Shadow Horse

My PR Guy Should Be Fired

Hi there!  Yes, it's been months since I've written. Don't take that to mean that I've not been busy...far from it. I'm just a lot better at posting on my personal social media pages ten plus times a day than sitting down to even write a simple little post about my most recent audition, or class work, or the shows I've been doing.

I've been doing a commedia dell'arte show monthly with Shadow Horse Theatre, playing all sorts of fun commedia characters. We do the shows in half-mask, and they are partially-improvised comedies. Sometimes sketch-based, sometimes a full-length storyline. They've been really fun to perform with, but I'll be on hiatus from that for a while because of my upcoming show for the Twin Cities Horror Festival!

More details on that soon. In the meantime, Fringe just ended, and while I had to opt out of doing a show this year, I did end up attending and seeing 25 mostly really good shows. I love my yearly theater binge SO MUCH. And this time I came out truly inspired to create my own production, with two totally different ideas for shows, and I have a meeting with a friend to start brainstorming for the one this week.

I will also be taking part in The Actors' Workout's first ever industry showcase, performing a scene from Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane with Colleen Barrett, directed by Adam Glatz.

And finally, I got new headshots taken last month, and I am currently agonizing over which ones to choose. I won't stay indecisive long, because I can't wait to show them off! I'll post them here once I've whittled it down from 225 to 4. Wish me luck!


Theatrical Fortnight

I meant to post this Sunday night, but got sidetracked. Going to have to be more mindful in the future...

Part of keeping myself on track this year is going to be setting goals, and another part is going to be me writing about what I do each week.  Sometimes it's hard to see progress or feel like I'm working on "my craft" when I really am (for example: those dead spaces where I'm not in a show, but keep busy with auditions, class scenes, writing, reading plays, and other actor-related things).  And other times, I lose sight of the art I love and spend weeks doing nothing to work toward any goals whatsoever, and then wind up feeling really lost and purposeless. 
A major goal is to not get stuck in the latter one this year.  Having goals is important.  And achieving big goals requires lots of little tiny steps toward them, not big, giant leaps. 

Baby steps.

My goals for 2015:

1. Do 10 scenes for class.  Not including remounts.  Last year I only did 3 all year (plus remounts), and so I hope to do much better this year.

2. Record my voiceover demo.

3. Get new headshots.

4. Write at least weekly in my blog, and publish 5 articles before the end of the year.

5. Find and rehearse 5 new monologues for audition season.

6. See approximately 80% new work, 20% previously produced shows.

That's what I've got so far.  I might add more goals as the year goes on. 

So, the past 14 days of my life as an actor have been filled with a ton of theater-related things. There is no particular order of importance placed on these things, though perhaps there should be. Some of them are definitely more meaningful, more purposeful, and more in-line with my goals than others. I'm going to star the ones that are important baby steps toward my bigger goals.

  • I put up two scenes from Magnolia in class, and then remounted them the following Monday.***
  • At my job at the U of M Medical School, I played the mother of a sick infant; I worked on communications and presentation skills for case presentations; and I helped first years practice their exam skills with me as their patient.
  • I checked out a giant stack of plays from the library and have read quite a few of them (The Flick, Halcyon Days, Shooting Star, In a Forest Dark and Deep). I'm currently reading Trust, by Steven Dietz.***
  • I went to see three shows, all new works: Theatre Novi Most's Rehearsing Failure and The Red Eye to Havre Grace at the Walker's Out There series were both devised pieces, and Loudmouth Collective's production of A Bright New Boise.***
  • I re-watched Breakfast at Tiffany's (in the interest of making my roommate watch it for the first time ever), watched Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, and saw A Most Violent Year.
  • I binge-watched Galavant.
  • I did a private play reading with some other actors for a company I'd love to work with.
  • I had a lovely dinner with my director from Candid Theatre's production of Hauptmann.
  • I was asked to do four separate paid gigs which I was unable to accept because of conflicts with other commitments.
  • I auditioned for one play and was called back. Auditions are still a bit sparse at the moment.
  • I attended birthday festivities for three different theater friends and the Bar Mitzvah of another theater friend's son; My friend Rachel taught me two chords on the ukelele, and I tried out some new songs at karaoke, so I feel musically accomplished; and I went dancing at Transmission for David Bowie night. 

I think that's a pretty good start to my year!  Now on to my second month...

Small steps I want to take this week toward each of my big goals:

1. Email possible scene partners about a few more class scenes.  I have possibly in the works two scenes.  I'm meeting with one classmate on Thursday to discuss, and the other one hasn't gotten back to me yet.

2. Transcribe 3 commercials that I've recorded that I could use for my demo.

3. I have to pay my taxes for last year before I can get new headshots, but I will work out at least three days this week.  Gotta get more in shape for my shots!

4. I will write on a topic of importance to me, some sort of rough draft. And I will update this blog by this Sunday as well.

5. I will cut a monologue or two from one of the plays I read recently.

6. I am seeing one play this week, and it's Caryl Churchill's newest play, Love and I think I'm doing good on my percentage so far. 


