Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cheer Show BEGIN!

I've had a project in mind for a long time, well, a couple of them. 1) I wanted to create a show around the subject of cheerleading, and have full-out cheer numbers in the show. 2) I wanted to to use improv to create a scripted play. 3) I wanted to create and be in a show featuring lots of talented and strong female performers from Austin.

After todays first official meet-up of the main cheer leads for Blood, Sweat, & Cheers, I can tell you - these project dreams are going to come true!

Blood, Sweat, & Cheers is a new comedic play Amy Gentry and I are developing, set in the world of teenage Competitive Cheer Leading, at a fictional cheer gym called Austin Cheer Depot in Austin, Texas. The play centers around June, a 16-year-old girl who is forced to return to her old gym after a 2 year hiatus. June meets up with old friends and rivals at ACD and tries to find out where she fits in this bizarre world of fake smiles, extreme athleticism, and expected perfection. The show is set to go up at the Salvage Vanguard Theater main stage at the end of May, beginning of June, 2013.

The ladies you see in the photo above will be making up the main cast of women who will be playing the teenage cheerleaders the audience will get to know and see perform throughout the production. The play will be written in large part from scenes and dialogue developed through improvisation (and I know all of these women through our work in improvised theatre).

In addition to developing the script throughout the process of creating the show, all 5 of the women above are taking on the challenge to learn how to cheer in the competitive style over the next 9 months. This means developing extreme strength, flexibility, and perfecting very specific techniques. What am I talking about when I say competitive cheerleading? Take a look at this.
But it won't only be the 5 of us cheering, Halyn Erickson is getting 20-25 actual high school aged cheerleaders to be apart of the production, for all of the big cheer numbers throughout the show. There will also be several other cast members - parents, boyfriends, friends, and coaches to round out the world.

This is not going to be some cakewalk, by any means, which is why I've been working on this since last October, and will continue to dig into this project until its debut late next Spring.

We had our first rehearsal/meeting this morning, and Halyn gave us a low-down on competitive cheerleading and the stretches and exercises we'll need to do every day in order to be ready to tackle the physical aspect of the show.

I sincerely love all of the women in the cast so far, and I'm excited to be pushed to my limits in a hundred ways with this show. Wow. I'm so excited that this is happening!