Thursday, February 01, 2007

Brand Loyalty

I performed Max Langert's play "Brand Loyalty" at the annual FronteraFest theatre festival last night. I loved the feeling of being on a team with people who have their own unique styles -- actors that I can learn from, that make me laugh and that give me a new perspective on the script. With Chad traveling so much, it's also nice to have some company at the rehearsals. (When I work with Murder Mystery Players, there isn't much rehearsing. We usually get in, do the show, get our paycheck and get out.) I want to give a big shout-out and thanks to:

Tyler Ball who has a background in musical theater, recently moved to Austin from Chicago and works as a computer programmer. He has a 9 month old son, Keaton, and a lovely wife, Jenny, who were very kind to let him spend time rehearsing for the show. He's very excited about the Super Bowl this year featuring the Chicago Bears, and had to make sure that FronteraFest would in no way conflict with the big game before agreeing to be in the show.

Teresa Diaz who has worked across this great land as a librarian, currently lives in San Antonio, recently got rear-ended in her cute Prius (car) and is great with kids. She had to drive a lot to come to rehearsals in Austin. She talked to me about UT's Information Studies program and is a great source of information and inspiration. Teresa also has a keen fashion sense, and I covet the shoes she wore in the show.

Travis Holmes writes, acts and is starting grad school this month. He knows a lot about knots (eagle scout!) which came in handy when he had to tie up Kara as part of the show. He has a cute baby too, who is named Henry, and a nice wife named Ashley who kindly let him spend time rehearsing. He often mutters funny quotes from animated series, and is probably tired of me constantly asking, "What's that from?"

Kara Juarez-Jones is, was and will be an actor for life, works as a renowned make-up artist and is pretty much a local super star (but you knew that already.) She was also in Max's show "Fugue for Five Waiters" with me back in 2001, and I LOVED working with her again. It's so fun to whisper catty comments to each other. She gives me valuable make-up tips too.

Max Langert (our leader / author / director) rides his bike a lot, reads slowly and is probably going to do this again next year. He also work peripherally in market research, which maybe explains why this year's show centers on a market research focus group study gone awry.

I wish I had a picture to post, but forgot to force any photo-opps. If we get to perform again for "Best of" I'll get some photos. Even if we don't get chosen as a "Best of", I had a great time!

Last year, I performed a monologue for FronteraFest. It was nerve-wracking because the responsibility for a good or bad show lay squarely on my shoulders. If I forgot a line, there was no one to rescue me or help me cover my flub. I felt like the caretaker of Max Langert's witty writing. In 2001 and 2002, when I performed Max's plays with groups of people, we were awarded "Best of Fest" both times. Last year, while I was happy with my performance and loved Max's script, Max & I did NOT even get "Best of Week", much less "Best of Fest." I admit, I had grown a little smug. I told my husband he didn't have to come to the show because he was traveling for work and could not easily rearrange his schedule to be in Austin. I figured he could come when I performed again at "Best of Week." Whoops. In his defense, Chad sent flowers, and it was only in retrospect that my feelings got a little hurt that he couldn't attend. Lest you think I'm totally spoiled, I don't ask Chad to come to my dinner mystery shows, because they are expensive to attend, very silly and something that I do more for the good company of my fellow-actors and the paycheck than to hone my craft.

For this year's FronteraFest, I totally nagged Chad to attend, reminding him often of the performance date. I really, really wanted him there, because this is the one acting gig every year that I'm proud to show people. I owe him a huge thank you for indulging me and showing up, so THANK YOU, Chad!