Monday, February 18, 2013

Senior Speeches

My first senior speech was for MacBeth and I memorized that one, so I didn't write it down (which I am regretting). However, I hand wrote my NoMaM speech and typed out the Outsiders one, so I thought I would share them.

Most people just make theirs up on the spot, but I like to be prepared. Also, for all three shows I have been the last person to speak on the last night.

I've done a few of these, and let me assure you, it's always crazy. This might have been a tiny bit more crazy than usual, but what can you do. I've been in this position for a couple of years but each time I go through the process I keep learning. I don't know everything, although sometimes it might seem like I do. In essence that job that Audrey and I work hard at to perfect is a whole bunch of problem-solving. And even though you bunch are the most insane people I've ever met, I'm glad I had the pleasure of working with you through this mess. 3 shows is a lot, and we've pulled it off. It shouldn't work, but it does. Thanks for being dedicated, and thanks for being crazy. We all can't take that role - some of us actually have to get things done. It takes guts to do what you do so tonight when you go out there, give it your all. Kick some ass.

The Outsiders:
I had no idea what I was going to say for my senior speech until I was in the car yesterday after the show, and I realized something. This is my 13th show, and I’ve seen so many people come through this program and then right back out. Westside Theater evolves each year and you get new faces and you see old faces and then the old faces have to leave. And someone else is the oldest. The cycle keeps going, and it’ll keep going long after every single one of us is gone. Yesterday Michael said to me, it’s the beginning of the end. And it is, for us. For us seniors who’ve been here a really long time, and seen so many faces throughout our years. And it’s true that next year we’ll be a memory to you, but as the cliche says, the show must go on. I’m so proud of this cast and what we’ve accomplished. This show is really heavy and we make it that perfect blend of sad and angry and sweet. It’s the whole collection of people who make it that way. Calling cues, doing lights, sound, scene changes and acting. We can’t forget the actors. This show is up there for me in my favorite shows to have worked on, and as I said, I have a lot of shows to choose from. I only have one more show after this one and then that’s it. But I’ll be back. I have to see how the talent I’ve seen with this show grows. Because I’ve seen a lot of talent and I know that all of you have the potential. So go out there tonight and give it your best. We all deserve to make this memorable.

Looking back on both speeches, I realize that each one reflects the type of show it was. NoMaM was stressful for me, crazy and rewarding. It was also a comedic show, so that shone through in my speech. My Outsiders one was a lot more serious, as was the play. And I enjoyed the process of Outsiders so much; I think my speech was more emotional.

Hopefully my speeches lived up to all the seniors that spoke before me, and hopefully the seniors after me continue this tradition.


The Outsiders: Part XI (the end)

Happy President's Day, Happy Lauren Gets Her Time Back, Happy Play Is Over - wait, no. That's not happy. That's bittersweet.

Let's go over the course of last week (this time I'll use punctuation).

Dress Rehearsal. Got food, did a run through, did notes. Went relatively well, as I'm trying to remember. It was a week ago. There might have been some prop issues, and I'm pretty sure we didn't have our window fly yet.

Last Dress. Got food, did a run through, did notes. That sounds familiar. We got our window fly. Finalized props.

After most of the actors left, Audrey and I talked over some things in our Workroom. We were exhausted, and during dress's we couldn't talk a lot about the various things we normally do (i.e. we were complaining to each other).

Whilst that was happening, Connor and Jessica were working with Mr. Stoll and got to an incredible emotional place to do an intense scene, and it completely clicked. They were both worried about their performances, which I understand, however for two sophomores with an incredibly wonderful burden of being the main characters they had been doing a great job, and later that night I told them so. They needed to be in a good place to open the show on Wednesday.

Show day, which was weird. Usually we open on Thursdays, but as previously mentioned, our school is wonderful at scheduling (remember that varsity basketball game during NoMaM?) and we had to switch things up. Call time was 5:30, so I got there at 5. Our tech people set up, then we had Tech Wowwop (backwards "Powwow") at 6 (we did the sarcastic things we're thankful for, and I only had one compared to 15 for NoMaM), Fight Call at 6:15, Open House at 6:30, Circle Up at 6:30, Show at 7.

Will Boyd, Will Luleich and Michael did their senior speeches on Wednesday. My preshow announcement played, and we were off. Opening night was pretty much without hitches from my tech point of view. The actors felt that it wasn't their greatest performance, but that was their opinion. My friend Kailey got me flowers as well, which was nice of her.

Second show is usually our best, and it was for tech. But for acting, Friday's show was the best. Same deal as Wednesday. Wowwop, Fights, House, Circle Up, Show. Jenna and Aaron did their speeches. A really nice kid named Kevin did the preshow announcement. My parents and my friends came, so that was fun.

a.k.a. Let's stress out Lauren Day!
1) I went backstage at 5 and found a drum set for Sunday, for Battle of the Bands. Had to make a call to get that out of our way, and I used my "I'm Very Annoyed" voice.
2) Madison (Audrey's assistant SM) was really sick, and we had to figure out how to move forward. She adamantly wanted to still move heavy benches and be on headset, but we made the executive decision to give the headset to Parker and have Madison watch from the balcony.
3) The weather was really bad (snow, ugh), so we had to start late and as we were preparing to start the show our headsets weren't working, so Audrey and I got a workout sprinting around fixing that problem. And my preshow announcement was late.

