Flat Tire Theatre Company Presents The Twins of Gillygate
Directed by Lauren Gaudite
Runs- March 1st-March 9th
Studio/Stage Theatre, 520 N. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004.
RUN TIME: 1 hour and 45 minutes (including a 10-minute intermission)
Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or at flattiretheatre.org
We find our twins on the eve of their 18th birthday in the kingdom of GillyGate. One is set to take the throne while the other sits in her tower with only a dragon to keep her company. Unbeknownst to both, a prophecy is about to unfold much to the dismay of their uncle, Lord Grimbert, who will do anything to stop a woman from taking the throne with the help of his trusty talking high horse. A musical tale woven together by a misfit traveling ensemble, this show will take you back to the Ren Faire. Full of bawdy, drunken fun mixed with some good ol' audience interaction, this show is fun for your whole family!…Well maybe not your kids.
It wouldn't be fair to write a review about the show that Flat Tire Theatre is producing, much less a show I am in! So I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on making my on stage acting debut.
It all started as most good stories do, after a couple of adult beverages and a "dare” which I didn't think much of at the time, with my good friend Martin. But first, let me start from the real beginning of how my relationship and love of Theatre began.
I am ashamed to admit that I went about 25 years of my life without caring much for live theatre. I don't know if it was due to lack of availability in my upbringing or just not understanding the medium itself. I had always assumed it was a sort of mysterious, inclusive art form that wasn't for me (I was incredibly wrong). It wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles did I understand how transformative and powerful live theatre could be. I believe Actor/Writer Simon McBurney said it best, "Theatre is the art form of the present: it exists only in the present, and then it's gone."
It was perhaps when I had a chance to see Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge directed by Ivo Van Hove at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2016 that I first caught the bug. I was immediately hooked on what I was now convinced was the highest form of art.
Fast-forward to June 2017 and I was asked by Martin, (the very same individual as above) to help out with Flat Tire Theatre Company, a small but fierce independent Theatre company founded that same year, with promoting and networking their show "CringeFest" for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. By day I am a Human Resources professional, with a focus on talent acquisition and recruitment. On any given year I attend about a dozen career fairs, networking with prospective employees and sharing information about why my organization should be their employer of choice. I thought this doesn't sound all that different.
I had a blast my first year participating in the Fringe Festival, seeing over thirty shows and making a ton of new friends. I was surprised how the Los Angeles Theatre community welcomed me with open arms, despite not being a thespian I was shown nothing but inclusivity and support. Therein, of course, which has always led to the question that comes at every theatre event or gathering: "Do you Act?" or "Are you in this show?" To which I would smile and shake my head, informing them I was more of a "behind the scenes kinda guy" or "No. I am not a trained actor, I leave it to the professionals."
Now we arrive at the night of degeneracy with Martin, who asked when I was going to make my on stage acting debut. I jokingly exclaimed "You write me a role, and I will be on stage." I didn't imagine that he actually would!
The Twins of GillyGate, our 2019 Spring Show, was written and devised by ten of our company members. It was brought to my attention that a small cameo role was written for me in the show that was initially intended for me to show up to one or two of our performances. However, after hearing the original music and lyrics that were written by the incredibly talented composer Ben Boquist, I knew I had to perform as a regular member of the ensemble.
After my first full rehearsal and having to start the process of memorizing five original song and dance numbers, I thought to myself “What have I gotten myself into?!” I had three goals going into this performance: 1.) Learn as much as can about the rehearsal and performance process. 2.) Not make a fool of myself and let down my talented group of peers. I have too much respect for Flat Tire Theatre and the hard-working group of individuals who help put this process together for someone to see this show and think less of it because of me. (Truthfully this was my biggest fear going into the show.) 3. Have Fun! I have a bit of a musical background, singing and playing bass guitar are in my past, so I wasn't entirely musically illiterate, and this show was a great way to express my creative outlet.
I am eternally grateful for Flat Tire Theatre for allowing a novice like myself to learn and work alongside such a talented group of individuals. This whole process has been one of the best experiences of my life. Words fail; I am incredibly humbled and thankful for the opportunity to perform alongside my friends and loved ones.
I would be remiss not to mention my Fiancée Sarah, I have had the distinct pleasure of watching her perform on stage since we were sixteen, now she is an Actor and the best Theatre Educator I know. Seeing her joy for her profession is infectious, I am so very grateful for her planting those "theatre" seeds in me all those years ago. It is a joy to have a partner who is both a sounding board and guide to a neophyte like myself.
The ultimate joy, in performing in this show has been getting to work alongside her and seeing her do what she loves up close and in person, never did I imagine we would share the stage.
I don't know if I will continue acting after we close the show this Saturday, March 9th. I eagerly anticipate "retiring" from the stage after our final performance. That being said, this journey has given me new confidence and self-assurance, that if the need ever arose for me to break the leg of the curtain, I will be ready.
Cast & Crew
Original Story by Martin Rodriguez
Written by Amanda Dacks, Ian Price, Krissa Flores, Lauren Gaudite, Lindsay Kelly, Martin Rodriguez, Michael Hettler, Michael Massey, Sarah Marcum, and Thi Nguyen
Music and Lyrics by Ben Boquist
Stage Manager- Jesse Fiene
Light/Sound Design- Michael Massey
Producer/Photography- Amanda Loyd
Choreography- Lindsey Kelly
STARRING Natalie Pellegrini, Ian Price, Brian Calleigh, Nataliz Jimenez, Tony Kim, Carlos Chavez, Sarah Marcum, Shae Tomlinson, Thi Nguyen, Leah Wasylik, Chelsea Langenderfer, and Michael Reyes