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

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Tue, Jan 1, 2013

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Welcome to 2013


Thu, Jan 3, 2013

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THE ACTORS PROMOTE:
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

First off, cast member Lisa Howard-Welch interviewed with Larry Coressel on WDPR's Arts Focus for the segment that aired this morning, and will again at 4:55 this afternoon. At some point it will be available at the link in the previous sentence.

DTG Podcast Production logo
As for the podcast, Ms. Howard-Welch also interviewed with me last night as I shot hers and Jared Mola's commentary segments. I shot no other footage; I'm saving the rest of the b-roll work until the cast is further into their costuming, though I may shoot a little bit at the rehearsal tomorrow night: it depends on my caprice.

I also will close out the commentary shooting with Director Matt Smith's segment, tomorrow night. I hope to edit the meat of the podcast on Saturday, (the assembly of the commentary, which will be the base of the movie). Then, on Wednesday, I'll drop the b-roll shots over that, much of which has not been shot yet. Of course I have b-roll now, but I will wait to place it in the DV movie until I have shot Sunday and Tuesday, thus having all my choices available at the same time.
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Lisa Howard-Welch (Helene Alving) during the shooting of her commentary segment, last evening.
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Sound set-up: my four-channel mini-mixer, running through my iMic into Garageband on my MacBook Pro; with the Canon ZR800 setting behind the laptop -- and my headphones in front.
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Jared Mola (Helene's son, Osvald) during his segment.



FILM CONNECTIONS, TONIGHT:
Film Dayton icon

The big reason I am not shooting footage for the podcast tonight is that I'm attending the special Film Connections session tonight (the reschedule of the December session). It features Marisha Mukerjee, who develops programming for cable television as the guest speaker and it seems like I should not miss this. The film dayton facebook event says of tonight:

Marisha Mukerjee comes home for a holiday from her work in development for Cineflix Studios where she helps shape the shows you see on TV. A very different experience than film, Mukerjee will delve into the writing style, pitches, stories and process of moving an idea from concept to cable.

Seems worth five dollars and an evening, to me.



Sat, Jan 5, 2013

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ARMY WIVES IS GOING BACK INTO PRODUCTION:
AUDITION ICON

PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
Got a call yesterday from PC-Goenner; I'll be heading to the Sharonville office Wednesday to screentest for an episode of lifetime's Army Wives that shoots at the end of the month, in South Carolina. There could be a potential conflict with my Avenue Q callback for the The Human Race Theatre Company production, were I to book the Army Wives gig. But, perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of myself, here. If this is like this time last year, I may do a few more auditions for the series (I and lots of other local actors). The odds are not fabulous, but I am, as last year, okay with putting my face on video in front of the CDs (casting directors) multiple times. That can pay off later.


ARTS FOCUS AND PODCASTING:
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
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Director Matthew Smith during his commentary segment shoot, last night.

Lisa Howard-Welch's interview with Larry Coressel for WDPR's Arts Focus is now available to hear on-line: "Graceful Ghosts."

DTG Podcast Production logo
I grabbed the commentary segment with Director Matt Smith last night. I'll now spend the rest of today editing the main plate of the podcast DV movie. My hope is to have nothing left to do after today but drop b-roll cut-aways into the DV movie. I'll do that Wednesday, certainly before and maybe after my Army Wives trip to the talent agency.


FILM CONNECTIONS, THURSDAY NIGHT:
Film Dayton icon

Despite a gnawing, whiney voice in my head that was telling me I was too tired to go into Dayton, that I needed to go home and sleep, I still did attend Film Connections Thursday night at Think TV. Guest speaker, and native Daytonian, Marisha Mukerjee, who now develops programming for Cineflix, in L.A., was certainly interesting to hear speak about the process of the spark of an idea for a show through to the airing or cablecasting of the lucky few that make all the cuts on the journey from A to Z.

Ms. Mukerjee was informative and disseminated much good information. There really weren't any revelations save for one thing she said that goes to counter to much of what I have understood. She said that Hollywood doesn't care about age, only about the difference between stale and fresh ideas and voices. She made the clarification while she was talking about "young" writers, distinguishing those as not young in age but inexperienced writers, regardless of age. I've always heard that Hollywood was a young person's town. I like her take better.

On a related/unrelated note (which I may have stated before): I suck at the networking and schmoozing stuff. There is built-in networking time at the film connections meetings and every time I'm there that portion leaves me feeling like the dork leaning on the wall watching the cool kids mix. It's kind of silly and absolutely is a difficulty for me to overcome and outgrow.


A NEW CAR FOR ALL PARTS OF MY LIFE:

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On a Personal Note icon

THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
As I wrote here last Monday, I was awaiting word on a loan for a new car. What you see above and below is that car, a 2009 Kia Rio. Above, is a photo I snapped at Yellow Springs Park on my way back from the Xenia Title Office this morning, where I got a duplicate of my title for the 1989 Saab 9000s that is setting on the lot at CarMax in Miamisburg, waiting to be salvaged by the dealer after I turn the title over to them -- which I had lost. Below on the left, the Rio sets in my parking spot at my apartment complex; on the right it sets on the side street by The Guild, last night.

Also, as I wrote, though clearly I have needed a car just in general, K.L. the actor benefits greatly by having a reliable car that is good on gas, one that keeps me from needing to rent quite as often for the occasional long-trip auditions and gigs. Better gas mileage, alone, is major point. It's just a fact -- even outside of L.A.: a reliable car is a good thing for an actor to own.

Further, K.L. the board member, producer, sound designer and podcast producer at The Guild needs a reliable car for the constant forty-five-mile round trips to the theatre, for whatever role I play on any given day.

Thus, though this entry is mostly, really, "On a Personal Note," it is also still very much relevant to "The Business of Acting."

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On my way home from the Title Office this morning, I elected to take the scenic route back to the apartment complex:
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Mon, Jan 7, 2013

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MIND GAMES:
AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

Just as the punk gremlin makes an appearance in the next post, it could be a factor here, too. I came across a communication from another local actor who's hooked up more closely with theatrical puppetry that made me immediately go to Yeah, my designs on the role(s) I want in Avenue Q are delusional.... Feeling a little bit defeatist right now. Trying to tell myself that a possible edge I have is the ability to sing the songs in key in the character voices; that such is a unique thing remains to be seen.


Mind at Ease --

I haven't started the study on the sides for the Army Wives screentest this coming Wednesday, but there are only six lines, most pretty short, so I should have no problem being off-script for the audition. I'm sure with work starting tonight, it'll be pretty easy. I'll be auditioning for a doctor in a military hospital, so after work tonight I'm getting a haircut; my hair needs to be just a bit more trimmed than it is right now, though it's not exactly unruly.


THE GREMLIN AND ITS PRACTICAL JOKE:
PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
DTG Podcast Production logo
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Yesterday, Tech Sunday for Ghosts, I shot seventy-one minutes of footage, covering the cue-to-cue and the tech run. Enter that pesky Gremlin!

Since I need no audio of dialogue, and no thus no need to grab particular sound bytes that will be more appealing in the podcast, I only stayed until I had good coverage. I left at least an hour before the tech run was wrapped, I'm sure. I got home about 3:00 in the afternoon, fixed some dinner and then sat down with the Canon ZR800 and Final Cut Express on my MacBook Pro to capture that seventy-one minutes of footage into the FPE project for the podcast.

And it appeared to be an Ooops! situation. There were several diagonal lines, each with odd litte circles peppered across them, all the circles uniform in look, but not in a consistant pattern. I stopped the video playback, took out the DV cassette and put it back in. The problem did not cease. Then I fast-forwarded for a while then rewound. Nope. It looked like I had pretty much wasted several hours. I tried one more thing. I had set the speed on low to get ninety minutes of record time. I went in and changed the default speed back to Standard Speed. The playback would still be at the slower speed, but it seems that making this default change worked. Or it may have been coincidental to something else that I did or that happened independently of me, but, whatever, I was able to capture good footage, after all.

Hate to report this, but I did not get anywhere close to as far along with the base, assembly edit of the DV movie as I had hoped. But, I did more editing last night and I likely will get that base edit completed tonight -- *with the goal of multi-tasking with the Army Wives script study.



Tue, Jan 8, 2013

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IN THE RIGHT PLACE BUT UNHAPPY WITH THE RECENT LEG OF THE JOURNEY:
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
screenshot close-up of Finalk Cut Exprtess moving editing software with a balck-and-white rendered image in the editing view screen of K.L.'s movie slate board identifying the shoot as "Ghist Commentary; 2012-12-30; sound synch."
Screen shot of the slate for Angela Timpone's commentary segment, which I edited into the podcast DV movie much earlier this morning.

KL fb post -- "Well, since I'm up at 3:30 and clearly not going back to sleep, might as well edit some DV movie....; what I would have done last night had that nap not ended up not being a 'nap.'"
DTG Podcast Production logo

I really must stop doing that: this intending to take a nap of about an hour that ends up being a full night's sleep, and sometimes, then some.

Over the course of the last few weeks I've done it several times. I think it started with my decision to stay up Christmas night in order to hit the local grocery when it opened the next morning, since I had hardly any food in my house and there was a threat of a blizzard that might make either getting to the grocery virtually impossible or the store not being open, or both. I threw my sleep clock off and have never quite adjusted it back.

of course, you five who regularly visit will know that I have reported doing this overextended-nap trick in the past. So yesterday I left work at 5:30, dropped in and got a "miltaryesque" (not quite military, but close) haircut for tomorrow's Army Wives audition, got home, fixed dinner, then lay down for a 60-75-minute nap. That was about 7:30ish. I woke up just about 3:00 this morning; I barely recall the alarm going off to end the nap.

Since I'd like to get my internal clock adjusted back, I tried to get back to sleep. It became abundantly clear that was not going to happen, thus, my facebook post of about 3:30 this morning; thus, the work that followed on the podcast, which was supposed to happen last night.

I must say, I did pretty much get done this morning what I would have last night. I got all the commentary laid out and have started balancing the audio between the dialogue of the commentators and the underscore music. I do have to add the closing credits sequence, but that is going to be very easy for this. I'm running one long shot rather than a large series of shots as I usually do. So, I am at least mostly caught up to where I'd have been anyway; at least there's that.

So, you may ask, why am I griping? I have a full day today and tomorrow, and it would be just so much better if I were wide awake for it all. I'm at the rent-payer for a ten-hour shift today, like yesterday; then I drop into The Guild to shoot the last of the b-roll; then I dump that and start adding the b-roll to the podcast movie; meanwhile I have to memorize the script for tomorrow's audition in Sharonville; granted it's, as I said before, not going to be hard to memorize, but "awake" is still a key ingredient in the process.

Tomorrow morning I will take my new car to the dealer to have an anti-theft alarm installed. While I'm there I will, I hope, finish off the edit of the podcast, getting it to final cut. The Army Wives screentest is late afternoon, and I'd like to be awake and alert when I get there, and not have drag-ass eyes, etc. If need be, I'll finish the podcast after I get back from the audition, but I'd rather have at least initiated the upload to the Dayton Theatre Guild YouTube channel before I leave for Sharonville.


THE ARMY WIVES SCREENTEST TOMORROW:
AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

The audition is at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. Like I wrote above, still need to memorize the lines, but fortunately there are few to commit to memory.

The haircut will work. Again, it's not "military," but it's close.


