IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…


(Today’s challenge Lynette – fit as many RoA song references into this post as possible – GO!)

Here I Go Again

I Wanna Rock because It’s The Final Countdown – IT’S SHOW WEEK!

I’m sure I’m not alone though when I say I Can’t Fight This Feeling of excitement for Rock Of Ages this week! The show feels like it’s in a REALLY good place, and now we’ve had chance to run it a few times and clean some sections, we can really just get on with having Nothing But A Good Time!

It’s such a feel good show, it’s just a 2 hour long party 😂 If you love comedy and your 80s anthems, The Search is Over because Rock of Ages ticks those boxes! We’re Not Gonna Take It if you don’t come and visit us – you need to get yourself to Harrogate Theatre in the Shadows of the Night between Weds 18th and Sat 21st. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.

And HERE is this year’s promo vid! (Full disclosure, I’m not trained in the art of video editing – I’m just a dance teacher with a camera and a YouTube channel) 😂

So Come On Feel the Noise if You Want To Know What Love Is, and Don’t Stop Believing! 

Lynette x

P.S. I managed 11 song references – you’ll have to come to the show to find out what the rest are 😉

CLICK HERE to buy tickets, or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Meet Regina…


Today, I bring you the penultimate of our ‘Meet the Cast’ posts! Now parts of this one really tickled me… 😂

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Name:
Charlotte McCamley

Character name:
Regina

A bit about your character:
Regina is a fun, hippie, all about saving the earth girl who is passionate about saving The Sunset Strip when it’s about to be demolished. 

Favourite song in the show and why:
This is a hard one but I’d have to say either ‘We Built This City’ or ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.

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Favourite dance move in the show:
Probably slut dropping (am I allowed to say that??)

Most embarrassing moment ever on stage:
I WAS VERY YOUNG!!!! I was a dancer in a pantomime when I was younger and there was a scene where I had to come on as a ghost, well my friend went on stage and fell so I started laughing but couldn’t stop and I needed a wee so you can guess what happened. But then I slipped as I went on stage in my own wee 🙃

Favourite pastime out of theatre:
Sleeping 

Why you should come and see HSAP’s RoA:
I’ve been involved with HSAP now for 3 years and they are such a lovely company to work with, we end up all being like one big happy family as we all enjoy the same things. The shows are of a high standard and the amount of hard work we all have to put in deserves a big audience every night! Also ROA is an enjoyable show and you can even sing along to it!!!

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She’s so kick ass 😉 And just a little bit hilarious, thanks Charlotte for giving us all a little chuckle this afternoon!

Tune in next time for the FINAL of our ‘Meet the Cast’ posts!

Lynette x 
CLICK HERE for tickets, or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

 

 

Meet Lonny…


Welcome back! Today we meet the guy who guides us (cast and audience) through the show…

20197026_10155682640888013_671798806_nName:
Ed Leigh

Character name:
Lonny Barnett

Tell me a bit about your character:
He’s the ‘narrator’ of the show…kind of. He’s Dennis’ right hand man, eccentric and over the top. Rarely serious, always crazy. Oh, and every now and again he sings a bit.

Favourite song in the show and why:
‘Heaven/More Than Words’ – because I think it’s just epic. It’s like eating *insert well known and popular pizza brand here* but for your ears.20182659_10155685145148013_1289005225_n
Favourite dance move in the show:
The ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ Chumbawumba Hump.

Most embarrassing moment ever on stage:
Panto years ago, I ran on from one side of the stage, tripped just as I came out, and slid across the front of the stage on my stomach like a penguin – straight into the other wing. The audience thought it was all planned… Only the cast knew better. 😐

Favourite pastime out of theatre:
Playing either tennis or badminton, or going full nerd and playing some video games.

Why you should come and see HSAP’s RoA:
Because we have a sexy Rock God in cowboy boots and I get chased around the stage with my trousers down by a man holding cans of whipped cream. These reasons are also being used as a pre-warning for my family when they see it (Sorry Mum).

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Told you there were some funny stories worth waiting around for 😂 Next week, we meet the Rock to Ed’s Roll… (see what I did there) 😉

Lynette x

 

CLICK HERE for tickets or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Meet Drew…


Welcome to the first of our ‘Meet the Cast’ blog posts, coming to you throughout summer! I know I said in my last post that I’d be introducing you to our leading lady this week…change of plans, let me introduce our leading MAN!

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Name:
Chris Mooney

Character Name:
Drew Boley

Tell me a bit about your character:
Drew is a bar man working at the Bourbon Room with dreams of becoming a rockstar, going by the name of ‘Wolfgang Von Cult’. He’s a little bit naive and has a little trouble when it comes to writing his own songs. He’s eager to make it big, a little bit too eager sometimes, but his intentions always seem to be in the right place.

