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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Process of Creating a Solo Show # 6

I'm rushing to get current with this blog called Process of Creating a Solo show because things have been moving so fast, it's hard for me to keep up.

So last I shared my writing process and about the angels that I have been graciously been blessed with. So I'm starting to feel confident and I was even getting to the point where I could see myself actually perform a show. I was not nearly ready but I could see it.

I asked my ace boon coon Jeana Rhinerson to host a reading of my solo show. Only my trusted friends and fellow peers where invited. I basically read it out loud for the very first time. I was so nervous, but I was in safe loving hands. I asked for feed back and oh boy they gave it. Some critical some supportive, but most importantly I took what I needed and I left the rest. Everything they had to say helped me tremendiously. I kept writing.

I also got involved with a lovely team of fellow writers called Naked Angeles. Hosted by Kathleen Dennehy and Larry Clarke. Because I had to wear two hats, the performer and the writer I asked the actors from this group to read my different characters. This helped me separate and focus on my writing. Then I went back in and performed what I wrote. I am forever grateful for that process. Thank you angels.

As I envisioned a venue, I remembered Frank Megna from Working Stage. The first theater I was able to perform in when I arrived to Los Angeles. It had been over 8 years since I worked with Frank. I looked him up and noticed that he had a writing/performing class. I thought I need to contact Frank and get into his class. It would really help me flush out all the stories I was compiling. I emailed Frank and said "Hey Frank, It's a Blast from the Past, remember me?" Frank is like, hell yeah I remember you. I sign up for Frank's class. Here was another commitment I would make. Once a week no matter what, I will write and I will attend this class and I will get up on my feet. Eveyone in class was awesome. When it was my turn Frank would have us improv the scenes that I wrote and new stuff and by doing this new angles came up and things I completely forgot about. Fellow actors filled in for members of my family. It was a good time doing this work.

Frank decided that the student would put together a showcase of what we were doing in class. I had to at least do 15 minutes of the show. I thought this was doable. So we started crackin it in rehersals. A turn of events took place between the other students schedules and it was now down to only Hali Morell and myself and Frank thought to combine both of the pieces we were working on because some how they were related. We did an improv on how our stories were related and Hali went home and wrote then brought in the opening scene for our show. We were trying to figure out a date to have a production and then how Hali tells the story I came in to rehersal and said we've got to do it May 24th no matter what. Why everyone asked. Because my sister and her husband are coming into town that week which is rare and I really wanted her to be there. We must do it that day. Frank said let's do it, which meant we'd have to open in 2 weeks. Talk about fire under our asses. Exciting times. The energy was in the air. We were living in the theater.

We did the show for an audience for the first time and it was a hit. Frank and co creative director of Working Stage Diana Ljungaeus said they felt we could pull off a couple of more nights, which we did. After 4 shows, Frank had some ideas to flush out the story some more so we went back into workshopping to find our way through. Then Frank and Diana told us one night that they thought we could pull off another 6 week run, would we be up for it. Hali and I just looked at each other and said sure.

After a 6 week run we got some reviews and great feedback and had a hell of a good time.

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