Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Am I doing something wrong?

It happened again.  I did my show for a small crowd, and it was tough.  My leading lady Darian told me that on those nights, it is best to do the show as best you can and take the time to refine acting moments, patter between songs, and other technical stuff instead of dwelling on whether or not the people in the audience are enjoying it.  The ones that are there are there to enjoy themselves.

So yesterday I had a really good day with a couple of the dancers, Brandi and Lisa.  They had asked me to take their new headshots, and so in Akaroa we spent the better part of the day doing just that.  Akaroa is full of wonderful backdrops with which to stage photos, and hopefully (I haven't looked at them yet) we got some useable shots.  In the meantime, I was getting a horrible sunburn, but more on that later...

I was in line to get back on the tenders, and a gentleman (I use the word loosely) tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around, and this was the conversation:

HIM:  Are you the singer from last night?
ME: Yes.
HIM: I am sure you noticed all the people leaving your show?
ME: Uh...
HIM:  You know why they left?  You should have sung songs that cater to your audience.
ME:  Uh...
HIM:  You need to sing songs with more melody.  You have a great voice for those big numbers, but you need to sing those pop songs that people like. 
ME:  I was hoping that with my show being called "Broadway Dreams" people would know that they were going to hear Broadway songs.
HIM:  They didn't know the songs.  Where were the pop songs?
ME:  Can you give me an example of what you mean?  I'm confused.
HIM:  You know, songs with more melody. 
ME:  Can you give me an example?
HIM:  Oh, you know... songs like... "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"  like the ones you did from Shimmy.  The good songs.  Carousel!  There are some good songs there.
ME: Uh...
HIM:  Don't get me wrong, I liked your show, but there were a lot of people who didn't.  You should be singing the songs that we want to hear.
ME:  Uh... okay... I thought that with the songs from Gypsy, Brigadoon and My Fair Lady... Those are classics...
HIM:  I'm just trying to explain why people got up and left.
ME:  Uh... Thank you.

So that put me in a really foul mood.  I had spent months putting together my show, trying to find songs that highlighted my own personal career, as well as some new ones that people may not know.  I felt that I had a nice balance of the two.  Out of the 13 songs I sing, only three are ones the audience may not know.  And I thought I did a good job of introducing them, explaining where they came from, why they mean a lot to me, and they are some of the most melodic songs I have heard in a long time.  The entire ride back, there I was second guessing my repertoire.  Should I be singing more of the "same old" songs that every male singer sings and everyone is tired of hearing?  I can't wait until I get the charts for "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel so the guy can say "I told you so."  Sheesh.

Basically, I think I need to take a vacation.  I was hoping to go to New York City to see some shows during my time off, but I don't think that is going to happen.  I have a lot of irons in the fire for the time I am off until I have to go back into rehearsals.

I've been rewriting some of the score to my musical, which is a good thing.  I am going to be in talks with a theatre in Texas who wants to hire me for a teaching/directing/writing position.  I am going to be meeting with some folks about a full time teaching position at a middle school in Raleigh starting in August.  And then I start rehearsals for the Sea Princess on March 28th.  Time is going to fly.

There has been a lot of other stuff happening on board as well.  I don't really want to go into detail, but there is a reason why the saying "loose lips sink ships" is true.  Folks just don't know how to mind their own business, do they?  I guess when there is nothing else to talk about, the fact that you have to talk about others behind their back is the way to go.  I admit, I have been guilty of this, but I always try to put a positive spin on it.  I will try to do better.

Today we are in Wellington, and I stayed aboard all day.  I had a little too much to drink last night, and decided to sleep it off today.  Tonight is a big party the dancers and singers are throwing, where you have to show up in someone else's uniform.  A uniform swap party!  We have one show of Save the Last Dance tonight, and afterward it is on to the party.  I will not be drinking tonight.  Last night was a fluke, and I was feeling sorry for myself because of the conversation with the idiot.  But there were a lot of positive things on my facebook page, so I am feeling better.

My Dad is calling me on e the phone, so I am going to go... more later.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The New Year is upon us!

So, I guess I will continue writing on my blog.  It is a  way to vent out my frustrations when I have them, as well as a voice out there on the web.  Ah well.

So last night I performed my one man show "Broadway Dreams" again.  What a tough crowd.  Small and quiet.  From the opening number, I couldn't help feeling "what the heck am I doing this for?"  I guess they liked it in the end, but again, they were very quiet.  I got spoiled I think on the world cruise and on other cruises where I had time to get to know some of the passengers.  This time around, we had only done one show, so they still haven't been able to grasp who I am yet.  It happens.

After the show, I was de-greeting the guests, and a guy comes up to me and tells me in no certain terms that I didn't have enough Elvis in my show.  I wanted to call him a freaking idiot, because it was a show about Broadway music, but I bit my tongue.  I guess this show really would work better in the states.  While I was performing, there were six people that got up and left during the show.  Right in the middle of numbers.  What the hell is that all about?

Aside form being rude, it made me feel like crap.  Like the job I do was sucking so bad that people would get up and leave in the middle of it.  Talk about a blow to the ego. 

Live and learn, I guess. 

I couldn't sleep last night.  Again.  I have tried soft music, warm milk, reading, watching tv, meditating (which to me is a joke), as well as a good old attempt to relieve tension.  TMI, I know.  But what's a guy to do when he can't sleep and it is becoming a habit that I cannot get out of.  As a result, I have literally slept through two ports, and have now been on the ship for six days with no shore leave.  Very frustrating.

I tried to make it into a positive thing, though.  I dragged out a couple of other projects I am working on, including a play and a musical (Paul...) and tried reading the source material again for the musical (Paul...).
All to no avail.  I think I wrote half a scene of the play, which I think is actually going to be a great vehicle for a young actor, but it just isn't going where I want it to. 

Ugh.  Even as I type this I am thinking to myself...who cares?  The monsters are talking to me, I guess.  I am supposed to be starting The Artists' Way again, but I have such a lack of motivation that I just can't get past the opening paragraph of the author's notes.  Go figure.

Hopefully tonight will hold something different in store for me.  I am going to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, as well as get up at a normal time.  We have two shows tomorrow night of Save The Last Dance, so at least tomorrow night I should be somewhat tired. 

I have nothing more to say, really.  So, until next time...