OMG! Have you seen this!

Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

January 13th, 2009, 11:38 pm #11

The substitution of Madison Kerth (replacing Tianna Stevens) as ANNIE, showed us a roly-poly, older-looking ANNIE (can you imagine a pregnant-looking Annie?), with a strident voice, that failed to deliver the expected delight of ANNIEs character. Partnering ANNIE as Daddy OLIVER WARBUCKS, as the spirit of hope in that depression era, and savior for Orphan ANNIE was David Barton.who is as close to perfect-casting as anyone else in the production. Clear-voiced and assertive, David Barton held his many scenes together, and scored well in NYC, SOMETHING WAS MISSING, and the plaintiff message to ANNIE in I DONT NEED ANYTING BUT YOU.


http://sdpix.com/?p=1558
Yes, this was a mean-spirited review but let's hope that Madison's parents and fellow cast members keep such negativity away from her. There is no reason for the kids to read the reviews - it has nothing to do with the job they are hired to do. There will always be theatre critics that give negative reviews and it's part of the package of being a performer. You have to have thick skin and be able to get out there every night, regardless of what some people think of your performance. That's what being a professional is all about.

As for Amanda, I believe she is only joining the tour until they can find a Kate replacement. She may have been the only orphan from last year that was still small enough and could also cover the role of Annie, if Madison got sick. I do hope NETworks gives Madison some time to grow in the role.

Julie
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Suzanne
Suzanne

January 14th, 2009, 12:00 am #12

Wow. I am floored at the cruel words about this little girl. She is absolutely darling, and if you want to talk "character" - Annie is one of those kids that was a survivor - there's no reason she has to be a waif child.

I hope the adults keep Madison away from the negativity. I can relate, because in my Annie years, I was told "They will never pick a fat, ugly Annie" (for the original movie, I posted the pics... I don't think I was either back then), but I grew up to be quite overweight, and it is all in part because of my self-esteem. I allowed the hurtful words from my dad to haunt me all the way into the audition, and into adulthood. I didn't know any better. I had made it all that way for the film, and cut myself when I told Garrison that I was afraid that I made an ugly and fat Annie. sigh the memories of this still get to me...weird huh?

Anyhow, I won't go on about this, it's a bit too close to home for me. I just hope that anyone who knows and loves Madison will give her all the support and tools to deal with this business (good and bad), the best that can be. I agree that she has to be strong and thick skinned...but goodness, sometimes things just get pushed a bit over the edge. I really feel for her. I can't wait to see her in Oregon.

Suzanne
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CindyS
CindyS

January 14th, 2009, 12:03 am #13

Yes, this was a mean-spirited review but let's hope that Madison's parents and fellow cast members keep such negativity away from her. There is no reason for the kids to read the reviews - it has nothing to do with the job they are hired to do. There will always be theatre critics that give negative reviews and it's part of the package of being a performer. You have to have thick skin and be able to get out there every night, regardless of what some people think of your performance. That's what being a professional is all about.

As for Amanda, I believe she is only joining the tour until they can find a Kate replacement. She may have been the only orphan from last year that was still small enough and could also cover the role of Annie, if Madison got sick. I do hope NETworks gives Madison some time to grow in the role.

Julie
I totally agree with your post, Julie. Thank you for it. Theater is so very hard on the soul and the psych when things aren't all rosy and wonderful. And, not only with professional companies. With anything related to theater.

My daughter will be auditioning for college musical theater programs in the next few weeks and was told by her mentor and theater department chair in her performing arts high school that "you won't make it because you're not pretty enough". And, just two weeks before her first audition!!!! I was angry beyond angry at that comment but my daughter's reaction was one of "I'll show her.....if not right now, then in the future because I'm gonna someday make my living on a stage!". That's a thick skin for you.

As far as Madison vs. Amanda.......none of us on this forum really know what happened with Networks changing their casting,so I wish everybody would stop speculating and just let it go. There have been Annies and Annies and Annies....and in many, many countries. Let this little Madison have her time in the spotlight, for whatever reason she was cast. She's making memories of a lifetime and we, on this forum in particular, should give her our utmost love and support.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Cookie
Cookie

January 14th, 2009, 3:30 am #14

You need to be thick skinned to be in this busisness, i was 6 when my ballet teacher told me that i was to fat to become a ballerina
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

January 14th, 2009, 6:03 am #15

I totally agree with your post, Julie. Thank you for it. Theater is so very hard on the soul and the psych when things aren't all rosy and wonderful. And, not only with professional companies. With anything related to theater.

