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

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Wed Apr 4, 2007

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TEACH: Went Monday night and last night to audition for David Mamet's American Buffalo at Springfield StageWorks: I suppose I did well enough since I'm cast as Walt Cole, AKA Teach. So, another nice role under my belt and a good addition to my résumé. And another chance to be on a good stage to be on. Now if only more local theatre goers would catch on about SSW and start giving it the support it richly deserves. As both an actor and an audience member I find this company a vital an important addition to the local theatre scene.

My two colleagues in the three-man ensemble are John Bukowski (with whom I was in The Diviners at the Guild in 2004) and young Ryan A. Hester (whom I have seen several times on stage and have always been impressed with). John is Donny Dubrow, the owner of Don's Pawn Shop; Ryan is Donny's gofer, Bobby.

Beyond the fact that I am cast, I'm also pleased that for such a relatively cold read as I did for Teach, it was good. Donny was who I looked at when prepping for this audition; I gave Teach very little thought. I gave him some thought, but not much. Just to hedge my bets a little I put on the audition application that I had an interest in Teach. When director Larry Coressel had me read for Teach, the first time, I picked a character choice and went with it, like I had for Speaking in Tongues. And, again, like Tongues, my actual reads were not the clumsy trip-over-tongue experiences I have had in the past. Granted neither of these were stone-cold reads, but they were pretty damned chilly.

Mamet, of course, uses very precise vernaculars in his dialogue, so there were a few times I realized halfway through a sentence that I was missing its meaning. No problem. I just delivered the sentence again with the right intention the second time.

My choice for Teach's character was what I would call The Cartoon Chicago Guy. Larry had me adjust him to someone a bit harder. Time and time again I have heard, have read, have been told that I must make a choice and boldly leap into it with confidence. That's what I did. But, then I made the adjustments the director asked for. Now granted, Larry has directed me before (Endgame), and teched 'Art', so some of his decision was surely based on those considerations. Still it nice to feel like I am getting better at the auditioning process.

VOICE WORK: Sunday I produced my voice samplers for my agent, Jim, at Roof-Goenner Talent Agency. Did several different commercial voices and a few character voices.

New color head shots tomorrow.

MOCK TRIAL: Will be doing more improv work for a University of Dayton Law School mock trial coming up in a couple weekends.

AND BY-THE-WAY: Any of you small handful of local folk who may drop in on occasion want to be a host for a performance of Speaking in Tongues at the Guild?

Just thought I'd ask.

PROOF: Saw Ms. Molly Burgo in the lead role of Catherine in Proof at X*ACT last weekend. Like I told her, her Catherine was real and terribly sympathetic. In my sophomore (maybe "Freshman") estimation it was a professional-class performance on her part. There was some nice chemistry between Molly and Tara Craven, the young woman who played Catherine's sister, Claire. They had some good scenes together; and Claire was not easy to like, which is a complement to Ms. Craven.



Thu Apr 5, 2007

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TAKE ME OUT THEN CALL ME BACK: Just got a callback for the auditions for Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out, which will be the summer production for The Human Race Theatre Company, Dayton's Equity theatre stage. Of course, some may remember that I received a card last summer that said I would be called back for this; it also told me I was to be called back for Moonlight & Magnolias, but that did not happen. I did not expect local callbacks for TMO, save for the fact that they need a lot of men. And I have no doubt that I was not singled out as a local actor -- I am sure many men I know are called back as well.

I have set an appointment for early afternoon on April 16. Early since I have Buffalo rehearsals that evening. I am not as wide-eyed giddy about this as I was last summer when I got the card. I am a bit more pragmatic here, now. They will be holding auditions in New York City and Chicago as well as Dayton. I will be up against experienced professionals, not to mentioned more seasoned non-equity actors from right here in town; so my dreams and hopes will not be shattered if I am not cast.

Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool!



Mon, Apr 9, 2007

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RUNNING WITH THE BUFFALO: We had our first read through of American Buffalo. It went okay. It's going to take work to not trip over Mamet's vernacular. The lines need some serious review to get the right intent, too. Several times tonight I repeated a line because as I'd finished it the first time I realized I hadn't had the right meaning. I also need to make Teach harder and more intense than he is right now.

Ahh, it'll come.

I am also going through the same thing I do at the start of every play where I have a bigger role, where I look at all the lines and all the undiscovered nuance and say to myself, How the fuck am I going to get this all down in time!



Thu Apr 12, 2007

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1922-2007


Tue, Apr 17, 2007

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My first inclination on this particular day is to write something here about the incomprehensible events yesterday at Georgia Tech. Frankly, I don't have words for it, and it really is outside the scope of the blog anyway. I may have some words elsewhere at the site, at some point -- when I have a clue what those words are.

THE CALLBACK FOR TAKE ME OUT: Last night's callback at the Human Race went well, I'd say. I actually had gone prepared to read for one of the major principals, Mason Marzac, but Marsha Hanna said, and I quote, "We're looking at you more the age range of Skipper" Skipper being the team manager. Fortunately I had prepped for him, too, so all was well. The actor cast as Skipper, will also do a small bit part as a fan, William Danziger, who writes a comical letter to the lead character, Darren Lemming.

I had a fairly good idea of my character choice for Skipper. I played it and was given no direction by either co-directors: Marsha Hanna and Tim Lile. I fashioned him a little eccentric, just slightly so, along the lines of the character Patsy Ferrara as played wonderfully by Brad Sullivan on several episodes of NYPD Blue. Patsy being the crusty mentor who had gotten Bobby Simone into birding when he was a youth. For Danziger I just did a stereotypical Jersey guy.

I have a good feeling about my audition. I am up against stiff competition, at least one I know of; and that does not count the Chicago and New York auditions factor. But, both co-directors, gave me good comment, so at least I did a good audition for them, which is good for the future.

Regardless of the outcome of this, I have, once again I make this point, I have rehearsed for the next time; I have once again put myself out there; I have made myself seen by people I should be seen by.

I have to say that like the general audition I did for the Race last spring, this was not at all a nerve-racking experience. I felt no intimidation from either director and I was quite comfortable. I felt some jitters before I went in, but inside the room I was fine. I think that speaks much to the atmosphere that I walked into.

AMERICAN BUFFALO: Blocked the first couple scenes last night. I do not have Teach's voice yet. He needs to be spastic to a degree, but right now he is still too much so. I must bring him to a harder, edgier man than he is. At a point in Act II he'll bring out a gun. I need to make him a man the audience believes will use that gun. Whereas what I am doing now is not exactly a caricature, it's too close to that realm. Director Larry Coressel talked to me about taking some of the highs and low from his vocal inflection and that seems right to me. I had said, as the lead into that, "I don't have his voice just yet." I think that very thing, too much vocal pitch variation, was one of the things that was bothering me.

UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON LAW SCHOOL VIRTUAL LAW FIRM/TRIAL PRACTICE TRIAL: I again performed as a witness for the U.D. Law Clinic in a class of Dennis Turner's. This time it was civil suit and I was the bereaved boyfriend of a woman who died of heart failure that our side believed was avoidable had the doctor being sued taken correct measures. Did two sessions; one Saturday morning then one Sunday afternoon.

Had some fun. Think I did some nice work. There is a point where Mike (that was me) should be moved to misty eyes and I was able to get there both days. I am, by the way, always amazed when I can do that. I actually feel the grief, and I could not tell you how I get there if my life depended on it.

Guess I'd be a lousy acting coach.

VIDEO TRAILER FOR SPEAKING IN TONGUES: Friday evening, I spent about 90 minutes shooting a portion of Act I, Scene 1 of The Guild's Speaking in Tongues, which opens this coming Friday. I spent Saturday afternoon and into the evening editing the 2:21 clip. It's okay. I have some complaints, one is color. We had to keep the stage lights cool to keep a couple things from looking like they glowed, which makes the compressed mp4 pretty drained of color. There are a few edit choices I was forced to make that don't thrill me. But, I don't dislike the final product.



Fri Apr 20, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO: I'm getting a little bit closer to the voice for Teach that I want. Director Larry did "accuse" me of having a friendly quality to my voice that I still have not filtered out totally. How dare he! But last night I was far more satisfied with Teach's voice and attitude than I have been.

This is the most intimidated I have been about getting off-book that I have been since I started acting again. It's not the amount of words alone nor the large number of little monologues; it's all that in conjunction with that south Chicago vernacular. It's the prolific amount of lines like this:

    ...I mean, the guy's got you're taking his high-speed blender and a Magnavox, you send the kid in....We both know we're talking about some job needs more than the kid's gonna skin pop go in there with a crowbar...

or

    And tell the broad if it's for me she'll give you more.

    Which means: And tell the broad THAT IT'S for me and she'll give you more.

or

    ...All that I'm saying, there's the least chance something might fuck up, you'd get the law down, you would take the shot, and couldn't find the coins whatever; if you see the least chance, you cannot afford to take that chance!

Looks relatively simple, I suppose. Thing is these examples are the norm for Teach and he has more than a dozen rambling monologues with lines that I have to really study to be sure I get his intent.

Well, I have a healthy concern about it all, so that will help me get it all in shape, I believe. Larry has also adjusted a few of my deliveries, and I thought, Oh. Yeah. How'd I miss that? A couple other places I have not yet come to see how the adjustment is correct.

BART SIMPSON IS COMING TO TOWN: Native Daytonian Nancy Cartwright -- who would be the voice of Bart Simpson -- will make a personal appearance on the campus at Wright State University on Sunday, April 29. And I will be there. Hey, man, I have a chance to meet someone who's played an integral role in one of the biggest pop culture phenomena of my time. How do I pass that up?

As well as Bart, Nelson, Ralph and other SImpsons voices, she also counts among her movie credits a role in the first Speilberg Twilight Zone movie. And her non-Simpsons animation voice credits is a lengthy list. Check out her official web site: www.nancycartwright.com.



Sat Apr 21, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO: Line lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Show opened last night and as is my habit as house manager I hosted opening night -- I do so unless I have a schedule conflict, which I try to avoid. As is always the case I basically missed the show and tried to attend to as little as I could so that it is a fresh experience when I do get to sit in the audience. I do know that, as is almost always the case, the audience responded well. Cast members have shared that the audience found things humorous that took the cast by surprise they did so.

AS THE PRODUCER OF DICE HOUSE...:...I am compelled to remind any actors close enough for it to be relevant that auditions are this coming Monday and Tuesday.

GUILD'S 2007/2008 SEASON: We have officially announced next season for the Theatre Guild:

    The Constant Wife
    by W. Somerset Maugham
    Aug 31-Sep 16, 2007
    director to be announced
    A delightful social comedy of marital maneuvers in 1920s upper-class London brings us a wealthy and charming married woman who challenges the double standard of morality. Her clever decisions will turn bad luck, unfaithful friends, local gossip and a broken heart to her advantage.

    I Ought To Be In Pictures
    by Neil Simon
    Nov 9-25, 2007
    directed by Fran Pesch
    A struggling Hollywood screenwriter suddenly finds his nineteen-year-old daughter on his doorstep. Having deserted his family years earlier, he isn't keen on having his daughter around to cramp his lifestyle, which at this point consists of drinking his meals and telling lies to his faithful girlfriend. Decisions are about to be made in this comedy by one of America's most prolific playwrights.

    Park Your Car In Harvard Yard
    by Isreal Horovitz
    Jan 11-27, 2008
    directed by Sarah Gomes
    A poignant relationship develops from bitterness into understanding when an elderly and intimidating school teacher hires as his housekeeper a student whom he long ago failed. Both make decisions that will alter their lives.

    The Best Man
    by Gore Vidal
    Feb 29-Mar 16, 2008
    directed by Barbara Coriell
    Decisions abound in this story of political back-biting and smear politics involved in a presidential election year scramble by potential party nominees. Hoping to get the nod is liberal do-gooder William Russel, an established womanizer on the brink of divorce. Opposing him for the nomination is Joe Cantwell, an unscrupulous political monster who will use any bit of dirt to get ahead. Sound familiar? Why don't YOU make this decision?

    The Cottage
    by Julie Gilbert
    Apr 18-May 4, 2008
    directed by Justin Reiter
    The decision to sell a family vacation home can have unexpected long reaching effects. Sometimes it can become a matter of life and death. A psychiatrist and her husband find out the hard way that a dream come true can easily become a nightmare.

    Amy's View
    by David Hare
    June 6-22, 2008
    directed by Ralph Dennler
    An enthralling examination of a mother-daughter relationship that explores the power of love and loss. A financial scandal has left West End actress Esme Lloyd penniless and her daughter Amy has been abandoned by her media tycoon husband. Amy still believes that love conquers all. Confronted by the greatest tragedy of all, Esme is not so sure...

We also will do a special one-weekend presentation, probably September 21-23, of two one-acts, Sandstorm by Sean Huze and Soldiering On by Pamela Reeves. Board member Kerry Corthell will direct. I don't have all the details at the moment.



Tue, Apr 24, 2007

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AUDITIONS END TONIGHT FOR THE DICE HOUSE BY PAUL LUCAS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

Insanity unfolds in a commune run by maverick psychiatrist Dr. Ratner where the patients are encouraged to surrender all their decisions to the roll of the dice. When Ratner's rival Dr. Drabble hurls one of his own patients into the clinic to kidnap an inmate -- his wife -- a comic romp of Pythonesque proportions ensues. The Dice House is a glorious glimpse of how insane life could be if determined by the dice -- and how ordinary it can be if it isn't!