I'M NOT A DOCTOR, I JUST PLAY ONE AT U.D.:
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

Meanwhile, the first installment of the mock trial process, the interview session, is a week from tomorrow; so study on that material soon becomes a priority.



Thu, Jan 10, 2013

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ARMY WIVES AND AVENUE Q:
AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
Army Wives -- The screentest went well     I suppose     I really try not to second-guess that stuff any more; of course, I often do second-guess it all, but I try to not. At least I didn't leave feeling like I'd blown it. So, now the "whatever is next" is next.

Avenue Q -- Technically, this would be "whatever is next," at least in terms of auditions that I know of. The appointment has been officially set; Company Manager Kryss Northrup called today to set the time and give me the vitals. The exciting news is that I am called back for the roles I desire, which makes me very happy.

I'm also pumped that I am to "prepare one song of [my] choice from the show or in the style of the show." I'm opting for "in the style of the show," because it gives me a better opportunity to feature the voices of both main characters of the three included in this casting. And they are two really big roles from the show. I have a song in mind that is in the style of the show that will meet my needs quite well. I will reveal it on Saturday, January 26, the day after that callback.

With hope, I will have another callback for Saturday afternoon. That's the way this one is working. I do my song on Friday evening, and if Director Joe Deer is sufficiently impressed, he will ask me back for a Saturday audition, where the songs have been predetermined along with most of the sides.

Now the push to perfect the voices and use them melodically is on!

Locking down the songs, too....


BUT FIRST, SOME GUIDED IMPROV:
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, up first is work as an emergency room specialist who is an expert in emergency cardiac medicine for the U.D. Mock Trial tract.

Time to do the major refresh on this one. This is the one I did around this time last year where I felt like I was in med school. It won't be as taxing this year, since I'll be recalling rather than learning; still, there's a lot of info, and had I not already been so swamped, I'd have been into this already. First gig is next Wednesday afternoon, so this is absolutely on the front burner.


On a Personal Note icon

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The old, the Saab on the left; The new, the Kia on the right. Goodbye, Saab; Let's go, Kia!
Yesterday was slated as a day off from the rent-payer, specifically to get the Ghosts podcast to final cut. Other pieces of business crept in. Clearly, the Army Wives audition was one; the other, was the final transition of the old to the new car. I popped into the dealer to have the anti-theft alarm installed on the new car and also to sell the old one to them. The old car is officially out of my life now. I logged many thousand of theatre/acting miles in the Saab; here's hoping I dwarf those numbers with what I wrack up in the Kia.



Fri, Jan 11, 2013

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OPENING TODAY
GHOSTS by Henrik Ibsen; translated by Christopher Hampton, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GHOSTS PODCAST.



Mon, Jan 14, 2013

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THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

Mock Trial Process:
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
The initial witness interviews are this Wednesday afternoon and I have been back into my material to bone up on Dr. Hill's pedigree and the medical and the basis for his expert medical conclusions.

I haven't gotten through all of it, but I am finding what have I already come upon has been pretty easy for me to bring back up from last year's run at this mock trial exercise. I'm feeling pretty good that I will walk in prepared on Wednesday, despite that there are a few other irons in the fire.

3 KL fb posts -- "1. Last night I had a dream that I was just hired to be the pitcher for a professional baseball team. I was precisely as in shape and as 'good' a baseball player in the dream as I am in real life (which would impress no one). John Rensel, (Lighting Guru at The Human Race Theatre Company) was the team coach....... Gee, I wonder if the dream was somehow related to my forthcoming AVENUE Q callback. Things that make ya go: DOH! - 2. All of my quazi-training in voice placement and manipulation is in play right now, and I wish it to be in play until mid-June (smiley face code) - 3. Most people outside the theatre world have no idea how voice training and exercises for singing are absolutely, perfectly applicable to the actor for speaking on stage; I have found them in many personal cases more than helpful, but downright mandatory. When one wants to sing, (on key), in diverse character voices, and not kill one's voice in the process, 'mandatory' almost falls short as the proper word for the situation." The Avenue Q Callback(s):
AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
I've been listening to the Avenue Q original Broadway cast recording, or, more specifically, those songs that employ the characters I am called back for, Nicky/Trekkie Monster/Male Bad Idea Bear.

I've been studying the nature and quality of the voices and experimenting with the best vocal placements and manipulations for them -- more so with Nicky and Trekkie.

When I do this without the recording I feel better about it, I feel like I'm accomplishing much. But, when I have the recording accompanying me I feel less confident as I hear the voices Rick Lyon provides on the cast album; his mimicries are so exact to the Sesame Street characters Nicky and Trekkie are based on, and though I seem to be getting the overall feel, quality and tenor of the voices; when I speak or sing next to Lyon's voice I feel like a faint imitation.

But I am getting a handle on the shifts in voice placement that is needed, most especially for Nicky; sometimes the placement needs to shift for the different syllables in one word; the manner of shaping vowels with the lips is also usually quite vital to correctly mastering the Nicky-Ernie quality.

Also, I am now waffling on the song for my Jan 25 callback. The one I had originally decided upon proved, when I gave it a thorough ride along, to not showcase either of the two main voices well. I have some other ideas, that can employ all three voices, but I have not come to a conclusion as of yet. Time's tight so the decision cannot wait long.


OPENING WEEKEND:
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

I house managed all three performances so I cannot give a good report on how they went, but I do know that the audiences, the cast and the crew were all pleased; thus, I would say it was a successful first weekend. There were no sell-outs, but no near-empty houses, either. But, then, an Ibsen play isn't going to get the draw that a Hairspray will.

Ooops!
DTG Podcast Production logo

In other unfortunate news, I was informed Opening Night that the production info I was provided to include in the credit roll at the end of the podcast contained errors. So I am likely to fix that sometime this week and then upload the corrected version to the Dayton Theatre Guild YouTube channel; that unfortunately means that the current embeds and urls for the podcast will be bad, so I'll have to get the word out to all who may have an embed or a link.


NEXT OFFICIAL GUILD GIG:
LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
This evening I meet with Robb Willoughby, the director of Leaving Iowa, which auditions in just six weeks, goes into rehearsal shortly after and is up April 5. This is my second stint producing this season; I inherited this show after Greg Smith's fall 2012 move to Tennessee was determined and he had to abdicate the duty.

A priority tonight will be the audition specs, because it is close to time to get those out there. Robb, I believe already has them ready, so we should meet that emanate deadline.

DTG Podcast Production logo
Just today, I also sent an email to the playwrights, Tim Clue and Spike Manton, as producer of the show (looking for bios and pictures of them for the playbill) and as the podcast producer/director (seeking dialogue clearance).


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I'm enrolled in another acting class with Kay Bosse through HRTC. It's scheduled to start next Monday. I know of two others who are enrolled and I'm hoping there are enough for it to be a go. I'm trying to find out right now what the official body count is. But I am sure there is still open space:

To register: http://humanracetheatre.org/adultclasses.php



Tue, Jan 15, 2013

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THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
The Avenue Q Callback(s)

I have made a couple appointments with local opera soprano, actress, and -- in this case -- vocal instructor, Reneé Franck-Reed, to further prepare for the callbacks next week. Of particular importance will be her expertise to help me keep from mistreating my voice while singing as the characters, especially the gravelly-voiced Trekkie Monster.

I am going to go ahead a write of this as my needing to maintain vocal maintenance due to these character voices until mid-June     big grin icon

As for the "song of [my] choice...in the style of the show," I suppose I have more or less committed myself to one; at least there is one that Reneé and I will work on. I could change my mind, perhaps, but I'll at least give the choice a test drive first.

The Avenue Q original Broadway cast recording is still in my ears a lot, at least the songs that include one or more of Nicky, Trekkie Monster and/or the Male Bad Idea Bear.

U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
Mock Trial Process

The first leg of this gig is tomorrow afternoon. I am not quite prepared at the moment, but I should be by the starting gate.

I have all evening tonight to finish off the reclamation; and as I wrote before, I am finding my memory easily jogged every time I look at the next piece of information.


OFF TO THE RACE:
LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
The meeting last night with Leaving Iowa Director Robb Willoughby went well and we have a pretty good game-plan to move forward upon.

Of big importance is that we have the straw-dog version of our production team; now it's a question of confirming or moving on to a few other choices that we have.

DTG Podcast Production logo
I As of yet I have not heard back about dialogue clearance, but it's early still.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

The Advanced Acting Class with Kay Bosse at HRTC has met its enrollment need and is on. There is, however, still room in the class:
    Advanced Acting Techniques

    Mondays 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
    January 21, 28 & February 4, 11, 18, 25
    Fee: $150.00
    Instructor: Kay Bosse

    Welcome returning and advanced acting students. Expand your repertoire and improve your acting skills in a relaxed and positive environment. Through scene study and cold readings, you will be working on strengthening your performance abilities. Scenes from the classics and contemporary works are personally selected for you based on your interests. The class concludes with an informal performance showcasing the strengths of each student.

    To register: http://humanracetheatre.org/adultclasses.php



PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.

I don't always remember to do this, when I am aware of items that can be mentioned, simply because it just often does not occur to me or I am rushed and don't get to it. But sometimes a slew of activity from past fellow-castmates explodes at the same time and I get motivated to give them shout-outs and wish them broken legs and congrats. All of these are current or recent gigish things from colleagues from my first pro-theatre show, Caroline, or Change, at The Human Race:



Wed, Jan 16, 2013

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MOCK TRIAL PROCESS:
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

There was a little setback last night. I left my study material at work and had to drive back and retrieve it. So my evening of finishing off the studying got a little delayed, but what-a-ya-gonna-do?

I use the drive to log more time singing along with the Avenue Q original Broadway cast recording.

I also decided last night, as it was getting late, that I could use a little more study time. I had planned to leave the the rent-payer at noon today. I have taken the whole day off, instead.

Meanwhile the gig has moved down from 2:30 to 3:00.


THE CAST OF 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Matthew McNally            Alex Carmichal

    Theresa            Katrina Kittle

    Colleen            Barbara Jorgensen

    Abby            Corinne Engber

    Garrett            Maximillian Santucci



Thu, Jan 17, 2013

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U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

The first installment of the Medical Malpractice Mock Case is out of the way. Last night my Dr. Hill interviewed with the three sets of defense lawyers.

As always, it's a good exercise for me at improv (though within the confines of the specific information for the case) and especially, as weird as this may seem to some, for camera acting. There's no bigness to the performance, just sitting in the room with law students, behaving as a human being, even if some character attributes are modified; although, usually I don't bother with any sort of character work.

Adding yesterday morning off to further study all that information was a good idea. Of course, there were a lot of questions that the student lawyers didn't ask, there are some angles and some information they would be better off aware of, but, this is classwork, so, I guess they have their lessons-learned moments coming.


Note Addendum PS icon
On a related note, and much to my chagrin, between the extra time I took yesterday and my need to not be at the the rent-payer late tonight, I have to burn a half-day's vacation leave, for this week. As we know, I avoid that whenever I can. I pushed that ever-elusive 120 hours into May.


VOICE WORK:
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
Been listening to the recording of my choice for the first Avenue Q callback, a week from tomorrow at The Human Race Theatre Company. Also listening to the specified songs from the show (from the original Broadway cast recording) for the coveted final callback the next day.

This, as well as just basic prep, is also more immediate prep for my first vocal session with Reneé Franck-Reed, tonight. I looped the three songs in iTunes and played them all night during my sleep time. I burned a CD for the car and listened on the way in. I have the same song list on my phone and have been cycling through them all day -- am right now, as a matter of a fact.

PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
Of course, there always has to be an Oh Great! factor. I woke up with a bit of a soar throat this morning. I gargled with salt in lemon juice, diluted by warm/hot water, and have been trying to go really easy on my voice all day. I brought the salt and lemon juice just in case. So my uber-redundant listens to all the songs has been to get really familiar with them, intellectually; besides, my tonal ear is attending to the melodies and harmonies for which I am responsible.


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon

The specs for the Feb 25 & 26 auditions are out.


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

After my U.D. gig wrapped I dropped by the Guild and hung around until the cast showed for their table read, and I spoke to them briefly about the process of the podcast production. Just want to be sure I don't take them by surprise. The goal, as I've written before, is to get good footage, but not get in the way of their rehearsal processes.

DV photography should begin next week, or maybe, the week after -- I DO have a big-ass audition next week I could be focusing on.

Craft Notes icon

So, it's been a very long time since there's been any sort of essay here that wasn't directly connected to a response to something I was cast in or otherwise a direct part of -- and those are not regular items, at all. Something I observed in the theatre world recently, and that I was not a direct part of, has given me an idea for an essay that easily falls into a heading like "Craft Notes." That essay will soon be started.

And you know, I always seize a chance to create another subject icon.



Fri, Jan 18, 2013

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VOICE WORK FOR THE AVE Q CALLBACK:
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
The kid is "subject-icon obsessed!" Yeah, okay, but it did occur to me that the voice lessons with Reneé are also "professional development," even if they are only short-term. IF they are only short-term.

AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
K.L. fb post - "20, maybe 30 minutes, tops, of introduction to new vocal warm-ups & exercises last night, without any follow-up yet, and still I have vocal fatigue -- need no more evidence how out of shape my vocal instrument is; heh - THAT'LL change!"

Yep. As stated in my facebook post from this morning, my singing voice is absolutely out of shape!

Of course, I had my first session with Reneé Franck-Reed last evening and it was all about introducing me to some more sophisticated vocal warm-ups and exercises than I was previously acquainted with. Some I have actually heard Reneé, other actors she coaches, and other singers, not connected with her, use, but I have never employed any of them, myself.

The warm-up exercises pretty much was the session last night and as I attempted the techniques, with varying levels of success, I became acutely aware of how out of shape my vocal acuity is. For one thing, though I've had a sense of this, through doing the legacy warm-ups I learned in high school, simply as general warm-ups as a stage actor, I became startlingly aware of how I have lost the ability to switch registers seamlessly. I once could do it flawlessly -- I can't do it flawlessly right now!

There were a few that ultimately call for note distinctions at quicker paces, such as sixteenth notes, or smaller notes, in trills* and I frankly had to glide those portions rather than hit distinct notes. I'd love to say that I was simply out of practice, but I don't think I've ever had the control to do much of this particular exercise. Still, however, I certainly have had more vocal control than I do now. But then, there was a time in my life, a good fifteen years, (at least ten), that I sang no less than an hour every day, often more.

Reneé and I went over all the exercises and thus far I have only done them during the session; I have yet to do them since. My vocal region still feels a bit of fatigue. Guess it's time to invoke that journey of a thousand miles sort of philosophy.

As of yet, I have not nixed the present personal song choice for the Friday Avenue Q callback at The Race, but I admit I am more so leaning toward doing so. Today I was given a suggested replacement that may work much better. I will still give the current choice a try up to and through the session with Reneé on Tuesday. I may try out the suggested substitute as well; and, like "You Never Give Me Your Money," which I did for my HRTC general audition last spring, this potential new choice is a song I already know quite well, so there's no learning curve to contend with; the only new variable would be the best way to spread the character voices across the song.

*"TRILL" may not be the absolute correct word, but, there were ascending/descending sequences with several notes in the scale, all in a fast succession, I could not keep up with.      



Mon, Jan 21, 2013

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


Thu, Jan 24, 2013

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THE ADVANCED ACTING CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Monday was the first of six sessions of the HRTC advanced acting class, taught by Kay Bosse. The course will end with a showcase, which will be a staged reading of Act I of Becky's New Car, by Steven Dietz. We actually worked a few scenes from this in the last class I did with Kay, last Fall. I'm sure we're going to work some other things as well this time around, but Becky's... is a focus.

We all did a monologue as introduction work, Monday. I, never having an arsenal of monologues as I should have, fell back on the "Cockroach" monologue from Neil Simon's Jake's Women, mostly because I can make it though that with perhaps a little more paraphrasing than should be, but, in a pinch I can give a decent one minute.


VOICE WORK FOR THE AVENUE Q CALLBACK AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
The second vocal session with Reneé Franck-Reed was rescheduled from Tuesday night to last night. I would call it a very productive hour, though I was once again put in very acute touch with just how far out of shape my singing muscles are. That aside, we went through all three songs, that which I will do tomorrow night (the one of my choice), and the two that I hope I will be doing Saturday at the final callback (those specified by Director Joe Deer). Reneé was able to help me get better voice placement for all the songs, and for both character voices, in a manner that both preserves the needed qualities but not be so torturous on my voice and throat. The switches between the character voices feel much better, too. Also, as Nicky, I am hitting particular troublesome high notes with more ease.

There's some work to do, still, but overall I am feeling good about the potential for tomorrow and -- I hope -- Saturday. Tonight I work on all three songs, tomorrow I may work some on the Saturday songs, but my focus, before the audition tomorrow will be the song of choice for that one.

Then, when Mr. Deer realizes he just must have me back Saturday big grin icon, I will go full-tilt-boogie onto the other two, probably starting Friday evening.

Oh, yes, and puppet work, too. I will be getting hold of a double-rod puppet today to practice on for that Saturday callback that Mr. Deer will certainly request from me.

It's also more than a little likely that I'll be doing regular sessions with Ms. Franck-Reed, perhaps at least once a month, perhaps more, as a regular part of my professional development. It will be tax deductible, at least, such has been.

Maybe Arthur Murray is next. Don't laugh, I suck at dancing and it would be better if I at least sucked less. I can't see me ever being a "TRIPPLE THREAT," but I can at least place myself in better position to be a little easier to consider casting; since the suggestion is that the professional stage door for me is currently leading to musicals, where dance plays a role to one extent or another.


PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

Gingerbread Children, by Michael Slade --
NOPE ICON

It does not look like I'm going to be a part of the workshop of Michael Slade's new play. I know at least two people who have been cast, and one of them was cast almost a week ago. I'm thinking were I to have been cast it would have happened by now. Oh well, it would have been interesting and fun, and certainly an experience I was looking forward to.

Note Addendum PS icon
YEP ICON
This Just In: I WAS WRONG! -- Thursday afternoon addendum:

Well, I would just delete out and replace the text just above, but it's good to have a reflection of the negative-jumpin'-to habits of actors such as myself.

Several hours after I originally posted today's entry, HRTC Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore called me and offered me a place in the cast. The staged readings will be March 9 & 10.

So......there ya go!

New U.D. Law Gig --
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
I've been offered another U.D. criminal class gig that happens next Wednesday afternoon. I have said, yes, but I have no details yet. I actually don't have confirmation that it's a go, but I assume it is.


100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Podcast Production logo
Principal photography for "DTG Podcast 1213-06 100 Saints You Should Know" will begin next week.

This week I've been a bit preoccupied with all that muppet send-up stuff.



Fri, Jan 25, 2013

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KL fb post -- "Today and tomorrow is a very cool, big and fun Game Day for many local actors. 'Break legs' to all my colleagues - *even those up for the same role as I* :)"



PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

AUDITION ICON
GAME DAY! (pt.1).

My voice is a little sore, but I will deal with it like a professional!!!!!

U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

The gig next Wednesday is confirmed as on.


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
DTG Podcast Production logo

Lots of cool stuff to report about the show.

Will do so tomorrow, when I have time.



Sat, Jan 26, 2013

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NO "GAME DAY (PART 2)" FOR ME:
AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

Last night, the Avenue Q callback for the The Human Race Theatre Company production went great in some respects, but not in terms of the ultimate goal of securing the final callback, which would have been today. That, of course, brings us to: And It's On To The Next Audition.

It was still a good audition; I certainly didn't tank it. Director Joe Deer did express that he liked my audition, even said, and this is pretty close to a direct quote: That was really fantastic -- he may have said "fabulous" or "great," or something equivalent; I often don't remember such details from my auditions; for instance, I can't even tell you if Joe and I shook hands, though, I do remember the gist of our small talk at the open, about my rent-payer job on campus at Wright State University, where Joe teaches.

But let's now go back to the start of the day. I woke about 5:45 Friday morning with a sore throat, not an incredibly bad sore throat, but most certainly not one where my voice was in the kind of shape it needed to be to sing a song at an audition. It's was very surely not in shape to sing as Nicky, and even less shape to successfully sing as Trekkie. I was unhappy. My resolve, as reflected in the brief post here yesterday, was to handle it like a professional; canceling the callback was an absolute last resort!

Since I've been battling a lesser sore throat all week, Reneé Franck-Reed had already recommended a tea called Throat Coat of which I had already been employing the medicinal assistance. It works quite well. Let me pass the recommendation on to you. Between drinking this tea all day long, sucking cough drops all day, a few gargles of salt in lemon concentrate, diluted with hot water, a nice, piping-hot chicken stew for lunch, and using my voice as little as possible until it got close to audition and was time to warm up and rehearse, I was able to nurse my voice to a relatively good place. I was close to what resembles 100% voice shape for me. I went into the audition room in acceptable vocal shape and was able to sing the song I'd picked.

As I wrote earlier, the specs of the Friday callback were for me to sing another song from Avenue Q, (other than one of the two slated for the Saturday final callback), any other song from the show that I chose; or, I could do any song I wanted that is in the style of the show. If you know Avenue Q you know that there is a bit of a range of musical styling, so it's not hard to go outside the show and find something that could fit.

I was not interested in other songs from the show; I wanted a song that would easily feature both Nicky and Trekkie, I wasn't really concerned with Male Bad Idea Bear. The two songs slated for today were Nicky's "If You Were Gay," and then "School for Monsters," which is Trekkie, and which splices into the reprise of "The Money Song," a Nicky vocal. No other song from the show could possibly work for either character without an ensemble in the room, much less for both of them. So I knew I was going outside the show for the first callback.

Lennon & McCartney (well, in truth, McCartney) served me well to get to the callback, with my use of "You Never Give Me Your Money" for the season general audition, last spring, so I boxed around a few other Beatle songs, and McCartney solo works, as possibilities. First that came to mind was a true John-&-Paul collaboration, "Yellow Submarine," but as I actually gave it a try, it didn't suit me as working well for the Nicky/Trekkie duet. Next I tried out the Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) composition, "Octopus's Garden," with the same unsatisfactory result. I'd briefly considered McCartney's solo effort, "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," but I dismissed it before I took it for a ride.

I considered and test drove "Me and My Arrow," by Harry Nilsson, but that didn't work. I looked at a list of other songs by Lennon & McCartney, McCartney alone, Ringo alone, Nilsson, Carly Simon, even Kate Bush. Then I began looking through my anemic collection of musicals. At about the same time, a colleague, who also was auditioning for AQ asked me for some ideas for her. I suggested she use some well-known classic musical number for her character to sing. As an example, I threw out the Sherman & Sherman "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins.

