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

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Sun July 1, 2007

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PLAYING GOD: Nice rehearsal last Thursday. We all seem to be coming along in our work. Director Saul's comment to me was that I was "in the right direction" concerning Lance's character development. We have not talk in specifics about this but we will.

    I told him a little while ago that I was thinking about a van dyke for Lance and he seemed to be okay with that.
    K.L. with fresh goatee look for audition for 'Little Shop of Horrors' K.L. on couch, listening(?)
    Now, if only a miracle can occur and I can get "Lance" into the proper physical shape. I have been back in the gym -- which I should have been anyway. My thought is that Lance ought to have bigger arms than K.L. has. Yeah, yeah, I also think K.L. ought to have bigger arms than K.L. has. So Lance is just my weak-ass excuse -- though, really, not a bad one. K.L. needs to do something about a waist line that's a bit, um, "softer and wider" than he likes, too.

Since I am on vacation and leaving town, I am not back in rehearsal again until next Thursday, July 5. I will, of course, be working on lines and character in the meantime. I'll also read a few other plays for forthcoming 2007/08 auditions. And I am taking some free weights on vacation!

AUDITION FOR THE LOCAL INDY MOVIE: I did not audition for The League of Extraordinary Alcoholics VS The Horde of Really Creepy Undead Zombie Flesh Eaters. Though I was never able to find out for absolutely sure, I am pretty certain I would have had schedule conflicts with the principal photography.

A PIECE OF TRIVIA RELEVANT TO VERY FEW ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET SAVE FOR ME (OR PERHAPS RELEVANT TO NO ONE BUT ME): I have just discovered that one of my favorite pop singers, the infamous Harry Nilsson and I, miss sharing our birthdays by one day. I am June 14; he is June 15. And, my modern musical god, Mr. McCartney, is June 18. Gemini's, we all.



Mon, July 2, 2007

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I'M ON VACATION!!!

Ahh, to sleep until almost 10 a.m.! Not that I don't have a busy day.

  • I head first to the gym, as I am back with this as a routine. (remember?: for Lance and for K.L.)
  • Then I hope to get to forestry, most probably John Bryan State Park and/or Glen Helen Park. A goal is to get some casual, "candid," action shots for my agent. No, I still have not gotten the finish of my pictures for my agent. I did take some a few days back, but I did not like them much. So I try again today. I head to Indianapolis for the next few days, and will get some there, too. I hope.
  • I finish packing and leave tonight -- well, I hope I will leave late afternoon or early evening, but you know how that stuff goes....
  • I am taking my one-person tent; I don't need to be at my Indiana destination until Tuesday afternoon. I will camp tonight, somewhere along the way -- probably Hueston Woods which is west of Dayton, a few miles south of I-70, close to Hamilton, and in the scheme of things, on my way to Indianapolis.
  • I have three young birthdays to shop for. Which I likely will arrive early to Indianapolis and do the downtown Indy mall, which, if you haven't been, is very cool. For those who haven't read this blog much (which I assume would three of the five of you who are reading this), my best friend, Dave lives in Indianapolis, and each of his three kids are all just past or about to have such birthdays.
  • Now that I think about it, there is a wedding next weekend I have to buy for. Actors Craig Roberts and Natasha Randall will be wed this coming weekend. And I got to witness their coming together during The Cripple of Inishmaan.

LEAVE US NOT FORGET....that I have to keep fresh and improve on lines and character work for Lance in Playing God whilst I am on the road and visiting with best friends, hip young men and darling little girls:

Picture of a best friend, hip young men and a darling little girl




Well....
    Shit!
      Here it is past 12:30 already!!
Just HAD to blog!!!


Wed July 4, 2007

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Happy Birthday America

BEST LAID PLANS: A couple things didn't go as planned. One was a nice surprise, the other, a disappointment.

  1. -- I did not camp out on my way to Indianapolis on Monday night. I had the unexpected chance to spend some time with someone at an event an hour east of home on Monday evening. I actually had thought of heading west after my time with said friend, but, it was going to be something like 11:00 or later, and the thought of setting up camp at midnight or later seemed silly. I may not have even been able to register at a camp site.
  2. -- My friend Dave's youngin's are not here at his place in Indy. They are spending the Fourth on a farm with their maternal grandparents. I was looking forward to seeing the little rascals. They will not get here until after I must be back in Dayton for Playing God rehearsals.

  • This is another one of those places where I inject content that has nothing to do directly with "A Diary of Artful Things," but, you know, it's that It's My Blog aspect factored in.


Sat July 7, 2007

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FIRST OF ALL...........:

Congratulations Tosha and Craig -- JUST MARRIED!!! 07/07/07

Helen and Bartley got married today. Er, um, not Hilen and Bartley McCahrmick, who hahppen t' be brahthur 'n sistur. Rather it's Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts, who played Helen and Bartley, and who came together on the first real steps on their journey toward today during the rehearsals for that play, The Cripple of Inishmaan, which has many fond importance's to me, including this lovely union.

Here's wishing them a long life together of love and joy and adventure and memories galore!!

PHOTOS FOR THE AGENT: Since both Craig and Tosha are with Roof-Goenner Talent Agency, both Jim Payne and Marsha Roof of the agency were at the wedding reception, thus I was reminded that I still owe them the full fleshing of pictures. I actually have been working on that. The CD-ROM should be in the mail sometime this week.

PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: We did some good work on Act II this last Thursday and last night. Thursday was a night for director Saul to stop us and work on problem moments, and even to go back to a few after we had gotten through the whole act. Friday was pretty much a straight run with few stops and those only minor.

I'm relatively happy with Lance, although, honestly, he's not the most taxing role I've taken on. Not that I want to take him for granted, get complacent and give a mediocre performance. But, as I said in our after-rehearsal social gathering at Max & Erma's, I haven't bothered to do any background work for this "two and a half dimensional character." Perhaps that's a mistake. Maybe I should decide some things about Lance and his family; which New York PS (public school) did he attend? has he ever been married? in jail? Now that I'm writing this, I am thinking it can't hurt.

I didn't get to do this for Teach -- the rehearsal cycle was so tight that I had all those lines and that vernacular to get a handle on. For John Heminge and Lord Burleigh I read some historical information. I can't say I became an expert on either man, but I did come to know a few things. Honestly though, my characterizations of both men in Beard were based on the dynamics it seemed the production needed from them.

Lance is virtually a stereotype but I'd like to soften that as much as I can -- first by playing him real. Saul commented last week that he appreciated that I was doing all I could to fill Lance out into a real person. Nice to know I am on the right path.

OOH! ACCESS TO A GOOD CAMERA IF/WHEN I NEED IT!: Another person I saw at the wedding was an old acquaintance, Fred, who had directed Tosha in a short that is getting close now to a final cut. I had seen him at a performance of The Beard of Avon, which I believe I mentioned in the blog at that time. Well, we were talking shop and I mentioned that I am desperately positioning myself to buy a three chip digital video camcorder. He told me he has two and offered to let me use one of them if the need ever arises. Good information to know. I would, of course, rent the unit; that would only be fair. But, it is good to have access to a three-chip.

So, I guess, in some ways, Tosha and Craig's wedding party was a networking opportunity. I swear I had not any such intentions!!



Wed July 11, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Tuesday evening, which was to be Act II, became a night for Saul and selected cast to work selected spots. Quite a few actors were already off that night as they were auditioning for Amadeus at The Dayton Playhouse. I was not called to rehearsal. I caught up on some badly needed house work. I didn't audition for Amadeus.

I am back to rehearsal tomorrow night and Friday. I was off Thursday, but we have rescheduled it as a full run.

THE CONSTANT WIFE AUDITIONS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: I do plan to audition for our Guild 2007/08 season opener. I had approached director Greg Smith and producer Bob Mills about being the AD, but I was too late and the job was already filled.

PHOTOS FOR THE AGENT: I have the headshot pictures for Roof-Goenner Talent Agency. All I need to do is hone the number down to, I'm thinking, sixteen total shots: the best eight studio photos and the eight best from the "candid" action shots I have just been getting. So, I'll be driving myself nuts picking from the twenty-three studio pics and the FIFTY-ONE action shots. But I need to get the CD-ROM burned and off to the agency this week.

CONGRATS TO DONALD SMITH: Donald Smith (G.W. in Sordid Lives and also a cast member in the local indy The Monster's Mind) has been cast in The League of Extraordinary Alcoholics VS The Horde of Really Creepy Undead Zombie Flesh Eaters, that local indy movie that goes into production the end of July. Of course, I had thought about auditioning for but was concerned about principal photography scheduling. But, here's a big BREAK A LEG! to him and the whole cast and crew.

The Monsters Mind, by the way, I believe is going to show at, or is at least submitted for, the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.



Fri July 13, 2007

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PHOTOS FOR THE AGENT: The CD of actor's photos for Roof-Goenner Talent Agency is done. Is anyone surprised that instead of twelve pictures there are twenty-four. It goes in the mail today or tomorrow, depending on when I can get to the post office.

FORMER CAST MATES AND SUCH WITH GIGS COMING UP: I am aware of a few things some folk I have worked with are doing.

  • I've already mentioned that Donald Smith has been cast in The League of Extraordinary Alcoholics VS The Horde of Really Creepy Undead Zombie Flesh Eaters.
  • Remember I have written about the blues band the talented actress Melissa Young sang in, B.B.Redde? Well she is now in a new one, Miss Lissa & Company. Tonight they are opening for The Little River Band at Midsummer at the Meadows at Miami Meadows Park. Melissa, or Miss Lissa, is a powerhouse lady blues singer and here's hoping the show is a success for her and the "& Company" You can check out the band's My Space page at www.myspace.com/misslissaco.
  • Reneé Franck-Reed is in the Springfield Civic Theatre production of Anything Goes, which, unfortunately, runs only one weekend; the same as FutureFest. I may be able to check out the final dress.
  • Next month, Charity Farrell (Elizabeth in my The Chorus for Candice) will appear as the soloist in "It's Raining on Prom Night" for the Jersey Productions mounting of Grease.
  • Speaking of Candice.... Unfortunately for the Dayton Theatre community, Kimberly J. Reiter and her husband, Justin are hitting the road to work production management for touring professional theatre companies. Justin, I believe will be the production stage manager and Kim will be company manager. I may have gotten that wrong though. I do know that at least Justin will be touring with Molly Ringwald in Sweet Charity starting this coming September at the San Diego Civic Theater.

These are not all the things going on with my fellow production mates, only the ones I know about, or at least have not let slip my mind.



Mon, July 16, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: We had two really good runthroughs this past Thursday and Friday evening. Looks like we pretty much will do full runs from this point forward.

THE CONSTANT WIFE AUDITIONS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Still plan to audition for this. One change was that I was going to have all of this evening off from Playing God rehearsal (it had been scheduled as Act I only, but is now a full run). So I have arranged with CW director Greg Smith to read me early at audition, then I'll zip to PG rehearsals. May do the same thing tomorrow, too. Since Greg won't be able to pair me with other auditioners late in the evening tonight,

UPDATE FOR FORMER CAST MATES AND SUCH WITH GIGS COMING UP: I have on update concerning the entry from last Friday



Wed July 18, 2007

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THE CONSTANT WIFE AUDITIONS AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: "Frustrating" best describes my time Monday night at the audition. Time was the big issue. Circumstances made it so I hadn’t been read by the time I had to leave and head to PG rehearsal. It so happened that rehearsal was running greatly behind, and since rehearsal was at the Playhouse and only minutes from the Guild, I was able to go back to the audition for a bit longer. I still was read only once, but not for the role I am interested in, the husband John.

That I was not read for John was terribly discouraging and part of me wanted to conclude that I am not being perceived as right for the role, which I believe would be a mistake and an underestimation of me. That conclusion may be chalked up to the anxiety driven cognition that usually afflicts me whenever I audition.

Time was limited again last night, but Greg was sure that I was read early so that I could get to PG rehearsals in plenty of time for Lance's entrance. And I got one good read in for John. I wish I had been able to read him a few times, but time was just too tight. Greg did indicate to me that I did a good read. Experience has taught me, however, that such does mean that I will get the part. Sometimes, it means: "You read the part well but I see someone else as better in the role because he looks the part" -- or -- "....because his chemistry is better with the woman I am casting as the wife," etc, etc

We should see soon. I suspect that if I am cast it will be as Mortimer, a nice but smaller role, and not the one I want. I, of course, believe I should be John. Mortimer is described as "overweight" -- since I am showing some measure of discipline of late, both at making it to the gym most days and better watching what and how much I eat -- Mortimer will not be overweight. In fact, he'll be thinner on opening night than K.L. is right now, if I am he, that is. I put on weight for Johnnypatteen, and purposefully; that was then.

PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Rather than on campus at Wright State we were at the Dayton Playhouse Monday night. I missed much of the rehearsal due to that Constant Wife audition. We didn't do a full run in that instead of running Act II we worked on a fight sequence in AII. Just as well for me; I was out of sorts because the Monday audition left me at a low ebb.

