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

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Before we launch into my semi-interesting stuff,
check out this great music video
directed by Dayton-local actor and film maker David Sherman
and featuring many Dayton-local music artists
including Puzzle of Light:






CATCH UP

ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.

THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
*) Okay, okay; "codine fog" is, admittedly, a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the Tylenol #3 has not exactly sharpened my mental acuity.
First, I have changed my mind, or rather, settled it, about recording my lines as part of the line memorization and study process. Yesterday, I made a recording to listen to. As always, I will still use the flashcards because that is a tried and true method for me, but listening to the scenes whilst involved with other things has never hurt and I know is effective. I've also had an offer from someone to help me run lines, that which I may accept. I am still way behind where I want to be in terms of having my lines memorized. I feel like I have barely started. In between other things vying for my attention and the codine fog that I have been in much of the last two weeks* I have done little toward getting off-book (my lines committed to memory).


Since last I blogged, I have been to several rehearsals and things are coming along. We are still in the early stages. It is nice to finally work with Heather Martin, whom I've known since the beginning of my return to acting. It's nice to actually share some scenes with Jennifer Lockwood, who not only have I known since my return, I met at the very first audition of my adult "career." She was at the Jan 19 & 20, 2004 auditions for The Cripple of Inishmaan at The Guild. Jennifer was the director of the show that was currently up, Talley's Folly, and as is oft the practice of directors, she was sitting in on the Cripple, scooping out audition performances, and filing away her observations (I'm guessing about her motives, but I'll bet I'm right). Moreover, Jennifer was the one who had submitted Cripple to the DTG play reading committee, so she certainly had a more personal investment in the auditions. I actually can remember the first, or one of the first conversations we had. I believe it was the second night. It was at the end of the audition and I was making some lame, mea culpa to Director Greg Smith about my audition performance and she gave me the friendly advice that I should never apologize to the director for my audition, advice I didn't fully appreciate the wisdom of, then, as I do now.

Back to today, it seems I am miles away from finding Jason Harrington and his voice -- I'm probably closer than I think. I've played a little bit with him at rehearsal. Wednesday night I tried a new take on him in his first scene, where he and the protagonist are in a more social setting, I played down his military demeanor; I guess you could say I "major-generaled him down" a bit. Mr. Director asked me to major-general him back up. Waiting for Jason to fully arrive: that's where I am right now. The attacking line study, as I am about to do full-on, is the biggest means to this particular end.

Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse
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On a FF13 related note, Friday evening I recorded some voice work by some of the actors in St. Paulie's Delight. Director Kathy Mola used space at The Guild to rehearse the show, so we are recorded it there before they started for the evening. It was my usual set-up: a mic running into my small mixer then through iMic into my MacBook Pro and on into GarageBand.

These are all voicemail messages so I will process the EQ, pulling out most of the lows and boosting the mid-range. It also makes it less necessary to have a more sound-proof master recording, as if you can really get such anywhere at The Guild.
xxxx
Rick Flynn
xxxx
Kelli Locker
xxxx
Art Fabian



MORE ADR FOR GREG NICHOLS' NEW SHORT FILM, MEDICINE -- (But the "Good" kind of ADR, not the "Bad" kind):
On Set icon

As the short movie, Medicine -- previously titled, Serve Me -- moves closer to final cut, Writer/Director Greg Nichols as been attacking the edit with ferocious ferver. He's cut several minutes that include what was the opening scene as well as all of the scene we shot in the moving car. His decision was that all this footage was slowing down the story line and offering no unique information.

Thursday night, the 20th, Greg audio recorded Alex Carmichal and I doing some new lines via ADR. Without detailing it, this is a new set-up for the story that replaces the nixed material. The good news, or the "'Good' kind of ADR" thing, is that, since these new lines are off screen, there was no concern about lip synchronization. There's another session of "good" ADR coming, probably on July 13, later in the afternoon after I finish playing producer at The Guild at a production meeting for 45 Seconds from Broadway.

