K.L.'s BLOG was last updated Saturday, May 13, 2017
K.L.'s Bog: A Diary of Artful Things

K.L.'s Blog © 2004-2017 K.L.Storer -- all rights reserved

ENTRIES
(Oct-Dec, 2003):

click here for the latest entry: Saturday, May 13, 2017


approx Oct 15, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
JAN-MAR, 2004
APR-JUNE, 2004
JULY-SEP, 2004
OCT-DEC, 2004
JAN-MAR, 2005
APR-JUNE, 2005
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APR-JUNE, 2014
JULY-SEP, 2014
OCT-DEC, 2014
JAN-MAR, 2015
APR-JUNE, 2015
JULY-SEP, 2015
OCT-DEC, 2015
JAN-MAR, 2016
APR-JUNE, 2016
JULY-SEP, 2016
OCT-DEC, 2016
JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



BACK TO ACTING AT FORTY-FIVE (PART 1):

In the research for my second novel I needed to know one critical piece of information: in one-hour, one-camera, television dramas do they shoot weekends, or is principal photography only Monday through Friday? I already had found out from several sources that these programs take seven production days to shoot (which may or may not include a table read on Day One, depending on the methods of the producers and, or, the director). But I wasn't finding the specific production schedule information I needed.

I emailed George Frey, director of the television and video production department on the Wright State University campus. He didn't know. A few days later, I ran into one of George's TV and video directors/producers, Roland Knight, in the basement hallway on campus. On several previous occasions I'd hit up Roland for research information, when we ran across each other, and he'd been very helpful. This time he didn't know the answer, just as George hadn't. But he did tell me that actor Malcolm Gets was on campus for the week, doing a short residency with the Musical Theater department; he suggested I try to contact Mr. Gets -- since he'd been a principal on a TV show (Caroline In The City, where he played high-strung Richard, opposite Lea Thompson) he'd be sure to know the answer.



Thu, Oct 16, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
JAN-MAR, 2004
APR-JUNE, 2004
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OCT-DEC, 2004
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APR-JUNE, 2013
JULY-SEP, 2013
OCT-DEC, 2013
JAN-MAR, 2014
APR-JUNE, 2014
JULY-SEP, 2014
OCT-DEC, 2014
JAN-MAR, 2015
APR-JUNE, 2015
JULY-SEP, 2015
OCT-DEC, 2015
JAN-MAR, 2016
APR-JUNE, 2016
JULY-SEP, 2016
OCT-DEC, 2016
JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



BACK TO ACTING AT FORTY-FIVE (PART 2):

Emailed the Theater Arts department and explained what I needed and asked if an appointment with Malcolm was possible. I assured I would take no more than thirty minutes of his time, and something like five to ten minutes was more probable. I was pretty doubtful I'd get a yes, especially since his week on campus was almost over and his time was likely pretty tight. Sent the email off at about 3:00 pm.

Hit the gym about twenty till four. As I closed my locker, after my workout was done, I said to myself, Well, I'm going to go home and check my email. If I do have a response already, it's probably "Sorry, but it's not possible."

Walking through the hallway on my way out of the Student Union, a man passes me. Had I not known that Malcolm was on campus I would have probably just thought to myself, Man, that guy looks like....

I stopped in my tracks for a moment and for some reason debated whether I should turn around and take advantage of an opportunity to get first-hand information about the television industry. I turned around after that moment of stupidity and caught up with the actor.

"I just tried to secure a short appointment with you," I said.

For an instant he looked puzzled, then smiled to himself, reached out his hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Malcolm."

I told him my research problem and his immediate response was that there is no production on Saturday; but, then he thought about it and decided he wasn't sure. His experience was with a four-camera, thirty-minute sitcom, which shoots in five days. He always got the weekend off. His experience with one-hour dramas (specifically he mentioned Law & Order) was as a day player, so he was never around for the entire production schedule.

I didn't take up much more of his time, but we did discuss the fact that he was doing a small concert performance on campus that coming Saturday night -- Mr. Gets is a skilled concert pianist and singer as well as actor, and in fact, has been critically successful on Broadway. I also got the opportunity to tell him that I was very impressed with his work as Richard on Caroline... I told him that I found Richard to be a very interesting character and his portrayal was the right blend of reserve and manic.

