Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Confessions: Shoot #3!

My body is sore right now. And I can’t figure out if it’s sore because of wakeboarding this morning or the third “Confessions” shoot yesterday.

The shoot started out simple – I showed up at McCaw Hall and got a tour of onstage, backstage, the audience – everything! I interviewed Pete Olds, the Properties Master, right in front of the stage! He told me all about the recently renovated McCaw Hall and the sets that were on the stage. Pete also showed me a bunch of the props from the Ring cycle! I got to hold some swords, and I even got to touch the ring!

Then I met up with Julianne Gearhart, who plays one of the Rhinemaidens in the Ring cycle. She told me all about what it’s like to fly in the air while singing! I’m sure glad I don’t have to do that! She basically has to pretend she’s swimming around every time she’s on stage!

Then I interviewed Richard Paul Fink, who plays Alberich in the Ring cycle. He has to do a ton of stunts in the show, like flips and jumps and climbing! After I interviewed him, we went on the stage and he showed me some of the moves he has to do! The stage was set for the first scene, on the river bottom, so he showed me how to pretend I’m walking on a slimy surface (even though it’s really just made of Styrofoam!). He also taught me how to climb up the set (from the audience you’d never know how he does it!), and jump from one part of the set to another! I think that all might be the reason my body is sore right now! But luckily, I had my athletic clothes and kneepads on, so I came out without needing any band-aids.

After all of that excitement, I got to play with fire! Tom Cowdery, the pyrotechnician for the Ring, showed me how to light parts of the stage on fire! And it was so easy! All I had to do was move a tiny little switch, and, voila! Flames! I was very entertained. If they left me alone there I would’ve played with the fire for hours.

After I got my pyromania out of my system, other members of the crew gave me another backstage tour, so I got to see even more of the sets! I even got to see the dragon, which, right now, is in pieces, but I’m excited to eventually see it all put together! They also showed me how some of the sets rotate around, so they can be used for multiple scenes! I’m looking forward to seeing those in action!

The last part of my day was spent watching a rehearsal of the first scene from the whole Ring cycle. I got to watch the Rhinemaidens get into their costumes (it took a while to put those complicated harnesses on!), and then sing and fly (or swim!) around on stage! I saw Richard Paul in action with a few of his stunts. So I got to watch a few of the aspects of the Ring that I had already learned about fit together!

Slowly but surely, I’m learning a lot about the Ring! So many new and exciting things happened today – I don’t know if next week can top it!
Photos taken by Bill Mohn.


  1. >I don’t know if next week can top it!

    Um, I don't know about the tour, but sometimes less is more. If you were to use a tiny bit fewer exclamation points, you might actually engender more enthusiasm. I'm glad you are so thrilled, but all those exclamation points are making me ready for a nap. ;-)

  2. Hallo, Seattleopera Bloggers!
    Too bad the other four "contestants" for Ms. Cassidy's "job" did not have the same EDUCATIONAL experiences she reports here; five could have fit in the area equally well and the result would be five well-informed people (better than only one!)! (Yes, I use exclamation points, too!)

  3. Your complaint is about punctuation style???!!! No wonder opera newbies think we experienced opera patrons are cold and arrogant! I, for one, am enjoying reading about Cassidy's experiences as she learns about the Ring (maybe even a little jealous about all she's getting to do and see)! Keep it up!

  4. God, she's a mess. Enthusiasm can be portrayed with less exclamations.