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

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Tue, Oct 2, 2012

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AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
Last night was the first dress rehearsal and it went quite well. Uh, well, Act I went well. I assume the second act did, too. I left after getting good footage of the actors in costume and of the finished set to drop into the podcast. I didn't shoot Act II because actor Michael Taint couldn't be there. I got footage of him during the run Sunday afternoon. He wasn't in costume but it was on the finished set.

I also took photos of the sisters for picture frames as set dressing -- thus, technically the set isn't "finished" but it's 99.999999% so.


DTG Podcast Production logo
I shot the final DV footage Sunday at the first Tech Run and then last night at the first dress rehearsal. This morning and early afternoon I finished the podcast to final cut. It should be on the DTG youtube channel by midnight, then at the DTG facebook page soon after. Should be up on the front page of The DTG website by Thursday.

In the world of publicity, here's an article by Russel Florence, Jr., "Dayton Theatre Guild reintroduces ‘Miss Reardon'," in yesterday's Dayton Daily News.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I did a reading of the portion of Clybourne Park that I've chosen, for the Advanced Acting Class at The Human Race Theatre Company with Kay Bosse. I did not get to read that portion of Woody Allen's Riverside Drive, but it is still on the agenda. We are spending a lot of time on the concepts of comedy, as I said. Kay has start to write a comedic bit, but we didn't get very far into that. I assume we will come back.

She also wants me to spend more time on Act II of Clybourne Park; I've spent more time with the first act because what I pulled is from the end of it.


EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

First rehearsal tonight for Edgar.

Love to say I have become quite familiar with the script, but not so. But I spend the rest of today before rehearsal tonight looking at it.



Wed, Oct 3, 2012

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EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

Last night was the first, of very few rehearsals for Edgar. It was just Director Wayne Justice, Josh Katawick, and myself. Along with a couple poem readings, Josh is Montressor to my Fortunato in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." We walked through the blocking for that then did a table read of all our respective parts in the show. Along with "The Cask..." I will also give voice to two poems: "The Bells," which will be split into three sections, spread out over the evening, and "Eldorado."

Time to break out the index cards -- and quickly. The show is up Oct 19 & 20!


THE PODCAST IS UP:
AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.



Click here to see it at YouTube, or scroll down



MacBook pro with Retina Display ICON GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON

Yesterday morning I went to the Belkin website only to find that they have moved the release of Thunderbolt Express Dock to January, 2013! It looked like I would be capturing DV footage for podcasts, or whatever else, on the MacPros in the Mac Lab on campus for the rest of the damned year! I was NOT thrilled about that in the least. However, fortunately Apple has finally released its Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter and I ordered one last night; should be here before the end of the week. I will still buy the dock when it comes out. It will be quite handy.

I'm still contemplating getting an iMic for recording from external sources, but I'm not yet completely sure it works with OS 10.7.



Thu, Oct 4, 2012

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AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
xxxx
Most of the cast shown during notes at intermission from the dress rehearsal last night.

I will miss Final Dress tonight, but I was there for last night's rehearsal. The show is most definitely coming together very solidly.

This weekend I am pretty much the house management host for all the shows; but I was going to be there anyway, as producer, so no big deal.

Honestly, since I am producer and plan to attend as many performances as possible, I don't mind hosting a lot so haven't been aggressive about filling spots.

On the other hand, there are some other theatre productions I want to catch, and hosts covering those days are my big interest.

I have some personal life business that could be attended to, as well.

Meanwhile, the show opens tomorrow night!


EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

Of course, the reason I must miss the Reardon Final Dress tonight is that I have my second rehearsal for Edgar.

The ideal would be that I get off work at the rent-payer at 3:30, buzz home and get in some study on this script. That may not be what can happen. I have some house management shopping to do for The Guild; then I really ought to go into Dayton and do some house management prep for Opening Night tomorrow. This afternoon is the only guaranteed time I will have for it.

With Edgar rehearsal starting at 8:00, I have myself scheduled to work 9:00-5:30 tomorrow. That leaves no time for any of the house management stuff. However, I was home by 10:00 after Tuesday's 8pm rehearsal, so it could be that I can work my regular 7:00-3:30 shift without being a zombie in the morning. So, the prep work theoretically can be done tomorrow between rent-payer quitting time and Doors Open at DTG.

If all I have to do is the shopping today, that could work. It may be worth the risk to go for the compromise: shop today; study Edgar before rehearsal; work regular hours tomorrow and get to The Guild in time to prep the theatre for the Reardon opening.

Guess I ought to be grateful that this is my "big dilemma" for the day, huh?



Fri, Oct 5, 2012

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OPENING TODAY

AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE by Paul Zindel, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.



EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

Last night was that second rehearsal (OF SIX). Ms. Andrea Klinker (Eleanor) was there, so, since she narrates "The Cask of Amontillado," Josh Katawick and I were able to walk through some blocking to coordinate and time our actions to the narration.

We also walked through a lot of the show, but there was little interpretation of the delivery. I hardly gave any drama to the sections of "The Bells," but simply discussed and tried some placement on the stage. I didn't actually read all of any section of it. Same for "Eldorado."

But it's about to get real. We have FOUR scheduled rehearsals left. So, the words for this production have got to be my focus from this point on. My promise to Director Wayne Justice last night was that, though I would still have the book in my hand next Tuesday, I would be as familiar as possible with the words. And I'd like to be at least at the off-book-though-need-a-prompter level on Thursday.

Here's hoping.



Sat, Oct 6, 2012

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STRONG OPENING NIGHT FOR MISS REARDON AND HER SISTERS:
AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Being the host for last night, my attention was pulled from the performance quite a bit, but I did spy what I could. The cast rocked it! The audience loved it! It was a strong open!

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Naturally I discovered the need to tweak sound a bit. The pre-show and intermission music was barely detectable. It's difficult to judge how much sound will be soaked up with an audience in the space. Last night that music was so close to inaudible it might as well have not existed. I didn't cherry-pick all that music, even the several 1968-70 pop songs I personally, um, well, HATE, for them to not at all be heard. The balance is, of course, that you can't impose the atmosphere music on the audience. Pre-show and intermission music is just that, atmosphere music, background music. But it's there to help set the tone; if it can't be heard, it sets nothing. Of course, now it's probably too loud to that undesirable point of imposing on the audience and I'll have to reset it all after tonight's show.

Yes, I will be there again, but I am hosting again, so I will miss most of the show. But the cast is going to kick ass again, be assured of that.


EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

"The Bells," parts 1, 2, 3, & 4; "The Cask of Amontillado"; "Eldorado":

The index-card flash-card creation has begun.

Let's see how much I need the book on Tuesday. As little as possible is my goal....


HOUSTON, WE HAVE "CAPTURE":
MacBook pro with Retina Display ICON GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

My brand new Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter arrived yesterday. I borrowed a Canon ZR800 and last night before I headed off to bed I grabbed a mini cassette containing content, opened Final Cut Express, created a new test project I titled, "Thunderbolt to firewire," then executed the "Capture" command. I am please to report that I am now able to capture footage directly off the DV camera onto my computer. No more need for the MacPros in the Mac Lab on campus! This is good.

The Thunderbolt Express Dock is still on my agenda. That'll be in January, right Belkin? I am going to buy an iMic to mix down and otherwise record from external sources. I have gotten firsthand confirmation that it works with OS 10.7. Thunderbolt Express Dock will have a stereo audio input, but I may want such ability before January.



Mon, Oct 8, 2012

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MISS REARDON'S SUCCESSFUL FIRST WEEKEND:
AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

As did Opening Night, the rest of the first weekend went fabulously! The audiences certainly liked it; the cast members all felt good about their work; a lot of kudos flew their way from theatre people who saw the show.

For myself, I am impressed with the work. Some of these actors, whom I already found to be some of the best in the area, are out-doing themselves!

Seriously, setting aside my clear bias toward the production, it's a show worth far more than the ticket price to see.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Why would one want to believe there was nothing left to fix in the sound design? Yep, yep, yep. Remember how I upped the volume on the pre-show and intermission music after both were barely audible on Friday night? Saturday night, all was well. Sunday, however, one particular pop hit from 1970 came on and it was waaaaaay too loud. I had processed all the songs for both pre-show and intermission to stabilize the overall volume level to something consistent. Somehow, that particular recording is louder. So, before Friday I need to process that one down to the same volume level.

xxxx
Cassandra Engber (Anna) & Teresa Connair (Ceil) during a performance this past weekend.
xxxx
Amy Diederich (Mrs. Pentrano) & Cheryl Mellen (Catherine), also during performance this past weekend.
xxxx
Cheryl, Cassandra, Jennie Hawley (Fleur) & Michael Taint (Bob).

You should come to the show just to be sure I got that volume problem fixed       big grin icon


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I was able to push into some time to get back to Act II of Clybourne Park for the Human Race Theatre Company acting class with Kay Bosse. Kay also gave us selected sides from Managing Maxine, which I assume we are working on tonight.

As for the comedy focused stuff. I still have the monologue from Woody Allen's Riverside Drive. Not sure where else we are going with this angle. I suppose I will find out more in class tonight.


EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.
I feel that I have barely begun on this work. I'm not at a point of panic, but I am not in a comfort zone, that's for damned sure.


A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

And remember that auditions for the next Guild show are tonight and tomorrow night.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
And this show's sound design is now beginning to loom on the horizon....



Tue, Oct 9, 2012

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Winston O'Boogie!




AUDITION ICON

This morning I did a screentest at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office for a national commercial. It's a SAG/AFTRA gig and I may need to discard my Taft-Hartley option and instead opt to join in order to get residuals. I am not at all versed in this area, so I'm not sure. I do hope to find out sometime soon. But this is "cart before horse," isn't it? I would first need to land the gig before the particulars of residuals is a viable issue.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

As yesterday afternoon proceeded I began to feel a bit crappy and was seriously contemplating blowing off the class with with Kay, but then I rallied a little, sucked down a 5-Hour Energy and went.

In class I read the comedic monologue from Woody Allen's Riverside Drive. It seemed to work well. I did not read the scene from the sides from Managing Maxine, two other men in class did. Kay had them play with the readings and by having the straight man almost be deadpan, the scene was very funny.

Though I did spend time with Act II of Clybourne Park Sunday evening, we did not get to it.

Two sessions left.


EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.
To this point I have about the first half of "The Bells" mostly memorized; that which for this production is parts 1 & 2 of four parts. I have a few hours between getting off work and rehearsal tonight. So maybe I'll get a little more solid on those, as well as get into the rest of "The Bells." "The Cask of Amontillado" and "Eldorado" are sure to be all on-book tonight, however.


A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON

Sunday evening, the 21st, after Reardon closes, the is a production meeting. Just enough time for me to actually give the script some kind of decent reading.

Auditions continue and conclude tonight.



Wed, Oct 10, 2012

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EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

We had a good rehearsal last night. Director Wayne Justice is pleased with what both Josh Katawick and I are doing. I gave decent readings on everything, but there will be honing involved. I still have that goal of at least being at the first stage of off-book at tomorrow night's rehearsal. That is what my evening tonight is about.

In other news, see to the right the trailer for this mounting, featuring moments from the movie section of the multi-media night.



Thu, Oct 11, 2012

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OH, THE LINES, LINES, LINES:
EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

K.L.Storer fb post -- "Oh the lines, lines, lines, lines, lines, lines, lines. To the cramming and the jamming of the lines."

"The Bells," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "Eldorado":

Last night my mind was so fatigued that I had horrible problems concentrating as I attempted to memorize. Far too early and inconveniently, I fell asleep!

The result is that I am using one of those coveted vacation days today to meet my goal of being at least in the first stage of off-book at the rehearsal tonight. Now the idealized goal of at least 120 hours vacation leave (three weeks) banked has been pushed to accruing on my March 8, 2013 paycheck. Then, if I use no more from now until then, and I think we all know I am likely to.

As for the line work, I also recorded all the poems and Cask and have them on my laptop and on my phone.

But hey, I'm wasting precious time; back to the script and the flash cards....



Fri, Oct 12, 2012

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LAST NIGHT'S REHEARSAL:
EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

My big goal of "being at least in the first stage of off-book" for the rehearsal last night was pretty much a miserable failure, despite that I took the whole day off yesterday from the rent-payer to work on lines. Oh, I don't mean to suggest there wasn't some progress; it just fell far short of what I wanted. I mean: the damned show opens a week from tonight! There are precious few rehearsals left and I'd like to not be stumbling through my lines during them.

I was best at getting through "The Cask of Amontillado," mostly because the dialogue is just that, dialogue. It's also sparse, which helps. Plus I'm responding to Montressor (Josh Katawick), which makes recall easier. I actually found that many of those lines I already knew, simply from the previous rehearsals.

The first two parts of "The Bells," I more-or-less knew, though I called for line quite frequently. The third part I had worked on a lot yesterday during the day, but still had such a vague memorization that I eventually just used the book. I have not worked on the last part of this poem.

I did relatively well with "Eldorado," but certainly was not perfect.

Director Wayne Justice has been able to add a rehearsal tomorrow morning, which is a good thing. Any additional rehearsal is more than welcomed by me. The bitch is that I have precious little time to work on lines before then. I have to host at the performance of And Miss Reardon tonight; my evening would be better spent working the Edgar lines, butwhatayagonndo?

Not sure how much progress I will make before then.

And for those who will say: "So, why are you not studying lines now instead of blogging?"

  1. ) I'm eating lunch at the rent-payer
  2. ) It's noisy in here and I'd never retain a damn thing

So, there!



Sat, Oct 13, 2012

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EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

So, the time is, at this very moment, according to the clock on my laptop, 8:44 a.m. Now, 8:44 a.m. on a Saturday morning does not exist in my world unless theatre or acting is somehow involved, a board meeting at The Guild or, oh say, working on lines for a mid-morning rehearsal. The second being the event of the present. Gee, wonder what specifically I might be working on. "The Bells," of course. At this very moment, in this break I'm taking from the study, I feel something akin to 80% confidence. There are still words that don't want make themselves readily accessible, but there has been improvement. At one point last night I was feeling very defeated, but I am feeling a bit of hope, now. I doubt I will be anything close to off-book perfect this morning at rehearsal, but it has to better than that train wreck this past Thursday. I am about to do the whole thing in sequence. "Bells 1," then, "Bells 2," the "Bells 3," then "The Cask of Amontillado," which I haven't worked on much since I was near -- um NEAR -- perfect on Thursday, then "Eldorado," then "Bells 4," which I worked on vigorously last night and finished off when I got up at this godawful earliness this morning.

Tomorrow I plan to spend my entire day on Edgar


SECOND WEEK OFF TO A GOOD START:
AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Near full-house and one that was most responsive to the show.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
And that song is at a decent volume level now.

Come find out for yourself.



Mon, Oct 15, 2012

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EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

The progress toward "off-book" is much, much better, which is a good thing, because Saturday I told Director Wayne Justice that I just refuse to call for line during Tech Week, which we are officially in right now.

YEP! The show's up this coming Friday & Saturday!

We have two more rehearsals scheduled, tomorrow night and Thursday. I felt an new ulcer hole burn in my stomach as I wrote that sentence. The rehearsal this past Saturday morning was, by-the-way, much "better than that train wreck this past Thursday," though it was still very much a stumble-through, especially for most sections of "The Bells." I had a little bit of problem with "Eldorado," though "The Cask of Amontillado" was near perfect.

Yesterday I spent some good time on all the work and have come much closer to the coveted completely off-book status, though I still have some sputters in smooth recall -- there are some words that just want to elude me. There always and it just takes drilling the spots. I have tonight after acting class, and windows of opportunity during the day today as well. So, if I have corners to get myself out of tomorrow night, let us hope they are rare.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Kay Bosse sent an email last night for us to look at Shakespeare's sonnets, especially "Sonnet 12, since it employs both the English and Italian sonnet forms. Kay wants us to look at other of his sonnets, as well. I must admit, with the lateness of her email and with Edgar, especially "The Bells," tolling around me. The most I have done is grab a collection of his sonnets from the collection here at the rent-payer, and looked up one study version, on-line, of "Sonnet 12," that which is linked to earlier in this paragraph.

I am considering asking to do at least some of "The Bells" in class tonight, but we'll see. It is a great example of honoring the meter of the poetry yet still almost ignoring it in delivery, which is usually the performances of Shakespeare that are the most vibrant and that vest bring the words to life, at least for me.