TONIGHT AT 7:OO pm            Dayton Theatre Guild
2330 Salem Avenue
Dayton, OH  45406
937-278-5993

Auditioning actors will read scenes from the script.
Headshots & résumés are not required but are welcomed.

Contact K.L.Storer with questions: KL_Storer@yahoo.com


CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS

Director Greg Smith will be casting the following roles

Dr. Drabble            Your "typical" helpful psychiatrist, albeit with a dark side -- age: over 30

Matthew            A young man with a penchant for tying ribbons in people's hair and a past he can't seem to recall -- age: over 20

Lisa            A young woman with a past, unfortunately one she can't seem to recall -- age: over 20

Mr. Smith            A man with a paranoid delusion that he is a target for mad assassins, perhaps not so delusional -- age: over 20

Dr. Ratner            A psychiatrist marching to his own drummer at an exhausting tempo and with his own rules -- age: over 30

Polly            Dr. Drabble's estranged (and oh so strange) wife, now living according to the rules of The Dice. (Appears scantily clad through most of the production) -- age: over 30

Victor            Another patient of Dr. Ratner's who will at some point be overtaken by Tourette's Syndrome -- age: over 30

assassin(s)            One or more people who are actually targeting the aforementioned Mr. Smith. (Told you he wasn't paranoid) -- age(s): over 20



Wed Apr 25, 2007

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AUDITIONS THIS LAST MONDAY AND LAST NIGHT FOR THE DICE HOUSE BY PAUL LUCAS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: We had a nice turn out of very good talent for the auditions. Not a mob crowd but certainly director Greg Smith had more than enough choices. There was not one awful read in the house. And we had a lot of new faces that we encouraged to come back for next season.

Here is the cast list for the show at present. We have three new names to the Guild stage in the mix (Dan, Amy & Philip), as well as the sophomore return of Wayland (Richard Burbage in The Beard of Avon) -- along with some more familiar faces to the boards at DTG:

    The Dice House cast list (in order of appearance):

    Blake Senseman            Dr. Drabble
    Dan Burke            Matthew
    Gil Martin            Dr. Ratner
    Amy Hamilton            Lisa
    Mark Diffenderfer            Smith
    Elena Monigold            Polly
    Philip Titlebaum            The Slow Assassin
    Wayland Reid            Victor

AMERICAN BUFFALO: Line lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines lines!

I am afraid I have to sacrifice seeing a couple productions I was really looking forward to catching, because I need to spend as much time as I can on this script. I am in fact, working on this blog entry in spurts as I take breaks from the script. I actually am home sick from work (legitimately I may add); not feeling well is not helping me with the lines, but, ya know, I got to attack them head on or they are going to kick my ass.

I wanted to see Fiddler On the Roof at The Dayton Playhouse, and On Golden Pond at Brookville Community Theatre. I will likely miss them both. But, you know: lines lines line....



Thu Apr 26, 2007

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REMEMBER THEM MOVIES I APPEARED IN?: Here are the updates as I know them about final cuts for both the movies I have appeared in.

  • Nona, the Stephen King Dollar Baby movie: I found a posting by co-director and DP, Anthony Bushman, at the website Creep Shows.

    There Anthony states, in part, "I've had to fit [editing] into the tiny bit of free time between working upwards of 60 hours a week. It will end up being around 45 minutes long... right now (January 2007) I'm about two-thirds finished editing... but the hardest part of the film is done."

    So I am making a guess that there may be a final cut this summer

  • Ghostbusters: Spook University: About a week back, I ran into director Mike Sopronyi and co-producer John Hibbard, also one of the lead actors. There is a delay in the special effects so who knows when the final cut of this will be.

CASTING CALL FOR A STUDENT SHORT FILM AT WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY:

    SARCOMA OPEN CASTING CALL:

    Sarcoma is a short narrative film to be shot in the Dayton area this spring. The production team will be holding auditions:
    Sunday, April 29 -- 4:00-6:00 pm
    Wright State University
    Creative Arts Center
    Room T109

    The story follows Lincoln, a high school senior, as he struggles with some of the hardest conflicts a teenager could face. During his senior year of high school, Lincoln's father comes out of the closet and identifies himself as gay. What results is a series of conflicts that force Lincoln to come to terms with his father's sexuality, his mother's promiscuous nature, and his own possible homosexuality.

    Adult Characters:

    Kathy (35-50):
    After her husband reveals his homosexuality, Kathy struggles desperately to keep her family together. Though she does separate from her husband, John, she wants nothing more than to be the best mother possible to her two teenage sons, Lincoln and Kyle. However, being the perfect mother is easier said than done for Kathy, especially when her promiscuous nature is brought to light.

    John (35-50):
    Recently out of the closet, John regrets having surprised and hurt his family so deeply. However, he realizes the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with his two teenage sons. This grows increasingly difficult, though, as he grows closer to his new love interest, Chris.

    Chris (25-40):
    John's newfound lover. While he is enamored with the relationship he and John share, Chris truly wants nothing more than to be able to be a part of John and Kathy's children's lives.

    Coach Arlin (30-50):
    Lincoln's weathered yet steadfast cross country coach. He sees a great amount of himself in Lincoln and credits the young teen's success to an outstanding parenting job by Kathy.

    Teenaged Characters:

    Lincoln (16-22):
    The young and lean male protagonist of the film. He is a focused and hardworking runner. But as his home life changes, he has trouble maintaining his stability. He is losing his sense of security and is becoming isolated from his friends despite his popularity.

    Greg (16-22):
    Greg is an anger-filled, macho teen who is having trouble at home with his parents. While he was once someone frequently around Lincoln, the only thing in common the two now share is that they used to be best friends. A new dynamic enters their relationship, though, when Lincoln begins wondering if he considers Greg more than a friend.

    Mary (16-22):
    This sweet girl-next-door is Lincoln's big crush. Her feelings towards Lincoln are mutual, but, after years of Lincoln not asking her out, she settled for Greg instead.

    Aaron (16-22):
    The trustworthy friend of Lincoln, Greg, and Mary. He does not say much but his actions often speak volumes.

    Kyle (11-15):
    Lincoln's younger brother. If he weren't four years younger, people would almost swear they were twins. Like Lincoln, Kyle is athletic and active, a hot prospect for Lincoln's spot on the cross country team.

    Contact John Sylva, Producer, sylva.3@wright.edu.



Mon, Apr 30, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO: We are ten days from opening and I am stressed about being off book -- I am not off-book. The deadline is this coming Thursday, and I must tell you I am in a panic that I won't be there yet. I have taken as much of the week off from work as I can but I am still worried that I won't make it.

Probably on Thursday and Friday we will be getting line notes, but at this point I am thinking they will be irrelevant, a ridiculous exercise in accentuating the blatantly obvious. I am afraid my notes will be so copious that the best thing will be to just know I need to get the script better into my head and to hell with the details of the notes.

