Thursday, 2 October 2014

Guest post by Regina Kyle + Giveaway

I have a special treat for you: today's guest is not only the author of a deliciously sizzling romance, but also an insider to the theatre world! That is how the lovely Regina Kyle, author of the newly released Triple Threat, will tell us about some behind the scenes superstitions theatre folks have. And if you tell us about any of your superstitions, you might even win her novel! So take a seat, this will be fascinating! :-)

It’s Bad Luck To Say Good Luck (And Other Theater Superstitions)
by Regina Kyle

Greetings, fellow romance lovers, and thanks so much to Stella’s Ex Libris for having me here today. I’m celebrating the release of my debut novel, Triple Threat, which came out in paperback on September 16 and just yesterday in e-book. The title has a double meaning: tall, dark and devastating action film star Nick Damone is definitely a threat to budding playwright Holly Nelson, body, heart and soul. But “triple threat” is also a theater term meaning someone who excels equally at singing, acting and dancing. Appropriate, as much of the book’s plot revolves around the production of Holly’s newest play – with Nick as its star.

The theater world is one I know well. I was bitten by the acting bug at age ten and have been performing in school and community productions ever since. I got a whole new perspective on the business when my daughter started acting professionally at age ten, eventually traveling the United States playing a lead role in a Broadway national tour.

One thing I learned is that theater folk are a very suspicious lot. I mention a few of these time-honored superstitions in Triple Threat. But there’s a long list of things you can’t do or should do in order to guarantee success on performance night, each with its own particular history. Here’s a list of the top five theater superstitions (according to me, at least) and their origins:

1. The Scottish play (Macbeth) – This superstition has a few alleged origins. Some say that Shakespeare got the witches’ chants in the play from real witches, who were less than pleased with how they were portrayed and cursed the show. Others say it’s just because there’s so much violence in the play it’s easy for something to go wrong. Whatever the source, if you say “Macbeth” in a theater, the only way to reverse the curse is by going outside the theater, spitting and turning around three times before begging to be let back in.

2. Break a leg – The worst thing you can do is say “good luck” to an actor right before a show. So instead, theater folk say, “Break a leg.” The most popular explanation for this superstition is that, in Shakespearean times, stages were supported on thin wooden legs. A spectacular performance would cause such a tremendous ruckus that a leg would break. Another possible origin involves the 1865 assassination of Abraham Lincoln. When John Wilkes Booth, the actor turned assassin, leapt to the stage of Ford’s Theater after the murder, he broke his leg. There’s no proof of a connection between this event and the substitution of “break a leg” for “good luck,” but it sure makes for a good story.

3. Ghost light – It seems like practically every theater has a resident ghost. The ghost light is a light that is left onstage, always on, to ward off any ghosts lurking after hours.

4. Bad dress….good show! – Lousy dress rehearsals aren’t uncommon, especially because it’s often the cast’s first real chance to run through the show. My worse dress rehearsal was for a production of Oklahoma! There was a point in a musical number where one cast member was supposed to point a gun at another (playing my father) and say, “Sing it, Andrew.” We were using cap guns, and she pointed it at him and accidentally pulled the trigger, “shooting” him with a loud popping sound. The poor actor who was “shot” didn’t know how to react, and the rest of us burst into hysterical laughter, stopping the show. Our director said it was the worst dress rehearsal she’d ever seen, but opening night was fantastic.

5. Whistling – Whistling on or off stage is considered bad luck. This is probably because, before the invention of walkie-talkies and intercom systems, the crew coordinated their actions using whistle signals. If someone whistled onstage, it could be misinterpreted as a cue for the stage crew, creating havoc.

Whistling isn’t the only thing that’s bad luck on stage. Wearing the colors blue and yellow will make actors forget lines. Wearing green is unlucky. Peacock feathers inside a theater are bad news. No real flowers, mirrors or jewelry should ever be used on stage. Why? No one really knows. But isn’t that what superstitions are all about, doing something strange for some unexplained reason?

What’s something you’re superstitious about and why?


Author Bio:

Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor.

A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and treasurer of her local RWA chapter.

Connect with Regina at her website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Triple Threat by Regina Kyle

The Theater of Temptation presents Sabotage…and Seduction!

