Tag Archive | lathtr

My Irish-Ghost-Theatre-Love-Child

About 6 months ago I was sitting in a company meeting at Theatre of NOTE while the Artistic & Management Committee asked its membership for someone to step up to produce one of the plays in our season, BANSHEE by Brian C. Petti. I had been particularly fond of this play ever since it made its way through our play selection process the prior year. It contained my favorite elements. Grit, family drama, ghosts, folklore, dialects, and a banshee, and it was slated during my favorite time of year, the October Halloween slot. I raised my hand. Hell yeah I’ll produce.

Then I looked at my calendar. At the time it was April-ish and I had pretty serious Bride Brain. Totally discombobulated as the clock ticked down to our July wedding, I may have raised my hand in haste. My wedding was on July 21st, auditions for Banshee would have to be in early August. Pre-production would have to begin simultaneously with the most important production of my life. Ok.

I can do that.

I have this habit of saying yes to everything. What can I say? I’m a worker bee. Saying no feels like turning down opportunity, and I love opportunity. I decided that despite perhaps the best interest of my sanity I would do both. Here on the eve of opening night of our Irish ghost play, I’m so glad that I did.

I mean I really love banshees. If you know me you know that I am a nerd for two things in particular: holiday traditions, and Disney. Well, did you ALSO know that one of my favorite traditions established with my Nana when I was just a wee bairn, was to watch the Disney movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People every St. Patrick’s Day while making homemade green butter. And if you’re still with me then you know that Darby O’Gill is all about banshees, or specifically, the BanSHEEEE! Man that’s a great movie. Actually it’s really ridiculous and kind of offensive but when you’re 8 and making butter with your Nana while Sean Connery serenades you on TV, it’s the best. My intrigue into Irish folklore was sealed.

Fiddle? Check. Pot of gold? Check. Tiny King Leprechaun? Check.

Fiddle? Check. Pot of gold? Check. Tiny King Leprechaun? Check.

but then Sean Connery

but then Sean Connery

So I was sold on this play from the beginning. It’s nothing like Darby O’Gill (thank God), and it’s everything it CAN be. It’s dark, it’s haunting, it’s spooky, and at the heart of it, it’s a classic family drama, my favorite.

Kit Jun 5

Producing this play has been hard. Very hard. It’s hard work and there’s just no way around that. If it wasn’t hard though it probably wouldn’t be as delicious right now. I’ve heard tell of the post-wedding blues that plagues brides after their big day (I actually hate that phrase, “big day,” but I can rarely think of an alternative synonym), and this production has done the trick of keeping my mind too busy to get sad that the wedding dress hangs limp in my closet and the wedding cake gets frostbite in our freezer. Too busy. There have been nights when all I wanted to do was collapse on the couch with my new husband and coo about our newly married life together. Sure. We’ll have a lifetime for that. Besides, the wedding already had me in producer mode. Let’s be honest. Planning a wedding is basically producing a show, only you’re also the lead, and you only get one performance. Although the past 6 months of my life have been back-to-back INSANE, I do not regret it for one second.

Cuz look at this…

Cara Jun 3

Our show rocks. The beauty of it has made it all worth it. It’s like making a baby (well, without the most fun part), and might be just as difficult as giving birth. I somehow managed to pull together a team of rock stars. I mean our sound designer is a Tony-nominee for cripes sake! (Cripes, that’s an Irish thing). Our entire team of designers are so brilliant. Matt Richter, Bill Moore, Abel Alvarado, Cricket Myers, David Thomas, JJ Barrera, Maggie Blake. Y’all make cool stuff happen. Our director James Carey has captained this ship to its full potential. My soul sister Kelly Egan keeps my head screwed on straight and nerves at bay. Doug Burch is the absolute best shoulder to lean on, or cry on, or anything on. I completely lucked out in finding a co-producer in Nadia Marina who happens to be responsible, talented, amazing, organized, and married to an artist who painted our entire set! It’s so beautiful. My associate producer Kirsten Vangsness who, I mean, there just aren’t words to describe her really. Kirsten was among one of the first people I met moving out to L.A. I interned in the casting office for Criminal Minds and I recall the first week coming into the office and Kirsten was sitting there wearing a cherry blossom dress and she introduced herself and was so friendly, inviting, warm, and funny. That was 8 years ago (hard to believe!) and since then CM has turned into a television phenomenon. She’s still one of the kindest, warmest, funniest, and most generous people I know. It’s an honor to be in a theatre company with Kirsten, and with a hundred other people who share her attributes of generosity, humor, and family. It’s a damn fine family, and I’m honored to have reared one of our children (that means one of our plays, are you following my metaphors? I’m almost lost myself).

