In the Making

Archive for the ‘Shows’ Category

Theatre 2-a-Days

Posted by cjaxon on June 24, 2011

I meant to post something earlier this week about opening night, but this is literally the first time I’ve been able to sit and write. The first show went off without a hitch. The party afterward was at a Chinese restaurant, with free sushi! And then Wednesday morning we started Hairspray, and hit the ground running. Instead of beginning with music rehearsals like most shows, we staged all of “Good Morning Baltimore,” the dance at the gym (“The Madison”), and the first part of “Nicest Kids in Town” – three very intricate numbers. Then we scarfed down dinner and went back to the Civic Center to perform Oliver again. From my point of view Wednesday night felt even better than Tuesday, although we were more tired.

Here I’ve got to give a shout out to my father who drove all the way up on Wednesday to see it and drove back on Thursday morning. Mom and Sarah stayed home because Sarah’s getting ready to leave for a mission trip for about a week and a half. Missed them, but I totally understand.

At some point soon I’m going to write down all the crazy stories from these kids in the gang, or “squids” as some of us refer to them, semi-affectionately. You just never know what you’re going to get. Most of the time they’re harmless, but they’re always interesting. Like when we’ve told them to react to what going on in the scene, and they keep their adlibs fresh, but then they start waiting until everyone else has finished speaking and then say their adlibs in the dramatic silence before the next line. Or like when they start ranting backstage about Patti LuPone being “a hag,” because she’s so short, or she’s so tall, or whatever she is. They admit they have no idea who she is, but she’s must be a hag. Or when they accidentally knock over a bench at the beginning of the scene without realizing it and then three of them sit down but fall over backwards.


But back to Hairspray.

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Posted by cjaxon on June 18, 2011

So we’re two weeks in to rehearsals now. Which means we’re two-thirds done with this first show!! I’ve never worked on a full-blown production at this pace, and I’m loving it. We had it all blocked and choreographed, a 2 and half hour show, within the first week. And it’s gonna be BIG. We’re doing Oliver! first. The set is HUGE. There are two bridges going across the stage, up to 20 feet in the air. There are giant pieces that roll on and off for different scenes. And we even have actors going up and down from the orchestra pit, as well as a pasarelle (fancy word for walkway) going around in front of it. We literally fill the stage, front to back, side to side, from below to way above.

Rehearsals have been going well. They told us in the beginning that this is an easy  ensemble show. It’s basically divided into two groups – adults and “the gang.” (I’m in the gang.) And it’s divided in a way that both groups don’t usually work at the same time. So for the first few days, I wouldn’t have to go in until later in the day, or I’d get released a few hours early. Technically, I’m in the “ensemble,” but I do have a featured bit or two as Charlie Bates, the leader of The Gang. (Or at least, that’s the role I’ve created for Charlie 😉 I’ve had fun even with a small role like this, because since it’s not a major part, there’s a lot of creative freedom. I can do almost anything I want within the world of the show, as long as it makes sense for the character, and doesn’t draw away from the scene.

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Wrapping it up

Posted by cjaxon on May 3, 2011

So this past month was strange. I went from relaxed and not much going on to really busy. It was pretty disappointing because I was really hoping to just coast through these last two weeks of school. Instead I ended up with projects and commitments, and worst of all, homework. Yuck. I went from having nothing to tell you, to having too much to do to talk about it. Oh well.

It started when we got back from Spring Break. We had two weekends in a row when everyone and their mothers gave Jr. or Sr. recitals. Some days had as many as 5 or 6 recitals in one afternoon! We want to be supportive of each other, but there’s no way we could have seen everyone.  Read the rest of this entry »

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A Weekend with Lyric

Posted by cjaxon on March 13, 2011

“And if I get this show… I’ll work REAL hard.”

Last weekend were the auditions for Lyric Theatre’s summer season. Lyric is a great company here in Oklahoma, and in the summer they put on four or five high quality shows back to back. This summer they’re doing Oliver, Hairspray, Ragtime, and A Chorus Line. Here’s how it went:


I went to the open Dancer call, because all their singer appointments were full. I expected there to be a really difficult combo or two, and to get cut from the beginning. We started with a loooong hip hop combo for their fall production of Altar Boyz, completely unrelated to the summer stuff. Then we learned the ballet/Hairspray combo, and then they made the first cut.

And I got through.

