Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Things Learned from the Second Audition Session/Casting Process

1. For as many gut reactions for casting certain people that were right (four) there are going to be at least two that will blow your original perceptions out of the water.

2. There are going to be certain people you really want to cast in a certain role, but if they just don't have enough intuition or maturity or whatever to be able to handle it, it's disappointing.

3. Alpha-numeric system for distributing scenes = better than system used on Sunday. Yelling out "Who has B-3?" is much easier than "Who has the Kennedy-Sally-Russell-Schultz scene?"

4. Easy, "this is your person" casting decisions are incredibly awesome. I had one of those.

5. Learning that someone you cast in your show in a part that they were great for can't actually be in your show is frustrating. No hard feelings toward the person, of course, but they were going to be PERFECT and UGH!! Anyway...

6. Directors shouldn't be surprised when they have to alter the schedule...again...

7. Good mentors are absolutely wonderful.

It's really strange coming to a show from this angle. I'm used to waiting for the cast list with bated breath, wondering who's going to play which character and stuff like that.
This time I've released the cast list; I know who's playing who; and now I'm wondering what kind of flack (if any) I'm getting behind my back for the decisions I've made. Not that I should get any argument; I followed all of my impartial casting person's advice, but still.

I'm glad that casting is over. I think that's probably the thing I was most worried about.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things Learned from the First Audition Session

1. Just because you're super organized with scenes and lists and things like that doesn't mean it all won't fall apart when everything gets going.

2. You can learn more about directing in one two-hour session with a mentor than by reading ten books on the subject.

3. For those who don't like talking on the phone to those they don't know well, a good phone voice = A. A shield when talking to said people they don't know well and
B. Entertainment for those they do.

4. When conducting scene readings, directors should not be afraid to stop a scene in the middle to ask for the auditionees to try something different.

5. Having a casting advisor much more experienced than yourself is a BIG BIG BIG advantage. He can see things about people you've known for years that you never thought of.

6. Comfortable (yet still eccentric) director's outfit + green eye shadow + favorite perfume = happy director.

7. It's good to have an abundance of pens and pencils but only have one on the director's desk at a time because otherwise, they'll get in the way.

And finally,
8. Being in charge is pretty awesome.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Philosophical Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Really Loving The Smiths Right Now

Take me out tonight
Where there's music and there's people
Who are young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one anymore

Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don't drop me home
Because it's not my home, it's their home
And I'm welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn't ask

Take me out tonight
Oh take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one
No, I haven't got one

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

There is a light that never goes out
There is a light that never goes out
There is a light that never goes out
There is a light that never goes out


Everybody loved Chick Lorimer in our town.
                       Far off
                Everybody loved her.
So we all love a wild girl keeping a hold
                 On a dream she wants.
Nobody knows where Chick Lorimer went.
Nobody knows why she packed her trunk...a few
        old things
And is gone,
                     Gone with her little chin
                     Thrust ahead of her
                     And her soft hair blowing careless
                     From under a wide hat,
Dancer, singer, a laughing passionate lover.

Were there ten men or a hundred hunting Chick?
Were there five men or fifty with aching hearts?
        Everybody loved Chick Lorimer.
                 Nobody knows where she's gone.

-Carl Sandburg

Photo credit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Beginning of My Directorial Journey

The title of this post isn't completely accurate, because the journey probably technically began when I was approved to be a director for the season, but I didn't really feel like a director 'till this past Sunday.

Plus, "The Beginning of My Directorial Journey" sounds better than "Starting in the Middle of My Directorial Journey." So, for the purposes of making the name both cool and accurate, I'll start with the amusing story of the night I was approved to direct.

I was on the play-selection committee last year. I had inquired about directing sometime then, but the response I got was that while I was technically more qualified than most of the people that directed, because I was only 17, people might not respond well to my direction.
I was perfectly content with that and continued on. During last season, while in It's a Wonderful Life, I not only acted in it, but also gained more experience stage managing and assistant directing it.
When January and with it the beginning of the play selection process rolled around, I had high hopes of being considered old enough to be able to direct.

The night we had the first meeting I could attend, was I cool, collected and on time?
...Nope! I was coming from my Sensei's mother's funeral viewing, so I was disheveled and late. Despite my stress, I waltzed into the meeting, plopped myself down at the table, and was promptly asked by our technical director, "Now, are you available to direct any slot of the year?"
Though taken aback, I answered (somewhat) calmly, "I'm available all year, but I would prefer the fall slot."
"We needed a fall director. What do you want to direct?"

Wait a sec...what?!?!?! Really?!?!?

So it began!! I still find it amusing how I simply waltzed in there and was told I got to direct.
Over the next couple months, I narrowed down my choices (I considered doing Reserve Two for Murder, And Then There Were None, Angel Street, The Importance of Being Earnest, and You Can't Take It With You.) eventually choosing Reserve Two for Murder because A: I thought it was better for its intended audience than most of the other choices I had considered, B: It was a relatively simple production; I didn't want to do anything too complex or incredibly hard for my first directing stint, and C: I've acted in it before, so I'm incredibly familiar with it already.

