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

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Fri, July 1, 2011

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A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

Well, as it turns out, last night we didn't get to run the whole of Act II. We did block that second scene, the last of the play. But it's a long scene and we ran it twice and we were done.

The deadline to be off-book is ten days away but I'm shooting for sooner, despite that I am not quite halfway through committing A.I:S.1 to memory.

To some extent, I suppose, Darren's characterization is coming into focus. Okay, he is to more than just "some extent." We all talked a bit about the characters in a rehearsal earlier this week. Ray gave us a chart of personality types designated as The Enneagram Types and urged us to use this as a possible template to build our characters on top of, or at least find useful in helping inform us. At the very least the printout has sparked some thought in me about Darren's personality type.

He's starting to materialize little-by-little anyway. We ran A.II:S.2 twice last night and I have are two short monologues that were pretty rough (read: maudlin) the first time through but showed considerable improvement the second time through -- though leagues away from what can be called "good readings."

The "Off-Book" gauntlet is laid and along side it is the "Who Is Darren Michaelman?" gauntlet. Good thing we are into a three-day weekend -- cool smile icon



FOURTH   OF
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xxxx


The Declaration of Independence


Declaration of Independence

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

      New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

      Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

      Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

      Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

      New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

      New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

      Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

      Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

      Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

      Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

      North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

      South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

      Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton



Sat, July 9, 2011

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A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse
xxxx

My hopes were high to get the bulk of the script memorization out of the way over last week's extended Fourth of July holiday weekend. That didn't happen. I made some progress but at the end of the weekend I had only the first two scenes of Act I down -- and I am still not close to that perfect Off-Book place as of yet with anything.

The interference last weekend was all about distractions, diversions, and blockades.

The major "blockade" were a couple recurring headaches of not some little intensity. The first one inflicted me last Friday and I missed both early hours then the end of my work day at the Rent Payer. By late Friday afternoon I was in bed trying for sleep as the best relief to my dilemma.

Saturday was a reasonably successful day in terms of the script work, though part of my allotted time was interrupted by other matters. Sunday I was getting started when it came to my attention that my good friend Dave and two of his kids were in town for his mother's eighty-fifth birthday, so I had to take a few hours out of the day to visit all of them.

Not long after I left them, that was when Headache, Part Two hit. So, the rest of the day was shot. It even hurt to watch TV!

Monday, The Fourth, I saw Zoot Theatre Company's Aesop's Fables at the Town Hall Theatre during the Americana Festival in Centerville, Ohio. But, still some good part of the day was spent on the lines from the play.

Still, the weekend as an engulfing, intense work-shed for memorizing the script was a bust. So, the memorization work continued during the week with my utilization of any open spots of time I could find. Though I obviously couldn't focus much on it at the Rent Payer, I did steal a few moments here and there. Sometimes brief drilling with long respites is most effective, anyway. So the stacks of flashcards were out on my desk top (the literal one) in the office. Still the progress was slow.

As for this past week's rehearsals, It was nice to be able to not have my eyes buried in the script all the time, more so, of course, for A.I:S.1 & S.2, but more effectively for the other scenes than I would have expected. Thursday night we ran Act I and I'd love to think I could've done it without the script in my hand, but that wasn't completely true. I did pretty well with the first two scenes and with the early part of the third scene.

Monday is the "off-book deadline" So today and tomorrow, my waking hours must be dominated by line memorization as much as possible.

So I finish off the mini-essay below about Harold Guskin's acting book -- because, I hate to reveal this, but I often do not write a blog entry in one sitting nor necessarily in the exact order as laid out on the html page -- then it's A Woman on the Cusp flashcard & script time. I do believe some (much?) of that time shall be spent in forestry.

It's disorientating that we do Act II on Monday, so we are required to be off-book for the second act before we are for the first, but, that's just vexing to my instinct for organized patterns.

Penetrating Darren's being is coming along, too. Naturally not as swiftly as my impatience demands, but I am climbing gradually into his persona. Or is Darren arriving to me, enveloping me? I suppose at different moments one of the metaphors is more appropriate than any other.

By the way, see Terry Morris' feature article naming the casts and directors of all six FutureFest 2011 plays: "Casts set for Futurefest plays."


SOME MORE ESTABLISHMENT FOOTAGE:
Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting
xxxx

Monday after Aesop's Fables was over, and on my mile walk back to where my car was parked, I took the opportunity to shoot a little more footage for movie. This was more shots of a street fair, this time, that Americana Festival. I hadn't planned it, but I had the camera in my pocket, so I figured a minute or so more establishment footage couldn't hurt. There's no such thing as too much footage but absolutely such thing as "not enough footage."

Meanwhile, finishing off them faux radio commercials sometime soon might be a good thing!


MISCELLANEOUS ICON
The book 'HOW TO STOP ACTING' by Harold Guskin, setting on the marble coffee table at K.L.Storer's place

  • How To Stop Acting, by Harold Guskin -- One more distraction over the holiday weekend was this book on acting by the actor and acting coach, Harold Guskin. I happened across it about a week or two back in the General Collection stacks at my work place, The Paul Laurence Dunbar Library at Wright State University, and grabbed it up for a later read. My intention last weekend was just to lightly browse the book while having lunch. It piqued my interest and I pretty much read the whole thing in that sitting.

    The title of the book addresses the concept of acting that I embrace, which I express through the adage:

        Less "acting," more "being."

    A passage from his book that illustrates what Guskin postulates:

    Actors always ask me how to get to characters who are different from themselves. Well, every character has to be us, or they won't be believable. We will look like we are Acting. But getting to characters that seem different from us and yet believable and interesting is necessary for us to fulfill our potential as actors. (p.59-60)

    Some years ago (many), I saw some sort of documentary or interview in which Brian Dennehy, in speaking of the contrasts between stage and screen performances said, essentially, that when he is on stage he "Acts," but when he is in front of a camera he "Behaves." It seems to me he is really speaking of the same basic idea that I am, and that Guskin is. He's not saying, I don't believe, that when he is in a play he gives a performance that appears like Acting, but rather that on stage, actors must be bigger in all of their gestures and vocal emoting so it will carry to the audience and that the same levels are too much in front of a camera.

    Though I'd never be able to quote a word of it, I remember that the rest of Dennehy's point was that to truly succeed with his performance, his audience, whether in a live theatre, a movie house, or millions of sofas around the country have to have a sense of real being and presence from his character.

    That's what I believe. I think it's true even about "character" performances (i.e.: roles that are in some way stereotyped, exaggerated, or otherwise removed from normalcy). Of course, if it's as exotic as playing The Grinch for children's theatre the authenticity of being may be measured against the grand exaggerations of the character performance, but the kids are going to buy it more if the actor can still make it sincere.

    But, getting back to straight dramatic and most comedic roles, the sense of authenticity, of true being, is critical to a performance that the audience forgets is a performance. That's what we want as actors, we want the audience members, including those who know our other work, and even those who are friends of ours, to be able to suspend disbelief to the point that they forget we are not the people we are portraying on those stages or those screens.

    That's my current place with Darren Michaelman, working to get all the stilted delivery out of him; to bring as much of my humanity into him as I can yet allowing Darren to not be K.L.

    Without going into great detail about Mr. Guskin's book I will say that one of the most interesting things to me is his concept of Taking the Lines Off the Page. This hits a note with me because one of my trouble spots in my mind is the cold read at audition. Though I must say, I was not as thoroughly disappointed with the ice-cold readings I had to do for FutureFest this year as I could have been.

    Guskin's premise is that when auditioning and actually when beginning one's line study for a role you have won, the first process you should use is Taking It Off the Page. At the risk of pushing "Fair Use" to its limits here, these are few paragraphs where Mr. Guskin introduces Taking It Off the Page:

    Here's how it works: The actor looks down at the phrase and breathes in and out while he reads the words to himself, giving himself time to let the phrase into his head. Then he looks up from the page and says the line, no longer reading but speaking.

    Taking your time to breathe in and out while you look down at the page to read the phrase for yourself allows you to access whatever unconscious thoughts or images it evokes. It doesn't matter what comes up -- however trivial, simple, deep, or apparently unrelated it is -- as long as it is your actual response at the time, and not what you think is appropriate.

    The point is to let the dialogue bounce around in your unconscious, a bit like in the Freudian concept of word association in which the psychoanalyst says a word and the patient responds with whatever word comes to mind, before he can censor it. The actor is accessing his unconscious self, surprising himself with his unconscious response, in much the same way.

    As soon as you exhale, say the phrase before you have a chance to censor whatever thought or feeling surfaces. Don't deaden the line by trying to be sincere. Just say what you mean, no matter how startling, stupid, frightening, funny, touching, irreverent, or boring. Exhaling before you speak ensures that it is your own voice that you are using, not a phony, artificially projected actor's voice. It is the way we all speak when we are not acting.

    Once the feeling has surfaces and been expressed, feel free to drop it so that the next line can take you to a new place. Actors often hold on to a feeling or thought that's working, out of fear that they'll have nothing else to replace it that will be as good. But the truth is, holding on to the or feeling evoked by one line limits the possible range of response the next line can elicit; letting go leaves room for something new to arise. That's what exploration is all about. (p.6-7)

    One of the reasons that I was not quite as unsatisfied with the cold readings I did for FutureFest was that, though I had not been introduced to Mr. Guskin's book yet, I more-or-less employed some of his concept outlined above. I had realized that I was just not going to be able to walk up on the stage and give any sort of informed "performance" of the characters as they live in their respective scripts.

    I had only vague overviews of the scripts and sketchy understandings of the characters and the dynamics of their relationships to the other characters in their worlds. So I just went with the perceived contexts in the moments I was up there, reading with fellow actors. I just stayed in the moment and gathered context from whatever it seemed was happening on the pages and between myself and my scene mates on stage.

    The context was often far afield from the playwright's context, and sometimes that became obvious at some point while we were still on stage, in scene. But, to paraphrase Mr. Guskin from another point in his book: for the cold read, which is almost always the case for a movie, and sometimes, as with Futurefest, with plays, the audition is about showing yourself as an actor not about showing deep understandings of the character and the story, understandings you cannot possibly have -- unless you are auditioning for well-known classic, in which case, you're not giving a cold-read audition.

    When it would dawn on me that the reading was not quite what the scene really needed in context with the playwright's agenda, I think in a couple cases I started the line over, in at least one instance, I adjusted from that point forward, and in at least one other instance, I stayed with what I had going because it didn't feel necessary to change.

    It came back to me, via the spouse of someone who was present when I auditioned for FutureFest, that I was one of those who seemed far more relaxed and in control, that I gave some of the best reads. I so very much hope that is the truth, because it shows progress and growth on my part as an actor.

    As for the whole idea of "getting to [a Darren who is] different from [K.L.] and yet believable and interesting": I'll keep you posted.

  • screenshot of the Excel speadsheet page with K.L.'s 2011 actor's mileage

  • The Actor's Miles -- I went to plug in some recent 2011 miles driven as an "actor" only to realize I had yet to record ANY.

    So, I spent some time yesterday retracing what I've driven so far this year, including the two 136.9-round-trip drives to Miami University for the days on the Ides of March set.

    I have a couple auditions that I have to retrace because they aren't on my iCal, but at the moment I'm at a respectable 1312.94 up to this past Thursday's rehearsal at Miami Valley Communication Council for Woman....Cusp.




  • In the audience icon

    As mentioned above, over last weekend I also saw the Zoot Theatre Company adaptation of Aesop's Fables that was produced in collaboration with the Town Hall Theatre in Centerville. The production featured Heather Atkinson (whom you may recognize from other posts here about a certain great theatrical endeavor of mine [ours], that family-friendly Blackbird), Patrick Hayes (whom I was on stage with in The Best Man), Judy Shaw (whom I've not yet worked with), and J. Gary Thompson (whom I've been on stage with twice -- Sweeney Todd and A Case of Libel and worked with on other projects).

    To one extent or another all the actors got to explore an array of character work and did quite well. Their performances were, of course, geared toward children but for you non-actors out there, don't be fooled. Playing to kids is not as easy as you may think.

    And, of course, the puppets and masks -- which I assume were designed by Tristan Cupp -- were cool as all get-out! I think my two favorites were both the Tortoise and the Hare, from that particular fable.

    As I told Ms. Atkinson a few weeks back, though I have no strong interest in long-term involvement with puppetry/mask theatre, I still would love to do some work with Zoot. It would be challenging and a great experience, I am sure.



    Mon, July 11, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    The grand plan for the weekend was to head to one or both of the Glen Helen nature preserve or John Bryan State Park for some good bite of my time learning the rest of the lines for the show. However, the heat index and the humidity over the weekend sucked in good ol' Southwest Ohio, as I'm sure it did all over the Midwest and beyond. I elected to stay in the abode.

    And so as of Saturday afternoon I began the process of spending the rest of my weekend pacing my apartment, flashcards in hand, reading, reciting, repeating.

    Reading, reciting, repeating; reading, reciting, repeating; reading, reciting, repeating.....

    I employed the Harold Guskin "Taking It Off the Page" technique described above in the last blog entry, at least to some extent. And I have to say, it has helped my get to some good readings of some lines, especially some lines I was at a loss about.

    Tonight is the first official "off-book" rehearsal; Act II. Tomorrow night we are at the Playhouse on the actual stage doing our first full run (and the first night off-book for Act I). Today, flashcards in pocket, I drill myself whenever the opportunities present themselves. That will pretty much be the SOP from this point forward.
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx



    Tue, July 12, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    The rehearsal had to be cancelled last night, so tonight we run the whole show off-book as our first "off-book rehearsal." It's a little unnerving to run the whole thing as the first off-book night, but what-the-heck, it won't be fatal; probably won't even bruise us; if it does bruise us, we'll heal.

    So last night was another opportunity to work more on the lines. Okay, so I'll declare myself something like 97-99.5% off-book. Now to squeeze the last of the hokeyness out of some of my line readings. Actually, one bothersome monologue toward the end of the play got a good reading from me as I was doing the dishes before I went to bed last night. But, there are still some spots where I have to iron out the high potential for maudlin discourse, at least from the Darren side of the communication.

    Seriously, that Guskin Off the Page exercise works. I'm not going to fall back on it as the cure for all my acting woes, but it certainly is a good weapon in the arsenal. (sorry for the mixed metaphor, those of you who are troubled by such)

    That last .5 to 3% below perfect off-book status has to do with two problem areas. One is the verbatim goal, which I always have but which is also even more important than usual when one is in a FutureFest play, or any other festival production where the actual aspect being judged is the text, the writing of the play, not the production or the performances. Of my two big "off-book problems" it is the lesser of the two, yet it is still a big problem. It's important that we deliver the dialogue accurately. It's also important that we don't bastardize the obvious intent of the playwright in any way -- cutting a crucial stage direction that is clearly germane to the story, etcetera, but this last point is all way more the directors problem than the actors, though we do share some responsibility for that goal, too. Our big responsibility as the actors is to way the words as written.

    All these concepts of remaining faithful are always true about any production, but they are especially true about a production for something like FutureFest.Thus, the paraphrasing I caught myself doing last night, in some instances, was none too thrilling to me.

    The bigger memory problem is a couple spots in the script where Darren controls the direction of the conversations and he takes them down different paths from where they were. He's not responding to another character -- actually, in every case here, the character is Lynn Kesson's Irene -- so I don't have cue lines to directly inform me. There are a couple spots where I am not yet solid on where I take the conversation off of the cue lines I get. As important as the first problem is to overcome, this one is more so because losing lines, skipping some segment of the script, is a bigger sin than paraphrasing an idea from the script. At least the second error doesn't threaten to compromise the logic or drop an important plot point.

    Plus, panic on stage is simply no fun for any actor in the scene.

    As one of my castmates has already said, the rehearsal tonight on the Dayton Playhouse main stage is going to be a bumpy ride. We are running the whole show for the first time ever, we will be off-book for the first time, and we will be in a new environment for the first time. There'll be a lot thrown at us and I have no doubt some disorientation will attack us.

    Bring it on!



    Wed, July 13, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse
    xxxx
    The WOTC playlist on my cell phone
    xxxx
    Actor Boy plugged in

    There's a reason why the first few off-book nights of rehearsal are called "stumble throughs."

    That bumpy ride that my castmate predicted was in fact the reality of the evening. But, hey, that's to be expected for the first off-book stumble through. And again, we had the added distraction of being in a new environment which can affect more then some might guess.

    Another problem, for me at least, was the fans, more so the loud hums and roars from them, the one big industrial one, especially. The Dayton Playhouse has an AC problem at the moment -- the AC ain't working well.

    The fans were quite necessary to keep it in the neighborhood of bearable to be there, but the noise made it difficult to hear and on many occasions I just couldn't hear my cues, or the other actors' line in general.

    The other point is, as always, it's one thing to pull your line up off of reading your cue line -- you know with certainty that the line is done and it's your turn. It's quite another to hear your cue line.

    It's quite easy to jump the cue or otherwise miss it. I did that a few times last night.

    Not a lot of character work was done last night by any of us. We were all too busy accessing memory cells and trying to hear each other. Those maudlin-threatening Darren monologues at the end of the play were in full corn-ball mode last night. This is a trouble spot that needs nuclear attack by me.

    Meanwhile, I have been and shall continue to listen to the audio files of the script on my myTouch 4G phone. Mostly to practice hearing the cue lines.

    There will be drills with the flashcards, too. Especially afterwork in prep for the rehearsal tonight.

    And, in concerns with the flashcards here's a point: one danger of creating the flashcards is the possibility of skipping something. I found last night I had skipped a cue line and my pick-up line off that cue line. When I was prompted for the correct line, it caught me totally by surprise. I've been relying completely on the flashcards for a week and so the missing lines have not been a part of my active line study. There a cautionary tale there.



