Boy, has it been a busy Spring! After closing Ten Dollar House in January, I went right into Lester's Dreadful Sweaters at Lifeline Theater. It's a very clever children's musical about a boy who despises the knitwear of his Cousin Clara. I play the Father, Ben (a schoolmate of Lester), a Bandit, and a Clown.
What I'd thought would be just another children's show, actually became quite the challenge. The music was surprisingly dark, and it took some getting used to the rock-and-roll style. Playing multiple characters, I had to do several quick-changes and come up with specific, distinct characterizations. Finally, this show moves very fast, involving all sorts of props and set pieces - there turned out to be as much choreography between the actors backstage as there was on stage. Our director Heather Currie was very collaborative and insightful, and helped the five of us actors gel and create an ensemble.
Meanwhile, I've finally completed the Improv track at iO, and am currently in Graduation Shows on Sunday nights! I've had such an awesome time working with my class, discovering new and usually dirty-minded scenes and characters. Last week I played a bee exorcist, a schoolchild who doesn't really know what a lesbian is, and the personification of a wish. Until recent years, I've found so much security in working with a script - it's great to be free of that, and confident that I can create characters and scenes instantaneously without the need of a writer.
I'm trying to keep myself relatively free for the spring - I've been in rehearsals or shows consistently for seven months. Of course, there were a couple opportunities I could not pass up. On April 24, I'll be participating in the staged reading of a new musical "A Woman Onstage" as part of Pride Films and Plays' Gay Play Weekend at Center on Halsted at 4pm, the same day of our last performance of "Lester's Dreadful Sweaters" at Lifeline. In May, I'm excited to head up to Mineral Point, WI to reprise my role as Bob Neal in "Ten Dollar House" - that show was such a watershed moment for me as an actor, and I am really excited to reunite with the cast and crew and bring the show back to life in its' historical setting.
Finally, I've written a short piece for myself and my frequent collaborator/best friend Marissa Chastain that I am excited to shoot at the end of the month with Yadhira Arroyo. I've been mostly focusing my creative talents toward the stage lately, so it will be nice to return to film. I'm excited to take the experience of the last several months and translate it to a different medium.
Other than that, I'm getting by just fine. I'm working in HR for a fantastic moving company. I absolutely killed "Love Shack" and "Psycho Killer" at Karaoke last night with my Nothing Special peeps. NSP just opened a fantastic production of "The Rise and Fall of the Mad King of Scotland", so we had cause to celebrate. I've also been able to see a couple other awesome plays: "D.O.A." at Strawdog, and "The Misanthrope" at Piccolo Theater. What a joy to see the hard work of your friends and peers.
Advancing confidently in the direction of my dreams.