Norwood High School in Norwood MA is presenting West Side Story as their Fall production for 2012.
This is kind of a daring proposition seeing that the show is so often produced. But what I seen so far is that the production is going to be great.
I’ve been photographing the Fall show in Norwood for over 10 years – typically I photograph a rehearsal in July – when the show is still very rough, then in August and you see a big difference and finally the dress rehearsal in September a week before opening night.
The auditions for the Fall productions are held in May – even before the last school year has ended. Then beginning immediately after school breaks for the summer the students begin rehearsals. They rehearse all summer – fitting in their family vacations – working their summer jobs – but rehearsing almost every weekday as they are able.
The dedication of the student actors, set designers, costumers and directors is evident in the fine productions produced each year. Productions that are not to be missed.
Here’s a look at the dress rehearsal – from cast warm ups to the dancing, costumes and timeless love story.
If only I spoke Spanish as well as Pedro Marraguin [who calls himself “El Gallito de Oro” which after I translated it is “The Golden Cockerel”] spoke English. … and his English is … a challenge. HA!
Pedro is a Mexican performer I met when I was photographing a Mexican fiesta night event recently. His band included two other musicians and a boy who was either the relative of one of the band or a protege … I couldn’t tell. OK, I couldn’t figure it out seeing that when I asked Pedro we had a language issue. [ yes, you can insert a “HA!” here ]
As you can see from the images, their clothing was colorful, tailored and had a lot of bling! The music they played was a wonderful mix of Mexican with just a touch of Texas.
The whole band moved through the crowd and serenaded us with songs that most of the crowd knew. And Pedro smiled all the time. This is happy music!
Pedro did give me his card, so let me know if you want his number. I do suggest that you speak Spanish, because as good as his English is, it’s not that good …HA!
I’ve taken Ariana’s pictures a number of times and each time I find that she has so many expressions so each images seems to be of a different person. Or at least photographed on a different day. This session we focused on headshots for Ariana’s acting career.
But most actors also need a few other shots, maybe showing them in glasses or laughing hard, or in a really colorful shirt and torn jeans. Because if everything goes well at their audition the casting director will say … “This headshot is great … do you have anything else??” meaning other poses, other looks or expressions.
So I shoot “modeling shots” of actors as well. This allows the actor to create a composite ( aka ZED ) card that they can “whip out” if they are asked … “do you have anything else?”
And for models I do the opposite and shoot some headshots. Always do a little extra for the client and they will remember that you did.
One of the first things I do before an actor’s headshot session is to check out their FaceBook page. I want to see how they smile when they’re hanging with their friends, how they dress when they’re out at a club and the way that they naturally stand.
I learned over the years that actors get cast for the part that they look right for before they’ll get cast for a part that they try to look right for.
But I have to get on the subject of this post! Kelly Newman. The actress and director.
Kelly has a great smile and a killer ” I’ll kick your butt” stare … which I told her is my favorite look. It’s so important to show both confidence [without looking mean] and still be approachable.
And Kelly has that look down without even trying.
So remember to spend some time working with your expressions in a mirror before your headshot session. You need to know how it feels when you smile just the way you want. The smile that will get you an awesome part!
I love shooting high school shows. They’re fun for both the actors and the audience. It’s kind of like a big “group hug”.
Walpole High School – in Walpole MA recently did Grease – The Musical. All the Greasers and Pink Ladies were there at Rydell High for a journey back to a time when you could get wicked “greased back” and kick some serious boooo-tay! Although I don’t think that the word ” boooo-tay” came along for a few years.
I got the chance to realize that even those sweet Pink Ladies were tough … so you had better be careful what you say or you’ll be eating all your meals through a straw … Hey … I’m talkin’ at “chew” knucklehead ? Got it! HA!
Everyone was either a nerd, a jock or a greaser . Oh yea, these were good times … good times!
” The Guys ” is a two person play about a NYC fire chief who lost many of his men on 9/11 – he contacts a writer to help him compose the words that he will use to talk about his guys at their memorial services.
The Walpole Footlighters in Walpole, MA presented the play on September 9 – 11 2011 … it was the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. The play is in memory of those who lost their lives and in honor of the Walpole Fire men. All proceeds went to the fire department.
I had the opportunity to photograph 12 of the Walpole Fireman and the play.