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The Tom Cherry Experience

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The View from Backstage

Ok, here's what happened during Friday's performance of Into the Woods...

Left the Group Home to go the theatre. I had to use a different route to get there since all the roads surrounding the fairgrounds were full of traffic. The high school band contest seems to be drawing in a big crowd.

I'm downstairs in the basement green room. It's deserted since everyone is using the other green room upstairs. I have been hanging out down here during the show. I consider it The Mysterious Man's hidden inner sanctum. Some puddles are on the floor due to some minor flooding that occurred earlier in the week. Time to get dressed!

I just got finished dressing. I have a love/hate relationship with safety pins. I love them because they keep my costume together yet I hate them because I keep jabbing myself with them as I pin things down. Can you get tetanus from safety pins? Geesh, I hope not!

For my costume, I wear three layers of clothing. I look very raggedy and disheveled. The costume is basically falling apart each time I wear it. I have discovered during my short stint in theatre that I'm very rough on my costumes. They slowly become potential dishrags during the show's run.

Wearing three layers of clothing can get hot at times, but things were slightly less comfortable when I had a layer of hemp rope attached to me. The rope looked great on me, but it proved to be impractical. Every time I moved, the rope would slip off and I would have to keep pinning it back in place. Fortunately for me, the rope was permanently dropped from my garb.

Argh! I flicked myself in the eye with one of my long sleeves and dislodged my contact lens! Okay, I'm better now. Theatre can be dangerous!

Moved upstairs to say hello to some of my fellow actors and the crew.

The house is now open.

I grab some spirit gum from a makeup kit and my one and only prop, a small bag of gold.

The show is going to begin in a matter of minutes! Time to put on my long, white beard and wig! I start to spread the spirit gum around my mouth and then I do the same thing to the mustache of the beard. Let's hope everything sticks together!

All set! The show should be starting any second!

Yow! While leaping about on stage, I landed wrong and twisted my ankle. Down I went! Of course, the show must go on so I jumped up and wobbled my way through the rest of the scene. Damn, the theatre is dangerous!

Jack (played by the very talented Corey Mills) is singing "Giants in the Sky". That's my cue to get ready for my next scene. My ankle feels okay, I think.

Have to reapply some spirit gum. I got the beard wet as I attempted to drink some water and now it is slipping off.

The beard is back in place. I'm hoping it stays up during the rest of the act.

Act I is now over! I pulled my beard and wig off right after my big death scene. Being under all that hair has been hotter than usual for some reason tonight. I'm glad it is off for the moment.

The show is going very strong tonight despite my tumble. I'm working with such a wonderfully talented cast and crew. Everyone is doing remarkably well. The audience seems to be enjoying the performance. Let's hope they stick around for Act II!

Down in the green room, Judy Malone and Jerry Cole, the show's musical accompanists and my friends, offer me some French roasted peanuts. They're such decent folk! Thanks, Judy and Jerry!

I'm now walking like Fred Sanford. Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you, honey!

Upstairs the giant (The kind and generous Carol Casazza) is killing off some of the cast while I make sure I remember the lyrics to my musical number, "No More".

Okay, I need to reassemble myself.

I'm back to my Mysterious Man self. On stage, The Baker's Wife (The lovely Lisa Etchison) is about to meet her end. This show shares a bit with slasher films: Once you have sex, you end up dead. At least, that's The Baker's Wife's fate.

I'm heading up for a confrontation with my son, The Baker (Hello, Marty Grubbs!). I hope it goes well.

It did go well. Marty is such a good actor. He's so heavily invested in his role that it's not hard to feel his anger and grief when I'm on stage with him. I think our last scene together always works well.

Okay, I'm tempted to take off the beard and wig again, but I must wait until we take our final bows. 

While waiting for the finale, here's a list of things that is currently in my beard: A crumbled up chocolate bar, Hawaiian Punch, Aim toothpaste, maple syrup, shaving cream, black spray paint, a raspberry Danish, dirt, twigs, Taco Bell hot sauce, ketchup, some things I'm sure I'm forgetting, and some dried up flowers I found in the green room that was for the cast of Honk! (According to the card, the Muncie Civic Theatre board sent them. Tomorrow night I'm planning on putting the card in my beard).

