drama education, theatre, youth theatre

Like Halloween? Then You’ll Enjoy This

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/theater/shakespeare-theater-company-costume-sale.html?emc=edit_nn_20170926&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=78695717&te=1&_r=0

Tomorrow, it’s October! Yippee! 

October is one of my most favorite months–the leaves begin to change to scarlet and gold, pumpkins are everywhere, the air is crisp. 

When our daughters were children, we had a rule: you couldn’t talk about Halloween until September 1st. No drawing pictures of what your costume should be, negotiating for some extravagant costume piece, and NO buying Halloween candy. 

Recently,  I ran on to an article in the New York Times about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s costume sale. Wow, that would have been a neat thing to see. I was in England in August and visited Stratford in Avon where the sale was held. If only I had visited a bit later…

Read on. 

Ball Gowns, Lace Ruffs and Fairy Wings: Theater History for Sale

By Holly Williams

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England — Have you ever wanted to step into the shoes of a great Shakespearean actor? Over the weekend, shoppers here in Shakespeare’s birthplace, which is also the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, had a chance to walk away with a piece of theatrical history, as the legendary company held a sale of 15,000 costumes and other items.

By the time the sale opened at 9 a.m. Saturday, a line snaked down the street; the first fans had arrived at 5 p.m. the previous day, camping out to secure a spot. Such patience was rewarded, and customers emerged clutching treasures, from the sublime — period ball gowns, lace ruffs, fairy wings — to the ridiculous — gold lamé lion tails and grotesque pig suits.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has the largest costume department in British theater, and it employs 30 members of staff, including experts in armor and millinery. The sale was raising money for the company’s Stitch in Time campaign, to renovate its costume workshop and to finance specialist apprenticeships. Around a third of its stock — items too worn or too specific to be reused — was on sale at bargain prices: from 50 pence, or 67 cents, for a fan to 30 pounds, or roughly $40, for a velvet cloak.

The life-span of Royal Shakespeare Company costumes, recycled across productions and for up to 100 performances, is among what makes them special, and every item has a sewn-in label identifying the actor who wore it last, and in which show. Beady-eyed rummagers could pick up Anita Dobson’s grubby underskirt from “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” or Joanna Vanderham’s silver gown from “Othello.” One happy shopper claimed to have found a dress worn by Jane Asher.

It can be bittersweet, however. “What makes this so emotional for someone like me — I put on my first R.S.C. costume in 1966 — are the name tags,” said the British actor Patrick Stewart, who fronted the Stitch in Time campaign. “I already found one item worn by a dear friend of mine, long gone.”

Indeed, among the armor, I came across a breastplate with “Tim Pigott-Smith” written on a label; the British actor died in April.

Even stars of Mr. Stewart’s caliber are not immune to feeling awe when taking on the mantle (at times literally) of acting giants. “I was once given a jacket which I did not really like,” Mr. Stewart said, adding that he had then seen from the label that it had been worn by Paul Scofield, a British actor who died in 2008.

“So of course I wore it,” he said. “Although it had to be cut down, because Paul was a much taller actor than I was, in every sense.”

Performers often highlight how vital costumes are, and by trying on a vast crinoline (used in the “Tempest”) and an absurdly heavy cloak (“Henry VIII”), I can understand why: They completely change the way you move and hold yourself.
“There were times when the costume had a significant impact on the work I would do on that character,” Mr. Stewart said, recalling the transformative effect of a luxurious pale gray three-piece suit worn for a modern-dress “Merchant of Venice” in 2011 — “which I should have stolen because it fitted me so well.”
I unearthed a kitsch, frothy wedding dress from the same production, worn by Susannah Fielding as Portia. Indeed, a whole rail of wedding dresses were available to make wedding days extra special — once they’ve had a good clean, at least.

Outside, members of the public emerged enchanted with their hauls. Jenkin Van Zyl, whose parents drove up from London so that he could fill their car, went on quite a spree: “I only wear theater costumes,” he said. “So I just came to top up, but I didn’t realize how cheap and amazing the sale was going to be. I spent £800.”
Shelley Bolderson from Cambridge, England, also wears costumes in her daily life. She said she had been delighted to find a coat made from pages of a book, created for the dancing satyrs in the 2009 production of “The Winter’s Tale.”

