Posted by: Rodney Robbins (December 9, 2009)
Since the audio CD for my new musical is just about done, I'm starting to think more and more about publicity. You? Here are some headline ideas I might use--you are welcome to steal them and adapt them to YOUR new play.
The Five Things I Learned Writing my New Musical (These could be any of a dozen things I've learned. What did YOU learn doing your last show?)
It Ain't Porn Till the Audience Says It's Porn (My warm hearted show is about a porn star and people love to talk, and argue, about sex.)
Local Author Writes "Big" Musical (The title of my show is "Big Feet, Big Love." Can you play off the title of your new musical?)
How to Get Things Done--Even When You Feel Like Crap (I live with 3 chronic illnesses. What hardships have you pushed through?)
How to Write a Musical Without Lifting a Finger (I found a breakthrough secret for "writing" the music for my show. You know secrets too!)
Singing Playwright Offers Master Class (I probably won't do this one, but lots of you could offer an interesting theater themed class, seminar or weekend retreat.)
All the World is a Stage--and Every Job Applicant is an Actor (I'm dying to pitch a how-to combining theater skills with the bad economy. What angle could YOU use?)
Posted by: Ebeth Engquist (December 8, 2009)
I'm gonna blog my way through the rest of Junior year....
Steel Magnolias is crushing down on us and we're still w/o scripts...that is a major fail on the school's fault. There is no way we can get started without them, and it seems like the show date are rushing towards me. I hope my actors have the wherewithall to get the job done ( i have faith in them) and I'm so happy to have to production team I do on my side. Will (as long as he doesn't get sick of me) should be amazing to work with, and the Katie/Caty team is super!!
PRODUCERS. AHHHHHH. Okay, so I'm excited for the big musical, especially since they're teaching the dance ensemble how to dance if they don;t already. That means I have a hope! I still worry that they will find enough established dancers at the audtions to usurp us newbies to the dance field, but we shall see...I was officially named head of scenic art today (yayyy!!!) so that is exciting! If i don't get it (godforbidknockonwood), I have an ASM position offered to me. :)
Now to find audition material for UMICH Mpulse......ahhh!
Posted by: Caty B (December 8, 2009)
So monday we were supposed to start rehearsals for Steel Magnolias. You know what would have been really freakin' helpful?
The money for the rights went out last thursday (thank goodness) so it's only a matter of time, but there's is only so much of going through the costume closet that the cast can handle. Our costume closet is about 7 by 20 feet and jam packed with RANDOM CRAP. Tubs labelled "Urinetown" really do not help. Boxes labelled "Hats" (when I know full well there is a huge thing with a ton of cubby holes thats for hats) that doesn't have hats in it is also not helpful. The techies seem to think they're very smart when to tell the truth the ones who organized that closet are the disappointed actors who needed something to do and now think they're intelligent because techies have a rep of being smarter. LIES. Slander in a high school honestly. I love the people who actually wanted to be techies. THEY are smart, but they aren't the ones who organize the costume closet. I just want Mr. A to give me a saturday in there so I can actually get it organized. and so that I can throw stuff away without him knowing. so gross. and that DAMN FLICKERING LIGHT!
you see why we aren't prepared to have another rehearsal?
I'm glad to know I have Ebeth and Will as directors and unlike our "director" last year, once we get scripts, we'll actually get into blocking.
