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

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SO HERE'S WHERE I AM WITH ALL THOSE "GOALS" FOR 2006:

  • Keep Auditioning, Of Course.

    I have and will continue to.

  • My Movie.

    As big an "if" now as it has been. And I still don't know how it's being paid for. That "potential DP/Co-producer" does not seem to be viable; I don't believe the particular candidate is still interested, though I have casually spoken with a fellow on campus who has expressed interest. I haven't scoped out other potential grants, done much research on locations (scouting and trying to get a handle on costs). I have not arrived at a plan for sound and lights. I have not mastered FinalCut.

  • My Novel.

    Have revised the start of the manuscript -- and the first three* chapters are posted at the site proper (click here). I've sent some more queries to literary agents, but no blitzkriegs in this new year. I have not settled on a smaller press to query.

    *AS OF APRIL 13, 2006 IT IS CHAPTERS ONE THROUGH FIVE

  • The Literary Aspect Of The WriteGallery

    I will begin to work production of the theme-based chapbook, On the Edge of the Pulsewave into the thick of things, with the call for submissions having ended today. I've given myself until August to edit the writing and to create the graphics.

  • Music

    I have hardly picked up that damned acoustic bass this winter. I did manage to get ahold of a simple little electronic keyboard. At the moment, these are just things in my apartment, for the most part. I've done nothing with the sound recording and mixing software my nephew gave me back in January.

  • Graphics Artwork

    The trial version of Corel Painter expired. I have not bought the full version yet. That is an action that will soon take place. It is a question of numbers on the personal finance sheet.

It could be a worse progress report, I suppose.

GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: I have read the whole script. It works. My character, Dean Schultz, is gonna be a lot of fun.

Looks like we will start shooting either Saturday, May 6 or the next day, May 7.

The role of Josh has been filled, but the producers are still looking for extras -- college aged. Again, any actor in the Dayton area who fits this type can contact the director, Mike Sopronyi, at ohiogbfanfilm@yahoo.com.



Mon, Apr 3, 2006

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GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: The producers are now looking for a female lead as well as still needing extras --

  • The female lead needs to be between twenty-one and twenty-six years old.
  • The extras need to be between twenty and twenty-six. Some extras will need to be willing to be slimmed.
  • contact the director, Mike Sopronyi, at ohiogbfanfilm@yahoo.com.

Our production meeting and the table read will be April 29, with shooting beginning the next Saturday. So, I start really studying Dean Schultz now. I already have some ideas about him.

CREATION OF THE WORLD AND OTHER BUSINESS, BY ARTHUR MILLER, AT SPRINGFIELD STAGEWORKS: Saw a really nice performance of this relatively unknown Miller play last Saturday night. Directed by Larry Coressel, it was mostly a strong cast of younger actors, many of which I saw in the Clark State Community College production of Romeo and Juliet last November.

I'm sorry to say the Creation audience was pretty small, but some of that was due to the fact that The Mikado was playing for one night only at the Kuss Auditorium that same night, and basically only a stone's-throw away. I hope the word spreads about StageWorks and they start getting a large and faithful audience, because this is another local theatre company with a great quality and merit. I look forward to its mounting of Our Town at the end of May. I regret, to some extent, that I could not audition for it, but I will surely be on the Spook University call sheet for at least one of the two Sundays in May that the play has performance dates, if not both. Well, at least the conflict was another acting gig.



Fri Apr 7, 2006

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SO WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THIS BLOG AND WHAT'S THE BEST APPROACH TO IT?

      This entry is just as appropriate as an essay on writing. In fact, it may be a little more interesting to some in its writer's angle. -- K.L.

This blog is self indulgent. To proclaim it is not would be silly. This is a vanity as well as some sort of weak self-promotional tool. I say "weak" because I cannot conceive it promotes me effectively or to any great extent. It's still a little more valuable than just self indulgent, however. There is this intellectual want to share this journey of acting, and the other artistic things, because it seems logical there may be some who find such interesting. Blogging fairly regularly also keeps me in the practice of writing, though I wouldn't claim there is much "inspired" prose here. And though I don't think my motivation has ever changed, I do think the focus has shifted the way a meandering stream does. Just like that body of water, most of the shifts have been within an evolution controlled greatly by the dictates of environment.

In the winter of 2003/2004, when I decided to start journaling, to one extent or another, my "return to acting" -- which was engendered by that October day when I had my mini mid-life crisis -- the idea seemed good. I had no forward-thinking notion about what it was going to end up being; I did not know what animal I would create, but I thought to myself, Wouldn't it be neat to chronicle this adventure?

Initially it was intended to be mostly about that short feature movie that was going to be produced in the summer of 2004, then the acting opportunities that would stem from that; remember that version of the movie project? (I assume there is at least one person reading this who has read back that early into the blog.)

Back then, my actor's ambition focused on performance in front of the camera. How could I know I'd soon become exceedingly involved in local live theatre? I certainly wouldn't have guessed I would end up on the board of directors of one of the finest community theatres in the region.

There I was, in late 2003, knowing I needed to get my acting chops back in shape, and having been to the Dayton Theatre Guild as a high school student (thanks to my high school theatre director Chuck Scott) I knew DTG was a small, intimate setting where an actor had more of a chance to craft a character in the subtler tone and mode of a screen actor. I had no illusions I would be cast right off the bat, so I was rather flabbergasted when, in January 2004, I did get cast in The Cripple of Inishmaan -- my first audition as a full-on adult.

Though it took me almost two years to be cast in another role as significant and challenging as Johnny Pateen (i.e.: Clov in Endgame), I have, in the interim, been thrust into the Dayton theatre community.

Now, and for some time, the path I journal in this blog has much more of a local communal element to it than I ever suspected it would when I started it. To do any sort of diary of my "artful things" I have to blog it in context with the local theatre community. That is not a big community, but this blog now usually deals with a larger communal aspect than I'd have guessed when I started.

This element, this aspect, has, for some while now, caused me some consternation. Increasingly, I see clearly how a delicate balance needs to be struck in terms of what I include and don't include here; moreover, some prudence needs applied to whatever I include.

For instance (and a big for instance at that), gradually I have come to attend as many theatre productions in the Dayton area as I can, and occasionally outside of the immediate area. I attend as a student of the craft; I attend to see friends and acquaintances perform, in part to support their work; I attend because I like live theatre; and a few times I have attended as an adjudicator for the Daytony Awards. Now comes the rub: How do I include productions I am not in as entries in the blog? It may not immediately appear that it could be such an issue, but at times it is quite the issue, if only mostly in my megalomaniacal, paranoid mind.

I've already discussed at this blog, ad nauseam, my reluctance to write "critical reviews" of these plays, especially with myself being a newer actor in the community. And, yet, I more or less do write reviews because I give complement to that which or those whom I like in these plays. I ought to be able to do that. I believe it is okay for me to go to see a play, and then give an appropriate positive stroke to a performance or production I receive well.

Also ad nauseam, I have written of how I prefer to not publicly proclaim negative criticism (constructive or otherwise) about performances or productions that I did not personally care for. It has been suggested to me several times that this sets me up to look as if all I am doing is showering faint praise, and that further, it can make it look as if I'm at least sometimes trying to rack up points with some of those whom I am "praising faintly." Much to my chagrin, I can't argue with that observation -- that is, the observation of the appearance of such, not that I really have such motives. Oh, this No-Negatives rule gets bent at times, I admit, mostly when I share that I did not care much for the actual play, set aside from the production and the performances. Did exactly that just recently, in fact.

What I write about those productions I attend are what I'd call "responses," which always have some measure of bias attached to them, from sometimes light to the more frequent heavy. The whole point for me is that I have embarked on this path to act. I go to watch productions as part of that path for the reasons stated earlier. Ignoring my attendance of theatre productions seems like cheating the blog concept and focus.

There's already, I concede, cheating going on here, anyway. The subtitle may be, "A Diary of Artful Things," but in a lot of ways this is not a full-fledged "diary." For my sensibilities, it's too public to adhere to some aspects of a "diary." I'm not going to share my more private thoughts, feelings, reactions and interactions here. There are bloggers who would -- there certainly are those who do. Doing such here would, without question, heighten interest for many readers, but I'm just going to have to risk being less juicy.

I'm going to continue to, in a manner of speaking, censor myself as I blog here. Technically, it's usually a case of prior restraint. Most of the time I either know full-well from the git-go what I will not post, or I think better of it as I am about to write it: Oh, I shouldn't write that. I have also read the blog and thought, I should not have said that, then edited the offending passage or cut it altogether. (These being separate actions from the constant necessity to fix typos and grammatical or punctuation errors).

All together, I have been involved in fourteen dramatic productions, in some meaningful manner, since I "came back." I also am now in my second year on the Guild board. One can't be in that many situations with sometimes sensitive, sometimes egotistical (often sensitive AND egotistical) people without witnessing and being involved in conflict. To the best of my knowledge, I have been involved in no drastically major conflicts, because you become acutely aware of those when you are involved. As for minor conflicts, I would guess I have as many resolved and unresolved as anybody else.

I'm not referring to conflicts such as "The director and I disagree about my character's level of anger at the end of Act I." The push-pull, give-and-take of the artistic collaboration is fair game. Even artistic conflicts not put to rest are fodder for the blog; I ought to have the head to be a diplomat when telling the tale, though.

But no gossip or anything that can seem like gossip. At least I try for that. As I wrote recently, I have even come to a stricter rule about naming names in many situations. I have stopped saying whom I saw at a performance or an audition I attended. The main reason is that such information has nothing to do with my intended focus for this blog. Beyond that, I have decided it's not my business to report who was where as if I were Liz Smith spotting Jack Nicholson at Spago's.

Even when people tell me things directly relevant to the focus of this blog, I rarely identify them when I relate the conversation, but rather refer to the speakers as such people as "fellow actors," "fellow cast members," or "patrons of the Guild," or whatever is appropriate. It's a judgment call in these cases and I can't tell you my precise criteria, but I go with my instincts in each case.

What about that reaction when the director doesn't cast me? How could I journal, to any worthy measure, the path of being an actor without confronting the times I do not get cast? Talk about cheating the focus of the blog if I didn't. Not being cast is a big part of the actor's experience. For me, and I assume for most, there is some level of disappointment every time. As those who are not new to this blog will know, there have been times it has been a big disappointment to me. The disappointment, the frequent second guessing of the director's decision, the not uncommon neurosis, the struggle on my part to develop a thicker skin about it, these factors and more are all ripe material for this blog. I cannot see how I could justify not blogging this facet of the actor's life. As I have told a few people, I'm trying to learn to wear it all like the proverbial loose garment, to have better emotional acceptance, to not so heavily invest myself emotionally in roles that attract me greatly.

