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The Continuing Saga of the Itinerant Thespain

Posted by "St Pauls Players" on November 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM




The Continuing Saga Of The Itinerant Thespian, Nov. 4th and 5th 2012.

Another set of magnificent rehearsals for “Once Upon A Christmastime”!

We began being “off book” as best we could Sunday evening and moreso Monday night. I cheated a little bit, I had my script but I would run over to the table where I set it and go over lines and notes and cues every chance I could so that I can learn this show as well as possible.

We did do our vocal warmups with some most imaginative exercises. Then we got to the challenge exercise. The kids are trying real hard to run away with this one singing their alphabet so fast that they wound like a blur looks. Does that qualify to qualify? I had decided earlier to accept a challenge I had received from Anna and Skyler so, I attempted to sing the alphabet exercise backwards. The rhythm I was using to do this did not match the rhythm the forward exercise uses so, I had some difficulty singing the letters. When we neared completion I “casually” made a comment about singing the alphabet backwards and Tracy Davenport asked if I really could do that so, I did! I sang the alphabet backwards and I have now raised the bar on that exercise! Now it’s a real contest! More about exercises later.

My biggest concern is my solo where I sing a song of mourning to my son Tiny Tim Cratchit. I spent Saturday and Sunday forcing memorization and gave the first performance Sunday evening. Complete and total lockup, I couldn’t get past the first two lines of the song to save my life. I had to use the score for that run but, I managed to just use it to find the first word then go from there until I reached the next choke point then, do it again. I managed and tripped over a few spots but I finished it and found where I need to concentrate and improve. It’ll happen!

Sunday’s rehearsal I made the acquaintance of my stage son, Tiny Tim, portrayed by young Matthew Davis. A cute wee tyke for certain, his parents should be proud! I asked him if he would like to ride around on my shoulder and he readily agreed. OK! I explained everything I was doing with him to keep him from becoming fearful of being so high up off the ground but, I didn’t need to worry, he’s a trooper!

I put him up on my shoulder, he got a grip and we proceeded through our blocking for the first scene where I carry him across the stage front and I greet Fred, Olin Jenkins in disguise, then he and Tim shake hands which requires Matthew to remove one of his hands from his hold on me and, he does it admirably well. This kid is good!

Later we work the scene where I carry Tiny Tim into the house after church and he is riding on my arm this time. We’re just doing something different to keep from being stale. Right?

After his big line, we don’t work together anymore until the end but, a soon to be scene is my solo. The one I didn’t do so well with as I recorded. Never fear, it gets better!

Sunday was also costume check. Mine did not fit, no surprise really since I’m so much above average in every way. Yeah, I’m a biggun! Coat was a snug fit, mostly across the shoulders but usable and the slacks were nowhere near what I can wear. Fortunately they will be resized to fit a little better.

Monday rolled around like a Monday but, who are we trying to kid here? It’s a Monday!

We were also supposed to be doing some publicity photos and only Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit showed up for the shoot. More on that later.

We began with vocal warmups and Paula had us doing the “projection” exercise we had done earlier but, with a twist. I was placed on the kids team against all the rest of the adults. Gee, I’m back at Grandma’s house on Thanksgiving day sitting at the kids table again. Just kidding. But I bet you smiled or laughed or something right?

The first half of projection we did the half a word/phrase back and forth with as much projection as possible. I was louder/stronger than everyone else as usual. But, I did have the kids helping me there. I wonder how well I could do if it was just me against everyone else. Can I be louder and stronger than all of the rest of us? Interesting conundrum I’d say. Worry about that later.

The second half we would, one at a time, project the full length of the auditorium to one person who would return a projection. The phrases used were “How Are You Today?” replied with “Very Well Thank You”. One person to one person than move to the next pair each time until we finished. Then we traded phrases and started at the opposite end of people projecting in reverse. There’s that backwards thing again, might have to watch that, I might get into some trouble with it. Trouble! With a capital “T”, that rhymes with “P” and that stands for Pool!

Sorry about that, flashback to another era.

We began at the beginning, can’t really start at the end now can we? And ran the show until about halfway into the second act. I did have to fly solo this time since Tiny Tim was not able to be with us. I soldiered on and bore the load as best I could. Sounds so noble right?

I sang my solo a lot better Monday night than I did Sunday night, I only messed up one single line of lyric but, I did it twice. And it was the same exact line to boot! Still need to work on it.

We’ve not done too many full run throughs but I am noticing that all of us are improving in an impressive manner, we are getting better at this. Blocking is becoming smoother, singing is being better vocalized with firmer grasp of tonality and musicality. I need some more work though, should not have missed that one line twice like that. No worries, it will be better very soon.

Had a couple of folks make it to rehearsal who had had to miss a few, we’re coming together much stronger now. No problem, we so have this and under better control too!

After we finished rehearsal, Ebenezer Scrooge and I, portrayed by Joe Roof and William Antley respectively, had a publicity photo shoot. Look to John W. Henry for copies or postings or displays or you get the picture. Sorry, bad pun. If you’re on FaceBook you can see the pictures on his wall or on mine, click on photo albums or photos, one of them will get you there. Or visit the Players website and there will be information there.

As Bob Cratchit now, and with an English or New Zealander accent I can’t decide which, if you and your family would like a fun evening of fine entertainment with a strong Christian message to appreciate, come and see The Saint Paul’s Players presentation of “Once Upon A Christmastime” playing ONLY on November 30th, December 1st and 2nd. Limited run people, you so do not want to miss this show!


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1 Comment

Reply Tracy Davenport
10:04 PM on November 13, 2012 
Yeah, you rocked it out singing the alphabet backwards. The bar has been raised- who else will dare to reach it and maybe, surpass it?