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

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Welcome to 2006
Another Year Of Opportunity

MY 2005 AS AN ARTIST

I might be able to gripe some about my year, but in most cases, not too terribly loudly. My biggest gripe as an actor, least wise on an emotional level, is that I did not get to portray Andrey Botvinnik in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of A Walk in the Woods. It was the role I coveted the most of those available in 2005. There were a lot of other roles I did not get in 2005, as well.

I was not cast as Dr. Christie in film maker Mark Archer's indy film project Paper Dolls. I lost the lead in local director Brett Hatten's full-length indy feature The Monster's Mind. Was not chosen for a role in a Wright State film major's short film. I was not cast as Stage Manager or either father in Our Town at The Dayton Playhouse. Did not get cast in The Crucible at DPH, either. Nor was I offered any opportunity to move into any vacated roles in the summer revival of Sordid Lives at the Guild. Speaking of the Guild -- was not cast in An Act of the Imagination; and more recently (though for this 2006 year), I did not get cast in Other People's Money, also at the Guild. And, let's not forget that I didn't get to be Jake in Jake's Women at Brookville Community Theatre. Rising Phoenix Theatre Company did not use me for its production of Blithe Spirit, either. And I did not even get to read for the role of Jamie for the Guild production of Long Day's Journey into Night, I was so far off the director's radar for that role.

A couple dozen literary agents responded with form letters, rejecting the representation of my novel manuscript -- most without having read any chapters. The Ohio Arts Council neither gave me a grant based on the novel or even recommended me to the final committee.

In other disappointments, I was not able to get the production of my short movie even close to up and running last summer, as had been the goal. I'd love to be gearing up for a trip to Park City, Utah in just a few weeks -- Meaning that I'd have a final cut of the movie showing at a little film festival out there known as "Sundance."

2005 showed me lots of rejection and disappointment.

All part of the game.

So here's all the ways 2005 was great for me as an artist:

  • Mark Archer may not have ended up casting me, but damned if I didn't get a callback. That at least helps boost my esteem about my acting. There was something he saw. I remember reading in the Dayton Daily News, just after that initial screentest here in town, where Archer had said something along the lines of that he'd seen a few actors that had promise. I'd remember thinking to myself, I wonder if I was one of those. Turns out I was.

    Even though I ultimately was not cast in the movie, the whole episode was good. It was good to just have done the auditions. It was a cool little adventure to go to Cleveland for the callback. It was all good learning experiences. I had felt pretty good about the first screentest in Dayton and felt I blew the second screentest in Cleveland. I learned a valuable lesson from the second one, as I have written here before:

    When I think I can do it better, during an audition, I owe it to myself to say to the director, "Can we do that again? I can do that better." It's also okay to get clarification about what the director wants. If I am not sure what is being asked for I really ought to find out.

  • Early in the year, at the improv workshop we sponsored at the Guild, I discovered I could be good at improv. Not brilliant, but at least not lousy.
  • I did do all those auditions even if I was not chosen.
  • I auditioned two other times where I was chosen.

    In the summer I got to shoot a small but really fun role for the Stephen King Dollar Baby movie, Nona, co-directed by Cincinnatians Steve Smith and Tony Bushman. Smith also wrote the screenplay (based on the King short story) and starred. Bushman was the director of photography. It was only a total of three minutes of screen time, at the most, but, unless the directors decide to cut the scene, Stephen king will see me act. Not really sure that means anything fabulous, but it is pretty neat.

    In November I performed my biggest role so far as an adult actor: Clov in Samuel Beckett's Endgame for the premier production of the new Springfield StageWorks in, well, Springfield, Ohio. It was a good production with a great cast, crew and director. We got good feedback from the audiences and I got some nice complements from people whose opinions carry weight with me.

  • I also got a technically professional acting gig doing reader's theatre at Middfest International, an annual festival in Middletown, Ohio. This, thanks to fellow actor and new-found friend, Deirdre Root. *Click here to see my first (and so far, only) paycheck as an actor.
  • Got to be part of the ensemble performers for a special fund-raising reader's theatre at the Guild, which also featured the local jazz/new age musicians Michael & Sandy Bashaw And The Puzzle Of Light Ensemble.
  • Also, from my general audition at the Rising Phoenix last spring, I got two callbacks that unfortunately were for productions up during scheduling conflicts for me.
  • I was "the producer" for Grace & Glorie during the second half of the 2004/05 season at the Guild. The show won seven Daytony awards and one Murphy award (Daytony's awarded by the community of theatres in the Dayton area; Murphy's, the in-house award at the Dayton Theatre Guild). I really had very little to do with the resulting production or any of its wins. But, it was a good start and I learned to be a better more proactive producer by being what I consider a fairly ineffective producer for this one.
  • So, later in 2005, for this new 05/06 season at the Guild, I produced Belles and feel much better about my work as producer on this one. For the most part, I put together the crew, though it was likely Terry Ronald was going to design the lights. Also, though I had approached Brian Buttrey about being stage manager in the fall, while he was SM for Gross Indecency, at that point it seemed unlikely he could commit -- so Greg Smith actually confirmed him for Belles, later. Greg also picked up Lisa Sadai as the A.D. (she was also in the cast). Before I knew she was auditioning I was going to approach her about either SM or A.D. . With Bob Mills operating sound, Anita Bachmann operating lights, Terry designing both, Brain and Lisa in their production roles, it was the crew that I began envisioning in late summer. And, my self-involved ego will ignore the possibility that it was happenstance.

    By making sure the casting calls got out soon and broadly, I do believe I played some significant role in the large group of ladies who auditioned for the show. Because of Endgame rehearsals I was not able to attend auditions or give Greg my opinion about casting -- though I doubt he'd have listened much to my novice opinions, anyway. Must say, though, he had a good pool to cast from and I played a part in that.

    Tried to stay on top of the show's prop needs, too. The whole cast was quite instrumental with this though. I tried my best to be sure all the needs were met, even if those need got met by others. I did make sure we had the six land line phones we needed, with three of them being cordless. And as producer I took an active role in solving several technical problems we had getting cordless phones to work and then to work properly.

    The second weekend, Bob Mills had an emergency out of town, so as producer I had to be sure we had a sound person for that weekend. The situation being so last minute, it was I who ran the sound.

    I felt far more active and connected to this one than I had to Grace & Glorie mostly because this time I had some vision of what I was supposed to do.

  • Musically I have moved a little back into the arena, with my purchase last summer of an acoustic bass guitar. It hasn't often been the focus of my creative energy (I ain't been practicin' a lot), but it's back in the mix, at least.
  • I did some rewriting of my novel manuscript and sent many query letters to literary agents.
  • I rewrote my screenplay. I submitted a draft to the Ohio Arts Council for an individual artist's grant. I've done some location scouting -- there's lots more to do. I have done some talent scouting for the young actress to play the daughter. I have also seen a few adult ladies who may be good to invite to audition when that time comes. There currently is a local film maker reading the screenplay with the potential to come on board as the DP and co-producer. I am looking for other grants, but have had little success. I'm not really sure I know all the places to look, however. I have made tentative plans to get with dialect coach Rocco Dal Vera this spring to do a session or two on the Scot's accent I currently need for the lead character.

    This has all kept the idea of the movie alive for me. I have no idea if it gets shot this summer or not. But, how I want to be preparing myself for a trip to Park City this time next year.

So, I keep auditioning in 2006. There may be as many as four in the near future. More on that tomorrow. I have every intention of auditioning for the Human Race Theatre Company. I was recently told that one who does not have an acting degree may have less of a chance. That is a bit discouraging. I will have no chance if I have never auditioned there. I have plans to get an agent in 2006, too, especially if I can land another lead or bigger supporting role over the next few months.

As for my novel. This year I may start approaching smaller presses, myself.

The movie -- already covered that. Let us pray I am editing in, oh, say, late July.



Wed Jan 11, 2006

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FIRST, A FEW THINGS REGARDING THE LAST POST: because I often worry I have not clearly communicated myself.

  • "I might be able to gripe some about my year, but in most cases, not too terribly loudly" -- really, in hardly any case. There are a few instances that I believe it was a mistake to pass me over (made by both some directors and by literary agents). That may just be my own ego. Yet, I am certain I could have delivered well in any role I was cast in and that I have a novel worth publishing and reading.
  • "Nor was I offered any opportunity to move into any vacated roles in the summer revival of Sordid Lives at the Guild" -- this is not meant to suggest I thought I was owed such, simply that I wished such. Again, I am sure I would have carried any role off well. I believe better than some would have guessed. And I guess it is relevant to point out that I did not make my wishes in this matter known, whether or not that would have made a difference.
  • Forgot to mention how I took on the house manager role for the Guild. Finding enough hosts for performances is sometimes a bit of a chore and just today I more-or-less resorted to spamming some folk from the local theatre community -- those whose emails I had. I am at that oh-shit!-desperate place, looking at a list of potential fresh hosts that is dwindling. I really don't like the thought of calling on the same people too often. Getting willing volunteers is a hard game in anyone's arena, theatre or otherwise.

MY 2006 AS AN ARTIST -- THE GOALS AND SUCH

  • Keep auditioning, of course.

    And of course, my next theatre audition will be this coming Monday -- and maybe Tuesday if I get a callback -- for I Never Sang For My Father at the ol' Dayton Theatre Guild. If that don't pan out (and Murphey's Law will say it won't -- only because I covet the role of Gene with strength and yearning), then I audition for Hollywood Arms at the Dayton Playhouse the next week. If that didn't happen for me, I was seriously considering, yes, indeed, a musical, despite my usual reluctance toward such -- Threepenny Opera being produced by Clark State Community College Theatre Arts Department. Except I misunderstood when auditions were. They were earlier this week; I had thought they were in February. Well, I'll have a CD of the 1994 London cast in a day or so. Was going to be for possible study; now it'll just be for fun.

    Film you say? I do have an appointment this coming Sunday to audition for a "Ghost Busters fan film" -- not completely sure what fan film means save that it is rather like a sequel.

    There's also another opportunity coming up to go after Stage Manager in Our Town as Springfield StageWorks is closing its first season with this. And in a segue from this reference (ala Endgame), there is also the Beckett short plays Brian McKnight is directing this spring for Sinclair Community College Theatre. Might be fun to do Beckett again. And I will keep my eyes open for any other stage or film casting calls that look promising.