Tuesday we did a full run and I got there just as Director Saul was giving notes for Act I. Can't really say how AI went, since I was not there, but the show in general seems to be coming along, so I'd guess it went reasonably well. Act II went well. Saul did pull me aside to let me know he was satisfied with Lance, that his assessment is that I am doing what I should be with the character. Always good to know I am doing my job right.



Thu July 19, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Back at Wright State again last night, like Tuesday. Just did a line run to work on pacing, i.e.: picking up the cues.

AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION: I am not cast in The Constant Wife. Turns out the fate was decreed before I wrote yesterday's entry. Greg decided the cast at end of auditions Tuesday night. I just was not privy to the fact.

There are a couple local short indy movie possibilities that I'm investigating. Not aware of an immediate play opportunity. There are a few coming up in a little while

ONE SHORT INDY IN PARTICULAR: There's the opportunity for a juicy little challenge in one of those local indies, a short-subject titled, Still Me being produced by Brookwood Films. I am in the process of arranging to either do a self-shot screen test of sides they send me, or set up an audition with the director -- or both. I have a conflict with their casting calls schedule as I am either at tech rehearsal for Playing God or at the actual festival. I would be up for the role of a man who has suffered a stroke. Again, it looks like a nice challenge.

OTHER ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS: Though I am disappointed at not being cast in The Constant Wife it does give me the time to attack other artistic endeavors. Besides Still Me and other possible film work, there are several of my own projects which have been neglected and I can get back to:

  1. Though in reality I haven't been "neglecting" it, I can focus better on reading and selecting work for the WriteGallery virtual chapbook, The Motion In Motive. If you are a writer who may be interested in submitting, click here for details and guidelines.
  2. There's the rewrite of my own novel, Starting for the Sun, I haven't gone close to for months now.
  3. The screenplay for my thirty-minute short still needs some scenes revised a bit.
  4. I have a whole CD album to digitally mix -- the music was recorded in the eighties, but it's good enough to be out out there -- even if it does not go out commercially.
  5. I also have had the intention to do a stereo mix of the theme song for the Dice House trailer, "Dice Theme (Roll the Dice)." I also want to burn a DVD of the trailer. I'd give both to the cast and crew as my belated show gift.
  6. Let's not forget that I owe DVD's of The Chorus for Candice to the cast and crew.


Fri July 20, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Really good rehearsal last night. We were shooting for as finished a performance as possible and that was mostly achieved. I was most certainly one of those who interfered with that goal. I got a line slightly wrong and corrected it, after having said it wrong. I then immediately thought about how I should have just moved on rather than tried to "fixed it." That mental moment broke my focus for an instant, and I think, a detectable instant.

Point is, the line error I had made was one of slightly paraphrasing. That's something that it's better to avoid but not something that screws things up. My going back to say the line again, but correctly, was actually worse than the original flub. Such a correction draws attention to what had been an invisible error (to an audience); and it focuses on the fact that an actor on stage has just corrected himself -- i.e.: it breaks the fourth wall and dissolves suspension of disbelief. So, the ideal, beyond not making the paraphrase error, would be to go on, having made no correction, but note the paraphrase error for next time. And that is not what I did.

I am also quite happy that I have been able to keep pretty much every actor's choice for Lance I have come up with. My favorite: in response to another character's imitation of an Irish priest, lance does a pretty awful imitation of Marlon Brando. The script has him say, "I used to do Brando when he was that Guinea gangster," but that I deliver that as the Guinea gangster (Lance's bad version thereof) is mine.

SHORT-SUBJECT INDY MOVIE AUDITION: Looks like I am auditioning this Sunday for the short-subject movie, Still Me. I've been emailing producer Dara Fraley and we are going to meet at the Guild on Sunday. I don't know if the audition will be shot as a screen test, but I imagine there's a good chance it will be. I am auditioning for Jack, who has suffered a stroke. The sides she sent call for some of the physicality of a stroke sufferer, which makes perfect sense.

This would be a great opportunity for my acting. To communicate all the emotional depth while creating the physical obstacles of partial paralysis (of the face especially) is very important. Just creating the physicality of the stroke victim in an authentic manner is vital.

The audition sheet also mentions the option of doing a prepared monologue, which I am likely to do. Probably, but not necessarily, I'd do what I call The Cockroach Monologue from Neil Simon's Jake's Women -- it's a good monologue for me. Even more attractive to me is an invitation to improv as Jack concerning "what [I] think Jack...might be feeling based on [his] circumstances in the scenarios...provided."

See, I knew those improv workshops had great value!

There actually is an option of writing the feelings rather than ad libbing. I could certainly do the writing option. But, I do think I need as much honing of my improv skills as I can get, so I opt for that route.

MY PICTURES WORK: I got a call from Jim Payne at Roof-Goenner Talent Agency yesterday. The actor's pictures (I'd call them headshots except that most are full body or at least medium shots) I sent on the CD are approved as good. So, after a couple details, they will be posted at the agency web site. Probably I'll post them here, too -- my ego, pretending that others are interested in them.



Mon, July 23, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Things have still been going well. We had a good and productive rehearsal Friday evening and then a successful technical rehearsal during the day Saturday.

As a sort of gossip-territory thing, most of the cast dropped into Max & Erma's, by Wright State, Friday, as has been our Friday habit when rehearsing on campus, only to have the cast from the upcoming Springfield Civic Theatre production of Anything Goes, also drop in there. No big news or event here; just thought I'd mention it.

Saturday was a bit tedious -- tech rehearsal, for those who don't know, consists of a lot of hurry up and wait. It's the "rehearsal" that is for the stage manager and the sound and light techs to coordinate the placement, timing and settings for all the sound and light cues in the show. We actors only do the segments where such cues are, and as many times as needed to get it worked out. I sat around quite a bit since Lance does not show up until about half-way into Act II; if this were a movie, I'd say he enters at Act III.

We did do a full run with tech, after the tech rehearsal and it was a good performance. So it was a good day after we worked the tedious out of it.

One sort of technical problem I ran into. Lance is supposed to rush into the scene out of the rain and is to be wet from such. My costume bowling shirt is a dark, off brown color. I got the shirt wet for the full tech run, but those in the audience section could not tell at all. I did not look wet. So I will try tonight, at our first and our final dress rehearsal (that's right, we only get this one), I am going to try to streak the shirt wet and also try to get my head wet in a more dramatically obvious manner.

SHORT-SUBJECT INDY MOVIE AUDITION: I did meet with Dara Fraley, the producer of the short-subject movie, Still Me. We met late Sunday morning at the Guild. I did the screen test for the lead character in the movie. As usual I am hesitant to say "how" I did, though I can't say I "feel" bad about the audition. It didn't seem like the most brilliant audition I've ever done either. Not that I really think I've ever done a brilliant one, although I have been told by at least one director that a particular audition for him was excellent; apparently it was not excellent enough as it was one of the many times I was not cast. But I digress.

As I stated in last entry, the lead character is a man dealing with the aftermath of suffering a stroke. I really did not have enough time to do any research on the physicality of a stroke victim's levels of paralysis so I went with my instincts. My mother had suffered a small stroke a few months before she died, so I had some reference point; though hers was a minor stroke with only minimal paralysis of her face, which receded after a while, and she was bedridden, which made observation of many of the inconveniences to one's day-to-day functioning difficult.

What I did to prep was decide that his right side was paralyzed. I picked the right because I am right handed and having access to only my left hand makes doing chores harder. In my mind it's a better choice for getting to the character's frustration. When I got up Sunday, I got ready for the day allowing only the lefty half of my body to be functional; I admit I did use my right leg to some extent rather than have it be totally useless, though I did drag my right foot.

It was laborious and quite inconvenient. For one thing, I am amazed that I did not cut myself shaving with only my left hand. Tying my shoes with only my left hand was another major challenge -- damned near impossible. I did it all in character and even dialogued with the challenges.

    "I'll beat you!" I whispered with determination at the shoe laces I battled, and, of course, speaking only with the left side of my mouth.

I committed to the method for as much of the time leading up to the audition as I could. Now, when I drove the highway from my place to the Guild, I use my full function. I did also, like I said I would, use the cockroach monologue from Jake's Women, and I dropped out of the stroke victim character whenever I practiced this.

This was, in all practicality, the most home court advantage I have ever had for an audition. I got to show up early and relax and rehearse and mentally, physically and emotionally prepare myself in a space where I am totally at home. I arrived at about 9 a.m. and after setting up an audition area with some props and a small table (the table to be a bathroom sink area) I then cycled through the several scenarios Ms. Fraley had sent in the sides plus practice on the cockroach monologue.

Ms. Fraley arrived at 11:00 and shot a couple of the scenarios then had me cold read from more detailed sides. Here's where I made a little error. I just went dead cold on these new sides. What I should have done was ask for a few minutes, or at least moment, to read through the text and have at least some idea what choices I would make. But, instead, I just delivered each line in these, as best in character as I could, coming across them for the first time as I read them. I suppose there is a good value in that for me; but, I would have given the director, who will be viewing the screen tests in L.A., a better idea of what my actor's choices will be, if I had had a little mental warning of what was coming on the pages. Or maybe I am over thinking this.

We also did some footage of me walking and I was able to get her to shoot me doing the left-handed shoe tying exercise.

I have no idea if I have any sort of shot or not. All I am sure of is that I did not totally suck. Other than that.....

ACTOR'S PICTURES FOR ROOF-GOENNER TALENT AGENCY: So, here are the pictures I sent to my agent to be posted at the R-G web site. Not the greatest pics ever shot, but, ehh, they'll do....:

K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph
K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph K.L.Storer actor's photograph


Wed July 25, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: We were back in Blair Hall at Sinclair Community College for the only bone-fide official dress rehearsal on Monday night, though we did do a full run last Saturday which can be thought of as a dress rehearsal. We have been missing a couple critical set pieces and still are. We need a juke box, which the script cannot do without, as its use is prevalent in the play. There's also call for a life-sized statue of a cowboy. Aside from not having those items to work with, we did have a productive and well-performed dress on Monday.

Last night we were back at Wright State and had a looser rehearsal where we worked on some spots. We actually only did Act II on its feet; for the first act it was just a line run. The work focused on adjusting the nuences of performance in specific spots.

One that effects me is the spot where Lance's fiancé, Noreen (Danika Haffenden) and he are in a major conflict. Noreen is now more courageous and emotional and I now feel like I need to adjust Lance to this. I want to fill him out a bit more towards a whole three dimensions; it's already a bit of a challange as he's written as such a stereotype. I have centered my approach to him with as much genuine thought and motivation as I can, which is a battle against some of his dialogue. I just want Lance to be a real human being up on that stage, something authentic. So, I guess my comment from a few entries back that he's not such a challenge should not be taken to mean he is not a challenge whatsoever. We have slated to work on this key moment for both Noreen and Lance, at the start of rehearsal tonight.

LOOKING TO THE NEXT STAGE WORK: I'm looking at two upcoming productions. One is Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega being jointly produced by Springfield StageWorks and Clark State Community College. The other is Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures, which we are doing at the Guild. Both are up in Novemeber.

For the de Vega audition, I'd have to do a one-minute classical monologue. Lope de Vega was a contemporary of Shakespeare's, so William would certainly be valid material. Actually, the copy of Fuente Ovejuna I am reading is two de Vega plays, the other being Lost in a Mirror, so I may try to pull something from that. But, peforming Shakespeare has its attraction to me. The role I want is Commander Gomez. I probably am not right for the part in many people's minds, but I am in my own and know I can play him; so screw 'em.

Haven't started reading the Simon play yet, but the only male role is Herb Tucker, the screenwriter and the father of nineteen-year-old Libby, whom he abandoned years before.

Fuente Ovejuna auditions are September 11 & 12. It seems that the eleventh is an appointment general audition and the twelth is callbacks, but I am not sure. I Ought to Be in Pictures will probably audition the week prior, but I have not seen nor heard any official dates for the audition, yet.



Fri July 27, 2007

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PLAYING GOD REHEARSALS: Despite that one of the campus Barnies gave me a ticket for running a stop sign after rehearsal, Wednesday night, we had a good one, a great rehearsal.

It was another stop whenever something needs worked on night. We actually did not work on that Noreen/Lance moment at the start of things as we had planned, but we did when it came up in the run. I have made a few minor adjustments to Lance's behavior and reactions. I think, and so does Saul, that he's a bit more filled out this way. I have moved away from some rather cavalier responses that seem to be suggested by the text, if inadvertently. There was also a place where Lance twice grabbed Noreen by the arm to drag her out of the bar. Saul had me change it to taking her by her hand, if forcefully. He still trying to boss her but not as abusively.

The goal for me, overall, was to trim some of the cardboard stereotype out of my performance and make him a little more emotionally cognizant of what was going on around him. There is specific line he gives which on the surface suggests he is focused on only one point, and a trivial one, that Noreen makes during what amounts to her emancipation speech. But she says several rather harsh things that I am now playing Lance's response line as if he is deflecting those by commenting on the one inane point. I probably ought to be clearer than this, more specific and illuminating, but I don't want to spoil this, on the remote chance that one of the small number of readers who see this will be there Sunday to see the performance.

