Intern-al Monologue - Week 8

Repetitive work is something that I have come to appreciate over the course of my life. Back at my old job, I was never doing the same thing for more than five minutes. It sounds nice and all, but when you’re going from ‘cleaning gallons of milk off the ice cream machine’ to ‘opening cans with a dull can opener’ to ‘Mystery Goo Investigation,’ variety loses its savor. It feels nice to have a job that is clearly defined, one that I can sit down and focus on for a long period of time.

excel

It’s easy to feel intimidated when you look at an excel spreadsheet. I’m not an excel rookie, by any means. I can add function cells with the best of them. But no spreadsheet I’ve ever touched has a tangible bearing on actual money before. You really get the feeling that if you mess up a single character that the fabric of the world will somehow unravel, and you will be to blame. It’s frightening and exhilarating in equal measure.

Here at the office, we are more or less done with the major overhaul, at least until we get some proper desks. This right here is my desk until we get something more permanent. desk

Just admire it for a little while. It’s SUPER awesome. I bet CERTAIN INTERNS never had a desk this big. Just goes to show how important my work is to Lyric. In addition to our main office, our rehearsal space is undergoing a renovation to reduce clutter and give our actors and directors more control over the space when they come to the theater to rehearse. You can hop, skip and jump on down to our facebook page to get a look at some of what we’ve been up to.

We’ve also had a very successful run of workshops based around the story of Mary Poppins, and there wasn’t a day that went by this week that we didn’t hear their laughter from upstairs. Our Facebook page also has a nice group shot that our excited students let me take.

Let’s see… what else…

Oh yeah! That Hairspray thing we’re doing is going pretty well! Tickets are almost COMPLETELY SOLD OUT, so you’d better pounce on these deals. It’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, period, but trusting a corporate advertising puppet like me for objective reviews of my product would be below stupid. Here are testimonials from just a few of our satisfied customers.

“I was blown away! It was awesome!”

“Arguably the best show I've seen at Lyric Arts, and certainly one of the most talented casts. (Music was incredible too!)”

“Nothing compares to Lyric Arts Company of Anoka's production of Hairspray. What a fantastic performance by an amazingly talented cast.”

I did not cherry-pick those. They were the three most recent posts to our page on facebook.

And last but certainly not least, our concert series! You guys have probably figured out that I’m pretty heavily involved in music. I worked (And will continue to work) at the campus radio station in Fargo, and I like to sprinkle a little music in to whatever I do, so long as it isn’t invasive. I am super excited about our concert series this season, because I think that we’re bringing a lot of really unique music to Anoka. I’ve compiled a sampler of musical morsels here for your perusal, and I know you’ll be as impressed as I was when I first heard them.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. I’m gonna head out to subway with Brian and Marcy. I smell that foot-long ham and cheese sub from here, and I am SALIVATING.

Cheers!

-Eric ‘The Intern’ Lindholm

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Eric is a rising Sophomore studying Communications at North Dakota State University

Intern-al Monologue - Week 6

Woof. That was a week. It was an awesome week, but when I got home on Saturday night, there was nothing I would have rather done than take off my sweaty shoes, flop onto the couch, and watch seven consecutive episodes of Chopped online. Sadly, only five episodes were available for free, but Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares proved to be a suitable substitute. The night after Riverfest and tech week was just that kind of night.

I know I haven't done behind the scenes content for a while, but that's because we were in full production mode for Hairspray, and full preparation mode for Riverfest, both of which I was thoroughly entrenched in. I thought that I'd share a little bit of the process with you guys while I contemplate the last seven days.

Let's start with Riverfest.

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This is where the magic happens.

By magic, of course, I mean list-making and worrying. This is the 'Cabaret Closet,' and deep within its folds lie the tools with which I erected our Riverfest Pavilion.

