Helen: End of Month Progress Report - July

Sorry if you have been missing my daily entries.  I was just trying to give all my subscribers out there some time to catch up on old posts.  My lack of posting had nothing to do with the fact that I spent half of Friday at Spa Castle and became a relaxed puddle of mush who could only reply to questions about Helen with the response, "Helen?  Helen who?  What musical?" 

That didn't last long though.  By 3:00pm on Saturday I was back in the saddle again, working at Robby's place to create our one-hour version of Helen for September's preview performance. 

So here's what got done in July:

  • Auditions and Casting:  Spent two days at Ripley Grier seeing some of the most talented young performers in the city.  (Many thanks to Katie Chambers, Victoria Kress and Pam Roth at DBA for all your help and the meticulous coordinating you did with me.)
  • Put out the offers (all were accepted) and started creating a performance and rehearsal schedule for September's performance.
  • Got all of our spaces booked for rehearsals and performances. (Not the most interesting thing we did this month, but just one more thing that takes time and energy.)
  • Collected bios and pics from all the kids cast and created a snazzy, "Meet the Kids!" page for them on the website.
  • Found our Mr. Mc.Grory for September, Lance Olds.
  • August rehearsal coordinating with all of our adult actors (Brian, John, Leenya).
  • Began scouting for Leenya's September cover.  (Thank you to Megan Osterhaus and  Donna Lynn Champlin for being so open, accessible and marvelous.  We hope we can work with you both in the future.  Thanks to Jen Rudin for all your help with our search!).
  • Added an additional "Friends and Family" performance in September to accommodate all the requests for a sneak peak at Helen!
  • Adapted our full-length musical into a one-hour "teaser" for September.
  • Figured out how to get our video clips to stream directly from our site!

Some interesting stats about our website activity this month:

  • We had 4,375 page views in July
  • We had 2,197 page views just this week
  • 605 "unique visitors" found their way in July
  • 397 "unique visitors" found their way to our site this past week
  • The blog averages 5 new subscribers per day
  • We went from not coming up in google and yahoo searches at all, to being the first listing when you google "Helen on 86th Street"

Not bad for the "Little Musical That Could."  In the grand scheme of things, these numbers might be puny, but to us, they are incredibly encouraging.  Especially since no one besides my close friends and family have even heard a full song or scene from the show yet.  Word about Helen is traveling fast, and the buzz is really good.

Here's what's to come in August:

  • Music session with Leenya to work on Victoria's songs.
  • Music/Scene rehearsals with principal actors (Taylor, Brian, John).
  • Our first all-day rehearsal with the kids in the cast to prep and learn music for September.
  • Some re-writing and tightening of the script.
  • A check-in with our author, Wendi Kaufman.
  • Invites to "A Taste of Helen on 86th St." go out.
  • Preliminary planning for our full reading in November.
  • Demo recording.
  • Work on our logo, researching of funding opportunities and grants, and coordination of readings that will be happening outside of New York.

....And maybe one more visit to Spa Castle.