FUTUREFEST 2007 OPENS TONIGHT: There actually was a convocation last night, where the playwrights all spoke of the genesis of their play candidates. As well, The Dayton Playhouse gave out its in-house performance and production recognition for the closing season, Blackburn Awards. I did not feel well, so I did not go. I am betting that my cast mate in PG, Becky Lamb, got a lead actress award for work as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

All of Saul Caplan, Chuck Larkowski, and Richard Young might get Blackburns for work they did at DPH in 06/07, too.

Actually, if I had not felt ill, I was more likely to have gone to see Anything Goes at Springfield Civic Theatre. Don't really feel fabulous right now, but I am going to the festival tonight.

CLASSICAL MONOLOGUES: In typical overkill, I have borrowed two books of actors' classical monologues from the library:

    The Classical Monologue: men, edited by Michael Earley and Philippa Keil.

    Classical Monologues: from Aeschylus to Bernard Shaw, vol. 2, older men's roles, edited by Leon Katz. I really don't know if the "older" will skew as too old for me; I didn't look inside yet. But, I can always go to volume one if need be.

These, of course, are for use if I audition for Fuente Ovejuna for Springfield StageWorks/Clark State Community College. At this point it seems likely I will, unless I am cast in I Ought to Be in Pictures, and there's certainly no guarantee there.



Sun July 29, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY


The Dayton
Playhouse
FutureFest
2007

July 27-29, 2007

Dayton Plahouse FutureFest 2007

Artifice
by Anne Flanagan
from Los Angeles, CA
July 27, 8:00 pm
*(Fully-Staged)

Dawn and Sean
by Joe Lauinger
from Ossining, NY
July 28, 10:00 am
*(Staged-Reading)

Another Day on Willow St.
by Frank Anthony Polito
from Brooklyn, NY
July 28, 3:00 pm
*(Staged-Reading)

Trees
by Kathy Coudle-King
from Grand Forks, ND
July 28, 8:00 pm
*(Fully-Staged)

Mary Christmas
by Kevin Podgorski
from Brooklyn, NY
July 29, 10:00 am
*(Staged-Reading)

Playing God
by Gary Flaxman
from North Hollywood, CA
July 29, 3:00 pm
*(Fully-Staged)



Tue, July 31, 2007

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PLAYING GOD AT FUTUREFEST 2007: Call me bias -- and you'll be correct, of course -- but I believe we did very well with our performance of Mr. Flaxman's play. There was one minor flaw in my performance: I used a synonym in one of my lines. The line is, "Why didn't you come to the alleys, like I told ya? It was for the championship." I said, "Why didn't you come to the game...." I knew I was making the error as the word left my lips, but, too late. I was still very happy with Lance and everyone else did a fine job, too.

I'm pleased to have finally worked with Saul Caplan, Becky Lamb, Charles Larkowski and Duante Beddingfield. I actually did not know Duante's work, but his stagework has been spoken well of and he's quite a personable fellow. And when I saw his audition work I knew his stage rep was valid. The other three I have seen more than once each on stage and most cases, each doing superb work, and never shabby work. Becky Lamb, by-the-way, did indeed receive that Blackburn Award for Nurse Ratched. I suspect she will pick up a Daytony on August 12, too. There's really no interaction between Becky's Barbara or Chuck's Jim with my Lance, so there will be more meaningful collaborations sometime later, in another show (other shows), I would hope. Of course, I still haven't worked "on stage" with Saul the Actor, and I still look forward to that.

In a way, I have yet to directly work with Alex Carmichal on stage; we were both in Fake at last year's FutureFest, but we had no scenes together. For this show, he was AD, so the only time we "worked together on stage" was the night that Mark Brush was out and Alex stood in for him. And mine and Mark's characters don't actually exchange any dialogue.

Though I worked with Richard in I Never sang for My Father, our characters never interacted there; at least this time we interact -- I even threaten him; uh, well, Lance threatens Dan.

And I was glad to be introduced to Danika Haffenden and Mark Brush. And, Kerry did really well for her first time on stage in a big role for a newcomer.

Here's the cast photo (courtesy of and © Terry Ronald):

The cast of 'PLAYING GOD' from FutureFest 2007
BACK ROW: Duante Beddingfield, Becky Lamb, Danika Haffenden, Alex Carmichal *(standing in for Mark Brush), & Saul Caplan.
FRONT ROW: Richard Young, K.L.Storer, Kerry Corthell & Charles Larkowski.

    *Unfortunately, Mark Brush was out ill the day the picture was taken.

I was pleased to work with this cast. Everyone jelled well on stage and got along off stage. Again, I was pleased to work with Saul.

Sorry to report that Playing God was not the winning script. I am happy to report that festival goers did say they enjoyed both the play, itself, and our performance. On a more self-indulgent note, I got good comments on Lance. And I feel pretty good about him. It was not my performance of the season -- I think both Stefen (Serge) in 'Art' and Teach in American Buffalo were better. John Heminge in The Beard of Avon was probably better, too, if not Lord Burleigh.

As for the script and Mr. Flaxman: the adjudicators seemed to believe there is an ambitious and worthy play here but that it needs more focus. I agree that the play needs a few more drafts, but I can also assert that it was a fun script to do.

AND THE WINNER IS, ETC., ETC,: If I am going to have to miss one show at FutureFest, it will be the one that wins. Two years ago I had an audition for a short movie Saturday afternoon and missed Farragut North, which was the 2005 winner. This year I was not feeling well Saturday morning so I missed the performance of Dawn and Sean, by Joe Lauinger; that being the 2007 winner.

In terms of the other four shows I did see, I saw a lot of really nice performances and a few exceptional performances in them. It was a good theatre weekend.

Farragut North by-the-way, will be produced by the off-broadway 2econd Stage Theatre, next spring. Jake Gyllenhaal may be in its cast. This looks like it will be a pre-Broadway run of the show, which makes it more likely that Gyllenhaal, who supported the John Kerry presidential campaign, will be connected. He participated in a table read of the play earlier this summer, and was interested greatly in the script. Playwright Beau Willimon worked on the Kerry campaign, a connecting fact that makes Gyllenhaal's involvement look even more probable.

GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY UPDATE: I spoke with Greg Nichols, who was the GB:SU sound engineer and was, this weekend, in the cast of Artifice at FutureFest. GB:SU director Mike Sopronyi was spending most of the day Sunday at Greg's, editing the movie. Greg also said the SFX man, Jerome Kenne, was likely to be able to get back to the project to finish post-production CGI animation in the fall.

I have had no recent word about Nona.

AUDITIONS FOR THE SANDSTORM AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Speaking of Kerry Corthell, her auditions for the Sean Huze one-act opened last night at the Guild. If you are interested, they close tonight. She is looking for male actors, most in their twenties.



Wed Aug 1, 2007

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PLAYING GOD NOTABLES: Today in Russell Florence Jr.'s Dayton City Paper article about FutureFest 07, he listed a few of my castmates as giving "notable performances": Duante Beddingfield, Danika Haffenden, Charles Larkowski and Richard Young. Alex Carmichal was found notable for his work in Another Day on Willow St. Here's to their recognition for work well done!

As you can see, I have wowed the critics (well, one critic) once again with my brilliant work on stage!

MS. CORTHELL'S SHOW IS CAST; Other PG castmate Kerry has cast her one-weekend production of one-act plays. See below for full details, but note that Duante is in the cast. See also that Katrina Kittle is back on the stage. Making his almost debut on stage is Steve Strawser, otherwise known as stage manager extraordinary.



Sun Aug 5, 2007

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CALLBACK: Dara Fraley, the producer of the short-subject movie, Still Me, has called me back to read for the role of Tom, the cognitive therapist. The second audition is tomorrow night.

Now, of course, despite all attempts at that wear it like a loose garment approach, I can't help but wonder why I was disqualified for the lead role of Jack, the stroke victim. Do I not fit the type the director has in mind? (Dora had decided to read me as Jack for the first screen test). Did I not do a good read as Jack? I did not perceive it as brilliant, I will say. In terms of exact post-stroke behavior, I was winging it and would not think I was totally authentic. Was someone else more physically attractive? -- not a stretch; I may not look like a troll but no one mistakes me for George Clooney, either.

Funny thing is, I had no sights on a particular role when I contacted the producer for an appointment, but once I was called in to read the lead, my ego wanted me to win the lead. This neurosis, despite the fact that the role of Tom is actually a nice role and a worthy character to give my acting skills a shot at. See what I have to deal with?

CRAIG & TOSHA IN A MOVIE: Just found out that fellow Dayton actors and just-married newlyweds Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts have just began principal photography in the cast of the indy full-length feature, 13 FLOORS. Congrats to them and I wish on them the breaking of legs multiple times!



Tue, Aug 7, 2007

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STILL ME callback: I met with Dara Fraley last night at Cedarville University for the callback audition, the second screen test. I believe it went well, but we will see what happens.

The actual screen test took less than five minutes. We did talk some about the character. I gave some impressions I had of the character, Tom, and told Dara to feel free to share them with the director and screen writer Beth McElhenny. My approach to the guy, who is the main character's cognitive therapist, is that, though he is a professional he probably has his tie off before he gets to his car when leaving work. He's in jeans (though nice ones) and a sweater, a jersey or some other pull-over, as much as possible. He has a Blackberry (the script says he does) but he only keeps it on when he absolutely must -- which is a bit of the time, admittedly. Based on the text, it's clear he is a personable fellow, empathetic and compassionate.

We discussed the van Dyke go-tee that I still have from Playing God, too. Actually, I asked her in an email earlier in the day if she wanted me clean shaved for the call back, as well as how I should dress. I went casual dress up: blue dress shirt, gray suit coat, black trousers and a gray/blue print tie. Dara had me keep the facial hair and even asked if I could get a full beard by production. Since I already had a beard started (more really that I haven't shaved at all since we did the FutureFest gig) I just kept it all -- as well as sending her one of the b&w headshots of me in a suit with close cut beard.

My understanding is that she sent an mp4 (or whatever format) to Ms. McElhenny in California, last night. I would guess that the verdict comes soon.

NETWORKING MY SPACE YAHOO, OH MY!: No question, I suck at the shmoozing and networking games. In some ways I always want to. In other ways I need to get better at it. I am trying to at least start to network some. mostly because it will increase my exposure to indy movie project casting calls. And it just can't hurt to know as many local theatre and movie people as possible.

When in production for Ghostbusters: Spook University I had to start a MySpace account because I needed one to access the call sheets at the production's MySpace page. I really did nothing with it; it was just utility for me at the time. Last Christmas when I was visiting my friend Dave and his kids in Indianapolis, his fourteen-year-old son said, "You need a MySpace page." I explained I had one but it was not developed.

Well, I have started to develop it. I haven't tweaked the appearance yet -- that will come -- but I have actually worked on the content and have actually began tracking down some of my theatre friends and adding them. Joining some theatre and movie related groups, too: www.myspace.com/klstorer.

Also, I've create a yahoo ID to join some Yahoo theatre and movie groups, and maybe even utilize the Yahoo Instant Messenger: profiles.yahoo.com/kl_storer. Someone already had "klstorer"; I assume it is the doctor and medical researcher of whom I know little more than that she is a doctor and medical researcher. I also have not yet discovered how to add a picture to the profile page. They have changed their system and have not updated the help files.

Of course, it's like I am really going to find a lot of time to check out the groups on either web site.



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STILL ME: I have accepted a much smaller role than I auditioned for. Blow to my ego, of course, but so what.

2006/07 DAYTONY THEATRE AWARDS: Congrats to all those who took home awards at the annual banquet, which happened last night. The Dice House did quite well. I'll forget someone so I won't bother to list the DH winners. The complete list will be posted sometime soon at the official Daytony web site: www.daytonys.org.

Also, congratulations to The Dayton Theatre Guild's own Ralph Dennler along with Terry Stump of Sinclair Community College for their inductions into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.



Wed Aug 15, 2007

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STILL ME: There's a gathering tomorrow night of the cast and crew. It's essentially a production meeting that consists of a meet-&-greet, dinner, wardrobe coordination and at least a partial rehearsal.

Production contacted me already about bringing a few "casual dressy clothing choices," with the standard warnings against stripes, polka dots, red, other busy patterns and loud colors. You see, many sorts of patterns, loud colors and any drastic color contrasts wreak havoc on the screen.

Just about to work on my lines. This ain't Teach in American Buffalo so I think my script will mostly if not intirely be in my hand tomorrow night for purposes of writing notes rather than to prompt me.

MORE NEWS ABOUT FARRAGUT NORTH: Just found out, via Adam Leigh, the executive director of the Dayton Playhouse, that the famed Mike Nichols will direct a Broadway production of Beau Willimon's FutureFest 2005 winner Farragut North.