    Thu, July 14, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    Back at the Miami Valley Communication Council for the rehearsal last night. We did not stumble as badly at all as we had on Tuesday evening. There was even a certain amount of character work going on.

    I still am unsatisfied with where I am with those troubling monologues at the end of the play. I also think I will spend this forthcoming weekend building backstory for Darren Michaelman. For one thing he has incidents from his past that are referred to and I believe I shall fill in the details of those so when Darren is speaking of them on stage there will be a strong reference derived from.

    There's also another line he has which is more-or-less a vague, throw-away but I think needs the weight of a strong history behind it. In other words his response (it's an answer to a question) is close to dishonest by how much he is downplaying the facts behind his answer. That's what I've been doing and I am going to make it stronger by having the actual facts in Darren's head. That's just one example of why I think I want a solid backstory for Darren. I want a real sense of history for this guy. This is one of those cases where it feels necessary to me.

    Fortunately there is a rehearsal tonight; I only say that because through some sort of misunderstanding or miscommunication most of us originally thought there wasn't one tonight; we all seem more than happy to add it to our calendars -- I certainly am.



    Mon, July 18, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    There ended up being no rehearsal this past Thursday night, after all. We have been charged with attacking the verbatim factor, to attempt to be as perfectly exact in our page-to-stage delivery of the lines as we can.

    Myself, I am not there yet. Close I guess is fair to claim, but not On Target.

    And I am chagrined to report that I absolutely forgot all about creating backstory for Darren, which was a goal for the weekend. I could tell myself that this is a clear indication that I don't feel a need deep inside to do it. I do not believe that is true, though, and if it is, than I think perhaps that is proof I cannot always trust the "deep down inside" of me -- or at least that I have the right to over-rule such.


    MORE "FORWARD" MOTION FOR THE OUTTAKE SHORT:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting
    screen shot of copy for faux radio commercial

    I am still in the midst of getting actors for the voice work for the faux commercials. I have some more lined up and I have worked some on more new copy.

    That August 15 Sundance Film Festival submission deadline is less than a month away.


    Dayton Theatre Guild

    I'm about to begin the production of the podcast highlighting the season.

    "Production" mostly means "editing."

    It's going to essentially be a virtual brochure -- a lot of Ken Burns effect work on the still images of the brochure, designed by Wendi Michael, along with visual new input of the text of the teasers and some music. Which I am contemplating composing and recording. myself, pending what time there is to do such.



    Tue, July 19, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    Rehearsal tonight is on the Dayton Playhouse main stage and it's going to be a hot-baked challenge unless the AC his been repaired or otherwise addressed. In a Dayton Daily News article it is reporting that "This week's severe heat wave will bring the Dayton region its longest stretch of days with heat indices of 100 degrees or above in more than a decade...."

    from the National Weather Service

    Excessive heat warning remains in effect from noon today to 9 pm EDT this evening. Excessive heat watch in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday evening.

  • Heat index values up to 105.
  • Heat indices of 100 to 105 will occur on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
  • Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat related illnesses will be possible, especially if you spend a significant amount of time outdoors or are involved in any strenuous outdoor activity....
  • As for where I am on the perfect-verbatim-factor scale : eh; close; still room for improvement.


    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Yesterday at lunch I decided to browse D.A.W.N. Music for the underscore for the "2011/12 Season Podcast" and in fact settled on two variations of a jazzy composition to meld* together and get my background music. So that idea to compose and record something is moot now.

    *) Or, as the hipster youngins say, "mash up."

    I actually planned to begin the editing proper last night but the evening was all about napping and Woman...Cusp line work -- plus a failed chicken breast sandwich; frozen-solid meat does not fry thoroughly through-and-through on the stove top, in case you're wondering.

    And though I am keeping the up-tempo acoustical music I used last season for the main theme music, an instrumental titled "Bakersfield" that I licensed from Sound Rangers, I think this season it's going to be closing credits music and I am going to find -- or create -- an opening musical flourish for the intro and the opening Podcast logo, before the show logo, at that point I'll introduce the specific underscore music unique to the specific podcast for the specific play -- or in this "1112-01" case, the season.



    Thu, July 21, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    The scheduled rehearsal on the Dayton Playhouse main stage Tuesday night was moved back to our regular lair at Miami Valley Communication Council, due directly to the 100°+ heat index encompassing the region coupled with the lack of AC at the DPH facility.

    Tuesday night was a full run and I had a determined goal to not call for line, even once; Damnit if I did not meet that goal! I actually went up on a line I have never missed before.

    I believe the word I am looking for is: Gahhh!

    The good news (in context) is there were few times I did need to call for line. The better news is that Darren (the character) is, I believe, pretty well present in the rehearsal hall. I still need to tweak him and I am slightly playing with some of the performance still, but I'm willing to declare Darren Michaelman as present and accounted for.

    Last night, still at MVCC, we focused on Act II. We did a line run first then ran the whole act. There is a verbal scuffle of sorts between Irene and Darren (Lynn Kesson and myself) that needs precise timing and we stayed after to drill that a bit. We improved it greatly but we haven't quite perfected it, yet. I am sure we shall.

    The big stumbling block for me is one of the monologues in Act II, which I believe I've at least alluded to before. It's what I call a litany monologue and it challenges me to deliver it in what I consider a successful manner. I've tried a multitude of approaches and I have not liked anything that's so far been manifested. I'm going to try that Harold Guskin "Taking It Off the Page" technique, again.

    Tonight we can't avoid being at the DPH theatre, we simply need some rehearsal time in the actual play space; nor can we avoid being there tomorrow since that is our technical rehearsal. The current heat advisory says, "Excessive heat warning remains in effect until 9 p.m. EDT Friday...heat index values: 110-115°...Heat indices will rise to between 110 and 115 this afternoon and will persist into the evening. Values are expected to rise to between 105 and 110 Friday afternoon and evening...Impacts: heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat related illnesses will be possible...."

    Just Lovely!

    Tonight also marks the first time we cannot call for lines. With the heat itself and the fans that will undoubtedly make it difficult to hear one another -- as last Tuesday, the 12th -- it's going to be a rough night and the very definition of a "stumble through."

    We are scheduled late tonight, starting at 8:15, so that may help with the heat, but I doubt it will significantly. I plan to bring a cooler filled with bottled water.


    AUDITION ICON

    PC-Goenner called yesterday about submitting voicework samples for a voice acting job for a European client. I know nothing more about it.

    I'd recorded a slew of stuff several years back before Peter Condopoulos bought the agency. That stuff was no longer at the site. I've had it pencilled in to record new ones. I only made one new one for this audition, along with an updated slate*, that correctly identifies the agency as "PC-Goenner" rather than "Roof-Goenner" as does the old slate file. I put together a 79 second sound file of the new copy and a few of the old samples and emailed it off this morning, along with a pdf of the new version of my résumé -- because I can't recall if I already had sent the new version, updated to include Darren in Woman....Cusp.

    *) SLATE: The recorded identification of an auditioner usually identifying his or her name and representing agency.



    Sun, July 24, 2011
    *updated to include
    DTG Podcast 1112-01

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    DOH!       Gahhh!      Ehhhh!     Grrrr!

    The words above would be spoken (exclaimed) by me in the car, on the way home after rehearsal Thursday night. We were on the Dayton Playhouse main stage and it was our first night, as I previously have reported, of not calling lines. And it was exactly as predicted, an oven with big fans blowing. I could not hear well and in at least one place I said the wrong line because I was responding to what I thought was another cue line.

    That's quite an interesting thing about this script. I haven't quite embedded the structure of it in my consciousness. Our director Ray has an observation that the play is a lot of exposition rather than a lot of action. There is really very little that happens in terms of traditional plot line. What drives the story is the pealing away of Irene and the progression of revelations about various relationships, as well as the growth of friendship between Irene and Darren. This is not a criticism, simply an observation.

    In terms of my dilemma, I have found it difficult to keep the structure of what goes where in my head. Usually in the play the actors have order of plot action to keep their place. With this one, I often have no idea what's happening next. I am absolutely dependent on my cue lines. This, I am not happy about. I am so "in the moment" that if it was up to me to save a scene because a castmate went up, I would be as helpless and hopeless as my castmate.

    There are a few moments in the play when Darren completely changes the direction of the conversation, and not off the impetus of what was just said. So, I have to be on my toes to remember, Oh yes, this is the time I ask about the house or Now I ask about her brother. These two connected dilemmas of mine simply mean I must further burn the structure of the script, the essence of it into my feeble little brain. That shall be what most of this day is about.

    Meanwhile, I had some bad line flubs Thursday evening, in part because of difficulty hearing -- actually I hope mostly. Other flubs were just the attempting to be verbatim. I corrected myself when I knew I was paraphrasing or switching out a word for a synonym. That is the last time for that. From this point forward, it's: move on, no matter what.

    Friday was our tech rehearsal and fortunately (because of the still 100°+ heat index) Ray elected to have only a straight cue to cue*, which meant we got out much sooner than I had anticipated, and I cannot say I was the least bit unsatisfied with that -- because of the friggin' heat! I will confess that it might have been beneficial to run the whole show, but hey, too bad.

    Tomorrow we are back at MVCC. This was originally scheduled as a speed through** but we all agreed Friday that we should rehearse on our feet, going through all the actions, especially since we only did a cue to cue Friday.

    Tuesday is our Final Dress*** at DPH. Thursday, back at MVCC, is a final pre-FutureFest weekend rehearsal, though we are most assuredly doing at least a line run (speed through) during the weekend at some point. I would hope we are on our feet Thursday. It's our last real chance before the 3:00 curtain a week from today.

    Yep, our performance is one week from today!

    *) CUE TO CUE: sometimes referred to as a "Q2Q," this is a type of technical rehearsal and is intended primarily for the lighting, sound technicians, and often the stage mangers and their crews. It allows the technicians and stage manager to rehearse the technical aspects of a performance such as when lights go up and down, when sound effects are to be executed, and set pieces or props are to be set (placed on stage) or stuck (removed from stage). It also is often to determine how much time should be allowed for costume changes for the actors. An important aspect is to identify and resolve glitches. A whole scene is not run during a cue to cue; actors only perform dialogue and actions that cue the technical aspects.

    **) SPEED THROUGH: a rehearsal where the actors do not do the blocking (take the actions and make the movements) of the play, but only say the lines, usually as fast as they can, in some cases with no concern for even speaking in character. The usual point is focus on what the correct words are. However, sometimes rehearsals that run the lines of the show at correct speed with the actors emoting the feelings of the characters as they only speak the lines are often referred to as speed throughs as well, though quickness is not really a factor. This second type is more correctly identified as a "line run" or "line rehearsal" (and when done during the course of a production's performance run it is called a "brush up") but still is often referred to as a "speed through."

    ***) FINAL DRESS: the last rehearsal before a show's official "Opening Night." Sometimes it's opened to the public as a "preview" performance with tickets sold at a discounted price or donations for charities accepted. It is the last chance to stop performance to fix a problem, usually of a technical nature. All technical aspects and costuming is ran with the goal of a perfect performance. Except for the possible event of a halt for that last fix of glitches, the Final Dress is performed exactly as an official performance will be after the show has opened.




    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel

    The Cast of
    The Oldest Profession:

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Vera            Marcella Balin

    Edna            Ellen Finch

    Lillian            Patty Bell

    Ursula            Marcia Nowik

    Madam Mae            Jackie Engle



    DTG PODCASTS 1112-01 & 1112-02:

    Dayton Theatre Guild
    DTG Podcast 1112-01 the 2011/12 Season -- Most of yesterday, well, late afternoon into the wee hours this morning, were the final production work and the editing of the first podcast for the new season.

    No Fleet Mae this year. No personalities. It may actually not be a podcast that anyone finds fabulously impressive.

    Not that I'm suggesting any doors have been blown off by any I've already produced.

    I've created a different variations of the new opening ID sequence musical flourish, see pics here, and will use slightly different ones for each podcast-- all the same music theme but with different voices and production processing.
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel
    DTG Podcast 1112-02 The Oldest Profession -- It is time to start production on the second podcast for the season, now that the first show, the subject of the podcast, is now cast.

    I also should try to contact more playwright's from this year's season about clearance to use text from the scripts in the podcasts. The Oldest Profession playwright, Paula Vogel, through her legal representation has denied the clearance, so there will be no rehearsal footage with audio of portions performed for the camera.

    I think it's better when we can use text, but I can make a podcast without one, and in fact I have.



    Fri, July 29, 2011

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    OPENING TODAY
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse, including 'A Woan on the Cusp,' by Carl L. Williams

    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse
    K.L.Storer in his apartment living room, reading from the A WOMAN ON THE CUSP script.
    Line study, with the script, not with the flashcards.

    Monday rehearsal at the Miami Valley Communication Council went not too bad. The same for the dress rehearsal on the Dayton Playhouse main stage Tuesday. Wednesday night we were back at MVCC -- I had thought we had Wednesday off and were to rehearse last night, but it was the other way around. Wednesday night was "good."

    I had line problems at all three rehearsals. We all had problems at the Tuesday dress but we covered all the problems like pros.

    As stated before, I always aim for verbatim but since the FutureFest performances are about the play and its text, it's even more vital than usual to not paraphrase. Oh that elusive word-perfect status.

    My personal paraphrases were usually minor, replacing the word "evaluation" with "assessment"; minor but not really acceptable. At least once, at the dress, my paraphrase was a big one. My line is:

        "We haven't gotten very far, yet"
    What I said was:

        "We've only hardly started"

    Minor but not really acceptable.

    And very important is when you're speaking a line to someone, that which has a word their line needs. You need to be very sure you say that word and not a synonym. On three occasions, during the dress, I screwed that up -- the only time I have done so. Hopefully it was nerves of the first performance in front of any sort of audience.

    Last night, a theoretically free evening, I spent time on the script, as well as having done a lot of line study last Sunday.

    The good news, the better news, is that our director Ray told us he was very pleased with our character work. He thinks we are all exactly the people in the world of the play that he envisions and that our performances honor the playwright's intent. That is good to hear. According to Ray, all of the small band of people in the preview audience at dress were impressed. At least two of them also came to me and gave me positive feedback on Darren, and one of those is a veteran actor and director.
    xxxx
    The rack in the mens dressing room at The Dayton Playhouse
    xxxx
    The greenroom at The Dayton Playhouse.
    xxxx
    Setting up the set before the dress rehearsal at The Dayton Playhouse.

    We have one more rehearsal, tomorrow afternoon, a full, on our feet rehearsal at MVCC. Unfortunately I will miss the 3:00 show, The Haven. Then, Ray wants us to do a speed through of the last scene, just before we go on Sunday; the main point being to rev up the pace and energy right before we go on. Seems like a good idea to me.

    I think you can bet I will otherwise be going over my lines, somehow after the Sunday morning show and our call for ours.


    DTG PODCAST 1112-01 THE 2011/12 SEASON:
    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Well the DV movie needed to be replaced. I got an email Sunday evening with a new version of the production logo for Souvenir. The original graphic had a couple errors so I needed to switch it out in the podcast with the revised version. The more important of the errors was a misspell of the playwright's name.

    I anticipated it being more of a hassle than it was to switch out the image but it wasn't.

    The biggest inconvenience was that I had already rendered the movie and had posted it on both the Guild's facebook page and its YouTube channel. So, if anyone had already referenced the link or placed embed code, when I reposted the fixed movie it had a new URL form the first version, in both locales, so those links and embeds would be broken.

    Well, since I was able to get the new one posted the next day: probably no problem.


    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    The Human Race Theatre Company is offering a new professional acting class, taught by Race Resident Artist, University of Dayton theatre instructor, and director Kay Bosse.

    It will be Monday evenings, September 12 through October 17, at The Caryl D. Philips Creativity Center. Click here for more info.

    I believe I will be there.


    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    Ides of March News -- "New Clooney Flick Opens Film Fest"



    Sun, July 31, 2011

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    CLOSING TODAY
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse, including 'A Woan on the Cusp,' by Carl L. Williams

    Drawing Room
    By Mark Eisman
    (fully staged)

    Directed by Matthew W. Smith

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Roz            Rachel Wilson
    August            Mark Jeffers
    Kandra            Anne Pesch
    photography by Kirk Sheppard
    contributing artists: Terry K. Hitt, Patrick Hayes, Wendi Michael, & Jacqui Theobold


    Roosevelt's Ghost
    by M.J. Feely
    (staged reading)

    Directed by Saul Caplan

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Charles Castle "Chas" Hunt            David Shough
    Maureen Higgins Hunt            Debra Kent
    Jullian Greaves            Jennifer Lockwood
    Jessie Davis            Debra Strauss
    James Castle Hunt II            Chuck Larkowski
    Chuck Davis            Michael Stockstill
    Judge/Prosecutor            Dave Nickel
    production Manager: Deirdre Root
    rehearsal assistant: Shannon Fent


    The Haven
    by Richard Etchison
    (staged reading)

    Directed by Fran Pesch

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Paige            Megan Cooper
    Gunner            Danny Lipps
    Turner            Deirdre Bray Root
    Wolf            Richard Young
    assistant director: Annie Pesch


    Allegro Con Brio
    by Nelson Sheeley
    (fully staged)

    Directed by Nicklaus Moberg

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Maestro Luigi Gemanini            Michael Boyd
    Marta Krebs            Cheryl Mellen
    Alvin Piccolo            Matt D. Curry
    assistant stage manager: Stacey Ward
    sound design: Michael Boyd
    costume design: Sarah Parsons


    Jinxed
    by Stacey Luftig
    (staged reading)

    Directed by Richard Brock

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Amelia Earhart            Wendi Williams
    Jackie Cockran            Kate Smith
    George Putnam            Michael Taint
    Floyd Odlum            Matt Turner
    Paul Mants
    & Stan Seymour/
    Coast Guard Operator 2
               Franklin Johnson
    Mrs. Winthrop/
    Mrs. Vanerhoff
               Cynthia Karns
    Ground Crewman/
    Coast Guard Operator 1
               Mike Rousculp


    A Woman on the Cusp
    by Carl L. Williams
    (fully staged)

    Directed by Burleigh (Ray) Gambrel

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Irene Wygard            Lynn Kesson
    Darren Michaelman            K.L.Storer
    Lonnie Wygard            Scott Knisley
    Charlotte Mabry            Cher Collins


    other credits:

    FutureFest stage manager: Rick McClintic
    light and scenic design: Wade Hamilton
    light board operator: Anita Bachmann
    sound board operator: Bob Kovach
    photographer: Art Fabian


    FutureFest 2011 adjudicators: David Finkle, Robert Koon, Robert W. MacClennon, Ph.D, Helen Sneed, Eleanore Speert.

