The Year in Review

Hi all,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and whatever else you celebrate.  I have been spending the past two weeks at home and will be going back on New Year’s Day.  My parents got to see American Pastorela and they thought it was really funny especially Horney, Huppey, and El Diablo.  My cousin and his wife tried to see the show but weren’t able to make it.  I found out that I was not going to get any payment for the show and some people were surprised I thought there would be.  That’s what my fellow Sirena thought as well.  All ended on a positive note and the house was pretty full for the last matinee performance.  James was trying to put together a benefit performance in Tucson to support the Ethnic Studies Program but getting a venue didn’t work out.  Instead I will be attending the Amazing Arizona Comic Con because I love conventions and also because I am now a  member for the cosplay group, The Arizona Avengers.

I have an announcement to make regarding my first career step of the new year: I am firing my agent.  She hasn’t gotten me a single audition in the past six months and one of my castmates told me that a few of her friends had her as an agent and didn’t ever get auditions either.  I am sorry about this but it has to be done.  One of the father’s of one of the young  ladies in the show is a pro actor himself and told me about a new casting office headed up by Chris Bowe and gave me  his e-mail.  So I will get in touch with him.  I will also work on possibly doing my own production of The Go-Girls.  I successfully got in touch with one theatre about considering the play for production.  The Arizona Women’s Theatre Company is accepting plays for staged readings for their Pandora Festival but my play has already had two staged readings, one of which was in a city-wide festival, so I won’t be sending it their way.  I talked to one of the company directors and I gathered from her confused answer to producing my play that the only way they’ll produce it is if it is in the festival.  I don’t have to accept terms that I don’t agree with.  I have to remember not to let desperation guide my choices.  I’ll also put forth the plan of Taft-Hartleying myself.  I hope that I’ll be able to be involved in one of Ryan Lynch’s upcoming projects and that we’ll be able to put together an acting class.

I will also be working on my writing and at long last completing my screenplay, La Famille.  I have an excerpt on the blog so please read that.

And in the boring files: I am now earning my teaching certificate to teach drama and I’ll still be substitute teaching of course.  Off to work.

Christmas Cactus

Hi all,

Opening night has come and gone.  American Pastorela has begun at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.  The space used to be a church and the stage isn’t so large nor the house for that matter.  It has the shortest backstage I’ve ever seen, which makes for some awkward backstage manuevering with props and people.  We are also our own stage crew and there isn’t even a stage manager.  The performance for today was cancelled, which makes me sad.  But my parents are in town again so it gives me a full day to have fun with them.  I really enjoy my Jan Brewer scene, but the protest scene that I am in gives me a lot of frustration.  That scene was added at the last minute and then changed again.  I’m one of the Nativist protesters and we’re all supposed to yell a bunch of lines at once, which was never clear in the script as they were all just clumped together and not given to individual characters.  There’s a playwrighting method of doing this and I don’t know why it wasn’t written like that.  They also gave me a heavy sign for the scene at the last minute that proved to be a safety hazard.  I insisted on having a smaller sign and so I now have less of a safety hazard on my hands.

We’ve all done well working with a confusing, typo-laden, incomplete script that keeps changing and there are some excellent comic performances.  There was also a lack of communication between producer/playwright and director, which makes for having to weigh two different opinions in your mind about what you’re supposed to do onstage.  We have four more performances to go.

My friend and her boyfriend came to the show and she gave me a rose!  I was so honored that she came to the show.  I really appreciated her support and she loved seeing me onstage.  I received numerous compliments on my Jan Brewer performance and my Halleluiah’s.  I should explain that last bit.  Another lady and I have to sing Halleluiah every time someone says certain lines onstage.  We didn’t get to thoroughly rehearse them so we had to work on the fly with sparse direction on that.  There were also songs that required a musical director and that didn’t happen either.  Neither did procuring a choreographer for the Angel vs. Devil dance off.  We all managed with our awesome skills to make this show work.

This will make for a long post but, guess what?  The Huffington Post has an article on the show!  Here it is:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/ethnicstudiesarizona_b_1139236.html#access_token=AAAAACuIpepUBAEf3lc7htwhwj0LWk6Ky1XaitdWnbsbuJke4N732k0002HJPiwM7RmG0kQIgqzqk2vZCGJrDljo7JaZB5UFaU0NypLZAwZDZD&expires_in=6481

And also the Phoenix New Times:

Nativity Ploy

By Wynter Holden

Though each version of the traditional Hispanic pastorela is unique, there are a couple of things you can always expect to see: shepherds, angels, farm animals. Somehow, Sheriff Joe and ousted senator Russell Pearce don’t fit into that scenario.

But there’s always room for politicians among the pigs in New Carpa Theater’s annual American Pastorela, opening on Friday, December 9, at Third Street Theater. This year’s show finds protagonists Hoopy and Horny biting the big one after a strip poker game against Arpaio. Enter Satan, who makes some sweet promises in exchange for his new minions giving Tucson’s ethnic studies program the finger.

Why target local politicians Tom Horne and John Huppenthal? “Because they’re right-wing, bigoted, and the closest thing to fascism America has to offer,” quips playwright James Garcia. “They not only need to be formally and publicly denounced, but mercilessly mocked.”