Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dark King Kills Unicorn-

Well, here is my first blog post about our little show Dark King Kills Unicorn by Reina Hardy. Unfortunately it has taken me this long to be able to get around to getting many of the ideas that I have had over the course of our rehearsal process. We are nearing the final stretch and thing have started to come together to some degree. I think that for this first post, an summary of the play itself.

Dark King Kills Unicorn is part of our Spring One Act Festival. The play itself is a comedy about the confrontation of a dark king named Draegerman and a Unicorn simply named Unicorn. Set in an unknown fantasy world, the two characters talk about what started the current war between countries and love. As tensions between the two escalate, the truth about what started the war and their past comes out and the two come to blows with one another. The Draegerman standing triumphant over the body of the Unicorn is joined by another Unicorn simply known as Other Unicorn, this one being female. The two exchange words over the body of the fallen Unicorn, until the female Unicorn flees, fearing for her life. Regretting his blood rage that resulted in the Unicorns death, he spends his final moments of the play, lamenting a life he could have had.

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Hardy Boys

Just a little bit about my Hardy boys. Joel Schmidt and Gabe Nielsen are two best friends, they both went to high school together, and were in multiple shows together. They have an amazing chemistry that was exactly what I was looking for with the Hardy Boys. Joel is a funny, kind, freshman enrolled at LBCC, him and I have been friends for almost a year now, starting with his proposal, which I promptly declined. Gabe has a lovely old soul, he is a hard worker who wants to see the show be a hit! Both are energetic and have a great grasp of physical comedy. Honestly they have been an absolute dream to work with! Some of my favorite notes that I have ever given them are:

"Joel, if you say, 'no it hurts'... then act like it hurts!"
"Gabe, are you a Hunchback? No? then stop being one. Also, are you a t-rex? THEN STOP"
"Joel, where are you looking, the audience is over here."
"Gabe, grab your crotch."
"Joel, you're Frank... Not Joe."
"Good job going down on yourself"
Disclaimer: This is from one of my first meetings, finally able to post them!

I have erased my first sentence now a solid 15 times. I am sitting at my desk in my room, trying to decide what to write on this Blog.... Now I am eating an apple. Beginnings are always hard for me, the commitment level required to start something and see it through, either gets me excited or causes me a small amount of nausea.

Commitments that make me queasy: running, of any type. Eating a grapefruit, I generally avoid that. Cleaning my room, I get stressed out with the stuff vs. space ratio and how I always have more stuff than space. Buying jeans, I can never find the right fit, always struggling with the gap in the back!

However there are commitments that get me excited! I love swimming, losing yourself in the water and completing a good set is one of the finer things in life. Writing a good story or journal entry. Shopping, for anything really, organizing my grocery lists is a low key passion of mine. Reading my Bible and talking about God. And finally directing, acting and impacting peoples lives through performance art!

Signing up for the commitment of directing a show for the 2016 One Act Festival at OSU got me excited out of my mind! This year I am directing, The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of where Babies Come from, by Christopher Durang. The Hardy boys are two 20 year old men who have never been educated about sex, babies, or how any of it happens, and how their ignorance is a detriment to them. Durang, takes a hard topic, like the lacking sex education programs in America, and puts them in a campy over exaggerated setting, causing us to laugh uproariously, and hopefully, think.

Casting. My cast is top notch. J and G who play the Hardy Boys are friends from high school and have an amazing chemistry and are so willing to take risks and go above and beyond during rehearsal. R is a beautiful lovely soul and asking her to play a cougar type character is a very funny juxtaposition. Finally J#2 is playing Mr. Hardy, J#2 is the kind of actor all directors dream of, someone willing to work until it is right.

Scheduling is HARD. Trying to fit four different people onto one rehearsal schedule is challenging and frustrating, however I now have a beautiful calendar that I slaved over and I'm severely proud of it.

Finally scene working. I had my first rehearsal the other night, J and G were awesome, G came with most of his lines memorized already, and J had some amazing ideas that I hadn't thought of that added another dynamic to the story. Chatting with them, throwing around ideas during rehearsal, laughing, and working hard, is something that I want to strive for every rehearsal.
My rules so far:
1. Be over the top! I'll tell you if you go to far.
2. Speak your mind, I love new ideas, and am not afraid to say no if I don't like it.
3. Don't be afraid to "get physical" in the movement sense.
4. J stop walking so much, plant your feet, quite "Posing for the camera."
5. G, plant your feet, stop slouching and get rid of your T-rex arms!

Overall it was a wonderful first rehearsal and for HW I made them watch Africa Screams with Abbott and Costello for inspiration on their on stage relationship.

I am glad I got through this first blog entry. *pat myself on back* *cookie for reward* *Maybe pop popcorn*

Knockers- Meet the Cast & Crew

Note: Some of the "Knockers" journal entries are not posted when these events actually happened. I've had some technical issues and haven't been able to post until now but I've been keeping notes in a separate document. Now I am able to transpose them here.

