Diva’s Through The Decades! Day Off!
What a great opening weekend! Great audiences, great responses and the invited dress rehearsal went GREAT! Now time for a day off!
For me it’s just time off from the show but not from real life and not a break at all from the things I have going on back home in New York. I got a chance to have some fun with my cast after the show Sunday afternoon, though. We played card games, ate snacks and just enjoyed each others’ company after a long week of work.
Monday morning. I am up and at the airport to head back to NYC for a long three days of another gig, visiting with my twin nieces (who I never go more than three days without seeing) and doing my part time, survival job- substitute teaching.
I spent my Monday evening at my weekly club gig where I am a featured singer and background vocalist for other guest singers. Toshi’s Living Room is an Asian inspired, downtown chic lounge and restaurant that touts live music every night of the week. This night? Soul Night! Many friends and fellow musicians were in the house and rocked with us until well after midnight as I and several other singers performed soul classics, new and old, with an amazing band behind us.
After a little rest I spent the next day with my beautiful little identical twin two year old nieces, Tsephi and Eliel Patterson. They are the loves of my life and it’s the one part of being away that I really don’t like. Being a performer you have to come to terms with the fact that you may not be home much and you will be away from family and friends often. It’s my motto to make every moment count!
Wednesday morning I am up bright and early at 5:30am for my two hour commute to work at The Cademon School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to substitute teach bright and beautiful Kindergartners
! Their teacher, Ms. McGregor, is a delight to assist and help sharpen pencils, make puppets and taking the kids out for recess! It is a nice change of pace to be around children and the learning process. It’s a humbling experience and it reminds me to never forget where I came from and to always look for opportunities to share what God has given me with others.
Whew….I need a nap!
DIVAS opening weekend was unlike many openings I’ve had before. Hearing the applause from the start of the show was so exhilarating. We all stood backstage in our positions, nervous to be performing this never-before-seen masterpiece, so excited to have the energy of an excited audience and praying that they will love it as much as we do. AND THEY DID!!! The theatre did not lack woots or cheers the entire weekend. The audiences we had were so much fun and thrived all night long as the show went on. Cheers when our girls sang high notes, sighs when they heard the opening of their favorite song filling the theater with memories, and hollers when the dancers shook their beaded outfits to the band rocking out.
Its definitely hard to leave the theater without feeling so exhilarated and powerful. Being on that stage with all the bright lights and the huge band behind you, dressed in costumes that scream DIVA and a whole cast of insanely talented people…I can’t complain! I definitely think its sad that we are only going to be performing this show 11 times but I know that every night is going to be a whole new experience, a whole new adrenaline and bring a whole new level of DIVA!!!
After our show on Saturday we all got to get dressed up and in our heels….wait we wear those the whole show, oh well…and share drinks and laughter with the audience that cheered us on that night. It was so awesome! When the divas would walk into the room, everyone would start applauding for us! I don’t think I’ve blushed that much in a long time. Hearing everyone delight over how much they loved the show and the great time everyone had makes doing this job that much more fun. It’s so nice to know people are out there rooting for you and having a blast doing it.
DON’T MISS THIS SHOW!!! Can’t wait to see you all out there!
With our preview on Thursday, we all felt a little anxious. It was so great to have an audience though; really set up the energy for what the show would be like and how people would respond to such a concert-setting. But because of a couple setbacks leading up to our opening weekend, some of us were a little nervous. Even when we opened on Friday, we had only run the show cover-to-cover two times! But Carl was cool and calm, as always, and knew that when the lights came on and the curtain went up, this cast of professionals would put on a good show. And after our Saturday night performance, we were able to get a ton of great feedback during the reception! Patrons applauded as singers and dancers walked into the room (then we immediately ran to the hors d’oeuvres to slap a bunch of meatballs onto a plate and munch on cheese cubes and shrimp cocktail). We worked hard. We sweat. Time to eat.
Then the real test came… Sunday matinee. Oh, the dread of preparing yourself for a full out, ‘in-your-face,’ high energy show in the middle of the afternoon- not a great feeling lol. I was a wee-bit nervous about belting into the top of my range after only being awake for a couple hours. (It’s hard to shut down right away after a big show like this so being up late is common for some of us.) But I was really surprised with how adrenaline kicked in and ‘Divas’ was ‘Divas,’ no matter the time or day! We had a great show and even got to spend a little time afterward with an awesome group of people from the Special Olympics. They were so sweet and they definitely enjoyed the show! I can’t wait to do this show again – three days off feels like a vacation! I’m keeping my chops warmed up, my hamstrings stretched and my energy high for two more weekends of Divas Through The Decades…
Hope to see you there. Get ready to be TOTALLY ROCKED
Well it’s our last rehearsal before we go into tech week and I can’t believe it’s only been ONE WEEK! We have finished the entire show, learned so much incredible music, the dancers can hardly walk they’ve danced their little tooshies off, we’ve had costume fittings, and actually have one more day off tomorrow before this crazy week on the stage leading to opening night.