    For those who do not already know, Jinxed, by Stacey Luftig is the 2011 FutureFest winner. Congratulations to Stacey and to Richard Brock and his cast and crew who presented the script on stage to the audience and the judges.



    Mon, Aug 1, 2011

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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    xxxx
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    I spent today in what I will call recovery mode from the FutureFest weekend. I'll post some essay type thing in the next few days. I just didn't feel like writing much today.

    I will say that I was more pleased than displeased with Darren on Sunday. And I got a lot of decent feedback on the work. And once again I was part of a really fine cast.


    THE IDES OF MARCH MOVIE TRAILER:
    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    And, of course, in FutureFest related news, click here to see the first official trailer for the Clooney film based on Beau Willimon's 2005 winner Farragut North.

    I recognize at least two shots from this trailer from the limited time I was on the set. I watched them being shot. I know I ain't an insider (yet) -- but it is cool to be able to say that I witnessed part of a big damned deal movie being made, and played some part in it if small and unfortunately off screen. There's already Oscar buzz for this. Man, I can't wait to be further into the circle.



    Thu, Aug 4, 2011

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    PAUL McCARTNEY IN CONCERT TONIGHT:
    xxxx

    On June 18, Paul McCartney's sixty-ninth birthday, I posted the following in reference to his concert appearance tonight at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, and more to the hefty price of the tickets for any seats worth making the trip for:

    Dear Paul:

    First off, Happy Birthday.

    Second, You're wonderful live. The 2005 show in Columbus was the best concert I've ever been to. But for the new tour, the seats worth sitting in are beyond the practicalities of my current wallet. So, I won't be seeing you this time.

    I tried to justify it in my mind, but I just cannot do it. Guess you'll have to work on your third billion without me.

    Your fan,
    K.L.

    Enter my niece Beth. A few Saturday mornings ago, July 16th, about 8:00, as I was lying in bed, the alarm having sounded only several moments before. I was giving myself the "you need to get up now" talk -- (I had a Dayton Theatre Guild board meeting in Dayton in about an hour; and believe me I am always at least five or ten minutes late; 9:00 am on a Saturday is some sort of sin against humanity.

    As I lay there in the midst of my argument with myself, Beth called.

    "What are you doing on August Fourth?" asked she.

    Hmm, thought I, That's the night of the McCartney show in Cincy. Could this call be about that?. "Nothing," I said.

    "Do you want to see Paul McCartney in concert in Cincinnati? Bill [her husband] and I have four tickets and thought we'd invite you if you weren't already going."

    (Well, let's see,      hmmm,     how should I respond to this offer..................?)

    I said, "Well yeah, sure!"

    To top it off, the ticket is gratis! As is the other one, in which they generously have allowed me to give to my guest. I first contacted several of my mutual Macca fan friends, none who could make it. Then after a few more who couldn't I posted a general call on facebook and got a response in about twenty seconds, from a friend whom I haven't actually been in physical contact with for something like twenty years, if not more. So tonight will be a reunion of sorts.

    Someone asked me about a week back how many times I've seen Paul live and I said five, but I was wrong; this will be the seventh time I've seen him live. Not a record by any stretch -- some will see him that many times on this tour -- but a fairy decent accounting for a fan.


    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    Time has been devoted to a "final thoughts" essay-type composition.


    And more work will be done.


    It'll be posted some time in the next several days.



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

    The theoretical "film"maker in me is rather busy now, and first up is the outtake short from the full-length project.

    The deadline for submission to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival is still August 15 -- looming rather closely.

    So I need to finish the post-production radio programming for the background of the scene. And if I am, in deed, trimming the cut down, as my instincts say I should, that should happen somewhere in the neighborhood of now.

    I have finished faux radio spot featuring Heather Atkinson, and Scott Knisley has just provided the announcer for another spot. I've lined up one the other actor for that spot, Jeff Sams. I need more actors quickly to finish it all off.

    To quote my dearly departed mother: "Time's a wastin'."

    And, I need the final decision on the name for the short. Trying Out Robert isn't working for me and the original The Audition might work as a heading in the full-length, but does not as a stand alone.



    Sat, Aug 6, 2011

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    PAUL McCARTNEY IN CONCERT THIS PAST THURSDAY NIGHT

    xxxx



    xxxx
    I wanted a coffee mug but they were sold out before I got to the counter. The saleswoman said they'd only had ten to begin with -- TEN! I asked her if they had been aware of the amount of middle-aged people who would be in attendance at a Paul McCartney show and how popular coffee mugs would most likely be. She told me, based on the amount of people disappointed already, she had figured that one out.
    xxxx

    Sitting here on a Saturday afternoon listening to "Kansas City," the opening cut from the Choba B CCCP album -- the title being Russian for Back in the U.S.S.R. Figured it'd be nice background music to burn off my little non-review accounting of the show, Thursday evening.

    And now: "Twenty Flight Rock," the Eddie Cockran song that on July 6, 1957, a fifteen-year-old Paul played for sixteen-year-old John Lennon at the garden fete of St Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, where John's band, the Quarry Men, were performing. Paul did the song on his first big world tour to feature a hefty amount of Beatles songs, The Paul McCartney World Tour (1989/90), the tour covered by the live album Tripping the Live Fantastic.

    Speaking of tours, perhaps I should leave the digressions and move on to the final show of Paul's 2011 summer tour, "On The Run." It was, as would be expected, a really good show. That man knows how to throw a party. I must say, of the seven shows I've seen, my overall favorite was the last appearance I saw in Columbus in October 2005 on the "US" tour. But all seven shows have had their own personal appeal and there have been aspects about each special to the event.

    The calibre of the musicianship, the performances and, naturally, the repertoire have always been high, from the American leg of the "Wings Over the World" tour ("Wings Over America": Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 27, 1976) to last Thursday evening. So, the highlights and what I liked most about each has had abundantly more to do with song lists or Paul's particular masterful rapport with the audience at a given show. And Paul has consummate stage presence in concert.

    Thursday, for me it was mostly the songs I hadn't heard him play live before, at least when I have been in attendance (I.E.: excluding any sort of recorded live performance). Of the nine new to me, the real rushes were "Junior's Farm," "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five," "Mrs Vandebilt," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "A Day in the Life/Give Peace A Chance," and "Day Tripper." Yeah, I know, that's 66% of the new-hears; what can I say.

    Paul's stories and interactions with the audience have been fun, too. This time the highlight of that was when he pointed out a couple in the audience close to the stage who had complementary signs. Paul talked about how while he's up there playing he's trying hard to concentrate on the chord changes and the lyrics to the songs.

    "But people hold up these signs and I say to myself, 'Don't read the signs, concentrate!'"

    Then he pointed out the man's sign, which said: SIGN MY WIFE. And then his wife's sign that said: I'M THE WIFE. SIGN ME.

    Clearly, between the "end" of the show, the "Hey Jude" finale, now the signature of his concert play list, and the first encore, Paul had his people go down and grab the couple, because when he came out for the second encore, the couple was one of two groups that he brought out on stage with him. They were from Cincinnati. The other group were four women in Sgt. Peppers regalia; three of them were from Leeds, England, one was from Australia -- I think Perth, but I cannot rightly remember.

    He signed the wife's right shoulder blade: Let It Be. Paul McCartney.

    I don't know if there'll be a DVD of this tour, but if there is, I'm betting that makes it on. I've looked for some news or blog accounting of the sign-my-wife affair but haven't found one yet. For the record, here's a news piece related to the show in general: "Reds Made Good Impression With McCartney Concert," from Local 12 WKRC.

    In conclusion, to paraphrase an old Beatles album:

    And a good time was had by all

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    play list

    Paul McCartney at Great American Ball Park
    Cincinnati, OH, USA, August 4, 2011

    Hello, Goodbye
    Junior's Farm*
    All My Loving
    Jet
    Drive My Car
    Sing the Changes*
    The Night Before*
    Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady
    Paperback Writer
    The Long and Winding Road
    Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five*
    Let 'Em In
    Maybe I'm Amazed
    I've Just Seen a Face
    I Will
    Blackbird
    Here Today
    Dance Tonight*
    Mrs Vandebilt*
    Eleanor Rigby
    Something
    Band on the Run
    Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da*
    Back in the U.S.S.R.
    I've Got a Feeling
    A Day in the Life/Give Peace A Chance*
    Let It Be
    Live and Let Die
    Hey Jude

    Encore:
    Lady Madonna
    Day Tripper*
    Get Back

    Encore 2:
    Yesterday
    Helter Skelter
    Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End

    *): the songs I had never heard Paul perform live before


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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams:
    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse

    It's

    Coming!

    Really




    THE BARD IN THE PARK -- A HOT AUGUST NIGHT'S DREAM:
    In the audience icon

    Finally got to see Free Shakespeare! in action.

    Saw their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Newcome's Founders Park in The Oregon District, last night. Impressive and fun!

    Kudos to the cast: Allison Husko, Will Hutcheson, Amy Brooks, Kes-lina Luoma, Jason Antonick, Zach Schute, David Harewood, Chris Shea, Travis Cook, Megan Cooper, Bill Styles, Lauren S. Deaton, Juliet Howard-Welch, and Philip Titlebaum. Kudos to director Greg Hall.

    Before it's all said and done I hope to be in a production with this company.....



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    A WOMAN ON THE CUSP A New Play by Carl L. Williams
    AND OTHER FUTUREFEST 2011 MUSINGS:

    Futurtefest 2011 new play festival at The dayton Playhouse
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    I had this idea to journal the FutureFest weekend as I was experiencing it, using an html app on my phone -- something called Android Web Editor LITE. I barely wrote one entry, Friday evening, not even worth referring back to. So I start this all fresh.

    First let's look at last Sunday afternoon and the performance of the play.

    Overall I'd say it was a successful two hours. There is no doubt that I was in the company of a fine, fine cast. I believe all my compatriots were absolutely dead on in their portrayals of their characters.

    Lynn Kesson's work as Irene was nothing less than excellent. She made it most easy for me because she was so very easy to play off of. I'd seen her in several productions before and was looking forward to working with her. I never was not impressed with her previous work, that which I've seen. I certainly can't speak for all of her work but of what I've seen I liked her Irene the best, and her other work was all very good. Lynn got the nuances of Irene and translated them most successfully for the audience. It was just fine work -- though, I may be a tad biased.

    Scott Knisley was a most bastardly bastard in Lonnie, though three dimensional enough for us to see a human being in there worth salvation. But he played Lonnie as a hard-core business man, ruthless, uncompromising, who wants what he wants and does whatever it takes to get what he wants. Scott, too, was easy to work a scene with. More good work.

    Cher Collins was Charlotte, almost the comic relief but a tad more substantial than just holding that duty. Cher captured the haughty, playful spirit of this rich girl who puts up a pretense of being shallower than she is. One really great thing was the little subtext of discord that she and I played at and off of each other. It wasn't anything that was ever spoken about. Ray didn't give the direction and Cher and I never discussed the dynamic. I started giving the subtle attitude to her in rehearsal and she gave it right back. It evolved into a nice little nuance that worked perfectly.

    Meanwhile, I told our director Burleigh (Ray) Gambrel that his style makes it seem like he's hardly directing you, but in fact he's really doing a lot. He's a collaborative director in the finest sense of the word. He trusts you to look into the soul of your character and pull out what you find, then show him your version. Then he shares the differences and employs you to try out the differences he sees. It doesn't make you feel like he thinks you have it wrong, more that there may be another way that is also valid. I think he got a really good performance out of his ensemble.

    I'd share why he credited himself as "Burleigh (Ray) Gambrel" for this production, but it's not my story to tell. It is a pretty cool story though. If you know him, you should ask him about it.

    I'm not going to really get into critical analysis of the six plays but I will say that there were none that I felt were awful -- there have been years at Futurefest where that wasn't the case.

    Also, I must admit that I had to miss one play, The Haven by Richard Etchison, because we cast members of Woman....Cusp were in our last rehearsal. The concept seems really cool and the pages I saw at audition were certainly good writing, so I'd say that The Haven too escaped the "awful" label. And both the script and the performances got good props from the other FF attendees. And, on a personal note, I am sorry to have missed one of Deirdre Root's rare stage appearances, and one that I've heard really great things about.

    Of the four shows I was in the audience for, here's some comment:

    • Drawing Room by Mark Eisman -- really interesting concept about a visual artist going blind who is tryin to control the memories she keeps of her art, by placing them in a gallery in her mind. And there was nice art work provided by local artists Terry K. Hitt, Patrick Hayes, Wendi Michael, & Jacqui Theobold
    • Roosevelt's Ghost by M.J. Feely -- Mr. Feely certainly has a fascination and keen interest in the area of "McCarthyism," this being the second time he's submitted a historically based fiction that has characters somehow connected. As has been the case in the other plays, this one has well drawn characters and clear conflict with resolution that may not always be sweet but satisfies the story.
    • Allegro Con Brio by Nelson Sheeley -- A lot of really funny lines.
    • Jinxed by Stacey Luftig -- The winner and a play that suggests it's about Amelia Earhart but is as much about Jackie Cockran, her rival in the air and eventual close friend. As for the text, there is scene when Earhart's plane goes missing that is simply her on the radio and several different coast guard operator. It is the illustration of her disappearance and I am betting that on paper, when one reads the scene it seems like boring sluff. In performance it's quite dramatic and riveting.

    And kudos to the fine performances I saw over the weekend, beyond my own castmates.

    At some point there will be an A Woman On the Cusp cast photo added here.

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

    Lately I have been more than neglectful about moving it along with this project, especially the more imminent final cut of the short outtake. I was planning to do some work Friday evening when I got home from the Free Shakespeare! show, but I just was in a bit of a funk so I did nothing.

    I haven't lined up actors lately to do the voice work for the faux commercial. I sort of had one for this weekend but we couldn't get a confirmed appointment time. So this morning I went ahead and recorded a few voices for some of the commercials and I may have to do more.

    August 15 (Sundance submission deadline) is not too distant.
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    Dayton Theatre Guild
    DAYTON THEATRE GUILD SMORGASBORD & MURPHY AWARDS FOR THE 2010/2011 SEASON:

    About to head off to the annual DTG smorgasbord that concludes the theatre's in-house theatrical awards, The Murphy Awards, named after Murphy's Law. I'll let you know who the winners are.


    AUDIO TECHING FOR THE NEXT DTG PRODUCTION; & WORK ON ITS PODCAST:
    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel

    Wednesday night I'm going to record some a cappella vocals by one of the cast members for use in the stage performance of the show.

    Plus, I have had a brief pre-production meeting with Director Greg Smith Friday about the podcast which we will likely shoot next week.

    I've already grabbed the royalty free music, as in several past productions from D.A.W.N.Music.

    Have done some other incidental preproduction, too; things like creating the text file from which to pull the closing credits roll, filing all the credits that I know at the moment.

    As stated before, we do not have permission from Ms. Vogel's camp to use text from the play in the podcast. I believe that is a tactical error that is far more an obstacle to promoting the royalty-paid performances than it is any thin protections of the work that may be feebly applied. But, if they choose that route, then they are more concerned with money -- the royalties for the performance won't change despite whether the house is fuller or not. But the use of the text might just help put more people in the seats to see Ms. Vogel's work; and I would hope that is what she wants most.


    Daytonys - Dayton theatre Hall of Fame

    This coming Saturday night will be the 2011 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame Gala and Daytony Theatre Awards.

    I am attending to witness the inductions because I like all the inductees quite a bit.

    • Don & Lois Bigler -- who are two of Dayton's greatest arts patrons. I think it's safe to say that they have seen more of my work than any other people, not because they're such big fans of mine, but because they show up pretty much everywhere!
    • Carol Finley -- who has been a part of my entire return-to-theatre era. She was influential in getting me cast as Johnnypat in The Cripple of Inishmaan and has been someone I have worked close with -- behind the scenes -- at The Guild the whole time I've been on the board.
    • Doug Lloyd -- We haven't worked together a lot, but I did design sound for his Guild direction of The Sugar Witch and he was certainly easy to work with. I've liked his other work I've seen, too.



    Mon, Aug 8, 2011

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    Dayton Theatre Guild

    DAYTON THEATRE GUILD MURPHY AWARDS FOR THE 2010/2011 SEASON:

      TECHNICAL AWARDS

    • Best Lighting Design: John Falkenbach for The Sugar Witch
    • Best Sound Design: Fran Pesch for Fat Pig
    • Best Costume Design: Carol Finley for Ravenscroft
    • Best Properties: Blake Senseman for The Sugar Witch
    • ACTING AWARDS

    • Best Lead Actor (four-way tie): William Fulmer, Franklin Johnson, Darren Maddox & Craig Roberts for The Boys Next Door
    • Best Supporting Actor: Geoff Burkman for Mauritius
    • Best Lead Actress: Catherine Collins for The Sugar Witch
    • Best Supporting Actress: Sarah Caplan for The Sugar Witch
    • Best Ensemble Performance: the cast of The Boys Next Door

      PRODUCTION AWARDS

    • Best Director: Natasha Randall for The Boys Next Door
    • Best Over all Production: The Boys Next Door
    • Best Set Design: Blake Senseman for The Sugar Witch


    Thu, Aug 11, 2011

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    AUGUST 15:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting

    The push is on. That eleventh hour stuff. Most of my creative time right now is about getting the short into final cut to submit to Sundance Film Festival by midnight next Monday. I bet others are doing this, too.

