Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hey World!

There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Extended Stay

We were supposed to come home today. We didn't. We will be home tomorrow. Instead we had one more day of fun, food, entertainment and inspiration. You don't realize how fried your brain and body are until you actual wind down a bit. We started the day at the studios for lunch, then headed to Magic Kingdom for a final ride on Splash Mountain and finally to Epcot for a wonderful Italian dinner. We ended with the final performance of The American Adventure (hosted by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain in the photo)- what I think is the greatest show produced on Disney property. I also have a cool story about this show when I get a chance to talk about the back stage tour. All in all, the weather was great and the company was even better. Trying to decided right now when the next break will be when we can return- Christmas maybe? Oh well, heigh ho, heigh ho. Back to work I go. M-I-C... See you
real soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back Stage Tour

I went on the back stage tour today while Nikki was going to hang out at the resort. Amazingly enough when I had returned this afternoon, she had found an outlet mall- hmmmm? Anyhoo, the tour was great, so great that there is no way I can describe it in a short post, so that will come later. We got to go several cool places like the underground, the guts of the Tower of Terror and the wardrobe department (can't wait to tell mom and Catherine about the automatic laser cutting table)- I even got to watch workers carving the log boats for Splash Mountain. Plus I got a neat trading pin from the guide. We weren't allowed to take photos except in the landscape area where they create all the topiaries. Wonderful experience! Then I came back to the hotel and picked up Nikki where we went to Downtown Disney for dinner and a movie. But then, to top off a fabulous day, I went into the Vinylmation
store only to pick up a box which contained a Buzz! Can you believe it? It's true- it only takes a bit of hope, trust and pixie dust. Nikki is rolling her eyes right now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jazzy Incognito

These ducks so wanted a bite of our pretzel this afternoon. Reminded me of the Jazz-miester.

Who Is That I See in the Distance?

On the top shelf, Nikki saw her twin. Movie this afternoon then Hollywood Studios to the Sci-Fi for dinner. A fun-filled night of Fantasmic and lots o' food. Tomorrow I get to do the four park backstage tour which is a whopping seven hours long. So excited to go to the costume department, parade set up, show prep and even underground the Magic Kingdom. I will only be able to write about it, I was told "no cameras allowed", but lunch at the Wilderness lodge is included. It starts bright and early at 8:45am, so I better get to sleep- if I can at all tonight. Yipee!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rachel This Picture is for You

It says, "If you want to party, get with smarty." Too bad you said Brett gave you your favorite birthday wish or you might actually get the shirt and not just a picture. Not too smarty, are you?

Dear Mr. Disney You Are My Hero

Such a wonderful work ethic. I appreciate folks who work themselves into a frazzle for no other reason than getting it done right.

Today was Nikki's mall day. Let's just say that my Vinylmations cannot hold a candle. Still on the search for Buzz. I'm beginning to think perhaps it is not meant for this trip. One of the workers in the Magic Kingdom opened a brand new set for Nikki and me to shake. We shook and shook 24 boxes hoping to find the correct resistance and weight. Alas, it was another Woody which I soon traded. We also had dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern- one of our favorites. Right now we are both stuffed with turkey, roast beef, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and apple crisp. Heavenly. Tomorrow night we are eating at the Sci-Fi, another of our favorite spots. I also had an idea for a show moment today while riding Pirates- hang on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodnight From Epcot


A mickey statue of Vinylmations. Too fun! Today we set out on a mission to find two specific styles- a yellow swirl and a Buzz from the Toy Story collection. Even Nikki has gotten into it with the whole weighing and shaking of the boxes. Got the yellow swirl (I was leaving the store and heard the box calling to me) but Buzz is still out. Amanda and Paul met us at Epcot for laser show and Vinylmation searches (Paul is just as bad as me.) We've found everyone but Buzz! Friday morning at D-Street, there is an artist presentation with some special commemorative items. Paul and I are going to check it out and leave the girls to sleeping. I am afraid to post a picture of the ones I have purchased because both Nikki and I have lost count. When she sees them it will give her more ammunition for shopping tomorrow.

Nikki's New Friend

Hey Badda Badda Swing

This is our hotel. The stairwell is in the coke cup.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beautiful Day

Slept late. Did some work (vacation is never really vacation). Went to the Market Place where I got two Vinylmations I've been looking for. Epcot for dinner and Magic Kingdom for parade and fireworks where I got two more Vinylmations- one I had been searching for since last trip. What a wonderful day to be married so you can compare who ate the most and neither of you cares who wins. Now, where did I put that ice cream...

