In case you didn’t hear, I performed in a play on New Year’s Eve this year that was written in 12 hours and rehearsed in the following 12 hours. It’s a One Day Play Extravaganza! Yes, I am that crazy, and yes, it was TONS of fun! This was my fourth year participating (and the third year it was a full length play) at Eclectic Company Theatre.
I moved to Los Angeles on November 1, 2009. I didn’t have a lot of friends yet so when I saw a post on Actors Access a couple of weeks before New Year’s Eve, I thought, “Why not? I’ll get to act, meet new people and have an interesting New Year’s Eve celebration.” So I submitted and was asked to send in a “casual” photo with a black shirt (ie. my costume). Each writer had to write a ten minute scene for two people. They had to include a random prop (not of their choosing), a random line of dialogue (again, not of their choosing) and two actors drawn at random. Directors were also randomly assigned to each scene. Most of the writers wrote one scene and a couple of them wrote two scenes. The directors also each had a scene and a few had double duty. Our call time was 8am, December 31, 2009. I arrived with coffee in hand, not knowing a single person in the room. I remember sitting in the audience area as people arrived wondering what I had gotten myself into but it was too late to turn back now! Most people seemed to know each other, but there were a few like me, sitting quietly sipping coffee and trying to wake up.
Everyone was welcomed and scenes were passed out. I was blessed with an amazing scene partner and an awesome director, both of whom I am still good friends with today, Susan and Dean. For the next 12 hours we blocked and rehearsed our scene. Our prop was a can opener and we were roommates on New Year’s Eve (all scenes took place on NYE), I was trying to sleep and Dean was playing super hero with the can opener. It was a lot of fun! So then in 2010 our illustrious leader Kerr messaged me and asked if I would be up for a full length play instead of 10-minute scenes. I definitely had to think about that-memorize and rehearse a 75 minute play in only 12 hours?!?! I had to be crazy to do it, right? Well I am so I said yes, and on December 31, 2010 we did our first full length play, set in an insane asylum for toys. I was a goth angel addicted to meth who was killed then brought back to life and possessed by a demon. Oh you silly writers. It was easy to say yes for 2011 and this time we parodied reality shows. I was part of a writing duo with the fabulous Beth that kept pitching ridiculous shows. I was a complete nerd while she was a knockout; we ended up as lovers by the end of the play. Makes total sense right? This year was no different with the ridiculousness. There was a foodocalpyse on the verge and it had to be stopped! There was also a super-disease that had been created and somehow had to be cured. It was a happy ending (except for Dr. Ween who was the evil mastermind) for all. We get a read through, a blocking rehearsal, a cue to cue and one full run through. And while at 3pm it always seems that we’ll never have a show by 8pm, somehow it always comes together. And the 10pm show just gets better!
After four years of spending my New Year’s Eve with amazing theatre people I don’t think I want to spend it any other way. I’ve played an ordinary girl, a toy goth angel, a nerdy reality show writer, and now a dinnerware obsessed caterer. I’ve made lifelong friends, learned valuable acting lessons, and had a grand old time doing what I love to start off a new year. It’s been said that how you spend your New Year’s Eve is indicative of what the year will bring for you. Can’t wait to see what this year brings for me. So cheers to a great 2013 for all!