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

K.L.'s Blog © 2004-2017 K.L.Storer -- all rights reserved

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NEW YEAR'S DAY,
2012

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2012


Fri, Jan 6, 2012

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OPENING TODAY
HEROES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Gˇrald Sibleyras and Tom Stoppard.

The Podcast is done. I actually got it to final cut Monday afternoon, which was, as amazing as it is, on schedule.

Click here to view the podcast

One of the things I started doing several podcast productions ago was getting as much finished as I can before shooting even begins. I get the text of the credit scroll as finished as I can so when it's time to generate the actual key mat for the movie all I have to do is copy and paste from a .txt document. Likewise, I create all the matted photographs (headshots, the graphics for the show, etc) so they are ready to be inserted when the time comes.

As I said I would, I did revert back to shooting in standard definition with three Canon ZR800 DV Camcorders rather than using the Flip MinoHD camcorder. The quality of the picture may be a little lower, but not really all that much in the end. And there is not that annoying audio/video synch problem with the SD, nor did I have the major annoyance during editing of re-rendering after almost every edit change or addition to the movie.

I think the three-camera shoot worked well. I placed one on a tripod a little down left (DL) to the side of the four men sitting at the bench on stage (the cast & the director), a second in the relative DR, and I hand held the third, taking roving positions in front of the men. And in case you're interested, in Editing, I imposed the audio from the footage from the camera I held onto the footage from the two on tripods, because the mic was more directly in front of the men on mine and thus is better sound.

All three castmembers, center thrust during Jan 2, 2012 tech rehearsal for HEROES by Gˇrald Sibleyras and Tom Stoppard
Gil Martin, Tom Stiver & Richard Young during the Jan. 2, rehearsal.
View from the booth of cast on stage during Jan 2, 2012 tech rehearsal for HEROES by Gˇrald Sibleyras and Tom Stoppard
Another view of the same rehearsal night, from the Tech booth.
K.L.Storer, afixing DV movie camera to tripod with another DV cam on tripod in the background
Getting the DR & DL pov cameras ready to shoot the podcast on Dec 30.



Tue, Jan 10, 2012

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VOICE WORK:
AUDITION ICON

Last night I recorded an audition for PC-Goenner for a voice acting job through Audio-Rabius. Inc. The end-of-line client is Teradata, whom I did another marketing campaign for this time last year. I'm thinking that might work against me, since my voice is already associated with the series, as another character, but what the hell? What do I know?


OPENING WEEKEND:
HEROES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Tom Stoppard

The first weekend is down. There were three really fine performances from the whole cast, but meager audience counts.

The plan was to not be at every performance. Yeah, that was the plan.....

That facebook post coming, via my myTouch 4G Android cell phone, at just about the closing curtain on Opening Night. Because, meanwhile, I had brought in Rachael Pope, one of our new folk, to do sound so that I did not have to be at absolutely every show. Unfortunately, between production needs I should meet as producer, and an unfortunate need to fill host slots, I will be at every show.

Unless I am cast in that full-length feature which may start shooting before the play closes      cool smile icon

Off in a few to the 3rd performance of HEROES by Stoppard/Sibleyras at the Dayton Theatre Guild. As producer I must say we have snagged some good 'new blood' in our crew. The show has three new people on the crew; well, two -- one hasn't been around for a long while. As producer I picked up Travis Dalhoff, our stage manager, and Ms. Pope, our sound technician, from the on-line volunteer application at the DTG website. Scott Wright, who is sharing lighting technician duties with our lighting designer, Nick Vanderpool, has crewed at The Guild in years past, but it's been a while. Before I showed up on the DTG scene. He crewed Old Wicked Songs, which had Gil Martin as one of its stars. Travis, Rachael and Scott are all doing great work for us!

Now the trick: Keep 'em around without burning them out! But a little bird says Ms. Pope is on the crew for Wittenberg.

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Part of the audience, Opening Night for Heroes, from the pov of the sound & light booth.
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More Opening Night audience, from the booth, with Thomas N. Stiver & Richard Young on stage.
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Thomas, Gil Martin, & Richard during the Opening Night performance.
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The cast on stage during the third performance on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.
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Again from the third performance.
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Once more from the third performance.



SOUND DESIGNING ICON
WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos

And it's time to start really looking at -- working on -- the sound design for this one. I have found one particular sound I need, and a song that the director wants in a particular place, actually, several versions of the song.

Where Heroes was an easy and straight forward sound design with only three sound cues outside of opening, scene transition, and closing music, Wittenberg calls for more.

Well, I guess there is also the out door ambient sounds that run through the whole of Heroes: mostly the occasional bird chirping or singing, a few scattered cars and trucks driving by in the distance, one airplane flyby and a far off train passing; plus the low-volumed, airy, mid-toned white noise as a constant.

Still, Heroes was an easy sound design to build and an easy one to run.

Wittenberg proves more challenging and I am conscious that I need to simplify the operation of the sound as much as I can, as I am not the one who will be running it and it's much easier for one to operate their own complex design than for someone else to run it.

The biggest challenge I see: tennis ball hits. The sound itself isn't a problem, that is the "one particular sound I need" that I found. It's the timing of the cue to keep the first hit of each volley, the one representing the hits by actor on stage, synchronized to that actor's swing. It's making sure that the "POW!" is playable instantly.

And there's some incidental background noise and such. It's not demanding the overall complexity of something like Kimberly Akimbo, Frank's Life, or Sugar Witch, or the mother of all sophisticated sound designs, Park Your Car In Harvard Yard, but it's a bit more than completely straight forward.



Thu, Jan 12, 2012

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PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

I'm headed to Audio-Rabius. Inc. at noon today to do voice work for the Teradata marketing campaign. However, this was an independent booking based on the work I did for A-R last year. One of the several scripts he's producing for Teradata calls for the same character I did before so John Rabius has called me back in, separately from any audition, and actually before he'd received the new audition mp3 file I recorded earlier this week. As I wrote in the last post, I wasn't likely to be booked for any new character, anyway.

Though it didn't hurt to do the audition -- if for no other reason, the practice at doing a DIY voice audition. For one thing, it has highlighted how I need a more "True" sound-studio-like acoustical environment at home, even if only rudimentary and virtual.


THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

As I begin to prepare for my 2011 tax return filing I am painfully aware how much I have to catch up with hundreds of actor and volunteer miles -- if not moving into the four diget realm. And I have income and expenses to record. I remember a few years back when I was smart enough to have diligently recorded all these elements as they occurred and placed all documentation in a safe place. Perhaps, I ought to catch myself up here on Day Number 12 of 2012 and then get back into the intelligent habits of old.



Mon, Jan 16, 2012

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Extreme close-up of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the word 'Dream' superimposed over it


Tue, Jan 17, 2012

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A rural, tree-lined road with snow slightly drifting across it; the trees barren of leaves; about 2 inches of snow on the ground, otherwise.
So now it's actually winter in southwest Ohio



LET'S NOT CALL THESE "NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS"...:
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
'BE OR NOT' icon
MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer
'STARTING FOR THE SUN' a novel by K.L.Storer
In The Gym

...Rather they're things that nag me as all needing my attention. Okay, okay, perhaps they aren't nagging me about themselves as much as I am nagging myself about them.

Let's start with the damned improv movie project. Fred Boomer and I started shooting that in November of 2008 at The Guild Wayne Avenue building before it was the Carly D. Philips TheatreScape, before there was an L. David Mirkin Main Stage, while the theatre was still producing shows on Salem Avenue. We wrapped principle photography at the home of Mike Rousculp and Debra Strauss the next June.

I've done some pick-ups since then, mostly outdoor, snow-covered road shots, as well as specific pick-ups for the outtake short, then known as The Audition.

Those specific outtakes being a series of shots on the front end, the establishment sequence. Those happening in November of 2009.

Color correction proved patience-draining and then it got worse. It almost drove me to, I don't know, one of suicide or homicide; or some kind of "cide." After months of trying to get a viable color edit of "The Audition" I finally bowed to the inevitable and turned both the short and the full-length in black-and-white.

As some reading this will know, (you five regular visitors), The Audition became Be Or Not which met it's final cut in late August of 2011, was submitted to the Sundance Film Festival and was, um, NOT accepted.

Be Or Not is in final cut, but the rest of the project? I have done no editing on the rest, whatsoever. The plan, in 2010 was to attack some big chunk of it during the summer. I even skipped auditioning for FutureFest 2010 in order to keep time open. But....

As I've said in the past, the several segments shot for the project are a bit disjointed from each other and it may be difficult to edit together something cohesive. I may have to ignore cohesiveness.

But, even though I may not have a final cut that will rip through the film festivals, I do feel a need to get it there.

Meanwhile, Be Or Not, though not blessed with the greatest production values out there, it's a funny film with wonderful performances and I really need to submit it to more film festivals.

And some may remember that I wrote a screenplay for a longer short narrative back a few years ago. That one needs some real fund raising to shoot. I am so out of the know about how to do that.

I may be a good producer, as some praise me as, but a "good executive producer": not so much. And I have a couple other ideas for screenplays.

From about 1984 through 1987 I recorded what eventually became the album Heart Walks, from which there is one music video on YouTube, "Seems Like A Crime."

I wrote that one with my music partner at the time, Rich Hisey. I also pretty much used all equipment owned by him to make the album. All the Moog synthesizers and the Fender Rhodes piano were his, as was the four-track cassette recorder the tracks were laid on. I used my bass guitar.

Though, ironically, there is not bass -- YET -- on "Seems Like A Crime." The video does not have the finished mix on it. I've actually composed a bass line in my head, quite a while ago, but I'm gonna have to bone up on my bass-playing skills before I could execute it.

What I need to do, even if it's piecemeal, is gradually take each track, of each of each four-track recording, convert it to digital from the original analogue recordings, and finally get Heart Walks mixed.

I have a novel that I had just completed a 'more polished' draft of about the time I started acting again. Then, I entered into a re-write phase where I was moving some things around, and even adding some obviously needed moments. I stopped in the midst of that about 2, maybe 3 years back. Just sent the draft, as is, to a friend and thus began reading it again, and I see so much that needs repaired. It's a sort of disheartening. And then there's my novel.

Recently I and a friend from my childhood have reconnected and I sent her the most recent draft of Startung for the Sun. "Most recent" is a relative turn; that draft is about three years old, and a re-write that has not fully made it through the manuscript from beginning to end.

Mixed emotions about this one. Part of me wants to stick the damned thing on a shelf and forget about it for a couple decades. The other part wants to dedicate all my time to a re-write starting right now. Has to be a middle-ground, somewhere.

As for that last icon in the left column above -- the newest addition to my new practice of making icons for things: before I started acting again, I was in the gym at least four times a week and usually six, and on some occasions, seven days a week. I have never gotten back on a regular routine. It's been eight years now. It's hard to fit it in when I'm involved in a production and it's been difficult to pick up the routine in between.

What I want is to no longer have to have that eight-hour a day job. It is simply in my way. But breaking away from the regular work hours thing is not happening probably any time soon. Yet I am embarrassingly aware that I am so far out of the shape I want to be in. I don't have be Mr. Buff, but certainly want to be back where I was in say, late 2003, and then improve on that. That means pushing for regular time in the gym -- and better, soon.

Yeah, yeah, that means perhaps maybe eating a little better, too.


SECOND WEEKEND OF HEROES:
HEROES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Tom Stoppard

PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
The performances went quite well, and the audience sizes improved, with close to a sold-out Saturday.

The gremlins plagued the sound booth, however, very especially on Sunday. The sound levels were off and channels kept cutting out.

To be honest, our gremlin is most certainly very Homosapien. I checked the whole sound system hook up after the Sunday show and found things unhooked as well as hooked differently. Someone did that. And right now it's best if I do not know the identity of this
                person.

I stayed for a while and put things back and ran a couple dry techs. It seems things are okay now. I'm hoping to run a dry tech before the show on Friday, just as insurance. And I've put the world out for people to just stay the hell out of the booth.

I didn't threaten violence, but perhaps that's not out of the question....cool smile icon

In the meantime, here are some pics from this past weekend:
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Director Fred Blumenthal gives the curtain speech during a performance last weekend.
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Gil Martin (Gustave), Thomas N. Stiver (Henri), & Richard Young (Philippe).
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The Dog.
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The prop table, illuminated in blue light and the stage manager's script stand, illuminated in red, just back stage at the up left stage escape.
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Fri, Jan 20, 2012

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SOPA & PIPA: The Latest Bad Ideas from Congress

As you may know, in solidarity with Wikipedia.com and many other internet web sites, I made my whole website dark for just less than forty-eight hours to protest the ill-conceived congressional bills SOPA & PIPA.

Both acts are theoretically intended to combat piracy and other thefts of intellectual copyright on the internet. That is a real and valid concern. But you don't cut off people's heads in order to cure their headaches.

In their current forms the bills circumvent due process and make it possible for corporate executives as well as the federal government to censor and suppress free speech and the free flow of information and ideas. All that is required is the accusation of copyright infringement to shut down a web site, or the accusation of collaboration, including unintended collaboration, in such infringement.

It is a slap in the face to the Democratic idea of Due Process, which is a cornerstone of America jurisprudence and that of other free societies.

At present both SOPA and PIPA make it possible to unfairly and with false or at best questionable, accusation interfere with the free flow of ideas that are disagreed with or that are a threat to particular points of view. That may not be the intention, but it is only the most unintelligent of fools who will believe that such opportunity will not be ceased upon.

The current versions of SOPA and PIPA need to be fatally wounded and those who are pushing them need to be reminded they are members of a free society and such shameful disregard for that society is intolerable.