    As already stated, I will to do the general audition for the Human Race Theatre Company this coming spring. And though circumstances kept me from both callbacks I received from the Rising Phoenix Theatre Company, I will still audition there for their 06/07 season.

  • Though it seems no more possible this summer than it turned out to be last summer, I still envision myself in production of my movie this coming summer.

    Still don't know how it's being paid for -- *(see item below about the fact that it's NOT money coming from the OAC)

    I'll be getting with the potential DP/Co-producer to see whether he is still interested. I am also still in the slug speed process of scoping out other potential grants, doing research on locations (scouting and trying to get a handle on costs). Need to get a plan for sound and lights together, too. I actually have an article about effective low budget lighting tips and tricks, especially with digital video.

    I must master FinalCut in the next several months, too. I have had the software since March of 2004, and I barely know it yet.

    Yeah, I really have hardly a clue what I'm doing; but, hope springs eternal.

  • With my novel -- just got another rejection letter from an agent this afternoon -- I am still going to query literary agents, but I am going to start researching harder the smaller presses.
  • I also am keeping the literary aspect of this web site alive, though it is a much more leisurely endeavor. There is a current call for submissions, if you are a writer. See the Submission Guidelines page if you are interested.
  • Beyond some work for my movie, I am working to float back into music. I vow now to pick that acoustic bass up and woodshed a bit more than I have been. I also have had an invitation to collaborate with a friend and I am up for that.

    My nephew has given me sound recording and mixing software, which I hope to utilize at some point. It's lite software and I will eventually have more robust programs for music making. I have some recordings from the 80's I want to digitally master and get out there -- maybe even as downloads at the site.

  • I also have been playing with Corel Painter and as soon as I can, I will purchase it. I want to start creating more computer visual art. It's a really nice program and I can start my deeper visual artwork with it.

Too much, you say? Eh! It's good to be a failure who can boast of achievements.

BELLES AND ENDGAME PICTURES: I have processed a slew of pictures from both these shows and have somewhat begun the coding process to post them. They will both be up soon (with a liberal use of "soon"). The Belles pictures will be first.

NO OAC GRANT FOR MY MOVIE: Received the official email from the Ohio Arts Council informing me my screenplay will not be recommended for a 2006 grant. With the rule change that prohibits resubmitting work, that blocks that avenue.

AND, BY-THE-WAY.....

OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY

OPENS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD FRIDAY NIGHT.

Here's a big Break A Leg to the cast and crew!



Sun Jan 15, 2006

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TODAY'S AUDITION FOR THE "GHOSTBUSTERS FAN FILM": Don't feel absolutely wonderful about the screen-test, but don't feel terribly. Same ol' same ol'. I am never satisfied with my cold reads though, as we know. Just don't have enough time to study the words and characters to do more than give what I consider a superficial reading. One thing I did do, as I said I had learned my lesson about, is to ask a couple times if I could do a scene over.

I did do full vocal warm-ups in the car on the highway on my way to the audition at the Miami Valley Communication Council. I also was there early (forty-five minutes) so I at least had some chance to study the sides (the excerpt from the script used for the audition).

The character I auditioned for is a big supporting role, actually the human antagonist -- there will, of course, be "post"-human antagonists. The director/screenwriter, Mike Sopronyi, expects the movie will be a little bit more than an hour.

As for what this is all about as a production concept, the best explanation can be found at the Fan Film page of the Ghostbusters HQ web site. You can watch the very first short, Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good, by David Sadler, Brandon S. Crisp, Mark E. Argentini, and Rob Cleaton. That one is maybe two minutes long. The Quicktime movie is only three megabytes, The page makes reference to the fact that Ghostbusters HQ sponsors fan films, but I don't know if the site is sponsoring this project. At the time of the audition I did not have enough detail to know to ask. I, in fact, asked no questions about the production, save for one about the character. I probably ought to have, huh?

PREPPING FOR THE I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AUDITIONS TOMORROW AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: I have the rest of today and most of the day tomorrow to study Robert Anderson's script. I did, as those of you who have read here may remember, use Gene's closing monologue when I did the general audition last June for the Rising Phoenix Theatre Company 05/06 season.

This casting call says to bring a prepared monologue, yet last time I auditioned for Justin Reiter, that call also said such, though he didn't have me perform one. I will still have one prepared, just in case.

I am not sure what I'm going with. I am thinking seriously about either the Jake's Women cockroach monologue or the opening monologue from my screenplay -- both are close to the same spirit and tenor as Gene.

THE OPENING OF OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY AT THE GUILD: I was only at the theatre for opening night, and I was the host, so I was, of course, preoccupied. And as usual, I did my best to ignore the performance, since I couldn't attend to it in its entirety. Grace & Glorie and Belles are the only ones I have not done this with, since I was involved as producer of those; so I'd watch every moment I could break free to do so the times I hosted.

The Friday audience did have good comments at intermission and after the show; and the cast felt good about it. Critic Russell Florence Jr. was there, so the Dayton City Paper review should be out this coming Wednesday.

I did actually drop by the theatre for a little while before last night's show to do some house manager stuff, but I was gone before the house was opened for seating.

By-the-way, this show marks friend and fellow actor Deirdre Root's debut as a stage manager, and by all evidence she seems to be doing a bang-up job.

PICTURES OF A COOL SET ARE COMING: I am fitting in the coding of the page of pictures of the Belles set whenever I can. Next will be a large amount of Endgame pics, some from an actual performance in front of the audience.



Mon, Jan 16, 2006

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FIRST NIGHT OF AUDITIONS FOR I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Hello, neurotic actor here. I just have emotionally attached myself to this role too much. At one point during the audition I actually felt a burning sense of fear as someone else read for Gene. Later, at least for a few moments I felt sadness. Too intense of reactions. This is even worse than A Walk in the Woods in those moments when it became obvious I was not going to be Aundrey.

Thing is, I really did not do all that bad. It was a little rocky at first, but I ultimately brought the Gene in there that I would do best as (not fully developed, of course). And it seems in my mind (bias and hopeful as it is) that of those there I am the best fit for the role. Again, bias and wishful thinking can not be discounted.

Well, director Justin Reiter did not tell me not to come back tomorrow night -- and I didn't ask. So I'll be there.



Tue, Jan 17, 2006

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SECOND NIGHT OF AUDITIONS FOR I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: It's the same old story, the same old song and dance. Can't say. Certainly no sense that I am leading the race. Best I can believe right now is that I am in the pack and not lagging behind.

I do know that I tanked at least one scene. I just did not connect well with my scene partner up there; my delivery was pretty lame. I did well, I guess, with some other reads.

But, Mr. Neurotic Actor worries.

Good thing I'm not taking this all too seriously, huh?

By-the-way, on a related subject, turns out I was wrong to think the Threepenny Opera auditions have already happened. They will indeed be in February. Depending on what else happens, perhaps that CD I just got will be for some study.



Sun Jan 22, 2006

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WELL, IT'S NOT "AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION," HOWEVER...: I am not cast as Gene. I have accepted the role of Dr. Mayberry, which is a minor supporting role. There's absolutely no way I cannot say this is a major disappointment to me without being a big ol' hairy-assed liar. When I was offered Dr. Mayberry Thursday, my immediate, visceral reaction was to respond with a resounding and insulted No. Fortunately, there is a more mature, relatively level-headed, slightly less foolish part of my being who was able to intervene with what my better angels knew was the right and proper response -- "Yeah, sure I'll be Dr. Mayberry."

It is the necessary thing for me to do, to accept the lesser part, for so many reasons. It's good for my sometimes unhealthy ego to be humbled. I also have to directly confront this pathetically unspiritual urge I had to react to this with sour grapes. I cannot tolerate that attitude in myself nor allow it to prevail. This is not the last time this will happen and I have to teach myself to handle this better than my instincts wanted to. It may be a cliché and a little on the corn ball side, but the adage is still true: "There are no small parts, only small actors." I will be much happier with myself if I have the class to not be a small actor.

Thursday, I was at battle within over this situation. Intellectually I was a bit unsettled because emotionally I still felt rejected even though I was not, least not totally.

And it become even less so yesterday when Director Justin Reiter offered me the A.D. position as well as the opportunity to understudy the role of Gene. Of course, looking down the road I certainly intend on directing theatre. Obviously I will direct that movie of mine if I can ever get the damned thing into production. So, to make the most of this production, I certainly accepted the A.D. position. I also will understudy Gene. And the landscape of the experience has certainly changed with these new dimensions, especially the A.D. opportunity.

The disappointment of not getting cast as Gene is still here and still real. An actor friend shared something a director said at the end of auditions and that I am using to help me with the disappointment. I paraphrase here:

In the history of theatre no production has been completely cast as well as it could have. Someone who could have been cast was passed over for an actor who would do well enough but not as well as the first actor. Something was missed or not known that would have caused the better choice to have been cast. There's no question I will make that same error. If you are not cast, know that you just may be that actor who lost the role you were truly the best choice for.

I just finished an incredible artistically successful run in a difficult lead role as Clov in a difficult existential play. The director, Larry Coressel, confided in me that he found it hard to believe I had not had such a demanding lead role already. He told me he actually had at one point considered me for either lead role but decided I was a better type for Clov and that I seemed able to show the scope of attitude and emotion that he felt Clov demanded. I know I am ready to take on such a role as Gene. I would not have auditioned if I did not know that. I am very careful about such things. And I am absolutely sure I would bring the vulnerability and sensitivity to Gene that my reading of the play says the text demands.

I shared this with Justin after he had answered my query about what kept me from winning the role of Gene. I also shared that I don't hold his casting decision against him nor take it personally. I understand that directors have to do what they must to get a cast that will work best in their eyes. That whole it's their vision thing.

In the end, I look forward to the A.D. experience and will give the production the best Dr. Mayberry I can.

NONA MOVIE UPDATE: Got an email Thursday, from Tony Bushman, the co-director, co-producer, and DP of the Stephen King Dollar Baby movie Nona, to keep the cast and crew updated on the progress of post-production. He says the final cut will be soon, with the same sort of disclaimer about the ambiguous definition of the word "soon" that I have been known to use.

He reports that so far the movie looks good. Both he and co-director, screenwriter, and star Stephen Smith live in California now, so an Ohio premier looks less likely though not out of the question. But, I will get a DVD either way.