However, until I can get there, if ever, I should not blog that sometimes immediate reaction I can have, which is silly and unfair, toward the director and his or her choice. Although, I find it legitimate to later write about that initial bad reaction, after I have come back to my senses and no longer feel like throwing unfounded slurs on the director's character. A good example would be my discussion of my knee-jerk emotional response when offered Dr. Mayberry rather than Gene in I Never Sang for My Father. There is value in recognizing and analyzing such silly peevishness.

Eventually I'll be the one making the casting choices, for the screen and for the stage. It serves me well to have examined my own thoughts and feelings when not cast. If I've discussed the actor's side publicly, that action will force me to keep my actor's side of the coin as a perspective to be aware of, as I execute the director's side of the coin. Back to this concept in more general terms later.

Another thing to consider for the blog is the Bad vibes factor. I believe the blog has, does and will put out some measure of bad vibes, at least in some cases, even if not as dramatically as my self-important ego wants to believe. Not that I have ever intended it to put out bad vibes, but you can't do anything publicly in a vacuum, and as the old wisdom goes:

    If you want no one to ever be mad at you then you can't do anything; because if you do something, someone will not like it.

That, regardless of how small the doing is. Yet, let's be real here: on a good week this blog gets perhaps a hundred hits. Maybe thirty stay for any period of time. I'm guessing; I haven't checked the stats; I'd be surprised if I am low balling it, though. But I know for a fact there have been times when people have received items in my blog with less than charity in their hearts. Others have been helpful enough to point out, as I've indicated before, how one particular entry or another might be misconstrued. It's all tied into the sort of angles and materials already discussed above, as well as the fact that I am not the great communicator I wish to be.

Of course, I sometimes buy too heavily into it when something said in the blog is made into an issue of contention. It is sometimes easy for someone to confront me about an anthill and convince me it is at least a foothill if not a full blown mountain. You see, I sometimes take myself too seriously. Okay, maybe a little more than sometimes. That "ego" thing, again.

I thus spend a lot of time trying to not take myself too seriously precisely because I am terribly prone to take myself so seriously. I see my ego as a committee of little guys up there in my head. There is an active, very loud member of the committee who thinks I am just about the most important, significant, brilliant son of a bitch to have ever walked the Earth. As you can imagine, he often offers nothing of real value at the committee meetings, but some days he's a pretty persuasive debater. On rare occasions, he actually knows what he's talking about, but not often. He loves the concept that this blog is a really big deal and that it causes ripples in the Dayton theatre community and he promotes that idea to the rest of the committee. In other words, he is full of shit more often than he is not. The wiser members of the committee simply let him ramble and ignore him; meanwhile they get on with the business of trying to keep me grounded in reality, discarding most of his nonsense and utilizing his happenstance of wisdom those odd times he offers such.

I still am careful to not bash him too heavily, because, with all his dangers and shenanigans, he is ultimately one of the strongest reasons I have the ability to stand in front of an audience and perform. It is a question of handling him properly.

He is one reason I occasionally have written entries in the blog that were perhaps defensive, maybe once or twice a tad aggressive in the defense, and in some manner, frequently apologetic -- even when I have been noncommittal about what exactly needed apologizing over.

I heard a man once who espouses the concept of living life (or, "following God's will") as this:

    Walk out the door for the day. When you hit a wall, turn left.

To some respect, I do that. I have turned left into a community of local live theatre, and because of that, I have been writing a blog of a different nature than I had originally suspected I would.

Though, had I thought about it, I should have realized that no matter where the path took me, I was going to be a part of a community of people, most who own a computer, have an internet connection and subscribe to an ISP. That I was going to provide comment on people in my artistic community, regardless of the nature of that community, who would know me and would read what I have to say, should not have been a fact that easily escaped me. I often am a savvy guy; just as often, not so much so -- okay, more often, not so much so.

So, there has always been the looming need to have my wits about me as I blog the blog. It's always been true, even before I came to see it, that I should do all I can to not be, or to not come off as, a catty little weenie.

At times I feel like I should just stop doing it, close the thing down and perhaps even delete it all off the server. But, you know what? BULLSHIT!

In October of 2003 when I finally "decided" to act again, I told everybody I knew what I was doing. Deciding to do something means nothing unless followed by action. I told all those people because then I was in a Put Up Or Shut UP corner. I either committed myself and took some action to make it real, or I explained like a loser moron why I was doing nothing to make the decision a reality. In many ways this blog is an extension of that utility.

It also helps me to process the learning experiences by blogging here. Granted, by virtue of my own censorship, some lessons are not fully investigated in the blog -- some not even partially. That doesn't mean I haven't looked at and integrated the knowledge. Some may end up being discussed later in a manner that doesn't reveal the personalities who may have been involved to start.

Plus, as I said earlier, this blog keeps me writing in some form. Since I fancy myself as also a writer, it's good to remember that writers ought to write every day. I don't always make it every day, but the blog keeps it more frequent than it would have been otherwise.

And beyond all that, despite the danger that this thought is such a richly ego-feeding proposition: I do believe that there is something interesting about an artist journaling most aspects of his forays in his arts. Primarily this has mostly been about "the actor," thus far, and I think there are other actors who read this and identify. Often, I would guess they identify in a nostalgic manner ("I remember when I felt that way" or "You'll get better at that") I can't believe it could be that I am the only actor, writer, whatever, who gets neurotic over "rejection," or experiences anxiety at auditions, or gets frustrated with artistic growth that seems too slow, or is self-critical, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I will keep on blogging, doing my best to not be crass or insulting, trying hard to not take myself too damned serious in the mean time, and understanding that if I am going to say anything in a public forum that someone will be unhappy with me.

I tend to think of a large audience when I write the entries. I just need to remember I am making a generous assumption when I do that. So I might as well lighten up and just say what I want to say the way I want to say it with a little dollop of discretion thrown in.

Geez! That was a long entry! Talk about a verbose blogger!!



Sun Apr 13, 2006

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REVISION AND TWO CHAPTERS ADDED TO THE SAMPLING OF MY NOVEL MANUSCRIPT: As well as adding Chapters Four and Five, I have also done some minor revision to some portions of what was already posted. The most significant change is to the epigraph for Chapter Two. In terms of adding more of the manuscript, this is it. It comes to a logical stopping point for the "sampling." Reading the rest of the novel will take money -- I hope, money spent on a paper published copy!

Click here for the chapbook of Chapters One through Five of Starting for the Sun.

I also have more revision and re-write to do. Just a few things that I have realized need done for the text that will not be seen here.

GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: The producers are still looking for a female lead as well as extras --

  • The female lead needs to be between twenty-one and twenty-six years old.
  • The extras need to be between twenty and twenty-six. Some extras will need to be willing to be slimmed.
  • contact the director, Mike Sopronyi, at ohiogbfanfilm@yahoo.com.

We have call sheets for the month of May. I suspect we will not make the day a few times and have some calls in June, too, but maybe not. (by-the-way, for those who don't know, to "Make the Day" means to get everything shot that was planned for the day.)

AUDITION PREP: I'm getting ready for a couple auditions. I'm reading to find new monologues and surfing musical cast CDs for an appropriate song. I have audition monologues already, of course, but I like moving on and getting a new one down every now and then.

WORKSHOPS: Have some workshop opportunities coming up of which I am going to avail myself.

READING THE 2006/2007 DAYTON THEATRE GUILD SEASON: I borrowed all six plays from the Wright State University Dunbar Library. Actually, two of them I had to borrow through what is called OhioLink and is essentially a specialized sort of interlibrary loan system. So I read those two, the two that close the season, first -- The Dice House, by Paul Lucas and Speaking in Tongues, by Andrew Bovell. So far those are the only two I've read.

Speaking in Tongues is the most intriguing of the two, mostly because it's going to be such a challenge to present well. There are a lot of cross over lines spoken simultaneously by two characters in what I think is a brilliantly conceived motif. An example (not lifted from the script):

    JOHN. (sitting down).   Well, I don't know / if I can take it anymore.

    PETER. (standing up).    If I can take it anymore / than should be expected, I'll be amazed.

I added the blue color, but the rest is the format of Bovell's script. It's gonna take some precise performance skill and a methodical director. If I had some chops up I'd throw my hat in the ring to direct this, but, let's be real: it ain't time yet. I may aspire to direct this later, when I have the experience. I certainly have an eye on auditioning for our production.

The other play, The Dice House is funny. I am not drawn to it, but I have only read it once. The first time I read The Cripple of Inishmaan I did not care for it at all. I came to find it a very well-crafted dark comedy.

In between all this other stuff (I haven't even mentioned more work on my screenplay or editing the new WriteGallery chapbook), I'll fit in reading the other 06/07 Guild plays.



Thu Apr 20, 2006

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QUICK BITS:

  • I'm in Chapter Seven of my novel revision. This, I believe, is the last of significant revisions. I had cut Chapter Two. So what you see in the web sample as Chapter Two, used to be Three. But I have been taking much of the material from that old Chapter Two and redistributing it in later Chapters. This current Chapter Seven (which was Eight) will get the last of that redistributed material, as well as an elaboration of some things. It will be lengthened to the point that it will be split into 7 & 8. Thus, Chapter Nine will be the same as always, least in terms of numbering. I am still going to do some re-writing in the second half of the manuscript, though rather minor in the scheme of things.
  • Tonight is the first night of The Art of Performing, a six-week theatre class I am taking through the Human Race Theatre Company. My biggest weak spot, in my mind, is movement, so I hope it is touched upon heavily.


Sun Apr 23, 2006

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THE ART OF PERFORMING: First, this Human Race theatre class is five weeks, not six as I'd said in the last post. Don't know why that detail matters, but, there ya go. The first class, last Thursday, was a promising start. The instructor is Carrie-Ellen Zappa, who is, I believe, a local Equity actor. She facilitated a good opening class which leads me to think the next four will be good, too. Of course, most of the other students are in that college age range, though we do have one sixteen-year-old young man with lots of presence and charisma. No suggestion should be inferred here the others are slouches, though. There's also a couple others, besides me, not of traditional college age.

