Welcome to the Scandinavian Cyber-Posten!
The Scandinavian Cyber-Posten is my blog for the band. Ever since I started reading The Machine's Pump on the Brave Combo website I've wanted my own blog. After all, I'm a creative and intelligent person and I have thoughts on a lot of things. Here's a place where you can read what I think about a variety of topics. I hope you enjoy what you read. If you have any feedback on what I've written, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 16
So just what is it that I do here, anyway?--------------------
Greetings, Scandinavian fans! I'm sure many of you are wondering exactly what I do here in Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Rep. By now you've probably watched the video clip I posted in my last entry and you've seen a little bit of my performance. For this entry I'm going to talk about all the other stuff that you (and most theatergoers) never see.
The show runs eight weeks, a very long run for any normal show; an incredibly long run for a one-woman show. Most of those weeks are seven show weeks; one show a day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then two shows each on Saturday and Sunday. Three of the weeks are eight show weeks, having an added performance on Tuesday nights.
Tuesday through Thursday the show starts at 7:30 so I have to leave my hotel at 6:30 to make the eight block walk down to the theater. Friday shows are at 8pm so I leave at 7pm. Saturday the first show is at 4:30; Sunday the first show is at 2pm.
Once at the theater I have to sign in on the call board. At a half hour to showtime the stage manager gives us a "half hour" call; that's where she walks around and tells all of us that it's a half hour to showtime. At that time I have to start getting into costume. The stage manager comes around to give us calls at fifteen minutes, five minutes and places. "Places" means we have to be in our places to start the show. At places the pianist and I head into the wings where we wait for the house lights to be turned out. Once the house lights are out we walk out on stage in the dark and take our places for the start of Act I.
Act I starts with a musical number. Afterward, Terry makes her entrance and we proceed with the first act. At the end of Act I the lights again go to black and we make our exit in darkness. Fortunately the pianist exits first and holds the side curtain so I can see where I'm going in the darkness. A little bit of light from backstage leaks out into the wings giving me enough light to not trip and fall.
At intermission we go backstage. Sometimes we confer about what has happened in the first act; sometimes we just sit and rest. The stage manager gives us a five minute call and then a call for places and we get ready to start Act II.
The second act begins with a long sequence of musical numbers and comedic bits by the musicians. It's a fun opportunity to interact with the audience and get them excited about the second act. It also gives me an opportunity to show off some accordion virtuosity on Tico Tico. Terry makes her entrance and we proceed through the second act which is slightly shorter than the first. Act II ends with the Soprano Medley, a tour-de-force display of vocal virtuosity by Terry. It's really impressive.
After the end of Act II we do the bows and Terry thanks various people and talks to the audence. She does an encore where she has the audience sing along and she grabs people out of the audience to come up on stage and dance with her. After it's all over we all head backstage to get out of costume. Costumes have to hung up and put away. Any costume pieces that need to be washed go in the laundry basket backstage for the costume shop to launder and return to us the next day.
Once out of costume we usually head to the cabaret bar to greet patrons who have stuck around and have a drink. Sometimes we don't stay long; sometimes we stay for a couple hours. All told, it's a little over two hours' work to do the show each time.
Over the course of the run things change. When the show first opened we were all concentrating hard to make sure that everything we had rehearsed leading up to opening was done properly. That can be a tense time. Shows always open after roughly a week of technical rehearsals where everything from microphones to props to lights are set. That's a lot to learn immediately before the show starts.
Once the show has been running for a couple weeks things become pretty much automatic; we don't have to think or concentrate too much to do things right. Little jokes and gags start sneaking into the show as we get more comfortable. One night it may be an extra look from Terry during a funny part of the show; another night it may be a little extra musical cue. These things keep the show interesting for us performers over the course of sixty four shows.