That recommendation gave me an idea. Shortly after that communication with her, I settled, for myself, on another well-know song from another most popular show from the same era -- and featuring the same musical superstar in the Broadway productions of both shows, who sings both songs on their respective B'Way soundtracks: Julie Andrews; the song I chose for me is Lerner & Loewe's "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady, and I tailored it for my Nicky and Trekkie.

AQ Friday callback song

This is the song I was vacillating back-and-forth about doing. During the first HRTC advanced acting class, last Monday, Instructor Kay Bosse advised that I go with it, make it work, take the risk and be bold about it, that Joe Deer would see and appreciate the risk and that it would impress him. I took that advice and believe I made it work -- though I would have been happier if I could have sang Nicky in a higher key, perhaps one of C or D major, rather than F, that would have been optimum for doing Nicky's voice. The original F major was a good key for Trekkie, but I think had it been bumped up, that would have worked. There was no time to get it transposed, though. Oh, don't get me wrong, it would not have been me who transposed it, I ain't got the music theory skill. Had I had the lead time, I could have found and paid someone, though. But, F major worked well enough.

Whether the choice of song and the manner that it featured the voices is the reason I did not get the callback, is a second-guessing game for which I don't have an answer. I do know that both Mr. Deer as well as Producer Kevin Moore, also in the room, enjoyed the my audition. I don't think they're in the business of saying otherwise. They may be polite when they don't like it and not come forth with, Oh my god, that sucked! but I do not see them overtly giving the message they liked it when they did not.

My understanding was that Joe would ask the actor back for the Saturday callback at his or her Friday audition. Of course, he did not do that with me, nor with at least one of my friends who I saw later. We decided at one point that perhaps there would be a late phone call, but I later abandoned that hope. As it's Saturday evening now, it's clear there would be no late-Friday call. For a while, I thought I would head home and work on the two Saturday songs as well as practice with the double-rod puppet I had borrowed; I eventually came to desert that and made other plans *(see below in the Ghosts section). At some point it was time to come to the understanding that I was not going to have another shot at Nicky and Trekkie, at least in this production of Avenue Q. So, there ya go.

Casting Director Amy Jo Berman wrote a recent article for Back Stage, titled "26 Reasons Why You Didn't Get The Part." It gives a random-sample list, from the hundreds of reasons, and then Ms. Berman writes:

Can you tell what the one common thread is among this small sampling of reasons? None of these are within your control. NONE....

I'm seriously thinking of making a PDF copy of this article and dropping into my smart phone to read as soon as I hear or otherwise figure out that I just got the "No."

I really believe that I did good yesterday; I am quite happy with that audition and it felt good. Any of you five who frequent this silly blog will know I am not easily impressed with my auditions, even if I am getting better at assessing my own auditions. The reality, that I accept right now, is that Mr. Deer liked my audition, but I am not what he is looking for.

On to the next audition....

Hey, I get at least one professional stage credit this year, the forthcoming Gingerbread Children workshop. And, at least I know my schedule is open to rehearse my theatre's production of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, so there's certainly a good candidate for "the next audition." To be honest, I was a little bummed that it conflicts with AQ because I had an acute interest in both projects. So, there's my next bullseye!


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
Also on Friday, co-playwright of Leaving Iowa, Tim Clue contacted the theatre to offer a newer version of the script to us. I can't say for sure that we are going with it, but I find it highly unlikely that we are not.

As producer, I contacted him about several other items of business and he sent me the script, along with some production recommendations and a document explaining the reasons for the changes; the doc says the playwrights had seen or been made aware of some problems in previous productions that they felt they should fix. The other producer business was about biographical information and good pics of them for the program playbill.

DTG Podcast Production logo
I took the opportunity to again seek clearance to use dialogue in the podcast. Tim granted the clearance and has requested the link so they can place it at their Leaving Iowa website.


In the audience icon
GHOSTS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

After the AQ callback I dropped into the theatre to help out by taking tickets when the house was open. The plan had been to then go home and do all that act-as-if prepping for the Saturday AQ callback. When I abandoned that idea, I elected to stay as an audience member.

Kudos to the cast and crew for another fine show at the high calibre that is why I love my home theatre so much. In other words: Business as Usual at The Dayton Theatre Guild



Sun, Jan 27, 2013

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CLOSING TODAY
GHOSTS by Henrik Ibsen; translated by Christopher Hampton, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

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

The Podcast for Ghosts

Check out the good reviews the show has received:



Tue, Jan 29, 2013

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PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
The Added, One-Session Gig -- Tomorrow is the one-off guided improv gig for U.D. where I play a new client "of indeterminate age" to be interviewed by law students in the initial visit. The guy works in a bar and got involved in something pretty stupid. I've only begun to study the facts and the character profile; my evening tonight is dedicated to this, rather than attend film dayton's Film Connections tonight, which had been the plan. I'm also off a half day tomorrow, both to accomodate the time of the gig, mid-afternoon, and to get last-ditch study in.

Medical Malpractice Mock Trial Series -- Meanwhile I have two weeks before I go back for deposition prep with the three sets of law students, followed the next week with the actual deposition sessions with opposing counsel. That last one, actually was rescheduled. It was to be originally on Feb 27, but Fran Pesch asked me if I could move it up a week, because another actor had a conflict. Since I'll be in rehearsal the week of Feb 25 *(see next), I was fine with the change. It keeps brush-up work out of the way of my focus on the Slade play, as mentioned below.

GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.
My Next Stage Work -- As the few will know, my next theatre appearance will be in the HRTC Marsha Hanna New Play Workshop staged reading of, Gingerbread Children, by Michael Slade, whose intense Under a Red Moon showed earlier this season at HRTC. I am happy to make it back onto the Loft Stage and for Mr. Slade's second appearance of the season. I know who some of my fellow cast members are, but not all. I'll post my castmates' names when I have a complete list (and I am sure to do so is okay). In the meantime, here's the info on the show and the performances:

From playwright Michael Slade comes a frank, dramatic story about the hidden violations inflicted upon children by their most trusted adults. No stranger to exposing the plight of children, Slade confronts the painful reality of multi-generational child abuse, weaving together four stories to explore the ways in which society, through religion and folk tales, tacitly condones it.

For Mature Audiences Only

Presented as a Marsha Hanna New Play Workshop
in a staged reading at the Loft Theatre.

      Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 2:00pm
      Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:00pm
Tickets - Adult: $15.00
www.ticketcenterstage.com
or (937) 228-3630 - Toll Free: (888) 228-3630


HRTC ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Good second class session. Kay paired us off and had us cold-read scenes. Jeff Sams* and I did the opening scene from True West (Sam Shepard), with Jeff as Lee and me as Austin. We will revisit the scene next week. I don't know that we have to be off-book, but I hope to be more than half off-book.

Two class enrollees who couldn't be at the first session were there and Kay had them introduce themselves to the class with monologue work, as we others had done last week. One of them was a bit greener than the other but still showed a lot of good actor-potential. The other did a really fine cold read of Blanche's monologue about the suicide of her closeted young husband from Streetcar....

Work has not started on Becky's New Car, save for some mention of it last night and the entreaty to read Act I before next class.

* Yes, THAT Jeff Sams, the "celebrated" Jeff Sams!   cool smile icon


GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON

Dialect Recordings -- The five regulars may remember that in recent weeks I have been harvesting dialect instruction recordings for my personal library. With the exception of the basic Chicago accent, which I found on CD, I have been transforming analog tape recordings to digital sound files. The five may also remember that there were a few I could not grab because the cassette tapes had been damaged by being too close to a magnetic field. There were seven dialects that I could not add to my little iTunes collection due to the corrupted tapes.

Not all of the digital files I created are completely processed and finished product in my iTunes library, yet, there are raw aif files setting there waiting for me to edit them. That will not happen now as I have access to the complete collection in audio CD format, and newer editions of each. So I will be wiping the whole collection out and starting over, probably today. I can multi-task that while back at my desk at the rent-payer dealing with duties there. Also, this time I will have access to all the associated printed study guide work, though that material employs the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), which I haven't worked with since my Linguistics classes in college, and that work done in the brevity of a few academic quarters some twenty-some years ago; I'm a little less than fluent in IPA, never really was, though it wouldn't hurt to so become.

Projects on the Horizon -- No details can be given, but I have been approached about several future projects, some coming soon, some further off, most with me as an actor. One is a short-subject narrative movie that should shoot in the next couple months. There are three different potential projects with people interested in having me cast in specific roles on stage. There's also a project someone has in mind that would call upon my sound skills.


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Podcast Production logo
After acting class last night I dropped into DTG to shoot the first footage for the podcast. Director Ellen Finch was only working with the two young members of the cast, Corinne Engber (Abby) and Maximillian Santucci (Garrett). I only shot about ten minutes-worth of video.

On a separate but related note, Corinne and Max were already doing some good work, and this, quite early in the rehearsal process. They are clearly two talent young actors; but then, they have talented parents; Corinne is the eldest daughter of Cassandra Engber, who I have seen do some fabulous work on stage. Max's dad is Patrick Santucci, who I've only seen once on stage, as Phillip, the shop owner in Mauritius, at The Guild in the spring, 2011, and he was great. So it must be in the DNA for these two young people.



Fri, Feb 1, 2013

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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GIG:
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

To be honest, a funny thing didn't happen "on the way to the gig"; it happened the night before. It wasn't especially funny at the time, either. For two very different reasons I had a bit of a scare Tuesday evening. I'd arranged to work a few hours over that day, and yesterday, in order to take Wednesday afternoon off for this gig. When I left work Tuesday I had yet to really do a whole lot of study on the facts of the character and the case for the gig; that was the plan for Tuesday evening. I got to my car in the parking lot on campus, pushed the remote to disarm the anti-theft alarm, used my key to unlock the trunk and drop off my computer case, etc, in there, then got in to start the car.

It did not start.

The ignition did not even engage, whatsoever. In addition, the hazard lights flashed for about twenty to thirty seconds. My headlights, my dash lights, the radio, all the electronic things were not showing weak power, so it did not at all seem like the battery was low. I would have suspected the starter more so as the problem if it wasn't for the behavior of the hazard lights on that first and the subsequent attempts to start the car; they flashed for that same period of time with each attempt, with the hazard button not being on, as if they were acting as an alarm. So I suspected it was related to the anti-theft system.

Regardless, the car was not starting and I was finding nothing in the manual for the car or for the anti-theft alarm to tell me what was happening or how to fix it. Knowing what my day was the next day, I started to plan what I needed to do. I knew I had to study and get the facts for the gig down that night. I looked at the possibility I would have to have a mechanic look at the car -- I did not know for sure it was an alarm thing. It was pushing 6:00 so I was not going to be able to make arrangements then to have it towed to my mechanic, that would have to wait until the morning. I was not going to tow it twice (home for the night then to the shop). There was then the logistics of getting home that night without the car then getting back in the morning to be there for the tow. I seriously considered spending the night at a motel in walking distance from campus; that way I would have no problem being there early for work and to meet with the potential tow truck. Then there was the real possibility I'd be renting a car: a total of more than a hundred bucks before whatever repair that might be done was billed to me.

I went back into work and went on-line looking for possible solutions in some on-line knowledge base or user group. I came across a site called Just Answer, where I could pose my dilemma to a described Kia mechanical expert for a fee. I tried it out.

While I was waiting for a response from one of the four reported Kia experts, I came across what look like a possible solution, buried in the section about anti-theft alarms in the Kia manual. I gave that a try and it worked. I Believe what happened was I somehow tripped an anti-theft feature that stops the car from starting; I did something out of sequence or too soon when I opened the trunk door, is what I suspect. But I was able to get home, and even though I was two hours behind on study time, I still got in all the study time.

