On Christmas Day I started back at scratch on the color correction for
The Audition -- which, by-the-way, may be rechristened with another title.
After a few hours I decided I didn't like what was happening with the color
correction so I nixed the whole process, and took a break from it, then went back
to it later whilst watching a marathon of Criminal Minds.
When done with those sessions, I had believed I had the finished version of the
color correction, but then later decided there were improvements to be made. Over
the course of the next several days, I worked on it from time to time and finished
up during the day Monday, which I had taken as a vacation day from the rent
So, the theory was that I was then done. But, I looked at a rendered rough cut and
still found many nagging spots and shots that need yet be adjusted. I've worked on
it since then and will spend a decent chunk of today on it -- after I get up (as
I have not gone to bed from the NYE party I was at, just yet).
I'd like to produce some of the radio programing this weekend, too.
Meanwhile, I took advantage of the snow fall to get an establishment shot of
Balboni's for one or more of the segments in the full-length. I used the side of
the DTG building. I even shot some
goofy looking guy going into the "Balboni's" door.
Perhaps this'll be the time I'm actually gonna frickin' be booked
Originally I was called to come in for another commercial, as well, but the report
is a guy was in earlier in the day who nailed what they wanted so acutely that any
further auditions seemed a waste.
There's a confidence booster for ya.
The color correction of The Audition still proves to vex me. Fine-tuning it
to where it needs to be has been taxing my patience. I actually have put that down
for a few days but will b back to it tonight.
I actually mostly put the whole project down for a few days. I didn't feel
especially well over the weekend so I virtually did nothing but watch marathon
cablecasts of various programs; and I slept a lot.
On the other hand, I have secured a young lady to be the newscaster in the radio
programming under the scene in The Audition. I haven't written the copy yet
but that is on my agenda for this week.
As I stated earlier, I am considering changing the title of the short movie from
The Audition. Not sure to what, though there are a few ideas brewing in my
It looks like whatever the short is titled it will not be the entry for the 2010
Yellow Springs Short Film Festival. However, I am submitting
The Chorus for Candice since it's eligible.
The deadline is just too soon for me to have a cut of the new one that would be
Meanwhile my mind is exploring the scheme for editing the whole full-length. Some
ideas are occuring. I've made no pretense that there is some sort of solid plot
and through line to the movie. The segments are connected but the way the different
"scenes" of a theatrical music review are connected. There may be a way to
edit the thing as a whole that works around that flaw.
Taming of the Shrew at
-- Those auditions are going on now, this Mon-Wed, but I'm not auditioning
because I will have scheduling problems during many spots in this show's longer
AUDITIONS FOR THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
The auditions for this continue tonight and the director, Mr. Wayne
Justice, is in need of men, especially.
7:00 pm tonight
The State Theatre
19 S. Fountain Ave, Springfield, OH 45503
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, produced by
Clark State Community College Theatre Arts --
So, if I'm not cast in Kimberly Akimbo I may then audition for
this one, which goes up in mid April. However, this one may have rehearsal
schedule problems for me, too, which may inhibit my involvement.
As for the audition last week for Vick's Nyquil, no word. Callbacks are, I believe,
this Friday, so I suppose throwing in the towel is not the game of the moment.
ON THE ROAD TO CATCHING UP:
In 2008 I was very good about recording my mileage and such as it occurred. For 2009
I was a bit lax. I've been retracing my travels, most of it, with the help of some
regular paths that I have the distance recorded for, and the help of Yahoo Maps for
others, I will track virtually all the miles I drove directly related to my
so-called semi-professional acting status (however pretentious it seems, it's the
technical terminology that the 1099 from The University of Dayton will make a
reality again this year).
I'm going to, unfortunately, under-report my mileage as a volunteer for a non-profit
(Dayton Theatre Guild) because there are a lot of work days both at the old Salem
building and the new Wayne building that I missed recording and don't remember the
dates or occurrence of. But, I'm already up to 2725.1 miles with two months to go,
for acting alone -- which means I'm going to break 2800 miles. I will easily match
that in volunteer driving, even losing some miles that I won't know to report.
The front cover graphics for the The Chorus for Candice DVD
DVD label graphic for The Chorus for Candice
The early deadline for entry has passed, but I still have until Jan 22 to submit
The Chorus for Candice. I have created the DVD disk label graphic and the
DVD box cover graphic, now to get them printed.
During the weekend I started the press kit package, though submitting the press kit
is only required if the movie is accepted.
So I have the call out to all the actors for new head shots as well as updated
Meanwhile, as you can see to the left and right, here, the graphics I created for
both the DVD box cover and the DVD disk label. As you can further see, both feature
Ms. Kimberly J. Reiter's co-star, Wally the Rabbit (designed by Mr. Alex
Kimberly Akimbo at
The Dayton Theatre Guild --
Went to the auditions last night. I feel pretty good about the read I gave and
I've had a few good comments about it. I think in terms of knowing the
character and understanding his role in the story there was no one else who
read for him that eclipsed me. But, there certainly were some good actors who
read for the role, so it will boil down to the dynamics of the cast as a whole
and who the director believes fits into that best.
I'd planned to attend tonight's second session but was told that I did not need
to attend since the director, Saul Caplan, already knows my work.
Took this morning off to audition for both a web industrial and a PSA at
the PC-Goenner Dayton office. I'm leaving
not too long after posting this entry.
KIMBERLY AKIMBO, EITHER WAY:
Cast or not I am on the production staff as the sound designer. I told Mr. Caplan
this morning that I'll be looking through the script with an eye on sound cues to
catalogue, here in the near future.
AUDITIONS TUESDAY FOR THE WEB INDUSTRIAL AND THE PSA:
The auditions I did at PC-Goenner Tuesday
morning did not make up the best audition session I've ever had, by a long shot. In
kind terms, I was off my game a tad and I made at least one really unfortunate
My damned hyper-movement problem reared it's ugly head during the first audition. If
you've not read this blog -- or seen me act (I suppose) -- one of my biggest
complaints and on-going faults to work on as an actor is an idiosyncratic jerky
movement habit I have, especially with my head. Were I cast to play James Carville
it would work out perfectly, but most of the time it's nothing but a bad habit
that I have tried and tried to focus on ridding from myself and my performances. It's
bad enough to fall into it on stage -- and I would likely be horrified to know
how often I actually display the behavior on stage! -- but it's absolutely
worse on camera, where every movement and gesture counts ten times more than on
It's clear I am going to have to set time aside to video tape myself, even if
crudely, and to otherwise work on this frenetic-esque movement dilemma. I have got
to train myself out of this. I have no doubt it has cost me roles, on stage and
certainly in front of the camera.
At least, in the eyes of the person directing the screen test I was also having
trouble bringing my performance down for the camera in the web industrial, where I
auditioned to be the spokesperson. The director thought I was giving it too much
stage theatrics, that I wasn't giving the subtler performance the camera wants. He
was probably right. My own feeling is that I did bring it to a good level for
the last take, but the director seemed to accept that take with more than a little
dose of resignation, so he may not be of the same opinion. Or, I may have dropped
back into the scatological movement crap again.
For the PSA (public service announcement) I had a choice of two characters and just
simply made the wrong choice. I went with the character that had the gag of
crossing his eyes. It was a case of me simply not looking close enough at the
specs and the script beforehand. I glossed over it and saw that there was only one
sentence of dialogue for either character, so I concentrated all my prep on
memorizing the monologue for the industrial.
It was just prior to actually shooting the screentests when I realized I had to do
the gag and in rashness I decided to go forth with that character. I had not spent
any time in front of a mirror or in front of a camera to see if I could effectively
pull off the cross-eyed gag.
And, as it turned out I am not incredibly good at doing the cross-eyed gag.
I was supposed to do two takes, with different approaches to the gag and the lines.
I was not given a chance to do the second before I was dismissed for the next person.
I really couldn't feel like I was being robbed; it's not as if an artiste was
being sabotaged during a brilliant moment.
Yeah, I would have served myself much better to have chosen the other character.
With pretty much total certainty I would stake a year's wages that the video of me
for the PSA was not submitted; and, I didn't get a sense there was much enthusiasm
for the industrial screen test, either. So, it's not impossible that it wasn't
Earlier there was talk of submitting an mp3 from home of the announcer copy for the
PSA. I was supposed to get an email from the agency with the email address that the
mp3 would be sent to. It never arrived. I still recorded that audition at home
Tuesday night and sent the mp3 to the agency saying in my email that it was
"for [their] review and/or forwarding."
And I was relatively pleased with that voice audition. So, I hope there is some
redemption in that. If not for anyone else, at least I feel like I rallied myself
back from a crap audition earlier in the day.
CASTING ALL AKIMBO:
Yep, some interloper got the role I was hoping for. Blame Caplan.
And I really wanted to be Kimberly in the worst weigh.
