Today is my day to post about all my progress with my one woman show. Today I do not have much to report on that subject. To be honest, my week was consumed with Young Frankenstein rehearsals.
The good news? Rehearsals are better than I could have ever imagined. I am having an incredible time. We are learning a lot and it feels great to feel "rehearsal productive." Instead of spending my nights on my spirespire, I've been vegging out in front of the TV watching Mad Men and documentaries about killers in a Tshirt braless in full bottom panties. I know I am late on the Mad Men train, but I am loving it. And if anyone knows me but at all they know I almost love killer documentaries.. not killer as in the hip way to say "awesome" but rather killer as in about killers.
Hopefully I will have to energy this coming week to work on my one woman show. Tomorrow I can promise you I will be doing NOTHING. It is my day off and I will be in my apartment resting.
More to come!
So, I did not report this past Saturday. However, I have a good excuse. I was teaching all weekend at a musical theatre intensive with rising juniors and seniors looking to major in musical theatre. It was awesome and also exhausting. To be honest, it wasn't until about Wednesday of this week that I realized I forgot. If anyone knows me, that shows you how incredibly swamped I was because I am not one to forget things.
Anyway, Let's regroup here for a moment. SO I had a lovely aug-cation. I took several vacation-like trips and weekender trips and drank a lot of red wine in the blazing hot. It was glorious. Alas, September hits and it is time for me to be mad productive! And I am actually very excited about it. I like being productive. I like accomplishing things. I like checking off a check list. Seriously, I probably like it all a little too much, and that is what drives me to the bottle in the blazing sun to take 3 weeks off from life because I just couldn't stand to do another project. I've never claimed to be the healthiest person when it comes to balancing a workload and not biting off more than I can chew, but it is all one big learning process and I am learning my limits and when it's best to push on.
So, in spirespire news, I have managed to meet with Andre (my new accompanist and composer for the show!) twice in the last month. Which is pretty good considering I was gone for most of the month. For those who read spirespire only when you are too bored from stalking random people from high school that have gained 20 lbs and have ugly babies, my show has really taken off in a great direction! Andre Catrini has been brought on as the new accompanist. But wait! There's more. After our first meeting, we decided that the songs that I had thought about originally putting in the show made it seem a little amateur and took the audience too far out of the very personal accounts in the script. Andre, being the musical genius that he is, has decided to write new material for the show;material based off of my script. So basically, this has turned into a one-woman musical? With all new music? From one of NYC's greatest new up and coming composers? I WILL TAKE IT! However, all this greatness comes at a price. That price is that my one woman show date has been extended yet again from my tour layoff in November to my tour layoff in January. I think this is the best move for the show. It gives Andre and me time to develop the new songs, and really try to perfect every aspect of the show. We are still going to have a hard time even making the January date a reality because of scheduling. Alas, FORWARD MARCH! (or January). Sorry, really bad joke. I have been around my mom who has "teacher humor" all week and have found myself making really lame jokes for the last week. Like puns... or the aforementioned forward march. I even debated deleting that joke... and I've decided to let it stay. And sit there. And think about the humiliation it has caused.
Anyhow, I am back in NYC as of yesterday and I start tour rehearsals on Monday, adding a whole new meaning to LABOR day. There it is again, bad joke...teacher humor. I am extremely excited and have been running around like mad belting Young Frankenstein material from the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep at night. It should be an awesome experience. Obviously, being in rehearsals for tour complicates my time I can meet with Andre, but I am going to make it all work. I will be wonder woman. Rehearsing for a national tour, writing a one woman musical, and surviving to tell the tale. FORWARD MARCH! (JANUARY)!
To read more from Lexie, click here.
My aug-cation continues. I'm am currently reporting from Rhode Island where I've spent the day on a pontoon boat drinking and swimming. Obviously living the dream.
The good and relevant news is I met with Andre (my pianist) earlier this week and we have plans of meet again Tuesday. There have actually been some exciting developments!
Firstly, Andre will be writing music specifically designed to further the stories from my show. The song choices I had made just made the show seem amateur. In andre and mine's brainstorming phase we decided to make original music. In other words, with Andre's genius musical mind it looks like my spire project is actually turning into an original musical. Pretty awesome.
