bookzombie: (Default)
So the concerts last week went really well - you never quite know whether it's going to come together until you get there! We still had some issues with illness - at least three soloists were suffering from colds. I was supposed to be singing 'Prima Donna' from The Phantom of the Opera, but we ended up cutting it at the last minute as Carol, who was singing the very high woman's part in the song just felt that she wasn't going to be able to do it justice.

I even managed to get all the words in the right order for 'Razzle Dazzle', which was probably my biggest worry! And I didn't screw up 'Stars'...

This has been a tough show for me, with work and health problems, etc, but I had a really good time and I'm so glad I didn't miss it.

But it's straight onto working on the auditions for the next show - which is 'The Sound of Music' in April. We've already had some amusement. We've got a new couple possibly joining the society after the workshop we held a couple of months ago. According to them they've worked both on stage and behind-the-scenes and (I think) said they had worked in the professional theatre. They came to see the concert on Thursday, said they really enjoyed it and then proceeded to, for example, tell me I was really good (which, you know, good to hear!) but then told me that I should do the comic stuff not the serious stuff (which I normally do but I didn't have the heart to tell them) and I should have done one of the songs instead of front of Martin's wife. They then spent an hour telling Anne (probably our best overall singer) what she should do to improve her performance.

So anyway they turned up to the 'The Sound of Music' introduction last night - arriving late and so after the audition process had been explained, so Carol, our director, had to explain it again. To understand what comes next you have to know that we have 'open' auditions - i.e. we audition in front of the society, not just the audition committee, at least in part so everyone can see that fair play has been done - and you have to audition the set pieces from the show (at least one song and some dialogue).

Apparently (I wasn't able to be there last night so this was reported to me by [ profile] pennski) the new couple were absolutely horrified that we did open auditions. Then the woman (Ann or Anne) asked if she could sing something else she knows rather than the set audition piece!

These guys are going to be entertaining! We're a welcoming company and we have no problem with new members auditioning - we've had a new member take the lead in their first show with us on more than one occasion - but we won't put up with someone throwing their weight around as soon as they come through the door. We only last year had that problem with a so-called 'professional' actor who upset everyone with their insistence on always knowing what was best (and he wasn't even any good!) and it won't be allowed again.

Watch this space. It could be fun...!
bookzombie: (Default)
What with one thing and another, being upbeat does not always come easily these days, but here's some good news for a change:

1. [ profile] pennski  passed her ITIL exam yesterday with a stonking 39/40. Many congrats dearest! 
2. Auditions went well last night. Oddly, 'Razzle Dazzle' which is pretty comfortable for me wasn't as good as it could have been - a mixture of nerves and worrying about singing the correct verse! But 'Stars', which I thought was a bit of a gamble, went really, really well (one of the women in the society said that it made the hairs stand up on the back of her head'!)
To cut a long story short, I pretty much got everything I wanted, plus some other bits and pieces. So I've got:
  • Razzle Dazzle (from Chicago)
  • Stars (from Les Miserable) + Javert's part in 'One Day More'
  • Be Our Guest (from Beauty & the Beast)
  • Prima Donna (from Phantom of the Opera) - as a trio with Martin and Carol - this will be a lot of fun!
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (from Spamalot) - a duet with Martin
  • some other odds and ends
After my long run of, at best, semi-successful auditions I can't tell you how chuffed I am by all this!

It's going to be a lot of work though...
bookzombie: (Default)
Some of you may remember that after the last lot of auditions I did I was pretty upset that Paul (my friend and rival!) got the part again - but not because I didn't get it, but because the feedback from the person who made the call was 'They wanted a lyric tenor not a character tenor', which given the last two times I'd lost out to Paul it was for character tenor roles.

Well, last night after rehearsal I was having a chat (for which read rollicking old gossip!) with Carol, our chair who also directed, and thus cast, that show. And eventually I plucked up the courage and told her how I felt about what happened.

