.

So tonight, we all went haywire. There was more cheering, higher jumps, sharper moves, tooooons of energy in that encore--which although looked awesome, probably made the Act II finale look weak in comparison. Whoopsies!

My goal was to be in bed by midnight and it's now sixteen minutes after. it's twenty-one minutes after, I really shouldn't read Perez Hilton.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Preview Night!

Overall, the first show went well.

Today was also my first day of work (re: first day waking up before noon), so I was tired before I got to the theatre, but it's hard to not perk up when a hundred pair of eyes are on you.

My dad was in the audience, as well as one of my really good friends, but surprisingly, that didn't make me particularly nervous. The girls entrance went well, no props were forgotten, no lines were dropped, and lots of clumps were made (that's a good thing).

We exit for a few scenes, and then come back on for the finale. As I was heading towards the stage, I swung into the dressing room and grabbed a tictac.

I love tictacs.

Unfortunately, part of it got lodged right in the back of my throat and I really badly had to cough, but by this time, I was already under the second deck, seconds from going on stage. I attempted to cough quietly, but failed and got glared at. So, like the true performer/idiot I am, I decided to suck it up (figuratively) and deal with it.

Our cue rang and out we ran and--oh shit. My stomach kept clenching as I tried to cough but not cough, and I'm standing there trying to sing and all I really want to do is cough into my elbow, but that's not in the script and Ralph's about to kill himself. Now is not the time.

As Ralph is about to kill himself, I gasp and bury my head into a man's shoulder as per usual, but tonight I took that opportunity as a time to hack away and hopefully clear my throat. It kinda worked actually, and my throat felt better but not exactly normal.

(Said man told me afterwords that it was such a tender, tragic moment until I started hacking away. Ah well.)

One of my cast mates who I stood with immediately afterwords was kinda worried--she knows that I know to fake it, so wtf--but I just kept smiling and tried to concentrate on the no-longer-suicidal-leading male (because that's how you get a girl to admit she likes you. With a gun to the temple.).

Act II went well, no more coughing fits, and it ended quicker than I was expecting.

I flew. Out below the deck, down the stairs, through the hallway-since-there's-no-actual-green-room and into the dressing room. I knew my dad wouldn't appreciate waiting long, so I just changed into my normal clothes and left all my make-up and fake eyelashes on. Out the dressing room, through the lobby, out the front door and--oooh.

Flat tire.

Not cool.

The theatre is in the middle of a park, not the best area to be hanging around at night, so it was totally possible that the tire had been slashed.

Very not cool.

My dad, ever resourceful, had a jack and a spare tire ready by the time I met at the truck. Since I had nothing to do and had no way to help, I decided to start pulling out the bobby pins from my hair. I have shoulder length hair. It was pinned up in curls no more than two inches thick at any part of my head. There were a lot of bobby pins (49 to be exact).

The tire was too low to get the jack under, so we had to call BCAA and wait. Meanwhile, since I have work in the morning, one of my friends agreed to drive me home. I felt bad about leaving my dad, but there wasn't much I could do.

Instead of leaving right away, a few cast mates were hanging out by the theatre doors, so we joined them for a while. My hair was of great interest since with all the pins out, I looked like Shirley Temple. They took turns pulling on a curl and watching it boing back.

A big truck with an empty bed drove through the parking lot and very noisily drove over a curb, which caught our attention. Someone made a joke about how we don't need that curb anyway, when all of a sudden I realized, whoops, that truck would be for us.

It was, BCAA had arrived startlingly quickly.

They decided to repair the tire rather than temporarily fixing it, and right as some of my friends were debating going out for a meal or just staying there in the breeze (it was really windy, but we were all sweaty and yucky so it was nice), my dad started heading over to us.

All fixed!

Now, home. Although I kinda liked the Shirley Temple curls (I'm going to keep them for Gala on Friday), I took a shower and for two and a half minutes, my hair was blissfully clean and straight! Then I sat down and pulled the curlers out. Last time it took 36 curlers. I'll count them tomorrow morning as I take them out too. Holy geez they take a long time.

Oh, there was also a plumber's butt incidence during the Act I finale tonight, but that shall remain nameless. The girls got a kick out of it, but to be fair, we get to stand up straight, and our make-up won't melt.

One show down, ten to go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dress Rehearsal!

Tonight was the dress rehearsal for HMS Pinafore.

My hair rocks. I mean, it takes forever, but the photographer, the make-up artist and the choreographer all made a point of complimenting it and they were the ones actually watching the show. Yesterday evening, I put the curlers in and hairsprayed the bejeezus out of it, this late this afternoon I took them out and pinned all the curls up and hairsprayed it some more. Unlike in previous shows, I'm going to keep it up. I hate hate hate ringlets. They fall out, look greasy from gel, and I always end up looking frazzled. This way, I have curly hair that won't get hot on the back of my neck from all the stage lights and most importantly, I don't have re-do it every night. I'm going to try to do it every other night instead, and, like now, sleep with a packet worth of bobby pins digging into my skull.

Ah, show business.

At least I'll never have to dye my underwear.