However, to take the show to this level it looks like I have to postpone my show date to my second layoff sometime late December or early January. Although this is later...I think it is very exciting to take my show to a new level. I can also use the brilliant mind of my director Michael Mott and even look into choreography options because I have more time for development. Basically people, this show is blowing up. Although it is going to take longer to achieve I think the result will be a more professional show with more depth and take it to a new level.
To continue the jealousy of my aug-cation I have attached more pictures!
I've got good news and bad news. Bad news first, I didn't meet my mini goal this week. I haven't quite gotten my script to the point where I am ready for people to mark it all up quite. The good news comes in loads. First news of good news, I did in fact work on my script this week. It is inching closer and closer to pre-perfection before I hate it all over again and revise it yet again. Progress. More good news, all the people I want to read my script can do it from the privacy and comfort of wherever they may be in the world so I can relax and always simply email my script for their viewing pleasure and critiques. Goods news number three, Matt comes into town this weekend! I haven't seen him since I left to be a nun/Elsa in the Sound of Music and he is in town this weekend; and just in time because it is in fact closing weekend. YES! Including today's performance (if you are reading this Saturday)those hills will be alive only 2 more times. It has been a great opportunity but I am ready to lay the Sound of Music down and move on.
I am headed to the beach with Matt and my sister-from-another-mister Shandog Denney (you might remember me talking about her from other posts... a post about me stealing parking cones and frequently peeing my pants in her car and then freebreezing it?). Anyway, we are headed to the beach! AHH I feel like I am breathing in summer for the first time this summer season. It is going to be glorious. All in time before heading back to the city in September for tour rehearsals. I have officially declared August a month of Aug-cation. I am going to the beach, a lake weekend, a quick trip to NYC, a weekend get away to Rhode Island (which for some reason in my head Rhode Island and Maine were the same place for a few weeks), and then ending the month in Birmingham teaching at a Pre college intensive. Should be awesome. I'm hoping I have set aside enough funds to support my carefree attitude of Aug-cation, but alas I will find out the hard way.
This week I was a productive mammal again, I thoroughly cleaned my room in Louisville and packed everything. It took longer than I thought (it always does). I did all my laundry so I could pack properly. I worked on the script (not as much as I was originally hoping but still fit it in). I wrote some cards I needed to, weeded out some old clothes that needed to hit the trash or be given up for adoption, I nasal douched twice, and I had my first eyebrow THREADING experience.
I went to Eyes By India
here in the mall. Eyebrows have never been one of my things. Sure, I try not to look like I have two caterpillars living above my eyes, but I have never been one to tweeze every day or even every week. It is one of those things I find myself occasionally doing if say, I am ready for the show a few minutes early and in the dressing room lights I can see blondish eyebrow hairs creeping their way towards my eyeball. Or one of those things that I allowed to bother my mother so bad that she would take me to get my eyebrows waxed when I was home once every six months. But let me tell you, I have never felt more beautiful than when I walked out of Eyes by India
. Clean eyebrows make such a difference. It's like the feeling after taking a long shower after the gym. The ultimate clean experience. My brows made me feel more like lady. But like everything good, it had it's price. Luckily I don't mean a monetary price this time, it was a mere $11 dollars to have the sexiest brows of my life, but it was 7 minutes of incredibly uncomfortable pain/eye watering while that woman did her witchcraft magic with just sewing machine thread. No joke, just thread. For those of you who have been threaded before, I am sure you arenot as fascinated as I was, but seriously they do this like cats in a cradle thing with the thread in their hand and then just run it quickly past each other slashing those brows from wooly mammoth to glam. It reminded me of how fast I used to be at making friendship bracelets with all types of threads, or even that plastic thread that we called “gimp.” I used to be able to watch TV and just move my fingers like mad without looking down and have 10 friendship bracelets made in one episode rerun of Friends
Bottom line, I have sexy brows to bring in my Aug-cation!
To here more from Lexie, click here.