There have been tentative plans for the class to attend "Can Night" this Wednesday for the new play Under a Red Moon, by Michael Slade; this is the official world premiere of the play. So, I am likely to see it even it can't be this Wednesday -- and Edgar might make that "can't" a reality.


NOS 4 THRU 6:
AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Though still not able to attend to much of the performances, as I was busy with House duties, I do know that Friday and Saturday went well. I was not there Sunday. The response from the audience has still been most receptive both Friday and Saturday, however, and I have no reason to doubt it went over well yesterday.

By virtue of Edgar performances I will miss the seventh and eighth shows. It is my hope that I can be in the audience for the closing show next Sunday.

Of course, I am most familier with this production and the great performances the cast members are giving, but it would be nice to sit in the audience unfettered by any distractions and just be an audience member.


A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
As of yet I have not looked at the script to tag the many sound cues. But after I have wrapped Edgar I can focus on it. I will have the task ticked off before the production meeting Sunday evening.

DTG Podcast Production logo
In the first volley of pre-production for the podcast I have contacted playwright Ed Howard, who appears to be the point-person for the writing team, in regards to clearance to use dialogue text in the DV movie.


ZOOT'S HOBBIT & OTHER PRODUCTIONS:
In the audience icon

Saturday evening I saw The Zoot Theatre production of The Hobbit at their new permanent home at The Dayton Art Institute. Now I will tell you, I do not regret for one moment accepting the role of Carl in Opus; yet, sitting there watching the Zoot show this weekend, and knowing there was at least some sort of possibility I could have been on that stage, I was a little jealous of those who were. As has always been the case, this Zoot production was very nice, and I would have been happy to add it to my résumé. The puppets were all so cool and Smaug (the dragon) was just simply bad-ass. I was tempted to sneakily grab some unauthorized photos, but behaved myself.

In the audience - Not in the audience animated gif icon
There are a few other productions, up now, or about to be, that I may or may not get to see.

  • Dracula at Dayton Playhouse -- I am sad to say I will not be able to make this one. I am obviously committed next Friday and Saturday with Edgar and then Sunday with the Reardon closing. I'd forgotten that DPH is only doing two weekends of the straight plays (i.e.: the non-musicals) so had forgotten that I did not have the weekend of Oct 26-28 to see it. Too bad, too. It has an abundance of special effects that I understand are working out smashingly well. Otherwise, as well, those who have seen it so far have given rave reports about the show in general.
  • Under a Red Moon at The Human Race Theatre Company -- as I wrote above, "Can Night" is this Wednesday night. If I feel good enough about my Edgar lines, I'll probably avail myself of Can Night. If not, I will have to buy a ticket for later in the run.
  • A Few Good Men at X*Act -- later this month my current Edgar castmate, Josh Katawick, opens as Lt. Kaffe in this Aaron Sorkin military courtroom drama. I hope to attend
  • The Sugar Bean Sisters at Beavercreek Community Theatre -- at the same time that the Sorkin play is up in Xenia, this Nathan Sanders play runs in Beavercreek. The story takes place in same swamp of southern Florida as did Sugar Witch, which we produced at The Guild the comparable Halloween season of 2010. That directed by the same director as this mounting, Doug Lloyd. Also in both our cast and the new one is the most talented Sarah Caplan; some members of the DTG board of directors are also in the new cast: Steven Strawser and Jill Proudfoot. Plus, Doug is using a smidgeon of the flying cats sounds that I created as sound designer for The Sugar Witch, so I really must make this one for a variety of reasons.
  • Top Dog/Under Dog, produced by Red Hammer Theatre at the YellowCab -- local actor Patrick Hayes, whom I have worked with only once (The Best Man at The Guild, several years ago), but seen on stage a few times, is directing this short run mounted by the new local theatre company, Red Hammer Theatre (no website yet, according to my web search today). It runs Nov 9 at 8 pm and Nov 10 at 4 pm & 8 pm. My facebook invite says:

    Topdog/Underdog tells the story of two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, who abandoned by first one parent and then the other, have had to depend upon each other for survival since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the brothers struggle to make a new life, one that will lead them out of poverty. These two brothers struggle for power over each other. Topdog/Underdog reveals a crazy world in which Lincoln and Booth live, a world that is very dangerous.

    The YellowCab is located at 700 east Fourth Street in Downtown Dayton. For Tickets call: 937-397-0023; the ticket price is $15. The cast is Jared Roper as Lincoln and Marcus L. Simmons II as Booth.

  • I am sure there are productions I am not remembering that are in the near or present future; not to mention the ones I just missed seeing, such as Taming of the Shrew at Sinclair Community College Theatre, which closed recently and had among its cast, Chuck Larkowski.


  • Tue, Oct 16, 2012

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    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

  • "The Bells"
  • "The Cask of Amontillado"
  • "Eldorado"
  • With Parts I, II, & IV of "The Bells" I am reasonably close to perfectly off-book. Part III is still giving me problems, though there has been much improvement. But I tell you again: I am NOT calling for lines tonight at rehearsal. If I go up, I cover. I am sure my line notes will be a novelette this evening.

    "Cask" and "Eldorado" are in good shape, too, by the way.


    ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    In class last night I did no work in front of the group. We talked about Shakespeare's sonnets, and some other students did some readings from his work, not sonnets, but in most cases work that is in iambic pentameter.

    Kay Bosse is going to find something classic for me to read in next Monday's closing class. It may not be Shakespeare but it will be from the same general era. It will be a cold read; she knows my focus is Edgar and will be all week. And I have to deal with the Tuna Christmas script, starting Sunday morning.


    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Yesterday, a casting call came my way for a new musical, Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon, which runs at The Short North Stage in Columbus in February and March of next year.

    I've not decided yet about auditioning, but I have heard good things about Short North. I know at least one actor, Chris Shea, who has done a show there, and he seemed to have a good experience. What will weight my decision toward doing an audition, aside from whether there is a role for me, is if Short North is an EMC house. If it is, that greatly increases the odds that I will decide to audition. They are not on the official list from Actors' Equity and I saw no statement of such condition on the Short North site, but they still may be. I have put in an inquiry.

    I also found out in class last night that there is a legitimate procedure if one has a desire to audition for a show at The Race which he or she did not get a call back for. The proper channel is to contact the company manager and inform of the desire to audition for the show, and the specific role. The CM will then let the director know and the director will then decide to audition or not audition the actor.

    Though I did not get a callback for Next To Normal by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, I really have an interest in Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine. The vocals are comfortably in my range, if I remember correctly. The caveat is that the role is usually described along the lines of "young side of ageless rock star type" with words like "gorgeous" included. I may not consider myself a troll, but I am not living in reality if I ever decide that gorgeous fits me well. I also am not sure that the young side of ageless works in my favor, either. I think he's supposed to be sexy in very obvious manner. If any one out there finds me "sexy" -- which I'm pretty much thinking would be a rare assessment, it is most certainly not in an obvious manner.

    On-line PDF of K.L.Storer's actors resume THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
    I still may try to land the audition.

    Speaking thereof, I need to add the new involvement with Edgar to my actor's résumé.



    Wed, Oct 17, 2012

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    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

    Well, I did better than I was afraid I'd do with the off-book quotient during the rehearsal last night, but "The Bells III" was still my Waterloo. I went up several times in that one; it continues to be the trouble spot, no doubt about that. "The Cask of Amontillado," "Eldorado" and the other parts of "The Bells" were fine, though there were some glitchy lines moments in some of those.

    It was all a little less smooth than I would like.


    Not in the audience icon

    Based on last night's Edgar rehearsal, I won't make "Can Night" tonight for the world premiere of Under a Red Moon, by Michael Slade at The Human Race Theatre Company.

    I will be working on lines.

    I also need to do some shopping for The Guild before the Friday show, and tonight is really the only time I can get it in and get the supplies to the theatre.

    The Race show closes Oct 27, so I have a small window to get to it if I'm going to make it at all.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Yesterday I heard back from playwright Ed Howard, one of the team that wrote and also performs in the show. Mr. Howard granted clearance to use dialogue in the DV movie podcast.

    So, YAY!



    Thu, Oct 18, 2012

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    FINAL DRESS & TECH FOR POE IS TONIGHT:
    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

  • "The Bells"
  • "The Cask of Amontillado,"
  • "Eldorado"
  • On the drive in to the rent-payer this morning, I was able to speak "The Bells III" verbatim. Let us see what happens during the dress/tech rehearsal tonight.


    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON

    Yesterday I got a call back (Um -- the return of a phone call, not a "Callback" audition) from The Short North Stage in Columbus in regards to my inquiry as to whether the theatre is an EMC house. They are not, but hope to be in the "near future." They do cast Equity actors, but under the special appearance contract and hope to be a bona fide Equity House offering EMC points as soon as they can.

    Of course, if their "as soon as possible" meets schedule like my "as soon as possibles" do, their AEA status may not exactly be around the corner.      big grin icon

    My conversation with Rick from Short North also included the fact that there really is no role that I am a fit for in their next production, Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon, that which I had a casting call announcement forwarded to me. Thus, all considerations of EMC or not are moot in this instance. But, I do have the email address for their company manager now, and in the future, may be taking the drive east for an audition, perhaps rehearsals.



    Fri, Oct 19, 2012

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    OPENING TODAY
    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

    AAAAAAAAAH
    "Let us see what happens during the dress/tech rehearsal...": humph! Yes, I went up during "The Bells III." Definitely the obstinate, sticking point for me in this show. I always have one. The difference here is a much shorter time frame to conquer the little bastard.

    This morning I was not scheduled to come in until 9:00, then, theoretically work until 5:30. I was already going to leave at 4:00, and I called io ask for the morning off. I will work Noon til 4:00; actually I may leave earlier if the mandatory webinar that is to end at 4:00, ends early.

    IT'S GAME DAY!


    ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF A TUNA CHRISTMAS:
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Thurston Wheelis            David Hallowren

    Arles Struvie            Ian Manuel


    Sat, Oct 20, 2012

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    CLOSING TODAY
    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.

    FEATURING

    Shane Smith as Poe
    Andrea Klinker as Eleanor
    Josh Katawick as Montressor
    K.L.Storer as Fortunato

    The trailer for EDGAR



    Sun, Oct 21, 2012

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    CLOSING TODAY
    AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE by Paul Zindel, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The Cast of And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Catherine Reardon            Cheryl Mellen

    Anna Reardon            Cassandra Engber

    Ceil Adams            Teresa Connair

    Fleur Stein            Jennie Hawley

    Bob Stein            Michael Taint

    Mrs. Pentrano            Amy Diederich

    Delivery boy            Leo Santucci

    The Podcast for And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little



    Mon, Oct 22, 2012

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    SOME CLOSING NOTES ON EDGAR:
    EDGAR: A MESMERIC PASSAGE INTO THE LIFE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE by Wayne Justice, presented by Wayne Justice and Springfield StageWorks.
    Friday?: Meh!; Saturday?: YAY!

  • Meh....?: I guess I never got to the point where I owned "The Bells III." Friday night it ceremoniously kicked my ass! I went up higher than I had at the Thursday tech/dress. Pretty much, "The Bells III" owned me. How did it go down, you ask? Essentially I stumbled at "In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire," and had to improv my way for a little while until I could bring down a line to move forward from. I said something that was somehow vaguely relevant to the actual text of the poem in that area then got back on track around "Oh, the bells, bells, bells! \ What a tale their terror tells \ Of Despair," although I am not sure if I got that verbatim. I have no idea what I said during the improv riffing, either.

    So: "Meh." Plus I made a little snafu during "Eldorado," too. I said "might" instead of "knight," but then, keeping in mode and rhythm, repeated the line correctly, so what the audience got was:

        Gaily bedight,
        A gallant might,
        A gallant knight,
        In sunshine and in shadow....

    So: "Meh."

    On the other hand, my boss from the rent-payer was there Friday and I asked today if she could tell that I was screwing up one of the poems; she had no clue. So, from a rather small sampling of the audience, it seems I covered my ass well. Still, "Meh."

  • YAY!: The Saturday show, however, was different. At least for the evening, I did own "The Bells III." I think perhaps I got every word perfectly correct. No "might" in "Eldorado," either. Everything, all "The Bells," "Eldorado" and "The Cask of Amontillado" all went great for me.
  • I also must say that all three of my castmates, Shane Smith, Andrea Klinker, and Josh Katawick were very certainly on their games as well; and not just Saturday, but Friday, too.

    So: YAY!

    There is the possibility of doing this again, in the future. If I'm available, I'm game. Maybe by then, "The Bells III" will be mine!

    Here's to Wayne Justice for such a cool concept that he conceived then realized.

    xxxx
    My Fortunato in the midst of one of the sections of "The Bells" at the tech/dress last Thursday.
    xxxx
    Myself and Josh Katawick (Montressor) at the same tech/dress, during "The Cask of Amontillado" as Montressor guides Fortunato to his doom.
    xxxx
    Fortunato, again.
    *All three of these photos are by and © Larry Coressel     



    SOME CLOSING NOTES ON MISS REARDON:
    AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    In the audience icon
    Thanks to Mr. Bob Mills, who volunteered to host the show yesterday, I was able to be an audience member for the final performance. Of course, I already knew what an outstanding job the whole cast was doing, but it was nice to be able to sit in the audience as an audience member only, and watch the whole show from that perspective.

    Admitted bias aside, this was a stellar production with excellent work from the actors, some of them giving the best work I've seen from them; all the design work was good, too.

    The audiences and the critics loved the show.

    So, we have ticked off two great productions so far this season. We are batting one-thousand.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Yesterday, after the Reardon strike -- actually, really sort of "during" (long story) -- I attended the production meeting for this and Director Kathy Mola and I got ourselves on the same page as per the sound design; that which now becomes a creative focus for me.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Tonight at their first read-through I will drop in to talk with the cast about the podcast production so they will have an idea of what's coming. Of course, I still have not a whole idea, myself, of what's coming, just that I will be there, trying not to invade their space; and also, of course, that I am able to use dialogue from the script in the DV movie.


    ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    We close this class out tonight. Kay Bosse has said she will have me read from one of Shakespeare's dramas.

    I do not not know what it will be.

    We will, I suppose, find out.


    OPUS essay animated gif of essay text rolling upward.
    The OPUS essay is on its way -- Really, REALLY, Soon, REALLY.
    OPUS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.



    Thu, Oct 25, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Sound design for the show has officially begun, with the aggregation of ninety-plus Christmas songs for pre-show, intermission and production, and that shall be sweetened to stabilize the volume levels to a consistent mark. Gathering together the sfx cues for the production is on the short list, too.

    Also on the agenda will be the recording of several monologues (i.e.: radio chatter) by Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie, the Tuna, Texas radio personalities from local radio station OKKK. Those pre-recorded segments will cover some of the many costume changes our two actors will make during the show.


    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT HRTC:

    As it ended up, I did not do a cold read from a Shakespeare work, as Kay Bosse had originally planned. Instead, I read a couple scenes from Becky's New Car, by Steven Dietz, with some of my classmates, with me doing the character Walter.

    It still was a cold read, however. The good news is I am getting much better with that; I am much quicker to make and commit to a choice based on what I understand about the context -- and to realign that choice and commitment if my understanding is adjusted and I realize I need to adjust my interpretation. Would have been interesting to see even how much of the context I could have discerned in some Shakespeare work, without a concord, Shakespearian dictionary and study guide close at hand.


    In the audience icon

    Under a Red Moon at HRTC -- I will see this one tonight. of course, it was a $40 ticket as opposed to a half-dozen cans of perishable food (re: Can Night) -- then, this afternoon, some 24 hours after I bought my ticket, a 25% discount for tonight's performance was offered to The HRTC's facebook friends, of which I am one      sad icon.

    A Few Good Men at X*ACT -- In the audience this coming Saturday. Josh Katawick as Daniel Kaffee.

    The Sugar Bean Sisters at Beavercreek Community Theatre -- Saturday of next week. Sarah Caplan, Jill Proudfoot, Steve Strawser, and maybe other folk I know, too -- the cast list isn't yet posted, yet.


    GRIFFIN TECHNOLOGY'S iMIC:

    MacBook pro with Retina Display ICON GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

    Yesterday I ordered an iMic from Griffin Technology. According to the tracking at UPS it should be delivered tomorrow "By End of Day." Stereo sound input into my laptop will become quite easy soon.

    Of course, the Thunderbolt Express Dock from Belkin theoretically will have that capability, but it's not due out until January, and I'm going to go out on what is most likely a very hardy, sturdy limb and say: January At The EARLIEST.