    Last night, after getting home from The Guild (see next) I recorded the radio announcer for the radio programing. Though I only did enough spots to cover the segment that will be the short movie.

    You see, the radio programming will continue into the next segment that features Duante Beddingfield along with still Natasha Randall. It takes place in the same setting, "the fourth floor production suite area of WACI Radio (Lite 97.5)," and takes place in the next moment after the segment with Natasha and Craig Roberts ends.

    But all I need right now are the announcer's on-airs for the short outtake with Natasha and Craig.

    I have about half a faux commercial written and may write a at least one more. If I voice these, I will need top process my voice into a woman's or women's for the one that is half written.

    And I'm still thinking I need to shave the cut of the short movie by a few minutes.


    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel
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    screenshot from podcast footage shot last night
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    another screenshot from podcast footage shot last night

    Went to The Guild last night to record an a cappella vocal for use in the production of The Oldest Profession only to find that the recording session had to be cancelled. So I used my cybershot camera to shoot a little bit of the rehearsal as B-roll for the podcast.


    Edgar:
    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    This is the debut appearance of this icon and at first it said, "Non-Pro Gig," but in keeping with my philosophy that being a professional has nothing to do with whether you are paid or not, I elected to drop that wording for something that more directly reflects my intention for the category.

    Going to The State Theatre tonight to shoot something for Wayne Justice for his multi-media project Edgar: A Mesmeric Passage Into The Life of Edgar Allen Poe, which will open the Springfield StageWorks 2011/12 season, running September 9 & 10 at The State. Here's the text about the show as posted at SSW's 2011/12 season web page:
    A live, original, multimedia presentation by Wayne Justice and Shane Smith, Edgar has sparked intense interest among several national Poe enthusiasts -- biographers and other researchers from around the country have expressed a desire to contribute to the multimedia aspect. We are proud to be a small part of this project, not to mention very excited for Wayne and Shane, and invite you to share in the fruits of much labor!
    You can see more about The Edgar Project at www.EdgarOverAmerica.com.

    As for what I am shooting tonight, I have absolutely no idea, save for that I will be in period clothing: cool smile icon


    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    And I may be able to report on an upcoming professional gig in the technically defined sense.

    Shortly after the original posting of this day's blog entry I received a call about the possibility of one.

    When the time is ripe I'll tell more.



    Sun, Aug 14, 2011

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    THE DEADLINE FOR EARLY SUBMISSION TO THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IS TOMORROW:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting

    The background radio programming production is finished. What I need to do now is reassemble the edit so that the programming will be where I want it when the movie is over and the credits roll.

    And I have the credit roll to create. I should have a final cut by the end of today.

    By the way, the official title of the outtake short: Be Or Not


    Daytonys - Dayton theatre Hall of Fame

    Congratulations to Doug Lloyd, Don & Lois Bigler, and Carol Finley for their inductions into The Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, last night.

    And congratulation to all the winners of Daytony Theatre Awards for the 2010/11 Dayton area theatre season

    Click here to see the whole list of winners



    Tue, Aug 16, 2011

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    BE OR NOT, SUBMITTED TO SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL:

    'BE OR NOT' icon
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    The package ready to mail to Sundance
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    With the exception of attending the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame & Daytony Theatre Awards ceremony Saturday evening, my weekend was about getting the improv movie project short-subject outtake into final cut to meet the August 15 deadline for early submission to Sundance. Unfortunately, I missed that deadline only because, as the submission guidelines say, "All deadlines associated with the Sundance Film Festival are the dates that films must arrive at our office in Los Angeles. They are NOT postmark deadlines."

    I did still meet the goal of getting the final cut before going to bed Sunday night -- perhaps about 1 a.m., yesterday morning. I had to personally finish off the voicework for the faux commercials so only three actual actors came in to do voicework for the WACI (Lite 97.5) radio programming: Heather Atkinson, Scott Knisley and Wendi Williams.

    After wrapping up the production of radio programming on Saturday I started the mixing of the radio programming before heading to The Daytonys. Sunday I finished the edit of the movie as a whole and began the artwork for the DVD.

    Yesterday I went to the Sundance website and to get the application, and discovered that since I have an IMDB account I also have a direct line to join Withoutabox, which IMDB now owns. So I was able to join Withoutabox then submit to Sundance through there.

    I actually would have been able to make the early $35 fee if I had compression software that could render the movie file under two gigabytes. Than I could have uploaded yesterday at the early submission rate. Still, I mailed the DVD yesterday on the way home from the rent-payer. $50 entrance fee for the Sep. 2 deadline, which I've met. So, I'm good.

    The great thing is that, as the film festival FAQ says, "There are no premiere or prior screening restrictions for short films. Shorts may have been released on DVD, broadcast on television or the internet, and/or publicly screened anywhere in the world and still remain eligible for our Shorts Competition." That means that Be Or Not may be posted at my YouTube account.

    Yes, yes, I'll probably embed here, too.

    The movie is 15:37, so I'm hoping the extra thirty-seven seconds can slide by. I believe the maximum time limit is fifteen minutes.

    The production values are less and less stirring to me as time passes -- blame HD video! But, if this movie has a saving grace it is the stellar work both my principal actors gave me.

    And, just to give some well-deserved kudos, here's to the very good work that the three voice actors gave me, all of them knowing that their voices were going to be buried in the background and rarely more than ambient noise.

    Oh, yeah, the final title you ask? As some will know, the first workshop title for the short was The Audition, which is fine but all too generic. I then went with Trying Out Robert, which I was only sold on for a very short period of time. It's a pretty lame, lackluster name. Be Or Not, came to me on my drive into Dayton for The Daytonys. And I knew that was it. It derives from the famous Hamlet soliloquy. Craig's character, Robert, is auditioning for the role of Hamlet. Marian (Natasha's character), who is the director, even has a rather unique manner for Robert to use that soliloquy during the audition.

    "Be Or Not" just simply works for me.

    By the way, the text on the DVD back cover *(seen above) reads:

    The Thespian Collective, the community theatre company in the small town of Bellcreek, Ohio, has just lost their Hamlet for their soon-to-come production of The Bard's play. Marian Clark, the director, is holding emergency auditions in a production suite of the local radio station, where she works, WACI FM (Lite 97.5). Robert Green is a young actor with some good amateur credits on his résumé. He's about to experience a different audition process than he's used to, as Marian puts him through the paces to see if he makes the cut.

    Directed by K.L.Storer
    Starring Natasha Randall & Craig Roberts
    Director of photography: Fred Boomer

    running time: 15:37
    aspect ratio: 4:3
    in Black & White

    © MMXI K.L.Storer
    All rights reserved

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    Besides Ms. Atkinson, Mr. Knisley, and Ms. Williams, here some other credits for voicework: George Spelvin, Steven Spillmen, Bob Spoolman, Biff Spikman, Terrence Spackminn, Jerry Spiffman, August Spelldarn, and Georgina Spelvin.

    Other production credits go to such "friends" of mine as Kell Stoor (editor), Derrik Spellman (3rd camera operator), Lee Tonelero (audio engineer), Lisa Spazzman (costume coordinator), and Ken Spookmoore (properties).




    AUDITION ICON

    Tomorrow morning I have an audition for a pro gig from that phone call I reported last week. I still am not detailing the audition or the production, (not wholly sure why), but I may reveal the facts after the fact. Tonight is an evening devoted to preparation for tomorrow.

    At The Daytonys I talked with Theresa Abshear, the director of Much Ado About Nothing at Clark State University. Auditions for that are September 13 & 14 and it's up October 28 through November 6. If the above doesn't pan out, this one is a possibility.

    I am still looking at Olenna at Springfield StageWorks, which auditions in early December. And, I believe I am still on slate for a callback for August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at The Human Race Theatre Company next spring. Those callbacks are likely around January.



    Wed, Aug 17, 2011

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    LATER THIS MORNING, AN AUDITION FOR A PROFESSIONAL GIG:
    AUDITION ICON

    I still want to wait until I know whether this is locked in before I tell all. And, believe me, most all of you, (three or four of you five), will not find the reveal to be earth-shattering.

    I have had material to study, though getting Be Or Not to final cut kept me from getting to work on preparation for this audition as soon as I could. But I had last night and part of this morning.

    So I go take my best shot later this morning.      cool smile icon


    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    This show will mark my first sound design work for the 11/12 season. I agreed last night. By the way, now that I know for sure this is public information:

      The cast of Souvenir

      CHARACTER            ACTOR
      Florence Foster Jenkins            Reneé Franck-Reed
      Cosmé McMoon            Charles Larkowski




    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    Do have some news on this front but not enough time right now to write it out.

    Have an audition to prep for....



    Thu, Aug 18, 2011

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    THE AUDITION YESTERDAY:
    AUDITION ICON

    Despite that I do not yet know if this is a lock, I guess I'll do the Big Reveal.

    The call I got last Thursday was from Kevin Moore of The Human Race Theatre Company. He asked about my singing, for which I replied along the lines that I am a decent vocalist but that my singing voice is way out of shape and practice.

    I was offered the opportunity to sing for Scott Stoney for a possible small role as Grandpa Gellman in the winter musical production Caroline, or Change, by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori. The audition was late yesterday morning.

    I was sent a pdf of the score pages I would be singing; they were also going to burn a copy of the recording but I realized we had the original Broadway cast CD in the collection at The Dunbar Library on campus and Scott said that version of the song would work just fine.

    Thus, over the weekend, I had all the material to prep for the audition; however, there was this final cut of Be Or Not that demanded my focus. Knowing that the audition was Wednesday morning I was not worried; I had Monday and Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning before the audition to get ready. But then my life interfered a little and Monday night was otherwise spoken for.

    But I did have the whole evening Tuesday -- after a much required nap -- and a few hours yesterday morning. I actually employed my Final Cut Express in two ways to prep. First I used it to edit down the song and burn a sound file of only the section that the sheet music pages covered; then, I was able to use it to play only portions of that selected edit so I could piecemeal my study of the song.

    Good thing I could do that, too. The song is "The Chanukah Party," and it is composed in the tradition of a quick-paced Jewish folk dance with fast paced syllables and some Hebrew (or Yiddish) words as part of the mix so there was a bit of a challenge for this gentile.

    I also was able to put the edited music file onto my myTouch 4G smart phone, then use a car audio cassette adapter to listen to the clip in a playback loop on the drive into the audition. Then I used ear phones to continue listening right up until the audition time.

    I think the actual audition went reasonably well. My voice is a bit out of shape but I still can carry a tune and I have some volume and support, if not what it is when I'm at my peak. But I brought off the song reasonably well. Scott also had me go over just a few bars of another song, just to see where I was in terms of picking things up. I reminded him as we began that second one that, and I quote, "As far as sight reading goes, I suck canal water." He said that wasn't a big concern. It also seemed clear to him i would have no problem with the singing, which is a good thing. So there is room for hope here. But, nothing is a lock until it is a lock.

    At least I know it was not a bad audition.

    It's also gratifying to get a call about an audition because those casting the show have seen your work and think your talent merits the look. Even if not cast it's a nice thing for the self-esteem. It's better to be cast, of course.

    The irony is that I have deliberately steered clear of auditioning for musicals at The Race. My attitude has been that I haven't been in a musical since May of 1977 so I ought to be in a few amateur musical productions before I have the chutzpa to audition on the professional stage for one.

    Then there's that whole concept that I am not really all that big of a musical theatre kind of a guy. That does not mean that I am opposed to it; and I have gone after a few in the past, since I've been back.

    I am quite all right with the idea of appearing on The Loft stage in Caroline, or Change.


    PODCAST PREPRODUCTION ABOUNDS:
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    I was able to obtain permission from Stephen Temperley to use some dialogue from the play in the podcast. Mr. Temperley was fairly easy to contact and I am starting to see a pattern emerge: the easier it is to contact the playwright directly the more probable he or she will grant permission to use text in the podcasts.

    The next podcast to go into production after this one is for Neil Simon's Lost In Yonkers. Hmmm, what do you think my chances are? I'll still give it a try.

    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel

    The production of this is on hold because a cast member is not in town right now. I want to do another of those group interview things and so I need all five ladies at the same time.

    My hope is to do this on Monday.


    'BE OR NOT' icon

    If you go back to Tuesday's post and look closely at the image of the back cover of the DVD jacket you will see that it says:
      Director of photgraphy: Fred Boomer

      -- notice it's missing an "o."

    Fortunately, no DVD cases have gone out anywhere, so I have made the correction. Though for historical posterity I'm not replacing the offending graphic with a corrected version.

    As if anyone needs more proof that I need better proofing.


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

    As for the project as a whole, I have been meaning to re-transfer the overwhelming amount of the footage back off the original DV mini-cassettes into the Final Cut projects for each segment. In the early days of production I was using my old G4 Mac desktop tower, which was much less powerful than my MacBook Pro. I usually could not import more than about five minutes of footage without Final Cut freezing up on me. With my MacBook Pro I can now get whole 20-30 minute takes imported as one file and I believe I am going to start doing that. It may be a while before I get to editing in earnest and I might as well gradually get all the segments ready for that time, at my leisure.


    Daytonys - Dayton theatre Hall of Fame

    Click here to see the whole list of 2010/2011 Daytony Theatre Award winners.



    Fri, Aug 19, 2011

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    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Kevin Moore called yesterday to say that Scott Stoney wants to cast me as Grandpa Gellman in the show, and offered me the role.

    I accepted, of course.

    So, after several years of auditions I am stepping foot onto The Loft stage.

    I am quite thrilled with this, naturally. I was already, as I've already mentioned, most gratified that I got a call where Kevin said, "Listen, Scott and I were talking about you," then after telling me they wanted to see me for the role, saying, "You've given use some strong auditions and we think you'll work well in the role." I later mentioned to an actor friend that at the audition Wednesday they didn't read me, they only had me sing; I said how I felt good that from what they knew of my acting already they didn't need to hear me read.

    Then my buzz-kill friend pointed out that Caroline, Or Change is almost an opera, with very little dialogue, "Ninety-eight percent is sung-through. No real reason to read people."

    Kill Joy!

    Hey! I'm cast! What else?

    At the moment I only know two others who are cast. After The Race has listed the cast I'll repeat that info.

    Now it's time to start doing my vocal warm-ups every day. As I was prepping for the audition my voice was getting exhausted at a ridiculously quick rate. I also have a Yiddish dialect tape that I'm going to attend to.

    Since rehearsal start before the mid-way mark in October, I will have to either wrap the podcast for Lost In Yonkers at The Guild, or have someone else direct it.

    I'm also starting to plot how I will employ vacation leave during the course of Caroline rehearsals and the run. I'm not likely to be wanting to report to work at 7:00 in the morning most days, and probably don't want to shift my hours down to leave later. So I'll probably be piecemealing an hour or two a day to the tune of about a total of eight hours a week. Something like that.

    Meanwhile, the book and libretto should be in the library for my pick-up in the next few days, so I can start looking at it.


    POST-PRODUCTION REDUX UNDERWAY:
    Improv Movie Project Icon -- black and white photo of DP Fred Boomer behind the DV movie camera with Director K.L.Storer standing next to him, watching the action they are shooting

    Last night I began the process of re-importing the early footage from the DV mini-cassettes into the Final Cut projects, now that I have a more powerful computer (MacBook Pro) than I did in the early days of production for this project, my old Mac G4 Tower desk top model, which I still have, by the way. This, again, makes it possible for me to create movie files of longer duration, like whole 20-30 minute takes as opposed to needing to cut clips off at about five minutes; on the old tower much longer imports would crash the software.

    It seems to make sense to be chronological so I started with the first of the official production shoots, the segment with the workshop title, Balboni's, which features Barbara Jorgensen, Crystal Justice, Zara Justice, Elena Monigold, Gino Pasi, and Brett Taylor, and was shot in the basement of the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, the home of The Dayton Theatre Guild. I only had time to import Reel 3 (I.E.: mini-cassette 3) with the footage shot from Camera 1, operated by the project's director of photography, Fred Boomer. Tonight it will be "Reel" 4, from Camera 2, with Wayne Justice at the viewfinder.

    If I really wanted to be chronologically pure, I'd re-import reels 1 & 2, which are the test shoot in the bar area of the DTG basement, with an improv segment featuring Brett, Duante Beddingfield, and Craig Roberts. I'll probably circle back and get that segment after I've imported all the project proper segments that need re-importing. Some later ones won't as they were originally imported to the MacBook Pro.

    "Early Days," by the way, means fall/winter 2008. Yep, this project has been hanging around that long.

    Some still frames from Balboni's
    xxxx
    Barbara Jorgensen as Leola Davenport, while Scene 1, Take 1 is slated.

    You probably can't tell, but the date on that slate is "11-15-08" -- Almost 3 years ago.

    xxxx
    Barbara, Brett Taylor (Jeremy Davenport, Leola's son), Elena Monigold (Kate Johnson, Jeremy's sister) & Gino Pasi (Dave Vallas, Kate's boyfriend)
    xxxx
    Brett, Elena, & Gino.



    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Plans to be in the Adult Acting Class at The Human Race this fall are in peril since the rehearsals for Caroline start before the last two class sessions are scheduled.

    There may be a saving grace, however.



