Monday, July 7, 2008

Goodbye, HiFi

I had to wait until today to post my final entry to this blog, because it's taken me a while to collect my thoughts about this experience. I know that the recurring theme for many of the cast members has been the Top 5 list, but it's too hard to list just 5 things that I will take away from this. How does one summarize a life-changing experience? That is what this has been for me.

HiFi was my first theatrical performance. It pushed me way beyond my comfort zone as an artist. I was very comfortable onstage singing and playing the violin, but I have never acted onstage outside of high school. I wasn't sure at all if I could do it. I was very afraid, very nervous about learning lines and blocking and choreography, especially coming in as the third person cast in the part. I just knew that I wouldn't be able to remember my lines, or where to go, or when. I am still a little amazed that I was able to do well because I know that artistically, I am my own worst enemy. I fell in love with theatre from just this one show, though. I cannot say enough about what a fantastically strong cast, band and crew we had for this production. If you missed it, you really missed a great experience!

I have to agree with Jeff, who said in his blog that he thought that we all stepped things up a notch for the last weekend of performances. I think that everyone wanted to really do their utmost to kick it in the ass, and they did. Scott mentioned that everything ran like clockwork on this show and I agree. Everyone knew exactly what to do at all times and we knew the show so well that when there were little bobbles we could recover with no panic whatsoever. The audiences for the last three days were wonderful, and seemed so engaged with what we were doing. It is such a gratifying experience to look out at the audience during curtain call and see them smiling and clapping, clearly appreciative of our hard work.

I have to say that the least fun part was strike, which is kind of the wrong word to use for a lot of hard work -- isn't a strike refusing to work at all? Anyway, I pitched in as best I could, helping to disassemble the risers, and climbing a 900-ft ladder to take down lights because nobody else seemed excited to do so. I can't imagine why. I thought that I was afraid of heights, but I guess I'm not now. I also got to break in my new truck's storage capacity when I provided moving services to Aaron and Zak, who took Rob's couch for their own apartment. Good to know to know that I can fit a loveseat in the back of my new ride. I think that we finally made it to Kimi's for the cast party after 1:30 am.

Kimi had some of the best food I have ever had at her party, and her house is just lovely! I spent most of my time outside as I brought 2 cigars to enjoy. The cigars were fantastic and really helped me unwind, and they make me a little..umm...mellow too. The best moment of the party for me was singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" with everyone just before we went home for the evening (morning), and seeing Zak and Aaron show us the scene they did behind the funeral flat during the argument that Rob & Liz have towards the end of the 2nd act. I have never quite laughed so hard in my life. Jeff and I did the lines and they had this very, very hilarious, over the top pantomime that would not have been out of place in the WWE.

I am going to try and figure out how to post my slide show on this blog. I took some pics of cast members backstage and when we were just hanging out. I don't want this post to just go on and on, so let me just say that I am so grateful that I got to do this and it was definitely one of the Top 5 best experiences of my life so far. I got to meet very cool and interesting people and make some new friends, and, I also was privileged to perform with some very fine actor/singers (singer/actors?) and create a piece of art that people wanted to see, repeatedly. Scott Miller, you are a genius and thanks for letting me a part of this! I wish the very best to everyone who was involved in this production and I really hope to stay in touch with as many cast members who still want to talk to me ;) In closing, I want to share my Top 5 favorite quotes from my High Fidelity experience (you knew I had to put at least one top 5 list together!)

  1. "Don't change anything! Don't add anything new, just keep doing the same show you have been doing."
  2. "Remember -- be fierce, and always tell the truth." (or some variant of that)
  3. "Are you on crack or just retarded?" (heh heh)
  4. "It was the Indigo Girls, Rob, you should have seen it coming."
  5. "All I know is 'ball'..and 'good'...and 'rape'." (Hand Banana lives!)
Thank you for taking the time to read my postings. It has been great putting my thoughts out on the Web for the whole world to see. I have been fortunate to be cast in New Line's production of "Hair" and I think we get to blog for that too, so please look for that coming soon. This is Liz 3.0, signing off. Buona notte.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Final Show for Liz 3.0

I simply cannot believe that the end of our run is here. I swear it seems like I was just saying to myself, "How the hell am I going to do this? I've never done this before! I am so freaked out!", and now it's over! I have said it a million times and I know I must sound like I'm on some awards show, but this has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I hope you have some free time because this is going to be one long post.

Where do I start? I would love to be clever and have some sort of "Top 5" List, but I'm not feeling that creative right now, probably due to the fact that I have only had about 4 hours of sleep, since I left the cast party this MORNING at about 4:30. Can I just say that there is a big difference between staying up all night when you are in your 20s versus your 30s? Anyhow, let's start with how this week has been so far.