    I already have used my Avid M-Audio Fast Track II USB Audio Interface, which I picked up in August, to record via an omni mic into Garageband. But that is mono input work. That recording was my reading the text of the Poe material for Edgar, so stereo was not a need. But I will have many an occasion to send a stereo mix into Garageband, or some other software; I have Audacity, for instance, though I have yet to use it; really ought to test drive it a bit.


    OPUS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    THE 'OPUS' ESSAY.gif

    Be assured some of what you are about to read will be my whines about my own performance; yet, I can still report right here that overall I'm pretty damned satisfied with the work I did, though I have my bitches.

    Last summer, at a performance of Souvenir at Brookville Community Theatre, a fellow actor and I were talking about the upcoming audition for Opus. I told him that I figured I was actually right for any of the four male roles and that I would be able to do any of them quite well, but my guess was that if I got cast it would be as Carl. At the time I was least interested in playing Carl, though I obviously wasn't opposed since I accepted the role.

    It was during the table read that I warmed up a bit to him. Of course, I'd read the play a few times already, and certainly wasn't repelled by him, but it was giving him voice that did the trick. As I was interacting and reacting with the other actors I started to see what a strong emotional range was in Carl's arch. Then the real work began.

    There was a lot of work, too. All of us thought this was one of a most challenging show. The big thing was bowing the string instruments correctly, both in terms of proper form and also in terms of stroking in synchronization with the recordings of the music our characters were supposed to be playing. That took some practice; I was very aware that since Carl is the cellist, the sound of his instrument would be a bit more distinguishable for the audience, and being out of synch, stroking when no cello sounded or not stroking when one did, would be more potentially obvious to the audience.

    I spent some good time out of rehearsal working on that synchronization, especially for the Bartok "String Quartet Number 2," which, if I do say so myself, is an amazing piece of music. That one, alone, was a few hours of work one Saturday afternoon at the theatre. It's the piece that the quartet uses to audition Grace at the top of Scene 2, and I believe we all brought off the verisimilitude of playing it with great success.

    With only a few mis-steps (very few), we faux played all the music well, with great coordination from our sound tech, Chris Stipp. Chris had to be on his toes watching, in most cases for when whichever of us was to play a particular composition first would touch the bow to the string, and likewise, when whoever gave the visual cue that the playing was to stop. He was on top of it and played a major part in the success of the illusion of musical performance.

    Of course, even with Chris being on top of it, had not retired Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Karen Young coached us on the proper way to bow, we would have looked hinky. The fact is, as I've mentioned in previous blog entries, we did not finger the necks, which is, as we know, how a string instrumentalist will control the pitch of the notes in the real world; but, the audience simply ignores that lack of true instrumentalism and allows it as part of the suspension of disbelief. However, had we bowed poorly, the audience would likely have not forgiven that. So not only did we have to bow in sync, we had to bow in good form. Karen certainly coached us well to that end. And the occasional musicians or very musically inclined/informed who attended performances were complimentary about the look of authenticity we commanded.

    Then there was the text. We had some problems with lines in some of the scenes: the ones that were supposed to be edits of each of us, cut together from different interviews in a documentary about the Lazara Quartet. These were the moments where are lines were intermingled sentences, all on the same topic but non sequiturs to each other. We did get them into shape, but I will admit there were no flubs on occasion during the performances.

    I have to say though, the performances were pretty damned good! My castmates did fine work. Michael Boyd's Dorian was a bi-polar mess at some points, a vulnerable, passively aggressive jilted lover at other points, and a man with a plan in the end. Franklin Johnson's Alan was affable and charming. With a very comfortable and natural stage presence, Mary Mykytka's Grace was at first tentative and a little insecure then quite assertive as she grew into her place in the quartet. And Matthew Smith's Elliott was wonderfully self-absorbed and utterly unwavering in his confidence that he was always right. It was a strong ensemble that surrounded me; I was fortunate to be in their ranks.

    My Carl? My personal assessment is that it was a "good" performance with some spots that were elevated to perhaps "very good." As I wrote already, I came to recognize the nice emotional arch Carl travels in the story. In his review of the play, Russell Florence, Jr. called Carl "wonderfully grounded," which I believe is the nature of the character Michael Hollinger wrote; it was his intent that Carl be an underpinning, perhaps the real underpinning of the quartet. In our discussions about the characters and the play, the consensus of the cast and our directorial staff was that Carl was "Dad." It's really, in my estimation, a no-brainer to anyone as they watch or read the play. It's interesting that when it's time to vote, in most cases, it's Carl who is called first. And in the one case when it's left open, he is the first to voice his vote. He's also the one who's name is called first when frustrations are starting run high in conflicts. And, in the final scene of the play, when it's revealed that Dorian has been parlaying his return to the quartet and Elliot's commensurate departure, it was Carl Dorian brought the proposition to first, not Alan, nor Grace. Elliot acts as the frontman and initiates many leadership actions, but the quartet turns to Carl first before they move forward. I don't think Carl is "in control" of the group, but his opinion seems to be viewed as weightier, even by Elliot, who would never admit such a thing.

    If you saw our production, or another, or simply have read the play, you know that Carl loses his cool in a dramatic way at the climax of the play -- that is in fact the moment of the climax of the play. The build to that was a fun ride for me to take as an actor. A fellow actor, whose work I have seen I have much liked, gave me a fine compliment just the other day, telling me that I played Carl with "subtly and finesse." The subtly was demanded by the Carl the script shows us. He's a quiet, level-headed man, one of few words, but whose words are usually of merit and/or poignancy when he does speak. He's survived cancer, we find out earlier in the play and because he has done so he doesn't "have time for petty squabbling1."

    Yet he accepts that disagreements, even sometimes intense arguments, are a part of the nature of collaboration between "four opinions in the room....four strong individuals2." And he actively participates in the arguments. In fact, my favorite line from Carl comes from an argument he has essentially initiated. It's about an unwritten crescendo someone has played during a rehearsal of Beethoven's Opus 131, that rehearsal which is in preparation for the quartet's White House performance:

    CARL: Whoa whoa whoa...
    ELLIOT: What now?
    CARL: There's no crescendo there.
    ALAN: (Clarifying) Poco crescendo.
    CARL: There isn't any, poco or otherwise.
    ELLIOT: Well, there should be.
    GRACE: Why?
    ALAN: It parallels bar sixteen
    CARL: Except bar sixteen has a poco crescendo.
    ELLIOT: So it's an echo.
    CARL: An echo?
    ALAN: Setting up bar sixteen.
    CARL: Since when does an echo precede the sound itself?3

    The blue text would be my favorite line from Carl.     

    Recently, from its facebook page Backstage posted a quote from Lee Strasberg: "Work for the actor lies essentially in two areas: the ability to consistently create reality and the ability to express that reality." For me it all goes back to an axiom I have for the acting craft: "Less acting, more being." That is why I was impressed with How to Stop Acting by Harold Guskin, which I read last summer, because it is basically the same philosophy. My goal is always to make the person from the script real to the audience; to lift his emotional existence from the page and embody it for those sitting in the seats, so that we both have the experience the playwright (or screenwriter) intended. In order for that reality to be met, I cannot appear to be acting; if I do, the suspension of disbelief is destroyed (or never built) for the audience members.

    This is all really another very in-depth essay, asking to be addressed, so I will forgo a present journey further down this path at the moment. I will say that I do believe I and my castmates created the reality of the Opus world and then most successfully expressed that reality to our audiences.

    excerpts from Opus by Michael Hollinger. New York:Dramatist Play Service. Actor's edition.
    © 2007, 2009 Michael Hollinger.

    1. p.32
    2. p.32
    3. p.39

    xxxx
    Director Greg Smith during the first rehearsal, table read back in late July. *(also shown, Mary Mykytka)
    xxxx
    Matthew Smith (Elliot), Franklin Johnson (Alan) & myself (Carl, in the forefront), from a blocking rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Mary and I in early rehearsal
    xxxx
    Michael Boyd (Dorian) and Mary in early rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Matthew when Elliot first sees the Lazara violin & viola.
    xxxx
    Matthew & Franklin: Elliot & Alan play their violins (with production crew in the background).
    xxxx
    Mary
    xxxx
    Mary: Grace plays her viola.
    xxxx
    Instrument Coach Karen Young, with her husband Bob at her side.
    xxxx
    The Youngs, again. *(Also shown, Sound Tech Chris Stipp).
    xxxx
    Instrument coaching in progress.
    xxxx
    Carl plays his cello (with Grace's viola in the frame).
    xxxx
    Scene 2 -- Grace's audition -- from a Tech Week rehearsal, with Carl in his full head of hair.
    xxxx
    Mary & I during the instrument instruction session, with production crew in back, including Assistant Director Marcia Nowick *(standing between us and Greg).
    xxxx
    Matthew & Franklin during the instrument instruction session.
    xxxx
    Carl & Grace during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Elliot & Alan during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Elliot & Dorian during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Again, Elliot & Dorian during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Grace & Alan during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    Grace & Dorian during Dress Rehearsal.
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Three shots of the new Lazara Quartet (ie: with Grace & sans Dorian) rehearsing their forthcoming White House performance, during an Opus Dress Rehearsal.

    All "Dress Rehearsal" photos by Craig Roberts.      



    Fri, Oct 26, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Sound design on the schedule tonight.

    Music sound level stabilizing and, I hope, the hunting and gathering of all needed sound effects.

    Tomorrow: helping with set construction.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Perhaps some b-roll for the podcast DV movie, tomorrow, too.


    UNDER A RED MOON at THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
    In the audience icon

    Playwright Michael Slade's Under a Red Moon is a very compelling script that I would love to someday be a part of on stage. If you can make it to the production, do. I highly recommend it. Kudos to Mr. Slade as well as to the cast: Bradford Cover (John George Haigh), Dee Pelletier (Dr. Ruth Covington), and local talent, Daniel C. Britt (Ralph Gow); kudos, too, to Director Margarett Perry.

    Like David Harrower's Blackbird, Under a Red Moon is a one-scene psycho-drama that pits two strong, compelling characters against each other, and having the same arena of intensity as Blackbird, which, of course, I have performed, I know it is an exacting and energy-demanding task to be on the Red Moon stage. Yet, I yearn to make it onto a Red Moon stage as John George Haigh at some point -- some point before I get too old, which is not too long away. Technically I may be too old already, but if it were soon I could still be a plausible casting, and I would love the challenge.

    So, tomorrow night it's A Few Good Men at X*ACT with Josh Katawick as Daniel Kaffee. Kaffee is, of course, in my rearview mirror; but there is Colonel Jessep....


    THE iMIC HAS ARRIVED:

    MacBook pro with Retina Display ICON GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    iMic package on K.L.'s desk at his "'rent-payer" job.
    The iMic from Griffin Technology has arrived and is in my hands. Tonight, as I work on Tuna Christmas sound design, I put it to the test.

    If one wonders why I included the Movie Production Stuff icon in the subject graphics bar, it's because well, naturally, sound is a big element in movie production. Even if I were to do something as a stylized silent film, in the fashion of The Artist, there would still, pretty much inevitably be music. I have tended to not mix my DV movies in stereo, but that isn't a hard rule, it just hasn't been my practice.

    Then there are music videos, like mine for my own "Seems Like A Crime," are a given as being audio mixed in stereo. Mostly with those I would not image I would bet the stereo sound files by inputting through iMic, but, let's not rule it out.

    The iMic's big function will be to import stereo signals from my four-track Fostex cassette tape recorder onto my computer, either into Garageband -- so far, the norm for me -- or into Audacity, which I may give a try tonight.



    Sun, Oct 28, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    iMIC ICON
    First the Bad news; well, really more "inconvenient" news. As you can see from the last post, my new toy, the iMic from Griffin Technology arrived Friday. The plan was to spend some of Friday evening testing it's functionality with my MacBook Pro. In order to do that, especially to test the stereo input and output recording, I needed my stereo splitter cable, both to record stereo channels to the computer from my Fostex four-track analog tape recorder, and vis versa. I could not find the little devil. Some of what I needed to use the splitter for Friday evening was related to the Tuna Christmas sound work.

    Instead, I worked on volume stabilization of all the music so far chosen for the show. I got it about 65% finished. Did not get back to it yesterday as I had a rather busy day, which included helping with set construction for the show. But, it won't take long to finish that.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    DV movie shooting officially began yesterday during the set construction. Obviously such is simply potential b-roll.

    I must say it was nice to be able to import the DV footage directly onto my laptop, thanks to the Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter I've had for a few weeks now that allows me to use the new Mac Thunderbolt I/O (input/output) technology to grab the DV footage from the Canon ZR800 DV camera's Firewire 800 output.

    No more dropping into the Mac Lab on campus to first capture the footage on a MacPro, then copy it to my external Hard Drive, then copy it from there to my lap top. That which I had to for both the Opus and the And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little podcasts. Though, at least I did have that option, as inconvenient as it sometimes was.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Three views of the start of the Tuna Christmas set. The last one is back stage with Set Designer Fred Boomer and, almost shown, Head Carpenter Blake Senseman.



    In the audience icon

    I saw Josh Katawick as Daniel Kaffee in Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men at X*ACT last night.

    Very impressive work by my recent castmate, too.

    Next Saturday night, it's still Sarah Caplan, Jill Proudfoot, Steve Strawser in Nathan Sanders's The Sugar Bean Sisters at Beavercreek Community Theatre.



    Tue, Oct 30, 2012

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    I voted early in the 2012 Presidential election


    Wed, Oct 31, 2012

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    I voted early in the 2012 Presidential election

    Okay, so in all reality, it's truer that it was yesterday, late-afternoon/early-evening, not Monday, when I voted early, because I dropped my ballot off at the Board of Elections after work yesterday.

    But it was Monday evening that I actually filled the ballot out. It was nice to have the convenience of internet access on demand to check-up a bit on some things, mostly judicial nominees. I have often not voted for judges in the past because I just was not informed enough to make a thoughtful decision.

    This voting early thing, it works for me.


    Not At Film Dayton icon

    I had every intention to attend Film Dayton's Film Connections gathering last night, but, I was feeling a cold coming on and I already missed a day and a half from work last week due to illness; I stayed home and went to bed at about the time the meeting began. Kind of a bummer; usually I can't make those meetings because I am somehow involved in a theatre production; I'd really like to make as many as I can, few as they may be. Perhaps next month.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    iMIC ICON
    The recording of the radio announcer voiceovers is slated for this evening. I'm not sure yet if I will record them directly into the MacBook Pro or if I'll first lay the tracks down on my Fostex X28 four-track analog cassette tape recorder. I will bring my M-Audio Fast Track II USB Audio Interface as well as my iMic and my portable four-channel stereo mixer in case I decide to go direct into the computer rather than remix into the Fostex after the fact. Some of my decision about how to record will be contingent on whether the Clear Channel radio station from a few blocks away is infringing on my Fostex. It happens sometimes, as you five regular followers may remember.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    I will shoot video tonight, which will absolutely include footage of the audio recording of the voiceovers. I will, of course, hang around and shoot actual rehearsal footage, too. The over-arching concept of the podcast has not come to me yet, at least not fully. I have some ideas about style but I still have as yet to crystalize my idea in a firm matter. So, I'll just shoot in the meantime.



    Thu, Nov 1, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    iMIC ICON
    No Fostex X28 four-track analog cassette tape recorder for the voiceover recording; that local Clear Channel station did bleed through profusely, as it usually does when I try to use that machine in most areas at The Guild. I went the more direct route, running through the portable four-channel stereo mixer, into iMic, then into Garageband on the MacBook Pro.

    It went rather smoothly, with nothing taking more than a few takes at most. We recorded in the sound & light booth since there is a good sound-buffered wall I could put the actors in front of.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    For the podcast, I shot a bit, about a half-hour's worth, of footage last night. I shot the recording of the VOs and part of the rehearsal. Tonight I'll shoot more of rehearsal.

    Again, I can't repeat enough how nice it is to be able to dump the footage directly into Final Cut Express at home rather than through the multi-step actions via a MacPro in the Mac Lab on campus, then transfer to my portable harddrive, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda....
    xxxx
    Low contrast between background and foreground makes it challenging to see, but this is the mic setup in the sound & light booth for our actors to perform the voiceovers.
    xxxx
    Garageband open on my MacBook Pro, with iMic going into the laptop, the four channel mixer going into iMic, and the two mics going into the mixer. Trust me, that's what this is a photo of.
    xxxx
    Myself, engineering, with David Hallowren (Thurston) & Ian Manuel (Arles) on mic.
    xxxx
    David & Ian rehearse, while Stage Manager Jared Mola & Director Kathy Mola look on.
    xxxx
    Again, David & Ian rehearse.
    xxxx
    Kathy & Jared, again.