So, I guess it's on to the next audition.
Well, this show will have a good sound design. And, yeah, okay, there is some great
talent in the cast -- if you insist on pushing the issue.
I'M NOT REALLY A HUSBAND, I JUST PLAY ONE ON TV:
That spot I am in for the
Marriage Resource Center, that
I shot last November in Springfield is being aired. I haven't seen it but one of
my co-workers at the rent payer job told me he's just seen it. This is the spot
where I am a man on the street, stopped to be asked what he likes about being
Here's the weird part. I really don't care if I end up seeing the spot or not.
Big plans for work were a little interfered with yesterday. Hmm, okay, they were
interfered with a lot.
I am at my friend Dave's in Indianapolis -- my belated Christmas trip to see him and
the kids. I brought lots of stuff with me. Naturally I brought my computer, and I
do indeed still have that infamous color correction of The Audition to
I also brought my four-track Fostex cassette tape recorder to mix some four-track
masters of my music down to mono tracks for the radio programming in the background
of The Audition. I've also brought a DV camera to possibly shoot some footage
in the area of Indy called the Broadripple district. I can sell that as part of
There's also the news copy to write for the news cast that will happen during that
radio programming, as well as copy for the commercials. And, I brought mics, too,
so I could record the radio announcer dialogue -- I'm going to be the radio
announcer and then bend the pitch of my voice down lower.
However, I had this rather close call involving my computer. I spent a lot of time
yesterday with my computer in diagnostic mode to make sure it wasn't messed up.
So the only thing related to the movie that has happened since I've been here is a
couple viewings of a DVD of a rough cut of The Audition.
INDIANAPOLIS TURNS OF EVENTS:
So, along with a few private showings of the rough, rough cut of The Audition,
I've also done some prep toward a possible next audition for my own self. I've
started reading John Bishop's The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 which will
be up at
Clark State Community College Theatre Arts
in mid April, with auditions on Jan 26 & 27.
Again, I may have to determine that there will be too much of a schedule conflict
for me as the opening draws close that will make it unreasonable to commit to the
rehearsals, and that will cut me out. But I have to read it to see if it's
compelling enough to even consider.
Meanwhile, here's a DOH! moment that made
me cringe and cringe badly: Saturday afternoon I had a too-close call involving my
I was working on it as it sat on the corner of a dresser in the bedroom where I am
staying during my visit -- and it was not nested as securely as I assumed. I closed
the lid down and the whole computer dropped off the dresser a fell the three-some
feet to the hardwood floor below.
And it shut itself off, then took a longer time, much longer time, to boot
up when I turned it back on. Plus, at first it was not terribly responsive. So, at
that point, I was cursing at myself for my carelessness.
This would be the alluded event that interfered with plans to spend some time
yesterday on improv movie (specifically The Audition) tasks.
Well, now, my weekend is not over.
Ms. Kittle's first two published novels, Traveling Light
and Two Truths and a Lie, on the shelf at a Barnes
and Noble book store in Indianapolis, Indiana.
related event from Saturday -- I was in a local
Barnes & Noble
book store with my friend and his daughter and I strolled to the Literary Fiction
section to see if there were any books by Dayton's own
Katrina Kittle, and sure enough, two of
her three novels were on the shelf -- *see the picture I snapped, to the right.
Her last book, The Kindness of Strangers, was not on that shelf and we are
going to assume that this is because this particular Indianapolis Barnes & Noble
Booksellers location ran out.
We'll further assume there's a couple dozen copies of The Kindness of Strangers
on re-order for this Barnes & Noble location, as I type.
By-the-way, her fourth novel, The Blessings of the Animals, is currently
slated for release this coming July 20.
And I happen to know -- if I may say this without betraying a secret (which I do
hope I am not) -- that Ms. Kittle has begun a new manuscript.
Jeez, and I can't even get my one into a draft ready
to be seen by a potential agent.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We
cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil
rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied
as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police
brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the
fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and
the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's
basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be
satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed
of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be
satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New
York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not
satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like
waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and
tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of
you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by
the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the
faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go
back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of
our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be
changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of
today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in
the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true
meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that
all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former
slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together
at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state
sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of
oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists,
with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition
and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and
black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white
girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and
mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the
crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be
revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With
this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of
hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of
our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will
be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to
jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be
free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a
new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee
I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every
mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom
ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from
the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening
Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every
mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring
from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we
will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and
white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to
join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at
last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Some recovery from the down time caused by the infamous lap top drop last Saturday.
Yet but however on the other hand, have to admit
that the color correction has progressed none. I'd made a big declaration in mid
December that the color correction was done, or almost done.
Yeah well it's not done, or even close to done.
And I have not approached another session for a while now. The attempts have been
so damned frustrating that I have shied away from getting back to it. Does not
exactly make me feel like Mr. Go Getter Big Time Professional Man here, at all.
I've been doing other tasks related to The Audition, but still, it seems to
me I should be relentless on the color correction until I get it perfected.
Over the weekend, however, what I did accomplish toward the movie project was
the mixing of one song for the radio programing that plays under the scene work in
The Audition. It was not the song on the top of my list, "Freedom From
Bondage," which I believe I recorded in 1986. I was not able to find the
four-track master tape before I left for Indianapolis. I did find the multi-track
for another song from that same recording project, "Seems Like A Crime,"
which I wrote with my music partner, Rich Hisey, and was recorded in 1986.
Actually, that recording is missing the bass line -- I never recorded it and now
would have to woodshed for weeks (at least) to be good enough to play the bass
line I have in mind.
As illustrated in the right column and the row of pics below, I mixed a mono mix of
"Seems Like A Crime," sitting in Dave's kitchen in Indianapolis.
The far right pane below has a sample of the first verse
of "Seems Like A Crime," 42 seconds of the recording.
When I got back home, late afternoon yesterday, I launched another search for the
master tape for "Freedom From Bondage." No success. Then, I noticed that
there was an unidentified counter designation at "400" on the same
cassette that the four-track master of "Seems Like A Crime" is on. So I
fast-forwarded to 400 only to discover "Freedom From Bondage." I'd had
the master with me in Indianapolis the whole time.
Once I discovered this, I decided to do the "Freedom From Bondage" mix
down last night. After I finished the mix down from tape to digital file, I then
decided the volume balance was not correct. By that time I needed to call it a
day. I will re-mix that tonight, and probably post a little sample tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I keep eyeing the room where
looms in the shadows of the corner.
"Seems Like A Crime" sample verse - click to play
As it turns out, I lied, (well, erred), in the last entry. The four-track
master for "Freedom From Bondage is not on the same tape as "Seems
Like A Crime"; it is on the same tape as a song called, "Star Gaze."
I did not have it in Indianapolis with me and not realize it.
Don't know why I mis-remembered it as I did.
I'd like to report I now have a mono mix-down of "Freedom From Bondage that
I am pleased with, unfortunately, the audio file turned out to be a bit pegged-out
in terms of peak volume levels. There's distortion that makes me go back and start
over this evening, after I get home from hosting Shining City at
In other fronts, I still need at least one more song for the radio programming. I'd
like to use one by Lou Lala and his
band, Lou Lala and the Big Farm Girls. If you click on his name here and go to the
band's MySpace page, there's a song there titled, "Fly Down," that is a
good contender. You can also check out the full length -- and full volumed &
stereo -- of "My Coma," which is featured in
The Chorus for Candice as the song on
Elizabeth's (Charity Farrell)
stereo, down the hall in her bedroom.
The copy for the news report still needs written; and the commercials need written
and produced. I have a bit of incidental music that can be used for the commercials.
I ought to cast some people I know for the voice work in the commercials, too. Plus,
a friend, who is on campus, has to produce a
mock commercial for class, anyway, so he's proposed giving it to me to use,
Corrected DVD label graphic for The Chorus for Candice.
Well, of course, the red oval isn't on the actual label graphic.
I noted an inconstancy between the copy on the DVD disk label artwork and the DVD
container jacket artwork. The jacket has the newer designation, "a short movie
by K.L.Storer," whereas the disk label had the older, "a film by...."
I changed it for the disk art and then dropped off PDFs of both at a printer.
However, I found yesterday morning that the PDF graphics are not laid out well for
the printer to get my work out for me. I will need to reconfigure things a bit. The
deadline for the film festival entry is today, so I can't get either a color label
or DVD box cover for the contest. But I was able to print from a laser printer I
have access to, but only in black and white. I would much rather submit it
with color graphics. But, at least it has art that doesn't look too terribly
By the way, for those who may need
to know: Regardless of the resolution you have created and saved a graphic file
(.jpg, .bmp, etc) as, when you convert it to a pdf, it will likely have the
resolution of 72 pixels per inch (aka: 72 DPI). This is why the 11 x 7.25 inch
jacket cover I created (at 300 DPI) had the gothic dimensions of 45.83 x 30.21
inches for the printers -- the pixels per inch were reduced by almost 98%, therefore
3300-pixels wide went from 11 inches (3300 ÷ 300) to the mega 45+ inches (3300
÷ 72). The action to take, apparently, is to create the graphic at 300 DPI,
then save a copy at 72 DPI, with the pixels readjusted to get the square inches
wanted for the hardcopy; that, if the 72 DPI doesn't compromise the printed
resolution too badly; if that's the case then I don't know what.