Wednesday was absolutely one of the best birthdays that I have had. Aaron and Zak cooked dinner and Scott came over as well. The meal was delicious, the company even better. I am just so happy to meet interesting people that are fun to hang out with. As I have mentioned before, my husband and I have been together for about 13 years, and he was really my only friend for much of that time. So, it's really, really cool to get out and meet folks! I think I haven't stopped thanking Aaron and Zak yet. I'm sure they don't think it's a really big deal, but I just don't take stuff like that for granted. I have about two really close friends and we don't get to hang out a lot so for someone to open their home to me virtually any hours of the day is huge as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday night I was very anxious because for some reason I was feeling very disconnected from my characters and my lines, everything was for some reason. I had this real fear that I was going to drop out whole sections of dialogue for no reason. I think my anxiety was definitely amplified by hearing Scott say "Don't change anything, keep doing the same show" every FREAKING night. It was like some kind of reverse psychology for me -- I kept thinking, "here's the night where he is going to come tell me that I screwed the entire show up for everybody". So, Thursday I was frantically going over my lines prior to the show like it was the 1st week! Of course, it went fine once I got onstage, so all of that drama was for nothing anyway. We were sold out for Thursday and I saw many repeat attendees so that's saying something about the basic quality of the show -- most people are just fine with seeing something one time. We are also sold out tonight, yay!

Friday night we had a kind of rowdy house, which I thought was cool. People were laughing uproariously and cheering for us. I think that they really enjoyed it. It's nice to have an audience that shares energy with us, it just makes it so much fun. I spent a good part of my afternoon prior to the show hanging out with Trish -- she hosted the cast party last night that was off the chizzle for shizzle (not sure if that is the right Snoop Dogg grammatical structure). I went grocery shopping with her as she bought a truly prodigious amount of food, a veritable cornucopia of gastronomic celebrations (okay, sorry, I love big words used in ridiculous ways). The pary was just so much fun! Trish and Mike have this very hip, cute apartment and it was the perfect size for the cast and friends to hang out. With some wood (thoughtfully provided by Amanda) in the firepit, the atmosphere was wonderful. Zak was the BBQ king, grilling without cease, leaving no piece of rendered animal flesh uncharred. Everyone was just so relazed and comfortable, it was great to just wind down after the show.

I have to put a special note in here for my buddy Jeff, who I kept giving so much crap to over the course of the night. I want to put it here in writing: Jeff Wright is not a punk-ass bitch and I will personally beat up anyone who says so. Except me, ha ha hah!! I could not resist teasing him because he got this great indignant look every time I would call him a name. I love the fact that we can all joke around and laugh together. This is just such a funny group of people. Anyway, Jeff, for what it's worth, it's your side, I'm on your side. I will miss your subtle sarcasm and dry mockery greatly when this is all over, and it has been a huge pleasure working with you.

So, one of the highlights of the part for me was watching new people get introduced to "Hand Banana". Google it if you don't know. I have to thank Zak and Aaron for my new addiction to Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And the lines just get funnier every time I hear them. I have to go now, I thought I had more time to chat. I promise that I will wrap this up later on tonight after strike and the cast party. Hopefully I'll have time to do a few Top 5 lists too. Ciao for now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, so today is my birthday and I have to say that I'm pretty happy about that. In a few minutes I will be going to hang out at Aaron's for a bit, so I wanted to give that update that I promised. But first, I must state that I am very pleased to be 35 years old and I feel good about where I am at. I definitely feel like I am starting to really become the artist that I always wanted to be. As I go into this last weekend of performances of HiFi, I feel like things are just falling into place. I have so enjoyed this experience, I just can't say enough good about all of it. The show is fantastic, the cast is just so talented and I have to say Scott is every bit as brilliant as he thinks he is ;) I feel so privileged to have been a part of this, I couldn't have asked for a better experience my first time.

So, to recap, last weekend lyricist Amanda Green and phenomenal original Avenue Q cast member Ann Harada came out to dinner with us at the Cheesecake Factory, after our show. I was just so relieved that Ms. Green enjoyed the show. I mean, if she didn't really like it, I don't think she would have come out to eat with us. I really debated about being a complete nerd and asking to take a picture but Charles gave me so much crap about it I had to go ask them I could take a picture. Here it is and yes, my name is Nikki Glenn and I am a nerd and apparently even more of a flaming theatre geek gushpot than even I thought as evidenced by my "isn't this cool" double thumbs up.

Luckily I withdrew to my corner so as to not frighten them any further, heh heh. Anyhow, the show has been going great. I am sorry that it will be ending but I have to say that I am excited for the next one.

I just got the call today that I will be a member of the tribe for "Hair" and I can't wait! I am hoping that it will be more fun and scary and more transformative than I can even envision at this point.

I think I will get to the theatre early tomorrow so that I can run through my lines because I want to put the same effort into these last 3 performances as I have been trying to do all along. I think that we really validated (vindicated?) High Fidelity the Musical and proved that the show itself was not the reason it didn't work on Broadway. Scott's vision of the story plays wonderfully in the intimate space that we are in and I would like to think that all of its range of emotion has more impact in this smaller space as well.

Sorry if this post is all over the place (welcome to how my brain works), but I have a bunch of pics that I want to post for your entertainment. So, last weekend we had billions of bouncing ballerinas backstage (I could use additional alliteration but I can't think of any more nice words that begin with the letter "b" and I think you know what I mean). I think that we managed as well as we could considering that all the areas that we would normally use to prepare for our show were covered in tutus or commandeered by Craft Services. To the best of my knowledge we were all pros about it, and Margeau even warmed up with them!

I took a lot of pics backstage last weekend and I am going to try and make them into a slide show with captions that I can post on this blog later on tonight. I have to go now, but thank you for reading and ciao for now!