“I just hope it won’t dissolve in the rain,” she said.

The sale is also a godsend for amateur theater groups. Miriam Davies, from Stamford, England, is a costume designer for a company specializing in Shakespeare.
“You can’t really miss something like this,” she said. “Having R.S.C. costumes is a special thing — it’s history.”

Arts, theatre, Travel, Uncategorized

Unique Method to Fight Boredom on Your Next Long Flight

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/bored-your-international-flight-icelandair-just-tried-live-theater-n800956I LOVE unique ideas. Do you? 
How about this one–live theatre performed on a long airplane flight. 

Read on. 

Even with a kooky safety video and a variety of film offerings, long flights can still be boring.

But Icelandair is trying something new: An 11-hour immersive theater production took place last week on a flight from London to New York, with an on-the-ground bonus performance during the layover in Reykjavik.

“We’ve made theater in unusual places but never made a show that started in one country, bounced to another, and ended up in a third on the same day,” said Kate Hargreaves, Founder of Gideon Reeling, the London-based theater company that helped develop the program.

The cast was a mix of professional actors along with pilots, engineers, accountants, ground workers, cabin crew, and other real airline employees who had volunteered to attend a special stage school to prepare for the event.

The characters they played ranged from film stars and flight attendants from various decades to business and leisure travelers, a perky party planner, a vulcanologist, and a farmer — as well as flight attendants from the past, present, and future.
And the performance, which reeled out in entertaining, story-filled, one-on-one encounters at check-in, at the gate and during the flight, hopscotched through time, with some actors playing multiple characters.
There were even a few sing-a-longs and several Icelandic-themed meals during the “Ahead in Time” performance.

Passengers met and had an opportunity to interact with Maria, dressed in a stylish suit from the 1950s, who said she’d be flying the plane; Richie and Cynthia, hippies from the 1960s who met on the road and were hoping to get to Woodstock; Alex, an exuberant, if disorganized, backpacker from the 1990s in search of his passport; and numerous grandchildren and other far-flung relatives of Edda Johnson, a world traveler and former Icelandair flight attendant who had invited everyone to her birthday party but (spoiler alert) was too busy traveling the world to show up.

Icelandair’s one-off immersive in-flight performance (and a series of on-the-ground events in Iceland over the next six months) was sparked by a recent UK-based study in which the majority of air travelers reported being bored during their flights. Three quarters of the study participants thought the people on the plane, especially the cabin crew, could have a greater hand in making the flight more enjoyable.

Responding to that research, “Our program aims to transform wasted time while traveling into time well-traveled,” said Icelandair CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason, “We’re pleased to pioneer a new form of entertainment and value-added service for passengers.”

‘Hippies’ on Icelandair’s immersive theatrical performance. Harriet Baskas

 “That notion of offering passengers some sort of ‘surprise and delight’ is great,” said travel industry expert Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research, but he notes some passengers would rather use their in-flight time to work, rest, relax, and make their own choices for entertainment.

Still, Harteveldt approves of Icelandair’s effort to be creative and stand out from other airlines, especially as the competition for flights to and through Iceland from WOW air and other airlines heats up.

And while live theater in the aisles might be seen by some as a negative in the air, Harteveldt believes the airline’s Stopover Pass program, which gives passengers entry to special art, culture, and sporting events through April 2018, can be a huge positive on the ground.
“I applaud them for thinking of different ways to distinguish themselves, offering this value-added amenity so that passengers see Icelandair as passenger-centric,” he said. 
Contact me at dhcbaldwin.net or Deborahbaldwin.net

life Fulfilled Through Theatre
arts education, theatre, Uncategorized

How Fulfilling is Life Without Theatre?

How fulfilling is life without theater?  To me, it is the Pièce de Résistance!

My favorite of all the arts. I would be lost without it. Life is better with a dash of theatre now and then.

For instance, last night my husband and I attended a community theatre performance of The Crucible.  I don’t know when I last saw this play.  The Barn theatre in Kansas City produced it.  It’s difficult material and can be exploited by those performing in it if the director isn’t careful.  Twice I watched a cast butcher the court room scenes, but this one was tremendously impactful.

