Ari Kessler (Musical Director), Chris D'Amato (Wesley), and Ricardo Delgado (Scan Band drummer/Various) get together with the STC to discuss working on a new script, passing the buck, and other fetishy things.
Ari has joined
me: ari you there?
Chris has joined
me: if you got the time, Chris and I are here
Chris: Hello Ari
12:03 PM me: Ari's being a snob. not talking.
so like him.
Ari: hey, here i am
me: well well well
Ari: my ears are burning, you guys talking about me
me: no, that's the rash
12:04 PM Ari: i mighta known...goddamn gingers and their rashes
me: no, I was talking about YOU and a rash
all right, enough LOLing
let's get to business.
since it's the two of you, I think a cool way to do the interview will be more about working on a new script together
12:05 PM musician/actor/etc
plus a bit of sexiness
that sound good?
Chris: Sounds fantastic
Ari: always a sexy time with the death star.
me: true dat, Ari
Chris: Superlasers everywhere baby!
me: is that what you call your thing?
12:06 PM Ari: point to terry
Chris: Hahahaha. I prefer "Destroyer of Alderaan"
that is funny. Sort of scary too.
Chris: Well yeah its terrifying
Ari: she feels a great disturbance in the force...
12:07 PM Chris: Thats no moon
me: haha, okay.
I'm gonna herd some cats.
so, thanks for doing the gchat interview, first of all. It's all the rage.
Of course, J15 is a new script --
having been in process since spring of last year,
12:08 PM workshopped/produced in December
with a remount for sexy Valentine's Day
you two have worked together several times before yes?
12:09 PM Ricardo has joined
Chris: That is correct. This would mark our third project together. 4th if you count the last "mounting" (pun intended) of Johnny 15
Ari: yes, true. chris provides the necessary firepower for any and all projects.
12:10 PM me: I see we're still on the deathstar/destroyer tip.
that's all right.
Ari: well, it's a big tip.
me: that's what I hear.
from the ladies in the cast.
I mean, what?
me: Wanted to welcome Ricardo
12:11 PM Ari: really? i don't.
me: Ricardo, our band drummer/ensemble member just joined.
Chris: Hello Ricardo. Welcome
12:12 PM Ricardo: hello people
me: so Chris, what would you say makes working on a new show different from working on an already established script?
This question can actually go to anyone.
But Chris I want to hear your perspective as an actor.
12:14 PM Chris: Working on a new show offers a flexibility and a level of collective creativity that may not exist on an already established show. You have freedom to explore, and unlike a play by like Artur Miller, you have the capability to allow the script/story to grow with the performances
Ari: in my somewhat limited musical theater experience, i've found that working on original scripts is quite liberating, especially from the musical director's chair. much as i enjoy reading what's on the page, it's much more fun to create the page as you go.
me: you both definitely are great creators on-the-spot
12:15 PM Chris: Correct. As an actor I enjoy paying reverence to the playwrights intentions but when you have the playwrights there with you IN THE PROCESS the exploration that occurs is amazing most of the time
me: some of the most fun moments, musically and story-wise (esp for Wesley) have been created in rehearsal.
12:16 PM Ari: e.g. the classical "masturbation" cadenza in "von awesome"
12:17 PM nice use of e.g. as opposed to i.e., Ari.
Chris: (My "correct" was to Ari's statement before not an egotistical self assurance of you telling me Im a great creator. But I thank you nonetheless)
me: I got that, but thanks for clarifying.
Chris, sounds like you feel like Wesley's story got fleshed out along the way?
12:19 PM Chris: Yes. Absolutely. Upon first reading of the script I actually found Wesley QUITE creepy and weird. I thought he was just another "fetishy weirdo" but as we played and explored we found this beautiful true love between Wesley and Valentina that has now made Wesley one of the favorite roles I've ever played. I dont really get romantic parts. Im a character actor generally so this has been nice. And finsing that love and that "pureness" in Wesley has all been in rehearsal exploring. It didnt read for me from the original script
12:20 PM me: yes. Great!
I really do think their relationship is very sweet.
Chris: Love is Wesley's fetish
me: Honest, even.
12:21 PM totally ... what a weirdo!
Chris: Haha yeah! What a crepperrrrrr
12:22 PM me: So Ari (and Ricardo), you guys definitely saw an evolution for the Wesley/Valentina relationship too
their song "Ghost Town" changed long after we started rehearsing
12:23 PM Ari: precisely. we were able to add this classic disney-esque love duet into a song which was originally about a character's remorse, which is a total bummer, man.
12:24 PM me: shucks. It's about remorse, but it's also about devotion.
and the L-word.
12:25 PM In the Broadway version, you know we have a 50-person choir behind them.
Ari: right, preferably imported from a church in harlem.
me: is there any other kind?
well, yes, but not for our purposes.
Ricardo: I thought ghosttown started off all gospel like from the beginning
12:26 PM well I mean the beginning of rehearsal
me: there was an element of humor to it, initially.
Ricardo: oh yeah
12:27 PM forgot about that
Ari: right, it was originally a power ballad with a comically high screech from the singer
and then the discovery was that playing the truth of the moment was actually more interesting.
so what are we talking about? sorry I'm totally in and out of this conversation
12:28 PM me: I've got one more question about the show.
the process, really.
I'm curious -- in a room that is live with ideas as we try to make this new show better
12:29 PM how do you (each of you) figure out which ideas are worth playing with, and which need to be discarded?
I'm asking about your process, I suppose, and how you filter without censoring. Does that make sense?
12:30 PM Ricardo: Short answer: I make everyone do the work for me.
me: obvs, Ricardo.
Ricardo: Long Answer: I just throw out ideas and see what get people interested
Ari: damn, i was gonna say, "we make ricardo do it".
Ricardo: then we go from there
12:31 PM me: haha, seems the buck travels fast in the band.
Ricardo: it's like ordering pizza
12:32 PM Chris: Yes. It makes sense. Its actually easier with a new show than something thats established. When you have the freedom to explore, the choice always gets easier. When you find something that works it clicks and somethign real is felt by everyone and its suddenly like "Yeah... thats how this should be" On that same note its also easier to spot stuff that isnt working and fix it
Ari: i think there's something to be said for the hierarchy of decision-making in a company like ours, especially in this second run of rehearsals; there are tons of ideas flying around, and ultimately the final say-so lies with the directors. so the process really changes with each script, each rehearsal.
12:33 PM me: true. Someone's gotta sift throught the ideas. But to Chris's point it does usually seem like there's a consensus when something works.
It just "feels" right. Agrees with the world.
12:34 PM Ricardo: although for this round, I feel like I have to restrain myself a little more
for time's sake
me: right, that makes sense.
12:35 PM Chris: That is true
But with that said weve done a great job at establishing this universe
me: Speaking (writing) of gchatting, restraint, and other fetishy things...
The next part of the interview turns raunchy, so it will be posted after-hours.
The Serious Theatre Collective: Always looking out for the children.
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