A LITTLE PITCH FOR A LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER: The CD-ROM all my professional actor's headshots were on became corrupted. I then realized I didn't have the back-up on hard drive I thought I had. I called the photographer to see if he had the pics on file. His assistant said they should be there but were not. So the photographer, Nick Nicholas -- whose studio is in Bellbrook, Ohio, arranged to give me a new shoot for a drastically discounted rate. Very good customer relations. He already was going to get my repeat business because I got good pictures my first time there but this makes me even a more loyal repeat customer.

BELLES PICTURES, ETC., EVEN CLOSER TO POSTING: Sometime during this week.



Mon, Jan 23, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER FIRST REHEARSAL TONIGHT: So tonight will be the table read and I will also get some idea of what Justin wants from me as A.D.

BELLES PICTURES, ETC.: I have posted some pictures of the Belles set, plus just general info and cast and crew bios. Click here.



Sat Jan 28, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS: So far I've just been doing the A.D. duty of recording the blocking in the master script. Had rehearsals Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all nights with just the principals from Act I, Gene and his parents. Of course, along with attending to all blocking directions, I also paid attention to all of the directions for Gene, since as understudy, there's a one in ten-million chance I may portray him on stage during this run. Justin, the director, used the term "sounding board" in his original offer of the A.D. position; thus far that has not come to play, but it may be too early in the process for that. Justin may want to brush the first base on his canvas before seeking input from me -- which would make perfect sense to me.

I studied on Dr. Mayberry a bit last night. When I am done with this entry I will record a cassette tape of all Gene and Mayberry scenes in the same fashion as I did with Endgame. Again, I will do the very monotone reading and will study Mayberry and Gene with the same freedom as I had Clov -- by not having any interpretations come through in the reading on the tape.

Monday through Wednesday I will pull double-duty as Dr. Mayberry will be rehearsed. Haven't figured out the logistics of recording everyone's blocking while I am rehearsing Mayberry, but I'll come up with something.

It also occurred to me I did not list the cast and crew of this production. So here we are, at least as I am aware of us on this Saturday evening (some vacant cast and crew spots may have been filled, unbeknownst to me):

Gene Garrison Gil Martin
Tom Garrison Ralph Dennler
Margaret Garrison Dodie Lockwood
Alice Garrison Kimberly Reiter
Reverend Pell Harold Fox
Marvin Scott Richard Young
Dr. Mayberry K.L.Storer
Nurse Sarah Gomes
Mary TBA
Porter TBA
Director Justin Reiter
Producer Bob Mills
Stage Manager TBA
Assistant Director K.L.Storer
Lighting Designer Terry Ronald
Light Operator TBA
Sound Designer TBA
Sound Operator TBA
Wardrobe Supervisor Greg Smith
Properties TBA
Set Design Justin Reiter
Set Construction TBA

I'M GONNA GET SLIMMED: Received a call from the casting director for the Ghostbusters fan film, Ghostbusters: Spook University, Ray Gambrel, earlier this evening. He offered me the role of the dean of students. As I said before, this is a substantial supporting role. Production will begin in late March or early to mid April. Gambrel, by-the-way, is also directing Lend Me a Tenor, which opens February 17 at Playhouse South.

Click here for the Spook University web site. Click on the audition pictures link and see if you can identify me. By the way, they seem to still need some major roles cast. If you are an actor, especially of college age, and local to the Dayton area, you might want to check out that link, too.

KATRINA KITTLE'S NEW NOVEL: The lovely and very talented Katrina Kittle (Aneece in Belles and Dr. Eve in Sordid Lives) will do a reading/book signing on February 10 at Books&Co for her new novel, The Kindness of Strangers. I had thought I would have to miss the event due to Never Sang rehearsals, but Feb 10 is a Friday and we have Fridays off for most of the rehearsal period. I have almost finished her first published novel, Traveling Light -- haven't picked it up for a few weeks, though, due to my schedule. It is a good book. I also read the first four chapters of her sophomore publication, Two Truths and a Lie and will eventually just start over at page one of that one. I will, of course, buy the new one at the signing, but, I am going to read her in order of release. Despite how busy I am, I am going to be damed sure to at least have her first novel read by the tenth.

Check out Katrina's web site: www.katrinakittle.com.



Mon, Jan 30, 2006

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OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY ON CLOSING DAY, YESTERDAY, AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Was in the audience for the last show. I must say there was a lot of strong chemistry on that stage. My hat is off to the cast: Saul Caplan, Barbara Jorgensen, Elena Monigold, John Spitler and Bert Staub. It was an overall good theatre afternoon.

MISSED CHANCE: Hollywood Film Consortium is having cattle calls this week for a motion picture titled Immortally Yours in Cincinnati. The scheduling makes it impossible for me to be make it. As well, from the posting at Cincinnati Theatre Web it looks like I would have schedule conflicts with the production due to I Never Sang and Spook University. Oh well.



Tue, Jan 31, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSAL: I rehearsed Dr. Mayberry last night for the first time (well he was blocked), at the Guild. As always, that first night of blocking a scene is always such an awkward thing for me. Add to it that I was also attending to everyone else's blocking. Good thing is I believe I caught everything I needed to.

Justin also wants a different Dr. Mayberry than I had begun to form in my head, so I have to alter him a bit. I also need to learn some examination business. I think I'm going to consult someone at the School of Medicine on campus at Wright State University.

To be honest, in many ways I have not yet fully invested in Dr. Mayberry. That makes it a bit easier to realign him to what the director wants, but it also caused a pretty lame presentation of him last night -- that beyond the distractions of attending to blocking, etc. I have a bit of ground to cover with him so that he's not a character bit done by an actor, but instead, is a busy, driven doctor attending to his patient. I was wholly unsatisfied with my delivery last night. Of course, it is pretty early, but it's never too early to start moving the character as close to alive as possible.

Well, I can't wait to get the script out of my hand and get the doctor's medical examination business down, as well as work with the props. And get the breath of life going strong.



Wed Feb 1, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSAL: I rehearsed Dr. Mayberry again last night (again, he was blocked). Same report as yesterday, essentially.

This impatience of mine to get to the fully developed character is probably never going to go away.

FEEDBACK ON MY SCREENPLAY: Got feedback from the local film maker, Dereck W. Beck, on my screenplay today. He pointed out some important flaws, especially in structure, and his input will help me to revise it to a better piece of work. He actually pointed out a couple things that I already knew and that were a product of the circumstance. For instance there are some camera shots in the screenplay, which normally there should not be (because that is the purview of the director). I am the director, which is why they are there. When I submitted it to the Ohio Arts Council last fall, I removed those directions. But, he had other comments that will help me make it better and will help me be a better screenwriter in the future. Though, as much as I am thankful he pointed out the flaws, I am frustrated they were there to be recognized.

MAYBE A SIMPLER MOVIE: For the last couple of weeks I have been entertaining the idea of another screenplay to put into production first, anyway. I mentioned sometime in the last few months that I have a short story I wrote, perhaps ten years ago, that is worth salvaging but will need a lot of work. It will work well as a screenplay and I am more enthused about going back and translating it to such as my revision rather than as a new version of the short story.

It'll also be a much easier movie to make. Two characters, perhaps three, is all it needs and much fewer sets/locations -- something like two interiors (and I could get away with one) and one exterior location (a back yard). I would not appear in this one; it would call for two principals in their late twenties, and if there is a third character, the same age.

But this scrapping the other movie may just be where I am right now.

I'M NOT ALONE IN THIS, RIGHT?: I'm in one of those low swings in terms of mojo or whatever you wanna call it. My perception of virtually everything is colored a bit pale. Last night I looked at the first two chapters of my novel manuscript and thought, Oh christ, this doesn't work at all! I've just had some flaws that need to be fixed in my screenplay pointed out to me, not to mention that I still don't know how it will go into production when they are fixed. There is some silly petulance at my paycheck job, pretty much the same as always, but it's annoying me more than usual. Have had a few other things in my personal life go a little different than the way I had hoped. I sort of am at this place of gloomy resignation. I'll snap out of it. But, yet, here I am in the interim.



Sat Feb 4, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS: Wednesday night I rehearsed one of Dr. Mayberry's two scenes and I do believe the doctor is starting to show up on stage much more. Since he has so few lines I have the goal to be off-book (all lines memorized) this weekend. Then I can spend more energy on studying Gene in case the improbable occurs.

Had Thursday off, even as A.D., while Justin did some character work with a few principals.

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: The Guild was host to a production of The Vagina Monologues stage by a group of students from the University of Dayton. Technically, as I write this in early afternoon, we still are the host since there is a matinee and evening performance still today.

I was on hand to oversee the hosting last night. I, of course, missed some good segment of the performance, but I did see a bit of the show. It was a nice production with a few really talented women walking on stage from time to time.

The only lady I'll mention by name is Lauren Deaton, since I have some connection with her. The biggest is that her twin sister Teirney was Paige in Belles; there is also that both sisters were at the callback for Paper Dolls in northern Ohio last May. Lauren was on stage last night with two monologues and I missed the first one. The second one was "Reclaiming the Word Cunt," and she did great work. I told her afterward how she and her sister both blow me away.

As I said, I didn't see it all, and may have missed all performances by some women, but I saw a few besides Lauren whose talents are also impressive.

MORE ON KATRINA KITTLE'S NEW NOVEL: It seems that the current issue of People magazine includes The Kindness of Strangers on its list of Great Reads. How fantastic is that?



Sun Feb 5, 2006

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A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE LAST NIGHT: Spent a delightful evening last night at DPH seeing a well-done production of this cute children's musical. Good performances all around, with some performances being excellent. The vocals were all strong; the choreography was clever and executed well. The cast was mostly not children but they certainly all have the savvy to play to children. There actually were only a few children in the audience, but those few loved the show.

Here's to a great job from director/choreographer Michael Wadham and his whole cast: Chris Harmon, Brad Bishop, James Roselli (who, as in last year's Godspell at DPH, almost stole the show), Natalie Houliston, Cami Brewer, Molley Burgo, Chris Shea (my Balladeer mate from The Diviners), Amanda Swarts (a talented ten-year-old who has a lovely voice), Bethany Johnson, Madison Porter, and Maryna Porter.

As an aside, next weekend I'll see The Tempest at The Human Race Loft Theatre with Bruce Cromer and Brian McKnight in the cast. Brian, as well as being a talented actor, is a major Beatle fan -- spot him a lot of points just for that. Bruce, well -- Bruce is Bruce.