More importantly to my life in general: my new car was not already suffering some serious malady.

I'd arranged to work 8:00 till noon on Wednesday, but I stayed up a bit later than planned Tuesday evening, working on memorizing my character and the facts of the case, so I amended my Wednesday work day to 9:00 until 1:00.

As for the gig, it went smoothly enough. I had to make up a few details of my character's arrest, as the law students asked for some details that were not covered in the material I was working from. Also, the basic idea for these exercises is to not feed them information they fail to go after. A bit of information that would have been quite useful to the lawyers was not pulled out of me. That's not uncommon at all for these gigs; it is law "school," after all.

By-the-way: the character I played is either a liar or a dumbass, based on the crimes he committed and his cockamamy explanation.


THE GINGERBREAD PEOPLE:
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

The full cast list is officially released, so here it is:
Our director is Tony-nominated Sheryl Kaller; the stage manager is Kay Carver; the production assistant is Susan Roberts.

Tickets go on sale Feb 5.

Click here for the Marsha Hanna New Play Workshops show page.

One more note on this: if you go to the link just above, you'll see that Gingerbread Children is the premier play in the Marsha Hanna New Play Workshops series. As I've stated before, I certainly didn't know Marsha all that well, but I was getting to know her and was coming to like and respect her much so. It is quite an honor to be a part of the first play in the workshop that bears her name.

I'm also excited to be working with this cast, many members of whom I have wanted to work with for a while. And, it's going to be cool to be directed by a nominee for the *Antoinette Perry. Of course, participating in the workshopping of a new work by an established playwright is an excellent opportunity I am happy to have been given.


MORE PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE PODCAST:
100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Podcast Production logo
xxxx

Wednesday evening, post-U.D. gig, I shot more footage for the 100 Saints podcast. In rehearsal were Alex Carmichal (Matthew McNally), Katrina Kittle (Theresa) and Barbara Jorgensen (Colleen).

Over the course of about the first hour of rehearsal I shot a little more than thirty minutes of footage. With Monday's shoot, that's just shy of a total of fifty-minutes of footage, all b-roll. As with the Ghost podcast, I'm trimming down the total accumulation of footage from what I have done for past podcast productions. The adage that it's better to have too much footage than not enough still holds true; I'm just not going to have such a monstrous amount of "too much footage."

Below are cropped frame shots from both shoots.
xxxx
Stage Manager Doug Patton, Director Ellen Finch, & honorary assistant director Finnegan (AKA: Finn).
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Maximillian Santucci (Garrett) & Corinne Engber (Abby).
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Max & Corinne, again.
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Alex Carmichal (Matthew McNally) & Barbara Jorgensen (Colleen).
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Katrina Kittle (Theresa) & Alex.
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Katrina & Barbara



Sat, Feb 2, 2013

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SMELLS LIKE FEBRUARY:
C-c-c-cold icon
Snow Day
On a Personal Note icon

If you're not from my little neck of the midwest woods, I don't know what your weather was like yesterday, but here in southwest Ohio the high yesterday was about 14° fahrenheit, the low last night with windchill factor was about -10°. Yeah, I know, if you're from Fargo or something that's pretty much a spring day; when one lives an hour north of the divide between "Yankee America" and "The South," -10° windchill is too damned cold.

There was a little bit of snow yesterday, but the powder covered some icy roads so there were a few really bad road wrecks. The weather reports claimed we might get up to four inches of snow. So, far that's not been so, only the barest of very lite snow flurries. As I key this sentence it's 27° with a slight powder drifting down.


TOYS ICON
SMELLS LIKE TECH SPIRIT:

About the time I signed the loan agreement for my new car my head started doing budget math and looking at monthly costs to cut or reduce. One idea that I came to was to kill my cable subscription and replace it with streaming services. I started doing some research and concluded it was a good deal for me. Last night I subscribed to both Netflix and Hulu Plus. Today I bought an 37" LG LCD TV as well as an Apple TV digital media receiver.

Of course, the new TV will receive the digital signals from broadcast TV, which I didn't need to worry about before, because I was on cable when analogue signal was decommissioned a few years back. So, I will still have access to all Broadcast network programming offered by ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and The WB, just through the TV receiver, alone. Then, through Netflix and Hulu Plus, I will have access to virtually everything from all the cable networks I already did, plus most of the premiums I did not have access to, like The Sundance Channel, as an example, and you can bet I'll watch programing from that one. Plus lots and lots of movies will be at my beckon call. In fact, all the streaming movies and TV shows will be "on demand," with much of the TV series back catalogue being available, either through streaming or DVD. All of it will be for about $25 a month. And I have an app for both services on my Android. Plus I can watch on my lap top, if I want. Beyond that, through Apple TV I can put my laptop screen on my LCD TV if I want, which will be very handy when I am movie editing.


NOW, ONTO SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO "A DIARY OF ARTFUL THINGS":
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Yesterday the packet came from HRTC for the Gingerbread Children production: the contract, the photo release form, the bio request and guidelines, other affiliated forms, and most importantly, Mr. Slade's script.

Gingerbread Children will be my evening read tonight: the start of the study....



Feb 8, 2013

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TWO REASONS I DON'T HAVE AN AUDITION TODAY:
THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
AUDITION ICON

The Theatre Goddess Has A Sense Of Humor, Alright -- Wednesday the talent agency called with a primo audition for a commercial that will pay rather well. I set an audition appointment for this afternoon. then the sides and the job specs came in the email. The commercial will shoot the first week of March in Nashville; I am under contract to be in Gingerbread Children play rehearsals in Dayton with 6:00 calls every day of that week, save for Monday, which is equity day off.

Considering that Nashville is five hours from Dayton, and finding it foolish to expect that the Nashville shoot would be on Monday, the fourth, I had to, after seeing the production slated for "first week of March," cancel today's appointment. I'm not wholly sure I meet the specs for the character being cast any way:

Tough but approachable, a real mans man -- macho candidate without being over the top, down to earth, intelligent....Actors that come to mind: Tom Sellek, A serious John Goodman, Jeff Bridges (without the hair).
I suppose I could justify a "serious John Goodman," and I certainly could argue a match to the "without the hair" part of Jeff Bridges -- not so sure about him, otherwise; Tom Sellek, on the other hand, I don't know about that one.

Irrelevant, anyway, I can't commit to the shoot.


Under The Weather Dentist! -- Be it good, bad, or indifferent, I have gone my entire adult life with no visits to the dentist. But the recent annoying numb pains that late Wednesday night, for a period, elevated to steely spikes of razored excruciation, and for which I have only staved off since with gobs of orajel, and not wholly from hurting, just from making me want to die on the spot, that changes it all. Guess where I'm going later this morning?

This section is here, under the banner of "The Business Of Acting" because dental medical attention, especially things like oral surgery may obviously mean an acting gig must be cancelled, or at least greatly interfered with since the actor just might be a little incapacitated from novocaine or some other such local anesthetic.

I have a gig next Wednesday and the Wednesday after that; I go into rehearsal for the new play workshop the week after that. Having that novocaine impediment is not a popular idea with me.

The tooth pain, as I wrote above, has been, for weeks, perhaps months, only a minor annoyance. Of course, I knew that the annoyance was going to eventually get worse, though I was, I believe, basically ignoring the inevitability. In the last week or so the eventuality has come to be. In last several days I have an intermittent, yet brief bouts of some serious pain. It calms down, but the pain in those episodes has more and more been pain. Wednesday night, later, after I got home for the night, I had that experience of steely spikes of razored excruciation that was bad enough that I had to pace, a lot, and fast, and do some serious, most sincere moaning, for a while, much longer than was any fun.

Yesterday morning, at work that same spike started barreling into my jaw. I went down the road to get some more benzocaine to at least do a little pain management. I did have a few moments of that needing to pace around syndrome. I called a dentist office in my neighborhood that at first wasn't going to see me until March, because I am a new patient. But my intermittent horror pain got me an appointment this morning.


LOMBARDI AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
In the audience icon

Wednesday night, before my toothache dilemma, I attended the "Can Night"* final dress of Lombardi at The Loft Theatre. Decent script and really good performances. I especially liked Edward Furs' work as Vince Lombardi. His casting is by the way, a prime example of being the right actor for the role, in a focused manner. His physical presence captures the essence of the famous coach; he looks enough like him that with suspension of disbelief it takes about 45 seconds for the audience to forget he's not. Of course, the caliber of acting has to back that up, but all things being equal, the combination of skill and the appearance would make him a shoe in.


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

Tonight I am slated to shoot some podcast footage, but it will depend on what happens with my little appointment this morning.



Feb 19, 2013

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CATCH UP
Lot's going on in the last week-plus going on two weeks. I had a bit of down-time because of the dental problem I was on my way to have looked at when last I posted here for you five. Between all that came with dealing with the tooth-dilemma and much busy-busy-BUSY stuff I have simply not carved time for this blog thingy. I now give attempt, start and stall, as it will be, to do some catch up.


Under The Weather Wisdom teeth, there's yer problem. All four of them but one in particular that was infected. The dentist said that she wanted take all four out but that we would start with the critical one, lower right, as well as the upper right companion, which itself was split in two and was going to become a problem soon.

I have no idea why you would find this at all interesting, yet, I am including it anyway

Since I had the U.D. Law gig coming up the next Wednesday, I scheduled the extraction surgery for the next day. Between the initial visit and the surgery I did massive quantities of prescription-strength Tylenol and Motrin, which was pretty damn effective at both pain suppression and, at least to some minor degree, cognition retardation. We will deal with the other two wisdom teeth in mid-march, after Gingerbread Children has wrapped.


HRTC ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but there was to be a showcase during the last class session, which is this coming Monday, but that has been canceled, because a student had to drop put and another has to miss a few sessions, and it makes getting the program that was in the makings together. After Kay Bosse polled the class and found no one was all that interested doing it anyway, she decided we would just use our last class as a standard work session.

This last class session, Jeff Sams and I did a scene from Glengarry Glen Ross , with Jeff as Moss and me as Aaronow; later in that session Kay had me do a Roma monologue from the same script. This was all cold read, though the Roma was less so, as I did get a chance to at least look it over. Jeff and did the scene ice-cold. Of course, cold reads are always good exercise.

Kay has invited me to bring something in that I might want to do. I'm thinking about some of the monologues by characters in Opus, other than Carl, whom I played earlier this season at The Guild. There are a few that come to mind, especially from Alan.


SATURDAY LOST:
PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Podcast Production logo

It's another tale from the chronicles of "The Best Laid Planes...."

Wednesday and Friday of last week I shot the interviews with the cast and Director Ellen Finch. The plan was to edit those on Saturday. Sunday, which was Tech Sunday for the show, I would shoot a lot of b-roll and perhaps even get at least some good principal footage that has good audio for dialogue usage.

That was the plan, but not so much the outcome that unfolded for the weekend.

When I tried to export the video I had shot on Friday into Final Cut Express I got an error message both from the DV camera and Final Cut that said the source was not connecting to the destination. Saturday I bought a new firewire cable. Problem NOT solved, so I went out again and bought a new firewire to thunderbolt adapter. Problem still not solved. Half my interviews were stuck on the mini-DV cassette tape and I had burned up several hours of my day in vain.

