K.L.'s Bog: A Diary of Artful Things

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Sat Apr 17, 2004

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CATCH UP:

Had a lot going on in my life outside of things artistic, since the last entry. But here's what's going on now:

    Dramatic Reading -- Am doing the dramatic reading this evening, with several other actors, including a few from Cripple: Barb Jorgensen, John Spitler and Jocelyn Kandl (Jocelyn was actually AD for Cripple, but she is reading today). In fact she's reading a scene from Grace and Glorie with Barb. Meanwhile, I am reading from A Walk in the Woods with John. I will be the Russian arms negotiator Andrey Botvinnik (a role I will be auditioning for when the actual production comes about); John is the American, John Honeyman.

    As I think I said before, the readings are previews of The Dayton Theatre Guild's 2004/2005 season, being presented for the guild's season ticket holders. We all had a very informal rehearsal at Greg Smith's house last Tuesday. I sort of had a problem with the accent. it was a sort of Russian/Irish blend. I think it was the nervousness of reading the script for the first time in front of people. I've been studying the Russian dialect tape for a couple weeks. I've read the scene through a few times already today and I am doing much better. Andrey is supposed to have very good command of English -- virtually fluent -- which is good, because Russians roll every R, and the thicker the accent, the more the roll. It's a difficult verbal trait for Americans and I am glad I can ease off it. I'd get it down eventually, but, it would take a lot of time and practice. I'm just going to slightly tap a few R's here and there; turn them into close to D's in sound.

    In terms of other things -- such as the movie and the novel. I have been in what I call the post-project downer. A place I need to really get the discipline to stay out of. I actually had a minor depression going on. That is a condition I must work on.

    But I am back now and productivity is the name of the current game.

    Virtual Cripple Tour -- I am pretty close to done with the virtual tour of Cripple of Inishmaan, though a few things will be added. Such as, John Spitler is having a party tonight for the cast and I will bring my handy camera. I also will take pics of the trip to Ohio Community Theater Association (OCTA) in June, to do the first two scenes from Cripple.

    I will probably update tomorrow to report on today's dramatic reading.

    I also need to report on two other reviews of Cripple, but as my time is short right now, I'll do that tomorrow, too.

    And, now, at 12:10 p.m., Eastern U.S. daylight savings time, I am off to practice the reading then go buy some new black slacks, which I need anyway, for the appropriate attire for tonight's performance.



Mon, Apr 19, 2004

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ASSORTED THEATRE STUFF:

The dramatic reading at The Foundry Saturday night went pretty well. The club is in an old warehouse and has kept the motif of all the concrete and the high walls, so the acoustics were not too good. Everyone in the audience had a problem hearing some of the time, some people, who already have hearing problems, had trouble most or all of the time.

I did well with Aundrey, though I did slip from the slight Russian accent into Irish a few times. But that was only minor and I did imbue Aundrey with life.

The Cripple cast party at John Spitler's was nice. About half the cast were able to be there. I brought my camera but didn't take pictures.

Tosha (Natasha Randall), who got there late, will soon be in a local Equity production of The Odd Couple, as one of the Pigeon sisters. She was late because she was in rehearsal all day. Matt (Smith) was not able to be there; he's soon to be in a local production of Assassins. I hope to see both.



Thu May 13, 2004

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THE ODD COUPLE AT THE VICTORIA OPERA HOUSE:

First of all, went last Friday night to see Tosha (Natasha Randall) in The Odd Couple, as one of the Pigeon sisters. She did good, was very funny and nailed her English accent (Rocco Dal Vera, again). She and Craig Roberts are doing Proposals at the Theatre Guild, with Greg Smith directing. That's up in June, just before the OCTA performance of Cripple.

THE MOVIE PROJECT:

On the movie project front, it is definitely postponed until next year. I have decided to adapt my short story, "Shiloh." It will call for a slightly larger cast, I also will have more time to scout for better locations, and I have time to get some technical help on board. The big thing, as I mentioned a little earlier above, is that I want to be sure I get good sound. And I have time to adapt the story to a script. So, at this point, it looks like Sundance 2006 at the earliest. I will still look for other festivals, too.