    Sun, Nov 4, 2012

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    SOUND, PODCAST, (SET -- more or less):
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    The construction, engineering and mixing of sound files has begun. I'm not programming in Show Cue Systems just yet, but that may start taking effect later today. Today is all about sound design and perhaps some pre-production for the podcast. As is the usual case for me, I have a sound design project going in Final Cut Express for the construction and mixing of the sound.

    A few decisions have been made for production music. We know what song will take us out of Act I and what will take us out of the end of the show -- the curtain call music. I also have an instrumental version of "Away in the Manger," as is called for in the script: "...as the lights fade and an instrumental version of 'AWAY IN THE MANGER' swells." We also know what song will be played in the ending section of the last scene, over the show's final action, right before the closing/curtain call music. I also know what I want to use to take us into Act II.

    I still have more scene transition music to find, actually, to pick. I have a large cannon of music gathered together for this show, and most of it is ripe for use as production music. I also have several sound files to build, yet. The goal is to have close to most of the sound built, designed and programmed by the end of this day.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    I also started a little bit of pre-production graphics and other work for the podcast. I have created the Tuna Christmas show logo for the DV movie -- that being Wendi Michael's original artwork for the show set on a background of colors I created based on the color scheme of her art (which is my SOP for show logos in the podcasts). I havent created the special holiday graphics just yet, but that may happen later today. The headshot panels can't be cretaed yet, because I don't yet have the headshots.

    The text file for the closing credits roll is as filled out as it can be right now. There are sure to be corrections and deletions, and, since the run crew, including the booth technicians, have not been fleshed out yet, there will be additions. I have a few "XXXXXX"s to replace with names. But I have finished what I can finish to this point on the credits roll.

    I also have found the underscore music for the podcast, a country instrumental version of "Deck The Hall" by Nicolas Major. I found this at Premiumbeat.com. Another good resource for royalty-free music and for SFX has been discovered and added to the list.

    As for footage: I was at The Guild yesterday, allegedly to help with set construction, though I actually did very little of that. I also did not have a Canon ZR800 DV movie camera on me. I hadn't really thought I was going to shoot footage. After being there, and while Fred Blumenthal was working on his design of the Tuna, Texas town, it occurred to me that footage of this would be good b-roll. After all, I shot b-roll last weekend of set construction. So I shot a little bit of footage using the video camera app on my myTouch 4G Android cell phone. I took and opertunity to get some interesting b-roll.

    Enter a glitch in the plan: The myTouch phone shoots video in the 3GP movie file format. Last night, as I tried to import the two short clips of Fred into the Final Cut project for the podcast I found that the file format is not supported by FCE. Hmmmm. Guess I was not going to be able to use this nice footage. But, I know from past experience that QuickTime will play 3GP files, so the format is not completely foreign to the Apple systems. So I opened them in QT, which was successful, then imported them as MP4 files. Still, FCE would not accept them.

    Glitch overcome: I was about to go online in search of an application that would convert the 3GPs successfully -- and I'm sure there's more than one out there -- when it dawned on me, I have Compressor 4, which I have as yet to really look at and use at all, though I really ought to start investigating what it can do for me and experimenting with the software -- yet another program I have barely used that probably has robust uses for me as an film maker and a sound designer. Long story short, I was able to convert the files successfully in Compressor 4 to files that FCE accepts. I do get to use the footage after all.

    As for "(SET -- more or less),": with the exception of giving Fred a little bit of assistance, such as helping him tape off part of the sign to better paint straight lines, I really did not work on set much at all yesterday. But, by god, I helped get the walls up last week!
    xxxx
    Set Designer Fred Blumethal's rendering of the Tuna, Texas municipal sign.
    xxxx
    Fred, in the early stage of bringing that rendering to life.
    xxxx
    A Tuna, Texas Christmas lawn ornament?



    THE SUGAR BEAN SISTERS BY NATHAN SANDERS:
    In the audience icon

    Last night I spent a fun evening at Beavercreek Community Theatre watching a few actors I know, Sarah Caplan, Jill Proudfoot, Steve Strawser, and a couple I don't know, Monique Hobbs and Terry Larson, in another of Mr. Sanders' plays that happens in Sugar Bean, Florida, deep in the swamps by the Watchalahoochee River, the same little village where The Sugar Witch takes place, the latter for which I designed sound two season back at The Guild.

    As The Sugar Witch was, this mounting of The Sugar Bean Sisters is directed by Doug Lloyd. If you're local and read this in time, there is a 3:00 matinee, today. It's the closing performance. It's a fun show, check it out if you can make it.

    Chris Harmon designed the set, and as is the usual case, his set is great. We have a handful of wonderful set designers in Dayton theatre; Chris is among that special sect. I'd post pictures of his set, but BCC is not my home theatre so I don't have that privilege of taking and sharing pics. Tony Fende designed and ran the sound for this production and kudos to his work. I also appreciate that he and Doug honored my SW design by using one of my "Flying Cats" follies in this production. And while we on the design subject, kudos to John Falkenbach and his lighting design. John also designed the Sugar Witch lighting and grabbed a Daytony for it.

    Oh, yeah! I forgot to mention a cast member: The Baron Samedi as The Snake! The Baron is Sarah's own pet, and as she played The Reptile Woman in the show, Baron was cast as Reptile Woman's pet. I'd tell you what kind of snake The Baron is, but I am not actually sure. I'll guess he's/she's a boa constrictor, but......that's a guess. Although, The baron looks like the images I just googled of such species.

    And one more point: Monique Hobbs is the wife of one Keith Hobbs. That of course will mean nothing to you, but, Keith and I were high school class mates. He, Monique and I ran into each other at a performance of And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little at The Guild. Keith actually almost joined one of the configurations of the band my music partner, Rich Hisey, and I tried to put together some thirty-plus years ago.



    Mon, Nov 5, 2012

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    "PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION":
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    You've heard the term, "Progress Not Perfection?" Yesterday I gained a lot of ground on the sound design, but that goal to "have close to most of the sound built, designed and programmed by the end of [yesterday]" was not met, at all. Still, I can say that if I'm not ahead of the game, I am at least not behind.

    Most of the work is still being done in Final Cut Express as I am still in the process of building sound files and editing some musical recordings to fit the needs of the show.

    The project in Show Cue Systems has been started, though. That, because I needed to make sure I could program a particular sequence as I wanted. There's a spot in the show when a piece of music takes us out of a scene then cross-fades into another song that is supposed to be on the radio (and opens the next scene); that song is, as per the script, cut off by a voice-over; shortly after the voice-over (a commercial n the radio), the actor is to turn off the radio off not ;long after the commercial is over, but not necessarily immediately after. In light of that, I changed it some. Rather than cut the song off at the VO, I want to lower the volume of the music during the VO then bring it back up afterward; this gives the actor some slack-time for when he needs to be at the prop radio to "turn it off" (that stop of the music being a programmed cued). There is a level adjustment command in SCS, but I wanted to be sure I could actually program all the cue commands in. I can, which I suspected I would be able to, but before cementing it into the design blueprint I had to be sure. Now, to get to the place where everything before and after that spot is programed in.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    This coming Wednesday is my next shoot day for the podcast. Despite that I have learned how to utilize video from my cell phone, I will be using a Canon ZR800 DV movie camera. I probably will shoot Thursday night, too, and possibly Friday. I'm really more interested in footage from nearer the end of their rehearsal process, though, especially since we have clearance to use dialogue from the script in the podcast. With that clearance, more footage of them later in the game when the actors have their books out of their hands and their characters more fully developed is desirable since I can use the audio from the footage.

    Yesterday I did create a few more graphic stills for the podcast: the general podcast logo that identifies the DV movie as "DTG podcast 1213-04 A Tuna Christmas," and the artwork that identifies it as the holiday extra.



    U.S. General
    Election Day
    2012

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    I Voted Early in the 2012 Presidential Election

    I voted a week ago, but, you, if you're in the U.S. and its environs have the rest of the poll hours today to participate in democracy.

    A friend of mine who teaches at a university posted this message this morning on a social media site: "To any of my students: If it's a choice between vote and class? CUT CLASS and VOTE."

    All I got to say is: Yep!

    And, if some treasonous bully tries to intimidate you out of your right as a citizen: The FBI voter intimidation hotline is 202-514-1888 or 866-687-8683; the NAACP voter hotline is 313-664-2424. Just sayin'......




    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Progress is happening on the sound design. Worked a bit in Final Cut Express last night, building tailored sound files for the show. I am still not as far along as I wish I was, but, again, I am still not behind the game, so I am good.


    AN UNEXPECTED GOOD NEWS EMAIL:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Yesterday, Kryss Northrup, the company manager at The Human Race Theatre Company emailed me to let me know that I was still under consideration for Gingerbread Children, which is the material for HRTC's new play workshop, up the weekend of March 9 & 10, 2013, with rehearsals the two weeks prior. I hadn't even realized, or remembered, that I was under consideration. The good news is that I'm available for those dates, both the rehearsal and the show dates. The serendipity is that the rehearsals begin the Monday after 100 Saints You Should Know opens at The Guild, so producing the DTG podcast for 100... would not become tricky in terms of being able to schedule and budget time to shoot and edit.

    When I got the email yesterday I knew nothing about Gingerbread Children; a little research shows that it's by Michael Slade, whose Under a Red Moon just played at The Race and is now being produced at The Carnegie Visual Arts and Performing Center in Covington, Kentucky -- a migration of the same production. I am quite impressed with the Red Moon script, so the potential of working on this new one has become a more exciting prospect for me, especially after I read the synopsis at Mr. Slade's website.

    Kryss says that Kevin Moore (HRTC's Producing Artistic Director) will finish with final casting decisions sometime in January. Plus, I am still on the callback list for Avenue Q! Could there be a chance that I am on The Loft stage twice in 2013? That would be great. Though I am 99% sure the workshop will not earn me Equity points. Still. . . . . .


    THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW:
    In the audience icon

    Dayton's Annual Transylvanian Convention is mounting a production of the infamous Richard O'Brian cult-classic musical. The shows are tonight, tomorrow and Thursday at Timothy's on Brown Street close to a section of East Dayton fondly referred to as The U.D. Ghetto. My recent castmate in Opus, Mary Mykytka, is in the show as Columbia. I am again feeling a little under-the-weather, so I may defer my original plans to see this tonight, and switch to tomorrow evening. But, I do want to check it out. It's only $5 at the door; and, Mary is most talented -- as I am sure the rest of the cast is.



    Wed, Nov 7, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    While most of America was following the progress of the election results last night, I was in bed asleep. Accordingly I can report no progress on any of my creative tasks toward Tuna. Tomorrow night is officially slated as a podcast shoot night, though, and there is all sort of little tasks toward sound design that I can sneak in here and there throughout my day and early evening today, as well as tomorrow.


    In the audience icon

    The Rocky Horror Show, as produced by Dayton's Annual Transylvanian Convention, and which has within its cast Ms. Mary Mykytka as Columbia (recently my castmate, as Grace in Opus at DTG) continues tonight and tomorrow night at Timothy's on Brown Street in Dayton. As I've already stated, I'd planned to go to the opening last night, but was feeling under the weather and changed my plans for tonight. As I said above, I spent last night asleep.

    I did not realize the curtain tonight is not until 10:00! Which puts me getting to bed in the neighborhood of 1 a.m. I would like to catch the show, though, not only to support Ms. Mykytka, but because I was invited to audition for this production and I had to decline because the original production dates had a conflict for me from my life outside theatre arts. Thus, I have arranged to work some flex hours at the rent-payer to accomodate going in later in the day tomorrow.

    This is the week of limited runs, apparently. There's also a few performance coming up this weekend of A Plague of Angels, by Mark St. Germain at Sinclair Community College Theatre. This one has Rachel Wilson in the role of Mary. I'll try to catch this before the short run is over.

    Likewise, I hope to get to Clark State Community College Theatre for the short run of Almost Maine by John Cariani, also this weekend.



    Thu, Nov 8, 2012

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    In the audience icon

    The Rocky Horror Show -- First a correction. This "Dayton's Annual Transylvanian Convention" production is not the same production for which I was invited to audition. That was another production that I am not even sure came to fruition. But this one, with Mary Mykytka as Columbia, at Timothy's in Dayton last night, was a campy version ------ *Because, you know, there are versions of this that are NOT campy ------ with the actors performing against the cult-classic film running on the back wall. This one was a charity performance with the benefits going to AIDS research. Of course, there was audience participation all through the show; it was a lot of fun. Ms. Mykytka was fabulous, of course.

    Still on the agenda (this weekend) --

  • A Plague of Angels, by Mark St. Germain at Sinclair Community College Theatre
  • Almost Maine by John Cariani at Clark State Community College Theatre


  • Fri, Nov 9, 2012

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    AUDITION ICON

    This morning I did a screentest at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office for Lancaster Bingo.

    We weren't exactly sure what the client wanted.

    I gave what I gave and we'll see what that means.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Before the rehearsal last night, I programmed just shy of the first dozen and a half sound cues into Show Cue Systems, then ran them off my laptop last night during the rehearsal. Of course, many will need tweaking before its all said and done, but the cast did appreciate hearing some sound.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    As was planned, I shot a little bit of video, but not a whole lot. Again, the shooting will get heavier as the off-book factor gets stronger for the actors and they also start getting into costume.


    In the audience icon

    Tonight -- A Plague of Angels, by Mark St. Germain at Sinclair Community College Theatre

    Tomorrow -- The screening of Ray Gambrel Zombie: A Musical, Romantic Comedy. Ray wrote and directed it over a decade ago, but it has been accepted to screen this weekend at second Blood At the Beach Convention in Virginia Beach. Ray can't be there so he decided "it would be fun to have a local screening on that same weekend." So, I'm gonna go check that out. It sounds pretty campy and like it'll be a blast.

    Sunday -- Almost Maine by John Cariani at Clark State Community College Theatre



    Sun, Nov 11, 2012

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    Because they stand on a wall and say, "Nothing's going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch." -- Aaron Sorkin, A FEW GOOD MEN







    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    This weekend the big push is on to take out virtually all the sound design. There's been, and will continue to be, a lot of sound enhancement and building with Final Cut Express this weekend. I'm pretty much just going along in the script then sweetening or building the sound files, then programing them into Show Cue Systems in blocks, before I get to far along. Once this morning I had to go to Sound Rangers to buy some sound files, blue jays the most important of those, and may make more trips there or some other sound effects store.

    I'd created one vocal add-on of my own voice to put into a sound file of applause, me, calling out the name of a character who's just won an award. I had used the on-board mic on my laptop and I've decided I don't like the quality of the sound, so I'm going to, probably sometime soon this evening, re-record the voice using an external mic running through my M-Audio Fast Track II USB Audio Interface. I may go on-line and grab some particular sounds using iMic. I also may need to go to iTunes to get at least one particular piece of music for the show.

    It is good that I have the day off tomorrow for the holiday.


    IN MY GRAND TRADITION OF "COMMENT" NOT "REVIEW":
    In the audience icon

  • Friday: A Plague of Angels, by Mark St. Germain at Sinclair Community College Theatre -- Saw some good work on the stage in an interesting script. Kudos to Rachel Wilson for some very fine moments.
  • Last night: Zombie: A Musical, Romantic Comedy - - Went to a screening of Ray Gambrel's movie and had a blast. What a fun movie with some really hilarious stuff in it. No word on how it did this weekend at the Blood At the Beach Convention in Virginia Beach.
  • This afternoon: Almost Maine by John Cariani at Clark State Community College Theatre -- A really fine performance of a nice script.


  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
    I am happy to report that I met my goal of having the sound design finished over the long holiday weekend, at least the first full sweep. My hope now is that all further work will only be in Show Cue Systems. I have built and edited all that needs built and edited and gathered together the rest of the sound needs. The whole show is now programed into SCS, but of course, there will now be adjustments made.

    Certainly, volume levels will be tweaked all across the board; as well, some cues may be shortened. I also have some stereo programing to do so that some sounds will pan across the theater. I chose to not do any pan mixing in Final Cut Express because then it would be fixed in the sound file and to tweak I would have to go back several steps. This way, I just change settings at the end of the process, in the delivery vehicle rather than in the source. It's nice to have a buffer of the chance to tweak before the tech rehearsal this Sunday -- well, I ASSUME there's a tech rehearsal Sunday and heard nothing that says otherwise; I just don't know the what-time part, yet.

