One: The Characters of A Chorus Line by Matty Newton.

A senior thesis project presented to Pacific Northwest College of Art for the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration.

Thesis Statement / Matty Newton Illustration / Contact

Aug 26

ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line  by Matty Newton.

Part 1/ Part 2

A Chorus Line is a 1975 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical about 17 dancers auditioning for spots in the chorus of a musical. Throughout the audition process the characters are asked to speak candidly about their own lives. What is revealed and performed throughout the musical is a montage of memories and experiences which I have illustrated in my series, One: The Characters of A Chorus Line.

These 17 pieces function as windows into self-acceptance and discovery through the lives of characters willing to show us what they did for love. The series is a cumulative portrait of young dancers’ dreams, nightmares, self-discovery and angst in post World War II America. 

(top, left to right) Don, Maggie, Mike, Connie, Greg, Cassie, Sheila, Bobby, Bebe, Judy.


ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line  by Matty Newton. 

Part 1/ Part 2

A Chorus Line is a 1975 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical about 17 dancers auditioning for spots in the chorus of a musical. Throughout the audition process the characters are asked to speak candidly about their own lives. What is revealed and performed throughout the musical is a montage of memories and experiences which I have illustrated in my series, One: The Characters of A Chorus Line.

These 17 pieces function as windows into self-acceptance and discovery through the lives of characters willing to show us what they did for love. The series is a cumulative portrait of young dancers’ dreams, nightmares, self-discovery and angst in post World War II America. 

(top, left to right) Richie, Kristine, Al, Val, Mark, Paul, Diana.


Aug 25
Diana Morales Bronx, New York b. June 10, 1948

Diana: 
And I said"Nothing, I’m feeling nothing"And he says"Nothing could get a girl transferred"They all felt somethingBut I felt nothingExcept the feelingThat this bullshit was absurd…And Karp kept saying"Morales, I think you should transfer to Girls HighYou’ll never be an actress, never”Jesus Christ!Went to church, praying"Santa Maria, send me guidanceSend me guidance” On my kneesWent to church, praying"Santa Maria, help me feel itHelp me feel it, pretty please”And a voice from down at the bottom of my soulCame up to the top of my headAnd the voice from down at the bottom of my soulHere is what it saidThis man is nothing!This course is nothing!If you want somethingGo find a better classAnd when you find oneYou’ll be an actressAnd I assure you that’s whatFinally came to pass
From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line
The end of the line. ;_; 
I hope you all enjoyed my series. It was definitely a labor of love. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to message me. For all reproduction inquiries please contact me via email. 
Thank you again!

Diana Morales
Bronx, New York
b. June 10, 1948

Diana:

And I said
"Nothing, I’m feeling nothing"
And he says
"Nothing could get a girl transferred"

They all felt something
But I felt nothing
Except the feeling
That this bullshit was absurd


And Karp kept saying
"Morales, I think you should transfer to Girls High
You’ll never be an actress, never”
Jesus Christ!

Went to church, praying
"Santa Maria, send me guidance
Send me guidance” On my knees

Went to church, praying
"Santa Maria, help me feel it
Help me feel it, pretty please”

And a voice from down at the bottom of my soul
Came up to the top of my head
And the voice from down at the bottom of my soul
Here is what it said

This man is nothing!
This course is nothing!
If you want something
Go find a better class

And when you find one
You’ll be an actress
And I assure you that’s what
Finally came to pass

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

The end of the line. ;_;

I hope you all enjoyed my series. It was definitely a labor of love. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to message me. For all reproduction inquiries please contact me via email.

Thank you again!