After the crazy snow storm we had, in which I hope everyone was safe and no one had to go to school things are starting to look a little more normal now outside! Luckily for us, we didn’t have to cancel rehearsal, only postpone a couple hours, so we still had the chance to work on the show. Right now, every last hour is imperative to getting this beast up and fabulous! The theater is so close to our house that we can walk there…but this has been no easy feat the past couple days since the storm. Yes the streets are plowed, but where do you think all that snow has gone? Onto the sidewalks of course. So walking to the theater is a maze all in its self, but one that was not free of laughter or fun memories that we have already developed in the short time we have been here.
We got to try on our costumes today and I have one word for you: SPICY!! The costumes are so much fun and are a perfect representation of these strong women we are celebrating and the different styles and pizazz these different performers have presented to the world. Malory and Jess are not only dancing and singing their faces off in the show but they are also the ones in charge of all the costumes, and man there are A LOT of costumes! And despite how many costumes pieces there are, they are gluing and sewing all of the glitter and fabulousness on themselves which is a mound of effort and heard work. These girls are paying so much attention to detail and specifics on these clothes and working so hard to make us all look fabulous.
Its definitely becoming crunch time and we are all ready to strap on our stiletto heals and jump on that stage with a mic in hand and an audience in the seats…but these next 5 days are going to be much needed before we open! Can’t wait to see the huge leaps and bounds that this show will have once we have the band…woo hoo a LIVE band…bright lights and screaming fans. Such an exciting week for us
The rising sun of saturday morning gleamed over Manchester New Hampshire and all of its snowy glory. Rehearsal was moved back three times because Carl was stuck at his house for a hours! But alas! The show must go on. And go on it did. While we waited for Carl to arrive, we rehearsed anyway, running new dances, group blocking, whatever needed work so that we could be productive. (When a show is put together this quickly, performers have to put in extra work in addition to rehearsals in order to be show-ready in time.) It’s also times like this when brain function starts shutting down due to information overload. But we pushed through and are so close to being done with the entire show!
As for me, learning the Beyonce section was fun… aaaand terrifying.
I loved being asked for help with the choreography (because that happens like, never). And it’s a style that I’m so into, so for once (and only once) in my career, real dancers looked to me for consulting. BAHA! My mom’d be proud However, the fact remains that I am not ACTUALLY Beyonce and therefore lack in the skill that she flaunts to belt up into the sky for 20 minutes and dance like she’s dancin’ for her freedom, all the while showing no signs of wear or breathlessness. Oohhh child, do I get winded and weary in that number!!!
Meanwhile, Angela is the riff queen for every song they can throw her into (“What? You want me to riff? Pssshhh… I got this.”) And Rose and Michelle are looking so hot and fierce as Pat Benetar, Madonna and P!nk. When push comes to shove and it’s time to put the game face on, those girls are absolutely fearless, and have the talent to back it up. I can’t believe how talented this group is! Oh and the dancers? I don’t think they have pulses. Because logic tells me that they should not be breathing after this show. Which just might happen, we haven’t run it all the way through yet. =P
Time to get to work! We’ve got three days left of rehearsal before our preview night and it’s crunch time. Literally. Time to do crunches. I tried on those costumes. Mama needs to hold on the Kit Kat bars. Eh
hem- with no help from Carl.
Diva’s Through The Decades! Day 4
We are well on our way to an amazing show! A lot of the day is spent making sure things are clean for the singers. A lot of the work lies in drilling lyrics and notes. Most of the work for us singers is in doing the homework when we get home so we spend a lot of time with our headphones on and singing. In the cast house you are likely to hear three or four different songs being sung at once!
In rehearsal with Carl there is a lot of stop and go! This is the part of the process where singers are put into the dance numbers and the dancers’ choreography is being watched and cleaned for accuracy. This also the time where things begin to “stick.” We are one week away from the invited dress today so we have to really focus and nail it!
It’s Day Two of Diva’s and am I actually going to say this….YES!! WE HAVE ALL OF ACT ONE DONE! Carl’s hard work and the cast’s incredible dedication has cha-cha-ed and shimmied us all the way to intermission. Of course we aren’t perfect yet and there are some glitches here and there but we actually managed to choreograph, learn all the music, and run act one on our second day here. This machine is seriously well oiled and going to shine brilliantly by the time it’s done.
If there’s one thing I’ve realized with this show it’s that no one will leave empty handed. There is a song and a dance move for every single person in that theater that will trigger everything from hip shakes to tears of passion. This show is filled with so much love and strength and compassion. It is definitely a marathon for both the cast and the audience.
And speaking of running marathons, after seeing the flashy, body baring costumes that we are going to be shaking around in, I’ll definitely be at Gold’s working up a sweat. Jess and Mallory must have hands made of diamonds because all of our clothes are bedazzled and pizzazzed to the point of no return. Audience take caution: extreme shimmering could cause the need to get up and SANG!
This show could not be more fun. While we are all working so hard, it’s coming together so fast and the passion that we all have for this music and these women is only making it that much more heart felt. The dancers are working their bums off and definitely sweating them away. The singers are singing notes with Julie in the other room that we weren’t totally sure we could if it weren’t for our love for these songs. Carl is a crazy man setting this entire show and kicking serious Diva Bum while he does it. And despite the serious hard work we are all putting into this who, it has already been one of the most positive, adventurous, and Diva-licious experiences any of us have had!