For Mamet in general, and this show in particular, this has been too short a rehearsal period for people who have to give it only part of their time. If we could have had 40-50 hours a week, or more to give it, then this sixteen rehearsal days would have been far more of an okay thing. Well, I may just be panicking over nothing. But I suppose it's better to have a fear of not pulling it together than be complacent about it all and fall on my ass as the result.

NANCY CARTWRIGHT AT WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY: I saw Nancy Cartwright make a personal appearance on campus at Wright State last night. Really a nice evening. Had I to sum up her talk I would say the theme was Go Through the Open Doors. There was not a reception, least wise that I was aware of, to meet Ms. Cartwright, which was a disappointment. Still, it was a nice evening -- despite that I probably should have been into the Mamet script!



Sun May 6, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

SPEAKING IN TONGUES by Andrew Bovell at the Dayton Theatre Guild,

    Directed by Barbara Coriell / Produced by Sarah Gomes

    Speaking in Tongues cast list:

    Becky Lamb            Jane
    Teresa Connair            Sonja
    Kevin Rankin            Pete
    Alex Charmichal            Leon
    Cassandra Engber            Valerie
    John Spitler            Neil
    Molley Burgo            Sarah
    Lucas Ackerman            Nick
    David Shough            John

I am sorry to say that I did not get to actually sit in the audience for this show. Yesterday was my only shot and between being sick and final line prep for American Buffalo I could not make the performance. I did hear it a couple times and watch portions as I hosted, so with that and the fact that it had a talented cast, I am sure it was a good night out.



Thu May 10, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO OPENS TONIGHT: The show opens tonight and I have very mixed emotions. There is a certain pretty tight, cohesive rapport between the cast/characters but we have been experiencing spots where we all get lost in the script, even last night. We have managed to cover and recover relatively well, but it is very troublesome to me.

I just wish we'd had a couple more weeks of rehearsal with at least one of them off-book to refine this. As good as I think this may be, it would have been better had we had the time.

I have an entry in the works that is more narrative of the past week or so, which will be posted as soon as I have the time to get it polished off.

GENERAL AUDITION FOR THE 2007/2008 SEASON FOR THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY: Just before Buffalo rehearsal on Monday, I did my general audition in front of HRTC Artistic Director Marsha Hanna. SInce I have been up to my forehead in the Buffalo script and I did not want to repeat the audition monologues from last year I elected to use Teach from Buffalo -- since that's already the present focus, as well as some "Stefen" (actually, Serge) from 'Art'.

I used much of Teacher's opening monologue, though I did clean the language up. Teach at one point refers to his ex-girlfriend, who broke up with him for a woman, as a "southern bulldyke asshole ingrate of a vicious nowhere c___." I cut that line. I also cut a couple variations of "fuck." It really is not that I was worried Ms. Hanna couldn't handle this material, it was more that my judgement told me that for general audition it might be wiser to err on the side of caution.

For Serge, I pasted his first three monologues together, where he talks of his friend, Marc, Marc's snotty reaction to Serge's new painting, and his own defense of why the painting isn't really white.

It was a good audition -- I think. I felt good about it, anyway. Marsha seemed to find my performance good. So, let's see if I get one of them cards again, then another callback, and who knows, maybe the next step.



Fri May 11, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO -- LAST NIGHT'S OPENING: Okay, I guess it went well, but there were some rough spots. I had some line troubles and others did, too. I think mine were worse. But the energy was up and the characters were fully present, so, overall it was good.

But going up really pissed me off.

SPECIAL FUNDRAISER AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Tonight is the first of two nights of the special staged reading of the play Traffic Jam, by Dayton local, Leigh Allen, at the Guild. *See next for details.



Sat May 12, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

TRAFFIC JAM
by Leigh Allen
'TRAFFIC JAM' by Leigh Allen
a special fund-raising event
directed by Justin Reiter

May 11 & 12, 2007 -- 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: minimum contribution of $25

The Dayton Theatre Guild proudly presents a staged reading of Leigh Allen's new play Traffic Jam. In this very funny, yet thought provoking new show, an encounter with a flying microwave lands former major-leaguer Jake in Helven, the result of a corporate merger between Heaven and Hell, where he meets Betty. The two begin to realize that the afterlife isn't all it is cracked up to be on Earth. Their new understanding will include a re-definition of "eternal life" and dismay at discovering that God seems preoccupied with the happenings at rush hour more than anything else. Find out what happens when Jake and Betty try to shift God's attention away from Earth's "Traffic Jam" and back to more important events.

Leigh Allen is currently the public relations specialist at The Human Race Theatre Company. He is a former columnist for the Dayton Daily News, former radio station owner and radio announcer. The Guild is very pleased to have been offered his new script for this special event.



Tue, May 15, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO -- A QUICK NOTE ON THE FIRST WEEKEND: Overall, no too bad. Still too many rough spots for my liking. And, again, a more precise account of things is in the works.

DICEY PRODUCER: All my creative focus that is not directed toward Mamet is going to the production of The Dice House where wear the producer's hat.

I looks like this is shaping itself into a very funny show.



Sat May 19, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY

Springfield StageWorks presents David Mamet's AMERICAN BUFFALO


Mon, May 21, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO -- ANOTHER QUICK NOTE: The second weekend went well. I felt much more on my game. There were still blips and such but I was a tad happier overall.

Bob Weisman, a colleague of Larry's from WDPR saw the show the first saturday and wrote a very flattering email to Larry. I got Bob's permission to reproduce it in part. I do so because we were ignored by all the newspapers and Mr. Weisman writes in a way that shows he has theatrical understanding and therefore an opinion of merit.

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the play Saturday.... [Y]our direction was excellent.... Somehow you had it paced perfectly as the play unfolds to reveal that these three [characters] could never get anything done....

All three actors were terrific. They worked well with each other and the script. The dialogue is terrific, quite funny in places, and realistic sounding....

Bobby [Ryan A. Hester] really seemed like a lost young fellow, trying to be smart while fitting in with the others and not quite making it. One of the tragedies of the play is that the standard he so much wants to meet but can't is so low.

Donny [John Bukowski] was perfectly cast. How he looked and how he spoke were perfect. He was perfectly believable trying to mentor Bobby, keep Teach under control, and calmly trying to direct the operation that couldn't shoot straight.

Teach [that would be me] was very good. I like the concept that he wasn't a raving off-the-wall threat from the minute he walks on stage. I thought it was very effective that he didn't seem that way at first, when he had elements of uncertainty, almost a whining quality. This gave way to a different Teach as the plans unfolded, tough but controlled, in a certain way, almost sensible. So when he worked himself up to that explosion, it was all the more impressive an eruption.