This morning, I shared with my husband my brain felt different today.  As if I swallowed some unusual vitamin and I did, of sorts.  A vitamin filled with excellent dialogue,  a well crafted plot and  brilliant metaphor.

The play’s message stayed with me and I have pondered it from time to time today.  That’s good theatre.

My acting teacher at Stephens College, Jean Muir, was blacklisted and never worked again in Hollywood.  Her crime?  She attended a Russian ballet and wrote a letter of congratulations to the company complimenting them for their excellent performance.  I believe her ex-husband reported her. Think about it–she complimented the ballet company. That.is.all.

Jean-Muir-studio-portrait[1]

I met Jean in 1974, nearly thirty years later. She never completely recovered from the false accusation.

 Lucille Ball & Red Scare

Here is Lucille Ball.  Even she was accused, but her career wasn’t ruined.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a metaphor about the age of McCarthyism and the Red Scare but it is as timely now as ever.

And timely, don’t you think?  This week I viewed a short video of an innocent young black man who was accused of doing something he didn’t do.  Hmmm.

The Barn made a good choice in producing The Crucible.

When I attend a live production, I can immerse myself in the story as it plays out before me.  I feel some of the emotional intensity at a movie theatre, but it isn’t the same as watching an actor only ten feet from me as he sweats and cries, begging his wife to forgive him.  Powerful stuff.

I know people who dislike theatre, but love movies. They say theatre is boring.  Really? You can’t compare them to each other, but I understand the reasons for their opinions.

It’s easier to access movies than attend a play. It’s all about convenience.  Movies are available to us continuously. The wonders of the internet have given to us 24/7 access to nearly any movie you’d like to view.

The most important difference between the two is theatre is LIVE. You can’t just sit back in your recliner, take off your shoes and fold your laundry while you watch.

When you decide to see a theatrical production, you make a personal commitment to it. Generally, you’ll need to transport yourself to the show.  You must arrive on time, take the seat you reserved (with a good or bad view of the stage), pick up the play program and deal with audience members around you.

If it’s a comedy, it’s most appreciated by the cast if you laugh or at least chuckle.  Musicals require you to applaud at the end of scenes if they are outstanding.  Have you ever applauded when a famous actress enters the stage the first time?   You have a job to do as an audience member.

 As we view the production, we must concentrate, focus.  We can’t rewind a scene or fast forward through the show to intermission just so we can get a snack. We must suspend our disbelief when viewing a play far more than we must while seeing a movie.

The magic of a live performance makes it all the more poignant.  There is something very special when one observes the dramatization of a particular thought right before our eyes. It is a unique experience.

The actors tell the story as if it is the first time it has been told.  We share the moment with them and others seated around us.  This is human interaction at its best.

Theatre discusses the human condition.  It educates, inspires, broadens our world view, explores self expression, and encourages self empowerment. Besides, it’s a fun way to learn!

As an actor, I’ve experienced what is like to be someone else.  I’ve stepped into their shoes, so to speak.  A well crafted character has flaws and strengths.  I may not have the same strengths and weaknesses. Whenever I perform, it’s a heady experience and one I never forget.  You never view people in real life with the same attitude you had prior to the production. It changes you.

We could lose more than we bargain for if we lost theatre.

 Have you considered theatre uses all the arts–visual art, dance of movement and music? It’s a one stop shop.

Art–Through designs of set, costume, and lights we utilize color, texture and silhouette to suggest themes and mood.

Ponder this photo from “Sunday in the Park with George”, a musical by Stephen Sondheim. In an earlier post, I shared  Seurat’s painting,  “La Grande Jatte”.  Notice the levels, colors, textures, silhouettes? Good stuff.

How about dance?  Or movement?

Image result for Newsies Broadway Musical

If you haven’t attended Newsies  you must.  The dancing is fabulous.  I call it “boy dancing”, because it is.  The choreography is outstanding, clever and joyful.  Musicals use dance to convey a particular message–“Look at us!  We’re Newsies and no one is going to bring us down.”

