Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They Call The Tweets Maria

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For a bit of promotion and a bit of fun, during our April 9 evening performance of TWELFTH NIGHT (where I am playing the role of Maria,) I live tweeted throughout the play, writing the secret (and not so secret) thoughts and feelings of the character. I took some photos backstage, and I even got a chance to take one onstage as a part of the action (you’ll see links to these photos within the entries, noted by “PHOTO”)

Below you’ll find all of the tweets, along with the Act/Scene markers, so you know when I was tweeting. If you see a scene marker for a scene I wasn’t in, that’s because I was tweeting backstage, fully in character. (At some scenes, I come on and off stage multiple times, which accounts for the multiple tweets per scene. It was fun!)

I have also interspersed our official production photos, taken by the lovely Tasha Straley of Straley Photos. If you own the play TWELFTH NIGHT, feel free to read along!

PS- if Maria had a Twitter handle, it would probably be @SaucyMaid or @TobysLover.


ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Where they hell is Toby? We were supposed to have a date tonight. He’d better not be out with that ass, Andrew. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I even curled my hair tonight, and I never do that. Well, as long as Toby comes home ready for action... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
See? I curled my hair! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Backstage photo

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE

@ErinCronican
What the hell is wrong with Sir Andrew? First he asks to woo me, then he ignores my advances. Maybe he’s gay...? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Nathan Ramos (Sir Andrew)
ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE

@ErinCronican
Gotta get the house ready for the day-Olivia’s still not taking visitors & she’s in a foul mood. I hate work sometimes. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Feste cracks my sh*t up! I wish he could get back in the good graces of my lady. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Phew! That was a close one. One of these days Toby is gonna get thrown out for coming home so drunk. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Toby), David Arthur Bachrach (Feste) and Anna Marie Sell (Olivia.)

@ErinCronican
This young, cute kid just showed up to see Olivia. I hope he’ll pull her out of her funk because she needs to get laid! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Malvolio is pissing me off. He keeps bossing me around, and showing me up in front of Olivia. Grrrrr... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

Erin Cronican, with Brandon Walker (Malvolio)

ACT TWO, SCENE THREE

@ErinCronican
WTF?? Those asses are making so much noise outside. I might have to do a striptease to make them pay attention to me. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I know you must think I’m a slut, but sex is the only language these boys seem to understand. I’m actually a lady. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Toby, don’t yell at me. You don’t need anymore wine. Your breath stinks of whiskey. You’re still hot, though... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)
@ErinCronican
Dude- hilarious! Malvolio tried to scold me in front of my friends, and I totally baffled him by pretending I liked it. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT TWO, SCENE FIVE

@ErinCronican
Malvolio has asked for it- he’s such a ponce, and thinks he walks on water. I’m cooking up the BEST practical joke. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Toby is gonna looooovvvveeee me! Maybe he’ll finally propose. It’s been long enough... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby) and Ned Lynch (Fabian)
@ErinCronican
And here it is...... The Letter to end all letters... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Backstage photo

@ErinCronican
OMG!!! I almost got caught! I just set down the letter and he came prancing in. I barely got into the house unnoticed! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican
@ErinCronican
I sure hope it works. Malvolio’s such a Puritan that I’m convinced he’ll do anything I ask of him in the letter. Sucka! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Thanks for all the tweets of support, folks. Glad to know you hate Malvolio as much as I do! :) Work has been tough... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Oh sh*t! Malvolio just came bursting through the door to see if anyone was watching! What’s happening out there? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
I can hear Toby laughing! Man, he’s so sexy, even if he’s 20 years older. If I could marry into this family I’d be set! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Malvolio- your ass is grass! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)

INTERMISSION

@ErinCronican
Man- only a 10 minute break?!? Olivia’s a slave driver! Can’t a gal powder her nose? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE ONE


@ErinCronican
C’mon, Olivia- make up your mind! First you want me with you, then you send me away. Can someone say: neurotic?? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Anna Marie Sell (Olivia)
@ErinCronican
Um, Malvolio is even more cocky today than ever. Is it possible that he’s wearing lady’s underwear? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
He is!!!!! I have to tell Toby!!!! Wait, where’s Toby? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE TWO

@ErinCronican
This is Olivia- has anyone seen Maria? Romantic emergency- need my household staff, stat! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT THREE, SCENE FOUR