    Thu, Aug 25, 2011

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

    I think perhaps I have managed to re-import all the necessary footage from the project, that which was originally imported on the old Mac G4 tower, now into Final Cut on the more powerful MacBook Pro. I finished the files for the Balboni's segment, features Barbara Jorgensen, Crystal Justice, Zara Justice, Elena Monigold, Gino Pasi, and Brett Taylor.

    I also imported the Prison Visits segment with Duante Beddingfield, Crystal (again) and Wayne Justice. That, also shot in the basement of the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, the home of The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Then I got all of Balboni's Bar with Duante, Brett, Crystal and Loren S. Goins -- along with a slew of extras. Again, shot in the basement of the TheatreScape.

    Last, I worked on Kate and Dave's, with Elena and Gino. That one, I think, had already been originally imported via the more powerful laptop, but I saw a need to reorganize how I had originally cut up the clips. Though I only needed to make minor changes it was simpler to just start all over again.

    So now I'm fired up again about the project and who knows, the ever-elusive final cut may be at least a little closer.
    xxxx
    Crystal Justice as Celeste Balboni & Wayne Justice as Grady O'Donnell in the Prison Visits segment.
    xxxx
    Brett Taylor as Jeremy Davenport & Duante Beddingfield as Marcus Washburn in the Balboni's Bar segment.
    xxxx
    Director of Photography Fred Boomer with second camera operator Dara Bornstein behind him on the set of the Balboni's Bar segment.
    xxxx
    Loren S. Goins as Clancy in the Balboni's Bar segment.
    xxxx
    Gino Pasi as Dave Vallas & Elena Monigold as Kate Johnson in the Kate and Dave's segment.
    xxxx
    Myself, Fred & Dara on the set of the Kate and Dave's segment.



    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel
    xxxx

    Sunday I shot footage of the tech rehearsal.

    Since Ms. Vogel's people have refused clearance to use text from the script in the podcast, it is B-roll footage with no sound; though I could use dialogue that is not text from the play, such as Director Greg Smith talking with an actor or crew member. I didn't but that was an option.

    Monday night I shot the group interview much like the one done for the Sugar Witch podcast, except that there was no on-screen facilitator/(interviewer) this time, as was Fred Blumenthal for The Sugar Witch.

    Having also seen the Sunday rehearsal, and parts of one earlier rehearsal, I had various moments I knew to grab on camera again, so during the Monday rehearsal, I did so.

    Then, due to my usual end-of-summer allergies and the temperature dropping overnight while my fan was blowing full-blast on me while I slept, I woke Tuesday to a case of laryngitis; so, I stayed home from work and took the opportunity to edit the podcast DV movie. It was posted by very early morning Wednesday at our YouTube channel. And, then at our facebook page on Wednesday.

    Here's the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/UGcUOiYIpBM

    In anticipation of this interview shoot -- and further DV movie production in general -- I picked up a four-channel mic mixer over the weekend so that I can mix multiple mics into my laptop at the same time and record the signals into whatever recording software I am employing. Currently I'm using Garage band, and frankly it usually works quite well for my purposes.

    My intention is to record the audio separately as a general rule. I have done that in the past on a few occasions using my analog four-track cassette recorder only to discover that even when dumping the analog recordings to digital -- in Garage Band, no less -- there still is a synch problem.

    My logic tells me that if I record with a certain machine then play back on that same machine, the speed should be real-time and should synch with the video. But, I have discovered, through the production of the Ravenscroft podcast, for instance, that the analog-recorded audio and the digitally-recorded video play back at a slightly different speed. There is, I'm sure, a solid technological explanation, one I am too technically ignorant to grasp. Really makes no difference, it is what it is. I happened to have recored the audio for the Blackbird podcast using my laptop and Garage Band and found that the synch between audio and video was perfect.

    I intend to go this route for all DV movie production audio that needs to be synched; thus, the mixer, which got it's maiden employment Monday night.

    Unfortunately, though it looked promising, the use of the mic mixer on Monday was not successful. A few minutes into the shooting of the group interview of the ladies I lost the volume. So, as has been the case before, including a similar attempt for the Sugar Witch podcast last year, I used the audio recorded on board the DV camera. I believe it was because the one nine-volt battery died. When I bought the mixer on Sunday I did not realize that the AC adaptor does not come with the unit. I bought one before the shoot Monday, but it turned out not be the right adaptor; all I had was one 9V battery that I've had for a couple years, so I'm sure it drained quickly. But I know the mixer will work as I got it to work in sound check both before the shoot that day, and then in one the day before.

    At least, every time I produce a DTG podcast I make some instructive mistakes, figure out a new work around or two, and discover, or at least try, new cool tricks.

    Maybe someday I'll be a decent film maker.




    'STARTING FOR THE SUN' a novel by K.L.Storer

    Speaking of another "In Progress" project that has had its fire rekindled in my heart and soul: a few months back, at a Cinco de Mayo party, as a matter of fact, I mentioned, in one context or another, that I had a mostly finished -- yet, still, unfinished -- novel and one of my friends at the party said she'd love to read it.

    So, I shortly thereafter emailed her a zip of the whole manuscript. I believe I did, before sending it, try again to fix a paragraph at the start of the novel -- it has always read as awkward and unduly convoluted and I still don;t think it is in its finished form.

    Regardless, I sent the book to her, with editing notes to myself still present. I think there may be a couple places where my "present" rearrangement of some plot points is in progress that may not make sense, since the moves are not quite complete.

    Got a quick facebook message from my friend yesterday, part of the original string about the novel, where she said, apparently having now started reading the thing, "Love it! More comments, discussion, etc. to come when I have time to write more!"

    So, with flattery in my heart, I am once again leveling designs upon that project. too.


    In the audience icon

    In all the time since I've been back in the theatre world here in the Greater Dayton Area, I have not yet taken advantage of "Can Night" at The Human Race Theatre Company, which is the final dress for the production up at HRTC. The admission is whatever one can pay in cash, or cans of food. The proceeds from Can Night go to food shelters or like charities.

    Next Wednesday is Can Night for God of Carnage and this looks to be one that I finally can make.

    So, I believe I shall.

    Too bad there isn't a "Paying Gig" icon attached to my words about this production.      sad icon



    Fri, Aug 26, 2011

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    OPENING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

    THE OLDEST PROFESSION, by Paula Vogel, at Dayton Theatre Guild


    Sun, Aug 28, 2011

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    Godspeed to the U.S. East Coast!



    SMALL AMOUNT OF SPRUCING HERE ON THE BLOG PAGES:
    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    You may or may not have already noticed -- probably not -- that the banner for the blog and some other things are slightly different.

    I Created a new banner that is incorporated as of today. I also created a slightly new look for some of the promotional text below, the items like "AND NOW, TO PROMOTE SOME THEATRE" and the variations of things like "FIRST, A PRODUCTION I'M APPEARING IN" or and "THE CURRENT (or COMING) ATTRACTION AT MY HOME THEATRE...."

    They're actually all gif images now rather than actual text, so I could get the blurred shadow effect. The "promotions" is also new, and a gif, for the off-set backing, as well.

    Other little graphic changes may come, too. The whole WG site, may get some refurbishing. 'Course I got to find the time.


    THE HOST IS A GHOST:
    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Don't know if I have specifically mentioned this here, but I am not the house manager at The Guild as of this new theatre season. I am still on the board, my official designated duty is "Podcast." This is the first weekend in, what?, five years, six?, that I haven't had some large amount of my focus on what's going on as far as hosting at performances at Dayton Theatre Guild, whether I was actually present or not. Though, instinct has had me focusing just a little bit.

    Now, I still will host, and I'm betting a lot more than some of the other board members (please do interpret a snide attitude). In fact I hosted opening night and have pretty much pledged to host all opening nights unless I have a schedule conflict. And I'm also hosting at least once more during the run of The Oldest Profession, next Sunday.

    And, of course, my involvement isn't going to wane. The burn-out factor on the house manager job was just smoldering for a while. I may even work the box office every now and then -- despite how much I hate being responsible for the money!

    ADDENDUM yes, yes: "The Host Is a Ghost" isn't exactly an accurate title since I will still be hosting; it's just a title for a section of silly blog entry!


    EARLY PREP:
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    I have a copy of the book and the score for the play, so I can get some sort of a head start on things. Truth be told, I believe I don't actually need the whole score, just the sheets for "The Chanukah Party," which I am pretty sure is the breadth of my appearance in the show.

    But, why not be familiar with the show as a whole? In fact, I think it is always a much better place to be.


    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS LOOKS LIKE A GO:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Though I have not completely verified this, it looks as if the adult acting class offered by The Human Race Theatre Company will not be a conflict with the rehearsals of Caroline, or Change. The last couple session are on Mondays after the rehearsal period begins. However, it appears that the dark night for the rehearsals will be Mondays, just like during the production run.


    MULTI-DUTY SOUVENIR STUFF:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    My plans to finally make "Can Night" at HRTC have been interfered with -- as usual.

    Mr. Director Man (aka: Saul Caplan) wants me to record Reneé Franck-Reed and Charles Larkowski for a production sound design need. So, once again, I will be paying premium for a Loft ticket. Oh well.

    I have had one informal meeting with Mr. Director Man as per the sound design needs. Some sound cues are straight forward; others?..........

    ..........well.   .   .   .   . I DO enjoy a challenge!

    Meanwhile, I need to get a better handle on what I'm doing for the podcast, since I need to be full-on into the production very soon. In fact, I plan to shoot some footage Monday evening.

    One of my hopes for Monday evening is to get DV footage of publicity photos being taken. Not one-hundred percent sure that will happen because I'm not sure I will not be the one who has to take them.

    Other than this particular plan, I have not a very formed idea yet what the exact concept of the podcast is, beyond the general promotional necessity.

    And, of course, we do have permission from playwright Stephen Temperley to use text from the script, so some rehearsal footage with audio is a given.



    Mon, Aug 29, 2011

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    'BE OR NOT' icon
    Checked the submission status for Sundance this morning. The disk was received on Aug 23. Now, the question is, will I post it on my YouTube channel, or will the official release in September take *another form?

    *details may follow.



    PODCAST & SOUND DESIGN:
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    Officially start shooting for the podcast tonight.

    First order of business is to shoot the DTG house photographer, Craig Roberts, as he shoots publicity pics and program headshots. Then some footage of rehearsal, with the ability (thanks to Playwright Stephen Temperley's permission) to use the dialogue in the final product.

    An idea for the concept of the podcast has planted itself and is germinating. I think I have a cool plan evolving. I experimented with a few technical points in Final Cut Express not but a few minutes before posting this entry, and I can do exactly what I want to visually without a problem.

    Now to maneuver my schedule in a manner that accommodates the post-production.

    Don't know that I'll be wearing the sound designer's hat much tonight, but I will be on Wednesday when I record Reneé Franck-Reed and Charles Larkowski performing a song as Florence and Cosme.

    I'll then turn that into the sound cue of an old vinyl 78 RPM record.

    Will not be shooting on Tuesday. I need to start trolling for some sound effects I need. I may have most of them but I'm not sure about all.

    There's no question that I have some mixing and editing to do. I may need to create some things from scratch, as well.

    Tuesday evening will be dedicated to locating what I have, what I need, and laying out the game plan.



    Wed, Aug 31, 2011

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    THE MALFUNCTION THAT DIDN'T REALLY HAPPEN:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    xxxx

    Last week I wrote about how I had picked up a four-channel mic mixer to run multiple mics into my laptop at the same time and mix the signals into the recording software (presently Garage band). I especially want to employ this method to record the audio when shooting movie footage. Thus far. I have only ever once been successful at off-board audio synch recording for any movie project: the podcast for Blackbird.

    I tried the latest incarnation of this, running two mics through the new mixer then into my laptop and Garage Band, to record the audio for the Oldest Profession podcast. It failed, but not wholly for the reasons I had determined. As I wrote before, a few minutes into the shooting of the group interview of the ladies I lost the volume and, as in all other cases, save for Blackbird, in post production I had to use the audio recorded on board the DV camera for the movie soundtrack.

    The one nine-volt battery powering the mixer died. I had an A/C adaptor, but thought it not compatible. Before the shoot with the Oldest Profession ladies I had plugged the adaptor into the mixer. There was a red light lit up on the mixer that I, at a glance, assumed meant, when on, Power On. Yesterday, while in the store where I bought the mixer and the adaptor, the salesman and I discovered that the red light illuminating probably indicates that the nine-volt battery is low.

    At home Monday night I verified that such is definitely the case. I plugged in the A/C adaptor and tested the mixer. It did indeed work. At the podcast shoot last week, I assumed, since the red light wasn't on, that the mixer was drawing no power through the adaptor. I used the mixer to record the audio with only the old 9V battery, and it died soon after I began the interview with the ladies. I actually had an good power source, but thought I didn't.

    Lesson learned. At least I know the new equipment will do what I want.


    FOOTAGE & SLUMBER:
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    Shot about thirty minutes of footage for the podcast Monday evening, from which likely less than a minute will be used. The rehearsal footage was on the The Oldest profession, using a desk as a substitute for the baby grand piano that'll eventually be on the Souvenir set.

    It's most likely that most of that footage, which gets used, will be b-roll behind the closing credits. Though I may use a particular audio moment -- at this point I'm thinking it'll be a punch line at the end of the DV movie.

    My game plan was to spend last night searching out some of the sound effects I know already I need. Before that, to finish actually reading the script.

    But -- and this is not the first time this has happened -- I ended up sleeping all evening. A lot of that is due to my allergies. Late summer they kill me, wear me out.

    So, I finish the reading the play after work today.

    Tonight: we record the song that will become the sound of the 78 RPM record and I shoot some more footage. Plus, Mr. Director Man wants to specifically go through the Act II and get me familiar with the sound needs.


    PLAYS TO READ (STILL):
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON

    I have some plays to read. Have for a while. I believe I posted a similar entry some while ago.

    Again, the short order is to finish Souvenir, TODAY AFTER WORK. Besides that clear obligation, there's also a rather immediate need to read Caroline, Or Change, by Kushner and Tesori, since I go into rehearsal in about a month and a half. Ought to shortly read Heroes, translated by Tom Stoppard, as I am the producer for our forthcoming DTG production.

    Olenna, by David Mamet, ought to be soon, too; I'm interested in auditioning for that one, which will be up in early 2012 at Springfield StageWorks.

    There are also these:

  • Farragut North, by Beau Willimon, because of the several once-removed connections I have to the play. Having been at the FutureFest weekend it won -- though missing that performance; having been on the set for a few days of The Ides of March, that being based on the play.
  • Sweet Storm, by Scott Hudson, because my Blackbird co-star, Heather Atkinson, starred in this just prior to going into our rehearsal -- and, by the way, is up for an award for her work in it.
  • A re-write of Inside The Gatehouse, by Bill Hollenbach. I was in one of the four leading roles in this at FutureFest 2008. Bill was kind enough to send me a subsequent re-write of the play, which I have been remiss about reading.
  • Phantoms, by Don Nigro; one of several plays with Inspector John Ruffing as the central character. Mr. Nigro sent me a pdf of this months back. Again, I never did set the time aside and now can't locate the pdf. Guess I'll have to buy it from Sam French.



  • In the audience icon
    DOH!:

    First, "DOH!" moment number 152,375: Turns out that Can Night for God of Carnage is not tonight, it's next Wednesday night, and I have verified that I am not needed for sound in the Souvenir rehearsal that night. So I can, Can*.                 *(Sorry).

    And in the next couple weeks there are a few other shows I want to see.

    And I'm probably forgetting a soon-to-come show. So, let's see if I actually make all these.



    Thu, Sep 1, 2011

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    "QUEEN OF THE NIGHT":
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    Grand piano with boom mic stand and mic positioned to ecord it; boom mic stand positioned for vocal; multi-track recorder setting on table, close by.

    Last night, in the CAC -- Creative Arts Center -- at Wright State, we recorded Reneé Franck-Reed and Charles Larkowski performing Mozart's aria "Queen of the Night" from The Magic Flute.

    Now I turn this recording into the sound of a 78 RPM record disk. There has been a bit of mention that I should add the sound of scratches to the recording, but really I should not. This is period work and the 78 that is played in the course of the play's performance is supposed to be a new product, not a sixty-year-old product. Having scratch sounds all over the recording would be like watching a period movie about the 1920's where all the vintage cars were beat-up and falling apart rather than looking pristine as if they had recently been driven off the lot, or at least not looking much older than a few years.

    My plan is to stick the sound of a record player needle touching down on the lip of the record at the start of the sound file. And there is a supplemental sound that I need, but I am at the moment inclined to make that a separate file so the cue can be a bit more fluid during the performances -- i.e.: the actor who has to instigate the action that requires the sound will not be tethered to that sound appearing on the initial sound file at a static point. Can I be any vaguer?

    I shot footage of the recording session; that's likely to be B-role with no sound, if it makes it into the podcast.

    The other thing we did, that involved me, was go over the sound cue needs for Act II. Oh. yeah; I forgot to mention that I also have been assigned a couple cameo appearances in the play.


    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    I'm trying to get my singing voice back to a decent shape for the late-autumn production and I must say the late-summer ragweed isn't greasing the wheels.



    Sat, Sep 3, 2011

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    SOUND WORK, GALORE:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    So there is some podcast work going on this weekend, but mostly this weekend will about sound design for the show.

    And some of it is a challenge. I can't just use some stock sounds in some situations, specifically most of the audience sounds. The sound files need to be tailored to fit the needs of the moments. So there's a bit of harvesting then editing to be done, and it really needs to be done today and tomorrow.

    And last night.

    I began my harvesting by grabbing audience laughter from several of the on-line comedy radio channels, I finished that this morning, but just the raw recording. Now I have to sift through about two hours of stand-up and pull just raw laughter from in between the jokes, avoiding the comedians' voices.