Physical movement in a play is far more effective than words.  Humans are visual thinkers.  For example, we need the actor to show the character’s depression, so he uses a hushed voice, slouches his shoulders, walks with a slow gait and heavy steps.  Blocking, the physical movement around the stage, encourages the audience to view the production like a living photograph.

As I mentioned above, one doesn’t need to know much more about a play’s story than to merely observe the action.  The above photo is from a production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  The Crucible tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials, however it is a metaphor for the Red Scare of the 1950’s.  Isn’t it effective?

How about this one?

I chose this photo at random, because it proves the point.  If you look closely, you’ll see the dancer is behind a scrim.  Yet the actor’s image is reflected in a mirror, but where is the mirror? Look at the positions of  bodies. He is leaning toward her, she is leaning toward him. His right foot touches the floor, as if he’s anchored on earth. She stands on her toes, as if she’s pulled to heaven. It’s so effective. (If you are dying to know the production, it is The Picture of Dorian Grey.)

Music:  When I direct a play, it is my habit to begin my pre-planning by selecting music to be played during the production.  The music inspires me.  It nurtures my creative process while I block the production.

Music does an excellent job of creating mood for an audience.  I will choose period music for a play if it depicts a particular time period in history.

While I directing The Giver, a  play set in a dystopian world, I was stumped on my music choices.  Then I remembered Philip Glass. Several moments in the play call require the falling of snow.  I considered various ideas and finally decided on Glass’ “Music Box”. A  gobo light rotator was hung. It displayed a snow flake-like pattern.  We selected the first 45 seconds of the piece.

Every time the music played, the audience was encouraged to imagine the falling of snow.

Theatre pulls the arts together.  In the world we live in at present, whenever we can come together and consider a social issue, we stand to win.  It’s very easy to become isolated now. Without theatre, we’d lose more than we’d gain.

How have you been fulfilled by attending a play or musical?  I’d love to hear from you.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check our my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

arts education, creative dramatics, theatre, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Incredible: My Teacherspayteachers.com store is Open

This is amazing for me. I have been trying to get this accomplished for several years. Finally, my brain wouldn’t let go of the idea until I did it. My store is up and open on Teacherspayteachers.com. Check it out will you?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dramamommaspeaks
There will be MANY more products available, so keep a look out for them and follow me!

New Jig Saw Puzzle Cover

Super Heros Cover jpg

 

arts education, theatre, Uncategorized

Your Backstage Life Saver: The Stage Manager

http://www.npr.org/2017/06/11/532072399/stage-managers-you-cant-see-them-but-couldnt-see-a-show-without-them

I’ve been researching on a range of blog subjects, lesson plans, etc.  I ran on to this article which I thought others would be interested in, too.

I trained with a wonderful professional stage manager, Howard Ashley while attending Stephens College.

I’ve used his instruction with my students who become stage managers for me.  One of my students, Hillary Pfeffer actually studied stage management in college and works in New York as one.  So proud of er.

From the Kansas Public Radio Website:

Stage Managers: You Can’t See Them, But Couldn’t See A Show Without Them

On Sunday night the spotlight will be on Broadway stars at the 71st annual Tony Awards. The evening also includes honors for some people behind the scenes — writers, directors and designers, for example — but there are many more, working backstage, who aren’t eligible for Broadway’s highest honor.

If you peek into the wings at a Broadway show, you’re likely to find a stage manager, sitting at a desk with video monitors and lots of buttons and switches. He or she will be wearing a headset — sometimes called “the God mic” — to communicate with the cast and crew.

“I like to think of a stage manager as the chief operations officer of the corporation that is the show,” says Ira Mont, stage manager of Cats.

Donald Fried, stage manager of the Tony-nominated play, Sweat, says stage managers are kind of “the Captain of the Enterprise.”

“I would call us the hub of the wheel,” says Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. “We are … in charge of communication across all departments. … During the show, we are in charge of making sure the lights happen, the set moves, sound happens, all the things … we are the person who’s controlling all of that.”

Donald Fried was formerly a dancer, and is now stage managing the Tony-nominated play, Sweat. Jeff Lunden for NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Donald Fried was formerly a dancer, and is now stage managing the Tony-nominated play, Sweat.

