Friday, October 5, 2012

The Day of the Show, Ya'll!

People that follow this blog know that I write about being an author and so many other topics. One of those topics is taking chances and pushing ourselves out of comfort zones: well I've done just that with getting back on stage for the 1st time in four years. And what a challenging show it is. Next to Normal won the Pulitzer Prize and several Tonys when it was on Broadway. It has a cult following and people love to see it done a certain way. (Though a contemporary/rock musical about a family dealing with a woman's bipolar diagnosis is not usually the subject matter for a musical.)

When I approach a role, I try my darn-'est to not copy what others have done. And the director on this production has done a wonderful job at putting her own spin on this story and giving so many levels to all involved. (Kate is not only the artistic director of 4th Wall Theatre, but a working director all over the country and a fantastic woman!) Approaching a role means discovering who the person is and conveying that character to the audience. (Like developing a character in a book, only this time I get to create that person on stage and embody them for audiences to see.) 

If you follow this blog, you know by the title of it that I constantly battle with weight issues. Well, that was one of the reasons I said as a director (yes, I've directed several shows) I wouldn't ever cast ME in this role. Directors may say otherwise, but many times we have a look in our head of a particular character and all "THIS" (he said running his hands over his body) isn't what I see as Dan. And yet, I made my back story that this man is so busy taking care of his family and dealing with his wife's mental illness that hitting the gym isn't on the top of his priority list. (And obviously hasn't been on Greg's either...let's compare to my book launch this time last year and the pounds have come back!)

But I digress. I'm here to say that I am so glad I not only auditioned for this show, but that I was cast in it. It has been a wonderful experience for me to push myself in ways that I haven't in so long. And MAN did I forget what rehearsals can do to a person. Your body aches in places you didn't even know you had muscles. (And I don't even dance in this show.) The mental toll it takes as you carry the character home with you. And let's not discuss how it has eaten into my TV watching time.

All that said, I took a chance and now audiences will witness it the next two weekends and we'll see if the chance was worth it. For me: it was. I challenged myself to get vocally set again. (Huge thanks to Corinna for getting me back in vocal shape!) I reminded myself what it is like to get in the mindset of an actor. And I had so many people helping and cheering me on.

So now we're off. It's the day of the show and I'm ready to do this!

Who needs normal? I like being 'next' to it!

And check out Tom Schopper's Facebook page who not only shot the photos for this show, he has done my head shots in the past and is a wonderful photographer!

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