Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,

Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Les Miserables"

Back in September I auditioned for the musical "Les Miserables"(having already signed up for the class). It was being done at a theater in a local town an hour or so away. I thought about it for a while, not so sure since it was a bit of a drive and I was worried that, since I would be a newcomer, I wouldn't get a very big part. Thankfully, I decided to just go with it, since, when will be the next time I get a chance to do my favorite musical? So, I auditioned and actually got quite a few good parts(not one of the principals, mind you; I'm a newcomer after all, and I kind of flubbed my audition*thanks stupid camp for making me have problems with sense-memory for the next two months :P*; It had sounded really good when I practiced). 
In fact, as I came to find out, I am on stage 96% of the time- more than some of the main characters!!! :D.
At first I was worried that I would be ignored and treated like a weirdo, which happens quite often among my peers, but I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this cast was. Pretty much everyone would actually talk to me, and I even had a couple of girls I'd talk to on a regular basis. The only downside was, that one of the directors got really mean the week before show week(often for NO reason :P). But other than that, it was an amazing experience and I am very thankful that I got the chance to do this musical at all. 
I also have say something about how many talented kids we have in this cast- pretty much everyone could actually sing(even the little kids), and since the only other place this has happened was in the local community theater, it was definitely a thing to be thankful for :). 
We had three very well done shows and the audiences all loved it!! :D We showed them kids could, indeed, do Les Miserables!!!!(since a lot of people were saying we couldn't do it, apparently; I guess it was because it is a very hard show to do, which is very true). And I got a LOT of compliments- a bunch of people thought I was really good, that I had some of the best facial expressions, and that they could always "tell what I was thinking"; I even had people watching me during the play(which isn't common for someone not playing a lead) and some other people I know said that they thought I was actually crying; plus, during the first performance, when my group(the first) bowed we got some of the LOUDEST applause!!!. SOOOO HAPPY ABOUT THAT!! :D That hardly ever happens to me.
I feel very good about my performance in this musical and even though I didn't get the role of Eponine like I'd wanted, I did get GOOD parts and I was very happy to be in the BARRICADE/BATTLE scenes!!!! :D :D :D Besides being Eponine, that was something I'd really wanted, so I'm happy that I got to do that! :D

Before we starts, I'll tell you my parts 
Barricade Woman 
Crash Cart Victim
Lovely Lady(prostitute..haha)
Turning soloist
Beggar/Factory Girl

Most of these pictures were taken by my Mom during our last dress rehearsal, but a few towards the end were taken by my aunt during the last show(on her phone).  

                      French Flag. During some of the scenes, it would glow, which I thought looked really awesome! :D

                                           I really need to visit France.

    The Convicts(with Jean Valjean) in the opening number "Look Down".

                             We had several talented kids in our cast, and the with the most was the guy who played Jean Valjean(the tallest, darker guy in the above picture). Seriously, this guy is going to be on freaking Broadway one of these days- cause, man, does he have a voice. I remember when we were running through the beginning for the first time and when he sang the word "FLIGHT!"(where Jean Valjean steals from the bishop and flees) I literally jumped, glanced over at my friend who was standing near me, and thought 'holy shit!'. He seriously is the best teen singers I've ever worked with. And, it was quite fun seeing everyone's reactions when they first heard him sing XD.

                         "Look down, look down, don't look him in the eye. Look down, look down, you're hear until you die."

                                         Me picking weeds with Jean Valjean and one of my friends on stage. The director asked who wanted to have the part and I was luckily chosen for it(I also helped carry a lot of things on and off).

                Some girls and guys in "The End of the Day". Reach for the LIIIGHT!

                                               Hey Marius, why are YOU here? XD I'm kind of hard to see, but I'm in the shadows, by the taller guy in the white shirt.

                                "The End of the Day" is one of my favorite songs in the musical, and we also had good choreography for it, so it was a fun number to do :). (also, when I listened to the video of this song, I can hear myself :P XD).

"You got me sick!"
"No YOU did!"

                                 Going to hang myself. XD

                       We ended up having to do this scene all over again since Jean Valjean had gotteh  the "wrong pants" for his quick change. XD

             Working at the factor, with pretend textile stuff. The girl in the bonnet and blueish dress(and dark hair) is Fantine.

              Uh oh, here comes trouble......
    The girl who played "Girl 5"(who steals Fantine's letter and realizes that she has an illegitimate daughter) was very talented and very nice- I spoke to her a few times and she also loved Star Wars!! :D.

                            GIVE ME THAT LETTER! (letters start pouring from the ceiling Harry Potter style)

                                                      "It was very nice meeting you. No GO away!"

                                                               Didn't we already do this?

                           Uh, oh, the boss is here, time to change into my secret superhero self, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (that jacket I wore reminded me of her).
I thought this was a pretty cool picture of me :) I have a good expression :) 

                                Hey, doesn't that guy look like that convict who broke his parole? Nah!
                    Jean Valjean in his secret identity of "Mayor/Monsieur Madeline" 

                                                      Fantine singing "I Dreamed a Dream".

