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A settled nomad living on the edge of Appalachia. I love to listen to music, spend time with my family, and play sports. I'm lucky enough to write code for a living. I'm often accused of having no "filter" as I tend to overshare. I make beer on occasion and try to sample new beers whenever I can.$BillRawlinson

Fezziwig Revealed

2 min read

My DVD copy of our Scrooge performance arrived in the mail yesterday.  So today I present to you the main scene I was in.   I am Mr. Fezziwig.  So, without further ado here it is:

Hopefully, you've watched it before you read on. This way my self-criticism doesn't impact your viewing. If you haven't watched it yet go back watch a bit and form your own opinion.

This wasn't our best performance - but it was pretty typical. For instance, I routinely forgot to start singing the first line of the song at my cue. I was supposed to be watching the music director, Chris, for a mark. But, I'd get so caught up in the scene itself that I'd forget he was even there. In this instance you'll notice I start late, sing fast to get caught up, then get into the groove.

I wish I could have heard the scene before we actually performed live for people because I had no idea I was talking so quickly in the stuff that led up to the song. I actually changed most of my lines to try to make them fit in better with the western time period but I forgot some of them in this performance so there are some odd pauses in my delivery as well.

I kind of wish I had done more with my hands when I was walking around too. I feel like they were stuck to my lapels.

My singing didn't sound very good to me. I appreciate everyone tolerating it.
Overall I'm still happy with my performance. I just think it would have been substantially better had I had a chance to review it and make some adjustments.

Anyway, don't know how much of the show I'm allowed to share online so this is the only scene I'm going to stick on here. I actually sing in a few other scenes but I'm part of a chorus for all of those.

Splendid Beginning!

6 min read

Tonight marks the end of the first weekend of performances for Shannon and I in "Scrooge, The Musical" with the First Stage Theater Company.  We've been preparing for this past weekend for about three months so it is with great relief that I can say it has gone pretty well over these first four shows.

For those few people who may not know I am in my stage debut.  I've always wanted to act in a play but that seemed unlikely to happen if I didn't just suck it up and sing in public.  Thus, I'm in a musical.  Fortunately I tried out for a show that didn't have an abundance of experienced male's trying out so not only did I land a part but the part is considered a "principal role."  I  am guessing principal role means I am a lead or co-lead of an entire scene.  I was given the part of Mr. Fezziwig along side my friend Jennifer Williams who plays Mrs. Fezziwig.

Myself and Jennifer as Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig
The Fezziwigs

Mr. Fezziwig was Ebeneezer Scrooge's boss and mentor when Scrooge was just starting his career. Plus, Isabelle Fezziwig, was the young Scrooge's love interest before he became consumed by the desire to accumulate wealth.

The Fezziwig scene is basically a big Christmas party at the Fezziwig warehouse.  I danced, sung, and whopped it up while having a lot of fun surrounded by a great cast of young actors and Jennifer.

While Shannon didn't get a role with as much "spot-light" so to speak she did get a great part and she did a wonderful job in each of her characters.  She started the show as a towns-person (as did I) and then in that role we both sung "Father Christmas" as part of the ensemble.  She was also a dancer/singer at the Fezziwig party.  Then she was a phantom who accompanied Jacob Marley on the initial haunting of Scrooge.  Later Shannon was a reindeer in a creative twist helping to lead in the Ghost of Christmas Present.  She was then a towns-person again (along with me) as we sang "Thank You Very Much." She was then a phantom again and finally she was back in towns-person mode for the finale.

The final week of rehearsals before the musical are called Tech-Week.  It was the first week we practiced in the theater on the stage along with the set, the props, the orchestra, the sound system, costumes, and make-up.  It was also the moment where the cast finally started to convince me the show might happen. I've been told it is normal for a show to seem like it was headed for disaster going into tech week.  If that is true then I don't think I'd ever want to be a director as the stress of thinking the whole show will fail would be too overwhelming.  Amazingly, from last Sunday to this past Friday morning when we had our opening the show jumped forward by leaps and bounds.

The entire experience has been pretty amazing  At times it was frustrating and even a little annoying - but it was still all cool.  I've really enjoyed learning the dances (which are, for the most part, simpler than they seemed at first glance) and the songs (though I'm not sure I know them all as well as I could).  However, what has amazed me the most about the experience has been the people in the cast and crew.

The majority of the people in the cast already knew each other.  Yet, from the get go they all made me feel incredibly welcome and comfortable.  They were all super nice and any trepidation I had about singing and dancing in front of strangers instantly disappeared.  It was awesome.  By the time we had our opening I wasn't even a little uncomfortable about the idea of singing in public.  Not only did I sing in front of all sorts of strangers but I did it really loudly right near a bunch of the cast during the choral parts and, even if/when I butchered a note or I was way out of key, nobody ever called me out on it.

This might sound kind of crazy but being around so many nice people for so many hours in a situation where I was entirely vulnerable to criticism and contempt was incredibly transformative for me.  I honestly feel like I'm a better person for having just been around that group.

With all of that said the show preparations took up a ton of time and, most importantly to me, I basically missed Emily's 9th birthday entirely. That sucked big time.  In fact, as much as I enjoyed the show I regret having missed her birthday even more.  Therefore, I won't do another show of any kind if it runs the risk of overlapping with either of their birthday's unless I'm in the show with that person.  Honestly, I felt like I didn't see Emily for most of the last two months.  The experience of being in the show just wasn't worth that sacrifice.

Next weekend we have four more shows.  Friday morning and evening and then Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, we are on stage at the same time that Emily's ballet company is performing the Nutcracker so I'll also miss seeing that show (which only happens on one weekend).  I'm hoping to go in and watch a dress rehearsal on Thursday night.

All this time and effort is only worth it however if people come and see the show. Thus, I hope - for the sake of the entire cast and crew - that we have some big crowds out to see the shows next weekend.  I hope that everyone I know in the Huntington area finds the time to come out and see the show.  It is a fun family friendly musical that adds a little twist to the classic Christmas Carol tale.  You can learn all about the show times and location at the First Stage Theater Company website