On a lighter note, I have all but my OU and U Mich auditions set. I need to call OU and Mich just needs to respond to the days I chose on my application, which is freaking me out. But it WILL be ok. It WILL. BoCo and Emerson auditions will be here in town (Pebblebrooke HS) in January. Point Park is at the chicago unifieds (and hopefully so is OU and U Mich) and then Arizona is actually at Arizona. With fewer auditions in Chicago now hopefully I'll get to see Trenton (I haven't seen him in 2 years!) and hang out with him. Sadly, I don't think the Addams Family Musical will still be playing in Chicago :(
Well, I need to study for finals so I can pass high school-
Much love and good thoughts-
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (December 7, 2009)
I just returned from the New York State School Music Association Conference and didn't expect Christmas to come early. The MTI booth had a constant flow of teachers that are going the extra mile and changing kids lives with musical theater. Their stories included success and struggle, but always worth the journey. New teachers (that were my students barely yesterday), were brimming with fresh ideas and fresh questions about the best practices for kids and schools. The students from West Seneca East Elementary that performed a sneak peak of "Flat Stanley Jr." were fun and inspiring at our session. No one could have stated it better than the 6th grader who played Stanley who told the audience at the end "It isn't easy being flat!" Well put Stanley, and it isn't easy being a teacher these days for sure. Why then do people clammer for the new Jr. show title, spend countless hours of time above and beyond their schedule, drive hours to come to workshops? Because they are making the world a better place....and as my dear friend Tim McDonald says, "making the world safe for children and theater, one child at a time." I don't need any package to unwrap.....thank you all for the continued show support questions, requests, advice, pictures, etc. that prove you are shaping children and communities for the better. It certainly is the gift that "keeps on giving", and a noble one at that! CR
Posted by: Caty B (December 1, 2009)
I've turned in all of my college applications! I need to schedule my auditions now, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow before voice. So many places to be, so many colleges to call and so so little time.
We had a Steel Magnolias meeting today. Good news abound financially. Mrs. G is the best person ever to have around. TIP 1: If you ever want to produce a show at your school, be sure to work closely with your school's major director and the person who produces the shows. Mrs. G is our producer and she is wonderful at it. We also got our set designer back. He got suspended for... we won't go into it. It was dumb and they took him out for 8 days. Absolutely absurd. Anywho, he's back and he's on top of his game which makes me very happy. TIP 2: As producer, you must choose the right people. They may not be your bff jill or who-have-you but you must be able to work with them and they have to be hard workers. I have a team of people as directors, stage managers and set designers who know what they're doing and I have total faith in them and know that I'm not likely to run into arguments as the very least, not often. So our set designer sketched out a what we need and will be coming up with more options for our thursday meeting. We set ticket prices, how to presell, and we're going to make the set on a diamond in our black box so that we can get more seats in.
I went to a tap workshop today in order to be prepared for Producers auditions in January. I haven't tapped since I was 5 and I was quite rude to the teacher. I was not a fan. I used to leave my shoes untied so they'd hit the mirror just to tick her off. I did not do that to Mr. L though. Because he's my musical theatre (I normally abbreviate this to MT, so don't get freaked out if I do) teacher and he's AH-MAHZING. Sovion Glover and Tommy Tune and Mr. L. yep. I had fun, learned a basic combo, the balls on my feet are sore as hell from "Fah-lapping". I want to be in the tap ensemble soooo badly. School is for learning. Extracurriculars are for things you can't learn during a normal school day. The drama dept. shouldn't do 2 musicals in a year if they aren't willing to teach us how to dance. Finally, Mr. L has come along.
That's about it for today :)
Much love and good thoughts
Posted by: Maria Villalobos (December 1, 2009)
Just made my profile and gave it some tweaking- let's see how long this lasts!
As of now, I have ONE audition for a show coming up. My current goal is to AT LEAST have 2 auditions a month. I'm giving myself three month to do this. Also today I'm starting my "Get your ass in shape diet." Believe it or not, day one is all about Goal setting and considering different options. Then you have to jump right in- no baby steps or else you risk screwing it up. My choices so far include limiting my fast food to twice a week (I'm being realistic, remember) and running (ok, jogging) my route (1.1 mi). Despite the holidays, My goal is to loose 10 pounds by New Year. That's ONE MONTH.
The reason I'm writing this is because my final goal is to be in shape to dance and sing for MT. Merde!
Posted by: Rodney Robbins (December 1, 2009)
Here is a fun poem about a real person that some have called "The Chinese Santa Claus." I'm sorry about the spacing ... a limitation of the blogging software I suppose. I hope you enjoy it.