Carrie-Ellen had us do two separate improvs. The first was the whole group of twelve as quirky characters at a party. I was a bar tender who hates alcohol. I was, um, better at the other improv. That other one had the class split into two groups where each came up with an improv that shows who, where and what. The six in my group were all members of different Twelve Step groups, all at the same meeting, each not realizing it was not their group. I was a new Gambler's Anonymous member, only there to satisfy my probation officer, and sneaking bets on my cell phone during the meeting. Good group of compatriots to work with over the next month. My fellow Twelve Steppers were all funny and so were the other group: farm animals, each appealing to the master and mistress of the farm to kill off one of the other animals in the interest of austerity.

We also played a word game, where each person in the circle says the next word in a sentence to tell the predetermined story. As well as a staple of Drew Carrie's Whose Line Is It Anyway?, I think this is an old standby; and Jake Lockwood had us do it at the improve workshop at The Guild in February of 2005.

We spent the rest of class one on auditions, with all of us up there doing audition pieces, either monologues or cold reads. I and a few others did monologues. I used the cockroach monologue from Jake's Women, which has been good to me, though I did improvise (paraphrase) a bit of it since I have not rehearsed it lately. Ms. Zappa said that it is a good audition piece for me, and it is making me think I may want to use it for one of my upcoming auditions. I do still like the idea of keeping on my toes by constantly learning new audition monologues.

She also gave tips and comments about actors' overall presentations of themselves at auditions, stressing that it is as important to let the director/producers see you are going to be easy and fun to work with as it is to show your talent and skill.

So far so good.

B.B. REDD: That is the name of the new blues band in which actor Melissa Young is the singer. They debuted last night at Peach's Bar & Grill in Yellow Springs, Ohio, as the opening set for W.G. Blues Unit. I must say, Ms. Young just keeps on impressing me. I had heard her singing around the sets and such, and it was clear she has a good voice. Last night, hearing her full-throttle on stage -- the girl's got game! Really nice phrasing and a few very fine moments of finesse in between some full-on, belt-it-out, frontal-attack blues singing. She could do this for a living as well as acting.

The band's web site: www.freewebs.com/bbredd. There's a really great picture of Melissa at the page that I have already told her ought to be the front of a CD jewel case.

AND STILL...: ...prepping for them upcoming auditions, working on the novel re-write, getting into production of the forthcoming WriteGallery virtual chapbook, On the Edge of the Pulsewave, finishing up the page of pictures from Endgame last November at Springfield StageWorks.

I also am in a period where I am trying my damnedest to NOT turn the TV on. Way too much of importance going on to allow the inevitable -- I turn it on, I am sucked in and blow several hours of my life.



Fri Apr 28, 2006

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BRIGHT IDEAS
by Eric Coble

Opens at The Dayton Theatre Guild tonight and runs Fri-Sun through May 14. Again, the cast is:

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

THE ART OF PERFORMING: Last night was Class Two of this HRTC sponsored course. Instructor Carrie-Ellen Zappa handed out casting for a series of short one-scene plays we will rehearse through to a performance at the last class session.

She also has had everyone give her a copy of their résumé. She asked me to email all four versions of mine as she said it needs to look more professional. Hey, I game for shaping it up. I have one professional audition coming up and certainly welcome the criticism beforehand. The four versions, by-the-way are: 1) a community theatre version; 2) professional theatre version; 3) non-pro film; 4) professional film.

There's more to blog about, but I haven't the time. I'll get to it later.



Mon, May 1, 2006

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GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Had the production meeting and read-through yesterday. All went well. We start shooting next Saturday with a few of my scenes, which take place in Dean Schultz's office. We're using an office at WDTN Channel 2 Television.

I have not completely developed Dean Schultz yet but he's close to finished. Yesterday he wasn't quite the weenie he should be; he will be by Saturday.

AUDITION PREP: I spent the rest of yesterday working on two monologues for the audition I am doing today. I also am doing a musical audition tomorrow. I have chosen a new audition song but don't have it down yet, but I will spend some of today on it, when I need a break from rehearsing the monologues. I am, you see, taking a vacation day from the paycheck job. I will also then focus on it after today's audition is over. I am likely to take at least half the day off tomorrow, too, to get the song into final good shape for Tuesday evening.

A FRIEND DOES THREE PENNY OPERA AT THE CLARK STATE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: Went to see my fellow Guild board member, Jocelyn Kandl, in this show Saturday night. She is our publicity chairperson, and as well she is who directed Nutcracker: the Musical in late 2004 (and was AD for Cripple of Inishmaan in early 2004). This was the first time I had seen her on stage. She done good as Lucy Brown both in her dramatic presence and her strong vocal work. The highlight of the night for me was the duet between her and Tonya Renolds (Polly Peacham) on "Jealousy Duet." Both young ladies have lovely voices and it was the musical moment of the show for me.



Wed May 3, 2006

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AUDITIONS THIS WEEK: I started to count to ten but then jumped off the tall diving board on eight -- so as to not end up standing up there frozen, looking down at that damned water in the pool below, taunting me with its little stringy reflection of light on its intimidating waves and that blurry eight foot deep floor somehow smirking through the depths, up at me up there, as I look down, unable to move, just standing at the end of the diving board.

EH?

This Monday, I had my appointment to audition for the Human Race Theatre Company. I, of course, exaggerate the skittish factor a bit up above, but not wholly. I also have absolutely no expectation that I will get a callback nor be cast for any Race show in 2006/07. As I told a friend and fellow actor in an email, I consider this as a "rehearsal" for later. I had much nervousness about it, and I figured, Lets get the nerve-racking audition out of the way so I can come back later a little cooler. Am I ready to play The Loft or the Victoria stage? Who knows? I might need more stage time in non-professional theatres beforehand. I probably do.

*SEE IT'S ALL PART OF THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MY ANOMALOUS SCHIZOPHRENIA: NOT LONG AGO I WAS DEFENDING MY READINESS FOR THE DEMANDING ROLE OF GENE IN  I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER, NOW I HEM-HAW ABOUT WHETHER I SHOULD EVEN BE CAST IN A SMALL ROLE ON A HUMAN RACE STAGE. WELL, I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE AN ISSUE THIS YEAR, ANYWAY. BUT, I BELIEVE IT'S TIME TO PUT MYSELF IN THAT LEVEL OF AUDITION ARENAS.

And if it is foolish for me to consider it possible I could presently succeed on a Human Race stage, well, if a director were to call me back and then cast me, I would take the unwise course. I would be terrified, but, so what? And I am convinced it's a big hypothetical anyway.

I did not audition for musicals. I've only so far been in one actual musical and only sang in two theatre productions since I've been back, so I am sure beyond doubt that I don't want to offer myself up to the Race stage for a musical just yet.

How Do I Feel About My Audition?: First of all, it was not at all nerve-racking. It was much more informal than I'd expected and that made things much easier. I used a Gene Garrison monologue from Act II Of I Never Sang for My Father; for those who know the play it's a portion of his talk with his sister Alice in the bar before they head to the house, the section that starts with him griping about how he can't talk to his dad about his mother's death, and ending where he talks about the night their dad kicked Alice out for "marrying a Jew." Then I used my old standby, the cock roach monologue from Jake's Women.

I feel 99% good about the audition. One flaw happened during the Jake monologue; auditor Marsha Hanna (the Race's artistic director) laughed and I looked at her if only for a split second. One should not do that. It may not be a big thing but still I need to watch that. Need to keep focused and never acknowledge audience members, whether they are auditors or paying guests, except in those rare occasions when the script actually calls for it.

It also did not hurt my comfort level that I saw familiar faces both before and after my appointment. Not that any overtly comforting exchanges happened, but certainly friendly ones occurred; and just seeing faces I recognized helped.

I also auditioned for Leigh, Darion, & Wasserman's Man of La Mancha at Brookville Community Theatre yesterday and tonight. I used a new song for that audition. I didn't want to use "Nutcracker's Lament" or "Comedy Tonight" and those were the only audition songs I had in my repertoire; "How Tedious and Tasteless" doesn't really count because it's a cappella. I trolled some CDs of other musicals to find that new song: "Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve" from Sherman Edwards' 1776.

I auditioned for Don Quixote though the role calls for a baritone. I certainly can handle the characterization and I can get the notes, though I have less resonance on the bottom. But with microphones I think I am viable as the Man of La Mancha. I did also read for Sancho and he'd be fun, in fact, and he does call for a tenor. There is a wind-a-blowin' that suggest I'm a serious consideration; it seems more likely as Sancho

How do I feel about this audition?: Ultimately I feel good about it, though it began a bit more than just a little disastrous.

I was up first for the vocal audition and it turns out "Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve" is not the easiest song to sight read if one is not familiar with it. So as the accompanist struggled through, it just threw me off badly. I lost the lyrics and the melody. However, someone else sang along with a CD of his song that had a vocal track on it, and that was acceptable to the director. So, having the cassette tape I made in the car, with loops of the segment of my song, I asked if I could do it again. The director was more than happy to let me and I was more than happy with my second shot, singing along with William Daniels

I'd worked up a slight amount of "choreography" (or my version of such) as well as some business and a bit of characterization for John Adams (the persona of the song). The second time, with the tape, I was able to get in the vibe, hit my stride and execute the song the way I'd intended. I like to be theatrical when I do a song in audition, because it seems to me the director should see that you can sing in character -- that is the point of a musical. As far as I am concerned, I redeemed myself if only for myself. But, honestly, I do think asking to do it again and then actually pulling it off did not hurt. Isn't it great that even a dense man can learn from his past mistakes. I told myself after the Cleveland Paper Dolls callback that I was always going to ask to do it again if I knew I could do better. Maybe there's hope for me.

Here's another lesson I need to learn: pick simpler, straight-forward songs that will be easier to sight read; or use a CD (my preference would be, with no vocal track) when such is acceptable for harder songs. Don't expect an accompanist, even if good, to be of concert virtuoso accomplishment and able to sight read anything I bring, cold but still well. I must admit, most of what appeals to me as more fun to do is usually not so straight-forward.

I feel good about my readings from the script, too. So, regardless of the outcome, it turned out to be a good audition for me. But, I was one a few men asked to stay tonight to read some more and to sing more. I only sang Sancho though, hence the likelihood I mentioned earlier.

No arrogance or foolishness here, though. A) someone else was asked to sing Sancho when I was; B) there were actors who were auditioned at other times because they had schedule conflicts with these two nights.

