Monday, July 26, 2010

Characters in Session

The journey to the stage continues as the cast meets to rehearse. The first rehearsal was a complete read through of the script. However, this time the characters worked within their specific scenes/groups. Unfortunately, I missed out on this rehearsal as I had a prior commitment to interview Dr. Ian Smith on his latest book Happy for the Health & Wellness Show. So the details I post are as shared with me from a very reliable source and I have the pictures to prove it.

“Today we are going to do a structured reading” just so the cast could continue to become familiar with the script, work out any issues that they had and ask any questions regarding anything that came up while reviewing the script since receiving it at first rehearsal. We welcomed five members into the family – Zelda, Evgeniya, Amanda, Alison and Tara.

Ahh, but first a bit of housekeeping. We had to make a few adjustments to the script as a few areas needed cleaning up and we lost three cast members since planning the first rehearsal. If someone were to take a snapshot of the scene, you would think it was the night before a college thesis was due. Papers everywhere as people disassembled, some on hands and knees, and then re-assembled scripts to add the additions and changes.

Some brave souls stepped up and took on additional lines, and in some cases, entire additional roles. Great cast we have. If that wasn’t enough, we actually had to split the cast and work in two rooms, as we learned during first rehearsal, WE NEED MORE ROOM. Everyone then broke into working groups and began bringing the script to life, bouncing lines and ideas off each other. At times you had to really concentrate to follow your own scene as one corner of the room had characters almost to tears while another corner was breaking out in song.

Did I mention that we had a great cast?? Running between rooms, observing the scenes unfold was awe inspiring. Over and over the excitement was building as we watched the scenes unfold. Everyone has a solid foundation and we look forward to giving the production more shape.

The beginning of this rehearsal process is so exciting because, even though everyone is becoming familiar with the play, we are also learning so much about it, the stories and the journeys. And we’ve only scratched the surface.
Until next rehearsal, spread the word -- as the journey is coming to the stage.

First Rehearsal


Saturday, July 10, 2010

The First Rehearsal!

Today is our first rehearsal, the day we meet the cast, we're all excited! I'm up and out at 8:00 am the rehearsal begins at 10 am. I was right on schedule. However, this would be the day that all things transportation will be a huge mess. Don't you hate when you are well on your way to an important meeting, leaving on time with time to spare only to be caught in a slow moving traffic - now you are left wondering if you would make it on time. After all, I still had to stop and get the box of coffee and donuts. We're going to be there from 10am - 1:00pm.

I arrived to the city with 5 minutes before start time. Somehow, I thought I could run in and out and make it back just in time. I race over to Dunkin Donuts and the line was unbelievably long, curving in the tiny space which is meant to get your coffee and get going. I called The Team and told them I was stuck on the long coffee line. I was determined to get the coffee and donuts. What actor wouldn't enjoy a cup of coffee and a donut while perusing through their script?

Finally, I was able to get the goodies and I raced to the Rehearsal Studio. Luckily, they were occupied with their scripts. Each cast member received a gift with their script (Thanks Ashley!)

I placed the coffee and donuts on the table and it was on.

Albert introduced The Team. Ashley began with an icebreaker which was fun. We learned a few fun facts bout each other. Some of us had our teary moments while we spoke of our connection to cancer. Thankfully, we have a diverse cast with members from different states of the country, Canada and Japan (a true reflection as cancer affects us all). After all of the welcomes, thank yous and general guidelines, it was time to get to the script.

The film crew was ready. As the cast members read their parts,I cannot describe the feeling that came over me knowing that this journey just made another step on it's way to the stage.

We made it through the script and the cast gave an applause (wow!! thanks!! ). We we will meet again in two weeks for our next rehearsal and we are looking forward to seeing them.

Here's to The Cast of The Day That Changed My Life!

A few members of The Team


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Cast - No Easy Task

With the auditions completed, it was time to make our selection. It was no easy task, there were so many talented actors/actresses to consider. The biggest challenge was The Team coming to an agreement, we all have our different views.

The casting director - a well organized, efficient leader, had a scoring sheet that we all worked on individually during the audition. Needless to say, we all had different scores and opinions. That does it!! It was time to look at the actual audition. After reviewing the audition and much deliberation, the cast was chosen.

We are excited and pleased to announce that we have chosen the cast and our first rehearsal begins -- tomorrow! Stay tuned as we will fill you in on the details and post pictures of our first meeting with The Cast.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

In Search of the Cast-Audition Day (Take II)

It's Saturday June 19th, The Team heads to the city for the second audition (hopefully final). We're looking forward to meeting the prospective cast members. There is a street fair, we browse knowing that we still have time before the audition begins.

We took our time walking slowly to the audition site. The film production crew was already there waiting - we check in noticing that there are people sitting in our reserved holding area. We're still early so we hesitate hoping that they will soon be finished.

While the film crew sets up, a member of The Team peeked into the room. They were still sitting there -- waiting -- for us!!

Oh wow, the people in the room are waiting for us. Aimee jumped right into her post and it was on....

The casting director was ready to begin. Nastassia knocked on the door to usher in the first actor. Most of he actors were great. The Team worked smoothly. We had such a fabulous time without a moment to spare. It was a strong, impressive turnout - we were very pleased.

In fact, the actors were still coming in while we were leaving. I wondered if we may have missed a great talent. All in all, it was a far cry from the first audition. This was such a success!! The Team was very happy ;-)

Now on to the next task, selecting the new addition to The Team - The Cast. Who will be a part of bringing the journey to the stage? Coming soon!!


In Search of the Cast - Audition Day

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Our first casting call placed on the Internet - Craigslist and Backpage began with a flood of submissions. The casting director advised me to also place an ad in the Back Stage paper but due to the responses we were receiving, I felt that it was not necessary. However, the turnout on audition day was not as impressive. The Team being a fab. force, kept a positive and enthusiastic attitude.

It was Saturday morning, May 22nd and there we were setting up and preparing for the big rush of actors/actresses who are eager and excited to have a chance to be a part of The Day That Changed My Life's cast.

We all worked really hard, looked forward to meeting the actors, and we were pleased to have had the first experience of our first audition. Yes, it was very exciting but we were only able to fill to cast members and we had many more roles to fill.

Without missing a beat, we planned for the next audition. This time I listened and followed the suggestion that was given by the casting director who said "Place an ad in the Back Stage - print and online."

The ad was placed through BackStage for print and online June 1st. On the evening of June 7th, the ads were published online with the print ad to follow on Thursday the 10th. That night of the 7th, submissions were coming in with impressive numbers and in no time we had pages filling up with new pages added to accommodate the increasing number of entries. Needless to say, we were over the roof with excitement.

The Team remained focus -- we knew what happened the last time. Will the next audition be a success?!!


Working, Meetings - The Team at Work

Do not be fooled by the laughter and smiles, our work is certainly no easy task.

As you can see we have worked in just about everyplace - a very focused team.

Late into the night, deep discussions, laying it all out on the table - working...

This is a work in progress. We have so many things to work out. In addition to the script, we need the right actors/actresses to deliver the journey to our audience. We have to focus on finding the cast, the film production crew, the site for auditions, rehearsal and the venue.

Although we don't always see eye to eye, we all understand that this journey is important. Each character's journey while it may have some connection to the audience -has it's own unique experience of those whose lives were affected by cancer.

We have big plans for our production!

We love what we do and we have a great team who also feels strongly about this journey.

Yes we want to share the journey of those affected by cancer. However, we also want to make a difference to those who are currently facing this disease. Stayed tuned for more - you'll be meeting the rest of the team real soon ;-)