Paul San Marco (Ephrain Ramirez) New York, New York b. October 22, 1947

Paul:
Well, I was finally in show business. It was the asshole of show business - but it was a job… Nothing to brag about. I had friends. But after a while it was so demeaning. Nobody at the Jewel Box had any dignity and most of them were ashamed of themselves and considered themselves freaks. I don’t know, I think it was the lack of dignity that got to me, so I left. Oh, I muddled around for a while. I worked as an office boy, a waiter - But without an education, you can’t get a good job. So, when the Jewel Box called and asked if I’d come back, I went.We were working the Apollo Theatre on a Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Street. Doing four shows a day with a movie. It was really tacky. The show was going to go to Chicago. My parents wanted to say goodbye and they were going to bring my luggage to the theatre after the show. Well, we were doing this oriental number and I looked like Anna May Wong. I had these two great big chrysanthemums on either side my head and a huge headdress with gold balls hanging all over it. I was going on for the finale and going down the stairs and who should I see standing by the stage door … my parents. They got there too early. I freaked. I didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself : “I know, I’ll just walk quickly past them like all the others and they’ll never recognize me.” So I took a deep breath and started down the stairs and just as I passed my mother I heard her say : “Oh, my God.” Well… I died. But what could I do? I had to go on for the finale so I just kept going. After the show I went back to my dressing room and after I’d finished dressing and taking my makeup off, I went back down stairs. And there they were standing in the middle of all these … And all they said to me was please write, make sure you eat and take care of yourself. And just before my parents left, my father turned to the producer and said : “Take care of my son…”; That was the first time he ever called me that…

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Paul San Marco (Ephrain Ramirez)
New York, New York
b. October 22, 1947

Paul:

Well, I was finally in show business. It was the asshole of show business - but it was a job… Nothing to brag about. I had friends. But after a while it was so demeaning. Nobody at the Jewel Box had any dignity and most of them were ashamed of themselves and considered themselves freaks. I don’t know, I think it was the lack of dignity that got to me, so I left. Oh, I muddled around for a while. I worked as an office boy, a waiter - But without an education, you can’t get a good job. So, when the Jewel Box called and asked if I’d come back, I went.

We were working the Apollo Theatre on a Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Street. Doing four shows a day with a movie. It was really tacky. The show was going to go to Chicago. My parents wanted to say goodbye and they were going to bring my luggage to the theatre after the show. Well, we were doing this oriental number and I looked like Anna May Wong. I had these two great big chrysanthemums on either side my head and a huge headdress with gold balls hanging all over it. I was going on for the finale and going down the stairs and who should I see standing by the stage door … my parents. They got there too early. I freaked. I didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself : “I know, I’ll just walk quickly past them like all the others and they’ll never recognize me.” So I took a deep breath and started down the stairs and just as I passed my mother I heard her say : “Oh, my God.” Well… I died. But what could I do? I had to go on for the finale so I just kept going. After the show I went back to my dressing room and after I’d finished dressing and taking my makeup off, I went back down stairs. And there they were standing in the middle of all these … And all they said to me was please write, make sure you eat and take care of yourself. And just before my parents left, my father turned to the producer and said : “Take care of my son…”; That was the first time he ever called me that…

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Aug 17
Mark Anthony (Mark Philip Lawrence Tabori) Tempe, Arizona

Mark: And from the book I diagnosed my own appendicitis. Next day I went to the doctor down the block, Sure enough, acute appendicitis! They rushed me right to the hospital Well, I figured this book would cover everything The rest of my life!
 And then when I turned thirteen, I had my first - wet dream. Well, I went right to the book. Milky discharge…milky discharge, milky discharge Gonorrhea! I was in shock. Gonorrhea! Before I’d even started. I was terrified. I couldn’t tell my mother I had Gonorrhea! So, the book said drink a lot of water.
Zach: Is that all it said?
Mark: No, it said take penicillan-strepto-something or other, but I couldn’t do that unless I told someone,  So all I could do was drink the water,  And I drank like twenty glasses a day For three weeks. I almost drowned! Finally, I went to Confession, and I told the priest I had gonorrhea. He was in shock, too. “Who have you been with, my son?” Nobody, nobody “Then how can you have gonorrhea?” Well, I told him about the medical diagnosis and he set me straight.
It’s the only time the Church ever helped me out!