Whatever is whatever, I've had two good auditions this week.

THE RITUAL: I did the full vocal warm-ups as always. Of course, yesterday it was bit more necessary since I was to sing. The act of the vocal warm-ups is important to me regardless. First, I will still be using my voice so it can stand to be primed. I do quite a bit of vowel and consonant speech warm up as part of it anyway. Beyond all that, there is a mental and attitudinal (even spiritual) ritual and ceremony attached to it that I find beneficial to putting me in the right frame of mind and temperature of heart.

I took Monday off from work just so I would not have to have been in the paycheck job environment all day before I did the biggest theatrical audition I have thus far done. I spent the day running errands that all are somehow related to acting: dropped of some shirts and a suit coat at the dry cleaners that I'll wear in the movie; picked some more music scores for other songs I intend to use for future auditions; went and got an 8 x 10 matte of a headshot for the audition that night. I intermittently rehearsed the two monologues, careful not to get to urgent or anxious in my need to get them closer to perfection.

I took half the day off yesterday because my work flow would not allow another whole day. But, I again spent the afternoon rehearsing the song with a more casual approach than I am used to. Remember when I talked about trying to wear these auditions and the roles I want like a loose garment? Well, here I am giving that approach a shot. My only terribly anxious moment was during the debacle run- through of "Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve."

WHAT? MUSICALS?: Yes, yes, I know, I have said more than once on this blog that I am not much enthused with performing in musicals. I don't hate the idea, you know, I just am more attracted to dramatic theatre.

Still, it behooves me to get myself proficient at performing in musicals. It may be one of the better inroads to professional work for me. A little while ago someone who is a reliable source for such opinion told me that a good bet for me was to audition for some national tours, that the fact that I can both act and sing is a good thing.

A point I brought up was what do I do when the tour is over and I come home. I will not get a leave of absence from the library job. If I go on tour with a show, I will be putting in my notice at ol' WSU. The person's response was that I am a middle-aged man who can act and sing, my type is sought after for a lot of roles; I can easily go from production to production for as long as I want. Hmm.

What about the fact that I am not Gene Kelly in terms of them dance moves? -- Doesn't matter, I was told, if I can act and sing, I'll be workshopped for the production as far as any choreography.

In an attempt to not wear rose-colored glasses, I'm thinking it may not be quite that cut-and-dry. Still it is something to not discount as viable. Just like not auditioning for musicals at the Race just yet, however, I think the same applies for going after a spot on a tour. I need to be in a few musicals in a less professional setting first.

Oh, here's a little secret between you and me: I am warming up to performing in them anyway; hate to admit it, but it's true. Dramatic plays are still my real want and focus for the stage, though.

GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: I had not shared this information earlier because I did not want to spoil anything for the producers, but since it is posted at the myspace web site I feel safe. This is only going to mean anything to those from the Dayton area, but some local personalities will make some cameos in the movie. Both WDTN Channel 2 Television news anchor Carl Day and features reporter Jim Bucher will be in the movie. Carl will play himself delivering news from the TV 2 set about the strange phenomena occurring at the local university. The Bucher segment is something humorous.

Also, mixologist Nathan Chase has granted permission to the producers to use "The Ghost That Feeds," his remix combination of Nine Inch Nails' "The Hand That Feeds" and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters."

We still start shooting this coming Saturday.



Sat May 6, 2006

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NO SOY EL MAN OF LA MANCHA O SANCHO: Yep, it's the old And it's on to the next audition. It is Saturday morning and I have not been called nor emailed to be offered a role in this Brookville Community Theatre. production. My math says that though I was a contender, I will not be in rehearsal in Brookville for the next six weeks. The cast list is not posted at the theatre's web site, yet, but I feel safe in assuming I will not be on that list.

Though I am disappointed, I have been more so before. I want to believe some of this is owed to my attempt at a new approach to my hopes and expectations. How much that's true is a debate. I was not invested greatly in any of the roles, however, and that must be taken into account. On the other side, I did have a real interest in doing the show, though. Wednesday I had a rough time getting to sleep, after the second night of auditions, I must admit. But I don't have a deep feeling of disappointment.

Maybe it's being cast in something that's about to start production, already.

GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: We start shooting tonight. The shoot is this evening, so I spend much of my day with the script. I also will look at tomorrow morning's shoot today, so as not to have to do a mammoth study before that shoot.

By the way and for the record, the cast and crew of Ghostbusters: Spook University:

    PERSON            CHARACTER OR PRODUCTION TITLE
    John Hibbard            Bill Venkmen
    Loren S. Goins            Byron McClain
    Jonathan Roberts            Mark Nelson
    Amy L. Tokarsky            Nichole Peters
    Amanda Hatton            Samantha Hill
    K.L.Storer            Dean Schultz
    Dan Yohey            Josh Stevens
    Shawn A. Green III            Voice actor
    - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
    Mike Sopronyi            Director
    John Golub            Director of photography
    Joe Machenzie            Lighting technician
    Ray Gambrell            Casting director
    Jerome E. Kenne &
    Art Luke
               Special effects
    Greg Nichols            Sound engineer

ADDNEDUM, LATER IN THE DAY: I was so focused on tonight's shoot that it totally was out of my head that I attended a very fine production of Little Foxes in Cincinnati last night. I haven't the time to blog it now, but will add a note when time permits.



Mon, May 8, 2006

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GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Saturday night's shoot at Channel 2 went well. We made the day and wrapped just about when director Mike was hoping to, and it all went smoothly. On campus at Wright State University, it was not exactly the same story, yesterday.

Overall the production had a good, big, and long day, yesterday. My day was not so good. I had a long wait before any of my scenes were shot -- about eleven hours. The call was at nine that morning. It was a little after eight p.m. when I finally did any work on tape. To be kind, I was off my game, at least in one scene. My mind was wiped. I am going to guess the high energy of anticipation drained me as the wait lingered. I was mentally foggy and could not remember lines well at all. I am not happy about my level of acting during the scene, either. I am, in fact, going to suggest to the director that we shoot the scene again when we come back to Wright State on the pick-up day.

It was a drag, to say the least. I have learned a valuable lesson as a future film director, though. Do not leave the talent waiting a long time, it may not bode well for the performance you get as the result.

I do not want to seem that I am passing the blame off, though, for my less-than-stellar performance. I am not happy that I did not have the stamina to still give my best when the time came. My growth as an actor (artist) works best if I take responsibility for my short-comings.

Yet, as a director, I need to be aware that the math here is not at all unlikely as a common problem. It will be the actors at that level of excellence, which I wish to reach, who will be the exceptions.

It was, though, as I said, overall a really productive day for the project.

LITTLE FOXES AT THE OVATION THEATRE IN CINCINNATI LAST FRIDAY: This was a well-done production with Elena Monigold in the role of Regina Giddens. Elena did just a wonderful job and she was surrounded by excellent cast mates. There was not one weak performance on that stage. On nights like this, I envy the cast members their privilege of being on "that" stage in "that" production.

Elena, of course, is the impressive actor of Jake's Women, Kidding Jane, and Other People's Money, to mention the ones I have seen. Also in the show, from Dayton, was Andrew Ian Adams, who was so good as Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum earlier this season at Sinclair Community College Theatre.



Wed May 10, 2006

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GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Both I and my scene partner want to re-shoot that scene what which went so awry last Sunday evening. I suspect Mike wouldn't mind getting some better footage either. We are going to re-shoot it on the 28th.

I'm also going to drop by campus this Saturday to shoot a few coverage shots. It'll be a tight fit schedule-wise. I was going to be in the audience for Bright Ideas at The Guild this coming Sunday, the last show. Unfortunately, my host for that show had to cancel and at the moment I am it. So now I plan to watch Act I and the first bit of Act II on Saturday, then head to campus to shoot the footage; then, Sunday, after I have done set-up during the first act and clean-up right after intermission, I'll pick up the second act as an audience member again. Unless I manage to get a host for Sunday -- then I'll just watch the whole show then, and make the film director happier by getting to his set earlier on Saturday.



Mon, May 15, 2006

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GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: We ended up canceling my shoots last Saturday night, which worked out for me. I had business at the Guild and was also able to watch all of Bright Ideas on Saturday, rather than splitting my audience attendance as I was going to.

BRIGHT IDEAS AT THE GUILD: Speaking of, it was a really nice production. Everyone did good and I was especially impressed with the multiple character performances by that Ms. Randall lady (Natasha, whom I believe I have mentioned here once or twice before), Cassandra Hawkins and David Sherman. Not to suggest that leads Alex Carmichal and Megan Cooper weren't on top of it, either. As for the play, itself, I would guess it will be a movie if it has not been so already. It is the sort of dark comedy that translates well to the screen.

FOOTFALLS AT SINCLAIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE THEATRE: I saw this one the night before on Friday. After the show I saw director Brian McKnight out side the theatre. I told him that I had not been pissed about not being cast until I saw the show -- my passive aggressive way of complementing his production. This is the second time in recent weeks I have seen a college theatre program tackle difficult work (remember Three Penny Opera done by Clark State Theatre a few weeks ago?). It's good to see we have local faculty members and students with the guts to go after difficult work and have good measures of success.

Footfalls, to remind some, was a series of short plays by Samuel Beckett. The evening consisted of the following plays: Play (which included Heather Gorbe as Woman 1), Rockabye, Piece of Monologue, Come and Go, What Where, Not I, and Ohio Impromptu.

PROSPECTIVE NEAR FUTURE STUFF:

  • There is the possibility of a forthcoming class on performing for the camera that I hope to enroll in.
  • Remember the short-short DV movie I shot in late 2003, Muse? I have done nothing with it because I used the song "Midwestern Night's Dream" by Pat Metheny off of his Bright Size Life album. Well, I have just sent a letter to his production company to request copyright clearance. If I get it I will make the movie available as a free download at the site proper. I am also looking into making it available as a free podcast at the Itunes Music Store. The Metheny people may, of course, not allow that even if they do allow me to post it at my site for free. Since I have edited the movie to that song, I do hope Mr. Metheny, or said agents there of, will grant me at least some rights.
  • As soon as I doctor my actor's résumé, based on suggestions from Carrie-Ellen Zappa, I will be approaching a particular talent agency, by which a few of my local actor friends are represented.
  • At the moment, I am seriously considering auditioning for the 2006 FutureFest. This to the point that I pretty much know that I will. Probably.