Taxes.  I need to get my tax stuff for last year together.  This is not working toward any big goals, but it needs to get done, so this week I would like to get all my mileage entered in my spreadsheet.

I am meeting with a filmmaker I know to discuss a project we want to work on together.

I'm sure that's plenty...I still have work and rehearsal for Commedia Day with Shadow Horse Theater, which is February 25th.  I'm sure all of this will keep me quite busy!

Until next Sunday...


And We're Off!

Well, there has been no real time for reflection.  Not really.  What with that family holiday stuff, working solid since I've been back in town.  Who needs to reflect?  Okay, I probably still should, but I haven't had time to figure out numbers and such or finish my record-keeping for last year, so maybe let's just do a little bit right now. 


I do keep track of my auditions. In theory.  In practice, I have no clue.  I'm really really bad at keeping my spreadsheet updated.  Back when I started keeping track and trying to get myself to go to many many auditions just to get over my fear of them, I believe during my first year of having that goal I went to 55 auditions, and I thought that was a lot.  Since then I've gotten a little more selective about my auditions, but I still think that 60 is about average. I might find out differently after I do my tally. I already know that my callback rate has gone WAY up over the past few years, so that's always a positive.


I was in only two actual full length shows (Crazyface by Clive Barker with Shadow Horse Theatre and Hauptmann by John Logan with Candid Theater).  Crazyface took about three months out of my year, though, and the other about two months.  I did one music video and World Commedia Day as well (which was a full two hour show, but improvised, so that should count for something, right?), and I did Chameleon Theatre Circle's season preview day, performing a piece from their upcoming production of Durang's "Betty's Summer Vacation."

Class Scenes:

Ugh, this might be harder.  I know I did a scene from Butterflies are Free, one from Other Desert Cities, and then one from the movie Housesitter.  I think that's it.  There were a few others discussed and then shelved for various reasons.  That's not the best record. Okay, that's a terrible record, actually. I will do better this year!!

With that in mind...

My next blog post is going to be about the roles that I'm working on for class right now and the challenges inherent in each.  I've got three scenes on the books, so there's plenty I need to be doing to prepare for them. Research is one of those things I'm apparently terrible at getting myself interested in doing (though it wasn't always that, I wonder what THAT'S about), so writing about my roles here and the research into each will be a fun exercise. 

Quiet Time

Crazyface closed a few weeks ago now.  Fringe was here and gone in a whirlwind of parking fees, drinking and 36 performances that I sat in the audience for.  (If you include travel time between venues, Fringe was more than a full-time job for me this year!) And most of the season auditions are now over. 

And now, it's the quiet time.  Time to enjoy the rest of summer, start working on some scenework for The Actor's Workout, finally finish my taxes (no, I still haven't done them...yes, I know...yes, I got an extension...jeez, lay off!), find a dress to wear for Theatre Prom (aka the Ivey Awards), and figure out what I want to do this fall if I don't get cast in a show. 

A lot of my friends have already begun rehearsals for their next projects, my roommate just opened Guys and Dolls at Bloomington Civic Theatre, and I am left answering the question "What do you have coming up next?" with the always tepid "You know, I'm not sure yet." 

That's not entirely true, actually.  I am scheduled to play Sarah in A Drinking Game - Minnesota's November 1st drinking game presentation of Labyrinth at Bryant Lake Bowl.  I get to play Sarah.  And drink.  At the same time!

I was also just asked to do a piece for Chameleon Theatre Circle's 15th Annual New Play Festival and Season Preview coming up September 13th.  I will be performing a monologue from Betty's Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang. 

And my friends at Shadow Horse Theatre are planning to start an ongoing Commedia Dell'Arte troupe that will perform regularly...I just don't know exactly when we'll be rehearsing yet.

So, I guess I should stop telling people I'm not doing anything.  I'm sure my time will get filled with things soon enough.  It always does. 

Crazy Talk

Announcement:  I have just recently started rehearsals for Crazyface with Shadow Horse Theater.  This fun show, written by none other than Clive Barker, will run July 10-26th at Nimbus Theatre in Minneapolis. 

I think they cast all of Minneapolis in this show...

I think they cast all of Minneapolis in this show...

The cast includes Andy Schnabel as Crazyface, as well as Derek Meyer, Matt Saxe, Megan Noel Johnson, Corey Ryan Boe, Derek Dirlam, Fawn Wilderson-Legros, Matt Kelly, Angela Walberg, Audrey Callerstrom, Ethan Bjelland, David Otto Simanek, Jay Kistler, Shana Eisenberg, Ilana Kapra, Earl Milton, Joel Raney, Jane Hammill-Golembeck and Joe Heaney.

Director: Paul von Stoetzel

More info to come!

*Note:  I saw this show when Mary Worth Theatre did it over 10 years ago, and I loved it so much I saw it twice.  I can only hope that we can match even half the brilliance of their amazing production.  We definitely have some large theatrical clown shoes to fill with this one!