I will, of course, cast myself as the English professor, and I'll need to cast two younger versions, (one high school, one college), though they both could be the same actor. Well, this is all a very new decision here. So, I will fill out detail a little more elaborately here as it comes.


MEANWHILE...

...I plan to be back on stage, I hope several times, between now and the principal production of my own movie. Will look for other directors' casting calls, too.



Thu May 20, 2004

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PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

I will be helping out with the production of Proposals at the Dayton Theatre Guild. Going to help with set construction next weekend, maybe more. Jocelyn Kandl is again assistant director for Greg Smith. She's going to get with me soon about, perhaps, other things to do. I may be host at the theatre one weekend. I also have a ticket for a performance, which I'll go to on a night when I can just be an audience member. By the way, did I mention that Craig Roberts is cast in Proposals along with Natasha Randall?


NO CRIPPLE AT OCTA:

The performance of the first two scenes of The Cripple of Inishmaan at Ohio Community Theater Association (OCTA) Regional conference has been cancelled. I'm sure one major factor is that the conference is the same weekend as the last week of the Proposals run, and both Tosha and Craig are in scene two of Cripple. There may be other factors but I don't know them at the moment. A little disappointed, but, I'll live.


MY NOVEL:

I've edited down the first few chapters of my first novel. I may go back and make another sweep. Next, I send another massive mailing of queries to literary agents. This one will be a major blitz.


AUDITIONS...?:

Think I'm going to check around for casting calls for local movie productions, here in the meantime. As well, I am about to prep for auditions for Little Shop of Horrors, those being held in July at The Dayton Playhouse. The production will rehearse in late summer and run in September. I am, as stated earlier, interested in the role of the dentist.


GONNA SEE A PLAY:

Will see Matt Smith in a student production of Assassins on the Wright State campus (IN THAT CREATIVE ARTS CENTER BUILDING) tomorrow night.



Fri May 21, 2004

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THEATRE THINGS:

Made an error on the dates of Matt Smith's performances in Assassins Rather than this weekend the performances will be next Thursday through Saturday. The production is be done by Way Off Broadway, a new community theater company in the Dayton area. I have been in contact with Adam Leigh, the founder, who says the company will do three dramatic plays, as well as three musicals, next season. I am contemplating audition for the company for next season. Meanwhile I will see Matt's performance next Thursday.

Since I didn't see Assassins tonight I dropped by the rehearsals for Proposals. Talk with Jocelyn about what else I might do besides help with set construction next weekend. She has drafted me to be stage manager the last weekend of the run. I may help with stage management the weekend before, just to better prepared.



Fri May 28, 2004

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ASSASSINS:

I saw Matt Smith in Assassins last night. It was a tight production. The whole cast did well, I was especially impressed with Julie Langan, who played Squeaky Fromme, Chris Shea as John Wilkes Booth, Paul Michael Kurtz -- Guiseppe Zangara, Matt Leonard as Sam Byck, and, of course, Matt (Smith) as John Hinckley Jr. In fact, Matt S. and Julie Langan have a great scene together. Way Off Broadway looks very interesting. I am still interested in possibly auditioning for the company for next season.

Jim Lockwood was at the show, too. Told him about my idea to audition for the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. My idea is to go in with a goatee. The goatee and my eyebrows would be dyed black, and my head shaved. Jim suggested I nix the shaved head but present the idea to the director. I have taken his point, but am going for the goatee. I have the script and a copy of the Broadway cast CD. So I am starting to prep for the audition, which is July 11 and 12. Though I have been suffering from a mild-to-medium case of laryngitis the last few days, so, I am mostly just listening to the dentist's song at the moment.


PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

I am dropping by the Proposals rehearsals tonight. And I will of course be helping with set construction tomorrow and very probably Sunday, too.