                                          Count the shadows.......

                                                              Two boys in our cast.

                                          Me as a prostitute(lovely lady). One thing that was quite funny about this whole was, when we first started, the director was all "You girls aren't going to be prostitutes, you're going to be strumpets." So, when I got home, I look up the term and guess what? It means the EXACT same thing(just an older word for it). Caught you, dude!

                                              Why do I look evil here!!?

                                        Dramatic standing *Imperial March starts playing*         

                                         Me :) I look pretty dismal, don't I?
                  Question- would boas have even existed back then? Hmmm, I'll have to look that up.
        They do look a little weird with the realistic clothing.

                                                                       The cart crash happened after this but since it was dark, I don't have any pictures(as of now, I might get some from this lady who was taking pictures that day too- we should be getting them at some point). One thing I thought was strange was that they cast me in this part- in the book(and in the musical) it's an old GUY. :P

                                                    The song "Master of the House". Don't worry, our version was cleaner than the movie version :/.

                                        Hanging out at the Thenadier's inn- NEVER going there again! They'll steal people stuff!

                                      Thenardier. The actor who played his was very good and was one of our best actors.

                                    Me talking to one of the girls that I was friends with during the show. :)

                                                      I think he's stealing stuff....

                                                 He IS! (I pretended that my character saw him stealing from the patrons)

                                        Me and this girl did this funny 'covering of our faces' thing whenever Madame Thenardier came on stage(we were told we thought she was really freaky).

                                        My lovely hair XD. It was kind of hard to do my hair messy enough since it's so curly. First they, naively, asked if I could straighten it(it can be done, it just takes forever), and then they wanted me to make it even messier when I already had it so :P

                                        "You've GOT to be kidding me."

                                               I have magical POWERS! XD

                                                 Thenardiers, with young Cosette(with the cap on) and young Eponine flanking them.

                                                                "The Beggars"

                              Gavroche. This boy was only seven, but he did a very good job in the role.

                                                      Some of the revolutionaries.

                       Greeting everyone around the beginnings of "One Day More". Me and one of the girls I was friends with had this scene we'd do where we were sisters and I was going off to fight in the barricade and she was worried about me. I promised her that I'd be fine and that I'd see her tomorrow....which didn't happen.:(

                             I wish I could have been a boy...I loved their uniforms. But then, I did stand out :)

                           Flags apparently looked cool, but I couldn't see it since I'm on the stage. (this song always got loud applause, but then, it is my second favorite song after the Epilogue, so I can understand why). 

                                          "Cure(damn in the original version) their warning, curse their lies. They will see the people RISE!"

I have to say, I am SO THANKFUL to have been in the barricade scene. I was one of three girls(who weren't playing boys) who got to be in the scene and most of the other people in the cast who weren't in these large chunk didn't get to do much in the second act. I had a TON of fun doing this scene and it was definitely my favorite part to do in the show.

                                                        You will give me your rifle.....
Two of those guys are actually girls XD(the one in the middle is the girl who played Fantine).

                                       Woah, that guy who suspiciously offered his help looks oddly familiar...

                                          "Liar!" The guy who played Javert was also very good- definitely one of our best performers, and you could tell he took it seriously(even when he was being weird a few times back stage).


                         Like with any show, we were asked to come up with back-stories for our characters. The one I probably thought about the most was my barricade girl role. I pretended that she was the cousin of one of the barricade boys and wanted to fight in the battle(that's why I played my role as very fierce and tomboyish) since she was very dedicated to the cause(kind of like a female Enjolras). And she was annoyed that she didn't get a weapon. I also said that she had a younger sister and a twin sister(who I pretended was the girl I am in Turning) who both worried about their sister and never saw her again.

                                                 My Force(Jedi) Mind Trick WORKING! >:D
                                   I have to say, I LOVE that I have noticeable muscles in my arms. :D 

                                                                Awww man! :P

                                        Marius and Eponine during "A Little Fall of Rain." The girl who played Eponine was really good, especially since she was only eleven. She was also a very nice person and she would actually talk to me, which I appreciated.

                             Halo of light. Eponine's trench coat really reminded me of the Doctor's/Captain Jack Harkness's/Castiel's.

                                        When Eponine died, I would pray and cross myself(as well as 'trying not to cry' during the song), since I thought it would be a good idea(and a lot of people liked it).

         See that dirt? It lasts a long time on the arms- it lasted for days and days, even after I took a shower.

                                               Barricade Girl(this is my favorite picture).
                   For some reason, the lady who co-ran the theater with her husband(and was doing costumes) really liked this shirt on me(she said it twice). It kind of annoyed me since it was more low-cut than anything I'd wear in public, and it kept falling down, making me pull it up at random times :P. However, everyone else thought it looked good on me too.

                                         We fight in your name, Eponine (don't worry, I'm not pointing it at my head)

                                                        We do not trust you, Javert's twin.
                                                              I am NOT Javert's twin!

