Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 2015 Hayoth/Life Update

Temporary Cover Art
Hello, faithful readers and listeners.

As of December 10th, I have completed four tracks for the third Hayoth release, and am in process on the 5th. This latest track, which is untitled, at the moment, but with a significant amount of lyrics completed, will join:

Light & Shade
Tallahassee Bridge
Carnal & Divine
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Light & Shade and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades are both rockers, Tallahassee Bridge is a ballad, and Carnal & Divine represents my first pass at an instrumental track.

Track 5 has proven...difficult. It's on the ballad side of the spectrum, and I have been struggling with not only some chord changes that have proven difficult to smooth out for recording purposes, but eternal find the proper tone for my guitar. Something that reads as "clean," yet also has some heft, and a bit of punch. Yeah, I could layer guitar tracks, and I probably will. However, I want the thing to have some delicacy, and I find that limiting the overdubs can help make that happen.

My hope is to be able to edit together a "sampler track" of sections of the five finished songs before Christmas.

However, I am going to be forced to pack up the studio in a few days, as it's also our guest room, and we will have company from Dec 16th-19th (What? You don't have friends travel to see Star Wars with you?). I really want to get this done before then. Thankfully, the stress of being on call to understudy a (now Golden Globe-nominated) movie star wraps up on Sunday, and it looks like I'm off the hook, so more energy and focus for other creative endeavors.

Yeah, Pilgrim's Progress ends it's run on Sunday. I was understudying the truly great Michael Shannon. It was a weird place to sit, as an actor, but it always is when you understudy. It's not REALLY your show, or your role. Yet, you feel an ownership, because you've been in the room a lot. It's even weirder when you're there as backup for a famous guy, and the guy who's gonna be the centerpiece of everything written about the show.

Which, if I may digress, was only a part of the story. Michael was amazing in the show, absolutely, but so were
Kirsten Fitzgerald, Ryan Bourque and Charlotte Mae Ellison as the rest of the McKee family, Brett Neveu's script was stellar, and Shade Murray's direction was, as always, light as a feather and focused as a laser. Of course, there was also amazing design work by Chelsea Warren, Myron Elliott, Jr, Mike Durst, Brando Triantafillou and Jenny Pinson.
I would guess the rest of the understudies Mary Jo Bolduc, Grace Palmer and Spenser Davis (who also assistant directed) would tell you the same as I'm about to, it's the hardest, and just plain oddest job on a show. You try to prep, in case anything happens, but with rehearsal only once a week, without the repetition that I've found is pretty vital for my process, you never really get comfortable. You also find yourself, especially in this situation, for me, kind of wondering how much you should talk about it. Which is why I've not blogged about it much.

I mean, I certainly didn't hide the fact from people I knew, but I was/am always conscious when I'm writing on line that this just simply isn't my part. It's Mike's. Hell, I wasn't even entirely sure how to interact with him, or the rest of the cast and crew. I didn't want to be in anybody's way, or overstep my mandate. Keeping your professionalism, being friendly and open, but not assuming any familiarity. Every cast approaches their understudies differently, and you just have to feel it out.

In short, it was all wonderful. The best compliment I have, and that I shared with the cast many times (probably too much), is that for all the times I saw the show, dozens of times, I never got bored. It was new, vital, exciting and funny every time. I can't even say that about a significant number of shows I've been in, let alone watched repeatedly. There is a standby line for every performance, and while it's sure to be madhouse on this last weekend, if you have interest, you should try to see it.

One interesting side effect of this "involved, but not" sort of situation is that I am already well into my usual "post-show depression." As of right now, between Sunday evening, and sometime on May, 10th, 2016...I have no theatre or acting projects. That's when I start Seedbed at RedTwist Theatre Company. It's a "rolling world premiere" of a new play by Bryan Delaney, it appears I'm going to be only the second person to portray this character. I think it's going to be fun, I'll be playing opposite Jacqueline Grandt again, which was quite rewarding in Good People this past summer.

I had hoped to have something between now and then, but, alas, alack, it did not pan out. Which is probably good for my Hayoth output. I've also had some encouragement in the realm of writing, and I think it may be time to get going on some of the script ideas that have continued to percolate.

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