An article at Playbill.com reports, in part, that the play "had been announced as part of Second Stage's upcoming season Off-Broadway [but that it] will now be seen on Broadway and will open in the middle of next fall's presidential election." The article also states that Jake Gyllenhaal will indeed be in the Broadway bow, which will be his BW debut.

I note that as of tonight, Farragut North is still on the 2007/2008 season schedule at Second Stage (aka: 2econd Stage Theatre), but that may just be a case of the web manager not catching up to a change in the season. Or, to conjecture, maybe the producers are testing its legs there first.



Fri Aug 17, 2007

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STILL ME: The production meeting was rather successful after a stalling start. The meeting was at the main location, which happens to be in Xenia, about 10-15 minutes from my apartment. The call was for 5:30. There was some sort of miscommunication so the home owner was not there for a while and the cast and crew was locked out until around 6:30 or maybe 7:00. The two principals, Scott King and Tina Gloss had not landed yet at the Dayton International Airport -- they had, believe it or not, experienced flight delays. But all the rest of the cast with speaking roles were there. I, of course, don't currently have everyone's names 'cause I suck at that, but I will get a full list to post, probably Sunday. I can report that Kathleen Cleary, the chair of the Theatre and Dance Department at Sinclair Community College is in the cast. You might recall that she was Mary in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of Long Day's Journey into Night in the spring of 2005. There is also Darcie from Cincinnati, who is my scene mate, and her husband, whom I think is Fred; he's Kathleen's scene mate, and I know he works at WHIO Television (Channel 7) here in Dayton. The actor who plays Tom, the cognitive therapist I was called back to read for, is either David or Bill.

The fact that I cannot remember these actors' names is no suggestion that they are unremarkable, but rather that I am a little too self obsessed and thus do not attend to names as well as I either should or can.

The Xenia house is a nice upper middle class home that will look lovely on screen. I don't know if there will be an establishment shot of the exterior -- there would be if I were director -- but the inside will look nice. Again, I don't remember the owner's name but I can tell you that she's a nice lady.

Before the nice lady arrived to let us in, Darcie and I took a trip around this lovely house to see if we might find a fake rock or other hiding place for a spare key. It did occur to us that we might trip an alarm if we did find a key and get it; we kept searching anyway, to no avail.

Then, Director Beth McElhenny had us actors on the scene peak into a window to see the layout of the living room, where our primary scene will take place. Then we did a rehearsal on the front lawn while we waited for eventual entry into the house.

Beth worked with us on filling out the scene and encouraged us to add a bit of dialogue or tweak what is already on the page. The idea is that we are at a party and we need to create that atmosphere. There will be no chance for ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording), or looping, to fill in the soundtrack, as most of the production crew are heading back to Los Angeles Tuesday. Though we were urged to try and make ourselves available on Monday, in case any pick-ups *(footage shot after the production officially wraps)  are needed.

The camera will be shuttling through we two sets of actors. Darcie and I will be on screen first. I added lines just before we come into frame, or as we are coming into frame, I'm not really sure. It's the "continuation" of a conversation in progress. "It really makes you stop and think. I mean he isn't even fifty yet," I say, then go to the script for, "Were there any warning signs?" -- the emphasis by me. Besides that and adding a "Hey Jack," when the main character enters, then a currently undefined awkward making of an excuse to get away from him, I plan to stick to the words on the page.

Catering was delizioso lasagna from The Olive Garden.

The principals finally arrived and both Scott and Tina seem like nice people. Tina, by-the-way, has shot a guest appearance on the forthcoming ABC show Pushing Daisies, which premiers this fall and includes Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz in its cast. My understanding is that it might become at least a recurring role.

As for the wardrobe coordination, I brought quite a few choices. Beth has me coming back to tomorrow's shoot with my blue shirt, a couple choices for a tie, and my choice of suit coat and pants. I'll likely go with a particular gray jacket I like quite a bit and a pair of black slacks I also favor.

She wants me to keep the beard and has no thought on my hair. I have elected to get a hair cut, which I will do as soon as I post this (or, when you read this, did just after I posted...).

With Teach (Amercian Buffalo at Springfiled StageWorks) and Lance (Playing God for Futurefest 2007) I didn't do much character background, though I did decide that Lance drove a fork lift on the docks for a living. I have sketched out a bit more on Sam for this project:

    Sam's last name is Harrison. He's a high school English teacher. He's divorced with two daughters. Cary is a sophomore at Ohio State University and Sheila has the self-described misfortune to be a senior at Beavercreek High School, where her father teaches. His ex-wife is Margie and he and she are "civil" if not still very close friends.

    Sam was born and raised in North Manchester, Indiana. He earned his BA in Education from Ball State University and his MA in English Literature from the University of Michigan.

    He was an extra in The Shawshank Redemption and one of his favorite moments in life is eating lunch with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Why did I add this detail? Eh, why not? It's probably not likely that an extra would get to eat with two big stars, but, in this universe, it happened.

    As suggested by the director, Sam and Jack met through being on the same bowling team.

Well, next a shower, then off to the hair cutters. Then, I must spend at least some time attacking this mess of an apartment -- a song that keeps playing in the rotation!

My call tomorrow is at 9 a.m. Fortunately the board meeting for The Guild has been moved from tomorrow morning until Sunday afternoon, right before our annual picnic -- another place where it is likely I will not be receiving an acting award.



Tue, Aug 21, 2007

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WRAPPED FROM STILL ME: Saturday was a long but productive day and Director Beth McElhenny did make her day. Like I said on Friday, my call was for 9 in the morning. Further I assumed I would probably be leaving about 9 at night. I pulled my car out of the driveway about 8:45. The day was wrapped sometime between 7:30 and 8:00, but most stayed for a while to eat dinner.

Photography had started, perhaps a little after I arrived, with a scene between only lead Tina Gloss and Darcie Davis -- she is my scene mate whose full name I now know. The party scene started shooting, after some run throughs, a few hours later. We got the master shot first, which will be the shot used for Darcie's and my (Annie's and Sam's) conversation, since it is the only shot of that.

We broke for lunch then shot the close ups of the second half of the same scene as that master shot. In this section, all of us supporting cast are saying hello to Jack (Scott King). Scott's a tall fellow. Darcie, Kathleen Cleary and myself are not so much. They put apple carts on the floor for us to stand on for our close-ups with Scott so they could frame the shot a little tighter. There were actors behind us in the line who are not as short as us, so the young fellow, Mike, who was also slating the scenes, was under frame moving the carts in and out of place. He first had to move it out of place after I left, because the next actor, Robyn Barnard was taller; then he had to move a shorter, half apple cart in place for Kathleen, who's just a tad taller than Darcie and I, thus needed less "heightening."

Well, I don't have anything like a complete list of names, but here's whom I do have names for:

    The director and screenwriter is, of course, Beth McElhenny.

    The director of photography is Chun Ming Huang.

    Executive producer -- Daniel Bui.

    The producers are Dara Fraley and Amy Tripp-Myers. Amy was also the assistant director, in true function on the set if not actually in the credits. Though she may very well be so credited.

    Again, the leads are Scott King as Jack and Tina Gloss as Roseanne.

    Supporting cast is David Harris as Tom, the cognitive therapist; Fred King (of WHIO Television (Channel 7) as Jack's brother, Marty; Kathleen Cleary as Marie; Darcie Davis as Annie; and myself as Sam.

    I didn't get all the extras' names but I do know there is the aforementioned Robyn Barnard. There was also -- local pop radio station Z-93 weeknight announcer Gina Marie Ferraro; the home owner, Karen (who is also being billed as Location Coordinator for unit B); a young lady named Aleena (I doubt I spelled that correctly) who was also a production assistant.

    Beth parents came in from Long Island to support and to be extras themselves. And Dara's sisters and parents were also involved with the production team.

      Beth's mother, by-the-way, has a missionary web site: Soul Harvester Ministries, and offers Messenger of Faith Dolls. The dolls are sold and given away for donations of $30 or more to help with the work at an orphanage in India that is part of her mission.

Back to the day, the segments we shot from mid morning into the late evening will amount to probably four minutes of footage, at the most, in the movie. It may be closer to 0:2:30 or 0:3:00.

Though this was, in terms of the "big big leagues," still a small production, it was, in technical terms, the biggest production I have yet to be in. So, wanting to direct and produce, too, I wanted to grab as much observation time as I could. And, I was shooed off set a few times. Can't fault a newby for trying.

As for our two leads. Scott was most excellent as Jack. He has a few pretty nice credits on his résumé, too. He's had the lead in a couple indy full-lengths and played one of Di Nero's stormtroopers in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. He's had a few TV episode appearances and commercials, too, and a really nice theatre stage résumé.

I didn't get to see Tina work much, she and I were not in much of a scene together and our characters do not interact at all. There are two good chances to see her act coming up. As I wrote earlier, she has one guest appearance already shot for the new ABC series Pushing Daisies, which premiers this fall. Her appearance is in the October 3 pilot episode. She plays the mother of the lead, Lee Pace (Ned), in flash back sequence to when he was a boy. She knows she is shooting at least one more episode, several shows into the season. Let's hope she becomes recurring or, maybe even at some point, principal cast! The show seems to have a pretty cool premise. Ned can bring people back to life by touching them. However, if he touches them again, they die again. If he lets them live, someone else dies. Ned is placed in the position to bring back from the dead, his one true love, Charlotte (aka: Chuck) -- played by Anna Friel. Of course, now he can never touch her. Talk about your built in unrequited love!

Also in the cast, like I reported before, are Swoosie Kurtz (Lily) and Kristin Chenoweth (Olive), along with Ellen Greene (Vivian), Jim Dale, (narrator), Field Cate (the Young Ned that Tina works with), and Chi McBride, who is Emerson Cod -- Emerson discovers Ned's power and sees the potential gold mine.

Back to Still Me, the production was wrapped Sunday with the climax scene between Jack and Roseanne. We had all been asked if it might be possible to be free yesterday in case any pick-ups were needed (Pick-ups are reshoots or the shooting of missed or added shots after the production has officially wrapped). There was no call on Monday, however.

It was a good weekend.

Now For Some Green Boy, Wet-Behind-The-Ears, Dorky Newby Stuff --

First check for acting on camera -- $100 for STILL ME
Here's my check for my first paying gig as an actor on screen. Not a union job; not even an official gig gotten through my agent. But a hallmark, if small one, all the same.

SOMETIMES I AM SUCH A FRESHMAN

2006/07 MURPHY AWARDS: You will find the Dayton Theatre Guild 2006/2007 list of our award winners by clicking the link in this section's headline. I am please to report that Natasha Randall won for the Guild's best director of the season for The Beard of Avon. That show took a few more awards, too, as did The Dice House -- which had a really great producer.

I did get a certificate from Tosha for "Best All Around Go To Guy" for Beard.

VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE CONSTANT WIFE: I will be directing and producing a video trailer for The Constant Wife for our Guild YouTube page. Dropping in to watch the Thursday rehearsal to get a better idea of how and what I want to shoot. I already know I want to shoot something staged for the trailer rather than candid shots of rehearsal. But, we'll see.



Fri Aug 24, 2007

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AUDITION FOR A COMMERCIAL: Got an email yesterday from my agent Jim at Roof-Goenner about a commercial audition, with the script attached. I am to memorize the first paragraph of text then come in to the RG office and shoot a screen test. I have scheduled one for Monday afternoon. I assume the next step for those who make that cut is a callback to the ad agency, which I am guessing is in either Columbus or Cincinnati. That would not be until September, since the window to schedule screen tests is most of next week.

The commercial calls for a man forty-five-ish to fifty-five-ish dressed upscale casual, and who has kids in high school and college. I know I have at least one sweater that may work, but I think I am going to an upscale thrift shop after work today to find a nice polo shirt and a new sport jacket. I also need to take Sam's beard off, I think.

K.L. with a beard, Thursday evening, August 23, 2007
Photo taken last night. The beard's gotta go.

VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE CONSTANT WIFE: Sat in on rehearsal last night. The agenda had changed from what it was to be. They did part of Act II then Act III rather than running the whole show. I did note a few places that will work for what I have planned.

This time I have a plotted notion of what I will shoot. I am selecting specific lines ("sound bytes") -- lines that are intriguing and provocative but that will not give much or anything away, especially since they will be presented out of order and out of context.

As I've already indicated, I want to set these up specifically for the shoot, rather than simply doing a candid shoot of rehearsals in progress. This is essentially what we did for the Speaking in Tongues trailer. So the actors will be playing to the camera and ignoring the stage blocking in many cases.

It may not be full-fledged, but I am likely to write a shooting script tonight, after I have chosen all the sound bytes. One reason I want to shoot especially for the camera is that I want the different angles, pov's and over-the-shoulder shots and cuts that one must specifically set up. That's what we did for Tongues. I did five shot setups: One that favored each of the four actors, then a free, handheld shuttle where I walked in and around the actors, focusing on each of them at different points.