To my cast, oh my Lord, I love you all so much. Lynn, Bill, Joe, Norm, Alysha, Jonathon, Suzanne, Jenny, Brad, and Tim. Your talent is the absolute backbone of this play. You all know that I’m an actor at heart. I feel your role in all of this more acutely than any other, and I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make this production worthy of our humble black box.

Kit Neil 2

I still have a million and a half things to do before we open tomorrow night, but I really wanted to take a moment to write down some words of thanks, to spread the word about our new playby (that’s like a baby, but a play, because plays are like babies. I’ll stop now), and to invite you to come meet the Banshee! Tonight we have a free invited dress rehearsal. Tomorrow night we open! Tomorrow night is really the place to be to tell you the truth. Following the show there will be Irish whiskey. And food and other treats too. And whiskey!

And look, I know it’s hard to budget for the theatre. I am broke as a not-funny joke right now and I myself could not afford for Brad and I to spend $50 for a night at the theatre. Combined with parking, perhaps childcare costs, dinner, you’re looking at a $100+ evening easily. Although I know our show is worth the price of admission, I also know that many of my friends can’t swing that right now, or ever really. I got you covered. Just go to LA Stage Alliance for half price tickets. Or you can get tickets directly through our website and use the code word KERRY for half pricers. Or just email me, rmsigl@gmail.com. For up to date info on discounts and ticketing, why don’t you join our Facebook event? All the cool kids are doing it. So many options to see this show. In the words of Oleta Adams, I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can.

Banshee Card Junior

See you at the theatre friends!

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Turning 30, and Other Milestones

I picked up my wedding dress yesterday. It hangs in my closet like a quiet animated thing. It’s as if life sits in it, waiting to be breathed into motion 35 days from now. When I tried it on yesterday in my final fitting, I felt like I had slinked into a missing layer of skin. I stood there looking in the mirror and felt not like a princess, but like a princess about to become a queen. And that is exactly how every person should feel on their wedding day. Like they are transcending into a regal elevated version of themself. It’s an important role to play, and every role needs the perfect costume. This dress, oh this dress.

This major milestone is so near in the road ahead, it’s practically the next turnoff. It has consumed so much of my mind that it has almost overshadowed another rather major milestone in my life. Almost.

I’m turning 30 on June 18.

I know to most of my friends and family the general response to that is, “oh you’re still so young!” and that’s true. I am. Turning 30 is not a big deal in the sense that it makes me feel old. I’m not. It doesn’t. But that doesn’t detract from its gravity. When I moved to L.A. 8 years ago, I would occasionally look down the road at the big 3-0 and I thought I saw many things in my future. I thought I would be working full time as an actor or, ooooh, famous. I thought I would be in the possession of much money. I thought I might be out of debt. I remember, at 22, having a conversation about the biz with an agent I was interning for at the time. She was talking about pursuing the career of acting and patience and how it might not happen for me “until I was 30.” Thirty?!?! I thought to myself. She must be crazy! 

🙂

I think back to those musings of my 22 year old self and all I can do is smile, because I don’t have any of those things that I thought I would have. I don’t really want any of them (well, except for the money and get-out-of-debt thing. That woulda been great). I have so much more than my little 22 year old mind could have imagined. I have a love. The love of my life. A love that nurtures me and teaches me and gives me faith and purpose. I have a job. A job that gives my life meaning. A job that makes me proud to work every day even though I’m not quite on the fast track to pay off those college loans.

And I have art. I have a theatre company. I’m a part of a community of artists that I have to remind myself I’m worthy of. I have a little corner in Los Angeles that I belong to. A lens through which I can gaze out at this sprawling city with pride and love. It’s such an honor to have a community like that.