You know that feeling of accomplishment after doing something you KNOW you should do but really didn't WANT to do? For instance, today (and most days) it was going to the gym. I really wanted to not go and stay in my bed and watch my fat cells duplicate themselves while I rolled in my own morning breath and sweaty sheets watching netflix. (yeah, breathe that image in) BUT I went. OK, NOW do you know the feeling of when you feel like you've really accomplished something then someone comes along and casually brings up something THEY'VE accomplished that day that makes your accomplishment look as productive as rubbing poo on walls? Well, that happened to me today when I was talking to my brother. We were just casually catching up on our summers and I was sitting out on the porch in the sun getting my daily dose of vitamin D and mentally patting myself on the back for a job well done of going to the gym. And then he drops the bomb on me, “Yeah, I have had a pretty decent summer. I've been running more and just working. I am up to running about 75 miles a week.” WAH WHOMP. All of a sudden my mile and a half on the elliptical at the gym seemed the equivalent of walking to the mailbox.
Now, sure my brother is a track star of Birmingham and is apparently almost running the distance from Lexington to Cincinnati in one week because he finds this FUN, (again I will never understand those people who can exercise like that and find it enjoyable) but it really made my hour and a half workout in the air conditioned YMCA look pretty miniscule. I then had a realization. I realized that those people who can achieve extreme greatness is what makes people like me stay motivated and be able to achieve my measly two mile run at the gym. Now, I'm sure we have all learned one way or another that comparing ourselves to others only leaves us in a downwards spiral of self pity. So let me be clear in saying that is not what I am suggesting. Instead the point I am making is that watching other people achieve seemingly impossible goals provides some sort of motivation to me that I too can achieve greatness, maybe just in different areas of my life. Basically, somehow my brother running 75 miles a week in the hot Alabama sun makes me want to be a better performing artist and gives me an extra kick in the sexy pantss that I can achieve my spirespire (jazzhands and whispers) goal. Anyway, I just thought I should share that. Seriously, 75 miles a day. That's the flight distance from San Francisco to Sacramento. There is 5,280 feet in a mile. I am not math wiz but after checking my calculator several times I am pretty sure that is 396,000 feet a week. Wowzers.
If my brother can run 75 miles a week, I can find time to hone in on my own craft and finalize and perfect my one woman show. Luckily, I did find time this week and made great steps in the right direction. Andre and I emailed back and forth this week and finalized some song choices that are going to be in the show. I also was able to brainstorm new song choices and add some unexpected songs that I hope will be humorous as well as just funky fresh. I also spent more time fleshing out my script. I haven't had a chance to meet with the Louisville professor yet because his schedule has been tied up, but I still hope to have him set eyes on my script before I leave. I realize last week I made two mini goals. The first mini goal was to perfect one of the medleys in my show. This week, I realized that would be easier to do that together in a practice room in NYC. Second goal was to set up times in August with Andre. I discovered with our schedules, it is going to be easier to set up times a little closer to my return to NYC. So, those mini goals were addressed but maybe not accomplished. However, I am pretty okay with that. I am basically running into the problem that I am attached to too many of the stories I want to use in my cabaret and therefore it is too long. I decided to go ahead and flesh out every story I am thinking of using and then cut them back later after I see the result of my NEW mini goals for the week:
- Give the script to several funny people I work with/ know in Louisville to get a poll of what stories/songs they would want to hear/ see in a cabaret.
I realize that I did not present a mini version of my show in Louisville like I had originally planned at some point, but sometimes life and scheduling gets in the way. I will still feel like I have accomplished a great deal if I can get my script in other people's hands before I leave.
For those of you who read every week and are interested in things like what I put on my face, I did in fact buy the tortoise-y vintage-y large wizard-y glasses that I wrote about last week. Even with my flirted-with-the-cute-glasses-boy- 30% off discount, they made a significant dent in my bank account. However, they are the perfect blend of sexy nerdy I was going for. Here's a photo for your viewing pleasure. As you can tell, I have also gotten a little instagram-app-happy with my photos lately, hints the artsy mist that and brownish tent to make my photo look extra hip. Happy Saturday! Thanks for reading!
To read more from Lexie about her one-woman-show, click here!
This week I really spent some serious time with my script. I fully fleshed out parts of my show and think it is morphing into a lovely irreverent piece of work. (You see how my vocabulary has improved as I get better at words-with-randoms?) I still have a long way to go if I am going to get this thing fully on it's feet by November, so this week I have mini goals.
- Perfecting the medley in my show.