Greg also is pumped about the score music. He says it takes the movie "to a whole new level -- insanity Level. [He] can't wait to unleash this monster on the unsuspecting townsfolk."

Check out the trailer Greg has just posted




PREPRODUCTION, ALL OVER AGAIN:
DTG Producer icon

Remember how I "lauded" myself for the cretin I am for volunteering to be producer for the first two shows of The Guild's 13/14 season? Well, as of right now, both are officially in pre-production.

45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
First Show -- Of course, the work for the Simon play is much farther along, with auditions hitting in just slightly more than two weeks, and the first production meeting only a couple days before them.

I am still in the process of shoring up the production team. I have a line on another costumer -- the first few I approached could not accept. We also still need a lighting technician. Lighting and sound design are both covered; we have our stage manager and we have the sound tech.

Not to make myself look like a bad producer or anything, but I have as yet to give the script a good read. I have skimmed it a bit, but really have not read it well. Probably ought to do that, huh? The producer ought to know the show he's producing.

The actor needs to read it, too, if he is indeed going to audition....

TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
Next Show -- With the posting of the audition specs *(see below [UNTIL AUG 28]) on the DTG facebook page on this past Wednesday, pre-production for this one has officially gotten underway, as well. I have not worked on putting any crew together, yet, though it's likely that I will design sound. Director Debra Kent also has secured a lighting designer, who is new to The Guild, for the show, and Ms. Deirdre Root is our SM/AD.

This script, too, I have not given any kind of in-depth read. I did read it for an acting class with Kay Bosse at The Human Race Theatre Company, I believe last year, and we did a pivotal scene from the play in class. I have some good idea about the gist and intent of the play, but I am not as familiar as I should be with it, as the producer should be.

Again, the actor needs to read it, too, if he is going to audition; and I may audition. I'd love to be up for both male roles, but probably only have a shot at one of the two. I am not wholly on board with auditioning for this one, any way.


DTG Podcast Production logo
And as Podcast Producer -- Just like I didn't for Lost in Yonkers a couple season's back, I am also not going to bother to seek clearance to use dialogue from this Neil Simon play. I have no confidence that permission would be granted for 45 Seconds, and if it was, the clearance fee would very likely be most prohibitive to our meager creative budget. So this will be another podcast movie with commentary content only over rehearsal footage that can't be heard. That works well enough, though hearing words from the play is better.

As for Time Stands Still, I contacted the playwright, Donald Margulies, about clearance and am pleased to report that he granted it. I admit I was skeptical about getting it here, but not as much as with any Neil Simon play. But then I must remember that I was skeptical about getting Lee Blessing's permission for Going to St. Ives and was pleasantly surprised by his prompt and gracious, "yes."


AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

Later today I'm at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office to do a screentest for a A HREF="filmmaking_terms.html#SAGAFTRA">SAG/AFTRA low-budget feature. The gig isn't at SAG/AFTRA scale2, and it would be a Taft/Hartley situation. It's a featured role that is likely to make me more than a day player if cast. It also pays travel and accommodations, and food is provided. I was given vague information on the production dates, only that it is at the end of the year. Clearly I would be going out of town, and depending on the size of the role, it might be days or a couple weeks. Indys seem to shoot fast though so I would not imagine it'd be all of the quoted "Oct-Dec." That, I believe is the window. The screenwriter is Chicago based, so this movie may be shooting there. I'm gambling that I will have enough vacation time accrued to cover the gig, should I be cast.


THE DEAD GUY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
On Stage icon
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
This has been a reality for a while and I have held off mentioning it, but I will appear on stage in our last DTG show of the 13/14 season, The Dead Guy, by Eric Coble. I will be in the role of television videographer, Dougie. There will be live video feed going on during the performances with a screen that shows in real-time what I am (Dougie is) shooting on the stage. There is a lot of technical consideration to be worked out. We know, for instance, that we need for Doug to be using a camera with a wireless feed -- trying to wrangle cables during the live performances would just not be practical, whatsoever.

