Archive for Hound of the Baskervilles

A Year Full of Ups And Downs

2010… What a year!  So much happened that I do not know where the time went!  It started off LAST January when I received my first two awards for acting in You Have the Right to Remain Dead (as everyone’s ill-fated, lovable, hammy narrator… Harnell Chesterton) and for bringing the Grinchi Scrooginess of Mr. Henry F. Potter to life in It’s a Wonderful Life.  Even my best friends gave up a Bears’ playoff game to share in my moment as well as family!

I can’t even fathom the reality that I had limited myself to only two plays this year.  I tackled m first lead role in the three person DRAMA, Miracles.  I hope that Dawn and Rebekkah share in my belief that this play was one of the best shows I have ever been a part of.  Thank you Beth for pushing for this show to be done and spreading its important, powerful message.

Chris next challenged me to seek out a new vocal coach.  I had wanted to find one ever since Emily passed; however, I was uncertain as to whether I could find one as determined to help me in what I need to do.  Thank God, he helped me find Kathrine.  I could not ask for a better coach.  I just adore people who know where your talent lies and are willing to guide you with suggestions on how best to cultivate them.  Over the years I have had and continue to have some of the best!

I also became a board member of a new theatrical group in which I get to spend more time with my friends and help to bring The Wizard of Oz to the stage next summer.  I also had my first byline when I reviewed the company’s production of (Cr)Oklahoma! last summer.

My final performances of the year came in the Mare helmed production of The Hound of the Baskervilles in which I played a dual role as Barrymore, the caretaker of the Baskerville estate and as the doomed Selden who met a rather grisly demise.  Each production lends some challenge as well as fun working with old friends and making new ones.

The fact that I only limited myself to two shows this past year allowed me to do some very cool things with my friends.  In July, we went to Cincinnati to the zoo and then to Kings Island.  I had not been to one of my favorite parks in several years and to go and be treated as V.I.P.s was extraordinary.  Not to mention the multiple game nights (from which I just opened 2011), chats in person and via  Just good times!

Of course a year is not all roses.  On January 5, we lost our beloved Aunt Carol to cancer.  Gone long before her time but held on longer than many thought she would.  And more recently, my brother separated from his wife.  I think that ultimately with the help and guidance of prayer and the love of family and friends striving forward yet remembering the special times only make us stronger.

So as we bid farewell to 2010, wrap up the holiday season and look ahead to the new year,  I wish all of you the very best of peace, joy, and happiness.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne my jo,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.


Baskerville Hall No More

In a most shocking affair, Baskerville Hall has fallen.  The caretaker and his wife, the Barrymores were so shaken by the tragic passing of Sir Charles that within days of the heir’s arrival the couple decided to leave service in hopes of succeeding in some other business.  The Baskerville fortune left the loyal servants enough money to set out on themselves.  In order to start their life afresh, Mr. Barrymore altered his facial appearance not an hour following their departure.  The walls, curtains, furniture, bookcases, and all the trimmings lay in rubble.  Unfortunately, the relater of these events failed to have his camera to add photos to illustrate the unfortunate event.

However, the good times shared by all will be remembered in the coming DVD which chronicles the events of the last days of the once great estate and the mystery surrounding Poor Sir Charles’ demise.

Thank you Mare and everyone else involved in the Village Players production of the immortal Sherlock Holmes mystery The Hound of the Baskervilles.  Once again, a delightful time was had by all (even those two people who fell asleep who shall remain safely anonymous).  And who knows… it may not take another 9 years for another facial hair growth.  I’m sure there are several roles which call for it.  I am also pleased to announce that the ghost upon the moor failed to wreck havoc with Selden’s death… if only for the show’s swan song.

The Ghost Upon The Moor

Well.. last night’s opening night performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles was quite a success.  What began with reservations numbering 17 turned into a crowd of over 70 before curtain time.  Quite a feat when the small village had a home high school football game.  Of course, everyone is not a sports fan and the weather is starting to get that chill once again.

The audience was very good in their reactions to he events which unfolded on stage.  As predicted in at least one review, Holmes received the most chuckles.  However, there were some unexpected guffaws as well.  One involving a ghost which must just now have decided to wreck havoc with the lights upon the moor.  Holmes and Watson come upon a corpse and investigate.  Usually, this is done with the assistance of not only their illuminated lanterns but a greenish glow surrounding the deceased.  At the end of the scene, the ghost decided to raise the stage lights prior to the “corpse’s” exit from the stage.  “He’s ALIIIIVE!

