Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Inside Gaspard's Arena: Beauty and the Buccaneer

     Hello, everyone. Welcome back to an extremely lengthy post in which I talk on and on about the brilliant play I was in. It's called Beauty and the Buccaneer and it's the typical "Beauty and the Beast" story...but with pirates. Other than that, I'm not gonna go into too much detail about the play because I explain it more throughout the post. It was, hands down, the best original play I've been in and I can't wait to be in another one of Sierra Pines Church's Performing Arts dinner theater shows. Now, without further ado, let's get right into the post, starting with the audition and callback process.

Auditions and callbacks
The audition process was pretty basic. We all filled out a form with our contact info, who we’re auditioning for and the like. After a brief intro from the judges and the director, we all gathered on the stage and basically did a cold read of different parts. I believe we read each character at least twice with different people each time. 
     After that, we got our callbacks for other parts we either didn’t get time to audition for, parts we could possibly get or parts the director wanted us to try out. The callback process was the same as the first audition.
     About a week later we got the cast list. I seriously kept checking my email because I was so thrilled to be back into acting after a two-year hiatus. 

Fun memories pre-show
     My first fun memory was during the audition. I was reading for Lily, Beth was reading for Rosa and Bree was reading for Sofia. During the scene, Rosa calls Lilly a name and she doesn't like it so she begins to physically fight Rosa. I charged at Beth and Bree came up behind me, picked me up and dragged me backward kicking. It didn’t so help that she ended up picking up around the boobs which hurt pretty bad. It was super funny and we’re always joking about that.
     Three other completely random  fun memories I have is after I got cast as Rosa. In most of the scenes, I say my line (before Lilliana) who then pushes me down. I sit on Gaspard’s foot (like a little kid would do with a parent). Gaspard takes a step, realizes I’m on his leg and can’t get me off. So Sofia (Bree) and Lilliana (Beth) grab me by the legs and try to pull me off Gaspard while I hold on for dear life. (It’s funnier when you actually see it).
     The other memory is in one scene I run in because I heard Gaspard was in pain. Of course, we (the Silly Girls) don’t like that and blame Fouey for it. While Sofia and Lilliana are chasing Fouey, I sneak up on Gaspard’s back. He doesn’t realize it so he starts walking around in a circle looking for me. I honestly don’t know why I find this scene so funny, I just do. It’s probably the hardest scene for me because I keep laugh during it. It doesn’t help much that everyone else who’s watching is also laughing, which is good I guess. 

Me as Rosa and one of my good friends,
Mark as Gaspard.

     In another scene, Lilliana and Sofia, who are at least a head taller than me, are hiding behind me, the short one. And because of how the proportions are, my hand always lands on Bree’s butt. So one day she whispered to me, “She touched the butt.” and I couldn’t hold my laughter in, it was just too funny. Bree and I were on the floor laughing for a full five minutes, and no one knew why, which made it even funnier. Now I always try to do that on purpose just to annoy Bree (which is very fun btw). 

You can see what I mean here. On the left, I'm in Red, Bree is in
Blue and Beth is in purple. (photo credit: C. Collins).

Memories during the show
     During the show, I actually spent most of my time on my phone reading a book (Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I did have fun SnapChatting bits and pieces from the day as well). 
     Some of my fave memories are, after the first show, some of my friends and I went out to Bid Kahuna (where I used to work) for Frozen Yogurt. We got there half an hours before closing and by the time the store closed, at least half the cast showed up. The best part of that night was when Brandon (Beast Beard), sat on me and then I proceeded to get red lipstick on his arm. It was too funny. My best friends, Bree, and Dominique spent that night with me and we (meaning I) had fun making innuendos at Bree (who crashed in my bed with me) which really irritated her in the funniest way possible. Dominique also had a huge adorable fangirl moment when she noticed that the sheets on the air mattress for her was a dark green color…also known as…the color of her soul. 
     On the last day of the show, my friend Rose and I went to the Peddlers fair and in one of the booths, I found my exact costume for the play. If it had been in my size, I would have bought it for sure. I also really liked it when little girls wanted my autograph and when people told me how they liked how funny my character was. I had such a good time playing Rosa, and it made me so sad to put away my Rosa persona. 

All my castmates agreed that Bree,
Beth and I looked like vampires 
in our costumes and hair dos'.
I am Verona from Van Helsing. 

     Since I always do interviews with dancers, I thought, this time, I would do interviews with some of the cast members and our director instead. Enjoy!

Me and our lovely directARR, Captain Blondbeard.