He went on to add, in his email to me granting me permission to use his words here, "I did enjoy your performance...it had real power and menace."

And, still, a more precise account of things is in the works, which will include a direct response about how I am pleased that Bob saw Teach in a manner that was my intent for him to be seen.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE: I was actually able to get to this, despite that I thought I would not be able to. I saw the closer yesterday and it was a pleasant production. Charity Farrell did good, as usual, as Chava. And, last seen as the Queen of Shakespeare's England, Reneé Franck-Reed also done good as Golde.

I did this show as a junior in high school mbmbmghtjhca years ago. I was Lazar Wolfe. It's amazing how much of the show I had forgotten about.

MY LITTLE POSTCARD FROM THE RACE: Well, I got my general audition response card from Human Race Theatre Company. This year it was the "Thanks for your audition but we won't be able to use you talents for the upcoming season" version. So, oh well.

Won't keep me from the generals next year.

I am, by-the-way,reading scripts for a variety of upcoming auditions.



Mon, May 28, 2007

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PLAYING GOD AT FUTUREFEST 2007: Okay, I will not actually be playing God, and I'm not aware at this moment who will be, but I am cast in this new play by Gary Flaxman, who also had a play in the contest last summer, Paper Planes. I am cast in a smaller supporting role, that of a fellow named, Lance, described as "very macho, not a Phi Beta Kappa to say the least, whose idea of the American dream is to bowl a perfect game. He's always in over his head."

I auditioned Thursday night, the second of two nights for the fully staged productions auditions. I was tied up at Dice House rehearsals earlier in the week as producer. I went to the auditions with only one role in mind, from that same play, one named Jim, "The Blind Man, unpleasant, gay, seemingly with little use for life or the people in it, Dan in particular."

In my estimation, Jim is what I read best for, but, I don't think I was reading him as Saul see's him -- I may not look the part in his eyes, either. Beyond that, I have a pretty prohibitive schedule for now through mid-July. FutureFest is July 27-29. I am not saying schedule is the main reason I was not cast in the bigger role of Jim -- but it is what I am going to blame.

Thursday was overall a mediocre audition for me anyway. I had only intended to audition for Jim and had only a small window to look at the script beforehand -- I picked it up last Sunday at DPH when I saw Fiddler on the Roof, and had Sunday evening to read it. So I was in the neighborhood of a cold reading on Jim, though I had put some thought into him. Saul had told me Monday that I should consider Lance (which means he was seeing me in the role), and because of my schedule conflicts I figured it was reasonable to add that to the list -- and I suppose unreasonable to even go for Jim. Having said that, I will say that once I sat down to quantify my schedule conflicts, I asked if it was even worth his time, and Saul said, essentially, well, come to auditions and we'll see how it plays out, which I think may mean: if there had been no other clear choice for Jim, I might have gotten it despite the schedule problems. Yet, here we are, and I am not Jim. I am Lance, the abusive, bowling boyfriend.

My thought is that I did not read very well for Lance, though another actor who was there told me I did. I also read for another play mostly because the director solicited me. That was a stone cold read and I was terrible. Forget making a choice and going with it, I was busy attending to what the words were. Something I have to work on.

Well, I am off shortly to a cook out read through for Playing God at Saul's place. Then I am off this production for a few days as I wear producer's hat for The Dice House.

DICE HOUSE PRODUCER: Technically I am not specifically being the producer, but I am acting at his behest. I have shot a bit of footage of some set construction and of some earlier rehearsals. I will shoot some specific scenes in these later, off-book rehearsals this Tuesday through Thursday. Friday I will edit together another trailer for the DTG site and for our YouTube account.

AND STILL: The detailed account of the end of rehearsals and the American Buffalo run is in the works.



Tue, May 29, 2007

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PLAYING GOD: Had our read through last night at the home of our director, Saul Caplan. Nice, pleasant, informal way to get the ball rolling. The cast, at present, is as follows:

    Richard Young            Dan -- the man on a mission
    NOT YET CAST            Dave -- the bartender
    Becky Lamb            Barbara -- the widow
    Charles Lakowski            Jim -- the blind man
    Danika Haffenden            Noreen -- the sexy lady
    Kerrie Corthell            Ada -- the bag lady
    Duante Beddingfield            Trini -- the thief
    K.L.Storer            Lance -- the boyfriend

Of this cast I have only worked on stage before with Richard. It will be nice to finally work with Becky, and a bit inevitable that I would eventually as she is cast fairly regularly. She's just come off of Speaking in Tongues at the Guild -- she's one of the four actors featured in the trailer I shot for the show (click here to watch). She also, just prior to that, had an impressive run as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at The Dayton Playhouse. Charles is a fine actor I first saw in Assassins, and a few times since, including this playwright's 2006 FutureFest entry, Paper Planes. Chuck is in the music department at Wright State University. I run into him quite a bit on campus. Danika is a lovely young lady, currently in the theatre program at Wright State. Kerry is a fellow Guild board member, and this is her first time ever on stage in a play. Duante I have seen around and have heard many good things about his acting. I had not seen him act at all until the auditions last Thursday. He was stone cold on top of the read for Trini, very funny. He read some other parts in other plays just as skillfully -- clearly what I heard was not wrong.

The read through suggests we have a good ensemble. And I have looked forward to working with all of the quantities known to me from this cast, for which I had not before, including Saul. And so it begins.



Mon, June 11, 2007

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AMERICAN BUFFALO -- AN ACCOUNTING:

    As I begin to write this it's a couple minutes before 7:00 on Saturday night, May 5. I have no clue when I will actually get this entry finished and posted; nor am I totally sure what its scope will be. I am taking a small -- very small -- break from line work on Act II, which could be a major part of the scope of this entry. To inform, I have a headache; I feel like a horse kicked me all night long last night; I woke up sick this morning with a stomach virus or mild food poisoning or something along those lines. I was in bed all day today (May 5) until just a few hours ago, and only got up because I need very much to get this act completely entrenched in my brain cells.

    . .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... ........ .........

    So now it's several hours later on Saturday and I don't know exactly how much later because I am purposefully shielding myself from clocks as well having turned off my cell phone, my internet connection and the ringers on my land line phones. I am trying to keep myself isolated and focused on this. As I write this, I have only the last four pages to go, which is, a good thing. I don't attend well to how long the average page takes me to ingrain, but I would guess I am looking at another hour at least. But, I may be totally off there. I am also guessing it's about 10 pm but I may be quite wrong about that.

    (I ended up getting to bed about 12:30).

. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... ........ .........

As you can see from the post date on this entry, time marched on. But, to go back, I took more than half that week off from the paycheck job (22 hours) and I spent a good portion of the week at John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs, as I also did the weekend before, pacing around a particular picnic area, or walking the trials, repeating lines, sometimes doing the blocking if I found I needed to. I occasionally dropped into the Springs to grab a cup of coffee at Dino's.