Favourite song in the show and why:
The opening number, which is a mix of ‘Just Like Paradise’ and ‘Nothing But a Good Time’, is definitely one of my favourites. It’s just such a good opening number; it introduces you to some great character and to top it off, it gets you into that 80’s rock groove.

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Favourite dance move in the show:
All of the chair dancing that goes on in ‘I Wanna Rock’ is pretty cool. I’m afraid my knowledge of dance moves is pretty limited.

Most embarrassing moment ever on stage:
This happened to me two years ago when I was back in Liverpool playing the part of Angel in RENT. For anyone who doesn’t know RENT, Angel is a kick ass drag queen and it was definitely one of the best roles I’ve ever played. What wasn’t so great was on the 2nd night having my heel break at the beginning of my main song and having to perform the rest of the number one legged. I haven’t been able to wear a pair of heels since…not that I’d want to.

Favourite pastime out of theatre:
I listen to a lot of music and I go to yoga sometimes but I don’t really have that much free time outside of work.

Why you should come and see HSAP’s Rock of Ages:
Not being originally from Harrogate or anywhere remotely near to Harrogate, I was really taken aback by how talented the cast was in my first rehearsal. Honestly, I feel privileged just to be sharing a stage with the rest of the cast. I’m sure anyone who comes to see it will feel the same way as me.

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Thankyou to the lovely Chris for that. Stay tuned for more juicy goss!

Lynette x
CLICK HERE for tickets, or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Wrapping Up For Summer…


It’s the summer holidays (for some, every time I’ve updated the other half on how far away summer is, he’s said ‘Yeh for YOU!’ 😂 Sorry hun 😂).

Nevertheless, summer is definitely upon us, which means rehearsals for Rock of Ages have been put on hold. And, although I wasn’t at the last rehearsal because of work, from what was happening the week before, the show seems to be in a good place! We’re making our way through the show from the beginning, rather than jumping between different scenes which means we can all really get to grips with how the show is going to work, and see it take shape.

19970927_10155656552383013_850121670_nEd Leigh (as Lonny Barrett) and company rehearsing for the opening number

Rehearsals have differed between singing with our Musical Director, Jim Lunt, and floor rehearsals with our Director and Choreographer, Louise Denison.

One of the first lessons the dancers learned (and I know I mentioned it in my last blog post before my HSAP posts started)…KNEE PADS! Knee pads are our friends in this show 😂 After the scrapes and bruises that followed our first rehearsal setting the opening number…Yeh. It was not pretty 😂 Totally worth it mind you, we are LIVING.

The biggest lesson learnt in singing rehearsals (apart from when in doubt, rock it out) – is that we have the most incredibly talented cast, we really do. And I’m not the only one to say it. Our principles are insane, its such a joy to sit in rehearsals and hear them belting out those anthems we love so much. If you don’t come to the show for anything else, please just come to hear them sing. Coz it’s SO good.

20197083_10155685135978013_1933454661_nThe company in rehearsal with our MD, Jim Lunt (not pictured)

 I don’t know about the rest of the cast, but I’m already eager to get back into rehearsals and carry on powering through. There’s such a good vibe with the company and coupled with the amazing show we have, it makes for an incredible few hours on Tuesday nights.

My plan, seeing as we don’t have ongoing rehearsals to report on, I’m going to introduce you to the cast 🙂 I gave you a bit of a show synopsis last week, so you’ll be able to put faces to names, learn more about the characters and the wonderful people playing them. AND you’ll get to see more rehearsal photos too, so you can have a nosy at what we’ve been getting up to! First up, our lovely leading lady.

19832618_10155626741073013_434259059_nBeth Stevens as Sherrie Christian

So watch this space, I’ve already had our principles fill in a questionnaire, and some of the responses are guaranteed to make you laugh…so they’ll defo be worth a read!

Sending love to all at HSAP, have a lovely summer ♥

Until next time…

Lynette x
CLICK HERE for tickets, or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Welcome to The Sunset Strip…


Post number 2 for Rock of Ages and welcome to The Sunset Strip!

By day, a hot, busy, mile-and-a-half stretch from Beverly Hills to West Hollywood, nose to tail with traffic. By night, it transforms. The snarling traffic is gone, and replaced by the roar of Harley Davidsons. The street is filled with Rock Stars and Wannabe Rockstars with big hair, big heels and a face full of makeup – and we’re not just talking about the girls. Bartenders pour as much Jack Daniels’ and Coke down their clients throats as possible, whilst those Wannabes rock out on stage in the hope of catching the attention of any music managers who happen to be passing.