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Long before a show starts its run, the stage manager is an integral part of the rehearsal process, explains Fried. “Everything begins and ends with the script,” he says. “I’ve got to read the script, read it several times. Once, just to read it as a person, not as a stage manager or an artist or anything. Just to have an initial emotional feeling for it. Then, I go back and read [the writer’s] stage directions, so that I know what would happen light-wise, how she envisions the props, how she envisions the set moving, people entering and exiting, whether or not they’re changing costumes.”

Once a show is up and running, Meek says stage managers and their teams put in long hours. Her day begins at 9:30 a.m. with cast members telling her whether they’d be in or out of that day’s shows, due to injuries or illness. Depending on the day, she’ll arrive at the theater around 12:30 for a matinee or rehearsal. There’s a dinner break around 5:00 or 5:30, and then everyone’s back at the theater for the evening show.

Shows that feature complicated choreography or simulated fight scenes require daily rehearsals. Sweat manager Donald Fried says they do a fight rehearsal before every show. “We want to make sure everyone is safe and limber, and that the props are working,” he explains.

In the half hour before each performance, the stage manager walks through a beehive of activity, making sure everyone’s ready for curtain.

Meek climbs a ladder to her perch, high above stage left at Great Comet. Actors perform throughout the theater and Meek can keep an eye on them all. Once the show starts, she follows a musical score, with sticky notes showing all of the lighting and tech cues.

Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, describes stage managers as “the hub of the wheel.” Jeff Lunden for NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, describes stage managers as “the hub of the wheel.”

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Through one of her video monitors, she can see Josh Groban, who plays Pierre, standing at the back of the stage. By the time the opening number really gets going, Meek is calling cues to the lighting technician every other beat. She literally calls hundreds of sound and tech cues for each performance.

All the stage managers I spoke with started out doing other things — Meek was a costume designer, Fried was a dancer. As a former actor, Cats manager Ira Mont was used to getting applause — but not anymore.

“I don’t expect or look for praise or acknowledgement,” he says. “I am here to support the shows I work on and the actors who do them and that’s what gives me the joy. And I’m very fortunate to have had a 30-year career in a profession that is not easy to get into and is not easy to stay in. I’m a lucky guy.”

He’s got lucky co-workers, too. Even as Mont juggles countless cues that go into a Broadway performance of Cats, over the headset he reminds the cast and crew of one more detail: to gather for a cast member’s birthday toast at the end of the show.

No Small Parts
directing experiences, drama education, theatre, Uncategorized

The Hidden Meaning Behind “There are No Small Parts only Small Actors”

Broadway

The Tony Awards show is Sunday, June 11!  I’ve been listening to the Sirius Broadway station all week (honestly, I do most days anyway) and it’s wonderful to hear the performers’ interviews and all the nominated show music.

The Tony Awards are the Oscar Awards for Broadway–except they are more classy, in my humble opinion.

Theatre is different.

It is special, because it is live.

What’s the hidden meaning behind, “There are no small parts, only small actors.”?

I got to thinking about the performers who are playing smaller parts in the nominated productions.  If you ever see them on television in a short quip on a syndicated news or talk show, you’ll observe those supporting characters and chorus members are just as invested in the production as the leading actors.

That’s impressive.  I bet the nominated actors and actresses began as chorus members and under studies many years ago.  They put in their time and earned their stripes to receive the spotlight.

Just because you are cast in a small part does not mean you are not important to the show. If you think so, you have missed the point entirely.

You are still important to the show.  Believe me.

However, if you can’t get past the fact that you are certain you could portray the role you didn’t receive just as well or better than the person cast, it might be best for you to focus on something else in your life.

 Get over yourself, you know?

Brighton Beach (2)

I was Blanche in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” 1989

If you aren’t cast in the role you wanted, it is not a big enough reason not to be involved in a production.  Maybe you are to learn or gain something else from the experience? Life is a journey, you know.

For several days after I cast a production, some times I deal with hurt egos of cast members or those who auditioned for me and didn’t receive the role they desired.

I know I’ve previously mentioned this–casting a production has a lot to do with who a director envisions in a role.

Sometimes I have no idea who I want to play a part.  Other times, the right person walks in and is perfect. They are the essence of the character all ready.