Once chosen, it was eventually approved by the board, so the pre-production work began. I've enlisted an old acting teacher as my impartial casting advisor, started to tweak changes we need to make to the script, and gotten most of my audition materials ready. I only need to print up my character descriptions and rehearsal schedules on that front.
I've also decided to re-set the play in the 1980s, so I've also done research on script changes pertaining to that issue.

And that brings us to Sunday. Sunday was the end of our last show, so I was explained the process for opening and locking up the theater and then given the key.

That key is what made me finally almost feel like a real director. Thus I count that the beginning.
I hope that as this journey continues, my thoughts and musings on directing will continue to entertain you.

Until then, my (probably few) readers, remember Ford Prefect. I hope that you and I will continue be hoopy froods that know where our towels are.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Current Oddities of My Life (Round 2)

Not being able to stop singing Dentist! from Little Shop of Horrors and Lemming of the BDA from Flying Circus in my head while under the knife (not really) at the dentist today.

The paradox of being utterly and completely exhausted but not being able to sleep.

The ridiculousness of my hair dye job yet my still liking it. I had planned to go ahead with Phase 2 this week, (which would be putting the more natural-looking color over this uber-light one) but I'm eccentric enough that I think I'm going to keep the insane-looking color for awhile.
Maybe I'll streak it with one of my unnatural colors. Hmm...

Seeing the awesome-est thing yesterday: a huge wrecker truck with a smaller wrecker truck on top of it and a crashed car on top of that one. It was wonderful...

Being driven INSANE by the Entr'acte from Singin' in the Rain running through my head as I type. UGH! Why can't it at least be one of the good songs?!
That's it...maybe if I listen to Love Autopsy over and over it'll go away...



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank You, Mr. Wilde

"One should always be a little improbable."

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"

"Over the piano was printed a notice: Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best."

"The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death."

"Be happy, be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty."

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

"The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated."

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

I still love Oscar Wilde.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Found What I Want to Do With the Rest of My Life

I want to be a part of the Seasteading Movement.

The Seasteading Institute wants to create floating cities away from any waters that are governed and create libertarian societies for those sick and tired of oppressive and out-of-control governments. From their website:

"The vision of seasteading is an urgent one. We can already see that existing political systems are straining to cope with the realities of the 21st century. We need to create the next generation of governance: banking systems to better handle the inevitable financial crises, medical regulations that protect people without retarding innovation, and democracies that ensure our representatives truly represent us.Seasteaders believe that government shouldn't be like the cell phone carrier industry, with few choices and high customer-lock-in. Instead, we envision a vibrant startup sector for government, with many small groups experimenting with innovative ideas as they compete to serve their citizens' needs better.Currently, it is very difficult to experiment with alternative social systems on a small scale; countries are so enormous that it is hard for an individual to make much difference. The world needs a place where those who wish to experiment with building new societies can go to test out their ideas. All land is already claimed -- which makes the oceans humanity's next frontier."

Sounds like a great idea, right?

After I saw this on the Blaze, someone from my church posted the Yahoo version of the article on the church facebook group with the comment, "What would a society look like with no laws or moral code?"

....another case of libertarians being misrepresented. UGH!!!

My response was "I think the Yahoo article misrepresented the Institute. I saw this on the Blaze and then went to their actual website. Nowhere do they say that they are opposed to laws; just overregulation and over-sized government. They even say, "We need to create the next generation of governance: banking systems to better handle the inevitable financial crises, medical regulations that protect people without retarding innovation, and democracies that ensure our representatives truly represent us."
Libertarians aren't opposed to laws; we're opposed to big and out-of-control government. The Seasteading Institute wants to be able to try small government from the ground up. I applaud them for that."

I really want to live on one of these things someday...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn... just to love and be loved in return.

This movie makes me so happy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,-
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sights?
Nay, let them only see us, while
    We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
     We wear the mask!

-Paul Laurence Dunbar

Friday, August 12, 2011

This is Why I Should Not Be Trusted With a Curling Iron

Music That Currently Makes Me Happy (Part 4)-Miscellaneous

Before we get to the final post in the "Music That Currently Makes Me Happy" series, did anyone see the GOP debate last night? I was unable to, though I was encouraged by an article that said that Ron Paul "was the crowd favorite."
Oh, the joys of being able to vote in the next election!! I can't wait.

We wrap up with miscellaneous music: two alternative songs and a soundtrack song.

First, Under the Milky Way by the Church. This guy's I love it. Just the title of the song makes me happy thinking about it. These Aussies are pretty awesome.

Next, Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge. This song is SO BRILLIANT on so many levels. Baz Luhrmann took what on their own are sappy love pop songs and combined them into the medley, which is PERFECT for Christian and Satine in the movie. I hadn't even liked most of these songs on their own, but combined, they rock.

On a side note, this is a very cool video that someone made of the original songs in the medley against pictures of Satine and Christian.