Though we take our show seriously, we don't entirely take ourselves all that seriously. To show you just a few of the reasons (with more to follow) why we are such a lively, unorthodox bunch, they would like to introduce themselves. I hope you fall in love with their charm just as I did. 

Anahelena Goodman-Flood- portraying Esther

First Year, Recreation Resource Management. 

Reason for doing the show: I dig theater, and One Acts are a really accessible opportunity for people like myself who have not been involved in other productions. 

Fun Fact: Anahelena has no rhythm.

Elena Ramirez- portraying Alma

Sophomore, Ethnic Studies w/ minor in Anthropology 
Reason for doing this show: Because PJ sent me a facebook invite for the auditions and I made the cut haha. 

Interesting/Quirky Fact: I can lick my elbowwwwww

Steven Evans-Renteria- portraying Thomas

19, Hermiston OR, I can play 14 instruments and have an almost three and a quarter octave range. Doing the show because I needed to work on my acting chops, Music Major.

Jesse Johnson- portraying Drew

Jesse Johnon is an OSU Sophomore majoring in Math and Physics. He was in OSU's production of Rosecrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, his first time acting in several years. He also enjoys DnD, and movies.

Costume Designers

Emily Upton

Emily is a full-time student at Oregon State University working towards a major in Apparel Design and a minor in Theatre Arts. She was homeschooled her entire life all the way up until college. She has worked in costuming for four years and is currently the Costume Shop Assistant at OSU. She has over 13 years dance training in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, and tap, and is an avid pursuer of her hobby of cosplay, where she creates her own costumes and props and attends conventions around the Northwest, showcasing her work and hosting panels.

Ruth Drake

I've been studying apparel design here at OSU for two years now, but since i transferred in I have enough credits to be a senior. I'm costuming this show due to my love of costuming and the past experiences I have had as a costume designer in last years one act "The Answer" and this years student run production of "Desdemona" have been amazing. I'm hoping after I eventually graduate to continue learning about costume design in an MFA and hopefully PHD program and eventually get a job in theatres or even in film as a costume designer.

 Directors note: Having seen their work, Emily and Ruth are not only great costumers and designers, but they are great makeup artists as well. Seen above is some prosthetic work of Ruth's and is not actual scarring.

Accents - Funeral Tea

As I mentioned in my first post, part of my development of this world would come from accents. Although the playwright suggests a British or Cockney, I wanted to make a deliberate choice by using them. I wanted these women to sound like they were from the lower class and longing for attention.One can see that they are of such status because they comment on their outfits saying that they bought them especially for the occasion. To me, this illustrates that this is not only a special occasion but that it is something that they are not used to. Due to this, the funeral causes them to be spoiled because, as the niece of the deceased, Miss Starkie, puts it, "All provided for... all provided for in Uncle Jacob's will" I believe that part of the subtle humor of the piece is that they look prim and proper but their speech suggests otherwise.

Not being British myself, I had to not only learn how to speak in a Cockney accent but also teach it to my five girls and have them perform it in about a six week time span. As if this wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided to set a personal goal: to speak every line in the play in their accent. I figured that in order to teach it, I mus challenge myself but I also must know it well enough to correct them. It took me about a week of youtube searches, how-to guides, articles, to boil down a digestible and obtainable version for my cast. I chose to devote one of our rehearsals to go through the accent, having them take notes and repeat after me. Since I am considering going into education, I have found this experience enlightening in itself.
Over the past couple weeks, I have continued to study. The best tool that I have been given was by a cast mate of mine over the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead performances has been a disc course of how to speak use a Cockney accent. With performances so close ahead, we have reached the point where I have picked on each cast member with words, phrases, or even the musicality of their speech. The next task that we have ahead of us is to make all of our accents sound like an ensemble rather than individualized by really listening to each other. After all, so much of acting is made up of the moments when one is listening.

Until next time,

Sedona Garcia

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We open in one week!

Hello everyone,
our one-act festival open one week from tomorrow! I can't believe how fast this time has flown by. This week running through all six shows has been so fun! It's been great to see what all of the directors have been working on and to see all of the shows in full. This festival is hilarious, I can't wait to have an audience. My cast has been working hard to make this show their own. Now I have been giving very detailed notes, which is a good sign. I'm getting picky to be able to make our show as best as it can be. Audiences are going to love this festival and I'm so proud of my actors and fellow directors on all of the hard work they've done this term!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hey everyone, we start company run throughs this week! I am extremely excited to be able to see all of the one act plays we have prepared in action. Rehearsals for my show, Cake Top Follies has been going well! We had our first rehearsal with my actors eating REAL CAKE on Friday. It was super fun and messy, which is exactly what I wanted. It's a hot mess, literally. We still have work to do cleaning up certain beats and the physical comedy between the two sisters, but I'm excited to start putting it all together. It's been great to work with my actors and I'm excited to see the show take off without me. This week will really solidify their blocking choices and things they have been experimenting. I'm excited to showcase the final project in less than two weeks! Time has really flown by, and I'm very proud at how far my actors have come through the process.