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

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Fri, Oct 1, 2010

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Greg Geraldo
Greg Geraldo
1965-2010
When I learned that comedian Greg Geraldo used to be a lawyer I was not the least bit surprised.

His comedy was always smart, deceptively deep and though it was usually brutally honest, it was also usually thoughtful, though perhaps not always tactful to everybody's ears.

I thought he was one of the best out there. If I am channel surfing and land on his stand-up routine, I always stop, even if I've seen it before.

I wish his family and his friends strength in light of their loss.




Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis
1925-2010

and then there's Tony

a true great star who could
cross movie genres with ease







SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
xxxx
Catherine Collins, with Chris Harmon (seated) & Nicklaus Moberg (standing).
THE SUGAR WITCH:

  • Sound Design -- First of all, the damned flying cats are not yet finished with me!

    It's the friggin' wing flaps. I can't up the pitch in the software to where it needs to be without getting a flanging phase shift that I can't seem to eliminate. This means I have to almost start over. I'm not going to go all the way back to re-recording the actual flapping -- you know?: my hands whipping in front of the mic. But I am going to transfer them from the analog tape into the digital world on my laptop again. This time I'll up the speed on the tape machine so as to get an original digital file that has a higher pitch to begin with. We'll see how that works. The concern is that the wing flaps may be more rapid than I want, but, maybe not.

    I need to conquer this flying cats SFX soon. I have a lot of other sound to work on and this needs off my plate.

    Still have to foley tires on a dirt road for the vehicles, create "the distant and anguished cries of restless dead," pick two more underscore music pieces and edit one of the underscore songs I have picked.

    In that last case, I want to start the song after an a cappella intro then circle back to that opening at the end.

    So, yes, I need to wrap these damned flying cats!!

    Oh yeah! One more mothertruckin' problem!: I had planned to use the actors to get that sound file of "the distant and anguished cries of restless dead." Wednesday evening I set everything up to record them with the four-track. Enter the intrusion of the radio broadcast on my recording system -- same problem I've had on occasion in the past. I was so frustrated by it that I forgot I could have probably moved the whole setup into the board room -- where the reception seems to be blocked. Director Doug even asked if there was somewhere else in the building I could record them and the boardroom did not come to my mind.

    I also need to commit only one of my two weekend days to other DTG work, mostly building upgrade type of stuff, until this sound design is kicked out. I have to spend as much time as I can on this work.

  • Podcast -- Thursday, October 14 is the date set for the group interview. I am going to contact the person I hope to bring on board as the second camera operator about that date. I am also going to approach the person I have in mind to conduct the interview. If I can't get a facilitator then I'll do like I did for the The Sandstorm & soldiering On: I'll ask the questions but only the responses will be in the edit.

    Yesterday I borrowed a lavallière mic from campus to check how it'll work with my four-track recorder. I plan to mic the interviewer with the lavallière, if you remember. Now my only concern is that radio station interference problem. I don't want to conduct the interview in the board room. I want to do it on the set.




U.D. LAW GIG:

The first installment of this particular gig is next Tuesday. I've been studying the Arabic and Farsi dialect and am about to jump deep into the scenario.



Thu, Oct 7, 2010

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THE SUGAR WITCH:
SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders

  • Sound Design -- New sounds added to the show's repertoire.

    I have created the sound file of a fire. I also have created the "distant and anguished cries of restless dead."

    The fire is a blending of two burning-wood sound files I procured. The first of the two is a bit lighter but as I repeat the file in the mix, each new instance, from the second instance onward, has increasing intensities of reverb. The second file used is heavier and it comes in after a few moments, at a low volume that gradually increases through each repeat of the file in the mix. The end result of the mix is the sound of a growing fire.

    The anguished cries of the dead, which I'd originally planned to enlist the help of the cast with, in the end is made up of multiple instances of myself, recorded and/or played back at different speeds with me putting on different vocalizations with each. Some sound like women weeping or sobbing. I believe it is effective.

    I also was able to avoid the need to foley the sound of automobile tires on a dirt road. With one last try on-line at the theatre Sunday before I started set work, I was able to find a sound file store that had what I need. I haven't mixed the vehicle sound files for the show yet, but the process will now be far more convenient.

    ***** As For Those _________ Flying Cats!!!: For a long time now, something like a year or two, or perhaps longer, I have resisted employing the "F" word on this blog as an adjective. I have no personal aversion to the word; in fact, I probably am considered too cavalier in my day-to-day use of the word. Other people are not thrilled with it and some are downright offended by it, of course. So, I try not use it as an essayist or blogger except in what I could justify as strong poetic or editorial use.
               Now, I don't mean to write that I have found such justification here; but man do I want to try!
               I was at the theatre this past Sunday, mostly to lend a hand toward set construction, but naturally took some time to listen to sounds through the house sound system since that is the delivery system the sounds are being produced for.
               Those _______ cat wing flaps still sounded too "heavy!"
               So I stayed a little late and played with the mixes. I put EQ audio filters into each cat wings file in the mix timelines in Final Cut Express with pretty much all the low frequencies dropped out. This works "better" but I'm still not 100% happy with the results.

  • Set Construction -- Sunday, I did help as much as a carpenter-challenged guy like me can without evolving into a hindrance. The scavenged barn wood looks absolutely great on the Bean house. Set Designer Blake Senseman and Nick Vanderpool applied most of the wood to the house; I did the stage left side. I also started to attach wood to the small shack upstage right but we were running out of viable wood as well as the day was getting on.

    The last row of pictures below were taken Tuesday when I dropped by the theatre before my U.D. gig to snap pics of what had been further accomplished on Monday.

    Once again, we are going to have a cool set at The Dayton Theatre Guild.


  • xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

  • Podcast -- Fred Blumenthal has come on board to conduct the group interview. Fred Boomer and Lee Kuupur will operate the cameras. Don Spelvin Jr. will engineer the sound during taping.

    My hope is to shoot this on the set, ideally in front of the Bean house. The only caveat is that if we get that damned radio station picking up on the recorder then we'll have to do it in the office -- but that second option is not my preference. I will have two mics on boom stands pointed at the group and Fred Blumenthal will wear a lavalière mic.

    The good news on this radio station interference front is that I hooked the audio recorder up Sunday before set work began to see if there were particular variables that attract the radio signal. Whereas I found no specific variables, there also was no interference whatsoever. Let's hope that is the case on the 14th when we shoot the interview.

    To get ahead of the game at least to some extent, I've created the text for the closing credits of the podcast dv movie, subject to revision, of course.

    I also had planned to drop by last night, under the uninformed impression that the rehearsal was on Act I, to shoot footage that includes Lynn Kesson. The last time I was to shoot that act I was sick and didn't make it. They were, however, doing scene work and Lynn was not be there. Act I is up tonight, and my U.D. gig will be done in time for me to make most, perhaps all, of the rehearsal.

    The other consideration is that there are just way too many spoilers in Act II, so though I can use footage from there, it will have to be sparingly and often will have to be MOS B-Roll -- (I.E.: visual background without sound).

    My current plan is to shoot forefront rehearsal footage, where playwright Nathan Sander's permission, which he has granted us, to use dialogue from the script comes into play. I had thought to shoot this on the Monday of tech week, but I have decided I'll do it on Thursday, the 14th, after we shoot the interview.




  • U.D. LAW GIG:
    xxxx
    xxxx

    All day Monday and most of yesterday was about prep for the first session of this gig, which was late afternoon yesterday.

    Took two vacation days and spent all day, and I do mean all day, Monday, rewriting all the information from the data sheets provided me onto my handy index cards (my flash cards).

    The act of the writing, itself, is a way to start committing the information. Then, of course, it is the flash cards to study and test the information, the facts -- the "drilling process."

    Also, all day long I had both the Arabic and the Persian (Farsi) dialect CDs playing on my CD player, while Groove Salad played, at a lower volume, through the boom box hooked to my lap top.

    Writing the flashcards was quite literally close to an all-day undertaking. I did break on occasion for such petty things as meals -- though I did eat lunch while writing -- and checking email and just plain writer's-cramp breaks. I am most happy to report that the TV stayed off until reruns of How I Met Your Mother at 11 p.m.

    My TV reward was right after I had finished recording myself, in character (dialect), regurgitating all the information so I could burn a disk and play it all night while I slept.

    The original plan had been to work 7:00-11:00 Tuesday morning then bone up on the scenario details before the 4:30 pm gig. It became obvious by late afternoon Monday that I would also need Tuesday morning to study and drill. So I called work and scheduled the whole day off. I took the whole day off today as well, to refresh and better ingrain for tonight's second gig session.

    As for Tuesday night's work. For the first time I had to cheat a little and refer to notes and a crib scribble on the outside of my note pad that consisted of several Arabic names and some locations I needed to be sure to know. I did okay with the dialect, especially since my character received all his education in Great Britain. But, as I wrote on facebook last night, I spent several hours as the palest Afghani in the world.

    My hope is that tonight the pale Afghani doesn't have to refer to his notes quite as often.


    In the audience icon

    August: Osage County -- I spent Saturday night at a large country home outside Pawhuska, Oklahoma, sixty miles northwest of Tulsa, in Osage County, in August 2007, for the collaborative presentation by the Wright State University Theatre and Motion Picture Department and the Human Race Theatre Company.

    Gotta say it is an impressive production with all-around fine work from commendably good performances to down right excellent performances. The two women in the lead roles, Susanne Marley as the matriarch Violet Weston and Kristie Berger as her eldest daughter Barbara Fordham, were both especially grand performances. But, beyond them it was a really good evening of theatre and I so wish I'd been closer to the opportunity to audition and be cast to work with this particular group of actors.



    Sat, Oct 9, 2010

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    John Lennon

    HAPPY 70TH

    John Lennon
    1940-1980



    Tue, Oct 12, 2010

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    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
    xxxx
    xxxx
    THE SUGAR WITCH:

    • Sound Design -- Well, last night I mixed the last of the soundscape needs for the show: Underscore Number Three, which is almost a mash-up and that I am calling "Night of the Hurricane" because it plays under a narrative about such. It is an edit together of parts of two different acoustic guitar instrumentals, though I think I am going to tweak the mix a bit more.

      Sunday, after helping some to work with set construction, I spent a few hours at The Guild mixing most of last vestiges of the sound. Unfortunately we have to use canned gunshots because we did not find a rifle we can load with blanks. So, I processed some shots to sound appropriate for their contexts.

      The vehicle sound files are now mixed. There was a lot of changing speeds and pitches to get the sounds of compact cars to sound like the engines of pick-up trucks. Played with door shuts and slams, too.

      I also slightly remixed some of the music we are using so each of these particular pieces would better work where it is designated for use. One I slowed down just a tad. One I have starting a little into the performance because that section works better. One I have extended in length be repeating sections.

      And, I'm happy to report that I have someone to cover as sound operator for the day I must be absent. My niece is getting married so I am off the DTG grid that day.

      So, now all that's potentially left is tweaking some mixes if it seems necessary. I'll be running a lot of sound tonight and tomorrow during rehearsal so when we get to the dry tech run Sunday morning it will not all be completely unknown quantities.

      I'm actually at the very moment I type this sentence -- and only a few minutes before I post this blog entry -- at The Guild and about to tweak the "Night the Hurricane" mix. Then, if I think there's time, I may transfer things to the correct media, which mostly means on one of two mini compact disks.

    • Set Work -- I did a little bit of painting on Sunday.
    • Podcast -- I've reserved two dv cameras and the lavallière mic from campus for the interview shoot this Thursday.

      Fred Blumenthal asked for some prepared questions so I wrote him up a sheet that still gives him some latitude to veer off or supplement when the occasions arrive.



