Singing Like Lulu

If I could sing like Lulu to all of my friends and family who helped make this trip and this play possible, I would. Here goes. Those Fringe filled days, of telling tales and counting fails are gone. . . but in my heart, I know they will. . . they'll still live on and on.

First and foremost, Raye Birk, the best acting coach and shining example of what a theatre artist should be. He guides the members of the Actors Workout with clear and concise direction, as we hone our craft.

Shelli Place the director of Macaroni on a Hotdog, and Elena Gianetti, production manager for the initial run at the Minnesota Fringe. You ladies were supportive and encouraging. You always knew what you were doing, having produced a successful show yourselves the previous year. I'm so lucky to have had you both in my corner.

My talented and amazing fellow actors who lent their voices to the play. You made the dialogue come alive and every time I did my show I glowed, hearing you. It felt like we were all there together when I'd hear your voices, and that happy thought lifted my spirit, every day. In alphabetical order: Colleen Barrett, Neal Beckman, Tony Cammarata, Frances Mae Copenhaver, Tyler Driskill, Billy Johnston, Melinda Kordich, Lorna Landvik, Thomas Michlitsch, Andy Peterson, Mabel Thomas, Tom Winner, Phyllis Wright, and Walter Young.

Mark Copenhaver, you are the best sound designer, in town. I'm still amazed at how quickly you were able to edit and shape the voiceovers. Barbara Shelton, you let me rehearse in your studio and were calm and encouraging when I was freaking out. Tom Michlitsch you bring a wealth of graphic design expertise to the table, the posters and flyers you design stand out, and get noticed. Laurie Beth Fitz (and Health Connections on AM950), you had me on your radio show more than once to plug Macroni on a Hotdog, and helped me craft killer commercials. MaryJo Pehl, you were there for me, more than once, with just the right kind of constructive feedback and helpful suggestions.

My Highland Prairie Lutheran Church friends, who came to my barn the end of July for a special preview performance of Macaroni on a Hotdog. Yes, I put on a show in a barn, exactly like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in Babes in Arms, only I didn't do it to save an orphanage.

Rhoda Bernstein you and Erin Wright designed a fabulous website, for Macaroni on a Hotdog, you helped me overcome my tendency to avoid technology. I'm in awe of your talent and foresight.

Glenn. . . gol dang it. Couldn't have done it without you, and those first three weeks of the Fringe were golden. I'm grinning just thinking about the fun we had. It didn't seem like hard work, because we were a team, getting things done. I loved that, and I love you.

I'd also like to thank the officious woman (who will remain anonymous) who replied to my entering Macaroni on a Hotdog in a playwriting contest. They wanted short plays, so I submitted my script. She sent me a reply that nearly shriveled my soul. She suggested that I wasn't sure what a play was, and that I should go and see a few plays and take a class or two to understand plot structure and story. Thank you for being such a toad. It spurred on my efforts to make Macaroni on a Hotdog a reality, not just a rejected script.

The 2015 Fringe has been over since September 1st, and I may not be allowed to post many more entries. I wanted to make sure this thank you one got in there before I get cut off.

Last Friday night (August 28th) I got flyered while sitting in the courtyard of Surgeon's Hall, writing this blog. The very nice lady handing me her flyer, spoke English with an Italian accent. Her eyes were sad and she explained that it had been hard to get an audience and would I please come to see their play? I promised her I would, so the closing night of theSpace venues, we went to see the play #Realiti. The show started at 10:45 P.M., at Theatre 3, in theSpace at Surgeon's Hall. Glenn and I were both really tired, so I promised him we'd sit in back and leave if we started falling asleep. A good plan, but unworkable when we realized too late, that we were the only audience members there.

The nice lady who flyered me, led us down front and we had a command performance of a very interesting play. The setting was a reality series, and the people on stage could be voted off the program. The play was performed in Italian, and the acting was wonderful. It was difficult at times to read the English subtitles on a screen on the side of the stage. Some of the subtitles were tweets from the viewing audience, and they would show up, but disappear too fast to carefully read them. It felt like real life, when you can tell instantly if a tweet is angry or mean. . electronic conversations are often fast-paced and simple.

We applauded loudly at the end, and the nice lady came forward and acted as translator to let Glenn and I know that the cast was very appreciative we were there. The entire cast then applauded us, their audience. They wanted us both to know that they were going to be touring #Realiti to Milan, Turin and Rome. They gave us keychains that were used in the play, for a memento. They deserve to have full houses, it's a good show.

There's wi-fi in the Surgeon's Hall courtyard, so I was able to check my email after we saw #Realiti. I had a message from Sandy Thompson from Poorboy Theatre. They needed an actor on Sunday, to do a small part in their production of Pirates and Mermaids, and would I be interested in doing that? Um. . yes!!!! What fun!! I got there early and got briefed on my part. It was loosely scripted, and I was able to make some choices to personalize the character. After portraying a tour guide at New York city hall, who briefs the audience and escorts them into the performing space, I got to sit down and watch Pirates and Mermaids.

It's a very sweet story, that's brought to life by Jeremiah Reynolds, a gifted actor and storyteller. Sandy Thompson and Jeremiah collaborated on the cross continental romantic script. It's fiction, but several audience members stayed afterwards to ask what happens next, and is the story real?

There is nothing happier for an actor, to be offered a part without even having to audition. It was one of my favorite gigs ever, and now I can say I worked for Poorboy Theatre.
It seems very cruel that I have to leave this magical place and board a pumpkin to return to my cinders. Humph.