I will admit that the first thing that was to have happened with the interview footage was to synch the higher quality audio I had recorded with Garageband to the comparable video footage, and as I did have the video from first three interviews, shot Wednesday evening, already imported into Final Cut, I could have synched those Saturday; I didn't; I looked in the manual for the DV camera, and on-line, for trouble-shooting possibilites to explain and fix the problem. I found none. I went to bed. I woke up Sunday with a killer headache. I did not attend the show's tech Sunday. I took some of that prescription-strength Tylenol and Motrin and lay in bed all day. It was likely a stress headache.

Yesterday I went to the Mac lab on campus and was not able to get a successful connection with either my old or my new. I concluded that the problem must be the camera since my new firewire cable could not get a connection. But then, after failure with several of the other DV camera's at CTL, I was stymied. Then I borrowed a firewire cable from a technology service called STAC: Student Technology Assistance Center. I got the connection. It turns out my old cable had gone bad and my new cable was bad when I bought it. The problem there is that at the moment I can't find the damned receipt, though I friend tells me that since I paid with a credit card, the store -- Best Buy -- can call up an electronic copy of the receipt. So I may not have to eat the $30, or whatever it was I paid for a bad cable.

So, I am a little behind, but at this point that is only in terms of editing. The good people in STAC are allowing me to borrow that good cable and I am up-to-date in terms of video exported off the DV cassette and imported into FCE.

Last night I shot the principal photography of scenes from the tech/dress rehearsal, all shot from the POV of House Right (stage left). As this is the footage where I will use dialogue, I am only shooting Act I, minus the last scene of the act, to avoid any spoilers. Tonight I shoot the same action from the POV of House Left.


U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

Last week it was the deposition prep work, where each of the three teams of law students handling the defense spoke with our defendant (local actor Amy Askins), myself as the emergency department expert witness and local actor John Beck, who plays the coronary surgery expert witness. Tomorrow I meet with each of the opposing counsel law students for the depositions. Sometime between now and then, I cram facts and figures refresher session into my schedule.


GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Finally got to reading the script. Interesting, I must say. As Kay Bosse, also in the cast, said to me a couple weeks back, "Ooh, your such a bastard."

I haven't gotten down to the nitty-gritty script analysis as of yet, but, yes, I am -- more to the point -- the characters I play are bastards.

Rehearsals begin in one week.


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon

First order of business is a reminder that auditions are next Monday and Tuesday. *See below my business card graphic for the audition details. Also, I and Director Robb Willoughby have been in contact a bit and the overall plan is starting to formulate.


AUDITION ICON

I have been made aware of a capstone senior film project shooting at Miami University in Oxford. The movie that I was in a few years back, Leavings and Left Behinds, was some such capstone project, that which I have never seen the final cut of, or heard about at all. There's a screen test going on in a couple weeks and I am contemplating setting an appointment.


LOVE LETTERS IN XENIA:
In the audience icon

The weekend before my oral surgery I saw the talented Ms. Cassandra Engber in a staged reading of A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer-nominated Love Letters, performed at X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theater.

Not to my surprise, the lady did good! Her co-star, Al Yarcho, was no slouch, himself -- the playbill says he has done this show more than a dozen times.



Feb 22, 2013

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OPENING TODAY
100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW by Kate Fodor, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

DTG Podcast Production logo
GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

The podcast is up, as you can see below. I suppose you can call timing of the posting the epitome of "eleventh hour." The upload to the DTG YouTube channel was complete at about 4:00 this morning. The post to the DTG facebook page was about 9:00.

By the way, for those interested laugh icon, the sales receipt I needed to get the refund for the bad 800 firewire cord I'd bought last weekend was in the pocket of my pants the whole time. So I did not eat the $42.59 spent.

As for the podcast DV movie, when you're doing cinematic editing of stage play rehearsals that you shoot in documentary style, you just have to live with the occasional continuity problem when editing reversal shots of a moment shot from two different rehearsals. What this means is this:

As you may have read, I shot the principal photography of footage, where I was concerned with capturing dialogue, this past Monday and Tuesday at the first two tech/dress rehearsals of the week. Monday night I shot all of Act I, save for the last scene, from House Right, which is the right side of the theatre area from the audience perspective, and in our theatre the area to the right of the thrust stage, from the foot of the stage -- House Right is Stage Left, (since Stage Left or Right is from the actors' perspective looking toward the audience). At any rate, as I wrote in the last blog entry, the footage Monday was from point of view (POV) of House Right; Tuesday, the POV was House Left. Same scenes.

However, with a few exceptions, I shoot even the principal dialogue footage of these podcasts more like a documentary than a movie. I shoot stage play rehearsals where the actors are rehearsing for their stag performances and I am, in essence, documenting those rehearsals with a DV camera, With the exception of a few times that I have specifically set up some sessions for the purpose, the actors are not acting for the camera.

There is not a consciousness of body movement that is the standard when shooting a movie. Thus, when shooting play rehearsals there is a built-in continuity problem. I shot the same action both Monday and Tuesday, from two different angles so I could get reversal shots and cross cut those. Sometimes however, when an actor delivered a line on Monday, he or she may have had his or her arms crossed; Tuesday, the arms were at his/her side. When I do a cross cut edit using the two reversal shots, that lock of continuity is a problem. The decision then becomes: do I live with it? the decision I arrive at depends on the some mixture of the severity of the continuity problem and the importance of showing that moment.

There a few few of these continuity problems in the podcast. Another problem was that not all costuming was complete Monday, so some actors are, in some cases, dressed a little differently in the reversals. Oh well. what-cha-gonna-do?

Meanwhile, the cast is kicking ass! Gonna be a good run and a ticket worth buying!

Click here to see the podcast.


U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

The deposition sessions are over. Wednesday, I went in feeling like I might forget something. I didn't. I think I strive to be far more prepared than the students usually task me to be. Better that way than the other way, I suppose. Next up. mock trial April 6 & 7, then Dr. Hill is retired, at least for this year.



Feb 25, 2013

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GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Friday I received the finalized rehearsal schedule calls for the show. I also note that the production is now being directed by Margarett Perry rather than Sheryl Kaller. Ms. Perry has directed a few shows at The Race including Under a Red Moon, of course, also by Michael Slade, as well as Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage; I mention those because I saw those productions. Both seemed to be directed quite well, by the way. She will also be directing next season's Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz.

Gingerbread rehearsals start tomorrow evening.


100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Opening night was a rousing success. The audience loved it and the cast felt very good about the show. I did not see that performance for the usual reason: I was in the lobby dealing with host duties. I do know there were good vibes at intermission and after the closing curtain.

I was then back Sunday to DV record the show for our theatre archival collection. That served as my viewing of the show as I will not be able to get back due to the Gingerbread Children rehearsal and performance schedule.

My totally bias assessment: the cast got some game, the script is well constructed and Ellen Finch has shown herself as a fine director.



Feb 26, 2013

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LAST SESSION OF THE HRTC ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Last night was the finale night for the class. I brought in several choices for a cold, or relatively cold reading for me. What Kay and I decided upon was a monologue from Act III of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, which is the last show of this season at The Guild, and for which I will audition. I did a monologue by the cop Ariel, one of two roles I am interested in; the other being his partner, Tupolski.

I employed the concept Go Big, You Can Always Be Pulled Back. Kay did pull me back and it made the monologue far more menacing. It is, I believe, a read I would have eventually gotten to, but any shortcut to a more effective approach is good cool smile icon.


FIRST REHEARSAL FOR THE WORKSHOP/STAGED READING OF GINGERBREAD CHILDREN STARTS TONIGHT:
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

My second excursion onto a professional stage begins tonight with rehearsal #1.

There are a lot of things to which I am looking forward. Participating in the workshopping of a new play by an established playwright is most appealing and an experience I am happy to play a part in. Doing a professional level staged reading will be interesting, too. I've only done it twice stage readings a few times before, once as a fund rasier for The Guild, where we read excerpts from past shows, once again for The Guild where we read from the upcoming season, and then Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright for Springfield StageWorks, which we did at The Westcott House, in Springfield, Ohio, a Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I can't wait to compare this new veture with these previous like-ventures, especially the Work Song experience.

I'm also looking forward to working with this cast. It will be nice to again work with Matt Smith. We first worked together in early 2004, in my return to theatre, The Cripple of Inishmaan, again, Martin McDonagh. Of course, we finally worked together again earlier this season in Opus. Kay bosse and I, if you remember, shared the stage as Grandpa and Grandma Gellman in Caroline, Or Change my other HRTC show. Charity Farrell and I have not been on stage together since Nutcracker, the Christmas extra at The Guild back in 2004, though I did direct her in my short movie, The Chorus For Candice about a year and a half later. I also look forward to finally working on stage with Andrew Ian Adams who've I seen several times on stage over the years and who was wardrobe crew on Caroline. It will be cool to work with Scott Stoney, who obviously I've seen on stage, had for an acting class at The Race, and who directed me in Caroline. I'm also looking forward to working with the rest, some who I know at least a little, other I do not know.

I am also very pumped to work with Mr. Slade. Not sure if he's here for the whole process, but, you got to figure he's here for most of it.



Feb 27, 2013

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FIRST REHEARSAL FOR THE WORKSHOP/STAGED READING OF GINGERBREAD CHILDREN LAST NIGHT:
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Last night introduced a new neighborhood of professional acting in my trudge toward a fuller professional placement. We introduced ourselves then did our read-through, then did table work on the first four pages, which includes the introduction of my character, Pastor Gerald.

These processes are certainly not new to me. The table read (read-through) has been a part of pretty much every show I've done, and there have been a few with the more extensive table work. But this was the first one at a professional theatre level, Caroline, or Change was a sing-through, only sort of the same as a read-through. This was also certainly the first one where the playwright was sitting at the table, changing, cutting and adding lines as we did the table work, and explaining the intent of certain things in the script.

It was pretty cool.



Mar 1, 2013

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THE SECOND & THIRD REHEARSALS FOR THE WORKSHOP/STAGED READING OF GINGERBREAD CHILDREN:
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.
KL fb post -- "KL Storer shared The Human Race Theatre Company's event. - Only two rehearsals in and this is already an exceptional experience! - GINGERBREAD CHILDREN, March 9 & 10 at 2:00pm, The Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio"
Feb 28, 2013 post

The table work we're doing is appealing to me, greatly. Director Margarett Perry is not rushing through her guidance of the discovery process for each of us nor for the group as a whole.

I like it best when each new production I am involved with, for stage or camera, teaches me, moves me forward in the craft. Though I've barely directed, and only for the camera, this production has, thus far, been a good lesson in how to direct. Ms. Perry is good at what she does.

Wednesday night, when I had finished the first scene I did, I thought to myself: Well THAT was "acting" -- meaning I was "giving an actor's performance" rather than being the person the character is, and that is not good work. When she finally stopped us to go back and re-work what we'd thus far done, her general comment, and not just about my work, was that she was not believing most of us, that she was hearing actors' voices and not the people from the pages. But she wasn't being derisive, it was just telling us what she needed to in order to push us toward better work. That's a good example and reminder for the aspiring director in me: be blunt, but respect the actors under your charge.