    I also have some amount of stock audience applause and sounds that I will be using.

    But pretty much all of it needs to be manipulated or use as an aid to manipulate other sound files.

    I have some mixing to do.


    Not in the audience icon

    Well, I had every intention of going to see a play tonight, but I don't think I'll make it.

    It's the wallet. It's pretty empty.

    I also have all that Souvenir sound design work over this holiday weekend so if I'm not in a theatre seat, I'll be home, wearing headphones.

    I have such a robust social life.



    Sun, Sep 4, 2011

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    SOUND -- AACK!:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    Well, I probably ought to be working on the sound design stuff rather than writing this.

    Too bad.

    I have spent most of the weekend so far on it: Friday night, as I wrote yesterday, and most all of the day yesterday.

    Spent a bit of time harvesting a lot of sound files that I am using for the different needs of the audience sounds, but, without going into detail, there is a bit of processing I need to do, including accurately labeling what each sound is, before I can get to the actual creation of the sound files for the our production.

    Last night I was up late (as in, into early this morning) and even woke up from an unintentional "nap", but I didn't do much more work. I set an alarm for about 9:00 this morning but it did not wake me. I was up just in time to get ready and head into Dayton to The Guild.

    Tonight, when I have finished and posted this blog entry, I'll get back to it. The hope is that I get to the mixing of the sound needs.

    I really would like to have most of the sound done before tomorrow night.


    'BE OR NOT' icon

    If I can find the time here sometime soon I'm going to edit a trailer of the movie.

    There is an unlisted posting on youtube that I've sent a select group of interested people to as a private screening. Not sure how long I'm keeping that page up. I have thought about pulling it down at the end of September. Or I may make the posting public at some point.

    But the other idea, which I am not wholly sold on yet is to market the movie through Withoutabox. I haven't thoroughly investigated the specifics and I need to mull over whether I want to make the movie For Sale -- there are some considerations to contemplate.

    But a trailer at some point soon is a high probability.


    THE OLDEST PROFESSION & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Paula Vogel

    Hosted today once again at DTG, but simply as a volunteer, not as the House Manager.

    The run has been quite successful. Today was the first of the six performances of these first two weeks that was not sold out, but it was close.

    There are a couple good reviews out there:
    I haven't seen the show yet, though I obviously saw the rehearsals while shooting the podcast. If I do see it, it'll be the closing Sunday.



    LABOR DAY,
    SEP 5, 2011

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    HAPPY LABOR DAY


    Tue, Sep 6, 2011

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    SOUND & PODCAST; NOT BEHIND BUT NOT AHEAD OF THE GAME:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    I am not at all as far along with the sound design as I had planned.

    At least I do believe I have gathered together all the elemental sound files that I need to build what the script demands.

    I do have one file built, though at the production rehearsal last night I found the need to alter it, which means shorten it substantially to fit performance parameters. Having my laptop with me, I made the alteration on the spot.

    It looks like if I want to get this sound finished in anything like timely I will have to definitely have headphones on at lunch every day. I'm going to have to be mixing on the laptop at lunch every day and in the hours after work before rehearsals and other evening plans this week.

    That means I will not be getting into the gym after work, because I have been doing such a bang-up job of getting in there lately!

    Will be shooting more podcast footage tonight and Thursday. Thursday, in fact, I will do brief interviews with our two cast members.

    It looks like editing the podcast DV movie to final cut will also entail lunch time and those hours after work, next week. I really do need to have the podcast on-line before the September 16 Opening Night.

    That would be best.


    In the audience icon

    I plan on seeing some shows this week:
    Also on Sunday, earlier in the day, I'll attend the screening of the short movie, Interrogation, by local film maker Steve Heman, and which includes in the cast Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts, who of course, are the stars of Be Or Not.



    Wed, Sep 7, 2011

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    Happy

    Birthday

    Dad





    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    Between lunch yesterday and the period right after work I mixed together quite a few of the sound files for the show,

    Only Act I was run last night so only three sound cues, all related to the Victrola and the 78 RPM recording of Florence and Cosmé performing Mozart's"Queen of the Night" (from The Magic Flute) were ran. I had all those cues. I'm pretty much creating the cues in order of appearance.

    I made most of the audience cues -- which is the remainder of the sound needed -- at The Guild from the booth.rather than mixing them while listening on headphones, I used the actual sound system they are being created for. That's an edge; I was able to immediately fix the dynamic difference between hearing them on the phones and hearing them out of the theatre speakers.

    The rest, I have to mix listening with my phones. But adjusting them, if necessary, will not be a major pain.It's just nice to not need to adjust them.

    I shot some footage for the podcast, as well. Probably mostly or completely B-roll.

    Tomorrow night I shoot the interviews with Reneé and Chuck. I'm thinking about doing one audio recording, too.


    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    The adult acting class at The Human Race Theatre Company is on.

    There is one big DOH! moment, however: The first class session is next Monday -- (which is one of the precious few Souvenir tech rehearsals). For some reason I was thinking the first class session didn't happen until after Souvenir was up.

    There's already a concession that has to made with the class. Monday, October 10 is the Meet & Greet rehearsal for Caroline, or Change and there are at least two of us in the Caroline cast involved with the class.

    It'll be nice to get back into an acting class again. The last one I took was in the spring of 2009, with Marsha Hanna. That was sadly my only taste, of any kind, of Marsha as a director, and one that left me hungry for the ill-fated chance to be directed in a production by her, which, unfortunately, will never happen.


    In the audience icon

    Speaking (writing) of The Race, I am indeed finally, after seven years back in the acting community, taking advantage of the HRTC "Can Night" tonight to see the Final Dress of God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza -- whose 'Art' I was in several years back in the Springfield StageWorks production.

    Two different sets of theatre community friends have seen the Broadway production -- one couple with the original cast. They all paid at least three figures for their tickets; mine will be some non-perishable foods.



    Thu, Sep 8, 2011

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    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast



    No sound mixing got done yesterday at all. One of them days.


    Today at lunch is a good bet.


    After work too. Though I overslept this morning so I'm leaving work much later than usual.


    Podcast interviews, other footage and probably the recording of one song tonight.



    GOD OF CARNAGE AT HRTC:
    In the audience icon

    I did manage to make my first "Can Night," ever, at The Human Race Theatre Company last night to see the Final Dress of God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza.

    I enjoyed it thoroughly. Very funny, and of course, having done Ms. Reza's 'Art', I knew to expect some angry humor.

    I give the cast kudos for great physical comedy as well as really playing the ranges of each of their characters.

    A fellow audience member, who'd seen me in 'Art', asked me which script I thought was better. I said this one. I think it does give the actors and the audience more range of each of the characters to explore. The three men in 'Art' certainly were not drawn too shallowly nor did they lack three dimensions, but the four in Carnage are just, in my mind, drawn better.

    Anyway, one down, three to go....



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      Not Just

      Anne Foxbank
      [annefoxbank@yahoo.com]

      It's not just New York
      It's not just Washington
      It's not just Shanksville
      It's not just the buildings
      It's not just the airplanes
      It's not just the field
      It's not just the symbols
      It's not just the pictures
      It's not just the dead
      It's not just the heroes
      It's not just the hearts
      It's not just the sorrow
      It's not just the nation

    originally posted at the The WriteGallery Creative Web Site on September 13, 2001

    Poem revision © 2002 Anne Foxbank, all rights reserved
     appears here by permission




    NOT JUST
    poems and essays on
    September 11, 2001







    CLOSING TODAY AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:

    THE OLDEST PROFESSION by Paula Vogel at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Warning: This production contains strong language
    and adult content. (Raunchy, racy, and fun!)

    The cast of The Oldest Profession

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Vera            Marcella Balin

    Edna            Ellen Finch

    Lillian            Patty Bell

    Ursula            Marcia Nowik

    Madam Mae            Jackie Engle

    The Podcast for The Oldest Profession



    THE CAST OF LOST IN YONKERS:
    LOST IN YONKERS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Neil Simon

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Jay Kurnitz            Philip Stock
    Arty Kurnitz            Joel Daniel
    Eddie            Rob Breving
    Bella            Amy Diederich
    Grandma Kurnitz            Barb Jorgensen
    Louie            Saverio Perugini
    Gert            Rachel Wilson



    Mon, Sep 12, 2011

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    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    With it now officially being Tech Week for the show it would be rather bad news to report that the sound files for the show are not done, so I won't be reporting that. I finished up at about 3:00 Sunday morning.

    Sunday was a bit of a busy day for me. It was Tech Sunday for this show, but that could not happen until after the closing performance for The Oldest Profession. So, I took that opportunity to actually attend the The Oldest Profession. But I had the screening of a film to attend earlier in the day, too. *(see below for both).

    My game plan was to get to The Guild in the morning and transfer all the sound files from my laptop onto the mini-disks I am using to run sound, then get lunch, then see the film at 1:00 and then head back to DTG for O.P., then the dry tech and cue-to-cue for Souvenir.

    Did I mention I was up till 3:00 a.m. yesterday from Saturday night?

    xxxx
    Myself & Jason in the tech booth during the cue-to-cue yesterday evening.
    When the alarm went off at 9:00, I decided I could wait and transfer the files while the set for O.P. was being stuck the evening. I grabbed some more sleep before heading downtown to have lunch (breakfast?) then see the film.

    After O.P. closed, while Lighting Designer/Technician Jason Lenhart focused lights, I did my files transfer. Then we did the cue-to-cue. Strictly speaking we didn't have an official "dry-tech," though, while Mr. Director Man, Ms. Producer Lady, and Ms. Production Stage Manager took Jason through the script to locate light cues, I did my own little private dry tech, mostly to be sure all the files transfered well. One, in fact, did not. But rather the re-transfer, I will just run that cue off my laptop in QuickTime.

    As for tonight, I had thought that I am completely unavailable for the rehearsal, but I will be able to get there, albeit late.

    In terms of the podcast, I did shoot the interview with Reneé and Chuck last Thursday at Wright State. And this was that finally-arriving opportunity to get the digital, off-board audio recording for a movie shoot. Everything was working exactly as it should.

    Only problem: I did not execute the record command in Garage Band, thus, I am once again using the on-board audio recording, which isn't terrible at all, but does not sound as good as what would have been recorded had I hit the switch.

    This is why you need a specific tech for each specific job, at least on a movie or video shoot, and the director should be doing NOTHING but Directing. Perhaps some camera work is okay, but other than that....

    I shot some more b-roll footage yesterday, from which the pic on the right up here is a frame-shot. Either tomorrow night or Wednesday, during Act I I'll get some final shoots of some portion of scenes, the footage I'll used as focused on the play content -- the stuff from which I needed clearance from Mr. Temperley to use. I hope I can shoot that footage tomorrow rather than Wednesday. I'd rather have the final cut on Wednesday rather than Thursday. I hate it when the podcast isn't available until right before Opening Night. It's going to be too close as it is, that one day later thing makes it worse.


    In the audience icon

    Since God of Carnage on Wednesday, I've sat in the audience a few more times:

  • Edgar: A Mesmeric Passage Into The Life of Edgar Allen Poe at Springfield StageWorks-- Saw this Friday night. A really cool multi-media tribute to Edgar Allen Poe. The production was conceived and directed by Wayne Justice, It started off with a biographical movie of Poe's life, that which featured a couple dozen local actors in cameos, including your's truly. It was followed by stage performances of some of Poe's more well-known work. I hope Wayne mounts this again in the future.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire at X*ACT-- Saturday night I supported Cassandra Engber and her work as Blanche. She delivered, too.
  • The Interrogation-- As mentioned above, yesterday I went to the screening of the full-length avant-garde movie by local film maker Steve Heman, which showed at The Schuster Center. Steve's own description of the movie is as a non-linear film; such are a bit more difficult to watch than traditional film, but, I thought the movie was well-done and thee was a lot of very good, poetic text in the film. Saw a lot of familiar faces on screen, too.
  • The Oldest Profession -- Right after the movie, I shot down the road for the closing performance at home. Actually sat down as an audience member and hadn't realized how much of the show I had not caught while producing the podcast. It's a cute show.


    THOUGHTS ON HOW I WILL "BLOG" THE EXPERIENCE AND OTHER NEWS:
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    Like the Clooney shoot back in March, I have to be very careful and judicious as to what I write about relating to the rehearsal and performance experiences of Caroline.

    To some extent I always am. I exercise some good measure of prior restraint. There are things I just don't touch on. If I relate an event or an observation here it needs to go directly to my learning, growth and personal experience. It's fair game for me to discuss, in detail, my mistakes, both in the rehearsal process and in performance. As for others' mistakes: if there's a good lesson to learn from them and I can discuss the mistake in a opaque way that doesn't identify the person, then I will. But I'm not going to show other people's underwear here.

    And as for soap-opera-like conflicts and other gossip fodder: I've been back in theatre for seven years now. Anyone who doesn't realize that I have witnessed many dumbassed ego bumps in that time, isn't terribly wise. But that sort of back stage drama is best left there. I've also witnessed more than one hook-up and more than one nuclear melt-down of romances or attempts at romance. None of that has anything to do with the focus of this blog; nor would I endear anyone involved with any such scenarios.

    This is a sort of point I've discussed here in time's past. There are two strong reasons to exercise this prudence. The first and foremost is that I find it rude to do otherwise. But, let's not bullshit anyone, close behind that is that I am critically aware that sharing such "juicy tidbits" is not politically intelligent.

    It's a small community, our Dayton area theatre. I'm not stupid enough to believe that every single member of that community -- or any significant number at all -- are checking on any regular basis to see what this silly little blog has to say. I am smart enough to know that some do check, at least on occasion, a couple probably out of a general curiosity, others, making sure I am being prudent, maybe a few hoping I will slip up and not be prudent.

    I'd love to believe I am perfectly judicious and have never offended or angered anyone; I'm not confident that is true, but I do strive for that.

    The last thing I want to do is encourage the audition situation where the director I am standing in front of finds me a jackass because of something I've written about them here. I also don't want the legitimate perception out there that if I'm cast, I'll air the production's dirty laundry in cyberspace.

    Also, I don't want my colleagues (read: Castmates) to be concerned about such things. I don't want to give anyone involved with a production or potential production to feel a need to distrust me or be wary of me because of this blog. I can't imagine there are not at least a few who already have such attitudes toward me, but I will have to assert that if they do, it's on them -- I've given them no justification.

    These points get intensified as I begin to step into professional productions, those of the Equity and SAG variety. And like the March 29, 2011 entry, any entries I write about this production, rehearsals or otherwise, must tow a very strict line of discretion. I'm not sure exactly what that line is; but, I do know that if I think or feel that it even might be a bad idea to share something, it will stay off these pages.

    In that vein, I don't know the whole cast list, but I do know who a few are, the only one's I can name are those I know that HRTC has publicized already: besides me there are Saul Caplan, Kay Bosse (both whom, along with myself are named as "local favorites" in the Inside The Race Fall 2011 newsletter. Also listed there is Yvette William, from Wright State University Theatre>, playing Caroline's teenaged daughter. The Race web site names Tanesha Gary in the role of Caroline.

    As for prep, I am at least warming my voice up everyday. I haven't read the book yet, or sat down to give the one song I know for a fact I'm singing a real studied look. Next week I start having a bit more free time, so I will become more focused on pre-rehearsal prep for the show, beyond cajoling my singing voice back into shape


    SIX[?]-WEEK ACTING CLASS AT THE RACE:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    First class is tonight. It's earlier than I had thought (5:00-7:00, rather than 7:00-9:00), so I will be able to make the Souvenir rehearsal, though I'll be late. I should, though, be able to run the Act II sounds.

    My instructor, if I haven't mentioned it, is Kay Bosse, who is in Caroline and in fact plays Grandma Gellman to my Grand Gellman. By the end of November we'll either hate each other or be good friends. Apparently, our class class session, on October 17 is safe from rehearsal conflict as the rehearsals are dark that night. The week before, (the 10th) is the Meet and Greet night for the production, so I don't know what's happening with that class session.

    But tonight It's On!



  • Tue, Sep 13, 2011

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    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    As it turned out I didn't miss the tech rehearsal last night at all. I was out of class at 7:00 and the run of the show didn't start until about 7:45. The Guild is a fast three minute drive from The Race, so I not only was at rehearsal before it began but also managed to fit dinner in beforehand.

    So all the production sound was there.

    Well. Save for one that I missed.            big grin icon


    ACTING CLASS AT THE RACE:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Good opening class.

    Kay had each student perform something in an audition-like fashion. I did a portion of the Blackbird manuscript that I could remember relatively close to verbatim. It really wasn't audition monologue material, but the point was more to give her an idea of a skill level, so I used it. So, I suppose in this particular case it was a good choice.

    Begs the point that I really never do have an arsenal of monologues to pull out of my pocket on the spur of the moment. I need to change that.

    Kay has us thinking about what our favorite play is -- right now mine is Blackbird -- and who are favorite actor is and why. I asked if it could be more than one and she said yes.