Fortunately, for the moment at least, The White House seems to be responding in support of the petitions and the protests. And some congressional support for both bills has waned. It's best to not assume more than a battle has been won, however.

See more here at the only Wikipedia page that was up during the blackout.

Read the official White House response to the massive on-line petitions and protests: "Obama Administration Responds to We the People Petitions on SOPA and Online Piracy."

Read an analysis of the White House response: "The White House & SOPA: Reading Between the Lines."




NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

  • Josh Katawick is casting director for a short-short narrative movie and he contacted me to offer a cameo role, as it were. As I told him, if Spielberg or Scorsese or Soderbergh haven't called me in on a project, I should be available for the several hours -- tops -- it would take to shoot the moment in the short.
  • The little close-ended web series I was approached by Shaunn Baker about last fall still seems to be on hold.
  • Shaunn did contact me about participating in a table read for another web series project, however, one connected with Film Dayton. I have no details.



  • In the audience icon

  • Red at The Human Race Theatre Company -- I attended the Pay What You Can, Final Dress this past Thursday. Really good work from both Michael Kenwood Lippert (as Mark Rothco) and Will Allen (as Ken). It's a nice script, though I was not as impressed with the words as I was the execution.
  • The Color Purple at The Kuss Auditorium -- Next Thursday, Jan. 26, I and several of the local Caroline, Or Change cast & crew will go see Ms. Taprena Augustine as Shug Avery in this this touring compnay, making an Ohio stop in a performance presented by the Springfield Arts Council as part of its Broadway and Beyond series. Tuprene was fabulous as Dotty in Caroline..., and I have no doubt she will be fabulous as Shug. Here's an intersting piece of trivia: Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy last December, is Taprena's cousin.
  • Oleana at Springfield StageWorks -- I hope to catch this one, which opens Thursday, Feb. 2. Probably will have to go that Saturday, the fourth.

  • A Few Others, Too -- Like Dearly Beloved at Beavercreek Community Theatre, Rent at Wright State University, Run For Your Wife at X*ACT, and Nunsense, which opens Feb. 3 at The Dayton Playhouse.
  • Sabath Does Sondheim -- And then there's another castmate from Caroline..., Bruce Sabath (Stuart in Caroline), who will be playing Joe Josephson "as well as my clarinet and saxaphone" in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in March. Guess it's getting time to buy a ticket.


  • Sun, Jan 22, 2012

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    CLOSING TODAY
    HEROES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Gˇrald Sibleyras and Tom Stoppard.

    The cast of HEROES

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Henri            Thomas N. Stiver

    Gustave            Gil Martin

    Philippe            Richard Young

    The Podcast for Heroes


    Thu, Jan 26, 2012

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    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Nabbed a few sessions in a series for the U.D. Law students about a medical malpractice case. I will be a doctor. I don't have the material yet so I don't know exactly what this doctor's role is, but I know he's testifying on the defense team's side. If he's an expert witness or the defendant I'm not 100% clear on; though it looks like I may be an expert witness.

    Have a few sessions spread out over what I assume is much of the length of the class term, starting in mid February and ending in mock trial in April.

    Don't know if that wil be a conflict with any possible movies, but I did warn Fran that I'm not turning down a good movie gig if it shows itself.


    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Got six short scripts for the web series being supported by Film Dayton; they're in the second draft and it's expected they'll be in at least one more draft by the table read at the Film Dayton meeting next Tuesday.

    I haven't had the chance to read them yet, but I'm looking forward to the reading. And I half suspect this "reading" is serving, at least to some extent, as an audition.


    ADULT ACTING CLASS (The Sequel) AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Monday night marked the first of six new acting classes in Round 2 with Kay Bosse.

    I'd been leery of enrolling at one point, when I was hoping I'd be in the last stretch of rehearsals for Oleanna at Springfield StageWorks during the wealth of the class sessions. That did not come to be, as we know. With not being cast in that, with Heroes wrapped *(see next), and with less obligation to Wittenberg than I might have had *(see next after next), things are a little more open.

    Kay is even thinking of having me do something from Oleanna in class. So I may still get some sort of chance to be John.

    It being the first day of class we all did some sort of introductory performance. Mine was a loosely paraphrased "Cockroach monologue" from Jake's Women: my fallback monologue. We also did a freeze-tag improv and I was not on my game at all. As the "story line" progressed, with other students yelling freeze then taking one of the two scene partners places and moving the action in a different direction, I was sitting there, coming up with nothing. And when I did finally go up, what I did was lame, lame, lame.

    But I did also do a relatively decent and fairly cold read of a monologue: an African-American teenage boy, which was in obvious ways a method of having me do a little stretching.


    DOWN:
    HEROES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Tom Stoppard

    Of course, Heroes closed last weekend. It was a charming script with very nice performances by all three men and it's a shame the audiences weren't bigger. I think we had one house that was close to full; most other shows were around half, with two shows that had much less: one about twenty-four, the other about thirty.

    A day-time work colleague and long-time season subscriber to the Guild asked me which role I would have wanted in the show. I think I would have most liked the Philippe character, as it's the one an actor can have the most fun with. I know Richard Young enjoyed the role a lot. As well, I would have loved to play some of Henri's bemused and bewildered moments as he listen to the cockamamy statements and ideas the other two had. But Gustave would have been fun, too, with his cantankerous persona.

    So, all three, but in order of preference: Philippe, Henri, then Gustave.

    xxxx
    Gil Martin as Gustave, Thomas N. Stiver as Henri, & Richard Young, whose Philippe is sure he just saw the limestone dog move.
    xxxx
    "There! What did I tell you?"
    xxxx
    "I'll move it for you."
    xxxx
    "There. How's that?"
    xxxx
    "We'll all keep our eyes on it!"
    xxxx
    NEXT



    UP:
    WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos
    xxxx
    Bare bones of NEXT Up.

    Well, okay, not exactly "Up," yet.

    But, NEXT Up.

    And In Rehearsal.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
    The sound design is in a slog at the moment, but I plan to take out much of it over this coming weekend. I still have some sound and music to gather up, but beyond that I need to get familiar with the new sound operation software Bob Mills has installed on the pc he donated to The Guild.

    That software is, of course the Show Cue Systems software previously mentioned here. As the pics below show, the new booth set-up has happened. The DVD/CD player and one of the two minidisk players have been removed to storage, as has the littler mixing board. Though the bigger one really ought to be replaced as some of the pots are dirty and occasionally failing -- we had some problems during the run of Heroes with pots cutting out on us. The new system by-passes the mixer, though we are keeping as a precaution.

    Back on exact topic: I have a learning curve to immediately address before I start assembling mixes and edits. I need to know more exactly how SCS does what it does so I can tailor the design to it. Though there are two segments that need the same music and effects, the music being rather ethereal and mystical, and I am contemplating writing and recording that music tomorrow evening.

    I also have taken steps to be able to work on programing the show cues remotely, meaning not being tethered to the DTG booth at the theatre. See the next entry, which touches on that.

    xxxx
    Screenshot of the Show Cue Systems edit window
    xxxx
    The new sound technician set-up in the DTG booth.
    xxxx
    A closer look at the computer.
    xxxx
    The mixing board. Not quite as many cable plug holes filled as before.
    xxxx
    The one minidisk player we kept, setting under the mixer.
    xxxx
    Nothing to do with the sound system, and not destine to stay in the Wittenberg production, but still a cool image to shoot and to display.



    $752.80:
    GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON

    Yep: $752.80. That's how much I have spent this week on tech stuff for myself, the bulk being for more external harddrives.

    The impetus was the Show Cue Systems software and my desire to, as I wrote above, not be tethered to the booth in the theatre on Wayne Avenue to work on programing a show. SCS is a Windows-only software. What that means is one of two things:

    1. I either buy myself a Windows pc, one new enough to run the software or...
    2. I buy a virtual machine and run Windows on my Macbook, thus SCS on my Macbook.

    I opted for the second choice. So I bought VMware Fusion 4 and Windows 7 Home Premium. The latter in which the 2.8 gig set-up resource file will be downloading most of this evening, if not all night and into the morning. I started downloading it while at the rent payer today, but it became clear it was going to be time to leave before the download was complete, so I cancelled it and rather downloaded the executable instal file as well as the other smaller set-up file. But FedEx did deliver VMWare Fusion to the office today.

    Though the VMware Fusion emulation software will only take up 5 gigs on my laptop harddrive, I still have been thinking about moving all audio and graphics off it, anyway, so I can always have a s much free space as possible for current movie or audio projects. I've already been keep almost all movie files, save for whatever I am presently working on, off the main harddrive. I have been keeping them on a 1 terabyte external, with another 1 tb as a back up.

    Those external movie drives were both up to about 900 gigs, so it was clear I was soon to need more space. So, earlier this week I bought two 2 tb drives for the movie drive and its back-up. All audio, music and sound effects are going on the 1 tb drives (with one a back-up for the other).

    I did have pretty much all my music, i.e.: my entire iTunes library on a 235 gig external, which is now designated for graphics (all still images, be they digital photos or graphic arts). I bought a 500 mgb drive to serve as the other graphics drive; and, actually, I have another 500 mgb drive that will end up as the second graphics drive and the 235 will be retired as an extra for whatever miscellaneous needs arrive. That other 500 mgb serves right now as the Time Capsule for my Mac Tome Machine (the whole system and memory back-up for my computer). But, here soon, I'll get a 1 tb for that and then reassign the 500 to graphics.

    Got it?      smiley icon

    Well, hopefully, sometime in the next day or so I will be able to work in Show Cue Systems on my laptop.


    THE COLOR PURPLE:
    In the audience icon

    Tonight I see Taprena Augustine as Shug in the touring company performance of The Color Purple at The Kuss Auditorium in Springfield, along with a handful of fellow actors and production crew from this past autumn's production of Caroline, or Change at The Human Race Theatre Company. Where we all met the lovely and most-talented lady of the hour.

    Taprena, just this week was voted Broadway World D.C.'s 2011 Best Featured Actress In A Musical Touring, for this very production. Click here to see.

    OH YEAH... In my litany the other day of current and forthcoming shows I hope to see, I did not mention Spring Awakening at Encore Theater Company, which is being billed as "a new rock musical." That opened last Friday and runs through Feb. 4, at the Courtyard Crossing, which is on 2nd St. in Downtown Dayton, across from the Schuster Center, and next to Boston Stoker.

    And there's another Bruce playing in Cincinnati soon, this of the Cromer variety. Bruce is appearing in Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell, also at The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as is Bruce Sabath who's up next in the same venue in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.



    Fri, Feb 3, 2012

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    ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    A young lady classmate and I have officially been assigned some pages from Mamet's Oleanna as our major scene work for the class.

    But the library copy from "Day Job" is checked out by someone else!

    Instructor Kay has a copy and she loaned it to my scene mate and I was able to borrow a copy from a fellow Guild board member.


    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    This past Tuesday evening I participated in a table read of six scripts for a no-pay short web series titled Freak Club. The series is a collaborative production sponsored by Film Dayton.

    The screenplays are by a young woman named Alexandra Grizinski. The work is good.

    There were a few folk I know, or at least have met, reading at the table with me, as well as some new acquaintances. It was a fun time. The character I read is a fun one for an actor and I very much hope I am considered for the role when the production begins shooting. Oh, I mean offered the role.

    Click here for a FilmDayton blog entry about Freak Club.


    xxxx
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
    Yikes! Windows 7 in Lion on my Macbook!

    So, VMware Fusion 4 is installed on my MacBook Pro.

    Likewise, Windows 7 Home Premium is installed inside Fusion.

    And installed on W7: Show Cue Systems.

    Please forgive the pun-like metaphor but....

    now I'm wired for sound.
    *And what do you think of my wallpaper?


    WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    Here's an interesting point: as of yet, I haven't worked on the sound design at all in Show Cue Systems on W7 in the VMware Fushion 4 on my Macbook. All my work has been done in the booth at The Guild on the booth pc. And it's safe to say I'm on the home stretch with the design. There's been a bit of a learning curve with the SCS software, but I am starting to actually know what I'm doing.

    The were a few segue moments from one cue to the next that I was sure I could program in and make automatic. At first I could not find the correct programing commands and had to come up with a rather clunky manual method to execute them. But I eventually came to see how to porogram them, so I went back and fixed all the spots already in the production cue file. Andm for the few remaining spots: I now know what to do.

    There have been a few other set backs which can be attributed to miscommunication, but in spite of some obstacles, the design seems on track. With the exception of the tweaks and the switch-out of a few sound cues, we are "wired for sound," and I am ready for the cue-to-cue rehearsal tonight.

    I'm sure I'll then be at DTG late tonight working on the adjustments I'll need to make.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Working with the new sound operation set-up & Show Cue Systems, in the Dayton Theatre Guild tech booth this past Wednesday.


    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Meanwhile, preproduction on the Wittenberg podcast is done and shooting started Wednesday night with the first two of the four (or five) interviews for the movie. I finished the cast interviews last night. I may get the director this weekend and will shoot rehearsal footage over the next few days. And since the playwright, David Davalos has granted permission to use dialogue in the movie, my hope is to stage at least a brief moment or two specifically for the camera.

    Now the question is how to fit post-production in and have a final cut that is on-line by at least Friday. I actually can do some post work right now. I can get together the opening DTG logo splash as well as the ending credit scroll.