 Some people can mold themselves into what I am looking for.  Those people are special because they are versatile.

There are other factors in the decision to cast someone, however.

Do I know their work?  Are they responsible?  Are they known to be difficult to direct and/or not a team member?

cricket on the hearth (2)

I was Dot in “Cricket in the Hearth” 2000

There are people who can only portray straight roles.  Straight roles are those parts most closely related to your personality.  Have you ever seen someone in a movie who plays the same sort of roles in each movie?  The roles the actor portrays is much like her off screen. Aha. Personally, I think Meg Ryan is a good example of someone who can only portray a straight role.

Then there are character roles.  Characters roles are those parts which are unlike you–because of your age, stature or personality. Paul Giamatti can portray character roles with such genius.

Character roles:

ugly step sister

Wicked Witch

Cowardly Lion

Shrek

Straight roles:

Cinderella

Rapunzel

Dorothy

Fiona

Luckily, I can play both straight and character roles. That makes me more valuable to a director.   To be honest, I enjoy performing character roles the most, because usually they are interesting and unique.

It isn’t about playing the lead.  It is about who you are best suited to portray.

Guess what?  I have not been cast in a production before.  No joke!  (I’m scoffing here a bit.  I hope you understand.)

So, chin up! If you don’t receive the role you craved for, your time will come in the future.

Watch the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 11 and pick out the chorus members or those supporting characters you notice.

I know several actors who will perform that evening.  I am very excited for them.

 Shout a Bravo to your television and I will, too.

I think they will magically hear us…..

Importance of Beaing Earnest (2)

I was Miss Prism in “Importance of Being Earnest” 1976

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

I’d love to hear from you!

 

theatre

Kabuki Theatre Website

Great site about Kabuji Theatre.  Michiko Approved. 😊

Kabuki At Kyoto’s Minamiza Theater

Here is my post on Kabuki theatre and the reasons females are excluded from performing:

Kabuki Theatre for Girls

acting, theatre, Uncategorized

Beginner’s Guide: Talent agencies

ballet dancer yellow

Almost every year of my career (35+) someone  asks me if they should get an agent.

No kidding.

I shudder each time, because I know they are not going to like the answer I give them.

My answer is a resounding–NO!

My emphatic answer is a bit misleading, however.

Here is my beginner’s guide to choosing a talent agency.

If you want to pursue acting work in the professional realm, then you need an agent.

There are many costs to the avocation and they are yours to pay–headshots, auditions clothes, dance and acting classes, etc.

If a “talent agency” is crazy about you the minute they meet you and are very quick to offer to represent you, be very wary of them. 

More importantly, if the agency thinks you need more training and requires you take their “classes” at YOUR expense, run away.  Run very far away from them.

Hollywood

Here’s a little story:

Several summers ago, I asked a talented girl (we’ll call her Barbie) to choreograph for a youth theatre camp production of mine.  She wasn’t a professional yet, but I could see she had the potential to be one someday if she so chose.   I like to give young people an opportunity to staff my shows–how else are they going to learn?

Barbie and I agreed on the musical numbers she would stage or choreograph, splitting them between us.  It was a solid agreement.

ballet dancer yellow

Or so I thought.

Two months later, Barbie arrives for the camp displaying an air of superiority. Her nose was held, honestly, up in the air.  Hmmm.  My director intuition knew something had changed.

Oh boy, had it!

Seems in the two months since I made the agreement with her, Barbie was “discovered” by a talent agency.

“Discovered”–that was my first red flag.

I have never seen someone so star struck in my life and honey, I’ve been around novice actors for years.

Her mother (equally gullible) and she had attended auditions for a talent agency who traveled to their metropolis seeking “exceptional talent”.

Barbie auditioned for them and they were crazy for her talent–IMMEDIATELY.

Now granted, the girl is great dancer, but she was coming out of eighth grade and had no performing experience other than dance recitals.  She was a beginning acting student of mine–note, BEGINNING.  At that point, she had performed in one show which I directed and she was a chorus member. Chorus, people!

