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.
and then there's Tony
a true great star who could
cross movie genres with ease
Catherine Collins, with Chris Harmon (seated) & Nicklaus Moberg
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
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
***** 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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
The First Weekend of Performances --
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Interviewer Fred Blumenthal - with camera operator Fred
Boomer in the background.
Saturday night, Oct 16, recording show music and sound
effects from my laptop onto the mini-cds: the performance
Long shot of the booth from about the same point in time as
the previous shot.
Dinner for one, circa 11:30 pm, Oct 16.
Making coffee in the green room the morning of Tech Sunday.
By Wednesday of Tech/Dress week channel 3 of the mixer was
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?
I have every intention to have news to report
about both of these projects, sometime in the near future.
is once again showing Nosferatu, the 1922 film by F.W. Murnau with an
original live score by
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.
One of the organizers of the weekend, and a member of Equinox,
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
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,
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.
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.
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
THE SUGAR WITCH:
So! Interesting beginning to the show last
night. Here's how the sound plot is supposed to go:
30 minutes before curtain, start pre-show disk -- CD player
no.2:disk no.1, channel 2 on the mixing board
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
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
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
dimmed the house lights and I hit the pause button on MD1 to start the music into
Act I:Scene 1.
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
But, no sound.
If you are reading this and know me, you might not be at all surprised to know that
...."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
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:
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.
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).
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.
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
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,
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.
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!
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.
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
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:
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:
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.
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
Tonight starts the last weekend for the show. I will give up the helm of the
sound board tonight so that relief pitcher
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.
CAST LIST FOR RAVENSCROFT:
Read-through and the start of podcast video shooting is tomorrow morning.
THE 39 STEPS:
Saw Bruce Cromer and
in this Alfred Hitchcock comedy last night at The Loft
(Human Race Theatre Company). They
and their co-stars,
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!
We closed another good run. It was really sad to strike down that beautiful set after
As for the sound.
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.
Still, a good run with a great team, cast and crew!
NEXT! . . . . . RAVENSCROFT:
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
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":
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!:
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
EXCEPT FOR WHAT IS BEFORE WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY NEXT!:
.....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.
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.
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:
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 DIALECT COACHING SESSION:
I created a Skype account in
preparation for the session with
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
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.
Major congrats to
Saul Caplan who was just
cast in the Spring 2011 Human Race Theatre Company/Victoria Theatre Association
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.
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:
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.
I am scheduled to go to the Columbus audition photo shoot on Monday......
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.
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.
The Dayton Playhouse has put up a
really well done video trailer for the production of W;t that opens tomorrow.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
D'Arcy Smith (left) & myself in a better late than never
test of the set up for the dialect coaching session.
The cast, and one guest, sitting around in view of the laptop
camera (thus D'Arcy) during the coaching.
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
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
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,
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.
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" :
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
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::
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
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
Don't think I'm complaining, though. I'm just looking forward to what we need to do
to get this to "optimum."
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
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
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:
Sound design augmentation -- Just as
and the playwright, Ted Karber Jr., have modified the script for the holidays, I
too was charged to modify
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.
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
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:
Human Race Theatre Company manager
Kryss Northrup sent out a feeler email to all the locals getting a callback for
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
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 my on-going policy to acknowledge the shows I see without writing reviews or
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.
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
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
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.
Greg's Fleeta Mae, by the way, is even better than last time.
THE MOVIE IS PROBABLY GOING B & W -- VERY PROBABLY:
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!.
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.
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
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
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,
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
I'm happy to report that those audiences have most certainly enjoyed
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
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.
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.
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:
I haven't attended rehearsal recently but I know from communication with Director
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.
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
I really hate this situation.
RETURN TO FOREVER BUT MAYBE NOT FOREVER:
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
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
Adjusting the contrast and brightness will not be the hassle that color correction
*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.)
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
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!
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
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.
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
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
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
"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"
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,
I'll say it again,
God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
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,
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.
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.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FLEETA MAE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The mid-western winter travel routine chore thing
From my place, when I go to The Guild, I have a few miles
of rural road before I get to a highway.
The last remnants of Fleeta Mae's place before it all comes
The bare beginnings of the Ravenscroft set, ready for
the cast's next rehearsal -- their first on the stage space.
"One curtain falls, another goes up."
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
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.
Tina Gloss & Scott King in Still Me
A film by Beth McElhenny.
A Brookwood Films production.
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.
"Trying Out Robert 2010-12-19 rough cut.mov" rendering on
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:
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:
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
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.
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
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.
The K.L.Storer CD album cover
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.
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
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."
Cutting off the beard
Shaving what's left
Rehearsing the audition. Note the haircut; by-the-way,
that haircut is a "number five, rounded."
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
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
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
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?"
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
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.