Now here's the thing:

That wasn't what happened.
It seems that the person who passed on the message (who wasn't on the audition committee, just was the person who made the telephone calls) had actually made that up. She wasn't told that and it was not the reason I didn't get the part. In fact, Carol told me that they were blown away by my audition and discussed it for several hours before being able to come to a decision.

So the facts are that actually I gave a really good audition and was a serious contender for the part. And I've been intermittently brooding about this for probably eight months on the strength of an unconnected person's guess work.

I can't tell you how happy this made me.
bookzombie: (Default)
Other than my whinging the other day, things are okay at the moment. I took Friday off work and as well as a certain amount of sitting in the garden with a glass of wine and a good book, I cleaned most of the windows, inside and out. I know that may not seem very exciting to anyone else but you have no idea how long it's been since it was last done. I keep looking out of the windows and admiring how clear it all is...

This weekend has been pleasantly quiet - haircut yesterday, takeaway in the evening, some more housework and slobbing in the garden today. I'm making the most of it as things are likely to get busy in the next few weeks. Next weekend we are going to see Propeller (the all-male Shakespeare company we've seen a number of times before) at the Watermill theatre in Newbury. It's either 'A Comedy of Errors' or 'Richard III', can't remember which. And whichever we are not seeing next Saturday we are going to see on Good Friday.

In between I've got auditions. It's a concert of music from mainly fairly modern shows and I'm auditioning 'Razzle Dazzle' from Chicago and 'Stars' from Les Mis. Two very different styles of song!

Then on the Saturday of Easter weekend we are heading up to Newcastle to stay with [ profile] desperance  for a few days, which we are really looking forward to!

As you will gather from this we are not going to Eastercon this year. We've made the last four or five in a row and as we weren't greatly excited by the subject matter or location this year we decided to take a year off.
bookzombie: (Default)

I finally seem to have almost got over my cough - just a bit of a sore throat left. I also had a sore shoulder and upper back for a few days (felt like a trapped nerve) but that seems to be more or less better this morning. All that's left now is the lovely cut above my eye that I gave myself on Saturday by bending down in the bathroom and colliding with the metal key in the door lock. Have I mentioned that I'm a bit clumsy sometimes?!

Alas,[info]pennski is now the unwell one. On Sunday Naamen, a friend from the US (from the WisCon posse) stopped off for a few hours, which was fantastic. But we went out to the local (usually very good) indian restaurant at the bottom of the hill for lunch - they didn't seem to be terribly geared up for people actually coming in - and later in the afternoon p. started to show the unmistakable signs of food poisoning. The poor thing had a very uncomfortable evening and is spending the day today in bed.

Positive stuff: those in the UK around my age may remember a children's fantasy series from the seventies called Sky. Network DVD have now finally released this on DVD so I finally have the chance to watch the whole thing (I'm certain I didn't catch all of them.) At the same time I also picked up King of the Castle (another series of around the same vintage also written by Bob Baker and Dave Martin) and the complete Ghosts of Motley Hall.

There are also less than two weeks until the auditions for Scrooge, so I've got some stuff to learn!

Work has picked up a bit so I've got some stuff to do, hoorah!


Jun. 12th, 2008 10:06 pm
bookzombie: (Phantom)
That's auditions over for another show! I think mine went pretty well, as did [personal profile] pennski's.

I must admit to feeling a bit odd about this one. It's The Pajama Game, I show I wasn't familiar with. The music is quite fun but the show itself is pretty rubbish. All 1950 sexism (patriarchal male lead pats the little woman on the head and single-handedly solves everyone's problems). Still, we've got a director who finds some of the show as problematical as we do, so is intending to send it up more than a little bit.
Anyway, I'll be happy if I get the part I auditioned for (Hines, the factory time study man, a fairly comic, song-and-dance character role, which is the sort of part I like) but I'll be entirely happy to be in the chorus if not.