    U.D. LAW GIG:

    Things went pretty well at the Thursday installment. I still had to rely way more on referring to my notes than I would have chosen to. I actually kept forgetting a couple names Thursday that I did not forget on Tuesday.

    The "deposition" exercises are after The Sugar Witch closes so I should be able to study and recommit and further commit the facts to my memory cells.



    Fri, Oct 22, 2010

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    OPENING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

    THE SUGAR WITCH by Nathan Sanders at the Dayton Theatre Guild.



    Wed, Oct 27, 2010

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    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
    THE SUGAR WITCH:

  • Sound Design -- One might think that by the tech/dress rehearsals, all the sound has been mixed. The assumption I made by the dry tech Sunday morning, the 17th, was that this was true. Now, I tweaked a few sounds during tech week -- it amounted to adding more slince after a series of canned gun shots so I would not inadvertantly allow a gun shot to sound before it Is time -- by not pausing the mini-CD player, "MD2," that being the medium for the four shots in a row.

    Through the curtain call at Final Dress, adjustments have been sound level settings that have been tweaked during the course of tech week. But, more volume adjustments were made as the result of the first weekend of performance.

    The biggest change was another edit of the final song. That song runs through all of the last scene and we are using it for the curtain call. We found at the final dress that the song ran just a little short of covering all of the curtain call. So, Friday (the day of Opening Night), at lunchtime, I re-edited it to make it about 30-45 seconds longer. I had actually already edited the song to add something like a minute or more. Well, now I have perhaps doubled the length by repeating various sections of the song, some more than once.

    I also added some flying cats at the end of the new mix. So they get the last word.

    The final operating configuration is two CD players and two mini-disk CD players. "CD1" is for the two swamp ambience disks: daytime, which runs through all of Act I and then Act II:Scene 1; nighttime, which runs through the rest of Act II. "CD2" is for three disks: no.1 is the half-hour of pre-show music, no.2 has the last show song of Act I and then the intermission music, no.3 has that last song of the show -- the one I re-edited. "MD1" is "mini disk player 1" and "MD2" is "mini disk player 2"; they hold all the sound effects and all the music save for the two on the CD2 disks.

    A bit of good news is that I have found my pitch hitter for the Saturday, Nov 6 performance that I must miss as sound operator due my niece's nuptials happening at the same time. Heather Atkinson, who will star in that 99.9%-probable production of Blackbird, opposite, well, me, will sit in. I happened to mention in passing that I needed such a fill-in for the show and she stepped up to the plate on the spot. So, that's good.

    And now I'm not in danger of being the victim of aggravated uncle-cide.

  • Podcast -- Thursday, October 14, I picked up the two dv cameras and the lavallière mic from campus and before rehearsal that night we shot the group interview for the podcast. Fred Blumenthal conducted the interview and Fred Boomer (my DP for the improv movie project) was on one of the two cameras. A videographer of questionable merit, named Lee Kuupur, was on the other camera. Don Spelvin Jr. engineered the production sound.

    Despite some technical audio problems the shoot went well. The audio problem had to with the floor, which creeked a bit when the camera operators would move about to get shots. The boom stands for the mics picked up a lot of that creeking.

    Nevertheless, Fred Blumenthal, Doug Lloyd, and the cast all did great jobs with the interview and I had a treasure trove of material to edit from. *(see last entry above or click here)

    I took Friday, the 15th, off from the paycheck job to edit the podcast. I finished in the wee early hours of the morning on Saturday, and after having rendered the 640x480 letterbox version, I began the upload for that to the DTG facebook account, then went to bed -- just about 5:00 a.m.

    Over that same weekend I uploaded the wide screen version to the DTG YouTube account, but, as I found was the case with the Frank's Life podcast, the video rendered by YouTube -- and, I may add, from a higher quality movie file -- is not as good in quality as the version on the facebook account.

  • The Start of a Tradition? -- Once again, as I did for Frank's Life, I elected to stay overnight at the theatre the Saturday into Tech Sunday.

    I'd arrived Saturay just in time to join everyone for lunch. Then I was pretty much in the booth getting all the sound equipment and media set up to properly run the show while other folk, Set Designer Blake Senseman, along with Greg Smith, Carol Finley, Deirdre Root, Nick Vanderpool, and probably others whom I don't now remember being there, worked to do most of the finishes to the set. *I'll be posting set pictures, in earnest, in about a week or two.

    I then spent much of the later afternoon plotting exactly what sound files should go on which medium: CD2, MD1, or MD2. I already knew that CD1 was the dedicated medium for the swamp ambience disks. I also knew that CD2 would be for the pre-show and the intermission, and that one of the disks might also host a song or two from the show. After plotting the sources for each sound file, music or sound effect, I then spent time in the evening recording the files on the appropriate disks -- regular or mini -- from versions in my iTunes library.

    Then I began that upload of the podcast to YouTube, read my email, checked in on facebook, then went to sleep in that big ol' theatre building, which is a little creepy at night in the dark.

    Hey, it's a Halloween type of a show.

  • Tech Sunday & Tech Week -- It's safe to say I was the first person at the dry tech Sunday morning. A "Dry Tech" is where what is going on is the discussion and setting of the technical cues and effects, those being all of the light, sound, and any special effects gags that a play might employ (such as perhaps fog, smoke, snow or moving walls, items floating on wires, etc).

    Once we had discussed and set most of the levels and cues in and out, we were going to do a cue-to-cue without the cast, but there was no extra script handy, so there was no way to really call the show to run the c2c. So we just broke for lunch and took care of some things. I headed to Radio Shack to get some stereo-to-mono adaptors to better plug two of the machines into the sound mixing board. We had 1/4" stereo plugs plugged into two of the mono inputs on the board -- that is a precarious setup, as the connections are not fit well between the two. It can and does cause sound to cut out.

    Then at 3:00 we did a run through with the cast, and with my Ms. Pinch-hitter there to witness me fumble through my cues. It was, of course, across the board, less than perfect. The big sound effects SNAFU for me that day, and what became the trouble spot of the show for me, is a series of gun shots that unfortunately have to be canned (recorded sound files) rather than practical: "practical," of course, in this case meaning live blanks).

    There needs to be coordination with some visually obvious cue from the actor, or some precise counting from an action or word, so that the sound operator can play the sound of the gun shot and the actor can react well to the "gun shot" from the gun in his or her hands. It's tricky. It was a complete clusterbust on Tech Sunday, and only terribly successful once during the four tech/dress rehearsals. The trouble has been with the sound operator, by-the-way, not the actor.

    Those dress rehearsals during the week went quite well, overall, for all of the cast and the crew.

    One technical problem I had and solved reared its head at the Tuesday dress. At one point I played the underscore music for a scene of hoodoo incantation in Act II, but got almost no volume. I later determined that the problem was/(is) a bad channel (no.3) on the mixing board -- internal dust is the probable culprit. So I pulled that channel from commission and reassigned the mini-disk players from 3 & 4 to 4 & 5.

    On another note, the playwright, Nathan Sanders, created a slide-show movie with pictures he was provided of the Tuesday, Oct 19 dress. You have to have a facebook account and be signed in to watch, and if you do both: click here.

  • The First Weekend of Performances --
    • Opening Night:
      The cast gave a great performance opening night. The audience responded well. The sound operator made two errors of the small variety: two song cues were flubbed. One was the wrong song cued up at the start of Act II; the other was playing the song cue out of order with a sound effect that belongs right before that song cue.
    • Saturday:
      Another stellar performance by the cast. A smaller but just as appreciative audience. With the exception of being only very slightly late (the count of a moment) for one cue, the sound man had an otherwise perfect night.
    • Sunday:
      The cast, again, did really well but some were off their games in a few places as far as concentration on lines. All minor stuff though and it was yet a good performance.

      Sound Boy made two relatively sizable SNAFU's at the same point in the show -- the end of Act I. There is a particular sound effect at the end of the scene that is to be followed, immediately, by the music that takes you out of the scene and the act. That song is the first track on the intermission music CD.

      The trick here is that with the particular CD player that disk is in, cuing tracks on it is not exactly straight-forward. While the sound is muted from the PA, you have to play the track (after you have warmed up or woken up the CD player), let the track play for a few second then pause it. When it's time to play the track you make sure the mixer channel is not muted and you press the rewind/backward button. So long as the player is still warmed up (awake), the track will play from the start, instantly.

      If you hit the Forward instead, however, then the next track will instantly play. Sunday, when I intended to play the music designated to take us out of Act I (track 1, on the CD), I instead hit the forward button and played the second track -- the wrong music, the first official song of the intermission. In my instantaneous panic, rather than jump back to the correct music on the CD, I jumped back on another machine, so we had the brief interspersing of some flying cats at a point where they don't belong.

      Live theatre.......

    So: Good first weekend. The cast has a brush-up, line run tonight. And I do believe we'll have a good second weekend.

    Maybe even the sound guy will.

  • xxxx
    xxxx
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    Interviewer Fred Blumenthal - with camera operator Fred Boomer in the background.
    xxxx
    The cast and director.
    xxxx
    Director Doug Lloyd.
    xxxx
    Dave Nickel (Granddaddy Meeks)
    xxxx
    Nicklaus Moberg (Moses Bean)
    xxxx
    Sarah Caplan (Sisser bean)
    xxxx
    Chris Harmon (Hank Hartley)
    xxxx
    Lynn Kesson (Ruth Ann Meeks)
    xxxx
    Catherine Collins
    (Annabelle - "The Sugar Witch")
    xxxx
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    xxxx
    Somewhere around two or three hours into the upload of the podcast to the DTG YouTube account
    xxxx
    Saturday night, Oct 16, recording show music and sound effects from my laptop onto the mini-cds: the performance medium.
    xxxx
    Long shot of the booth from about the same point in time as the previous shot.
    xxxx
    Dinner for one, circa 11:30 pm, Oct 16.
    xxxx
    Making coffee in the green room the morning of Tech Sunday.
    xxxx
    By Wednesday of Tech/Dress week channel 3 of the mixer was decommissioned.


    AUDITION ICON

    Almost two weeks ago the PC-Goenner Columbus office called about submitting my résumé and actor's photo for a book-to-look commercial gig. No word yet, and by this point I'm making the assumption it's another bust.

    For those who don't know, "Book-To-Look" simply means that the client is interested in a particular type (IE: stereotypical look) for a role. Usually it's either a print ad or it's a commercial where the actors are MOS (which means you can't here their voices if they are speaking to each other, or they aren't talking). It usually still calls for some acting skill, but the client and the casting people are far more interested in the right look: is she a soccer mom? is he a cop? does she look like the helpful big sister?


    xxxx
    HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer

    I have every intention to have news to report about both of these projects, sometime in the near future.

    So, we'll see.....



    Thu, Oct 28, 2010

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    THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE SCREENING THIS WEEKEND:
    'THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE' a film by K.L.Storer, featuring Kimverly J. Reiter with Charity Farrell and Benjamin T. Sadai

    Springfield StageWorks is once again showing Nosferatu, the 1922 film by F.W. Murnau with an original live score by Equinox, tomorrow night and Saturday night, 8:00 pm at The State Theatre, 19 S. Fountain Ave. in Springfield. The door is $5.00, I believe.

    There will be a screening of various short films as well as a trailer for the movie, The State, which was shot in the building last year. That being directed by Troy Berry and Jeremy Johnson and featuring a lot of actors I know. A partial list of those being: J. Gary Thompson, Elizabeth Dillard, Larry Coressel, Bengt Gregory Brown, I believe, Nicklaus Moberg, and I know there is a longer list of actors I know, but I don't remember them all.