I also may be somehow involved in some minor collaborative manner in the blocking of the show in order to assure better screen composition. It may simply be that a demand for a more precise movement by the actors/characters who are the subject of the live video is needed, with perhaps slightly slower more laborious process of blocking taking place. If I collaborate, my guess is it will be on the spot during the rehearsals where I make suggestions and adjustments.

Since the play is about a reality show, there are those participators' commentaries that we will be shooting to run pre-recorded during the performances, after the show has been cast.

There are also commercials to be shown on the screen. We may or may not have them produced. These are available on a pre-packaged DVD, which is certainly an attractive option.

We had a production meeting and a preliminary reading of the script last night. Too soon? you ask: not with the technical needs the show commands. Much better to be well ahead of the game.


THE BUSINESS OF ACTING ICON
xxxx

On-line PDF of K.L.Storer's actors resume
On-line résumé presence up-to-date, including my Now Casting résumé. The icon to the left goes to my own on-line version. When I went yesterday to my account at Now Casting, I realized I was quite a few gigs behind there. It's up-to-date, now.

My representation also recently asked for an updated résumé, as well as new headshots (actor's photos). Mine have been a few years old, though at my age, unless my weight, build or "hairline" changes, my appearance will not be hardly different over the course of a couple years, not like a child or even a twenty-something or a thirty-something.

In The Gym
HEALTHWISE ICON
That being said (written), I have been meaning to get a new series of headshots for a while, a long while. Sometimes the delay has been due to cash ($150 or more for the set); more often, and as the on-going problem, is that I want to drop some weight first. I'd love to drop ten, maybe even twenty pounds, as well as push my muscle tone back to at least where it was when I came back to acting. Better would be ideal.

So, healthier, less weight-inducing dietary habits need my attention, and finding/making time to be a gym regular is, as it has been the whole nine-plus years I've been a thespian again, a mostly unfulfilled necessity. I like to think that my occasional mention of this here, in front of all of you, (you five regulars, at least) would be a naging incentive to me. Thus far that has not seemed to work.

To appease the agency and because I otherwise have known new pics were needed, I did a few DIY headshots in the interim before I get the professional-photographer versions, which will likely be done at Nicholas Studios. They have been my staple for this and I have always like the product they've given me.

My DIY shots are.....adequate....but I really need to get pro work done soon. The photo to the right is one of a few that is anywhere close to actually good -- perhaps without rising exactly to good.

I have as of yet to upload any of these shots to Now Casting, though I may.


HEALTHWISE ICON
On a Personal Note icon
DENTAL SURGERY! again!

Remember the oral surgery a couple week's back to extract both my upper and lower left wisdom teeth? The next week I went back for the post-op exam, and it was discovered that a small fragment of the upper was still there. It had hidden itself in the angle of the post-surgery x-ray on the day of the extractions.

So, what was to be about a ten-minute check-up became an hour-plus, more surgery, and the whole day off work rather than just coming in late.

And this is why there has been more "codine fog."

This morning is the second attempt at a ten-minute post-op exam.


PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE by Kushner and Tesori at The Human Race Theatre Company.
Some Caroline, or Change alumni have gigs up or just closing.

Yvette Williams was on the set of the HBO series Girls, starring Lena Dunham, last week and she has booked work on the set of The Other Woman, directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring, to begin, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Cameron Diaz, and Leslie Mann.

Bruce Sabath opened Friday night at the The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York, in Route 66: a new musical; Book by Jerold Goldstein & William Squier; Music by Fred Stark, Lyrics by William Squier (click for the team's bios).

Taprena Augustine yesterday wrapped her work in The World Goes Round at the Florida Studio Theatre.