- Set up a schedule for the month of August with the pianist and also with myself and a few participants to run segments of my show.
I have a meeting scheduled next week with the veteran performer here in Louisville I mentioned last week to take a peek at my script, and then I promptly plan on going forward with the mini reading for input here.
In other news, I have been wanting a new pair of glasses, but waiting for the right ones to call out to me. I have been looking since last summer and I think this week I have finally found them. They are sort of harry potter with a touch of vintage and versace. They are going to cost me a pretty penny, and I have really been wanting to save money up for, oh you know, food for the month of August before I start my job in September. BUT no fears, I was very sensible and put them on hold and have been thinking about them for about three days now. It's one of those situations where suddenly everything I 've put on my body for the last three days “would look perfect with my vintage potter glasses.” However, “potter glasses” might be a little misleading, because they aren't totally old coke bottle round, but rather fatter coke bottle style. Anyway, turns out they are still on my mind three days later so things are looking good that I will probably plan on fully purchasing them soon. Who needs to eat when I can look like a vintage-y fictionalized wizard character?
I have also gotten back into the habit of starting everyday with a cup of green tea; which I really love. Not for the zen aspect of it, but rather it makes me feel like a real adult to have a beverage to rely on every morning. In college I constantly walked around with green tea. Probably a good 4 cups a day. And I drank loose leaf tea in this container that had it's own strainer, so it looked like I was walking around eating collard greens or had some secret really interesting way of drinking marijuana leaves; it was always green tea. Seriously, I cannot even begin to explain how many gangster looking people I had to explain that I did not have the latest mechanism for getting high, but instead it was “really delicious and nutritious green tea with two splenda.
Another exciting thing I did today? Use a fax machine. I seriously do not know the last time I used a fax machine. To be honest, I didn't think that fax machines even existed any longer. Actually, I lied to you a few lines back, the last time I used a fax machine was in sixth grade to send some test review to a friend. I remember sitting at my dad's home office desk with my dad and and him rubbing his head in frustration as the phone continually dialed in this exaggerated loud typical phone dialing sound. It took hours and the fax machine had this weird habit of not taking all the pages. Anyway, that didn't happen today. Today was a rather painless process when I simply sent off a tax form. I just thought you all might want to know that they still exist. AND ironically, something ELSE I did today was deposit my check via my NEW IPHONE. It was fascinating. Sure, taking a picture of my check in a way that my phone accepted it took me balancing like a frog, while holding a lamp at and angle that was just right, and then keeping my hands steady enough for the picture. I usually don't have a problem with shaky hands, except when it is told me that I HAVE to be steady. And that is what my iphone message kept stay. Steady the frame. Well it's like telling me to not think of pink elephants, or how itchy a rash is, or your dad in his birthday suit. YOU JUST CAN'T HELP IT.
To read more from Lexie about her one-woman-show, click here.
I am thrilled to report I had a very happy week full of productivity! Firstly, I have officially sent all of my tour information in and received my tour script. I can't wait to start the pre-rehearsal process of line learning and song perfecting. I also have some news to report about my spirespire project that serving as the glue to keep my project together. For those of you who have been reading, it was looking bleak there for a bit with the change of accompanist, and still no dates set, etc. Never you fear because here are the new changes: I officially have a new pianist. I had mentioned in an earlier post that Carl was going to be my pianist. However, Carl cannot stop working (what a great problem to have!) and our schedules are simply not matching up to get together in time for November. However, he has promised to sing backup if he is NYC for that week. Oh Happy Day. SO...drumroll please...my new accompanist is the oh so talented Andre Catrini. Andre is a friend who went to school with me for musical theatre but also further developed his writing and composing skills at school. At school he wrote music for a new musical I was part of my junior year called “The Case”. The story was about this girl wrongfully convicted of murder...wrong place wrong time type thing. I played a hard ass lawyer and a lesbian. Obviously. Feel free to view the very chess-like trio Andre wrote for the show here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnHH3oHaaaw
. You are also more than welcome to type in Andre Catrini into youtube and see all his work. I am a fan.