CRIPPLE VIRTUAL TOUR:

On the subject of that long-promised virtual tour of The Cripple of Inishmaan, I have the final thoughts page to finish, then it will be ready to post.



Tue, June 1, 2004

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LITTLE SHOP AUDITION:

Regrouped my thoughts about the Little Shop auditions. After looking at the script it seems that I may not be right for the dentist. It's not that I don't think I can do it, I can, I just think that a younger actor will probably be what is looked for. I certainly will be open to the role, but, I am going to get myself familiar with the shop keeper, Mushnik, too. Might as well be familiar with the Plant's songs, too (Audrey II), though that voice really needs to be a baritone or base, not a second tenor, as I am.


PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

Dropped by the Proposals rehearsals Friday night. Looks they're going very well. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I dropped in and lent my hand to the set construction. It's amazing what a talented set designer can do with sheets of foam. Greg, as well as directing is designing. Coolest thing I was part of helping make the stone chimney, stage left -- I'll have a pic sometime soon. I missed the first weekend of set construction, but, now I feel a real commitment to help finish the damn thing. Next Saturday is the last day; I'm there. Still the ground covering for the back yard to finish. I helped start it, I'm helping finish it.


OH, YEAH:

The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Dayton Theatre Guild March 5-21, 2004: a virtual tour is now up and available.



Wed June 9, 2004

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PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

Attended a few more Proposals rehearsals last week. Last Saturday I helped with the finishing touches to the set. Greg sent me on a mission to get gravel for parts of the back yard. I went to the banks of the nearby Great Miami River and grabbed some rocks of a variety of sizes, from almost football-sized to peat gravel. Threw in some twigs and dried grass, etc, too.

At this point I am attending all the final Proposals rehearsals; show opens this Friday, June 11. I will attend that night off my season ticket, as an audience member. I'll be working the show as stage manager for the last four shows, starting June 20. Will likely work it on June 18 and 19, too.

Been taking a slew of pictures of these last rehearsals, beginning with the tech run last Sunday. But I don't have the greatest camera for stop action so a lot of pics of the actors have movement blur. I am compensating by taking a lot, with the hope of at least ten to twenty-five percent of the pics being usable.


L.S.O.H AUDITIONS:

Still listening to the Little Shop of Horrors cast CD. My throat is better so I have started feeling out the vocal parts for both Orin the dentist and Mr. Mushnik, the shop keeper. Were I to be cast as Orin, the song, "Dentist" would need to be in a different key than on the cast album. I can sing it there, but it's closer to the lower part of my register. I need to be able to get up higher in my register to get that right, "grease/be-bop" vocal style the song really needs. The Mushnik stuff is just fine where it's at. Auditions are about a month away.


ANOTHER AUDITION:

I also will be picking up a copy of Sordid Lives, which is the Theatre Guild's first play for 2004/05. Greg (Smith) is directing. The auditions are about two weeks after those for Little Shop. I would know by then whether I was cast in L.S.O.H, and if I am not, I will perhaps audition for Sordid Lives. It's not that it is a "fall back" as much as it is that I very much want to do Little Shop. I am not even sure if there is a role for me in Sordid Lives.


THE MOVIE:

I'm starting to think about the treatment for my movie, too. I believe I am going to start it soon. The story will be filled out from my short story, "Shiloh." I have a vague idea of what I want to do. I'll let that sort itself out as I write the treatment.



Sun June 13, 2004

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PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

Proposals opened this past Friday and it was a good show. I missed Saturday's and today's shows. Next two weekends I will be working the show.

Got this great idea for some little gifts for each cast member as well as director Greg and AD Jocelyn.



Mon, June 28, 2004

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PROPOSALS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

The run of Proposals is over. Yesterday was thelast show. The set was stricken right after, and I hated tosee it come down -- it was such an attractive set.

Click here for some pics of the set. Of course, I helped construct that from Greg Smith's wonderful design.

