Theatre Camp!
Volume 3 Book 3 Part 1 of
Living in the Bonus Round
(The Big Voice goes to New York)

Rochester NY 2003.
The start of our world tour.
[ Book 3-2 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-4 ]
January 26, 2003
We Arrive.
I never got to go to a theatre camp. When I was a kid, I didn't know theatre existed. I thought "Broadway" meant old movies. After I discovered theatre, I started hearing about "theatre camps."

So, when I knew we'd be going up north to a small theatre space in the middle of a winter snow storm, far away from home, I thought, "THEATRE CAMP! We're having theatre camp!" But before we left, we dropped Thurber and Steinbeck off at our friend's house. They cowered beneath a futon and it was heartbreaking but the idea of transporting them across the country was a much worse notion. Then we turned over the keys of our place to another friend who'll be staying there while we're gone.

The flight in was uneventful, thankfully. The weather was cold but clear. We were picked up by a cute couple, Carol and Greg, who are patrons of the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. Remember the car crash I was involved in last year? That car (an old Chevrolet Celebrity) was donated to the theatre by them.

"This is the biggest year for snow in over 50 years," they said. "It has snowed every single day this year. Over 60 inches this year alone."

Jimmy said, "That's the size of Imogene Coca! It's already snowed an Imogene Coca." We met Chris and Ann Marie down at DCT 1, did hugs and kisses all around, got a car, met our stage manager Amanda and, along with Sanjin the lighting guy, drove to our apartment.

When we woke up Sunday morning, the first day of theatre camp, we looked out the window of the apartment where they had us stashed and this is what we saw:

We're not in Hollywood anymore!
After I made coffee and woke Jimmy up, the snow had already started falling again. After about a half hour, the flakes were HUGE, floating down like feathers on a very tranquil wind. It was very calming and beautiful. But my mind was on the cats.

I logged on to get my email and received this note from Ernie:

"Per Mo -- Thurber was out and about (from under the futon)...Steinbeck has peeked his head out and sniffed her hand.  And the food was gone when she woke up and the litter box has been used.  So everything is fine with them. Mo is very happy and excited to have the cats with her."

After eating some breakfast we hopped onto the road and drove the 25 minutes into town for our first production meeting. In the above picture, you can see the frost on the windshield and the snow on the ground.

Pulling into Rochester.
The castle-like tower on the right is an old armory.

I have 3 personal goals here in Rochester (which the locals pronounce: RAWchister). First and obviously, continue developing The Big Voice, re-examining it and experimenting with it to make it better.  Second goal, tied to the first, is to be really great when we do our two Manhattan backer's auditions, Feb. 11 & 18.

Heading west toward Dowstair Cabaret Theatre 2.
Downtown Rochester. Main Street.

The third goal, though, is more personal. It's to do whatever we can to support Chris & Ann Marie here at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. We've developed a really wonderful friendship and in just the few years we've known each other I've seen them go from a single stage in a small storefront to three separate buildings and four stages. I'll speak more on this as we go along, but it involves more than just doing the show. It means getting involved in the community itself.

Pulling up to the theatre.
I've circled the sign of DCT 2, which is our performance space.

I know there's a sidewalk under there somewhere.

Chris gathered us around a couple of tables and we planned out the next few days. Lots of things to get done before our official opening on Saturday night. Monday we have a designer rehearsal, Tuesday is tech. Wednesday, dress. Thursday, first preview.

While all that's going on, we will do a formal photo shoot (our first for this show), and upgrade the sound cues at a recording studio. The ones we used in L.A. were small trashy sounding files I picked up off the internet. What a luxury to have a real sound library to choose from!

(For you late arrivals, our Los Angeles run was intentionally produced without promotion, budget or publicity. We had support from several friends but it went from workshop to production without change. The purpose was to get our initial critical reviews and audience response in preparation for a tour and run in New York.)

Julie, my pal, and Sanjin.

The meeting went quickly. Everyone was given their appointed tasks and we headed back home. The snow had started back again the streets were even whiter than before. Then we snuggled into our place, flipped on the TV and rooted for the Bucs because, in true gay fashion, we found them cuter to look at.

[ Book 3-2 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 3-4 ]
© 1996-2003 by Steve Schalchlin.
You have permission to print from this diary and distribute for use in support groups, schools, or to just give to a friend. You do not have permission to sell it.