MY NOVEL AND OTHER POINTS OF ACTION AS A "WRITER": I just have not been able to stop thinking about how dissatisfied I have suddenly become with the first few chapters of my "finished" manuscript. I now must find space to work on it.

Thus, as a writer, I have the novel to fix, the screenplay to fix, and, more than likely, another screenplay to write for production before the one I had hoped to shoot this coming summer (the one to fix).

OFF-BOOK WITH DR. MAYBERRY: Now I am off to memorize my dozen and a half or so lines as Dr. Mayberry. Technically, by the time you read this, it will have happened. I am writing this in the afternoon, at a friend's house, doing my laundry. It won't be (wasn't) posted until I get (got) home to an internet connection.

EVEN MORE ON KATRINA KITTLE'S NEW NOVEL: Today's Dayton Daily News has a nice feature story about Katrina and her new novel.



Thu Feb 9, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS AND DR. MAYBERRY'S BACKGROUND: Have had more opportunity to rehearse all the scenes with Dr. Mayberry in them and I am developing a stronger person. Needless to say, I am not dead-on yet in the delivery of his lines, but I am becoming more satisfied. I am in the process of getting with a doctor to show me some appropriate examination moves so that Mayberry will handle his patient (Margaret Garrison) with a sense of authenticity.

I have a bit of character background on Dr. Mayberry, too:

    He was born Charles Marcus Mayberry, on April 17, 1920, in the home of his parents, William and Beau Mayberry, 174 Gordon Avenue, Gary, Indiana. He is the oldest of three children. He has one brother, Gregory Philip, two years his junior, and one sister, Gwendolyn Dorothy (Dotty), five years younger than he. Greg owns a real estate company in Indianapolis; Dotty is married to John Baker, a police detective in Gary.

    Charles received his B.S. from the University of Chicago and in 1946 graduated from the Columbia School of Medicine. He did his residency at St. Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta, 1946-48. In 1948 he came on staff as internist at St. John's Riverside Hospital, Yonkers (Westchester County), New York, assigned to emergency medicine.

    He met a receptionist at the hospital, Elizabeth Johnston, seven years younger than he, and fell in love. The next year they married. Their first child, Martha Diane was born, July 1950, just shortly after he and Liz moved into their house in White Plains.

    Charles was drafted into service in February 1951 and served his tour in the U.S. Army Medical corps. He spent seven months as a doctor on the front lines, then finished his tour stationed at the Army medical base in Seoul Korea. He was discharged, July 1952.

    Charles Marcus Jr. was born in June 1953. Their third child, Audrey Beatrice followed in February 1955, and their youngest, Janet Marylyn was born in December 1958.

    Charles Sr. went into private practice as the partner of Dr. Timothy Guerra, in the summer of 1955. He stayed on as staff at St. John's and became staff at several other local hospitals. He became the primary doctor for the Garrison family upon Guerra's retirement in 1959. *(The Garrisons being the principal family of the play)

    He drives a Trophy Blue 1966 Corvette Sting Ray with dark blue leather interior and a 427 big block under the hood. His wife has a 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado, Topaz Gold with White vinyl interior.

    Charles loves jazz and classical. His favorite jazz singer is Mel Torme and he has a strong affinity for Duke Ellington. He loves all the classical composers, but Vivaldi is his favorite in that genre. He also finds Lennon & McCartney and few other pop composers pleasant. Through his wife, Charles has cultivated an appreciation of fine art and owns a 6x8 lithograph by Pablo Piccasso, which he paid $5500 for on a trip to France in 1964.

    He does golf, but believe it or not he doesn't like it all that much. He would prefer to be playing Bridge. Though he has respectable 20 handicap on the golf course, he is an accomplished bridge player and never misses Omar Sharif's Bridge column** in the newspaper. He also has bowled two 300 games in his life.

    The Mayberries go to church; Charles does it mostly to pacify his wife and out of the sense of social mores. They attend the White Plains First Church of Christ. Charles is not atheist, nor even agnostic, but he is also in doubt that God has been very well defined by any religion or theologian. He suspects the Bible is little more than moral fables with its "spiritual inspiration" coming from high minded spiritual men rather than the all-knowing creator of the universe.

    In 1968, as Mayberry is introduced in Act I of I Never Sang...., his oldest daughter Martha is about to graduate high school with a 3.9 grade average and is currently submitting her applications to universities with the intention of studying anthropology. Charley Jr. is finishing his freshman year in high school. He's has been in all three 1967/68 high school plays so far and is currently in rehearsal for the spring musical as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Charley is one of those C-average students who does not apply himself. Audrey is in seventh grade; she plays the violin fairly well but shows a greater aptitude for literary writing and has a 4.0 grade average. Janet is a precocious third-grader and the only of his children who wants to be a doctor like Dad.

To some it seems silly to go this far, I know. But, just as I said about the background for the Balladeer in The Diviners, I will have a real sense of a person walking out on stage. I know who Dr. Mayberry is and I have a feel for delivering his lines like a breathing human being and not just a character from a script. Just as I stood on the stage as Leland Hisey, the Balladeer in the fall of 2004, and not as, K.L. playing the role of the Balladeer.

**TO BE HONEST I AM NOT SURE THAT SHARIF HAD STARTED WRITING HIS BRIDGE COLUMN BY 1968; IT'S POSSIBLE IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE '70'S. WE'LL JUST SAY IT EXISTED IN 1968.

MY NEXT AUDITION -- FOOTFALLS: Sinclair Community College Theatre is producing Footfalls: a Series of Short Plays by Samuel Beckett in early May with that Beatle-guy Brian McKnight directing. I have made an appointment to audition on March 6. I plan to do Clov's closing monologue from Endgame, or a select portion of it since I think the whole passage will run over the two-minute limit.

Since Spook University will still be shooting in May, I contacted film director Mike Sopronyi to see if I could get off the call sheets for the two Fridays and Saturdays the Beckett show will be up -- or at least be sure I am wrapped for the day in time to make the cast call for the play. Sopranyi sees pretty much all principal photography happening on Sundays, so there is no conflict if I manage to be cast in the SCC show.

I have not yet seen any info on which short Beckett plays are on the roster, but I have been told that information should soon be forthcoming.



Fri Feb 10, 2006

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MY NIXED(?) AUDITION -- A SHOE MAY HAVE FALLEN ON THE FOOT: Have a potential problem now with the Sinclair Community College Theatre production of Footfalls: a Series of Short Plays by Samuel Beckett. I've just been informed there may be a Sunday, May 7 matinee performance and that set strike will be the following Sunday -- I hadn't considered set strike. The SCCT web page does not have a performance listed for May 7, but I am waiting for verification of yes or no on that.

My first obligation and responsibility is to the Spook University movie production, though. I am cast already and it would be the first of the two if I would be cast in the Beckett production, as well. With luck, there could be a happy compromise that isn't inconvenient to either production.

I am going to selfishly try to have my cake and eat it, too. As soon as I know what is what I am going to try to negotiate something that makes it possible for me to commit to Footfalls if cast. What I hope for is that there indeed is not a May 7 show and that I can be excused from the May 14 movie call sheet. That way I miss only one shooting day and I can be at the theatre for strike, which I think is an obligation to meet unless to do so is not possible.

But, like I said, as much as I want to audition and be cast in the Beckett work, if it's either/or, I am obligated to Spook University first.

KATRINA KITTLE READING TONIGHT: Don't forget, you folk local to Dayton, Ohio -- or "local" enough -- that author and actor Katrina Kittle will do a reading from her newly published novel, The Kindness of Strangers, at 7:00 tonight at Books&Co, 350 E. Stroop Road, in the Town and Country shopping center.

She has other readings/signings coming up, including one in Cincinnati and one in Austin, Texas. See www.katrinakittle.com/attend.html for details.



Sat Feb 11, 2006

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IT'LL BE THE "FOOT FALLING", NOT THE "SHOE DROPPING": There will not be a Sunday matinee of the Sinclair Community College Theatre production of Footfalls: a Series of Short Plays by Samuel Beckett, so that conflict with the movie project is moot. Still will very likely have to miss the Footfalls set strike on Sunday, May 14, but that conflict will not keep me from auditioning.

KATRINA KITTLE'S READING LAST NIGHT AT BOOKS&CO IN DAYTON, OHIO: Katrina's reading/book signing for her latest published novel, The Kindness of Strangers, at Books&Co. in Dayton (technically, kettering) went well. She had a really nice crowd. She read portions of chapter one and two. The writing was vital and intriguing.

www.katrinakittle.com



Sun Feb 12, 2006

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POSTING A PORTION OF MY NOVEL: With no denial that the advent of the release of Katrina's latest, The Kindness of Strangers, has fueled the fire, I will most likely post the prologue and the first few chapters of my own novel manuscript soon. I caught the drive today and spent much of the day revising the first few chapters. If you remember, I read those first few chapters about a week and half back and became worried.

It's not at all that I dislike the writing; it's that I am concerned that it won't fly as it is with any agents, editors or publishers. The truth is that as it was at the time, it would only appeal to those patient readers who love to climb inside character and setting and are willing to let the story happen to them casually. If the prose is engaging enough, I am one of those readers. Seems more people are not than are. Those in the business of selling books have a big problem with that particular indicator. They want manuscripts that they believe will appeal to more, not fewer -- or at least what fits the model that they and, more importantly the marketing department, um, people(?) have defined as reality. As to whether the models are more than faulty interpretations of deceiving data from self-fulfilling prophesy, well, that's a debate that could fill a monographic series.

Nevertheless, I spent yesterday rearranging, cutting and adding material. The story is not altered, whatsoever. I simply get the impatient readers to some action a little sooner than in the last draft. I may ultimately lose a few thousand words, which, unless a plot hole results, is never a bad thing. I actually cut something from Chapter One that was a good sense of history and gave me a nice little bookend for the novel. It was a subtle bookend that many would not have realized, anyway, and the story does not actually suffer from the loss.



Mon, Feb 13, 2006

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NEVER SANG STUFF

  • I am about 98.5% off-book with Dr. Mayberry. Don't be too impressed, he's only got two pages. I'd claim "100%," save that I am still paraphrasing a bit, which I don't like. I like my characters to say the written words, probably because I am a writer.
  • I'd say I have developed Mayberry to about 90%. But, we will see on Opening Night how today's estimation bears out.
  • I'm starting to constantly listen to a transcript I taped of the whole play -- to begin more intense understudy work on Gene. I have a relatively good idea on the person of this character, too. I walked into auditions with one. And he is still the same man -- or would be were that I did actually take him on stage, which I doubt happens.
  • I contacted a doctor I know about tips on good examination movement for when Mayberry examines Margaret. That was several days ago. He's not gotten back with me, so I am going to act on this again.

