Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Godspell is now closed. I can't believe how fast those six weekends of shows went by! Our last few shows went very well. Evan came once again to see the show on Friday night - he's supposed to review the show, so if that ever does happen I'll post a link for all of you to read it. My mom and her boyfriend John came to see it Saturday evening, it was so nice to see them! Between the shows the cast had one of our traditional Saturday afternoon picnics, and as much as I tried to limit myself, once I met up with mom and John I didn't think I'd have room for any dinner. The nice thing about the theater, and this isn't a bad thing as long as you're on time, is that you have plenty of time before your food arrives. So we had some wine (only a little for me, I did have a show to do after all) and an appetizer, and the food came out about half an hour before my call time. This time I tried the tri-tip, as it came highly recommended, and it was great. I saw a few friends in the audience, and greeted them before I made my way back to the dressing room.

For me, there's always a bit of a different feeling at a closing show. Every line is a little more important or poignant, especially in a show like this. I think there was more energy up there than we'd ever had before, and it ended up being more emotional that I had anticipated. Between the acts Jackie and I brought our cameras on stage and hid them in a bookshelf so we could take pictures as soon as the curtain closed. We all cried and laughed and hugged, and eventually came off stage to get changed for our cast party. As soon as my pants came off, Diane burst into the dressing room announcing Jason Alexander was right outside the door. I froze for a second, trying to decide weather to put my costume back on or continue changing into my regular clothes, but I brought so many options with me that I thought the show pants would be my best bet. I grabbed my camera and went out to ask for a picture with him and thank him for coming to the show. Turns out Huck (the guy who played our Jesus) is his godson. He politely obliged to the picture, and then said "Nicci. You're non-Equity, right?"
"That's right"
"Hmm... Well, I'm the artistic director at Reprise. I'd like you to get in touch with me (insert his email address here)."
Then something about auditioning for one of the shows in the upcoming season of Reprise. They're usually not supposed to use non-union, but he though I would be great for a specific role. I said I definitely get in touch, and I got a headshot/resume for him from my car - cause you always have to be prepared for moments like these - and then just jumped around for a few minutes, changing my clothes and giggling, thinking (and saying) HOW COOL IS THAT.

Once I finally decided on what combination of things to put on my body, I set off with everyone else to Amy's house where she was hosting the cast party. Aside from the good food and company, we were all very much looking forward to a rousing game of Quelf. If you haven't heard of it, get into it. It's a hilariously fun board game that we all fell in love with last weekend while spending the afternoon at Amy's. So much that Trance and I both bought it this week.

Shortly after I arrived, I sent an email to Jason thanking him again for coming to see the show, what a surprise and honor, and that I was glad to be in touch with him (he wrote back a few hours later with some of the details. Turns out my manager knows the casting director, so chances of getting an audition are now huge!).

So the party was a success. I should mention - at one point during the run, Adam proposed to Diane because of her amazing baking, so when the pizza got there we took a break from Quelf to stage the wedding. David and I were the ring bearers, Huck gave Diane away, Loren did a poetry reading, and Neil married them. It was kind of unbelievable that we went to such lengths, but we are theatre people after all. There was a pizza reception followed by the continuation of Quelf. All in all we played for at least 5 hours. We even had to use things like a bottle of nail polish and tobasco sauce for extra game pieces. It was end to a lovely show.

I often think back to when I was so conflicted about turning down a job a few months ago. I stressed myself out so much over it, but my decision to stay here in California with Godspell did turn out to be the best one. Since that time I've secured myself a manager, and agency, gone on tons of auditions, and now this Jason Alexander thing... There are reasons that things happen the way they do. This summer so far has been a great reminder of that.

By the way, the Reprise show and role he has in mind for me is Gigi. And the audition will be in November, so I have from now until then to study up so I can ace the audition!

*PS. stay tuned for pictures!*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

As you can see, I changed the look of this blog. I figured it was about time for a makeover. Unfortunately, in doing so I lost the code to see the statistics of how many viewers/page views/etc. I've gotten for the past few days. I was worried for a bit wondering why no one wanted to read my blog anymore! But Evan helped me figure out the problem and get that running again. Phew.

