The auditions went well but they weren't without hiccups.
One day when I was having a conniption. Ok, that's a bit dramatic - I guess I was just feeling a bit despondent about finding the right cast. Stassi (my eldest) sent me a little video (linked below) of Greta Gerwig talking about the road bumps in the creative process being 'the road'.
Greta's actual phrase was, 'when things go awry....it's not a deviation from the path...it IS the path'.
This resonated with me. Hard. You can watch the clip HERE (the section is about 24 mins in).
Once auditions for Intertwined were completed, it was time to begin to work on other things.
The next big thing that I would need to do would be the cast table read. I wanted to have everyone gather together (cast, crew, musicians) and have the stage directions even read aloud to us. This would give us a really good chance to hear Intertwined read aloud for the first time. Before that was to happen though I attended a few grant writing workshops hosted by Arts Out West and had a helpful phone call with Margie Breen (the then head of Theatre Network NSW). Kylie Shead from Arts Out West was amazing to meet with. She not only gave me time and her listening ears, but she also gave me helpful contacts and names of people I could reach out to in our regional area. Having had a 20 year hiatus from performance and living outside of Sydney (where I got my acting degree) meant that I had to build up a new network from scratch. The support I've had from Kylie and the Arts Out West team has really helped to keep me buoyant in this new chapter of creativity for me.
I also invested in a one on one session with Nathan Clarkson (anyone who had followed my homeschool journey knows how inspiring I have found the Clarkson family over the years!). Nate has been a working actor and producer/director in Hollywood - having had big dreams and gone after them. Nate and I talked about the intersection of faith, the arts and creativity as well as professionalism and some top tips he had for me about marketing. It really affirmed that I was on the right path and I was very encouraged after our chat.
GEARING UP FOR OUR TABLE READ
Here are some of the steps I took to get us ready for our table read: * A few more internet call outs and chats, and our leads and understudies were mostly sorted.
* I had approached Craig Lawler, my mate of Blind Freddy's Bushranger Tours fame, who agreed to be our stage directions reader.
* I made some alterations to the script (definitely not our last!) and sent the scripts off to Yellow House, our local printers, who agreed to print the scripts as in-kind support. So grateful! * I spent a couple of nights setting up a private playlist of all of the songs that I had recorded and hosted them all to SoundCloud. * I set up a little Slack group for our cast and crew for ease of communication and sent through the SoundCloud link to the cast and musos.
* I lined up a photographer for our shoot and secured the venue too. There was an empty shop in our town that had amazing light and ceiling glass. I thought this would be a lovely open space for our table read. I was so grateful to the owner of the business who so kindly donated the use of the empty shop to us. So generous and so deeply appreciated. * The next thing I need to do was line up some portable tables (which I was able to source through a FB callout to friends).
* My friend Cass kindly allowed us to borrow some of her chairs (from the adjoining Kendal St Cafe). * I sourced some lovely linen tablecloths from the local oppy and washed and dried them ready to go. * 2 nights before the table read, we went and set up the space.
* My friend Trish of The Shared Table kindly leant me her urn.
* I printed off name labels so people would know who was who. * The day of the table read, I cooked up some scones and other yummy things for us to eat as a way to break the ice before the table read began.
(Photo credit: Aspire Photography)
(Photo credit: Aspire photography)
On the Day of the Table Read
One the day of the table read, people arrived and I could sense the nervous tension in the air. People were meeting for the very first time! Even though I knew this was totally normal, the mama in me also wanted them to feel at ease. I had hoped the availability of tea and coffee and scones etc would help with that but everyone sat at their place and quietly waited. In hindsight, some upbeat background music would have been useful.
Our lovely photographer, Penny, arrived and we went to work. Leads and understudies had their headshots taken as they entered so that Penny could leave about half hour into our script reading.
Once the cast was all present, and after our acknowledgement of country, away we went. Our Intertwined table read was underway.
The table read went well (especially since there were people present who had not ever attended one).
I was grateful to have one of our musicians present too so he could hear what the soundtrack was like. Feedback was good, energy wasn't as high as I was expecting (but I think that was due to nerves and how quiet the room was!) and it was lovely to have had everyone (or close to!) in the same room for our first read through. More soon, Lusi x