As for the performances, as I said above I would be, I workedthe second and third weekends as an assistant stagemanager. I was on curtain for the actors' entrances and exits frombehind the audience, did prop handling for those entrances/exits, and wrangled two prop rocks that the characterKenny (Craig Roberts) throws into the "woods."

There were abundant fine performances from this cast, in fact, overall, I'd say the acting out-shined the text. It's a nice play, and funny, but, I wouldn't say it was one of NeilSimon's best. Though it does have several of both poignantand comedic moments. There was also mostly very strongchemistry between the characters; lots of wonderful one-on-one moments. I enjoyed watching this group of fine actors, some of them veteran to the craft, and I was glad to be there to support their performances.


CRIPPLE REVISITED:

Another nice thing happened last week. In the DaytonCity Paper, Russell Florence Jr. gave several nods toThe Cripple of Inishmaan. He listed our productionas the best community theater production of the 2003/04 Dayton theater season. He also gave Dodie Lockwood, Natasha Randall and myself mentions as three of the best supporting performances of the year (re: Cripple); then listed my Johnny Pateen as one of the "breakthrough" performances of the year -- which I assume is comparable to "debut." Nice to be recognized for your efforts.


"HELPING" AT THE GUILD:

I also was approached the week before last about managing properties for the 2004/05 season at the Dayton Theatre Guild. I asked for a few days to consider it, but said I was leaning very heavily toward saying yes. I was to give my answer when I showed up Friday, June 18, to work Proposals. When I got there, I was congratulated by several people for being elected member-at-large for The Guild's board. My term starts in September.


L.S.O.H AUDITIONS:

Found out that for the auditions for Little Shop of Horrors I am asked to sing one minute of a "Broadway-type" song, not from Little Shop. Since I am leaning toward going after Mushnik, the shop keeper, rather than Orin, the dentist, I have elected to use "To Life" from Fiddler on the Roof. It's not rock-and-roll, like most of Little Shop's music, but, then neither is most of what Mushnik sings. "To Life" also has the same vocal range as Mushnik's vocal parts as well as being very similar in musical style to Mushnik's big number, "Mushnik and Son."


SORDID LIVES AUDITIONS:

If I audition for this (if not cast in Little Shop), I think I'll go after the role of Brother Boy -- mostly because he's the only male in the play I like -- save for a twenty-one-year-old, which I clearly cannot be cast as.

Brother Boy is a flaming homosexual transvestite who was unjustly committed to a mental ward when he was eighteen. He has coped with his long commitment by dressing up as his favorite female country stars and performing shows for his fellow inmates. It's really a great role. Though I haven't seen the movie, I know that Leslie Jordan played the role. I am sure he was great; he is such a good character actor.


H O M E

Being active behind the scenes with Proposals, being recognized for my performance in Cripple, getting elected to the board at The Guild, and prepping myself for upcoming auditions -- I feel now very much in my element. Remember those awkward, painful moments I described from back in October of last year? Those moments when I was around this energy and this thing that I was no longer a part of? I am again a part of it. I am back in the theater.

Now I am trying to figure out how to become an independent contractor at something. I need to be able to take off work whenever I want without getting permission. Sometime in the next year or so, I want to start auditioning for pro and semi-pro plays. To the best of my knowledge they don't rehearse in the evening. They rehearse in the day time. I am not going to be allowed time off for daytime rehearsals, from my current job. Working there, I won't be available for such productions. I need to pay rent some other way. I'm thinking I ought to acquire a lot of different graphic softwares and learn them inside and out. I do well with what software I have and know, I need to expand my knowledge and skill. I believe my independent contractor gigs fall in this realm.


DAYTONY AWARDS:

There's a new Dayton area community theater award ceremony called The Daytonys, the derivation being obvious. It takes place in August. Most, if not all, of the cast of Cripple will be there, including me. There seems some good chance that Cripple will win something.


MY MOVIE:

I have gotten a little bit of the treatment for the movie finished. It's the focus of my creative writing for the moment.




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