On a whim back in April, I decided to audition for Crazy For You! I have really wanted to work with Phil Shelburne, the director. I've been in 2 of his shows but I was hoping I'd have a chance to play a principal role for him. He is also the director of Drowsy Chaperone from last summer...I did the costumes and Steve was in that show. I talked a bit about it in this blog post!
It might have taken 3 weeks and 2 callbacks, but I was indeed offered the role! Let me explain that I haven't ever had a lot of confidence in my acting abilities so to even GET cast by someone as picky as Phil was, well, very exciting. And SCARY! Could I live up to his expectations? Did I have the ability to make him proud? Talk about PRESSURE!
Rehearsals were fun! It was the first time I've ever really had the opportunity to sit with my fellow actors and start talking through scenes, reading them, trying new things. It was really exciting and really cool! I feel like it really helped me establish my character and get past myself and my inhibitions.
See, I played Irene Roth, the wealthy socialite fiance of the lead character...who's not very nice. A little uptight, used to being in control, pretty much a diva princess witch who uses her womanly guile to get what she wants. Who then meets her match in another character...who she pretty much ends up seducing in a rather violent way. Up until now, I have pretty much played the ingenue. This was a whole new world for me...and it ended up being WAY fun!!
[This paragraph wins the award for "pretty much too much." Like, for sure!]
Some pictures that tell the story!
This is rehearsal for my first scene, where my fiance is trying to tell me he doesn't want to marry me but I won't have it.
|That's Phil, the director's back...and then there's me and my other love interest Evan.|
|Evan Litt as Bobby, Me as Irene (LOVED that dress)|
I actually played "opposite" Evan before. I was Mrs Pharoah to his Pharoah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back when I was pregnant with Lola. Evan is a dear friend and it was fun to get to work with him...even if he spent the whole show trying to get away from me!
I should mention I did the costumes, too. Another post!
And learned how to keep red lipstick on my face and not the men I was forcibly smooching...again, another post!
I also got to work with my friend, Shannon! We've worked on the same projects for several years now, but this was our first time onstage together. We only had one scene together...but it was quite the catfight! Which I totally won, by the way. Mostly.
|Me as Irene, Evan Litt as Bobby and Shannon Winkel as Polly|
This was the hardest working cast! They all worked SO hard to learn like a million incredible production numbers! The tap dancing was amazing - I would stand offstage in awe every night. It was really fun to get to be IN a production with so many friends, old and new. We had a LOT of fun every night.
Most of my scenes were tension filled insult contests with the quazi-villanious Lank, played by Glenn Heath. I had worked with him in Damn Yankees where he played Joe Boyd and I did costumes, but I didn't get to know him well then. While he favored method acting and spent most of the rehearsal process brutally teasing me, we bonded over Star Trek and bruises and somehow ended up forming a wonderful friendship! And I got to make up for it onstage where I beat the crap out of him in my big number, so it all worked out.
|Glenn Heath as Lank, Me as Irene - He's putting me down, as usual.|
|Then I show him who's boss!|
|And he never has a chance! HA!|
|Like stealing candy from a baby.|
So...was it a success? Was Phil pleased with my performance? YES! That's the BEST part of all! He told me on several occasions how pleased he was with my performance and proud he was of me - and I have known Phil for over 14 years. He doesn't sugar coat anything nor does he give compliments he doesn't mean. He had to really push me and made me work for it.
Even better? My husband, who didn't get to see the show until the second week of the run gave me two thumbs up! You have to understand, that is HUGE coming from him. Don't get me wrong, he's very supportive of me and a huge fan of my singing, but he's also very honest and critical of me. He doesn't let his relationship with me get in the way of his opinion of me as a performer. In fact, the one time I auditioned for him...I didn't get cast. He's lets me know (in a kind way, mostly) when something I've done could use some improvement. Sometimes that's hard, but when I earn his approval, I know he means it and it's not just lovey dovey fluff.
And the very best? Just having a wonderful experience with a really wonderful cast - meeting new people, working with dear friends and closing the show on cloud 9...I still haven't come down!
I'm not saying I was amazing and I'm not saying I was the best Irene ever or anything like that. It was a personal victory for me! I set out on this project with a purpose - to deliver a good, believable and honest performance and I learned A LOT and met that goal! That's always something to celebrate. :)