The last weekend of Godspell has arrived! These six weekends of shows have gone by quickly. I really do wish I had something lined up right after this ends, but I'm going to trust this manager/agent path for now and hopefully I'll start booking things. I think the audition went well yesterday. The scene felt very comfortable, and the CD and I talked a little about Gilroy and other food festivals after we were done. Of course I would love to get callbacks, and definitely book things, but I'm glad to be meeting these people and performing well in front of them.

I've been battling a weird cold for a week now. It's been all over the place - started with sinuses, went into headaches, then a sore throat, and now coughing. There were a couple points during the week that I thought I'd lose my voice which was pretty worrisome, considering I have 5 performances to do this weekend. I'm pretty sure most of the people that surround me in my daily life don't really understand the concept of vocal rest, so hopefully they don't think I'm being a jerk and ignoring them from periodically. If I didn't have to work today, I'd be locked in my bathroom with the shower on the hottest setting to steam whatever this cold thing is out of me.

It's always fun to show up to the theater for Godspell... you never know what amazing snack Diane had made for all of us, or what stories/antics Loren will tell, or what we draw in our pictures in the second act. The show really does change every time we do it, and I think it's great. Evan's going to come and see it again tomorrow so he can experience the new full cast (i.e. with Neil in it). I'm sure we can all expect some really good performances this weekend.

What else, what else..... In The Heights was amazing!! I didn't know much about it going in, and it completely wowed me. Evan wrote a review of it, you can check it out here. Even he really liked it, so that's a great sign. I plan on seeing it again on a day when they have different people playing some of the characters, because why not? I'm not sure how the "student rush" tickets or whatever they're called work, but I'll figure it out.

I'm going to take care of this migraine, and then off to the show!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Knock On Wood

At the risk of something going awry again, I have to say it.... I have an agency.

As you may remember, a few weeks ago I thought I got the confirmation call on this agency, only to be unsure about it again. Neither I nor my manager was sure what was going on. But she called me on Friday with the good news.... that the two women I initially interviewed with were enthusiastic and anxious and wanted to move ahead, confident that the third agent I met with would come around. Not that he didn't particularly like me, but he was just on the fence and hadn't had time to really sit down with my reel and resume and think about the meeting. So I didn't wow him, no biggie. I charmed the other two enough to do business with the whole agency.

I wanted to write Friday after I got home from the show, but I wasn't sure there was enough to make me confident that this decision would stick. Well, not moments ago I got a call from my manager, saying she got a 'welcome' call from one of the agents. She instructed me to get in touch with the online breakdown service and have them add the agency to my profile. I also gave the agent a call so I can confidently say it is officially official. Phew!! Both the manager and agent told me that agent no. 3 just doesn't work with that many young people so that's why he was on the fence, but that doesn't mean that he won't submit me. They previously had a young client that he himself put on a series, so it's all good news.

I also have an audition for a backdoor pilot on Wednesday. No that's not something dirty - it's a "pilot episode filmed as a standalone movie so it can be broadcast if not picked up as a series", so says Variety. The character is a serious 16 year old girl, I think I can pull that off. Plus, as of today my demo reel is finally up online so hopefully that will bring in more auditions as well. I figure that at this point it's just a numbers game. I'm confident that I can book things and impress people, it's just about finding the role that fits. And now with a manager and a few agents working for me, my chances of finding that role (maybe even many of them) have skyrocketed. I've told people, "it's only taken me 6 years to get this far!" But in actuality, I'm lucky to have gotten so much within a year and a half. After school, I didn't really pursue anything until the beginning of last year. So I really have made huge strides in a short time.

We're down to one more weekend of Godspell, only 5 more shows! What a fun time I've had with this production. Each show we do is more fun than the last. I'm so so happy to have all of these people as my friends. They're all talented and driven and just wonderful people. I could brag about them all day long.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, I'm going to see In The Heights tomorrow. I'm bringing Evan. I think he'll like it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Adventures In Blogging

I was a guest writer on Evan's blog today. Read all about my Top Chef morning! (More about the career coming soon...)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Did I Speak Too Soon?

