The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Momentary Fandom

Beyond really briefly....

I saw the American Idol 2008 tour Saturday and Sunday in Worcester, MA and Manchester, NH respectively and would like to mention a few highlights:

  • Go crew! Every time running crew brought on a mikestand or a guitar or a bottle of water I was cheering them on. Did a splendid job getting everyone from set to set. Particularly on Sunday, when...Timmy, I think?...ran out when David Cook's guitar snapped a string one verse into "My Hero." DC didn't miss a beat, walked over to stage left where Timmy was already entering with a second guitar which DC decided he didn't want and finished out just singing the song - and freed from a guitar, running and skipping the length of the stage. Good times. Go crew!

  • Go back-up vocalists. I swear - I would happily watch them! They had made up these great dance steps for various songs, or they'd gently sway to ballads, and then they totally got into "Bring Me Back to Life" and always with a really genuine smile, terrific vocal range and textures, just fabulous. The musicians were all great, with the main synth guy breaking out a horn at one point. I'm always astounded at the subtlety it requires for accompanists to do their job. Thankless tasks which I hope they are properly thanked for.

  • Saw the show from the stage right side, fairly close on Sat. and then faaar away on the other side of the court (behind the tech - and watching them edit the LCD screens live - v. interesting to guess whose angle the director was cutting to - it became a game) on Sun. Alas, only brought camera on Sunday - BUT!

  • Managed to get there early and actually get a few pictures and, really, best of all - and the whole POINT of all - to tell those few I saw how very very good they were. I hope people DO tell them what a good job they're doing - beyond just all the screaming and whatnot. (Although I am very happily guilty of having almost no voice right now due to screaming. Screaming with my soft palate up, but still....) On the line, I was able to tell Brooke, Archie and David Cook how well they are doing. All three are def. my tops for commanding the thousands there. Very good sets. But natch....

  • David Cook was BORN to do this. We overuse that phrase, but to see someone in the role that was meant for him, doing the thing he was built to do - incredible. His performances were different each night - completely new - "Billie Jean" on Saturday was THRILLING with high glory notes, and on inbetween eighths ("Her schemes AND her plans") he'd go up. But on Sunday he took a much more melancholy approach, going down into low runs and then other midrange keens and complicated ornamentation. Just incredible. He's so VISIBLE on that stage. My ONLY complaint was that (on Sunday, anyway) I was able to see the giant LCD screen behind him and I wanted it OFF because David Cook didn't require anything but himself, a mike, a guitar, and the audience. Truly, this is watching a legend in the making.

  • Right, so I'm off early tomorrow to frolick with Kristen in New Jersey with a trip to the City and at least seeing Central Park and seeing whatever sight strikes our fancy. It's been too long since I've done a NYC run, but that wouldn't compare but that it's been too long since I've seen my darling Krissytina in the flesh! Happy day and much conversation, I am sure!

  • Finally, I swears it is not photoshopped....

    Mood: Sleepy but contented
    Music: "I want much more than this provincial life!"
    Thought: As much as I am looking forward to (potentially) acting in Much Ado About Nothing this upcoming semester at Emerson, I realized (actually due to the AI concerts - waiting in line gives one opportunity to reflect) that I really, really don't have a desire - or let's say the insatiable desire - to be the one on stage. I am very glad to be the audience of one, to be the gateway between who the actor IS and who he PLAYS, to guide and to tell story and to move audiences - all unseen. Oh, I so badly want to do theatre in...elsewheres. But to direct, as I am directing now, that is - for the whole person, not just for the 9-5ness of a job. Theatre, the arts, should never be a job. Lord save us from drudgery in the performing arts! Theatre should breathe. And to breathe, the actors must be alive - soulfully alive, vibrant, soaring and thrilled to be doing what they are doing. I fear that "professional actors" will be soulless - will be at a point when they no longer love their own art. I fear that, if I do work with them, they will not allow me to breathe life back into them, as it were. But then I think, no one began in the arts because they hated it! To work with actors, to reawaken them to the world, to give them room to love their craft again - and by doing so to tell GREAT stories that in turn awake the audience - oh, I want to be doing THAT. But more. For more people. Elsewhere calling. Call me, I come!


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