A note at the time of auditions

In a world of traditionally getting everything you want when you want it, there still are moments in life were that just isn’t so.  Sadly one of those places is in Theatre.  (The other is after you graduate college and can’t get a job in the field you want).  In theatre we play characters… characters specific to a part… young child, old man, frog, cat, tree.  And as much as it’s a hard thing to hear and come to terms with we are not universal beings.  We cannot play any part in the world… well that is it.  Sure anyone can read a characters lines, but I will never make a great King Lear.  Why?  Because I am not an old sad man.

If you do not get a part in a show, that does not mean that you are a terrible actor, it just means that you were not suited for the production. I know that is a terrible thing to hear, but true non-the-less. As an actor myself I have been turned down many times because there was not a part for me, I can play a very specific part… no old ladies for me… characters my own age are hard to land as well.

“But what about those people that get leads all the time?” you ask.  Sadly some people are more versatile in their looks and abilities which allow them to be considered for many varying characters.  The great thing about being a teenaged actor is that you are ever changing!  You are growing and maturing and changing so much!  We have had many an actor come through who played the child role their freshmen year and the grumpy old man their senior year.  Just because you as your freshmen self didn’t get a part that year, does not mean you will never get a part ever.  Ask any of the kids who have graduated.  There were people who auditioned every year and finally got a part their senior year… LEADS.  It’s all about practice and perseverance.

I urge you to keep on auditioning, because one day there will be a part made for you or you will grow into the parts.

Closing

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What goes on in the Booth…

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Meet the Artist: Alessandra Gouverneur

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Make-up Artist and Cheshire Cat

When first speaking to senior, Alessandra Gouverneur, she would smile lightly and explain that she didn’t just have one job for the play, but two… two jobs that are very time consuming.  “I’m 1/2 of the Cheshire Cat and I’m also the head of makeup crew. The biggest challenge I experienced during the production was going between acting and managing makeup crew and the tasks that come with it.”  Having inherited the role of lead Make-up artist this year, Alessandra has realized it comes with a few more bells and whistles.  Olivia Barrington had been running make-up with Alessandra as her second, now it was time for Alessandra to find her second. “This year, a lot more decisions are up to me and I’m the one to go to for any questions. I needed to make sure I made my cues, checked everyone’s makeup, taught my girls how to do stage makeup, keep things organized, keep the actors quiet, and find a girl in makeup to be my assistant to run the show when I’m not there.

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Alessandra doing Make-up for One Act

One story Alessandra told us speaks of how these three young men worked throughout their whole high school career.  “My funniest experience backstage in the makeup room was when I was a freshman during Treasure Island. I was sitting in the room when I heard a loud CRASH from downstairs and then some yelling and running. Then, I heard two guys yelling “Move!” and something about someone getting cut while running up the stairs. Andrew Minkin and Henry Ballesteros dragged Joe Schwalb through the makeup room and into the bathroom in the back. Blood dripped from Joe’s injury and I initially got very frightened. Then, Clare Baumgart ran through the makeup room with paper towels and explained she heard the commotion and wanted to help clean him up. I looked at the blood again and realized it was the fake blood we use for the show. Before I could take even a step, I heard Clare in the bathroom gasp and yell in frustration, “I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU!” The boys came out of the bathroom laughing with an angry Clare in tow, and I couldn’t help but laugh myself.

Alessandra as an Elf in "The Hobbit"

Alessandra as an Elf in “The Hobbit”

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Nationals this past May in Chicago

As for terrible experiences, luckily, Alessandra doesn’t have one, only a little embarrassment.   “At the state competition for One Act my junior year, I was in charge of makeup and I forgot the setting powder. I was so embarrassed I wanted to hide because I couldn’t believe I forgot it. Thankfully, we didn’t sweat all of our makeup off completely.” 

“Favorite memory in theatre?”  Alessandra smiled lightly and then spoke “Pippin, the entire show.”  It was her freshmen year and magical.  “Watching it, doing makeup for it, meeting new friends during it. It was and still is my favorite show and I still miss it. It was my first musical and I got to know better one of my closest friends. The makeup was whimsical and colorful and makeup crew was a huge success.

Nationals this past May in Chicago

Nationals this past May in Chicago

For other hobbies, Alessandra does forensics, which is her “big” hobby. “It’s my number one priority aside from school during the season, and I have achieved a lot of success in it.” Alessandra went to Nationals this past May in Chicago and she recently won 6th place in Oral Interpretation of Literature at the state competition. She also sews and subsequently has helped costume crew here and there.  Alessandra plans on going to college and hopefully majoring in some sort of business or management area, or maybe statistics. She also has considered minoring in Spanish as well. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I want to keep the fine arts in my life. I have yet to know where I’m going, but I have high hopes for Miami University of Ohio along with other schools.

