Over the weekend we wrapped up underground episode. This was a test on how to run a show for two weeks and I must say there was a lot to be learned but it is definitely worth it. First things first, the cast compose of both veterans and newbies with a short timeframe of two months to learn probably one of the most challenging work that some of them have been a part of. For many including myself it was jumping from one production to another that was a challenge however for others it was just coming in and beginning the task at hand.
This time around we utilized collaborating with makeup artist Andrea Blassingame to create the looks, set up radio time for interviews, bloggers, and paid advertising in the metro Philly to get the word out on the production. We also utilized the site which the facility used instead of going the eventbrite way.
It was scary but I had to see what we could do and the end result turned out to be what we wanted. Now we are gearing up for next year to actually take advantage of all we learned.
The beauty of it all was swing how no matter what RunBoyRunProduction still continues to grow as a family and in the end this makes for good business.
Since our beginning RunBoyRunProduction has believed that art is the best way to tell not only stories but how reality is affected daily but the average person. One of our most impactful stories has been “Bully” (performed here by Ra Wilson) which is a story about a young man that got expelled from school but as he tells it they thought he was the bully but it turns out that he was the one being bullied.
For many of us the story is relatable especially if you come from the 80s and 90s when it was always those of us that were nerds that were being bullied. I tell you from experience being bullied as a kid was not a happy moment for me. Whether it was done by high school jocks or just someone who though I was an easy target my terror as a child was often followed by rage and regrets. However as an artist I had an outlet and that was being able to write, act, dance or draw the need to have an outlet was important In getting through such pain.
Because art was my outlet as a child for so many things, I make it my duty to do such for others after all we all need someone to listen to our stories. As I said before Ra has been doing bully since its incarnation and has since grown as an actor doing films and becoming a playwright himself. So now as we go into our forth year Ra has decided to pay it forward and give the role to a young up and coming Quashawn White as he makes his stage debut.
Bullying is not a laughing matter and in this day in time it has taken on a new form with the days of social media that it’s panic and terror has been one that many of us can’t turn our eyes from. However what we can do is stand up and fight for those that that need a voice those that need and outlet that in the end will look to you and say thank you for showing me how to stand.. How will you stand up to bullying?
The cast made it down after a long haul 4hrs drive in a van and Nic in a car but they made it. I really wanted to get them settled in but because of time we had to get ready for the show. Everyone flipped around flopped around but changed into characters as fast as they got here and it was showtime.
The crowd was thin but this was with the right people to get more out. With journalist, photographs,vlogers and blogers on hand all this meant was Friday was going to be the turn up show. In the end all that came enjoyed and event shed tears. Last words said I can’t wait to see this again. Let’s get ready people more to come..
“When you talk about a great actor, you’re not talking about Tom Cruise.”
― Lauren Bacall
Every actors wants to be noticed for a great performance but truth is many think of having a horrible moment over actually doing well first. Funny thing about getting in front of an audience is they know whats good and whats bad in your performance. As many of the cast mates took to the stage at the Cool Stories Vol 1 Fest some were as nervous as me when we walked in and saw that we were actually in NY to show what we can do. From person to person i watched as they took the time to allow the presence to seep into each performance and allow the feat to become the lead into a moment where the crowd then saw what they can do. In the end, they received the claps the cheers and the bow that all actors great and amateur want total appreciation for what they do..
That’s what makes acting so attractive. You get to break all your own rules.”Gerardine Clark”
The beauty of acting is allowing yourself to let go and take on roles that you never thought you would do. In many ways this is your inner voice ready to dive into the unexpected and see if things are possible. In the end it is here when one finds them self and realize that it was always the fear of exploring that held them back that will never do so again.
If there is one thing that we all know from experience,fitting in isn’t always that easy. In theater being able to fit in means more as it deals with having the ability to show fellow cast mates that you have what it takes to nail a line a character and all that within the first time they see you in rehearsal. The best part of this is when you take your last breath after the last line after the last action and you hear nothing but claps it means you have done what you came to do and you have now been initiated into the fold.
As we begin the new journey we took a totally different approach taking the time to show newbies a run through of what many did. It was helpful as it gave many of the cast members a chance to see how much they retained also it was worth seeing to know what needs to happen in the coming weeks as we freshin up.
We start our journey again with both vets and newbies in this years cast of underground episodes and you’ll be meeting and seeing them all in postings In time. This time around we start a little early with rehearsals and find out how well many have retained the pieces since its been almost a year since last performed. Like a bike the expectations are always to be able to get on and begin to peddle away but we all had to remember the best part is in the refreshing of the lines and positions we put in play from last time around. It was fun reintroducing everyone as well as introducing new members to the ensemble and there are still more members to come. Seeing everyone was a refreshing moment for me as it brought me closer to the understanding as to what my goal is in the accomplishment of the play this time around and that is to truly establish a facility in Philadelphia where this journey can take on its on course for the cast that many actors in philly don’t get a chance to say and that is in — at — ..
The beauty of life is often we partake our dreams and they lead us to bigger pastures. Last week I was in the mist of the meeting of the minds with the talented Donna Griggs and Keith Walker as we discussed business in Philadelphia theater. As it can be said about this many artist here have shown that they are far more then what people see as poets,singers,comedians, and hip hop artist having branched into theater both film and live allowing people to see there is so much more that each has to offer. What takes me even more is how philly seems to be evolving into the new Hollywood and Broadway in its own right. Seeing talents I know doing what they do has been a treat and being part of this mix makes me even feel the future is open for us all.
So I got the chance to now take my next step and start hitting New York with cast members from Underground Episodes and I must say I am anxious as all. Looking forward to the busy moments and meeting people in New York but more then that seeing the cast perform pieces from the play to an NY audience to me is great as they begin a journey outside of our city.