THE TEMPEST YESTERDAY AT THE HUMAN RACE LOFT THEATRE: Last night, I saw Bruce Cromer, Brian McKnight, and others, all who made up a fine cast in an impressive mounting of Shakespeare's last known play. I won't hide the bias in my praise of Bruce's Prospero. I have a hard time not liking Bruce's work since I think he may be the best actor I've ever actually met. "May be," because an absolute statement on such a subjective matter is a pretty precarious thing.

One cool observation in terms of Bruce. I noted a recent Wright State University theatre graduate in the cast: Kimberly Finch, whom I have seen in a few productions on campus. I would guess Bruce taught and/or directed her at least once -- I think she was in Uncle Vanya, which Bruce directed. It must be neat to act on a professional stage with your student; and it must be neater to act on a professional stage with one of your instructors.

I liked all the performances, but one feat I must touch upon is the masterful work of actor Nathan Kaufman as the half man, half amphibian Caliban. Kaufman was on braced stilts, dressed up as his calves and feet. It took a skilled performer to move around on stage wearing the apparatus. He jumped and ran and stood with a naturalness that was damned wonderful to watch. To do that with such skill and concentration and still deliver a fully developed off-beat character is something to remark upon. I suppose I could do it.....if I had a year of extensive and intensive preparation, which would have to include a lot of gym time.



Tue, Feb 14, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS, or Slightly Off "Off-Book": Yeah, I still paraphrased far more than I expected to. You know, it's one thing to get the lines closer to perfect when you're taking a shower or driving down the road, it's another when you are up there in the scene. Still, I would have liked to have been much closer than I was. The fact that I was able to paraphrase successfully does say, at least, that Dr. Mayberry was in the now of the scene; but, still, I would have liked to have been much closer than I was. The rest of the cast tried from one extent to the other to be off-book, too, most with, of course, far more to commit to memory than I.

LINES & CHAPTERS: Never Sang has tonight off for Valentines Day. The director apparently has a date with one of the cast members, who happens to have the same last name. I am doing line work (Mayberry and Gene) and likely some work on the chapter revisions at the start of my novel.

AN IRONY: Here's a good one. Got an email today from someone pointing out to me that my essay, "On Web Publishing and Plagiarism" has been reposted, verbatim at someone's web site. The person who emailed me was correct to guess it was done without my permission -- the site does give me my credit, and though it's not plagiarism, it is copyright infringement. Oh well. I'd call my lawyer, but, I think he's still in Bermuda. That particular essay has seen a bit of web action. It has been linked to quite a few times, and referenced a few other times.



Sat Feb 18, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS: Spent the second half of this week under the weather. Felt crappy at Wednesday's rehearsal and consequently Dr. Mayberry was less than fabulous. Actually called off from the Thursday night rehearsal -- first time I've ever done that. Slept all evening. Missed work Wednesday and Thursday, too. Last night was as unproductive as the night before. I have spent time with the script today. Should either keep on with the script or do my taxes tonight, but I am inclined to go to a play.

PLAYS THIS WEEKEND: There's a regional debut of a play called Twelve Dreams, by James Lapine that closes its two-show run at The Dayton Playhouse tonight. I am attending this even though I should forgo it because there's line study, taxes and some costume work to do. I also have plans to see Pearl Cleage's Flyin' West tomorrow at Sinclair Community College Theatre; I ought to miss that, too.



Wed Feb 22, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS: Did a run through Monday night that was mostly off book. It was a pretty good night for all. I still have lots of wrinkles to iron out of Dr. Mayberry, but I suppose he's coming along.

Before rehearsal I told our director, Justin, as we were coordinating about how the scene changes (furniture/prop strikes and setups) were being handled, that he'd better hope Gil does not really get sick because not only will he have an actor on stage as Gene who's not rehearsed as Gene, but someone has to come in to cover as Mayberry, as well as pick-up my crew duties.

I am in a worry, just short of a panic, about knowing Gene's lines, anyway. In some ways, I've allowed it to interfere with my work as Dr. Mayberry. But, that is totally on me that this has been the case. I should be absolutely off-book as Mayberry already and have little character work left to do -- and I am not there. So ten demerits to me!

TWELVE DREAMS, BY JAMES LAPINE, AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE LAST WEEKEND: Went to see this "FLipside" production Saturday night. As cast member Ray Geiger said in the Q&A with the cast after the performance, this is one of those Huh? plays. Though not strictly in the vein of Theatre of the Absurd, the play does have a dose of avant garde, especially in the dream sequences, and most especially as they were constructed by director Adam J. Leigh.

I went (despite an urge in me that said I didn't have time to) because young Charity Farrell was cast in the lead role of Emma -- Charity having been the heroine of Nutcracker: the Musical at The Guild in Nov/Dec 2004. She did a good job Saturday night. She is a talented young lady.

I did not know who else was cast, but it turned out to be most of the usual suspects. Some I have worked with before, others I have not yet, but look forward to when the time comes. I liked the performances, but I can't really give a fair response to the play itself, because it is the sort I'd have to see a few times to come to any definitive conclusion. Sort of like a Beckett play.

The rest of the cast, by-the-way, was as follows -- that I have worked with before: Cynthia Karns and Bradley Kasch; that I will work with at some point (most likely): Danielle DeLorne, Joanna Drapper, Ray Geiger, Becky Lamb, and John Riley.

I did not see Pearl Cleage's Flyin' West the next day at Sinclair Community College Theatre. In between Never Sang script study and doing my 2005 taxes, I just could not fit it in.

THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD 2006/07 SEASON: At our board meeting last night we voted on the play reading committee's recommendation for next season's line up. I will not let the cat out of the bag until the season is officially announced, which will happen Opening Night of I Never Sang for My Father. I will say that the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library at Wright State University owns four of the six plays. And it just so happens that all four of those were checked out by a member of the cast who happens to work at that library. The other two titles are available through OhioLINK (Ohio Library and Information Network) and are likely to be borrowed by same said actor sometime this spring.



Sat Feb 25, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS: Talked with director Justin after the Thursday night rehearsal. I expressed dissatisfaction with Dr. Mayberry and told him I wanted to pull some of Mayberry's pomp back. He said he was fine with Mayberry. Though I am naturally happy I am pleasing the director, I still have some adjustments to the character to make. I still feel like there are lines I am not delivering with the naturalness of true conversation -- I am still an actor saying his line. I don't like that. I don't like seeing it; I don't like doing it. There is something incomplete about Mayberry, too. And I still want to dilute the pompousness to some extent, or mix in some counter-balance of some sort.

We had last night off. I was going to both work on Mayberry and study Gene lines. I took a nap that ended up being me going to bed for the night. So, I was up at 3 a.m. today. It is 4:19 as I key this sentence.

And in an unrelated note, the Feds have not deposited my federal tax refund in my bank account, yet. I have most of that earmarked for Coral Painter. (The trial version I was playing with expired, so, at the moment, I have no graphic editing capabilities except at work)

Today is the technical rehearsal for Act I; tomorrow is Act II. When I finish with today's blog entry I will work on Mayberry and Gene in Act I, only. Tomorrow, Act II. Actually, in a sense, I am already working on the first act, since my dictation of the script is playing in my tape deck, right now. First thing I'll do when I get away from this keyboard is replay the tape from the beginning, read along with it and say all of Gene's and Mayberry's lines aloud as they come up. Then. for the rest of the morning before my 10:00 call at the Guild, it'll be that old routine of: repeat the line, repeat the line, repeat the line, move on -- repeat the line, repeat the line, repeat the line, move on -- repeat the line, repeat the line, repeat the line, move on -- over and over and over.....

ADDITIONS TO THE NEVER SANG CAST AND CREW: Actor/director, and Dayton Theatre Guild treasurer, Barbara Coriell (Kate in The Cripple of Inishmaan) has stepped in to take the role of Mary the waitress in a scene in Act I. Really making it even more difficult for me to nurse that petulance about getting a minor role when I wanted the lead.

We also have a production assistant now. A young lady named Kate (must admit I don't have her last name yet), who is a high school senior, has just this week come into the production. She was on book the two rehearsals she attended. For those who don't know, being "on book" means to read along and be ready to give an actor the line when the actor cannot remember and calls for it. Usually when I was not on stage or in place to move set pieces I was on my script, but I was attending more to blocking, i.e.: where the actors move and certain key physical actions or gestures they take.

THE TRUE COLOR OF MY "HUMILITY" -- IN B&W: If you may remember, last month I found that the CD-ROM master of the professional headshots I had shot in August of 2004 had become corrupted. I then discovered that I did not have the backup I assumed I had. My laptop hard drive failed last summer and I never did make another backup after I had it replaced. As well, I had not made the backup on my desktop I thought I had. The photographer, Nick Nicholas, also did not have the disk copy he should have and was upright enough to give me a whole new shoot for just a fraction of the usual cost for a session of actor's headshots. Then, yesterday I ran across six pictures from the 2004 session, in a file on my work PC.

I had once said I would post some of the headshots here, and never got around to it. So, with all pretense of humility on the back burner, here are headshots that accompany my résumé when I audition.

The first four -- no beard -- are August 2004 pictures. The last four pictures are from last month.

K.L.Storer headshot, Aug 2004 K.L.Storer headshot, Aug 2004 K.L.Storer headshot, Aug 2004
K.L.Storer headshot, Aug 2004 K.L.Storer headshot, Jan 2006 K.L.Storer headshot, Jan 2006
K.L.Storer headshot, Jan 2006 K.L.Storer headshot, Jan 2006
Photography by Nicholas Photography, Bellbrook, Ohio

All photos © copyright K.L.Storer, all rights reserved

At the moment, I have neither the beard nor am I clean shaven. As Dr. Mayberry I have a mustache. For the most part, the bearded headshots will not work. Mostly I will show up at auditions without a beard. Yet, there will be times a beard will work. I actually had this beard to audition for Gene. My mind said a forty-something college professor/author in 1968 could very easily have a beard. Director Justin is of a different mind about it, so the beard would have still gone had I gotten the role I really want. There will be other times a beard will work, so these pics are good, until the guy in the pictures starts to look like the "little brother" (then the son) of the fellow standing there at the audition. I plan on a new photo session this spring or summer, anyway (clean shaven). And, yes, I will use Mr. Nicholas.