    I've already picked the underscore music. I'm using "Chord Sounds," which is written and recorded by Moby. Moby granted permission, through his Moby Gratis web site, to use that instrumental for the underscore for the podcast for The Boys Next Door, last year. When the movie was cut, however, the music didn't fit any more. It will work this time, so I re-applied for permission. I haven't heard back yet, but I am working on the assumption that he will grant permission again for this podcast.

    I can't see why he would not.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    So, I now have a massive amount of info from Ms. Barb Jorgensen about the character I'm playing in the upcoming trail practice class. Barb usually does this character and has amassed a good amount of most helpful research.

    I hope I can soon get to a slowdown with Wittenberg so I have the material in my head before the gig on February 15.


    THE COLOR PURPLE:
    In the audience icon

    Last Thursday evening, several of us from The Race production of Caroline, or Change attended the touring production of The Color Purple at The Kuss Auditorium. Ms. Taprena Augustine was in the cast as Shug Avery. Taprina was, of course, also Dotty in Caroline.

    Yay Taprena for an absolutely magnificent performance in THE COLOR PURPLE tonight! Great show and the lovely Taprena was in the midst of a great cast where she more than (More Than) held her own!

    She was wonderful as Dotty and equally as excellent as Shug.

    So, it's intermission in Springfield and you have already stole the show and blown me away!


    GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON Gotta say that ever since I upgraded my operating system to Lion (OS X 10.7) my MacBook Pro runs hot quite a lot more.

    The internal fan is frequently coming on and often when I am barely using the machine, or not using it at all.

    Don't care for the processor to be seemingly overheating so much.



    Fri, Feb 10, 2012

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    OPENING TODAY
    WITTENBERG by David Davalos, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Click here to see the podcast.



    Sun, Feb 12, 2012

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    CATCH UP


    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    An Exceedingly Mean-Spirited Gremlin In The Booth & Other "Monkey Wrenches In The Machinery" -- There have been all sorts of, um, let's say, "interesting" technical developments concerning Wittenberg during the move into Tech Week.

    Let's start with the theatre gremlin being a real punk Friday of last week.

    A serious punk!

    Here's the story: When I arrived at the theatre around 4:00 Friday I had about 90% of the sound cues programed into SCS and was in early to finish that work then do a dry tech for myself before the scheduled cue to cue commenced later that evening. Besides that as my agenda for the day, the other item was to record cast and crew singing a Martin Luther hymnal to use as a sound cue, "All Praise to Thee, Eternal God."

    I got there, booted the pc then headed off to set up the mics and the recorder for the song. When done with that I went back into the tech booth only to find that Windows had started CHKDSK and it seemed to be frozen in the process. I had to do a hard reboot and after that I could rarely get the pc to boot all the way into an account; and when it did it would auto shut down after only a brief period of time.

    I contacted Bob Mills and he came in to take a look. While he was on his way I called both the director and stage manager for Wittenberg to let them know it was not likely there would be a cue to cue with sound on Friday.

    The final determination was that the pc was now a very large paperweight. And, of course, I had not backed up the cue file, so even though Bob brought another pc as replacement and installed the Show Cue Systems software on it, I still had to rebuild the whole show cue program. That I did, late Friday evening and much of the day on Saturday; and I did so on my Mac, finally employing my VMware Fusion 4 and Windows 7 Home Premium.

    Clearly I did not need to stick around for all of the run of the show that replaced the cue to cue on Friday. I went home to work on rebuilding the show cue program as well as digitizing and mixing the analog recording we'd made of "All Praise to Thee, Eternal God." We did two takes of a total of about a half dozen people singing the song a capella. And, as it turned out, both takes were at the same tempo and in the same key, so I was able to combine the two to get a dozen voices without needing to tweak the speed or pitch of either take. The only minor glitch was one pause between verses that differed in the two takes, but I was able to synch up the following verses in the editor. Thus, no, this is not a "monkey wrench" item.

    But here's one...:
    I'm completely stupified! I should have a little practice amp somewhere in my very small apartment but do not. I have a vague notion that I may have loaned it out, or gave it away, or sold it....no clue when or to whom or even if........

    To meet a need of the show, Bob and I determined we could place some mics (which I have loaned to the production), hooked to self-contained speakers, just off stage in two different locations, in order to amplify some off-stage dialogue and also keep the sound focused in the locations. Bob would bring in a karaoke machine he had and I would bring in my small, bass practice amp I've had for years. Except that: I don't seem to have that practice amp anymore. As I was about to head to bed Saturday evening, I gathered things at my front door to be sure I took them to the theatre for Tech rehearsal on Sunday. This is when I discovered I have no practice amp in my apartment. As I posted on facebook right before bed, and after several rounds of checking the apartment again: I may have loaned it out, or gave it away, or sold it; and I have this wisp of a memory of something along these lines, but I am simply not cognizant of what happened to the damned thing.

    Because my discovery was made late last Saturday night ~~ technically most early Sunday morning ~~ the dilemma was at a state of urgency; it was important to be able to incorporate the amplification into the tech rehearsal at 2:00 pm on Sunday. I decided the best route was to pick up a new practice amp on the way to the theatre. A replacement bass practice amp was the ideal purchase but not an imperative.

    xxxx
    The final down left off-stage amplification set up for some moments in Wittenberg. *The small self-amped speaker, the microphone & mic stand, all being mine.
    Imperative, however, was that I be at the theatre with plenty of time to transfer all the sound files and the cue file into the "new" pc in the booth, then do a dry tech. Let's not forget set up the off-stage amplification. So I left my place at probably a little after 10:15. I mapped out several different places between my home and the theatre where I might be able to pick up a small practice amp. The pawn shops were not in that plan as none are open on Sundays. My first stop was a Best Buy, but the Sunday hours, as I found out when I got there, start at 11:00 am, and I did not have time to wait. My last stop, if necessary would be the Radio Shack that's about five minutes from DTG; but it wasn't necessary because just a little bit further away from the theatre is a music store named Pace Music that had an amp that I could use, though it's not a bass amp. Unfortunately, Pace is going out of business; however, due to that, I got the small practice amp at less than cost.

    The built-in amp is a little weaker than what we need so I've run the mic through a small mixing board that was donated to the theatre. That does the trick and now we have the volume we need for the down-left off-stage voices to be adequately heard.

    And now I have a small practice amp that I have little personal use for. If it were a bass amp it woud be a little more practical for me. I'm sure I will be able to employ it usefully once again at some point after this show closes.

    It's still a mystery what happened to my original bass practice amp.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Another monkey wrench was thrown in when I lost crucial flexibility to shoot the way that would have better served the podcast. The podcast is done and up, as you see, but there are some problems directly resulting from not having the shoot opportunities that I would have had. The schedule was changed from doing two full runs on Monday and Tuesday of Tech Week to doing only Act I on Monday and then II on Tuesday. I was depending on the two full runs to, in some cases get two takes of good moments to use, and in other cases to note moments I missed on Monday that I would be sure to grab on Tuesday. I wasn't able to do that. So I had less good material to pull from than it could have been possible to have had. I made do, but there could have been better choices for the final cut. And Wednesday night, rather than be shooting, I needed to be editing, which was what I was doing.

    The interviews could have been lit better, as well, but that's wholly my fault.

    Click here to see the podcast.

    One last monkey wrench: weirdness with the pre-show music.

    The last glitch -- and let us underline that "LAST" -- came up at last night's performance. There was a problem with the pre-show music. The pre-show music is in a Play List as part of the Wittenberg Cue List in Show Cue Systems. All the music files that are part of the pre-show music list are in one folder, appropriately titled, "pre-show music." When I created the play list I simply selected all those aif files, about fifty, which added them all to the play list. Then I checked random play so that each night the pre-show will be different. There is more than an hour of music there, maybe almost ninety minutes. Pre-show music starts a half-hour before the curtain, so obviously not all the pre-show music will be played. And with the program choosing randomly from well more than thirty minutes of music, each performance will have unique pre-show music: some small to great amount of different music from the previous and the next, and a unique order of play for any duplications from the others.

    Last night, the list kept stopping. Fortunately I was there as host and was able to make a fix by going in and disabling the random play command, which at first seemed to be the malfunctioning aspect. But then I stayed after the show and ran the play list again with Random activated and was able to determine with 99.9% certainty what the problem was.

    After the list was first created, Saul Caplan, the director, decided we needed more music in the production, at a scene change that takes longer than anticipated. So, I pulled a song from the pre-show to use there. We really don't want any production music in the pre-show or intermission, so I moved the song from the "pre-show music" folder to the "production music" folder. I had thought I had deleted it from the Play List in SCS, but apparently I did not. When I was running the pre-show play list after the show, to discover the exact problem, it did finally halt again, and I was able to see that the program was looking for that specific file in the pre-show folder. So it was clearly still on the play list and the program was resting upon that title as the next song to play and since the file was no longer there, the program came to a stop.

    I had moved at least one other song from "pre-show music" folder to "production music" folder, so, just to be sure it was all clean, I deleted the whole Play List cue and rebuilt it again with the contents of the "pre-show music" folder as it is now. But before I rebuilt it, I moved another song to "production music" folder, which I know I am adding to the show cues for next weekend's performances; thus, it's also not on the list the program is reading, thus the program is not going to search for it where it's not at.


    BROADWAY STYLE?:
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos

    Just because the show is up doesn't necessarily mean that the sound design is done. In the tradition of a show in preview on Broadway, we have some tweaks in the works.

    During Tech Week, a particular sound cue that Saul had conceived, perhaps months ago, did not work as he had envisioned it would, so he had me kill it from the design. But, after seeing a light cue that was incorporated late in Tech Week, he has decided that a variation on his original idea will work.

    Unfortunately I had pressing personal business the night of Final Dress and I was dead-sick Opening Night, thus home in bed, so the word could not get to me until last night when I was back, this time to host ~~ and, as we also know, to trouble-shoot.

    Last night Saul also asked to have the transition music added, which I alluded to above. That and the reintroduction of the pulled sound cue (but in a revised manner) will show up next Friday.

    One other change was requested, which I took care of last night while working on the Play List snafu. Saul believed a sound cue at the end of Act I was too long, so I changed the programing to facilitate its reduction.


    WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos

    As for how the show is going: What I saw of rehearsals, especially during Tech Week, suggests it's a mighty fine production with mighty fine performances.

    Perhaps biased, but Saul felt good about the opening show, and what I saw and heard last night was good stuff.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Today, I missed the Wittenberg performance because, with the exception of a break or two to finish off the text for this post*, I've been studying the massive amount of material I need to know for the series of gigs coming up for the U.D. Law School case.

    But some breaks have been necessary unless I want my head to implode, or explode, whichever event might occur.

    Fortunately I am basically free both tomorrow night and Tuesday night to continue the study before the first gig this Wednesday. I do have acting class tomorrow but it ends at 7:00.

    No required attendance at a rehearsal this week!

    *) Most of the text for today's post has been in progress for days, some was written last Sunday. SHHHH! Don't tell!



    OLEANNA AT SPRINGFIELD STAGEWORKS:
    In the audience icon

    Just saw OLEANNA by David Mamet (Feb 2-11, 2012) at Springfield StageWorks. Congrats to Josh, Nicolas, Larry, and Abigail for a solid production and nice night out at the theatre.

    Saturday, the 4th, I took a break from re-programming the Wittenberg sound cues to catch some live theatre at another venue. As my facebook post above says, it was nice diversion. Congrats to all involved!



    Mon, Feb 13, 2012

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    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Yikes! tonight is the fourth session in this course series. We are more than half-way through. I need to start working to get off-book on the Oleanna pages my scene mate, Kelly, and I are doing for the class. But, that's going to have to wait until after I have kicked out the first night of U.D. Law gigs, that which is this Wednesday. Until then, all my mental efforts must be about getting all the info for that into my head.

    Plus Kay Bosse has proposed a couple different "field trips" to see some theatre, one being the production of Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still at steppenwolf. It's up now and runs until May 13, so for me it's not out of the question.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    There is a lot of information for me to cram in my head. I wish I had not been so busy with sound design last week. Some serious work on this starting several days back would not have been a bad thing at all.

    As it is I have arranged for the day off Wednesday for one last chance to study the material before the late afternoon call for the first gig.

    Of course, to burn as little vacation time as possible I have arranged to work late tomorrow, Thursday and Friday (and a little later today). I will end up having to use 1.5 hours, which is better than eight.



    Thu, Feb 16, 2012

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    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    K.L. facebook post, Feb 1, 2012, 11:39 pm - 'Have so much information to acclimate into my brain to become an expert medical witness for U.D. Law Students for a mock medical malpractice case; I'm trying to not let it overwhelm me; I'm trying to be Zen about it.....'

    The plan Monday night was to get home from the acting class, take care of a couple chores around the abode, eat, then study the material for the U.D. gig. I did the chores, then ate, then settled in to study. I guess my error was to grab the material and climb into bed.

    Yep, I fell asleep, and it seems pretty quickly. I don't remember looking at one new piece of information.

    To about a 98% degree, I had already committed the character's pedigree to memory, but I had not studied the facts of the case at all. And there is a bit to know. Strike that: there is a "LOT" to know. So Tuesday eve I began that process, starting, of course, by creating my handy-dandy flash cards. More, to be precise: I had already made some to get the doctor's bio info memorized.

    After I got all the flashcards made, I took an hour nap, then woke up and began the memorization-by-rote process. Every couple hours I took another one-hour nap. So I didn't really sleep through the night at all Tuesday night to Wednesday morning.

    I was relatively fresh when I did the gig late Wednesday afternoon into early evening. I was not as well-versed with all the material as I would have wanted, but I was familiar enough to be able to get though the sessions with the different teams of law students. The agenda was deposition prep so I did have enough memorized to do my work appropriately.