My daughter will be auditioning for college musical theater programs in the next few weeks and was told by her mentor and theater department chair in her performing arts high school that "you won't make it because you're not pretty enough". And, just two weeks before her first audition!!!! I was angry beyond angry at that comment but my daughter's reaction was one of "I'll show her.....if not right now, then in the future because I'm gonna someday make my living on a stage!". That's a thick skin for you.

As far as Madison vs. Amanda.......none of us on this forum really know what happened with Networks changing their casting,so I wish everybody would stop speculating and just let it go. There have been Annies and Annies and Annies....and in many, many countries. Let this little Madison have her time in the spotlight, for whatever reason she was cast. She's making memories of a lifetime and we, on this forum in particular, should give her our utmost love and support.

Thanks for letting me vent.
I went to public school my whole childhood and when I was in 5th grade, my school was a part of a new music program. They gave every student an opportunity to study a classical instrument. I chose the violin and after a few private lessons with the visiting teacher, she told me I had no talent and should not play the violin.

When I was in High School, I took a music theory class and was the only vocalist in the class - the rest of the students were in the band/orchestra and played instruments (which I did not). My teacher told me he didn't want me in the class (he knew about my show biz career) and promised to make it difficult for me if I stayed. I really wanted to learn how to read music, so I stayed and he flunked me - gave me my first D ever in my entire school career. When my mother complained to the school, they told her that there was nothing they could do because the teacher was tenured.

When I was in my Freshman year at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, two of my acting teachers told me in my first semester that everything I learned up until that point was all wrong. They told me that my musical theatre background made me a bad actress and that they would have to re-teach me how to act. Nice, huh? Talk about being bitter and cruel.

When I first moved to LA, I attended a workshop with an agent who represented theatre actors. He mentioned in his Q&A portion of the workshop that he was only interested in taking on people with Broadway credits and not to be afraid to approach him during the break. So I went up to him, introduced myself, and asked if he would accept my headshot and consider meeting with me. He repeated that he was only interested in people with Broadway credits so I excitedly told him that I had a Broadway credit. He looked at my resume, saw "Annie" listed, and said to me in a condescending manner, "Yeah, but that was when you were a kid." As if the credit meant nothing or that I grew up to be an untalented performer. He completely blew me off and made me feel foolish.

These are just a few of the bumps along the way. Show biz is tough, people, and you have to really believe in yourself to stick with it and endure the constant rejection and challenges.

Julie

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Meghan
Meghan

January 14th, 2009, 6:43 am #16

I always find it interesting how some people will tell you how talented you are and others will say you have no chance in hell of making it. Among the things I have been told: "You have zero stage presense, why did they choose you for this role?"-a choreographer told me this when I was eleven. "You can sing fantastically, to bad you can't act at all or you'd be _________ (the lead role)" -a director. "It's okay, you'll just never be a really good dancer" -my mom. Fortunately I am praised just as often and I dont really care what people say about me.
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Noel
Noel

January 14th, 2009, 8:39 am #17

When I told my Father that I was going to pursue a degree in Voice he said to me, "When are you going to stop embarrassing yourself acting like you can sing, you are no good and will never be able to sing so give it up."

Then later when I received a "Carpenters" Scholarship for Voice I introduced my Father to Richard Carpenter. After talking to Richard my Father said to me later, "Well I guess you can sing because Richard says you can and are in fact very good, and well...I trust his opinion!"

I never really cared what my Father thought but it was nice to hear him admit that perhaps he was wrong and that I could indeed sing!