  • Sun May 21, 2006

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    EVERYTHING WENT AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE LAST FRIDAY NIGHT: I saw Cole Porter's Anything Goes at the Dayton Playhouse on Friday evening and I loved it. The principal cast was very strong: Kimberly Reiter as Reno Sweeney, Saul Caplan as Moonface Martin, Joshua Mollohan as Billy Crocker, Sydney Lanier as Hope Harcourt, and Michael Wadham as Evelyn Oakleigh. And the supporting cast was good, too. It included a few friends and past cast mates as well as others whom I have and have not seen on stage before. Primary to me are Bradley Kasch and Sara Gomes -- who were the siblings of The Diviners at The Guild back in October of 2004 -- and Charity Farrell, who was Maria in Nutcracker: the musical at Christmastime 2004 at The Guild.

    The Porter musical, itself, does nothing to interfere with a good production, because it's a good, fun script with good music. There must be a punch line on the average of every minute-and-a-half.

    MORE TWEAKS TO MY SCREENPLAY: Needed to send a PDF of the screenplay to someone I hope to involve in the production. I have begrudgingly transfered it from WordPefect for Mac into a Word document. It was easiest to just copy the unformatted text then re-format, line by line. Naturally, I did some revision as I re-formated. And I see some places that still need even more re-write.

    I am sorry to say, as we know, I don't see the movie in production now any earlier than summer '07, so, I have time to re-write more. And, I have no doubt, will.

    CLASSES THROUGH THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY: Last Thursday was the final class for The Art of Performing. There was, oddly enough, a performance for invited guests (of the class members). We each were in little one scene plays as well as in three different improve settings. My scene was called Bed and Breakfast, written by Richard Dresser. I was Claude, a fellow who has a condition that has rendered him with very short-term memory (fifteen minutes worth). The setting is in England. Claude keeps picking up his wife, whom he keeps forgetting he knows, and asks her, everyday, if she'd like to go visit Stone Henge. For him it's a first date. Think Fifty First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, or Tom Hanks as "Mr. Short-term Memory" on Saturday Night Live.

    The scene was fun and I think, with as little rehearsal as we had, we all did a great job. There were two other one-scene plays, and they too did great for the short rehearsal time.

    The improvs were fun, too. First one was "The Meeting." A group of people, each with a different addiction or problem, are all at the same meeting. Each thinks it's a support group meeting for his or her affliction.

    We also did Freeze Tag. If you've ever seen Whose Line Is It, Anyway, you'll know that is the improv where, usually, two are on stage and there is a set up given -- who each is, where they are, and what the problem or conflict is. When I went up, the set up became that I was a ballerina in a Target store trying to find where the tutu's were. So, there I was, a bald, middle-aged man with two left feet portraying a ballerina. Really didn't have to work hard for there be to be humor involved. I handled it by pretending I was Collin Mochrie (speaking of Whose Line Is It, Anyway). After the freeze, I became Harry Potter stuck in Tomorrow Land looking for yesterday. I just spoke with an English accent, was able to reference little from the Harry Potter universe, since I know little of it. The ballerina worked better for me, I think.

    We ended with Photo Album, where suggestions for what all the actors on stage are (the whole class was up). We all got into the characters and then at some point we were to freeze for the "photo". By the way, actual photo's were taken. I'll see about getting a few to post.

    Maybe.

    As for that next class, Acting for the Camera, though I haven't yet received the official confirmation, I do believe I have a slot in it, It will be each Thursday evening in June. Carrie-Ellen Zappa will also be the instructor for this one. I find her to be a good teacher, so I look forward to the five June sessions.



    Wed May 24, 2006

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    AUDITIONS FOR FUTUREFEST AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE: Monday night and last night I did indeed audition for this year's FutureFest as I had 99.9% committed myself to do. I auditioned for two of the fully staged plays, as they are the only of the six total titles that seem to have roles for me. The first of those two is Bookends by M.J. Feely and directed by Saul Caplan; the other, Fake by Jim Gordon, directed by Fran Pesch.

    As it turns out, there had been an opportunity to study these new, unpublished works before the auditions, but I had not read carefully enough to know that. In one way that was good, because I do need to get much better at cold readings than I am; much better; much much better. The bad news is: I still need to get much better at cold readings than I am; much better; much much better.

    Yeah, yeah. I probably am overstating the "suck" factor, at least to some extent. No doubt, though, I assure you, my first two reads were, well, in a word or two, bland and yucky. I didn't know the text, I had no clue about the character. I did little more than regurgitate words off the page, words over which I stumbled more than once. That was for one particular scene in Bookends. I knew the synopsis of the play but had not read any of the text, save for the sides (or "asides" if you prefer) just before I went on stage.

    I'd grabbed a copy of the script for Fake about thirty minutes before the audition began on Monday, so I was at least a bit prepared. The readings from that went better. I also got to read that first scene again, from Bookends, a little later. And, though I can't say the character choice is one that works fabulously for the text and the play, at least there was some sort of character and delivery going on. And my reads for that play got better overall, later on Monday. Tuesday, was a good night, too.

    I did get to read both nights with a few folk I had never read with before, which was kind of cool. As for the lessons learned from these two audition nights: the one I am the most aware of is that on at least two occasions I read lines wrong then corrected myself by saying, "Excuse me," as myself, then re-read the lines. I suppose in this particular setting it may not have been as big a deal (only because both directors are familiar with me); but, ultimately, I think it is not good to be so transparent about an error, even in an audition, and it is a habit I shall be breaking. I probably also should have asked Fran to read me in one particular scene she hadn't read me for. It was a friendlier, gentler side of the character Fred Meyers which I had not had a chance to show Fran; in the scene I read, he was in a more confrontative mode. I was given the opportunity to ask and didn't -- and this was only my fault.

    As is usually the case, I was up against some good talent, so we shall see when we see if I am cast or not.

    SOMETHIN' COOKIN' IN MY LITTLE BRAIN: So, how's this for vague? -- I have this idea brewing in my head that has become a little more complex since it germinated a few weeks ago. There is a direct relationship to my future movie production; it'd be more accurate to say the production would be connected with this idea. It is somewhat based on a thought that had occurred to me a few years ago. That one was about starting a weekly or monthly taped radio show based on writing posted at the WriteGallery. What this new idea is, is an expansive evolution of that idea, forged together with something entirely new.

    When I have a solid concept well formulated, I'll get more specific here.

    TO BE TAUGHT OR NOT TO BE TAUGHT: Due in part to the rehearsal schedule I may be about to undertake as well as some financial considerations, it is probable I will not be in the June "Acting for the Camera" classes with Carrie-Ellen Zappa at The Human Race. I had the last installment of an insurance payment bill show up; one I had forgotten was still due; plus, I have a couple artistic expenses coming up, which I think take priority over the tuition for the Race class. If I am not cast in a role that demands Thursdays, and I can do some math magic, I might still be able to attend. But, even if not cast at all, I still find it unlikely. I do hope the class is offered again! I want to take it.



    Fri May 26, 2006

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    I WON'T BE A JAKE, BUT I'LL INVESTIGATE A FAKE IN FUTUREFEST 2006: I was offered and have accepted the role of Det. Stevens in Fake by Jim Gordon, directed by Fran Pesch. It is, I must admit, the one I had the most idea what I would want to do with as I shaped it into a finished character for performance. Whether or not that is why I was cast as him rather than the three other roles I specifically auditioned for, is something I do not know at the moment. Those other three roles were: Fred Meyers, the lead male of Fake and both lead males of Bookends -- playwright Matthew Burke and movie/theatre director Jackson Kale (Jake). My ego does suffer some because I did not get a lead role (either Bookends role would have been sweet*); but, Stevens is a good role and I will enjoy creating him with Fran and sending him out on stage in July.

    *Fred would have been sweet, too -- but the Bookends characters were a little more attractive to me. Oh well, I guess it's "Suck it up, Pal!" time. And, as I said, Stevens works for me.

    As to whether I can take that June The Human Race class, is still a big debate.

    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Some production delay has occurred because one principal cast member has an unavoidable personal commitment. We are still shooting this coming Sunday, but some scenes, at least the master shots, won't be done in the absence of the cast member. Many coverage shots of myself and the other cast members may be shot for those scenes, however. I just hope, if it's too terribly long before we shoot the scenes with said missing actor, we can look at the dailies to remind ourselves of all continuity needs -- not just how we were standing, but what attitudes our characters had. A difference in a character's emotional attitude in a cut to a different angle is as glaring as is a different colored shirt or an item in the other hand, etc.



    Sat May 27, 2006

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    First of all, it's Memorial Day weekend and I am at a picnic table, in the shade of an oak tree at John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs, Ohio and not terribly far away from my home. I have, of course, mentioned this park, and the neighboring Glen Helen (actually it's the same forest along with Clifton Gorge) as favorite spots by me to come and work on all things artistic whenever I can -- wrote a major portion of my novel at a bend in the Little Miami River at John Bryan. I've walked trails all over this forest with a script in my hand, memorizing lines, too. I prepped for my recent Human Race general audition, just about a hundred yards from where I sit right now.

    Yes, I often stop into Dino's in Yellow Springs to grab a cup of coffee -- no, I have never run into Dave Chappelle there. I have, in fact, never seen him around, though I am sure I live within ten or fifteen minutes of his farm, which I don't know the whereabouts of and wouldn't divulge if I did. This all in response to a few emails I have gotten. I will say that last June, I rehearsed my audition for Rising Phoenix Theatre Company, that morning before I drove down, at Yellow Springs Park, at the little shelter there. Then I dropped by Dino's before I hit the highway to Middletown. I asked the counter guy if Dave was still in town -- this was in the months just after his exodus to South Africa and the Dave sightings were hot and heavy. The fellow told me he had dropped in for a coffee about thirty minutes earlier. Well Dave, sorry I missed ya. Loved your spot on James Lipton's show.

    But I digress. It's the calm of this shade and the breeze bending and singing through the forestry a few yards from me. Love this place.

    LET'S NOT MAKE A BIGGER DEAL OUT OF THIS THAN IT MOST ASSUREDLY IS: Okay, here's what happened. I was up later than I meant to be Thursday night, because I have bought the licensed version of Corel Painter IX.5 for the visual artist wannabe in me. And, as always, when a guy has a new toy, he must play with it to the point of overboard. Now, I had a ticket to see Our Town at SpringField StageWorks last night. So, already yawning by mid-afternoon yesterday, I determined I needed to grab a good nap before the show.