    In two weeks it's the mock deposition and I do need to be better schooled in the vital information.


    WITTENBERG & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by David Davalos
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    After the U.D. gig I dropped by the theatre to implement the addition of the two sound cues (actually five) that Director Saul Caplan had asked for last Saturday.

    Why "actually five," you ask? Well, you see, in Show Cue Systems, as in most of not all such sound cue management software you can, and usually should, program in a Stop Cue command, so for each sound cue you usually have at least two commands: Start and Stop. Of course, sometimes the cue is to play out to the end, so those only get the start command.

    There also a command that can be programmed in to change the volume level or change the stereo balance. One of my cues has this feature to even out a volume swell in the original sound file. That one is an automatic cue that the sound tech does not need to execute.

    So, two sounds files; five cues (or commands).

    Meanwhile, this morning I discovered a gratifying message that had been left at the DTG facebook page on Opening Day of the show:

    David Davalos post in DTG facebook page, opening night of WITTENBERG - 'Break skulls tonight!'


    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Now it is time to get the passage of David Mamet's Oleanna memorized.

    There are only two sessions of this class with Kay Bosse left.


    RACE 2012/13 GENERALS:
    AUDITION ICON

    Words out. The general auditions for The Human Race Theatre Company 12/13 season will be the weekend of April 21 & 22.

    Appointment setting begins at 10 am on April 11.


    SPEAKING OF MAMET....:

    I'm telling you, I am thinking I may finally see a B'Way show...

    "Patti LuPone and Laurie Metcalf Will Co-Star in David Mamet's The Anarchist on Broadway"

    In the audience icon



    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing
    THE CAST OF GOING TO ST. IVES

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Dr. Cora Gage            Katrina Kittle

    Mae N'Kame            Catherine Collins


    DTG Podcast Production logo
    The cast table read happened to be last night so when I was done with the sound design modifications for Wittenberg I spoke with the cast about shoots for the podcast.

    I haven't been dropping in to get random early rehearsal footage for a while. I probably will with this one. And since Playwright Lee Blessing has granted us permission to use dialogue in the podcast, there is again a chance that I will shoot some intense moment -- that isn't a spoiler -- as played specifically for the camera. Certainly I will try to get some good footage of the rehearsals that can be used, too, as is SOP.



    Fri, Feb 24, 2012

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    seems today is somewhat of a mini-essay day



    SOMETHING NEW PERHAPS MAYBE:
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
    The softcover edition of 'BEING A DIRECTOR: Life In The Theatre' by Di Trevis
    The book, Being A Director: Life In the Theatre by Di Trevis (London & New York: Routledge, 2011).

    It's time to start in motion the final preparations for a slight paradigm shift in my theatre life.

    Obviously, the idea from the very beginning of this particular sojourn, back in late 2003, was to do some directing. It was all about directing for the camera in those days. It was all about acting for the camera for that matter.

    Of course, in the intervening eight-plus years since that October 2003 awakening I have done some directing for the camera; I would not say I am far advanced from still much more than a novice. I would not be so self-abusive as to say what I've done thus fas has been horrible, but none has reached any sort of brilliance, either -- at least not in terms of the director's work.

    My degree in Communication does have a bit of focus on directing for the camera, though that has mostly been closer to the realm of documentary style directing, which really a big portion of my cannon of work falls in line with. The podcast and the previous DV promos I did for The Guild are essentially documentary in approach and execution, sometimes perhaps like video news magazine productions.

    In terms of narrative movies, I've only directed one script: The Chorus for Candice. Be Or Not is, though not wholly free-forum improvisation, not setting on a screenplay. With Chorus I did do some adjustment to the actors' performances, but not really a lot. We had a read through before the shoot and each actor and I discussed what we thought was going on with his or her character and I may have pulled some of them away from their visions some, but I don't remember doing very much of that

    I do remember a couple specific adjustments I made during the shoot and certainly I gave some direction right before each part of the shoot, but I would not say I did any sort of "intense work" with any of the actors in that movie. For Be Or Not, which is of course an out-take from the longer, as of yet untitled, improv movie, most of my direction for the actors was done in pre-production when I sent them basic backstory, bio and intention info for their characters as well as the scene set-up write-ups. I don't believe I made a single adjustment to performance during the shoot that became Be Or Not.

    I did make a couple performance adjustments in some other shoots for the improv movie, but overall, I was less inclined to because of the highly improvisational and collaborative nature of the project. There were some basic underscores to the characters and the universe they inhabit, which I conceived and gave to the actors to prep for the shoots, but there was still a predominant On-The-Fly approach to it all, though setting on top of the foundation I had laid.

    Only in very rare instances have I directed talent at all when making a DTG podcast movie. There have been a few times I have had the actors perform a moment from the play directly to the camera, and in some of those instances I had them bring the level down; mostly all the direction will be in these cases is to alter the blocking for the screen.

    But usually what I do is candidly shoot the rehearsals in a documentary film maker fashion. Directing the podcasts is really a documentary process. Even when I shoot the commentaries by the actors (and sometimes directors), I may feed them questions or ideas, but my voice is not part of the edit; it's a director guiding the commentary process.

    All this thus far has been about directing for the camera. What of directing for the stage? Yes, well, on that Saturday evening in October of 2003, that night of gnawing internal anguish, of standing outside myself and looking into that man there, of surrendering to my escalating need to return to theatre arts, on that night, directing for the stage was not on my radar at all. For that matter, any subsequent "acting" for the stage would simply be a means to an end, as far as I was concerned.

    I am not completely sure how long after I had been absorbed into local theatre that any aspiration to direct for the stage began to germinate. I'd guess at least a year, maybe two or more. I do know that at some point people were beginning to ask me when I was going to start directing and my response for a very long time was:

    "In time. I am not ready yet. There's a lot to know just to begin and I don't know it, yet."

    It's gratifying to have at least a few people tell me they think I'll be good at it. I would not be so silly as to believe that such is everyone's opinion. The truth is I have a bit of trepidation about directing plays. Far more than movies, even a big, ambitious full-length with a real crew and some kind of real budget. It just seems to me that directing for the theatre requires the director to know way more than films (movies) does. As a film director, what one needs is the ability to clearly communicate your vision; all the myriad of technical intelligence that is needed can be in the minds of those on the very large team: director of photography, art department, wardrobe, sound engineer, etc., etc., etc.

    And the handling of the talent is a much different animal between stage and screen, just as much as the style and approach to acting is. In an over-simplified nutshell, it seems to me that a movie director's biggest job is to help actors remember where they are emotionally on the story arch, since the movies is 99% likely to be shot way out of chronological plot order. The other job is to make sure they look as needed on camera. For a stage director it's nourishing and collaborating with the actors in their understanding of their character. Both, of course, need a director with a vision for the work, an idea of how he or she wants to tell the story; and any director needs to be a good traffic director and an excellent communicator.

    But it just seems to me that there is a much stronger need for stage directors to have an intrinsic understanding of the stage and how to make the performance a conversation with the audience, in a way that is not present in film making.

    Or maybe it's that I have a sort of intrinsic knowledge about directing for the camera and not for the stage, so I am acutely sensitive of what I need to develop for the stage.

    Actually, as this just occurs to me, I think perhaps that is the gist of it.

    Whatever the case is, now a few months into my eighth year back into the art of acting I have decided it's time to ready myself to direct plays. What's the time frame? Oh, beats me. I'm not, for instance, throwing my hat into the ring to direct at The Guild in this forthcoming 2012/13 season. I wouldn't suppose I'd be voted into a spot even if I did. A complete novice just doesn't get a director's seat at DTG.

    Tentatively, I've discussed being an assistant director for a show. Of course, I need to read the season, first to see what I'd like to audition for, and then to see what shows interest me otherwise. This may come as a shock to you, but, were I on the DTG play reading committee, there are few plays we've done the last few years that I would not have voted for and am still not enthused that we did: all hail diversity of taste and thought.

    My movement this direction has been a little while coming. Quite a while back I found myself questioning decisions directors made. Why did the director put an actor in such an awkward place on stage to deliver the character's most important monologue? I've actually asked that question more than once and in more than one venue. I also sometimes wonder if it's just an actor who has missed the potential of a moment in a scene or if the director was as blind to it as well. On some occasions I've been in the play and watched the director miss the opportunity along with the actor, or, in some really unfortunate situations, contrary to the actor who clearly saw what should be, the director over-ruled the obvious good choice of the actor. I have been that actor who was over-ruled, but I have seen it done to others as well. I do not believe these instances were questions of a matter of opinion; I believe they were instances of a director blowing it, and in one specific case, pretty much dishonoring the obvious intent of the playwright.

    Of course, the "put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is" aspect says that once I am to sit in the directors seat, now I am to be charged to not miss the obvious moments myself. The simplest solutions to that are to really study the texts and to attend to the instincts of the actors I am working with. I will at least owe it to all of myself, the actor and the production as a whole to listen to what they have to say about it. For a director to not believe others may have a valuable insight that she or he has missed is the mark of a foolish director who ought not be directing.

    Here's the deal: if I'm going to piss and moan about the directing others have done, well first of all, it means I am at least flattering myself that I am thinking like a director -- though I am pretty sure it means that I am. And perhaps it's time to step up to the plate. It might not be a bad idea, while I'm standing there, to remember the things I was pissing and moaning about concerning others' work, too.

    It's probably wise to mention here I also notice many, many things that have impressed the hell out of me: The Better Lessons To Learn. I have watched some directors move a scene from blah to interesting, even dramatically tense by working with the actors in terms of exact motivation in the moment, or by adjusting the nuances of how the actor's character reacts. I've seen pictures painted on stage by directors that are like an illustration of what's happening in that moment, much in their movement and placement of the characters -- in all of when, where and how.

    I certainly have seen collaborative directors who know how to partner with their actors -- and designers -- to better fulfill their own vision and make it more than they originally conceived. And I have seen some strong communicators who are able to get their idea and needs across without unnecessary arrogance and disrespect.

    Along with instinctual notions that occur to me, as I have been watching from the audience and the rehearsal period there are many things that have impressed me and many that have not. And, I have been attending with such acute interest because, it's getting close to time.

    So, along with my "discussions" about AD'ing a show or two, I also borrowed the book, shown above, Being a Director by Di Trevis from the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library. No, Virginia, I don't think reading one book on directing for the stage is going to make me a good theatre director, but it is part of that: "Starting in motion the final preparations for a slight paradigm shift in my theatre life."


    "REALLY GOOD READ, BUT, 'NO.'":
    AUDITION ICON

    Yesterday I went to the PC-Goenner office and did an audition for a commercial that will run in the Indianapolis market. If cast I will be a doctor for a local Indy hospital system. The screentest was another case of driving for almost an hour for just a few minutes in front of the camera.

    Hey, at least I got called. Whenever there's some period of time between the calls for professional audition I always am convinced the agency has finally blown me off. I am booked, well, almost Never!
    It'd be nice to stick the results of one of these damn audition calls next to an icon like this: PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    I'm serious. For the longest time (too long) my claim to fame is two days on the set of The Ides of March as the stand-in for Michael Mantell. Granted, that was a very cool experience, but it is quite disheartening to go to an audition and go to an audition and go to an audition, and be told that I read well, that I give a good audition, but still: no bookings except for the rare exception noted here.

    Yes, it was a good to be on a real, big-time movie set. It was great to watch George Clooney both act and direct. It was exciting to have minor brushes with Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, and the amazing Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's nice to be able to legitimately name-drop -- ignoring the fact that these brushes were so slight that it's not likely at all any of these men would remember me more than perhaps very vaguely, at best, including Clooney, who on occasion did pay real attention to me, but only because I was part of the composition of a shot.

    It was also cool to have a couple nice conversations with Michael Mantell. He may not be the "big star" these other gentlemen are, but since those two days on set I have realized I've seen a lot of his work and the guy is a talented character actor. For instance, if you ever catch the How I met You Mother rerun of the episode, "Something Borrowed," about the day Marshall and Lily get married, Michael has a hilarious scene as Uncle Ben, who has a bad toupée. Plus, although he isn't listed in IMDB or credited in the closing role, he's in the pilot episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. He's in the war-room scene when the network execs gather to discuss what to do about Wes's outburst. He's the one who gives Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber) the update on the latest developments. And he has another line a few minutes into the scene. Spot him a lot of points for that!

    But I digress.

    My point here being that as cool of an experience as that Ides of March booking was, I was not acting. Sure I played a part: I helped make the day possible with my own very small contribution. But the actor did not get to act. It was a "show-biz" gig but it was not an "acting" gig.

    I just bought The Ides of March at iTunes but haven't watched it yet. If you have seen it, know that I did a screentest for the hotel janitor in the hotel room crisis scene. I was psyched because I knew that scene is pivotal and it was not going to hit the cutting room floor. I was greatly disappointed when I learned I did not get it.

    And I both felt that I did a good performance for the screentest and I was told I did a good audition.

    That is some sort of recurring theme: I give a good audition, sometimes maybe even a great one, but I am not cast. There is something about my look, or my presence, or my energy that turns these commercial and film casting people off. Perhaps it's that movement thing of which I myself am so self-critical.

    Whatever it is, it is discouraging. It should be solace that this is not at all an uncommon place for any actor, or at least more than just a few actors, to be. It's not.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Next Wednesday my character, the medical expert witness, has several depositions with several teams of law students. There is so much to know. My weekend is much about getting as solid as I can on it all.

    So is my Monday evening after the acting class. So, too, my Tuesday evening and my Wednesday morning.