I am picking very specific lines of dialogue to shoot in order to better focus and to limit what I use. I want to keep this one much shorter than the Dice House trailer, which at over seven minutes was probably three or maybe four minutes longer than it should have been.

The shoot is scheduled for before their rehearsal this Sunday evening.

I also have a concept for a trailer for the two one acts we are doing at the end of September. Will these trailers happen for every DTG production from now on? I really don't know. I think they are a good idea, though I may not always be able to produce them myself. There are other people around who can.



Tue, Aug 28, 2007

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YESTERDAY'S AUDITION SCREEN TEST FOR A COMMERCIAL: Did the screen test yesterday afternoon at the Roof-Goenner Talent Agency. Certainly was not Mr. One-Take-Wonder. Tripped up and flubbed a few times. One we scrapped because the delivery was a little off. Did two styles: Spokeman and then Guy Having A Conversation With The Viewer. The first word-perfect spokesman was the one we scrapped because it was too void of conversational style. The spokesman we kept was still more formal but not quite as stiff.

I feel "okay" about my performance. Saw a fellow walk in right after me who, I suspect, is a little closer to type than I. But then that's just my view on it.

I did go clean shaved. I have decided I like myself better with some form of facial hair -- I think there is something bland about my naked face, that facial hair gives me more character -- But then that's just my view on it. I do know clean shaved is probably best for most commercial work. Wonder what happens when I get a commercial audition while I am in a beard, or some such, for a movie or play.

COOL LITTLE GIG WITH JAKE LOCKWOOD: I got a call yesterday from the Human Race Theatre Company inviting me to help Jake Lockwood with a sort of improv demonstration as a part of Dayton Urban Nights on September 14. Jake is drafting a select group of people who have taken improv classes with him to be a part of this and I am terribly flattered to be counted amung those he would call upon.

Jake works at the Human Race's Muse Machine, and I do not know if the Urban Nights event is for Muse or Race proper. Either way, I'm in.

PRODUCTION OF THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE CONSTANT WIFE: Shot some Sunday night. Went to the Guild to shoot last night only to find that Greg does not want any more footage taken until Thursday because there won't be full costumes. I came into the Guild mid-afternoon because I was already in Dayton for the screen test, and I didn't see any sense in driving twenty-five minutes home only to turn around and drive thirty minutes back into Dayton in just a few hours. I guess it's better that I was already in the area so it was not a major waste of time -- and gas. And I did get 2:30 of *room tone for the video production.

*AS PER THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE GLOSSARY: "DIFFERENT SETS AND LOCATIONS HAVE DIFFERENT AUDIO CHARACTERISTICS. A SOUND DESIGNER WILL TYPICALLY MAKE A RECORDING OF THE NATURAL AMBIENT 'SILENCE' [OF] A SET/LOCATION FOR THE SOUND EDITOR, WHO WILL USE IT FOR A REFERENCE POINT, OR FOR WHEN SILENCE IS REQUIRED."

In this case, I am not sure that I will need to cheat in any room tone, but it's better to have it and not need than to find you do need it and not have it -- even a half-second of background noise that is inconsitant with the other edits around it will draw attention to itself.

I orginally chose twenty-eight different sound bytes to get for the trailer, about five or six minutes, of which I would use about two-minutes worth. But, with the time so premium and thus with what may amount to only ten to fifteen minutes to finish my shoot, I have decided to cut many of the nineteen bytes left to shoot. And I may not use some of the ten I shot Sunday. I say "of the nineteen bytes left" because there's actuallly a twenty-ninth shot that is not directly from the script but is a series of reactions from one of the characters that I am going to cut to intermittently during the trailer. It is wholly in keeping with the spirit of the show, if not actually something you would see on stage during a performance. Hey, the trailer is promotional not a synopsis.

I haven't sat down to scrap shots yet, but probably will tonight, after I've done some shopping for supplies as the Guild's house manager. Yep, it's to GFS and Meijer after work.

As for trailer music, I was able to find an instrumental at Sound Rangers that works.

Pre-production has already begun for the trailer for the two one acts coming up at the end of September at the Guild. That shoot is currently scheduled for next Tuesday, at least the The Sandstorm part. I have Ms. Kittle and Mrs. Jorgensen to shoot for Soldiering On, too, but don't know right now when that comes about.

STILL LOOKING TOWARD THOSE MOVIE PRODUCTION PURCHASES: Talked with a theatre colleague the other night who told me he had a copy of FinalCut Studio he would let me have for a really good price. He got it at a reduced rate and would drop even some of that off. He also has a Cannon XL class, three-CCD DV camera he will sell me at a great reduced rate. Both the software suite and the camera are very gently used. It is a hot offer to attend to, providing I can manuever myself into a better position to take out that loan I've been wanting to take out for a while; that loan which will also be for a new desktop Mac; it'll probably have to be an iMac though I really want a Mac Pro, which I believe I have bemoaned here before..

And I want other things, too: I have seen this really cool dolly track kit that is reasonably priced; also want a shotgun mic with a boom.

HEY! MEGAMILLIONS LOTTERY! PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THOSE SIX NUMBERS I KEEP PLAYING!!



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PRODUCTION OF THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE CONSTANT WIFE: I finished the principal photography last night, with the exception of one shot I plan to get tonight; I want a shuttle shot of the empty set, for the very start of the trailer. I shot all the previous footage under the theatre work lights out of necessity. There was no light tech there for the first shoot so getting the staged lights was no possible; for the sake of consistency I did not use stage lighting last night. I will get the staged pre-show lighting for the shuttle shot tonight.

Don't edit until tomorrow. I could have taken today off but did not want to burn up more vacation hours. I have some possible need in about a month and I still have than goal of having more than a month banked as reserve -- which seems to be as easy to accumulate as a large savings account balance. Should have the final cut posted at the Guild YouTube page, as well as here and at the Guild web page by late saturday or early Sunday.

When I looked at the dailies, as I loaded the good takes into the FinalCut project files I noticed two visual goofs. The first was that there was some miscellaneous pice of clothing or something on an empty chair in the background of a shot. The second, there is a man in the audience -- a visitor to the final dress -- in frame in another shot. I may zoom and crop that second one, but I can do nothing about the first but live with it.

It's always amazing to me that I can miss that stuff when I am shooting. Something else to work on.

Other than these, all the shots, from both session, look good.



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THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE CONSTANT WIFE IS UP: The last time I checked, about 9:00 this morning, the video has not been embedded at the DTG web site, but it has been posted at the YouTube page since Sunday evening. It would have been earlier but I had a few technical bugs unacceptable to me.

A couple bad color blocks popped up during the shot of Constance (Cassandra Engber) as she says "I'm tired of being the modern wife." Fortunately the corruption happened during the capture from tape to hard drive so I was able to go back and recapture from the original and get a clean segment. I hadn't noticed this error, for some reason, until I had what I'd thought was a final cut. So I had to replace it in the finished master.

Also I'd first rendered an MP4 but I was wholly unhappy with the overall visual quality of the pixilation in that. I rendered it again as a quicktime movie, at a quality between "high" and "best." YouTube will not accept a video larger than 100 megabytes so I could not go all the way to "best": the file would have been about 250 mbs (at 320x240). What's at YouTube (and can be seen below) is a little lower in visual quality than the 50 mgb QT movie I rendered, but it would be of even lesser quality had I sent the MP4.

Again, see below at the promo for the show to see the trailer.

MORE TRAILING: I'll be at the Guild tonight to shoot footage for a trailer for the two one-acts up at the end of the month. There are two casts to deal with, the ten men of The Sandstorm and the two ladies of Soldiering On. I don't even know if the women will be there tonight. I am hopeful that I get all I need for The Sandstorm tonight. But it's not unlikely I will do at least one more shoot.

RISKY OR FAIR USE?: Some question has arisen as to the use of the text of the plays in the trailers. A thought has been presented that having lines from the plays delivered on screen may be considered copyright infringement.

The copyright notices in the scripts do include such text as "It is also a violation of copyright law to copy part or all of a play by any means, including mechanical, photocopying, videotaping, scanning, web posting or other digital media formats," which seems pretty straightforward. However, there is also the fair use doctrine, which Answers.com describes thus:

In federal copyright law 17 U.S.C. §§101 et seq., refers to specific use of copyrighted materials without payment of royalties or which otherwise does not constitute an infringement of copyright; permitted use by copying and acknowledgment; refers to a "privilege in others than the owner of a copyright to use the copyrighted material in a reasonable manner without his consent, notwithstanding the monopoly granted to the owner [by the copyright]." 366 F. 2d 303, 306. Whether a use is considered a fair use depends upon the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect of the use upon the market value of the copyright. Important factors include whether the copied material was creative or research-oriented; the status of the user (reviewer, scholar, compiler, parodist); extent of use (both qualitatively and quantitatively); the absence of an intent to plagiarize as evidenced by proper acknowledgment; the original contribution of the user. See Kaplan & Brown, Copyright 309-351 (4th ed. 1985).

The same source goes on to say:

The doctrine was originally judge-made in an effort to balance the economic incentives to creators of copyrighted works and the dissemination of those works to the public. 422 U.S. 151, 156. It was codified in the Copyright Act of 1976 and in its statutory form restated the language of the case law. 17 U.S.C. §107. It has been held that the fair use codification by Congress was not intended to depart from court-created principles and use factors developed in case law to determine fair use defense. 207 U.S.P.Q. 977; 542 F. Supp. 1156.

The Stanford University web page on fair use shows the following questions to consider in deciding the fair use issue:

  • Is it a competitive use? (In other words, if the use potentially affects the sales of the copied material, it's usually not fair.)
  • How much material was taken compared to the entire work of which the material was a part? (The more someone takes, the less likely it is that the use is fair.)
  • How was the material used? Is it a transformative use? (If the material was used to help create something new it is more likely to be considered a fair use [than] if it is merely copied verbatim into another work. Criticism, comment, news reporting, research, scholarship and non-profit educational uses are most likely to be judged fair uses. Uses motivated primarily by a desire for a commercial gain are less likely to be fair use).

The same document further says:

As a general rule, if you are using a small portion of somebody else's work in a non-competitive way and the purpose for your use is to benefit the public, you're on pretty safe ground. On the other hand, if you take large portions of someone else's expression for your own purely commercial reasons, the rule usually won't apply.

Here is my argument that the trailers fall under fair use:

  • Our use is not competitive use. We certainly are not competing with the plays themselves or with the play publishers by promoting the performances of the plays. We are in fact supporting the plays and the publishers. It's not reasonable to claim any loss of income to any of the playwrights, their estates or the publishers.
  • Very little material is taken compared to the entire work of which the material is a part. And in two of the three trailers made so far, the excerpts are quite disjointed from their original placement within the dramatic texts as whole works. And, again, all the text that is used is presented in an effort to draw the viewer toward the work as a whole -- first and foremost to a royalty-paid performance of the work.
  • Again, to reiterate, the use of the text from the scripts is to promote the work as a whole. It is not a use motivated primarily by a desire for a commercial gain. The Dayton Theatre Guild is a non-profit organization, our productions are not commercial ventures and there is certainly no commercial use of the video trailers themselves. They are not for sale, rent, or license in any other fashion and are solely created and displayed for the purpose of support and promotion of the duly authorized performances and original published texts of the plays.

I am presenting this argument only as a partially informed layman. This is what my research has lead me to see as a reasonable interpretation. But we are talking about a legal matter: reason and logic often do not figure in very heavily.

As for the music used. I know for an aboslute fact we are free and clear on that issue. I purchased royalty free music and paid the licenses out of my own pocket for the music used for the Speaking in Tongues and The Constant Wife videos. And I both wrote and performed the song used for The Dice House -- that copyright is mine.



Wed Sep 5, 2007

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THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE TWO ONE-ACTS: I shot the footage of the men in The Sandstorm last night. I got interview-type sound bytes from each as well as a brief portion from each of their performances. Going back tonight to shoot B-Roll of them to put under their responses to my questions.

Though this is a good dilemma to have, I must say they have made my job as editor tough. I have a total of twelve actors and a director to squeeze into a trailer video I hope to keep to less than four minutes long (and five at the very longest). That means nobody gets a lot of screen time. I have to pick one really strong quote (maybe two) from each and discard the rest. These fellows gave me way too much good dialogue to choose from. I am left with the painful task of trashing a gold mine of great sound bytes. And the two lady actors, one a well spoken retired English teacher, the other a brilliant author, will certainly present me with more of the same. It's a good problem to have, but a major difficulty nonetheless.

SOME OPPORTUNITY LOST: I, and I am sure many other actors, got a call late this morning from Roof-Goenner Talent Agency concerning a last-minute casting call in Cincinnati. Unfortunately it was for early afternoon and there was no way I could clear my schedule. I don't even know what it was for. I suppose I should have asked. Now that I write this I am sure I should have asked. It may have been something of enough weight that I would force my schedule open.



