Sunday, September 21, 2003
A week ago I couldn't wait for Sunday. I couldn't wait for this show to be behind me so I could stop worrying about it. Now, I wish we could do it just one more time.
Last night the crowd was bigger, better and LOUDER! Unfortunately we had to shuffle some casting and sketches at the last minute because Dale had fallen ill and almost completely lost his voice. He did some of his scenes aided by a mic and threw in some stellar ad libs about the situation, then he would go in back and lay down until his next scene. I know he was disappointed that it happened now, of all times.
That didn't hamper the energy of the show in the least. Everybody on stage and in the audience had a great time. Included in the show was a last moment surprise from me and Ben Lundy. The absurdity of the GRANDMA sketch was added to by a lip lock by myself and Ben at the end of the sketch. I announced at the beginning of the show that the audience should watch out for the very first on stage Gag Reflex kiss. And it was. (Technically there was a mouth to mouth recuss thing back in 95 but it didn't count.) The cast had no idea what was going to happen and were surprised by the announcement. When the moment came the audience and the cast were equally loud in their shock and laughter. A beautiful moment.
Greg Ledford also attended the show and was able to party with all of us, sad though we were that he was unable to perform.
We, again, nearly filled the place. This meant that we not only made enough money to pay the grand for the two nights in the room but also the $9 an hour bartender bill for both nights. As soon as the dust settles we will divvy up the rest of the money amongst the performers.
After the show we all talked and drank and Ledford provided a wonderful toast to the group. As Dale has pointed out in his counter-blog, I am very emotional. I kept the tears in check until Millie and I were in the van and on the way home. After all this time thinking and planning, it had happened. New friendships grew, old friendships rekindled and I was able to honor this comedy group which I am proud to be a part of and the biggest fan of.
And so my blog ends. Thanks to everybody who came out to the show and to all the wonderful people who both made it back to perform and those who ever threw themselves into the Gag Reflex mix.
Saturday, September 20, 2003
A nearly sold out house. A show clocking in at 2 hours and 45 minutes. A whole lotta laughs.
The show was fantastic. An absolute blast. I am so impressed by everybody involved because this was a swift, fairly well oiled show with no real tech rehearsal. Andrea, our tech director, did FANTASTIC.
The night was made even better by the sudden appearance of original cast member Brian Lefevre, who I was unable to find in my searches for old cast members. He joined us on stage for the opening number in an impromptu moment.
After the show he told us that the Gagseum and the old sketches had envoked the correct nostalgic response.
The best part, we get to do it all over tonight.
Friday, September 19, 2003
Tonight's the night. Last night the cast assembled and saw how things would work, for the most part. It looks as if Greg is out. So we have fixed the show around him and hope he gets better soon. We finally got to blend the Austin and Chicago casts with little or no problem. A few things with be rickety but that is to be expected. The biggest disappointed of the night was me. I have spent so much time worrying about everything else that I haven't spent enough time on my performance.
The biggest rush of the night was seeing the epic opening number in real life. If that goes well, the night will go well. The maniac is quiet and nervous. I haven't been this nervous about a show in a while.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Less than forty-eight hours until the show. But who's counting. A major glitch has arisen. Greg Ledford has started to develope the shingles. For anybody who doesn't know this is very painful. It's a nerve ending infection brought on by the chicken pox virus dormant in your body since childhood. Greg is having a hard time getting about. We have formulated contingency plans if Greg is unable to perform. I told him to stay home tonight and get some rest...and yet he turned up and rehearsed his scenes. I know he was hurting.
So we should know by tomorrow if he's going to be doing it. If not we have to drop a sketch and reorganize the cast on some others. The production won't stop, just change. But I hope he does it. I don't want him to hurt himself, but seeing him on stage again tonight was great. I hope it's not the only appearance he makes.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
All the show sound is done, burned, labelled. Only marking up the tech script remains. That's 10 minutes work. Now we set up, pray for an audience and put on a show.
In response to BlogHenge (Dale in Austin) I am a preshow maniac. I am convinced that no audience will arrive, the cast will die in a car accident and worst of all...that sketch that I fought like a cry-baby bitch for actually DOES suck.
I make no excuses. I'm a prick before a show. I am short, ill tempered and generally not nice to be around the day of the show. Even when it's my birthday. The sound isn't right. The lights aren't right. No body's going to show. Blah blah blah...
Now to the whiney part. I can't be any other way. The success of the show, the people in it (who also wrote it) and the enjoyment of the audience mean too much to me. And further more the cast knows that I love them. They never disappoint. The shows don't always work, but they're always worth doing.
For all the shit I give Steve, he has never let me down. EVER! And I'm not talking about little shit like paying too much for programs or showing up late to rehearsal. I'm talking about the shows. Steve has never given less than 150% in any performance. From big packed venues to 13 people in Madison. That man consistantly does his best. For that matter. I have rarely worked with anybody in Gag Reflex who didn't give all that they were capable of giving. For some it's just a little something to move through on the way to something else. For others it's a huge chunk of their life. An important chunk.
Either way, I think I have done my part. I have done the best I can do. Now, I just want to celebrate. I want to hang out with old friends, make new ones, make a bunch of people laugh and have a great time.
I will talk to you all again soon. And Dale, FLAME AWAY!
Biggest rehearsal yet tonight. Tomorrow the entire local cast will assemble at the Lincoln Inn for load in and rehearsal. Tech script is compiled. Programs are done and in Steve's hands for duplication. My last duty is to compile the show sounds. When I finish that we just wait out the show.
Thursday Austin will arrive. It will be good to see some of the sketches they are bringing with them and finally integrate all the scenes together.
I thought I should get this out before midnight so Dale can't accuse me of not posting anything yesterday. What are you...fucking Homeland Security...ooops...oh shit! I've been tagged.
Monday, September 15, 2003
Another rehearsal with Ben. It's good. We did a lot of work tonight. I'm finally moving out of the whiny director stage and am starting to get excited about seeing all these people and be on stage with them again. Or for the first time.
On the technical side, programs are well in hand. The next task is to have sound done if not by tomorrow then Wednesday for our rehearsal in the space.
Looks like we will have a full house for tech night. It should be a blast. Dale (if he can drag himself away from my rivetting blogs), Joe and Dino will be here on Thursday. I'm really looking forward to seeing them.
Reservations are starting to come in. They're not rolling in but some are coming. Like Viagra Monologues in 01, I think this will be a heavy walk in show.
Talk to you tomorrow.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Wow! Sunday! The show is less than a week away. It was my absolute honor and pleasure to work out the running order this afternoon and send it off to my loved ones in Gag. It was a breeze, it only took like fifteen minutes. I loved every single second of it. Knowing that I was organizing this once in a life time show.
Working next on the programs. That should be just as special.