@ErinCronican
Crap! Olivia just caught me & asked me to bring in Malvolio. I have no idea what’s gonna happen but it’s gonna be good! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Anna Marie Sell (Olivia)
@ErinCronican
Malvolio is so full of himself that he actually posed for this shot! I have limed him! #MariaInTwelfthNight.
9 Apr
Onstage photo!
@ErinCronican
Though... I think I may have gone too far- he’s pretty far off his rocker. I hope I’m not found out... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Fabian, Toby and I just came up with a great idea - we’re gonna make Malvolio think he’s gone mad! Work has been fun today! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby) and Ned Lynch (Fabian)
@ErinCronican
Loving your shout outs and RTs! Sometimes I think I’m a little mean - your kind words let me know Malvolio deserves it. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Man, this has been the longest day ever. Pranking takes a lot out of a girl... Need a cocktail. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
There’s an argument in the garden- looks like there’s a criminal on the loose. Where’s Toby? I hope he’s safe... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Um, Cesario just started a fight with Andrew (who’s a pansy.) What the hell is happening here?!? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Holy crap!! Toby just pulled a gun on Cesario! Oh no... Olivia just stopped it but threw Toby out. I have to fix this. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT FOUR, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Wow- I’ve never seen Toby this depressed. I love him so, so much. He may be a drunk, but he’s valiant and talented. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby), David Arthur Bachrach (Feste) and Brandon Walker (Malvolio) 
@ErinCronican
Um... Toby just asked me to come to his chamber. Did I just see a priest walk by...? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Yum... Toby gives the best foot massages. I think this is the first downtime I’ve had in a week! Now, a bubblebath... #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

ACT FOUR, SCENE TWO

@ErinCronican
No! My bubblebath is interrupted- again! Toby has got to find a way to handle his own messes. Oh, wait- is that blood? #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
How he heck did Cesario done his to him? Cesario is a pipsqueak! A cute pipsqueak, but pipsqueak no less. #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Men will be boys- I sooo love taking care of my Sir Toby. His hurt is being looked to, with me. :) #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr
Erin Cronican, with Jorge Hoyos (Sir Toby)

ACT FIVE, SCENE ONE

@ErinCronican
Holy crap- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but... Toby just proposed!!! And I said yes! #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr

@ErinCronican
Remember that priest I mentioned? Well, he hath married us! Check out the ring (he did good!) #MariaInTwelfthNight
9 Apr



END OF PLAY

@ErinCronican
Back to Erin! The cast demolished a couple of bottles of wine in honor of our 2 show day. Thanks for watching!
9 Apr



Hope you enjoyed the tweets - we have 5 more shows left of TWELFTH NIGHT -- tickets can be purchased online via our website: http://www.seeingplacetheater.com . You can follow me on Twitter at @ErinCronican.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Be or Not To Be...

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Well, this is it, folks. Starting tomorrow, you will see history being made. For I am stepping away from my contemporary wares and into... a professional theatrical run of “Twelfth Night” - a Shakespearean play. I’ll be romping, cajoling, and seducing my way through this comedic text with The Seeing Place Theater, March 30-April 16 in New York City. (more info here.)

By all accounts, this really shouldn’t have happened. I mean, c’mon. I specialize in contemporary storytelling, favoring the intimacy of on-camera work and small, relationship based musicals and plays. So, though I’ve been trained in the classics (and Shakespeare in particular) I have never considered spending time with Shakespeare in my professional career.

When I was approached by the artistic director of The Seeing Place (good friend and fellow actor from San Diego, Brandon Walker) I kind of thought he was joking. One look at my resume, and one would not assume that Shakespeare is something I excel at. We did a fundraiser reading of the show on January 6 (Get it? “Twelfth Night” on the actual Twelfth Night?) and I thought that would be the end of it for me. So, when the cast list was revealed for the full production and I saw my name included- I went into a bit of a cold panic. Apparently, I had gotten great feedback about my work in the reading and they felt confident that I could bring something to the table as the saucy Maria (not at all typecasting, by the way. No, seriously. I’m not being sarcastic.)

I tried to get out of it, frankly. I had a long conversation with Brandon and tried to wheedle my way out. For one thing - right now, I am focusing on building my career in film, TV and musicals. My concern has been that if I take 3 months away from these things to do Shakespeare, I wouldn’t be building my career. Further, if industry people come to the show, they might have an expectation of me as a classical actress, and judge me accordingly. My fear has been that I’ll be compared to those who “do this for real” and I won’t get the kind of response I need to build on the momentum I’ve created. To this, Brandon simply said, “Ok.” So, I pulled out the big guns - my “solution” to this problem that could make everyone happy - The Seeing Place has amazing ensemble women, several of whom specialize in Shakespeare. Wouldn’t it make more sense for one of those gals to be chosen?