Thu Sep 6, 2007

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THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE SANDSTORM: Got some B-Roll footage last night as well as my interview-style footage with director Kerry Corthell. I have to go back, however, because I left my battery pack sitting on the desk in the editing suite at home, so I was not as mobile as I needed to be when shooting B-Roll. Got some good footage but need better.

THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR SOLDERING ON: We are delayed in shooting this segment because one of the ladies is under the weather and under doctor's orders to stay away from people for a day or so; thus, their rehearsal is cancelled for this evening.

TWO TRAILERS OR ONE?: I separated the two acts out here because there is a chance we will split the two one-acts into two trailers. The thought here is that we can then use a little more of the material from the men since we can make that segment longer. I am not convinced yet though. I am still inclined toward one trailer for the theatre event; and it will force more conciseness, which I think is a better idea, despite all those golden nuggets that will get discarded.



Mon, Sep 10, 2007

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THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR THE SANDSTORM: The editing has not yet begun, but I have transferred the raw digital footage from mini-cassette to hard drive. I still have more B-Roll* to shoot, which should happen tonight.

MUSIC MAN AGAIN: I'm using some of my own music again for at least the Sandstorm portion of the trailer -- if it does stay as one trailer. This is an instrumental I wrote in my youth and used to do with my music partner, Rich Hisey and our band, SeazonWind. The song is a rocker called "Astroterph." I have digitally remixed and remastered a recording of it from 1983.

Several things about the original recording I used. First, it is a second generation cassette tape. The original was not high-tech to begin with. The instrumental was recorded with a stereo boom box that had condenser microphones, with a full rock band rehearsing in an average sized bedroom. I suppose you can say it was more-or-less comparable to Phil Spector's wall of sound technique. There was a bit of stereo effect there, but not an overwhelming amount.

I created several digital tracks, each with slightly different equalizations (ranges of bass to treble) and other ambient differences, some of them with sound effect enhancements. I got an end result of fuller sound and far more stereo effect. It will probably end up being monophonic in the trailer, but it'll be mixed down anyway. Not sure it's the only music I will use for Sandstorm, but I know I will use it to some extent. Soldiering On will need something completely different, but I have another of my instrumentals from bygone times in mind for that -- a more new age sort of music.

THE VIDEO TRAILER FOR SOLDERING ON: As for the production of this part of the show, I am not at this moment sure when I shoot A-Roll or B-Roll. It needs to be this week. And I have an audition tomorrow night and then possibly a callback on Wednesday. And I am doing the improv gig with Jake Lockwood on Friday.

*) By the way, for those who are not completely sure what "B-Roll" is: it is footage, usually without sound track, used to supplement the main elements of a story. It is footage for cutaway editing that serves several purposes, often capitalizing on more than one of those purposes.

  1. To cover jump cut edits, such as in the instance of editing one sentence by an interviewee to another sentence later in his or her statement, or simply the editing out of an "um" or long pause in the midst of a single sentence. Cutting to the B-Roll footage covers the edit spot, while the edited A-Roll sound is what is heard. It can also be used to cover some visual problem, such as the subject rubbing his or her nose or nervously glancing into the camera lens.
  2. To visually illustrate a concept or thought that a subject is speaking about on A-Roll.

    For instance, an interviewee says on A, "Our Youth Group kids always have such a blast when they paint these old buildings...." In the midst of this quote the editor cuts to B-Roll of the youth group painting an old building, laughing and joking, etc.

  3. Simply to add more visual variety. Watching a "talking head" speak for several minutes can get boring, especially if the person is not what can be called DYNAMIC. B-Roll cutaway can keep the screen interesting for the viewer.
  4. Sometimes there is sound on B-Roll, but usually in that case it will be low in the mix. For instance, our example of the youth group above may have the sounds of the kids laughing, but just loud enough to be heard. Sound will only be used in B-Roll if it has a specific purpose that adds to but does not interfere with the main content.

AUDITION FOR FUENTE OVEJUNA FOR THE JOINT PRODUCTION BY CLARK STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND SPRINGFIELD STAGEWORKS: I audition for this tomorrow evening. I have picked a classic monologue for the audition; I am going with one minute of the passage where the constable explains the foolishness of virtue to his moral and righteous son, who is also his captive, from The Ambitious Statesman, by John Crowne.

Must admit I have barely begun to commit it to memory -- I only picked my final choice last night. My plan had been to pick it yesterday morning and spend the day on it, but you know how events seem to conspire against you? I was having a glitchy session with my editing suite, as I worked with the raw footage from Sandstorm, and I was presented with potential tech problems that I had to address.

Well, I have the monologue broken down into manageable memory bytes on index cards and I am taking any free moments during the day today to work on it. I have a few hours tonight before I shoot the Sandstorm rehearsal, too.

We're only talking a minute of dialogue, so I should be okay.

And, again, if I don't get cast in this, there is a great role at The Guild coming up: Herb in Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures. And I am contemplating another Simon show, The Prisoner of Second Avenue at Brookville Community Theatre.

It's really a dilemma at times. You have roles you really want to go after, and sometimes more than one shows up in conflicting schedules. You go for the first one knowing that if you get it you have lost out on another that you want to go for, too. You just have to go with the caprice of the casting deity and hope that you end up in at least one of the roles you desire.

Of course, even when I am cast, I am rarely cast in the role I want. I have been told that I go after roles I am not right for. I believe that is mistaken. I believe I have a much broader vision and instinct for what I can do and can fit and that others wrongly limit their views of where and how I am right for a role. And I will not entertain any opinion that holds otherwise.



Wed Sep 12, 2007

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AUDITION FOR FUENTE OVEJUNA: My audition for this Clark State Community College/Springfield StageWorks production went well. I have a callback tonight to read for the role of Gomez (i.e.: Commander Fernando Gomez de Guzman). It is the only role I will accept. I am taking that stance simply because, as I have previously indicated, there is at least one other role in another show that I do have an interest in, and if FO director Theresa Abshear ends up finding someone else that she sees as a better fit for her ideal of Gomez, then I don't want to be stuck in a role I am not interested in rather than trying for a role I am.

So there's the Guild production of I Ought to Be in Pictures and possibly the Brookville Community Theatre production of The Prisoner of Second Avenue.

The danger here, of course, is that I can easily end up cast in nothing, which does detract from valuable stage experience time, but there is a give-and-take risk and I just believe I have to play the gamble.

For my prepared monologue I did do, "The Great Constable Explains the Folly of Virtue to His Son, His Prisoner," from The Ambitious Statesman, by John Crowne. By-the-way, I found it in Classical Monologues from Aeschylus to Bernard Shaw, Leon Katz, ed. (New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema, 2002). The delivery felt good to me; I did a major paraphrase at one point, but I stayed in character and don't believe I telegraphed that anything was amiss.

And I did get that callback.

AND EARLIER IN THE DAY, ANOTHER AUDITION: When I got home from shooting footage of The Sandstorm rehearsal on Monday evening, there was a late-afternoon email from my agent about another "emergency" commercial audition for yesterday. So I went in yesterday afternoon to do a quick screen test for a Triple-A ("AAA") commercial.

What I find ethically pleasing about this is that the commercial will be testimonial in nature, so the actors hired are required to be AAA members and it appears will give true testimonials about positive experiences they (I hope we) have had with AAA.

That's what the screen test was: thirty seconds of my improv on some good stuff about my membership. No Take Two, either. I was in and out. Went home and worked on the FO monologue.

IMPROVISATIONAL SKILLS: A few months back, a fine local actor told me, "I'm not sure I understand what improv has to do with acting," and it is a stance I respect; I, however, do see how improv is connected to acting. Both of my auditions yesterday illustrate at least one way improv has to do with acting: better audition skills.

The AAA commercial audition was pure improv, albeit not centered in fiction as improv usually is. It was more off-the-cuff. Yet, even though I was doing a lesser dramatized work, I was still performing; I was talking about my own personal experiences but it was still stylized into a persona for the camera (the audience). And we did it in one take, as I said. My performance was totally unrehearsed, completely improvisational -- the improv work I've previously done was key to that.

When I lost part of the monologue at Clark State last night, the improv skills were helpful at keeping the character on track and bringing the ideas back to the actual text. That shows a useful skill set for one who has lost one's lines or place in the midst of a show. We hope that does not happen, but it does, and sharp improv skills can help very much so.

I also think it helps me to get to a characterization faster. It is helping to make quicker actor's choices in a pinch and helping me get deeper into those choices. I am not fabulous at this yet but I do feel a sense of improvement. I credit honing improv as at least partially responsible.

THE VIDEO TRAILERS FOR THE SANDSTORM & SOLDIERING ON: I finished shooting B-Roll for Sandstorm last night. I shoot the interviews, performances and B-Roll for Soldiering On tomorrow night. At least I hope I get all three.

MIDDFEST 2007: Looks like I will be at Middfest International with Deirdre Bray Root once again. This was, in 2005, my very first paying actor's gig. This year the cultures in focus are from the Netherlands. The Festival is October 5-7, in Middletown, Ohio.

"SERIAL KILLERS IN THE STACKS": Speaking of Deirdre Bray Root, this section title is also the title of her article that was just published in the Sep 1 issue of Library Journal (vol:132:no.14). Deirdre being the other local thespian who, like myself, works in a library. At least the only other one I am aware of, though I think I remember that Larry Coressel once worked in a library.

You can find Deirdre's article on-line, at least for some period of time, at www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6471073.html.



Fri Sep 14, 2007

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AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION: I was not cast in Fuente Ovejuna for Springfield StageWorks/Clark State Community College. I look next at those two Neil Simon shows: The Prisoner of Second Avenue at Brookville Community Theatre and I Ought to Be in Pictures at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

THE VIDEO TRAILER FOOTAGE FOR SOLDIERING ON: I got all the footage, interviews, performance and B-roll of the ladies, Barbara Jorgensen and Katrina Kittle for their half of next weekend's special production. And, just as I predicted, the retired school teacher and the brilliant novelist made my job of finding a brief sound byte from a few minutes of answers just as difficult as the men of The Sandstorm. No matter how I do it, I am throwing away a plethora of great material.

Now the major task of editing this all together comes to bear. It is a lovely situation of fitting it in between other stuff. I am doing the improv demonstrations with Jake this evening, though I should be home by 8:30 or 9:00, so I can at least finish dumping the footage from the tape onto the hard drive.

DTG board meeting in the morning; probably out about 10:30 or 11:00. But, then, at this moment anyway, I have to be back at The Guild to host the 5:00 performance of The Constant Wife, which means I must be at the theatre no later than 3:30 -- and 3:00 is better. So, as it stands, I have to drive back home (25 minutes or so), edit, then leave my place by at least 2:30-ish and then have five hours of my time stolen away from editing.

There's a social event I've been invited to that I'd like to attend Saturday evening, too. But it does not look likely. I ought to be back in the editing suite after the show, then again Sunday morning (and with hope finishing up). I have my own reservation to be in the audience for CW on Sunday afternoon. Then, if I still need to, it'll be back home to finish the editing.

I need to fit in beginning to familiarize myself with the two selections for Middfest 2007, in there sometime soon, too. Those would be, Dossier: Ronald Akkerman by Dutch playwright Suzanne van Lohuizen and Drummers by Arne Sierens, also Dutch.

IMPROV TONIGHT: And, as mentioned, I do the the improv demonstrations with Jake Lockwood for the Human Race Theatre Company tonight as part of Dayton Urban Nights. And I know we will be joined by young Philip Titlebaum, the Slow Assasin in The Dice House; don't know who else there may be.



Sun Sep 16, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

THE CONSTANT WIFE by W. Somerset Maugham at the Dayton Theatre Guild,

    The cast of The Constant Wife
    (in alphabetical order):

    Michael Boyd            Bernard Kersal
    Molly Bergo            Martha Culver
    Mark Diffenderfer            Bentley -- (and stage manager)
    Cassandra Engber            Constance Middleton
    Rick Flynn            Mortimer Durham
    Barbara Jorgensen            Mrs. Culver
    Wendi Michael            Barbara Fawcett
    Kevin Rankin            John Middleton
    Angela Timpone            Marie-Louise Durham



Tue, Sep 18, 2007

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THE IMPROV DEMO WITH JAKE LOCKWOOD FOR THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY AT DAYTON URBAN NIGHTS: Well the evening was good, albeit with a pretty major melt down during a portion of the night.

Philip Titlebaum was there and he and I were the only actors who did improv. Jake facilitated. We did two sessions, each about thirty minutes.

The first session went well, but with only a few people, maybe seven. Philip and I were on top of it and were able to follow each other's lead pretty damned well. Yet I did see some areas of improvement for myself. My big thing to work on is not a new revelation to me -- I still have this bad habit of trying to lead the action and direction of where I and my partner are going. It's a tendency that needs to be avoided. I think it was a major contributor to why we crashed and burned during a major portion of the next session.