    It's like I'm back in college and cramming for a mid-term or a final.


    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    It seems I will not be doing the whole David Mamet Oleanna scene in the final session of the class with Kay Bosse. My scene mate has not been at the last couple classes and there is no word on what's going on. I told Kay I would just do the truncated monologue from the start of Scene 2, which I would have done anyway. That is something else I need to have wholly committed to memory as well, and it probably ought to be the whole scene in case my scene mate is there. So some of my weekend is about that work, too.

    Last Monday I stood in for a missing member of another scene team doing a few pages from Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies. Fortunately I was not expected to be off-book.

    Hmm. Last session. Seems like we just started only a week or so ago.



    Sun, Feb 26, 2012

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    CLOSING TODAY
    WITTENBERG by David Davalos, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Martin Luther            Charles Larkowski

    John Faustus            David Shough

    Hamlet            Jared Mola

    The Eternal Feminine            Lynn Kesson

    The Podcast for Wittenberg


    Thu, Mar 1, 2012

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    Davy Jones
    Davy Jones -- 1945-2012

    It would be easy to say that Davy Jones's career existed simply because The Beatles scoffed at the notion of doing a half-hour sitcom in Hollywood, as pitched to them not long after the release of the movie Help. Hollywood's response to that rejection was to develop another TV show, loosely based on Help, featuring the fictional band, The Monkees, the original "Pre-Fab Four" long before Eric Idle's The Rutles were ever heard of.

    I believe Davy was destined to be a pop star with or without The Monkees. Many know the great trivia bit that he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show as a cast member of the then-current Broadway production of Oliver! on the same February 1964 night The Beatles made their first appearance. He, and his cast mates, were barely noticed by America.

    But Davy Jones had star quality. If not cast in The Monkees he was going to be cast in other TV shows and movies. And there was a "Daydream Believer" in his future even if it was another title.

    He had cute; he had charisma; he had an easy-going voice; he had talent.

    Rest in peace Davy. We are sorry you left so soon.




    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Class closed out this past Monday. Unfortunately I did have to do David Mamet's Oleanna on my own. My scene mate, I believe, was intimidated by the scene or the class or something. I did the Plan B where I cobbled together a few of the short monologues by John at the start of Scene 2.

    The performance was okay, I suppose. It was not verbatim.

    It was a bit gratifying at the end of the scene to have Kay Bosse say, "You have got to do this play."

    My response was, of course, along of the lines of: I know. Tell that to the director who just passed me over for someone else.

    There's a very high likelihood the class will be offered again starting in a few weeks. I have an interest but am not sure I can schedule it in and make all the sessions. With only six, missing one is pretty critical.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    The mock depositions were yesterday for the U.D. Law mock trial series. As I was in the midst of last-stretch study yesterday morning I posted on facebook how I felt like I was prepping for the Medical Bar; I found out later that the proper term is "Medical Boards."

    Faux paux or not, I felt wholly unprepared as I sat in those mock depositions with those law students. And I felt like I fizzled on at least one point in all of the five sessions. Sometimes it was because the opposing counsel student would go down a path that was not part of what i had prepared. I think for the most part these were legitimate questions for a lawyer to ask, but they were outside of the material I was given.

    Some of them took me down paths of hypotheticals and I'm willing to bet some if that would be sustainable objections in court. Others were about other actions that it might have been reasonable to take, and not actually being an expert in emergency medicine I had absolutely no idea what to say. I winged it and I think mostly pretty badly.

    And it ain't over. In four weeks is trial prep and then the mock trial sessions. surprise icon


    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    QLab icon - http://figure53.com/qlab/

    I have no immediate gig -- non-paying or otherwise -- to design sound for anyone. Though Stephen Temperley's Souvenir is transplanting to Brookville Community Theatre this coming summer with the same cast and I think much of the same crew as the original DTG area premier of the play. Saul Caplan is directing again and has requested the sound design that I did for the Guild production.

    Don't think I will be running it, but I am going to program the design into the computer for this production. Depending on what sort of computer the Brookville production will have access to (I.E. Microsoft or Apple) they will get either an SCS version or a QLab version.

    I am however, going to first make the QLab version regardless of the need this summer, simply because I have not really played in that software and programming a real design into it is good way to get acquainted.


    'BE OR NOT' icon

    Yes, yes, I have qualms about the production values of this little movie. I have many qualms about the production values.

    But it has elicited much good comment, mostly regarding the excellent work of Ms. Randall and Mr. Roberts.

    There's a good, funny story there and really fine performances. I need to be looking at more film festivals.

    And, there's the whole full-length it's extracted from...


    PRODUCER'S HAT AGAIN:
    DTG Producer icon
    *another new icon makes an appearance    
    THE STORY OF MY LIFE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Music and lyrics by Neil Bartram. Book by Brian Hill

    It's getting time to start pre-production for The Story of My Life, which I agreed to be the producer for.

    Actually, the director, Debra Kent, has already started pre-production and much of what she's done is really producer's work, but, hey:

    Less for me to have to do!            cool smile icon

    I have been requested to do some sound design; as this is a musical there will not be a lot of that to do. Whether I do or not I haven't decided yet. And I really don't know if I'm running it.

    Also have been asked to record the accompaniment which I am likely to do.

    As of the day of this posting, if you note down below, either just below here, and/or, after the close of Going to St. Ives, in the Coming Attractions for DTG closer to the bottom of the page, the auditions for this will be April 9 & 10. Also as of the posting of this entry, specs for audition are soon to come.


    MOVIE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR'S HAT:
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    Next week I will begin shooting footage for the official DTG podcast for this.

    It's all going to candid rehearsal stuff and B-roll.

    Though, since Mr. Blessing has granted clearance to use dialogue from the play in the podcast, this candid footage may not all be destined for B-Roll only.

    Want to get with the sound designer, Bob Mills, to see what sort of music he is shooting for as production icing. I'd like to match the podcast underscore music if I can.

    I have half thought about composing and recording an African-style instrumental along the lines of the music for the old TV series Daktari, if in style perhaps a little more than tempo and attack.


    MID APRIL IS GETTING CLOSER:
    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

    "The Business of 'Day Job'" is also part of this. I believe I have all the W-2's and 1099's from my 2011 earnings. Now it's time to, as I had stated in the Jan 12 blog post, catch up on documenting actor and volunteer miles driven and complete the records for income, expenses and donations.

    I.E.: I have to get my 2011 records in order so I can fire up TurboTax and do my returns.

    I'd also stated on Jan 12 how it might have been a good idea "to have diligently recorded all these elements as they occurred and placed all documentation in a safe place" and how "I ought to....get back into the intelligent habits of" keeping up with things as they occur.

    Guess what? Really hasn't happened, yet.

    Fortunately I have a bit of free time here in the immediate future to prep for the 2011 tax work and get the 2012 records up to date.

    So let's see....



    Tue, Mar 6, 2012

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    CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.
    THIS IS LONG OVERDUE

    The show closed November 20, more than three months ago. I've been meaning to post this pretty much since the show closed, but have been remiss.

    I've since seen one cast mate in another show: Taprena Augustine as Shug in the touring company performance of The Color Purple at The Kuss Auditorium. I've designed sound for another cast mate: Saul Caplan as director of Wittenberg at The Dayton Theatre Guild. And I just finished another acting class at The Human Race Theatre Company under the tutelage of my Caroline cast wife, Kay Bosse. I hope to see Bruce Sabath as Joe Josephson in Merrily We Roll Along, which I believed opened this weekend at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

    But, for what it's worth, here's the Caroline, Or Change cast and crew with links to their websites or at least to some web page with info on most of those who don't have their own site, any websites or links of which I am aware of, anyway.

    Cast             

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Caroline Thibodeaux            Tanesha Gary
    www.imdb.com/name/nm0308907/bio

    Noah Gellman            Brendan Plate

    Rose Stopnick Gellman            Adrienne Gibbons
    broadwayworld.com/people/Adrienne_Gibbons

    Stuart Gellman            Bruce Sabath
    www.brucesabath.com

    The Washing Machine           
    Brittany Campbell
    www.facebook.com/brittanycampbellnow
               click for Brittany's EP NERD:
    xxxx
    The Radio            Ashanti J'aria
    broadwayworld.com/people/Ashanti-J%27Aria/

    Kimberly Shay Hamby
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/315838

    Shawn Storms
    www.shawnstorms.com

    Dotty Moffett            Taprena Augustine
    taprena.com

    The Dryer & The Bus            Dwelvan David
    www.dwelvandavid.com

    The Moon            Tonya Thompson
    broadwayworld.com/people/gallery-person/Tonya-Thompson

    Grandma Gellman            Kay Bosse
    www.daytonys.org/index.php/hall-of-fame/51-kay-bosse

    Grandpa Gellman            K.L.Storer
    www.imdb.com/name/nm3162667/#Actor    *Hey, it's another link besides this blog

    Mr. Stopnick            Saul Caplan
    www.imdb.com/name/nm0135236

    Emmie Thibodeaux            Yvette Williams
    Where's that web site Young Lady!?

    Jackie Thibodeaux            Malachi-Phree J. Pate

    Joe Thibodeaux            J. Miguel Conrado Rojas



                

    Production Staff             

    JOB TITLE
               PERSON
    Director            Scott Stoney
    www.daytonys.org/index.php/hall-of-fame/33-scott-stoney

    Producer            Kevin Moore
    www.daytonys.org/index.php/hall-of-fame/26-kevin-moore

    Music Director            Scot Woolley
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/309365

    Assistant Music Director/Pianist            Sean Michael Flowers
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/374565

    Choreographer            Teressa Wylie
    wright.edu/tdmp/dance/mcwilliams

    Stage Manager            Heather Jackson
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/374495

    Production Assistants            Kristin A. Sutter

    Joey Monda

    Scenic Designer            Dan Gray
    theatre.osu.edu/dgray.html

    Lighting Designer            John Rensel
    www.daytonys.org/index.php/hall-of-fame/104-john-rensel

    Costume Designer            Kristine Kearney
    theatre.osu.edu/kkearney.html

    Sound Designer            Nathan D. Dean
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/374504

    Properties Master            Heather Powell
    www.abouttheartists.com/artists/374524

    That "Postmortem of Sorts" I Intended to Write Back in Late November

    So, on Nov 26, the weekend after the closing of Caroline..., I wrote, "I still have a postmortem of sorts to write and post. Perhaps it will be written later today and posted tomorrow. Perhaps."

    Hmmm, apparently perhaps not.

    This three-months-later aspect may not be a disadvantage to a look back on my first experience at The Race, my first Equity show and my initiation into the Equity Membership Candidate Program.

    I may have written this previously, but just as my first theatrical production as an adult -- The Cripple of Inishmaan -- was a magic experience that I hold close to my heart, so too was this first adventure onto the professional Equity stage.

    Again, at the risk of repeating myself, as I sat in the rehearsal room that first Monday evening n October for the first sing though of the show, and I hard the voices of that incredibly talented cast I'd been thrown into the midst of, my only coherent thought was:

    Well. I can "sing," these people, however, can SING!

    I remember posting something along those lines on facebook, that night or the next morning and then Saul chimed in with, "Scary, ain't it? Welcome to the Big Show."

    Maybe not everybody, but pretty close to everybody in that room outclassed me as a vocalist, or were at least as good. Mostly, though, they outclassed me, some by a very large margin. I probably cab put myself up against any of them as an actor, but as a singer, I was: good enough to be there but nothing special whatsoever.

    It was such a pleasure and honor to be in a production with all these gifted performers and such a crack production team. Scott was one of the better directors I've worked with: very good at communicating his needs and visions, and a good vision of how to stage the show, too. Heather Jackson is a great stage manager: never overbearing but always in charge. Scot Woolley really brought the best out of "we" singers and was quite patient with those of us with a little less formal musical training. And all these people had good people working under them: the PA's, the orchestra, the other production people. The designs were good. And here's a big kudos to choreographer Teressa Wylie for her own amazing level of patience with my two left feet; I certainly didn't showcase myself in that Chanukah party dance, but man it could have been so much worse than it was.

    As others in the cast have said, especially a couple of the Equity actors who have been on a lot of Equity stages, the lack of diva's and megalomanic behavior was impressive, too. One local actor also commented on how much more cohesive the bond between the visiting Equity actors and local EMC and jobbers was. Often, as this person pointed out, the pros who come in have an air about them that says, We're the professionals; you're not.

    I understand that sometimes it can be more than an air, it can be a pretty acute aggression.

    Perhaps it was because this was my first venture onto an Equity stage, but it was a magical experience for me and I could have done this show with this cast and crew for months. I would have been very okay with that. Even given that first-time-sparkle, however, it was great material and great cast and crew and a truly rewarding experience.

    I feel, I believe, that I held my own, and I got a lot of feedback that agrees with that. I am also privy to some opinions of my work here that are not at all complementary: oh well.

    It was gratifying to not have to get up-to-speed on having a professional attitude or behavior. It was nice to come in and be right there with the folk who do this as their major income.

    Just for the record, I missed call once, I was much later than should be, because I screwed up and got the call time wrong for the first morning performance. I will point out that I was usually at least (AT LEAST) thirty minutes ahead of call. And I otherwise had a professional approach to learning my words, my musical notes, my...dance steps (!!!!) and listening and taking direction. And I was always in place for my entrance cues, with the exception of a couple blunders, one in early rehearsal when I misjudged the time I had to wait; then once later during the cue-to-cue when a section just zipped up and I was caught unawares.