We had no rehearsal Tuesday and Wednesday (May 1 & 2) due to schedule conflicts for other people in the show. I took all of Tuesday off work and as much of Wednesday as I could -- I had a paycheck job related workshop that took more than half the day. Then I worked only a few hours Thursday and Friday mornings.

So, that Thursday evening we ran Act I, off-book and it was not too bad. Friday was another story. Act II "off-book" was a painful experience! None of us had it well, especially the second part and most especially the last several pages.

I repeat the same song I have sang already: Four weeks was cutting it as close as it could be cut. And when we walked on stage for the first performance, I know we all felt just a little under-rehearsed. Well, I did, and it seems to me my castmates did.

As is often the case with play productions, Act II got the short end of the rehearsal stick. So we had not been on our feet with it nearly as often. For many actors, myself including, that practice time on our feet with the other actors, even with book in hand, is valuable for when we get to the off-book point. We Buffalo cast got few good nights before the off-book run; and I'm thinking maybe we had only one or two.

"Line," was heard a lot that night. A lot.

The final rehearsals, that Sunday through Wednesday (the period just following the night I began this entry), we coped. All of us got lost from time to time but we all were able to come to the aid when another cast member was in trouble. The good thing was we were able to see that we could work well as a team and get ourselves through this stuff, IF we needed to. Of course, we hoped we would not need to.

The first performance weekend, however, did indeed have some hairy performances in terms of this, too. Thursday and Friday there were several places where I certainly got lost. I was not alone either. The good thing was that we all were able to move forward and cover for each other or ourselves. I doubt the audiences caught many inequities, if any. The Saturday show, I think, went much better; that being the performance Bob Weisman saw and emailed Larry about (see May 21 entry above). I had a little glitch where I dropped a line, but it was a much smoother performance in respect to these things.

Without reserve and I can say, whole-heartedly, that John, Ryan and I had good chemistry on any given night, regardless of inequities. We played well together on stage. Donny, Bobby and Teach were fully and authentically represented, I do believe.

Directly, I am gratified to have generated a response to Teach and the unfolding of him that affirms my goal. I wanted Teach to appear as an annoying, erratic, whinny, know-it-all chump at the start of the play, but, to have revealed himself to be a truly dangerous man by the end. When he pulled the gun out toward the end of Act II, it was my hope that the audience would think, Oh my! He's going to shoot Bobby!

In my mind, he pulled that gun out with no qualms about pulling the trigger, but then Bobby invoked the names of Grace and Ruthy, and Teach's visceral response, at hearing the names of these women he so resents, was to clobber Bobby on the head with the gun. But as Teach ranted over Bobby, lying on the floor, I wanted the audience to still be on edge, still worried that Teach might kill him, because it was still a possibility.

Teach is a two-bit loser, but one who most likely will eventually be somehow connected, at least once, to a homicide -- even if it turns out to be his own. Bob Weisman and others have given feedback that suggest I achieved my goal in presenting this version of Teach.

This was good work for me. Still had some focus problems, yet despite that, I am happy with my version of Teach. There is a bit of a bar set for this character, he has been played by all of Robert Duvall, Al Pacino, and Dustin Hoffman. Would I love it if I could claim I'd taken it to that calibre! Big as my ego may be, however, I ain't able to be that delusional. I still feel great about the work, and the collaboration with John, Ryan, and Larry.

In an amazing development, I managed the beginnings of something that more-or-less resembles comedic savvy on this production. Okay, maybe not "savvy." Perhaps "half-understanding" is a better term. There were a couple bits in particular where I knew Teach should be funny, one dealing with he and Donny phoning their mark to see if he's still home, the other, a debate about whether or not the mark has hypothetically written down the combination to a safe, which these mooks aren't even sure he actually owns. Both bits consistently got laughs during performance, I'm happy to say. And, I will add that in both instances I pretty much worked out the timing on my own, though Larry did coach me on the delivery of a particular line in the phone gag.

With all my personal bias solidly in tact, I wholeheartedly agree with Weisman's assessment of my castmates' work as their perspective characters. If I managed to bring something authentic and natural as Teach to the table, John and Ryan brought just as real versions of Donny and Bobby, at the very least as real.

So, American Buffalo was a great experience. Some actor, of the SAG/Equity variety (I'm thinking it was Gary Sinise), said once that doing Mamet was like acting out a jazz song. I have an acute understanding of that analogy and a 100% agreement with it. Like a good Duke Ellington song, we did a different version each night. More than just that lines were dropped or perhaps rearranged a little, there were different deliveries. That is really always the case, but with this show it was more pronounced, for me any way.

And I can say that I have done Mamet. And I hope to again. I just want more rehearsal the next time.

PLAYING GOD: I go to my first rehearsal, since read through, tomorrow night. Lance (me) doesn't appear until mid-way through Act II. Tomorrow he makes his appearance in the story.

DICE HOUSE HAPPENINGS: Over the course of the later rehearsals for Dice House I shot a few hours of video. Last weekend (the start of June) I edited together a seven minute trailer for the DTG YouTube page. You can see the trailer embedded below at the promo for the show on this page.

Our opening weekend went well! Great work from a great cast! And crew!

By the way, I have also added an embed of the Speaking in Tongues trailer above, at the promo, which is at the closing date. click here.

AND, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW: that I wrote and performed the music in the Dice House trailer. I could not find any royalty-free music that worked for the video, so last Friday I spent the morning and part of the afternoon writing, recording and mixing the music. The song is called "Dice Theme (Roll the Dice)." It's the first whole song I have written in years. I did write "Candice Leaves Corinth," the bass line over the closing credits for The Chorus for Candice, but that is really not what I'd call a "whole song."

I plan to make a full stereo mix of "Dice Theme" as my gift to cast and crew of the show. Maybe make it otherwise available somehow, too.



Wed June 13, 2007

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PLAYING GOD: Nothing much to report. It was a blocking rehearsal last night. More of the same tomorrow night (off tonight). Some of the rehearsals, at which until last night I had not attended, have been at a dance studio on campus at Wright State. Last night we were at the Playhouse, but Thursday we'll be at the studio.

The cast, by-the-way, has been fleshed out with the addition of Mark Brush as Dave. So the cast is as follows:

    Richard Young            Dan -- the man on a mission
    Mark Brush            Dave -- the bartender
    Becky Lamb            Barbara -- the widow
    Charles Lakowski            Jim -- the blind man
    Danika Haffenden            Noreen -- the sexy lady
    Kerrie Corthell            Ada -- the bag lady
    Duante Beddingfield            Trini -- the thief
    K.L.Storer            Lance -- the boyfriend

Alex Charmical -- actor (Fake, Bright Ideas, yadda yadda) and graphic designer (Wally the Rabbit for The Chorus for Candice) is our AD. Sarah Caplan -- an actor in her own right, and Director Saul's daughter -- is the PA.