And boy did we crash and burn! The premise in both sessions was that we would be two people explaining something to an authority figure. Then we would take the same situation and be two witnesses giving their account. Then we would act out the original scene. The first session, as I said, was jammin'. In session two we had bad stalls and many many awkward moments. I know during all three set-ups I often thought to myself, Come on Philip, think of something to get us out of this! I can't directly speak for Philip, but I have no question he was hoping the same from me.

But we did act it out again with a suggestion of a style from the audience. I must admit the first several suggestions were a problem for Philip and I -- we did not know the styles. Neither of us knew what "restoration" was -- I can't remember the other suggestion. I'd heard of restoration theatre but have never actually attended to what it is. I've probably seen a restoration play or two. One of a few pitfalls of no formal theatrical training, I suppose.

The style we did use was Greek. That one worked. We were as on top of it as we had been in the first session. What kind of sucked was that we had a couple dozen folk in the audience for the second session and we were luke warm at best through most of it.

Another point I know I need to work on is handing a better present to my scene mate. I sometimes am too light on detail (as pointed out by Jake), and I also think at times I end my sentences with weak language that makes it more difficult for my partner to grab the ball and run.

MY WEEKEND WITH TWO SHORT PLAYS: Just as I said I would, I went home after the improv gig and began the long weekend of post production for the trailer for The Sandstorm and Soldiering On.

  1. Friday evening it was transferring the footage of the ladies from Soldiering On.
  2. Saturday morning I went to the Dayton Theatre Guild September board meeting -- in which we made a decision I will announce as soon as we officially do at the Guild.
  3. Then I came home and spent the late morning and the early afternoon editing.
  4. Since I could find no one to replace me, I had to head back to the Guild to host the 3:00 performance of The Constant Wife.
  5. Back home to spend THE NEXT SEVENTEEN HOURS getting to the final cut of the video trailer. That included making digital files of portions of two more instrumentals from my days as a musician. Well, one is actually a song with lyrics, but I only used an instrumental section from it.
  6. At noon the final cut was done and then I rendered the 95 mgb, 9:58 .mov a/v file.
  7. I lay down for "just a while" as I waited for the Quicktime movie to render -- it takes a little time with my 400 MHz processor. I already knew I was going to miss the closing performance of Constant Wife; there was no way I would make it through a two-and-a-half hour show after pulling an all-nighter. So, I called and cancelled my reservation (I have once again missed being in the audience for a Guild production). I also woke up several hours later than I had planned. But the first rendering was of high enough quality and low enough file size that I could upload it to The Guild's YouTube account. See below at the promo for the show; The video, via YouTube, is embedded there.

The music is as follows:

    "Astroterph" (Storer) © 1983 K.L.Storer. Performed by SeazonWind:

      K.L.Storer -- bass guitar
      Rich Hisey -- drum kit
      Ron Lingus -- electric guitar (lead break 1)
      Ron Dunn -- electric guitar (lead break 2)

    "Rabid Rack" (an excerpt) (Storer) © 1985 K.L.Storer. Performed by SeasonWind:

      K.L.Storer -- bass guitar
      Rich Hisey -- electric piano & synthesizers
      Ron Dunn & Jerry Crone -- electric guitars
      Tim Armstrong -- drum kit

    "Seeking" (an excerpt) (Storer) © 1986. Performed by K.L.Storer:

      K.L.Storer -- bass guitar, synthesizers, electric piano, drum machine.

      "Seeking" is the mellow, new-age music under the Soldiering On and the closing sequences. It is part of that album I keep promising to mix and release.

SeazonWind was a grand musical experiment by my music partner, Rich Hisey, and myself -- a pretty failed one. We had this vision of a progressive adult rock band that we never could put together to our liking. On another note, one endearing member of SeazonWind, Ron Lingus, who plays the first guitar lead in "Astroterph," about a minute or so in, passed away at a very young age several years ago. He was quite an unique human being, often exasperating, sometimes a bit of a con artist, but always charming and one of the most likable people I have ever known. He wrote some really fabulous music that few may ever have the chance to hear.

AUDITION FOR AN INDUSTRIAL: Went to Roof-Goenner Talent Agency after work today and shot a screentest for an industrial movie.

Plan to perhaps go tomorrow night to Brookville Community Theatre to audition for The Prisoner of Second Avenue.



Wed Sep 19, 2007

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THE DIGITAL REMIXES OF THE MUSIC IN THE TRAILER FOR THE TWO SHORT PLAYS: I've had several people ask me about how I processed that crude recording of "Astroterph" and enhanced it from the second generation recording of a poor original. It got me thinking that such a topic is fodder for this very forum -- to use a phrasing quickly become a personal cliché: this is my "diary of artful things," right?

Since I feel like Mr. Essay Cooking Guy today, let's make a full meal of this morsel of material. Though, who knows how many days it will take me to write this thing. These longer essay type entries are often a little while in the making.

It starts back a few years ago. Okay, twenty-four years ago: August, 1983. The scene is a bedroom on Harbine Avenue on the east side of Dayton, Ohio. The local rock band SeazonWind was rehearsing toward its first gig. As reflected in the September 18 entry, the band consisted of myself (bass, keyboards and vocals), Rich Hisey (drums, keyboards, guitar, vocals), Ron Lingus (guitar, vocals), Ron Dunn (guitar, drums, vocals).

So, there was a full band crammed into a three hundred square foot bedroom: a full drum kit with three floor toms; two guitarists and their full amps, a bass and an amp; a rhodes electric piano; a suite of synthesizers; and a bed and a couple dressers.

We had four sets in the repertoire for a gig at a bar, long-since closed, call Nardo's. Each set ran about forty-five minutes -- just the right timing for one side of a ninety minute audio tape cassette. We recorded the show on Rich's boom box, equipped with two condenser mikes to record in stereo. Of course, being a full rock band with equipment crammed in there, what stereo is captured on the recording is not exactly the most defined of stereo separation. Add to that, that condenser microphones will constantly keep the volume at a level line, which means that when a dark guitar chord rams out of a speaker, the bass and all other sounds will lose volume in the mix, often to the point of virtual obliteration. Plus, it was cheap recording tape when it was new in 1983.

That original cassette, for all practical purposes, the master tape, was and still is, I assume, the property of Mr. Hisey. At some point (I think 1985 but maybe later) I borrowed the first cassettes of the sets and dubbed a copy for myself. I know it was a little bit of time later because the second cassette, with sets number three and four, had come up missing, so I lost some songs, including a few originals that now there is no historical record of. One rocker by me I especially miss is titled "Passion Calls." I was terribly proud of that one.

My copy is the second generation recording I worked with for the soundtrack of the trailer. And it is, again, more than twenty years old.

Fast forward twenty-some years to when my nephew David, a fine musician and sound engineering type fellow in his own right, gave me a slimmed-down express version of a digital recording software called Cubase LE from the software company Steinberg Media Technology. I have, I believe, made mention of this before in the blog. The version I have has is a few years old now, and it is the lite version, but it seems to still be fairly robust. I say "seems to be" because I haven't yet really explored its potential. What I have done, a few times now, is use it to capture analog sound recording as digital files on my hard drive. I used it last spring with the voice actor demo samples for Roof-Goenner. Those I recorded on one track on my four track cassette recorder, then transferred them. I have also made digital files of a couple dialect tapes as well as recording my lines from a couple plays: Beard of Avon and American Buffalo. Those ended up as mp3 files after some processing and converting.

Yet, I have hardly looked at what the software does. So I simply have been using it to capture the sound, then I have been saving those as aif files. Then if I have wanted to do any processing to the sound I have been doing it with the audio filters and effects in FinalCut. There's a wealth of great filtering and scrubbing modules in FinalCut -- some beyond my expertise (okay! MANY). Only so, I believe, because I haven't taken the time to screw around with them, experiment, find out what +10 as opposed to -10 will do in a particular setting of a particular filter, etc.

Getting on with the processing of the music from the tape, "Astroterph" is, of course, the music from that twenty-four year old tape. It is the music under the first five-plus minutes of the video. To get what is ultimately heard, the first move was to transfer it five times from analog to digital, using Cubase. It was originally a stereo recording, and there was some sense of separation in the two tracks. The bass guitar -- MY BASS GUITAR -- favored the left channel, so I sent that over first, with the bass equalization bands pumped some and the treble mostly at 0. Then I sent that channel again a little closer to mid levels, but still favoring bass bands. I did the equivalent with the right channel (only reversed to treble focus). Then the fifth transfer was a flat version of both channels: a flat mono version.

I made each an individual aif file then imported those five files into a new FinalCut project. My plan was to enhance the sound bands already prevalent in each then span them across the stereo spectrum in a final mix. One stereo channel favoring the lows; the other favoring the highs. The flat mono that had all the sounds from the original stereo recording would be in the middle of the stereo pan. In most ways that's what I did, but my method had to change.

Each of the five files started at slightly different moments, so I was having some sync problems, which I could have eventually fixed but I elected to take another route to the same destination because it was much faster. I deleted the aif files for the four tracks that favored either bass or treble and I went forward with only the full-bodied mono of the original stereo. I made duplicates of that. In those duplicates I used an eq filter to enhance and eliminate different bands across the spectrum in each to get the same effect I had with the files I had deleted: heavy bass; mid range favoring bass; mid range favoring treble; heavy treble. The heavier bass I panned left in the stereo mix and sharper treble in the right right. But I dropped the mid range bass right in the pan and the mid range treble left because that opened up the ambient range of dynamics by not keeping all the bass left and all the treble left.

For more balance and expansion I did something further. I created two new files from the original. On one I killed all higher bands for a super heavy bass sound; the other I did the polar opposite. Then I used filters to add reverb to both. The bassy one I mixed all the way right but low in volume in the mixed -- so you get a taste of bass reverb from the side of the stereo pan that favors treble; All the way left is the treble reverb on the bass side.

The delay on the drums in the drum solo section is an eighth track, another copy of the original, up only for that portion, with a delay filter. The volume gradually dissipates as the drum cacophony builds to the chaotic guitar duet.

That's how I digitally remixed that one. I saved another aif file -- the finished mixed product -- from that FinalCut project and imported the finished version into the video project. The music is mixed mono in the video, but the finished aif file is, in fact, the stereo remix I have been describing here.

In the trailer, "Astroterph" ends just as actor Duante Beddingfield finishes talking about his character, Sgt. Adams. In fades a bass solo line with atmospheric synthesizer and some guitar frilling (purposeful feedback) just as we cut to the soundbyte from Duante's monologue as Adams. This new music is the middle instrumental section of another heavy rocker by me, "Rabid Rack." It was recorded at a live benefit variety show in 1985; the line-up was a temporary revival of SeazonWind that included Rich, Ron Dunn and myself with the addition of a talented young guitarist named Jerry Crone and a fab drummer named Tim Armstrong. Jerry was the current boyfriend of one of Rich's sisters. Tim, along with his ass-kicking bass player brother Jim, were then in a fantastic art rock band called Ebonflo (It might have been "Ebonflow," I can't remember any more).

In the portion of the song heard in the video, I believe it's Ron's feedback that speaks during the bass run. There's some great guitar work from both players that comes up just after the music fades out, but unfortunately it was already time to move on in the video and change moods so I had to do the fade to move on. You do get to hear one flurry of guitar chord attacks while Phillip Collins is finishing his monologue as PFC. Weems. Then mellow new age music fades up and crosses over to the cut to where director Kerry Corthell introduces Soldiering On.

This mellow music is the beginning of a twenty-five minute instrumental titled "Seeking" written and recorded in 1986 with me on all instruments. I'm posing here as a Paul McCartney or a Stevie Wonder or someone else who really ought play all the instruments. It's part of that musical project I have referred to many times here. That which I keep threatening to mix and get out to the world as a double CD. "Seeking," in its entirety, is the closing of disk two -- or will be when.

The analog to digital to finished digital mix was far more straight forward for these last two. I simply ran mono mixes of both recordings out of the four track cassette deck (meaning all four master tracks of each song mixed to one outgoing channel) to Cubase and saved those mono mixes as aif files. Those are the files I imported into the video's FinalCut project. So there was no real digital remixing, only the transfer of mono analog mixes into digital information.

I must add that since I began this work -- actually back when I recorded the new song, "Dice Theme" -- I have been thinking a lot about how to get that CD album together. Yeah, yeah: like finishing the next draft of that novel.

    *BY-THE-WAY, THIS ESSAY WAS WRITTEN ON AND OFF DURING SPARE MOMENTS ALL TODAY -- MOSTLY AT LUNCH AND THIS EVENING LEADING TO POSTING IT

MISCELLANY

  • No Audition: I ended up not going for The Prisoner of Second Avenue at Brookville Community Theatre. I just don't like the play as much as I Ought To Be In Pictures. So I opted to not go. Though I would like to work with Jim Lockwood -- who, for those who don't know, the two of you five who are not from the Dayton theatre community, is Jake's dad.
  • AAA Testimonial Commercial: The commercial gets shot tomorrow; since I was not notified today, which is most likely when they cast it, I can pretty much guess I was not. I say they cast today because the live auditions were yesterday. I am going to work prepared to leave and head to Columbus, but I am not anticipating it will come to be.