    One of the organizers of the weekend, and a member of Equinox, Wayne Justice, asked if I had any movie footage to contribute. All I have that is ready to show is Chorus, so, though I am likely not to be there for either screening this weekend, I am dropping off a new DVD of the movie to Wayne tonight.

    As well, Fred Boomer, who DP'd the improv movie project, is submitting a short movie, too.



    Fri, Oct 29, 2010

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    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
    Six More Performances!

    Tonight, 8:00; Tomorrow, 5:00; Sunday, 3:00; Nov 5, 8:00; Nov 6, 5:00; Nov 7, 3:00

    For tickets: daytontheatreguild.thundertix.com


    'THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE' a film by K.L.Storer, featuring Kimverly J. Reiter with Charity Farrell and Benjamin T. Sadai
    THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE SCREENING TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT:

    Wayne Justice has scheduled the movie late on the roster both tonight and tomorrow at the Springfield StageWorks showing of Nosferatu.

    8:00 pm at The State Theatre, 19 S. Fountain Ave. in Springfield. The door is $5.00.

    I'm going to try to zip over there tonight after the curtain for The Sugar Witch goes down, about 10:00.


    AUDITION ICON

    The Dayton PC-Goenner office called yesterday about an audition next Tuesday afternoon. It's off camera, so, at least at this moment, the beard doesn't have to come off.


    In the audience icon

    Tomorrow night will be the only possible chance for any of us connected with The Sugar Witch to catch Messiah on a Frigidaire at the Beavercreek Community Theatre. So, I know at least some of ours are going there; I being one such.



    Sat, Oct 30, 2010

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    First, a mea culpa. It was brought to my attention last night that in a previous post above I misspelled Sarah Caplan's name. It is indeed Caplan, not Kaplan, and it is now fixed.


    THE SUGAR WITCH:
    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders

    So! Interesting beginning to the show last night. Here's how the sound plot is supposed to go:
    1. 30 minutes before curtain, start pre-show disk -- CD player no.2:disk no.1, channel 2 on the mixing board
    2. At curtain speech, fade pre-show music, start swamp ambience (day) sound track -- CD player no.1: disk no.1, channel 1 on the board
    3. At end of curtain speech, start the opening song of the show -- mini-disk player 1, track 1, channel 4 on the board
    Now, since it had been five days since I had run the sound for the show, I made sure I was in early to do a dry rehearsal of the sound cues for the show. I had the lighting set to simulate the light I work in during the show. The theatre house lights dimmer, and only the blue light on in the booth. The dry rehearsal went without a hitch. I was even able to determine a particular technical fact in relationship to the series of gun shots in Act II. The second gun shot comes so close on the heels of the first that the machine does not have quite enough time to electronically cue the second gun shot file. So, I gave the appropriate tech note to Sarah Caplan -- (That's Caplan with a "C") -- who is the actor in the unfortunate position of having to sync her actions to the sound files (and I, vice versa). I told her to be aware that the machine needs to reset for about a split second before gun shot no.2

    Well, so, everything had gone well with the dry rehearsal, including repeats of that gun shot section.

    So, a moment or two after 8:00 last night Director Doug Lloyd walked out on stage for the curtain speech. I pulled the song playing on the pre-show disk down. I had actually turned the swamp ambience on when the stage manager, Steven Strawser had said he was about to send Doug out. So, the birds are singing, the crickets are chirping their high-pitched whistle as a layer of ambience on the top of it all while Doug welcomes everyone, makes the announcements and the usual cellphone and photography warnings, etc., then invites everyone to Buster Swamp and the Watchalahoochee River and warns them to "Watch out for those flying cats."

    Lighting Designer/Operator John Falkenbach dimmed the house lights and I hit the pause button on MD1 to start the music into Act I:Scene 1.

    No song.

    The volume meter on the the MD1 machine was reacting to the dbs of the song, which was clearly playing on the machine. The channel 4 volume slide was where it was supposed be. The channel was not muted. The master volume was set as it should be.

    But, no sound.

    If you are reading this and know me, you might not be at all surprised to know that I was....

    ...."panicking," I think is pretty close to the correct word.

    Not full-blown panic. Let's say: "Super-hyper concern."

    I urgently checked all those variables I mentioned above then checked some connections readily close to check. I knew the problem wasn't with the whole sound system, because the swamp ambience from CD1 and channel 1 was coming over the PA.

    It became clear after a few moments of no opening song the actor who gets in place on stage after the songs begins (Sarah Caplan, needed to know that there would be no music. I rushed back stage to let her know. Then rushed back to the booth and continued to investigate. I checked all relevant connections this time. Switched various switches on and off. Then with the earphones and the mute button popped for channel 4, I determined that it appeared to be functioning again.

    You see, here was the dilemma: half the music and sound effects for the show are on the mini-disk in MD1 running through channel 4. I was looking to perhaps have to fire up an unused channel. If indeed the problem was the channel on the mixer. But I did not know if that was the problem.

    And all but one of the flying cat files is on that medium. The flying cats are a pretty important sound effect to have.

    I am relieved to report that whatever happened at the start did not repeat for the rest of the night. I'm actually sitting in the sound booth as I type this. I came in early for various reasons. One was to try to identify what exactly did happen. I was not able to duplicate the problem.

    Must have been a ghost in the machine, or a gremlin, or a mischievous flying cat.

    On Another Note, Something Very Cool Happened for the Cast Before the Show Last Night. The playwright, Nathan Sanders called the cast on the greenroom to offer them a "Break A Leg" well wish. I've had a few communications with him, myself. He seems like a really nice guy.


    THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE'S SCREENING:
    'THE CHORUS FOR CANDICE' a film by K.L.Storer, featuring Kimverly J. Reiter with Charity Farrell and Benjamin T. Sadai

    I rushed from our show to the Springfield StageWorks showing of Nosferatu, where Chorus was slated to be one of the local shorts to screen afterward. It appears that the local movie screening part fizzled a bit last night. The event was over by the time I got there.

    The movie shows again tonight as 8:00 pm at The State Theatre, 19 S. Fountain Ave. in Springfield. The door is $5.00. Don't know whether Chorus will screen tonight or not.



    Sun, Oct 31, 2010

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    12:45 p.m.: Sitting in the tech booth at DTG. Just ate lunch then did a few House Manager things. About to do, perhaps a few more. Going to do a dry rehearsal (despite that SOME PEOPLE will make off-color comments about such).



    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
    THE SUGAR WITCH:

    Last night's show went off quite well. Another fine, fine performance from the cast and no tech problems from the booth at all.


    In the audience icon
    MESSIAH ON A FRIGIDAIRE:

    Saw this enjoyable production last night at Beavercreek Community Theatre. Congrats to all involved, some of which are Craig Smith (director), J. Gary Thompson (assistant director), Rebecca Norgaard, Jeff Sams, Rachel Wilson, William Fulmer, Charles Larkowski, Melissa Ertsgaard, Troy Lindsey and Mason Lindsay (Troy's son).



    Mon, Nov 1, 2010

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    THE SUGAR WITCH:
    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders

    Good middle weekend, and good Sunday. As I said on facebook yesterday about that show, "The cast did their magic and my only snafus were the sort that were not obvious to an audience" -- one of the snafus was maybe noticed, but probably not.

    The first snafu was that I faded an underscore out late, I missed the cue out. The audience would not notice that; the cast might have, but not the audience. The second one was that which could have been noticed.

    In Act II scene 2, the story shifts to night. During the song that takes us from scene 1, I exchange the day swamp ambience CD for the night swamp ambience. It takes only a few seconds. Yesterday, I did not allow the CD player to read the second disk before I hit play. So, Heather Atkinson, who was sitting in to prep for running the sound next Saturday, alerted me to the fact that the player was reading "no disk." This was before the transition song was over. My quick attempt to reinsert the disk had the same result. Try number three, after the song was done and the scene had started was successful, so I started the volume on the channel at 0, then slowly faded the night ambience -- mostly tree frogs -- up to the level setting.

    Perhaps that would be noticed by some audience members, but perhaps not.



    Tue, Nov 2, 2010
    Election Day

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    I voted today. You...?
    The other side may win some, they may win a lot, but I'll be damned if they get there without having to climb over me!



    AUDITION ICON

    Got the specs yesterday from PC-Goenner for the audition today. It's an improv situation. I had scheduled to happen late enough in the day that I wouldn't have to miss work, but looking at the specs I decided to take the day off to prep for it.

    The from there, back to the Guild as Mr. Producer Guy.


    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    SECOND AND LAST NIGHT OF AUDITIONS, TONIGHT, FOR RAVENSCROFT:

    Auditions continue tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, Ohio, 45410

    Production dates are weekends January 7-23, 2011.

    THE STORY:
    Ravenscroft is a comedy about deception that takes place on a snowy night in December 1905. Inspector Ruffing is called to a remote English county manor house to investigate the death of Patrick Roarke. He becomes involved in the lives of five alluring and dangerous women who lead him through an evening of contradictory versions of Patrick's demise. There are ghosts on the staircase, skeletons in the closet, and much more than the Inspector bargained for. His investigation leads into the nature of truth itself, and ends with a hilarious and unexpected denouement.

    All actors should come prepared to audition with an English accent.

    There will be cold readings from the script. An actor's photo and résumé are not required but are strongly encouraged. Please also bring all conflicts between November 3 and January 23.

    The director is looking to cast the following roles:

    • Inspector Ruffing - age 45 to 55, an inspector sent to investigate a death
    • Marcy - age 30 to 40, Gillian's governess
    • Mrs. Ravenscroft - age 38 to 45, Gillian's mother and the lady of the house
    • Gillian - age 18 to 22, the daughter who seems to live in her own little world
    • Dolly - age 18 to 25, the young maid
    • Mrs. French - age 50 to 60, the housekeeper and cook

    For inquiries please contact K.L. Storer at KL_Storer@yahoo.com

  • As for last night's first round -- we had a nice turnout: sixteen women and six men.


  • Wed, Nov 3, 2010

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    YESTERDAY'S AUDITION:
    AUDITION ICON
    Dropped into the PC-Goenner Dayton office to shoot the audition for the off-screen guided improv. I am actually on screen for the audition but if cast will be off screen in the production shoot. I'll be the voice on the other end of the phone. If I do say so myself the audition was great. I nailed it for both voices, both scenarios. One take for each. Even I can feel good about my work on occasion.


    DRY TECH REHEARSAL FOR THE SATURDAY SOUND BOARD RELIEF PITCHER:
    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders

    So, later this afternoon I will meet with Ms. Heather Atkinson, who will run sound this Saturday for the show, in my absence. We will do a dry tech today, where we go through the complexities of the sound plot (made complex because we need so many sources for the sound). Then she is back Friday, to run the sound with me as co-pilot. Then Saturday, I attend a wedding and she helps bring Buster Swamp to life without me.


    LAST NIGHT'S FINAL AUDITIONS FOR RAVENSCROFT:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro

    Nine new ladies and two new men for night number two. There were three men, but one left before he was asked to read.

    Well, the fella had never been in a play before so the idea of casting him in the the one male rile, which is a very big role and a performance that must help carry the whole show, was preposterous, anyway.

    The cast list will be posted sometime soon. Probably tomorrow.

    Director Debra Kent felt she had several good choices for Inspector Ruffing, and more than five good choices for the five ladies.

    The turnout of twenty-five women and eight men to audition was really great, on its own.

    In the audience icon

    Got my ticket yesterday to see Bruce Cromer and Jake Lockwood, and company, in Hitchcock's The 39 Steps at the Human Race Theatre Company tomorrow night.