I've had good direction in the past filled to the brim with tremendous respect for me and my fellow castmates. I've had other experiences even from some directors I like and find otherwise effective. I can think of several instances, off the top of my head, where I have witnessed or experienced good directors doing their job badly and saying or behaving in unnecessary and self-involved ways that did nothing but cause useless tension and resentment. One time I had a director say something to me that was so passive-aggressively disrespectful that I was tempted for a few moments to leave rehearsal or get very belligerent in responding to the crap I was getting. I didn't. I just took a mental pause, then went on. But I really wanted to either leave or go off on the director for being an asshole, or both. It is safe to say I don't think I will have such urges toward Margarett Perry; she has a very assertive yet positive and tactful style. It works for me, and I think it is most effective.

As an actor I am getting a lot of practice with cold reading; we all are. The play is being workshopped, which means Playwright Michael Slade is there, listening to the reads and soliciting everyone's opinions on how it is tracking. He's making revisions everyday, so we have some new pages at every read. So the our cold-read muscles are getting workouts, which, at least for me, is never a bad thing.


HEALTHWISE ICON

Yesterday I had to get a biometric profile done for the rent-payer, and the results were not fabulous. Where I did have a good resting pulse (66) and a good glucose level (87), I am 29.6% over my ideal weight on the body mass index, my bad cholesterols are both too high and my good cholesterol is too low (the overall is too high at 268) and, the worst result, my blood pressure read at 167 over 98. 120 over 80 is optimum.

I knew I had fallen out of my better healthy eating practices, but I had not noticed how far out. My dinner last night was fruit. My lunch today was a salad. My dinner tonight will be fruit.

In The Gym
Is it a surprise that once again it has been weeks, probably a few months, since I was in the gym? I am back where I have been many times in the last nine years, since I started acting again. Before that it was no less than four days a week and most usually six days a week. I doubt it's going to be six days a week very often, but I now have stark motivation to make time for it to be once again a staple of my life routines.

The actor needs it, of course; but, you know, the man needs it, too. It would be good to not be an active participant in increasing my odds for heart attack and stroke.


ANNOUNCING THE CAST:
LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

If you haven't heard yet, here is the cast of Leaving Iowa:

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Don Browning            Josh Smith

Dad            Mark Reuter

Mom            Debra Kent

Sis            Rachel Wilson

Multiple Character Guy            Peter Wallace

Multiple Character Gal            Ellen Ballerene



Mar 8, 2013

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CATCH UP

REHEARSAL PERIOD FOR THE WORKSHOP/STAGED READING OF GINGERBREAD CHILDREN:
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Well. Show is tomorrow. We have one pre-production rehearsal left, tonight. I have very much enjoyed this rehearsal process and I am most grateful I was wrong when I decided I was not cast in this -- OK, I guess I'm really always grateful when I have been wrong about such (with at least one exception I'm going to diplomatically not identify smiley icon)

Because Director Margarett Perry broke the last Friday's rehearsal into sections that focused on certain sections, and on certain groups of characters/actors, I was not needed until 8:00 that evening. So, I hung out at my theatre, which is a few-minutes drive from The Human Race. I figured I would still get there somewhat early, so about 7:25 I decided to head over.

However...

...Remember that 2009 Kia Rio I bought at the start of the year? Yeah, Friday evening at 7:25 it wouldn't start. A Guild friend tried to jump the battery. Nope. So he was kind enough to drive me over to my rehearsal. My next dilemma was that I had a rehearsal the next day at noon. I was facing a logistical problem. If I could manage to get the twenty-some miles home to my rural apartment, how could I secure being back in downtown Dayton by noon on Saturday? My best choice was to spend the night at The Guild then walk over to the Metropolitan Arts Center, where the HRTC offices and the Loft Theatre are. That is what I did.

I did get there on time Friday night, a little bit early, in fact. As it turned out I wasn't called into rehearsal until about 8:30, so I got about ninety minutes of rehearsal work in; Michael Slade also did not have any new pages that night; Margarett was doing character work with each cast member.

Under The Weather Friday evening I felt a little sick, just slightly. As stated, I spent Friday night in the DTG greenroom, then walked over to HRTC for the noon rehearsal call. I was more than feeling slightly sick. I can't verify it but I am quite sure I had at least a bit of a fever, I was most congested, my throat was dreadfully sore, and I had a tiny but annoying headache. I actually was concerned I might be contagious so I kept my distance from the others as much as I could, especially Ms. Robin Post, who I was to touch as her husband on a few occasions; I did not touch her on Saturday. I did sneeze a lot, though. And as the rehearsal progressed, my energy waned at something like an exponential rate. In fact, there was a social gathering after rehearsal Saturday that I skipped to look for a ride back to my apartment, which I found, through the generosity of fellow DTGer, Deirdre Root, and her husband Grant, who went far, far out their way to drop me off.

Snow Day
We had two days off and were back this last Tuesday, now working on our feet in The Loft Theatre space. The local and national weather services just happened to be threatening a severe snow storm. As it turned out, the Dayton area didn't start getting snow until we were almost done with rehearsal.

The Tuesday rehearsal was mostly about placement: which stand to go to, when to animate any movement and how to represent that, etc. We only got through Act I. Of course, there have been beau coups of changes in placement, since, as Margarett hones the stage picture.

As for that severe weather: as I left for home at a little past 11:00, the roads were a little covered but it was not bad. By about the halfway mark, around ten miles in, I and the rest of those on the highway were driving cautiously at about 35 MPH. A usual 25-minute or so drive took almost an hour. At least we didn't lose the rehearsal.

KL fb post - "Any of the very few who may be coming to see me in this, I'd suggest you get a seat from the House Left/stage right half of the seating arch. - https://www.facebook.com/events/125423024296809" - includes graphic promo for THE GINGERBREAD CHILDREN staged reading at The Human Race Theatre Company, March 9 and 10, 2013
So, in light of my new stage placement, there's some minor chance a couple of you, who perhaps may show up, may want to heed the message in this facebook post from late last night.
By last night we were fine-tuning our work and our characters. Ms. Perry also did more of that moving us about. I now spend most of my time in the far down-stage-left corner, on that vom line, facing stage-right, and only on a few occasions up stage in the row of actors facing the audience, directly.

I am essentially physically, and thematically a counterbalance for Kay Bosse, who is in the parallel down-stage-right corner. But though I do on a couple occasions face the down-stage audience, Kay does so, much more than I.

As for my work, I guess I'm doing well with my two characters, though Margarett did give me a note adjusting my main character from what I've been doing, pretty much from the start. The vision for the script and the presentation is clearly evolving so I must evolve with it.


AUDITION ICON

PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
Did a screentest Wednesday at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office for a Pittsburgh market commercial. That would shoot, in Pittsburgh a week from today, with or without me. With me is my choice. It's not major fabulous money, but, it wouldn't be bad at all.


On a Personal Note icon

By the way, for those interested, though my suspicion was that my car trouble was a bad starter, it turned out it was a very bad battery, so bad it wouldn't even jump. Also, my car has a specialized battery, so, with diagnostics, and a few other minor maintenance I had my mechanic do, the bill came to two-hundred bucks.

Add to that the sixty-plus dollars I spent for a rental car it turned out I didn't really need and some recent cool-down on my VISA bill got blown all to hell.


LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
Rehearsals have started. I was at the read-through this past Sunday at The Guild, there in which I stayed the night so I could be there Monday morning for my car tow to the shop.

There've been a couple more rehearsals and I have not been to those, but I'll start attending soon as both producer and podcast guy.

Director Robb Willoughby, Stage Manager Deirdre Root and I are all actively trying to fill out the rest of the production crew. Some spots are filled, some to go.



Mar 9, 2013

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OPENING TODAY
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.


Mar 10, 2013

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CLOSING TODAY
GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.
My second stage appearance at HRTC where I got to workshop this wonderful new play by Michael Slade, whose intense Under a Red Moon also showed at HRTC. I was happy to make it back onto the Loft Stage and for Mr. Slade's new play. My castmates were Andrew Ian Adams, Kay Bosse, Jamie Cordes, Charity Farrell, Caitlin Larsen, Jacob McGlaun, Robin Post, Matthew Smith and Scott Stoney.

Our director was Margarett Perry.

click here for the Marsha Hanna New Play Workshops show page


also CLOSING TODAY
100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW by Kate Fodor, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of 100 Saints You Should Know

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Matthew McNally            Alex Carmichal

Theresa            Katrina Kittle

Colleen            Barbara Jorgensen

Abby            Corinne Engber

Garrett            Maximillian Santucci

The Podcast for 100 Saints You Should Know


Mar 13, 2013

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GINGERBREAD CHILDREN by Michael Slade, workshopped at The Human Race Theatre Company.
POST-SCRIPT
This most interesting, invigorating and exciting two-week project has come to an end. The workshop of Michael Slade's Gingerbread Children and the resulting two staged readings was great experience. I am grateful I was afforded the opportunity.

This is the third staged reading I've performed in, the seventh new play I've helped present, but the very first new play workshop in which I've participated. It was as rewarding an experience as I had anticipated it would be.

Not that it wasn't at times a bit discombobulating and frazzling. Mr. Slade was doing re-writes, at least to some extent, every day, with only a couple exceptions; that's just simply part and parcel to workshopping a new play. That actually was not the difficult part. The difficult part was climbing inside the character and giving the proper level of emoting and display of attitude. I had thought, through most of the rehearsal period that the Gerald I was putting out there was working. Toward the very end of rehearsal it turned out I was wrong. There were, I believe, a couple factors at play here: 1) the evolutions of the script and of varying understandings of the story; 2) the limitation to nine half-day rehearsals, which in a big sense allows for the theory a fellow castmate proposed that there were other bigger fish to fry than my interpretation of Gerald, and Ms. Perry fried those first, then, having room and time at the end, she dealt with Gerald; that isn't a preposterous notion.

Based on a few responses Gerald gives in the script, to both his wife, Elizabeth (Robin Post), and his daughter, Young Sarah (Charity Farrell), I saw him as affable with some good presentation of humility (if false) and being fairly emotionally available. I played him that way from the read-through all the way through the Thursday, March 7 rehearsal. However, in the notes for that Thursday's work (which were given either at the end of the day that evening or the start of the Friday rehearsal -- I can't remember), Margarett said she wasn't feeling the proper power and command from Gerald, that he seemed too humble and too deferential to the women of the house; she said she did not sense he was in control of his household the way he should be.

Friday, at the last full-run rehearsal I gave the 180° readjustment a whirl, but I would not suggest I was terribly successful. It didn't feel that way to me, at least. I had a director once make an observation about me that points out what I interpret as an annoying flaw in my acting. She told me that when she gave me an adjustment of any substantial size or a new direction, I seemed to need at least a day to process the note. She said I was not giving her what she asked for immediately, but in the next rehearsal I would be there. I'd like to change that, be a little quicker on the uptake, like: in the now.

At the Saturday performance I was, I suppose, sufficient as Gerald. I will point out that I did get notes Sunday before the performance about places Margarett did not feel I had yet met the goal. Further, there were spots she had some of us rehearse Sunday, pre-show, Gerald was in some of those. It seems I finally hit the target in the Sunday reading. It felt to me that I had, anyway. Gerald seemed to me to be pretty much humorless -- with a few moments that are necessary exceptions, he seemed more assertive and less accommodating and was certainly hardly emotionally available. Ms. Perry did write in an email to us all that "Everyone was at the TOP of their GAME on Sunday and it really paid off." So, she must have been happy with Sunday's Gerald.

I will have to admit, I would have rather been able to find a way to soften Gerald and still have the appropriate sense of power and command. My preferred version of him was there somewhere, in the script, I just hadn't found him before we were done with it all. But, without introducing spoilers, I think such an introduction at the beginning would create a far more effective arch for both Gerald and the story as a whole.