NOVEL EXCERPT STILL A LIKELIHOOD: I still have plans to post a portion of my first novel here. There is this voice of resistance in me. But I have been mentioning the damn thing for several years now -- as I have been getting those rejection letters from literary agents and the Ohio Arts Council. I had started to code the first few chapters, then got involved in yet more re-writing. This swing through of re-writing isn't done yet, but the early chapters are ready to post -- just have to code them. And, I seem to be preoccupied with another project at the exact moment, something about not singing for a father.

ENDGAME PICTURES: Here's a little preview of the planned posting of a lot of pics from the production of Endgame last fall at Springfield StageWorks. I don't readily remember who get's credit for these pictures. There will be a page with lots more, as soon as I can make the time to put it together. Again, that not singing for a father thing. Below is Wayne Justice as Hamm and myself as Clov. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Wayne Justice and K.L.Storer in 'ENDGAME' at Springfield StageWorks Wayne Justice and K.L.Storer in 'ENDGAME' at Springfield StageWorks


Mon, Feb 27, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER REHEARSALS AND RELATED STUFF: The weekend tech rehearsals went well. I am relatively happy with Mayberry. I do wish I felt better about my preparedness to cover Gene in the remote chance that would be necessary. It is not as easy to get the role down when you are not truly rehearsing it. I have the character as sI perceive him, it's just having it all (lines verbatim and his movement on stage) committed in my cells.

I have confirmation on our production assistant's name. She is Cait Boninsenga. The only reason I mention it is because I like to get people's names right.

ON ANOTHER SUBJECT: Stay tuned for them chapters from my novel.



Tue, Feb 28, 2006

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'STARTING FOR THE SUN' a novel by K.L.Storer


Fri Mar 3, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER OPENS TONIGHT AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Well, another show up. I'll come back this weekend with entries about the last few dress rehearsals, etc. Right now time is tight so these few words are all I can fit in.

If you live close enough, come check it out!



Sat Mar 4, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD, THE LAST FEW DAYS, OR, "THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE A LOT OF BUSINESS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME": Tech week went pretty well. The last several dress rehearsals were okay for me as Mayberry. The big problem was handling the damned stethoscope. One would not think that a prop could cause such problems for an actor. Has for this particular actor. Damned thing is just a little unwieldy for this guy.

As one of my fellow cast members pointed out, it has something to do with how much business Mayberry has in a short period of time. It's timing all the little examination business, weaving it into the lines I deliver and getting to the right place to move to Gene at the end of most of the business. It proves more entangling than I would have thought.

Wrangling that stethoscope on and off is a challenge for me, too. I can tell you right now, that having it in my pocket does not work. I have to get it on during a cross to Mom and have it ready to use at on particular line. It is not working for me to have it in my lab coat pocket. Then, getting it back in there with good rhythm when it's time has proven just as awkward. For last night's show I had it slung over my right shoulder. It worked a little better but not as well as it should. And I had other problems.

This brings us to opening night and my less than stellar entrance into the play during the performance. If I were to be kind to myself I would call this one of those "that's why they call it 'live theatre'" moments. That's about as much slack as I will give myself and, that, only as of today. Last night I was pissed off at, and disappointed in, myself. Today, I'm not happy, but I have more-or-less forgiven myself.

I was in the rafters waiting for Mayberry's cue to come into the hospital scene. I misjudged how much time I had left -- I don't think anyone on stage dropped a line, which would have brought my cue earlier than it should be. No, I just misjudged. So, I was off stage-left practicing, one more time, getting the stethoscope off my shoulder and into my ears during the right interval of time. When did my cue to walk on come? While I had the stethoscope in my ears. Could I hear my cue?

NO!

Fortunately it was only a small delay and Gene (Gil Martin) covered it well. Gene is supposed to see Mayberry walk into the hospital room, break from the others and walk to him, calling his name. What he did was call out louder as if he had seen Mayberry walk by the door. The audience likely did not know the difference. Thanks to Mr. Martin, not to Mr. Storer.

To add to that rather amateurish screw-up, I let it fluster me a little, plus, I still had an awkward moment with that friggin' stethoscope. So I had a few minor line flubs. Nothing too serious, but nothing I was at all happy about. The biggest was that I almost called Mom Mrs. Mayberry instead of Mrs. Garrison. It was: "Goodnight Mrs...(probably almost a second's worth of a pause)...Garrison."

I know it's not likely as big a deal as all that, but, still, damn it, I can be better.

I was much happier with Mayberry's other two scenes, one talking with Gene at the hospital at the top of Act II, then one a little later, where I have no lines but I have some bit of mos conversation (i.e.: silent conversation; pantomiming).

There is a doctor who is a wonderful patron of the arts in Dayton, and a wonderful friend to the Guild. He was there last night and gave me a very good piece of information. Mayberry has been using the stethoscope to listen to Mom's breathing, then taking her pulse. He told me it would be the other way around. This may actually be to my advantage in terms of cramming all the examination business in as well as timing it well with the dialogue. Plus, our sound runner, Carl, who is often around doctors, suggested I sling the stethoscope around the back of my neck, rather than just one shoulder. That way, I can grab both its ears and the mic-piece at the same time, with each hand, and I'll have better control over the damned thing. I will be in the theatre early tonight to give both these things practice.

Overall, though, I believe the Opening Night show went well. We were well received and got good response from the audience; I even got some nice comments. Yet, I am determined there will be a better Mayberry tonight and from this point forward.

Sooner or later some level of excellence will be appropriate to attach to my acting. Sooner or later. Actually, Clov probably deserved a certain credit toward excellent. That certainly was not the case last night.

Another thing that I have as an ongoing thing is keeping up with Gene's lines. I would hate to have to go on for Gil tonight. It would be bad. Much of the rest of my day, apart from "perfecting" Mayberry's examination skills, is dedicated to Gene's lines. We won't even discuss Gene's blocking!

It'll be more of the same tomorrow. Plus, in between that, the show, and our cast party, I have to bone up on Clov's closing monologue from Endgame for the Footfalls audition Monday at Sinclair Community College Theatre.

Which reminds me, I have to get a head shot printed.....



Sun Mar 5, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD -- BUSINESS IS BETTER: The hospital room scene went very well for me last night, for show number two. Changing the choreography of Mayberry's examination business did the trick. Thing was, I was sailing along, getting all the lines in, moving with the business efficiently, but, then one of my lines was jumped. It's supposed to go like this, at that particular point:

    MAYBERRY: (While he's taking Margaret's pulse, timing it with his wristwatch) We won't know the extent....until we're able to get....a cardiogram, tomorrow....(he nods to himself then, as he pulls the stethoscope from around the back of his neck, he says) It was nothing to toss off lightly (He pushes her forward and places the stethoscope mic on her back, then) Deep breath, please....good. (As he hangs the stethoscope back around his neck, pulls his pen from his lab coat pocket and brings up his clip board to begin writing) But...it looks good, now.

I got in "It was nothing to toss off lightly" but the instant I put the stethoscope to Margaret's (Dodie's) back, the response to my next line came and, as it is a question, I pulled away from Maragret and moved on to the writing on the clip board while I answered the question. So, technically Dr. Mayberry putting the stethoscope to Mom's back made little sense last night, since he only had it there for a fraction of a second and really didn't listen to anything.

As a reminder, though, I'm the actor who missed his entrance the night before that, so who am I to bitch? And, it was a pretty minor jump last night. As well, really, had I had my wits about me a little better, I could have fudged the stethoscope bit to fit it in; I will be conscious of this for the remaining performances.

Overall we had a good night last night. I think there were a few other dropped and jumped lines, but the energy was good and the audience helped by responding well during the performance, so, we had a good show.



Mon, Mar 6, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD -- FIRST WEEKEND OF PERFORMANCES: The show had a good first weekend. Dr. Mayberry, on the other hand, had a less than fabulous weekend, much less than fabulous -- much, much less than fabulous -- much, much, much less than fabulous.

Sandwiched in between a reasonably good performance on Saturday night were two off performances by the actor sitting at this keyboard. Yesterday, during that hospital scene, the one with that f#$%ing stethoscope business, I did not get it off of my neck in time to do the business well, and I knew it was just going to be a major problem, so, I just stuck it back on my neck, hoping it looked like Mayberry decided to not use it. I was later told I was struggling with my lines, too, but I was not conscious of that. We've already discussed the debacle on Friday, so why belabor it more?

I can tell you that I was having a problem with lines during the opening scene of Act II. For some reason I kept wanting to say "her" when it should be "him," "he" when it should be "she," etc, etc. I don't know what was going on; I've never had problems with those lines before.

There is this to consider: Saturday went well; that was the day I rehearsed the examination business repeatedly before the show as well as during free time before the scene. Yesterday I was tied up with some house manager business pre-show, as well as taking stage manager duties until the Act I curtain went up. I had ran a little late getting to the theatre so I had to go right into prepping the theatre for audience reception. I also, now that I think about it, did not do vocal warm-ups. My voice was all right, yesterday, but there is something to be said for the value of the ritual.

I believe there is a lesson in there, somewhere, bubbling under the surface. Um, well, perhaps, standing on the surface. Maybe, jumping up and down on the surface, holding flares, yelling, with a goddamned brass band playing loudly and raucously behind it. Oh, and, I am not making excuses for Sunday. I am pointing out that I did not make the space to go over lines and business. It's on me.

Remember from February, all that routine about how I had just done a difficult lead in a difficult play (Endgame) and I knew I was ready for a role like Gene? Well, here's some hutspa for ya -- I still stand behind that. However, considering that I don't think director Justin Reiter has ever seen me on stage in any other production, especially Endgame, I find it reasonable he could be thinking: Ready for a role like Gene? Get real! and rightfully so, from his perspective.

Yet, in between all this self-critical examination and this personal disapproval of my overall weekend, I still have the nerve to believe I could have done well as Gene. Let me make something clear, right here. My writing of me in the role of Gene has nothing to do with Gil Martin in the role. Gil is just simply a fantastic actor with a remarkable and strong stage presence. My discussion here about me as Gene has nothing to do with any other actor in the role. It has to do with me believing I can do Gene justice, regardless of other actors. So, do not assume I am trashing a wonderfully talented actor, overtly, covertly, or anything in between.