Since the submission deadline is today and the facility where the festival will be is
on my way, I dropped the DVD off on the way home from work this afternoon. As well
I filled out the on-line submission application and paid the entry fee on line
Looks like I have officially entered a film festival.
I've had one brief conversation with Director Saul Caplan about the sound for this
show. We have a production meeting on Jan 31.
Besides specific sound effects the script calls for, I know there are some
augmentative ideas from Saul, and scene-change music to pick.
Now, after I post this entry then spruce myself up a little, I'm off to host at
Sometimes the technical stuff just wants to be as difficult as it can be.
Nevertheless, to the right is forty-five seconds, the first two stanzas, of
"Freedom from Bondage."
I completely redid the mixdown from the multi-track master to the mono-mix. Yet, I
still noticed a pretty sharpened edge to the treble on playback on some speakers.
The vocal was originally recorded running through a flanger sound processor and also
through an eight-band graphic equalizer with the lower frequencies zeroed out. So
the vocal is, as well as some processed symbol work in the song, already inherently
high-frequency. In my head phones and on my larger stereo unit (as well as my TV),
the new mix sounded fine; on the monitor I often use with my lap top (a boom box with
an audio cassette adapter), the tweet was still way too cutting.
Rather than go back to the drawing board, I went into the electronic files and
added some filters; after some -- well, much -- experimentation I finally
used the dynamics processor and the multi-band compressor in FinalCut. Yes, I usually
electronically mix and process all sound, including music, in FinalCut.
Though the process was much longer than I would have liked, I did get a mix that I
think will not tweet to shrill from any speakers.
Got the email yesterday from the festival director to confirm that all the
necessary items to consider the movie as a contender have been received.
Now I am putting together the various elements of the press kit in the event that
the movie is accepted into the festival.
KIMBERLY AKIMBO AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:
Due to some tricky places in the execution of the sound design I am going to run
the sound myself.
Director Saul Caplan has decided that one particular sound gag that he'd ask for
previously is no longer tenable. There will need to be the aforementioned animal
sounds and other incidental noises. Plus the play requires a lot of automobile sound.
There's a need for an engine idling then the car revving as it drives away and then
the tires squealing. There are some other scenes where similar sorts of a
combination of automobile sounds are needed.
It's clear the automobile sounds are going to need two sources so we don't restrict
the actors to pacing the scenes to one sound file (with the idles and revs, etc.)
which would dictate when they speak and act, and they'd be saddled with pacing those
scenes to the sound file, which is, of course, not good. Using multiple sources and
criss-crossing the cues means each individual car sound can be executed for the
caprice of each particular performance. It'll take planning and rehearsing.
As for the scene-change music, Saul wants big band. I was going for the contemporary
pop choices that a highly intelligent sixteen year-old might like, but, guess not.
In fact, I would have slipped something from Kate Bush's Ariel album in,
because Kimberly seems like she'd have enough aesthetic class to be a big Kate Bush
Some of you may remember that when my friend Dave and I went to Chicago in August
to see William Petersen in David
Harrower's Blackbird at the
Victory Gardens Theater, we dropped by
the Steppenwolf Theatre Company just to
check it out. I had known for months that Steppenwolf co-founder
had suggested the company offer Petersen an ensemble position. That said, when I
looked at the exterior bulletin board of the theatre's 2009/2010 season, I missed a
really cool thing.
What I did notice was that this season Steppenwolf is doing two shows that I have
been in, both for
and two of my absolute favorite shows to have been in. In fact, the first,
American Buffalo, is up right now, and runs until February 14. Had I the time
and finances, I'd be there.
The other play is Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which is up April 1, and for
which tickets go on sale tomorrow -- noon Ohio time.
And, of course, though I didn't realize it at the time, because I didn't fully read
the poster board, William Petersen appears in this production, in the role of Hamm
-- played in the Springfield StageWorks production, (where I was Clov), by
Mr. Wayne Justice.
I WILL be purchasing a ticket or two when they go
on sale. I called for ticket prices today. Prices range from $55 to $77. A few
people had expressed interest in taking the road trip up, but none have stepped up,
and I am not putting a ticket on my credit card to which someone hasn't attached
his or her own name and in a manner that makes me know there'll be cash in my hand
for said ticket post haste.
My first thoughts were to shoot for a matinee on either the first or second weekend
the show is up. But, due to ticket prices and my friend Dave's work life, I'm aiming
more for a weeknight. *Dave manages a restaurant and getting weekends off is a
little bit tricky; and he is again a part of the road trip to Chicago to see William
on stage. So I'm going for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, in late May or
early June, during the run of the show I'm producing, A Case of Libel. I'm
trying to avoid probable rehearsal nights in the off-chance that I am cast in
Libel, ('cause I've had such great success
auditioning and getting cast in shows I produce at the Guild). If push
comes to shove, I'll get tickets for the first week of Libel rehearsals
because if I do happen to be in the show, the first week of rehearsal is the best
week for missing any.
Now for something that thrills me to no end. I emailed Steppenwolf a few hours
after I called the box office for the ticket price schedule and inquired if there
would be a "Talk Back" performance. I got no response for a while, so
I eventually called the box office number again and asked. Got an answer that I
really, really loved. Then, later I got the same answer as a response to my email:
We will have a talk back after every performance
moderated by a member of our artistic staff. To participate simply move to
a seat near the stage, if you're not already located in that area.
And having spent weeks and weeks with the Endgame text, I have some basis for
some relatively decent questions and, perhaps even, he
so boldly suggests, some observations.
KIMBERLY AKIMBO AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:
There was going to be a production staff meeting this coming Sunday, but Director
Saul Caplan and most involved have pretty much communicated most of what needs
communicated. Saul cancelled the meeting. He and I are meeting for a few minutes
Saturday at the Guild whilst I am there for a work day and he's there for a Play
Reading Committee meeting.
Meanwhile, I am starting to gather together the sound files, leastwise the ones I am
presently aware I need. Between another once-over of the script and my consult with
Mr. Caplan Saturday, I shall gather some more, I am sure.
When I called Steppenwolf yesterday the
box office person was a little misinformed. She said that tickets went on sale when
the BO opened at 11:00 a.m. Illinois time (noon for me), which is probably true.
However, I asked her if that included on-line tickets and she said it did. But It
did not. I went on this morning to open an on-line account at the Steppenwolf
website, just in case I needed it to buy on-line -- it turns out that I did need
After creating my account, I checked the ticket page for Endgame. The
"buy" button, which had not been present before, had appeared for
Endgame, so I clicked and I bought.
Center section on the floor, row B (row 2), seats 10 & 11, on the isle -- see
the seating chart below.
As sound designer I have spent the fews days chasing sound files I need. I've been
looking for the more challenging ones. Right now my focus is on some exotic animal
sounds I need later in the script. I am being picky about it, so much of what I've
come across I've rejected.
I have found most of the car sounds I need, if not really all of them. And if
I didn't download particular sounds that it turns out I want, such are just at my
fingertips for acquisition.
Yesterday I was supposed to meet Director Saul Caplan to have a little chat about
the sound but I was under-the-weather so I cancelled.
We should meet up today.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:
Preproduction is most certainly underway. Director Debra Kent is working on her
specs for the audition so those will be posted here sometime soon.
Hey, male actors out there: there are a lot of roles for men in this. Just less than
a dozen, all totaled.
Meanwhile we have some really good ideas for some of our art work for the production
as well as some likely candidates to sponsor/underwrite this production.
The film festival I submitted the movie to did not accept it.
SOUND FOR KIMBERLY AKIMBO AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:
Tuesday night I attended the rehearsal and we worked on the more challenging scenes
in terms of sound design and execution. A fairly good game plan has come out of the
Recently, I also discovered that I have access to sixty CD's from the BBC Sound
Effects Library. I have availed myself of several that may be useful at the moment:
"Africa: the Natural World," "Animals and Birds,"
"Cars," "Communications," "Household Sound Effects,"
Over time, all of this collection will be within my library of sounds. Six down,
fifty-four to go. And believe me, my personal SFX library can be far more robust
than it currently is.
Ralph Dennler, Craig Roberts, Craig Smith, Rachel Wilson, Chris Shea, Natasha
Randall, Juliet Howard-Welch, Barbara Coriell, Nick Vanderpool, Tony Fende,
Carol Finley, Chris Osting, Steve Strawser, Destany Schafer, Brian Buttrey, Jill
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I drive to Cincinnati to audition for a commercial for
the King's Daughters Medical Centers.
