Friday, 30 September 2016

Sky’s Musical Corner – Reflection on CHESS

If you have read the performance post on Tuesday you know that CHESS is over and yes I’m still sad. It’s like you fall into a little hole, not knowing what to do with your life besides work. Of course that’s not true, because I read and blog and do other things, but during the days right after the derniere I always feel a bit melancholic.

CHESS was an amazing experience! I enjoyed every minute of it, even though it was exhausting at times, especially the get in week. Read about it HERE.

I fell in love with the music of the musical once more and I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to sing some of them and perform them on stage. It was once again time to learn all these movements and lyrics by heart and it wasn’t a challenge for me at all. I guess you get used to it and I would advise anyone to just sing and go through the song as often as you can and then suddenly it’s there.

Working with the cast has been an absolute pleasure, there are some wonderful people I got to know and rehearsals have been so much fun. Spending time with them backstage and after the show is just fab, I will miss them!

The audience has been great and I loved hearing all the feedback from friends, colleagues, family and people I don’t even know. When you hear thing like “Next sop London” or “it was like a broadway” show it seems surreal, but at the same time we all felt so honoured.

For this production I was responsible for social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is not a big thing in Switzerland, unless someone has a blog or does photography. I started posting rehearsal pictures, promoted our website, articles and much more. At one point one of the cast members came up to help me and we created the section HUMANS of CHESS, where we interviewed the cast members and introduced them day after day on Facebook. In between there were the other posts as well. It got to a point, where I got a bit fed up with the whole thing though. Our Chess Facebook site has less like than our theatre group’s facebook site, but the Chess site, got many more views, which was a good sign for me, people didn’t see it that way though. They thing because I have 4000 twitter followers or because they share everything on their Facebook site, people here should do the same. It took me a long time to get that many followers and I’m sorry if I’m not spaming my friends with a cast member everyday. I agree that the feature was a great idea, but it got a bit one-sided towards the end and my other posts were way more successful. All in all, I think this was the hardest part of the production for me, because nobody sees the work you actually do and working with people who have a different opinion is not always easy. All in all I can say that I learned a lot through this experience.

I don’t want to let this spoil the whole thing though. CHESS was such a wonderful production and experience and I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Top Ten Movie Weddings - A guest post by A.L. Michael

To celebrate Nice Day for a White Wedding’s release, I thought I’d make my list of the top ten weddings in fiction. From wedding themed, to just featuring an epic wedding, here’s my list:

1 - 27 Dresses: She was obsessed with having that perfect wedding in central park, wearing her mum’s dress and having her name in the paper. But in reality, she was happy to just watch him watch her as she walked down the aisle on the beach.

2 - Runaway Bride: Another lesson in the wedding being less important than the nuptials themselves. Though, really, maybe they could have just lived together happily unmarried instead of needing to spring her on it like a scared poodle?

3 - The Wedding Date: Legit actually love this movie. She hires a prostitute to go with her to her sister’s wedding, where her ex will be the best man. Lots of beautiful English countryside and realising that a man who sells his body is probably the world’s best psychologist. Plus, there’s dancing and hen nights and lots of drama. Yay!

4 - The Wedding Singer: Again, I love this movie. I love the singing, I love the fact that she’s a waitress and no-one ever tries to make her something else. I love that it’s so ridiculously 80s and everyone wears crazy clothing and sings to Bowie. And the overall theme: I wanna grow old with you. Awe.

5 - My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Mainly because I’m Greek, and this is almost exactly what happens (with slightly less Windex and Americanisms) the dancing, the over-the-top stuff, the hundreds of people, all with the same names and the confusing nature of the relationship (we have to invite your second cousin’s auntie’s godmother’s son - it would be rude not too!) but the sense of family and identity is pretty damn sweet.

6 - Father of the Bride: I love this one for the same reason I love The Wedding Singer - the massive emotional freak outs. Daughter falls in love, dad freaks out, crazy wedding freaks out even more and has to get the hell over it. Also Diane Keaton is just a goddess.

7 - Princess Bride: Well, it has bride in the title. This is one of my favourite films anyway, but there’s lots of wedding stuff. Plus crowns and true wuv and stuff.

8 - High Society: Wedding of the century, Grace Kelly, singing, dancing and smooth jaaaaazzz. I love this movie, the dresses are amazing and everyone’s there for this big wedding whilst the bride realises that she’s never really loved poor old boring George.

9 - Mamma Mia! Okay, it’s cheesy as crap but everyone comes together for a wedding! On a sunny island (Like Nice Day for a White Wedding...hint hint) and lots of drama and singing. Plus, Meryl Streep. Another goddess.