    I had a few blunders during actual performance, too. I was a tad out-of-synch at least one time during the bit in Act II when Kay and I were the clock's taunting Noah. And in one performance, I switched state names. I was supposed to sing "Mississippi" first, then in the next line, "Alabama." I started to say "Alabama" first, then heard Kay (Grandma Gellman) saying the correct "Mississippi." I ended up noting the great state of "Ala-sippi."

    One thing that really surprised me. I felt some nerves before each show, but really not a lot. I was ready to experience some heavy-duty jitters, some panic. I was wholly comfortable. Perhaps the cast and crew created such a warm and supportive environment that it engendered a strong confidence in me.

    I do know that I felt most at home on that stage. I am more than ready to do it again.


    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    Pre-production for the Going to St. Ives podcast officially began yesterday morning with an email to cast and crew outlining what I want to do.

    The shoot starts tonight. Thursday I plan to do a three camera shoot for a group interview segment, the same way I shot such for Heroes in January.

    I'm fairly sure, along with shooting this week I will at least shoot the tech/dress next Monday, and maybe Tuesday; though I'd prefer to be editing Tuesday evening. And sometime between late this week and early next week I want to shoot a brief moment from the play as performed for the camera -- I.E. not just me capturing dress/tech performance. It needs to be a moment with punch that can be used at the top of the podcast video.

    I hope by Thursday to have read the play, so between myself, the production team, and the cast we can come to consensus on what that moment should be. The moment needs to both smack the viewer and not be a spoiler.


    In The Gym
    It's back on today

    That is all




    OH, AND ONE MORE THING:

    "I Voted Today" graphic with facebook comment -- "Living in rural SW Ohio I was not at all shocked that though there were several people in line in front of me at the polls, I was still 'D1,' as in the first Democrat to vote in my precinct."



    Wed, Mar 7, 2012

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    BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION:
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    As it turns out I did not shoot footage of rehearsal for the podcast last night. There was a last-minute cancellation of the rehearsal.

    Unfortunately I did not get word in time so I drove into Dayton. At a few minutes before the rehearsal should have started, since I was still in the TheatreScape all alone, I called Director Greg Smith and found out about the cancellation.

    Forty miles that I could have not driven.

    So oh well.

    As far as I know it is on for tonight. My plan is to shoot what will most likely be earmarked as B-roll since I am using my Cybershot to shoot the video. The quality will be a bit lower than what I'll get with the DV camcorder; the audio will be a bit compromised, too.

    The interview/commentary session is scheduled for tomorrow night. I have access to three cameras for that shoot. So I have 99% locked that down with the cast and director.

    Not sure what the rest of the rehearsal schedule is but, as I said before, I really want shooting wrapped after the Monday dress and to be editing Tuesday after work.

    Well, actually I hope: "Tuesday after the gym."


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    The medical malpractice mock trial series I am gigging isn't done yet, but I don't have anything until March 28. That is Trial Prep with the students on the defense team.

    I am a few weeks away, and unfortunately, right in the middle of my move into a new place. I do need to both keep fresh the material I have learned and perhaps get a bit more placed in my head, in the meantime.

    The actual mock trials are March 31. April 1, and April 14.


    STILL ON
    In The Gym



    Thu, Mar 8, 2012

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    PODCAST SHOOTING BEGAN LAST NIGHT:
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    Did shoot last night as planned and with the Cybershot rather than with a mini-cassette DV camcorder.

    I didn't bother to control the audio environment last night, since I will use the footage as images without sound during the close of the podcast with the credits. By "controling" I mean that I didn't bither to kill the HVAC blowers, which most definitely are picked up by mics when they are on.

    I have picked the moment I want to have the actors play for the camera. I see a lot of other moments I want to get footage of, all pretty much from Act I. Of course, Director Greg Smith and I have discussed the sort of things that must not make it into the podcast at all, certainly 90-99% of Act II, but also some key moments from the first act as well.

    Tonight I shoot the interview/commentary session with the actors and Greg. I will have three cameras, however, one is a different model than the other two, which causes me concern about color-synch. Maybe even some worry about audio synch, since I am most likely to grab the best audio track from one of the three camera's footage and impose it on the other two before editing the cuts.

    They are rehearsing Act II tonight after our little interview session, so I may not stay for the whole thing. But I still should probably shoot a little b-roll. and I might get a nice -- SAFE -- sound byte of text from the rehearsal. Though I really want to focus on tech/dress rehearsals for the script text used in the DV movie.

    I do plan to be there Sunday for the Tech rehearsal, for B-roll if nothing else. That may be when I have the ladies play the moment for the camera, which will mean different shot set-ups, etc.

    I still am shooting for Tuesday and Wednesday evening as my slots to edit the movie to final cut. Looks like I will be doing it at the theatre, rather than at home. Sound designer Bob Mills can't be there those nights so the sound tech for the second weekend will need to run sound for those two tech/dress rehearsals. Bob asked me to be around in case there's a problem that needs addressed. I can edit there as well as at home, so, no problem.

    (some frame stills from last night's shoot of the rehearsal)
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx



    In The Gym
    AND STILL ON

    Must say that after yesterday's workout I do have a muscle ache in my upper back that caused me to get a very crappy night's sleep last night. So much so that I didn't make it into the office until almost 11:00 this morning: trying to catch some of that missed sleep.

    I Shall Be In The Gym After Work Today, However.


    "About 30 Dolphins stranded and saved by local people at Arraial do Cabo (Brazil) in the morning at 8:00 AM on March 5th 2012."

    With all the nonsense we are subjected to all the time that shows how horrible humanity can be, it's good to see the contrary, that which shows we still can be decent and loving and have true spiritual value.

    Also see the article, "30 Dolphins Rescued by Brazilian Beach Goers," By Kyle DeNuccio.



    Fri, Mar 9, 2012

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    PODCAST INTERVIEW SHOOT LAST NIGHT:
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    Shot the interview/commentary portion last night. As the frame stills below show, there is a bit of color temperature difference between the cameras, but I hope, with some confidence, that I can fix the difference with brightness & contrast control. I think that will do the trick. We'll see.

    I shoot more tonight, Sunday and Monday. I renewed my check-out of the camera I have determined is giving me the optimal color temperature for these shoots.

    Last night I discussed with the cast the moment I want to direct for the camera and they are in agreement it's a good moment, as is Director Greg Smith. We will do that Sunday.

    Tomorrow I plan to do quite a bit of editing on elements I have. I'll create the opening splash, that for which I have created some graphics already. I will also process both audio and images for the three camera angles of the interview so I can get it all matched up for cross-cut editing. And I hope to edit the interview session tomorrow.

    Now, I will be inserting rehearsal footage with dialogue into the interview section, most of which will not have been shot yet -- though some may be tonight. And I will be able to impose b-roll, sans audio, over it, but I will likely wait until Tuesday to do that, so I have all the choices at my disposal. I may, however, edit the closing credits sequence tomorrow. In fact it's likely I will.

    Also, I still need to find the underscore music. And I am pleased to say that the stage production music I am matching is exactly the feel and style I had originally envisioned. And there's actually music I recorded back in the 80's that can work. I will look first at royalty free music to see if I find something that fits better, however.

    (frame stills from the interview/commentary & the rehearsal last night)
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Katrina Kittle (Cora), Greg Smith (director), & Catherine Collins (Mae) during the interview shoot
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Greg & Stage Manager Angela Riley
    xxxx
    Assistant Director Ellen Finch
    xxxx
    Greg & Angela



    YEP, STILL ON
    In The Gym

    Yesterday, AND YES I DID GO, was cardio-vascular (elliptical machine). Today I am still sore from the resistance work on Wednesday. A voice in my head is whispering to skip today. I believe I shall ignore it.

    The routine used to be six days a week. That was pre-return-to-acting/theatre-world. Six days a week is rarely, if ever, posible with the dynamic schedule I have. So the process now will be to have a document on my phone with the rotation cycle of focused workouts (muscle groups, etc), and I will record what is done and move to the next. Even if I only hit the gym twice in a week -- with a concerted effort to never let it be less than that except when absolutely necessary -- I will know what's next. To be honest, I hope to make it at least four days a week, and I will do six whenever I can, even if infrequently.

    Um....That is the plan, at least....



    Mon, Mar 12, 2012

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    PODCAST GREMLIN:
    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    I'll be back as soon as I can to tell the story (stories) of the gremlin's latest escapades.



    Wed, Mar 14, 2012

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    THAT (THOSE) PODCAST GREMLIN ESCAPADE(S):
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing
    xxxx
    Setting up one of Fred Boomer's cameras on Sunday

    Yes, the gremlin has been back to make more mischief. I had shot a little bit of footage last Friday night then the DV camcorder took an unfortunate fall a few feet to the floor; after that it malfunctioned. There seems to be some sort of aperture problem or damage. It appears only a very small amount of light is getting in.

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    This last Monday morning I dropped that camera off on campus and now I'm waiting for word on whether I will be billed for repair and for how much.

    As for the rest of the shoot over the weekend and Monday evening:
    Fred Boomer To The Rescue!

    Distressed as I was that someone else's property had been damaged while in my care, the bigger concern was shooting on Sunday, with a little bit of concern about shooting Monday evening, too. If I was going to bring back a camera to the campus facility, one that had been damaged on my watch, I felt a little awkward about the idea of borrowing another one at that point.

    Perhaps only in a mild panic, yet in a panic nonetheless, I called Fred, whom some will recognize as the director of photography for the improv movie project. I called him just as soon as I realized I needed a way to shoot on Sunday. Fred not only agreed to loan me one of his DV cameras, he offered both, just in case I needed a back-up. As it turns out, I did. See below for GREMLIN mischief number two.

    The plan for last Saturday was to do what editing I could, such as the opening logo splash and perhaps part or all of the closing credits. That did not happen; other things got in my way. But I was able to drive to DTG and pick up the cameras and one tripod Fred was also generous enough to throw into the mix.

    *) TECH SUNDAY: The Sunday rehearsal day at the start of the final week of rehearsals for a play, all of which will be tech rehearsals (I.E. all the technical aspects of lights, sound, special effects and all set changes and costume changes will be done during "Tech Week" rehearsals). Tech Sunday will be one or more rehearsals where all the technical elements are first incorporated into the rehearsal performances. "Tech Sunday" is traditional for many community theatres, professional theatres may have this initial tech day earlier, often the Friday before that last weekend of rehearsals.

    **) CUE TO CUE: The first, sometimes second, tech rehearsal -- usually on Tech Sunday -- to incorporate the technical elements mentioned above. The only parts of the play run during a cue to cue are those moments that cue into a light change, a sound, or a special effect. Any set change or costume change that may be challenging or needs special care will may be dealt with during a cue to cue, as well.

    I wouldn't label this a GREMLIN escapade, but though I did shoot on Sunday, what was supposed to have been Tech Sunday*, I did not shoot what or as much as I had planned. There was no cue to cue**. It wasn't the Tech Sunday that had been planned, due to unavoidable situations for some participants. So my plan to shoot b-roll of tech work didn't pan out. There is also a few moments from Scene 1 that I wanted to direct for the camera with multiple camera shot set-ups. I wanted the stage lighting for that, and that was not possible on Sunday, so I nixed that until Monday eve.

    Before and after the Sunday rehearsal I was able to get started on the editing process. After I arrived on site Sunday, for instance, I edited together the opening logo splash while I waited for the day to begin.

    One thing I did remember from the improv movie shoots was that one of Fred's cameras has a minute but present audio hum and the other is audio clean. I knew that for any footage where I wanted the audio I needed to be sure I used the one better suited. That would be his camera 2. So I shot with 2. And when I left Sunday, that was the only one I took home, with the plan to dump the footage off the cassette into the Final Cut project.

    Enter GREMLIN mischief number two. The camera would not send to the computer, least not through the FireWire cable. I did still have the damaged DV camera, which would still play back, so I was able to use that to get the footage transferred.

    GREMLIN mischief number three: aspect ratio problems. Starting with the podcast about the 2010/2011 season, all the Guild DV movies have been in what is called wide screen. It is a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, in other words the image is just shy of twice as long as it is tall. It's the new standard aspect ratio for TV screens and for TV programs. The old aspect ration is 4:3, known as full screen; the image is about 33% longer than it is tall. Be Or Not and The Chorus for Candice are both full screen (4:3), as are most of the photographs I post here.

    The Monday night dress rehearsal footage I shot was 4:3 despite that I had set the camera to 16:9. That switch to 16:9, however, was made the day before and I suspect that when I removed the battery Sunday night, it defaulted back to 4:3, which I believe is the native AR for Fred's cameras. So, in the final cut the footage from the dress rehearsals, including that which I had Katrina and Catherine specifically act for the camera, is 4:3 framed into the 16:9 screen. It actually, in a way, works, though it's just me making lemonade instead of the intended apple juice.

    first row: the traditional "full screen"; 4:3 aspect ratio
    xxxx
    Katrina Kittle (Cora) & Catherine Collins (Mae)
    xxxx
    Director Greg Smith watches rehearsal
    xxxx
    Katrina & Catherine
    second row: "wide screen" 16:9 aspect ratio
    xxxx
    Stage Manager Angela Riley
    xxxx
    Greg & Catherine
    xxxx
    Katrina, Catherine, Angela, Assistant Director Ellen Finch, & Greg

    As I indicated above, I did get some editing in before the shoot on Sunday, then a little bit Sunday evening at home. I also worked some at lunch on Monday and before the final shoot Monday evening. Tuesday at lunch, again, some more, then a really good session last night. I'd say I am in the final stretch, about 80+% to the finish line. I expect the podcast should be up at YouTube and at facebook tomorrow, and up on the DTG site by Friday.