In between several factors I almost could not go. First, I was home sick
with a bad sore throat when the call came Tuesday. I had almost no voice, edging
into laryngitis. I'd even emailed into work sick rather calling. So my initial
response was that I have no voice in all practical terms. Plus the audition was
touted as Wednesday and Thursday. So, even if I was well enough by Thursday -- no
way I would be by Wednesday -- I have a work commitment today that precludes me
taking the day off.
Wednesday was moot anyway, since the Ohio Valley was part of this week's winter
storm and my county was under a level three snow emergency, which means I was not
allowed on the roads whatsoever.
As it happens the auditions are Thursday and Friday and the role is non-speaking,
so being there is more tenable. Despite that I have a lot of catching up to do
tomorrow, my supervisor at the day job has given me the time off I need.
Now let's see if the weather doesn't interfere.
To be honest, I was expecting to not be called for auditions for a while, since
my last go with the agency was such a tank job.
Can't let a winter season in Ohio go
by without posting some of these....
Stalactites outside my home, yesterday.
My home, or whatever it is what which masquerades as a home for me.
My lonely auto.
THE AUDITION LAST FRIDAY IN CINCINNATI:
During the lull in our lovely winter dream time crappola, I drove the round-trip
one-hundred-and-thirty-mile trek to Dare To Dream Casting in Cincinnati to audition
for a commercial for the King's Daughters Medical Centers.
It was simply improvving a few "happy" hospital moments in front of the
camera in order to screentest what I would look like in non-verbal scenes as a
patient under a narrator's voice-over. The director also had me start the screentest
by relating a positive experience I had in a hospital. I spoke of the time I
dislocated my shoulder.
My sense is, for whatever that's worth, that it was a good audition.
But I pretty much treat the commercial auditions like a ritual that may or may not
be anything else.
SOUND FOR KIMBERLY AKIMBO:
DTG president, Carol Finley, and DTG props manager, Blake Senseman
(hidden), put up a wall in the home of the Levacos for the
Kimberly Akimbo set.
DTG's house manager, Dork McShmukenmeir, in the sound and light
booth, working on Kimberly Akimbo sound.
Painting a set piece for Kimberly Akimbo
Spent pretty much most of the weekend at the theatre working on sound. Mixed some,
experimented some, consulted some, "oversaw" the hardwiring of a couple
speakers -- "oversaw" is a bit of a stretch; what I really did is
tell master tech god Bob Mills (who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering) what we
needed and he was able to accommodate us just fine with no help from me.
We have one more hardwire task that can't be attended to until next weekend. There
will be a fast-food restaurant, The Zippy Burger, that will be portable and on
wheels. Tim Moore (as Jeff), will be in the drive through window and he will also
move the Zippy Burger -- rather than having the "car" that Troy Lindsey
and Ellen Finch (as Buddy and Kimberly) will be going through the drive though in,
We are hooking up a drive though speaker for Jeff to use. It'll be hooked up to a
head-set microphone Jeff will wear. The Zippy Burger hasn't been built yet, so
Bob can't do his magic yet.
Overall, though, I must admit I didn't get as far along as I had hoped to this past
weekend. My wish was to have all the sound files mixed together by Sunday evening.
I was not able to quite achieve that. The Six Flags African Safari sounds are not
mixed, for the end of the show, for instance.
I also have not completely plotted what files will be coming from what playing
sources, though I have a reasonably good idea for a large portion of them.
More very good news is that I have all the equipment in the booth hooked up and
labeled. For those who would care, I will be running sound through two mini-disc
players and my MacBook Pro. I'll actually be able to run more than one sound file
at a time -- if need be -- on the lap top, so I have from three to maybe five sound
Sunday, I left The Guild a little sooner than I would have preferred. But, at
that point, I had a gig last night at the Montgomery County Courts building to play
witnesses on the stand for
Judge Mary Huffman's
criminal trial practice law class. Though I have played both characters before for
Judge Huffman's class, I did need to go home and bone up on them both.
But, then the winter weather, as it as known to do on much of this continent,
decided to become inconvenient, once again:
The University closed at 2:00, which was going
to potentially allow me a little more time to study up more for Huffman's class.
But just a little while before I was to leave my day-job office, I was called and
told Judge Huffman's class was cancelled.
So, aside from a break for this blog stuff, a lot of the rest of my day was about
I would really rather have worked on it all up in the sound & light booth,
but despite that the roads in my county were at Level 2, and I still was allowed
to drive, driving the twenty miles to The Guild would have sucked.
And then, after a few hours of work, I decided it was all shit. So, I have to start
over on all this Six Flags Wild Safari stuff.
This morning, however, the day-job was closed until noon, so I did take out a few
things that were better done at the apartment. One sound effect was several horn
honks that we need in the last scene. I used the Yamaha keyboard to get those. I
also have dumped a few animal sound samples, from the keyboard, that may be handy,
especially the elephant call which is closer to what I want than the sound files
I was previous able to find.
I also used a microphone to create Foley of a monkey, then monkeys, on the roof of
the car in that same last scene. I drummed my fingers on the top of an old metallic
microwave oven. There however is a bit of hiss to those so, if I can't reasonably
filter that hiss out, I may make another attempt at the roof-monkey Foley tonight
at The Guild.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
The auditions will be April 5 & 6 at The Guild. Here's the casting notice:
A Case of Libel is based on the historical libel case
of the 1950's, Reynolds v. Pegler. A celebrated war correspondent engages a
well-known attorney and files a libel suit against a widely syndicated newspaper
columnist who not only attacks his reputation and personal life, but also his
Audition dates are April 5 and 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430
Wayne Ave. Production dates are May 21 through June 6, 2010.
The director is looking for a cast of 11 men and 3 women.
NOTE: All male roles range in age between 45 and 65, with the exception of David
Strong, who is 30-ish. The women's age ranges are 40 to 60.
Robert Sloane -- One of the nation's leading trial attorneys
Boyd Bendix -- One of the country's most-read columnists
Dennis Corcoran -- Respected war correspondent, author, lecturer
Anita Corcoran -- Wife of Dennis Corcoran
Abner Coles -- Partner and friend of Sloane
David Strong -- Law assistant to Sloane
James Baldwin -- Partner in Sloane's law firm
Paul Cleary -- Counsel to Bendix; also a leading attorney
The Judge -- Judge of Supreme Court, New York County
Colonel Douglas -- Scottish officer and witness
*Requires Scottish dialect
Fred Alston -- Corcoran's friend and editor
Claire Marshall -- Sloane's secretary
Court Clerk -- Civil Service employee
Court Stenographer -- Civil Service employee; stenotypist
So I crammed Sunday night to reacquaint myself with the particulars of both
characters (witnesses) for the gig at the court on Monday night. But then, as we
know, the latest snow storm caused Judge Huffman to cancel class.
Now my dilemma is that there's some chance that the class will be rescheduled for
next Monday night; problem; Tech Week for Kimberly Akimbo starts this coming
Sunday, so Monday is a tech rehearsal. And though I really can't lave the class in
the lurch, I really will not like it if I miss a tech rehearsal when there are such
tricky sound cues for me, as the sound operator, and the actors to get tight on.
Congrats to Director Liz Dillard and her cast in The Vagina Monologues at
last Saturday night. There were some very good performances.
We've had a great tech week. I do believe we have a winner here!
I AM NEITHER DEAD NOR MISSING:
So it's been ten days since I last posted here, not the longest in between, but
longer than usual. There's been a lot going on and I've just not had, nor currently
have, the time to blog it. I shall within a day or two
There's much, much, much to write about this, and I will get to it, but right now
just let me say that we had a strong opening night despite that the weather took a
toll on our audience size. There were some technical problems that I'll discuss
when I come back to the subject.
But, Kimberly Akimbo ought be on your list of "must do" if you are
close enough to make the trek.
As I begin to write this on Sunday morning, Feb 28, I ponder when I'll
finish it and it gets posted.
*As it turns out, (written Mar 7), a week, on both accounts.
IMPROV MOVIE POST-PRODUCTION:
What? News on movie post-production? Really?
Yep. Last Thursday, after work, I drove to
Bellbrook, Ohio to shoot some
exteriors for establishment shots, especially for the opening credits of the whole
movie. Bellbrook is one of several smaller municipalities in the area that will
pose as my fictional Bellcreek, Ohio. I got some shots in town and some driving
into town. All the shots were from my car. I had the camera on a tripod and I had it
positioned to shoot out each front side window. I also shot some footage around my
own little principality, only this time I opened my car's sunroof and shot with the
camera -- on the tripod -- above the roof, with the sunroof closed as far as
possible to hold the tripod neck in place. I didn't think to snap a picture of this
cinematography trick. I can tell you that this sunroof technique worked well, so I
am likely to do it again, and perhaps get that pic. Had I thought about it in
Bellbrook, I would have used this method there. But, having a variety of styles of
shots doesn't really hurt at all.