The cast was brilliant!  Even Sir Henry seemed to have relaxed and created an entirely new dynamic to his character.  Wonderful what a great audience can do!

After the performance, the cast and some VP members gathered for a small reception.  I got to chat with my favorite Tevye (who was to be “Potter’s goon” but more important matters arose) , his wife, and their growing little one who was a wee babe the last I saw her at January’s awards banquet… now she is up toddling around.  I was surprised to see Me and Ca in attendance… no idea they were going to be there.  Ca is bringing a bus load of students to this afternoon’s matinee.

So shortly after midnight, the last of the revelers departed.  Good thing I convinced the boss to let me skip my 8am-10am shift.  She did not even realize I was supposed to be there this morning.  Now.. if only I can convince her of that on Sunday mornings.

One down… three to go.

Fun Rehearsal

Not that they are not all fun, but our next to final rehearsal was more of a chance for the cast to just hang out, eat some pizza and cookies which I DID BAKE MYSELF! and run through the show unencumbered by technical stuff. I had planned to bake up a batch of Toll House to take.  However, I decided to do this yesterday since I had to work today and did not get done with my shift until it was time to head to the Huber.  I was amazed that the cookies lasted this long particularly when there were a bunch of kiddies here yesterday after school dismissed 2 hours early for a parent/teacher conference session.  My warning of one cookie a piece must have worked wonders.  Of course, I did divide up a small bowl for home and still had some left to bring home.

When I arrived at the theatre, I was immediately asked if I had read the reviews from the two of three papers from Sunday night.  Apparently, I personally had quite a glowing review.  One publication remarked:

the wonderful Jamiahsh (who can speak volumes with a simple gesture or raised eyebrow)

The second paper noted that my performance was “stunning, once again.”

All I can say is “WOW!” I did chuckle a bit as I sat and read them.  But overall, both reviews were quite complimentary and made the anticipation that much more palpable.

All I can say is that I am extremely humbled and thank God that He has bestowed upon me a great passion, appreciation, and talent for the stage.  There really is no other place I’d rather be (unless it be with a great group of friends and family).  I honestly and truly do believe that that is my calling.  Sounds humble, doesn’t it? 😉

I did however, draw a blank on one line (sometimes, I wish we had a videographer to record these moments for a gag reel)… having too much fun on our fun night, eh?

Work, Praise, and Play

All three in that order.  My five hour shift went fine… UNTIL… four o’clock came and the only other employee in the store was due to be off and the next one did not come in until 5.  So, my work completed or not, I had to be up front and mind the store by myself.  I did have a surprise visit from the former band and choir directors from our rival school.  Very close friends of Emily.  I really hadn’t seen them since the funeral so nice to chat for a few minutes.  Five o’clock came without incident and the two evening shifters took over.

After coming home to relax a bit, I went to worship lead at mass.  Went really well.  Looking over the edge of the loft, I saw my two nephews and niece with their mother (her weekend with the kiddos while dad went to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes hopefully take over the number one spot in the rankings after Alabama was beaten).  Noah waved as he was looking up so I waved back.  After finishing the last note of “Go, Be Justice” I had to quickly say my farewell and head over to the Huber for our Saturday night rehearsal which was threatened about a week ago.  Hopefully, Barrymore’s presence was not missed too much in most of Act I, but I did make it for my last beat.

Quite a turnaround from Thursday night’s rehearsal!  Much smoother and a lot fewer shouts of “Line!” to the promptress which made Mare, Mare very happy.  Since she had to leave for work, Watson dismissed us after reminding us that tomorrow is Press Night.  Hopefully, everyone will be on their “A game” as we take the newspaper reviewers to Victorian era London on the trail of the fiendish Hound of the Baskervilles.


A New Title

Yesterday after putting my time in at my day job, I headed over to the Huber for set construction.  I finally got a glimpse of the old theatre full of flats, scraps, set decor, etc.  It was like walking into an attic which I enjoy doing looking at the treasure trove of the past.  We took a bunch of flats and furniture over to construct Holmes’ abode  at 221B Baker Street as well as Baskerville Hall.