Then, after much less than a ten-minute encounter, we were on our separate ways.

The next day I bought two tickets for the Saturday performance. The second ticket was for a friend of mine who I thought would enjoy the performance. She elected to not attend. I did not find anyone else free at the last minute.



Sat, Oct 18, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
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JAN-MAR, 2016
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JULY-SEP, 2016
OCT-DEC, 2016
JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



BACK TO ACTING AT FORTY-FIVE (PART 3):

Standing alone in line, waiting for the doors of the theater to open for Malcolm's performance, was a painful experience for me. I stood there surrounded by all those young ones: actors, singers, dancers. I stood in the midst of that jubilant energy that I once was a thread of fabric within. Suddenly the point seemed to be a spear, jutted, thrust into my gut -- once, almost everyone who knew me had expected I would become an actor, probably a successful one. At nineteen, I had thought that this energy, which was almost foreign to me as I stood in that line, was to be the mainstay of my everyday. And that building -- the Creative Arts Center -- where I stood in that line, it had taunted me and challenged me every time I walked within its walls:

Why am I not haunted by your presence? Why is the trace memory of your talent not germane to the legacy of my brick and mortar? Why do the young people here not know your face and your ability? Why does your name mean nothing to my faculty and staff?

Why are you orphaned from the craft?

Once again, it whispered these quiet harassments to me as I stood with those young theater people. At some point, the spearhead stabbing into me started to slowly and sadistically twist itself. Just shortly before the doors opened, I almost walked off, went home, I was in such quiet, solitary agony. All I could think as I stood there and looked at all that youthful talent was, I am not part of your element, and I am sad because of it. But, I didn't bolt.

I don't know whether I gave off a certain vibe or it was just that nobody else knew me, but I sat in the center of the middle row of the small theater, and I had pretty much the whole row to myself. There were at least seven or eight seats empty on either side of me. It hardly mattered, though, since I already had such a self-imposed feeling of isolation.

Malcolm's performance was entertaining. He sang mostly show tunes, engaged in nice banter with the audience, and played the piano with accomplishment. He occasionally made jokes and references about his short stay in the Theater Department, for which I was quite likely the only one who did not get -- but I appreciated the idea of what he was doing and saw what a great guy he must be.

Over all, I was extremely impressed with him and his performance.

On the drive home, though, the spear may have been removed, but there was a big, aching hole left behind. I stuck The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band into the tape deck, cranked it and sang the songs in full voice. This was one of the records that taught me how to sing, when I was a young adolescent, so it was therapy. But I lay in bed that night, in a sleepless bed, keenly aware that I was forty-five, I hadn't written a song in more than a decade, hadn't performed in a band in even longer, and hadn't acted in more than a quarter century. It was all monumentally disturbing to me.

I Have to deal with this, I told myself.



Sun, Oct 19, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
JAN-MAR, 2004
APR-JUNE, 2004
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JAN-MAR, 2016
APR-JUNE, 2016
JULY-SEP, 2016
OCT-DEC, 2016
JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



BACK TO ACTING AT FORTY-FIVE (PART 4):

I have friends who know me quite well who cannot fathom the idea that I have held an office job for what is a decade in April of 2004. Truth be told, I agree with them. I spend forty hours a week in an environment inhospitable to my spirit and the essence of my identity. It is a big chunk of my time spent engaged in activity that interferes with me. The only true benefit is getting the bills paid, other than that, despite that I don't hate my job, it has no value to my life.

On October 19, 2003, this ultimate truth was something I could no longer deny, avoid nor ignore. I am not living the life I was built to live, I said, aloud, not long after awakening from too short a sleep in one sense and far too long a sleep in another.

I came to it: I have to act and it has to be significant. It has to be real. Against all the ridiculous odds NOT AT ALL IN MY FAVOR I must figure out how to put myself out there to be seen by the big league. And just how?

