LeBlonde Blog – Chapter 4 – Waiting

Waiting waiting waiting no official announcement of the show yet waiting waiting waiting when are auditions waiting waiting waiting this is torture waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting

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Book Giveaway Contest!

pinterest-book giveaway with burst

Sign up to follow the Bit Players blog and be entered in a drawing to win all three Bit Players books! One lucky winner will get the entire series for FREE. Simply follow these easy steps to enter the contest:

  1. Enter your email on the right, underneath where it says “Follow Blog”
  2. Look for a confirmation email in your inbox, and follow the link to confirm that you want to follow Bit Players. (This step takes you to a WordPress web page. You don’t have to do anything on that page, but you can adjust the settings there if you want.)

Entry deadline is February 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th.)… One winner will be chosen at random on February 14, 2015 (Valentine’s Day – I like dates that are easy to remember.…). Books will be mailed within two weeks of contest end date.

Not sure if you want to follow Bit Players? Trust me, you won’t be swamped with emails notifying you of new posts. Just look through my previous posts to see how sporadically I post! :-) You will, however, get access to “LeBlonde Blog”and Bit Players book updates, along with general musings on life and theatre. And life in the theatre. And the theatre of life. You get the picture. Thanks for entering!

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. If you prefer not to follow the Bit Players blog, you may enter by submitting your email address using the Contact Us form on the Bit Players blog: http://bitplayers.me/about-2/. Sweepstakes open to people of all ages, provided the U.S. Postal Service can deliver to the winner’s location. Sweepstakes runs January 25, 2015 through February 13, 2015. Sponsored and promoted by S.M. Stevens, 556 Linden St., Boylston, MA, 01505, USA. One prize will be awarded. Prize consists of one copy each of three books: Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers (retail value $6.99); Bit Players, Bullies and Righteous Rebels (retail value $6.99); and Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups (retail value $8.99). Odds of winning depend on number of entries submitted. Winner will be selected at random on February 14, 2015, and prize shipped via post by February 28, 2015. Winner will be announced on www.bitplayers.me. Winner agrees to allow name and state/country of residence to be publicized on www.bitplayers.me.
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LeBlonde Blog – Chapter 3 – Obtaining the Rights

We have the rights! Yay!!!!! Legally Blonde is now officially Smalltown High School’s spring musical.

TheatreSeatsWhen we left off a week ago, Mr. D. (the director) was concerned about the complexity of the show. Remember, it’s his first show at this school with these students and in this auditorium. So piling an ambitious production on top of those uncertainties was valid reason for pause. (The auditorium is barely 2 years old – people are still figuring out how some of the equipment works!)

Since then, Mr. D has been reassured by the students and the faculty advisor (let’s call her Mrs. A) that the show can work. Yes, it has a lot of roles and set changes, and yes a word or two may need to be changed, but now Mr. D is on board with the show. Pfshew.

logo_mti_letterheadEven more exciting, after sorting out silly little snafus with account names and credit card numbers and outstanding balances, Smalltown High School was able to access its MTI account and apply for the rights to do the show. And now (drumroll, please), a real live paper contract sits in the hot little hands of Mrs. A.

All that remains is for Mrs. A to mail the “performance license” and the royalty fee to MTI, and we’ll be off and running (dancing?). I don’t know the actual royalty amount, but it’s based on the number of shows and expected attendance. The basic royalty concept is that you pay for every person’s viewing of the show. Imagine if you had to pay more to watch a Pay-Per-View event on TV if you had six people in your living room instead of three. Don’t get me wrong. The concept of artist royalties is totally fair and reasonable. But it is kind of interesting how it works when you think about it.

dollar-signWhen setting the royalty amount, MTI doesn’t care if you charge admission or not. We will definitely charge admission, because the theatre program is self-supporting. It doesn’t get any money from the regular school budget.

Which is just one of the reasons why it’s so awesome that we have the rights to Legally Blonde — The show should be a big draw which means strong ticket sales which means more money to keep the program going. Sadly, business is an important piece of any arts program. But now that we’re through the start-up paperwork, we can look toward auditions and getting creative. More on that next week.

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LeBlonde Blog – Chapter 2 – The Perusal

LeBlonde Blog Logo

Perusal or no perusal? The director decided he needed to see a perusal of Legally Blonde: The Musical before committing to the show. Understandable, since he’s never directed the show. But absolute torrrrrture for the kids, who are chomping at the bit to get started.