    After work, I pulled into my apartment complex and grabbed my mail out of the box. If I was looking for anything of immediate value to me it was a response from Pat Metheny's production company about my request to use "Midwestern Night's Dream" in my short-short movie, Muse. Nothing such in the handful of mail. One of the pieces of mail was a green card from The Human Race. I thought it was some announcement about some event or some promo of some sort, or perhaps info on that upcoming class with Carrie-Ellen Zappa.

    It was not. Here is what is was:

      2006 - 2007 Season Callbacks

      Thank you for auditioning for The Human Race Theatre Company at Dayton Generals

      You are invited for a callback(s). Please see the checklist below, indicating for which show(s) you will be contacted by phone to schedule your callback(s).....

        Moonlight & Magnolias
        1st rehearsal: August 28, 2006
        Production: September 28 - October 15, 2006

        Take Me Out
        1st rehearsal: May 14, 2007
        Production: June 14 - 24, 2007

    Um..........

    WHAT?

    I was then, of course, Cool and aloof in my reaction. I stood outside of my car, the motor running, at the mouth of the parking lot:

      "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!..."

    ...I said, big ol' neophyte's grin on my face. I got no nap in. More seasoned actors who may be reading this may be saying things to themselves like "Oh, how cute, how sweetly naive. To have such a reaction to a general callback." Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. But to hell with it. It was the first notice I ever got from a professional Equity-based theatre company that I am considered for callbacks. I get the luxury of some giddy elation, even if a more nuts-and-bolts reality needs to come onto the scene.

    I will not diminish the value and complement of getting a callback from the local professional theatre company. It means something real and good. I still do, however, need to keep a few things in mind. There are many local actors who are my equal in talent and surpass me in both experience and craftwork. Most of those have auditioned at the Race and I cannot believe that most have not gotten callbacks. Not a lot of them have made it to that stage. So, yeah, I am closer to a performance at The Loft. But, just a tad closer. That I am not likely to be in a playbill for either Moonlight & Magnolias or Take Me Out is a thought it behooves me to keep. As a friend said when I told her I was doing the general audition, "Don't get your hopes up." She was not being a kill joy. She's been on the Dayton theatre scene for a while and just doesn't want to see Pollyanna heartbroken.

    That don't mean I ain't doing the callbacks though. If you recall, I wrote, not too terribly long ago:

    ...if it is foolish for me to consider it possible I could presently succeed on a Human Race stage, well, if a director were to call me back and then cast me, I would take the unwise course. I would be terrified, but, so what?...

    Rather than that nap yesterday, I went on-line and looked at our library catalogue at Wright State. We have both plays in our collection. Moonlight & Magnolias is checked out to someone, and was checked out recently, based on the due date. Not unlikely, it's some other local actor who's been notified he will be getting a callback, too. So, I went to Dramatists Play Service and ordered the damned thing. If the rehearsals start in late August, auditions can't be far away. I'll be damned if I am going to do a cold reading unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

    In the end, despite whatever this ultimately means, there is at least one thing it means that counts a lot to me. I showed something to Marsha Hanna at the general that impressed her, at least enough. Someone who makes decisions at the professional level saw enough talent to at least give me some kind of a further shot. It certainly is good affirmation toward my acting, regardless of the outcome from this point on with these two shows.

    THE FAKE CAST: So here is the official cast of Fake for Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2006.... Megan Cooper as Linda, Roger Watson as Fred, Annie Pesch as Helen, Alex Carmichal as Mike, myself as Det. Stevens, and Theresa Abshear as Grace.

    I am familiar with everyone but have only worked with Roger -- during the first incarnation of Sordid Lives at The Guild in the Fall of 2004. I was, of course, the producer of record for Grace & Glorie, for which Annie was AD for her mother, Fran. But my invlovement with G&G was rather detached from Annie's, so I can't say we actually worked together on the show, though we were part of the same team. I have mentioned Annie here a few times as per some of her performances on stage I have seen, all of which I have liked. Megan and Alex just finished a great run in Bright Ideas at the Guild and were in Hollywood Arms at Dayton Playhouse just before that. They have, as I understand, been paired up a few times before that. So we have our own Tracy and Hepburn here in the Dayton theatre circle. As I have said before, Alex was he who beat me out for the role of Jake in Jake's Women, and I must admit, did a very good job in the role -- DAMN IT!. Theresa, I have seen once on stage before, as busy-body Mrs. Soames in the Playhouse's production of Our Town, last season. I have seen her work as a director a few times -- she directed Kidding Jane for FutureFest 2005, Lobby Hero, our second show at The Guild this season, and she was the director of the ambitious mounting of Three Penny Opera I saw recently in Springfield, Ohio, with Guild member Jocelyn Kandl in the cast. She heads the theatre program at Clark State Community College.

    I think this'll be a great experience.

    SPEAKING OF OUR TOWN: As I mentioned earler, I saw Springfield StageWorks' production of this last night. Really good production. As some may know, had I not had schedule conflicts, I would have auditioned again for the role of Stage Manager, as I had done for the afore mentioned DPH production. The fellow who played him, Peter Wallace, was just damned excellent. I have my doubts that, going up against him for the role, I would have been cast.

    GUILD STUFF: There were a couple recent news items about the Guild I was holding onto until they were officially announced through Guild channels. I saw both in last Wednesday's Dayton City Paper in a Russell Florence. Jr. article.

    First, we are doing an extra production this summer, as a fund raiser for the building fund. July 13-16 we are mounting Dearly Beloved by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jaimie Wooten. It is a comedy that takes place in Texas, just as the hit Sordid Lives was. This time the action surrounds a wedding rather than a funeral.

    The cast is Barbara Coriell, Henni Fisher, Barbara Jorgesen, Heather Martin, Kimberly Reiter, Blake Senseman, John Spitler, Elizabeth Wilemaitis, and Travis Williams.

    Also, at our last board meeting we chose the directors for our 2006/07 season. I will say that we had nothing but good candidates and had to turn away good talent. There is one director we picked that the choice of thrills me to no end. The minute I saw the name and the play in consideration I thought, "Yeah!"

    So here's the list. You see, if you've read my blog before and know my personal bias, if you can guess what choice I just wrote of:

    Ralph Dennler        Brooklyn Boy
    Gil Martin        Pride's Crossing
    Justin Reiter        Frozen
    Natasha Randall        The Beard of Avon
    Barbara Coriell        Speaking In Tongues
    Greg Smith        The Dice House

    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Still shooting tomorrow. One revision -- our cast member who'd had the problem (surgery for a kidney ailment) will be there. John Hibbard, who is one of the Ghostbusters, as well as the co-producer, had surgery but a few days ago. He told director Mike Sopronyi that he would shoot everything except the scenes where he had to wear a proton pack. They do weigh about sixty pounds or more. Pretty dedicated of John.

    PAGING DR. MAYBERRY: Here are some pictures of Dr. Mayberry from I Never Sang for My Father. As is standard, click on each for a larger version.

    K.L.Storer as Dr. Mayberry in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of 'I Never Sang for My Father' K.L.Storer as Dr. Mayberry in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of 'I Never Sang for My Father' K.L.Storer as Dr. Mayberry in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of 'I Never Sang for My Father'
    K.L.Storer as Dr. Mayberry in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of 'I Never Sang for My Father' K.L.Storer as Dr. Mayberry in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of 'I Never Sang for My Father'

    SOMEONE SAY ENDGAME PICS? NO WORRIES -- THEY'LL BE HERE SOON.



    Mon, May 29, 2006

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    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Got a lot done yesterday on campus. Don't think director Mike Sopronyi quite made his day but a lot of footage was shot. A good chunk of my work was shot. Got to do a great leap out of the frame, too -- my idea. Didn't even need a stunt double. Probably my forty-eighth birthday coming up that prompted me to do the stunt.

    Took a few pictures (not many). I also shot some behind the scenes footage with my mini-DV camcorder. Who knows when I will edit any of it. For the pure hell of it, here are the stills I took. I'll try to get some still frames from the footage I shot sometime "soon" -- in my usual sense of the term.

    FAKE: Meet and greet and read through tomorrow night.

    ENDGAME PICTURES: A half year later, but here are some pics from both rehearsals and performances of Endgame for SpringField StageWorks.

    Click here for the pictures.



    Wed May 31, 2006

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    FAKE UPDATE: Did the table read last night. Was not able to get a copy before hand so I pretty much read cold. The scene from auditions was better since I'd done it a couple times already. Stevens' other scene was stone cold, and there is a turn in the character which made it even more of a stumble for me. Well, we don't do blocking rehearsals until the third week of June, so I have some time now to study the script and get to know Ernie Stevens.

    THE HUMAN RACE CLASS IS BACK ON: Fake director Fran Pesch has been good enough to not schedule Stevens scenes on those last two Thursdays in June, so I am free and clear to take the Human Race class. I even have managed to squeeze blood from a rock and get the tuition fee. The class is not, however, "Acting for the Camera," it's "How to Market Yourself to a Talent Agency," though performance for the camera is part of the session work. Since I am about to market myself to a talent agent this still seems like a good choice. And I need it anyway since I do want to start going after commercials and commercial auditions will be covered in the class.

    FILM YOUR ISSUE: Following is most of an email I got from Anthony Bushman, one of the co-directors of the movie Nona, which I shot a scene for last summer (not yet in final cut, by-the-way):

    In early April I found out about a competition called Film Your Issue. It's put on by the likes of George Clooney, Walter Cronkite, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Cuban, Barack Obama, etc., and asks America's youthful (18-26) filmmakers to make a short film (30-60 seconds long) about an issue on a local, national, or global scale that is important to you. I found out a couple days ago that out of the literally hundreds of entries, I have been selected as one of 35 semi-finalists. Those 35 will be cut to 5 winners by June 7. The selection process to get to those 5 is two-fold... 50% is based on a VIP panel of judges (Clooney, Cronkite, etc.) and the other 50% is based on public voting. All 35 semi-finalists have been posted on msnbc.com to be viewed and voted on. Anyone can vote, and you don't even need to sign in. Here's where the favor request comes into play. First, if all of you can vote for my film, that would be awesome. Secondly, if you can send out a quick e-mail or something to everyone else you know and get them to vote, that would be even better. Below I have a letter that I wrote describing my issue and giving the info to vote. If you are kind enough to pass along the word for others to vote, you can simply copy and paste this letter into the body of your e-mail. I thank you all very much. Have a great holiday weekend! -Tony

      A letter from the director:

      November 1992 held a significant turning point in my life. I was in seventh grade and looking forward to high school a year and a half later. I was in a public grade school and had every intention of following all of my friends to the public high school into which my school fed. Then our local school district levy failed, and 52 elective classes were cut at the high school, including the entire art program. Band survived, but only through a pay-to-play option. I've played trumpet since fifth grade and music was very important to me. I couldn't imagine enduring a dull, lifeless education without art, so I made the difficult decision to leave my friends behind and attend a private high school. I've never forgotten what it felt like to receive the news about the art program. Ever gotten news that someone close to you has died? It was kinda like that. And I guess, in a way, someone HAD diedÉ it was death for all the kids who counted on the arts, either as simple stress relief or because that was the only thing they were ever good at.

