I make no apologies.
Open up my Russel Stovers box of assorted dramatical experiences happening lately and this summer — and that doesn’t even include my personal life (ba-dum-chink). You already know this is my favorite time of year…wearing dresses without tights, standing outside talking to people in the warm twilight until the sun goes down, smell of fresh cut grass, trading Malbec for Riesling…season of endless possibilities.
First of all, my new job’s going great! Thanks for asking. Hard to believe I’m already at the 90 day mark.
The first exciting tidbit is that my second play was chosen to be produced at the Onion Man Harvest Festival. This is the first season that OMP has their own space, so there’s a lot of plays this year. Three sessions to be precise. I went to the first table read and we had a great discussion. I think the director and actors are going to do it stellar justice. So what is it about, you say? My first play was a sort of allegorical comedy. I went for something completely different this year and wrote a 10-minute psychological-supernatural chiller. You’ll have to come check it out in July to find out more!
And while you’re there, you’ll see my first EVAH directorial debut! That’s right, this year I’m cutting my teeth on a short dramatic piece with the unlikely title of SodaPop. It’s a great starter project because not only is it only ten minutes with a cast of two, but also many elements of directing that seem intimidating — like technical design — are already decided because it’s part of a showcase. Despite the brevity, there’s some rul meaty material to dive into acting-wise, and I’m working with a couple actors I know and admire so I’m pretty psyched. I’ll also be performing in one piece in the final August session. So I basically have fingers in all the pies this year.
A slightly bigger (but not as broad) undertaking is that I’m choreographing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at OnStage Atlanta. I wanted to be a part of that show from the second I knew they were doing it, and honestly I’m much more excited about choreographing than I would have been if I were in it. I saw the original Broadway production in my final semester in college, back when I thought I would someday move to NYC (well – never say never.) I loved it big time, and like a certain smells are wont to do, it picks me up and throws me down Hulk Smash-style in good memories. Plus OnStage is super close to my house, which is more than I can say for anyplace else I go. I’m beyond excited about this so please mark your calendars – we open July 7!
This year I’ve been taking a master class with Ryan Heffington at Dance 101. He’s an LA-based choreographer that works mostly with musicians. I’ve never had another teacher quite like him. The classes weren’t as technically difficult as I was expecting, but he emphasized full expression through movement all the way from a shout to a whisper. It’s easy to forget why you dance, but he made it easy to remember. The last class we did an amazing exercise where we partered up and danced just for that other person, making eye contact and everything. I was partnered with a guy who was one of the best dancers in the class, but he was a bit thrown off with me watching him. When it was my turn I actually did better than I had during a couple of other runs. Part of me has always been a sucker for an audience I guess. Everybody watches each other at every class of course, but it’s a totally different experience with that audience of one. It was a lot like an acting class!
Speaking of classes…next week on Cushion Cut I’m going to talk training: comparing two utterly different acting classes I took earlier this year, my Promethian vocal lessons, and a workshop on something I’ve been dying to get into since circa OBC Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Audiobook Narration.
Single-phrased reviews for just a few of the super cool shows I’ve seen around town lately: The Light in the Piazza at Theatrical Outfit (beautiful music, need to rethink the set sightlines), Dreamgirls at The Lyric (the performances will steamroll you, even if you care nothing about the plot), and Sugar at CenterStage North (high energy confection, but the music is only so-so and the piano drowned out the un-mic’ed singers).
(P.S. Did you guys watch the second season of Turn?? AMAZEBALLS).