19970927_10155656552383013_850121670_nEd Leigh as Lonny Barnett with the cast

Enter Lonny Barnett, the narrator of our story. He introduces the strip, the Bourbon Room – where he works as assistant to bar owner, Dennis Dupree – and most importantly, Drew Boley: a busboy at The Bourbon Room, a Rock Star Wannabe and the Romeo of our story. After a little sing song, Lonny introduces Sherrie Christian: the Juliet of our story, who’s just moved from a small town in Texas to make it ‘big’ in the city. 

Elsewhere on the Strip, a pair of German developers approach the city’s Mayor to impress on him the importance of ‘clean living’. Much to the anger of City Planner, Regina, they try to persuade him to abandon the “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” lifestyle of the Sunset Strip. 

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When Dennis learns the plan includes ripping down The Bourbon Room, he believes that bringing in Rock Star/Sex God Stacee Jaxx and his band Arsenal (who’ve just announced their break up) will help raise more money.

Skip ahead a few songs – (I’m not gonna give it all away, but Drew and Sherrie get closer, then further apart, then she leaves – standard ‘love story drama’ 😉 ). Enter Justice Charlier, owner of nearby ‘Venus Club’. Sherrie grudgingly accepts work as the otherwise known ‘gentleman’s club’.

As Act 1 closes, everyone is alone – Drew as an up-coming Rock Star, Sherrie as a dancer, Regina protesting the redevelopment and Dennis trying to save his club. And off you go to bar for a top up, singing ‘Here I Go Again’.

20030940_10155656534603013_163827019_n (1)Ensemble in rehearsal for ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’

There, my lovelies, is where I leave you. I don’t want to give too much away, you’ll just have to come and see the show to find out how it ends 😉 It’s not Shakespeare, I know that. But it’s a kick-ass, feel-good Rock show, which, not gonna lie, is hilarious too :’) You’ll be singing along in your seat to CLASSIC 80s anthems (please remember to do a vocal warm up though)… You’ll be having ‘Nothing But a Good Time’ as ‘We Build This City’ in the ‘Shadows of the Night’ – AND ‘Don’t Stop Believing!’ (See what I did there?) 😉 What’s not to love?!

Until next time,

Lynette x
CLICK HERE for tickets, or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Aches & Pains…


I sit writing this in a random wonky position on the sofa that relieves pressure on my back, with a heat pack wrapped round my neck and ice on my knees. Yep. HSAP rehearsals have officially started and the opening number of Rock of Ages is set! Absolutely LOVING life, it’s my fave show and completely my style of dance, I guess I just wasn’t expecting as many head bangs and knee slides. Within the first half hour I turned round to Roxx and said ‘my neck’s gone’, and had to be careful for the rest of the rehearsal (‘: So I’ll be spending the rest of the day at 2 miles an hour, thank god it’s my day off. At least now we know for next time what body parts need warming up…

45b56f48This image of ‘Mean Girls’ Regina George is totally appropriate for how I feel right now

I’m not gonna lie though, despite the fact I’m struggling with life today, I HAVE missed this feeling. I still dance as a teacher obviously, but not as full on or as intensely as I did when I was training. 2 1/2 hours last night of full out feeling was the first time in 8 months, and whilst it’s not nice to feel so broken, it’s a confirmation of hard work. The same as when you ache the day after the gym; it’s not totally pleasant but you embrace it because you know you’ve worked your body hard and made changes. I’ve missed it.

I’m trying to think now whether there’s any specific story I can tell you from training about a particularly bad experience, but I can’t. There were plenty of equally sore ones. I was lucky enough to never have to sit out or take time off because of injury – in 4 years I’m not sure how I managed that, I feel quite lucky, but the aches and pains were still there. 

From experience, the worst is probably your neck. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re guaranteed not to be able to do it properly. Today, my example is my water. Ordinarily, I’d just turn my head to the left to see where it is and pick it up (I’m sure you’re all familiar with how to pick up a glass). I’m having to turn my whole body to find it, then doing a hinge kind of back bend to drink because I can’t tilt my head. To quote one of my bezzies from Bird, ‘woe is me!’ :’) I’m just glad there’s no one around to laugh.FullSizeRender (1)

It’s a wet rainy day so I’m going to wallow in sore-ness, keep icing and heating and get the foam roller out when I find the energy to move from the sofa. Thank god rehearsal tonight is just a singing call. A shout-out to my gorgeous fellow cast members for such a SICK rehearsal last night – we can take it in turns passing round the heat packs tonight!

