Nightmare on Washington Street

Blank Stage
Blank Stage, originally uploaded by m!les.

Well, the curtain has closed on what is my final DSU production as a student. How did it go? Well, if you have to ask, then why should I tell you? Because that’s what I do. I tell.

We did 4 nights of the show. The show consisted of 15 Minutes (a monologue starring Adrienne Boese), The Actor’s Nightmare (a one-act starring: Ben Fox, Holli Gregg, Sara Harp, Monica Jacobsen, and Miles Rausch), and Comedy Bytes (improv starring: Mike Anderson, Ben Fox, Holli Gregg, Miles Rausch, Holly Smith, and Lisa Stien).

Friday

This was, by and large, our first rehearsal with lights. It’s a pity that it had to be a performance, too. The technical crew seemed less than thrilled to be there. It gave off a bad vibe, and I really didn’t like it. What added to problems was that Chris Zieg, our technical director, had to be back at work. See, he had chosen to use a two week vacation to construct a set and set and design lights and sounds for a play, but every vacation must come to an end, and his did the night we had our first performance.

According to memory, the play went pretty well. We had a decent turnout. Holli‘s parents and sister showed up. One problem we did have (and had every night afterward) was with a change I have where I go from standard accountant garb to Hamlet attire. This requires tights, which are just like they sound, and usually proved fairly difficult for me to get on in the short amount of time allotted for my change.

After Comedy Bytes, we stood in the entry way and waited for people to file by. We said goodbye to Holli’s parents and sister (who said they enjoyed the show). Then I bought a brownie, and we waited until 10 o’clock for our next Comedy Bytes show. 2 people showed up. Then they left. We cancelled the show, and then Holli and I went and got ice cream.

Saturday

My parents came to this one. It was a matinee performance. This one went well, too. I was feeling a little less energetic at this one. Holli and I did have Chinese for lunch, so that was nice. We tried something new with the costume change. This time I changed into tights and shorts, and then I rushed out on stage where Holli (who plays a stage manager in the play) helps me continue to get ready and berates me for wasting time. The play went pretty well. Mom said she was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes. The Comedy Bytes part went well, too. This crowd was a little quiet, and it was mostly relatives and some friends. It was also Picture Call, but Mom and Dad had to go, so Holli and I said goodbye to them, and took pictures, and went to mass, and then we went to Ben Fox’s place for some awesome ribs and beans and roulette and blackjack and horses. There’s a whole RIBS set on Flickr.

Sunday

Slept in! Lazy Sunday. Probably did some homework and relaxed. I can’t really recall.

Monday

Second to last show. I bought Holli flowers and hid them backstage and never even came close to hinting about them. This crowd was good. You can tell how good a crowd is going to be by how much they laugh at Adrienne’s monologue. The change on Monday night was blazing fast. We almost didn’t need to do the fake change on stage thing. There was a problem with me and my falling out of a garbage can. It wasn’t intentional, but I see how it could have been (I would do something like that). Holli did a good job of keeping character, but I saw Monica laughing (tsk tsk). Then, when they were pushing the executioner out, they almost ran into Holli and Monica. It was after this performance that the decision was made to switch the Private Lives wagon with the Executioner wagon as far as sides of the stage go.

Comedy Bytes went well. We had our normal 8ish showing. Then we had a break, during which I spent most of my time on the ground. We thought we would only get two people again, but the turnout was greater than that. We also didn’t have our tech crew (they all left except for Tiffany), so Sara Harp ran sound instead. She did a good job. Our second show was fairly dirty. I guess it wasn’t so much dirty as it was disappointingly immature. You’re only as good as the suggestions you get. I tried to filter as host, but there is only so much you can do.

Tuesday

The final performance. We switched platforms. The change didn’t go as well as it could. I really didn’t want to do it. I was tired and ready to be done. But I did it. I gave my all, and I gave my final performance. This crowd was very quiet. Probably the worst crowd we had, just in that they didn’t seem to find anything funny. Idiots. Anyway, I think we were all at our end. When we were finally finished, we tore the set apart. I took pictures and a video, even. Of course! To top it off, the audience mentioned “Chuck Norris” as an improv suggestion.

Hey. Remember when I said that Acting Is A Threat To My Health? Well, that holds true to this day.

  • Canker Sores
    • Mouth (one)
  • Abrasions
    • Right hand (one)
    • Left elbow (two)
    • Left arm (one)
    • Right knee (one)
    • Left knee (one – big one)
  • Bruises
    • Right arm (two)
    • Right hand (one)
    • Left arm (one)
    • Chest (one)
    • Right knee (one)
    • Left knee (two)
    • Left ankle (one)

All in all, I enjoyed it. It got a little frustrating, and I know I’m suffering from some sort of exhaustion, but I think I gave the best performance I could, and I hope the audiences enjoyed it. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get it taped, so there’s no video record of the performances. One highlight (for me) was the inclusion of a sketch I wrote called “Happy 125 Years, DSU [redux]”. I had originally written a skit titled “Happy 125 Years, DSU” which was about the school bringing General Beadle back to life, as a zombie, to celebrate 125 years as an institution. The first plan was to perform it at the Spring Convocation, but it didn’t work out. Then we were going to perform it at our Spring Production, but time contraints didn’t allow for that, either. So, I wrote a largely improvised skit (a sketch) based on the same ideas, and we opened the show with it.

Be sure to check out the pictures from the shows on my Flickr account in a special Nightmare on Washington Street set. Also, I’ve uploaded some videos to Google Video. And now, back to my life.

Author: Miles Rausch

I've made a smart playlist of all the songs with 0 plays. I listen to them because I feel bad for them not because I like the music. I'm THAT guy.

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