Howdy Ya'll! I love leaning into my American Twang lately. I am one of five Americans from the company, so its really coming out! I mean, I am from Canyon Country after all. The others hail from London mostly, a cutie from Malta, an Irish lad, and a handful of Brits! They are all so kind! New York has taken the niceties out of EVERYONE, so I forgot how cordial and sweet most people are. They actually walk by and say 'hello!' One funny thing I have noticed though is instead of asking "How are you?" the across-the-pond-ers all say "Are you okay?" I had to finally ask, "Do I look not okay? I swear I'm fine."
The first week of rehearsal was oh so gentle. The vocal director started out by telling me and my counterpart, Sarah: "I'm not sure why you're brought here so early." I think I had a total of 3 hours of rehearsal from Monday to Sunday, and hell, I LOVED IT! Going straight from my NY job with Edie, to my family in Los Angeles left little room for relaxation, so I soaked up that sun baby! We did however get the chance to sing through our groovy material. Sarah and I sing in a "70's Set' on Thursday nights aboard the ship. There is a themed 70's dance party and we crash the scene with a 23 minute set, including : "Le Freak," "It's Raining Man (she and I have a few solos too)," "Shake Your Groove Thing," "Everlasting Love," and "Last Dance." Its one groovy-ass riot! I recognize most of the songs from my days with Mom in the car and her favorite radio stations.
One of the highlights of the week was a cast members birthday celebration. Chloe wanted to celebrate her day by having a "room crawl." Each room came up with a themed cocktail and room, and the cast went about partying at each one. I think there were nine visits in total. There was a gay pride theme (hence the glitter), a Disney princess theme, Wizard of Oz was in there, and my sober-ass had the Pizza Themed room (more to come on sobriety later). I gave them some calories half way through the night so they could enjoy some more drinking!
The night prior, we all went out as a cast for the first time to Duffy's. Its a sports bar, but this one is special because there is a dock right outside. Gents park their boats and hop right up to the bar. One of the said Gents took a liking to our ladies and invited us onto his boat.
And by boat I mean million dollar Yacht! This man was so unassuming, who knows where this thing came from! Here, on the right, are the three Female leads in Mamma Mia! aka The Dynamo's. The left is Rachel, then Kilke, and then Chloe. They have such go-getter personailites, and I've already taken to Rachel like a sister. Left her a dirty note the other day and she spit out her latte laughing. When the Vocal Director asked what was so funny she embarrassingly made up something other than what I had written and he said "Oh..... funny...." I just can't with her.
It's an unknown journey when you first join a cast, wondering what relationships will develop. Who will pair up with whom, and what drama will ensue. Who people will sleep with, and who will stab someone in the back (hoping we are all the most kind). I'm simply wishing for a more pleasant experience than my last contract. I played Rooster in the ANNIE tour for two years, and that cast was filled with such deception, and cheating--it was an eye opening experience to say the least, From the first go around though, this company is filled with such light that I'm not concerned as much.
Monday, June 4th was the official introduction to Mamma Mia!
The director, Billy is so gentle. He gave us a warm welcome and two dozen donuts to boot! The vocal director, Taylor is a Robin Williams looking type with digs and jokes for days. He really makes me laugh my ass off, I'll tell you. Katie is our choreographer, and she too has a gentleness to her. She's the only across-the-pond-er of the creative team. She came up to me and introduced herself, which I always find so sweet especially when it's me who should say hello to her! She commented on my audition and every actor needs an ego stroke now and again! She even gave me a knowing glance when the director mentioned that our group had particularly strong choices in the audition room.
I'm excited to get into the nitty-gritty of this thing. Talk about my recent break-up with whom I consider to be the love of my life, the struggles I have with sobriety, and the adventures that this experience has to offer. Stay tuned bitches!