Besides my near hyper-ventilation at the beginning of the show, everything else went great. Along with the rest of the seniors, I did my speech on Friday. I was the last one to go, and I had prepared on Thursday night and written it all out (and typed it up). So I recited it from a piece of paper, and the reason I didn't look up while I was talking was because I probably would have lost it. People were already crying, and I might or might not have made it worse. Then they had to calm down before the show.

I am extremely proud of what we accomplished, and I was privileged to work on this show.

After everyone had talked to each other after the show they headed to my house for the cast party (no VI this go round) and while most people left midnight or earlier, there were a few that stayed later.

Which made getting up for Saturday's strike a lot easier (not).

Strike. Got there at 9, took a group of actors to organize the Cave and put away furniture and soda. Then I had to do Audrey's list of duties because her parents had decided to let her sleep in so I helped some with putting away props and undoing flats (set crew undid the hill in the middle of the stage). I had to find a janitor to open the garage for us and we put away everything, had cupcakes for Guin's birthday and we were done, and it was over.

Some of the crew and actors went to HuHot after, which is a new tradition that started with MacBeth. After that, it was really actually done, and the people who worked on the show will never be working with exactly the same people again.

As for me, I only have one more show to go.

Let's make it memorable.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Outsiders: Part X


I'm feeling good.

Got to school around 1:30, the window got painted, the set was set up. 2-3 everyone ate (I was still running around). Then Audrey went over which cues she was giving us a standby for and which cues we just needed to be ready for on our own.

We did a cue-to-cue without actors (less stressful!) and that went well, and my set crew got a workout from taking things on and off immediately.

The "speed-through" was next: the actors couldn't pause at all, so we went quickly. The cues were great, we had fixed all our problem set changes in the cue-to-cue and except for a minor blips we got through it great.

Finally we did an actual dress, with costumes and pauses. Stoll timed my SR set crew and they did the living room change in a record 6 seconds, which makes me really proud of them. We've come a long way and they're doing fantastic. There was a missing actor we dealt with but otherwise the run was good, and I was happy about it.

There are always things to fix, but Audrey calling cues is really helpful and my set crew is rockin' and the actors are basically quiet so all is good for me.

Bring on the week.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Outsiders: Part IX

Well, we finished our cue-to-cue yesterday.

Let's just say I was a little bit stressed out on Thursday.

Our rehearsal was not an actual rehearsal but an opportunity to finalize all of our transitions: light cues, sound cues, set changes, etc. We all had to communicate to each other (Carol in the light booth, Stoll and Audrey in the house, me and my crew SR, and Madison and her crew SL. It was frustrating because the communication wasn't very clear and not many people knew what was going on and the actors were getting restless (Stoll's words: because they weren't the center of attention), and I was just a little overwhelmed. We didn't finish on Thursday, so we continued on Friday.

Which was infinitely better.

We knew what we were doing, the headsets weren't as finnicky, everyone had adequate communication, and the set crew kind of knew what they were doing; we had a system.

After the cue-to-cue we ran as much of Act II as we could.

The stage looks good. As long as everything comes together, it'll be great. Dress rehearsal tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.

Today is set building, because we don't have all our set yet. Hanging the window fly, finishing the paint job on the church, finishing the fountain.

It'll get done.

Yeah, it'll get done.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Outsiders: Part VIII

Deep breath.

Deep breath.

Deep breath.

Let's not talk about rehearsal today. Good plan.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Outsiders: Part VII

Let's count the days until opening night, shall we? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Is that it? Only 8? Well, then, we have plenty of time!

Just kidding, of course.

We are, however, leaps and bounds ahead of shows in the past. For example, today we added tech elements the week before so-called tech week. Albeit it was kind of a mess, but it was a start. The flats were hung this weekend (while I was at Shakespeare on the Green auditions - more on that another time, and Audrey organized the workroom so it hopefully stays clean) and they look great, although they are a bit heavy.

On my side (Stage Right, the best side) I have 2 movers of the set, one flyrail assistant and one person in charge of props. The movers of the set are in charge of the Living Area, which consists of two chairs, and a table with a phone and notebook. On the flyrail we have three fly's: the Living Area, the Church, and the window.

Right before rehearsal today Stoll and I discussed when scene changes shall occur, and Audrey was put to the task of [roughly] calling the show, from the audience. She would give us a standby (example: "standby on living area" "standby on movie theater") and then give us a go (of course there were changes that needed to happen earlier or later and Audrey and Stoll noted that for tomorrow). It was actually quite helpful, because I didn't have to have my nose in the script and I could get ready for what I had to do exactly when it needed to be done.

Not that we didn't fail some of the time. We did. There are some quick changes and heavy flats and cumbersome armchairs but I'm sure by next week we'll have it all figured out.

I hope.

Carol is programming lights and we'll add sound tomorrow and costumes Friday and dress rehearsal scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Show Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Simple as that.