What concerns did a reading of the perusal script raise? Plenty. The show calls for multiple chorus groups — college students, Harvard faculty, hair salon staff, etc. — so our little school is going to have to pump up the volume and bring out the students in droves. (Sorry, this seems to be a cliché-ridden post.) Can we do it? Well, when we did High School Musical a few years back, we had 50 cast members. The excitement around Legally Blonde is building, so it’s definitely possible. If not, will we have to cut scenes and/or songs?

Next concern: multiple set changes not only within scenes but even within songs. Can our stage crew pull it off? We have a few dedicated, really awesome stage crew members, but they’ll need help. Last year, the cast did most of the set changes for The Pajama Game. Bottom line: It can be done. If the set pieces are minimal, it’s that much easier.

Lefty takes a break from playing "Toto"

Lefty takes a break from playing “Toto”

Oh, did I mention there are two dogs in the cast? But hey, we had a live Toto for Wizard of Oz two years ago, and he was a pro. Only missed one cue!

So the perusal tells us what we’re in for. Now let’s get started! :-)

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LeBlonde Blog – Chapter 1 – Staging “Legally Blonde”

Bit Players — the books series, this blog, and the Pinterest page — are all about the stage: how we feel when we’re on it, and how we feel when we’re watching a performance. But anyone who’s been involved in a show knows, it’s not all about the actual shows. The weeks and sometimes months leading up to opening night provide half the fun, some aggravation, and most of the work.

LeBlonde Blog LogoToday, I announce a blog within a blog, to take you into that special world of stage production. “LeBlonde Blog” will follow my local high school’s production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, from planning to performance. The school is in a central MA town I’ll call Smalltown, just like my main character Sadie Perkins does in the Bit Players novels.

At this point, the show is just an idea. It hasn’t even been announced officially. But some very important steps are occurring, like the first meeting of the new “cast” of directors: Our new director needs to connect with the music director and choreographer, both of whom have been involved with the school’s shows before. The school has yet to find a “stable” director since the founder of the program dropped out a few years ago for personal reasons. By “stable”, I don’t mean mentally, just that for one reason or another, no director has lasted more than one show. I have high hopes for this new one, who I’ll call Mr. D. He has tons of experience, including working with students, and lives in the area.

That’s enough for my short Chapter 1. I’ll post at least weekly with show updates. I’ll continue to blog about other topics as they come up, but for the next few months, we’ll have Legally Blonde on our minds here at Bit Players. Follow along and watch the production come to life.

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Turn Off the Hallmark Channel and Pick Up “Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups”

five-starsThanks to “yesteryearhomes” for this new 5-star review of Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups on Amazon:

“I love this series of books. Although theater isn’t my thing, my lack of knowledge didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the story. In fact, I think I need to see the next production of Seussical that comes to town. The characters are real, I can easily picture any of my friends’ kids saying things and acting similarly as the characters in Ms. Stevens’ books.

“This story (Bird Girls & Fake Break Ups) moves along quickly and smoothly, as do the other books in the series. I wanted to know if the mom was going to be okay, how the young couple would handle the stress of jealous rumors, and how the senior class would come to terms with wanting to be treated as adults and having to deal with adult issues such as life threatening illness and arrest for theft. Ms. Stevens does a great job of story telling and providing food for thought for readers, conveying it in a way that any parent would want to have their own kids gain experience through life.

“I would recommend this book to any young adult (or their parents); it’s not preachy, the characters have depth, the issues are current and are dealt with in realistic ways. Turn off the Hallmark station, and read this series instead!

“Since each book has pieces of an original musical inside, wouldn’t it be great to see our local theater group produce them?”

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Stage Make-Up Favorite on Pinterest

ad2b3526d83af65ad4d064556a53b590 Of the 1,000+ stage set, costume and make-up ideas I’ve pinned on Pinterest, this is one of the top 10 for re-pins — so far, 477 people have shared it. So first, a big thank you to Stafka Pavlova on Behance for creating this beautiful style. Second, thanks to all who’ve Liked or Re-Pinned it. And third, I think I missed an opportunity to pin a Christmas message along with this fabuloso red and green image!

Speaking of the holidays (shameless self-promotion here, but this is my blog after all…), if you’re wondering what to do with that money your great-aunt sent you, order the Bit Players books here or on Amazon. Read the reviews on either site.

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