Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Breaking My Leg

No, no. I didn’t really break my leg. I just got the chance to be in a play.

You know, it’s actor-talk—Break a leg!

Sorry. So sorry. I guess I could have picked a better title for this post. But now that I have your attention, I’ll tell you about my first excursion onto the stage.
Daddy works at Hyland Christian School. He wrote a play for the students to perform. It’s called The Princess and the Fool. When he was working on the script, he and Mommy agreed it would be fun for me to have a small part.
The students in the play are amazingly talented and very nice. So they were more than happy to work me into a scene.  
I didn’t have to show up until the dress rehearsals, a few days before the actual performances. It wasn’t until then that I found out about my role. I would be playing the part of Ippillina, one of the princesses of the Kingdom of Zovidu. Mommy had found a great princess dress for me and even a baby-sized tiara!
I wouldn’t have any lines, I would simply be carried onstage by Jenna White, who played the queen. Once I was out there, I was expected to act like a baby.
I nailed it.
Backstage, just before I came on, I was fussing and crying a little. It was dark back there and there was a bunch of loud voices on the other side of the curtain. But when I was carried out into the bright lights, I immediately got quiet and focused on my part. I was onstage for a grand total of ten seconds.
After I did my thing, I watched the rest of the rehearsal with my noise cancellation headphones on. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying the play. It’s just that once in a while, it got pretty loud.
The performances went great. Both times, I did just fine. I didn’t break character once.
I have included my brief review of the play, following this post.
Both performances went way past my bedtime, but I have to say I maintained a pretty good disposition. Even afterwards, when people wanted to hold me, I put up with my fame with grace and only slight amounts of drool.
Finally, when Mommy and Daddy put me in the car seat and took me home, they noticed that my disposition had become a little cloudy. In the backseat, I whined and complained all the home.
When they got me inside and lifted the blanket, they found that my tiara had slipped down around my eyes. That’s what I had been trying to tell them. They felt bad and fixed the problem—but only after taking a picture. It was then I suspected that I was less of a princess and more of a fool.

Ippi’s Review of the Play
I loved it!
The acting was incredible. They not only pulled off the comedic aspects of the story, but they also showed they were capable of emotional drama—which is much harder.
Everyone in the cast brought the imagination of the audience to life. It felt like we were watching real intrigue in a medieval castle. We felt the tension of crossing the moat. The carriage ride looked like a carriage ride. The game of knives made us hold our breath. And the magic bridge scenes were…magic.
I could go on and on, but let me just briefly sum up some of my favorite things:

Hannah Guiteirrez was hilarious as one of the princesses, getting a big laugh with her line, “Now she’s just the kook.”
Dailey Reitmeyer did so much with a tough part, making Mezmerelda’s delusion even more fun and enchanting.
Abbie Vance quickly established the personalities of the princesses with her entrance. She was also very funny with her ad-libbing during the destruction of the flowers.
Allie Becker did so great as the princess focused on spiders. Her moment during the knife throwing scene with the spider broke the tension perfectly.
Tiffany Bennett delivered one of the most imaginative performances in that she had to pretend to sew with nothing but a bent paperclip. I liked when she dueled the prince.
Malachi Carter was a great king and a great pirate. I loved the way he delivered the line, “I never liked you.”
Jenna White commanded the room as the queen. She had just the right tone of cold kindness. She also showed amazing ability as an actor because she was able to add a baby to her scene and not get flustered at all.
Destiny Castro was one of the hilarious princesses and one of my favorite parts for her was when she was making the song Zooza was singing more and more complicated.
Nautica Cobb did so well at learning to run lights and sound for Act I and I loved his moment as the bandit frozen in position during the carriage scene. That must have been hard to do.
Sierra Martinez did so well at handling more than one character. She was also the only girl who had to tackle two male roles. My favorite moment of hers was when she drove the carriage.
Evan Vance was so impressive in that he was able to play a silly guard and later the bad guy. Both parts were so believable and were essential to the play. I really liked his acting in the climactic scene.
Javan Smith was so fun to watch because he pulled off playing two drastic extremes. He was great at being so brave and being so scared and that was hilarious.  
Caitlyn Taylor had one of the hardest parts in Act I, since she had to play the “straight man” to the funny stuff going on around her. Her role as Dulcinea was great and added so much to the carriage scene.
Lydia SunderRaj did an amazing job both acting and singing and playing an instrument she had never played before. It was obvious how well she did because when she performed the first song, even though it was quite silly, the audience applauded big time.
Marcus Christman was great as Prince Ambrosio. There were several times when he won the hearts of the audience. I think everybody was so happy when he showed up again at the end. He made people laugh when he cried and even made Adrianna laugh during the last performance. That was great.
Matthew Christman did so well coming across as a strong guard and a scary soldier. My favorite moment for him was when he was trying to drag Valeria away from the bridge. When he drew his sword, the scene felt so genuinely tense.
Ethan White was perfect as the fool. He had just the right mix of being funny and of being ominous as the secret assassin. His best moment was when he had to throw the knives. His acting made the scene come alive.
Beth Andrews is probably my favorite fairy godmother. She played just the right amount of crazy. My favorite moment of hers was when she was doing the fake bird sounds. But I also liked when she said, “Her head’s come off.”
Autumn Rivera was amazing as Princess Valeria. She pulled off playing a likeable snot—which has got to be one of the hardest parts any actor could ever face. Her banter with the fool was spot on. Her fear during the climactic scene and her tears in the last scene were fantastic.
Adrianna Vance made her interruptions endearing to the audience and everyone loved that she got Prince Ambrosio. She is such a good actor that her best moment hardly had any lines at all. That moment before the first knife is one of the best stage moments Hyland has ever seen.
With that in mind, let me just add this. The cast made the audience laugh a lot that night. But during that moment with the first knife, the cast held the audience in the palm of their hand. It was absolutely perfect, dramatic, mesmerizing silence. For that short moment, the audience wasn’t sitting in a gymnasium / auditorium in Denver. Every single person in that room was on a pirate ship in a fairy tale. And that is powerful stuff.
Amazing job, Hyland students! We were all so impressed!
Five out of Five Wet-Wipes
Drool-Shiny Thumbs-Up

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