Sunday, February 20, 2011

Act 1; Scene 12: My ACTF Adventures in Down Town LA

Whew! I survived!
And now I am finally getting around to posting about my trip with BYU to the Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theater Festival held at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Wow. That's a big name.
It was an exciting drive down to LA in a twelve-seater van with nine of us and all of our luggage. I was very excited when we made it to the city, and 45 minutes later (LA is HUGE) made it to our hotel area. Our hotel was located in the middle of the financial district--right between the Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCooper, Earnst and Young and KPMG buildings. And because I am married to an accountant I know what those are! Here is the view from our bedroom window, looking down on the Water Court:

The day after we got there, a few of us girls decided we wanted to check out the fashion district down town before diving into the theater workshops. We took the courtesy car (free!) from the hotel to the district. Street shopping is so fun, and sometimes dangerous for the pocket-book! I bought some new sunglasses ($5!), a scarf ($10) and a summer dress ($11). Pretty good, I think! Here I am all LA'd out and ready to go: 

My friend Andrea and I got almost matching scarves and almost matching sunglasses :-)

Now bring on the theater! At this Festival, a few different school from our region (including Utah, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Hawaii) were invited to bring their productions to show off and compete for the next level. That is why I was here! For our Stage Door production at BYU. It was fun to see other college's shows. I took pictures of two of their sets. The first two here is from UVU's  
She Stoops to Conquer:

I don't know if you can see these very well, but this set was HUGE! I had to take two pictures to get both sides! And there are three levels of set! Plus tons and tons of set dressings and props, etc. I can't imagine packing this all into a truck and then having to unload and build it all again in only a few hours! Props to those kids from UVU. 

This next picture is from Weber State's production of Under Construction: 
This was a fragmented musical about how life (specifically America/American life) is always "under construction," and what phases it has been through. And in it were two of my friends from high school! Way to represent, Brighton High! Under Construction is one of two shows being considered for presentation at the Washington DC Festival. 

There were four (4!) productions from Utah schools invited to the conference. That is insanely crazy! Go Utah!!!

There were also a number of workshops led by college professors or professionals from LA, Chicago, New York, etc. Because of so many different events and competitions going on at the Festival, we kept running into room scheduling problems. One of my workshops was actually held in an alleyway outside the theater because there was no room inside! Here we are working on our "architecture" and "physical acting" techniques in and alleyway in down town LA:

And don't forget wining and dining in Los Angeles! For all my foodie Center relatives, this is for you!
Have you ever seen the show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives"? Well, this little 5 Cent Diner was featured on that show!

They are famous for: 
The home made ding dong

 The home made pop-tart

and the bacon doughnut!
Along with other yummy desert ideas, like:

The peanut butter layer in this cake is actually potato chips dipped in peanut butter! Such a delicious crunch! This place was definitely my cup-o-tea.

And don't forget friends, of course! Our good friends, Steven and Heather Cole moved to LA this past August for Steven's job at Deloitte. Heather and I got to go to lunch! Of course we picked the 5 Cent Diner (thanks, Heather!) and happy to report: they have delicious meals as well as desserts. We decided to try the bacon doughnut. ....a little weird for me. I ended up scraping most of the bacon off, because the doughnut was delicious, but together--not so hot. I've heard that maple bacon doughnuts are the best kind, so maybe I will have to try that some time. It was so fun to catch up with Heather!

The last day of the Festival, Saturday, we were at the theater unloading the set by 6:45am. After building the set onto the stage and beginning the process of unpacking props and set dressings, we realized the food props had been left behind! So a professor and I went to the grocery store to find some food props for replacement. Since everything has to be black or white, I bought a bag of powdered sugar and doused the white angel food cakes we got--just to be sure. It was and adventure!

We were pushing it, but we were able to get the stage up, props set, actors costumed and make-up-ed in only 4.5 hours! How did we do that? 

We had two very successful runs of the show. It is fun to perform to an audience full of theater college students--they are very responsive to everything. Lots of laughs :-)

When we were done with two shows (around 8pm) it was time to take it all down again, and load it back into the truck. Yeah--long day. Hence why I do not have any pictures from that day--I was too busy! At around 11pm we were finally finished and could head back to the hotel. I don't think I ever want to be on the crew of a touring show--yikes! Building, taking down, packing, over and over and over--no thanks! 

On Sunday morning we rose bright and early and were on the road by 6am. 

And that concludes the story of my theatrical (and some not theatrical) adventures in LA last week.

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