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David
David

January 14th, 2009, 1:50 pm #18

The substitution of Madison Kerth (replacing Tianna Stevens) as ANNIE, showed us a roly-poly, older-looking ANNIE (can you imagine a pregnant-looking Annie?), with a strident voice, that failed to deliver the expected delight of ANNIEs character. Partnering ANNIE as Daddy OLIVER WARBUCKS, as the spirit of hope in that depression era, and savior for Orphan ANNIE was David Barton.who is as close to perfect-casting as anyone else in the production. Clear-voiced and assertive, David Barton held his many scenes together, and scored well in NYC, SOMETHING WAS MISSING, and the plaintiff message to ANNIE in I DONT NEED ANYTING BUT YOU.


http://sdpix.com/?p=1558
Thought I'd share some personal insight on reviews and Annie. After opening in Seattle to some pretty good reviews we made our trip to San Fransisco. We had what all of us thought was a very good opening night even though the theater was half full. The reviews that came out afterward tore the show apart. Every one! Two weeks after, we opened in LA. We were the hottest ticket in town! Great press, stars coming back stage each night, great parties. Yes this was the same show, just a different crowd.

Some time later, John took some time off while we played East Lansing. I got to play Warbucks for the entire week. I was looking forward to now only playing the role, but hopefully getting some good reviews for my scrapbook and web site. Well East Lansing only had one paper and one reviewer. In his review he didn't even mention me, he mentioned John. He said something like 'while the understudies for John Schuck and Mackenzie Phillips (who had left the show 2 weeks earlier) did an admiral job, blah, blah blah, star power'. I was ticked. That afternoon before the show I went to a restaurant next to the hotel for a pre-show meal. The bartender asked "weren't you in the Annie I just saw?". I said "yes, did you enjoy the show?" He said "I did. I wrote the a review, did you see it?" The Bartender handed me the paper with the fore mentioned review. I smiled and told him I hadn't read it and proceeded to read it once more. Shortly thereafter he brought me my soup. I said "thank you" and began eating. I left the restaurant with his 15% tip and didn't mention his review to him. After all, he didn't mention me. The point is, I put to much stock into what a reviewer might think of my performance. A reviewer may hate the show, be attached to an actor he saw once and no one could measure up, seen countless productions (always a problem with Annie), just broke up with his/her partner, or is a hopeful bartender taking a journalism class. A couple of bad reviews is not the end of the world. I've seen great actors get them and bad actors get great ones.
BTW, please go to easyvocalwarmups.com and order the vocal warm-up CD. Yes, I know it's a shameless plug but I've seen some wonderful results with young singers using it. If you enter the discount code ANNIEORPHANS you get a $2.00 discount.
Thanks, David
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mamalu
mamalu

January 14th, 2009, 2:36 pm #19

The substitution of Madison Kerth (replacing Tianna Stevens) as ANNIE, showed us a roly-poly, older-looking ANNIE (can you imagine a pregnant-looking Annie?), with a strident voice, that failed to deliver the expected delight of ANNIEs character. Partnering ANNIE as Daddy OLIVER WARBUCKS, as the spirit of hope in that depression era, and savior for Orphan ANNIE was David Barton.who is as close to perfect-casting as anyone else in the production. Clear-voiced and assertive, David Barton held his many scenes together, and scored well in NYC, SOMETHING WAS MISSING, and the plaintiff message to ANNIE in I DONT NEED ANYTING BUT YOU.


http://sdpix.com/?p=1558
Often, when one member of a a child ensemble cast is sick, they are all sick. It is probable that most of the girls were also ill, creating a less energetic performance, and less quality vocals than their usual high quality. It is very difficult to perform sick for a child actor, when they should be home in bed. This is another consequence of this tough business on young actors and their families. When you are under contract, the show must go on.It can be very stressful for all.
But this is one reason that child ensemble shows receive less than gracious reviews after being favorably reviewed elsewhere on the tour. We forget that children are human and deserve time to rest and get well.
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fan mom
fan mom

January 14th, 2009, 9:38 pm #20

The problem is that illness comes with the territory, especially on a non-union tour crammed with one or two night stops. That's something that the parents really need to think about before agreeing to or even auditioning for a tour like this. And it's just a fact that some people will like a show and actors and others will not. Making excuses for the bad show reviews won't change them, so just let it go. I happen to love Annie, but think that the producers seem to be milking this tour. Kids or not, you are right, the show must go on. I also agree with the poster that said regional theaters will have an easier time getting rights to Annie once it stops touring. I'm more satisfied with a professionally done regional production than a tired tour and I'm sure others would be too.
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