Our next Tour Talk contributor is a relative new-comer to the Charlotte Scene. In the last year, Scott A. Miller has been a busy boy on Charlotte stages. He is an actor, a writer and a lover. He rocks a mustache like few can and, as of a few days ago, has taken a gig traveling the tri-state region bringing delight to children...with his mustache. Scott was a writer on this latest iteration of Mum's the Word and came up to Raleigh to check us out and enjoy some of the festival. You'll see him with Machine again real soon, participating in Operation: Super Secret Radio Project.
Scott (Center) with J-Slau and Peter Smeal in Charlotte Shakespeare's The Tempest.
I'm new to The Machine. I hadn't seen any earlier Machine productions before Mum's The Word at Burning Coal's PoliTheatrics Festival in Raleigh last weekend. And even though I had read the working script for Mum's, the show--the entire evening at Burning Coal for that matter--defied and exceeded my expectations. In lieu of describing the whole shindig, here is a brief list of revelations, affirmations and possibly a few lies inspired by that evening:
1. Preparing to watch something you had a hand in writing is a frightening experience.
2. Hearing the sound a transgendered fairy bird woman makes is a frightening experience.
3. There are some brilliant and talented people making theatrical art that so very many people won't see.
4. There are some brilliant and talented people, who happen to live and work in Charlotte, making theatrical art that many more people really need to see.
6. It's super nice to pay $5 to see a show for which you'd gladly pay at least five times as much.
7. Don't let your jeans sit in the washer too long on a hot day before drying them or you will surely end up with musty jeans.
8. I suck at audience participation.
9. Choreographed Air Piano should be it's own art form.
10. Some strange Animal Masks are at one hilarious and terrifying.
11. Watching and listening to people who absolutely love theatre talk about theatre is a happy, beautiful kind of thing.
For our next installment of Tour Talk, we've enlisted the lovely, lively and quick witted Caroline Bower to put pen to paper. Caroline played Mrs. Smith in Machine's first ever production: Eugene Ionesco's The Bald Soprano. She is playing Lois in our summer/fall Mum's the Word dates and is creating a weirdo teenage ghosthunting hillbilly boy named Skeleteen for our new work in development: Bohemian Grove (the psychopomps). She is a very smart lady and wrote us an Acrostic about her experience on tour.
Made new friends.
Achieved some goals.
Crafted a little swag. (buy a tshirt please)
Had a few beers…onstage.
Nerded out on others’ shared work.
Entertained at the clurb.
Originated a sequence of stolen choreography.
Never have I ever.
Taken wonderful care of. (by Burning Coal)
Out of town ya’ll!
Urban Garden, Force/Collision, Neutral Ground, Awkward Elephant & Haymaker.
lets do it again. soon.
We're back in Charlotte after a very cool week of performing at PoliTheatrics and I thought it would be cool to do some guest blogger action to reflect on our experiences in Raleigh. In the coming days we'll be hearing from a variety of Machinists and our colleagues who were with us on tour. To kick us off, I am pleased to give you Kelly Nicholson, who formally serves as our stage manager for Mum's the Word but who is actually sort of the special sauce in the work that we create. a cool, calm, collected presence in the room who makes it all happen and at least once daily utters wisdom that changes the work for the better. Below you will find some of Kelly's thoughts on our recent adventures in the Triangle.
Hello! We've just finished up our productive, rockin’, super fantastic, victorious experience at Burning Coal Theatre’s Politheatrics Festival in Raleigh. It was a victory in so many ways. Let me tell you of our victory:
Machine met groups that are doing work that is so similar and so different than ours.
We got to see a great variety of performances. We saw shows from force/collision of D.C., Neutral Ground Ensemble of New Orleans, Durham's Haymaker, Awkward Elephant from Pittsburgh, and we finished the festival paired with Urban Garden of Raleigh. Very different performances but all of a similar spirit.
Machine got to be part of the conversation.
Matt was on the panel for one of the forums on the process of devised work. Both in structured talk backs and the unstructured post-show meet ups, there has been a great exchange of ideas about the process of creating original work. Hopefully we’ve made connections with some folks that we’ll meet up with again!
Most importantly, Machine took a show out of town.
And got to share our work with a whole bunch of people who didn’t know us before, and a few who did. Now we won’t be stopped! Todd, Lois, and the Kid will continue to amuse and horrify audiences!
Thanks so much to the Burning Coal gang for putting on a great festival!
We're performing our original work Mum's The Word at Burning Coal Theatre Company this week. We opened today and had a ton of fun doing the show and meeting Durham, NC devising company Haymaker. Below you can see some pictures from this morning's tech rehearsal. Enjoy!
Good God, Todd, He's magnificent!
I'm not some spoiled weirdo.
Fish don't seem to be biting today.