      When I found out about the Film Your Issue competition, I instantly knew this was the issue I would tackle. It has haunted me for too long. Yes, I was fortunate to have parents who were willing to pay the extra money to send me to a private school. The problem is, for many kids out there, they do not have that option. If the arts are cut at their school, they are deprived of the opportunities to study art, and there's nothing they can do about it. That's criminal. Every child should experience art. Sure, there are many kids who will pursue science or math or history for their careers, but the well-rounded education that arts provide is integral to a whole person; the lack of arts inevitably creates a void in their lives. It connects the left and right s ides of the brain, engaging students in a way that studying just the core subjects would never provide. And what of the students who have no desire or ability to study the core subjects? Art may be their only outlet. You could have a boy who may be a trumpet prodigy, but how would he ever discover that if he is never granted the opportunity to pick up a horn? It truly saddens me to think of those kids and scares me to think of a future in which our leaders do not have that kind of background.

      I thank you.

      Anthony Bushman
      Director, "Stripped Away"

    Do we continue to allow our children to have opportunities stripped away from them? I certainly hope not. This is everyone's chance to help make a difference. Vote for my film Stripped Away. That can be our first step toward solving this problem.

    If you want to know more about the competition, you can go to www.filmyourissue.com. To vote for Stripped Away go to www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12721177.



    Sat June 3, 2006

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    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Tomorrow we shoot on location at the apartment of one of those associated with the production. This will be used as college dorm apartments. It is actually the scene in which Dean Schultz makes his introduction to the film.

    Also, I was able to get some stills from the DV I shot last Sunday a little sooner than I'd expected. Below is one sample -- at about half size -- with a link to a page with them all. I will add to that page, too.

    K.L.Storer as Dean Schultz in the fan film, 'Ghostbusters: Spook University'
    One still from "behind the scenes" video I shot last Sunday, May 28, on location at Wright State University for Ghostbusters: Spook University.

    CLICK HERE to see all the pictures from that production day.

    THE HUMAN RACE CLASS: Nice opening class for "How to Market Yourself to a Talent Agency." Learned a little about how one slates for a commercial audition and got some information about what should be on the résumé. Got a few more points to change on my just re-worked résumé.

    Practiced some doing cold reading and will do more so in the next four classes -- all good for me. I may hate cold reading, but I will not escape it and I do pretty much, as we have discussed here more than once before, suck at it.

    ALSO: K.L. the writer has been doing screenplay work and novel work. K.L. the producer/editor of The WriteGallery Creative Writing Web Site has been working on the forthcoming WG virtual chapbook, On the Edge of the Pulsewave.



    Sun June 4, 2006

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    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: The exteriors at the apartment went well today. I DID keep flubbing my lines, but other than that it went well. There was one particular line that kept leaving my head, for some reason; and I also called one character by another one's name, repeatedly. Granted, I have seen clips of well-paid, seasoned professionals who've had problems with lines -- I was still a little annoyed at myself. It wasn't near as bad a few weeks ago when my brain had fried from waiting around for so long; but, it was still crap.

    It's not like I showed up on set not having already studied the pages, either. I think this time the fault lay in my not being focused on the role and the scene before we shot. I did want to shoot some of that "behind the scenes" of some other actors' work before we got to my scene, and I think I still could have done that and still given more energy and focus to Dean Schultz and his scene, prior to shooting it. I was K.L. who totally attended to what was going on around me, instead of attending to Schultz, whatsoever.

    By the way, I did get some good footage again, especially of an ad libbed scene between a young lady named Lisa and the GB story board artist Justin. Lisa was a distressed student who had just been accosted by the movie's first ghost; Justin was the very unsympathetic campus police officer. It was off the cuff and off the wall and quite funny. Stills to come.

    Don't forget about the stills already posted at the new Ghostbusters: Spook University (fan Film) photo album page.



    Mon, June 5, 2006

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    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: More on Sunday's shoot -- forgot to mention in the last entry how windy it was as we shot the footage. I suspect we may have to loop a lot of dialogue over the scenes. As well, the sun kept peaking in and out which will make matching up different shots for each scene a lot of fun for the editor.

    Again, don't forget about the stills posted at the new Ghostbusters: Spook University (Fan Film) photo album page.

    STEVEN SPIELBERG'S ON THE LOT: Just found out about the call for submissions for the new Fox reality show, On the Lot, from Spielberg and Mark Burnett. It is along the same lines as Project Greenlight, and is essentially a contest for aspiring film makers, where the final winner gets a one-million dollar development deal with Spielberg's DreamWorks.

    I had already started to turn one of my short stories into a short-short movie screenplay. I think it may work quite well for the first submission. It will be relatively easy to shoot and edit. I am not completely sure I want to pursue this contest, anyway. I would be much less interested in going for something with the feel and lack of spirituality of Survivor, which is an abhorrent and worthless endeavor, and more interested in something with the tenor and high value of Burnett's defunct cable reality show Ecochallenge, which was a graceful show about teamwork that I found highly spiritual.

    Of course, I am writing here as if it's some sort of given that I'd be a finalist. I have no thought that would be true. But, what I really want is to just get some sort of possible -- (underline "POSSIBLE") exposure to some half-way important eye. And the worst thing that can happen is something forces a deadline on me to finish a little film. There will be other things to do with it, if it gets nowhere in this, providing I decide to do this On the Lot thing. Either way, producing this movie this summer is a good thing -- I have another use for it if I nix the Spielberg idea. The other idea is a good one, one I have made vague reference to previously.



    Mon, June 12, 2006

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    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: Well I have done a bit of pre-production this week on the short-short movie. I finished the screenplay -- which had already been started for another project -- Wednesday.

    The script calls for four actors, one middle-aged woman (the lead) an adult male for voice work, one adolescent girl and a younger adolescent boy. Looking at my schedule between the present and my projected production time (first weekend of August being my ideal choice) I decided trying to fit auditions and screen tests in there was not going to work. So I cast the show in my head. I am happy to say that I sent the screenplay and an offer of the lead role to my first choice and she came on board. That would be Kimberly J. Reiter, who is certainly one of the best actors in the area.

    I have not been able to get hold of my first choice for the adolescent girl, but I know word has gotten to her mother to contact me. I am 99.9% sure I have my younger adolescent boy.

    I also have two good leads on a location; I will be screen testing one space tomorrow night. I have an AD/script supervisor (99.9% confirmed), a possible lighting designer (she's a theatre stage person and has to think about it); and I have a possible sound engineer.

    As for set pieces, I need one set piece designed and I have emailed someone I think can give me what I need, but he has not yet responded. The script calls for a pistol at the very end and I have access to that.

    At the moment I don't think I will have access to the real deal cinematic lamps for lighting -- but, I don't care. Whatever friggin' works, man. I went to Lowes and bought several different types of softer bulbs to use, as well as getting a shower liner at Meijer for possible light diffusion. I still need to make a white and a silver board for light reflection (diffused or hard).

    I also am going to use my little 1CCD mini DV camcorder for this project. If the lighting is right I will get good images. I am going to record the sound separately, hence the need for a sound man. I will record it on my Fostex four track then sync the sound with the video. Which leads me to the next item....

    ....I ordered my clapboard Friday evening. It should arrive sometime during the week. I am also looking to get access to a shotgun boom mic (and the boom itself, of course),

    At the moment the go date looks to be Friday, August 4.

    Still have not completely decided if this will or won't be submitted to the Steven Spielberg/Mark Burnett On the Lot competition for Fox.

    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: Was supposed to shoot again at WSU this coming Sunday, but that has been postponed a week. One of the Ghostbusters can't get out if working his day job. So, on the 25th we will be shooting in two locations.

    THE "HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF TO A TALENT AGENCY" CLASS: Last Thursday in class each we did two things: the copy from a commercial and then a monologue we brought in. I was the spokesman for a car company in the commercial, then I used the opening monologue for my thirty-minute screenplay.

    A few things came out for me. In the commercial performance I did pretty well first run. Then Carrie-Ellen gave me direction for a slightly different approach. That alteration threw me some and I went up a few times. That again proves to me I have a focus problem. Carrie-Ellen did say that I followed the direction well and gave her the alteration she'd asked for -- so at least that part was good.

    For the monologue from my screenplay, I did it with the intended Scottish dialect. I had said that I would not, but Carrie-Ellen said it would be okay. I had used the same text to screentest last summer for a student film, but had not done the Scot's brogue. So last Thursday was my first time doing it in dialect. It came out as more Irish than Scottish. I think nerves and some uncertainty caused me to revert to all that intensive study for The Cripple of Inishmaan.



    Wed June 14, 2006

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    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION

  • The clapboard that I ordered Friday from Hollywood Dream Factory arrived Monday:

    clapboard
  • Actor (and graphic artist) Alex Carmichal has already finished the cartoon drawing set piece I approached him about. And it is going to work fantastically! Sorry, you don't get to see the image just yet.
  • I also have to get with some processing companies about getting the design onto the designated set piece.

  • Did a screen test of the first of three possible locations for the movie, last night. Doing the second tonight. The third choice will be sometime soon.
  • Have yet to hear from the mother of the younger female actor I wish to offer the role of the daughter to. If I don't hear from her soon -- very soon -- I am going to do a casting call for the role.
  • I still have not found access to a shotgun boom mic. I can do without one, but really would rather not.
  • Time to start on the shooting script and perhaps do some coordination with the person whom I am 99.9% sure has come on board as my AD/script supervisor -- guess I should resolve that last one-tenth of a percent, first.
  • FAKE UPDATE: I have a blocking rehearsal next Monday night. Between now and then a lot of time goes to line and character study. I've done some but other things are also asking for my time and attention. But, Fake now must become a major focus.