Bree Rose as Pearl
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
R: Pearl’s dream is to sail the sea, go on adventures and change lives for God. She loves the ocean more than any earthly thing and strives to achieve her goal every day. I love playing this character cause she reminds me to never give up on your dreams. She is constantly told to give up on her dreams and settle for a normal life but she still keeps fighting even though she is scared and doesn't know if she can actually achieve it. She reminds me that no matter what to always trust in God and keep pushing forward for your dreams. She is so brave in that way. She is also so loving and kind and always sees the best in the people around her and helps those people see it when they can't. I strive to live that same way after meeting this wonderful character. 
T: What's your favorite scene in the play? 
R: My favorite scene is when Beast Beard lets Pearl go. It’s such a pivotal scene for the relationship between Pearl and Beast Beard. The scene begins with Pearl helping the crew really come together and bond with each other and leads to Pearl trying to help the Captain relax so she takes him on a walk. They walk the beach very awkwardly at first not knowing how to relate to each other. Then they find a nice place to sit and end up having some deep conversation about themselves and about what they love. They bond over the love they have and realize that they feel love for each other as well. Beast Beard realizes that he loves Pearl so deeply that he has to let her go. He can't keep her captive any longer cause she needs to help the ones she loves. It's this beautiful and heartbreaking scene that really shows the beauty and pain of love and how important love really is.  
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
R: I feel I have a lot in common with my character. She is so full of passion and ambition and I feel the same way about my dreams. I've had people my entire life tell me I need to let go of my dream and find a normal career. And I've fought long and hard with thoughts of doubt and fear. But like Pearl I've learned to just put my trust in God and keep fighting for the dream he gave me. 
T: Favorite line in the play? 
R:That’s a tough one. There are so many great lines. Especially a lot of improved lines that are just hilarious. My favorite improved line is when No Beard comments on Lantern flirting with Pearl and says "One day you're going to flirt with the wrong women and kill us all." My favorite line written in the script would be "Love is too important a thing to be ignored.” It's such a powerful line and really something that should always be remembered. 
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting? 
R: Acting can be a harsh world and if you don't learn that you being rejected isn't a reflection of you personally, you can easily be broken down and hurt. But know that it's never about you or your talent. It's just that your interpretation of the character does not match the director's vision. You are beautiful, wonderful and talented. God gave you a love for this for a reason, so keep pushing forward and always keep doing what you love.

Brandon as Beast Beard
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
B: My character is Beast Beard, the cursed pirate captain of the Seven Cs. He starts off as a dude with a problem: he needs to find the treasure.  Not just any treasure mind you, THE treasure.  The best treasure in the world.  Only then can he break the pirate curse he brought upon himself and his crew.  But, he has two problems, he has a limited amount of time to find said treasure, AND he has to find a "beauty divine" to give the treasure too and have returned to him.  Poor guy has a lot to figure out, and must figure out how to accomplish all of these things without being too self-absorbed, or "beastly" to everyone around him!  I can say part of the fun of bringing such a conflicted character to life, has been by inserting just the right amount of humor into him, making his otherwise intimidating nature into a more comical and, dare I say, lovable one!  
T: What's your favorite scene in the play? 
B: Honestly, I'd have to say that my absolute favorite scenes are the ones focused on Pearl and Beast Beard.  Incidentally, one of those scenes includes a very comically memorable "I'm Sorry" Scene, of which several have informed me is their personal favorite!  Not only are those two characters the center of the story, but in playing Beast Beard those are the scenes that really allow the audience to see him transform from being selfish and dark, to being human and redeemed.  Beast Beard represents the dark, Pearl represents the light.  Light casts out darkness.  And Bree Rose who plays Pearl does an excellent job of helping bring that dichotomy to life.  A close runner-up would be the sword fight scene in the climax, too!
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
B: Wow!  I hope I don't have too much in common with my character! 
Although, I think it's fair to say we all have a little bit of Beast Beard in us.  We all have to overcome obstacles, among which include learning how to control our aggressive natures, how to choose love over hate or fear, and how to "let go, and let God."  It's only by learning to overcome such obstacles, that we can find what the real treasures in life are.  I know I speak for myself! 
smile emoticon
In short, I'd say that playing Beast Beard is like a manifestation of taking on all of my personal challenges, but hopefully, I can still make you smile as I do!
T: Favorite line in the play?
B: Hahaha, there are so many!  For myself, I'd say it's a four-way tie between "ARRR!" "You mean you're still gonna help us in findin' it?" "The Captain's Colloquial Conversational Courageously Cavernous Continental Cruise," and "Some things are more important than treasure.”
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting?
B: When it comes to ANYTHING you dream for yourself, I always flash back to a Michael W. Smith song lyric from 1986: "Break down the barriers, but don't bend the rules. Never forget your roots as you head for something new. Ride through the shades of desire letting your light be seen, 
and, He'll steer the heart in the pursuit of the dream." 
I think, put simply, you need a firm foundation in your life.  For me, that's Jesus Christ.  I have found that with every decision I make, I need to ground in His Word because of what He did for me. He not only offers me salvation, He wants me to live a life better than anything I could ever imagine for myself.  When I do that, I truly get the most and the best out of life.  When your foundation is in place, you learn how to be responsible, disciplined, respectable, and still can create new paths for yourself, and use the God-given creativity that truly inspires people.  That, more than anything, is what will get you where you want to go.  It may not be into a pile of money, but it will still be very rewarding.