Other than that the last couple of weeks has been spent working, watching tv and playing computer games (excellent parties aside!).

I've got two games on the go at the moment. I'm playing through Lego Indiana Jones which is fun (basically if you like Lego Star Wars you'll like this - it's pretty much more of the same) and giving the MMORPG Tabula Rasa a go. I'm still in two minds about this one. It's pretty much a 3rd person shooter and has fun stuff going on, but it's not very friendly to new players. Most missions so far seem to be non-instanced 'kill and fetch' types and it has a rather cluttered interface, is sometimes unclear about relative difficult of creatures and thus far seems to have absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever. I'm enjoying it enough to be going on with it, but I don't think it's going to be something that I'm going to come back to often.
bookzombie: (Default)
We've got the auditions for the concert tonight. For this we are asked to audition no more than two songs from the concert and then write down what other songs we would like to be considered for.

[ profile] pennski is giving auditioning a miss this time, but I'm having a go.

So I'm going for 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' and, with Louise, 'I've got you Babe'.

And I've never been less prepared for an audition in my life! But I'm strangely unstressed about it. Well the first song I know well anyway and the second I only got the music a couple of days ago so I'm not going to be singing it without the words. And I've been half asleep all day so I'm not awake enough to be worried...

So we'll see how it goes; given the paucity of men I'm bound to get something.
bookzombie: (Phantom)
I was able to take the opportunity last night to get some feedback from Neil (Musical Director) and Chris (Director) about my audition.

Neil was quite cautious - having been burned before he was only willing to talk about the musical aspects. For Higgins, he was quite happy that I could put the singing across, especially after the stuff I did for the concert. For Freddy, he had a bit more to say. Basically I'm not a lyric tenor. I can reach the notes and I'm in tune, but I can't really do that sort of song (On the Streets Where You Live in this case) justice. I don't really have any problem with that - it matches my own feelings about my voice.

I had a very interesting conversation with Chris. Basically it was a very, very close choice between me and Paul for Higgins. On another day it could have been the other way round. It wasn't really something he could pin down that made the difference; Paul had perhaps a little more of a twinkle in the eye, a little more relaxed at the shoulders (I know that I really don't spend enough time on the movement for acting auditions - so a lesson learned there).

What was interesting was that one of the reasons that they decided to ask me to be Pickering, rather than doing some of the smaller bits and pieces, is that they think I am a good actor and could really do the role justice and it would be a waste to just have me in singing roles.

Frankly this is a bit of a revelation to me; I've always thought of myself as a mediocre actor at best, but obviously I perform better than I think!

It was also a great relief to know that it was not a political decision, as I had been given to believe.

I've auditioned for a number of 'lead' roles over the years and always seem to have been second place. It was nice to be reassured by Chris that it isn't a waste of my time to keep auditioning for those parts (though I really need to play to my strengths and go for the character parts - Nathan Detroit rather than Sky Masterson, if you see what I mean). Sometime you wonder whether people are just being nice when they tell you it was close. Auditions take a lot out of me and if I really didn't have a chance I would like to know so that I don't waste my energy.
bookzombie: (Default)
We got the results of the concert auditions last night. I got the two songs I auditioned ('Mr Cellophane' from Chicago and '42nd Street' from, well you guess). I've also got bits in 'Tom, Dick or Harry' and 'Too Darned Hot' (both from Kiss Me Kate). So I'm fairly happy.

[ profile] pennski didn't get what she specifically auditioned for, but has got a couple of bits and pieces plus some dance. She's a little disappointed, but not heartbroken.

What is a little annoying is that 'Stormy Weather' has gone to Linda, probably our only real top soprano. Our friend Nicki auditioned, who has a nice alto voice which we think is better suited, but sometimes it isn't what you know...

Still, overall fairly happy. Onwards!
bookzombie: (Default)
Yes, we have returned from the other side of the pond.

