What Advice Do You Give to A Beginner Theatre?
Make yourself unique. EVERYONE can produce Our Town, True West, etc (and does). So be daring. And if you fail, learn from it and get back up and succeed, or at least fail better, the next time. You may be a smash hit. I hope you are. You may be trashed, fairly or not, but you will become a better artist. And you will find what 'success' means to you. Good reviews? Great profits? Or being poor but not being able to sleep bc you kicked so much ass with your art? It all has merit. No school has ever taught me that. If anything, the failures in Rebel have made me the most successful theatre artists I can be. It has brought me to be peers with the greatests of the living greats - people I'd never have come to know if I hadn't done Rebel. It broke me. I healed. EXCLUDING myself, the most talented people in the cast(s) have found neither fame nor money, yet. I pray they do, but you soon learn talent, good looks are no match for money, connections, luck and good timing. But you do not quit.
Is Rebel really cursed?
Well, you will likely know before me! I'll be dead. I should have been the first to go, yet many brain surgeries later, I'm not thriving, but I'm still fighting the fight though. Al Weisel, co-author of the making of Rebel book and I joked who the curse would get first. We did several cross promotions and he was a great guy. Less than a yr later, on his way to his father's funeral at a relatively too young age, he died too. Too, too young, Though the film leads, and many supporting players, sadly met with unfortunate, early deaths, it is heartbreaking, but not a 'curse' in my opinion. We have lost several vital members of our first production, but no more than I think would happen normally. (I do firmly believe Natalie Wood's death was no accident. May there still eventually be justice for her.)
What happened to Barely Balancing Artists?
We considered producing several other shows and made a stab at personal management for those in the show for a few months and even booked some rather major auditions for our cast in that time. Ultimately, we took what we learned the hard way, and it largely led to the 501(c)3 ReGroup Theatre which has produced 11 productions since 2012, dozens of readings, unrivaled benefit shows and published 4 volumes of THE GROUP THEATRE plays, many for the first time ever. Several members of both Rebels are involved. The knowledge, mistakes, frustration, obstacles and heartfelt connection created through BBA helped shape ReGroup. Check out www.regrouptheatre.org . Despite a current hiatus due to my health, we're very likely the theatre company most quoted in history books in the past 15 yrs (and not just in a bad way!), I cannot believe the dent we have made.
Tell us about Aubrey.
The original answer for this was simply 'No.' That was probably the best.
Aubrey who? The girl I rehearsed with for 6+ months or the person making her stage 'debut' 18 yrs later?
If you made it this far, you deserve an answer. This part keeps changing but I stand by it all, so internet sleuths who can search the history, do your best. I just want to put it clearly. So what do I say? 1. 'LIKE a virgin?' Her performance in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea IS NOT HER STAGE DEBUT! Shame on everyone involved for that bullshit. It's false advertising, the producers have been notified, and I guess they think being her first show is marketable? 2. She was NOT fired from Rebel, she just was not asked to return for Rebel 2.0. As I took over the role of Plato instead of Jim in the 2nd version as the main complaints were we were 'too like the movie',' and she was (in hindsight, wrongly) replaced. See the production history for more info.
She beat out so many people for the original role with no acting credits to her name. She's not the cast member that I grew closest to, but she was the one I looked forward to rehearsing with the most. We traded roles for one memorable rehearsal, and she nailed playing me. She had great range. I liked her broke and scrappy. She's made a successful career out of playing a schtick. She's "got money now." So who am I to talk? I've seen what she CAN do vs what she has done. It's disappointing. It's sad it took a strike to get her back to the stage. I wish she would have at least picked a more complicated play.
That said, if she gets the daring side of her back, her best is yet to come. I'll always wish her the best.
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