20 November 2010

Thespian Adventures

Thespian. Isn't that a cool word? I like using it in everyday speech just to confuse people.

1. Of or relating to drama; dramatic: thespian talents.
2. Thespian Of or relating to Thespis.
An actor or actress

In case you didn't notice by the description, today's post will be about acting.

Ah, acting, acting! It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me consume large amounts of pizza (more on that later), it makes me go to sleep aching and banged up. But I love it.

Thursday night was opening night for our four-day performance of Fiddler on the Roof. This play is my first musical and I have to say, I like it a lot. Even though singing is not exactly my strong suit. *warbles some horrible off-key show tune*

I was cast as Shprintze, one if Tevye's daughters. Though Shprintze (or as I was nicknamed, Sprinkles [again, more on that later]) is not a main character, she does have lines. And apparently for a freshman to land a speaking role is close to legend in our drama club! I'm thankful that I was blessed with this role.

Fiddler on the Roof is all about traditions, but our drama club itself has a whole boatload of traditions! Shall I list them out?

1. The main characters are given interesting nicknames. Example: Tzeitel is Pretzel, Hodel is Wattles, Chava is Java, Shprintze is Sprinkles, Bielke is Binky. Interestingly, the real MC, Tevye, was not given a nickname. Golde, his wife and my mother, was but it includes a little profanity (jokingly) so I won't post it here.

2. Duct tape is a must. Who knows how this one got started? Before every show, every cast and crew member — all 78 of us — slaps on a few pieces of duct tape onto their bare skin. At the end of the show we rip it off. However much it hurts is how well the play went. (My skin's still red from Thursday, so I guess we did great!)
This is funny because our three stage managers, who are very serious and practical people, were equally serious and practical about the duct tape. Before the show they went around interrogating people as to whether or not they had duct tape on. Apparently if you don't wear duct tape and the show fails, the blame is put on you.
Yes, we are all quite crazy.

3. Pizza all around. On Friday after the production the entire cast and crew goes to a small local pizza place and consumes an alarming amount of carbohydrates. Sounds normal, yes? No.
We arrived at the pizza place at 11pm. I left at 12:45 or so; some people stayed until 3am.
But the pizza is SOOO good! Everyone at my table (Natalie [a Russian soldier; she got a mustache], Maya [a non-speaking daughter], Evan [the rabbi's son], LaRoux [yes that is her real name; a non-speaking mama], and I) pitched in our cash and bought five small pizzas, root beer, and an ice cream pie.
Imagine 78 loud teenagers in a small space. Imagine us periodically breaking into songs from the show and everybody joining in. Imagine chaos and delicious pizza.
The pizza people have probably come to hate out drama club over the years.

4. There is a huge cast party. Our Thanksgiving vacation begins on Wednesday, so on Tuesday night after the set has been cleaned up and dismantled, there is a huge party. All 78 of us (who are allowed; kudos to my mother and father for trusting me) go to someone's house and have a party. Most people sleep over, and the party goes all night.
Let's have a round of applause for the host's parents...

5. After the curtain falls, everybody screams. And hugs each other. At the end of the performance, after the curtain call, when we are sealed into blackness before the house lights come on, the audience is treated to us yelling and screaming with joy that the show didn't fail. I don't know who half the people that hugged me these past two nights are (faces are difficult to make out in darkness... a Captain Obvious statement...), but I don't particularly care. It sounds corny but we're all a big family, from little froshes like me to the seniors (*weeps for our dear seniors who are going off to college and will no longer be in drama club*).

Isn't it funny how drama clubbers are generally considered to be shy and kind of nerdy? That's not really the case in our club. We have people from all walks of life and very few of us are shy. In fact, we're kind of the opposite of shy.

Fun fact: I am taller than everybody in my family except for my oldest sister, who is my height, and my father, who is inordinately tall.
I am supposed to be ten to twelve years old.

Photo time...
From left to right: Natalie (Russian soldier), Maya (daughter), me.
my tongue was green from candy...

Here's one of people building our set. This is an old photo but I wanted to share it with you.
From left to right: Stage Manager #1, Jocelyn (a techie), Emily (who plays Golde, my mama), and Coran (a
non-speaking daughter). I think they're framing a house in this picture.


  1. Wonderful post, Olive! Wow...so many traditions! I hope you had a wonderful time. :)


  2. Looks like you had so much fun Olive! Nice pictures! That duct tape thing is so funny:-)

  3. :D This makes me want to be in a production like that! I've always wanted to.

    "To Life, To Life!" :)


  4. Oh yeah, cast parties, pizza and fun... The people in my play have had things like that.:P I'm going to b really sad Sunday when it all ends, but I'm trying to make the best of it!
    Love the duct tape thing!
    "Matchmaker, matchmaker...."

  5. "Fiddler" is my FAVORITE musical! Love it all. :)

    Someday I will be in a musical... someday. Until then, I will just enjoy hearing about yours and others antics!


  6. Thespian. =) Such an astounding word.

    Drama sounds like so much fun!

  7. Hi Olive!
    I have just started following your blog. It looks very interesting :)


  8. I love fiddler on the roof!! When my sister performed in it - I thought it was one of the best plays I ever saw (my little sister - then two - loved to prance around the room singing "tradition" at the top of her lungs) :)

  9. Funny thing is, right when I read your title I was like, "Mom, what does THESPIAN mean?!" Guess I should have read more before asking her. Oops!

    Looks like you had a great time and I enjoy doing theatre as well. Lovely photos! =D

  10. What a great post!

    Hope you are well, Olive :)

    K xx

  11. I love acting and musical theatre, too. I shall have to start using "thespian" ;)

    This sounds like so much fun, Olive Tree! Sprinkles...I like it:)

  12. I love all your traditions!!! In my theater, we scream after the curtain closes, but only at the last performance, since we do two and we need our voices after the first one. This year we are doing Wonderland!, an adaption of Through the Looking Glass, (with star-struck tourists, a baseball team, and plastic lightsaber wielding knights [MAJOR jealousy here]) and I am not Alice, but one of the main roles! I get to be very confusing and a little hyper, so I think it's a good role for me, since I match the character well :)

  13. Sounds like everything went really well and you all had fun. :)


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