"The Laughing Buddha's Christmas Wish"
By Rodney Robbins
The Laughing Buddha, legends say,
Was born in China, on an ancient day.
His heart was big, and his belly GRAND!
He carried a bowl and a sack close to hand.
Like a Zen Santa, I'd say he was,
Except bald as a peach, with a touch of FUZZ.
He'd look at each child with a magical twinkle,
And pull from that sack, in the corner, by a wrinkle ...
JUST the right gift at JUST the right time,
He'd do it without effort or reason or rhyme,
"Oh, thank you Santa," each child would say,
Except in Chinese, in their inscrutable way.
I, a young monk, asked the great man,
As we walked on the path, bowl and sack in hand,
"How do you guess? How do you know?
What gift to offer? What seed to sow?"
The Laughing Buddha gave a great chuckle.
He laughed so hard I thought his knees might buckle.
"It's easy, it's fun, when you know where to begin:
Picture their face and look within.
"The greatest gift doesn't come in a box,
It's rarely a doll and it's never more socks.
The greatest gift comes from the heart.
That's the very best place to start."
The Buddha winked once, patted his belly twice,
Then disappeared in a shower of rice.
He left me the bag to hand out more stuff.
Why, there's something for YOU, right under this fluff!
Merry Christmas and happy Yuletime to all.
Posted by: Rodney Robbins (November 30, 2009)
On Saturday, my family and I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Concert in Charlotte, NC. What a show! They did a 90 minute narrated Christmas story about an angel trying to bring a lost teen home for Christmas, then did another 60 minutes from the new "Night Castle" album. It was heavy metal, rock and roll, classical Christmas all supercharged by a laser light show with moving sets and flames.
For a playwright, it was very interesting to see 11,500 people enthralled by a narrator introducing songs with a bit of a story. I've seen that structure before--in my kindergarden play--but darn it if TSO didn't give it bring it to life like Frankenstien's monster! What a hoot.
I was also inspired by their angle/rescue story, but my mind pictured a very different tale. The story in my head probably needs to be a screenplay because it involves a german shepherd dog, but it was fun to listen to their narration while my mind was dreaming up a completely different tale. Interesting.
I highly recommend their show. Check out the TSO schedule at http:/
Rodney Robbins, the Singing Playwright
11,500 people times $60 per ticket (my estimated average ticket price) is $690,000 in gross ticket sales. That's not bad for a performance with a kindergarden play structure.
Posted by: Caty B (November 29, 2009)
well, I must say this is a new experience. 1st blog post, I'm not totaly sure what to make of this. I'll probably just talk about my experiences with various theatre programs I've been involved in, what I'm doing now... not like that's too different from my usual dicussion topics. I'm senior in an arts magnet program in Atlanta, GA. I'm a theatre major and I've been at my high school for 2 years. Before that, I lived in AK for 3 years and was heavily involved in choir (aka, I get irritated when musicals don't have valid scores; They must match the style of the show. On this note, you must know I'm not an ALW fan).
In a little over a month I'll begin auditioning for musical theatre programs on the college level, so if you'll be doing that soon, I might be someone to watch and learn from, because I have almost no clue what I'm doing and will be learning as I go. I'm auditioning for U of Michigan, U of Oklahoma, U of Arizona, Point Park University, Boston Conservatory, and Emerson College. Academically, so far, I've been accepted to Point Park and have yet to hear from anyone else. I'll be turning in my last application on dec 1 (Michigan). I'm nervous as hell.
This past year I've been involved in Edges (Female U/S), The Wizard of Oz (Aunt Em), Little Women (Marmee), Little Shop of Horrors (U/S Audrey. I actually got to go on for this one) and right now I'm producing Steel Magnolias at my school and I'll be playing M'Lynn. We perform in january and can I just say that I'm completely stressed out and at the same time, much less stressed than I thought I would be.
Advice for your senior year thus far:
much love and good thoughts,