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Are Sports Fanatics!

Bet the title of that post threw a lot of you. Since Nikki and I are Disney pass holders, we got a really great deal on a resort for the week. The only thing is, it was only available at the sports resort. No big deal, all we do is sleep there to build our strength for the following day of play. I took this photo to counter any idea that Nikki our myself have inflated egos. Neither of our heads would even come close to fitting in this helmet. See what I mean about being sports people- Nikki thinks this is a football pose. Sadly, I couldn't tell if it was or not either.

Great Day

Sleep this morning, Epcot this afternoon and Hollywood Studios this evening. We met Paul and Amanda for Dinner and had some great times laughing and riding rides and seeing shows. The days are still hot here (after all, it's Florida), but the nights are heavenly with a wonderful breeze. I want to live under that big, blue hat behind us in the photo.


It's already started!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho

Life is great. Got the car packed full of scripts that need to be read and a fresh sketch book ready for some set and costume designs. Can't wait to get to the most creative place in the world with my most favorite person in the world. My eyes are wide open and my brain ready for a slap of imaginative inspiration. Heigh ho, heigh ho- away we go!

PS- It doesn't hurt there is a new set of vinylmations that have just been released. Tee-hee.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sonic on a Summer Night

Maybe it's time I broke down and let Nikki have a baby.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Goodbye Little Friend

Before anyone begins reading this post, it may seem cheesy, overly sympathetic and to some offensive. If you have a strong reaction to any of those ideas- stop reading, in other words go back to your shallow, unimportant views of life and your own existence.

I have been learning about this little girl named Anne Frank for over a year now. I've read many articles on her life, her writing and circumstances. I never read the actual diary nor saw any of the movie version of the play. I wanted the play to be completely original to our stage and not influenced by any other media. I do, however, know that the play is not completely historically accurate with Anne's writings, but rather a dramatic presentation of an instance in history and an example of what millions of people and families went through during the crazy and evil existence of the Nazi army. Most of us have no real-life situation that can even compare to what Anne and her fellow roommates went through, nor do I wish such circumstances. I do think that many, no, all of us take our blessings for granted.

Anne Frank's story is that of hope. A story of an optimistic dreamer who, at times, became overwhelmed with the people and situations she had been dealt. Anne knew what she had at one time and wanted more than anything to know where she was going. She knew that if given the second chance at life, she was going to live it. Unfortunately, she never got that second chance. But, how many of us have been given such an opportunity and thrown it to the side only to satisfy our own desires?

I spent the last year thinking and reading, but since August 18 I had been living with Anne. I looked at many, many pictures of the entire family and the others living the the loft with her. I looked at the loft, the area around business, the Holocaust, the victims and survivors. A lot of people asked if this show was depressing to work on. The answer, "no." It wasn't depressing, but you did want to work so hard to get it right. I can't say that you could ever get a show like this right because the script and characters have so many different layers, but you can put all your heart into it and the audience will hopefully be moved.

I think our audiences were moved. A lot of people said they cried. I don't judge a reaction to Anne's story by the tears- people cry at tv commercials at Christmas. I judge the reaction of the audience by the silence. There is so much to think about after the lights go down at the end of the story. If the audience is quiet at the end, then it proves they are still thinking.

Obviously, not everyone would be affected. Just like I don't get excited about Super Bowl Sunday. But I do wonder about the condition of their hearts. Even if you did not like our presentation of Anne's story, hopefully the realization that these were real people would get under your skin, if only slightly.

I completely appreciate the efforts of our cast and crew. The Diary of Anne Frank was a beautiful production that will live with me forever. I am never satisfied with a show, but with this one, I am truly happy. I am so proud to have experience this story with this cast. I will always look back to the past three weeks as a very special time for me as a person and me as a (and I use this term loosely) an artist.

There of course will be those who just don't get it and never will. To those who might say, the show or story was boring (don't get me wrong, I like glitter just as much or more than the other person) or uninteresting, then to them I say this- pick which one best suits you:

a) You are stupid.
b) We will wait till you mature and then let you have another opinion.
c) In terms of the theatre world, your artistic integrity is not up to par. In other words, get educated, get interested and stick to shows where the performers jeans are way too tight- that would seem to be more your speed.