Finally, Wonderwall by Oasis. You'll remember I've been obsessed with this song for quite a long time.
Still love it.

Honorable Mentions: Where the Streets Have No Name, (Pet Shop Boys version) Nara, (E.S. Posthumous) Test Drive, (How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack) Lucky, (Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat) In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel) and Come What May and Your Song. (from Moulin Rouge)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Music That Currently Makes Me Happy (Part 3)-Celtic Woman

I could include most of the songs from their album Songs from the Heart, particularly Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears; Galway Bay; You'll Be In My Heart; and Amazing Grace; but my current favorite is their version of Fields of Gold, originally by Sting.

Another song that I was until recently unaware of that I love is Newgrange. It's about, well, Newgrange, which is actually the oldest surviving man-made structure in the world. It's older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Orla's voice in this song.

Finally, I'm so irritated because they don't have a recording of this song. It's such a wonderful song, but there is NO RECORDING OF IT!!!!

At the Ceili

Honorable Mentions of Celtic Woman songs that make me happy other than aforementioned songs: Orinoco Flow; the Sky, the Dawn, and the Sun; Chloe's Starry, Starry Night; Walking in the Air; Siull A Run; Dulaman; and the Soft Goodbye.

I must remember to post about the (somewhat) recent discovery of my love for my (what little I have) Irish heritage...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Current Oddities of My Life

*My little brother teaching me how to tie a hangman's noose today.

*Getting sugar my BATHROOM???

*Sleeping in our library last night because of the smell of ant poison leaking into my's not a BAD scent per se, (it's a natural swill type spray) but it is very...pungent.

*Washing out crusty hairspray still in my hair from this past weekend of shows. Oh, the joys of doing 20s hair and having to schlack it solid.

*Recovery from tech/hell week last week? 12 consecutive hours spent in my bed. (Including sleeping and reading time.)

*Good recovery, but then being hit with insomnia two nights in a row....urg...

*My favorite: After finally getting to sleep last night, having a dream that I was planning to go to a college that was run by Disney. I was on the computer planning to buy "school pride" swill which was all Disney characters. And I was probably an arts major.

*Bruises on my shins and ankles from having to fight in the line at tae kwon do class yesterday.

*Finishing my online English Comp. 2 course and managing to get through with some sanity despite hating most of the short stories we were forced to read and write papers over.

Music That Currently Makes Me Happy (Part 2)-Rebellious and/or Irish Sounding Songs

Insomnia strikes again, so here we go with Part 2!!

First, the main theme from Firefly. I could listen to this song over and over and over without getting sick of it.

"Take my love, take my land. Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care; I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me.
Take me out to the black. Tell them I ain't coming back.
Burn the land and boil the sea. You can't take the sky from me."

Next, Bonnie Blue Flag. This is the 2nd South Carolina String Band performing in the movie Gods and Generals.

Finally, A Prayer for Me In Silence by Flogging Molly. I wish this song was LONGER because it's so awesome. And I couldn't find a version of them actually performing it, just the audio.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Music That Currently Makes Me Happy (Part 1)-Musical Theatre Songs

Despite my griping and complaining that this musical even existed, I really love this one song. Someone in my vocal studio sang it during our recital, and I fell in love with it.
Which makes it really irritating that I don't have the vocal type or range to sing this song, ha ha.

The Title Song from Love Never Dies

Next, another piece that was performed at my vocal recital, though again not by me. This song is from the musical Side Show, which is about a set of conjoined twins. In my recital, it was performed by non-identical twin sisters, so it was very appropriate for them.

I actually liked our vocal recital staging better, but this video works. Just skip the jabbering at the beginning.

Who Will Love Me As I Am from Side Show

Directorial Thoughts

I am attempting (yet again) to return to the blogger world.
News that probably has not been discussed on Cease Repining: I am directing a show at my theater in fall!!! Despite my being incredibly young compared to all of our directors (I'm a college student!) I get to direct a murder mystery.
Now, this summer I was/am in Singin' in the Rain, (the run isn't over yet) and in my opinion, the direction left a bit to be desired. So, to prepare for my own show, I have come up with a list of things I will NOT do when I direct.

I will NOT...set rehearsal time to be 6:00 then spend half an hour talking and waiting for people to get there to start. I will try to be prompt and not waste anyone's time.
I will NOT...put off rehearsing and setting major technical things until a week before the show starts.
I will NOT...make a long director's speech before every show. Mine will be short and sweet.
I will closed minded at auditions. In fact, I will most likely let my casting advisor do all of the casting.
I will NOT...ever, ever, ever block a scene where all the actors do is stand in a line the whole time.
I will unprepared in my rehearsal schedule. I will have a plan for every rehearsal and stick to that plan.
I will NOT...put off running the show until three rehearsals before we open. We will have at LEAST three or four run-throughs before tech rehearsal.

I will without a plan.
I will NOT...ever take anyone who assists with my show for granted.

So, yeah. That's the general plan.
In other news, other than Calculus 2, all I'm taking in fall is business courses! Joy...