I was make-uped and in costume within twenty minutes of arriving at the theatre. Stage make-up is very thick and heavy, and in all honesty, looks weird up close. The women kinda get away with it because it's just like hooker make-up, but the guys are kinda freaky. I mean, no man should be wearing that much foundation.

In Act I, I messed up. It happens, I know, but I hate it. Especially since all the important people were watching and taking notes. Just after the girls entrance, we each walk around our guy. I blanked and just stood there. Then, in the next song, we bounce on the same beat every verse except the last one, and I took a step forward instead. Gah.

Other than that, it went well. Act II went much better for me, except at the very, very end right after the girls bow, I turned around and there were men marching into me. Whoops. Faster I shall move.

We also took the cast photo, which was quite funny. Two guys went down on their knees and my friend and I stood between them dead centre and gave them a (gloved) hand. Those gloves really do create an impact, they make you want to be as elegant as they are.

In other news, I (finally) got a job. I've been looking for a couple weeks, when I got a call from a friend offering me an interview for a position I hadn't applied for. Some of the questions at the interview really stumped me. I answered them all relatively well, I think, but honestly.

What is my style of communication?

Uh, English?

They also asked me to write a PR release. Like right then. I wrote it as best I could, but wow that was not expected. Anyway, it's a cool summer job and today, I got the phone call so I start tomorrow. Yay!

PS: I'm going to try to update about each show. That may not happen now that I'm working every day and can't lounge around during the day watching Glee reruns, but we'll see.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I have average, medium length straight hair.

Currently, there are two dozen curlers in my hair, and I'm about to attempt sleeping in them.

I miss my hair

Monday, May 17, 2010

For he is the Cap'in of the Pinafore

Oh, tech rehearsal, you're so nerve-wracking.

Our set is fantastic. It's huge (two levels!), beautifully painted and built, and so awkward. Well, the set's not awkward, we're awkward on set. Stage right has two sets of stairs that lead up to a small upper deck, with a door in between for most entrances. Stage left tapers off into a point being the front/back/port/whatever end of the ship. So here's the trouble: in rehearsal, we used the entire length of the stage to rehearse. Now, we've lost about two meters off stage right and the corners of stage left. Awkward.

Here's a picture I stole from our producer showing stage right (this is before it was finished being put together by the way, so some of the bigger pieces up top are missing):

Notice the railings on the stairs. Specifically, notice how there's only railings on the outer sides of the ship, and not the inner. Essentially, if you're going to fall, head for overboard. At least there'll be a railing to take with you.

Today, we were mostly figuring out how to get where we need to go. Up the stairs, down the stairs, underneath the upper deck, underneath the upper deck and around the side of the ship to get to the female chorus' entrance etc.

Yeah, the door in the picture? That's where most of the entrances/exits take place. Meaning that's where the chorus hangs out a lot, waiting for our cue for twenty people to run out of that door at once. Also, behind that door, staying hidden, is where the female chorus sings an entire song. Our voices are so beautiful, we don't even need to be seen (well, that's the company line anyway).

I'm quite excited. The set really is beautiful, and hopefully all the kinks will be unkinked on Tuesday's dress rehearsal. 

For today's rehearsal, I also began experimenting with my hair. My poor, poor damaged hair. Yesterday, I put it in curlers (*sob*) and then pinned it up in the evening. I quite like it completely up, but I may not do that after seeing the hats we're wearing (they cover most of the prettiness in the back that I spent nearly two hours creating). This evening, I took the pins out and holy crap, curls. Everywhere.

If Medusa and a mortal had a non-fatal child, that would be me.

I washed them all out since I have an interview tomorrow and don't want to look too scary. I don't know how well an 1800's hairstyle would go over (although it is for an art council, so maybe they'd understand).

It is now an hour and a half later than I want it to be, so I'm going to sleep. But, for fun, here's another picture I stole from our producer, of downstage left:

Friday, May 14, 2010

People who smile real big

1) Tonight was our very last rehearsal of HMS Pinafore. That's it, no more. Just tech and dress in the theatre, and then we have a hundred people watching us prace around in heavy skirts and hairspray and foundation half an inch thick.

2) I made the lime cookies today. They were essentially limey shortbread, but dipped in icing sugar, and nothing dipped in icing sugar can be less than delicious.

3) Every time I get a text message, the speakers of my computer squeak. Hehe.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dead, dead, dead.

What I knew about limes:
- they're green lemons.
- they go great with tequila.

What I now know about limes:
- they're rotten lemons.
- fuck 'em.

This evening I made Lime Meltaways.

When I first started zesting the limes, I smelled mint. I do not understand this.

Also, limes suck. Mine must have been old or gimped or something 'cause they had no juice. There was absolutely no juice in either of them, none (except for a half a tablespoon).

Bad limes. Evil limes. Dead limes.
Do you know what a dead lime looks like? I never actually cared but surprisingly, they're kinda pretty.

 In a dead and rotten way.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pretty Pinwheel: With UPDATE!

It's important to laugh at yourself.