Though I don't expect to get off-book tonight, my goal is to get a good bit of Lance memorized (or close there of). He really is a pretty small role, so it should be easy to achieve a lot tonight.

STUFF FOR MY AGENT: I still owe my agent some casual action shots as well as the doctoring (lightening up) of some of the professional pictures I sent in a while back. He's been waiting for well over a week now.

On another note, he did like the voice samples I gave him. He said they were a nice variety including some really good novelty voices.

ODDS & SODS:

  • Starting for the Sun -- I have not gone near the rewrite of my novel for quite a while. I think it's time I get back to it. I am, for one thing, rethinking the current prologue. It either will get radically rewritten or eliminated altogether.
  • The Motion In Motive -- Be ready, those of you who attend to the site proper. The first pieces of writing for this work-in-progress virtual chapbook project will be posted soon.

    If you happen to have an interest in submitting work to it, click here for details and guidelines.

  • Paul -- In case you don't know this, McCartney's new album rocks!


Sun June 17, 2007

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SECOND WEEKEND OF THE DICE HOUSE AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Okay, not quite the whole weekend, as today's show does not occur until a few hours after I am writing this. But, Friday's and yesterday's shows went well, indeed. The Friday crowd was especially full of energy and laughs, and pretty close to a sold-out house. Last night they really were getting it, but it was a small house, less than half capacity (about thirty-eight people), so they often laughed to themselves. Terry Morris (Dayton Daily News) was there last night, so the review should be out this week.

K.L. IN THE AUDIENCE: Today I will sit in the audience and watch Dice House, then, this evening, I go to the Human Race to see Take Me Out, of which I have heard nothing but rave things. Between Dice House and Playing God I did not think I would be able to get to Take Me Out, but the reports have been so strong that I took a chance, earlier this morning, in fact, that there were still seats for today's 7:00 performance. Sure enough there were; well, at least one less, now.

2007/2008 IN DAYTON AREA THEATRE: I have three plays at the moment to read for forthcoming auditions, and there are most certainly some titles on the slate at Dayton area theatres I am attracted to, to one degree or another. Two directors have even specifically requested I audition -- but I have had that happen before and yet not been cast once from such a situation; so where such is a certain level of encouraging and some measure of flattering, I know better than to believe such an interest from the director locks me in.

I also am strongly thinking about being AD (assistant director) for perhaps a couple shows this year. One of the shows I have right now, to read for audition, is one I am not sure has a role for me. Since I like the director and absolutely know there is much to learn from such a talent, this may be one I AD. I have in fact made mention of this to the director and the producer.

The point is I am considering directing a show in 2008/2009. Not a particular show, at the moment. But I do want to take that scary plunge. I want to have seriously and purposefully been an AD a couple times first, however. Directing a stage production is far more intimidating to me than directing a movie. Though this is in some ways a flippant statement, the reason is essentially that I know I can't "fix it in post."

To be deeper, I simply have more intuitive understanding of how to stage something on a screen than I do on a stage. Not that I am a complete dunce in terms of stagework, obviously I have some ideas since I walk on them. But I would definitely put my level of expertise in the wet-behind-the-ears mark in terms of theatre stages.

My present plan is try and place myself in a relatively safe environment as a virgin director. There is an opportunity to direct at the Guild in a situation where I would have an AD who is a successful, seasoned director in his or her own right, as well a likewise experienced producer. However, I am there every year when the directors for the season are chosen. It is not a cavalier thing. Serious discussion occurs and the list of applicants is always a long one. Strong debate and thoughtful consideration guides the process. Hard decisions are made and talented people are turned away. I have no guarantee, whatsoever, that when I finally throw my hat in the ring I will be immediately embraced.

The other dilemma for me is that I love acting, itself, so much that any production offering an attractive role for me is a big distraction to other theatrical ventures. But I do want to direct plays and of course I aspire greatly to direct movies as well as act in front of the camera.

And this doesn't even touch on the novelist in me, the screen writer or that I have a growing desire to become a playwright. And then there's The WriteGallery Creative Writing Web Site.

To paraphrase of friend of mine; "Too many loves and not enough time."



Thu June 21, 2007

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PLAYING GOD: Only been to one rehearsal this week, Monday night. We were all off Tuesday; last night was Act I only, so I did not need to be there.

We are at that stage where you run through the blocking with the book still in your hand. Some of us have some of our lines and we all are starting to delve into more character deveopment to one extent or another. I have just the beginnings of Lance, but it is time to start the full-on work on him.

K.L. IN THE AUDIENCE: Like I said I would, I spent most of Sunday as an audience member at two theatres, the Guild, then The Human Race Theatre Company.

    The Dice House at the Guild -- All bias in tact I was thoroughly entertained on Sunday afternoon. As I sat there I caught nuances of the actors' work, things they had developed later in rehearsal, that I had not attended to before. All sorts of wonderful little reactions and internal dialogue bits that work quite well and in some cases are hysterical. Once again, DTG has put together a great production.

    Take Me Out at the Race -- This was relatively impressive in a few ways, too. I will have to say that I found Brian McKnight's work as Mason to be the most impressive thing. He was great. On another subject, when I read the script I found all the nudity in the showers to be relatively superfluous; as I watched the performance I found the nudity more so. It adds little if anything save that it can be argued it serves verisimilitude; but the story would not have suffered in any sense of the word had there been no nudity. So I found the value of its presence in the script as lacking much merit. On the other hand it didn't have a negative impact on me except for distraction due to my acquaintance with a couple of the actors who were up there on stage in all their glory.

    I was watching some men I know, even if I don't know them well, up there totally naked. It was a challenge to remember the fourth wall. Perhaps this is just a Midwest thing and it wouldn't be much of an issue on either coast. The daring to present oneself for the sake of the work is admirable and I applaud the courage. Even if I had the attributes of a porn star I can't see myself being so bold. I am just not terribly willing. Maybe there is a circumstance that I would bow to, but I doubt it.

    One could call my "dedication to the craft" into question; I could dismiss such as from those who have convictions that easily allow them the action while they lack the openness to let others take a different stance. Or maybe I'm just chicken and not wholly willing to admit it.

    Worth mentioning is that there is a rather delicate moment* in where a woman shaves all the pubic hair off a man. The staging was deftly handled so that the audience gets to witness the action without actually seeing it, without really seeing anything. And I believe the inclusion of this moment is far more valuable to Dice house than the naked men are to Take Me Out.

    TRUTH BE TOLD, IT'S NOT "DELICATE" IN IT'S INTENT, IT'S DELICATE IN TERMS OF THE CONTEXT OF THIS ENTRY; AS IN: WHAT MIGHT BE SEEN, ETC.