What Barbie lacked in experience and training her parents made up for with money. An example–the girl owned a full size harp. Weekly her mother drove her to harp lessons in a major city about an hour away. Get the picture?

harpist

“It’s only $2,000 for their training,” she shared “and then I’m in a showcase with real agents (from like Disney and Nicklodeon) in attendance and they offer you jobs from there.They said I was a shoe-in.”

Oh dear…

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I reminded Barbie she made a commitment to my production.  I’ll give her mother some credit, she expect Barbie to fulfill the commitment but gee, Barbie wouldn’t be able to attend the dress rehearsals or actual productions.

I knew what occurred before Barbie even admitted it.

handsome guy

“There’s this really hunky college guy with the agency who has been on the Disney Channel and he begged me to take the training so I can be in the showcase.” Barbie mooned.

Aha!

“This all conflicts with the production dates, so I need to be at the training. That is, if my parents will pay for it.” At this point, Barbie gave her mother a sweet little girl pout. (Sounds like the mother was wary about the deal, hence the daughter’s pout.)

Barbie’s mother asked me for my opinion and of course I spewed forth the reasons against the idea.

You can see where this is going, right?

“Hollywood here I come!” Barbie’s Facebook profile posted soon after.

Hollywood

My negative opinion fell on deaf ears.

Don’t you love it when people ask for your opinion and then try to argue you out of it?

I released Barbie from the responsibility after her initial work was completed in the first week of rehearsal. It didn’t help her case when Barbie told my AD, “My work is done here.”

Uh, no?

There is nothing worse than having a volunteer who doesn’t want to volunteer…

About two months later, my AD messaged me about Barbie.  We both were curious how Barbie fared at the showcase. According to Facebook, it  seems her “training then showcase” didn’t impress the agents (haha–agents, oh please) and all Barbie got from the experience was–nothing.

Barbie never mentioned her  “Hollywood here I come!” post again.

$2,000 of nothing.

I think Barbie moved on to beauty contests. I saw her at a deli one lunch time and she was clothes in a bright pink dress with a white and silver sash across it. It was emblazoned with something like “Miss 100th Junior Miss of _________.”

Oy…

My advice:  If you want to secure an agent, that’s great. There are many reputable ones. Look around, research, contact other professionals for their opinions.  Keep your ego out of the decision making. There are unsavory people everywhere. Just because someone throws around words to compliment you does not mean they are honest.  It’s a tough pill to swallow, but honey, get real.

 Be cautious and pay heed to the people who have your best interests at heart.

Good luck!

 

 

 

Play, play reading, plays, theatre, Uncategorized

Announcing: Bumbling Bea The Play –Act one, Scene one

I’m one of those people who do what they say they are gonna do.

Gulp!

I am adapting Bumbling Bea into a play!  (I feel we need trumpets blaring and hi-steppers stepping….This is HUGE people.  )

marching band

Now you would think this would be an easy feat for me considering how many years I have directed plays.

 Nay, nay I say. ( I heard this on the radio one day and it cracked me up.)

I’m stalling, I know.

Directing plays since the dawn of man does make my job easier.  It’s a laborious process, however.  It takes me about two hours to adapt four to eight pages of the book version. Then I poop out.

Note:  This is the first draft of the scene.  I haven’t given you a cast list, or description of the set.  For those of you who are familiar with the book version, I think you’ll be able to easily follow the play.  At least, that’s my hope.

BB the play

 PLEASE BE KIND.

Here it is:

 Act one, Scene one.  Enjoy!

Bumbling Bea Act One Scene 1B

Note #2:  I’m seeking beta readers for the play.  Would you be interested in helping?  Just think–someday when it is published you can say you helped make it into the terrific play it is destined to be.

I’m a fan of the play version of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Bumbling Bea the play is loosely patterned at it.

Also, this is family fair.  I expect to see youth theater and community theaters producing it.

I honestly think Bumbling Bea will have much success in play form.

Daring words coming from the cautious me.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

Information on this website may be copied for personal use only.  No part of this website may be reproduced, stored, or transmissed in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copy right Act, without the prior written permission of the author.  Requests to the author and publisher for permission should be addressed to the following email:  dhcbaldwin@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Production Questions, theatre, Uncategorized

Happy April Fool’s Day–Theatre Jokes to Make You Laugh

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