Sunday, October 10, 2010

Show #42 October 2, 2010

This one goes out to Annalisa as well as the cast and crew of Silver Moon Theater's production of Agatha Christie's
Murder On The Nile

- Chris Von Sneidern Sight & Sound
Leave Us Alone- The Rousers A Treat Of New Beat
Dozen Girls- The Damned Strawberries
Everyday- Rikk Agnew All by Myself
It's A Secret- Regular Guys Regular Guys E.P. 7"
Falling Away- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man!
Cast A Long Shadow- The Monochrome Set The Independent Singles Collection
Send A Letter- The Keepers By The Same Name
^Real Love- The Cretones Thin Red Line
After Last Night- The A's The A's
Don't Leave Me Tonight- The Rockers The Rockers E.P. 7"
Waiting For The Weekend- The Vapors Anthology
Jackie's Gone- The Vertebrats Jackie's Gone 7"
Your Number or Your Name- The Knack Get the Knack
*Come On, Come On- Cheap Trick In Color
*To Get Back In- Grand Funk Railroad The Anthology - Thirty Years of Funk 1969-1999
*Think I'm In Love- Eddie Money Greatest Hits: Sound of Money
*Sorry- Greg Kihn Most Fun You Can Have with Your Clothes On: Beserkley Story
Tunnel Of Love- The Sunnyboys The Sunnyboys
Ever Fallen in Love (with Someone You Shouldn't've?)- Buzzcocks DIY Starry Eyes: UK Pop II (1978-79)
Tear Me Down- Various Artists Hedwig And The Angry Inch
Best Friend- The Krinkles 3 - The Mordorlorff Collection
School- Mickey Jupp Juppanese
Six- Neats 1981-84 The Ace of Hearts Years
Cheer- The Descendents Enjoy!
Somewhere In The Night- The Monroes The Monroes
Forget That Guy- The Vores The Vores 7"
>Almost There- The Turtles Solid Zinc: The Turtles Anthology
Lost Time- The Plimsouls Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal
How About Me and You- The Carpettes How About Me And You 7" EP
Girl In Golden Disc- The Records Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses

^Power Pop Peak: #79 Billboard Hot 100 5/3/80

*SacroSet: BR Cohn Fall Music Festival 2010

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

While other kids dreamed of being Dwight Evans or John Havlicek when they grew up I wanted to be Gene Simmons. Rock & roll was my first love and as the ALL KINDSA GIRLS radio show and blog can attest, it still occupies a hallowed ground in my life. Hearing The Ramones in 1977 made playing in a band seem possible in a way it never had in the years I was listening to Kiss, Aerosmith and Rush. I started on the guitar that year and by 1980 was in a band (as lead singer as my guitar playing was still horrendous at the time). I've been in several groups over the years and currently play in an on-again/off-again party band called The Dadz (with an anarchy "A" of course).

I love playing music- figuring out songs, rehearsing and playing shows, but with work and family commitments it's hard to keep the music thing going. After my Sonoma band V.O.I.D. (Vain, Obnoxious, Ignorant, Degenerates) broke up in the late 90's I was looking for a creative outlet and my wife Jaime suggested I try theater. She's a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC and has been acting in theater productions for years. In a case of perfect timing, a Sonoma community theater production was casting a production of 12 Angry Men that spring and I won the part of "Juror 11" (the sniveling ad agency dork). Rehearsing a play is nowhere near as fun as playing in a band but when you get closer to opening night the rush of nervous anticipation is comparable. That first show was a HUGE success and people still talk about it today.

In the intervening years I've played many roles in shows including Glengarry Glenn Ross ("Williamson"), Plaza Suite ("Jesse") and my favorite, playing "Seymour" to Jaime's "Audrey" in Little Shop of Horrors. My approach to acting at this time consisted of memorizing all my lines and adding "character" afterward. Not too surprisingly, to an astute audience this yielded performances that looked like I learned all my lines and added "character" afterward.

At Christmas that year Jaime gave me a two day acting seminar by a guy named Kirk Baltz, who is best known for his role as the cop who gets tortured by Michael Madsen to the strains of "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel in Reservoir Dogs. I still see him in occasional walk-on TV roles but I think he spends most of his time on the acting seminars which are pretty amazing. I came out of that weekend with a whole new approach. Now when I prepare for a role, everything starts on day one; lines, backstory, character- it all comes together at once. This process takes a lot longer but it has made me a much better actor. I put it to use as "Mark" in a play about the first hospice called The Shadow Box and it was invaluable in my most recent role as "Simon" in Agatha Christie's Murder On The Nile.

Agatha Christie is not my thing but since they don't seem to be launching any productions of Hedwig & The Angry Inch or Avenue Q in Sonoma I figured I'd take a shot. Being a dude is a definite plus in any community theater casting call so I felt good about getting a role but didn't expect to land a part as big as "Simon." The audition was in February and I got the script in March thinking I'd have a good part of my lines down before the first rehearsal in mid-June.

Of course I only managed to read the play once before we started but luckily didn't do any line work because at the first read through the director asked for British accents. This really freaked me out because I'd never done it before and it took me about ten more days to even open the script. I began by over-enunciating consonants and playing with vowels but it wasn't until I started thinking about the character that it came together. The play is set in 1937 so I had Simon as a low born enlisted man who had lied about his age to fight for England in World War I. He ran away often but fought well the times he couldn't avoid it, noticing that when the battle was in question the wealthy officers tended to disappear only to return when victory was imminent. Simon vowed that if he survived the war he would do everything he could to become one of those rich men that had others do their fighting for them. Once I put this backstory together the lines and accent fell into place. It was a very challenging role playing pleasant naivete, physical pain, rage, grief, duplicitousness as well as loss of consciousness (not once but twice).

We were the final production in the inaugural season of Sonoma Stage Works and the Sonoma Theater Alliance. For the first time in over 20 years, Sonoma had a summer theater season. This is dream come true for Jaime and she worked tirelessly for a year to make it happen. So along with the cast and crew of Murder On The Nile, I owe my wife a huge debt of gratitude for an experience I'll never forget.

You can download Hour 1 of tonight's show here:

And here is Hour 2:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rick,

    Yes it's all worth it. I've listened to all the shows I could pull down from the station archives (oldest I could get was Sept 4th). Great stuff.

    I look forward to your next show (11/20 right?).

    Also, thanks for the kind review of my public singing debut (from 35 years ago).