    Fri, Nov 5, 2010

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    SUGAR WITCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Nathan Sanders
    LAST WEEKEND:

    Tonight starts the last weekend for the show. I will give up the helm of the sound board tonight so that relief pitcher Heather Atkinson can run the show once with me there. Then tomorrow, as I watch my niece joined in holy matrimony, Heather gets the board all to herself.


    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    CAST LIST FOR RAVENSCROFT:

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Inspector Ruffing            Robb Willoughby
    Marcy Kleiner            Rachel Wilson
    Mrs. Ravenscroft            Wendi Michael
    Gillian Ravenscroft            Danielle DeLorme
    Dolly            Jenna Burnette
    Mrs. French            Jennifer Lockwood

    Read-through and the start of podcast video shooting is tomorrow morning.

    In the audience icon
    THE 39 STEPS:

    Saw Bruce Cromer and Jake Lockwood in this Alfred Hitchcock comedy last night at The Loft (Human Race Theatre Company). They and their co-stars, Richard Marlatt and Allison Moody, were a most entertaining ensemble. It was really a fun time! Really a slapstick sendup complete with built-in, self-aware production goofs and tacky-bad production values. Heavy in the physical comedy and I'd love to get beat-up in a production of this someday -- despite that the strong need for good comic sense and timing intimidates the hell out of me!



    Sun, Nov 7, 2010

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    CLOSING TODAY

    THE SUGAR WITCH by Nathan Sanders at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The cast of The Sugar Witch

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Sisser Bean            Sarah Caplan
    Annabelle            Catherine Collins
    Moses Bean            Nicklaus Moberg
    Hank Hartley            Chris Harmon
    Ruth Ann Meeks            Lynn Kesson
    Granddaddy Meeks            Dave Nickel

    We closed another good run. It was really sad to strike down that beautiful set after today's show.

    As for the sound. Heather Atkinson did run the sound Friday night with me there beside her, then solo yesterday. We did do a dry tech rehearsal before both shows. She did great Saturday, from all reports, with only one minor goof. I, too, had a goof today. I miss-cued the gunshot at the end of Act I so instead of a gunshot we heard the cry of a flying cat.

    Oh well.

    Still, a good run with a great team, cast and crew!


    NEXT! . . . . . RAVENSCROFT:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro

    The table read through was yesterday morning. As well as attending as the producer of the show, I also was there as the podcast producer/director to start shooting footage for the show's promo. It's an as-of-yet undefined concept.

    As for the show itself, we have a dialect session with D'Arcy Smith, who's in New Zealand, via Skype this coming Friday. I suppose, since I am the one who is engineering this, I should install Skype, create an account, and then get ahold of the software to capture both ends of the session.


    OKAY, THE TECHNICAL "NEXT":
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.

    Actually, this is next, as I design sound -- which mostly means: "pick the music for the scene changes."

    Got a script to look at today and had already come up with a Christmas hit song to open the show with.

    This production has been re-written by the playwright for the holidays.


    OKAY! WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY NEXT!:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    This Tuesday and Thursday I do the second part of the U.D. Law gig where I play the Afghan private security operative. This time the law students question me in deposition.

    The plan is to get back to the notes tomorrow night and refresh my memory on the case facts.....


    EXCEPT FOR WHAT IS BEFORE WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY NEXT!:
    AUDITION ICON

    .....That was the plan until the PC-Goenner office called me today about an audition tomorrow evening for a commercial that shoots in Indianapolis the end of next week.

    So, before I study for this weeks gig, I audition for a possible other gig.

    No word about the one I auditioned for at the office last week.



    Wed, Nov 10, 2010

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    AUDITION ICON
    xxxx
    THE RECENT AUDITIONS AT PC-GOENNER:

    Went early Monday evening to audition for the commercial that shoots next week in Indiana. At lunch Monday I went outside by the woods on campus and took several photos of myself then emailed a couple to the agency and asked if they wanted me to shave the beard for the audition. They said to keep it.

    The bit was to to be on camera as a farmer in mos (without sound/speaking) and react to the news that I have been diagnosed with cancer. The idea was to be devastated. Cry if possible.

    I don't feel at all satisfied with my work in the audition. I don't think I got there at all. I certainly did not get to tears.

    Nah. It didn't work for me.

    Regardless of my assessment, I now am mandated to keep the beard for a few more days, though I had no plans to remove it. If I am miraculously cast, the client will expect the same look on me as I have in the screentest.

    On another note, I was not cast for the gig that I auditioned for last week. I was told that I was a close second. But, really, in this case, though second is sort of nice for the ego, ya still ain't cast.


    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    U.D. LAW:

    Found out Monday that the dates have been slightly altered for the second half of this particular scenario. I was to finish the gig tomorrow night and Thursday. They changed the second one to Wednesday.

    I took part of the day off yesterday and now also today. Originally the second session of the week was to be on a day I was off already -- national holiday: Veteran's Day.

    The three deposition exercises last night went well enough. I really had to rely on my notes far more than I wished. There also was at least one situation where my information from my prep pack and the information the students had was different.


    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    RAVENSCROFT DIALECT COACHING SESSION:

    I created a Skype account in preparation for the session with D'Arcy Smith, which was to be this Friday, but due to D'Arcy's needs, will be Monday, instead.

    I also was given a tip on a good piece of cheap software to capture and record both ends of the Skype call. I ended up buying another product, IMCapture for Skype. I did a little test and the software seems to work great.

    Now to use Skype and IMCapture in a test session with D'Arcy in prep for the real deal.

  • I also dropped in last night to the blocking rehearsal and shot a few minutes of the work as potential B--roll for the promotional podcast.



  • MISCELLANEOUS ICON
  • Major congrats to Saul Caplan who was just cast in the Spring 2011 Human Race Theatre Company/Victoria Theatre Association production of The Drowsy Chaperone.
  • I'm trying to justify the expense of a ticket to see Avenue Q, which shows for one night only, on March 30, at The Victoria Theatre. But, really, if I'm going, I'm sitting in a good seat. And right now the $70 is too steep. And by the time it's not, there will likely be no such seats left -- if there are now.


  • Thu, Nov 11, 2010

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    Here's to our Veterans --
    active, retired, and
    no longer with us.

    They've rarely picked and chosen when to take up arms. They've gotten the call and did their duty with honor and grace. And our citadels are in tact because of their sacrifices.




    POTENTIAL NEW AUDITION:
    AUDITION ICON
    K.L.Storer in costume as Dr. Mayberry in the 2006 Dayton Theatre Guild prodcution of 'I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER'

    Got a call from PC-Goenner yesterday about a photo shoot gig in Columbus. This would be where the stills will be trade usage -- possible print, trade-show display, industry websites, electronic, video, printed brochures, other print, industry videos.

    In this one I would be appearing as a doctor. Not unlike the picture here, from The Guild production of I Never Sang for My Father, back in 2006. Peggy at PC-G told me to bring a lab coat if I have one. So, I'll be using one from The Guild wardrobe (with authorization, of course), probably the one I wore in Never sang....

    The problem is that, as you will see (or a few did see) in the last post, I did a screentest for the Indianapolis commercial, that in which I still have the beard. For the new gig I would need to be cleaned shaved.

    So......

    I am scheduled to go to the Columbus audition photo shoot on Monday......

    Unless......

    Unless I am cast in the Indianapolis commercial, which should be known sometime tomorrow. But, like I said yesterday, I am not enthralled with my audition for the Indy gig. I have been incorrect about this stuff before, however.

    Thus, if I am cast in Indy, the beard stays and the Monday audition in Columbus is cancelled. If I am not, the beard goes (including mustache) and I take part of the day off Monday morning and go to Columbus.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    The last installment of the "Man in Black" scenario -- as it was titled -- went pretty well. I adjusted a couple facts that I had misremembered. There was a lot (A LOT!) of information and as I wrote before I had to go into all the sessions with notes. My personal justification was that my character, a black opps agent for a Kuwaiti private security (read "mercenary") company, would have notes about particular facts about the case at hand.

    I was actually quite pleased with my performance as an exercise in character work for me. I was able to do a layered performance. Internally this guy was a dangerous man but in my actual performance to the students -- both my representatives and the opposing counsel -- I played my man, Salar Khan (an Afghani), without showing just exactly how badass and dangerous he can be. They got the gentile version; but, I kept aware underneath the veneer that I could be a very cold, intimidating, mean and violent man, that I am highly trained at weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, am and expert at psychological and physical persuasion in interrogations.


    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    The Dayton Playhouse has put up a really well done video trailer for the production of W;t that opens tomorrow.

    Check it out here on YouTube.



    Sat, Nov 13, 2010

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    AUDITION ICON

    Well, I have another audition on Monday; what I mean to say is I have two auditions on Monday.

    There has not been word yet about the one that I have the beard for, so when I go to Columbus Monday morning for the photo still audition I am to take a clean-shaven headshot and explain that the beard is for another audition.

    Now, when I am done in Columbus, I will drive back to the Dayton PC-Goenner office to do a screentest for a commercial that will shoot in Pittsburgh in December. The importance of the second is that the casting person for this casts for the big league and is a good person to be seen in front of, whether in person or on screen.

    I assume I will have to explain right after my slate for the second audition, the screentest, about the beard.


    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    SKYPE, IMCAPTURE FOR SKYPE, AND A DIALECT SESSION VIA SKYPE:

    At the very moment I write this it's 5:43 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13 in Dayton, Ohio and 11:43 a.m., Sunday, Nov 14 in Wellington, New Zealand.

    I was at The Guild today, in part to give a hand with the set construction for Precious Heart, but also, and perhaps mainly, to be on site in case D'Arcy Smith and I can connect for a test run of Skype and the recording software in preparation for the dialect session Monday evening (Dayton time zone).

    I'm going to hang around for a few hours as we get into the new Zealand afternoon and see if I can't hook up with Mr. Smith. I have my Skype open to see if he comes on-line. I also, of course, have IMcapture for Skype turned on.


    MISCELLANEOUS ICON
    And as I have sat here at The Guild, in -- where else -- the tech booth, I have hooked my laptop up to the sound system, opened iTunes, and have rocked out with Paul McCartney (Flaming Pie), Steely Dan (Aja and Count Down To Ecstasy), and The Beatles (Abbey Road and, as of this very moment, The Beatles [aka: "The White Album"]) Currently playing: "Yer Blues."


    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.
    FAT PIG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Neil LaBute
    PRE-PRODUCTION FOR TECHNICALLY THE NEXT (FOURTH) DTG PODCAST AND FOR THE SIXTH PODCAST:

    Though I am in what might be called a brief hiatus from the podcast for Ravenscroft, brief as in I won't shoot again until the dialect session Monday evening, I have been working preproduction for two other DTG podcasts.

    The next podcast is for Precious Heart, which is up in just a couple weeks. I grabbed all the relevant Fleeta Mae interview footage shot for the first podcast of the season, DTG Podcast 1011-01: The Dayton Theatre Guild 2010/2011 Season, which was Blake Senseman interviewing Fleeta Mae Bryte (aka Greg Smith) about the 2010/2011 season.

    All I grabbed was the material that speaks specifically to Miss Bryte, herself, or to Precious Heart. We plan to shoot some rehearsal footage and further interview footage soon, too. And we plan to shoot another segment as well.

    As for the sixth podcast, which will be for Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, I have just contacted his representation about contacting him for clearance to use dialogue from the play in the podcast.

    Thus far, for those we've managed to contact -- Nathan Sanders, Ted karber Jr., and Don Nigro, we have been granted permission in all cases; and, though it was after-the-fact, we learned that we would have had permission from Mark Dunn for Frank's Life. Unfortunately the email I had for him from producing Belles a few years back was no longer good and I must admit, I did not make a stellar effort to get new contact info as I could have.