WisCon was great - lots of interesting panels, caught up with old friends (and, naturally managed to miss others, sorry folks!), made some new friends, ate too much, slept too little. The usual! More (maybe) when my brain is working again...

We also enjoyed a couple of days in Chicago, which left us with some places we missed this time but will definitely want to return to.

Still unpacking...
bookzombie: (Default)
Right, that's us done for now. Auditions are out of the way (and went fairly well I think), everything is packed that can be, [ profile] pennski is just doing the washing up from tea and then we are going to bed for our 5am start (ouch!).

If any WisCon attendees are going to be there tomorrow we should be getting there late afternoon and may be wandering about at some point in the evening. No promises though - last time we got something to eat from room service, crashed out and woke up the following morning!

I'll check email before we go tomorrow, but other than that we will probably be off line until we get back on 3rd June.

So, WisCon guys - see you soon, everone else - have fun and speak to you when we get back!
bookzombie: (Default)
I know you shouldn't wish your time away, but I will be so glad when we are finally on holiday. I've been in work today and also will be tomorrow and my heart really isn't in it - yes I've been a bit grumpy today!

We've also got our concert auditions tomorrow, which I could really do without, especially as we have to be up at 5am the next morning! I'm auditioning 'Mr Cellophane' from Chicago and '42nd Street' from, well, 42nd Street(!), both of which are fairly comfortable for me. But I never enjoy auditions.

But just a few more things to pack and we are ready to roll!
bookzombie: (Default)
Well, neither of us got the big parts we were going for.

I got one of the half-dozen cowboys that are the secondary cast. It's not at all a bad part - I get a couple of trios (Bidin' my Time and The Real American Folk Song is a Rag) and part of a couple of other really good chorus song-and-dance numbers (I Got Rhythm and Slap that Bass, which is likely to be the highlight of the show). Also, as we don't have enough men, some of the lines belonging to other minor characters might be re-distributed in my direction!

I'm less disappointed than I might have been: in some ways the decision niggles, but on the other hand if I had got the lead, it would have been the only thing (outside of work) that I could have done for the next five-six months.

[ profile] pennski has got a slightly unusual part - there are a brother and sister who turn up at one point, so they are re-casting it as two sisters, with [ profile] pennski being one of the sisters. What is rather nice is that the new musical director, Viv, suggested doing this - particularly as they wanted a singer for the part. This is a real boost to [ profile] pennski confidence after the knock she got from the previous musical director!

So overall I think we are both reasonably happy. We can get on with setting the show now, which is going to be fun!
bookzombie: (Default)
Well, the auditions are done. I drew the short straw so my audition for the lead was the first thing that happened!

I did okay. The singing was fine and the tap audition went well. The acting, as always, was not as good as it could be (I need directing - the thing you don't get at auditions). But all-in-all I didnt' disgrace myself.

[ profile] pennski assures me that while Joe might just have the edge, there were parts of my audition that were better than his, so it's fairly even.

[ profile] pennski's audition I thought went well also - the other person who auditioned for her part was good as well, but with a different approach. I don't envy the casting committee!

We will hear the results either tonight or, at the latest, tomorrow night. So we're trying to find enough to occupy our minds that we aren't worrying at it all the time.

More news to follow!
bookzombie: (kyocat)
Only 5 days until the auditions for Crazy for You. Last week I decided I would, after all, audition for Bobby, the lead (big singing, dancing and acting part!), mainly for the audition practice and also because I feel that no-one should audition for a major role without opposition. Joe (who also happens to be the director - not through his choice - and a good friend) is also auditioning, and is likely to get the part.

But ... as I practice this week I'm starting to get that nagging feeling that I might actually be in with a chance. When I didn't think I had any hope I wasn't feeling particularly nervous. Now I've convinced myself otherwise I'm starting to get just a little jittery!

Honestly, I'll be glad to get the auditions over with now. You can then have your couple of days of hating the person who got the role you really wanted and can start getting on with things!


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