I had to be sure to shoot this week because I need outdoor footage with snow on the
ground, and I may be running out of chances this season -- or already have. I need
exteriors of a correctional facility, with snow on the ground, too. I may have lost
that chance. I may need to wait until next winter for that. Or I'll need to
digitally create snow on the ground in footage shot without such.
Meanwhile, I have decided I must start all over on the edit of The Audition.
I will be back on that, after a break. First order of business is to take all the
takes and color correct each to match then recut from them. I will use the clips
that already have the sound track synced in, so I don't need to do that again. But
in between a need to tighten up the edit and also simplify color correction it is
clear, as much as I am chagrined by it, I must start over with the assembly of the
edit. And, by the way, "simplifying" this color correction is a relative
still frames from the exteriors of "Bellcreek, Ohio":
Well, since last I posted an actual journal-type blog entry, the show has been
through Tech Sunday, Tech/Dress week, Opening Weekend and most of the sophomore
weekend. With the exception of some mostly nit-picky self-flagellations and
the usual range of snafus otherwise associated with a live theatrical production,
it's a great report to lay out.
Let's start out with sound design. The sound design for Park Your car in Harvard
Yard was, according to Bob Mills, the most sophisticated sound design he was
aware of that The Guild has ever had to execute. For those who aren't aware, I
designed that, but the sophistication was simply my following the needs demanded by
Israel Horovitz' script. Bob also put his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering to work
by figuring out how to make a sound system without enough independent channels to
execute the sound needs of Park execute them anyway. In big part, due to
Bob's great expertise, I received a DTG in-house Murphy Award -- but not a
DayTony* -- for the
* Not that I'm a bitter, sore loser or anything
David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly comes close to being as demanding, at least
in the last scene, with a section that boils down to about one-half of a page of
play text that has caused me more than a little stress. In that spot there are
thirteen sound cues, virtually on top of each other, and nine of them correspond
with actions by an actor on stage.
My MacBook Pro as I was remixing a sound file before the
final dress rehearsal.
Checking the script for an exact spot for a cue to be
The sound and light booth at the NEW Dayton
Still, I was able to plot out what to do in the last scene as well as the rest of
the show. The design is, I think, pretty good. Though I did reassign some sound
sources during the midst of Tech Week in order to help simplify execution during
that stress-ridden spot. Tech rehearsals proved to me that what I was doing was
quite problematic and I further discovered that something I didn't realize I could
do with only one mini-disc player, I could. I was able to take many of those sound
files in the stress spot, that are consecutive, and stick them on the same disc.
When I was originally plotting the design, I had thought that if I did that, there
might be a delay in the play action. So I was originally criss-crossing between the
two mini-disc players. That enhanced the chances of error. I found that it was most
easy to play a file off a mini-disc on one player, then move to the next file on the
same player and have it cued for the imminent sound cue.
Much, much easier to stay on the same machine for that fast succession of sound
cues that plague the Kimberly Akimbo script page from hell.
These kinks were not ironed out on Tech Sunday*. That page from hell was
particularly stressful during cue to cue*. There was a lot of me spurting things
like , "Ah, shit! Can we do that again?" In between not having plotted
the optimum disc layout that I eventually came to, and not yet being well-oiled on
the sound cues, what was probably no more than thirty or forty minutes seemed like
perhaps six hours to me.
*) "Tech Sunday" is a term most readily associated with community
and public theatres, though not foreign to professional houses. The Sunday
before a show opens -- at The Dayton Theatre Guild that means the Sunday
before the opening Friday -- the "Technical Rehearsal" is
performed; or there may be two or three different tech rehearsals. At The
Guild anyway, the multiple tech rehearsal types are not uncommon, especially
if the technical demands of the show are high. The first rehearsal is a
"dry tech" where the light tech, the sound tech, anyone executing
any special effects (such as dry ice or trick designs to the stage or a set
piece), the stage manager, and the run crew, test all the these technical
The director is, of course, there, as is, at least at DTG, most often
the producer. Those who designed the lighting, sound and other effects
may be there, as well (if the he's or she's are not actually running those
technical aspects for performance). All the elements are executed with
discussion of the timing and levels (when apropos) and needed adjustments
are made. The stage crew executes all set changes needed during scene
changes and pathways and assignments are scrutinized and modified to
maximize speed and accuracy. The actors are not involved in a dry tech.
The second rehearsal is a "Tech Rehearsal" that most often takes
the form known as a "Cue to Cue." The actors are rarely not
involved with the cue to cue. Only the lines and stage action surrounding
a lighting change, a sound or an effect are performed. Whole scenes will
only be done if the scene is proliferate with one or more of these type of
In some cases the cue to cue will be circumvented for a full tech run of the
show with all the actors, stage crew and technicians working the whole
show. Occasionally, all three types are ran on Tech Sunday -- a dry tech, a
cue to cue, then a full tech run.
BY THE WAY, PROFESSIONAL HOUSES MOST CERTAINLY HAVE TECHNICAL
REHEARSALS, OFTEN MORE INTENSE ONES; THEY JUST ARE NOT NECESSARILY
ASSOCIATED WITH SUNDAY, OR "TECH SUNDAY."
dress rehearsal shots from Kimberly Akimbo:
All in all, though, Tech/Dress rehearsal week went well. There's a bit of tech
demand all over this play in general. We all certainly had kinks to work out, but,
we went into Opening night strong.
And we had a good opening weekend.
There were those inevitable snafus. An actor called another actor by that second
actor's actual name rather than the character name. I've witnessed this before;
I've yet to do this myself on stage, but I have a fear of doing it and I have no
doubt my time is coming.
Sound had it's interesting moments. Opening night the equipment malfunctioned on me
in a scene that is supposed to be blanketed in the background with car noises. I
hit the cues and all the gauges and LEDs read that things were running, but no
sound came out of the speakers. Somehow at the end of the scene the last file
played. At my first down time, I unplugged and re-plugged everything and flipped
every switch, toggle or otherwise. Things ran fine for the rest of the night.
Though not culpable, I was still unhappy about it. Saul -- our director -- reminded
me about the name of The Guild's in-house awards, "The Murphies," and
pointed out that we are, in fact, honoring Mr. Murphy and his Murphy's Law,
because it applies so readily and so often on the set of a live theatre performance.
Kimberly Akimbo lighting designer and technician,
The man who engineered the working squawk box for the
Kimberly Akimbo Zippy Burger, Bob Mills.
The deck stack in the S&L booth. The two middle
machines are the mini-disc players. The top is the
DVD/CD player and bottom is the power amp.
If I could escape blame for the Friday "Murphy gremlins," as I designated
the mysterious mechanical glitches, Saturday and Sunday saw some sound
operator errors, some a little dumber than others, that I have to own up to.
Saturday's was a little less dim-witted.
In another driving scene that takes place later in Act I
there are several car turns and one screeching stop and the subsequent screeching
acceleration. So we start the scene off with sound cue 12: "car driving 2,"
MD1-03 (which means Mini-Disc 1 - sound file 03). That
one runs for a while and over the top of it I play two sound files of the car
turning, cue 13: "car turn 1," MD2-03 (Mini-Disc 2
- sound file 03) and cue 14: "car turn 2," MD2-04. The car
driving is on the disc in mini-disc player 1 and the sounds of the car turning are
on the disc in MD player 2. When we get to the cues for the car turn, I execute
MD2-03 or MD2-04, and simply slide the volume on MD1-03 (car driving 2) down,
rather than stop it; then, as the turning sounds subside, I slide the MD1-03
volume back up. There's a third car turn later, which is part of the Saturday
The screeching stop, that then has idling, a horn honk and an irate driver yelling,
is cue 15: "brake screech and horn honks," MD2-05. There I do
stop the MD1-03 file. Actually, what I do is hit pause; then, while in pause mode
on player 1, I click to the next sound file, MD1-04; that file is now in queue
and ready for the cue to play it. Moments later I play MD1-04 (cue 16, "car
accelerates into driving") while pausing MD2-05.