From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Mark Anthony (Mark Philip Lawrence Tabori)
Tempe, Arizona

Mark: And from the book I diagnosed my own appendicitis.
Next day I went to the doctor down the block,
Sure enough, acute appendicitis!
They rushed me right to the hospital
Well, I figured this book would cover everything
The rest of my life!


And then when I turned thirteen, I had my first - wet dream. Well, I went right to the book. Milky discharge…milky discharge, milky discharge
Gonorrhea!
I was in shock.
Gonorrhea!
Before I’d even started. I was terrified. I couldn’t tell my mother I had
Gonorrhea!
So, the book said drink a lot of water.


Zach: Is that all it said?


Mark: No, it said take penicillan-strepto-something or other, but I couldn’t do that unless I told someone,
So all I could do was drink the water,
And I drank like twenty glasses a day
For three weeks. I almost drowned!
Finally, I went to Confession, and I told the priest I had gonorrhea. He was in shock, too.
“Who have you been with, my son?”
Nobody, nobody
“Then how can you have gonorrhea?”
Well, I told him about the medical diagnosis and he set me straight.

It’s the only time the Church ever helped me out!

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Valerie Clark (Margaret Mary Houlihan)Arlington, Vermont

Val:
So, the day after I turned 18, I kissed the folks goodbye, got on a Trailways bus - and headed for the big bad apple. Cause I wanted to be a Rockette.   Oh, yeah, let’s get one thing straight. See, I never heard about “The Red Shoes,” I never saw “The Red Shoes,” I didn’t give a fuck about “The Red Shoes.”
I decided to be a Rockette because this girl in my home town - Louella Heiner - had actually gotten out and made it in New York. And she was a Rockette. Well, she came home one Christmas to visit, and they gave her a parade. A goddamn parade! I twirled a friggin’ baton for two hours in the rain. Unfortunately though, she got knocked up over Christmas. Merry Christmas! - and never made it back to Radio City.   That was my plan. New York, New York, here I come. Except. I had one minor problem. See, I was ugly as sin. I was ugly, skinny, homely, unattractive and flat as a pancake. Get the picture?
Well, finally the big day came. I showed up at the Music Hall with my red patent leather tap shoes. And I did my little tap routine. And this man said to me: Can you do fankicks? - Well, sure I could do terrific fankicks. But they weren’t good enough. Of course, what he was trying to tell me was…it was the way I looked, not the fankicks. So I said: Fuck you, Radio City and the Rockettes! I’m gonna dance on Broadway!   Well, Broadway, same story. Every audition. I mean I’d dance rings around the other girls and find myself in the alley with the other rejects. But after a while I caught on. I mean I had eyes. I saw what they were hiring. I also swiped my dance card once after an audition. And on a scale of 10….they gave me for dance 10. For looks: 3. Well…”


From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Valerie Clark (Margaret Mary Houlihan)
Arlington, Vermont

Val:

So, the day after I turned 18, I kissed the folks goodbye, got on a Trailways bus - and headed for the big bad apple. Cause I wanted to be a Rockette.   Oh, yeah, let’s get one thing straight. See, I never heard about “The Red Shoes,” I never saw “The Red Shoes,” I didn’t give a fuck about “The Red Shoes.”

I decided to be a Rockette because this girl in my home town - Louella Heiner - had actually gotten out and made it in New York. And she was a Rockette. Well, she came home one Christmas to visit, and they gave her a parade. A goddamn parade! I twirled a friggin’ baton for two hours in the rain. Unfortunately though, she got knocked up over Christmas. Merry Christmas! - and never made it back to Radio City.   That was my plan. New York, New York, here I come. Except. I had one minor problem. See, I was ugly as sin. I was ugly, skinny, homely, unattractive and flat as a pancake. Get the picture?