Dominique as No Beard
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
D: No Beard is probably the manliest character in the whole play, despite not actually being a man. She's also super bossy too, though, since she sees herself as more competent than the other pirates. I like playing No Beard because of the sheer confidence she has in everything she does (even if she is a little hot-headed at times)!
T: What's your favorite scene in the play? 
D: My favorite scene is actually when I almost hit Smelly Feet with a shovel. Not that it's the scene I find most entertaining, just that it's the most fun to do. (Sorry, Salem!)
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
D: Something we have in common has to be our strange relationship with manliness. No Beard enjoys being manly and capable (unlike her pirate brethren), but she actually kind of envies Smelly Feet. Sometimes she wishes she was more lady like, and I can completely relate.
T: Favorite line in the play?
D: Favorite line in the play? Truthfully, I don't have one, the whole show is awesome. *no regret*
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting?
D: My advice for people wanting to get into acting is that you should only do it if it makes you happy. There's not a lot of money in acting, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile! Theatre is an art just like any other, and it lets you express yourself in a myriad of ways, lets you communicate to people and make them feel something! Make you feel something, too. But, if your heart isn't in it, or you find someday it doesn't make you happy like you thought it would, then what's the point? Likewise, if it does make you happy, then you should never give up on it. Theatre is very fulfilling, but you only get out of it what you put in.

Bree, Mark, Beth and Me. Photo from Act 1
Scene 1 in Beauty and the Buccaneer.
(photo credit: C. Collins).

Bree as Sofia 1/3 of the Silly Girls
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
B: Sofia is kind of the leader of the group, she loves blue, absolutely loathes dirt. She is a little jealous of Pearl since Gaspard pays so much attention to her. She wants Gaspard to love her, until the end when she realizes that he doesn't have the hair she thought she did. I love playing her because she's kind of like the exact opposite of me, she's girly and hates anything dirty, I love mud and rain and would never be obsessed with a guy like that.
T: What's your favorite scene in the play? 
B: Mainly the one where we all (the townsfolk) run onto the ship like Scooby-Doo and BK (aka the pirate's pet parrot) repeats my line of "the ship is haunted" and scares us all.
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
B: We don't have much in common, I guess I like blue.
T: Favorite line in the play?
B: I can't pick. Too many good ones. 
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting?
B: You can't do it unless you love what you do, and you have to be prepared for anything. Don't be afraid to get hurt, or make a fool of yourself.

Tara as Rosa 2/3 of the Silly Girls 
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
T: My character *really* hates Pearl because she get's all of Gaspard's attention (Pearl doesn't even deserve Gaspard anyway). Rosa also hates Fouey (Gaspard's punching bag) and thinks Lilliana is really stupid (sorry Beth) which kinda fits as she's blonde (I mean no offense to blondes). Rosa absolutely adores Gaspard and will do whatever it takes to a) win him over and b) destroy anyone who gets in her way. 
T: What's your favorite scene in the play? 
T: My favorite scene in the play is either when Rosa attaches herself to Gaspard's leg and Sofia and Lilly have to drag her off when Gaspard and Fouey are talking in his area and Gaspard says "... I didn't get what I wanted. Is this what it feels be you?" or when she secretly climbs on Gaspard's back when he isn't expecting it and totally surprises him. 
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
T: I can be a huge flirt without knowing it and Rosa is most definitely a flirt. Rosa is a little more outgoing with her actions than I am, as I can be really shy. I feel like she would be crying a lot and that, unfortunately, is something that happens often with me. 
T: Favorite line in the play?
T: "One time I saw a squid and it reminded me of you...what? It was a really cute squid." [Lilliana to Gaspard].I also really like No Beard's line in act two when she and Smelly Feet are trying to sort out a fight. She says, "Well...I am a natural born leader." the audience laughs so much during that line.
Also, I like it when Mama Jade says to Gaspard, "But she [Pearl] doesn't like you." 
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting?
T: Go for it. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Acting is when you can act like a moron and get away with it. Be loud. Be silly. Be your unique self. Also, take inspiration from actors you like, but don't be a carbon copy of them. Directors want to see new and exciting takes on different roles. That's what makes seeing shows exciting.

Beth as Lily 3/3 of the Silly Girls
T: Tell me about your character? (Likes, dislikes, what your character wants, what you like playing about your character etc). 
B: Lilliana likes to prove she's as good as everyone else and dislikes it when Gaspard ignores her. She wants to capture Gaspard's attention and she wants to be loved. 
T: What's your favorite scene in the play?
B: My favorite scene in the play is the fight scene where we get scared by Pirate Petey. 
T: Do you have anything in common with your character (or vice versa)?
B: The things I have in common with my character is that she tries hard and that a lot of the time she's just spacing out. 
T: Favorite line in the play?
B: I don't really have a favorite line.
T: Any advice for people who want to get into acting?
B: My advice is to do it for you. Acting is something that you want to do, so prove to yourself you can do it. The stage fright will always be there, but trust me it gets better each time. Just don't give up!

Queen Squid, Tarantula and Breesus. 

Here's a full cast pic.

     I really hope you all enjoyed this post as well as the cast interviews I posted. As always, please give this post a +1 on Google+ if you liked it, follow me on all my social media sites which will be linked below, and leave me a comment below if you have any post suggestions. See you all next week.

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  1. This sounds, and was awesome to read. Sounded so fun. Take care always :)

  2. Loved this post, your pictures are awesome!
    - Laura x