image1 (1)First (part) cast photo mid-run of ‘Just Like Paradise’
OMG I just sneezed. That was NOT a good idea, my body’s screaming at me now 😂

Lynette x

‘Krazy’ Rehearsals…


How do you know it’s show time? When you blink and three weeks have gone by with no blog post! Didn’t even realise… SO! Here we go. Because Studio 3’s annual show, ‘Dance Krazy’ at Harrogate Royal Hall, is NEXT WEEK! Despite the title, I’m not going to talk TOO much about my pieces in the show – I haven’t really given much away on social media – about what we’ve been doing OR how rehearsals have been. But, as always, I’m just putting thoughts out there that have been influenced by what’s going on in my life. So let’s just roll with it…

Before going away to train, I performed in 14 Dance Krazy’s, 1997-2011. This will be the first one for me in teacher mode. I reckon it’s going to be a very strange experience on the day, but I’m so looking forward to it.
I’ve spoken before (in particular on my work account on Snapchat) about how it’s hard to switch off with this job. You don’t just work the couple of hours that you’re in the studio, there’s sooooooo much time spent planning, reviewing, creating, choreographing, video making, music editing… I love it, but it ends up being very time consuming. I definitely didn’t give my teachers the credit they deserved – you just don’t realise how in-depth this job is until you do it yourself. And I’m only a teacher – I don’t own the business or own the school. How Ms Hall finds time to sleep, I’ll never know!

girls-blur‘Me and My Girls’ – Commercial Jazz Rehearsal

AND the main thing about all this: you can’t switch off. My brain doesn’t care if it’s Saturday night and I have a film on, or if I’m out at the pub. If I get inspiration (for a piece, class, whatever), I have to go with it. Coz you don’t know when you might get it again! Thankfully my nearest and dearest are very understanding and have learned to deal with me if I suddenly say ‘hold that thought, I’ve just figured out how the spacing will work in section 7 – bear with whilst I write it down!’.

Show time is worse. There’s technically less choreography to worry about (coz now they’re all finished, it’s just my adult classes I have to plan for). But there’s 10 times more stress. Especially when you’re working to a short time scale.

choreo

BUT. Whilst it’s stressful, it’s SO exciting. I love show time. Being on the other side of it is different. It’s not the first time, I choreographed school productions etc, but this is on a totally different level – maybe because it’s my job and I’m so invested in it. Give it 9 days, I might decide that actually, it’s JUST stressful – I’ll keep you posted 😉 

Rehearsals have always filled me with excitement, however hard they are. And the feeling when things start going right is simply immense. So here we go. Last week of rehearsals. There’s still lots of hard work that needs to be done – but I remain positive and optimistic, look forward to seeing all my girls this week, AND going along to have a sneaky peek at other rehearsals too.

All that’s left to say, is that I wish all involved lots of love and luck! And don’t forget to use your peripheral vision 😉

Lynette x

#HairIssues…


Yep, hair. Hair is actually a bigger deal to dancers/performers than we give it/them credit for. I mean, sometimes it can be good: hair down can enhance the style and feel routines (Commercial Jazz and Lyrical being a couple of the main ones). EVERYONE loves a bit of hairography  😉  But no matter what you’re doing – there are always hair issues. 

The ‘Boring’ Hair Cut:
So this isn’t so much of an issue anymore. Anyone who knows me can probably tell by the state of my mane that being able to control my hair is a thing of the past. I was at the hairdressers the other day, the first time back with my old salon and old stylist in five years. And it reminded me of the countless times I went in for the same boring hair cut. It couldn’t be so long it was out of control. But it couldn’t be too short that it couldn’t – here it is, the big one, are you ready for it? – get it into a ballet bun. I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there, young and old who’ve sat in the chair and had this discussion. If your hairdresser cut your hair too short to fit into a bun…
God help her when your Mum found out.
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Escape Artist Hair Grip:
Go on. How many of you dancers out there have been mid dance and felt a grip starting to wriggle it’s way out of your perfectly styled up do. A few seconds later you hear that unmistakable metallic ping as it hits the floor. You spend the rest of the routine trying to guess where it might be so you don’t step on it. And once you finish dancing, spend the next 30 seconds squinting at the floor trying to find it…

The Hair Whip:
It’s happened to us all. Getting whipped in the eye by your ponytail as you pirouette/chainés across the room. And wow does it sting.