The Playwright: It’s emerging playwright Holly Nelson’s big break. Broadway. Having survived her traumatic marriage and divorce, Holly is now aiming for success, not love. And any naughty dreams about Nick Damone—the gorgeously dishy star who was her crush back in high school—must remain a fantasy.

The Star: For Nick, Broadway is a chance to go from big-screen-eye-candy to serious actor, and to explore the lust blazing between him and Holly. But life-threatening accidents will force a chain of events that could bring down the curtain on the whole production…or give Nick and Holly a chance to finish the sexy something that started fifteen years ago!

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N

Excerpt:

Here’s a little teaser from Triple Threat when Nick discusses theater suspicious – and the recent accidents plaguing their production of Holly’s play – with his impressionable co-star:

“Excuse me, Mr. Damone?” Marisa Rodriguez stood next to him, nervously biting her lip. With him and Malcolm on board, the producers had taken a chance on the young, relatively inexperienced actress for the pivotal role of the abused wife. From what he’d seen so far, their risk was going to pay off. She had a wonderful, natural quality that couldn’t be taught in any acting class. “Can I ask you something?”

Nick snuck a glance at Holly and frowned. Ethan, her self-appointed bodyguard, had once again glued himself to her side. They sat together, shoulders touching, heads bowed over a copy of the script.

Jesus. The guy was like her freaking shadow. Nick wouldn’t be surprised to find out they went to the damn bathroom together. At first he thought maybe they were a couple, with their constant chatter, light touches and little laughs. That illusion had been blessedly blown to bits when Ethan’s boyfriend showed up to meet him after rehearsal.

Still, Ethan needed to get accidentally locked in the prop room for a good half a day.

Overnight would be even better

Nick turned back to his impressionable costar and flashed her a grin that he hoped was reassuring. “Of course.” He patted the chair next to him, and Marisa sat down. “But I keep telling you, call me Nick. After all, we are married, in a matter of speaking.”

She blushed and ducked her head, her mane of long, dark curls covering her face. “Okay, Mr.…I mean, Nick.”

“Now that we’ve got that settled, what can I do for you?”

“I’m just curious.” She peered at him through her bangs. “You’ve done stage productions before, right?”

“It’s been a while, but yeah.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Not really,” he lied. “It’s like riding a bike. And nothing beats performing in front of a live audience. The instant response. The connection.” The chance that any minute you could forget your lines or your blocking. No one to bail you out by yelling, “Cut.”

“No, I mean because of the—” She stopped and looked around as if to make sure no one else was listening. When she spoke again, her voice was a whisper. “Curse.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “The what?”

“The crew says we’re cursed. Because of all the weird stuff going on. You know. The bomb threat. The food poisoning. The blackout.”

Nick nodded, finally understanding. Of course Marisa would be worried. It was her plane that was grounded by a bomb threat in Toronto, where she was wrapping a film, making her miss the first read-through. Then half the crew got food poisoning from some bad sushi. And yesterday the power went out at Pearl, costing them half a day’s practice.

But all shows hit rough waters, and Nick wasn’t about to let Marisa drown in them. These were hiccups, not the Titanic.

“Nah,” he assured her. “Theater people are suspicious by nature.”

“Really?”

“Sure. That’s why we say ‘break a leg’ instead of ‘good luck.’ And leave a ghost light on onstage. And, most importantly, never, ever say or quote from Macbeth in a theater.”

Marisa tilted her head, looking confused. “What do you call it then?”

“You don’t.” Nick chuckled. “Or if you must, it’s the Scottish play.”

“That’s silly.”

“Yep. Like believing we’re cursed is silly.”

“I guess so. Thanks, Mr.…Nick. Sorry.” She stood and stretched, showing a wide expanse of her flat stomach that, in another lifetime, one before Holly reappeared, would have had him itching to see more. Now he wasn’t interested. He ran a hand across his face, trying to erase the unfamiliar feeling.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - B&N 

Giveaway Rules:

Regina has generously offered an e-book of Triple Threat to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just answer her question in a comment: What’s something you’re superstitious about and why?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 13 October 2014!

Good luck!

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