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This is my bin. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My bin is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

But seriously, folks. This is where a lot of my time has gone for the past few weeks. Just making sure that everything within is ship-shape so we could do our jobs, and make the longest day in my service to the theater easier. Every item therein has been placed just so in order to achieve the optimal state of organization. I have three three ring binders. THAT'S NINE RINGS, PEOPLE. I DO NOT MESS AROUND.

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Everything we needed, and then some. Zip ties, first-aid-kits, the whole kit and kaboodle. That white binder held all my printed materials, like drawing tickets and volunteer sign-up forms. I had printed 750 tickets, just to be sure that we would  have enough for this year - Last year, we only had 250 tickets printed, and 611 entrants - I didn't count the tickets we used, but even with 150 more than I thought I'd need, I still had to run back to the theater with Cole and Tyler, two bright-eyed young lads who helped at the booth, to go and print more. (Thanks, guys! You were awesome!) Needless to say, business was booming at our pavilion. Two black binders (not pictured) housed volunteer forms and various plans I had lain out to consult should the need arise. Luckily, everything went off without a hitch.

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This is our tent, still boxed and ready to go. I had to pull it, along with a sheet of plexiglass and about 32 square feet of black lattuce out of...

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...here. If you want cleanliness, come after we've had time to re-organize everything post-Hairspray.

As I was checking it to make sure everything was in order, one leg of the tent got stuck in the extended position. I must have pounded that thing for half an hour before giving up on it.

I wanted to take loads of pictures during Riverfest, as is my habit but I kind of sort of left my camera in the car for the entire day. You know, a typical intern-level flub. Just trust me, though, the tent looked absolutely glorious; a veritable Palazzo Vecchio among the Riverfest tents.

Now let's talk about Hairspray, shall we?

I was at nearly every dress rehearsal. I have 322 pictures on my camera ALONE. I shudder to think of the number that have found their way onto my hard drive. It's better to have too much than too little, and every picture I've released to the public was hand-picked for aesthetic appeal, relevance, and placement in the story of Hairspray. Here are some that I haven't put up just yet, but I like all the same.

When I wasn't recording content at rehearsal, I was splicing it together to create a trailer.

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This, little ones, is what baby trailers look like, before the stork brings them to Youtube.

It took roughly thirty minutes to compress the video from the sixty or so clips I pulled from, and whenever I wanted to change the saturation value on a scene, I had to compress it all over again. If you stare at something long enough (and believe me, I have stared at this trailer) you'll find little flaws nobody else will care about, so I'm sure it's fine. If you have a complaint about it, please never tell me or my perfectionism will force me to change it.

I think that's about it. I've had my head so far buried in production and planning, I never really got a good sense of what else was happening in the theater. Friday was Jessica Setness' last day with us, and I'm really sad to see her go. She was awesome to work with, whenever our jobs brought us together, and I still owe her a coffee from my second day at Lyric. She's moving away to start a new chapter in her life, and we all wish her the best.

Other than that, however, I'm more or less oblivious to what else has been going on in the theater this past week. I'll be back into the ebb and flow of office life soon enough, though, and I'll be able to give you guys and gals a little more to look at next time I post something.

Even thinking about this week is making me tired. I'm going to go swimming.

Cheers!

-Eric

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Eric is a rising Sophomore studying Communications at North Dakota State University.

Meet Hannah Weinberg performing in "Hairspray!"

Guys! It’s almost here! Hairspray opens tomorrow. We are so excited for this big summer musical. To get you ready for it, everyone’s favorite best friend sat down to tell us a little about this show.Headshot_HannahWeinberg_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What's your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Hannah Weinberg: I am originally from a small town near Mankato, MN but I recently moved to St. Louis Park. My favorite color is probably purple. I live for theatre!! There is nothing more wonderful than being on a stage for me; and living and breathing a story with an audience is simply incredible. I also LOVE Disney and sparkly things!