I hope this isn't another Rock Of Ages situation...

It started Monday morning. I wanted to get up and go to the gym, but we had our first 6 show weekend plus Sunday was Jason's closing night so we went out for a little bit after the show. Therefore, I decided to take the morning to relax before I had to go into work. Now, since I got this fancy new "network extender" for my cellphone (because Verizon has terrible service in my neighborhood) I've been forgetting to plug in my phone at night. Since it's not constantly struggling to find service all the time, it usually doesn't die. Well there's a first time for everything right? I got an email from my manager wondering where I was, because she left me 2 voicemails and didn't hear back from me all morning.


I've only been with her, what, 2 weeks? And I'm already dropping the ball.... that was the.worst.feeling. I turned my phone on and called her immediately. The one remaining agent of the three at the agency I was to sign with wanted to meet with me. Obviously I wasn't able to because I had work, so I scrambled to clear my schedule for the next day. That wasn't looking promising, being so late notice for my co-workers, but I had time to meet with him this afternoon. I called the agency directly and set up the meeting, and breathed a sigh of relief.

I spent part of last night, most of this morning, and all of the spare minutes after my shift at work today figuring out what to wear. I got there a little early, and met the agent within minutes of arriving. He's a friend of a teacher I had in school out here, and when I told her I'd be meeting with his agency she said to say hi. I felt good passing along the message, our conversation went smoothly, but I felt like we talked so much about me. The other two agents gave me so much great info and insight into how they work, that I was hard pressed to come up with questions. But I wasn't awkward, and I don't think embarrassed myself, so hopefully everything will continue on the path that I'm expecting. Only.... when we were finishing up, he asked if I was meeting with other agencies, said it was nice to meet me, and that we'd all talk by Friday.

Wasn't I supposed to sign a contract this week and give them photos and reels? I'm not complaining, I'm just a little worried that I misunderstood the situation. Had I only decided to go to the gym Monday morning, I would have noticed my phone had died much earlier and perhaps had a better (and sooner) meeting. Oh well. Positive thoughts. We'll all know soon.

We had some of our best shows this weekend. Tons of energy plus enthusiastic audiences made for lots of fun. Between shows on Sunday we had a pick-up rehearsal for Neil who will be having his opening show with us this weekend. We did the sections and dances he's involved in and sped through the rest. There was a lot of joking around, but I don't think there is a doubt in anyone's mind that he'll have no problem settling into the show. He's been to see a few performances each weekend, constantly practicing and asking questions. Not to mention he's so talented in the first place. His first time doing a full run, not marked, was supposed to be tomorrow... but we received an email earlier today explaining that since only 36 tickets were sold for the performance, they canceled the show and moved the ticket holders to a different day. I can't imagine how disappointing that must be, but I'm sure we'll bring extra energy on Friday since we have one more day of rest.

I asked Evan how I should end this post, and here's what he suggested:

And in conclusion, the end.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

God I Hope I Get It

What can I say. I saw A Chorus Line tonight and now I wish I started dancing when I was 4 years old.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I just got a call from my manager - I have an agent!!! YESSSSS! I can't wait to really kick this into gear.

She also told me that she got great feedback from the casting director from Mean Girls 2. They though I was really good, they just got an older vibe from me. I'm not all that surprised. For at least the past 5 or so years, people are surprised that I'm not older than I am - not because of how I look, but because of the way I present myself. The CW, HBO, stuff like that I could definitely still play high school, but I can see how a movie like MG2 would want the real deal, especially with the type of characters in it.

Ahhh! I'm still so excited! I was only able to let out a little squeal because I'm at work, but man oh man is this cool. We're going to make lots of money and it's going to be fun. That's what she said, and I believe it. A part of me wonders if in a few years Liv Tyler or Christina Ricci or Natalie Portman will remember that I was the receptionist at their waxing studio. But that's a long way off, and yes that was some unnecessary name dropping. Sorry. Hilary Duff just got here, and it wade me wonder... Ok, enough of that.