And we still have to come back to the fact that I had a poor weekend as Dr. Mayberry. Of course, the two Dayton theatre critics were there for the two bookend shows, those I did poorly during. Mayberry is such a minor role that I doubt I will be noteworthy, anyway, unless I had been absolutely fabulous -- no worry on that score.

It's live theatre, so I was not the only one to have flub-ups and bad moments -- but, mine are the ones I need to be concerned with. I don't get better at the craft by excusing my deficiencies.

Well....I have two more weekends and seven more shows to get it right. Needless to say, this coming Friday is the best time to start out with it "right," and stay with that. Most of the cast is doing a brush up rehearsal this Thursday. I would think I can have nothing more important on my schedule.

AUDITION TONIGHT FOR FOOTFALLS: A SERIES OF SHORT PLAYS BY SAMUEL BECKETT AT SINCLAIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE THEATRE: There'll be none of this discouragement due to a bad weekend on stage to keep me from moving forward. I audition for the Beckett production tonight. I have timed Clov's closing monologue from Endgame, and if I am careful about dramatic pauses, I can get the entire thing in under the two minute limit. It runs about 1:50. Ten seconds is pretty slim slack, but I really want to do that monologue in its entirety. There are some links to a few of Beckett's short plays that are posted in relationship to the audition. I have only given them a cursory look. I make the assumption that doing readings from them will not happen until the callback tomorrow, though I'll still give them a closer read sometime today, and, of course, hope that I am a part of the Tuesday callbacks.



Tue, Mar 7, 2006

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MY FEET WILL FALL...: ...on the journey to another audition for another production. Or, as has been the tradition for this blog -- "And it's on to the next audition."

No callback tonight for Footfalls at Sinclair Community College Theatre. I feel good about the audition, though I was a little more nervous than expected. Not sure why. Maybe it was coming off a bad weekend on stage.

There are a few choices for upcoming auditions for the stage. I have to get confirmation on the Spook University call sheets, first. No recent word from the producers about the movie production, by-the-way. Seems not uncommon for movies at all levels -- periods with no updates.

Make a note of that, Mr. Film Maker Wannabe.

ITEM ADDED LATER IN THE DAY

BLOGGING AS A DIRECTOR: Someone asked me how detailed I would get about the making of my movie WHENEVER the thing finally gets into production, especially in terms of items dealing with cast and crew. The answer, of course, is that I will tread delicately.

If there is anyone still reading this blog who has been for a while, especially if anyone has read it for some length, you may note I have already moved into more discretion about identifying people, and my accounts of some occurrences and events are grayer and more vague. I've even stopped reporting such safe information as whom I may have run into at a show I attended. It occurred to me that perhaps some do not care to have posted on the internet what they did last Saturday night. I've even stopped mentioning who else was at an audition I attended. In other words, I am doing my best to mind my own business on line.

And I certainly hope I have always used some big dose of discretion when blogging the shows I am in. I think I have. Maybe not.

As for productions I am in charge of, such as, ahem, directing a thirty minute dramatic movie (you know, in 2030 or whenever), I will be very careful how I discuss the others involved.

From the very beginning, the casting calls, I will certainly be discrete. I may post something like:

Saw two young ladies last night who will work in the role of the daughter, though I am drawn more strongly toward one. I think I need a callback audition on both, however.

I would NOT write:

Saw five young women last night for the role of the daughter. One young lady, Samantha Smith is just not talented. Two others, Jane Doe and Julie Jones seem as if they'll be hard to direct. The other two....

There would be no point to that, plus, I'd like to think I have at least a little class.

Now, naturally, when I have cast actors, I will likely go into some detail as to why I made those choices. That's fair game for this blog -- "A Diary of Artful Things." I may even say why I did not cast someone, so long as it clearly wouldn't be insolent, hurtful or embarrassing to the actor. You know, something like:

Lisa Lineread is most talented, but she just does not look like she could be Alice Acttwo's sister; Alice is locked into the role of Cynthia, and the family resemblance with the actor cast as her sister, Molly, has to be strong. I do hope I can work with Lisa at some point, though; she is a strong actor.

I will journal the production well, but it will be the making of, not the drama between her and her, or whomever. I will deal more directly with the performances and work of others on the project, because it will be my project. I tend to not do that when I am in a play, rather I just deal with me, my occasional successes, and all that room for improvement I keep getting smacked in the face over.

Let me not pretend otherwise: part of my agenda for bothering to even post this item is because I know there are a small number of members of my local theatre community who do or at least have read the blog fairly regularly. I have had the sense from time to time that some have trepidations about me because of this blog. I, of course, would rather that not be the case. I am very surely including some of what I am, specifically to make it clear I am not trying to be the Dayton theatre community's answer to Rona Berrett. This is supposed to be about my artistic journey, including the other travelers on the path when it is appropriate, and I hope never when it is not appropriate. Yeah, I know, I can be such a wimp. Too bad.



Fri Mar 10, 2006

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I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD -- SECOND WEEKEND OF PERFORMANCES COMING UP: We had a line run last night; I really wanted to do the blocking, especially in that damndable hospital room scene, but the line through was at least helpful to us all. I went to the Guild straight after work, anyway, to spend time on the hospital scene. I think I may have really finally worked out the business in a way that I won't get in the way of -- would have rather tried it out with the other actors, but here's hoping....

I intend to be the actor that I am as opposed to whatever it was I was last weekend. I expressed this sentiment last night and one of my fellow cast members said, "Oh, K.L., you're far too self-critical." Actually, that is an accurate assessment. Still, I had a bad weekend, regardless of harsh self-assessment.

MOVIE NEWS, OR, LACK THEREOF: No more news from Tony Bushman about the wrap of post production on Nona. No news yet from Mike Sopronyi about Ghostbusters: Spook University, as per when production does indeed start, or when I'll get a script. Nothing to tell you about my own movie. I am impatient on all these accounts.

CHAPTERS FOUR AND FIVE OF MY NOVEL: As soon as I can get the re-write through chapter five of Starting for the Sun, I will add those to the sample of the novel at the site proper. My thought is that the end of chapter five, which will not change from what it is now, is a logical stopping point for this on-line sample of the manuscript. That will be it though, I'll will take the exposure no further. That's roughly 25% of the novel, and that is pretty much the limit, in my mind.



Sat Mar 11, 2006

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IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?: There was one at the Dayton Theatre Guild last night for I Never Sang For My Father.

I went early again to go over that hospital room scene more. I have worked out blocking all that business in that scene into a routine that works. Last night, between the new choreography (as it were) and going over it a lot before the scene, it worked. I also was back on top of the scene at the start of Act II; none of this "her" rather than "him," etc. I did have a few line deliveries that I am not, and usually am not, totally satisfied with, but I was not "unhappy" with anything. I also think I have a better delivery now on a couple lines -- intentions of Dr. Mayberry's that I came to better conclusions on before the show as I was studying the lines and the hospital business.

There's also a line that I follow which is sometimes delayed to the point that it seems it will not be delivered -- a few times, though I don't think since rehearsal, it was not delivered. I need to anticipate that it will be dropped in out of pace, figure out a way to wait for it that's not blatent and awkward, so I and the other actor don't end up stepping on each other's line. That happened last night, as it has before. Minor, very minor, but still something for me to have in mind. And that did not at all blow the scene.

Dr. Mayberry had a good night, but there's no taking last night for granted. I will get there early today to run my hospital obstical course to keep the rhythm of it all fresh in my head as well as soaking it better into what I'll call "physical memory."

We also got good reviews from both Russell Florence Jr. of the Dayton City Paper and Terry Morris, Dayton Daily News. I will give more information later. I have not seen Terry's review, yet, and I don't have Russell's immediately accessible to me.



Sun Mar 12, 2006

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THE DOCTOR IS STILL IN THE HOUSE: Good ol' Dr. Mayberry showed up again last night at the Guild, wrangling that stethoscope smoothly.

Today, I adopt the same attitude I had yesterday that I can't afford to take it for granted. I will practice the business so I don't trip up in front of the audience.

For the two people out there in cyberworld who are interested, this is the way it works now. First, here is that portion of the hospital scene, exactly as it is in the script:

DR. MAYBERRY. (Kidding her)   She's tough.    (Margaret smiles and makes a face at him.)    We won't know the extent of it until we're able to get a cardiogram tomorrow. It was nothing to toss off lightly... but it looks good now.

Here's what I do -- the new "choreography"; Dr. Mayberry, by the way, has a clipboard in his left hand that he never sets down during the whole scene.:

(Take Margaret's wrist to feel her pulse)    She's tough.   (As Mayberry looks at his watch he says, paced with some deliberation, since he's counting also)   We won't know, the extent of it, until we're able to get, a cardiogram tomorrow.    (Looks at watch for three more seconds, nods to himself, then as he puts her wrist down he says)    It, uh...   (Puts clip board from left hand under his left arm pit, then grabs stethoscope, slung around his neck -- left hand grabs the microphone; right hand grabs the ear piece end; he lifts it over his head and puts the ear pieces in. All while he says)   It was nothing to toss off lightly, but, hold on...    (Pushes Margaret forward and places the mic on her back)    Deep breath... good.   (As he takes the stethoscope out of his ears and slings it back over his shoulders, around the back of his neck, pulls the clipboard up and his pen from his lab coat pocket to take notes, he says)    But it looks good now.

If the line that is supposed to be delivered before I say "She's tough" comes as quickly as it should, then I lean into Margaret and say "She tough" to her as I am taking her wrist. If the cue line is delayed, I wait and say my line after I have started looking at my watch. Also, I usually don't get to the taking notes, at the end of all that, until after I've finished my last line up there; but it is a part of the scheme of this business so I included it because it's in my mind as I deliver "But it looks good now."

I must make every move in exactly the right place in the dialogue or the business trips me up. One other thing that is important is that I take the earpieces out carefully. Dr. Mayberry has eyeglasses with the little string to hang them around his neck. As he does all this business, he has the glasses on. If I am not careful, I grab a string from at least one side as I am grabbing the stethoscope earpieces, and then I pull the glasses off, too.