    My hope though is we can get permission for the rest of the season's shows. Well, most of them. There's one I am thinking we will hold back dialogue from in the podcast.



    Thu, Nov 18, 2010

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    AUDITION ICON

    Monday morning, between about 7:30 and 11:30, I drove in the neighborhood of three hours, and 135-plus miles for what amounted to a combined total of around five to seven minutes of auditioning in front of the camera(s).

    The auditions both went rather well, however. And it's not that i am complaining, though it's not the greenest thing, is it? And I have a few acquaintances who audition in the L.A. area on a regular basis, and this sort of time ratio is the norm for them.

    I hit the road for the Columbus photo shoot audition at about 7:30 and actually got there about fifteen minutes early. There was only one subject there before me, so I was second to audition and was out by about 9:15 or 9:20.

    Originally I was to go and pose as a physician, but found out over the weekend that the auditors have seen dozens of "doctors," so the gameplan changed to going casual and posing as a patient. As it turns out, the photographer set me in a scenario where I was a patient with lower back pain, which I occasionally have a minor dose of, and have missed work a few times there of on account. A week and a half ago I would not have had to act.

    As I was supposed to, I brought a 3/4 pic of me without the beard and let them know that I was bearded for another possible gig and would shave for this one. The photographer said he thought the beard was beneficial to this gig, too, and requested that I not shave it until further notice. So, the beard is staying a bit longer.

    Then it was on to the Dayton PC-Goenner office to do a screentest for the Pittsburgh area commercial that shoots there in December. Again, the bigger deal about this is not the money, which would be less, probably, than my expenses to travel there, etc., but it's that the casting person does casting in the midwest for big league movie productions and is a good person to be seen in front of, whether in person or on screen.

    For the commercial, I auditioned for "sleazy guy," who thinks he's Casanova.

    This time I was the first one to audition.

    I was on campus by 11:30, ate lunch, and was on the clock in the library at 12:15.

    One good thing that I was forced into was due to a requirement for the Pittsburgh gig. I have been aware of and have had plans to look into adding my profile to Now Casting, inc.. I just never did it. This audition required it of me, so now I have a profile up, with résumé: k.l.storer.nowcasting.com. I don't know how advantageous this development is, but it is more so than not having a presence there


    SKYPIN' SOME DIALECT COACHING:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    D'Arcy Smith and K.L.Storer in Skype video call windows
    D'Arcy Smith (left) & myself in a better late than never test of the set up for the dialect coaching session.
    xxxx
    The cast, and one guest, sitting around in view of the laptop camera (thus D'Arcy) during the coaching.
    xxxx
    D'Arcy, on screen

    (Rather Than "Skipin'" Some Dialect Coaching)

    And skip the session we almost did.

    Monday, the same day as my two auditions, I left work at 2:15 to get to the theatre in time to do a 3:00 test run with D'Arcy Smith. However, at the theatre, when I turned on my Airport WiFi, I got all the bars and all indications were that I was connected to the DTG wireless modem and the DTG internet service.

    BUT. . . . I could not get to any web sites nor connect to my email server. So I tried all the first-line actions: I cleaned out all my caches, I closed and opened all my internet software, I then completely re-booted my computer, I turned both the Guild modem and wireless router off then back on. None of that helped.

    I called our resident computer expert, Brian, who is a systems analyst by profession, and we tried various things, including "pinging" some servers to see if I would get a response. I did. So we knew that I was getting onto the internet, but it was a mystery why I could not get to any web site pages or retrieve any email.

    Meanwhile, D'Arcy was sitting in front of his computer, on his Tuesday morning, on almost literally the other side of the planet, waiting for me to become live on Skype for the test run. He's waiting; nothing's happening; he's waiting.

    I texted and cell-phoned people about solutions and updates. Our director, Debra Kent, is now stuck at work so she can be in email contact with D'Arcy, to keep him abreast of the situation.

    I further tried stuff and re-tried stuff, re-booted, turned off/on. All the bars and lights were all full and lit as should be. The networking configuration of my laptop was all correct.

    I downloaded the Google Chrome browser a few months back but don't use it. I thought perhaps there was an issue that had to do with the browsers -- I was really grasping at straws, because I was not getting any live contacts on Skype, which has nothing to do with what browsers I have open. But, because I was frustrated and desperate, at about 5:30, maybe later, I opened Chrome and typed the URL for Yahoo in to see if I could get to the web page.

    And low and behold, a web page loaded. It was a page on the server of The Guild's internet service provider. It was a welcome page with a button that read, "click here for a message." The message basically said that we had not paid our bill.

    The problem was that we were lapsed in payment so we were blocked from internet use. So now the scramble was on to get the bill immediately paid. By about 6:30 the bill was paid and at about 6:45 our service was reinstated -- with fifteen minutes to spare before the appointed 7:00 pm dialect session.

    We managed to start on time, with D'arcy and I doing a little test just prior.

    Whewh!

    The session was most successful. The capturing software did not successfully save the two-hours-plus Skype call, however. Fortunately, being concerned about my computer crashing while trying to save what would have to be a multi-gigabyte file, I used a dv camcorder to record the whole session, specifically to catch the audio, so I'd have a back up. And, that back-up is now our source for the audio CD the actors need of the session. We may not have as good a quality audio CD as we could have had, but we will have one. I presently have the aiff files sitting in a project folder waiting for me to examine and likely sweeten before I burn the CDs.

    So, despite some hurtles. . . . .


    BEARD BOY ON Still Photo "Film" :
    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    Many, many weeks ago, nay, several months ago, Fred Boomer (DP for the improv movie project) and I discussed my need for new headshots, that he -- photographer of forty years -- was offering me gratis.

    We have been trying as of late to get this deal out of the way. he called about a week back again and I explained that I was consigned to keep the beard until I was in there clear concerning auditions and the potential gigs where I may need to still have it.

    He proposed that I ought to have a few good shots with the beard. So, Sunday he dropped by The Guild where I was doing work for the theatre and took a few. Don't have them yet, but I may post at least one good one on the Now Casting profile.


    The Better To Hear You With::
    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Gotta send big kudos out to Vivian Smith who just donated floor stage mics and a small mixer to the Guild. It's not the optimum set-up just yet, but still this will help with the hearing problem some audience members have in the theatre space.

    We really need to have the mic running to separate speakers but that is not immediately possible. The point though, is that we occasionally isolate one or more of the four speakers we now have hanging,each in a corner, and cut the others to direct the presence of a particular sound effect. With the actors monitor mic feeding through the same speakers, we will also be directing their voices to that same area.

    The new mixers had volume knobs rather than sliders. Sliders are better for operating sound in a tech booth. It's just easier to hit the mark on a predetermined sound level.

    Don't think I'm complaining, though. I'm just looking forward to what we need to do to get this to "optimum."



    Mon, Nov 22, 2010

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    DIALECT CDS & MORE PODCAST PRODUCTION:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro
    xxxx

  • Dialect session CDs -- When I left last Monday evening, my goal was to have the CDs of the session to the cast by last Thursday. Then I had to move it to Friday. I was actually ready to burn the disks just at the end of the scene-work rehearsal Friday evening, and I was at the theatre; that's where I finished sweetening the audio. But the cast members who were there were out the door already so the disks will be distributed tonight. They actually are at the theatre in Director Debra Kent's mailbox in the office.

    "Sweetening," in this case, only means adjusting some sound levels so some actors were balanced up to be heard. I didn't bother to filter out hiss or play with any of the EQ.

    This was down and dirty, simply working toward something to be used in a utilitarian manner.

  • Podcast production -- I shot a bit more footage for the podcast; some footage of the scene work Friday, then, some footage of Mr. Humility, himself burning the dialect CDs in the tech booth.



  • SOUND AND PODCAST:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.

  • Sound design augmentation -- Just as Greg Smith and the playwright, Ted Karber Jr., have modified the script for the holidays, I too was charged to modify Michael Boyd's original sound design for the very same purpose. What that amounts to is very little fiddling with Mike's design in the actual show. In fact, except for the lead into the acts and the lead out of Act I, there are only some very minor changes and most of those are probably inadvertent.

    Director Blake Senseman had me move the start cue for one song, but where I had it originally was based on what Greg remembered as the start point. It's not impossible that Blake set the start right back where Mike had placed it. Greg had me add a song under a story in Act II. And besides other possibilities of a song starting or stopping in a different place than before, there are no other changes. All the original songs are the still there save for that we start the acts and leave Act I with Christmas songs.

    The pre-show, and intermission is all holiday music now, too, including some Chanukah music to include our rather sizable Jewish patronage.

    Though it wasn't a full tech rehearsal, we did not have lights, we did do a run with the sound yesterday.

  • Podcast production -- As well as shooting footage for the Ravenscroft podcast I also shoot some for this show. And will shoot more tonight, perhaps every night this of this short Tech Week. The podcast needs to be in final cut and posted, at least at facebook, by the end of day on Thanksgiving Day.

    Tonight I shoot Greg talking about the holiday version of the show and his friendship with the playwright, while he is putting on Fleeta Mae. Then, during those times that I have pages between cues, I will shoot footage of the dress rehearsals. So between a bit of set-work footage this past weekend, what I shoot the next three days, and the footage shot with Blake and Fleeta last summer, I should have more than enough for the final cut.




  • CLOSER TO THE ANSWER REGARDING WHAT STAGE I'M ON IN APRIL:
    AUDITION ICON
    BLACKBIRD logo. Play by David Harrower

    Human Race Theatre Company manager Kryss Northrup sent out a feeler email to all the locals getting a callback for Permanent Collection to see if we all were available in late December for the audition. At least one other person and myself are agreeable to the date Kryss proposed. So we are getting closer to the answer as to whether it's Paul Barrow at The Human Race or Ray at The Guild I walk on stage as this coming spring.

    I'm still as divided about this whole dilemma as I have been. I left The Victory Gardens Theater, in August of 2009, after having witnessed William Petersen's and Mattie Hawkinson's stellar performances of the gripping script that is David Harrower's Blackbird, and I was already thirsty to get on a stage with those words and breathe Ray alive with my own interpretation. I am no less ambitious about this project now than I have ever been.

    No doubt I have stated here before that I recognize how little sympathy I would get, or should get, for having this particular problem. And the last thing I am doing here is whining as if I have some sorry thing to fret about.

    Still, it's a personal dilemma for me, nevertheless.


    In the audience icon

    In my on-going policy to acknowledge the shows I see without writing reviews or critical essays......

    I saw a very nice production over the weekend of W;t at Dayton Playhouse, and just want to say kudos to the cast and crew for giving me and my audience mates a nice evening, despite the grey tone of the script.

    So, Hat's Off to Director Matthew Smith and the cast: Barbara Coriell, Chuck Larkowski, Jonathan Berry, Jeri Williams, Chris Hammond, Gloria Doty, Ellen Ballerene, Marcus Simmons II, and Carol Narigon.



    Tue, Nov 23, 2010

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    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.
    xxxx

    We did a full tech -- and a partial dress -- run last night. Another coming up in just a few hours from now, as I write these words.

    I shot a good amount of podcast footage last night. I have to reshoot a segment, however. I shot Greg (Smith) as he was putting on Fleeta Mae's face and relating to the camera how he became associated with the playwright and about the adaptive holiday version of the show we are doing this time. The problem is that there is some sort of a hair-like fiber in the shot that is sticking off of something and is right in the line of site between Greg and the camera. I didn't see it when we shot. Actually I did, but it looked like a light fractal on the lens. It wasn't until I saw it on the slightly bigger window screen in the editor that I realized how distracting it is. So either tonight or tomorrow we have to do that segment again.