10 - Wedding Crashers: Mainly because Isla Fisher ends up being nuts and I really enjoy that.

Movies I purposefully did not mention:
My Best Friend’s Wedding: DO NOT chase around the guy you apparently love (but haven’t seen for years) thinking that he will choose you over the girl he’s actually promised to marry. That’s INSANE and SELFISH, Julia Roberts!

Bride Wars: If choosing the same day and competing over wedding stuff can destroy a fifteen year friendship, I would say you’re not really good friends to start with. Not girl power-y at all.

Bridesmaids: Loved a lot of the actors in this, but it didn’t float my boat. Mainly due to all the poop.

Made of Honour: AGAIN, could you people sort your shit out about who you’re in love with before your wedding day? Thanks.

The Blurb: 

Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…

Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.

These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancĂ©. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?



This giveaway is for an Italian themed goodie bag that Andi is preparing herself which has lots of goodies in it – like processo, biscotti and other italian themed yummies! I think this giveaway will be really popular so please, please, please make sure you include this in your post somewhere!

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About the author:
A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 'Wine Dark, Sea Blue', 'The Last Word', 'My So Called (Love) Life', 'Driving Home for Christmas', and 'If You Don't Know Me By Now', based upon her experiences as a London barista. 
Her new three book series, The House on Camden Square, starts with 'Goodbye Ruby Tuesday' and focuses on three friends as they try to open an arts centre in Camden, in memory of their rock star friend.

She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and likes running writing workshops that link together the body and the mind. When she's not writing, she likes yoga, trying to bake healthy treats and was a hipster before hipsters were hipster. Well, she likes Chai lattes and owns a Mac. 


Sky’s Musical Corner – Backstage during CHESS

Being backstage of a show is always great fun and of course it also was this time.

It all started when we arrived at the theatre, time for make-up and warm-ups. We did our make-up at home, because we live so close to the theatre.

Everyone is getting ready, getting into their costumes and maybe eating something in between. After the warm-up and the sound check it’s soon time for the performance and of course it gets exciting at this point. We are gathered in the wings of the stage, ready to go on to the stage. This time we were able to wait on stage, because the curtains were in. And then there is the moment when the screen lifts and it all starts.

The moments when you’re actually not on stage or so much fun. Being backstage, hanging out with the cast is so funny. I remember a moment during sound of music, where we stood in the wings and actually had a bet going on how long Maria and Captain VonTrapp would kiss, so we always timed it on our phones. It’s moments like this that make the experience of being part of a production like this even more special.

Now, here are my favourite moments of CHESS backstage:

Goofing around on stage before the sound check, with Dani (our Freddy), Lilian (one of our dancers), Jennifer (we started together in the group), Dai (our Anatoly, my mum and some others. It’s the jokes about hair or about other thing that make you feel relaxed.

Being in the wings and backstage means getting to watch the show from there. I tried to see the show from every possible angle, there is so much to see. We sing as well, of course not loud, we just move our lips and over do the acting, I think I know all the songs by heart now. During the rocky songs it’s just great to dance backstage, we always have funny choreographies going on.

Getting changed in the dressing room is actually my least favourite part. First of all, there are too many people in the dressing room and having a microphone makes the changing a bit tricky. We still had some funny moments then. One evening we were talking about teaching and then one ask how many teachers there are in the room, it was actually more then half, we couldn’t stop laughing.

So I love hanging around in the wings or behind the stage, I even got myself some jobs of helping with costume changes. In that way nobody can say I’m not allowed backstage. Everyone seems to have their place behind the stage and it works.

When I’m not behind the stage, I’m in the kitchen right next to it, where there is coffee and food, especially cookies. Jennifer had to hide them, because they were gone so fast. It’s a great space to talk to people and find out more about them, we talk about anything and it’s great fun.

The sound check is funny, because people sing all kinds of songs, but some of them are just showing off, which is not fun. They think they are the best and they have to share it with everyone. The sound check is not a competition, really!

Being backstage also permits you to really listen to the singing and the orchestra, so you do realise every single mistake and just hope the audience doesn’t hear it.

We had video projects this time, you can’t see everything from the wings, but it’s still very impressive. We even found some mistakes on them. Saturday spelt like this: Sataurday.

In one song I’m the flower girl. I have to quickly throw over a scarf and get my flowers, they always get caught in my scarf somehow though. I swear that during every performance part of the flowers just landed on the floor or in caught in the scarf.

Watching the drunken Russians during Soviet Machine is the funniest thing ever! I always watching someone else every night and the way the act and sing was just hilarious!!!

I could go on here, but then we would be here for a really long time! Let me just say this: the backstage experience of a musical is full of surprises and fun.