bonnie and clyde

A Look Back: Another Openin Another Show

We finally made it.  This weekend marked the opening for Bonnie & Clyde, and I feel as if it crept up on me and took forever, if that's even possible.  I've been performing since I was in elementary school in many different venues and variances in audience, but this show is special.  It's my first professional theatre experience, and God Damn It! I was nervous.  I always get nervous though; in a "Why do I do this to myself kind of way."  It's almost become comforting now, and I usually take the day to reflect on why I got into performing in the first place.

First of all being a kind of an only child, shout out to my half-brother Mark (you da best), I got majorly doted on, thanks mama, and went through some big pretending phases i.e. I was Ariel, a dog, and a cat.  I was completely committed to those characters, and I have a scar to prove it (I fell of the couch when I was a cat.)  These pretending to be other people and animals garnered a lot of attention, and I basked in it, and viola a performer was born.  That and I got to where a cat tail once and swish my little booty across the stage.  From that cat tail moment on I've constantly been in shows, and I didn't have a break in performing until college when I took up writing.  That means at least three times a year since I was seven I've had opening night jitters.

This shows opening has been unique in many ways.  In all of the openings of the past, that night was the first night that we had put the show in front of an audience.  New Line does a preview kind effectively easing us into the process.  However; New Line also get reviewed, and that is something I have never had any experience with, so while was saying it was going to be fine I was fetaling in a corner of my mind.  Also New Line has an after party where the cast and audience can mingle and interact under the calming influence of booze and mood lighting.            All of those changes in how I normally experience openings collided into a whirlwind of emotions.  Now, I realize I'm making myself sound like a neurotic mess, and I am, up until about three hours before the show, and then slowly the panic ebbs and all that is left is intense excitement and pride in the theatre that we have created over the course of the last few months.

  Bonnie & Clyde is, dare I say, my favorite show yet.  It has all my favorite things.      Great music, rich history, guns, and sexual tension galore.  Bonnie Parker is a bad good girl if that makes any sense, and playing her has been so much fucking fun!  There have been so many people who have guided this character and my portrayal of her, and I thank them for that, 'cause lord knows she wouldn't be able to hold a candle to Matt's Clyde without them.

When I first saw Bonnie it was as this sexy, manipulative seductress, and Scott helped me see that only how she saw herself.  In reality she is a girl, a girl stuck at the age of twenty with huge dreams and no way of ever achieving amongst the soul crushing circumstances of the depression in the middle of the Dust Bowl.  Once I'd gotten that in my head Dowdy was there to help me answer questions about her.  Questions that no one would ever know the answer to, but instead would add layers to Bonnie and keep her from being one note.  Lastly Alex, my roommate, the one I'm supposed to be sharing this blog with has helped me tremendously.  Even after rehearsal is over we talk about the show, and about Bonnie, and the more we talk the more we discover.  He's the only person in this production who's directed me before so he knows my habits bad and good, and helped me keep from doing them.  With all of this guidance I feel as if I've grown as actress and singer and maybe even poet ;).  I feel as if I got a free acting and vocal lesson every rehearsal, or at least that's how I tried to see it.

I urge everyone to come this show.  There has been a lot of hard work put into it, and it's fun to see it pay off.  I hope to see everyone there.

 

All the Best ;)

Larissa White

A Look Back: The Rhythm and the Flow to Things

At this point I would love to say that I have the show completely memorized back to front, like the back of my hand, and all that jazz, but I can't.  What I can say is that I have the show memorized enough to really start playing around with it, and this is one of my favorite times in the whole rehearsal process.

The discovery and finding the rhythm and the flow to the show and especially to Bonnie.  As Alex has so wonderfully pointed out to me several times I have a very distinct vocal pattern.  It would be very easy to impersonate me.  I have this habit of breathing into my words and making sounds either before or after; especially if I don't know my lines.  So, at this point in the process I am very much aware of it, and I am hell bent on sounding like Bonnie now not like Larissa, and I finally feel like I'm making some headway with this headstrong character.  I also feel like I can start experimenting with different things and playing around.  It's scary awesome you can be in it sometimes, and that's one of the reasons that I do love performing ever so much.

Today I realized that the show is only two weeks out from now, and holy shit I nearly had a heart attack.  This process has completely zipped by.  This week will be another one of full runs, and then

after that we start adding everything in, and then we get to show you guys what we came up with.  I fully intend to have a blast this week with Bonnie and really let her flourish, and see what she can become.

