Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eight Shows A Week, Here I come

That's gonna be me! Hopefully I'll have abs like that too...

Last time I wrote I said that I'd talk about my classes at UCB next time, and now that it's next time, here we go!

My sister introduced me to the Upright Citizens Brigade years ago by way of their short lived television show. She'd been involved in Improv for a long time and when she moved to New York about six years ago, she started taking classes right away and has been involved with UCB ever since. I've been wanting to take classes there for years now, and since I did my taxes really thoroughly this year and got a big refund, I could afford it!

Everything about my class was fantastic. Our teacher, Johnny Meeks, was really great and supportive and fun, as were the other people in the class. And it wasn't just a bunch of comedy actors - there were several writers, a voiceover actor, a girl who wanted to get into hosting, and even a couple people who had moved to LA not a month beforehand. Over the eight weeks that the class took place, we all became really good friends. We'd go see shows with each other nearly every Monday right after class, have dinner, see more shows. It was awesome. The class structure itself was pretty fantastic too, it taught us a pretty much fail proof formula that made it less scary to jump up on stage armed with only your experiences and wit. We had a nearly packed house for the grad show and it went better than any of us could have expected for a 101 show.

And now, what you've been waiting for.... I've been offered the role of Extraordinary Girl in the 1st national tour of American Idiot!!! Yes, the news came later than we had anticipated. After that first week of waiting, when they had predicted that casting would be done, I asked my manager if she had heard anything and she said no. "Thinking that ship has sailed, but still hopeful" I believe were her exact words.

Before I left for the callback in New York, I took my good friend Jeff out for a birthday dinner. I have a necklace that looks like a little envelope with a brass note inside, and at some point it fell out and was lost forever. When I realized this, Jeff decided to write 'American Idiot' on a little piece of napkin to put inside the envelope necklace. That became my lucky charm, as I wore it every day in NY and almost every day since I got back. So even though we hadn't heard by the time we thought we would, I wasn't going to uncross my fingers until either we got word or I saw a cast announcement.

This past Monday I was at work and missed a call from my manager. I got a text from her saying "Call me ASAP" and got a little worried, but then listened to the voicemail she left and in her chipper tone she said "Hey Nicci it's Amanda, it's pretty important so call me back when you can". When I got a chance, the first thing she mentioned was Glee - I was supposed to put myself on tape for casting but it had totally slipped my mind. Since the deadline was coming up, I thought that was the important thing she was talking about but (not that glee isn't important!) then she said "And... the people at American Idiot offered you the role of Extraordinary Girl!" uhhh.... What?! I think I asked if she was kidding but duh, why would she kid about that. I had to step outside for a minute so I could jump up and down and laugh and celebrate. For me, July 11 2011 will go down in history.

We're still in the process of working out the terms of the contract, and I guess nothing's officially official until that contract is signed, but this is it guys. The biggest thing that has happened in my acting career thus far. The only details I have right now are that the first rehearsal is November 21st in New York, and we open in Toronto on December 28th. Unfortunately, my sister will be leaving NY to come to LA that exact same week! I'm hoping I can get out there maybe a week beforehand so I can hang out with her and re-assimilate. I'm a little terrified of the cold - after 7 years in Los Angeles, a New York winter is definitely going to be a shock to the system. Word on the street is that there's an hour of boot camp or conditioning before each rehearsal because it's such a physically demanding show, so at least that will keep me warm!

Here's the dates and cities that have been announced so far... Hope to see you out there somewhere! - http://americanidiotthemusical.com/tickets.php