    DTG Podcast Production logo

    About to put the full-court swing into finishing off principle production of the podcast and get it into post and to final cut before the opening. At present I'm waiting for word on a good time to shoot the "interview"/commentary footage; my personal choice is either this Friday or Sunday at some point during Tech.

    If I am placed in the "UNFORTUNATE" position to have to run sound for the show -- can ya tell I don't wanna? -- that will make shooting next week during dress rehearsals a bit of a, well, a bit of damned bitch, and I will be in a bad mood about that. I do not want to be fettered to the booth during those tech/dress runs because they will serve as the meat of my principle photography for the DV movie, and static shots just are not as good, *i.e.: footage taken from stationary tri-pods rather than from a camera operator (me) on his (my) feet, mobile and able to shoot shuttles, and pans, etc. If I have to set cameras on tri-pods while I am in the booth otherwise occupied, the nicest thing I can say is it will piss me, /\/\0+43&|~v¢!|\|6' off!

    Not that I have any strong thoughts on the subject, or anything.



    Wed, Nov 14, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Under The Weather
    Nothing done yesterday. I went home after work and went to bed, sick...again. In fact I was off work today, slept past noon, and have lazed since then. I did do a mixture of chicken noodle and chicken with rice soups, with a chicken broth cube thrown in.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    I will go to the rehearsal tonight to play the sound cues through the rehearsal, even though the design points are not tweaked and adjusted.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    No footage shot tonight or tomorrow night, but I will shoot the commentary on Friday. I'm using the multi-camera setup, the three camera setup: one camera on a tripod down left of the group, one on a tripod down right, and one in my hand, mobile, in front of the group. Since I have all three cameras over the weekend, I will utilize the three-camera shooting during Tech Sunday, too.

    The other good news is that a sound tech has been found, so I am free to roam to shoot principal footage Monday and Tuesday during those tech/dress rehearsals.



    Thu, Nov 15, 2012

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    Ooops!
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
    Um, yeah, gotta add two sounds to the design, one oops, one not so. First the Ooops!!....

    Last night I transferred all the sound files and the Show Cue Systems program file onto the Guild computer and ran the cues during the run last night. We did all of Act I and a portion of Act II. In II I discovered there was a horn honk that I had completely overlooked. Fortunately I have lots of those sound files, and even if not, a horn honk is easy to create with almost any electronic keyboard devise. This one, we have decided is going to be an angry hink from a compact car. I have a long, persistant honk that I created -- with a keyboard -- for Kimberly Akimbo a few season back. It's a bit low pitch, but a little magic with the pitch adjuster in Final Cut Express and whallah! we're in business.

    There's also a spot, close by that honk, where I need to add the sound of a hair dryer; this isn't a sound I missed the need for, it's one I thought was going to be a practical (the actual sound of a working device or organic thing as opposed to a sound effect). there are a few practical sounds being created: a cow bell, a crash box, the sounds of some other items falling. The hair dryer will be from the speakers, however.

    I was not sure I had a sound file of a hair dryer, but knew that finding such thing was not going to be difficult at all; it would probably take me less than five minutes at one of the sound effects services, on-line, to find one. As it turned out I have one in a "household" folder in my SFX library.

    I should be able to have these additions incorporated in before rehearsal tonight.



    Fri, Nov 16, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Most of the show was run last night, though a bit out of order. We started with Act II, then swung back around and got about the first half of I. The irony is that I was able to get those two new sounds into the program before rehearsal last night, but the portion of the script where they exist was erroneously jumped, so they did not get played last night.

    Ooops!

    As for the horn honk, we needed what I have dubbed an "angry little horn honk" and as I said before I had a comparable one that I created for Kimberly Akimbo but that would need to have the pitch bent higher in Final Cut Express. I did pop it up quite a few frequency levels, but was getting pops in the resulting compression that I was having great difficultly eliminating. I surrendered and used a virtual keyboard in Garageband to create "angry little horn honk", which was what I should have done in the first place       !

    Meanwhile, I have come across a glitch in my plan to use the Level Adjustment function in Show Cue Systems to program some stereo pan movement. I want some sounds to move across the theatre space. When I programed one of them last night, I was able to get the effect when I tried the sample feature in the edit mode, but when I was in the project performance mode, the said sound not only did not pan, it had no sound whatsoever. Clearly I'm doing something wrong. If I can't find the solution soon, I will just go back into FCE and created original edits of these files that have the stereo pan movement, built in. I really wanted to incorporate the pans at the end because there much less involved in tweaking them, but, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

    I may just go ahead and create the pan-move files and have them ready if they are needed, maybe a couple different pan speeds of one of them -- the one most likely to need tweaking because it needs to coordinate with lighting movements.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Yep, the big push for principle footage begins this evening with the commentary shoot. I also shoot rehearsal footage tonight, but it will more likely be b-roll. I shoot a lot Sunday, taking advantage of still having the three Canon ZR800s all weekend. I will be busy as sound designer so the three cameras will be a big convenience. There may be a lot of static footage from Sunday, but it will be footage that otherwise would not exist.

    Monday and Tuesday I'll likely be back to just one DV camera, but the sound tech will be on deck in the booth running things herself -- with me close by for problems -- so I will be able to get the different movement shots I want.

    Wednesday: a vacation day to get the DV movie to final cut and posted on DTG's youtube and facebook accounts. That now puts my three-weeks of banked vacation time up to April, 2013, and that will inevitably move to later in the year.



    Mon, Nov 19, 2012

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    "The best laid schemes of mice and men \ Go often awry":
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    Sound is going well save for that movement across the stereo pan problem I discovered Thursday. I have not been able to determine what I am doing wrong that will not allow a pan-change command in Show Cue Systems to work properly, so I went ahead and remixed three sound files, all car drive-bys, to have the pan movement built into them -- I, of course, did that in Final Cut Express. Another sound is going to be handled with a manual pan through the mixing board during performance because it will be coorinated with a moving spotlight, and the exact timing of that light move will vary from night to night, so it's best of the audio pan is manual....

    frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon
    AND SINCE I AM NOW RUNNING THE
    DAMNED SOUND BOARD FOR THE SHOW
    (see more on this in the next section)

    frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon     frown icon
    ....it makes my confidence in the success of the manual pan a little better.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Yes, the major development that interferes with podcast production is that it is quite clear that the person who was to run sound has very likely fallen through. Thus, rather than being on the floor getting good moving shots of the dress rehearsals tonight and tomorrow night, it's pretty much 99.99999...% certain I will need to be in the booth on the sound board -- a situation I was very much trying to avoid.

    Now, the principal footage of the actors performing will all be static shots rather than the various sorts of moving shots that are far more compelling to watch. I have the three Canon ZR800s borrowed from The Center for Teaching and Learning, on campus and they were gracious enough to renew my borrow on all three cameras until next Monday. That will enable me to at least have some different angles and the ability to edit crosscuts during action.

    I used three camera shooting during the dry tech and the cue-to-cue sections of yesterday's Tech Sunday, and I do have some nice moments of footage from what I have seen so far. One new thing I think I've discovered is that there seems to not be a disadvantage to using the long-speed setting to record. This gives one a ninety-minute tape when using what is a one-hour, standard speed mini-DV cassette. On an analogue video recorder it would have made a difference, because, without getting into the details, the faster analogue is recorded, the higher the quality. Since the format I'm using is digital, if there is a quality loss, it seems to be indistinguishable. I may find as get into the editing process that I am wrong, but for the moment it looks like utilizing the slower speed won't compromise quality.

    xxxx
    Footage from the Tuna Christmas Tech Sunday being transfered from the DV minicassette (via the DV camera) into the Final Cut Express movie project on my laptop.
    I shot on six cassettes yesterday, at the long-play speed -- two sessions using three cameras set up in different spots, so it amounts to nine hours of raw footage. SInce I set the cameras on tripods, let them roll and left them unattended, there are dead spots, sometimes of many minutes, so not all the raw footage will be transfered to the movie project files on my computer. Though, since transfer with a DV cassette tape has to be done in real-time, getting what I want into the project is time consuming. I have been multi-tasking today at the rent-payer, by running the capture in Final Cut while at me desk attending to my work duties.

    Depending on how I feel about the footage tonight, I may not shoot tomorrow night. For one thing, I haven't dumped all of yesterday's footage yet and the project folder for movie files in the capture scratch directory is bubbling just below 100 gigs already. With just tomorrow night, it's already looking like at least 150 gigs if not closer to 200 gigs total. yet, I still may want to get both the Monday and Tuesday dresses just to get two different performances of the actors during key moments that are ripe for the podcast. I'm likely to only pull from Act I, anyway, so that will trim the footage to some big extent.



    ThanksGiving
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    Happy Thanksgiving from K.L.


    Fri, Nov 23, 2012

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    OPENING TODAY
    A TUNA CHRISTMAS by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Though one rehearsal short, due to the holiday, Tech Week went well and I do believe we got a show on our hands. Technical challenge that it is, Tuna Christmas has some real promise.

    DTG fb post - "Between holiday and other schedule conflicts as well as some technical problems, the TUNA CHRISTMAS podcast will not be out until after the show opens. By-the-way, the show opens this Friday, 8:00 pm." DTG Podcast Production logo

    One may note that, as of the date of this post, November 23, the embed of the youtube video for the podcast is not yet here for the opening day statement*, as is the tradition here. I always post the embed of a show's podcast on the opening day post for the duration of the run, then switch off to the static "banner" graphic as the embed is displaced to the show's closing day statement. As the screenshot of the DTG facebook status from this past Wednesday says, post-production is waylaid for a myriad of reasons that I'll detail when I have time. The editing process is still underway, and not nearly as far along as I would want -- especially considering I wanted the final cut posted by noon yesterday, and may not be posted until Sunday, though tomorrow is a good possibility.
    *) Nov 29 addendum: the podcast was finally finished and posted on the DTG You Tube page channel and the DTG facebook wall last night, Nov 28.           

    Click here to see the podcast.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    At this point, there is only one slight little tweak to the sound design; it's an idea that came to me after the Final Dress, Wednesday. I want to start some music for a scene transition underneath the last line of the actor at the ending of the first scene in the transition. Both the actor, Ian Manuel, and Director Kathy Mola like the idea. I'm going to program a volume control in so the volume is down during his line, then swells up for the scene change.

    Also, for a brief period of time (Monday evening & Tuesday during the day) it looked like we would have another sound tech, rather than me, in the booth, after all. But by Tuesday rehearsal that had fallen to the waste side; so I am in the booth for the run.

    Perhaps I'll see some of you in the audience, tonight or otherwise during the run.


    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Wednesday, PC-Goenner notified me that I have booked the web commercial with Lancaster Bingo, which I did the screentest for two weeks ago. At the time I said I wasn't sure exactly what to do so "I gave what I gave and [we would] see what that means." It means, in this case, I got the gig. This is another case where I was not too terribly enthused with what I did give; it's not that I thought I sucked; I just didn't feel anything that might come close to the label brilliant or such.

    It shoots sometime in mid December.

    So, yay.



    Sat, Nov 24, 2012

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    Great Opening Night.
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    ....Details to follow....

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    No ETA on the podcast, yet. I am still very far behind; even feel a little guilty for bothering with this sparse blog post, as if I am back in eighth grade and am watching afternoon TV rather than doing my homework. I hope the podcast is up by tomorrow, but, no promises.



    Mon, Nov 26, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    Great Opening Weekend.

    Wonderful Work From Monsiers Hallowren and Manuel -- I must say these gentlemen are doing good work. Comedy's hard enough to pull off, by itself; pulling off a comedy where you play eleven different characters is a monumental task; it certainly intimidated me and was very much a big reason I did not audition. Gotta give the run crew, especially the dressers, their props, too. We had three really good shows this weekend; everybody brought it home. The audiences loved it.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    A New Lesson In Patience & Acceptance -- This has been the most troublesome podcast production in the three seasons we've been doing this. Various obstacles jumped in the way. Some of those obstacles were beyond my control; at least one was from an error I made; one was a tech problem that was half my error and half simply the problem itself.

    One problem, as I've written before, was being in the booth running sound during Tech Sunday and the Tech Week rehearsals. This kept me from being able to move freely on the floor to shoot interesting mobile, moving shots. Unlike Opus, which had similar but unavoidable problems -- since I was in the cast -- Tuna allowed no real spots at all to shoot such shots as I had to stay in the booth. At least during Opus there were many scenes I wasn't in and could play camera operator. So there the only wholly static shots from the dress rehearsals were those with me in them because those were tripod shots. This time, with me on the sound board, all the shots were tripod. I have been able, as I edit, to put some slow zooms in and out into the mix. But there are no dolly zooms (moving the actual camera closer or farther away) or tracking shits (moving the camera along side the action) -- and those both make for more interesting visuals when they can be generously thrown into the mix. It would have been nice to have some good medium, closeup, and extreme close-ups for the DV movie, too. Such can be edited by editing a zoom-in of the wide shots, but unless I have very high-resolution, high-deffinition footage there's going to be bad quality pixilation to those editing-room zoom-ins. I don't have such resolution so such postproduction manipulation is out.

    Another way being committed to the booth was a problem was that it somewhat put the final cut behind schedule. Since I had to be in the booth for final dress, that was several hours I was mandated away from editing. Although, one qualifier here is that had the new volunteer, who was to run sound, worked out, I may have still been there since that person was untried and had never run sound before.

    Another glitch was that the audio mic for one of the three Canon ZR800s was turned off so, all footage (several hours total) from that machine had no audio. This was a fact I did not discover until I was starting to edit Wednesday morning. I simply had not checked any of the machines before shooting for such a problem and that is my culpability. I also transferred the video from the cameras to the Final Cut Express project with the sound down on the monitors, so catching the lack of recorded audio at that stage was out. Lesson learned, though, seriously, it was a pretty amateur mistake. Fortunately I had footage of the all the same action, with in-tact audio, from the other cameras, so I had the ability to copy the good audio and sync it to the silent footage. But it meant delaying editing as I rendered those several hours of footage into new "sweetened" movie files.

    Enter the next problem - totally my fault. I rendered those "sweetened" movie files at too low a resolution, which I discovered when I returned to assembling an edit in FCE. So, I had to re-render them at the good resolution.

    Bottom line: it's the Monday after Opening Weekend, and the podcast is not only not posted, it's not even close to the final cut. It will be before Sophomore Weekend begins. I will likely take a major chunk out tonight, but I am sure I will not finish tonight.

    Meanwhile, even if I am bias, this is a show worth the ticket price....

    *P.S.: if the "Great Opening Weekend" animation is too much for you......Too Bad.


    Film Dayton icon

    Unless I feel I'm too terribly far behind editing the Tuna Christmas podcast, I am going to attend the Film Dayton monthly Film Connections meeting, Tuesday night. The topics are motion tracking and green screen technology and this session will be at Reynolds and Reynolds and facilitated by David Temmesfeld.

    I am especially interested in the green screen portion, but the motion tracking is not unattractive.



    Thu, Nov 29, 2012

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    IT'S A WEEK LATE, BUT THE TUNA CHRISTMAS PODCAST IS FINALLY UP:

    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Yesterday I missed worked at the rent-payer due to automobile trouble, so I took advantage of the afternoon to finish editing the podcast to final cut. It was posted on the DTG You Tube channel and the DTG facebook wall last night. It will likely be live at the DTG Web site today or tomorrow. Let's hope this is the last time I have to miss deadline so badly.

    There was a slight bit of color correction and other adjustments to make, a little bit more than usual, and the audio equalization is not uniform in a few spots. I could have fixed that EQ problem but I was impatient to get the thing posted so I elected to ignore it as a minor blemish.

    Click here for the podcast.


    NOVEMBER FILM CONNECTIONS:
    Film Dayton icon

    Despite not having the podcast done I elected to still attend the Film Dayton November Film Connections meeting Tuesday night, which was replanted back to Think TV, its usual location. The presentation was still on motion tracking and green screen technology, and hosted by Reynolds and Reynolds. David Temmesfeld facilitated, with help from some of his R&R colleagues.

    It was pretty interesting stuff, heavy on the tracking with little directly about green screen (which was what I have the most immediate interest in). Though I now have a little better understanding about 2D and 3D tracking -- also referred to as match moving -- and that knowledge will come in handy at some point.


    In the audience - Not in the audience animated gif icon

    Last night was Can Night for the The Human Race Theatre Company production of Oliver. Had I not had cleanup on the podcast I would have attended. Now I'll have to splurge on a full-priced ticket, which is often what I have to do.