When I received a blunt, “No,” as an answer, it became certain that they were trying to torture me. A slow torture, to be sure. But then Brandon said something really amazing (and I am paraphrasing, because this happened more than 3 months ago): “As you know, this is being produced under the showcase code, so if you want to look for other, more remunerative work while working on this show, that’s ok. I don’t prefer that, but I’ll understand. Heck, most of us are looking for more remunerative work. I know you think that this show won’t give audiences a taste of what they can “expect” from you as an actor, but I think that’s wrong. They’ll get a great taste of who you are, because it will be YOU up there, doing great work. Besides that, what better way to gain the industry’s attention than to be WORKING?”

And then he said... “Look, you’re really wonderful. And I want you to come out to play with us.”

And that’s what did it. I joined the production -- because my friend asked me to be a part of his artistic vision. Not because of something I was going to “get” out of it. Not because I would be a star, or agents would sign me, or good reviews would be written. But because Brandon reminded me that we are actors because we want to make art. Good art. Art that provokes, and in that good way that makes people think. Art that exposes - and makes audiences think they are peering in on private moments. Art that makes people debate its value. Art that allows actors to live through situations rather than just talking about them. That’s what actors are seeking. That’s what I’m seeking.

And thats’ what we’re offering, starting tomorrow when we open this show. I sure hope you’ll join me -- if not for the joy of seeing an intimate, rousing, modern version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, then do it to see me make a fool of myself on stage. Because I do it for all of you. And I do it for myself.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words To Love By

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I typed the above title with the intention of writing, “Words to Live By” and ended up with a typo that I think speaks volumes. “Words To Love By...” Perfect, considering this blog post is inspired by my father and some words of love that he had written on an index card.

My father died in early 2006, 5 whole years ago, and I’m still surprised the he doesn’t answer the phone when I call my mother. We were very close, and I felt very lucky that he always knew how I felt about him, and I always knew he was my greatest champion. A few years ago, my mother gave me an amazing gift - a scrapbook filled with mementos from my father’s life - pictures of him as a child, copies of his school records, old driver’s licenses and passport photos. It also had a bunch of things from our life together - pictures of him holding me as a baby, cards that I had given him for Christmas, tickets he had saved from shows I had done.

Yep- I am a natural brunette.
And I reaaaaalllly liked the camera when I was little.

As I looked through the scrapbook this year, I saw an index card that I had never really noticed before. There were a bunch of phrases written in his quasi-calligraphic hand, all inspirational nature.

Let me preface this by saying that my father was a very intense man. He had quite a bit of trouble expressing his emotions, and when they did come out they were often big, hearty laughs or tyrannical bursts of anger. We never really knew what would set him off to make him livid, and we spent many years trying to deal with his outbursts without fueling the fire. There was a point, however, when he went to a series of anger management courses, and he began to deals with his feelings in more constructive ways. He adopted anger management phrases that he repeated so often it sometimes made my brother and me laugh. Phrases like, “Erin, that is unacceptable behavior...” - in a straight monotone - were often heard, and usually related to me rooting for someone other than the Redskins, or voting for a Democrat.

All of the work he did to make himself a better man makes the index card I found all the more exciting to read. I have a vague recollection of the card being taped up near his desk - which is supported by the tape marks at the top of the card. The phrases are, at once, a creed to live by, and a guide for proper networking. It’s almost as if it was written jointly by Dale Carnegie and Dr. Phil. Here is, for you, a transcript of what’s written:


Don’t Criticize - Praise
Support person’s need for importance
Seek to Satisfy other’s needs
Become genuinely interested in other people
Smile
Remember the importance of a person’s name
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk of themselves.
Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
Make the other person feel important (Sincerely)
You can’t win an argument. Avoid them.
Show respect to other opinions. Never tell a man he’s wrong.
If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way
Get others saying “yes”
Let the other man do the talking
Let it be the other man’s idea.
See the other man’s view.
Let the other man save his face.



My favorite phrase of them all is, “Make the other person feel important (sincerely.)” I pride myself on making sure those around me, however we’re acquainted, understand that I value and respect them.

I'd like to think that I inherited a good amount of positive qualities from my parents. From my mother I've learned the power of introspection and self-awareness. From my father, I think I have inherited a desire to take action. Putting both of those together, in addition to everything else they've give me, have made me a better actor, and better human being in general.

Leave me a comment:

What’s your favorite phrase? How do you express it in your life?
Is there a phrase by which you’d like to start living?

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.


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