In the essay I've written about this, "The Knowing In Me: the artist becomes himself" *(formerly "When a Hiatus Isn't a Hiatus"), I write of the cable show Inside the Actors Studio, of which I have become a big fan. When Drew Barrymoore was on the show, James Lipton asked her about producing the movies she was in. Among other comments she made was one apropos to my situation. She said one of the reasons she likes to produce is that she hates auditions, so, she finds a vehicle she thinks would be right for her as an actress, then hires herself. And that more-or-less became my answer. How does a forty-five-year-old man who hasn't acted since he was nineteen, get a principal role in front of a camera then get that performance showcased to the industry? Well, nepotism is out, since, though I have been told I am a distant cousin to the Storers of Storer broadcasting, I have no direct proof. Even if I am, they don't know me anymore than I know them, and they would have less reason for interest in me than I obviously would have in them. My action was clear. I have to write and produce a short dramatic movie, myself, and submit it to film festivals.

I set the goal for principal photography mid-summer 2004. That will give me a chance to get a good script together, scope out good locations, get a cast (a small cast) and gear up for production. Gear up means several things. First of all, though production was a part of my Mass Communication degree, I hadn't produced or directed anything since 1994, and those were short videos, none of them dramatic. Second, the technology has completely changed. I know my movie will be shot with a DV camera, so I have some learning to do. I spent the next several days trying to figure out how I would gain access to a DV camera of the high-end quality it takes to make a movie that looks good.

On the phone that night with one of my best friends, he suggested a film festival, which we had spoke of before, The Heartland Film Festival, which is held every October in his city, Indianapolis. I was not willing to mention the word Sundance, yet.

Also on this day I knew I was going to audition for a theater production. I had my mind set on The Dayton Theatre Guild, the oldest community theater in Dayton, and one of the best. I also knew there was an actress I wanted to draft for my movie, one from high school, if I could get ahold of her and if she would be interested if I did. Her name is Cindy. Problem is she's married and I don't know her new last name. But I do know that she was still acting locally, at least a few years ago, because I know someone who saw her.

I called a few other people that night, too, and declared what I am going to do. It was a declaration to, in part, put me on the spot, to make this a real, solid commitment that I will follow through on or be damned uncomfortable and embarrassed over if I don't.

Now that I'm awake, it will be a criminal act against myself to allow myself to doze back off.



Oct 20-Nov 15, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
JAN-MAR, 2004
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JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



BACK TO ACTING AT FORTY-FIVE (PART 5):

A lot happened over the course of these few weeks, most of which I am not sure of the exact order or dates. But the following took place:

  • Checked out the web site for The Heartland Film Festival. It looks like I may have trouble making the deadline for the October 2004 festival. The deadline for the 2003 festival was late June. Even at this point as I write this retrospective entry (January 2004) I don't see my principal production moving early enough to have post-production done by August 2004 at the very earliest.
  • Visited the Sundance Film Festival web site, as I had arrived at half an idea that I might give it a shot. I found that the entry fee and all other expenses are far more reasonable than I had expected. Sundance suddenly became a real opportunity and Sundance 2005 became the focus of my goal for the movie.

    I also came to the quick realization that with Sundance being so accessible and with DV technology allowing others to make a movie as easily as I will be able to, competition will be heavy and tight -- but, if I let that scare me away, I'm not serious enough to be bothered with!

    Screw it! I'm going for it!