    Greg then did Act I in virtually full dress, but not the second act. The sound cues are few and far enough between each other that I did go onto the floor a few times and shoot footage of the rehearsal performance. I was cautious to be back at the sound board in time for each cue, so I missed some opportunities for good footage that I could easily have taken. I have a better sense of my safety zone now, so tonight and tomorrow I'll get some more footage of Fleeta on the set.

    In fact, I now have a lot more time in Act I, because between Director Blake and myself, we elected to cut a sound cue that isn't working this time like it did the last time. Other minor sound cue things were settled, as well. So, we look like we are set.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

    Greg's Fleeta Mae, by the way, is even better than last time.

    Y'all should come visit with her: get yer tickets here!


    AUDITION ICON

    Got the official word yesterday from Human Race Theatre Company manager Kryss Northrup that the Permanent Collection callbacks will be Christmas week.

    So, I guess I have a play to read. . . .


    THE MOVIE IS PROBABLY GOING B & W -- VERY PROBABLY:
    xxxx

    For months I have been trying to evade this decision, but I have decided, if I want to get a final cut on the out-take segment and on the full length, I am going to have to take the chromatics to black and white.

    It's just going to take way, way too much time, energy and effort to color correct between the three camera color temperatures and white balances.

    This project was supposed to be a learning experience and thus far it most certainly has been. I still have the original movie files to play with, so I can use them at my leisure to practice color correction.

    I feel like I'm copping out, but I really don't even want to think about another movie project until this one is at least in the neighborhood of wrapped. And, at the moment, it ain't even in the same country!.



    ThanksGiving
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    Happy Thanksgiving from K.L.


    Fri, Nov 26, 2010

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    OPENING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

    PRECIOUS HEART by Ted Karber, Jr. at the Dayton Theatre Guild.


    Sat, Nov 27, 2010

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    OPENING NIGHT:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.

    Opening night was certainly a success in terms of performance. The house was a little small but very responsive; they laughed a lot.

    There was a little bit of a snafu with the sound, the lights, and Greg's entrance at the opening of the show. We will be coordinating it in the booth so that Greg doesn't have to be involved with fixing it.



    Mon, Nov 29, 2010

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    THE FIRST WEEKEND OF PERFORMANCES:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.
    xxxx

    For this show, since there is no sophisticated sound operation needs, and since I ended up in the tech booth for all the performances, I elected to just run all the sound files off my laptop, rather than burn any CDs or mini-CDs.

    The pre-show and the intermission music all comes from iTunes playlists of holiday music. With all the music for the show I am using individual Quicktime play windows for each file, with the exception of the song that plays us out of Act I, which is the first song in the iTunes intermission play list.

    So now that we've established that with the exception of a telephone ring, which comes from a practical phone on the set, all, (ALL), the other sounds are sourced from my laptop. Now, I do have two batteries for my laptop and it is reasonable that I could make it from the start of pre-show through the last song that takes us out of Act II on them, but I really don't relish playing that precariously. So, when I arrived early on Friday at the theatre as I'd planned, then realized as I was grabbing my laptop case from the car, that my ac power cord was still at home, I'm afraid I lost that extra hour I had tried to build in to deal with house management things. I went back home for the cord.

    I seem to only do this when I have sound sources on my laptop.

    Again, we had a sound/light glitch at the top of the first show and we have worked to fix that. The coordination has yet to be perfect but the errors have not been horrible either.

    There are a few sound files that I need the output volume from Quicktime to be at 50%, least there is a peg distortion; I have missed setting some of the files at that 50% mark, and played them in performance with the distortion. Again, not horrific mistakes, and done, I think, only twice.

    I've played a little bit with the start of a couple sound cues and have arrived at a couple better starting spots, I do believe. We're only talking about the difference of a half a sentence or so -- brief moments. The changes work better, though.

    I am sad to report that the audiences have all been rather meager. My assumption is that this unfortunate happenstance is the result of a couple factors. One: it was Thanksgiving weekend and people had a lot of other plans; Two: many people don't realize that this production touts a lot of new material, that playwright Ted Karber Jr. wrote several new monologues, tailored specifically for the holiday season.

    I'm happy to report that those audiences have most certainly enjoyed Greg's performance. Of course, Sunday's audience, as Sunday audiences seem to be prone to be, was one of those subdued, quiet chuckling audiences, rather than being boisterous

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

    I'll be the first to acknowledge that I have an obvious, built-in bias, but still, I urge you to check the show out. It's worth the time and ticket price.


    AUDITION ICON

    I have not begun to read the Permanent Collection script, yet.

    That clearly needs to be up close to the top of my agenda list.

    The callback really isn't that far away.


    xxxx

    The idea of moving the movie over to black-and-white has me feeling a rush of motivation and anticipation to get back to it.

    Motivation I very clearly need.

    Let's see if. . . .



    Sun, Dec 5, 2010

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    SECOND WEEKEND:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.

    The days are shortening, the temperature dropping and the cheer in the air is growing. That can only mean one thing. The holidays are now upon us! If you haven't had time to see Precious Heart, you only have four performances left. Please do not miss your opportunity to spend some special time with our wonderful Fleeta Mae Bryte.

    Come meet Miss Fleeta Mae Bryte, a solid, ordinary looking woman in her mid-sixties who lives life to the fullest in a small town in southwest Texas. She will welcome you to her home, make you a cup of coffee and share stories and memories of her past, her family, her friends, her enemies and her dreams of the future. Fleeta Mae Bryte is the type of woman you would expect to find in any small town in America. Her charm rests in her ability to tell a story, her bustling good nature, her sense of humor and her old world notions of life in general.

              * with the exception of updating some text, these are not my words.

    Get Yer Tickets Here!

    Friday night and last were two more great performances, by the way. Again, though I have a bias here, I still stand behind telling you that this is a show worth seeing!


    PRE-PRODUCTION IS SAILING ALONG:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro

    I haven't attended rehearsal recently but I know from communication with Director Debra Kent that it's coming along. I likely won't drop in again until it's time to shoot more podcast footage. Which of course means I will be there as podcast 1011-05 producer and director rather than Ravenscroft producer. Though I'm sure that second producer will have business to attend to presented to him while I'm there.

    We did have a most informal production meeting for the play last Wednesday. Mostly what happened was to show the sound system to both the sound designer, J. Gary Thompson, and the sound operator, Dave Nickel. J. Gary, so he knows what medium or media he wants to put the sound files on. Dave, because he will be in the booth.


    AUDITION ICON

    I started to read Permanent Collection last night. Still have not gotten the sides for the Dec. 22 callback. It looks like I misconstrued the potential for casting. I'd assumed the only white man I could be read for is Paul Barrow, the director of education and the story's antagonist. But, the role of Alfred Morris, the ghost of the museum founder, is also within my age range and type.

    In a related note, the April production of Blackbird is being officially announced.

    I really hate this situation.


    RETURN TO FOREVER BUT MAYBE NOT FOREVER:
    xxxx
    Screenshot of movie project canvas window in Final Cut Express with black and white image of actors Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts
    Natasha Randall & Craig Roberts in the movie project canvas window in Final Cut Express, in a scene from the outtake short.

    At lunch Wednesday I returned to editing Trying Out Robert, featuring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. What that amounted to was the start of killing all the color correction filters then introducing new color correction filters to take it all to black and white. It took a few sit downs to get it all to black-and-white, or "gray scale."

    The next task is to add some contrast and brightness filters to get all the shots equal and comparable in terms of those elements. There had been some of that built into the RGB color correction, but I eradicated those adjustments when I killed those original filters. But I wanted to start the gray scale out with all filters set exactly the same, and the best way was to kill the originals rather than adjusting them, and introducing a new one that I could copy into each individual shot.

    Adjusting the contrast and brightness will not be the hassle that color correction was.

    *I say that NOW!

    We'll see what I say about in a few. I will begin the procedure, today, as soon as I post this blog entry.

    I have much left in post to deal with for the outtake. All that radio station programming in the background. There's been a small amount of pre-production for that post-production element, but not close to enough.

    So the job is to get the gray scale finished then dedicate time to the production of post-production on the outtake segment, currently title, Trying Out Robert.

    Then there's um, well, the whole rest of a movie to deal with. It will, however, not be quite as daunting a task now that I have caved and turned it B&W. It will, at least visually, be presentable. I'm hoping I can be creative as far as editing the content and get a final cut that is interesting to see and watch. That is to say, something that looks good to see on the screen and is compelling to sit down and spend the hour or so to watch unfold on the screen in front of you.

    As I have stated before, the problem will not be with the actors' performances. They gave me lovely work to edit. It's more that the segments are no more than very loosely connected and relevant to each other. I have to figure how to edit together a cohesive point to it all. This looseness is not the actors' faults. They were following the lead of their director.

    On a technical point, I've put out a feeler to a few different forums, including facebook, to see if people think I ought to also gray-scale the opening and closing credits. So far everyone thinks I should, except for one waffler -- *(if you read this, which I doubt you will, you know who you are.)


    MOVIES MOVING':
    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    • Still Me Takes Another Award -- Female Lead Tina Gloss just reported that Still Me won the Audience Award in July at the Mitten Movie Project in Royal Oak, Michigan, and will screen at the Awards Event, which takes place December 7.

      That little movie just keeps on winning hearts and I am so happy I was able to play a part in it, if a small one.

    • Some Friends In a Movie at the Next Sundance Film Festival -- Speaking of Natasha Randall, she and Jake Lockwood both have roles in the movie, Take Shelter, which shot last summer in northern Ohio. The movie has been accepted into Sundance. This is the movie I auditioned for and if cast would have had to drive over from Chicago after my road trip to see William Petersen in Endgame at steppenwolf.

      In fact, I had auditioned for the same role as Jake. So, perhaps I should not be happy for him. Oh, what the hell!

      Yay Natasha and Jake!

      Check out the news article.

      UPDATE: Another Dayton actor I know, Scott Knisley, is in the movie, too, playing the husband to Natasha's character.

      So, it's yay Natasha, Jake and Scott!



    Mon, Dec 6, 2010

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    SECOND WEEKEND OF PERFORMANCES:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.
    xxxx

    Greg's performances were all great this last weekend, like the first weekend. The audiences have responded well; in fact, the Sunday audience gave him a standing ovation.

    I don't think we had any major tech snafus. A spot light did drift from its focus on a disco ball, but that was not really major -- just annoying.

    There are three more chances to see this show, and if anyone in the Dayton area happens upon this silly blog, I urge you to come catch the show. It will be worth your time, money and effort.

    Get Yer Tickets Here!
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx



    TRYING OUT A GRAY ROBERT:
    xxxx

    Worked more on the gray-scaling of Trying Out Robert, featuring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts.
    Screenshot of movie project canvas window in Final Cut Express with black and white image of actors Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts

    Following the virtually unanimous consensus of those polled, I changed the opening title text from a metallic blue to black. I also did one sweep through adjusting the contrast and brightness of each shot. I'll make another sweep through this evening.

    Just wrote more news reports for the news spots that will be a part of the radio programming playing in the background. I hope to record those spots this month.

    I need to remix a couple recordings of my music for that same radio programming.



    Wed, Dec 8, 2010

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    THIRTY YEARS AGO TODAY: JOHN LENNON John Lennon

    Thirty years ago today, I was twenty-two years old. I was, and still am, a major Beatles fan, as was, and are, most of my friends whom I grew up with. I had just recently been on the phone with one of my friends, whom I've known since first grade, Jerry Spencer. A few years earlier, Jerry had moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. We had talked of the merits of John Lennon's new album, Double Fantasy. Of the pros and cons of him sharing space equally with Yoko Ono, and of the surprisingly good B-side to the single, "Starting Over," a song written and sang by Yoko, titled "Walking On Thin Ice." It stands, still today, as the best thing Yoko has done musically, and actually good enough that if I were to catch it while changing stations, I'd actually stop and give it a listen. Not that there's much chance that would happen.

