So....last Thursday after an abortive attempt at a pickup rehearsal for the musical (long story*), my mother (aka the producer) and I went out with Kevin (aka the male romantic lead) to this pizzeria-and-bar called Moretti's, out at Rt. 53 and Algonquin Rd., to sing karaoke.

Ordered a tall vodka and tonic and started leafing through the catalogue of songs they had -- there was one song I had very strongly in mind to sing even before walking in the door, and that was "Forever Young", by's one of my favourite songs ever since I first heard it on the radio back in the mid-'80s, and has this late-summer-night and yet beyond-space-and-time sort of sound that has always just transported me...back last year in my group AlchemyGold, that was one of the three songs I posted lyrics/soundclip to as having been most influential in my life/personal philosophy.

And especially these days, I read a lot in these lines,

Some are like water, some are like the heat;
Some are a melody and some are the beat...
Sooner or later they all will be gone --
Why don't they stay young?

And of course,

So many adventures couldn't happen today,
So many songs we forgot to play,
So many dreams swinging out of the blue --
We'll let 'em come true...

(which when I was younger I always heard, not necessarily wrongly, as "So many dreams winging out of the blue -- Well, let 'em come true!" Same difference, same feel to my mind....)

So, that was a definite one to do.....and then I found more, and made my selections carefully, sticking to what I figured I could do without forgetting the melody or structure atall (sorry, I still have to work up "Bohemian Rhapsody", though that is definitely in my target repertoire....:P). And then was slidin' out of the booth and up to the stage in the corner and back again, looking all cool and cocky in my dark-brown leather bomber jacket, hair kinda spiky and all. Final songlist, in the order I sang them:

1. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel, of course)

2. Forever Young (Alphaville)

3. It's a Sin (Pet Shop Boys -- and the DJ said he hadn't heard it in ages, so that was a blast -- not to mention that my mom liked it right off, never having heard it before, which I totally was not expecting, seeing as it's so over-the-top dark and dramatic and consciously deviant....I think everyone enjoyed that one, to be honest, except for Kevin...)

4. Blowin' in the Wind (Bob Dylan, naturally) -- and this was the thing that I hadn't foreseen, really -- I actually do sound like Bob Dylan when I'm hitting that place in my voice -- I get that same timbre up there, and one of the other guys nearby who'd been singing quite a few as well congratulated me when I got back to the table and said that he'd actually had to look up at the stage and make sure that someone was really singing live and it wasn't a recording.

So, I was feeling pretty good over all that, and I'm all fired up to head back there one of these nights, preferably with Miriam along as well, and maybe brush up on some U2 and Queen and Sting -- "Fields of Gold" is one that my mother'd like to hear me do.

She didn't do atall badly herself, by the way, for it being her first time ever doing karaoke -- I coached her quickly on how to hold the mic when she got up to the stage, and she eventually got the hang of the monitor and the timing of the animation. She sang "The Way We Were" as a solo, and then had me up there doing harmony with her (an octave down) on "Annie's Song" -- which sounded really good, btw. We had a great time, and I got some definite reassurance/inspiration/whatever that I can really do this stuff pretty damn well at the drop of a hat. Even if my hand holding the mic was going all quivery with adrenaline when I first started....heh, I don't think anyone noticed that....

One of these days, I'm gonna have to get a party together there and really have us all take over the stage for the night. Everybody in the local region, you just might wanna practice up.... >:)

[* The deal with the 'abortive attempt at rehearsal', btw, is that the church where the plays and their rehearsals are held was booked for different and conflicting activities, and the room across the hall from where we were was occupied by a hypnosis or meditation group, so it eventually became clear that we couldn't do anything at performance volume -- whether singing or running our lines -- without being too loud for someone's tastes. At which point I said we might as well just go out and do karaoke as planned, 'cause there was no way we were getting any real rehearsal done there.)
I really ought to start making a list -- some movies are really best watched when drunk. Helps a lot with the suspension of disbelief, and things can hit close to home without...hitting too close to home.

Plus, there is that wonderful invention known as the "blooper reel"...(okay, so everything's put out on DVDs now, so it ain't exactly a reel. Big difference. Wonders of modern technology. :P)

I suppose I ought to say, meanwhile, that my issues with the musical have subsided into, "Well, we've just got to do the best with what we have" -- and really, that's all we can do, though it seems to work best with my stage business and delivery insights, and Kevin's too. He's the second-youngest person in the show, and he's done the leads in Joseph and in Beauty and the Beast locally so far, plus he's a fellow singer/songwriter type, enough so that we two guys are the only ones doing extensive harmony lines on the ensemble numbers (yes, two tenors both dealing with Tom's incorrigible C-Major melody-only lines have to do something to make it interesting and singable). And although he and Kate think that I have a dirty, dirty mind [addendum: okay, it's just that I show it so readily and directly], my hyper all-outness has gotten them all a good bit out of their shells and into hamming it up. I think that my two major objectives are going to be A - working up my tap-dancing and tango, and B - seeing how many accents I can work into the performance (I already have the nicknames "Zorro" and "Dracula", so I may as well work it to the hilt...:-|). My conception of Martin is as a chameleon, and it's showing through quite well -- Kate calls me "Mr. Changing Personalities" at one point, to which I intend to reply, "I'm a Libra -- what do you expect?"