  • Talked with Chuck Scott, my old high school theater director, for the first time in probably twenty-three years. For one thing, I wanted to know if he knew how to get ahold of Cindy. More than that, all of this stuff had me thinking about him and I wanted to catch up. He asked to see a copy of my first novel and I sent it to him. We also discussed The Dayton Theatre Guild, for which, unbeknownst to me, he is on the board of directors.
  • Checked out The Dayton Theatre Guild web site. On the auditions page I saw one role that seems perfect for me; that of Doctor (early forties) in Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan. Borrowed the play from the library but eventually (in December) ordered it through Amazon.com. Also got a copy of an Irish dialogue tape from a friend. The auditions are January 19 & 20, 2004, and I've decided with my long absence from acting, I need to walk in with the edge of being prepared. I may not have the lines completely memorized, but I will be incredibly familiar with them at least -- and I may have them memorized. I also want to have the Irish brogue down. Beyond the edge I want from the director's standpoint, this will be the first audition I've been to in twenty-six years, and the first non-high school audition I've ever been to -- I'm already going to be nervous enough, best to go in well prepared.
  • Investigated the technological needs for the movie. Major items I will need: a 250 gb external hard drive; Final Cut Express 4; a 3 CCD digital video camera; at least one good boom microphone. The big expense is the camera, which will run me $2000 to $5000, depending on which model I buy. I'm going to try for a high-end model. I've elected to buy, instead of rent or lease, because I know this will not be the last time I use the camera.
  • Began a concerted effort to cool down my credit card debt and make any extra car payments I can. If I go to my credit union web account and transfer money to my car payment on the same day that my payroll money hits the bank, all the extra money goes to the principal. So I'm looking at an extra $75-$100 per month against my car debt. Plan to apply for a signature loan for the camera around April or May of 2004. Since I will have to use my credit card to buy the software and hardware, I'm trying to cool out all other credit card purchases. Would like the card to be almost paid off, if not completely paid off, when I apply for the camera loan.
  • Finally got the Power Mac G4 Tower, I bought used from the university last summer, up and running. Bought a 120 gb hard drive. Found that I can't use Final Cut Pro 4 with it, unless I use a processor upgrade kit, which I probably will. I have elected to still get Final Cut Express instead, since it is hundreds of dollars less, and the pro version has no exclusive features that are necessary for my movie -- I'll upgrade to Pro later.
  • Thought I had found Cindy. Turned out to be her sister-in-law. I left my number with her to pass on to Cindy. That was early November. As of this entry writing (January 4, 2004), I have not heard from Cindy.
  • Talked with George Frey about taking the video production class again during Winter 2004 quarter. He said to just come to the classes and not to officially register, since I would take a seat from a degree student who needs the class. Actually works out better since the class is Wednesday evening and if I get the part in the play, would be a schedule conflict as of late January.
  • Arranged with George to check out the mini-DV camera used for the course work, during the holiday break period, to get a leg up on the class work and also since I may miss the second part of the quarter.
  • Made the hard decision that I have to take a long break from literary editing at The WriteGallery as I look at what I have planned for 2004. I still want to put some effort into the second novel. I need to keep approaching literary agents and publishers (and other related actions) about the first novel. I am hopeful to be in rehearsals for a play from late January through early March. I'll be shooting short DV movies as practice and preparation for next summer. I'll be working on a script, scouting locations and be involved in other pre-production for the movie. I'll probably start digitally re-mastering the four-track masters of the home-grown album I recorded in the mid-eighties, and look to independently marketing it.

    On November 16, 2003, I posted the final announcement at the site that no submissions were being accepted until further notice.



Nov 29-30, 2003
*retrospective entry

OCT-DEC, 2003
JAN-MAR, 2004
APR-JUNE, 2004
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MAKING A SHORT MOVIE:

Shot footage at Glen Helen Park, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and at my apartment for a short DV movie, Muse. Used the 1 CCD mini-camera, borrowed from the university. Edited it over the course of the next few days using Imovie. Unfortunately, I use Pat Methany's instrumental, "Midwestern Night's Dream," so, unless I can secure his permission, it has to stay a private venture, strictly for the purposes of practice.

Upon helpful criticism from friends, I tweaked the edit over the course of the next six weeks.



Wed, Dec 10, 2003
*retrospective entry

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APR-JUNE, 2017



MEETING UP WITH AN OLD MENTOR:

Had dinner at Chuck and Kate Scott's. It was a pleasant evening and they gave me both positive strokes and constructive criticism about my first novel. I shared the first cut of Muse with them. Though they didn't point these out, as I sat there, watching the video with them, a few glaring flaws, which demanded to be fixed, presented themselves to me. Chuck also told me that if I went to the audition for The Cripple of Inishmaan prepared as I plan to be, I'd stand a good chance of winning the role. Bright news for me, but, I find it a reason to go with my plan, not a reason to suddenly get cocky.



Tue, Dec 23, 2003
*retrospective entry

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OCT-DEC, 2016
JAN-MAR, 2017
APR-JUNE, 2017



NEW VENTURE:

Used Wright State's Student Technology Assistance Center to digitally re-master one song from my home-grown album, for use in a music video for the upcoming video production class with George.



Dec 27-28, 2003
*retrospective entry

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APR-JUNE, 2017



A MUSIC VIDEO:

Shot some footage lip-syncing to the song. But scrapped all the shots. I over performed, went too far over the top.




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