So on this, the week of my 30th birthday, I only want to celebrate by saying thank you. After my trip down the aisle, I’ll make my way back to Los Angeles (by way of Sedona, yay mini-moon!), and I’ll step into the role of producer for an upcoming show at Theatre of NOTE. I’m going to make a play happen, and it’s going to be awesome. The only thing I could ever ask for on my 30th birthday is for your tiny bit of help.

I’ve recently been blessed with an amazing fundraising producer who is going to take the reigns on gathering the juice to make this play puppy run. (Thank you Kirsten!) Before she works her fundraising magic, I did have one trick up my sleeve, and that’s to host a birthday fundraiser. Since I wont for nothing in terms of gifts, material or emotional, all I can ask for on my birthday is your small contribution to make this play happen. Here is the link to my online fundraiser.

https://www.crowdrise.com/RebeccasDirtyThirty

I have a modest goal of raising the first $1000 of the budget. We need a lot more than that, but $1000 will get the ball rolling. If any little part of you would like to send me a birthday gift, I would be so grateful.

Here’s to major milestones! Here’s to thirty years of living! And here’s to THEATRE!!

Happy Birthday to Meee!

Happy Birthday to Meee!

 

Some of my favorite moments of NOTE:

getting my hair pulled by Carl Johnson

getting my hair pulled by Carl Johnson in Holy Ghost

 

looking wistful in Mulholland Christmas Carol

looking wistful in Mulholland Christmas Carol by Bill Robens

 

PTSD by Tommy Smith, with Jason Denuszek

PTSD by Tommy Smith, with Jason Denuszek, damn that play was good

 

photo shoot for He Asked For It by Erik Patterson, my first mainstage at NOTE

photo shoot for He Asked For It by Erik Patterson, my first mainstage at NOTE

 

And the Crowdrise link again:

https://www.crowdrise.com/RebeccasDirtyThirty

And again 🙂

30 Days of Thanks – Day 8: Theatre of NOTE

note_logo_491

Yesterday my little blog here had the most views in it’s short history; a statistic deserving of Scott’s visit. Thank you for reading everyone. I know the bulk of those readers were members of my lovely theatre company, Theatre of NOTE. They are my extended family and like any family we have our share of occasional drama, but only to match the presence of love.

I am so thankful that I found a little black box in Hollywood filled with compassionate creative artists, and that they let me hang around. They are the most talented people in Los Angeles. And the wackiest. Both admirable attributes. The truth is, without you guys, I think I would have gone crazy. Probably left L.A. This town can be a vortex of ego and loneliness and you need a tether to keep you from getting sucked in. A community. For the past 6 years I’ve had the most wonderful tether.

Without NOTE I would have never met the love of my life. That one gets the theatre brownie points to last a lifetime no matter what ever else happens.

I’ve had some of the most incredible theatrical challenges both at NOTE and because of NOTE. Every year I eagerly await what new opportunities will come down the pike, either to perform in or just shows to see that I know will blow me away.

For all of the late rehearsals, the fundraisers, the company meetings, the dance parties, the terms of the AMC, the endless font of acronyms (just when you think you can’t come up with one more…) the committee meetings, the drama, the love fests, the long emails, the joy of being cast, the heartbreak of not, the love that keeps you coming back despite the heartbreak, the performance marathons, the NOTEwoods, the Scott McKinleys. I love it all.

It’s good to have a family. You all are so precious to me. Maybe more than you’ll ever know. I’ve always wanted to feel like I was a part of something, and here I do. It’s a warm and Thanksgiving-y feeling.

Go theatre club. Now turn in your hours!

At a company meeting. Packed in like sardines.

At a company meeting. Packed in like sardines.

Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

Scott McKinley photobomb series

Scott McKinley photobomb series

NOTEwood

NOTEwood

a band

a band

PTSD

PTSD

Rehearsal for Mulholland Christmas Carol

Rehearsal for Mulholland Christmas Carol

Mulholland Christmas Carol

Mulholland Christmas Carol

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See ya tomorrow