Rehearsal Hair:
You leave the house looking fab. You rock up to rehearsals. You go crazy with the choreo, give it your all, have a great time. All is well. Until you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror or reflection in a window. Wow. Hello frizzy mane. What was the point in doing anything with you? I could’ve walked through a hedge backwards and look better than this…

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Sticky Crispy Hair:
Yes. Show hair. Whether you have straight hair or curly hair, you fall victim. If you have straight hair, you add some curls to give it a bit of oomph on stage. If you have curly hair, you need to keep an eye on the oomph so it doesn’t go from ‘nicely volumised’ to ‘crazy frizzy cat lady’ (the latter HAS crept up on me a couple of times in the past…)
And the answer? Hairspray. To hold the curls in the silky smooth straight hair, you need half a can of hairspray. To control the frizz, you need half a can of hairspray. Which is fine. It works. But then you get home and touch your hair…wow. A sticky, matted, crispy mess. Looked great on stage. Not so much in the bathroom mirror.
Then you have the ‘to wash or not to wash’ dilemma. If you wash it, you wash the yuckiness out and are set to go with fresh hair for the next day – until you cover it in hairspray again for the show. If you don’t wash it, it’s already full of product and prepped for the next night (yay!) – but then you have to go through the day with a sticky matted mess on top of your head.

After all these years of shows, I’ve still not come up with a show-week-hair-game-plan. And I’m actually slightly disappointed in myself. I’m organisation Queen. I colour coordinate running orders with costume info, quick change info, timings of each scene and how long between each change. I have separate paper pads at home for different genres of my work. Everything in my life is organised. My DVDs are arranged, in categories, then in alphabetical order for goodness sake. And I still have no system for show hair. Tut tut. 

There will always be hair dramas. But for now, I’m leaving it there. You never know, if you’re lucky there might be a #HairIssuesPart2 some time in the future  😉
If you’ve got any hair nightmares you want to share, feel free to drop me a comment below! Until next time… 

Stay sassy. And try some hairography. I promise it’ll help warm you up in this cold weather.

Lynette x

Rehearsal Geek…


I can’t even explain how much of a rehearsal geek I am. Always have been. Rehearsals finishing late? Running numbers on a weekend? Sometimes running from one rehearsal to another? When I was younger I used to pretend I didn’t like it – that it was a chore. Nope, love it. The typical “sorry I can’t, I have rehearsal” excuse was/is used a lot, but I’d be lying if I said I felt guilty every time I used it… And has anyone ever missed just ONE rehearsal and felt like you’ve missed a whole year? Possibly one of the worst theatre-related feelings ever.

So with show week starting, you can imagine I’ve been in my element recently. Long rehearsals, hard work, trying to be the best you can be. Working with an incredibly talented cast and creative team that you look up to. AND, this time, for the first time in my 24 years – I’m in a show with all 3 of my bestest friends. Which is amazing. Imagine a night with your ‘crew’ or ‘squad’ or ‘posse’ or whatever the cool name is nowadays. Now, imagine you all have a love for the same thing. And imagine you get to do that for a few hours a night, 4 or 5 times a week. You build a special bond with your dance/theatre friends and getting to share the stage with them is just on another level. And d’you know what else, you’re not afraid to tell each other when someone’s doing something wrong – you’ll still love each other at the end of the day!

Sweaty, exhausted, post-rehearsal selfie with my absolute favourites

I tell you what though, my body had a big surprise the morning after first rehearsal. I could barely move. It’s been just over a year since graduation and full time training ended. It’s not like I spent a year doing nothing, I went to the gym, I took class and now I’m teaching too. But nothing can prepare you for a Ms. Denison rehearsal. You go hard or go home. Not that you wouldn’t give it your all every single time – but for non-dancers out there, don’t think you turn up to an HSAP rehearsal and casually shuffle around the stage. It’s. FULL. ON. Thankfully now, a month down the line, my body’s more used to it (though I’m convinced I’ve still got a pulled hammy from that first rehearsal). And I still wake up with bruises on random body parts and wonder how they got there.

In summary – rehearsals give me life. Being in a room with such a talented group of people is an absolute pleasure. And being able to go 110% with your dancing and performance is an absolute joy after a few months without it. I get to dance when I teach of course. But when you’re teaching, it’s about your students. About their growth and development. This has given me the excuse to lose myself in performance again. I can’t decide if that’s selfish or not, being so self indulgent? Or actually the opposite because you’re doing it for an audience, for their entertainment? Or maybe it’s a bit of both? I’m just thinking as I speak here…any thoughts on the subject, go ahead and leave me a comment. At the end of the day, in life, we do what makes us happy. So perhaps it doesn’t even call for discussion if it makes me happy.

Anyway, it’s only a matter of days now until Legally Blonde opens in Harrogate! Watch this space, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of show week thoughts and drama to comment on 😉

Lynette x