Oh yes, I have found my other happy spot again, faceting merrily/angstily/chipperly along, perhaps with a little Flynny goodness to boot....

[Hmmf. Perhaps more on Libras, faceting and happy spots later. Twins and scales, that's where it's at, ladies and gentlemen -- and you will observe that at no time do my fingers leave my hands. I don't think that the person who made that "Flynny goodness" reference (it was over LotR character resemblances..) is actually following my entries these days, though I think the rest of the web of allusions might be gatherable -- especially if there's a bucket of fish by the fireplace and pore Jud ain't able to die. :P]

My last entry was about the woes and stresses of acting in this musical that I'm in (and here's the website for the group, if you're curious -- I set it up myself, as well as being responsible for all the artwork).  This entry will be about the lighter side of things....such as my wonderful hats and what I can do with them (no, not that...).

I have this great brown-and-black suede broadbrimmed hat with silver ornaments and a braided band and tail that the lovely Litharriel and her cousin Raney gave me the summer before last -- it's a very dashing accoutrement, and I've managed to use it to great effect so far in the musical, as of last night when I brought in all my fanciest hats.....this, together with an "outrrrageous accent", of course, won me the epithet of "Senor Zorro" from my fellow actors -- and I will not complain if that stays in the show all the way to the last performance.  Also, the very handsome dark-brown fedora Litha bought me when we were weekending in Bloomington is used in the danced chorus to my first solo, for which dress shoes that make a good 'tap' impression are a must...

Other highlights of ad-libbing that have become part of the dialogue:

* Upon being introduced to my fellow cast members in the show, I kiss hands (with the ladies, at least :P) and say in turn, "Bewitched" (to Connie), "Bothered" (to Jeff -- 'Jeff Conway', actually, as Tom was not up on real names he might want to avoid), and "Bewildered" (to Laura, aka Jeff's ex).

* After my over-the-top dramatic schmaltz-it-up treatment of "It's Warm and Wonderful", when I say I "get compliments from both sides of the fence,' Connie asks, "You mean you get compliments from both Democrats and Republicans?" -- and I reply seductive-rakishly, "Even from Libertinarians...."

My singing's going very well, especially with having my solo/duet pieces transposed up just about a third (from Tom's standard non-singer's C Major) and having figured out upper harmonies where I need them on the ensemble numbers (where, in addition to the perpetual low Ds and Cs, having four people just in upper and lower unison would sound ghastly).  My dancing is...spontaneous and inspired, everyone agrees. :-|   And my acting in itself is, I think, quite "flamboyant" enough even without retaining any of the standard drag fare that Tom had originally written in, and apparently for a definitely older style of gay (there's only a very ambivalent reference to having done Charley's Aunt, and not precisely liked that very much, and a suggestion for "high heels, fishnets and feathers" that gets a rather ~:-S~ take from me -- not to name names as to where I got it...).  Tom was very fond of La Cage aux that's where his character idea of Martin came from.  My own (decidedly younger and more metrosexual) conception owes far more to John Barrowman and Johnny Depp, and does not by any means want to be pigeonholed as merely a queen when he's a veritable chameleon. Just so ya know..../:)

Connie and I (though both very 'dominant' IRL) are BFFs by the end of the show (okay, she's not exactly Judy Garland, but I've always had a soft spot for the odd girl/guy out in a dramatic love triangle, cf. Eponine); as for the actively-romantic element, I'm sure you can figure that out from either my comments or the program's layout of songs.  Not too much in the way of surprises there, but a lot of singing and cattiness and hamming it up along the way (>:)...) -- so I'd say it's worth seeing to see it in action, even if the "hokey"-ness is a bit much to accept as realistic.  The Logic Nazi in me is constantly wincing......but hey, I'm not on the user-end when it comes to this particular exercise of suspension of disbelief, and my mind is wound up with the logistics of things and relationships and making them as believable as possible.  If we get even halfway close to my perfectionistically-high standards, I'll have to consider that sufficient and satisfactory for the audience at large, whose minds aren't quite fixating on all the same things that mine is.

So, that's the rundown of things as they are in rehearsal....and if anyone in the area (seeing as this is going out to my Facebook feed too) feels inclined to come out, just drop me a line well-ahead if you can, and I (if I can, given my shortness of time online for this week at least) will email you a flyer with the $2-off coupon that goes out to our regular mailing list.

Apart from that.....yep, I'm rather busy with this, so I wouldn't expect too much from me socially or personally until the end of the month.  If it happens it happens, but I'm not counting on being able to do too much (or especially start anything new in the way of RPing, which is also acting of a very immersive kind) until this is over and can be safely gotten out of my system so other engagements and issues can get due attention. 



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