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Monday, October 25, 2010

an open letter of thanks

As I reflect on the past week of tech and then opening night for Gorefest 8, I am overwhelmed by just how many people had a hand in making it possible. I am so thankful to everyone and just wanted to share some of the gratitude.

First of all, as anyone who works in this business can tell you,  it's incredibly satisfying to watch something like this appear from seemingly nothing. I will never get tired of that "hell" week transformation. One night there's no set, no costumes, and no effects and then over the course of only a few nights we have a fully produced musical with a full band, set, costumes, props and blood. And although it all seems like (pure) magic, it's not. It's the hard work of many, many people. For example, people like Lynn Wilcott.  Here's an anecdote that encompasses working with Lynn:

Don: What I'd really like is a big saw for this scene.
Me: Yeah. With two handles, so two people can be using it.
Don: And it should shoot blood.
Lynn: Alright.

Ten minutes later Lynn handed Don a prop saw with two handles that shoots blood. 
That she whipped up in the interim. 

Lynn: Like this?
Don and Me: Exactly!

And people like Claire Smithney, who costumed this show in dazzling period 1930s traveling circus garb while on a strict budget with NO CAR. And who dealt with updates like this:

Me: Claire, we are missing Melissa tonight. Sejal (our choreographer) is going to step in. Can we costume her before 8pm? 
Claire: Of course.

I am so thankful to be working with this group of people. The cast is never tired or discouraged. It's made up of actors who give 100% even in the face of infected wisdom teeth, recent hospital stays and foot injuries (true stories). We have an amazing musical ensemble dedicated to playing even as it rains blood all around them, led by the ever-patient Gorefest musical director Steve Gilbane. Plus we have a running crew as silent as ninjas and crafty as boy scouts who are obsess over keeping the blood flowing so we don't have to.

It has also been an amazing blessing to work with the original Gorefest creator Don Schuerman. From overseeing Brooks and myself during the script writing process to constructing the guillotine and the human cannon for the show, Don is an endless font of positive energy, hard work, and creativity. I have not had many moments where I was as floored as I was when Don asked me to co-direct; and as we toasted to the opening this week, I still can not believe he's not sick of me.

Last but not least I would like to thank Improv Boston, the entire front of house staff who enable the show to run smoothly, and all the other casts who make room for out icky sticky mess every year and come out to cheer us on.


Gorefest continues to run Wed-Sunday at 8pm with 10pm shows on Friday/Sat nights through Oct 31st.
tickets at

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