    MISCELLANEOUS ICON PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Just had to turn down a paying singing gig that came up at the last minute for this evening. I have to work too late to make it on time; I have some business that I need to take care of this evening; and I have a soar throat. Too bad, too -- I could use the money!


    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    THE CAST OF GHOSTS

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Mrs. Helene Alving            Lisa Howard-Welch

    Osvald Alving            Jared Mola

    Pastor Manders            Chuck Larkowski

    Jakob Engstrand            Dave Nickel

    Regine Engstrand            Angela Timpone

    Congratulations to the cast members!



    Fri, Nov 30, 2012

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

    Last night marked the start of a push to complete a project that began almost thirty years ago.

    Geez! thirty years ago!

    In 1983 I began laying tracks down on a Fostex four-track cassette recorder owned by my friend and then music partner, Rich Hisey. At that point it was the start of work on songs by the band we had formed, called SeazonWind. The song recorded was a song I'd written titled "In the Heat of the Heart." Technically it's two pieces of music I'd written, because that song segues into a short instrumental titled, "Heart of the Universe," with which we recorded as the ending of the first song and at the same time.

    Later that year, after one live gig with the line-up we had at the time, Rich and I decided to disband the current band and start over. In late 1983 or early 1984 we next recorded a collaboration titled "Seems Like a Crime" -- *see below. Things went a little disheveled after that and "SeasonWind" -- which was sort of, in our minds, at least, our own hybrid version of Steely Dan and Hall & Oats -- was not recording; I started to lay some tracks of my own, however. By somewhere in 1987 I had what accounted for and old double-LP, including the two SeasonWind tracks. At some point during that year, I gave it a title: Heart Walks. That title has stayed.

    This project, this "album," has essentially been dormant since 1987, with some brief, more recent, stirrings. I mixed a portion of the closing instrumental, "Seeking," to be underscore music for a trailer I shot for two one acts the Guild put on back in 2007. It was used as underscore for the part of the video trailer about the play, Soldiering On by Pamela Reeves, which featured Barbara Jorgensen and Katrina Kittle in the only two roles in the script.

    Since then I have mixed more of the recordings down to stereo. "Seems Like a Crime," as heard in the video embedded here and, like "In the Heat of the Heart/Heart of the Universe," another song/instrumental pairing, "Freedom From Bondage/False Evidence Appearing Real," portions of which can be heard at the end of Be Or Not. Actually, the first song I mixed from Heart Walks was about ten years ago. I did a mixdown of my song "Rabid Rack." I mixed down the second version of it, what I call the "Eleanore Rigby" version. The original version is a progressive rock version. The "Eleanore Rigby" is sort of a staccato ballad version, with several different synthesized string voices as instrumentation.

    About two years ago I decided to finally do something with the Heart Walks project, at least get a whole stereo mix of it into digital form. The idea was to first just do a stereo mixdown from the analog tapes to a digital format (hence most of what is already mixed), then go back later, transfer each single track of the original four-track analog masters into digital format and do a digital mixdown from scratch -- actually what I'd done with "Rabid Rack" (version).

    Last night, I transfered each individual track of the four-track master for the instrumental "Seeking," and will, in short order, do the same for all the music of Heart Walks. Everything will be re-mixed; the mix of "Seems Like a Crime" associated with the music video below will be obsolete. That song will also finally get the bass guitar line I never laid, once I woodshed my chops back to the point that I can play what I have in mind (I wrote the bass line in my head years ago, but have never taken it farther).

    The bottom line: I am making Heart Walks a finished entity in some sort of near future!


    'VINGETTES IN BELLCREEK' logo -- D.P. Fred Boomer operating camera woth Director K.L.Storer next to him.

    Next up -- Vignettes in Bellcreek.

    I actually am going to create several signs to place around that ask me what have I done toward post on this "Today."

    If I do just a little bit every now and then, it'll be a damn sight better than the absolutely NOTHING  I've done since I edited the outtake, Be Or Not.

    Oh, I did one thing: I finally arrived at the title for the full-length.

    More needs done, and now is when it's needed to begin.


    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    Look, Ma, another new subject-icon

    I am also in the ongoing process of digitizing my actors' accent and dialect cassette tapes.

    With a few, I already had done so. Now the push is on to get them all converted to digital sound files.



    Sat, Dec 1, 2012

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    MORE DIALECT TAPES DIGITIZED:
    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    Thus far:

    1. Irish *the first one digitized
    2. Chicago & up-state New York
    3. Arabic
    4. Persian
    5. American Southern (South Eastern)
    6. Cockney
    7. New York City
    8. Standard British (RP)
    9. Scottish *just added
    10. Spanish *just added
    11. Italian *just added



    PODCAST PREPRODUCTION BEGINS:
    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Earlier today I emailed Casarotto Ramsay and Associates Ltd, which is Christopher Hampton's literary agency in London to request "clearance to use performed dialogue from Ghosts in [the] podcast, for information on who to otherwise contact for this clearance, or to request that [they] pass along my request to the proper person."

    Honestly, with a playwright as much a heavyweight as Mr. Hampton, I am skeptical that clearance will be granted. Then again, I made that assumption about Lee Blessing, whom I also originally thought I'd never be able to personally contact; yet, not only was I able to email him directly, he was quick to get back with a very gracious granting of the request to use text from Going to St. Ives, which we did at DTG earlier this year. So you never know.

    In a few cases I did not even bother to attempt seeking clearance: Neil Simon (Lost In Yonkers), Tom Stoppard and/or Gérald Sibleyras (Heroes), and David Harrower (Blackbird). With Harrower it wasn't as much that I was incredibly skeptical clearance was going to be granted as it was that for Blackbird using text was not what I wanted to do. For Neil Simon I simply did not believe there was a chance at all, and still don't; with Stoppard/Sibleyras it was both a question of getting in contact with both and getting clearance from both as both copyrights were in play, Sibleyras' original French play and Stoppard's English translation.

    And there have, of course, been a few cases where the playwright or his/her agent denied clearance. Well, I have put the request to Hampton's people; we'll see what the answer is.

    Next up, I show up at an early rehearsal and warn the cast of my impending presence at their rehearsals, DV camera in hand.



    Sun, Dec 2, 2012

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

    Last night I digitized more of the raw multitrack masters of the Heart Walks album. The titles will mean nothing to anyone reading this, save that I have mentioned most of them before, but, they are:
    1. "Freedom From Bondage/False Evidence Appearing Real"
    2. "In the Heat of the Heart/Heart of the Universe"
    3. "Fugue: March of the Teachings; Heart Walks"
    4. "Rabid Rack (Ballad)" -- I.E.: The Eleanore Rigby version
    I seem to be missing the master tape for the song "When We Are Walking," which is the album opener, but I am not panicking as I believe it's around my place, somewhere. There is a long, instrumental collaboration between Rich Hisey and myself, entitled "I Think, Therefore..." that I have to digitize as well as some other music that likely won't be in the album line-up but will be associated in some way. There's a live recording of the original progressive rock version of "Rabid Rack" and another multitrack studio recording, a ballad titled "Star Gaze."

    I may do another enhanced mix of the instrumental "Astroterph," which I had done so to back in 2007, for the first part of that trailer that I used an older mix of "Seeking" on. And I may grab some other originals from the same source, a SeazonWind rehearsal tape. "Astroterph" and any other originals from the SeazonWind rehearsal, probably wont be directly associated with Heart Walks, but like the rest of what I have, that tape is getting older and dryer every day, so whilst I'm digitizing other recordings from my old music days....



    Mon, Dec 3, 2012

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    THE ALBUM-PROPER HAS ALL BEEN DIGITIZED:
    HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer

    I'm happy to report that just as I suspected, the original tape four-track master cassette of my song, "When We Are Walking," was very easy to locate; it took me about five minutes of hunting to come across it. Thus, the four master tracks are digitized and ready for stereo mixdown.

    Also digitized last night were my instrumental collaboration with Rich Hisey, "I Think, Therefore...," and the song, "Star Gaze," the latter not part of the album line-up but one of those titles that will be associated with Heart Walks.

    The live recording of the rock version of "Rabid Rack" is still in need of digitization, and there is another longer instrumental titled, "Now," that will get the treatment, too. "Now" is not at all associated with Heart Walks but I might as well get it digitized on that same philosophy that the ape is getting older and dryer every day. I also have not located the original tape of the SeazonWind rehearsal that includes the my instrumental "Astroterph," and other originals, but, again, I am sure it is not lost, just hiding, and that I'll find it soon.

    However, as the headline, or whatever you wanna call it, for this section of today's entry says, all the music destined for the Heart Walks line-up has been digitized and the album can be digitally mixed down.

    Davis Dawn HEART WALKS DC jewel case
    The mock CD jewel case for a shot in Vignettes in Bellcreek
    *By-the-way: the album artwork will not be what is shown here. The icon I'm using here is based on a mock CD jewel case in a segment of Vignettes in Bellcreek; it's supposed to be an album by the fictitious rock star, David Dawn -- also the protagonist, as a young boy, of my not-soon-to-be-published novel, Starting for the Sun. In Vignettes there will be music from the actual "K.L.Storer" Heart Walks playing in the scene, coming from a boom box. For the real album, I actually did a pencil sketch, years ago, that if I locate, will be the artwork.

    Vignettes in Bellcreek *WILL* be worked on in the very near future. Something starts this week! I will, at the very least, place the movie files folder and the Final Cut project file for the first thing to be edited onto my MacBook Pro hard drive and at least start prepping files for assembly edit. I'm not sure whether that will be the first acted sequence or the opening credits sequence; I suppose that'll be up to the caprice of the moment.



    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    The show had a stellar sophomore weekend with some fine, fine work from David and Ian and strong positive responses from the three audiences.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Must admit that I did tweak some sound a bit. There's a music fade-in at one point in Act II that just sounded too haphazard, I shortened the fade-in time then realigned the spot in the music where it begins so it begins at the start of a stanza. It works much better now. There's also a place in Act I where blue jays chirp at the top of a scene. I'd originally programmed it for the birds to sound for the first ninety seconds of the scene. That has proven to be overkill, so I have shortened the period to thirty seconds. That will work much better, I am sure. I also adjusted one music volume that was a bit too loud.



    Tue, Dec 4, 2012

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    TWO GIGS IN THE QUEUE:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    fb post "Damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it: I have to turn down a paying gig because of a chain to a sound booth!!!!!!!!!!!!"; "Actually, thanks to Mr.Rick Flynn, the chains have been lifted."

    PC-Goenner called about noon yesterday about a gig this coming Sunday. It's a U.S. Bank commercial for which the client specifically requested me, according to the phone call. Apparently this is off a previous screentest for another U.S. Bank commercial I didn't get. That one was a national commercial so I have to assume this one is, too.

    Problem: having to sound tech A Tuna Christmas in the afternoon on Sunday. But I told the agency I would try to find a replacement. I had until 3:00 yesterday afternoon to let them know whether or not I was available. So, I starting making some calls. Enter Rick Flynn to save the day. He's agreed to cover the sound tech Sunday. So, yay!

    I'd have been one unhappy S.O.B. had I been forced to turn down the commercial. This is possibly a residual payment situation, and I really don't want to pass that up.

    Meanwhile, though all the details aren't in, I do know that the Lancaster Bingo web commercial shoot is a week from tomorrow.

    It certainly does feel damn nice to have booked two commercials that are shooting within days of each other for a change, rather than: audition, audition, audition, screentest, screentest, screentest, audition, screentest, audition, screentest, audition, screentest...... and no bookings to show for any of it.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    With the advent of Rick coming in to cover for me, he and I need to get together for a dry rehearsal, which may be Thursday evening. In the perfect world we'd get for at least one dry rehearsal, he'd shadow me in the booth during the performance Friday, and then he'd run the show with me sitting with him on Saturday. Unfortunately, he may not be able to be there Friday, though if he can arrange it he will.

    Of course, I am very grateful that Rick stepped up when I got hold of him. I also greatly appreciate Director Kathy Mola's support and understanding about the opportunity of commercial gig and her not wanting to see me miss it, either.


    STEREO MIX-MASTERING HAS BEGUN:
    HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer
    When We Are Walking audio time line from Dec 3, 2012

    It's a humble beginning but yesterday I started the actual mixing for the stereo master. Since "When We Are Walking" is the opening song, I started mixing that one. Barely got it started, but, it's started. I think I will, for the most part, mix the music pieces in the intended line-up order. The exception will be "Seems Like a Crime," which is still missing the bass guitar part. I won't mix that until I have recorded the bass line for it, obviously.

    As is my habit, I am mixing the sound in Final Cut Express, because why not? I am familiar with mixing sound in it. Though I ought to do some work in Garageband or Audacity; I really do need to utilize them both a bit more. I used Garageband to record the digital versions of the original analog tracks, but I have not delved into actually using it to mix. I will write about this a bit more before I finally take the plunge.


    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    MORE DIALECT TAPES DIGITIZED:
    Newly added:            1. French
    2. German
    3. Russian
    4. Yiddish *(tonight)



    Wed, Dec 5, 2012

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    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    I'm still waiting for a response from Christopher Hampton's literary agency, Casarotto Ramsay and Associates Ltd, or whoever it is that will be responding, with a granting or a denial of clearance to use dialogue text from Ghosts in the podcast, currently in early pre-production. Still guessing there's more of a chance of a denial than a granting, but: can't get a "yes" if ya don't ask the question. I also decided to go ahead and seek clearance for the following Guild production, 100 Saints You Should Know, and to that end I managed to contact the playwright, Kate Fodor, last night. Ms. Fodor has not yet responded, either.

    Further on the Ghosts podcast pre-production front, I will drop by the theatre tonight to warn the unsuspecting cast members about my drop-ins on their rehearsals, with DV camera in hand. And of course, I'll prepare them for the commentary shoots later in their rehearsal process.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    While I'm at the theatre tonight, I'll also tweak some labels in the Show Cue Systems program for the Tuna design. There are a few execution labels that a person running the sound, who is not the person who designed it, might find confusing. I am going to relabel those to make more sense and be more justified to what the design actually is.

    "Huh?" you say -- An example: The last scene of the show ends with a song; at the fadeout of the scene, that music fades then the music for the curtain call begins. I programmed the fade of song number one, then I programmed song number two to automatically start about two seconds into the fade of song one; I also hid that auto-starting song in the program execution console -- I hid all the automatic starts to eliminate clutter and to only have sounds that are manually executed in that section. It's cleaner and simpler. Thus, the only thing that is seen is the manual execution for the song 1 fade, not the auto execution of song 2. I'm going to go into the program edit side and relabel the song 1 fade; I'm going to lie; I'm going to give it the name of the closing music because that will make more sense for a sound tech who is not intimately familiar with the sound design of the show. There are a few other spots with the same situation where I will employ the same alteration.

    The hero of the hour, Rick Flynn, will be able to do a dry rehearsal tomorrow night, shadow me at Friday's show, then run the show with me at his side Saturday, the optimum situation.

    Can I hear a YAY?



    Thu, Dec 6, 2012

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    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    DOH!
    After the scrambling to get sound tech covered for Sunday's Tuna performance, I got a call yesterday from PC-Goenner to say that the U.S. Bank commercial has been moved to Monday. So, not only had I scrambled, but someone else had scrambled to rearrange his schedule to accomodate the Sunday tech substitution only for it all to become moot. I did propose that we go ahead with it because getting a new person's foot in the tech waters is never a bad thing.

    The move to Monday also causes me to burn vacation time at the rent-payer that I would not have to otherwise burn. Even though I have another commercial shoot on Wednesday, for Lancaster Bingo, I would have been able to avoid taking any vacation time from "work" due to being allowed to flex my forty hours at the office. The plan before this U.S. Bank shoot on Monday development was to work ten hours both Monday and Tuesday, then shoot the bingo commercial Wednesday.

    That shoot is scheduled for 10:00 to noon in Lancaster, which is about ninety minutes from the rent-payer, so I'll probably be able to get to said rent-payer and work at least a few hours Wednesday afternoon, perhaps as much as three; then, with the four extra hours I'd worked Mon & Tue I would have little or no hours to work over on Thursday to get my forty in for the week. However, the Monday U.S. Bank shoot means, even if it's only a half day, I'm burning some vacation time to get in the forty.

    But, not so fast.

