BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs

Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs

I am always amazed at the amount of things that can happen in a few days up here in East Haddam, Conn. I sometimes worry that I won't have something worthwhile to write about for this blog and then....bam a dozen different things happen and before I know it I have an entire series of things to write about.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Charles South, Max Chucker, and Matthew Amira prepare for our trek down the Connecticut River

So the great thing about Goodspeed is that we have two days off a week. Yes, I know it's a luxury and I take full advantage of it when I can, but sometimes I don't always get the opportunity. I originally thought that my Tuesday day was going to be uneventful, but at around 11am I got a phone call from Matt saying we were going kayaking and leaving in about a half hour. Sure why not, I mean what else was I gonna do, lol. So I kicked it into high gear, got ready, threw my dog in the car, and headed out to Moodus to meet Chee, our Head Carpenter, at his place for a relaxing time down the river. I have to say I love kayaking/canoeing. There is something extremely peaceful about the whole experience. I haven't had the opportunity since I was on the 1st National of Mary Poppins in St. Louis so I was extremely excited about the whole adventure. Plus getting to share it with newfound friends was going to be an awesome time for all involved.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Dereck Seay
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Max Chucker, king of the river!!!

As we prepared for our excursion I was thrilled at the prospect of having my dog with me. For the most part whenever I go out to do something with the cast I have to leave her behind but this was going to be a whole new experience for her and I had a feeling she was going to love it...And she did, the rest of it was spent drinking the river water...oh the joys of being a dog. We only had a couple hours to spend on the river as Chee had to get back for work but the whole excursion was magical and I know we are going to go again and with more people.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
My girl Sara enjoying the fresh air and river water.
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Chee and I getting our canoe on. My beard is out of control.
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Matthew Amira and Charles South take a breather

After the trip up and down the river we found a fun little Tex-Mex place called Coyote Blue. Now being from California I have my opinions of what Mexican should be but I have to say this one did a really great job and we were all quite happy with the choices we made so I know we will be making a trip back there in the future.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
A little dinner after our trek. Abdiel Vivancos, Charles South, Max Chucker, Matthew Amira, Dereck Seay, and myself.

Now Thursday was a bit of long day for me. Originally I was to just have understudy rehearsal; a put-in for one of our super swings Rob Montgomery, and then the show. But at the last minute I was asked to do a TV spot with my buddy Will Burton showing off the bottle dance as well as talk about the show a little bit. I have to say I love doing press. I know it might sound silly but what better way to show pride in your show than sharing it with people in a medium such as television. The only thing that I wish is that I didn't have to get up at 7 am to make it happen. Even my dog, Sara, was a bit confused as to why I was up so early. But after a quick walk, a shower, and some coffee I was ready to head up to Hartford and the taping of "Better Connecticut". The spot was a very easy one. Basically show up, talk about the show a bit, do some of the bottle dance, and then "teach" the anchors how to balance a bottle on their head. I have to say I was extremely impressed at how quickly they picked it up. It almost made it seem like it was an easy thing to do. Overall we had a blast and the spot turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. Here's the spot below:

http://www.wfsb.com/story/26102718/fiddler-on-the-roof-at-goodspeed-opera

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Will Burton and I travelling in style to our TV taping
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
The set of Better "Connecticut"

As the day came to a close we had just a couple bits of business to finish up before we got ready for the show. Today one of our super swings (and I use the word super because they are) gets to make his debut with us as one of the Russians. I have been a swing myself on several occasions so I understand what goes on with it all and just how much work goes into it. But before he gets his debut we needed to have a little put-in for L'Chaim as it is the main number he will be doing with the most traffic. I love seeing others go on for different parts. As I mentioned before I love to see the interpretation someone else has with a part in the show. A couple times through the number and Rob was ready to go for tomorrow. I know he will be amazing and I am looking forward to his performance.

As the night came to an end we finished the show and had our first talk back with the audience. It was a pretty great turn out with some very good questions about the show, our process, and what it's like being in such an iconic show like "Fiddler on the Roof" I know that the cast loved sharing with the audience and I am sure the next time we have a talk back will be just as enthusiastic. Overall it was an epic day, I am exhausted but thrilled at my life and the experiences I get to have on a daily basis. Hope you enjoyed today as well and I look forward to sharing more with you all...be well.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Rob Montgomery, one of our super swings, preparing for his debut tomorrow
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
Our wonderful audience at our first talk back
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Kayaks, TV Spots, Swing Ons, and Talk Backs
The cast fielding some questions.

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Guest Blogger: Jesse Swimm Jesse, has spent the last 20 years working extensively throughout New York, Nationally, and Internationally. He was Action in Broadway choreographer Joey McKneely's hit international production of "West Side Story". Jesse was also a member of the European tours of "A Chorus Line" and "Grease" for which he was the dance captain and set over 5 companies throughout Europe. Other productions include “High Button Shoes” at the Tony Award winning theatre The Goodspeed Opera House, “Swing”, “Beauty and the Beast”, "Footloose", "Singin' in the Rain", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Anything Goes", "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown", multiple productions of "A Chorus Line", numerous industrials and a few years at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Jesse also completed the role of Bobby in a newly revised version of Kander and Ebb’s “The Rink” at The Cape Playhouse starring Leslie Uggams and was in China for the Macau International Music Festival in “Guys and Dolls”. Jesse was the Dance Captain/Swing on the Cameron Mackintosh/Trevor Nunn/Matthew Bourne National Tour of “My Fair Lady” direct from London’s National Theatre in the West End. Most recently Jesse was a part of the 1st National Tour (original cast) and closing Broadway company of Mary Poppins where he understudied and performed the role Bert as well as the US regional premiere of Mary Poppins at the Tuacahn Amphitheater in the role of Bert. Currently Jesse is playing the role of Nachum the Beggar at the Tony Award winning Goodspeed Opera House.

Jesse has also worked with such legendary Broadway director/choreographer/producers as Cameron Mackintosh, Trevor Nunn, Matthew Bourne, David Marquez, Tony Award Winner Andy Blankenbeuhler, Tony Award nominee Lara Teeter, Michael Butler, and Nightmare Creations duo Melissa Williams and Carla Kama who are choreographers for international music sensation Prince. Jesse, a California State University of Fullerton alumnus, is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. He is also the proud dad of a rescue dog, and encourages everyone to open their homes to a four-legged friend.


 
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