Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Living the Dream'

How many times have I said, "What a difference a day makes!" Already this morning, so much has happened. I received an amazing letter from a man who saw my play last week, and although I hesitate to post it without his permission, it was one of those letters that makes every step of this journey worth it. When I get permission from him, I will post the letter which is a powerful testament to the influence that theatre can have. There are several things that have happened this morning which I can't talk about yet, until I see how they unfold.

One I can talk about though, is the possibility of doing the show in College Station, (about an hour and a half from here, where Texas A&M resides). My friend, Ann, who did the first production of my play, 'Blue Baby' in Phoenix, lives there, and has been making the connections for me to do the play there. Thanks so much, Ann! There are lots of possibilities in these rural Texas towns, as I am now beginning to see the vision for Southern Utah as well. As the show gets stronger and more compact, it makes more sense to pursue these shows next Spring and Summer. I'm beginning to understand better the nature of touring a show.

I think if anything can be said of doing the show here in Austin, is that the show is becoming more complete and polished. This weekend, I'll begin to 're-tool' some of the slides, and rearrange them. As I question different audiences, the response to the slides is overwhelming. The photo I have of my mother as 'The Salvationist' is as powerful as a photo can be with the material I'm presenting. (Mom, I need more photos of you sent to me, there a couple more places I want to place you, if that's alright. Jpegs, if possible.)

Last night, I had a theatre group in the audience who are doing their play in the FronteraFest. (That's the festival I'm doing in January). It was great to have some theatre 'insiders' in the audience. The majority of theatre artists who come to another show bring such a positive energy to the table, they want your show to succeed, and last night was a perfect example of that theory. Not only did they laugh at the humor in the play, but actually clapped after the songs. When an audience is small, its difficult most of the time for a few people to commit to actually laughing out loud, but theatre artists are fearless in the theatre. As I was sitting back stage waiting to go on, I could hear their voices, and although there was only ten of them, they sounded as if the whole theatre was filled. It was so great having them there! After the show, they stayed and wanted to talk about the show, the festival, and of course, theatre. These are the kind of audiences I need to get in there, as theatre artists who like your show are the very ones who become 'evangelists' for other audience members.

There is still much to do today before the show, so need to get 'back on the road', however, know that I am soaring in my spirit, and happy to be, as David said to me last night in a text, 'living the dream'. Tonight after our show, the promoter of the production company who is presenting 'Sister Hazel' here in Austin, invited us and gave us free tickets to the show, (more on this development later), so we are definitely getting our music lessons and inspiration here.

"Most of the time, the story you want to hear is the one that doesn't make any sense..."

Excerpt from 'Bohemian Cowboy'


Gerry said...

I saw a great production of "Three Sistuhs" yesterday thanks to Joyce Gittoes and David Hemphill, keeping theater alive in Phoenix. This is the best musical I have seen in years here, written and directed by Thomas W. Jones II and performed by 3 good local actress-singers. When the whole package is good, there is nothing better than theater to give you a lift. I am glad people are beginning to report to you their good reactions to your show which is going to make it seem so much more like you should be doing this. I know your show has a lot to offer and you are the performer to lift it to a not to be missed level. Can't help but be excited about that.

Cheryl said...

I really believe this would be a great traveling show especially to rural areas. They have so few opportunities for great theater and we actually made money with two shows in Boulder and I think you would do the same in many small towns. Glad you are finding important directions for this great piece.