So the sequence, which takes place in a short few seconds, perhaps twenty seconds
NEW SOUND FILE
OLD SOUND FILE
cue 12 MD1-03 "car driving 2"
scene change music down and off
verbal cue to make turn
cue 13 MD2-03 "car turn 1"
when done, move to put MD2-04 "car turn 2" as queued for next
MD1-03 "car driving 2" -- slide vol down then back up
verbal cue to make turn
cue 14 MD2-04 "car turn 2"
when done, move to put MD2-05 "brake screech and horn honks" as
queued for next
MD1-03 "car driving 2" -- slide vol down then back up
verbal cue for Buddy to hit the brakes
cue 15 MD2-05 "brake screech and horn honks"
MD1-03 "car driving 2" -- off (pause)
move to put MD1-04 "car accelerates into driving" as queued for
verbal cue for Buddy to accelerate -- only a few moments after previous cue
cue 16 MD1-04 "car accelerates into driving"
MD2-05 "brake screech and horn honks" -- off (pause)
move to put MD2-06 "car turn 3" as queued for next
verbal cue to make turn
cue 17 MD2-06 "car turn 3"
MD1-04 "car accelerates into driving *(now at driving
sounds)" -- slide vol down then back up
verbal cue for Buddy to hit the brakes, again
cue 18 MD2-07 "brake screech solo" into car idling
MD1-04 "car accelerates into driving *(now at driving -- off
This grid table may or may not make sense to all readers, but for those that it
does, here is the screw up:
At cue 15, when I hit MD2-05 "brake screech and horn honks," I did
pause MD1-03 "car driving 2," but I failed to move to MD1-04 "car
accelerates into driving" as the next sound file queued on disc player 1. So,
subsequently, instead of playing the start of MD1-04 "car accelerates into
driving," at cue 16, I played MD1-03 at the point where I had stopped it. Not
a horrible error, it is, after all, driving noise, which is essentially not
contrary to the present action. Yet, there was, of course, no appropriate
acceleration sound, but this was not some major screw-up that killed the drama or
comedy. Another problem, however, was that MD1-03 is not tailored for this part of
the scene. I knew I would run out of sound before the actors ran out of scene. I was
checking to see how long MD1-03 was and I then missed cue 17 MD2-06 "car turn
3." To add further injury, when MD1-03 did finally come toward its end, I knew
I would have to start it over (I would use that one because there is no acceleration
at the start to call attention to itself). When I did restart it there was something
like .75 to 1.5 seconds of dead space in terms of driving sound. Again, this was not
horrible sinfulness, but still, a lot of mess-up because of one cue failure on my
The Sunday screw ups were a tad more pathetic. First one had to do with the phone.
It is a practical (which means it's an appliance on stage that actually plugs in and
works on it's own accord). Of course it's not plugged into an outside phone line,
but it is connected to a button in the booth where I make it ring on cue. This
particular phone powers down into a sleep mode that causes the first ring -- as
it's waking up -- to be delayed a fraction more than two seconds. Beyond that, if
it's been without power, the hand set needs to charge some before it will ring at
The phone is used as a prop, to make a call, in an early scene, then later comes
the in-coming call that requires the ring. In between these two moments, on
Sunday, one of the actors saw that the phone had not been completely hung back on
its carriage after the "out-going" call bit. Now I have a dilemma. Is it
asleep? Has it a sufficient charge? I'm usually able to wake it up without ringing
it, when it's powered down, by pushing the button for about a half-second. I did
so and the damned thing rang, and we're too early in the scene. Totally my fault.
At the end of Act I there's music from a radio, which is
directed sound that emanates from the portion of the set where the scene happens.
This music plays through the scene and takes us to the end of the act and into
intermission. Thus, the pre-show and intermission music are play lists in my iTunes
on my MacBook. Since this song from the show moves right into the intermission, it's
actually the first song in the intermission playlist. So what we have is cue 21: LTi
(LapTop iTunes) "Radio music" into "intermission
music." At the visual cue of the radio being turned on I play cue 21 and, with
the exception of volume changes and speaker redistribution, that cue runs (the songs
in the iTunes play list run) until the top of Act II.
Here's what happened: I accidentally started another song in the iTunes list, by
making a careless mistake. That cut short the song that is supposed to be coming
from the radio in the scene. This time the sound, the music from the radio, is an
important part of the texture of the scene and characters respond to it. So I had
to quickly scramble to get the correct music back out of the radio in the Levaco's
universe. Both absolutely and completely my fault in a Homer Simpson style
performance shots from Kimberly Akimbo:
Nevertheless, the first weekend was a successful one for performance in general,
including the sound tech guy. We had smaller audiences than desirable, but they
all seemed to like the show, though some were more responsive than others during
the actual performances.
One other note on sound. There's a fast-food joint called Zippy Burger that needed
a working squawk box for Jeff (Tim Moore) to speak through for a drive-though window
scene. Bob "Mr. Electrical Engineer" Mills to the rescue again. With the
help of two walky-talkies, intended for run crew communication, a head-set
microphone and a small computer speaker, we have a practical for this on stage and
Jeff actually speaks through the speaker at the drive-through ordering box.
*The squawk box and the pick-up window are one long, moving set piece. So, it's
actually that which moves when the car (really stationary) drives through.
Back to the overall success so far, the show has received a good "Thumbs
Up" from Russell Florence Jr. as his Editor's Choice in the Mar 3-9, 2010
Dayton City Paper (v.7:no.10), where he
calls Ellen Finch's work "delightfully understated" and "occasionally
heartbreaking"; Troy Lindsay and Teresa Connair are "excellent";
Megan Cooper is "razor sharp"; and Florence calls Tim Moore's performance
"endearing." He gave other kudos, too.
Click here for the review.
So we are now past the halfway mark of the run; last night was the second of our
sophomore weekend and this weekend we have had the audience sizes the show ought to
have. Perhaps the good review helped.
Thus far this weekend I've had only one goof on sound op: I jumped a cue in the
Friday night performance. There were, of course, other goofs from other
participants; Live Theatre, Ya Know.
Callback For The King's Daughters Medical Centers --
Tuesday evening, or, late in the afternoon, really, I got a call from
Peter Condopoulos at PC-Goenner Talent Agency
about a callback the next day for The King's Daughters Medical Centers commercial.
I felt just as good, if not better about the callback than I did the first
screentest for this project. The director and, I think, some people from
the ad agency were there this time. They seemed pleased with my audition, too.
However, since production was this past Wednesday through Friday, it is clear I
was not cast.
Student Film -- Last Saturday I drove to MU in Oxford, Ohio to audition
for a student film. The director has emailed me to say she and her production
team "loved" my audition and they want to use me in the film, they
just are not sure how, and asked if I was still interested. I replied to let me
know. The principle photography is supposed to be the weekends of March 19-21
and 26-28. So far I have not heard back but, I assume I will be cast.
Intrasession Interviewing and Counseling -- The
Tuesday and Thursday of Kimberly Akimbo Tech Week, I did the latest
Capstone gig for the University of Dayton School of Law. This was a new scenario
for all us actors and a most interesting one dealing with gestational surrogacy
contracts and parental rights. As usual, I won't go into detail because these
exercises are used again and I don't want a future student grabbing this from
Yahoo or Google and learning some point that gives him or her an edge.
And, as always, as an actor, this gave me another great opportunity to hone my
improv skills, mostly as far as responding to whatever as the character would.
Trial Practice Class -- This past Monday night I did
the gig for
Judge Mary Huffman's
criminal trial practice law class that had been snowed out in mid February. I
was two witnesses in two separate cases, the victim in both. These are two I
did for Judge Huffman's class last year. One was the owner of a restaurant who
was mugged in the parking lot after he'd closed his store; the other was a
doctor who alleges he was scammed in a bad investment scheme. On the 15th I'll
be back to play the accused in both these cases, as last year.
These trail practice classes are even more fun for me as an actor because I
really am into the agenda and personality of my characters. It becomes a
challenge to me to try and sculpt my answers to meet the reality, or the image
that my character wants. This is good for the students because their goal is
often different than mine, at least those in the cross examination roles. So
they have the needed challenge of forming their questions to force my character
to meet their agendas.
Judge Huffman clearly wants this. At one point, during the cross of the
swindled doctor, the law student asked my character essentially, "You
really have no reason to believe my client defrauded you whatsoever, do
you?" My character's response was, "Well, the police certainly did,
since they immediately called the FBI!" Judge Huffman said, "Oh,
you're good," then went on to talk with the student and the rest of the
class about how the question should have been phrased so that all my
character could respond with was "yes" or "no."
I must say, I really enjoy these U.D. gigs.
Still have in motion the actions toward a particular project, that I believe I've
mentioned here before in references as vague as this. I and the other party involved
have been together lately to work on it and will be so again, soon. Honestly, I am
not sure why I am not forthcoming here about the project. There are people around
that are aware of the project; it's not a top-secret venture. I suppose, as much as
I claim I don't buy into theatre arts superstitions, I probably do to some extent.
So, perhaps I'm trying to not jinx it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER / NOT AUDIENCE MEMBER:
Did not get to go see The Vertical Hour at the
Human Race Theatre Company. I really
wished I could have made it, too. Bruce Cromer was
in it and I much wanted to see him on stage again. Time and money -- there're the
A couple Saturdays ago, I did see Urine Town at the
Dayton Playhouse and was most
impressed. The production was top rate and the calibre I would wish to be a part of
were I in a musical. Urine Town, itself, is not a musical I would care about
being in, but, as some will know, I'm not much of a musicals person, anyway: on
stage or in the audience. Several people I know find the musical itself to be bad
and they felt the production and performances outweighed the material. Whereas I
agree with the second point, I did not think the material was bad, but neither
exceptionally good, either.