                                        Look, there they are! *Duel of the Fates begins playing*

                                Since, during the battle scenes, we had a strobe lights going on, we weren't able to get any good photos. However, in this battle scene, I actually got to use a rifle- one of the guys gets injured so one of the other girls(the one I'm next to) would run over and help him to the side- lines, and I picked up his dropped weapon and fired a bunch(YAY ME! :D).
And I got a line in this part too, which I'll have below the next image.

                                                         "See how they run away!"

                                                                Strategy planning.

                                                                 "Second Attack."

                                                We're out of ammunition...
                                                             CRAP!(well, not really, we were just low). 

                                           Gavroche's death was a very well done one(brownie points to the little boy, he made it very sad) and when it was happening I was pretending to cry and I'd cover my ears whenever the gun would fire.

                       When we walk up, as if in a daze, to his body, I had my arms and fists shaking in fury. Several people noticed it and thought it was a good touch.

                                                                       "What was that?"

                              "You at the barricade, listen to this. The people of Paris sleep in their beds"

                                    "You have no chance. No chance at all. Why throw your lives away?"
We're all going to die, aren't we?  (Valjean and Marius don't). 
I remember when we first did this scene, it felt so eerie and sad. I thought a lot about how I'd do my facial expressions during this part. 

                                                      There are several lines that happen right before the final fight, and since no one would say them for a long time, I ended up getting to do one of them by myself.

                                                        Battle scene
                                           "You're going to pay for this!!!" - I ended up yelling this a lot during the battle before I'm shot; it wasn't scripted but it made sense to me, since that's what I would have done. When they gave out these little 'awards' to everyone(I don't like it when directors do this very much), mine had to do with this shouted line; for some reason the director said it made him smile whenever I did it, though I'm not entirely sure why...
Why didn't they give the girls guns? I had to throw rocks at the freaking French army! 
Plus, it made us have to just get shot down weaponless! Seriously, EVERYONE in a battle should be armed. :P

But anyway, LOVED this scene!!!

                                                                  I died :/ 

                                   But don't worry.....

                         You'll see my twin soon....
We literally had to lay there for a while, without moving. Luckily, a lot of it was in semi-darkness, with spotlights for most of it.

                                      I'm ALIVE!(well, not really, I'm a ghost...that's my twin sister) "Turning"

                                                              "We're all in HEAVEN!!" :D                                      

                                       Jean Valjean wasn't wearing any pants XD They ended up having him wear them for the performances.

                                                 During this scene, I made sure my face was peaceful and serene, so it was contrasting with the harsher expressions I had throughout the play.

                                        The girl playing Cosette(girl in wedding gown) was also very talented. She had a beautiful singing voice(you could tell she was well trained), was a good actor, and was really nice(and completely different from the character XD).

                                                                       Cast pictures :)

            The following were taken by my aunt during our last performance.
Sadly, our Jean Valjean lost his voice on the last show(I could tell it was tired the day before) and quite a few of the kids were giving him a hard time about it- I was one of the few that actually understood what he the problem was(that he could talk, but he probably shouldn't and he definitely couldn't sing) and I felt really bad for him :(. Luckily, the Jean Valjean from the other cast was able to come and do it for us, and thankfully he did a good job :). At the end, since we wanted to give our Jean Valjean some credit, he came out and both Valjeans bowed together. I must admit, I cried a little when I saw that happen.

                                                             Master of the House.

                                       Since I didn't have a weapon(NoOO!), I ended up raising my fists a lot when something dangerous happened.

                                                              Getting ready to bow :D

So, all in all, it was a fantastic run as well as an incredible experience. This definitely has to be one of best plays I've ever done!! :D I am sooo lucky to have had the chance to do Les Miserables at all and I'm glad we had such a great cast! :D
I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures :D. What did you think? May the Force be with you...Always :)
Jedi Shena Tokala signing out. 


  1. Glad you had a good time! :) The costumes look great.


    1. Thank you!! :D I agree, we had some really good costumes in this show! Good costumes are always fun! :)

  2. Aaahhh!! Now I really wish I could've watched. -__-
    You look awesome!

    I'm going to perform a 'musical' drama with the Catholic Youth members in my church for the New Year's Eve celebration. My director got kinda mean in the rehearsals lately, too.

    1. Thank you!! :D I wish you could have too, I think you would have really enjoyed it :) :D

      I hope you have fun and break a leg!! :D Sorry about that, directors definitely can get mean/cranky when show time comes up :P It's definitely not enjoyable.

  3. So so glad you got the opportunity to be in Les Miserables, got good parts, and enjoyed it!! Your acting looks really great from these pictures and I wish I could have seen it!

    1. Thank you!!! :D I am too! :) Wow, thank you, glad you think so :). I wish you could have too, it was a good show :)

  4. Hey, I want to read Les Miserables but I can't find out which translation is the most accurate. I don't really care which translation makes the writing smoother or whatever. I want the one that is as literal and accurate as possible. Do you know which one that is? Thanks!

    1. I don't know which one is most accurate, but I would say go with the older translations of the novel- they seem better and the language seems more correct to me. Hope that helps!