    Last night I got an email from Goenner that says the U.S. Bank shoot is back to Sunday in Cincinnati, and later in the day so they can shoot an exterior Magic Light shot. So, we are back to the original game plan. The truth is I will not probably have to be in Cincinnati until about 6:30, which will theoretically make it possible to run the sound, but I really don't want to risk shaving it close like that.

    KL fb post - "Have I said lately how grateful I am I have management at my day job who does as much as possible to accommodate my audition and acting gig needs? Sometimes there's a project or a mandatory meeting that I can't get out of, but that's rarely the case and it's nice to have that support and encouragement. I know other actors who don't have it."


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

    STEREO MIXING:

    Though I had started the stereo mixing of the first song in this project, the opening song of the album, "When We Are Walking," I had to start over.

    There was a synchronization problem and to make it a clean fix, I just started the process for the song all over.

    Not too big of a deal since I wasn't that far in, anyway.


    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    AND MORE DIALECT TAPES DIGITIZED:
    Newly added:       1. Yiddish
    2. Down East New England
    3. Boston Upper Class (Kennedy-esque)

    But these tapes are toast:       * Texas
    * Boston



    Fri, Dec 7, 2012

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    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON

    Rick Flynn and I did a dry rehearsal of the sound programming for the show last night. Really it was a demonstration, with me walking through the show, playing the sounds with explanations of the cues or what's going on with the programming (hidden sound executables, etc). As planned, Rick will sit with me during the show tonight then run it with me present tomorrow.


    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    More toasted dialect tapes: Polish and Norwegian & Swedish. The tapes, which are second-hand, may be twenty or so years old, maybe almost thirty, so I am not shocked some are garbled goo.

    Looks like I may be going to David Alan Stern's website to replace a few. Thus far, it's these two and the Texas and Boston. I haven't dropped the West Indian & Black African, the British North Country, or the Australian into a cassette player for a long time. Those are what's left, and they may be toast, too.



    Sat, Dec 8, 2012

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    "imagine" -- John Lnnon, Oct 9, 1940-Dec 8, 1980



    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    It turns out the golden hour shoot is tomorrow at dawn not at dusk. My call is 7:30 in the morning. So I will be up at about 4:30 or 5:00. I'm supposed to attend a party tonight; believe I will be leaving early. Also, since the shoot tomorrow morning is exterior there are two potential rain dates. One is Wednesday.

    Problem?: My call for the other commercial, which I booked first, is 10:30 Wednesday morning. I have sent an email to the agency.


    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Show Number Seven went well. It was a smaller but appreciative audience.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    Mr. Flynn sat in booth and is feeling some good measure of comfort, having watched me run it.

    Most importantly to me, he asked the right questions, which is always a good measure.

    Tonight Rick sits in the driver seat.


    Meanwhile, I am now off for a quick haircut (re: tomorrow's shoot) before heading to the theatre



    Sun, Dec 9, 2012

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    CLOSING TODAY
    A TUNA CHRISTMAS by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The Cast of A Tuna Christmas

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Thurston Wheelis            David Hallowren

    Arles Struvie            Ian Manuel

    The Podcast for A Tuna Christmas



    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Up at 4:30 for a 7:30 call outside of Cincinnati for the U.S. Bank commercial shoot.

    Essentially five hours sleep.

    Details later, either in an addendum today, or tomorrow's entry.

    P.S.: no haircut yesterday. I opted out.



    Mon, Dec 10, 2012

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    U.S. BANK COMMERCIAL SHOOT IN MARIEMONT:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    As it was overcast yesterday morning when I headed out before dawn for the U.S. Bank commercial shoot outside of Cincinnati, there seemed some real chance that the shoot would be cancelled. My only hope was that if it was going to be, it would be before I had travelled to far along the seventy-five-mile sojourn to the location in Mariemont. I made the trek and the shoot went on as scheduled.

    Photo of I-675 at approximately 5:45 a.m. from POV of driver -- empty highway
    Southbound I-675, on the portion passing South Dayton, at about 5:45 yesterday morning. The barron highway is proof that I do not live in a major metropolitan area, which is by far and large, fine by me.
    Besides meaning that I did not get up at the ungodly hour of 4:00, then drive some unnecessary portion of a 150-mile round trip for nothing, it also means that i now have no potential scheduling conflict for the Lancaster Bingo web commercial shoot Wednesday morning. The 12th was one of the rain dates for the U.S.Bank shoot, and had it been a dawn shoot in Mariemont on Wednesday, the trek to Lancaster for the 10:30 a.m. call would have been more than problematic. The two cities are two hours from each other, so it would have been tight at best.

    The shoot went quite well. It didn't tax my acting skills much. All I do in the commercial is drop of a deposit bag in the outside drop box. If this is a national commercial it makes no difference; I am on b-roll with no lines so no residuals; commiseratively, there's no big initial paycheck or buy out. Not that it wasn't a nice wage for the time put in, even if you count the three hours total travel time. The compensation will be a little better for the Wednesday gig.


    ONE STEP CLOSER TO TREKKIE MONSTER:
    AUDITION ICON

    The callback dates for Avenue Q at The Human Race Theatre Company have been slated for January 25 & 26. Company manager Kryss Northrup will be getting with us who are called back soon to set appointments and give more details. For instance, I have no idea what character or characters I'm being called for nor what exactly is expected in the audition.

    Will there be puppetry involved, for instance? Will I be asked to sing a song from the show? I do know, ahead of time this time, who the director is, it is Joe Deer, who is on faculty for Wright State University: Theatre, Dance & Motion Pictures. As for the character(s), my biggest interest is, as some may know, in Trekkie Monster.


    NOW LEAVING TUNA TEXAS:
    A TUNA CHRUSTMAS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    After a good run the show closed yesterday on good note with a most receptive audience. I made it to the theatre a few scenes into Act II and everything was sailing along.

    Yes, the show had a good run with fine, fine work from David Hallowren and Ian Manuel. Kathy Mola did herself right with her Ohio directorial debut, and Jared Mola put together a crack run crew for the show.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    As an admin for the DTG facebook page, I posted the following last night to the DTG fb wall: "Special thanks to Rick Flynn who came in at the last minute to do a great job pinch-hitting as the show's sound tech!" And he did a great job.

    Like I wrote before, he came in Thursday evening and he and I did a dry rehearsal of sorts where I showed him the Show Cue Systems software and went over the sound design for the show. Then he shadowed me during the Friday performance and watched as I ran the show. Saturday, Rick ran the sound with me there, but he really drove on his own with a few comments, reminders and warnings of potential pitfalls. Only one mishap occurred, but it was minor and easily remedied. Sunday it was all his and he did well. As I have told him: Now he's marked and destine to log far more time in the booth!



    Wed, Dec 12, 2012

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    IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA, THIS MORNING:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    About to head out on the ninety-minute trek to Lancaster, Ohio to be talent in the Lancaster Bingo web commercial.

    I must say the script I am working off today has me saying lines that make a bit more sense to me.

    Makes me wonder if the audition script was calculated to see if the actors could bring off the desired attitude even if confused about the exact intent and context.


    BEHIND THE CAMERA, TONIGHT:
    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    I shoot the first footage for the Ghosts podcast this evening. It'll be just a little bit of b-roll of a line work rehearsal.

    The Christopher Hampton folk, Casarotto Ramsay and Associates Ltd or otherwise, have yet to respond to the request about using dialogue in the podcast.

    We'll see....


    THE LAST DIALECT TAPES...TOAST:
    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

    The West Indian & Black African, British North Country and Australian dialect tapes are all corrupted, like several others. So, I need to replace seven dialects, which will cost just about $140.



    Thu, Dec 13, 2012

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    THE LANCASTER BINGO GIG, YESTERDAY:
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    xxxx
    I-70 East horizon at dawn. There's a bit of on-coming traffic on the horizon under the overpass, if you look hard enough. The road is part of the dark of the lower half of the image.

    The shoot went off yesterday without a hitch; I was even wrapped early. The shoot was slated for 10:00-12:noon, but we got started early and I was pulling away from the location at 10:35.

    One cool piece of trivia: one of my castmates for the shoot was a veteran actor named John Schmidt who was in the chorus during the original run of Brigadoon on Broadway.

    We shot the segment in the recreation house of Lancaster Bingo founder Mark Sells, on his property. His rec-house masqueraded as a bar where I was Snarky Bartender, though the director had me pull the snark back a bit from the screen test.

    It was a pretty smooth shoot and I even did some prop work, watering down some coffee to serve as beer in glasses; and I made a key observation about a continuity problem that certainly saved the director a headache in post.


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



    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Podcast production officially began with the shooting of about fifteen minutes excerpted from about the first hour of table-read rehearsal last night. Only so much footage of actors sitting around looking at their scripts is necessary. I got some shots of each actor in some state of animation and some of them studiously following along, as well as some footage of production folk following along, making notes, etc. But again, only so much of that is needed before it becomes a major case of redundancy.

    Still no word back from the Hampton camp concerning clearance or no clearance to use dialogue from the translation in the DV movie.



    Fri, Dec 14, 2012

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    OLIVER!:
    In the audience icon

    I saw the interesting, conceptualized production of this classic musical at The Human Race Theatre Company last night. I have to say the cast gives a stellar performance that makes me jealous and even a little intimidated; the choreography especially intimidates; I don't know if I could have pulled it off.

    The concept tells the story as a frame-piece that is conscious of the Dickensian tale as both literature and the classic musical offering, with the clientele of a period bar acting out the story, even often donning in their hands what appear to be librettos of the original musical version. In this manner it's fairly reminiscent of Man of La Mancha. Some audience members last night did complain that they thought the story got somewhat lost and I had a conversation today with a local actor who pointed out that she felt the character Oliver was pretty fuzzy most of the time, that it almost didn't seem like it was his story. I really can't argue with those points, but I will say I liked Director Alan Souza's idea of the frame story; I especially like the evocative ending. Others did not like the ending and some were not sure what to think. I loved it, I found it like a good jazz piece that does not give a chord resolve at the ending. Some people need that final resolution; I find the discord that refusing the resolve can effect to sometimes work, as I think it works here.

    Regardless of any conceptual complaints anyone may have, the production was compelling to watch and the cast kicked some serious ass. The show's extended until Dec 22.

    There's my non-review for the week.



    Sat, Dec 15, 2012

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    image of an eye with a tear leaking from the corner

    December 14, 2012

    I just cannot imagine



    Mon, Dec 17, 2012

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    A DICKENS OF A WEEK!:
    In the audience icon

    So I have been delving into dramatizations of the work of Charles Dickens a bit this last week. It started, of course, last Thursday with the mounting of Oliver! at The Human Race Theatre Company, then continued over the weekend with two separate interpretations of A Christmas Carol. First was the version, bearing the proper title, mounted by the imaginative Zoot Theatre Company, which closed Saturday evening; that being the performance I attended. The next day, yesterday, I saw one of the musical adaptations, Scrooge: the Musical at The Dayton Playhouse.

    As I've already wrote, it was interesting to see the revisioning of Oliver! at HRTC. It was equally as interesting to see the puppet-work interpretation of A Christmas Carol that Zoot offered up. It's always interesting to see what Zoot creates in that world of masks and puppets that they inhabit. And it was fun to see what music and songs a composer, Leslie Bricusse, would come up with for the same classic Christmas tale. I think my favorite from this musical version is "I Hate People," wonderfully executed by Michael Stickstill as Scrooge, by-the-way. Dies it say something about me that this was the one I walked away liking?



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    What have you done or will you toward this project today

    I migrated the movie files and the FCP files (Final Cut Project files) for both the opening title sequence and a sequence titled "Prison Visits" from the external harddrive to the harddrive on my laptop. "Prison Visits," by the way, may end up being split between the first and third narrative segments, depending on whether I edit the story linearly. There's no music or Foley for either. The title sequence needs the music, obviously, the prison sequence needs lots of Foley. But at least I can get assembly edits even with no added sound or music.

    The idea of doing a non-linear story edit has occurred to me. I am weighing the option. Introducing the precedent of these segments as vignettes that do have connectivity to each other but are still independent does keep non-sequential story telling from being unviable. It may not make much difference though and there's not a lot that can be jumbled up unless I get too creative with the mixing of sequences and create something that can't be followed.

    I'm just thinking out loud here.

    Regardless of how I place the parts of "Prison Visits," I will make two segments to be either placed side-by-side or with one or more other segments in between.

    I also am reconsidering the black-and-white aspect. I may have gotten a bit better at color correction and I may give that a shot again. B&W works for this, but it has not real purpose except to cover the disparate color temperatures. If I can fix that incongruent aspect, I should, I think.

    Note the poster above; I have prints of that strategically placed around my environs to nag me about progress on this. It's time to get this moving along. It has been for a long time.



    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Tonight I shoot a run of the show. It's primarily intended to be b-roll, and since I have not heard "yay" or "nay" from the Christopher Hampton people about use of dialogue in the final cut, I must assume the no for the time being, and relegate tonight's footage to b-roll with no audio.
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    On the front for the next podcast, I was given another route to contact playwright Kate Fodor about clearance for the 100 Saints DV movie.

    I have reiterated the request through the new channel.



    Wed, Dec 19, 2012

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    AUDITION ICON

    Just picked up an audition for Friday, here in the Dayton area, for an asthma video -- I think it's an informational, instructional, or otherwise an industrial, rather than a commercial or a promotional video.

    I will be playing a coach.

    Talk about "acting!"


    DAY #2 OF PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR "DTG PODCAST 1213-05 Ghosts":
    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    I dropped in for about an hour last night and shot thirty-two minutes of footage, b-roll, of course.

    I'm not going to over-kill the footage on this one. I still hold to the philosophy Better too much material than not enough, but still: last podcast I had something like five or more hours of footage that amounted to in excess of a half terabyte of files...

    ...too much.

    Still no word back from the Christopher Hampton camp about dialogue clearance. Still not holding my breath.
    LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Annnd......A Yes --

      Back on the front for the next podcast, Ms. Fodor got back with me last evening very graciously granting clearance to use dialogue from the script in the 100 Saints You Should Know DV movie.

      So, Yay!



    Thu, Dec 20, 2012

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    Isabella Elizabeth Roberts, born Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011 - HAPPY BIRTHDAT BELLA!! Congtrats to Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts!

    Happy One Year Birthday Bella!!



    Ooops!
    KL fb post - "I think I posted a while back that I rarely, if ever, feel fully rested.......no change."

    Last evening was another of those instances were I lay down to take a nap for an hour or two and it became sleeping into morning. So, the things that were on my agenda were not attended to.
    So, oh well!


    THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
    Yet another new subject icon!
    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Though I don't have the exact appointment time for the Avenue Q callback at HRTC, nor do I know exactly what I am being asked to do for the audition, I have been doing prep work. That mostly consists of listening to the Broadway cast album, but also a lot of experimenting on the best way to get to, to do, the character voices. To that end, and I'm not wholly sure what this amounts to save for a cool coincidence, but as I have been studying and practicing I have been concentrating on two characters, their songs and their voices: Trekkie Monster and Nicky.

    In doing some research on the show, what I discovered is that usually, if not always, the same actor performs both characters in a production, along with one of the Bad Idea Bears.

    The research also explains what types of puppets each are. Trekkie Monster and Nicky are both live-hands puppets that require two puppeteers, each with a hand and arm dressed with a long sleeve and glove that matches the puppet's costume. These are the arms and hands of the puppet. The actor puppeteer controls the puppet's left hand and head & mouth. The straight puppeteer is silent and controls the right hand. If the actor is left handed the sides may be reversed.

    The Bad Idea Bears are both double-rod puppets. Such puppets consist of a head and a torso with two arms that are both movable for gestures. A single puppeteer/actor controls the puppet's head and mouth with the dominant hand, and the two rods are held in the other hand and control the puppet's hands and arms. The puppeteer may occasionally drop one rod when only one arm/hand requires movement.
    xxxx

    So, I have some wood-shedding, some practice and skill investigation to get started on, soon, I do believe.

    As a related side note, I did my Zoot Theatre Company general audition last summer, (June), with what is known as a single-rod puppet. A single-rod puppet is much like the double-rod but with only one active puppet arm/hand. *see to the right.


    In a separate and more immediate vain, tonight I memorize the two-page script for the asthma video screentest tomorrow.



    Mon, Dec 24, 2012
    Christmas Eve

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    Scenic image of a snow-covered path in the woods, bordered with garlands and mistletoe with the red words "Merry Christmas."






    AUDITION ICON

    Went to the audition Friday at ManaVision. Turns out the client is Think TV. It seems that it went okay. We tried it a few different ways.

