It’s Summer Break! Now what?

Both of my teens are finally done with a year of remote learning (do not recommend) and I’m off for a few weeks myself. Which, is the perfect time for my laptop to die. *head desk. It’s not powering on despite having power to the device. That can’t be good. Cross fingers and toes that my computer repair guy can fix whatever is ailing this less than a year old laptop. Most of my writing is stored in the cloud and old files are saved to external hard drives, but immediate writing may be lost, and for someone who writes daily, that will be a crushing blow if it is unsalvageable. If you hear a wail in the skies later today, you’ll know why.

For now, I’m pretending my laptop isn’t dead and that my slow back up laptop will serve my immediate needs. A girl can dream.

After a year of being stuck inside inside, we’re all looking forward to getting out and seeing friends. My whole family is theatrical so we’ve all been in, or are currently in a production. I just finished a run in As You Like It, my daughter just wrapped her part in She Kills Monsters where she got to do a lot of sword play! And my son is in the musical Little Women later in July. My son’s show has just started rehearsal so no pics yet!

Assuming my computer survives, the plan for me this summer is writing as much as humanly possible. July will be a cover reveal for the book formerly known as Enigma. SOOO stoked to show you that one. It’s a whole different look the publisher is taking it! September is the 10th Anniversary of Pulled and there is a special something-something coming for that, so stay tuned!

And, if you missed it, every Monday at noon (EST) tune into Bound By Books a podcast I am a part of where five authors talk about, you guessed it, books! You can check out the broadcasts here.

Until next time, stay cool my peeps!

Danielle Bannister, author and summer breaker


Remembering blocking over a year later…

In my last post, I talked about mounting a show that closed back in March of last year to COVID. On Sunday, we had our first in-person, masked, socially distanced, outdoor rehearsal for the production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It that we’re going to attempt to do at the end of the month (weather willing.)

After a few months of Zoom run throughs of the lines, it was time to see if our bodies remembered where we were supposed to go (which included several fight scenes-that I’m not in, mercifully.)

You would think, after a year away from a script, you’d forget what side of the stage you came in on, or what line you direct to what actor, but surprisingly, the only thing I didn’t recall was who I bowed after in the curtain call. HOW, brain? How did you retain THAT but you can’t remember basic math or remember how to spell easy words like miracle (that took three tries with spellcheck not having a clue what word I was spelling two of those times)?

Naturally, some things had to change due to the show now being outside and certain set pieces we had in the theatre practically can’t be moved outside, but all in all, after being away from it for so long the cast was pretty great at remembering where they went.

We may have lost our revolving stage but we got a swing instead, so win?

One of my scenes got moved to the opposite side of the stage, forcing me to mirror my actions. Such a simple thing, and yet the brain hiccupped. It’s like it knew there was a glitch in the matrix. The muscle memory was trying to correct me into doing the original blocking. I guess there is a reason we rehearse so much.

With their theater season picking up and other shows needing time to get their rehearsals, our own rehearsals are limited. In fact, we’ll have a grand total of THREE rehearsals at the site to figure out lights (yup, outdoor lighting will happen), sound (yep, that too) costumes (the grass stains in this show will be FIERCE I tell you) and hair. (I predict I’ll get a different hairdo this time around as this look took two hours to create.)

It may not look like it, but there are about 50 bobby pins in my head.

Next Sunday, we’ll figure out the lighting and costumes to be ready for a full dress (with makeup) on the Tuesday before we open, then it’s four nights of shows (weather-willing.) After that, who knows what is in store? I’ve not auditioned for anything as of yet, knowing this show, and it’s ever shifting performance was the main focus. I’ll be helping this theatre out with makeup with their production of Little Women because my son is in it and I’ll have to drop him off at the theater anyway. Might as well lend a hand.

After a year of saying no to things, it’s strange to be saying yes again.

If you’re local, and hoping to catch the show, they are booking them online only and due to seating restrictions, they can only sell 50 seats a night, so grab them now if you want them.

Danielle Bannister, author and wearer of all the bobby pins


At long last, the show must go on

It was mid-March of last year when the two week lock down was implemented in my state. That meant the show we had JUST opened and had only two performances done, would halt and resume a few weeks later. *sigh.

As the weeks turned into months, it became clear that the show would NOT go on. I mean, the cast had 19 people in it, and the production team held 13. There was no way you’d be able to get that many cast/crew to:

1. Retain their lines for that long;

2. Remember their blocking/cues; and

3. be available over a year later to re-mount the show.

The odds of the planets aligning for something like that would be insane. Inconceivable. Ludicrous.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, we’re re-mounting the show at the end of this month. With only a few differences.

  1. Rehearsals: We met via Zoom in the months leading up to the show going back up to help us see if we DID in fact remember our lines from the year before.

2. Blocking/tech cues. That, we find out tonight, as this will be our first in-person meeting since March of last year. We’ll be performing outside, which adds a whole new curve ball into the mix. No more set tree pieces flying in from above, no revolving stage floor (which was super cool,) etc. We’ll have to modify our spacing meaning the blocking we had will NOT be the blocking we land on for the most part. How the outdoor lighting/sound will work, well, I guess we’ll work on that tonight too.

3. The cast/crew. While we did lose a few people due to other commitments and health issues, we’ve retained 95% of our original group, which, on it’s own is nothing short of a miracle.

Literally the only photo of me in the show and this is the face I make. Of course.

If you’re local and want to nab tickets, I’d do if fast as there are seating limits due to COVID. You can book here:

There will be changes for sure. Costumes will need to be altered, blocking changed, masks worn off stage, makeup done at home, that sort of thing. But, over a year later, the show will go on.

As long as it doesn’t rain…

Danielle Bannister, author and actress