Saint Jimmy meeting
Myself, Jack, Sian, Emma and Alex met this afternoon to discuss the production side of the opening number ‘Saint Jimmy’, as well as updating Emma, Sian and I on the boys plans for splitting up the verses of the song and staging it.
Jack explained how the song is performed in the original Broadway version of The GreenDay musical ‘American Idiot’ and the elements he took inspiration from and wanted to incorporate in our own version. He explained that in the Broadway show the main character Jonny sings the song ‘Saint Jimmy’ – who is actually the split personality of Jonny – Saint Jimmy is everything that Jonny wishes he was: Rebellious, Wild and the life of the party. In the musical Jonny meets a girl who influences him massively and leads him of the rails and he becomes a drug addict.
Jack suggested that each of the waitresses take a line of the first verse each, before Saint Jimmy’s entrance where he takes over the song. We want the song to be used as a way of introducing the club and give the feeling of the staff setting up for the night.
Alex spoke to us about the technical side of it, including his thoughts on lighting and how he will out together the track. In the song there is a moment where the singers have a count down from “1,2,3,4” and we agreed that this could be setting up Saint Jimmy’s enterance and could be emphasised as a big moment by having a spotlight on Jack as he enters, to highlight his importance and power. His other ideas for lighting was just to use the same mixture of reds and blues and pinks to create a club like atmosphere. I think these are some really good ideas and although it may appear quite simple, the colours and warmth of lighting design will immediatly create the atmosphere one would expect from a night club and ensure the audience know the setting. The use of the spotlights will also help direct the audience in where the main action is happening and help establish the hierachy of characters from the start.
Alex also mentioned that he envisioned the number opening with lighting on the audience in red and white filters to make the audience feel part of the club, however when Jimmy comes in and the number is in full swing the lights would dim and we would lose the white light in the audience. I really love these lighting ideas and it is essentially what I had imagined in my head. I think by dimming the lights slightly by losing the white on the audience it will help but the focus back to the action on stage and creates an inclusive atmosphere.
In regards to the accompaniment track, Alex and Jack are thinking about changing the key to a slightly higher alternative as at the moment there are some parts that are slightly too low for him to sing comfortably. Although they haven’t made a start at creating the track yet, it seems that they have a good understanding of what they need to do and have assured us that they will be able to make a start in this asap, but for the meantime we will probably just rehearse and start blocking our movements to the original Broadway track.
We were in agreement that the movement should be more action based and fuelled by the characters objectives in the scene rather than being choreography based. I explained that I wanted it to seem natural and be a way of allowing the characters to set up the club scene and therefore we should keep any set movement to a minimal. Nevertheless, I did raise the idea of having some basic movements or freezes that we all hit in unison at specific moments in the song to emphasise repeated bits of the song and create some visual interest. When I have seen this done before it has been really affective and when contrasted with the more naturalistic movement and action of the scene is really strong. Jack also mentioned that he had some ideas for motifs that were inspired by the original Broadway version that inlcuded lots of crucifix type movements, that he thought might work well and fit the theme of saints and sinners. At the moment I am slightly unclear of what he means when he says ‘crucifix style movement’ and so am unsure whether this will fit the style and feel of the song we want to create, however I will go away and watch some of the videos on YouTube of the Broadway version and study the choreography more closely to see whether I think it would work or not.
I volunteered to help figure out some basic harmonies for the chorus if needed, although I think it would work best for the style of the song if we keep it relatively simple and basic so not to complicate the song and take away from the rock feel.
The general consensus was that we all wanted to get up on our feet and start to work practically instead of just talking about it as that is the only way we are going to make progress and work out what works and what doesn’t.
Here is the video recording of the meeting: