Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Performance class this Friday

Folks, Ksusha is away this Friday, so Dr. Mosteller will accompany you (Shane, let's wait till next week to do Stravinsky: sing one of your musical theatre pieces instead). Please sign up on his door, and give him music in advance rather than asking him to sight-read on the spot. Thanks!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Naxos music library trial available!

Sterne Library has a trial of Naxos Music Library through February 29, 2012. Use it in good health: this is a great way to get in your four hours of listening for the semester! Keep track of what you listen to in your online journal.

You can access Naxos on the Sterne Library Database Previews page at http://www.mhsl.uab.edu/dbpreviews/. A BlazerID login is required for off-campus access.

“Naxos Music Library [NML] is the world´s largest online classical music library. Currently, it offers streaming access to more than 65,770 CDs with more than 943,600 tracks, standard and rare repertoire. Over 800 new CDs are added to the library every month.

The library offers the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues plus the complete catalogues or selected titles from over 378 classical, jazz and world music labels with more labels joining every month. Classic pop and rock music as well as Chinese orchestral music are also represented.” There’s also “lots and lots and lots of all kinds of music” as noted on the Database Preview page.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MOLM notes from Sunday rehearsal

We talked about some of these things in rehearsal, but some reminders:
-we will work during choir time on Wednesday. Check the calendar and be there!
-start working off book this week. Calling for lines is fine, just so long you stay in character and keep things moving. If you are so glued to the script that you can't even think of using your props, you're behind. Get cracking and catch up.
-be early to rehearsal, plugged in and ready to begin at downbeat. "All called" means just that: everyone in the cast. Be there, without a phone call to remind you. Each last-minute "I forgot to tell you," lateness, or no-show will be reflected in your grade. Make plans now for Tech Week: if you miss a rehearsal after March 8, you're out of the show. If you miss one between now and then, your grade will suffer.
-the opening scene revealed that most of you have not looked at this since we first blocked it. Review it, be clear about your blocking, and don't let today's train wreck happen again. I will not take rehearsal time to remind you of what is your responsibility to remember. We'll do this again this week: be ready.
-BRAVI to Micah, Callie, Valencia, and Brad! Your work in your scenes is the level at which everything needs to be. You listened, reacted, and made choices. Fantastic work. Folks, everyone needs to live up to their standard.
-remember how you walk as each character. Charles, this especially applies to you.
-Shane, watch "Funny Thing...Forum" with Zero Mostel. That combination of serious/comic may be a direction for you to consider.
-Joe, start injecting some humor back into the Governor. Yes, you're the head honcho: you also have so much power in that cell block that you can have fun with your power.
-everyone, make more sound when you attack Don Q and Sancho: the Governor needs a reason to yell at you to be quiet.
-Bennett, play with the idea of being the "toady" to Pedro (think of the bully's sidekick in "A Christmas Story"). You'd never do any of these things by yourself, but you get nasty because you're pressured into it. Also, take much longer to recover from being kicked in the crotch. We should see pain, resentment, etc. before you return to enjoying making fun of Aldonza.
-Muleteers: you're a gang. Be clear about where you fit in the pecking order.
-Great horses, Bennett and Brett!
-Brad, keep working on clearly enunciating every syllable. Never fall into casual speech: this character uses each sound as a weapon. Speak slower and more deliberately than you think you need to. Think "bookish" rather than physically intimidating: you're average (or below average) in every way...except you have a degree. From a fourth-rate community college.
-EmKay, excellent work overall. Your arrival in the scene was a breath of fresh air and energy. Be sure that you don't jut your chin in your effort to show character: it will tire you out vocally really fast. Let your anger show in your eyes instead. Keep your chest up.
-everyone is visible throughout the entire show, unless you are offstage the moment before or after an entrance transitioning into a new character. Be sure you are listening, reacting, and in character at all times. Remember you are prisoners with nothing else to do, perhaps for years. You're going to be tortured or killed when the time comes: this is the best show in town for you. You also want to believe in something bigger than a jail cell: Quixote's imagination does this for you. Put your ENERGY on whatever is the focus on stage...all the time. Work at this: it is an acquired discipline. You can't turn it on the week of the show, any more than you can run a four-minute mile your first time around the track.
-everyone, any moment that you can run lines with a friend, do it. A scene off-book is one less scene to worry about. Work from the beginning of the show and memorize one scene at a time. Do line speed-through readings, and do it this week. Keep each other honest: this is a team effort.
-it's time for me to turn up the heat, and I'm doing it this week. Be ready!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Revised rehearsal times