MR. FLORENCE'S TAKE ON THE DICE HOUSE: We got a nice, if not rave, review from Russell Florence Jr. (Dayton City Paper). He labels the production "a decent regional premiere," called Greg Smith's set design "attractive," a asserted that the cast was "assuredly and respectively led by Blake Senseman and Gil Martin."

His best remarks are for Gil and David Sherman. Of Gil he writes, "Martin in particular fully relishes...Ratner's peculiar personality...to secure laughs, even when the thin plot grows stagnant." He calls David's performance "incredibly endearing."

He also lists Elena Monigold and Mark Diffenderfer as "notable featured players." Conspicuously missing is mention of the excellent work by both Amy Hamilton and Waylan Reid. Nor was Philip Titlebaum's enjoyable work mentioned. My hope is that their mentions were unfortunately cut from the piece due to page space.

I have not yet seen reviews from Terry Morris (The Dayton Daily News) or Burt Saidel (The Oakwood register). Terry was there last Saturday; Burt was there, along with Russell, on Sunday.

ANOTHER IMPROV EXPERIENCE WITH JAKE LOCKWOOD: Tuesday evening I attended the first of two improv class sessions with Jake Lockwood, who ran the improv workshop for the Guild in February of 2005. This new course is sponsored by The Human Race. There were only three of us in the three-hour session, but it was a valuable evening.

Once again, like the Guild session, and the improv sections of the HRTC classes I took last summer with Carrie-Ellen Zappa, I surprised myself by not totally sucking. I actually came up with a few good spontanious ideas.

Philip Titlebaum from the Dice House cast was there, too, and certainly did better than I. His two previous summers working the Ohio Rennasiance Fetival figure in here.

We did some great exercises such as all of us sitting in a circle around a large block. On it sat something imaginary that we all were supposed to discuss with each other:

    "Wow! Will you look at that! I don't think I've ever seen one quite likie that!"

    "Well, it IS a little rounder than they usually are. And notice how clear it is."

    "Yes! Why you can see right through it. And what's this on top. It looks like little ridges---"

    "---Like baby's hair."

    "Yes! YES! Why...! I think this must be an artist's rendition of the head of a new born baby!"

    "Yes and if you look down here at this ridge toward the bottom, that looks like a mouth."

    "A MONKEY'S mouth."

    "A chimpanze's mouth!"

    "Why, of course! This is a sculpture of the head of a baby chimp!"

That example was, for the most part, made up, yet true to the exercise and somewhat based on what we did. We also did one where we all just moved freely until jake yelled, "Freeze!" then one of described the scene we saw and the others had to act it out. And we did some partner ones where a third person decided who we were taliking to and we went from there.

It was a nice three hour work out. After next week I plan to write a more detailed entry. part of why this one isn't is because time is premium right now. Probably will be next week, too.

There are still spots for the second of the two sessions, next Tuesday, June 26. The cost for the one session is $35. If you are local to Dayton and have an interest, check out the HRTC Adult Education web page: www.humanracetheatre.org/0607adultsummer.htm.

You can also just call Human Race Education Director Marilyn Klaben at 937-461-3823, extension 3132. Tell her ylou want to enroll for the June 26 session of Jake Lockwood's improv class.

You'll have a blast, I promise!

MOVIE OP MISSED: there is a casting call for a local indy horror comedy, The League of Extraordinary Alcoholics VS The Horde of Really Creepy Undead Zombie Flesh Eaters. Unfortunately, it goes into production in July, so I have the schedule conflict of FutureFest. If any Dayton area actors happen to be reading this, there's an audition June 29. Here is the My Space page for the writer/director, Jeff: www.myspace.com/www.myspace.com/lxalcoholics.



Sun June 24, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

THE DICE HOUSE by Paul Lucas at the Dayton Theatre Guild,

    Directed by Greg Smith / Produced by K.L.Storer

    The Dice House cast list (in order of appearance):

    Blake Senseman            Dr. Drabble
    Mark Diffenderfer            Matthew
    Amy Hamilton            Lisa
    Gil Martin            Dr. Ratner
    David Sherman            Smith
    Elena Monigold            Polly
    Philip Titlebaum            The Slow Assassin
    Wayland Reid            Victor



Thu June 28, 2007

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THE OFF-BOOK QUOTIENT: At Playing God rehearsal, Monday, I went off-book, as most of the cast has already been doing. I think I paraphrased some and I did need to call for line twice; overall, though, not too bad. Not that I have a large amount of wordage to cram in my head -- certainly not like American Buffalo, or 'Art', before that. Everyone has some stumbling areas and a few still had the book for some parts of the play. "off-book" is officially July 5, so we are in good shape.

I had a little better chance to play with Lance, which you always do once you put the book down. I tried a few things, which must not have been to Director Saul's dislike since he didn't comment. For one thing, Lance has a line about how he use to do an impression of Brando as Don Corleone; I delivered it doing the impression -- a purposefully bad one. Also, he, like most of the characters has pages of no dialogue while on stage. I started to really work on keeping Lance present on stage, keeping him in the moment and reacting to the action around him.

Now, the big thing is to start working the pacing, which is not sharp at all right now; that's not a surprise at this point in the rehearsals.

They did did Act I last night. I am back tonight for Act II.

SECOND HALF OF THE IMPROV CLASS: Tuesday was the second and final session for the improv class at The Human Race with Jake Lockwood. We doubled our class size to six, which is not too bad a number for a class like this. All three new people were youngins, teenagers, and they did pretty well. A young lady named Carolyn was especially adept, especially at character acting.

The sessions reinforced the principle of paying close attention to my scene mate(s), and the need to loosen myself more so I can be more fully in the moment on stage. Which all seems to point back to that word: "Focus".

More and more I am attracted to improv, simply because I believe it can help me have an edge as an actor. As stated above, it seems to me it will help me with focus and being present in the moment. Even when working from a script, the skills learned in improv cannot be anything but beneficial. I also am sure it is an asset to better cold reading in auditions for me. I believe that the better I get at improv the better I get at making good, fast choices about a character. As we all know, my opinion of my cold read skills is that I SUCK!.

I have the concept of some short improv movies that I have bopped around in my head for a while. Who knows.....

THE DICE HOUSE AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Last Sunday we closed the show, and we had what I consider a great run. It was a fun show and the cast pulled it off with great acumen. The production was blessed with more than just a few brilliant performances and even what would be labeled the weakest performance was still good work. I am proud to have been connected with such a fine production.

RECONSIDERING THE LOCAL INDY MOVIE: I have an email inquiry into the producer of that local indy film, The League of Extraordinary Alcoholics VS The Horde of Really Creepy Undead Zombie Flesh Eaters, to see if it's just possible that principal photography would not be an insurmountable schedule conflict for me.

Just can't pass up an opportunity to get screen experience, unless it's impossible.




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