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

HW: This is my first show with Lyric Arts and it has been such an amazing experience! I have always heard delightful things about the theatre and have wanted to get involved. And for Hairspray to be the first show I do is just the cherry on top. They really live by their slogan "big town theatre, small town charm", and that has made the process one of the best I have been a part of.

LA: What's the best thing about being in Hairspray?

HW: I have to pick one? There is never a dull moment in Hairspray. The music is contagious and makes you want to get up and dance. The story is heartwarming and inspiring, "you gotta dream big, to be big". The cast and production staff are very talented and so much fun to be around!!! I have never laughed so much in a show before!!! We have all gotten pretty close!

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

HW: Get ready to dance, laugh so hard you will be crying, and have one of the best times ever in seeing a live show!

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

HW: I play Penny Lou Pingleton and I guess the best word I would use to describe Penny is a"dork"able. She is the quirky best friend of our heroine, Tracy. Penny is overly sheltered by her mother and seems to always see the best in people and situations because of it. She is easily confused and kind-hearted. I am truly honored to be playing her!

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words!

HW: Energetic, Happy, Fun

Meet Stephanie Wipf performing in "Hairspray!"

We met another of our favorite Corny Collins gals, Stephanie Wipf. She took some time out of Tech Week to tell us a little bit about herself and Hairspray.Headshot_StephanieWipf_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Stephanie Wipf: I live in Fridley but am a Wisconsin cheesehead at heart. My favorite color is purple. Some of the things that make me tick are chocolate, wedding dances, crepes, old movies, buttery popcorn, my hunky husband, and sparkly brooches!

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

SW: I was in Oklahoma at Lyric Arts last season and fell in Love with this theater, it has a special little place in my heart.

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

SW: Getting to sing and dance so much! Plus everyone is so perfect for their role, it is really fun to watch!

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

SW: This is a super upbeat and goofy show, but it has a lot of wonderful moments that speak to the real issues that were happening in the U.S. at that time.

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

SW: Tammy is a member of the Corny Collins cast. She loves attention...especially from the Corny Collins boys!

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

SW: Upbeat, colorful, dance-tastic

 

Meet Angela Henderson performing in "Hairspray!"

Our favorite record store owner took some time out of her busy day to tell us about why Hairspray is going to be fabulous! Read on to see what she has to say.Headshot_AngelaHenderson_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Angela Henderson: I am married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren. I am from St Louis. My favorite color is red. Being able to help someone makes me tick.

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

AH: A friend asked me to audition with him so we could work together.

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

AH: Since I've never seen the show.....I'd have to say the dancing and the humor.

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

AH: It's a toe tapping upbeat experience.

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

AH: I play Motormouth Maybelle. I am a record shop owner with 2 children, and I host Negro Day on the Corny Collins show once a month.

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

AH: Hairspray in 3 words....... energetic, fun, and funny!

Meet Sarah Frazier performing in "Hairspray!"

We had a chance to meet with one of our favorite Corny Collins producers, Sarah Frazier. Read on to see why she's so excited about the Hairspray! Headshot_SarahFraizer_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Sarah Frazier: Three years ago, I followed the yellow brick road here from Kansas! I grew up in a musical theatre family so this stuff is in my blood, I'm stuck with it! Besides performing, I love reading, drawing, swimming and Harry Potter.

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

SF: Scott Ford mainly! I've heard so many great things about him from other people that I wanted to get the chance to work with him!

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

SF: The talent! I watch rehearsals and am just blown away with the greatness happening on stage! Everyone has so much fun on stage that it's contagious! I have found myself bopping my hips to the music when my character is supposed to be angry!! I can't help it!

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

SF: Get ready to boogie in your seats!!

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

SF: Velma Von Tussle is the producer of the Corny Collins Show and also Amber's mother. She is interesting because she is living vicariously through her daughter even though she herself had the same lifestyle growing up. Apparently, she didn't get enough attention when she was getting all the attention. She's a saucy women who will "lie, cheat, and steal" to be on top!

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

SF: Amazing dancing/singing!