    Because I have a small group I like. Unfortunately because I don't get to a lot of professional theatre, all but two of these high-calibre actors are those whose work I know from the screen. here are mine, for today, in no particular order:

    • William Petersen, Donald Sutherland, Paul Newman and Jody Foster
        All of these because they understand keenly and are brilliant executers of the concept "Less Is More." This is an incredibly valuable skill in front of the camera but it also has great merit on stage. Petersen I have had the luck to see twice on stage and I am impressed by how he can still employ the subtleties of Less Is More and yet be such a strong, vibrant presence in the room. And all of these actors are those who come immediately to mind when I think of this seaming contradiction of presence on screen with subtlety of performance. Though all of them certainly can go big when it's a good choice.
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep
        The freakish landscape of range both these actors possess is stupefying to me. I am in awe of their immense powers to stretch themselves. Now, my path did briefly (briefly) cross Philip's, on the set of The Ides of March, but all we did, as I described back in March, was exchange hellos, when I desired to grab and shake his hand and tell him that I believe he is one of the most gifted actors to ever appear on screen. I don't know that I have ever seen him play the exact same personification as he has before. Every performance is of itself. Pretty much the same for Ms. Streep.
    • Bruce Cromer
        No slouch at playing the subtleties either, Bruce is one high-calibre actor I have seen on stage, if not a lot, certainly a good handful of times, and more than enough to have a strong idea of his skill. His stage presence and the ease in which he commands it is spectacular. He also has his own impressive range and his non-verbal work (the "internal dialogue," as it were) is spot on. I saw him as George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe several years ago in Cincinnati and the growing wounding he showed during the famous Martha monologue was a concrete lesson in how to be present, be engaged, contribute significantly to the emotion stakes of the moment on stage but not pull focus from the actor who is the focus of that moment.

    That's a list as it is today, not what it would have been last week or in two months.

    As for October 10, class will end early so Kay and I can head the next block over for the meet and greet for Caroline.


    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Was contacted by somebody who is developing an idea for a close-ended web series that sounds like a great idea. Don't want to divulge more info than that because it's not my project and it's not my information to divulge.

    But I certainly have an interest and hope this leads somewhere.

    At this point it would be a no-pay gig, but there is some chance there might be salary on the back end.

    Please don't tell me I'm foolish to do the gig for only the possibility of pay. Pay is not the first reason I'm doing it. Though elbow-grease investment in a future more professional (paid) career is part of it, always is.

    And if the subject Icon becomes the "Paying Gig" icon, after all, I am very much okay with that turn.



    Thu, Sep 15, 2011

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    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    Dress rehearsals are going well. Mr. Director Man asked me to add a crowd laughter sound at a new point, and rather than try to incorporate it onto one of the mini disks, I am running that added cue off QuickTime on the laptop. In fact, I did not mix something, I am using a raw audience laughter file that I procured.

    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    I was able to shoot the last of the footage for the podcast Tuesday evening, then took yesterday off work from the rent-payer to edit the movie to final cut.

    Tuesday I shot what I am calling the content performance footage, meaning rehearsal performances where the dialogue is heard in the movie. This is the footage that needs Stephen Temperley's blessing to use with the audio (text of the play) in tact.

    Unfortunately I was not able to go the concept route I had conceived because there was not enough time. I was going to present at least part of the podcast in the fashion of the old news reels that used to run in movie houses before the feature presentations. But there was a bit of processing needed, as well as some news copy and the appropriate music. I had not yet found royalty free music that fit well and I frankly did not have time to do the rest. As it was, I was at final cut yesterday not too much before it was time to leave for last night's rehearsal.

    Now it is finished and posted: http://youtu.be/6C5PIv_cUjM


    TO DECLARE OR NOT TO THE EQUITY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATE PROGRAM:
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    The Human Race is an Equity Membership Candidacy theatre. With my casting in Caroline, Or Change I now have the opportunity to become a candidate for an Actors Equity union membership.

    There are pros and cons to becoming a candidate. Actually, it's more the pros and cons of being an Actors Equity card holder in this local professional theatre region.

    A few have weighed in already with cons:

    • One has said, "Do you plan on moving to NYC? [if not] Then I wouldn't do it."
    • Another, "Unless you are going to move somewhere that has a LOT of Equity work available or are pretty sure you are going to be offered an Equity position in the area, I wouldn't do it. But, that's just me."
    • Another basically advised that it may take quite a while to earn the 50 weeks to be eligible and that might put me in a pretty difficult castabilty place -- I could very easily be in my sixties or older when I earn the card.
    • And yet another advises against it.

    The only problem I have with any of these arguments is that all deal with the absolute of me as an AEA member. They all address the problems of being able to act on a stage in an area like Dayton when there is only one Equity theatre. They all address me not being able to act often because I would be prohibited from non-union theatre, especially community theatre.

    But here's the thing: I think it will take a while (some few years at best) to earn the 50 weeks I will have to work in an Equity theatre as a candidate in order to be eligible to join the union. Then when I do make the 50, I'd still have five years to join the union, and I would not be obligated at that point unless cast in an Equity show (after the 50 weeks).

    It doesn't seem to me that entering the program necessarily boxes me in, in this market for quite a while. And, who's to say I'll stay here?

    Despite the advice otherwise I am leaning very toward declaration.



    Fri, Sep 16, 2011

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    OPENING TODAY
    SOUVENIOR by Stephen Temperly at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Seriously, this is a very lovely, funny, touching show and Chuck and Reneé are wonderful in their roles. Six chances to catch this great show.



    Sat, Sep 17, 2011

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    OPENING NIGHT:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    The show had a very good Opening Night.

    The audience size was not at all what the show deserves -- it deserves six sold-out performances. At least the audience that was there, my guess about sixty people, was most responsive.

    Chuck and Reneé gave stellar performances, some moments were more crystalized than I'd personally ever seen before. And, the last scene of the play was more moving than ever.

    Hurry! If you read this soon enough and you're close enough, you might make tonight's 8:00 show. If not, there are four more chances!

    daytontheatreguild.thundertix.com.


    THE NEXT SEVERAL PODCASTS:
    DTG Podcast Production Podcast

    Please don't mistake this for complaining or whining because it is most assuredly neither such. But, I have some strategic scheduling for the next two podcast productions. Caroline, or Change rehearsals start on October 10 and the run goes through to November 20.

  • Lost in Yonkers (Neil Simon) -- Because of Caroline I have to be sure to shoot and edit this early, starting this coming week. Between that factor and the improbability of getting clearance to use any dialogue text from the play I need to come up with a concept. The images will be from early rehearsal only so I have to figure how to make that work. To be honest, I have not made the attempt yet to contact Neil Simon -- or more likely, his legal representatives. I am skeptical that I'll hear back at all, and if i do, I'm not expecting a "yes." Not that I won't welcome one.
  • Blue Moon Dancing (Ed Graczyck) -- This one get's produced late in the rehearsal; Tech Week to be exact. Caroline production is done on Sunday, Nov 20 and Blue Moon opens that next Friday. Though I will have Mondays during The Race production, to drop by Rehearsals, since Caroline is dark on Mondays. That's likely when I shoot interviews, and probably some rehearsals footage, too. There's a bit of communication history between The Guild and the playwright here, so there's a reasonable chance that I'll get clearance to use dialogue text.
  • Heroes (Gérald Sibleyras & Tom Stoppard) -- I'm producing this one. And the twist here is my hope of again being in rehearsal at another theatre during the rehearsal period for this. So, scheduling production of the podcast -- not to mention making the amount of appearances on set that I prefer to make as a producer. And, again, I'm not wholly confident about dialogue text clearance for this one. There's more than one hurdle here. The copyright belongs to both Gérald Sibleyras, the original playwright, and Tom Stoppard, who translated. That complicates things. I need clearance from both. Plus, Stoppard is probably as difficult to actually approach as Neil Simon will be; and I am again skeptical of a "yes." And who knows about the prospects of contacting Mr. Sibleyras or what he'll answer.
  • Wittenberg (David Davalos) -- Did manage to get a request to David Davalos and he has granted clearance to use text. That production is months off, but I know we can use dialogue in that DV movie.


  • Wed, Sep 21, 2011

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    TO DECLARE OR NOT TO THE EQUITY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATE PROGRAM?:
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    Declared....

    'Nuff said


    I dropped all the paperwork (production contract, tax papers, personal info, release forms, yadda, yadda) at The Race between end of the day at the rent-paying job and the acting class, Monday. Among the paperwork was the application for the EMC program and a $100 check for the one-time fee.

    If it's a mistake, it's not as big a mistake as looking back and regretting that I did not declare.

    Okay! "'nuff" wasn't "said."

    On a related note: when I was filling out the wardrobe information (measurements, etc.), part of that is one's weight. I had not actually weighed myself for a while. I would have estimated my weight at about 150 lbs.

    I would have been.....incorrect. Boy! Would I have been incorrect!

    I do have plans for the gym today.


    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

  • HRTC Acting Class -- Class was fun Monday night. We spent some time with each of us discussing what our "favorite" play is then who is our favorite actors or at least what actors inspire each of us. Like I wrote a week ago, narrowing it down to one is a difficult task for me. Then, I listed seven. Last night I narrowed it down to three, three with basically the same quality, that of knowing and demonstrating that Less is More. I named William Petersen, Donald Sutherland and Jody Foster. But, really, I just went with one attractive acting feature and the first three I admire greatly who display that. When I was young I claimed Donald Sutherland as my favorite actor, but now I just can't narrow it down to one.

    I've never really identified a favorite play of mine, either. I had to go with what is (and has been) my major focus, that, of course, being Blackbird, as I stated in the Sep. 13 post, above. The reasons are many. Naturally the personal investment I've had and still have in producing and appearing in it is a big factor. But, before that, the fact that it's such a well-written play. There's not the fraction of an ounce of fat in the text. There are so many layers and levels to the text and subtext. Nothing is accidental in the dialogue. The characters are so intriguing and strikingly drawn. The concept is bold and daring and has the audacity to ask the questions it asks and pose the possibilities it poses. And, as an actor it gives two delicious roles to climb into. I'm looking forward to the next play that compels me so much. Perhaps that will be Mamet's Olenna, which ironically -- and I might add, coincidentally -- is in the same basic territory as Blackbird in terms of subject matter. The Mamet play is on my radar because a production is up this season in the area.

    The second half we got into small groups of two or three and did some contextless scenes, which is a great tool for both actors and directors. A contextless scenes has a small number of characters -- usually no more than three -- who have either generic, bender neutral names or, more often, either letter or number designations. The dialogue is all there is, with no scenarios or character descriptions. The dialogue must not be altered when executing a contextless scene.

      A: What are you doing?
      B: What does it look like?
      A: It looks like the same as always, only...
      B: What?
      A: Are you sure that's a good idea?
      B: Yes. It's a good idea. It's a great idea.
      A: If you say so.
      B: I suppose we should do it the way you always want to.
      A: I suppose we should.
      B: In a word. No.

      I just made this example up. Feel free to use it as an exercise if it appeals.

    The first time I was aware of contextless scenes was on the unfortunately cancelled Project Greenlight from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's LivePlanet production company. There, each applicant director got the same contextless scene to shoot a short film from as their submission. It was fascinating to see the entirely different film each created from the same set of dialogue.

    Monday, my group of three and another group of two did the same scene. We did A:, B:, & C:, the other group had the same lines reassigned to just A: & B:. Our two groups had completely different scenarios and reads.

    We closed by doing one of the variations of the Repetition Exercise from the Meisner Technique. We did the exact verbatim version of this. There are few manifestations of the exercise. In one, the first actor makes a statement, and the other virtually mirrors it. Such as:

      A: You have lovely eyes
      B: I have lovely eyes
      A: You have lovely eyes
      B: I have lovely eyes
      ect., etc....

    Each time through the actors give different emotional and attitudinal readings of the lines, bold declarations or angry statements, or flirts, or jealousy or bewilderment, yadda yadda.

    There's also a version where the actors follow the lead but move down a path:

      A: You have a beard
      B: You have red hair
      A: You look good in jeans
      B: You look sexy in gym shoes........

    What we did was the absolute verbatim mirroring:

      A: You have a beard
      B: You have a beard

    The same differentiation in readings apply in all the versions of this exercise.

  • Resolved -- (And let's see how well I stick with this); to always be actively reading a book on the art and craft of acting, film making or some closely related calling, at least one book on one of the subjects.

    At the moment I have in my possession library copies of A Practical Handbook for the Actor, (Melissa Bruder, et al), which Kay Bosse recommended and I began reading last night. While in the stacks grabbing that, I also picked up Body Voice Imagination, (David Zinder), this second one because I believe my stage movement can improve greatly. I've taken the chance that based on the title of the Zinder book, it will address this issue.

    I'm quite likely to procure my own copy of the first one and, perhaps, the latter one, as well.




  • SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    The first weekend of this saw some great work from Reneé Franck-Reed and Charles Larkowski. It also saw some horribly anemic audience sizes, which is a shame because this production is very much worth seeing.

    Running sound went well, too. There were a few imperfections, but, ya know, Live Theatre and all. One nerve-racking event came after the Sunday show. The mini-disk cassette with most of the show sounds literally fell apart when I ejected it. I do have all the originals in a production file on my laptop, so it was just a question of re-recording it all on another mini-disk.

    Yes: just a question of.....

    I went through ten mini-disk cassettes at the theatre before I found one fresh enough to take new recordings to replace the main one for the show. And I might add it was the last one available on site! Not that there was an imminent problem for the production; I did have five days to solve the issue. I have one brand-new mini-disk at home that can be used. We could also convert to another medium if necessary.

    Brings to point the fact that new mini-disks are not easy to find. The format is no longer in fashion, so most of the chain retailers don't carry them; maybe none do. The disks are almost exclusively a special-order item more easily found on-line. I suppose I ought to order some, huh?


    In the audience icon
    or
    more
    accurately
    Not in the audience icon

    Okay, absolutely accurately, In The Audience for about the first hour.

    After dealing with "The Dilemma of the Malformed Disk" I zipped down the street to catch The Merry Wives of Windsor as produced by Shakespeare in South Park and presented at The South Park Green in Dayton. I was not able to stay as I had to go rescue a friend from a car problem.

    I kind of wasn't in what you could call "good attendance," anyway. I got lost looking for The Green and was almost late, thus I was pretty far back in the audience in a situation where neither the stage nor the audience area was raked, so I couldn't see well. Plus, I was already preoccupied with a self-indulgent personal problem, and I had a headache. So, I wasn't the most attentive audience member to begin with. Then I got the call from the friend and I was his last-ditch hope for assistance.

    So I'm not even sure why I'm bothering to chronicle this save that I feel guilty for leaving the performance of some friends.       smiley icon



    Fri, Sep 23, 2011

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    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

    The second half of the run kicks off tonight at 8:00.

    You coming?

    Russell Florence, Jr. was there, I believe last Saturday night, and has written a rather glowing review for Dayton Most Metro: "Delusions of Grandeur."

    Before the show tonight I'll do an audio recording of a specific piece of music from the show. It's not a production need, it's a side recording that will be a "Souvenir" from Souvenir.

    I hope to do a stereo recording with two mics on the piano and a third, which I'm renting, for Reneé's vocal. If I can use the four-track in the space without picking up the radio station, then I'll be able to record with three channels, one each of two of them favoring either the higher or lower registers of the piano, so I can get a more robust pan of the piano in the mixed master.

    If the damned radio station invades, as it is wont to on my four-track at The Guild, I'll have to use the little mic mixer and record on Garage Band. But I won't be able to send a stereo separated signal onto the computer, so the recording will be monophonic. Not as desirable.

    Frame captures from the podcast production footage, cropped down from widescreen
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx



    Sun, Sep 25, 2011

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    CLOSING TODAY
    SOUVENIOR by Stephen Temperly at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The cast of Souvenir

    CHARACTER            ACTOR
    Florence Foster Jenkins            Reneé Franck-Reed
    Cosmé McMoon            Charles Larkowski

    The Podcast for Souvenir




    As I post this, there's a little more than thirty minutes until the last opening curtain. I'll be back, probably tomorrow for some final comments.


    Tue, Sep 27, 2011

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    OCT-DEC, 2016
    JAN-MAR, 2017
    APR-JUNE, 2017



    FINAL THOUGHTS AND SOME FURTHER RECOUNTING:
    SOUVENIR & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Stephen Temperly

  • This Was A Good Run -- This was one of those productions that really worked. It's really a shame that the houses were not bigger than they were. Chuck and Reneé got a standing ovation at the close of every performance.

    Both actors were cast perfectly. Take a well-cast production with a good script and good direction (and good production values such as lighting design and sound design thankyouverymuch) and sparks fly.

    As for my sound design, the sound needs did not call for the most sophisticated one I've ever done but it had its challenges:
    (As she sings the laughter grows till she can't help but hear it....She adjusts her wings, provoking a roar from the house. She shades her eyes to look out. A rhythmic clapping begins, joining the laughter, growing louder and louder....)
    reads one stage direction. Now, since this a live performance and there would be little variables in the timing of things from one show to the next, all that mounting chaos could not be one static sound file. In fact, in order to taylor the build to the vagaries of each performance's needs, there were three separate sound files with two of the three overlapping as needed.

    Despite the usual gaffes that will occur during the run of a live show, cast and crew worked like a well-oiled machine (well, um, see below for one "other side of the story)".

  • Gremlins And Other Mishaps At The Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape -- First, the major O h   S h i t ! mishap:
    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON

    On Friday, I got to the theatre early to record that song performed by Reneé and Chuck. While setting up, the mishap mis-happened. I had set the Fostex four-track up and was walking away from the table; my foot caught the power cord and I pulled the machine off the table; it plummeted some three feet down and tumbled onto the floor.

    And there was, indeed, damage.

    Beyond a couple knobs that flew off, but were easily re-attached, there is the fact that the machine would not power up. Kind of a problem. My first thought was that I knocked something loose in there. I did open it up to take a look, but where I need to get to is buried under a couple layers of circuit boards and I didn't want to risk causing further damage to the machine. Saturday I dropped it off at an audio repair shop. The repairman called earlier today and the financial damage is nowhere near where it could have been: he quoted about sixty bucks, which is good. I'm, well, tight for cash right now as is pretty much everyone else. In fact, I'm actually going to have to manipulate my finances a little to get this bill paid.

    He called back in the afternoon to tell me he was done. The fall had cracked two circuit boards, one controlling the power, the other, the mixer. He fixed those and reinforced the power jack input. Still brought the fee in under $70. I pick it up tomorrow. Could have today, but I need a day to discover how I'm paying him.

