Monday, August 18, 2014

The review is in...

One of the local community theater groups has its own annual awards.  Each company submits one show from its season for consideration; the Yeomen of the Guard I did earlier this year was the one that company submitted.  A few days ago we received the consolidated write-up (I think different adjudicators rate different aspects of the performance).

I'm excerpting the comments on my role not because I like them, but because I agree with them; starting to beef up my lower register once I was cast wasn't nearly enough time, and I need to learn how to do "commanding stage presence".  With that, here's what the judges said:
Dame Carruthers’ role requires a certain robust authority which [I] lacked and she did not make a very formidable Dame, despite her confident stage presence.  [Well, I like that bit about the "confident stage presence". ;)]    In Act II she picked up energy, and the duet with Sergeant Meryll was a nice romp. [Because I got to dance! :D]

[Carruthers] and [Sgt. Meryll] were both weak in their lower registers, especially for Carruthers in her Act I song, lacking the required range. 

Throughout the rehearsal process I felt like the weak link in the principals chain.  While I'm sorry to be right about that, I also feel that, if I were to sing the role today, not 6 months later, that weak lower register would have more power & resonance.  Ah well; I'll keep plugging away and eventually I'll be ready for the roles I've already done. ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The latest audition

I went to another audition Thursday night.  I almost didn't go, for several reasons:
  • This company tends to cast young and I'm well over 30;
  • I'm neither a hoofer nor a belter;
  • I didn't really have an audition  piece ready.
The audition piece was the biggest problem because my voice has been in transition since I've been working with my latest teacher.  That's not a bad thing, but it means that right now none of the audition pieces I've used before feels comfortable and I haven't yet worked up anything new.  I ended up using something I've used (unsuccessfully) before, but about a fourth lower so that it sits squarely in my chest voice.  Naturally, "Last-minute Linda" here didn't really start working the song in the new, lower key until a couple of nights before the audition.  As a result, as late as dinnertime Thursday I was debating whether to go.  I did go, though, and a good thing, too.  A friend was there ahead of me in the order and stayed until I finished.  He told me I sang my piece with better resonance than when I did Carruthers, which was encouraging.

But the really encouraging thing was when they called me Friday to say I was being called back for the ensemble so the choreographer could put us through our paces.  Unlike the disaster that was my last dance audition, this one was fun and funny, and I remembered all of it.  The demographics were typical for community theater - 3 men and 11 women.  They didn't say how many ensemble members they're looking for.  ("How many people does he need?  How many boys, how many girls?")  I imagine it will depend in part on how their music is scored and therefore how many people they'll need to cover all the parts.

My friend was called back too, for one of the principals.  There are 4 possible outcomes: he gets cast and I don't; I get cast and he doesn't; we both get cast; neither one of us gets cast.  They promised we'd hear one way or the other by Wednesday night.  Now I just have to distract myself with my sewing and my voice lesson "homework" while I wait.

Prepping for the Chief's surgery

To get ready on the home front for the Chief's surgery, I'm making him a couple of pairs of elastic-waist lounge pants so he can pull them on and off one-handed.  I also laid in a supply of velcro "buttons" to be sewn onto several shirts so he doesn't have to try to deal with buttonholes or pull shirts on and off over his head.  I may also sew a casing and run elastic on one or two other pairs of lounge pants, just so he'll have more than 2 pairs in summerweight fabrics.  (Flannel he's got, though one pair is "seasoned" enough that it's about ready for new elastic.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Some days are just like that.

At mass last night, my lengthy prayer list was really weighing on my heart.  I don't know why; it wasn't an anniversary of anything, and I hadn't gotten any bad news about anyone that day.  Some days are just like that, I guess.

Friday, August 15, 2014

"Nice save!"

August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or, in the Eastern church, the Dormition of the Virgin.  None of the parish's three choirs was scheduled to do music, which isn't unusual for weekday feasts.  However, after the final blessing, the priest asked if we could sing a song for Mary.  Then began the looking around, looking away, not meeting anyone's eyes.  After a few moments, I started "Immaculate Mary", and everyone joined in almost immediately; at least one person was even singing harmony. :)  I had a few people thank me after mass, and one gentleman, who has one of the best voices in my choir, came up to me afterwards and said "Nice save!" :)  As I told him, someone had to do it, and since no one else seemed eager to do so, I started the Marian hymn I know best.

It's a good thing I came to this mass and not the one I'd originally planned on. A fellow parishioner told me after mass that the memorial mass for their son is tomorrow morning (poor little guy died 2 years ago, at only 6 years old).  Now I'll be able to be there (the Chief is at the cabin this weekend) and swell attendance, however slightly.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Regency project stalled

My Regency dress project is completely dependent on having stays that fit properly.  The ones I ordered seemed a bit small.  I notified the vendor but held off on answering her questions or returning the stays until I had my chemise roughed in and could try the stays on over the garment that would be going underneath.  I got to that point on Monday and finally tried the stays on over the (still-unfinished) chemise.  No good.  I took several pictures, emailed them to the vendor, and took the stays to the post office. 

I had hoped to wear the dress to Saturday's wedding; obviously that didn't happen.  Ah well; I now have lots and lots of time to figure out how I'm going to redo the neckline casing, which is too narrow to thread anything through it.  I've already trimmed the seam allowance, so I can't just pick out the stitching and reattach.  I may have to cut out a new one and replace the first one.  :(

I also need to come up with some petticoat fabric.  I wanted white microfiber but an hour spent searching on line turned up nothing suitable.  I ordered some "china silk" but, as I expected, it isn't what I had in mind at all.   It turned out to be that shiny, rather stiff lining fabric.  Now to send out an SOS to several costumers of my acquaintance and to the owner of Sense & Sensibility Patterns and see what they recommend.