    ON THE EDGE OF THE PULSEWAVE VIRTUAL CHAPBOOK PRODUCTION: This too is on my plate and I still see an August posting date. I admit it is more likely to be late August.



    Sun June 18, 2006

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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY
    PAUL
    McCARTNEY

    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: As it turns out there was some shooting on campus today. We shot a few more cutaways to the scene the picture of me above (June 3 entry) is from. Other work was done but I was only there a limited time. The rest of my day has been far more about line study for Fake.

    FAKE UPDATE: I have focused on line study for this, the last few days, especially Friday, yesterday and most of today.

    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: Did the second screen test for location possibility number two, last Wednesday evening. Still waiting to hear about scheduling the third place. Both of the spaces I have scouted can work; the second one will work a little better and it has a closer feel to what I need.

    I've done a bit more shopping, for items to use for lighting and miscellaneous equipment. Bought an RF modulator audio/video signal converter so I can use an older portable color TV as the monitor on set; and it only has the older coaxial input, and I only have RCA a/v outputs on my camcorder. Also bought a power strip, another extension cord, two clamp on lights. I also priced a few other things, including foam cord panels, one with a white coating and one with a silver coating, to reflect light -- diffused and hard, respectively.



    Tue, June 20, 2006

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    FAKE UPDATE: My three scenes were part of what was blocked last night. It was, ya know, a blocking rehearsal. I, of course, was not as far along with my character as I want -- but I always am, as we know, impatient to be farther along than I am, at all times in rehearsal. Well, we have to be off-book on Monday -- my next rehearsal -- so between now and then I memorize my lines, do more character development and find some physical space to practice the blocking I was given last night. Monday I am on stage without a script for words or movement. Never had to have it all down so quick before; certainly never had to have blocking in my head after only one rehearsal. Fortunately there is no complex blocking. And, hey, why shrink away from the challenge? Though, let's not be surprised if my first blog entry after Monday reports my work as less than brilliant.

    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: Contacted an old high school buddy who has a sound production company. He has a narrow focus, uni-directional mic that has good pick-up, which I can rent if I can't find a standard shotgun boom.

    Still trying to work out the best way to get the cartoon design onto a 16 oz. glass efficiently but economically. Have made no contacts who can get it on the way I need. Have had the suggestion of ceramic paint, straight onto the glass, which is fine as long as it looks like a commercial product and not like it was brushed on. I am going to try a little more on this decal concept before I give up.



    Mon, June 26, 2006

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    A REALLY GOOD WEEKEND: I was thinking about this last evening as I was driving to campus for my final official principal photography for the Ghostbusters fan film -- this has been a really cool weekend for me.

    Friday I worked a bit on pre-production for my short-short movie and studied the Fake script.

    Saturday morning I spent a bit of time at the Dayton Theatre Guild storage facility helping move some material to make room for more that will come from the theatre house. Later I was at a thrift store buying a second pair of dark pants and some black shoes for Sunday's Ghostbusters shoot. Next, I stopped in for a trim at the barber's, again, for the movie (keeping my appearance the same for the sake of continuity). I spent rest of Saturday in study of the script for Fake.

    Sunday morning I had an early call -- early for a Sunday (8:00) -- for Ghostbusters. We wrapped that shoot about noon. I spent the afternoon on the Fake script; then had an evening call for more Ghostbusters work.

    At various points on Saturday and Sunday I gave time to the short-short and to Writegallery business, as well.

    The only thing that was missing was a nice date with a nice lady. Well, and some creative writing (like the latest re-write on the novel) and musicianship (at least the bass is in its case and not collecting dust). But, yeah, this is a good way to spend a weekend: in elements I am passionate about.

    GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE (Schultz Has Been Slimed and Wrapped): At one point or another in the story line, many of the principal characters in the film get the ever-famous "slimed" with "ecctoplasm," which means that sooner or later during production these actors will get slimed. Sunday morning was Dean Schultz's (my) turn. That was the purpose of the second pair of dark pants and the black shoes I bought on Saturday at the thrift store. We had more scenes to shoot, later, of Schultz for previous points in the story line where he has the same clothes on; since we did not know if the suit would recover from the sliming, it was deemed best to have a separate "slim suit." I had found a comparable suit jacket back at the start of production, and I had purchased two of the same tie back then, too, as well as two light blue dress shirts. I think the shirt will be able to be cleaned. The shoes will probably survive, too. The suit jacket and pants are probably ruined -- likely won't dry clean well.

    Yesterday evening was my official wrap from the set of Ghostbusters: Spook University. There may be some green screen work needed, a possible need to loop some dialogue (i.e.: overdub some dialogue in scenes shot due to some sound problem with the original sound track), and perhaps some sort of coverage shot needed -- some shot of Schultz that was either missed or is newly determined as being needed. Officially, however, Schulz is done.

    Had fun working with the cast and crew and I look forward to the wrap party and the final cut.

    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: I don't have a lock on cast or the shoot date, but I think I am close. I also don't have all my crew yet, but I'm working on it. I have picked my location. The date may move from August 4 to August 18, I just have to get the availability of one person confirmed. Shooting on the 18th does leave me less room for editing to a final cut for the September 1 deadline for On the Lot, though I am still not 100% sold on submitting to that, anyway.

    As for the shorter editing period, I am jealous about using vacation -- in case I sometime need to take three or four weeks off for a nice role in a full-length feature movie, or something comparable in terms of a stage production -- but, this short-short qualifies as a good enough reason to use vacation to get the editing done.

    I also applied for a smallish signature loan to help with some production costs. Theoretically it's approved -- that's what the web page said.

    FAKE UPDATE: Three nights of rehearsal this week. We are off-book tonight. Like I said, I have only had one rehearsal with the blocking, too, so, I will be moving in the wrong spots and to the wrong places a few times tonight, I am sure.

    MISCELLANY:

  • It's been about six weeks since I wrote to Pat-Meth Music Corporation, Pat Metheny's company, about the clearance to use "Midwestern Night's Dream" in the short-short I shot in late 2003, Muse. I have not yet heard anything from him or his people. So, for the moment, Muse is still on the shelf.
  • This Thursday is the last session in the Human Race class "How to Market Yourself to a Talent Agency." I have gotten a few important things from it. I have, I think, shown some improvement in that cold reading skill; some -- I have a long way yet to go.

    In terms of "presenting" myself, Kerry-Ellen pointed out to me that I can come across as very intense or edged rather than relaxed and personable. When first confronted with this observation I was a little taken back. The validity of it was not hard to accept though. I suppose it is my manifestation of nerves. I need to work on getting that gregarious, easy going guy out in the open; he is there -- I don't care what anybody says.

  • I have done a bit more production work on the WriteGallery virtual chapbook On the Edge of the Pulsewave in recent days. So far I don't think I will be moving the post date toward fall; looks right now like it is still August.
  • No recent work on the novel re-write, and as intimated earlier, that bass guitar hasn't been out of its sheath for quite a while.
  • Starting to really look at the bigger ticket purchases for movie production -- the camera being the rather important one. I have also just learned, through Spook University DP John Golub, about a really nice dolly track kit that is both simple and relatively inexpensive; I don't have the actual numbers on the price, but I am guessing the "inexpensive" is truly "relative." I am sure it will be a chunk of change, but still a value and worth the investment. I also need to own a boom mic or two as well as boom poles and some actual production lights, etc, etc. It's time to start putting the numbers together and then figure out how to meet them.


  • Tue, June 27, 2006

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    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: With the singular exception of the producer/director guy, August 18 works as well or better for everyone. The shoot is locked in for the 18th. The cast is a lock, too: Kimberly J. Reiter, Charity Farrell, and Benjamin Sadai. The shoot will take place in the home of actor, director and Guild treasurer, Barbara Coriell; (Kim, for those who don't know, is the Guild's box office manager). I have the lock in the hole for my assistant director/script supervisor, but I have not received the definitive "yes," so the lock is not yet clicked secure -- but, I think the person is doing it.

    DOH!! -- FAKE UPDATE: Ended up getting tonight off from rehearsal, least wise on stage. I will still study my lines tonight. Now for the DOH!! factor. Pulled up to my place last night after rehearsal, grabbed my rehearsal brief bag and thought to myself, This thing is awfully light. Turns out there was no play manuscript in it, because I had left the thing at the Playhouse. I had planned to do a little study last night. Director Fran has been kind enough to have it dropped off at my paycheck work place today, so I can get to it a little sooner tonight than I could have if I'd had to drop by the Playhouse and pick it up.

    Rehearsal last night went well enough. Got a little better idea where Fran wants me to take Stevens and that is as much what tonight's line study is about as better memorizing the words is. I'd actually planned on making a lot of motivation and internal dialogue notes last night after I got home. Now those will be my first actions tonight.

    AND ALSO:

  • Have not gotten the call for an appointment for the callback at The Human Race Theatre Company for Moonlight & Magnolias, but the casting manager told me not long ago that the appointment is likely to be set for sometime in July, which I already suspected.
  • I hope that in the next few months I can make an announcement here about a concept I am trying to put together, the "on-going project" I have made vague mention of already.


  • Fri June 30, 2006

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    FAKE UPDATE: We had a pretty good rehearsal Wednesday night. We were all relatively decent at being off-book, of course we all had our trouble spots. Fran gave me a note about that annoying head bobbing thing I made mention of about a year ago as a problem for me to work on that I recognized from watching video of my audition monologue rehearsals. I really am going to have to purposefully focus on not doing it, because I am usually oblivious to this movement when I am doing it. It's been suggested a few times by others that it is not as bad a thing as I color it. Fran just doesn't want Stevens doing it. I, for my own self, hate it and want to eliminate it.

    SHORT-SHORT MOVIE PRE-PRODUCTION: I am on the trail of what looks like a promising process to get the design of the cartoon character onto to the glass surface. I have spoken with a printer and we are looking at either using clear label paper or clear decal paper.

    I plan to begin, if not complete, the shooting script over this holiday period.

    LAST "HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF TO A TALENT AGENCY" CLASS: Last night was the final evening for this Human Race class. We did nothing but practice improv-style commercial auditions. It was just a loose, fun night. There is a full-blown improv class coming up, with Carrie-Ellen Zappa, but my schedule will not allow me to take it (honestly, my bank account won't either).




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