Turns out, other people have seen how ridiculously talented Andre is and he is networking and getting known as a new awesome composer in NYC. I love the idea of using Andre, as opposed to a random pianist, because he knows me. He gets my humor, and also as you might remember from previous posts, he is the one writing a song for my show. Andre has a very witty style that I think will lend itself well to my show. So I feel renewed in my efforts and my show and am looking to kick it in to high gear. Now, it all about perfecting the script and then rehearsing the music when I am back in NYC with Andre before starting rehearsals for tour.
For this coming week, I have contacted a genius man here in Louisville to review my script and get his input. He is a veteran performer and I think that he will have a lot of helpful suggestions. Also in the works is finally putting my money where my mouth is and presenting part of my script in a group forum. I am hoping this week to decide a date of when that work session with friends will happen here in Louisville.
It is coming together people!-----------------------------------------------To read more about Lexie and her one-woman show, click here!
So this week I was determined to be proactive and make strives for my one woman show. I put out a few emails working to secure backup for my accompanist situation, which I would say is pretty important...you know actually having someone able to play the show I am writing. The people I've emailed haven't really had a chance to get to respond yet, but that will be secured one way or another soon. I am also revisiting a lot of my song choices and re-thinking them. I guess I am at that stage where I am doubting everything I have done up to this point and trying to figure out what I still think is salvageable. I am not going to throw anything out in case I see it's brilliance again later, but rather brainstorm next to the song ideas that are written in my script and rethink them. So I guess you could say I'm editing and figuring out logistics. As far as the script goes, the most difficult aspect is knowing which stories are the funniest and most relevant to keep. Although I am thinking it is not going to work out to do a preview here in Kentucky yet again because of an accompanist situation, I am thinking there are still ways to test out segments and delivery of certain parts of my script via the patient and lovely friends around me. SO I am thinking of setting an infamous-Lexie-mini-goal of presenting a segment of my script to a lovely group of peers here in the next two weeks. It could help me edit and stop silently stressing over the script by myself since writing a show like this is such a interactive experience with an audience and others.
In other news, I think I was a nun in a past life. A nun who has a scandalous affair with a gardener in which he then exposed our affair and got be kicked out of the convent. Or at least that is what my past life app on my IPHONE told me. Yes, I have joined the world of the iphone users so I too can waste hours of my time, while trying to convince myself that I am somehow doing something that helps the activity of my brain, on a game called ant smasher (which I think needs no explanation) and words with friends. However, in my case it should be called words-with-randoms. Alas, since I jumped on the iphone wagon so late the words with friends craze among my real friends has come and gone like those millions of Ty beanie babies getting ruined by moth balls in my attic because some idiot convinced me and my parents that cloth animals stuffed with beans and a red tag would be worth something someday. SO I am left to play with randoms. Which, I admit has it's perks. Other than the amusement of playing with people I don't know with user names like biggzbuttmamma or buttsjoke (don't worry I have slightly...ONLY slightly... changed their user names to maintain my random friend's privacy), I also don't have to feel complete and utter shame/ humiliation when the only word I can come up with is is MOO or TOM against someone like hoes4u. Which sometimes word like MOO can be 50 points, if placed on the right spots on the board, but it's usually only a measly few points in my case. So let's see what else is new... we've covered that I was a slutty nun in a previous life, and that I am behind the times with just getting my first iphone. Oh another thing the iphone has done has let me rediscover my love for the game Mancala. It's this like African board game where you pick up marbles or in this case “electronic marbles” and move them around the board. Except last night when I downloaded the app and actually read the instructions I discovered that I have been playing Mancala wrong my whole life. Go figure. And you read that right, I spent my Friday night playing electronic Mancala and being genuinely fascinated that I had played it wrong my whole life. This iphone is already turning me into the electronic zombie that old people are afraid that young people are morphing into.
But seriously, my words with friends user name is littleducklex. Apparently, I need friends.---------------------------To hear more from Lexie or challenge her in Words with Friends, click here.
This week was dedicated more to opening the Sound Of Music than it was to my spirespire(jazz hands and whispers). However, I'm not freaking out because I've learned that tech weeks are pretty much a week where I can only dedicate my energy and mental capacity to the theater. So, no great strides were made as far as the one woman show goes.