When it comes to set building, I fall into one of two categories… those who can… do.  Those who can’t… stand aside.  The paint brushes were snatched up before I got a chance to put my paining to use.

I was useful in my new role of facilitaTORE (emphasis on the TORE!).  I am perfectly willing to do my part even if it means playing fetch, holding a ladder, or whatever seemingly minor job needs tending to.  I even got to tape some of the seems in the walls before the paint was applied.  I know where my real talent lies I just am taken aback that some have more than one theatrical talent.

But after nearly 10 hours of work, the set is (according to reliable sources) about 90% complete.  I must say that working with friends to get the job done definitely helped.  Laughing, pizza, laughing, and a lot of work goes somewhat more smoothly when you have friends with you and even some who actually know what they are doing… or do a good job acting like they do.

To see the finished product (which I feel will only help make those on stage look better), reserve your tickets now to see the immortal Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles, October 15-17.

Two Weeks To GO!

Two weeks from tonight will be  OPENING NIGHT of the Sherlock Holmes classic (still can’t believe how many odd looks I get whenever I mention the title) The Hound of the Baskervilles at the splendiferous (yes… that is a word) Huber Opera House!  For my part, I am happy to state that my lines are learned which is quite common at this point in a show (more common than the line learning from my last play… still a great experience but challenging which was even more rewarding personally).  The next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of activity from work to vocal lessons to rehearsal and whatever else may come my way but as always… I AM SUPER EXCITED!

Sunday, my talents will once again be used in set construction.  As many of you know if you ever need anything painted… I am your guy!  I remember the praise I received for my last set paining… I think it was a few years ago for The Odd Couple.  Funny how no one has ever asked me to once again use my paint brush.  Their loss, I guess.  But my talent has not gone unnoticed.  More than once justj has commented to Mare about my remarkable painting prowess.  We’ll see on Sunday if it used.

Hopefully, by Tuesday everyone will be better on their lines to avoid the dreaded Saturday before review rehearsal day.  I just learned that another tangenteer will be coming to review the show.  Hopefully, it will not take as long for her review to be published as the one I wrote for OKLAHOMA! did.

Click the link to the Village Players website for tickets and time information.

Back To Baskerville

Ok… let’s go back to the show I have been cast in.  Just to remind everyone where I am.  I have probably 95% of my lines memorized for The Hound of the Baskervilles BUT (as most who know me well know) line memorization is no where near enough for me.  Acting is much more reaction to what is happening around you.  As the caretaker of Baskerville Hall, it is Barrymore’s responsibility to ensure that the riff-raff does not overtake the home which he has so lovingly overlooked for generations.

Tonight, we ran Act I two times.  I was given a line which may or may not become mine.  Poor Eliza has only one line the entire act, so I was asked to read it since it could very well be Barrymore’s line as well. We’ll see if Mrs. Barrymore would like to retain her line.

After my first moments onstage, Stapleton complimented me on my facial and physical characterization. “You have the butler role down very well.”

I also have a very important bit prior to the finale of Act I.  I seriously doubt that the bit I have done since the beginning will be the finished product. (Blooper reel of the DVD?)  It leaves the director shaking her head every rehearsal.  “You are such a DORK!”  I like to think of myself as eccentric.  “Dork” is such a demeaning term.

He IS A Bit Draft

AH… the first week of a new adventure in acting!  A larger cast this time.  A more limited role… but an important role (which is what I wanted for the moment). The chance to develop a new accent.  ACCENT?!  And a chance to drive everyone crazy with a physical change… a change that will be remedied after the show.

I am playing the role of Barrymore, the caretaker of Baskerville Hall in a dramatic interpretation of the Sherlock Homes classic The Hound of the Baskervilles. Some fans have asked me why Holmes or Watson need a beard.  I am playing neither the detective nor his trusted friend.  John Barrymore and his wife, Eliza have been employed by Sir Charles for years and upon his death may know a bit more than they are willing to share.

This will be a great show with some great friends I have made amongst the Village Players (our director is a fellow tangenteer) over the last two years.  Two other WCCTers (one of whom is another tangenteer) have decided to come along for the ride! Hopefully, both js will enjoy the experience as much as I have in 4 previous shows.

October 15-17th.