One might ask, "If there is that danger, then are the glasses really that necessary? Or at least, is the string that necessary?" Fair question. My mind says that the costume prop as it is helps to make the character. It was also a specific part of the properties that director Justin Reiter told me he wanted, before we ever got into rehearsal. And I also want it to be a part of the make up of the doctor. The thought of compromising it to make things easier for me is not a concept I care much for. It's why I have never entertained the idea of simplifying that sixty-second period with all that business. Mayberry is a busy guy who's in and out of the scene fast. He came in to check on a few things with his patient, but he's got the rest of rounds to finish and he wants to get his day done. Technically I think he's doing much less in an exam than a doctor truly would. But him taking two examination actions, especially mixed in with dialogue, gives the effect Justin wants and that I am in total agreement is what the scene needs from the doctor. Altering it in a manner that cuts the business because I can't get it down in not an acceptable option to me. No no. It's my job to figure it out, to make it work, to be sure I do my part for the scene.

No, I have not ever pulled the glasses off during a performance.

I know it may seem like I am taking it all far too seriously. But I am trying to be the best actor I can. A good actor does not shrink away from the challenge of overcoming a problem he or she has on stage -- especially if defeating it is better for the story being told on that stage.

As for the show in general last night, it was another good night for us. Being live theatre we did have a couple snafu's. Part of a scene got lost because some lines were jumped, but it was nothing the audience would detect. We also had a procedural mess up that delayed the start of Act II. These are the sort of things an audience is quick to forgive, if they are even aware, so you just move on and have a good show anyway. We did.

Today we have two shows, 3:00 and 7:00. I am likely to still go over that hospital scene business before the 7:00 show. I am not going to allow complacency to trip me up.



Mon, Mar 13, 2006

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GO AHEAD, DUMMY, TEMPT FATE (THE SUNDAY PERFORMANCES OF I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD): I do believe some actor-wannabe/blogger recently wrote, "No, I have not ever pulled the glasses off during a performance." One may not have to think long to figure out what happened during the hospital scene during the first performance yesterday. I am happy to report that it did not trip me up; I just dealt with it and moved on, all in character. Even the slowest of learners eventually progress.

Sunday was another good day for the show in general, and for me, despite the glasses goof, or maybe including it. A nearly flawless performance is certainly worth feeling good about, but taking a flub in stride on stage is as worth feeling good about. The second is more the likelihood on stage, too, especially for this guy.

Yep, the production had a really good weekend, coming in off of two good reviews. One week to go. Here's hoping our final week is as good as our first two. Here's hoping my final week is as the second was, not the first.

THE CRITICS SANG FOR OUR PRODUCTION: As I said before, both Russell Florence, Jr. and Terry Morris wrote the show up well, though neither review is on-line.

Russell's was a brief blurb in a "Critics Pick" spot in the back of the March 8-14 issue of the Dayton City Paper. He wrote in part that it is a "very succinct and compelling production," that it is "smoothly directed by Justin," and "well led by the ever-reliable Gil Martin...and an equally excellent Ralph Dennler."

Terry's was in the Friday, March 10 "Go" section of the Dayton Daily News. Morris writes that Gil excels as Gene, that Ralph plays Tom just as well, and that Justin's direction is excellent. The headline calls the production "Well-acted."

CARICATURE OF NEVER SANG CAST: Local artists Dennis Porter has done a caricature of the cast. Only thing is, Dodie Lockwood wasn't there that night, so Margaret isn't in the picture.....(!!!). Check it out on the Guild home page.

SPOOK UNIVERSITY NEWS: Director Mike Sopronyi emailed me last night, as per the one-hour fanfilm, Ghostbusters: Spook University. There will be a still photo shoot for publicity and for the story board artist coming up on Saturday, March 25. A script is on the way. It will be the shooting script rather than a screenplay.

The production is still looking for a male lead in his mid twenties, if you are a Dayton area actor. As well, a lot of extras are needed. For more info, and to look at sketches of the first story boards, go to myspace.com/ohiogbfanfilm.

THE GUILD'S NEXT SHOW, BRIGHT IDEAS: Friday, April 28, our next Guild production, Bright Ideas, by Eric Coble, and directed by one of Never Sang's leads, Ralph Dennler, opens. Seems like a great cast -- though I am not familiar with everyone. It includes Natasha Randall, whose talent and acting skill, as some may know, I adore. The cast in full is:

    Alex Carmichael            Joshua Bradley
    Megan Copper            Genevre Bradley
    Natasha Randall            multiple roles
    David Sherman            multiple roles
    Cassandra Hawkins            multiple roles

THE GUILD'S 2006/2007 SEASON:

We have all premiers to Dayton, only one that has ever played in the region *(Cincinnati), and one that is the U.S. non-professional debut. Here are the shows (with performance run dates):

  • Brooklyn Boy, by Donald Margulies (the celebrated playwright who wrote Collected Stories and Dinner with Friends). A beautiful comedy/drama about a successful Jewish novelist confronting his past and trying to make do with his present. In places very funny but always with an underlying dramatic point. (Sep 8-24, 2006)
  • Pride's Crossing, by Tina Howe. An aging women, a celebrated channel swimmer in her youth, battles advanced old age with humor, interspersed with memories of her youth. Funny, touching time with a grand old lady. Will be a beautiful, warm evening in the theater. Every one will leave with a smile. It is deliberately cast with one actress playing the indomitable lady at all ages. (Nov 10-26, 2006)
  • *THIS IS THE ONE WHICH WAS PERFORMED IN CINCY

  • Frozen, by Bryony Lavery. A grim fast-moving telling of the loss of a child to a serial killer, his life and our capacity for understanding and forgiveness. It is for the most part presented as a series of monologues. A riveting play that presents a grim topic in a most theatrical form. (Jan 12-28, 2007)
  • The Beard of Avon, by Amy Freed. A funny, bawdy farce based on the idea that Will Shakespeare, a bit player, becomes the great one by acting at first as a convenient nom de plum for the Earl of Oxford so the Earl may have his poems and plays published and performed. Shakespeare becomes "Shakespeare" and slowly the plays include more and more of his brilliant writing as he fleshes out the bare bone plots handed to him. A scene featuring Good Queen Bess is priceless. (Mar 2-18, 2007)

  • Speaking in Tongues, by Andrew Bovell. A psychological thriller set in contemporary England with seven characters played by four actors. It begins with two couples unknowingly involved in a tryst with each otherÕs spouse and through connection and interaction leads through three parts to a dramatic conclusion. Perfect for the mystery crowd. Clever in its concept and construction. (Apr 20-May 6, 2007)
  • The Dice House, by Paul Lucas. A Zany, very contemporary English farce based on psychiatry practiced on a mad scale by resorting to dice throws to randomly select goals for action. WeÕll see some of the wackiest characters ever to stroll the Guild stage. (June 8-24, 2007)

    *THIS IS THE U.S. NON-PROFESSIONAL DEBUT



Mon, Mar 20, 2006

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OCT-DEC, 2017



THE CLOSING WEEKEND OF I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD): We had a good last leg of a good run for the show. I am please to say I was still happy with my work this weekend.

Again, of course, it being live theatre there were some goofs. The only one involving me was a performance where a cue was missed by someone. A part of the hospital scene got lost because there was no logical way to work in a few subsequent lines without the cue and the line that was not cued to. I just jumped to the next logical line by me and we moved on. So, for once, I saved the flub rather than being the flubber.

Ultimately, we had a really good run that was well received by those who attended. My overall assessment of my own work as Dr. Mayberry? It was okay; it was what it was supposed to be. Mayberry is a utility character, there to help a few key plot items along. I did my job. Feedback says I was convincing as the doctor, and that is what is supposed to happen.

Not to harp too much, but I would have been much happier if the feedback had been about how I played Gene with great savvy and the right blend of gentleness, sensitivity and intensity, but that was not to be this time. One can be guaranteed that if I see a good opportunity to audition for Gene again while I am still age appropriate, I will seize it. I certainly have studied the role.

On the subject of having understudied Gene, I will now admit how much I did not want to go on as Gene under these circumstances. The thought of walking on stage in that role without having had the chance to really rehearse him in a meaningful manner was pretty scary to me. Plus, I also would have hated to have had to give such an under-rehearsed portrayal of a role that I care so much about. I don't think I will be an understudy again under most circumstances. I am thankful I did not have to go on as Gene in this manner.

Finally, despite that I was not cast as I wished, I am glad I got to be a part of this production. And I do walk away with more valuable experience, as is what should always be.



Sat Mar 25, 2006

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OCT-DEC, 2017



GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Did the publicity stills photo shoot today and picked up my copy of the script. Looks like principal photography will start May 7, but there still are not call sheets so I don't know if I am there that day or not. Director Mike Sopronyi wants to shoot the whole film in May, and certainly wants production wrapped by mid June. He hopes to have a final cut done and premiered by October.

Very Convenient For Me: College campus exteriors will be shot at Wright State University; there may also be some interiors shot in the WSU library. I understand that one of the cast members is a staff person in that library.

Seems at least some interiors will be shot in rooms at WDTN, Channel 2 Television, where I believe Mike works. I thinks it's "rooms" not "sound stages."

STILL NEED A MALE ROLE CAST FOR SPOOK UNIVERSITY: The production is still in need of a twenty-something for the role of Josh. He's a big, dumb jock on the football team who bullies underclassmen. The script puts him at twenty-four. Any actor in the Dayton area who fits this type can contact the director, Mike Sopronyi, at ohiogbfanfilm@yahoo.com.

ODDS & SODS:

  • Saw Hollywood Arms last night at the Dayton Playhouse. I must say, in my rather freshman-like opinion, the talent on the stage out-flanked the words on the page. But I did get to finally see the strong acting ability of Megan Cooper. I have heard nothing but good things about her acting, and I found that she lives up to her reputation. I mention her because she and fellow Hollywood Arms cast mate, Alex Charmical are the leads in the strong cast for the upcoming Guild production, Bright Ideas.
  • Met an Irish actor and writer, Neal O'shea, recently as well. Neal did a residency winter quarter at Wright State University, working with both the English department, where he teamed with poet Gary Pacernick to teach a class on Irish writers, and also with the Theatre department. He appeared in the main stage production of As You Like It and also did his one-man show. I, unfortunately, had conflicts and was not able to make either production. But it was nice to meet him and he seems like a great guy. Gary, by-the-way, has poetry posted at the WriteGallery.
  • With all prejudice and bias fully in bloom, and as I realize I have forgotten to say this before, I wish to say how much I liked the work of my fellow cast members in I Never Sang for My Father. I have again been fortunate to have been thrown into the midst of a group of fine actors from which I had good lessons about the art and craft to take away with me.

    Sorry cynics, I'll just have to risk annoying you with my "Love Fest" material




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