    Now it's out there and out of my control; time to do whatever is next.


    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
    AT THE MOVIES icon

    After the audition Friday, Greg Nichols (movie auteur & director of The Wonderland Express), Chuck Larkowski (local actor whom I've done a few stage productions with and is featured in several of Greg's movies), and I went to Fairfield, Ohio to see the High-Frame-Rate (48 per second) 3-D screening of this new Peter Jackson film.

    Have to say I liked this the latest installment, the pre-qual (part 1), in Jackson's Tolkien adaptations; and this time it was the film adaptation of a novel I've read at least a half-dozen times, maybe more. It's also, I'm afraid to admit, the first modern-day 3-D movie I've even seen. This may shock some, but I've never seen any incarnation of Avatar, 3-D or otherwise.

    Hey, if I had the pocketbook and especially the time, I'd see pretty much every movie that comes out.    

    The 48 fps (frames per second) and 3-D looked good. Jackson is, of course, gifted at telling these epic fantasies on screen. The horribly green film maker in me felt a bit hopeless as I watched the mastery of the film making. Of course, a lot of it has to do with having both the budget and the toys.

    Make that: the BUDGET and the toys.

    "Budget" and big-boy movie making "Toys" aside, I often see many examples of the monstrous message that I am so neophyte at film making that the title Film Maker hardly belongs in front of my name under most circumstances.

    A bit melodramatic, perhaps, but still pretty much my often-time assessment of the subject.



    Christmas day, 2012

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    To all my friends and colleagues of your various faiths, beliefs and convictions I wish you great tidings of Peace and Love for you, your families and your lives, today and in this year to come. I choose today because I am of the Christian tradition, but I wish well to all who are, have just, or will soon be observing and-or celebrating like holidays dedicated to Spiritual Light and Love and the Glory of your God, however you define your God. Love and Grace to us all! K.L.






    Wed, Dec 26, 2012

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    TWO EMINENT SCREEN ACTORS GONE.
    Rest in Peace Oscar; Jack Klugman, 1922-2012.
    Jack Klugman died on December 24, as most (or all) who might read this will know. Jack, of course, was last known for the 70's/80's TV crime drama Quincy M.E. For me though, as endearing as the character Dr. R. Quincy was, Jack will always have my heart as Oscar Madison in the TV series version of Neil Simon's American classic, The Odd Couple. As good as Walter Matthau was as Oscar in the original 1968 feature film, Mr. Klugman was able to infuse a lovableness into Oscar that was appealing: a rough-around-the-edges sweetheart who hid his warm heart behind a curmudgeon facade. Klugman had a long and fruitful career, of course, but he will always be Oscar Madison to me.
    Rest in Peace Charles Durnam, 1923-2012.
    On the same day, as you all will surely know, veteran character actor Charles Durning passed, too. Mr. Durning's credits are many and go back six decades. One of his last well-know appearances was as Michael Gavin, the father to Denis Leary's character on the FX cable series, Rescue Me. He was an everyman with a broad range and could pull off a large gambit of types, good and bad. Charles could successfully play the wise, lovable grandpa, the drunk, ner-do-well dad, the crusty cop, the hardened crime boss, the understanding preist, the sympathetic doctor, the shifty con man. He was the kind of skilled, bankable actor with whom any man or woman looking to have a steady career as an actor aspires to be on equal footing. Mr. Durning was so well recognizable that as I have said before about others like him: If I could achieve just a tenth of what he did, I'd have a great career.


    OTHERS MAY BE ENTHUSED BY THIS WINTER STORM STUFF; I'M NOT: Local Weather Alert. BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM WEDNESDAY TO 1 AM EST THURSDAY... ... WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN UPGRADED....

    12:57 a.m.:
    As I begin to write this portion of today's post, the snow has not started in my alcove of south-west Ohio, but the wind is picking up. Forecast says there will likely be six inches of snow that accumulates quickly, perhaps as much as ten inches. According to my monitoring of facebook during Christmas Day, some of my friends are excited in a positive manner about this. That, of course, is their prerogatives; I do not share their keenness for the blizzard that may be coming.

    KL fb post -- "All Nighter -- 'cause if I go to sleep now, I'm apt to oversleep and potentially not be able to get to the grocery. At this point, if the storm turns out lame I may be a little pissed."

    xxxx
    My IGA grocery cart at about 6:20 or so this morning. At least if the snowpocalypes comes, I won't starve.
    5:11 a.m.:
    The facebook post, from about 4 a.m. addresses my major dilemma: I have almost no groceries as I write this portion, just past 5:00 this morning. There's enough to eat today, but if this blizzard is the real deal, I may end up in a bad situation where I have no food in the abode. IGA opens, I believe at 6:00 this morning, so, my plan is to head there when they open and get some grub for the home. Probably ought to get at least some that doesn't need that special ingredient of electricity -- I.E.: food I don't have to cook. At this point, (5:16), there's been no snow where I live, but the wind is certainly kicking up.

    8:06 a.m.:
    Okay, now I'm a few minutes from going to bed. Just have to post this blog entry. I went to the grocery shortly after 6:00, and bought enough supplies for several days. The snow was just starting to fall as I left for the local IGA. ABout a half hour later when I drove home, the roads were already at that "drive with caution" level. Thus far the Sheriff's office hasn't set a snow emergency level, but that is, I'm sure, only a matter of time.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    The beginnings of a blizzard? The snow on the ground outside my place just after I got back from the grocery store this morning.



    IF THE WINTER STORM ELEVATES TO BLIZZARD....:
    'VINGETTES IN BELLCREEK' logo -- D.P. Fred Boomer operating camera woth Director K.L.Storer next to him. HEART WALKS a full-length double album by K.L.Storer

    With the prospect of being cabin-bound today because of the storm, it will be a perfect opportunity to work post on Vignettes in Bellcreek.

    And, maybe some work on the music album, too....

    Of course, if power goes out, that dampers things. I would have some battery life in my laptop computer to work off of, but both sorts of editing will use battery power rather quickly.


    A FRIENDLY REMINDER:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

    Monday I wrote that "I often see many examples of the monstrous message that I am so neophyte at film making that the title Film Maker hardly belongs in front of my name under most circumstances." The impetus for that particular day's recurrence of said observation was much of the highly skilled special effects and choreography of action in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, especially some rather unique and stylized battle scenes.

    Enter Quentin Tarantino's recent appearance on Charlie Rose, which I watched a portion of Monday afternoon. His appearance was due to the advent of the release of Django Unchained. Tarantino told Rose a story of sitting with Director Terry Gilliam at a luncheon at the Sundance Film Festival, pre-Reservoir Dogs. He asked Gilliam how the other director was able to so successfully translate his visions to the screen.

    Gilliam's answer was that the director doesn't need to have all the multitude of skill sets needed to put the vision on the screen. He or she can hire the artisans who are expert at the high variety of crafts: cinematography, sets, properties, artwork, costuming, make-up, etc., etc., etc. The director needs only to be excellent at explaining her or his vision. Tarantino said that he knew he could be very good at explaining his vision and that suddenly this veil of magical mystery fell away from the mythic art of film making -- those are kind of a collaboration of his words and mine.

    This isn't a new concept to me. A few years back at a film festival I attended a DP (Director of Photography) I was talking to said essentially the same thing to me when I talked of how little I know about lighting and so many other technical aspects of shooting a movie. What he told me was essentially what Gilliam said to Tarantino, that I don't need to know how to do all that stuff; I just need to have people on my team who do along with my knowing what I want and how to communicate that.

    It does, however, seem to me I do need to have enough knowledge of everyone's craft to understand how to plan a damn production, how to make the day. I should understand and have enough knowledge, for instance, to allot a proper amount of time for the shot set-ups which can include a myriad of elements that a myriad of production team people need to get into place, most especially the DP setting up what may be a complicated lighting set-up.

    On the set of The Ides of March, as an example, one thing that happened was that some PAs came in with large steamers and steamed the curtains in Hall Auditorium on the campus at Miami University to steam out wrinkles that Director George Clooney didn't like in the shots. As to whether that was a need that was a given or was a contingency that was planned on possibly needing to be done, I can't say. Also, I don't know if Clooney himself or one of his production people, such as his AD, David Webb or the DP, Phedon Papamichael, was who knew originally to plan for such a possible need. But that's an example of a minutia of things that go into making a movie, and even if I can bring in the experts and explain my vision to them, still, as a director, I need to think about and know a lot of just to be able top be in charge and actually direct the team that I would assemble.


    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    The plan is to shoot more footage at at least one rehearsal this week. I was going to probably shoot tonight, but there just may not be rehearsal tonight.
    So shoots, and commentary are up in the air. Though I didn't really plan to shoot commentary this week.



    Thu, Dec 27, 2012

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    xxxxxx
    Snow Day
    xxxx

    Out my front door, about 8 am yesterday morning

    Okay. Yes, this is, for all practical purposes, a non-entry entry. I imagine that any of the five people who look at this silly blog couldn't care less about seeing pictures of the snow-covered scenes outside my home.

    But as my mother used to say, "That's irregardless." Here are pictures of the scenes outside my cabin-fever locale, taken yesterday and early, early, early this morning.
    xxxx
    8 am shot of the parking lot
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    5 pm shot out my front door; now we see the road
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    My parking lot at 5 pm
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    Out my front door early this morning (3 am)



    'VINGETTES IN BELLCREEK' logo -- D.P. Fred Boomer operating camera woth Director K.L.Storer next to him.
    The circumstances of the inconvenient weather of the last two days has conspired with my lesser wisdoms to discombobulate my sleep patterns. After I went back to bed at about 9:00 this morning, I had what I remember vaguely as a dream, or maybe a series of dreams, about post-production editing of this. If I remember correctly, the footage from the dream is not actual footage from this project, but some garnering from another part of my life, only more or less connected to the "film making" aspect. Not sure why this dream-thing is relevant except that I find it interesting -- and, due to the tangential part of my life it borrowed from, a little emotionally evocative.

    Now to the point: the Final Cut Express project will be open and changed today.


    AT THE MOVIES icon
    KL fb post -- "Okay, okay, okay. I'll go see LES MIS....! Stop bugging me!"



    Mon, Dec 31, 2012

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    'VINGETTES IN BELLCREEK' logo -- D.P. Fred Boomer operating camera woth Director K.L.Storer next to him.
    xxxx
    Balboni's template graphic; with the error, not yet corrected.

    Some work has been done on the project. I'd love to report that some big-ass chunk of work has been finished; alas, I cannot.

    My plan was to start with a couple superimpositions. One was to change a photo of a small village corporate limits sign so that the village name is "Bellcreek." The other was to place the sign, "Balboni's Restaurant & Spirits" on the exterior wall of the side of the DTG Caryl D. Phillips TheatreScape building. Turns out I couldn't do the corporate limits sign; I did get the sign onto the building, though.

    The Balboni's sign is for a quick establishment shot for the start of the sequence that features Barbara Jorgensen, Elena Monigold, Gino Pasi, and Brett Taylor as diners in Balboni's. It's the first official segment of the project, which was shot November 15, 2008 in the basement of The Guild, almost a year before we opened it.

    So: we shot that four £ü¢|<1|\|& years ago! I certainly am rushing the post-production, aren't I?

    The establishment shot is of "an extra" walking up to and through the side door at The Dayton Theatre Guild. That was shot in December of 2010. The sign, which is not really clearly readable, is now superimposed, via green screen of a computer graphic image I created this weekend.

    One minor SNAFU: On the graphic of the sign I put an "s" on the end of "Restaurant", so the graphic said, "Balboni's Restaurants & Spirits"; I've since corrected it. The version I perspective-changed to look like it is on the building wall does have the misspell, but I'm not going to fix it -- I.E.: redo all that work -- because the error is pretty obscure. The sign is not all that clear and the establishment shot is only a moment. There will be a lower-third text identifying the location that will pull focus, anyway, but I want the sign there above the door for the subtle verisimilitude.

    My plan for the Bellcreek corporate limits sign, (an establishment shot during the opening credits), was to grab a frame from the particular exterior road footage, which I shot in March of 2010 around my neck of the woods. The idea was to grab a frame from footage of me driving past the true corporate limits sign, alter the name of the village to say, "Bellcreek," then use that freeze frame in the footage as a still with the Ken Burns Effect to drop a fast and quick shot in -- just long enough for the viewer to catch the village name. The hope is that it will look like live footage; we'll see.

    The only problem is that I didn't have the footage I believed I had. The shot of my driving by the sign is not as clean as it needs to be. What I'm going to do is go to the sign and take a few different stills of it. It needs to be the right time of day and with the correct overcast conditions, which is barely any overcast. There also has to be a comparable amount of snow blanket; all for good continuity. I'm going to look at the footage then drive over to the sign today, at the right time of day, but I don't think today is the day to get the image I need.

    xxxx
    The raw establishment shot for the Balboni's restaurant sequence.
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    The "greenscreen" graphic of the Balboni's Restaurant & Spirits sign.
    xxxx
    The finished product: The side of The Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape converted into the entrance to Balboni's.



    MAJOR SURPRISE......or perhaps not:
    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON

    Is it shocking that I have a lot of catch-up to do concerning 2012 mileage, expenses and income for the professional side of my acting life? So much for last year's vow not to get behind with the records. Should I be silly enough to vow again for 2013? Eh, why not?


    In a vaguely related manner, I am in the process of applying for a loan to get a good, newer used car. Obviously acting is not the only reason for such purchase, but it is a reason. My car is about ready to peter out for good and a lot of my professional acting -- auditions and bookings -- call for at least a ninety-mile round trip, and my current car is becoming untrustworthy for such, with an exponential growth of the mechanical problems. The rental car choice may be an occasional option, when one is, say, trekking to Pittsburgh, but ultimately it gets quickly expensive. Trekking to Pittsburgh, itself, would be better without the $100-plus car rental fee.


    LOOKS LIKE DR. HILL RETURNS:
    U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

    I'm back on the malpractice mock trial gig I did last year for U.D. Law School. I'll be playing the same character, Dr. Lauren Hill, who is an emergency medicine doctor who specializes in cardiac emergencies. I thought I had a problem where I didn't know where all the flash cards I made last year had gotten to -- and I made a whole lot of them. I was afraid I could not find them, though I was reasonably sure I did not toss them as I knew by the end of the gig last year that I might be called back this year. I found them. Though I won't be starting from scratch this year, I do need to start looking at the material now -- there is a lot of information to have in my head. But at least I won't feel like I'm studying for the Medical Boards this time around (I hope).

    My gig dates for this are peppered from January 16 through April 7. At this point my only possible conflict is one date in February where I'm hoping to have been cast in and thus have a rehearsal for the The Human Race Theatre Company workshop of Gingerbread Children, by Michael Slade. There's also, I suppose, some chance that I have a potential conflict in January, if I manage to book the Think TV gig I screentested for a little more than week ago at ManaVision in Oakwood. But I think I remember being told this one would shoot quickly, so I may not have been cast, else I probably would have been notified already.


    GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    xxxx

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    Yesterday I went to The Guild to begin the commentary shoots for the podcast. I was not able to get all the cast yesterday, but I had planned on that being the case. I shoot no b-roll, but will during rehearsals later this week.

    There still has been no response whatsoever from the Hampton camp concerning clearance or no clearance to use dialogue from this translation in the podcast. It seems very clear that we'll not get the permission needed, that all rehearsal footage will be silent b-roll, cutaways.

    So-oh-well. As "regular" readers may know, I am not taken aback by this. I have said from the start I was skeptical clearance would be granted.

    I actually remembered to bring the clapboard to the shoot. Usually I forget it and if any sound synch is needed I have to either clap my hand at the start (if I know I'm going to synch), or I have to find a clean, distinct sound in the footage from which to synch better quality audio recording from the other source. That source may be audio from another camera, as was the case with some footage from Tuna Christmas, or purposefully externally recorded audio, as in this case.

    I used both my mics and recorded the audio for the commentaries into Garageband, thus the certain need to synch. Though, since there is on-board camera audio, I can synch to the sound of the clap board snap, as well as the visual. But the off-board audio is higher quality: why I am doing it.

    xxxx
    The clapboard
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    The commentary set, set up in the back of the DTG boardroom.
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    Slightly closer look at the commentary set.
    xxxx
    Actor Angela Timpone (Regina Engstrand), one of the three actors whose commentary I shot yesterday.
    xxxx
    Dave Nickel (Jakob Engstrand)
    xxxx
    Chuck Larkowski (Pastor Manders)




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