Backstage Blood Bath

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Hey Everybody!

I thought I’d let you know about some of the cool back-stage fun we had
yesterday in rehearsal. For the benefit of the fire marshal (and the joy
of the cast and crew) we had a demonstration of all the pyro fx in the show.
First, we started with the two exploding stained glass lamps, then moved on
to the four fire balls (which is a pretty simple trick but i won’t spoil it), then
on to the exploding lab light, and finally to dracula’s exploding coffin that resembles
a small mushroom cloud with a huge flash of red light which lingered in our eyes
for quite some time after. As Bill always says, Dracula brings out the twelve year old
boy in all of us. Fire and a good explosion is always enthrawling even for those of
us a bit older than twelve.

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As if pyro-mania was not enough, yesterday was also the “Blood Test.” A normal
everyday “blood test” is usually filled with anxiety and stress, however a Dracula “blood test”
is greeted with oohs and aahs and overall excitement. Once again, cast and crew
gathered in the Bingham shop to test all the blood fx in the show. First on the menu was
a little blood tasting for all those who drink blood in the show and anyone else who was
curious. Only in the theatre do people line up to drink blood. The mixture is 100% non-toxic
but leaves a strange soap taste in your mouth. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Luckily, the blood I drink out of the syringe is only food coloring and water so I won’t have to
deal with the slightly discomforting after taste.

After the blood tasting portion was over, we moved on to the Monster’s attack on Mina, which
left a beautiful red stain down the front of her white night gown. It’s an awesome image
to start the show off and always gets everyone pumped. I secretly wish I could jump back in
to being the Monster for just one show. A good blood gushing attack is always a treat.

Then we moved on to staking Mina in her coffin. The new script makes this moment even more
disturbing than in previous years. Seward’s heart-break is visible throughout the play, and culminates
in this horrific moment where he is forced to stake the woman he loves to save her soul.
I can only say that there’s a hell of a lot of blood with this one. Dara, who plays Mina, couldn’t
wipe the smile off her face as she waited for the stake to strike.

There are two new blood fx in the show. One involves Seward’s stab wound, and the other
involves Dracula during the new Transylvania scene. Harker relives a ghastly memory of
seductive vampire women, and Dracula’s offering to them. I don’t want to spoil this moment.
It is truly shocking and disturbing. And of course, we all love it! Babies beware!

Finally after a bloody fire filled day of work, we went to our favorite spot in Cherokee park
for a little relaxation. I call it “Dog hill.” Everyone brings their dogs to play on this
one enormous hill. So Lucy, Renfield, Mina and Seward brought a nice blanket, sat
down on the hill and waited for all the dogs to come up and play. We have our favorites
and invent names for each dog based on personality and disposition. Sort of dorky but sort
of the best place on earth! Our favorites include “Chauncy,” “Maia” and “Roxy.”

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2 Responses

  1. All the blood was amazing, just how real it looked. My seats were right by the action, but really everyone’s were since the actor’s don’t just stay in one place. Dracula was scary, Renfield was funny, and all the charecter’s played their parts to the fulliest. i would definatley come back to see this production again!

  2. During the inturmission, when I was waling out, I saw some blood on the ground from the begining of the show, and I had stepped in it with my new heals on!! Oh well, at least I’ll have a souvenir from the show itself! LOL!! By the way, you make a great Renfield! Its obvious you love acting and you love making people laugh! LOL!! ;D

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