Anne, I will miss you. I don't begrudge the many hours I sat in the pit waiting for a two minute moment on stage. It was my honor. Thank you.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

That's All I Have to Say About That


Friday, September 03, 2010

A Star is Born... Where You Least Expected It

So, here I am enjoying my after rehearsal dinner of a pepperoni Digiorno pizza while watching the Disney channel premiere of Camp Rock 2. Don't judge me, I like pizza. As I watch Camp Rock (which I must say is a complete disappointment, what ever happened to the good old days of High School Musical?) I think about all these kids in this camp trying to be rock stars and dancers and musicians and how they compare to those kids I know.

We have been working on Anne Frank for only about two and a half weeks and we open in less than a week. That's fast in show world. Everyone is doing a great job- it is going to be a very moving show. At the beginning of this whole experience, the day the cast list was posted people had a cocked eyebrow at some of the choices I made. There were no doubts in the ability of performers, however, from looking at past characters some folks, I'm sure, thought Rachel as Anne Frank? Rachel? The girl who is always the twitchy, elastic faced nerd? Yes, that girl.

Rachel is amazing me at every rehearsal. In the beginning, she was falling into old habits. Over the top spasms and ski jump stances. But in less than two weeks, she as gained so much control in the physical, vocal and emotional aspects of the character. We have talked a lot about what Anne is going through. There is no way any of us can understand what any of these people went through, so we have talked about situations in their own lives that could hold a similar emotional association. The girl "performer" that makes everyone laugh because of her goofy gestures has become a full on "actress" with control, emotion, interest, and (hold on), subtlety and grace. This show is not to be missed, not only because it is such an important story, but because all the performances are a thrill to experience. And, how often do you get to see a self proclaimed nerd become a swan?

What Am I Doing Awake at This Moment? Thinking.

One would think I should be sleeping. I am not. That seems to be a virus going around lately: Go to bed, can't sleep, get up, be grumpy the next day. I've caught it... except for the grumpy part... we shall see. Why can none of us sleep? We've become chronic late night thinkers. Instead of letting our brains refresh like normal folks, it keeps on going even when the rest of the body is screaming lay down.

It's true- for about the past year I have even been working in my sleep. Actually, I've done it long before that, it was just recently brought to my attention. Nikki says I have this jerk thing I do when I'm asleep. She can ask me the next morning what I was dreaming (thinking) about in my sleep- go figure it is usually about a show- and then she tells me I had the jerks. It is nothing to be frightened of, I'm not flailing my body across the mattress. Just little tiny movements, although sometimes large enough to wake me up.

Back in the spring, we went to bed after a busy day. I started dozing into dreamland- you know that place where you are beginning to fall asleep, but you are still semi-aware of what is going on around you. Anyway, here I am my body thinking I'm in one place and my mind thinking I'm in another when Nikki says, "What are you doing? You are jerking in your sleep!" I wasn't jerking, I was merely choreographing Joseph in my dreams. Yea, I was dancing in the bed... half asleep... half awake... didn't even know I was doing it, but yet at the same time, I did. Yes, this is the point where you can say, "What planet is your brain from?"

What makes it even worse, Nikki has started the same thing- even waking herself up too. I must have been doing the hand jive last night because she said I elbowed her forehead- it was the first instance of dream choreography violence.

It's a bad thing to not be able to separate work from bed time. Oh well, most people try to sleep on the job. We just try to sleep at home. It's not working.

Anne Frank is coming along This show is keeping me awake- not because of the actors, so don't be paranoid if you are in the show and reading this. AF is a very small show, but there is a lot of detail. It's the details I'm sweating. If we had an entire year to work out details (character development) we still wouldn't have enough time. That goes for pulling props too. Amanda has been pulling/ making/ searching for props for days on end. Maybe that is why she is grumpy... just teasing (no I'm not, but I used special ink on these words and she can't read them.)

Nikki is out of town for a few days. Maybe that is why I am not asleep. I am very much a nester when it comes to Nikki. Although I know she is safe and at her current destination, I still feel uneasy about her not being where she is supposed to be at bed time.

I wish they would hurry up and build that super Wal-Mart. I could be getting some work done with 24 hour business hours. McDonald's is open- golden brown french fries. Mmmmmmm. No, Nikki, I'm not going right now and no, I'm not addicted to french fries... it's the ketchup.

I know Nikki is going to read this, look at the time it was posted and ask what were you thinking? That's just it- I was thinking, that's why I'm awake.

Do you realize we have been rehearsing something since the end of January. That means about nine to ten hours of building/ sewing/ paining during the day and rehearsals or concerts in the evening. I don't remember the last day I had free. But all that is going to change- after AF, I am am going to take three whole days where I don't do anything that requires thinking. Ok, maybe a little thinking- I have to decided which side of my waffle fries is going to get the ketchup.