    The end result of the damaged recorder that is germane to Souvenir is that I did not get to record the musical performance in stereo as I wanted. I had rented a third mic, in order to use my two to get a stereo separated recording of the piano. I went ahead and did mic the piano with two mics and use the third for Reneé's vocal, but I had to run them through the little mic mixer and into Garage Band, but I can only run a mono mix out from the mic mixer so I had to record a live mono mix of the song. This means that the raw mix is it, at least in terms of volume balance between the voice and the piano. Since everything is on the same channel, whatever volume balance is on that is all there can be. No post production tweaking of that aspect is possible.

    As you who know me will expect, I'm not at all satisfied with that raw mix, either. It's not horrible, but the piano is a little too up in the mix at times. Being able to finesse such dynamics in post-production would have been good.

    I was able to process an end result that was a little more robust than the raw mono recording. In Final Cut there are still two stereo channels for mono, despite that they are the exact same audio information. I untethered the two channels then dropped in EQ filters and favored one toward high end sound and the other toward low end. Then I dropped a third channel in with the original EQ, stuck a filter with a slight amount of reverb that runs under at a lower volume. The two EQ'd channels each are either left or right in the stereo pan and the quieter reverberated one is centered. Thus we get a simulated stereo and a fuller sound. I still would have preferred true stereo, and Reneé's voice a little more up in the mix in a few spots.

    Later, in production of the Friday night performance the Production Gremlins decided to be active and play a few pranks.. Who knows, they may have wrapped the cord around my ankle earlier in the day. First one was for a sound file to malfunction DURING PERFORMANCE. It had been fine when I did the pre-show dry tech of the sounds. And it didn't malfunction ever again. I have no clue what happened, save for the touch of the Gremlin's finger.

    Preoccupied with that mishap, I neglected to move the cue setting forward on the other disk, so when the next sound cue came, I played a jiffy of the wrong sound file.

    Okay, that second one wasn't the gremlin, but let's blame him/her/It, anyway.




  • THIS WEEK'S ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Shortly after the first class session I emailed Kay Bosse that there are two things I am most keen to work on. One is movement -- as you five who regularly read this blog know, I hate the way I move on stage. The other is improving my skills at cold reading.

    On the Movement front, Kay has introduced us to a discipline known as Viewpoints. The technique is a series of exercise, games I suppose is a good word, that have the actor focus solely on the body and the moment in a physical sense, shutting out intellectualizing. The idea, it seems to me (we'll see what I'm writing later about this) is to focus solely on the physical task and any immediate responses required for some of the exercises. She showed us one last week, which I tried and failed at over the weekend, which has the actor sit at the edge of a chair with his/her knees at a perfect 90 angle. The task is to slowly stand up without pitching the torso back or forward to gain momentum. It is not easy and I could not do it. It's there for me to master.

    This Monday we did one called Lanes. Several actors stand lined in a row. There is a vocabulary of three moves: one can step forward five steps, hop backward five hops, or make a 180 turn. These are all one can do and one can only do one of these at a time. Each movement is to be a response to another's movement. The only move than be of sole volition is the first one, to start it off. You also are to keep you eyes trained forward, so most of you cues from others to take an action will be seen in peripheral vision. The purpose is to help the actor become aware of the environment and most especially of the other actors in that environment and what those actors are doing. It's a stage ensemble building game.

    Later in the session this week Kay had me do a cold read of part of a monologue. A stone-cold read. Like at this past summer's FutureFest auditions, I had never laid eyes on the pages before I did the reading for those who were in the room. That experience at the start of the summer and this one this week both leave me feeling much better about my cold-read aptitude. I'd already been on a path toward letting go of the desire to give a perfect interpretation of the character I'm reading in a cold read, and I believe I pretty much was doing that at the FF audition. It was shared with me that someone said I seemed the most relaxed and one of the stronger auditioners all across the board at the FF auditions.

    Reading How To Stop Acting, by Harold Guskin, shortly after being cast in the FF play A Woman on the Cusp, this course was reaffirmed by Guskin's writing. In a nut shell -- and in my words, not his -- his message is that actors need to forget about showing the auditor how well they understand the character. Chances are they don't understand the character much at all at that point. The goal is not to make a fabulous presentation of the character, it's to make a fabulous presentation of the actor. Make a choice and go with that and look for the moments of change (the beat changes) in the text. Go where it feels like you should. Be present in the context you understand at that moment. That context will either be completely improvised by you or somehow improvised along with whatever quick and probably somewhat vague or incomplete context the auditors have given you. It's not necessary to create the reality of the universe of the script or the reality of the character as he or she lives in that script. Your goal in a cold read is to show those watching that you can create a reality. Give them something interesting and real to watch and hear but don't worry if it's a totally created on the spot with little or no clue as to what the script as a whole suggests.

    So I got in front of the class Monday, read the first few lines as I walked up, made a choice based on what I'd read, started, then changed beats when it felt right. And here's a point for you: a few times I, as the actor standing up there, needed to pause for a moment to gather myself and move into the next beat. Thing is, that's real; those are real moments. A far as my audience was concerned, the character was gathering his thoughts. The message being, don't sweat the pauses you need, use them.

    A class mate and I have been assigned a brief moment from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. We will put it up for the class in a couple weeks. We're doing about seven pages close to the start, for those who know the play, it's the argument about the name of the movie, the news Martha drops about guests coming over up to where she sings her twist on "The Big Bad Wolf" song that encompasses the title of the play.

    Fortunately this is not one of the many many many many many many sections with mammoth monologues, a lot of very short, standard dialogue lines. So there's not a hard task to memorizing these few pages. Thankfully also, Kay will allow us to call for line, which serves two good purposes for me. First, the pressure is off to be 100% off-book, though I will still give that a shot. But it makes the performances for class what it really is: that first stumble through. It also gives me the potential chance, if necessary, to practice calling for line and not breaking character. I am one of the many many many many many many actors who are bad for breaking character -- "I'm sorry, what's my line there?"



    OCTOBER 10 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER:
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    So now it's time to give far more attention to prepping for this show. I'd like to come into rehearsal with some strong idea of the songs I am involved with. Sunday night I listened to the whole show and followed along in the book. There's very little straight dialogue and in fact it's all part of the score so nothing was missing from the recording, save for a few lyric lines that apparently were either cut from the recording, the Broadway production, or were added later and reflected in the book. Regardless, I started the process of becoming more acquainted -- okay, to be honest, "simply acquainted," since I'd only previously listen the "The Chanukah Party" because that was the song Scott Stoney had me sing to audition. I had thought that was all I sang in the show, but I make a few more appearance, though not substantial appearances.

    I have been doing daily vocal warm-up for the last week or so. I've missed a few times, but now warm-ups will most surely be a daily occurrence.

    Got the rehearsal/production schedule yesterday. I may be taking a few more vacation hours each week than I'd anticipated. Looks I may be spending at least eight hours most of the weeks, and perhaps a little more for some of them. I haven't sat down and budgeted the time out yet, but my cursory look suggests the production will eat more vacation leave than I'd expected it to. Kind of a bummer, but, so-oh-well.

    There was some discussion over the weekend, at the wrap dinner for Souvenir that much of the score for Caroline is not easy music. It seems most of mine is not excruciatingly difficult, but still, that prepping now and not showing up on Day One wholly unprepared is still the way to go.


    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    LOST IN YONKERS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Neil Simon

    I officially began production of the podcast for Lost in Yonkers last night. Shooting b-roll. I have not even bothered to get clearance from Neil Simon's people to use dialogue in the movie. I am so confident that the answer will be "no," that I am just making the podcast without said text, not fooling with the likely in-vain game of asking.

    xxxx
    Flip Mino HD DV cam, plugged in to transfer movie clips
    I'm trying a new sort of DV camera for this production, new to me anyway, a Flip MinoHD. The HD line interlace is 720p rather than 1080p, but I am hoping I'll still end up with something a little better looking than what I have been getting with the SD footage I've shot for past podcasts.

    I'm not any where close to the tech savvy image that some have of me, so I'm just sort of feeling my way around in the semi-dark here.

    The native screen resolution of the footage shot on the Mino is 1280 x 720, so I'm going to experiment with the resolution of the final cut, running between 640 x 360 and the native res.

    And since this machine writes digital files to a hard drive rather than digital information to tape, transferring the footage from the camera to the computer is not a real-time experience. I.E.: it doesn't take one hour (plus set up time) to transfer an hour of footage, it takes less than a minute or two. Then, however, it's not imported as a .mov file, it's an .mp4, which means constant re-rendering while editing in Final Cut, which isn't wildly convenient. But the end result may be worth it.

    We'll see.



    Wed, Sep 28, 2011

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    THAT OCTOBER 10 CORNER IS CLOSER:
    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    This morning I created an iTunes play list of only the eight songs that Grandpa Gellman makes a vocal appearance in and have started the process of listening to it. Not but a few minutes ago, here in the late afternoon I got those eight songs transfered onto my myTouch 4G cell phone so I can get mobile with the study. The song list, well, the whole Broadway soundtrack is on both my MacBook Pro laptop and my work PC.

    Have a Yiddish dialect recording on all three of these machines, too.

    It's on!


    DTG Podcast Production Podcast
    LOST IN YONKERS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Neil Simon

    Shot more b-roll last night with a few more cast members in the house. Actually, I think maybe everyone was there.

    Along with the Flip MinoHD I also did a little bit of multi-camera work by employing the HD camcorder in my myTouch 4G cell phone. However, there some jitter in the phone shots due, at least in part, to the stabilization software, which interferes with smooth pan shots and such. It may also be that I need to reboot the phone to clear all memory caches, some of the visual blips and burps might be due to memory swap.

    I still loaded the video files from the phone into the Final Cut Express project for the podcast. There will surely be useable portions.

    Since I have to go into Dayton to pick up my repaired multi-track recorder (see below), I'm going to grab more footage tonight, probably tomorrow night, as well.


    PAYING FOR THE FOSTEX REPAIRS:
    small wicker basket almost overflowing with pennies, setting on a marble-top table

    Man I feel so friggin' poor right now!

    When I looked at what I have available in my checking, savings, and available credit on my Visa, it became apparent that I will barely make it to my next paycheck before the added expense of repair on the four-track recorder. I am seriously scraping at the moment.

    It makes me feel SO successful.

    If you have read or do read yesterday's entry you'll see that I elected to not drop by the repair shop yesterday to pay off the debt and pick up the machine because I needed to figure out just exactly how I am coming up with the sixty-four dollars the repairs cost.

    The answer lies in several years worth of penny caching. I took the contents of a small wicker bowl I have -- some 3000-plus pennies, and a few stray dimes and nickels and was off to the local Kroger's to drop them into a Coinstar machine.

    Originally I was going to roll them into penny coin rolls but after a little more than a half-hour, I'd only filled seven sleeves, and the mound in basket was hardly decreased. It was clear rolling the whole basket would take hours, so I sacrificed ten-precent (the Coinstar fee) of the pile in order to not be up all night.

    I netted $35, a little more than half the repair fee. Well, at least there's that much supplemental financial help.

    Picked the Fostex up after work and though I've not given it a spin, I did at least plug it in and turn it on -- it was good to see all the lights and LEDs and bars light up.


    On-line PDF of K.L.Storer's actors resume

    Note to self:

    Update your résumé ~
    Add your new gig & your new training!

    Love,               
    K.L.               



    Thu, Sep 29, 2011

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    September 29, 1982

    I'm an alcoholic. When I was fourteen I got drunk for the first time. You may not believe this but it was an accident. I was with some buddies and we were doing what adolescent American boys are often engaged in, I believe the term is "Partying." Several times before that I suppose I performed my first acting gigs. I pretended to get drunk with my friends.

    I grew up around some adults who drank too much. People I loved who were drunk often and I hated the way they were when they were drunk. I was embarrassed for them and by them. I decided well before I was fourteen that I would never be drunk.

    On the other hand, I grew up in the 1960's. Alcohol was, as far as I could see, a fabric of adult life. Most adults I knew drank to one extent or another. And everyone drank on TV. Gene Berry drank on The Name of the Game. Patrick McGoohan drank as Secret Agent Man. Bruce Wayne drank. Mr. Brady drank. Drinking alcohol was clearly one of the rites of passage into adulthood. And none of those guys got drunk.

    My friends wanted to get drunk. I wanted to fit it. I faked it. Until I accidentally got drunk. I absolutely can guarantee you that was the last time I ever got drunk by mistake. Because something magical happened for me.

    Call it low self-esteem, call it inferiority complex, call it extreme insecurity, self doubt, whatever you call it, I always felt I should be better looking, smarter, cooler, funnier. I knew that most people didn't like me, simply because I was me. I knew I was a loser.

    Many years later I heard an explanation for what happens to people like me when we drink. The man who gave me this revelation said that it's not what alcohol does to an alcoholic that is different, it's what it does for an alcoholic. It does the same thing to anyone who drinks. It starts putting the brain to sleep, affecting minor then major motor skills as well as impairing intellectual judgment and inhibitions. Eventually, no matter who you are, you pass out.

    That man used a phrase that opened up the path to a new understanding for me. He said that what alcohol does different for someone like me is that it is "instantly able to alter my perception of reality."

    That night, at fourteen, when I accidentally got drunk, I was suddenly smarter and cooler and better looking and stronger and tougher and certainly worth the love of all. It felt like a miracle. So I visited that state of respite as much as I could.

    I soon evolved into a problem drinker and that gradually got worse. And at some point, somewhere in my early twenties, I wasn't visiting that respite of a welcomed changed perception of reality as much as I was drinking to re-discover it, wherever it was it had gone.

    I could share a lot of horror stories, or as they are called in some circles of recovering people, "war stories," but rather I'll just say that I got to a point where it was a major mystery just which drunk I would become once I started drinking. Would I be a clown? Would I be a morosely sad weeper? Would I get cocky or belligerent? Any of those and more unpalatable characters were a possibility. I also blacked out well more than 50% of the time.

    On the 28th of September, 1982, there was a party at a bar. It was to celebrate the release of a local home-grown album: a collection of songs written and recorded by local bands. I knew one of the bands. I dropped by where they rehearsed and one of them asked me if I was going to the release party.

    Here was my dilemma: Was I going to the party or was I going to work the next day? I knew both were not happening. I went to the party.

    Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning on September 29, 1982 I was arrested in the apartment complex where I lived. I was mostly in a blackout with some intermittent moments still in the heaviness of a pretty thick drunken fog. I had apparently left my apartment and was trying to get back in but couldn't find which was mine. The police were called.

    It was the last straw in a series of ridiculous, pathetic, and in some cases, dangerous episodes of my failed drinking career.

    I sought help and I found it in a community of people who were battling and winning against the very demon I was up against.

    To steal a phrase from the wise man I spoke of earlier, I did not have a Rocket To Stardom. My life didn't turn around completely overnight. I had to learn to face the world without the anesthetization of alcohol. I had to deal with that crappy self image and lack of self love that I had. I soldiered on, One Day at a Time, as some recovering people say.

    Today, I celebrate twenty-nine years since my last drunk, since the last time I smoked pot or took any pill outside of the subscribed dosage (and in most cases I take less than the subscribed dosage).

    It's not always been a bed of roses. Life still has dealt me some hard blows. Both my parents died; I've gone through those scary times of unemployment; I've experienced the varying degrees of conflicts with friends, loved ones and girlfriends; I've had my back against the wall in many ways at many times. Not since about the first half of my first year sober have I ever considered a drink or a drug as a solution or an escape from any of my problems.

    In recent times I've been feeling a particular loneliness, in a very pronounced way. Without detailing it, I have been grieving for the lack of the particular relationship that I want. I don't believe it is ever going to be the way I want it to be. It's just one of those things that time will take care of. I'll be damned if I'm going to drink over this heartache.

    The point here is that it's not the way it's supposed to be. I have not been reacting as I should be. When my father died suddenly in 1995, that was supposed to be a perfect excuse for a weeks-long bender. And my mother's sad and slow degeneration into death a couple years later? Same thing. Right now I should be in some state of drunkenness most of the time, wallowing in self-pity and desperately calling, texting and otherwise inappropriately bothering a very lovely woman because things are not as I desire.

    I did not and I am not, save for some admitted bouts with self pity currently -- but I'm allowing myself those with impunity because I'm sad and that's just the way it is; I'll get over it when I get over it and I'll apologies to no one for my melancholy.

    It may not seem like a big thing to you, but it is absolutely amazing to me that I am able to navigate this world that is foisted upon us all without depending on the escape of a good drunk every now and then (okay, all the friggin' time) in a vain attempt to keep it together.

    It's because, in an isolated moment of clarity, in the back of a police cruiser, in the early morning of September 29, 1982, I was finally able to recognize what and admit what had been quite obvious for several years: I was powerless over alcohol and my life was in a complete shambles. If anything was going to be done about it, it would have to come from a wisdom and a strength that I did not have. I needed to find that power, that channel to spiritual strength and wisdom that would save me.

    I did. And thanks to the God that I have come to see, I am alive and living a life worth living, despite that it can always be better. But at least I can get to a better life and have faith that it's there, waiting for me.

    As imperfect as my life is, I cannot fully express how grateful I am to be living it.






    OFFICIALLY EMC:
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
    On-line PDF of K.L.Storer's actors resume

    Yesterday I received the confirmation letter and my EMC card from Actors Equity Association.

    I am officially an Equity Membership Candidate.

    I'd planned to post a strategically blurred image of the card, but I forgot to bring it on campus with me and my scanner at home is old technology that creates files that are far too large in byte size.

    Perhaps tomorrow.

    And, oh yeah! I do believe my EMC status is something else that ABSOLUTLEY belongs on that résumé update!




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