Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'Taking It to the Next Level With My Baby'

After talking and talking about it, I finally went to Richfield and picked up the materials for the touring set. Its time to start blogging about the next 'stage' of the play. Along with the materials for the set, I picked up materials to build a fenced in little yard for the new addition to my family of one--'Baby', my new pup. Who knows, if I stay with this show long enough, I may train her to be on stage with me. Although DB probably knows the old adage, never follow 'dogs and children'. Although everyone is cautioning me about the work a dog is, I've been traveling alone for to long. I went up one day to the Nelson's-- about three weeks ago because I heard there were some new 'cow dogs' that had been born, (The mother is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, the father a Red Australian Shepherd, both dogs from working cattle ranches here), I fell in love with the black and white one, and mulled over the idea of having a dog for days. Since the dogs were fifty bucks to purchase, I decided a few days later that if I made fifty bucks in tips that night, (I'm playing music at The Hell's Backbone Grill), I would have to get, 'Baby'. I made fifty one, see, she already has a story. I'll train her as a show dog, she'll have to dream about cows, but from spending a little time with her, I know she has show business in her blood as well. Oh, one last thing about 'Baby'. A long time Patrick Swayze fan, and a fan of the cheesy movie, 'Dirty Dancing', I named her after the Jennifer Gray character from the movie.  The famous line from the movie is, "Nobody puts 'Baby' in a corner..." So there you have the pup story. I'll let you know how it goes! 

I have two shows scheduled to do here in Boulder where the show originated. Part of the agreement of the grant was to bring the show 'full circle', so that the folks who came to the first reading can see the end result. I'm excited about doing it here in this spectacular country, even though it was well received in LA, I'm thrilled to do it here for the 'home crowd'. I've also been writing query letters to theatres and spaces around the state for other opportunities to tour it here this summer. I've really been 'tweaking' the script, and re-tooling parts of the show that I can remember being awkward or unclear. A live theatre piece like this one is really never finished. There is always something that can be done differently or more effectively. I have to say, that getting a script to this point is really where it 'gets fun' to re-work. The work is never tedious here, but joyful, its where the 'poetry' gets refined. In a play as with a great poem, every line must work, every line must either modify an idea, or move the story forward. Its great fun to get a piece to this point! 

People have asked me if I'll have to re-memorize the work after the long time off. The answer is no, and yes. Obviously, the new work will have to be memorized, but most of it is in context, so not to difficult. There is, however, one section that had to be 'overhauled' as to make it a little more 'family oriented'. What I'll do in this case is assess the audience I'm working for and have both sections memorized to use as I see fit. As for the "no" part of the memorization, I run a third of the play in my head each night, so I run the entire show once every three days. I also keep a notebook by my bed, because I often re-write during this part of the memory work. Usually, its just a word that I change, or sometimes, I'll cut little things that make it move faster, lightning, lightning, lightning. 

Lastly, I want to thank readers who have been patient with me, while I've taken some time out from being consumed by the play. I feel revived, and realized after returning from Los Angeles how really tired I became. I also thought I was in pretty good shape, but as I got towards the end of the run, I began to understand that I can't be in just 'pretty good' shape, but I have to get myself in top shape to take the show to another level. Since I've returned, I've been consistently walking four miles a day, with hikes and weight work-outs in between. I should be ready by June 20th. I've also changed my diet quite a bit, but if you are in the country as I am now, that isn't too difficult. So, on to the next level. Thank you DB for naming me as one of your favorite blogs, I'm sorry I've been so out of contact, just resting, but now, I'm ready to go....


FrankandMary said...

I've a fan of your mother's outspoken-ness, even though she & I don't always agree, she never gets the 10 thousand mile blank stare(or in-print version), she is willing to listen(or read) & grow. Some people her age have stopped listening to anything but what they utter themselves. I think some of her rubbed off on you, & I do mean that in a good way.

You have a lot going on & it all takes time, incremental changes hopefully marking positive progression.

I am glad you can look at it as "gets fun." ;-)~Mary

Gerry said...

I knew you would miss blogging eventually and get back to us. I love hearing about preparation to perform. Love hearing about everything that is going on in the most beautiful hometown on earth. I think that dog sounds like she is going to be a winner. So she is going to be interesting to hear about, too. Country to me also means living with the animals. By the way do you hear coyotes howling at night over by the Sugarloaf? Mom

Ann said...

Drew and I went to the park and there were three people and fourteen dogs, one a beautiful Afgan. They were on their way to do a show in Salt Lake and were having a 'potty' break. Drew was fascinated with all those yapping dogs. Then I hear you have a new show dog. Might be a smart one with that mixed breed. I'm glad you will be in Boulder for puppy training!

DB said...

It was my grandmother, a song and dance trooper from the early 20th who told me "never follow a dog act" and I had to go on with a dog once, on a TV show. to avoid followint him.

Baby sounds like she could be a good show dog. Once they get it into their system, animals can be quite entertaining. I worked with a dog that could never make it to Broadway. On the other hand, I worked with a chicken that could.

Going through the play in your head every day means that you love it, and that's the best ingrediant for good theatre. You have my continued interest.