To see the humour, to appreciate your own faults as well as hate them, right?

I really hope so 'cause boy was I laughing tonight!

This evening ('round 11pm 'cause hey, school's out for the summer and I'm still unemployed), I attempted to make these Pinwheel Cookies. They look so pretty! So circular! So yummy!

Making the dough wasn't hard. I've melted chocolate using a double boiler enough times that I didn't make any silly mistakes (for example: cranking up the heat but forgetting to put in water thereby burning the bottom of the pot; not chopping up the chocolate first so that it takes forever, and then having the water boil and adding more cold water and then having that water boil and then thinking 'whatever, I'll add more water in a minute' right before steam started shooting out of the sides, making the upper pot dance).

I left the dough in the fridge (well, freezer 'cause I'm impatient, first mistake!) like the recipe said and stalked on Facebook for a bit, imaging the beautiful cookies I would serve tomorrow. Cockiness: second mistake (although I kept it to myself).

Then came the fun part. The oh-my-god-how-have-I-survived-this-long-without-these-basic-skills part. The laughing part. Well, the laughable part.

The idea is you role out the white dough, then the chocolate dough, then flip one on top of the of the other, role them up and tadah! Beautiful pinwheel cookies!

The reality was sticky. I must have dusted on another cup of flour with every strip of dough to keep it from sticking to the wax paper but it just kept sticking! And then tearing! And then I was frantically trying to poke and pat it back together and getting cookie dough under my fingernails and dusting myself with flour as much as the dough. And then I'm rolling and patting and flipping and rolling some more and finally, finally I get my first log done!

And it's an inch thick.

Uhhhh, it's supposed to be two inches thick and not nearly as motley in colour.

I doubled up the next amount of dough, and 'dusted' the wax paper with flour until there was a nice thick layer coating the entire thing. Well, the entire thing, my dress, and the floor. Whoops.

Essentially, I took a pretty recipe and ruined it.

But I like to think of it this way: tonight, I proved that I'm a miracle child. 'Cause honestly, how many people could have survived this long without the ability to roll-flip-roll? Even with microwaves and mothers, that's still quite a feat. Miracle child, incapable troll of a miracle child!

You've got to laugh at the stupid stuff you do.

And I've got a feeling I'll be laughing for a loooong time.

Updated!! Look, look, they're pretty!

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Stay your hand, she looooves you!"

Rehearsal tonight went really well.

It was our very first full run-thru with the entire cast, including bows and reprise. Considering we only have three rehearsals until load-in at the theatre, that's kinda huge.

Choreography is pretty much done. The female chorus really stepped up and put in a lot of extra time to practice. And practice and practice and make cue cards (cross my heart, little cue cards with all the steps written out) and practice some more. They came early to rehearsal, and then practiced during breaks. There was a lot of practicing. Not everyone needed it, but for the few that did, it was crucial. And now it's paying off.

Last week, we had our costume parade and took lots of pretty pictures. My dress was previously worn by the evil princess in Princess and the Pea thus I am now the evil sister. It's blue with a big floral print, a square neckline, fitted bodice, and wings. Well, big puffy slabs of extra fabric that would cover my hips perfectly if my hips were four feet wide. Currently, the fabric just falls and kind of poufs a bit. I guess it's a style. Either way, it works and I like it. Apparently, we're also getting little white gloves, which should be interesting and not dangerous. (You wouldn't think danger would be a big issue with props, but you'd be wrong.)

Tonight, we actually got to use the real props. Real mops and buckets and baskets. Also, a real gun. A really big real gun, so big--the length of a rolling pin--that when the male lead raised it to his temple during a very serious and heartbreaking climax, everyone started giggling. It didn't fit. His hand was at too awkward of an angle to even be able to point it properly.


There's no point making yummy things if the icing sugar sprinkled on top is lumpy.

Lately, I've been baking.

Good stuff, lots of stuff, but I'm not usually a baker, in fact I'm not much a of a kitchen-oriented person at all. The microwave is my best friend.

But then I was introduced to this stupid site with stupid pictures and stupid recipes and they're so yummy to look at and so tempting to make that I make them and pass the blame.

Click it. I dare you.

It's beautiful, overflowing with calories and seductive well-lit photographs (I miss my Nikon). I made Creamsicle Cookies (which were delicious) and Lemon Tartlets (which were also delicious, and made me feel very cool), and then yesterday, I made flour tortillas.

Why did I make tortillas? Better question, why did I make whole wheat tortillas?

'Cause the picture looked pretty. Never in my life have I wanted to make tortillas but looking at the pictures and the recipe and knowing that I had all the ingredients was too much and I acted on the urge to make them.

Not cool, pretty picture, not cool.

They turned out okay. Honestly though, I don't like whole wheat. And I have no idea if I cooked them right 'cause they didn't look like the ones in the picture 'cause those ones aren't whole wheat.

That's not the point.

The point is now it's two a.m. and instead of sleeping or Farmvilling (that's a verb now) or hanging out with friends, I am googling how to poach eggs and wondering if we have a jelly roll pan. Also, what the hell is a jelly roll pan?