Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just landed a Killer Gig

Hello all.
I am so jazzed (literally)! I got a small gig playing bass in the orchestra for 'Spamalot'!

It's playing at the Ritz Theatre in Haddon Twp., NJ

Now - I'm a Monty Python freak from way back, I caught it from my late brother, George (I think I was 8). And in keeping with tradition, I passed the bug on to my son a couple years back (I think HE was 8). -Although due to mature content restrictions, I have only turned him onto The Holy Grail and any TV episodes I can find on the DVR (my wife still blames me...).

Karma has blessed me with the most pleasant fortune and timing to find this gig on Sunday evening and start practicing with the cast yesterday - the Show opens this Friday, October 22nd @ 8:00!

I found the gig on craigslist (the ONLY job listing site that I actually get 'callbacks' from). I sent the email out, got a call from Brian Bacon (conductor & killer keyboard player) 5 minutes later, picked up the score and a CD an hour after that and started cramming (it wasn't jamming - that will be happening by Thursday-ish).
Last night I did the entire 2nd act by sight-reading and it was... a blast! The one actor who is doing the French soldier/Lead Knight who said 'Ni'/Conjurer Tim, nailed the part(s). He had me splitting my side so bad I had to cover my mouth to stifle my chuckling - I actually missed a cue or 2...^o^. The other guys were at it too - his obvious talent was not wasted on me alone. Of course, being steeped in the classics, I was the one guy in my 2'x2' corner back stage-right, bass in lap, slamming an imaginary block of wood against my forehead during the 'Monks' scene - good times.

The guys in the orchestra (& myself) went back through some of the songs after rehearsal and we started gelling - it only took 4 hours ^_^. I can't stress the coolness that happens when 5 musicians who just met, belt out the songs and get a groove in such a short amount of time. I dig being part of the clan. Later, Brian & I were helping Gary the drummer out to his car with his cases. The cast (getting a pep-talk by the director, Bruce Curless) in the foyer applauded - what a shot in the arm! Imagine when we get the groove really going. I practically blushed.

You know, this takes me back to my High School daze (NBC - now 'Northern') when I played bass in the School musicals (and one for $ at Holy Cross, Delran) - Thanks, JL (John Lindner, teacher and mentor)! He (JL) had me playing tuba for a year an a half before I even looked at the bass - but I sincerely Thank Him for teaching me 2 instruments and the joy that comes from being a good musician. And since I am having a bit of a time getting real work. **Important Note - do not take that last line as meaning that that this ISN'T real work - The cast and crew has been at this since August and they put everything into it! I am just the new comer to this team. And I am so glad to have these skills to recall and use for a positive purpose (and the karma that comes with it).

The show is playing through to the 20th of November. So please get out and support your local arts, friends. And just enjoy the exuberant, overly-acted, silliness that IS Monty Python. And Many Thanks to Mr. Eric Idle and John Du Prez (as well as Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and all the imported, Peruvian llamas).

...Thanks for Listening...

...PS. Last night (10/20) while walking to my truck with my gear, my neighbor asked if I was going to play banjo for them ^_^. I told him about the gig and he took a step back and kept on saying," Spamalot? At the Ritz?!?" After a couple confirmations, he said that his oldest son was playing Sir Galahad - that's the gent all the way on the left. It truly is a small world.

...digging the karma... (and I am STILL having to cover my mouth backstage to stifle my laughter)