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The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 7 - La Jolla Playhouse Blog

The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 7

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Each week, The Artist’s Journey will provide an insider look at the creation of a production, from first rehearsal to opening night, through the eyes of one of the show’s key players.

Zoë Chao is an actress in the UCSD graduate theatre program and is co-starring in Surf Report. This is her first professional production.

Zoë Chao

Zoë Chao

This is my final blog for the Playhouse and I’m going to continue to be honest with you – several teardrops have fallen onto my laptop keyboard. Not quite the equivalent of a glass of water yet, but nearing. I probably should turn my computer upside down and dry it off if ever I have dreams of blogging again. Here is a review of this past week’s ponderings and adventures.

I managed to fall victim to strep throat, which made me post the question, “Really?” It did not, however, hold me back from enjoying Surf Report’s opening night party, equipped with open bar, surf board regalia, music and dancing.

Doing a five-show weekend is exhausting! And the chance to work on a play that runs longer than just eight performances brings up a whole new gauntlet of challenges. I liken this less extreme experience to the Rolling Stones playing “No Satisfaction” live for the 15,786,223rd time as if they had never played it before.

There were several performances in which some of the audience members located near the stage actually talked to me while I was performing. That has never happened to me before. My favorite feedback was, “I know exactly who you are,” whispered audibly by an elderly woman stage right, wearing a white t-shirt with gold anchors on it. I had to steal a peak.

It’s bizarre to me that the whole design team and director leave the show after the official opening. And it’s entirely up to the stage management, actors and crew to keep the show going. No more notes or feedback? WHERE WAS THE WEANING PROCESS? Did I happen to miss it? It’s a scary freedom, critical to the whole process – a play needs the ability to finally be turned over to the actors, to let it breathe and play – but still, all of this is new to me. The learning curve is steep. As long as I have some Gatorade by me, it’s manageable.

Thank you La Jolla Playhouse, Lisa, Annie and the Surf Report cast and crew for an unforgettable foray into the professional theatre world. I’m hooked now more than ever. Come see SURF REPORT before we close on July 11!

Please go see Christopher Ashley’s A Midsummer Nights Dream! My lovely classmates of 2011 are tearing it up. There is sure to be swinging, rolling, waxing, reeling and loving.

Vive LJP!