Meet Christopher Teipner performing in "Hairspray!"

Christopher Teipner took some time out of his busy Hairspray schedule to tell us a little bit about himself. Check out what makes him so excited about the show!Headshot_ChristopherTeipner_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Christopher Teipner: I am from St. Paul Minnesota, love the color red, and I love doing theater.

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

CT: I love this show and have wanted to play this role since I saw the original cast in New York do the show.

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

CT: Getting to play a role done by two of my idols. Divine and Harvey Feinstein!

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

CT: Edna is the overweight overworked mother of Tracey Turnblad.  

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

CT: Funny inspiring infectious 

 

Meet Anna Wagner performing in "Hairspray"

It's another of our favorite Corny Collins gals - Anna Wagner! See what she has to say about Hairspray! Headshot_AnnaWagner_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Anna Wagner: I am a dorky 17 year old from Andover, MN. I love to talk, laugh (more like cackle), smile, and eat rice krispy bars. My favorite colors are chartreuse and blush pink. Theatre, wildflowers, and Aaron Tveit make me tick.

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

AW: I got my start in theatre at Lyric Arts about six and a half years ago, so this place is like home. I've been busy with high school productions for the past three years, so I've missed it here!

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

AW: The energy of this production! Not only are the music and dancing complex, fun, and entertaining, but the artistic staff and cast are full of spontaneity and friendliness. There's never a dull rehearsal!

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

AW: It's different from the movie, but only for the better!!

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

AW: I play Lou Ann, one of the Corny Council girls. I interpret her character as one that wants to be just like Amber, so she'll dislike anyone that Amber dislikes. But, like the rest of the council, she's found her own voice and spirit by the closing number. 

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

AW: Perfect summer show.

Meet Jessica Ktytor performing in "Hairspray"

We had a chance to catch up with one of our favorite Corny Collins dancers, Brenda, played by Jessica Ktytor. See what makes her tick and makes Hairspray such a fabulous show! Headshot_JessicaKtytor_135x135 Lyric Arts: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite color? What makes you tick?

Jessica Ktytor: I have lived in Anoka my whole life. I know this town so well. My favorite color is pink, but if sparkly were a color, that'd be my favorite. What makes me tick? When drivers don't put their turn signal on! 

LA: What brings you to Lyric Arts?

JK: I have been seeing shows at Lyric since I was young, and this will be my third time being IN a show at Lyric. My past shows here were "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Hello, Dolly!" I love being part of shows here, the cast is always like a family!

LA: What’s the best thing about being in Hairspray?

JK: Being with this talented and fun cast is the best part. I think we've laughed more than we've sang during rehearsals. 

LA: Is there one thing everyone should know about the show?

JK: It should be obvious to viewers that we are having a blast on stage, but they should know we've stopped and took time to talk about the true meaning behind the show. It really has meaning to it!

LA: Tell us about the character you play.

 JK: My character is Brenda on the Corny Collins Show, I'm the girl who is pregnant and has to leave allowing Tracy to audition. I think there should be a sequel to Hairspray called "what happens to Brenda when she leaves". 

LA: Sum up Hairspray in 3 words.

JK: Energetic, funny, and entertaining!

Volunteers Wanted - Riverfest

Hey, Volunteers! Riverfest is right around the corner, and the Lyric Arts staff will be running our usual booth all day, complete with official Lyric Arts merchandise and a raffle to win a pair of free tickets to any show you choose. We're excited to do it again, and our Summer Intern, Eric, is eager to get out and meet you all in person.

However, we will still need a hand keeping things running smoothly as the day progresses. If you're good with people and want to help run a festival booth, get in touch with Matt McNabb, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@lyricarts.org, and ask about helping out on July 13th. We'd really appreciate it!

Even if you can't donate your time, come on down to see us on the 13th. We love meeting everyone that sees our productions, and the free ticket raffle isn't too bad a deal either.

See you there!