So what's the plan for this week? Glad you asked, this week I am planning on talking with the composer who is writing a song for my show. I think that deciding the subject matter for the song and figuring out where it is going to fall in the lineup is a great goal for this week. So that is the mini goal for this week. Also, the more I think about it the more I think I am leaning towards simply having a backup pianist instead of writing a whole other show without music. I think with a little more organization, having the binder of music ready to go to walk someone through my show will be much easier than trying to have two different versions of my show.
In other non related news this week for those who are interested in reading the ramblings from my brain...I went to file for a new passport this week. On tour, we are scheduled to stop in Canada. EH? And yesterday was Canada Day. Full circle, people. The obnoxious thing is, I HAVE a passport..somewhere. I did a lot of traveling when I was in high school and have a passport that is valid through 2014 in a dark closet in my house in Alabama. However, my parents decided all the important things in my life I was too likely to lose so they decided to hang on to it. But alas, they lost it...good one parents. So I had to report my passport LOST and then file for a new one. I thought it was going to be this long process, and it actual WAS but it didn't HAVE to be. Let me explain, when I walked into the post office in Louisville a few days ago, I was 10 minutes early for my 11 o'clock appointment. The man behind the counter told me I was “a good ten minutes early so I am going to have to sit and wait.” He proceeded to do nothing but stand behind the counter and try to vaguely look over my head or glance at the clock. I sat and looked at him. I looked at him hard. I think he saw that I was not going to give him the polite benefit of the doubt, as my mother tried so hard to instill in me, and around 10:54 he let me come to the counter while mumbling about how I was “still early but he was nice enough to get an early start with me.” Needless to say, Charles and I didn't start off on the right foot. However, all of that changed in a matter of about 30 seconds when on one of the forms under occupation I had written ACTOR. It was like the previous four minutes of an animalistic standoff in the post office had never happened. Charles began rambling about how he “always wanted to be an actor and almost went to Julliard.” Now, like everyone else, I like to think I'm not a judgmental person, but I must say when Charles told me that he almost went to Julliard I think my eyebrows probably raised a few inches and and one of my eyes probably closed a little more than the other, almost in a questioning are-you-sure-about-that kind of way. But I learned a valuable lesson that day, never judge a book by its cover...nope just kidding...turns out I was right because almost forty minutes later his line of “I almost went to Julliard” became “I COULD have gone to Julliard” and then finally “My grandmother THOUGHT I was good enough to go to Julliard.” Yep. Oh well. Sometimes the cover on the book is exactly what you are getting. Nevertheless, Charles would go to check one of my answers on my passport form and then stop and raise his pen in the air and proceed to tell me about the time in high school where he played a drunk and played it “so convincing everyone was sure he had drank before.” Alas, Charles swore to be that “liquor didn't touch his lips until it was legal at 21.” The only answers or responses I could get in were quick “mmms” or “I hear ya” before Charles would be on to another story from his acting career, spilling it to me like I was playbill.com
doing a story on him. The best part of all of this is that when we finally got to the last page of my form, he recited a speech to me, clearly memorized and told to be as law that basically said sending my passport to an apartment was a bad idea and has been attributed to many cases of identity theft unless there was a safe stoop. Well, believe you me when I tell you there is NO safe stoop in china town, especially in my vintage building. I say vintage because I am working on my positive attitude and “vintage” sounds more quaint than old or dirty or sketchy, but it is all of those things. SO at the end of it all I had to spend another 10 minutes with Charles REDOING the first form to send my passport to my parents house instead of my NYC address. Another 10 minutes gave Charles a chance to tell me about 5 other stories from his acting career in elementary school and how he was sure he had “it.” And as long winded as Charles was, I have to say he provided me with an unforgettable passport experience, and that night of the show when I put on my habit...that's right..I am a NUN in the opening scene of Sound of Music (scary picture attached for your viewing pleasure) I had a smile on my face knowing that no matter how stressed out I get from the financial struggle and overall uncertainty associated with this business, that I am so happy I get to do everyday what I want to do and what Charles wishes he could do. And then I realized I forgot to put on my prop rosary and have to run all the way back to the dressing room before the start of the show, and I roll my eyes and run laughing at myself thinking how I must look as a running nun, and realize that it is my job to dress as a nun, and realize I am doing pretty OK.
------------------------------------To hear more from Lexie on her life and her one woman show, click here.