A Look Back: Ravishin' Redhead

School has started and things have gotten really crazy.  I probably shouldn't be writing right, but doing my homework, but oh well I don't want to work on that right now.  There are more important things to do; like tell everyone how I dyed my hair.

I'm taking the John Malkovich approach and creating my character from the hair down.  The other Alex and I dyed my hair.  Now, I have dyed my hair many a time, and by many a time I mean that I've been to the salon and had someone else dye my hair for me, so I was just a tad bit nervous for how this was going to turn out.  Alex and I put it off for a couple of days debating on whether or not we wanted someone with a little more experience in the dyeing department to help us, but in the end we said "Fuck it," and decided to we'd just go for it.  From this experience I have learned some very cool things that you all can choose take with you or not.

1) Dye is awesome, and ours was a pretty purple. (My favorite color.)

2) It makes your head itch the longer you have it on.

3) If you use argan oil in the dyeing process it makes your hair soft.

4) Postpone washing your hair as long as you can after dyeing it to let the color set.

5) I don't know if I made the one above this up.

6) If you draw penises and flowers in your hair with the dye it doesn't show up after you wash it out.

7) Thank God there aren't penises and flowers visible in my hair.

8) Make sure you have a place to wash the dye out of your hair.

9) If you don't you can just hop in the shower.

10) Be careful not to get the dye in your eyes.  (Be smart people)

11) Clean out the applicator bottle.

12) If you don't it explodes!

13) Use a bowl and a brush if it is available to you.

14) If not use the applicator bottle.

15) If not use your hands.

16) Wear rubber gloves.

17) If your hair starts to fall out well...

18) Hair grows back.

Good Luck,

Larissa ;)

A Look Back: Clara Bow a Woman Before Her Time

I keep forgetting that silent movies have the potential to be good, and because of that I've been avoiding

watching the silent movies that Scott has so kindly lent to me for research; however last night I finally sat my ass down with Alex to watch "It" starring Clara Bow (not a scary clown.)  We started the film thinking "77 minutes! God damn that's long for a silent movie," and we ended the movie cheering at the TV "OH MY GOD! She knocked that bitch the fuck out! Clara Bow is amazing."

Before I had gotten the chance to watch these movies Scott had told me how surprised he was by Clara Bow's acting, and how natural it was for silent film, and I half-heartedly believed him, but after seeing it for myself I was completely blown away by her.  It's no wonder that Bonnie was entranced by her, hell, I was entranced with her, and found myself in the mirror after the movie was over trying to mimic her sassy eyerolls and cockeyed

smiles.  She was unabashedly herself and seemingly got everything she wanted.  Bonnie being someone who had nothing and was beaten down by life before it had really even begun I can't see how she wouldn't idolize Clara Bow.  It must have been excruciating sitting in a dark theatre in the middle of the Dust Bowl watching Clara be a fierce, confident woman who cruises around on a fucking yacht in her free time.  With so much glamour and vivaciousness shoved down the throat of a have-not you'd probably either come to wholeheartedly resent that lifestyle or be enraptured by the dream that one day you'd have it, and I think we can guess where Bonnie Parker lay on that spectrum.  I empathize with why Bonnie jumped aboard the Clyde bandwagon.  She saw a way out and an adventure; which her marriage to Roy Thornton at the age of 15 failed to provide.

Side by side with Clara's picture

the emulation is obvious.

Watching this also gave some understanding as to why they got into knock down drag out fights.  Bonnie

emulated Clara Bow's sassy confidence and take no shit attitude, and Clyde was raised in a bible thumpin' household where a woman was subordinate to her lord and master.  With those two together it was only a matter of time before shit hit the fan.

That'll Do,

Larissa

2014 St. Louis Theatre Circle Award Nominations

I'm super crazily, awesomely, excited to announce that I have been honored with a nomination from the St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards for outstanding actress in a musical. I know this announcement is coming at everyone a little late, but I had so much to say beyond that of the announcement itself.
I became active in the St. Louis theatre scene in June of last year when I auditioned for New Line Theatre's Bonnie & Clyde, and ever since the community and everyone I've met have been so warm, welcoming, and kind to me. Especially New Line Theatre and Scott Miller for giving me the opportunity to play and play with the dynamic character that is Bonnie Parker. I was terrified walking in to the first rehearsal and thank goodness I had my roommate Aled there to help me nut up and realize I had nothing to be afraid of. This company and experience have helped build my confidence; which I so desperately needed.
Everyone who came out to the show and wrote about the show were so nice and encouraging. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not from here, but you all have made it feel like home.