“My freshman year I was on the tennis team, and a teammate of mine asked me if I wanted to do makeup crew for the fall show and I said sure. She ended up not having the time for it, but I stuck with it because I was injured and couldn’t play. I liked it so much I joined again for Pippin. I tried out for the spring show but didn’t get called back, and I tried again for the fall show my sophomore year and got cast. I’ve done mostly makeup, but I act every now and again.”

Love Letters

SI14_HHS4_ALICE_2481It’s no secret that theatre people are very attached to each other and generally have no qualms about displaying their love of the theatre and one another to the world. But this year, the seniors decided to show their love in a different way. That is, through handwritten letters.

During the first few Alice in Wonderland rehearsals, it became apparent to a few juniors and seniors that there was a distinct disconnect between the upper and lower classmen. It’s not that we didn’t like each other; we just didn’t know each other. So a small group of seniors and one junior stayed after rehearsal to discuss what we could do about this problem and decided to start something that quickly became known as “Love Notes.”

SI14_HHS4_ALICE_2484For the last three weeks, each senior and one junior involved in the show was assigned 3-4 members of the cast that we were to get to know better. At the the end of the week, we wrote each person a letter telling them what we liked about them as a person or an actor or both. Everyone in the cast got a letter, including our director.

While some people might think this is the cheesiest thing that they have ever heard, it has been hugely beneficial to the cast. Not only do the underclassmen feel more comfortable talking to the upperclassmen, but the upperclassmen have realized that it is their responsibility to make everyone feel welcome.Through these letters, connections were created, friendships were forged and smiles were spread. Personally, I believe that this cast, despite it’s large size, is one of the closest bonded cast that I have been apart of. Everyone is seen as an equal, nobody is inferior and all are loved.

By: Alex Gieske (Drama Club Co-President)

When something absolutely catastrophic happens during a show

Sometimes all you can do is

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Meet the Artist: Alex Gieske

The Mad Hatter listening to a book

The Mad Hatter listening to a book

Alex Gieske accidentally stumbled into theatre when she was in sixth grade. “I auditioned for a school production because a friend forced me to and ever since then performing has been one of my passions.” Alex can’t quite pinpoint the exact reason as to why she loves acting as much as she does, but Ales knows that when an audience is captivated by the story that the actors are telling on stage, it is a sensation that is at once humbling and awesome.
For Alice in Wonderland Alex plays the Mad Hatter. Sighing heavily, Alex spoke, “Because this character is so much larger than life, I have struggled with making her seem like a real person. Although the Hatter is a challenge for me, she is also one of the roles that I have learned the most from. Every time the Mad Tea Party scene is performed it is different because every time I discover something new about my character and she is constantly changing.”

In Alex’s acting career, she has been very fortunate in not having horribly awful performance experiences. Remembering, Alex laughed, “That’s not to say I’ve never had a mishap. I remember one time I was on props for the musical, Brigadoon, and it was my job to turn on some candles in a house that moved….while it was moving. So during the blackout, I rush out to do my job and am promptly run over by the house. Luckily, I don’t think the audience noticed. Another one of my favorites is from the last performance of Eurydice. There were pipes that lined the playing space and some of the pipes were slightly elevated. During a scene, I went to investigate the pipes and I had barely touched one the them when they fell to the floor revealing a single pencil that was holding the pipes together (We had a very limited budget for that show). The only thing I thought was ‘Crap. I just broke the Underworld.'”

Alex Gieske as Eurydice in "Eurydice"

Alex Gieske as Eurydice in “Eurydice”

As the conversation turned to favorite memories, Alex’s face lit up, “There are so many!”  Instead of telling us all of her memories, Alex told her most recent one’s to us.   “I always go back to these when I question my sanity for doing theatre. During the first performance of Romeo and Juliet, I had just given Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech and there was a long beat of silence. The audience was so quiet and still and attentive to what we were doing that I swear you could have heard a pin drop. It was that moment that the magnitude of what actors are able to do to an audience really hit me. The other memory I love to go back to is after the final curtain call of Eurydice. The

Playing Mercutio in "Romeo and Juilet"

Playing Mercutio in “Romeo and Juilet”

entire cast loved that show and I never wanted it to end. After the last performance I got backstage and realized that we had created something remarkably special and that nothing exactly like that show would ever happen again. It was devastating to have to let it go, but I also knew this was a performance that people would take with them for the rest of their lives.  At least, I know I will.”

After high school, Alex plans on majoring in Nursing. Her dream college is U of M twin Cities, but she has yet to apply because “I’m so nervous!”  Othee than acting, Alex typically doesn’t do much besides acting, but “I guess if you forced me to do other things I would choose to read a lot and try to learn knit better and spend a lot of time with my dog.”

Come see Alex Gieske tonight in Alice in Wonderland at 7:30!

Alice in Wonderland premieres in the James Barr Auditorium at Homestead High School on tonight at 7:30.

October 17 and 18th @ 7:30

October 19th @ 2:00

Adults $8
Students $7

Homestead High School * 5000 W. Mequon Rd. Mequon WI 53092

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