Last night was The Dayton Playhouse's big fiftieth anniversary shindig. Mostly
because of funds and somewhat because of my schedule, I missed that, too.
I'll probably miss some other productions here in the immediate future, too.
But, hey! If you didn't already know: I am going
to Chicago in June to see
as Hamm in Beckett's Endgame at
I also have every intention of seeing Rounding Third at The Race. Jake
Lockwood and Brian McKnight star, and having read the play, since I got a callback
audition for this production, I know both are going to be great. I look forward to
watching these two play together on stage.
The Sunday show was as successful as the previous five have been. Only goof from the
sound guy was a sound file that was turned down to zero volume level in iTunes, so
the first little bit of the sound cue was not heard -- before I realized what was
wrong and zipped the volume up. But the audience would have no idea anything was
missing, so, it wasn't fatal.
Three more performances! Three more chances for the sound guy to get it 100% pure.
This possible theatrical mounting seems now more possible. It's too soon to
say it's probable and way too soon to declare a lock. But there's someone very
interested in directing and other signs that it just may happen.
I do hope so.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Now we are coming up on a production meeting and I have been in contact with an
organization of lawyers and others in law professions about sponsoring the
I suppose I ought to read the script -- both as producer and as an auditioning
The day may be almost over when I post this, but the Irish
blood in me can't allow me to not give a nod to Saint Patrick's
Have to say (write) that this was a really great experience. The show was well
cast and all the production elements pulled together quite successfully.
A special word about Troy Lindsay, who was cast as Buddy, the dad. I auditioned
for that role and whereas I was not pining for the part, I did have a serious
interest. Director Saul Caplan even told me that I gave an excellent audition for
the role -- such comment which has it's obvious merits but still in the end, if ya
ain't cast ya ain't cast. My main point is that there have been those times when I
have not been cast and I look at the actor who has, either in the entirety of his
work as I am aware of it, or in the particular circumstance, and I am forced to say,
"Really?" To this day I will adamantly stand by the conviction that on
several occasions it was a bad move for the particular director to cast the person
who got the role over me -- in one case it was a very brilliant actor who was
horribly miscast and his performance did an indefensible disservice to the story the
playwright had intended to be on the stage.
Okay, snippy little sour-grapes aside. And I told this to Troy: I cannot begrudge
the casting of Troy as Buddy in any stretch of the imagination. He was absolutely
wonderful in the role. He had hilariously over-the-top moments that had me on the
floor, and there was one moment, in Buddy's last scene, Buddy's most risen to
a full adult moment, that is so emotionally profound and tender that Troy
brought a tear to my eye every performance, including the last several dress
So, I hope we see Troy on stage a lot more -- I surmise he'd been off stage for
almost a decade -- but I'll be a little chagrined to see him at the auditions I'm
at because we'll be often up for the same roles and this guy is serious competition.
Meanwhile, strong performances from the rest of the cast and the introduction of
another actor, new to The Guild, Tim Moore, who was charming as the geeky Jeff. He
had several very funny moments that always made me laugh, too.
Nick Vanderpool did some snazzy lighting, especially the animal carrousel at the end
of the show, during that same spot that I have, for sound op, designated as the
page from hell.
As for the sound, I was mostly happy with the design and the execution. A few car
sounds were not exactly what i would have liked, such as the road turns, but if
you coupled them with the action they enhanced, the audience bought them.
I never did get the performance with no errors as sound tech. But, I've never had
a performance as actor with no errors, either.
Last night I did the second halves of the two trial practice cases for
Judge Huffman's class.
First time I was the victims in both scenarios; this time I was the defendants.
Looks like a few more of these type of gigs coming up in a few weeks.
UM, MAYBE I'VE BEEN CAST.....:
No. I have.
Ok. If you remember, (or scroll up), I auditioned for a student film at
Miami University a few weeks ago. I
shortly thereafter received a very nice, positive email that said they loved my
auditioned and would I still be interested in being the film. I indicated that I
would and to let me know. I never heard back, until just a little while ago, this
evening. The wardrobe person sent a blanket email regarding the costume plot.
I am, indeed, in the movie. I emailed back for all the details I need: script;
who; where; when. So, I get to be a priest. The scene I'm in shoots next Friday,
Though this potential production for next year is still not a locked-in thing, there
is some action happening. I and the actor who will be the other lead in the play
are very likely to do a dramatic reading in just a few weeks for a small handful of
people pertinent to the fruition of the mounting. I'll name names when this is all
the way outside of the realm of my wishes and desires.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Just a reminder that auditions are coming up on Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and
I saw Rent last Saturday night, after Kimberly Akimbo was done for
the day. There were certainly several impressive performances on the stage. I can't
say I was much enthused with the show itself; but, there are some good songs and the
show is a great showcase for young triple-threats to showcase themselves. Several of
the actors have some excellent talent to showcase.
I have the script for the movie. Since none of the casting calls gave the title, I
assume the producers don't want that out so I will not share that here. I shoot, as
I said, next Friday. The call is for noon at a church in Oxford, close to
Miami University. Depending on which way
I go, according to Yahoo and Google, it'll be anywhere from a 68 to a 72 mile drive.
So, theoretically another $35 will be cut from the top of my 2010 gross when I do
my taxes next year.
In April I have several mock trial sorts of gigs coming up. One is April 12. Here's
hoping I have to miss a rehearsal of A Case of Libel for that one, which is
Judge Mary Huffman.
Looks like a private dramatic reading of the play I'm trying to launch a production
of will occur within the next few weeks, for ears that can help to place the mounting
where I hope it to be.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
First, of course, auditions are Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and 6 at The Guild,
7:00 pm. You can see the details at the audition button at the
Guild web site.
Now that KImberly Akimbo is all wrapped it's time for me to put more
focused attention on this project from two perspectives. First, I need to start
being seriously proactive as the producer. Not that I haven't been proactive, it's
simply that it now must demand more of my energy and mind.
I also need to read the script, not only as the producer, who sort of needs to
know the work he's/she's producing, but also as one of the multitude of male
actors in the Dayton area who will be auditioning -- where one definitely needs
to know the play.
Meanwhile I'm awaiting a response from the president of a local Inns of Court, whom
I approached about that organization sponsoring the production, since there's the
obvious tie-in. I went the email track; perhaps now a call is in order.
And back on the ranch we have a production meeting this coming Tuesday night. Most
of our production team is assembled. Now all we need is the stellar cast --
-- with that
(who played The Beadle in
production of Sweeney Todd) in a major role in this one....
For several weeks now I've had a DVD of the performance of Night and Fog,
by M.J. Feely, the winning play from last summer's
FutureFest 2009, and
in which I had the supporting role of Col. Gregory Stratton. I, of course, have not
braved to watch it, yet.
Have my ticket for next Wednesday's performance of Rounding Third at the
Human Race Theatre Company Loft Theatre,
featuring Jake Lockwood and Brian McKnight. I am much looking forward to it. I also
plan to see several very talented ladies in Steel Magnolias at the
DAYTON THEATRE GUILD'S 2010/2011 SEASON:
The Dayton Theatre Guild has announced its 65th consecutive season of live theatre
with six plays in the regular season and another of the popular holiday bonus shows
it has become known for.
Frank's Life -- The season opens with Mark
Dunn's dark comedy about Frank, a man starring in his own soap opera but he
alone doesn't know it. A darkly funny show with a surprising, warm ending.
The Sugar Witch -- Set in the Florida swamp
country of the Watchalahoochee River, Nathan Sanders' The Sugar Witch
unfolds as an at times eerie, weird and often very funny story of what's left
of the Bean family -- Moses and Sisser, and Annabelle, the Sugar Witch. And yes,
there may be flying cats, casting of spells, country music, to mention a few
Ravenscroft -- Don Nigro's comedy pits one
British Inspector against five possible murderesses in this send up of the
traditional English locked room murder mystery. After the suspicious deaths of
the handsome stable boy and Ravenscroft himself, the Inspector finds himself
reeling as he tries to divine the truth, any truth, from each of the remarkable
women in this house who are seemingly more than a match for him. Sparkling
dialogue and very funny.
Fat Pig -- Does size matter? When a nice
average Joe finds himself attracted by a Rubenesque woman what if his friends
deride him? What if his ex-squeeze can't understand it? This very contemporary
play, by Neil LaBute, explores it all with wit and understanding and plenty for
every theatergoer to think about after the curtain falls.