Sun Sep 23, 2007

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CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

A WEEKEND OF PERFORMANCES
OF TWO NEW SHORT PLAYS
at
The DAYTON THEATRE GUILD

The Sandstorm
by Sean Huze
and
Soldiering On
by Pamela Reeves
directed by Kerry Corthell

SHOWING
Sep 21 -- 8 p.m.
Sep 22 -- 3 & 8 p.m.
Sep 23 -- 3 p.m.

The Sandstorm
by Sean Huze
The Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (2D LAR) fought from Nasirya to Tikrit and many places in between. The Sandstorm consists of first-hand accounts of the war, related in ten chilling monologues, expose the rage, honor, courage, commitment, doubt, fear, and remorse experienced by the men who bear the burden of the decisions made by the politicians. These are their stories. These are their voices. Based on the war as experienced by the playwright, who was a U.S. Marine with the 2D LAR.

William Davis            Sgt. Cassavechia
Shane Needham            LCPL Dodd
Steven Strawser            Doc Matthews
Paul Collins            Sgt. Williams
Greg Smith            CPL Waters
Nate Stevens            Lt. Smith
Phillip Collins            PFC Weems
Robert Kilby            Sgt. Damond
Mark Diffenderfer            CPL Rodriguez
Duante Beddingfield            Sgt. Adams


Soldiering On
by Pamela Reeves
From personal experience, a take on 9/11 not much covered by the media: It's three months after the attacks, nearly Christmas, and sexagenarian Miss Margaret Wilson finds herself, much against her will, in a therapy session, stoutly insisting over and over there's no reason whatsoever for her being there. It's up to psychotherapist Pauline Churchill to try to break through this resistance, but she's having a bad day herself, and it shows -- or it would, to anyone more therapy-savvy than Miss Wilson.

Barbara Jorgensen            Margaret Wilson
Katrina Kittle            Pauline Churchill

I have yet to see the show in its entirety, and will not today. But I have slipped in during different periods of each performance, so I've pretty much seen most of The Sandstorm. I have found the actors' performances mostly impressive, and none to be bad.

Soldering On has been more difficult to peek in on as I have been busy cleaning up after intermission and also prepping for the next performances. I have seen enough here and there to tell you the ladies are doing fine work.

The audiences have been small, but all have received the show well. If you read this soon enough and you're close enough, there's a 3:00 show this afternoon.

You may note that Sam Lippert is in the video as Tracy Waters but Greg Smith is listed above in the credits. Sam had to drop out for personal reasons and Greg came in at the last minute. Did great, too. Got drafted Thursday evening and was off-book for performance the next night. I always am amazed by these pinch hitters who can pull this last-minute stuff off.

ON MY OWN ACTING FRONT: I am fitting in prep for the auditions for I Ought to Be in Pictures tomorrow and Tuesday. I expect some real competition, so I am prepared to have free time for other ventures.

And I do have gigs coming up in October -- Middfest 2007, Oct 6 & 7; then a few weeks later, some improv work for the University of Dayton Law School fall intrasession.

Still waiting on word about the industrial movie I auditioned for through my agent. A potential problem: If I am cast in Pictures, I'd like to grow a beard for Herb, which means that until after Thanksgiving, I would not be clean shaved, which the agency may not be thrilled about. Of course, the play's director, Fran Pesch may nix the beard concept, but I believe it is a good fit for the role -- a close, well-groomed beard, as I had for Stefen (Serge) in 'Art'.



Wed Sep 26, 2007

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AUDITION FOR I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: Another good audition for me, but we shall see whether I am cast or not. As I write this, I don't believe I will be. Yet, though there was certainly competition in the room I do believe I held my own and gave as valid a reading as anyone.

Monday, director Fran Pesch had the four men who were there do one of Herb's monologues, one on one with her, rather than with everyone else in the theatre. I know I did well with that. I had rehearsed that particular monologue a few times earlier in the day as I prepped for the audition. Of course, I don't know how the other three men did, but none of them are slouches so I would assume they did well.

I think I did "okay" Tuesday night, too. That said, I reiterate my doubts I am to be cast. You just sometimes get the sense of things at an audition and my sense is that someone else will walk on the stage as Herb.

The big point is that Herb is a transplant from Brooklyn to L.A., and there was an actor, a seasoned actor, from Brooklyn who auditioned. I think he spent part of his youth here in Dayton, but still he has an edge, a clear edge, in terms of the diluted Brooklyn accent that Herb should have. Add that I was not consistent with my use of this accent. Mostly I was too conscious about not doing Lance, the Brooklyn mook from Playing God. I was attempting to temper the accent and slid out if it a bit from time to time. Guaranteed by opening curtain this would not be the case: moot point though.

I didn't think my last read of the evening last night was very good either. It was a scene I think I'd only practiced out loud once, so it was the coldest of my reads. There was this whole routine about an awkward smile that I just don't believe I pulled of at all.

Bottom line is, I know I could give a very fine performance as Herb, but I don't believe I will be doing so.

AUDITION FOR A FULL-LENGTH FEATURE: One door closes and another opens -- isn't that the saying? The principle may not always hold up but it does today. I have an audition through my agent for a local independent full-length feature, True Nature. The role I am to screentest for looks to be substantial to the script, since the actor will be called for the whole production time -- three weeks.

I do know that I am auditioning for a heavy who is described as "serious, steely-eyed, tightly-coiled [and] potentially violent," and further as a man "you hope never comes after you." THE BAD GUY, or at least one of them. I'm up for that.

The shoot starts in "late October," which is good because, if cast, that will mean I have the required 120 hours of vacation built up to be off from the regular job for three weeks. It will also mean that I'll have to drop out of the U.D. Law School gig, but I can hardly turn down the movie role if it's offered -- the experience of acting in a FLF, in itself, is vital to my growth. But I do like that sort of guided improv work the law school gigs demand and would only pass it up for something like this. I suppose there's some slight chance that I could get those days off from the shoot, if cast, but I would not bank on it.

LEARNING HOW TO FIGHT WITH BRUCE CROMER: No, not how to fight him. Bruce is teaching a three session class in stage combat, through the Human Race Theatre Company, next Monday through Wednesday. As soon as the I Ought axe officially falls on my neck, I will enroll.

    A) I have no stage combat training and can use some

    B) It's more training for my résumé

    C) It is a chance to work with Bruce in some form, which is an opportunity I would like to seize.



Thu Sep 27, 2007

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AUDITION FOR THE FULL-LENGTH FEATURE: Appointment this afternoon at the talent agency to do the screentest. I go straight from work. The side* is simple enough that I might pretty much have it memorized by the audition. I did make an enlarged photocopy so I don't have to wear my glasses on camera -- I do this when I have the opportunity.

    *A PAGE OR SO OF A SCRIPT -- ESPECIALLY OF A SCREENPLAY OR TELEPLAY -- USUALLY A PHOTOCOPY, USED PRIMARILY AS AUDITION MATERIAL. EACH SIDE FOR A PRODUCTION WILL FOCUS ON DIALOGUE BY A CERTAIN CHARACTER (OR CHARACTERS) TO AID IN THE CASTING OF PARTICULAR ROLES. (ALSO KNOWN SOMETIMES AS "ASIDES")

STAGE COMBAT CLASS WITH BRUCE CROMER: It now being the day of the eve of the scheduled table read for I Ought to Be in Pictures, and my having not been invited to attend that event, it would appear that the strong sense that someone other than myself will play Herb in the show was the instinct to trust.

How's that for convoluted prose?

I have enrolled in Bruce's class -- though it turns out it is Tuesday through Thursday of next week.

So my week will be a rehearsal for the Middfest 2007 (Dossier: Ronald Akkerman, by Suzanne van Lohuizen, and Drummers by Arne Sierens) on Monday evening. Fighting Tuesday through Thursday, and Middfest rehearsal again on Friday.

So, by 9:00 p.m. a week from now, I'll be ready to star in an action flick!

TINA GLOSS MAKES HER PRIME-TIME DEBUT NEXT WEDNESDAY ON THE PREMIER EPISODE OF PUSHING DAISIES: Tina, who was the female lead in the short-subject movie I just appeared in, Still Me, marks a great new hall mark in her career next Wednesday night at 8:00 on ABC as the mother of the lead character Lee Pace (Ned), in a flash back sequence to when he was ten years old and discovers he has this amazing ability to bring people back to life -- the younger Ned played by Field Cate.

She's in the first ten minutes of the show. Tina says she's "very proud to be a part of something so wonderful and magical."

You all should check out the episode and if you like her work -- which you will -- help her become a recurring character. After watching the show, go to www.abc.go.com, click on the Pushing Daisies link, and under "Community," click into the message board. Write something nice about her there and maybe they'll have her come back in flashbacks on more episodes throughout the season. There's already a chance that she'll be in episode number five.

As I said before: Here's hoping she ends up a bone-fide cast member. It's happened to recurring guest roles before.

To remind you more fully of the show, it has a great premise. Ned can bring people back to life by touching them. However, if he touches them again, they die again. If he lets them live, someone else dies. Ned is placed in the position to bring back from the dead, his one true love, Charlotte (aka: Chuck) -- played by Anna Friel. Of course, now he can never touch her -- the built in unrequited love aspect.

Also in the cast, as I have reported before, are Swoosie Kurtz (Lily) and Kristin Chenoweth (Olive), along with Ellen Greene (Vivian), Jim Dale, (narrator), and Chi McBride plays Emerson Cod, who discovers Ned's power and sees the gold mine.



Sun Sep 30, 2007

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APR-JUNE, 2017



THURSDAY'S AUDITION SCREENTEST FOR THE LOCAL INDY FLF, TRUE NATURE: A friend of mine said to me Friday morning, after I had replied to his question of how the screentest had gone the afternoon before, "I notice you always say, 'It went okay, I guess.' You never say, 'It went just fantastic!'" Yeah, I always lean toward downplay when it comes to estimating my audition performances. Like I've said here before, I can't rightly judge how I did but rather what I felt. I am pretty sure my impression of how I did is often off the mark. Yeah, I reported in a recent entry that "I held my own and gave as valid a reading as anyone [and that] I know I could give a very fine performance as Herb." The last part is more likely accurate than the first -- even if I'm sure the first part is true.

So, the screentest went okay, I guess. We did a few takes, with Jim Payne directing. He had me play the character a little closer to the top than is my instinct -- but, you know, who is it of us two who knows more about such audition processes? Besides, I have a habit of going for the low-key performance -- which I believe has hurt me in auditions.

I have a great affinity for the styles of actors like Donald Sutherland and William Petersen. I thought Michael Keaton's low-key performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the first movie of the new Batman franchise was more effective than Jack Nicholson's Joker -- though I found Jack's work great. One of the complements that has made the most impact on me since I've been acting again was from a veteran actor who found my work as Det. Stevens in Fake at FutureFest 2006 to be "very subtle." But I think my penchant for going for the subtle performance is at times a liability.

Well, now it's wait and see in terms of True Nature. It would be a lovely step forward in my acting life, even though it will most likely cost me the U.D. Law School gig, which I will really hate to have to miss. But major roles in full length features has always been the primary goal for me. And even though I have come to like and aspire to stage work more than I had anticipated, the screen work has always been the great appeal. And for a non-union newby, it would also be a relatively nice paycheck. I wouldn't be making a down payment on a new Lexus or anything, but it would be more money per week than I make at my regular job.

I just can't not do it if I have the opportunity.

MIDDFEST 2007: Deirdre and I did a table read, on the patio at the Starbuck's next to Wright State University Friday evening. We hope to get two more rehearsals in: one tomorrow night, one Friday. I, of course, have stage combat classes with Mr. Cromer, Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

AMADEUS AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE: Again, trying to not make this "a review," I saw this really fine production last night. A few actors I have worked with before lent their talents to this winner. Alex Carmichal was Salieri, and as always, did well. Michael Wadham (who I worked with in his capacity as a choreographer, for Nutcracker: the Musical) was tailor-made to be Mozart. When I heard last July that he had auditioned, I thought to myself: Why bother reading anyone else? And he lived up to that estimation with no effort.

Charles Larkowski, Saul Caplan and John Bukowski all added good flavor to the story in strong supporting roles. Becky Lamb was the AD, so she took a smaller role in the production as Teresa Salieri. By the way, I never did express my disappointment in the Daytony adjudicators that Becky did not win an award of excellence for her work as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest last season. Just an opinion from a sophomore actor, for what little it's worth.

And, back to Amadeus, Chris Harmon's set design was abosultely beautiful.

Now really, that wasn't a review at all. Really.

Oh yeah! I have to point out an actor who is new to my awareness, a young lady named Amy Brooks. She was wonderful as Amadeus' wife Constance. I was first introduced to her last week at the audition for I Ought to Be in Pictures where I think she read strongly for both the girlfriend Steffy and the daughter Libby. This sophomore is quite impressed.




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