September 26th, 2005

NASA_bighead

Just Dragon Along, Singing A Song

Saturday night I went to Palo Alto for a fund-raiser. Long-time friend Meredith, who started her own Dragon Productions theater company a few years ago finally got a space of her own, and was having a benefit there. It's a great location, lots of walk-by and stalled-in-rush-hour traffic, and the only nervous-maker is it's right across the street from the train tracks. But I was there for 3 hours, which would be 6 trains, and didn't even notice. When I walked in, they took my $$ and led me to the back where I was given a little plastic packet containing a bit of blue "dragon dust" and a star-shaped mirror thingie about 2 inches square. The "guide" told me to go into the back room, and follow the instructions on the wall. The instructions said to throw the dragon dust over my shoulder, then turn around, knock three times on the back wall, then when I heard the dragon roar, turn back around and hold the mirror up to the dragon.


I did all that, and was told by an ephemeral voice that I had passed the dragon's test. Cool. Back to the main room, where I chatted with some friends, made a quick pass around the silent auction table, looked at the dragon riddles on the wall (I think I figured out the answer to one of the 12) and had a little bit of the buffet. The space is far from being ready, there are no lighting rails, no seats, no stage, the walls are not drywalled, and there's a ragged hole in the back wall where the rehearsal space ought to be.


At about 8, the real fun began. Black-clad actors & actresses stopped chatting with the guests and broke into a scene from one of the previous Dragon Productions plays. And one scene segued into another for about 45 minutes. What was really amusing is these were not the original actors doing the scenes, but a few of the original actors were either guests or staff for the event. It was fun to watch them watching.


The performance done, they had a live auction, which included auctioning off naming rights to the rehearsal hall, and advertising space in one of the front window panels. Each of these six window auctions was for one 4-week performance period, and the one for pre-holidays went for $500.


Then they invited everyone to visit the silent bidding table, and at 10 they closed that bidding and announced the winners. I won a dragon-themed notebook signed by the cast of the next show.

Most of the evening was spent with two Lizes. Liz L was my director's assistant for Play On, and Liz B. starred in a production of Kiss Me, Kate I was in ages ago. I played her father. Liz L was on crutches - she broke her leg recently, so I helped her around most of the evening. She had stage managed and taken classes at Pear Avenue Theater, where Dragon had produced a couple of its shows, so she knew most of the staff.
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