    Jerry and I also talked of how excited we were that John was preparing to announce a U.S., then international, concert tour to support the new album.

    We were stoked!

    December 8, 1980 was a Monday. For whatever reason, I had gone to bed earlier than usual that day. I was still living with my parents and after I'd been asleep some period of time, my mother came in and said, "Jerry Spencer's on the phone."

    Groggy, I picked up.

    "Hey man, did you hear about John?"

    In a fog I said, "Who?"

    "John Lennon. Some nut just shot and killed him! Howard Cosell just announced it on Monday Night Football."

    "Yeah, right. And we know it's happened because he's barefoot on the front cover of the album, right?"

    "No, man! It's true! Some nut shot him and killed him."

    Still, really not totally awake, I sort of acquiesced to the fact and said goodbye to Jerry. I remember that I lay there for a moment and thought: Well, guess I'm not going to ever meet John Lennon. Then drifted back asleep.

    It was getting ready for work the next morning and hearing the report on the news. That's when it hit me. It was as if I had just found out that one of my best friends in the world had died. The impact was overwhelming. I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and wept.

    John Lennon is dead.

    John Lennon is dead!

    JOHN FUCKING LENNON IS FUCKING DEAD!

    Even as I write these words, three decades later, I feel the drop in my gut, the hole in my chest, the sorrow.

    "John Lennon is dead."

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney, are to me, like many others, my major artistic influence. I don't simply mean my major musical influence, I mean that they had, and despite that many don't believe it, Paul still has, an artistic approach that basically says, "Why not?"

    As one in thousands of examples: Why not end a pop song with a major sixth chord and dissident vocal harmony? ("She Loves You").

    I was pretty young when the Beatles came out. I turned six in June of 1964, so, though I was certainly aware of pop music, that the Beatles were injecting rock and pop with a radical new twist on the genres was beyond my thought processes. But I remember what in retrospect I think was my first aesthetic appreciation of John. It was when I heard "Rain." I say "think" because I know that in the studio, The Beatles were very democratic about the arrangements and the process of recording their songs. Any good idea to make the end product better was considered and often chosen. John wrote "Rain," and as I got older I developed great poetic appreciation for the message of the lyrics.

    But as a kid, my first impression and what appealed to me was the sonic presentation. There is this powerful wall of sound that stampedes like a title wave of dark rich guitar chords and booming bass. It's one of the first times I can remember really recognizing artistic craftwork. Somewhere in the same period I heard "Eleanor Rigby" and I was starting to know there was something special about The Beatles.

    Of course, being the age I was, The Monkees were more my speed (inspired by The Beatles movie Help, which, though I don't dislike it, is my least favorite of all Beatles movies). The Monkees existed, in fact, because The Beatles had no interest, whatsoever, in an offer to make a sitcom in Hollywood.

    Well, then, in 1967 my older cousin Greg bought the album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was fanatically raving about it. My family and his spent a lot of time together in those days so I heard the album a lot. And my enthusiasm for The Monkees as my favorite band began to quickly fade. By the time I was ten, I was a die-hard Beatles fan.

    I personally have a little bit more of an affinity for Paul McCartney, but don't be mistaken: my love of John Lennon as an artist and human being is strong. And there is no question that lyrically, John Lennon is the strongest of The Beatles. He is, I believe, one of the best lyricists in rock and pop history.

    Sometimes beautifully poetic, other times, straight-and-direct-to-the-juggler plain spoken.

    "Words are flowing out
    Like endless rain into a paper cup
    They slither while they pass
    They slip away
    Across the universe

    Pools of sorrow
    Waves of joy
    Are passing though my open mind
    Possessing and caressing me"
    -- "Across The Universe"

    "You say you want a revolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know you can count me out

    You say you got a real solution
    Well you know
    We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well you know
    We're doing what we can
    But when you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

    You say you'll change the constitution
    Well you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it's the institution
    Well you know
    You better free your mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow"
    -- "Revolution"

    John was probably a bit pretentious in his early 1970's anti-war presentation, because, as anyone who's studied Beatles and/or John know, his ego was pretty big and strong and certainly matched Paul's, and really, in many ways dwarfed Paul's. That doesn't mean that there was anything insincere about John's anti-war sentiment. It was not a PR stunt. And when John said, Hey, the press is going to be following us (him and Yoko) around, anyway. We might as well use the space they're going to give us, no matter what we are doing and saying, to do and say something of value, when he said this, it was not disingenuous.

    As for his personal life, John was open in both his art and his interviews about most of it. The raw honesty of his 1971 album Plastic Ono Band makes it one of the greatest artworks of his career. Just as Paul had done with his home-grown McCartney album the year before, and The Beatles had done with their last released album (second to last recorded) Let It Be, John also returned to a simpler presentation of the music: the arrangements and production were bare boned, even more so than McCartney. The opening cut, for instance, "Mother," is a solo vocal, a piano, a drum kit and a bass guitar, recorded live in the studio. No over-dubs. no double tracking. The only production trick is the bongs of the tower clock at the start, which John slowed down and edited on.

    That album is lyrically raw and relentlessly honest and unapologetic. In "God," he basically says, among other things, "Suck it up fans, The Beatles are over. I'm not a Beatle anymore.":

    "God is a concept,
    By which we can measure,
    Our pain,
    I'll say it again,
    God is a concept,
    By which we can measure,
    Our pain,
    I don't believe in magic,
    I don't believe in I-ching,
    I don't believe in bible,
    I don't believe in tarot,
    I don't believe in Hitler,
    I don't believe in Jesus,
    I don't believe in Kennedy,
    I don't believe in Buddha,
    I don't believe in mantra,
    I don't believe in Gita,
    I don't believe in yoga,
    I don't believe in kings,
    I don't believe in Elvis,
    I don't believe in Zimmerman,
    I don't believe in Beatles,
    I just believe in me,
    Yoko and me,
    And that's reality.
    The dream is over,
    What can I say?
    The dream is over,
    Yesterday,
    I was dreamweaver,
    But now I'm reborn,
    I was the walrus,
    But now I'm John,
    And so dear friends,
    You just have to carry on,
    The dream is over."

    In the famous interview on Tomorrow with Tom Snyder in 1975, he explained that as a song writer all he's ever been doing is, "reporting on the state [I am in] at the time."

    In an interview not long after The Beatles broke up he was straight forward about being a professional musician and a pop star. Asked if he was ever worried of being accused of "selling out" his response was, "Selling out to where? Any rocker who signs a contract with a record company is selling his wares. 'Now I'm singing for my supper.' To think you're not is to be fucking lying to yourself." (I'm quoting that from memory but I'm pretty sure it's verbatim).

    With the last album that John saw through to the final product, Double Fantasy, his honesty was much less radical but no less straight forward. The songs, mostly written toward the end of his self-imposed five-year hiatus from the business showed the migration of philosophy toward a middle-aged man who was at peace with himself much more than he'd ever been in his life.

    The philosophy of "I don't believe in Beatles" is clearly less important than the idea of his family. There is an inherent message of being a husband and being a father. Granted, the love-torn, "I'm Losing You," is on the album, but that was written during his separation from Yoko in the mid-70's, when he was bar hopping with Harry Nilsson to escape his misery. Lennon included the song because it's a good mid-tempo rocker, a good track.

    Along with McCartney and some others of his generation, John is so incredibly important to the movement forward of rock-and-roll and pop music in general because of artistic inquisitiveness and his ability to think outside the box. If he's not THE leader, he is one of a very few on a very short list. Lennon didn't think there was anywhere that a rock artist couldn't go musically and artistically. Anything was fair game to throw into the mix. This was why he, McCartney, and George Harrison, (who is arguably the first to be responsible for the fusion of Indian music into rock and jazz), were so compatible artistically. *I didn't include Ringo here because I'm addressing songwriting and major musical arrangement.

    As one of my cultural icons, John Lennon transcends his musical appeal and innovation, by his intellect and his use of his fame as a platform to ask for, to appeal for, to try to influence us toward a better world, one where love rules and hate and war and greed are relics from a yesterday.

    I can't believe the world has been without him for three decades. I feel my weeping for him that morning so long ago as if it had been this morning.

    I'm still saying Goodbye, today.



    Fri, Dec 10, 2010

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    AUDITION ICON

    The appointment for the Human Race Theatre Company callback for Permanent Collection is officially set. Company Manager Kryss Northrup informed that I am reading for Paul Barrow.


    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    This week, through a referal from local actor and fellow DTG board member, Wendi Michael (also one of the actors in the improv movie project), I got and have already done a voiceover gig for Audio-Rabius. Inc. and its client Teradata.

    Wendi called Tuesday afternoon. John Rabius called Tuesday evening and we recorded the VO Wednesday evening. Got there at 5:00, was out a little before 6:00. Have to say, I'm getting a pretty nice check for less than an hour of work.


    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.

    Get Yer Tickets Here For
    Precious Heart !

    *NOTE: The Sunday, December 12 performance has been cancelled due to the forecast of a heavy snow storm in the region.




    GREY DAYS IN THE THEATRE OF CINEMATICS:
    xxxx

    The black-and-white processing of Trying Out Robert, featuring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts has been coming along most successfully.

    I've done the first sweep through to change all the cuts from RBG to gray scale, then have done two sweeps through to tweak the contrast and brightness. I'm going to do at least one more sweep.

    After that I think I'm ready to attack the production of the post-production sounds.



    Sat, Dec 11, 2010

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    CLOSING TODAY
    PRECIOUS HEART by Ted Karber, Jr. at the Dayton Theatre Guild.


    Wed, Dec 15, 2010

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    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FLEETA MAE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING:
    PRECIOUS HEART & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Ted Karber, Jr.
    xxxx

    As you can see from the last blog post, the Sunday, December 12 performance was cancelled mostly due to a forecast of a severe winter storm coming in late Saturday night. As the weekend started, however, the forecasts were revised to something less severe. But it was decided that undoing the cancellation was not prudent.

    xxxx That turned out to be a pretty good move. It wasn't horrible out on Sunday, but as the day moved on, it did get within the realm of risky, almost treacherous, driving. Rather than striking the set after the Saturday show, we kept strike on Sunday, but moved it up to 1:00. The steady snow fall, though not heavy, made my drive home at about 4:00, much more challenging than my drive in a few hours earlier. And the snow kept falling for a few hours, so, when the show would have let out at a little after 5:00, it might have been a bit of a challenge for some drivers.

    As for the Saturday crowd: the run ended with a good show and a good audience to appreciate that show. The house was at about half-full, but it was a very responsive audience. That's pretty much been the norm. We did not get the full houses the show deserved but those who attended were certainly entertained.

    Myself, I'd have to label this my faverite performance by Greg Smith. As Russell Florence Jr. said in his review, Greg's performance "could have [been] nothing more than a flamboyant drag act, but [Greg] transforms the play into something far greater and life-affirming." Fleeta Mae was quite authentic and Greg seemed to get her there effortlessly. There was real heart and soul to Miss Fleeta Mae Bryte.

    Click here for Russell's full review and click here for a review by local actor Grace Davis.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

    PRECIOUS SET STRIKE
    K.L.Storer, walking to his car, in the new winter snow.
    Here I go headin' to The Guild to help strike the Precious Heart set.

    At first, when the Sunday show was cancelled, the set strike, which is traditionally just after closing curtian of the last show, was moved to Saturday evening -- just after closing curtian of the last show. But, then it was rescheduled for 1:00 Sunday.

