Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The First Read.

Howdy Everyone -
My name is Nicholas Harazin. Just thought I would introduce myself as I am new to this forum. I am pleased to say you will be hearing from me a fair bit in the months to come - so I simply wanted to introduce myself. And there we are, first thing is out of the way.
I have the honor of being part of the fantastic cast of THE SWEETEST SWING IN BASEBALL- the final show to wrap up the 35th season at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre which celebrates artists. And let me tell you how cool it feels to have a theater choose an entire season to celebrate little ole you. ;)
Today was the first time the entire cast, director, and designers had the opportunity to meet in the same room and start to play. An added pleasure with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre is that there is also an audience of patrons, friends, board members and administrative staff that join us for this first stumble through.
For me the first read is always a wonder. I think for each actor it is something different and for me, I know it is something that has changed over time. Even though my acting career has been short - I remember when the first read still felt like the first audition. That if I did not do well then I may not get to keep my job, that I had to prove that they made the right choice in hiring me. Now I find that a lot of pressure is off. I already signed the contract. There is no going back. The first read is, as Linda Stephens put it today, a great opportunity to 'just hear the voices'. And with this cast it was precisely that.
In hearing each of the actors speak the words Gilman put down to paper, I heard things that I would NEVER have heard when reading the play in my head. Choices that were made that I would never have come to as an actor all by myself. And it was the combination of this, hearing Michael Wright speak about the play, and the designers talk of their visions, that I once again realized how important this story is, and how necessary our work in the theater can become.
There are certain productions as an actor that stand out in your history and other ones that fade away. I think the ones that stay with you are the ones that are truly creative, truly collaborative, and also vital. Both to those that are telling it and those experiencing it. This already feels like a show that is in good hands, all around. A precious metal of sorts that we want to hold onto, to protect and to finally share with every audience member who walks into the theater. It is an opportunity to tell one final story this season about artists, but moreover of simple people trying to simply get by the best they know how.

It is a beauty, and I look forward to sharing it with you every step of the way.
Be well,

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