Sunday, February 28, 2010

Play a let

What is the best thing about two show days?
Is it that Groundhog Day feeling of having done something before? No
Is it getting a two hour break in an 8 hour work day? No.
The best thing about two show days recently has been the four square games.
During the second show the cast plays four square as a warm up. They have technically already warmed up from the first show. It is quite fun and everyone comes down and gets in line for a turn.

OK remember when I said that this game was universal. OK that is not true. They play it a little differently across the pond. Here are some differences.

1) You can't hit the ball down, you have to hit the ball from under or the side. Hitting the ball from above will result in a warning, 3 warnings and you're out.

2) There is only one kind of play. A lot of kids have different games like Popcorn, Four Corners and Cherry Bombs. These don't exist in this game.

3) The person at the front of the line to play is the ref and must make calls on tough plays. Always pay attention in this spot.

Here are some terms from four square you might find helpful
Play a let= do over *Note- The phrase "play a let" is sort of sung like a cheer or chant
Bridesmaid= to hit another player with the ball.

Last week we had a leading lady show down on the four square court and there is always a line to play that snakes down the hall. Yesterday we had an official ref for a while. Very fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

English Lessons

Beginners= Places

As in "This is your beginners call for the show."

Badders= Badminton

"Was that beginners? I couldn't hear it, we were playing badders.

The theater where I work has a four square court taped out in an open area. I have learned that this is not unique to my workplace other theaters have them as well.

I think the best moment was when the cast for this current show saw that four square court. They were so excited. "How did they know that we'd want to play four square." They are apparently known for their mad four square skills.

Last night before the show they invented a new game. Badders Four Square. That is four square played with badminton rackets and a birdie.

It is good to know that four square is universal

Monday, February 15, 2010

So does the curse cross over?

I wrote about Macbeth a couple weeks ago. You know that it was a really good show and people should see it. That is still true.
One of the old theater superstitions is that the play is cursed. It was said that Shakespeare used real witches chants in his play and so then real witches cursed it.
For this reason people don't even like to say the name of the play. Apparently if you say the name of the play you have to step out of your dressing room turn around three times, spit and swear and then knock and ask to be let back into the dressing room. My superstitious actors did that this weekend.

I am not working on the Scottish play but I am next door. This weekend our play had some technical difficulty but the show went on and everyone handled it brilliantly. However as five actors came back for their final change they were a little upset. One of them said "It's cause they're doing that Scottish play next door."

The Scottish play has had its share of adventure this weekend as an understudy went on.

Lord Lennox came to say hi yesterday and to assure me that they would try to use different rats in the stew.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The British are Here

I just finished Day 2 of tech for a show that has come to us from across the pond and I have to admit that I feel like I need to write down all the little "british" things they say.
There are things I've known for a while since I've read books like Harry Potter and worked around other actors from England
Elevator = Lift
Sneakers = trainers
suspenders = braces
headset = cans (I think of this as like old school walkie talkies being cans on a string but I'm probably wrong)

vacation (or time off) = holiday - I am thinking of adopting this term for my 6 week layoff in April. I think it is much better to call it a holiday than a layoff. Layoff sounds so negative. Holiday sounds positive like I'll be doing something awesome like lying on a beach somewhere instead of looking for little temp jobs like I'l really be doing.

lobby = foyer

Actor: Carrie I can't find my hat. I think I might have left it in the foyer when we went out there at the end of the show or maybe it is on stage or something.

I take off to go search for hat. I search on stage, I search in the house. I come back to talk with the actor about if he remembers where the hat is.

Actor: Oh I think I left it in the foyer.

Me: Do you mean the lobby? Or the hub? I don't know where you were.

Actor: We were in the foyer. You know the one with all the leather chairs that over look the dock.

At this time I'm freaking out because I realize the actor is telling me he has left his hat in the lobby and that it is 7:00 pm and even though we are just doing a run through there is really no way this hat is still going to be there because an usher or helpful audience member will have already picked it up by now.
OK so I go to stage door.

Me: Hi did a little black wool hat get turned in here.

Unhelpful stage door lady: ( looks at the list of lost and found things and can't find the page for that day)
Me: (Really trying not to lose it here cause I want to scream at her because why can't she walk five steps to where the actual lost and found is kept and look and see if there is a black hat there. She can't and I do not have time for her so I leave her still looking at the lost and found log for the day)

Hat is later brought up by stage door lady after she tries calling up to us three times. In the end she had to come all the way upstairs with the hat because she couldn't walk five steps to look at the actual lost and found.

But really costumes pieces shouldn't be left in the lobby. Ever. Again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

MacBeth review

One of the perks of my job is the comp tickets. I usually end up giving them to friends but on the rare occasions when I have time off I sometimes try to use them myself.
I got my comp tickets to opening night of MacBeth at The Guthrie a while ago and I wasn't sure I was really up for tragedy on my week off. I mean it is February in Minnesota and the ground has been covered in snow since the beginning of December. That is tragic in itself.
Earlier in the week I turned on the TV and saw a spot on KARE 11 about the show and decided that I could not miss this show. Since I start on another show on Tuesday I figured this week would be my only chance so I called up my friend KT to come see some tragedy.
*I have certain people I call for certain shows. Musicals are best enjoyed with my friend Jim while it seems like KT is the person I call to see Shakespeare.
I can's find the video that made me want to see this but here is a link to the article. | Twin Cities, MN | Guthrie Theater opens MacBeth
I thought this play was amazing. It opens with this battle and people flying in on ropes. MacBeth wins the battle and the witches come and make their prediction that Macbeth will be king.
From the moment Malcom is named Prince of Cumberland by his father Duncan you can see MacBeth's desires and ambition to be king and to see what the witches said come true. I think Lady MacB's ambition is apparent from the first moment we see her reading a letter.
It is only after he has murdered Duncan that he realizes that there was more to the witches predictions than that he would be king. There was also the prediction that Banquo would be father to a long line of kings. Only after he has murdered and has blood on his hands does Macbeth remember this part of the prophesy.
The fight scenes in this show are amazing from the beginning battle scene to the final scene when MacDuff comes back to avenge his family.
One thing I have always loved about Shakespeare's tragedy is that when I am watching them I always feel like tragedy marches on. The events get set in motion and they march on to then end. When just a small act could change them. A letter arriving on time or listening better to a prophesy could have managed to change the course of things but that doesn't happen and so we wait with MacBeth while the forest seems to start marching towards him and MacDuff comes for revenge.
Yep. Do not miss this show.