I've said before that if there is something in particular that you want me to blog about - just let me know. And today I was encouraged to blog about something in particular...and I can't figure out the angle! Just can't make me happy, can ya?
I'm very excited to be working with a great group of people on the upcoming production of The Nerd with the Bedford Little Town Players. Their first ever guest Equity artist is one of my favorite people on earth - Jamie Watson. So when the opportunity to be involved arose, I jumped on it. This past week was the first time that I've been around for rehearsals and I remember why I love working with theatre people. Especially this crowd.
It is like family - without all the baggage! After rehearsal on Friday night a bunch of us went out for some food and beverages...I haven't laughed so much in a long time. And at some of the stupidest stuff! This afternoon was a continuation of the same...
A few of the cast gathered to run lines and I tagged along to fill in the parts of folks who couldn't be there. It was the most content afternoon I have passed in quite awhile. Between acts we shared conversation and everyone got to know each other a little better. It is that sense of camaraderie that is so key to a great cast and crew. And although it isn't a rare thing - I have been involved in productions where that just isn't the case. And those - although probably successful shows from the audience's point of view - are the shows that are just forgettable. You perform your lines (or your backstage tasks) and you go home...nothing special.
But then there are the somewhat magical times that everything just gels - and those shows are unforgettable. We shared a few of those stories this afternoon, too. Those casts where the people get under your skin and you know that you'll carry those memories a little closer to your heart forever.
As a theatre tech, I've collected mementos of a lot of shows through the years...and being a horrible pack rat (not yet to Hoarder status...) I have those sprinkled around the house. (in fact...I just looked up from the computer to see that one of the pencil cups on this desk is from Kings Dominion 1991) Sometimes I look at a piece and can immediately recall many details about the show and the people involved...I have a poster from a production of Deathtrap in my room. Not the show poster - but one of the posters from the set itself. I remember that particular production vividly...Calvin "Pete" Candler, John Gunnoe, Pam Ashworth (now Nowell)...at the Fine Arts Center (before it became a parking lot for Centra). I remember gathering all the weapons for the set. I remember the director explaining to two performers that when I couple comes together to kiss that they should be like a tree - their lower halves joined together like a trunk. She said that too often stage kisses look faked because they just bring their heads together and not their bodies. She was a very talented director...she passed away far too early. Heaven's gain.
All those memories triggered by a poster that hangs in my bedroom (and dozens more images that I can't form into complete thoughts). That is just one of many examples I can think of when a cast became more than just a cohesive team...it became a little something more.
The cast of The Nerd has that something more. It is hard to explain. But I know something for certain - even if they aren't aware of it - the audience will have a richer experience because of it.
Get your tickets. You're not going to want to miss it.