Tag Archives: theatre

Is Rehearsing All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

16 Mar

I’m rehearsing for two different one-acts for two different shows.  One’s a comedy, the other’s a drama. They both open within about a week from each other.

It’s been really interesting working on these two opposing pieces with two opposing rehearsal processes. The comedy opens later, but began rehearsals earlier and the drama opens sooner but began rehearsals later. So basically one feels well worked on and the other, more or less thrown together. The cool thing about a shorter rehearsal process is it forces you into gear. No chance to procrastinate, no chance to worry about memorizing lines. You just have to figure it out. You have no choice. This immediacy also informs the performance. It gets you out of your head, which works out nicely because I typically get more in my head with dramas anyway. It puts you more in the moment. No time to really second guess your choices.

Of course, I’d prefer a longer rehearsal process. A decent amount of time to prepare, but there is something to gain from the thrown together shows. I never thought I’d say that, but got used to it with my theater company up North. It’s how things have been run up there for the most part. But now we are finally, slowly, steering away from that towards a planned out rehearsal process.  Much like that of the comedic one-act I’m doing. It’s been really fun having all the time I need with a comedic piece because I usually don’t get a chance to work on comedies. Those are the ones that are almost always put together last minute. I’ve always been of the belief that comedy comes out of playing out the ridiculous situation with all sincerity and reality.  Diving in to this “out there” comedy, the characters, the background, etc. has made my performance and the piece a lot stronger.

Ideally, yes, more rehearsals is best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive experience and learn a thing or two with just a couple of run throughs.

Shrinking Hollywood

26 Feb

At first, Hollywood seems like this big elusive place. You’re just a little tiny microscopic fish in a huge ass pond. Until you stick it out for a bit.

I’ve been noticing what a small world it truly is. Just like any profession, you’re in it long enough and some familiar names and faces will keep popping up. I’m not even a seasoned professional or anything, by any means, and yet consistently going to acting classes, taking workshops, producing theater, seeing plays, attending networking events, I’m starting to bump into people I know or find out I’m connected to people I didn’t know. And as we all know, LA is not a small town.

It’s actually quite comforting. And motivating. Here I am, still “green” as far as Hollywood is concerned, and yet I’m already getting called in for an indie feature via a director I know through a past scene partner and seeing multiple familiar faces at auditions and finding out certain actor friends are connected to other actor friends completely unrelated to me. Attending that screening for Four Faced Liar is a prime example.

It’s so great watching these connections and networks grow and to start feeling like Hollywood, believe it or not, is a real community.

Guest Post on Diversity at Note: Color Confusion

23 Feb

Another blog about a blog I blog…  This one was started by a fellow actor/producer/rock star NOTEr and it’s all about diversity in the LA theater world. It’s still young, but growing. I think it deals with important issues not only in the theater community, but in the acting community at large. I talk about some of these things in my first post on this brand spanking new blog.

Here’s a sample:

I am a half Japanese, quarter Irish, quarter Hungarian Jewish female actor born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

But to most people I look Mexican. (And to confuse things even further, my born and bred Japanese mother currently resides in Mexico… but that’s a whole other story.) After that, the ethnicities I usually get are Filipino and Native American. I can speak speak Spanish and Japanese conversationally, but I’m American and my native language is English. So, in the world of casting, where does that leave me?…”

You can read the full post on Diversity at Note.

2 Cities, 1 Show: ShortLived 3.0

13 Jan

As some of you readers may know, I am part of the production company PianoFight. I am incredibly grateful for being involved with them as it has given me the opportunity, not only to act, but to write, direct and produce– not to mention a whole set of amazing friends. At PF, we are very much of the mindset that you make your own success. For example, our playwriting competition incepted in 2008 called ShortLived. This year, ShortLived 3.0, will actually be taking place in TWO cities at the SAME TIME! Craziness. So, without further ado… some self-promotion for this lovely show I will be producing:

Two Hella Awesome Artistic Mecca’s Pick Two Gnarly Grand Champions in One Crazy Dope Cross-Cali Competition: PianoFight’s ShortLived 3.0 … (it’s a really big deal)

LOS ANGELES— January 11, 2010—Premiering April 2nd 2010, SF/LA-based production company PianoFight kicks off its three-month long, audience-judged playwriting competition ShortLived 3.0 in San Francisco and Los Angeles, running every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00 PM at The Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission St (SF) and The Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd (LA) April 2- June 26. Tickets are $20 at the door and online at http://www.pianofight.com and, as usual, brown bags encouraged.

Local playwrights and theater groups in each city will compete for audiences who decide the winners of the grand prize: the chance to pen a full-length play to be produced by PianoFight for a one-month run in two cities. The LA winner will receive a one-month run in LA at The Asylum Lab, and a second month-run at Off-Market in SF, and the same goes for the SF winner.

Born from a need to fill theater space and a desire to find new work, ShortLived has provided a platform for local artists to be seen, heard and summarily judged by the public. PianoFight selects the top playwright submissions from each city, eight of which are staged and performed each round of the competition.ShortLived 3.0 consists of six total rounds, each lasting two weeks. By scoring the plays on a scale of one to ten, the audience members decide which plays will stay on to the next round and which plays will be “short-lived”. At the end of every round the scores are tallied and the four lowest-scoring plays are replaced by four new plays. The highest scoring piece of each round garners a spot in the Championship Weekend (June 25-26) where the best of the best face off and the top voted piece in each city wins the grand prize: a one month run of an original work produced by PianoFight.

Last year’s competition introduced an opportunity for local theater groups to compete with their own material and actors for a shot at the grand prize. PianoFight will continue this aspect of the competition in both cities. Along with local playwrights, directors and actors, ShortLived 3.0 also features a constantly changing lineup of musical guests.

This year, ShortLived 3.0 features two competitions in two cities, all wrapped into one show. With ShortLived 3.0 running concurrently in SF and LA, audience members in SF will be able to participate with actors in LA and vice versa, through the power of the Internet. The opening piece to every show will feature the return of audience favorite, Xocko The Sock Puppet, reading opposite an actual auditioner (someone PianoFight has never met), and will require participation from the adjoining city, all streamed live via webcams and projected for the audience.

Past ShortLived winners include Daniel Heath, who penned the original “Fork Off On Your Own Forking Adventure Which You’ve Forked: FORKING!” and Bill Bivins, the most celebrated playwright from the 2009 SF Fringe Fest, whose full-length play “The Position” debuts February 4th at Off-Market.

PianoFight’s Artistic and Executive Directors, Rob Ready and Dan Williams respectively, will produce the SF competition, while PF Producing Company Members Nina Harada and Jeremy Mascia will head up the production in LA. Combined Artform’s Matthew Quinn rounds out the producing team.

PiANOFiGHT PRODUCTiONS is an SF-based production company founded by Rob Ready and Dan Wiliams in July of 2007. Teaming with Combined Artform’s Matthew Quinn and Steve Kahn, PianoFight became a managing partner of Off-Market Theaters in 2009. In it’s short two-and-a-half-year history, PianoFight has produced original works, premiered all-new shows, created and developed an online web series, and cut numerous short films, all while remaining true to its commitment of producing new work by new artists. For more information, visit www.pianofight.com.

ShortLived 3.0, a playwriting competition featuring local playwrights and theater groups scored by audiences, runs every Friday and Saturday night at 8PM at The Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Vine), Los Angeles and at Off-Market, 965 Mission St (between 5th and 6th), San Francisco, from April 2- June 26. Tickets are $20 at the door and online at http://www.pianofight.com.


SF – Rob Ready – rob@pianofight.com

LA – Nina Harada –  nina@pianofight.com