In the Making

Bye Bye Birdie, Hello Othello

Posted by cjaxon on November 13, 2010

Can I just say, I’m loving the weather this week. It’s finally staying cooler, and the past few days have been rainy, dreary, and drab. I usually don’t care for weather like that, yet recently I don’t mind it so much. I’ve kind of felt that way myself, and it somehow cheered me up a little to see the rest of the world reflect that. And the trees are finally turning! Some of them are simply stunning.

I've been especially distracted by trees like this, with bright leaves and a strikingly dark trunk and branches.

Some trees just drop their leaves. Some trees’ leaves fade to a dull reddish brown before falling. But I’m captivated by the trees with vibrant, striking, bright colors that arrest my attention as I pass by. When I get to be old, I want to still be vibrant. 

Birdie finished last weekend, with two great performances.  Our favorite compliment was “You know, I hate this show, but I really enjoyed this performance.” There was just a lot of good energy in the room.

So now I go back to normal life, right? Not yet. This week I’ve been in rehearsal for our Stage II production of Othello, working backstage as a requirement for my Stagecraft class. It’s a scaled-down version of the play in the blackbox theatre, and it looks really good. I’m the Prop Master, which means I make sure all the props used in the show are nice and neat and all accounted for before the show starts and after it’s over. And it’s an awesome job – I literally sit backstage and catch up on work during the whole show. The cast is cool, the show is good, and the performances run all weekend. I really enjoy tech work and working behind-the-scenes to help put a show on. But at this point in the semester, with everything else going on, I really wanted a stress-free show job for a show.

All I really knew about the show before now was that Othello, a black man, chokes his white girlfriend. I had no idea that the show is really about Iago’s manipulations of everyone. He’s a really cool bad guy, because he holds all the cards and has everyone fooled. And there’s a lot more fighting than I expected. The fight calls before each rehearsal take at least 30-40 minutes, to run about 5 different fights.

So that’s really all that’s going on lately. I’m trying to carry on life as usual during the day, and sitting around reading – I mean, uh, working props – by night. Obviously I’m a little tired, and very ready for the next break. In the mean time, here’s a terrifying thought: Showcase auditions are in two months. That’s 8 weeks. And then a recital… oh boy. But I think I can stay on top of things and be ready on time. I plan to use the month of December as major training/preparation time. I have to finish my rep book, have a handful of songs ready to go, get new headshots and clean up the resume, and keep hitting the gym.

Ah, the life of a performer.

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