With this news, and Jason leaving the cast and Neil joining it, I think that's cause for celebration this weekend. I'll start off by having dinner with Evan and our friends, Ken and KT, before the show tonight!

In other fun news, one of my castmates is creating a musical with a few other friends of mine, and they asked if I would sing some tracks for them. We're going to use a break in between some of our weekend shows to record it. Also, David (Godspell director) asked if I might be interested in singing with a band. Which, duh, that would be awesome. I've always wanted to, so I'd love to give it a shot.

Wow, so many amazing things happening right now. What a lucky girl I am!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Stepping Stone... Hopefully

Hello! I've been meaning to write another entry for a few days now, but the free time I've had has been spent watching the food network. It's grill week, how could I not??

We closed another successful set of shows this weekend. Doing six shows a weekend, it's easy to see how it's transforming. The more we do it, the more little nuances we find that really work, so they stick. For the most part it's getting more fluid, and we don't have to worry about those damned transitions anymore because we all know what's coming next. I don't think I mentioned this before, but one of the guys will be leaving after this coming weekend. That part was double cast from the beginning because both of the men had conflicts, so one of them is getting the first three weeks of the show, and the other is getting the last three weeks.

It makes the run feel very short knowing that this weekend is the end of the first half, and we'll be able to physically see it happen. Both guys are really fantastic though. The second has been coming to see the shows a couple times a weekend and is a really talented performer, so no one has any doubt that he'll step in like it's nothing. A few of us were talking about it the other day, agreeing that each of them will bring something very different but also very good to the show. I think it might be a nice refresher for all of us too, it will keep the show from becoming muscle memory. That can happen when you do something over and over and over, and if you're not careful you forget why you're doing what you're doing on stage, and just do it. A switch in the cast should prove to be a reminder of just that.

The auditions went well last week. I'll just say it - the audition was for Mean Girls II. It was actually on the Paramount lot instead of a separate casting office, so that was only slightly intimidating but pretty exciting also. The room I was directed to was actually the one where they were filming and not the waiting room and it rattled me a little to have the casting director be (understandably) perturbed when I walked in in the middle of someone's audition. The sides were interesting to work with too... there were 16 pages, and I said only a line or two from each page. It was a little distracting to keep flipping the page after every line. The important part, though, is that I got in that door (figuratively). I also got in the door for an audition for Scream 4. Yeah, they're making a "4". That one I felt went really well. The office was cute, the casting director was laid back and nice, and I was in and out quickly. I don't believe I got either of these, but the fact that I'm getting my face in front of these people is a great thing.

I had a meeting with some agents yesterday. My manager came with me, which I think was great. She's so sweet and she works with these women often so they have a great, friendly rapport. We were there for about 45 minutes, my longest meeting yet. We talked a little about me and my background, but we also talked about the Celtics, friends in the industry, one of the women's nieces.... I found something I've heard over and over to be true: the best thing to do is not talk about yourself. If you look up what to do during a meeting with an agent/manager, every article will tell you this. Treat it like a first date. One of the worst things you can do on a first date is talk on and on about yourself. Yes part of the meeting is about them deciding if your skills will allow them to get you work, but it's also about feeling comfortable with each other and getting a feel for who you'll potentially be working with. I can see how this could work with first meetings in general, but I think it's especially important in the entertainment industry where you are, essentially, selling yourself. Wait, that sounds bad... but in a way it's true.

So that meeting was at 3, and around 6 o'clock I got a call from my manager letting me know that she had just gotten off the phone with the ladies I met with and they loved me. One even wanted to pitch me for something right away, which obviously my manager was ok with. There's one other agent in their company that I didn't get to meet with, but he's taking a look at me reel and if he's cool with it, then I'm in. So hopefully I can update in a few hours letting you all know I have a theatrical agent. Cross your fingers!