In the Making

Archive for the ‘Work’ 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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Spring Break NYC

Posted by cjaxon on March 27, 2011

The week before last was spring break. It couldn’t have come soon enough. I spent mine in New York, participating in OCUNYC for my third year now. OCUNYC is a great opportunity – the alumni living in New York prepare workshops and classes with industry professionals, from dance classes with the captains of broadway shows to masterclasses with casting directors, to audition prep and teaching us about Equity, the Actors’ Union. We also get to reconnect with recent alums we may have gone to school with, and network/meet new people. This year it was held in Chelsea Studios, a space where auditions take place all the time.

The best part is: it’s all FREE. One of the benefactors of OCU graciously donates to cover all the expenses of bringing faculty, renting out the studios, and even providing a meet-and-greet dinner on Monday night. We have to pay for transportation and any other meals that week, or entertainment and fun things, but even lodging is often taken care of. Our alumni network asks for volunteers to loan a couch or if a roommate is temporarily out of town, to put students up for the week.  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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Summer 2010 pt 1.

Posted by cjaxon on August 2, 2010

This one’s mostly for the people back home, who perhaps haven’t known where I’ve been all summer, and almost definitely don’t know what I’ve been doing. Let me say, it’s been a long summer, but not much of a break. Mostly just “not-school.” Except that I was even taking classes, so it was school too. Here’s what’s gone down. (And it’s pretty long, so I’ll split it into two posts.)

For starters, SARAH AND SPENCER GRADUATED!!! I made a quick trip down to see them walk. Well family, this is it. The Von Vancils have all grown up, and our collective childhoods are over. It’s bittersweet, and I hope all the best for the future. As tight as we’ve been so far, I don’t see us having a problem keeping in touch.

Adult Von Vancils!!

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