The giant is dead! Time to wrap things up.

And we did wrap things up, successfully I think. My ankle is currently bruised and swelled up a bit though. I've been hobbling about since Friday, but it's getting better. Oh, and thanks to Tim, Brad, Eric, and Emily for coming to see the show!

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Show Goes On!

After a three day hiatus, Into the Woods returned to stage last night. We had another great audience and the show ran smoothly. I think my performance was slightly off, but I can't pinpoint just why. I don't think I fumbled any lines or did anything particularly wrong, but I have a nagging feeling I could have done better. I may just be too critical. Hopefully, I'll do a better job tonight.

I was planning on giving a minute by minute account of last night's show (Basically blogging the performance), but I got too distracted to write down everything while the show was going on. Maybe I'll do it tonight.

Thanks to Mom, Grandma, Aunt Linda, Aunt Carol, Uncle Jerry, and Chuck for coming last night! I truly appreciate it and I hope you all had a good time!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Now Showing

It's funny. One minute you're one dress rehearsal away from the big show and the next minute you're in the middle of the run. Time is passing quickly around these parts, I guess. Into the Woods opened last Friday in front of a great audience and we gave a stellar performance. For honesty's sake, I will admit I did flub a line during my encounter with the Witch (beautifully played by the lovely Julie Barber) and I nearly took an unplanned tumble on stage when I tripped over a root (I would explain, but come to the show and you'll know what I mean). Saturday's show was practically Friday's twin in its success, but Sunday's show was marred by a small, practically silent audience. However, some friendly faces from Touchy Feely Fotos were there to brighten the gloom. Thanks to everyone for their support!

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Acting Up

Well, believe it or not, Into the Woods opens next Friday. Last night's rehearsal went pretty well. There's a few minor things that need tended to, but nothing that can't be fixed before the big premiere. Get your tickets soon!

In other theatre news, I unfortunately didn't get cast for the upcoming Sweeny Todd. However, I did get a part in The Eight: The Reindeer Monologues. I got the role of Dancer. The show will be playing in the Studio Theatre come December so I have plenty of time to grow convincing anthers before then. Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Small Town Scenario

This past Friday Tim and I ventured out to Farmland to see the premiere of A Postcard from Farmland, a short film created by a group of Farmlanders including our friend,
John Oak Dalton
. Postcard is part of a series of films featured in a proposed television show called Small Town Scenario. The concept behind the show is very interesting. A film crew goes to various small towns and helps the locals to create films centering around their communities. Besides showing the finished film, each episode would document the experiences of the neophyte filmmakers as they work on their movies.

Farmland's film involved the reminiscences of some its local citizenry of their small town's past which included a daring bank robbery and an electric mousetrap. The film got a good reception at the crowded Farmland Cultural Center. Tim and I both found Postcard to be rather enjoyable and a promising start to Scenario's series.

After the film, we chatted with John and met his lovely wife Beth and his little brother, Harold. I also bumped into Judy Malone and Jerry Cole, founding members of the Howling Wind Band and friends from the Muncie Civic. Soon we all found ourselves next door at the Chocolate Moose, an old-fashioned soda fountain that serves tasty cheeseburgers and thick milkshakes. It was great sitting and talking with everybody, getting to know my friends from Farmland a little bit better.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Access Denied

I have never really thought of myself as being controversial. I'm simply too bland and cowardly for that type of action. However, occasionally something happens that makes me wonder if I'm closer to the edge than I think. Last week I submitted this strip to All Access for publication and it never ran. I guess it wasn't considered suitable for a general audience. To be honest, I knew there was a chance it wouldn't get printed when I handed it in, but I was hoping it would slip in without getting noticed. However, it did so last week's All Access was Idiots free.

Having a strip not getting accepted means I don't get paid for it, but it also makes me feel slightly edgy and dangerous like a little league Aaron McGruder. I can only expect my street cred to rise.

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