    ROAD TRIP AN HOUR SOUTH FOR BRUCE AND MALCOLM:
    In the audience icon

    This Sunday I'll see the matinee performance of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, with Bruce Sabath (Stuart Gellman in Caroline, Or Change at The Human Race Theatre Company), playing Joe Josephson.

    Another aspect of this production is that Malcolm Gets stars. For the five of you who really follow this blog, who have read early entries that deal with October, 2003, or those who suffered through my essay "The Knowing In Me: the artist becomes himself," you will know that Mr. Gets played an unknowing role in my return to the theatre arts.

    I met and briefly spoke with him on my campus, Wright State University, where he was just finishing up a short residency with the Musical Theatre Department. I spoke with him for only a few minutes, and like to believe I did not at all take him hostage -- but most probably did, at least a little. I did get to compliment him for his work as Richard on the TV show, Caroline in the City, where I found his to be the best of the work. And I attended a small concert he did that following weekend, to cap his stay. That concert was the pivotal moment that forced me to FINALLY return to acting, as the early blog entries and most especially the essay demonstrate.

    Don't know if I'll get the opportunity to meet him again and share this with him this weekend. It would be cool to be able to let him know his unintended role in my life as it is today. We'll see, but I'm guessing there's only a little better chance than I had of meeting William Petersen when I saw Blackbird in Chicago in 2009; and I had a pretty slim chance for that, which did not pan out.

    Not in the audience icon

    As for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, I am sorry to say I did not get down to that same theatre to see Bruce Cromer in Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell.

    It's a great script, one that we did at The Guild a few years back, and it would have been a treat, I know, to see Bruce take on the challenges of the play.


    ANOTHER HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS & AN HRTC SPONSORED PLAYWRIGHT CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Another installment of the acting class with Kay Bosse is scheduled to start Monday, and I am still undecided about enrolling, though I am leaning in favor of it.

    Later in April there is a playwright class starting with playwright and publisher Michael M. London, who owns London House Publishing.

    However, I can't see how I can afford either the tuition or the time for both courses.

    But I wanna.


    And: Happy π Day



    Fri, Mar 16, 2012

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    OPENING TODAY
    GOING TO ST. IVES by Lee Blessing, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Click here for the Going to St. Ives podcast

    *due to unforeseen circumstances, Marianna Harris stepped into the role of Mae N'Kame

    As I write this the morning of Opening Night, I do not know if Ms. Harris will be in the role of Mae for the entire run. I do know that if so, I will miss Catherine in the role, though I understand that Marianna is a great last-minute savior.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    My plan to get the DV movie to final cut on Wednesday evening was not accomplished. That "nap gone awry" syndrome struck again.

    I was able to work some after I finally arose from the run-away nap.

    I had to finished to final cut during lunch at the rent-payer yesterday.

    So the podcast went up yesterday afternoon rather than late Wednesday or wee-early Thursday morn.


    THE THIRD LEG OF THE HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    I did, indeed, sign up for the third installment of the acting class with Kay Bosse. However, there need to be six students and when I enrolled I was number 4, and that was yesterday.

    Two more students or no go.

    I may find out later today that the whole class has been cancelled.


    TWO INDY CAMERA ACTING GIGS...well, maybe:
    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

  • Josh Katawick contacted me about the short-short narrative movie for which he is casting director. The production team is looking to have a production meeting at the end of the month. Unfortunately the date currently bandied about is one I could not make.
  • Remember the Film Dayton-sponsoered web series, for which I was one of the actors for the table read in January? It's a series titled Freak Club, written by Alexandra Grizinski. I have an interest in following through and appearing as the character I read at the table read. I have made my interest known. No word back thus far. Don't know what that means or if it actually does mean anything. We'll see.


  •      
     Mar 17, 2012

         

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    HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY!

                                   



    THE THIRD LEG OF THE HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    That third installment of the acting class with Kay Bosse is on.

    Looks like we are right at the minimum line for the class, six students, which is good, in my mind. The smaller the class the better.

    So, Monday, once again.


    OPENING NIGHT:
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    I was host and didn't really see much of the show, but I did pop my head in a few times and I could hear most of the show.

    As many know, original cast member Catherine Collins had to leave the show for medical reasons, and it's does not seem likely she will be on the mend in time to step back into the show.

    Marianna Harris, who stepped into he role on Thursday afternoon, took the stage last night, book in hand, of course. Listening to her performance last night I must say it sounded like she'd been in rehearsal with the lines for weeks.

    Everyone connected is impressed with her. The audience last night certainly was.

    I don't want to make promises for another actor, but I am willing to bet that next weekend she's off-book. But, remember that's me and my own speculation, no one else's.



    Mon, Mar 19, 2012

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    BRUCE SABATH -- "MERRILY" ROLLING:
    In the audience icon

    Yesterday, Saul Caplan and I saw our fellow Caroline, or Change castmate, Bruce Sabath, in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

    At the risk of making it appear as if I am reviewing the show, I must say I find this mounting a very good interpretation and staging of the show. And Bruce's is one of many excellent performances. There isn't a weak performance on that stage.

    There are a few elements of this production that I find quite interesting. Director John Doyle put the orchestra instruments in the hands of the cast members for this mounting -- Bruce played clarinet (as he did as Stuart in Caroline) and saxophone (tenor sax, I believe, but don't quote me on that). Doyle also choreographed the show, and the choreography was chiefly about a multitude of smooth transitions of actors switching off instruments, both in the realm of one actor or another taking over on an instrument (mid-song) to free another actor (usually Malcolm Gets) to move into conventional blocking, and in the realm of an actor getting to or picking up an instrument in a manner that was as seamless to the action of the story. This was done flawlessly, with one highlight being the smooth act of getting actor Leenya Rideout (Gus) and her bass violin on top of the grande piano in the fraction of a moment. I personally did not see it happen. I was watching some other action, not far from the piano, and all of a sudden there she and her full-sized bass violin were, towering on top of the piano.

    The bass was also fixed with some sort of furniture-caster-like wheel at the bottom so Ms. Rideout and the three others who played it during the show could easily move about the stage. Bruce told us at dinner that the ladies all had to master the art of smoothly locking and unlocking the caster quickly and without making too much noise. They certainly did well yesterday.

    Bruce also shared another very cool aspect of the production. The stage had several tall stacks of sheet music that acted as the furniture, with the cast rearranging in liquid flows during the production, and again, flawlessly. The back walls of the stage were also all sheet music, and though we couldn't tell from our nose-bleed seats, so was the floor. The very cool aspect of this is all that sheet music is duplications of Sondheim's original score for the show, complete with his handwritten notes, that which John Doyle got permission from Sondheim to incorporate.

    One last element from John Doyle was casting the role of Frank Jr, (the son of Gets' Franklin Shepard) with an adult actor (Ben Diskant) who was on stage the whole time observing the biographical play-out of his father's life. On many occasions Gets played directly to or played off the phantom son while Diskant, whose few lines as Frank Jr. are as a small child, would react to his father's deeds and misdeeds as an adult son would. It was a very effective conceit and compelling way to slant the perception of the story telling, to have this outside observation, occasionally break another fourth wall, a fourth wall on stage.

    And that's not a review because I SAY it isn't a review; even if it's "reviewish." It's a RESPONSE. You gotta problem with that?

    By the way, I did not meet and speak with Malcolm Gets. I actually did have an opportunity but I elected to not take it. As Saul and I waited for Bruce to come out after the show, Mr. Gets came out first and was met by a few friends of his, one who is a SAG actor I recognized, though I don't know his name. After his encounter with his friends was over, he appeared to me like he just wanted to get out of there for his break between shows and I didn't want to be the annoying obstacle between him and the door.

    Like I said before, I want to believe that the last time I met him I wasn't some annoying guy who took him hostage for five minutes, but I suspect that I indeed was that guy -- which embarrasses me now, and I wanted to avoid a second offense. Perhaps some day I'll have a more appropriate opportunity to share with him his unintentional and unknowing participation in my return to the theatre world.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    End of the month marks continuation of the mock trail class gig.

    And I've just signed on to do an end of the semester trial gig for Judge Huffman's class. At the moment it looks as if it is a case I have gigged before. Always better to refresh one's memory of details than to have to learn a whole new set.

    Down side is I will have to miss one session of the new HRTC acting class.


    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Speaking thereof, round three with Kay Bosse starts this evening.


    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    Gearing up to configure the Souvenir sound design for its run at the Brookville Community Theatre this summer. There will be a meeting early in April at the theatre. I'll see what the sound system at that theatre is and find out what computer system the sound design will be on: Windows or Mac. That will dictate which software I migrate the sound design into, SCS or QLab. I hope it's a question of what sort of laptop the person who runs sound has. That's the optimum scenario.



    Tue, Mar 20, 2012

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    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    The first session was last night. There are currently only five students, but the powers that be decided to let the class go on anyway. Five isn't bad. Our instructor Kay Bosse, (of course), is going to contact one of the actors from the last go-around to pursuade her into this session. Six is still good; but really, six should be the maximum rather than the minimum, as far as I am concerned.

    Kay wants me to look at Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot as a source of material for a monologue. Perhaps Lucky's monologue that starts with:

    Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia....

    One might be interested to know that, along with Endgame, the full script of ...Godot is available at The Samuel Beckett On-Line Resources page.


    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

    Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes!.....


    In The Gym

    The sputtering beginning of the return to the gym has faltered a little. But, by golly by golly by gum I will not allow it to fizzle into a nullifed nothingness. So, I step back up on the platform. Today.

    One may ask why I mention gym workouts in a blog touted as "A Diary of Artful Things." The answer is that beyond it just being good for anyone, and certainly for this man who turned around and there he was, no longer twenty-something but FIFTY-something, it also is a pretty good idea for an actor, especially a stage actor, to be in as good of physical shape as he or she can be.

    Stage work can be damned physically demanding and more often than not requires more than an average level of stamina. And let's face it, it's easier to make an in-shape actor look out-of-shape than it is to do the opposite, either on stage or on screen. It's simpler to hide muscle than fat. And unless a character is defines as "out of shape" the tendency is to cast someone who is in shape, even if physicality and stamina are not necessary for the role; I'm willng to bet it's especially true for TV and film, and I think more often for the stage than many are willing to admit. And for TV and film, thinner is usually better.

    One of my local actor friends has a close friend out in L.A. who told her that she was auditioning and auditioning and nothing was happening. Once she dropped weight she was booking gigs left and right.

    K.L.Storer actor's action shot, at car checking underhood The guy on the right here, circa mid-summer 2007, may not be a contender for the Mr. Universe Award, but he's in much better shape than the later version of him sitting here at this laptop writing this entry. At least he has some tone and some form to his musculature and something that more-or-less passes for bulk.

    In terms of camera work, he could stand to be a little thinner, but he's still doing better than the five-years-older him.

    And thus the "five-years-older him" is carting his flabby derrière back into the gym today after the rent-payer work day is done. And though he's faltered at getting the routine back to a, well, back to a routine, he will keep smacking himself on the back of the head until the routine is once again a routine.

    One way to smack himself on the back of the head: keep writing here about how he's making the routine a routine again, then write here to admit when he slacks off so it's embarrassing when he does slack off.



    Wed, Mar 21, 2012

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    In The Gym
    Okay. So I did not cart my "flabby derrière back into the gym [yesterday] after the rent-payer work day [was] done," but I did use my free weights at home last night.

    That counts.




    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

    .....Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the records for 2011 taxes!.....



    Thu, Mar 22, 2012

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    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Got clarification from Kay Bosse that Lucky's monologue "Given the existence as uttered forth...." is, indeed, one of a couple choices she is recommending from Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

    The other, which is the one she is recommending more so, is Pozzo's:

    Ah yes! The night. But be a little more attentive, for pity's sake, otherwise we'll never get anywhere. Look! Will you look at the sky, pig!....



    PRE-PRODUCTION MEETING FOR A SHORT FILM:
    NON-PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Josh Katawick, who is casting director for that short narrative film I have written of above, has contacted me about the new date for the pre-shoot meeting, which will be Saturday, Apr 7, a good date for me.

    I will be totally moved into my new place by then, though the new place will not be organized, I am sure.

    At least couple other actors I know are involved, including one of my favorites, and for whom appears in the improv movie project.


    TOWARD A PROGRESS ONE FRICKIN' WAY OR ANOTHER! Or, Smackin' Myself In The Back Of The Head:
    In The Gym

    Okay. So rather than go to the gym I decided to take a hike in the forest instead.

    That counts.

    Yeah, that's a lie. I did go to the gym. 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, some abs-intensive leg lunges, and some back curls. I did, however, try to talk myself out of the gym as the time to go was approaching, using the carrot of a hike in the woods.

    I resisted the argument. Some days I won't. And it'll be okay so long as the distraction is a hike in the woods or some other actual physical activity. But it usually is better to make that trek into the gym than not, regardless of the alternative.


    GATHERING THE RECORDS FOR 2011 TAXES!:
    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

    Gathering the records for 2011 taxes! Gathering the records for 2011 taxes! Gathering the records for 2011 taxes! Gathering the records for 2011 taxes!.....


    STUFF TO SEE:
    In the audience icon

    There are a few current or forthcoming shows I want to see.