The Boys Next Door -- The classic play by
Tom Griffin tell the tory of four emotionally and/or mentally challenged men
focuses on the apartment where Arnold, Julien, Norman and Barry live as part of
an independent living program. Jack, the social worker, does what he can to
guide them. They face their own separate trials and seem to be on the path to a
happier life. An uplifting classic full of humor and wisdom.
Mauritius -- Therese Rebeck's offering shows
that stamp collecting is far more risky than you think. After their mother's
death, two estranged half-sisters discover a book of rare stamps that may
include the crown jewel for collectors. In this gripping tale, a seemingly
simple sale becomes dangerous.
Holiday bonus show -- The Guild is still in
negotiations for a very special script.
I don't have a lot of lines for Friday's shoot, but they are going on my trusty
It's set. April 3 several people will attend a private reading of the play I
propose to do next season with a local theatre company. Our director is on board
and my cohort and I will be getting together soon to rehearse the reading up to
snuff. I believe our designated director for the potential production will be there,
I've actually just ordered two copies of the play from the publisher for myself and
the lady in the female lead. We've been working off pdf's of the play that have some
legibility problems in places. Royalties haven't been applied for yet, but that's
because such is premature. The should would go up in just about a year from now.
This mounting will be a great opportunity and I so hope it comes to fruition.
So I've watched part of that Night and Fog DVD -- M.J. Feely's winning play
I watched only the first scene, perhaps really the second one, where my Col.
Gregory Stratton makes his entrance.
I was not anywhere close to completely happy with my performance. It goes back to
that same damned deficiency: my jerky movements and lumbering gate. I find this a
serious failing that I must consciously and methodically work on. It has become
unacceptable to me. Such, in my mind, incredibly bad movement on stage or screen
is an affectation that unavoidably overpowers the tenor and essence of the character
that's supposed to be portrayed -- and affecting it wrongly.
I have got to knock it out and right now!
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Remember, auditions are two weeks from tonight, Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and 6
at The Guild, 7:00 pm. You can see the details at the audition button at
the Guild web site.
And, I have actually now read the play. and that's a good thing since we have a
production meeting tomorrow evening and it might not be, as I indicated before, a
bad idea for the producer to know the play before the production meeting.
I plan to get my hair cut tomorrow, so I emailed the director to be sure this would
not be a problem. It is not cool to get cast then change your appearance
unbeknownst to the director/producers of the project. She is okay with it.
Don't have the lines on my flash cards yet but I shall, perhaps in just a few
minutes after writing and posting this. Like I said, there aren't that many. I
would hope I have them in my head when I arrive on set Friday.
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Good production meeting last night -- 35 minutes long,
thank you: I'd said I was shooting for 30 but was not about to let it be
more than one hour.
And, once again, auditions are now less than two weeks away, Monday and Tuesday,
April 5 and 6 at The Guild, 7:00 pm. You can see the details at the
audition button at
the Guild web site.
I'm at The Race tonight to see
Jake Lockwood and Brian McKnight in this.
I'm off in just a little while, heading to the college film shoot in Oxford, by
Miami University. Icy road conditions
this morning. I awoke to the radio announcer reporting multiple accidents on the
highways. And Oxford is surrounded by rural, so I texted my contact that I am
allowing myself three hours to get there. Should be regularly about 75 minutes for
me. It's 8:30 now, so I must be out the door in about a half-hour.
Otherwise, I worked on my lines last night, after that hair cut I'd said I was
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Aside from getting the initial production team contact list corrected and
distributed, there's nothing to report, except......................................
.....................auditions are now less than two weeks away, Monday and Tuesday,
April 5 and 6 at The Guild, 7:00 pm. You can see the details at the
audition button at
the Guild web site.
On a kind of related topic, I was just brought on board to design sound for the
Guild's first show next season, Frank's Life by Mark Dunn.
The copies of the script I ordered from the play publisher have, according to the
email I received yesterday afternoon, been shipped. I actually had hoped the scripts
would arrive about today, but at least they're on their way.
So, I saw Brian McKnight and Jake Lockwood Wednesday night at
The Loft. Work to envy from both of
them! If you remember, I got a call back for this. After seeing the work these men
did, I am not sure I have anything like the comedy chops this script demands. We
all know how impressed I am with my own comedic instincts.
As I said in the last entry, there were reports on the radio Friday morning of
multiple accidents due to freezing rain and snow. And since the church is on the
Miami University campus in Oxford, which is surrounded by a lot of rural roads I
decided I'd better give myself a bit of lead time. I emailed my contact and she told
me that the cast call had been moved to noon because lighting the church proved more
of a challenge than anticipated. The schedule I had received had noon on it, so that
was what i was shooting for, anyway. My plan was to leave at 9:00 am, but I really
didn't hit the road until about 9:45. The icy conditions were all gone by then, even
in rural south-west Ohio; I got to the set about an hour early. Though it was more
than three hours later that the lights were set for shooting.
First thing to point out: these students had fabulous equipment to work with, not
the least being the major HD camera on set, the
listing at just below forty grand and the exact model used to shoot
They had access because one of the cast, who also helped write the script, has a
brother who is an industry DP in L.A. and he was able to borrow the camera from a
colleague. There was a lot of really impressive lighting and monitoring equipment,
but I cannot say directly that this came through the brother.
It did take a while to get all those pro-class lights set the way the director and
the DP wanted them. But by 2:15 the energy was building because things are starting
to crackle; it was clear shooting was about to start. I was a part of the first
wide, master shot, standing at the lectern on the podium, as the priest, as the
loved ones of the deceased came down the center isle.
I also am in frame in some subsequent shots that show parts of the end of the
action from the first shot.
My character's actual ministering wasn't shot for quite a while, however. I wasn't
wrapped until perhaps 9:00. A lead actor had to leave by a certain time so all her
work was shot first.
As for my minister, at first he was looked upon as more of a generic clergyman than
a "priest," but when we shot the close-ups of me doing my dialogue, the
director, Olivia Otten, decided he should be a priest. So she took some
small strips of paper and taped them in place to create a priest's collar.
Apparently it worked. I guess in the first long shot I am far enough away, and
in the others I am on briefly enough that no one will notice that little
"priest collar" is not there; so I suppose there will be no continuity
I was also very sure that they'd need to powder my baldness a lot, but they didn't
seem to need to.
So how'd my performance go. Well, I screwed my lines a few times but I suppose they
got usable footage. Besides the line flubs I actually felt like it went pretty well.
The exterior of the church with blinders over the windows on
one side to help control the lighting.
Costume designer and makeup artist Karli Eirich as she
irons the priest's rob from my costume.
DP Nick Anderson with AJ-HPX2700 working with the crane,
practicing a pedestal shot.
Long shot view from the monitor.
Prepping for the shoot
Prepping for the shoot
Prepping for the shoot
Prepping for the shoot
Shooting a scene.
The AJ-HPX2700 shoots me.
AUDITION FOR A COMMERCIAL:
Peter Condopoulos at PC-Goenner Talent Agency
called today about a screentest at the agency tomorrow afternoon for a
commercial. I'm supposed to try to find a butcher's bib apron. My first thought was
to drive into Dayton to The Guild
after work today to look for such clothing in the wardrobe loft, but frankly, I did
not want to drive into Dayton.
I dropped by a few stores on the way home to see if I might find the garment cheap,
but no such luck. The plan now is to get up early and drop by the Meijer by work;
if that's a bust, then I'll leave work for the audition earlier than I planned and
drop by the Guild.
Schedule is set for a rehearsal Thursday at 7:00 pm and Friday at 8:00 pm, but with
our director in tow. We will do the reading for the ears that count Saturday at
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Auditions are one week away, Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and 6 at The Guild, 7:00 pm.
You can see the details at the audition button at the
Guild web site.
I dropped by PC-Goenner Talent Agency this
afternoon and did my little screentest as the butcher at Krogers. That trip to
Meijer I planned for this morning on the way to the rent-paying job was a mixed
success. I did manage to find a blue golf shirt that resembles the blue shirts
Krogers employees wear, so that was good. I did not find a bib apron there. But I
called our DTG president, and
she who knows the DTG costume inventory better than anyone else, Carol Finley,
and she told me where to find a whole several drawers full of aprons.
Stopped by The Guild before going to the agency and grabbed two of the aprons: a
white one that sort of worked and a black one that i ended up going with, based on
my instincts, the advice of Ms. Elena Monigold, whom happened to have just finished
her own audition there, and then what agent Peter Condopoulos thought might work
The actual screentest was short and sweet and I think went well.
The schedule for the end of the week is still the same. There is some change-up
concerning when the play would go up into production, however. Might be April of
2011 as originally targeted, might be June of 2011, or it may be this coming
PRODUCING A CASE OF LIBEL:
Auditions start less than week from now. They are Monday and Tuesday, April 5 and 6
at The Guild, 7:00 pm. You can see the details at the audition button at
the Guild web site.