Man, I gotta tell ya...being an understudy is a little weird. And, yes...I did make that drawing of a deer with a Christmas sweater and lights on his horns.
A Hunting Shack Christmas is now open, and the baby due date is getting closer. That means I could go on any day. For the past two weeks, I have been watching this incredible ensemble of actors put this show together. As they have been working away, I have been sitting there, watching the incredibly talented and funny Jason Ballweber create Ham, the roll I will fill in for, muttering his lines under my breath, and imagining myself walking his blocking. Every time I entered the theatre for rehearsal, I knew the part that much more.
Today, I had a chance to somewhat earn my stripes. We had our first and only understudy rehearsal where I got to run through all of Ham's scenes in the play with the rest of the cast. Jason sat in the house, giving me helpful tips along the way. I made it through with the support of the company. They were all very complementary of my preparedness and my commitment to the part.
The oddest thing about being an understudy is not the fact that I am just filling in for someone, but rather that I am to attempt to recreate Jason's performance when he is not there. Now, obviously we have some differences inherent in the fact that we are two different people. However, an understudy has to attempt to give the audience the same experience as if the other performer were on stage. Someone who saw tonight's show and also saw the night I went on would know that there were two different actors giving two different performances for the same roll. So, I have been looking for the details of his performance. Here's hoping that I will be able to make that happen.
So, I will be updating as we get closer to possible performance of that. Also, another show has landed into my lap...but that's for another time.
Greetings everyone, and welcome to November! Yes, it's been November for about a week, but still.
As the snow is about to arrive here in Minnesota (just about 12 hours from our first snow storm of the season), the holiday shows are beginning to roll out as well. The tried and true classics are going to be out there as usual. The Guthrie presents A Christmas Carol, now in its 40th year, Children's Theatre Company presents Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the Ordway brings to life the classic film A Christmas Story, The Musical.
In addition to the classics, new works are being rolled out as well including the production that I am currently working on. Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo, MN is debuting an original new Christmas comedy, A Hunting Shack Christmas. I won't give away too much about the show, but I will say that it talks about reconnecting with your family and how "getting away from it all" might be all it takes to re-connect. This is one of the first-times I was referring in the title: the first time that anyone has seen this work.
Another first is for Yellow Tree Theatre itself. This intimate theatre was founded in 2008 by husband and wife team Jessica Lind and Jason Peterson, also the writer and director respectively of Hunting Shack. Now in their seventh season, this intimate thrust theatre in Osseo is also experiencing a first, they have just recently become an Actors Equity house. It is an exciting opportunity for them not only to continue to produce high quality, intimate theatre, but now the talent pool has grown for them as well. I am personally excited to see how this theatre company continues to grow in the future.
The final first is one for me. If you look on the Yellow Tree website you will see a photo of the five person cast you won't see me there. Truth be told, I am not exactly a member of the cast. This is the first time I am strictly an understudy for a production. One of my colleagues and his wife are expecting their first child together (another first)! As any good father would do, he will be assuming his fatherly duties during the birth of the child. With the unexpected nature of childbirth, I have been brought on to be his understudy. When baby arrives, I will step in and assume the role for a few performances.
Although I will only be on for a few performances, I would encourage you to attend this production. Not only will you be supporting a great theatre, but you will be among the first people to experience this heartwarming new comedy.
Tickets and information can be found at www.yellowtreetheatre.com/.
Here you will find my most recent updates, thoughts, and what else is going on in my life.