Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Plate!

Our cast photographer was generous enough to provide me with a picture of me in my plate costume wearing the COOL hat I made! Never mind my awkward expression - I'm sure I was in the middle of some word like... "word". I'm normally very good at smiling and dancing at the same time, but not so sure about smiling, dancing AND singing. ;-)

Valerie as a Plate!

Don't you just love my Princess Leia wig I'm wearing?

Opening weekend was great! We performed to two essentially sold out houses! Folks walking out of the theater said things like "This is the best show I've ever seen on this stage" and "Wow!" Reviews on Artsopolis are raves as well. Please book your tickets now for the remaining three weekends. Just call: (408) 266-4734 and tell them you're coming to see Valerie!

Monday, September 17, 2007

15 tickets left for opening night!

Beauty and the Beast will be opening this Saturday at Saratoga Civic Theater, and our opening night gala is nearly sold out. This Sunday's matinee is selling fast! Rehearsals have been going really well, so we are ready for an audience.

A few of you have asked... why am I a plate? Well, the basic premise to this story is that a cruel and evil prince is rude to an old beggar woman... who turns out to be an enchantress. She gets really ticked off and puts a curse on the prince and everyone who lives in his castle. He becomes a beast, while his staff become objects loosely related to their prior profession: candles sticks, clock, tea pot, knapkins, whisk, cutlery, cheese grater, rug and ... plates. I'm one of 6 and our costumes are really cool. It's a 4 foot, 13 pound, wooden plate mounted on a harness on our backs. The plates spin, which is neat - but makes them a bit more dangerous while in motion, so I'll have to be much more careful with crossing through the orchestra going forward.

I'm working on making "Gaslighter" hats for all of the plates - they should be finished tonight, and I'll hopefully get a picture I can share. I'm getting a lot of help from Linda, which is fantastic. She really is a great seamstress.

Anyways, get your tickets & come see the show!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Incredibly heavy enchanted plates

Wow, last night was a tough rehearsal! We reworked numbers with our "enchanted" costumes on. I skipped the leotard, knowing I'd be dancing a lot and not wanting to get it sweaty, and donned my harness and plate. It was heavy, but very cool. They spin! After about an hour and a half of going up & down stairs with a giant plate on my back, I felt like I was going to collapse. Fortunately, our choreographer, Geri, gave us a 10 minute break after that. Then it was back on with the plate for another 40 minutes. My back was killing me last night. The only saving grace is that in an actual show we will not be wearing the plates for that long without long breaks.

The dance numbers are cleaning up well, and we haven't had to make too many adjustments for the plates - though they are disconcerting, because when I'm wearing it I can't see behind me at all. So, I'll apologize up front for any toes I might step on!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stressful rehearsals

Last night was our first night with the set (which is GIANT! and really cool!), and also our first night with some folks in costume ... and also the first night with the orchestra.

Wow! talk about sensory overload! I feel bad for the orchestra, because it was the first time for the actors on the set, we had to stop and fix a lot, so they had to do a lot of sitting around. The good news is the orchestra sounds INCREDIBLE! They were a bit loud in a few places, but I believe our rehearsal orchestra is "extra large" (that is, not all musicians will be at all performances). Besides, I'm sure Dan, our music director, will have us all well balanced by opening night.

It was quite a challenge putting together the set, since not all pieces were labeled - but we eventually got everything asssembled. It really is a spectacular set with beautiful colours and intricate interlocking pieces.

We also got our costumes, though I don't think any of us know how to attach the GIANT plates to our body harnesses. I hear it takes an hour, so I'm guessing I'd better show up to rehearsal early on Tuesday! As of Saturday, though, I couldn't even pull one plate out of the crate they came in. They are incredibly heavy. I'm not sure why the folks that made the original costumes did not make the plates out of something lighter - like papier mache, balsa wood or Styrofoam. They seem to be made of plastic or ceramic - with a diameter of 4 feet and thickness of 3 inches. This will be interesting!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Strong encryption included with Solaris 10 09/07!

Yay! The day is finally here! A base version of the Solaris operating system now includes full strength crypto! The packages contained in the Encryption Kit are now included in Solaris 10 09/07 (aka Update 4) by default. This includes: SUNWcry, SUNWcryr and SUNWcryman. Now things like IPsec and OpenSSL will have access to full strength keys at installation time, and you'll no longer see weird errors coming from OpenSSL.

This was a simpler, and hackier, approach than what is being undertaken for Nevada/OpenSolaris. For Solaris 10 09/07, I "simply" got advice from legal that this is okay to include now, filed a package RTI requesting that the FCS versions of the Encryption Kit packages get included in the WOS (Wad of Stuff), and requested those packages to be freshbitted like everything else. These packages had problems with zones, and the like, that were never noticed by internal testers before - since they weren't included by default. Mary D. & Tony S. worked with the patch gatekeepers to get script patches integrated that would do the class action scripts required to fix those packaging errors.

Everything should be in tip top shape now! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The great outdoors!

Had a fantastic trip to Yosemite this weekend - staying in Camp Curry. What a fun place! It's still very rustic, yet it's walking distance to clean bathrooms with running water, showers, buffet, pizza shop & bar. The bartender, Ken, was very friendly as he explained that their wine list was out of date and that they no longer carried Foppiano wines, and promised to pass on my disappointment to the management. As I'm not a huge jug wine fan, we decided to have beers on tap. Not bad for the wilderness.

Deer were all over the campsite, cautious of the people, but not at all spooked. We didn't see any bears, though some of the other campers' snoring could've easily been mistaken for a bear growl ;-)

Hiked up to Nevada Falls - using the John Muir trail this time. After my last experience attempting to climb up Half Dome, I'll never go up the Mist trail again! My calves are aching horribly - guess I'm still not in climbing shape!