Well, finally the big day came. I showed up at the Music Hall with my red patent leather tap shoes. And I did my little tap routine. And this man said to me: Can you do fankicks? - Well, sure I could do terrific fankicks. But they weren’t good enough. Of course, what he was trying to tell me was…it was the way I looked, not the fankicks. So I said: Fuck you, Radio City and the Rockettes! I’m gonna dance on Broadway!   Well, Broadway, same story. Every audition. I mean I’d dance rings around the other girls and find myself in the alley with the other rejects. But after a while I caught on. I mean I had eyes. I saw what they were hiring. I also swiped my dance card once after an audition. And on a scale of 10….they gave me for dance 10. For looks: 3. Well…”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Aug 10
Kristine Urich (Deluca) St Louis, Missouri b. September 1, 1953

Kristine: Oh, this man came around to my house – selling ah…
Al: Lessons.Kristine: Oh, and he was a terrific salesman – I’ll never forget it – he put me up against this television set – it was one of those great big square things – and then he turned me around, picked up my foot and touched it to the back of my head and said: “This little girl could be a star!” Well, I don’t know if it was the look on my face – or the fact that I wouldn’t let go of his leg – But my mother saw how much it meant to me.”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Kristine Urich (Deluca)
St Louis, Missouri
b. September 1, 1953

Kristine: Oh, this man came around to my house – selling ah…


Al: Lessons.

Kristine: Oh, and he was a terrific salesman – I’ll never forget it – he put me up against this television set – it was one of those great big square things – and then he turned me around, picked up my foot and touched it to the back of my head and said: “This little girl could be a star!” Well, I don’t know if it was the look on my face – or the fact that I wouldn’t let go of his leg – But my mother saw how much it meant to me.”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Alan Deluca Bronx, New York b. January 11, 1945

Al: 
“I got Nancy’s picture! Annabelle’s locket! Cynthia’s ring, and Lucy’s pants!”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Alan Deluca
Bronx, New York
b. January 11, 1945

Al:

“I got Nancy’s picture! Annabelle’s locket! Cynthia’s ring, and Lucy’s pants!”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Richie Walters Herculaneum, Missouri b. June 13, 1948


Richie:
I was always running around shouting Gimme the ball, gimme the ball, gimme the ball, Yeah!
I was so enthusiastic, I was into everything The yearbook was filled with my picture And I was lucky cause I got A scholarship to college!
So I went. Yes I went. So I’m gonna be this kindergarten teacher - Can you imagine me this kindergarten teacher?
And I thought Shit. Shit! 
What are you gonna be when you get shoved outta here Honey, ain’t nobody gonna be standing there with no “scholarship to life.”
And I was scared. Scared. Scared!

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Richie Walters
Herculaneum, Missouri
b. June 13, 1948

Richie:

I was always running around shouting Gimme the ball, gimme the ball, gimme the ball, Yeah!

I was so enthusiastic, I was into everything
The yearbook was filled with my picture
And I was lucky cause I got
A scholarship to college!

So I went. Yes I went. So I’m gonna be this kindergarten teacher - Can you imagine me this kindergarten teacher?

And I thought Shit. Shit!

What are you gonna be when you get shoved outta here Honey, ain’t nobody gonna be standing there with no “scholarship to life.”

And I was scared. Scared. Scared!

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Aug 2
Judy Turner El Paso, Texas b. July 21, 1947


Judy: 
"But my mother would embarrass me so When she’d come to pick me up at school With all those great, big, yellow rollers in her hair No matter how much I begged her and she’d say: ‘What are you ashamed of your own mother?’”


From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line

Judy Turner
El Paso, Texas
b. July 21, 1947

Judy:

"But my mother would embarrass me so
When she’d come to pick me up at school
With all those great, big, yellow rollers in her hair
No matter how much I begged her and she’d say:
‘What are you ashamed of your own mother?’”

From my series ONE: The Characters of A Chorus Line


Page 1 of 6