    Though there certainly was not a record breaking snow storm, whatsoever, on Sunday, I underestimated the time it would take me to get into Dayton from my boondocky home. So I got there as the minute hand was swinging up onto 2:00 (say, 1:45-ish).

    There was, of course, the same as usual, overwhelming support of most of the board members in attendance to help with the strike. Well, um, okay, actually, of course, there was pretty much the same minority of board members, the same faces as usual. But, that's an internal thesis that I am not going let myself get started on.

    The strike was still completed by shortly after 3:00, and the space was set up for Ravenscroft rehearsals the next night.

    I was the one who closed the building up. After doing some house management related things, I was on my way home just a little after 4:00. It took a little longer to get home, as I wrote above, because the snow fell steadily while we were striking and so the roads needed treatment again.

    xxxx
    The mid-western winter travel routine chore thing
    xxxx
    From my place, when I go to The Guild, I have a few miles of rural road before I get to a highway.
    xxxx
    The last remnants of Fleeta Mae's place before it all comes down.
    xxxx
    The bare beginnings of the Ravenscroft set, ready for the cast's next rehearsal -- their first on the stage space.
    xxxx
    "One curtain falls, another goes up."
    xxxx
    It was still snowing when I left The Guild to go home. It took longer to get home than it had to come in earlier in the day.


    xxxx

    Now that I'm almost wrapped on the contrast and brightness tweak of the new gray-scale version of Trying Out Robert, I am thinking I want to go in to trim some more content. I'm thinking it may need such to excise a lull or two.

    Goes back to the Arthur Quiller-Couch maxum to "Murder your darlings."

    I like every moment that I have left in the cut. But there is a flow problem. There's a place where the momentum drags too much. Actually I think there are two. There's a speed bump then there is a spot toward the end where it becomes a case of too much of a good thing.


    STILL WINNING!:
    'STILL ME' ICON
    Tina Gloss & Scott King in Still Me
    A film by Beth McElhenny.
    A Brookwood Films production.

    Congratulations to Tina Gloss, Scott King and Still Me writer/director Beth McElhenny.

    At the Best of Mitten Movie Project, in Detroit, Tina won Best Actress for her work as Roseanne in Still Me. Scott tied for Best Actor. The movie itself came in third for Best Movie and won the Audience Choice Award.



    Mon, Dec 20, 2010

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    SHOOT, RE-SHOOT....OR NOT:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting
    xxxx
    "Trying Out Robert 2010-12-19 rough cut.mov" rendering on Final Cut.
    xxxx
    A shot of a "patron" going into Balboni's Restaurant and Bar. This will make the fourth time I am on screen in the movie. My hope is that each of the four shots don't look like the same person.

    Attended the monthly Dayton Theatre Guild board meeting this past Saturday. I had a DV camera to shoot Precious Heart podcast footage the night before *(see below), and there was a nice snow on the ground, so I took the opportunity to shoot some exterior establishment footage for other parts of the full-length movie.

    Mostly what I shot was highway and backroad footage, but I started with another establishment shot for the outside of the fictional Balboni's Bar and restaurant, in beautiful, downtown Bellcreek, Ohio.

    I spent a good portion of my afternoon shooting the road footage. I shot just less than an hour of footage. But, it was a bust. I aimed the camera poorly. The screen view is far too downward toward the road without enough of the upcoming desitnation on the horizon. A couple hours of work resulted in about ten seconds of useable footage. I didn't even bother to transfer the road footage onto my computer.

    Thus, my Sunday agenda was changed. Rather than taking care of some personal business during the afternoon -- personal business that is long overdue and that I really, really, really need to get to soon -- I hoped to re-shot the road footage.

    There was a complication with that. As I had done when shooting similar footage last winter, I opened the sunroof on my car, mounted the camera on the tri-pod, stuck the tri-pod and camera up through the opening (like a submarine's telescope), closed the sunroof down to the tri-pod's shaft to secure it, and went driving on some highways and some rural roads.

    When I was done, when I got home, I couldn't get the roof to roll back far enough to get the tri-pod out of the opening. After almost and hour of work and cussing I got it opened far enough to get the tri-pod out. It then took me quite a while to get the roof closed again.

    The bottom line: I can't trust the sunroof to work properly, and I am <>I>not heading into winter with my sunroof on my can open. Shooting more road travel with this method is off the table.

    So Sunday, I had this great plane to rig a new mount for the camera. I was going to secure the tri-pod on the front of my car. Not being the the greatest mechanical engineer (okay, not being one at all) I didn't come up with any sort of harness that worked, without promising for a very precarious setup. The result: no re-shoot of the road footage.

    However, I do now have a tweaked black-&-white rough cut of Trying Out Robert that seems to have a consistant gray-scale look to it. I have not yet trimed the content, but I watched the Dec 19 rough cut and I have a strong idea exactly what will go. That is part of my evening, tonight.


    GETTIN' READY FOR THIS COMING WEDNESDAY:
    AUDITION ICON

    I have finished reading Permanent Collection. Not a bad script, but not a masterpiece, either. I like Blackbird better and find it more compelling.

    But an audition for a big supporting role on a professional stage is not something to snub, so I spend tonight and tomorrow night rehearsing the audition, studying the sides for Paul in Permanent Collection.

    I ain't throwing an audition.


    RAVENSCROFT PODCAST PRODUCTION:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro

    Rehearsals seem to be coming along. I was back last Friday to shoot a little more footage of the rehearsals for the podcast. This time the cast was on the playing space, which in many ways is close to a finished set, and they were virtually off-book. The actual set pieces are not there yet, the curtains are not yet hung upstage, and Stage Manager Deirdre Root did have to prompt some lines, but all is at the point in rehearsal where it belongs.

    Sound and lights have not been designed yet, but neither is a demanding feat so both should be easy for the perspective designers.

    As for the podcast, we will be shooting a short scene, performed for the camera, the week after Christmas. As well, I'll be shooting some brief interview soundbytes with each cast member. I hope to edit the podcast over the New Year's weekend and have it at final cut and posted early in Tech Week.



    Christmas
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    xxxx


    Sun, Dec 26, 2010

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    "DAVID DAWN" ON THE RADIO AT WACI FM (LITE 97.5):
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting

    I have been multi-tasking.

    I have made what I tell myself is a great stride forward in the production of the radio program for the audio background of Trying Out Robert by mixing two songs by the major recording artist and actor, David Dawn.

    Yes, yes, David Dawn is fictional. He's the adult version of the young protagonist, L.D. Cooper, in my someday-it'll-be-finished novel, Starting for the Sun.

    Meanwhile, I simultaniously began mixing a CD album by, um, ME, with two songs that are exactly the same as the two David Dawn recorded, for an album of the exact same name.

    Hmmm.

    Friday night I produced a video to go along with one of the two songs, "Seems Like A Crime." I had some aspect-ratio problems that resulted in a widescreen in a letterbox (see below). But the video is a special holiday version. I will probably re-edit the video again in the future and try to address the problem then. Sorry, but this holiday version of the video is only viewble to those I am networked with on facebook.

    Really, I mixed three songs, because the other is a medley of two songs, a pop-orientated song titled, "Freedom From Bondage," which is followed by an avante gard instrumental, "False Evidence Appearing Real." "Freedom..." is the one I will use for the short movie. Though, the other one could find a spot in the full-length.

    HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer
    The K.L.Storer CD album cover
    xxxx
    My Multitracker X-28 Fostex cassette recorder, where I am running the four-track master of the medley of songs "Freedom From Bondage" and "False Evidence Appearing Real" -- the first of which will play in the background, as a hit on the radio by David Dawn, during Trying Out Robert.
    The David Dawn version of the HEART WALKS album cover
    The David Dawn CD album cover



    THIS PAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S AUDITION AT THE HUMAN RACE:
    AUDITION ICON

    Got up early last Wednesday, about 4:15, to study the audition sides. I ended up recording them in a sound file to listen to all day. I wasn't excatly off-book at the audition but I was very familiar with the pages. Oh yeah, the first thing I did when I got up was shave the beard off. I got my hair cut right after work. Then I headed to The Guild to hang out until my 6:10 apointment. I rehearsed the audition, again. Then I headed off to arrive about thirty minutes early. An actor was a little late so got in early. I read for Permanent Collection Director Schele Williams and HRTC Executive Director Kevin Moore.

    As always, I really am not at all sure how I did. It felt pretty good. I tripped over some words at one point and am niot sure I moved in as gracefully as i could have, but who knows if I'm right or not.

    I did let Ms. Williams and Kevin know that I had something else pending and requested that they let me know as soon as they could about the decision, that if she "went another way," I would be quickly aware so I know to start readying myself for my own "other way."

    K.L.Storer cutting his beard off with barber shears for an audition
    Cutting off the beard
    K.L.Storer shaving what's left of his beard for the audition
    Shaving what's left
    K.L.Storer rehearsing in The Dayton Theatre Guild lobby with the audition sides for PERMANENT COLLECTION at The Human Race Theatre Company
    Rehearsing the audition. Note the haircut; by-the-way, that haircut is a "number five, rounded."


    Wed, Dec 29, 2010

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    READY FOR THE RADIO SHOW:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting

    In the neighborhood of 99.999999% certainty, I'll declare that I have the content edit finished for Trying Out Robert.

    Now what's left is to produce the radio programing for the background, some of which is done.
    • Most of the news copy has been written for a while, though more may be written.
    • I believe, with the mixing of my two songs and some other music that I have access to, I have enough music to sustain the alloted time. I do feel a need to remix one my cuts, "Freedom From Bondage," and have that on the agenda for tonight.
    I may want to write a few more news stories and I have to produce a few commercials. Those commercials actually may be what drags the final cut to an even later date.


    "SEEMS LIKE A CRIME" IS A HIT:
    HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer

    If the definition of "hit" follows the logic of how a bean bag hits a bare-skinned stomach after being shot from close range via a bean bag riot gun, then "Seems Like A Crime" meets the challenge.

    Between posting the video on facebook last Saturday and Tuesday, with a couple re-posts to the newsfeed in there, two people responded at all. Most people did not respond whatsoever. Granted, some were likely not logged in during that time, but I know that many were.

    The silence suggests volumes. Clearly many were not interested, and others clearly were not impressed.

    I am happy with the end product so this underwhelming response to my work is disheartening.

    I pulled the video.

    Though, I admit, there are a couple places where I am not happy with my vocal performance -- but wouldn't you expect that to be true in any case? Or, as my mother would have said, "Isn't that 'power' for the course?"



    Thu, Dec 30, 2010

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    WRAPPING PODCAST PRODUCTION:
    RAVENSCROFT & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Don Nigro

    Due to my schedule and the rehearsal schedule, the rest of the video shoot for the podcast has to be compressed just a tad. I was orginally going to grab the actors' soundbytes piecemeal over several rehearsals. Now we have to do all six actors, as well as Director Debra Kent, plus the scene for the camera, all tonight.

    I'll get to the theatre as soon as I can (perhaps 4:00-4:30) and will set up in a corner of the board room office. There I'll shoot all the brief soundbytes. All I want is for the actors to state their actor names, who they are playing and whatever it is they want the audience to know about their characters. I told them to not worry about divulging spoilers; I can edit any dangerous info out. I told them to just speak candidly. Debra will tell us what she wants about the show in general.

    Then we will shoot a portion of a scene that Debra has chosen. We will shoot such for the camera in movie production fashion. After, I'll probably stick around for one last volley at candid rehearsal footage. I hope to have the final cut during the day tomorrow, and posted, I hope early Saturday, Jan 1.

    One thing I have not done is pick (find) the background music for the podcast. We will be back to the standard podcast theme music, which I skipped for the Precious Heart video.




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