    • Going to St. Ives at The Guild -- If I'm sitting in the audience for this one, it's going to have to be this coming Sunday, in between moving into my new place. This Friday I probably will be knee-deep in packing and moving. Saturday, moving plus a social engagement, and the shows last weekend, U.D. Law gigs and last stretch of moving.
    • Time Stands Still at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati -- There's talk of the HRTC acting class doing a group outing to see this one, which has Bruce Cromer in its cast. Actually the talk is a hold-over from the previous class, where a portion of the script was workshopped, and I ended up stepping in to cover for a student who missed class the week it was up. I also have my library's copy to read, along with a slew of other plays to read.
    • Bus Stop at Dayton Playhouse -- This is more than likely to fall into that "not in the audience" category because it closes this coming weekend and I don't see how to fit it into my schedule. Maybe Friday evening, but that is more than a little improbable. Too bad, too, because I know much of the cast and would like to support them as well as Director Matthew Smith.
    • The Gem of the Ocean at The Human Race Theatre Company -- I'd love to go see this one next Wednesday, the Pay what You Can Night. But I have a U.D. Law gig in the late afternoon through early evening that will make it difficult to get there in time for a good ticket. So, I may end up paying full price for this one.



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

    As is often my practice, I did a little art project to make a momento gift for all my castmates and the production folk for Caroline, Or Change. I did not get one to all of those involved. I still have maybe a dozen to get to individuals.

    I made arrangements with staff at The Race to get these to those who are out of town, and there were a few in town who I still need to get one to, but I just have not sat down to write and sign these gifts yet.

    I'd post a representation of the gift here, but on the off chance that some who will be getting one happens upon this before they get theirs (really an "off" chance they'd happen across this), I will not.



    Sat, Mar 24, 2012

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    AUDITION ICON

    PC-Goenner is submitting my picture and résumé for a commercial shooting "locally" in early April.

    I don't know if "locally" means the Dayton area or the Cincinnati area.


    HEY! GATHER THE DAMN RECORDS FOR 2011 TAXES!:
    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
    Seriuosly! Gather damn the records for 2011 taxes! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records! Gather the damn records!.....

    MISCELLANEOUS ICON
    Perhaps only for the sake of mentioning this, in the midst of anything else I'm doing for the rest of the month, I will spend much of my time, if not pretty damn close to most, moving to a new home. A point I have dropped in a few times before, I believe.

    And I mention it here because it is the latest reason progress toward my tax returns has been retarded.


    FIVE PERFORMANCES LEFT:
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    DTG Buy Your Tickets Now



    DIVIDING THE ESTATE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by  Horton Foote
    The Cast of
    Dividing the Estate

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Stella Gordon            Gayle Smith

    Lewis Gordon            Greg Smith

    Doug            Franklin Johnson

    Son            Jeff Sams

    Lucille            Barbara Jorgensen

    Mary Jo            Julie Hauwiller

    Bob            Geoff Burkman

    Emily            Claire Alemdar

    Sissie            Lori Grissom

    Pauline            Wendi Michael

    Irene Ratliff            TBA

    Mildred            Carita Brewer

    Cathleen            Tori Easterling Doby



    Mon, Mar 26, 2012

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    In the audience icon
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing


    DTG Buy Your Tickets Now

    Saw the show yesterday -- my respite and break from moving into my new place. Really a fine, fine performance from both ladies.

    Marianna did still have the book in her hand -- remember I said I was NOT speaking for her when I projected that she might be off book this weekend -- but she still embodied Mae N'Kame.

    Seriously, this is a show to see. It's the reason why I have seen people honestly surprised to discover that The Dayton Theatre Guild is not professional theatre. It's the sort of example of how our "community theatre" status is only a technicality.

    Last week, local playwright and publisher Michael London wrote a really great essay on facebook as a response/review of the show, and he has granted me permission to republish it here:

    GOING TO ST. IVES
    By Michael London

    As I was going to St. Ives, I had a show with several lives. That may be the refrain that Director Greg Smith might pronounce at the end of the run of the play Going to St. Ives by Lee Blessing currently at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Live theatre is often about surprises. Sometimes the surprises are those one can do without and others are those one can never envision, onstage and off. The production of Going to St. Ives, currently at the Dayton Theatre Guild presents for you exactly what playwright Lee Blessing intended, a story with many levels of surprise.

    A renowned British eye surgeon living safely in the village of St. Ives and the mother of a merciless African dictator come together with requests of each other that not only provide a bit of surprise but a basis for both to explore their own truths and life dilemmas.

    Cast in this production are Katrina Kittle and Catherine Collins, both experienced actors. Directed by Greg Smith, also a veteran of the theatre, this cast and production have also seen their share of surprises. Moments before this production opened, Catherine Collins became seriously ill and was unable to continue. A surprise one can do without. Moments before the open, Director Smith found himself convincing a gifted actress, Marianna Harris, to step into the role of Mae N'Kame with no time for rehearsal. She would have to go onstage with a script in hand. A surprise neither could have envisioned.

    Then the biggest surprise of all came for the audience. It worked. It made no difference. These two talented actors did not let a script-in-hand or their worry about a colleague's health or anything else get in the way of the story. They connected and they made a little magic on the stage at the Guild.

    The actress Marianna Harris incorporated this book in her hand as a prop and it became part of the story. The character Mae N'Kame may well have been looking at her notes that she wanted to remember as she spoke to her doctor. She didn't miss a beat. Her performance was not about the prop it was about the life and conflict of Mae N'Kame. And it was Mae who we came to know.

    Katrina Kittle is a successful and talented novelist and her notoriety might bring some into the theatre to see her. They will be disappointed. She's not there. She brings Dr. Cora Gage to life in a sensitive way that compels you to pay attention to her story. Her work is about the play. She rolls with the challenges of the cast change and for the audience it is seamless.

    What is fascinating about this event in the theatre is that in spite of the fact there are these other "reality" stories behind the scenes, both of these talented actresses are able to take us past any other reality and straight to the story of Going to St. Ives, straight to the engaging story that Lee Blessing wrote. And we are engaged and we are moved.

    Live theatre is a collaborative storytelling effort. Go to this theatre and take advantage of this collaboration. After the playwright has finished penning the last line and the director has given the last note, the actors are the final link in the collaboration. This link is strong. You have until April 1, 2012. Spread the word and do yourself a favor. Go to St. Ives. Watch the magic.

    © 2012 Michael London
    appears here by permission,
    all rights reserved

    Visit Mr. London's website for his London House Publishing company at www.londonhousepublishing.com.



    Tue, Mar 27, 2012

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    HRTC ADULT ACTING CLASS:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    This session has turned out to be the Theatre of the Absurd session, especially for me, but to some extent for the whole class. Of course, Kay Bosse has me doing the Beckett Waiting for Godot Pozzo monologue, "Ah yes! The night...." Beyond that, the whole class is doing Act I of Jules Feiffer's absurdist play, Hold Me!.

    Each student did a cold read of their monologues last night. Mine was very cold; I have not attended much to the material yet; in fact, I've not re-read the play -- I read it quite a long time ago, before I returned to acting.

    Then we did a cold read of the Feiffer play.

    Then I went home and packed things in the old (current) apartment and moved things to the new one.


    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Mock trail prep tomorrow afternoon.

    As I work on moving tonight, I will brush up on my "medical expertise."

    I note that thus far only one team of student lawyers has contacted me with any sort of information for tomorrow.

    I also note that though I requested them, I have received no copies of any of the deposition transcripts from a couple weeks back.


    Not in the audience icon

  • Bus Stop at Dayton Playhouse -- I am sorry to say i did not make it to see Director Matthew Smith's show, which closed this past Sunday. With my move from the old to the new place going on, the whole weekend was spoken for save for a DTG board meeting and attendance at the DTG Going to St. Ives production.
  • The Gem of the Ocean at The Human Race Theatre Company -- This one will probably not be an actual "Not In The Audience" item, but I will not make tomorrow night's Pay what You Can Final Dress. After I am done with the U.D. Law gig I need to scoot home and do more of that moving stuff. So, I catch this one with a full-price ticket later in the run.



  • In The Gym

    "When you're moving into a new place, going to the gym is really not necessary."

    'Nuff said....



    Fri, Mar 30, 2012

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    U.D. LAW:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Got off at 12:30 from the rent-payer Wednesday for the mock trial prep sessions with the law students; 3:00 till about 6:30. First two trials, with the first two teams are tomorrow.

    Since last I posted, and last I griped, I have received all but one transcript of the mock depositions, which is good. Good, because since I am the same character testifying for the same case for each of the five sets of law students, I need to be able to refresh my memory on what exactly I said in each dep, and right before I testify in each set of trial sessions.

    And the one who has not sent me the transcript isn't putting me on the stand until April 14, so I'm in good shape.

    And I'm off the rent-payer today at 1:00. But this, to meet the cable guy/gal at my new place.

    But I'm betting I get a chance to look over the mock trial material whilst I wait, smiley icon.


    LAST WEEKEND:
    GOING TO ST. IVES & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. Play by Lee Blessing

    DTG Buy Your Tickets Now



    MORE DETAIL:

    THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD
    2012/2013 SEASON:

    Till  Death   Do  Us   Part

    Come see our palette of plays that will take you right to the edge, whether in a theater filled with laughter or the lean-forward-in-your-seat intensity of great drama. And some will be a little bit of both. You'll love the intimate confines of our new Oregon District home which now backs our award-winning casts with the very latest in technology, yet still maintains the Guild tradition of family where no one in our audience is ever a stranger. Come join us.

    Season tickets membership is $75
    * add the Holiday Show for an additional $10 for a total of $85

    individual ticket prices:
    Adult: $19
    Seniors (60+): $17
    Students: $12
    daytontheatreguild.thundertix.com
    * all individual tickets are $1 less when paid for in cash on site at the Box Office

    Dayton Theatre Guild
    430 Wayne Ave
    Dayton, OH 45410
    937-278-5993
    www.daytontheatreguild.org

    Opus   by Michael Hollinger
    Showing: August 24-September 9, 2012

    A world-class male string quartet struggles with the loss of a member, the recasting of a woman to replace him and the day-to-day tensions of exacting, temperamental artists struggling to make perfect music onstage, as well as to make sense of their lives offstage. This one-of-a-kind contemporary script is filled with quiet drama and surprising humor.

    Directed by Greg Smith
    Produced by Barb Jorgensen

    (auditions dates: July 16 & 17, 2012)

    And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little   by Paul Zindel
    Showing: October 5-21, 2012

    Three sisters are each misshapen in a different way by a childhood without order or stability. Anna is a science teacher convinced she's contracted a life-threatening illness; Catherine, who has her own life issues, is the sister who cares for her, and Ceil, also in the business of education, has manipulated life often at the expense of the other two. From this twisted mix playwright Zindel has created an unexpected, delightful comedy.

    Directed by Debra Kent
    Produced by K.L.Storer

    (auditions dates: August 27 & 28, 2012)

    A Tuna Christmas   by Ed Howard, Joe Sears & Jaston Williams
    Showing: November 23-December 9, 2012

    It's Christmas time and local radio personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie tell us all about the annual Christmas lawn display contest that Viola Carp keeps winning (14 times), the troubled local production of A Christmas Carol and along the way introduce us to a host of colorful characters, each one funnier than the last, in this little mythical Texas town. Two actors portray more than twenty roles in this hilarious production.

    Directed by Kathy Mola
    Produced by Deirdre Root

    (auditions dates: October 8 & 9, 2012)

    Ghosts   by Henrik Ibsen -- translated by Christopher Hampton
    Showing: January 11-27, 2013

    A brilliant new translation by Christopher Hampton breathes new life into this classic drama. The "ghosts" in this play are taboo topics that cannot be openly discussed. This drama is one of IbsenÕs most powerful works, but also one of his most controversial. Family sins are revisited when a son returns home to dedicate an orphanage in his father's name and becomes involved in a tryst that ends in the painful knowledge of long suppressed family truths.

    Directed by Matthew W. Smith
    Produced by Steve Strawser

    (auditions dates: November 26 & 27, 2012)

    100 Saints You Should Know   by Kate Fodor
    Showing: February 22-March 10, 2013

    Father Matthew McNally has served his congregation well but now finds he needs some time to reflect on his own faith and suddenly leaves his parish. Theresa, a cleaning woman at his rectory, searches him out for spiritual advice. She needs help with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Abby. And Garrett, a grocery delivery boy, desperately seeks Father McNally's guidance in search of his own identity. An unexpected crisis brings these characters into confrontation. Faith is tried and shaken as Father McNally faces his own spiritual demons and his greatest fear -- living without a connection to God.

    Directed by Ellen Finch
    Produced by Debra Kent

    (auditions dates: January 14 & 15, 2013)

    Leaving Iowa   by Tim Clue & Spike Manton
    Showing: April 5-21, 2013

    The annual family vacations of one family are remembered as the son tries to take his father's ashes to a former home. His attempts to reach the final resting place are interspersed with memories of family vacations the kids often hated. The actors play themselves as teenagers, as parents and as their older selves, on the road-trip of life. A sentimental play of good humor that is sweet and often contagiously funny.

    Directed by Robb Willoughby
    Produced by Greg Smith

    (auditions dates: February 25 & 26, 2013)

    Pillow Man   by Martin McDonagh
    Showing: May 17-June 2, 2012

    "With echoes of Stoppard, Kafka, and the Brothers Grimm, The Pillowman centers on a writer in an unnamed totalitarian state who is being interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a series of child murders. The result is an urgent work of theatrical bravura and an unflinching examination of the very nature and purpose of art." -- Dramatists Play Service.

    For mature audiences only

    Directed by Natasha Randall
    Produced by Ralph Dennler

    (auditions dates: April 8 & 9, 2013)

    Artwork to follow




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