Friday, January 27, 2012

BMT's 'Guys & Dolls' - 'The Hand That Rocked The Boat'!

Well, we had finally finished learning 'Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat' as a full cast, and I have the recording to prove it!  I just need to edit the recording a bit and get all the 'blue talk' outta there first.  Don't want to implicate anyone, but I'm waiting for a certain possibly incriminating photo that I can't wait to PhotoShop.

Abi and I were secretly thanking SHOUT! when it came to our vocal training and working with Josh, especially dealing with the music.  (I'm gonna have to scan a page or so to show you just how nuts this music really was.)  We're also crazy to take on the soprano parts.  Of course, since Abi is playing General Cartwright, she's gotta hit that crazy high C at the end of the song, and we thought we would challenge ourselves.  It's not as bad, we don't sound like dog whistles or dolphins ... not all the time.  I put trust in Sharon, our musical director, a self-proclaimed 'technique nut'.  Hence, the recordings for future and classroom reference.  The first rehearsal recording doesn't have any of the warmups, but that's in the second one (coming soon!). 

Our third recording - still to be edited - has the complete workup of the warmups, all the harmony parts, dynamic notes and just about everything else Sharon talked about to make this song great.  So, castmates, take heed!  It's here whenever you need it!

We have what might be called a 'staggered' rehearsal schedule.  For example, a scene with a few major actors will be blocked from 7pm to 8pm, the entire cast would come at 8pm to run through necessary blocking or music rehearsal, and that'll go for about an hour.  After that, another scene with a few principle actors will be blocked for about an hour, and we call it a night.  We don't get a chance to see the blocking for the scenes we're not called in for usually until full run-throughs, but it's great time management when there's only four months of rehearsals.

Thursday's rehearsal started at 8pm for the entire cast to run through 'Sit Down' and do a flash-run of a few scenes that were already blocked before we headed to the bar.  Well, I'll go next time it's on a pay week, if y'know what I'm sayin'.

Here's a few shots of John Carson, Brad Bryson and Noel Fernandes running through the blocking for 'Fugue' and 'G&D'.  At one point we had an a cappella performance!

Well done, boys!  Off to the bar!

The second and third rehearsal recordings will be up very soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

BMT's 'Guys & Dolls' - Blocking Scenes, Acting Drunk!

I managed to get away with acting like an idiot and being lauded for it.  Only in theatre!

Yesterday's rehearsal brought us the blocking for Sister Sarah Brown and her Mission Band performing 'Follow the Fold', whilst the gamblers, drunkards and bobbysoxers on the street laugh her words away.  Joe, our director (burgundy shirt, top row to the right), hadn't given me a 'role' yet in regards to ensemble designation, which should prove interesting.  He had already led on that he's got something good for me in the 'Havana scene'.  But to open the show as a drunk bag lady!  Nice!

Joe has me slumped on the ground, upstage left, bottle in hand, where the Mission Band make their entrance.  'Missionary' Cullen (dude in thinking position, bottom left) will have a large pair of cymbals he'll be crashing, so I figure I play a bit into that, get a little drunkenly startled without being too distracting.  Can't wait to have the actual things for rehearsal.  I then wait for the audio/visual cue of Lynette and Alicia (that's Lynette's beaming face, middle right) being all rude-like and laughing out loud at poor Sister Sarah - our lovely Stephanie (she's making faces at you, bottom right) when she's on her soapbox trying to save New York City from the Devil.  They're over at stage right, and then cross over to stage left.  See, problem is, I'm playing drunk, so I'm not too sure what kind of debauchery Susan and Joanne (look out, Joanne!  Susan's gonna get your face - middle right!), the two 'street walkers' are up to.  When I see Lynette and Alicia cross, I stumble up and go to to Arvide, portrayed by Jack (grandfatherly gentleman, top left) up-centre stage and proceed to flirt with his 'big bass drum'.  No really, he'll be carrying one.  No, an actual bass drum ... stop it!

There's a line cue in Sister Sarah's sermon where I get my drunk ass right up in her personal space, toast her with my bottle and take a good swig, falling with the utmost trust into Lisa's safe 'Missionary' arms.  (She's that Amazonian beauty, top left).   She then, on Joe's direction, leads me off stage with my own bottle of alcohol like leading a donkey with a carrot.  I had a few castmates tell me they had a hard time keeping straight faces with this routine.  I had a hard time keeping a straight face through the whole thing myself.  But I swear - I am not exercising method acting.  There's no vodka in the water bottle.

Funny thing is, my drunken stumble is very similar to my zombie walk.  I might need to keep that in check before I start grunting and trying to chew off Sister Sarah's femur. 

The marching choreography for the Mission Band is really something!  I love to watch marching band formations, how geometric shapes and lines can be so graceful and visually stunning.  I'll have to take some video next time they run through it.  I won't be able to see it later, drunk and passed out on the ground. 

The rehearsal was short, bittersweet.  I can't seem to get enough of these.

I have a recording of our second rehearsal working on 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' (dated 12/1/2012) that's just over an hour long and doesn't want to seem to upload.  I'll be shortening it into two parts and posting it very soon!  Check out the first rehearsal (dated 10/1/2012) here!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BMT's 'Guys & Dolls' Rehearsal Recordings - 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' (I)

Finally edited and finished - and in a nice little movie!

I love my little iPod Touch.  It's got a voice memo recording app I wish I had during SHOUT!  So, I've opted to press 'record' each rehearsal, from beginning to end.  It's not a bad reference to have, especially learning and memorizing harmonies in choral.  Please enjoy our first rehearsal learning the vocal arrangements for 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' featuring John Carson as "Nicely Nicely" Johnson and our musical director, Sharon Vandrish, taking the lead.

And if you're a fellow cast member, leave me a comment below if you'd like me to email you the .mp3 file!

Friday, January 13, 2012

BMT's 'Guys & Dolls' - Call This 'Fan Art'?

Layout and print design for me is like a grown-up colouring book.  I had some fun making my own little poster for the show that might turn into some sort of souvenier.

You'll find more 'Guys & Dolls' inspired stuff on my crafty blog, Design by Cassandra.  Visit now!
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