So next up was the really difficult part, the opening combo from A Chorus Line. It’s legit, and pretty tough. But I made it through, and then they asked me to stay and sing! And then they gave me a callback for Sunday!! I was surprised and excited. Read the rest of this entry »

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Senior Recital: Before and After

Posted by cjaxon on February 25, 2011

Final Prep

I actually went to Ms. Birdwell’s house to make up some lessons and get some extra time in. Great lessons, but I was still worried about my final dress rehearsal on Wednesday. Ms. B tends to grill us more than usual, and they can be really painful experiences. I think it stems from the idea that “there’s no more time, it’s now or never, and there’s so much progress yet to be made.” But Wednesday’s rehearsal came and went. The first number we had to work several times, but after that I really sang straight through. These are pieces that I’ve been performing for a while, and we’re both happy with my progress vocally, so I really lucked out. By the end of the rehearsal she gave me several small tips and pointers, but mostly we both kept saying how excited we were. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Kind of Town, Chicago is.

Posted by cjaxon on January 29, 2011

I’m sitting at the snow-frosted corner of Clark and Berwyn, watching the Chicago traffic waking up, eating my breakfast wrap  and sipping my Starbucks. I know, I know, of all the quirky-cool places in the neighborhood, I picked Starbucks?? It’s the only place I knew had free wifi. So even if I had gone to the Women and Children First feminine bookstore or the Swedish Bakery, I couldn’t have told you about it.

At any rate, I’m here in Chicago for the next day and a half for some summerstock auditions. But first things first:

Audition Results!

Showcase: I got in!! And I’m definitely excited. At the advice of the accompanist I coached with, I changed one of my audition songs at the last minute, swapping in “Giants in the Sky.” This was actually a really good idea, because Mark and Arnold (the guys casting it) really liked that one. Most importantly, I realized afterwards that when I went in for the audition, I actually wasn’t nervous. I want to keep that .  Read the rest of this entry »

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Here at last: Showcase.

Posted by cjaxon on January 11, 2011

Well, yesterday was my last 1st day of class ever… possibly. At least, the last in college. The last in standard education. The last of “school.” And because my schedule wasn’t finished yet, I didn’t even have class until 2 pm. Awesome.

Meanwhile, SHOWCASE AUDITIONS ARE ON THURSDAY. I know I’ve mentioned it several times now, so let me explain Showcase. I’ll audition on Thursday like a normal Music Theatre audition: come in and sing your best two 16-bar cuts. Show us “you,” at your best. They’ll pick 10-12 of the Seniors and Grad Students to be in the actual Showcase. Life will carry on as usual for the rest of the semester, but the week after graduation we’ll all head up to New York City and give a kind of “group audition” for agents – that’s what the actual Showcase is. Everyone performs two cuts from different songs, and there will probably be a group number or something. If everything goes well, then agents will request to set up meetings with us individually to sign with them. This is not like casting directors (although sometimes), so it’s not signing for a job, but agents help you get better auditions.  Read the rest of this entry »

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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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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To Catch Up

Posted by cjaxon on November 4, 2010

Sorry it’s been so long, for a while there was nothing going on, and now there’s been a lot going on. Choreography Show went really well. (I was in the piece about Greek goddesses/dreamgirls fighting over Zeus, remember?) The audience seemed to like it alot and I was happy with my performance. I left directly from the performance to meet up with the St Luke’s kids on their fall retreat. By the end of the weekend, several of them said it was the best they’d ever been on.

We then had Fall Break. I’d been looking forward to Fall Break, literally, every day for a month. That Monday was going to be the first day since August that I hadn’t set an alarm clock. I wore myself out on the retreat all weekend, worked at the Haunted House on Sunday night (I’ll talk about that in a minute) and then stayed up visiting with friends… and Monday morning my body woke itself up bright and early at 7 am. I was less than thrilled. The rest of Fall Break isn’t really worth talking about, because I really didn’t do anything.

Since then, I’ve worked more at the Haunted House, Ultimate Terrors. The owners have cut a deal with OCU to pay the music and theatre programs if the students go work. The school encouraged all of the MT/VP and theatre students to work five nights each, as a form of “civic duty.” Read the rest of this entry »

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What I’ve learned this summer.

Posted by cjaxon on August 13, 2010

I was going to post something about the second half of my summer, but between the President of the World post and the High School Musical post, that’s basically it. July became a month of “Work/Perform/Hang out all weekend long, then recover mon-wed and do it all again.” Things have finally slowed down, alot. The shows are over. I’ve only been working at the Beatnix fri/sat mornings. The youth’s big projects are done. The summer classes are over. And while I learned alot in those classes, I learned just as much, as always, from real life. Some of it’s about acting, much is about dealing with people, some is about myself, and some is just, well… unique. Here’s a sampling.

It takes work (intention), as an actor, to keep it fresh every time.

I, as an actor, can’t for a second stray from being in the moment – there’s no such thing as autopilot. I’ll screw up what I’m doing.

Making latte art is hard. Just getting the milk right is tough.

There might be a particular way someone makes their sandwich. But come on, it’s a sandwich. I can make a sandwich. Read the rest of this entry »

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