Sunday, February 24, 2013

Musical Works in Progress

This weekend, I got to sing "At Night He Swims Home to Me" from JAWS: The Musical by Wayne Henry.

This was a presentation for the Dramatists Guild in which writers met and discussed their work, looking to grow. It was such a cool experience and reminded me of some of the BMI presentations I've done over the years. It's always cool to be part of something like that, to sing for a composer I adore, to share his or her work with others, and to hear what other writers are working on. There are a lot of cool ideas out there, and it'll be interesting to see if these musicals get on their feet.

I think that's one of the most interesting parts of being involved in a musical in development. It takes years for a show to grow.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Downton Abbey Season 3 Finale: An Actor's POV

My friends tease me about reading the end of books before I dive into them, but it gives me a sense of comfort, knowing what's coming.

So when Downton Abbey's season 3 finale hit last night, I thought I was ready to say good-bye to a beloved main character, but boy, was it hard.

I can only imagine it was just as difficult for writer, Julian Fellowes, to work around some of his lead actors' decisions to not renew their contracts. But I understand these things happen, and I understand Dan Stevens' desire to do other things.

Hey, at least Bates came home!

Still, I wish TV was like theatre, in which case Matthew would have been replaced by some other young actor, eager to step into his shoes. They did it on Bewitched and Roseanne! ;)

Ah well! I still thought it Season 3 was very well done. It really gave the whole cast some serious drama to dive into.


Lady Sybil's death scene was really heart-breaking. I lost it when Tom (Allen Leech, who was really superb this season) was holding onto her, begging her to stay with him. I wasn't so keen on his character in the past, as he seemed too pushy. So I was surprised to see his character really dive deep, and I felt for him. Last night's breakdown to Mrs. Hughes was heart-breaking!

And I couldn't stop the tears when Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora talked to her dead daughter, telling her she would take care of everything. That was chillingly beautiful.

I'll still take the journey to Downton Abbey next season, curious to see what happens with Lady Mary and the rest of the family upstairs and downstairs. I liked the side story of Dr. Clarkson and Cousin  Isobel. I hope that blooms.
I'm sad to see Matthew Crawley go, because as Mary said, he brought out the best in her and was looking out for Downton.

But as one reporter said, "However sad the end of Matthew Crawley, the happiness of Dan Stevens is likely to grow and grow." And I'm glad. I look forward to seeing him in other productions, and I look forward to seeing what else happens at Downton Abbey.

Carry on!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Character Voices

Today I had the immense pleasure of working with composer Andy Monroe on a demo recording of a new musical. Andy and I met several years ago when I was cast as the lead in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun. The show won several awards at the NY Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), including Outstanding Individual Performance for me. :)

Today I got to play Bawbwa Wawa (thank you, Gilda Radner!), Diana Ross, a teenage girl, and a young boy's mother. It was a BLAST!

Next up, I'll be taking an SNL writing class with Ali Farahnakian, whom Tina Fey mentioned as a mentor. My last round of performing in Hell's Belles had various folks saying to me, "You should be on SNL!" Writing and fine-tuning my comic chops is a good step.

Musically, I'm working on a cabaret with my Singing Nun co-star Tracey Gilbert. Woo! So I have a lot of fun projects in the works!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Making faces

Had a blast at today's commercial print audition for a major client. All I had to do was make funny faces!

Making it Happen

I was excited to see a former classmate from Karen Kohlhaas' class, Bonnie Swencionis, have a scene in last night's final episode of 30 Rock. Quite a few classmates, friends and castmates have been getting screen-time, and I'm so inspired and excited for them!

Ann Reilly, who directed me in "Sincerely Yours," had some delicious scenes on Castle and Leverage. My friend Kacey Camp (below), whom I worked with at the PA Renaissance Faire, had a supporting role on Justified.

And Kevin Kolack, whom I worked with Off Broadway on Johnny On a Spot, recently worked on Blue Bloods and filmed a commercial for the Superbowl.

I'm so thrilled for these folks and am encouraged. Everyone gets a chance.

And I'm off to an audition for a commercial print! :) Woo!