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To Bench or not to Bench

TO BENCH! No question.

A three performance weekend w h o o s h e d by faster than a Felix Baumgartner could re-enter the atmosphere. Alright, maybe not that fast but dammit, time flies when you’re having fun and the Bench Project II was over before I knew it. I was just starting to get used to the way the dressing room would settle into this musky scent when everyone was in there, flying out of their costumes. Oh, and I was starting to enjoy tip toeing backstage because the venue had excellent acoustics (you can hear everything), oh and the creepy Gnome, don’t get me started on the Gnome. But I digress…

For a full photo recap of the process of going from Page to Stage, CLICK HERE. For the condensed version, just peek below.

The cast and crew (most of them, anyway) of Bench Project II (2012)

From first table (Nov 5th, 2012) read to final group photo together (Dec 9th, 2012). I tip my hat to you all!

Not surprisingly though, the pangs of bittersweet linger still. It’s always difficult letting go of a show (in my experience) and despite only having a rehearsal number that I could count on both hands, the company and the passion they poured into this project really cemented my commitment and investment. Which, in turn, made it dear to my heart. Here are some of my favorite photos from the experience:

I’m especially grateful for the chance to play two characters that felt like polar opposites! In Skyler Garcia’s Dodging Bullets, I play a Captain who confesses his Love for his subordinate when they come under fire during a scouting mission. In Jake Arky’s The Lookout, I’m D-Stack, a mid-level street hustler who’s just making sure the business is running smoothly.

…I LOVED every moment of it!

Dodging Bullets, by Skyler Garcia / The Lookout, by Jake Arky

Dodging Bullets, by Skyler Garcia / The Lookout, by Jake Arky

Price of admission to the shows was a donation of a sweater, jacket, or recommended cash donation of $5. –all to be donated to Sacred Hearts Community Service. Because who couldn’t use a bit of warming up during the encroaching winter days?

Some of the donations!

Some of the donations!

For those that kept up with my previous posts regarding Bench Project II, you’ll be glad to know that we squeezed in a couple more rehearsal time prior to opening. Still, it’s encouraging to know that with just a couple of days, a show can be put on- and still be able to draw and engage an audience. I tell you, there’s almost no substitute (for me anyway) to the adrenaline from hearing and feeling an audience’s laughs, aw’s, cheers, and applause!

Seats filling up for the 2nd performance!

Seats filling up for the 2nd performance!

I just want to send a warm THANK YOU to The 06 Ensemble, and to everyone involved with the project- all the Playwrights, Directors, Techs and my fellow Actors. You all are very special to me. Thank you for sharing your energies with me, and to everyone that came to enjoy these stories. Here’s to another great year!

If you were at the show, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. If you’re looking to start something similar, feel free to leave me a comment below or tweet me at Follow @tasialabastro If you’d like to tweet The 06 Ensemble: Follow @06ensemble OR Follow @theycallmejlo

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