Hello there. This is Joseph Zettelmaier, one of the actors in Music From A Sparkling Planet. This is also my first theatre blog ever, so here it goes…
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tony, Christine and John for almost 10 years. When I heard they were starting a new theatre with another of my pals, Emily, I was thrilled. Aside from the fact that I’m all about as much theatre as possible, I knew this was something they were perfect for. And now that I’m in the thick of it, that fact becomes all the clearer. This has been without a doubt my favorite professional acting experience of my life. The cast consists of many old friends who I’ve been dying to work with: Joey Albright and Dennis North (who I’ve known almost as long as Tony, Chris & John), Will Myers (another long-time friend) and Dana Brazil, who I’d never worked with before (and can’t wait to work with again). They are all absolutely wonderful. There’s an amazing sense of professionalism and support among this group. I feel safe to make choices and explore my own ideas, and I know they’re there to back me up. We joke, we laugh, we have a good time…until it’s time to work. Then we do our jobs.
Another perk of this job is working with Suzi Regan. I met Suzi many years ago, as a theatre apprentice. (I was the apprentice. Not her. She was acting in a show and…ah, forget it.) Aside from being one of the best actors I’ve ever seen, Suzi is an excellent director. She has a clear vision, and really knows how to communicate to actors on an individual level. She gives me a note, and I always understand what she wants. I try to execute it, and even if I don’t get it right immediately, she gives me time. She creates a very safe atmosphere, and even made blueberry pancakes for us on Tech Day. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. (And I’d be remiss if I didn’t note our AWESOME stage manager & assistant stage manager, Megan & Jesse. They rock!)
I can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed this process. It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of time, but I’m glad to be doing it. I’ve worked in this area for many years, mostly as a playwright of late. One of the things that makes Williamston such a beautiful rarity is simply this: A lack of conflict & egos. At no point has someone’s pride or “I know better” attitude gotten involved. There’s a great deal of respect, and genuine affection, for each other. It’s not about star vehicles, or pampering egos, or grandstanding. It’s about doing really good work. And I think/hope the joy of the process will be felt by the audience.
So here we are. At the precipice of Previews. Are we ready? Yeah. I think so. It feels like it. The technical aspects look great, and every rehearsal I watch the four actors I’m on stage with and wonder how the heck I got so lucky. Working with them, and with Williamston, has been more than a pleasure. It’s been an honor.
So come on down and say howdy! See the show, bring friends, and just have fun. We sure are.