Folks, check the calendar. I've moved some times back since we won't have choir: this should allow all of you to be there, and for us to get finished earlier. Remember, next week begins off-book work: start to get away from those scripts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MoLM upcoming schedule

Folks, good work today...*after* you focused. Please remember we have only six rehearsals total before moving into Sirote. With NATS and the choir trip to Georgia, this will come sooner than you think. Review blocking, stage combat, and choreography before coming to rehearsals: we cannot continue spending the first 20 minutes reviewing what you should already know. Starting Sunday, work off book as much as you can. You may call for lines as often as you wish without penalty next week: just stay in character and keep things moving.
If I have asked you to bring a prop, please do so ASAP or let me know if you need help getting it to Hulsey. We need to work with everything possible. Also, please be on time to every rehearsal. No more asking if you can change into rehearsal clothes, etc. when the rehearsal has already started. Do that on your own time, and be ready to start at the appointed hour.
These are all friendly reminders...but also a warning that starting next week, I'm turning up the heat! The pressure will be on. Enjoy NATS and Georgia, and get ready for the REAL work.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stage combat and dance rehearsal

Folks, remember Tuesday's rehearsal is stage combat and dance rehearsal. Please dress in clothes that allow you to move comfortably--sweats highly encouraged. Ladies, if you have a skirt you can add for the Gypsy dance, feel free to bring. Thanks.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For young singers doing auditions...

...this is a great reminder from Bill Florescu of the Florentine Opera. Read this, and heed its wisdom!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sign up to sing!

Folks, remember to sign up to sing in Friday's master class if I have assigned you to sing. The list is on Dr. Mosteller's door. Thanks!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

NATS singers

Folks, this week be sure you have hard copies of all music for NATS. Check the library, check with me, or buy it. This is required to compete: you may not use photocopies! If you need to purchase it, there are several links on this blog to sites that sell sheet music.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

MOLM Sunday rehearsal now 3-6pm!

Sunday's rehearsal plan is changed due to EB's schedule: she can only come at that time this week! Check the calendar. Sorry for any inconvenience...please do what you must to be there.

NATS sing-through

Both Ksusha and Dr. Mosteller are available for a mini-studio class where you can sing through your NATS rep this Monday. Shall we aim for 4:40, right after Chamber Singers? Please post here and let me know. Thanks!

Friday, February 3, 2012

BRAVO to MOLM cast

Darlings, thank you for your work today. Staging fight scenes is long, arduous work, and you truly worked today. I'm proud of each of you for stepping outside your comfort zone. Remember that your job in these scenes is to make it look believable, not to make it feel believable. Maintaining emotional distance, as we discussed today, is part of maintaining not only your sanity but also your physical safety in heated situations like this, where hitting your marks is so crucial. Remember that the craft of acting is to perfect actions. Rehearse these regularly, even if it's not called during rehearsal time. (I liked how Brett asked if he could practice his backhand hits of EmKay with her each day they see each other. Great suggestion, Brett.) The more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel, and the better it will look. Remember too that you are responsible for everyone around you: be consistent, and be in control.
This is a good time for a reminder that physical strength protects you and makes stage work possible. Maintain your health by working out or at least doing some of the strength exercises Ron suggested. Squats are particularly advised: you want strong quads to protect your knees. Brad has offered to come up with a mini-workout routine for the cast. It might be a good way to transition from choir to opera rehearsal: do your squats and sit-ups in between as a warm-up.
I'm very proud of each of you for your contribution. Special thanks to Micah, who stepped in and learned choreography until Brett arrived. That was a great way to take advantage of a learning opportunity: he now has experience with stage combat, even though he won't do it onstage in this particular show. Thanks also to those of you who did a lot of sitting around and watching (Valencia, Callie, Ally, Brad): I hope you learned a great deal as well, because the principles are all ones you may use someday. Even if you felt "unneeded," being there helps build community, which in an ensemble cast is crucial. And course, the hugest of thanks to our brilliant fight choreographer, Ron Hubbard. Show him the love!

Repertoire assignments

Hi folks, Following are your repertoire assignments. As always, I welcome requests! Remember, I reserve veto rights, but knowing what inte...