I'm one day out from finishing my run in Warrior Queen for Imagine Theatre at the Colony in Burbank CA, where I have been summarily booed, cursed, hissed and cheered...by kids aged five to twelve. What a glorious experience.
As a professional (I feel I must include that since it is a YA (young adult) show), the reaction we've received has bordered on hysteria. Not crazy hysteria. Spectacular hysteria. You know, the skydiving, bungee jumping, sleep deprived hysteria that turns everyday doldrums into raging adrenaline feasts. Standing on stage looking out at those one thousand twenty four eyes (one kid was asleep), enraptured by the odyssey of a young peasant woman rising to savior of her kingdom is a thing to behold.
Naturally, I play the villain. It's what bald guys do. But, hey, I'm not complaining. Villains are the engine that drive morality adventures. So, I guess you could say, I'm a driving force. Well, not me. My character. I always get those two confused.
As with most YA shows, we have a mess of questions springing from the script. What I didn't realize was how seriously the audience takes their responsibility. So loud were they we actually missed sound cues. Sidebar - every actor knows to wait for the laugh to die down before moving to the next line. It's a timing thing. I kid you not, we had to shout over them after thirty seconds or the show would never have continued! Now, that's entertainment.
Audience participation is a big deal with kids. Especially the first timers. A third of our audience had never been to a play before. The hope is those first timers won't be last timers. It's an investment in our communal future. Acting is fun but acting for an audience is funner.
I'm looking forward to our next and final performance tomorrow night. The show is now so ingrained the next step is almost instinct. Where to go, what to say, who to throw off the bridge...kidding. There is no bridge. In every show there comes a point where the cast is in synchrony. That's when it gets really fun. I think it usually happens around the fourth or fifth performance. Unfortunately for Warrior Queen, we only have fifteen. Ah, well. That's a good ten synchronous performances. Unless you count the one where my cape wouldn't stay on. Or the one where the computer crashed and light cues went begging. Or, the one...well, you get the point. Live theater is an adventure.
Our ragtag consortium will go their separate ways after the after party, and that's a good thing too. Everyone, even actors, are on their own journeys. Yeah, yeah. Cliche. But, true. I'm just glad I got to spend some time with this group doing a really cool thing that, hopefully, inspired a kid or two. Who knows. We may work together in future. We may work with the inspired kid or two. Shoot. We may work FOR the inspired kid or two. And, isn't that just grand?
If you're in the neighborhood and can make it to the Colony Theater on 3rd and Cypress in Burbank, come see the show. Say hello after. I'd love to see you.
In other news, I've had a slew of auditions for film and television lately. One, for a network show, went especially well. It's ironic that being asked for more information by the casting director is going "especially well," but there you have it. I felt good for a day and, maybe, that's a win all by itself.
I still have three features and one television pilot in front of producers and that's good for another feel good day. No word yet. But, here's hoping. I'll let you know.
Until we read again, have ridiculous fun. Blessings.