On the other side, the choice I made for Lot sailed through all the rehearsals and through to the wrap of the project. I made Lot a spastic, nervous weenie, mostly to draw a big distinction between him and Gerald, though the choice was certainly based on indicators in the script. If Margarett eventually had reservations about Gerald, she was in love with my Lot from the git-go.

As for the rest of the cast, as well as the playwright and our director, what can I say: they all got game! First, Michael's script is inventive, deceptively deep, quite thought-provoking, and evocative. It's a surreal fantasia that posses some important propositions and delicately deals with very ugly and intense situations. His re-writes during the workshop only strengthened these attributes (that being the idea, of course). Margarett is a frank director with a great drive to bring out a clear and true performance of the script.

The cast was a privilege to work with. It was nice to work again with Kay Bosse, Charity Farrell, and Matthew Smith. I was happy to finally work on stage with Andrew Ian Adams, Jacob McGlaun and Scott Stoney. It was great to meet and work with Jamie Cordes, Caitlin Larsen and Robin Post.


In the audience icon
Da Da Da Dum, click-click

Sunday night, through the generosity of The Victoria Theatre Association, some of my Gingerbread Children castmates, production team, and I got to see The Addams Family Musical at The Schuster.

It's a cute, fun show.


AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION ICON

PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
NOPE ICON

  • Since the Pittsburgh-market commercial will be shot the day after tomorrow, it seems more than a little obvious I am not cast.
  • The dates for The Human Race Theatre Company's 2013/2014 Season General Auditions will be announced soon. Of course, I'll audition, despite that I am not sure there's a role for me in the new season.

  • NON-PAYING GIG ICON
  • Auditions for Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman at The Guild are less than a month away. I am keenly interested in this one. I have not read the whole play yet, but already I am most drawn to the role of Policeman Ariel. Don't worry, I will read the script completely, very shortly.



  • 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    This one also wrapped Sunday, as did Gingerbread Children, and it had quite a successful run. Because of Gingerbread... I was not at the theatre any but two performance, early in the run, but I know through reports that all the audiences responded well, and there were many sellouts or houses close to such. The critical success was good too, as illustrated by the two reviews linked below:

  • "DAYTON THEATRE REVIEW: 100 Saints You Should Know (Dayton Theatre Guild)," by Russell Florence, Jr. at Dayton Most Metro.
  • Burt Saidel's review in the Mar 6, 2013 Oakwood Register -- (turn to page 19).



  • LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    DTG Producer icon
    Director Robb Willoughby reports that rehearsals are going well. We have not wholly filled all the production team, but we are working on it.



    Mar 20, 2013

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    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    HEALTHWISE ICON In The Gym
    -- I've made decent headway on the "getting back to eating much healthier" part. The "back in the gym on a regular basis" part: not so much. Okay! Not at all! This IS something most relevant to my present acting life as I'd like to at least add a little bit of tone and size to my arms and chest for my next known stage audition *(see below), and continue on if cast. At this point that's a tall order for the audition without a trainer and hours a day with resistance workouts. The auditions are early April.

    '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
    -- And that's a big ol'........
    NOPE ICON
    I'll do the "mea culpa" later.

    THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
    -- Gettin' ducks in a row to file my 2012 tax returns.


    LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Producer icon

    -- Since Gingerbread Children wrapped I have felt much more on target as the producer for this, especially in recent days. I am taking care of a few production needs and between myself, our stage manager Deirdre Root, and Director Robb Willoughby, we are likely to soon have the crew roster filled out. I talk today with whom I hope is our lighting tech, and I have feelers out for our sound tech.

    We did have a brief but most useful production meeting before rehearsal last night, a bit later in the game than I would prefer, but there were schedule problems that made it difficult to pull together earlier at the fuller complement of creative team members that we had last night.

    I also am doing some work helping Robb get family photos together. That's mostly just scanning pics and digitally blowing some up from wallet size to 5x7 or 8x10. It also includes, in one case, a little bit of Corel Painter magic -- many of you would use the term "Photoshopping." It's all about creating a college-age photo of Mom and Dad (Debra Kent and Mark Reuter). The original photo is Debra on set in a college theatre production, with a male actor. I took a few pics of Mark last night and now the mission is to replace the face of the college dude with Mark's, and to try to age his face down about twenty years or so. Here's hoping.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    ***SORTA-KINDA***
    -- The sound design for this show is provided by the playwrights through their publisher, Dramatic Publishing, so all I really am doing is engineering the set-up of the sound cues in Show Cue Systems, then doing a slight bit of programming.

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    There was, however, one little sound design glitch. Weeks and weeks ago I imported the two-CD set that came with the script into iTunes on my laptop, in order to further migrate all the sound cues into SCS. With my involvement in Gingerbread Children being imminent, I didn't listen to this sound design material at all. I found earlier this week that many of the music and sound effect files were corrupted. I got the disks back from Robb and imported it all again, only to experience the same problem. I took two measures when once again grabbing the recordings off the disks: 1) I cleaned both disks thoroughly with CD/DVD cleaning solution; 2) I used my desktop computer at work to import into iTunes on that one. I thought the problem might be the Apple USB SuperDrive I need to use with my MacBook Pro. One of the two measures worked; I now have good sound files.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    -- During the rehearsal last Saturday I began principal photography for the podcast. I continue tonight through Friday, shooting b-roll from rehearsals and one cast interview. I've done a bit of set up for post-production and will do more so that after I have shot the principal dress rehearsal footage I have as little to do to edit to final cut as possible at that time.

    DTG Hosting icon
    -- Wearing the Dayton Theatre Guild House Management Chairman hat, I am starting today to solicit house hosts for the nine performances.

    If you think you might want to volunteer for this prestigious position, get hold of that house management chair guy: KL_Storer@yahoo.com


    AUDITION ICON
    THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    -- Yesterday PC-Goenner sent sides for a screentest Friday afternoon. I will audition for a day player role in an indy to be shot late summer in Cincinnati.

    Despite present and demanding business with Leaving Iowa I hope to have the sides memorized for this Friday's screentest.

    NON-PAYING GIG ICON
    -- I'm starting to crack the pages of The Pillowman for the April 8 & 9 auditions at The Guild. This would be where I'd like to add a bit of bulk and tone to my arms and chest. Again, it's a pretty big task at this point, at least for the auditions, so, we'll see.


    THE PILLOWMAN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    I've been trying for about a week to contact Martin McDonagh or his representation about dialogue clearance for the last DTG podcast of the 12/13 season. I did manage, through a tip from a theatre contact in New York City, to determine the probable best contact person at his literary agency. I emailed that person, in London, yesterday. So now we wait.

    *Don't be terribly impressed by that "through a tip from a theatre contact in New York City" business. I am not exactly the most industry-hooked-up guy around. But I know a few people.

    By the way, feel free to contact me if you want to volunteer as a host for this one, too:
    KL_Storer@yahoo.com
    DTG Hosting icon



    Mar 29, 2013

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    PREPPING FOR TRIAL:
    U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

    Wednesday afternoon we moved closer to the end of the mock medical malpractice case. I met with the three sets of defense attorneys for trial prep.

    The three mock trials are the weekend of Apr 6 & 7.


    A NEW SHORT MOVIE ROLE:
    FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON

    Greg Nichols, director and writer of The Wonderland Express, just offered me a role in a short-subject horror film. I excepted. Along with myself, he has cast Chuck Larkowski (he being Johnny Depp to Greg's Tim Burton), Alex Carmichal, and Ayn Wood. The three men had a read-through Sunday, the 24th. It's going to be a fun shoot. First day of principal photography will be an all-day SFX shoot on April 22.

    It's my hope that on April 22 I will need to be wrapped in time to get over to The Guild and rehearsal there cool smile icon. It looks like that should happen; the call sheet suggest my target wrap by 3:00 pm. -- We'll see.


    AUDITION ICON

    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    No word back yet on that feature-length indy I screentested for on March 22, but word on a movie audition can take a long time for response, either way. I didn't really feel all that good about the audition, but that means nothing save for that I didn't really feel all that good about the audition.

    This past Tuesday, I auditioned for a Kroger commercial. That one I do feel good about. But, again, all that means is that I feel good about it. This one is a SAG/AFTRA gig, so if I'm cast, it will be the first of my two Taft-Hartley gigs.

    NON-PAYING GIG ICON
    THE PILLOWMAN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    It's been far too busy of late for me to focus on this script whatsoever for the forthcoming April 8 & 9 auditions.

    I will get back to the script before then. It looks like it will be Sunday afternoon and evening, April 7. Well, at least I won't walk in to auditions wholly unfamiliar with the script and the characters.

    In The Gym
    As for that getting a little bit of tone and bulk-like thing: well, nothing has been done, though there are few days I may be able to get some weight resistance in. Nothing that will really cause a big change from the pudding-based physic I have at the moment, however


    NOPE ICON
    Note Addendum PS icon

    THIS ONE IS A "NOPE" BY ME.

    July 1, 2018. That's the first day I can retire from my the rent-payer job and be eligible for the retirement pension, however, measly and beat up it will be by then.

    Why do I mention this? I was offered a rather well-paying pro gig that I knew I had to turn down. I just would not be able to be prepared in time to do the gig correctly. It falls on a day that follows several packed days and I would have shown up ill-prepared for the work.

    In my mind this is because of that forty hours a week dedicated to the rent-payer. If I could get that damn thing off the schedule, I'd have much more time to focus on the soul-valuable things in my life -- the art stuff, the talent and craft stuff.

    Thing is, there's a more imminent, reasonable, practical solution than "July 1, 2018," beyond the 25-million-to-one chance of winning a big lottery prize; I just need to figure out what the heck it is.


    11TH HOUR AT DTG:
    LEAVING IOWA & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    DTG Producer icon
    As we move toward Tech Week the chaos seems to be imploding down, with increasing calmness into a functioning machine, which is what you want to see, and is the typical situation. We have the full complement of crew and 95+% of our props. I think we have all the costumes, with the multi-character actors, Peter Wallace and Ellen Ballerene, needing lots and lots. Much of the back stage crew work will somehow focus on the multiple-character moments, including quick costume changes.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    I will wrap up the commentary section for the podcast, tonight. Mostly what is left is the principal footage of rehearsal, that A-role where the dialogue from the play will be part of the final cut.

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    There's been one little production glitch., so far The DV cassette tape malfunctioned during portions of one actor's commentary interview as I was capturing the footage into Final Cut Express. Since I have been recording the audio separately, I did not loose the actor's comments on audio, just portions of the video. The work-around for this will be that I just leave the bad video sections of the commentary as audio-only, and those will be places where I used B-role cut-away footage. I always do a lot of cut-aways, anyway, so this is not tragic; though I am not particularly happy about it. I could have re-shot it, but time is at a premium, so I have elected to not do so.

    The up-shot is that I had re-used some tape for the interviews and, I believe there was a mechanical problem with the inter-workings of the cassette.

    New rule: all principal footage, including commentary, is shot with a brand-new cassette -- until I've moved on to a camera that records to an internal hard drive.

    DTG Hosting icon
    I'm again wearing the Dayton Theatre Guild House Management Chairman hat as I continue to solicit house hosts for the performances of this show.

    And again I'll remind you, if you think you might want to volunteer for this prestigious position, get hold of that house management chair guy: KL_Storer@yahoo.com



    Easter Sunday, 2013

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    xxxx



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