Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Last night's showcase went phenomenally well.

Hectic and down to the wire, we of the Bohemian Theater Troupe got into the space (Beerland in Austin) for the first time at 5 p.m. -- for a 7 p.m. showcase.

Given seven scenes and three monologues, each of us only had time to run through the most problematic parts of our blocking quickly, as lights were being struck, microphones placed, and furniture and props positioned.

We also had the incomparable CK McFarland guest sitting in as we went through our craziness, and giving us last-minute blocking and set suggestions before she ducked out to teach her own class.

For my scene partner (Risa Schroder) and me, this was particularly tough, as we had added the Tango to our Angels in America scene (the shared dream sequence between Prior and Harper), and our space kept shrinking as furniture obstacles were added. Even after we'd "figured out" our blocking (and never having the chance to work through our full scene), we were told the couch for two scenes was going to stay onstage, and be moved to extreme upstage between those scenes. That meant we had to change our dancing from downstage to upstage (front to back) to stage left to stage right (side to side). And we were told we had to avoid going too far to stage right, as a permanently mounted ceiling speaker was creating a blind spot for the lights.

And we didn't get to try any of this blocking with the new directions.

Further cutting into our available time was me -- as the one guy with the truck -- picking up curtain stanchions, computer carts, couches, and so on.

Oh, and I had like 45 minutes of makeup to get into drag. And I had to get into costume, and we were second up (after a fantastic monologue from Levan Owens).

Our coach / The Bohemian Producer Steve Prince framed it pretty well for the audience at the outset, though.

He basically said the showcase was us putting scenes on under "extreme duress". Our doing the scenes for the audience was the first time we were doing the scenes. There was no tech rehearsal, there was no full-on walkthrough. If we can do this, in theory we can blow up auditions.

The goal is for us to just go up there and make things happen.

I feel really good about how our scene went.

First, I looked and felt fabulous. Lynn Burnor did an amazing job on my makeup, and I'm so grateful she shared her mad makeup skilz to drag queen me up -- which cut into her prep time (which didn't show at all in her and John O'Connel's scene -- funniest thing of the night).

I looked fabulous, with industry friend Tonya lending me a cute blue kimono, and me spending yesterday shopping for matching sexy women's underwear and frumpy house slippers.

And because the lead-up to actual performance was so crazy, we were incredibly free to do whatever. There was no "getting it right" in this context; we were there to make something happen.

No, it wasn't perfect. There a few "acty moments" as we tried to balance moving the scene forward with unexpected projection needed when the sound system came up a little short. But Risa (she is amazing) and I did a great job.

While Risa and I had memorized our lines (flat) separately, since we both knew what was happening in the scene, we agreed not to get tripped up if we missed or jumped lines.

That said, I don't think we missed a single line or exchange. And I wasn't thinking about acting; I was just amused by this conservative Mormon invading my gay dream, and then finding out I actually liked her and wanted her there.

And Jeff Carley generously stepped in at the nth hour to by our "angel", and fully bought into his role. Good guy, that.

The payoff?

People were incredibly generous and complimentary (and several gentlemen offered to buy me drinks).

But my favorite was a particular casting director shocked and amazed that I would do what I did, and pull it off. She wants me to be daring, and now there's a whole bunch of room between what I "normally" do and what I did last night. Bring on da work!

Man, I'm jazzed.

Then it was off to Fadó to hang out and enjoy time with fellow cast members and friends who came to watch the show. Great times.

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