And, of course, Brittany Campbell is music giggin' herself all over NYC on a regular basis, and is on occasion cranking out new recorded music, priming herself for that FIRST ride at the top of the charts that is eventually going to happen ~~ my prediction. . . . I'm tellin' ya! cool icon

Lastly, leave us not forget that three alumni also this weekend closed a most successful run of Avenue Q at The Human Race Theatre Company: Shawn Storms as Gary Coleman, Andrew Ian Adams as Third Hand and Bad Idea Bear 1, and Sean Michael Flowers as the musical director. I'm sorry I didn't get back for a second viewing of this great production.


Dayton Theatre Guild
DTG Ex-aficionado Greg Smith, now living in Jackson, Tennessee, will open July 11 as Edna in Hairspray at the Jackson Theatre Guild.


Note Addendum PS icon

CONGRATULATIONS!

To Dayton Theatre Guild board member and talented local actor, Jeff Sams and his lovely new bride, Leah, on their beautiful wedding this past weekend.

HAVE A WONDERFUL, PROSPEROUS LIFE TOGETHER!


Independence Day 2013

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Happy Independence Day 2013







LINES & BEING & A MAN IN HIS OWN RIGHT:
ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
xxxx
One view of my environment for working on lines at the Huffman Reservoir before the Monday rehearsal.

With the advent of this long holiday weekend, I have a goal of being virtually off-book (i.e.: my lines memorized) by its conclusion.

Monday we rehearsed Act I, Tuesday, Act II.

Will it be any surprise to you five regulars or anyone else who knows me in the thespian/(art) world that I am still impatiently awaiting Jason's full arrival on the set? I am still "acting" Jason, not wholly "being" Jason. Remember my axiom:

Less acting; more being.

I am at the place where my performance with the character is still "a performance of the character," in other words, in the present. it's more acting; less being, and along with engraving his words into my mind, my other next move is to fully realize Jason and absorb him into me and give him his own voice, built upon my voice, by not my voice, and more importantly, not the blatantly put-on voice he has right now.

Harold Guskin writes in How to Stop Acting:

The character is not some painted-on picture of what we have decided in rehearsal, then presented as a finished product to the audience. The character is simply the actor's continual responses to the author's lines, an ongoing exploration that remains completely personal for him, from first reading through final performance.
      The character has to be in us if the audience is ever to believe us, and if we want to be free and alive in each moment. After all the lines are coming out of our mouths anyway. We want the audience to be lost in what we say and do, not standing back, judging whether we are acting the character well or badly. So the lines must be ours, or the audience will see us acting a character. And every moment must be us -- really us, what we are personally thinking, seeing, feeling, and saying. That is why the audience believes it and feels it. That's what I mean when I say we must take responsibility for the line. (p.41, emphasis is Mr. Guskin's)

The only part of that I take any exception to with is "every moment must be us...what we are personally thinking, seeing, feeling, and saying...." I would not say that mine is a disagreement exactly but more of a codicil. I have also heard the opinion, the philosophy that it's ultimately what you sell the audience matters. The best of both worlds is when I have the emotional involvement with my character in that moment on stage (or in front of the camera) and I feel the sadness, the joy, the grief, the bliss he is feeling in that moment, in the script, and I successfully convey it to the audience. I must remember that the only importance is that the audience sees my character experience that emotion, and audience hears my character say the words. It is just as successful if I am not feeling it but I have still sold it to the audience. And I know fir a fact that is possible, because I have had nights on stage when I just did not feel any of it, but the feedback from the audience told me it was a successful performance; the audience saw and felt the character living the life the script laid out for him. I have had nights when I was feeling it all over the place but was to internal, not conveying it; the audience did n't believe me; they saw an actor on stage.

That is not to say that I at think we should not get to the place with the character where every moment is us and what we are personally thinking, seeing, feeling, and saying. I believe firmly that we absolutely should get there. That is my goal and when I say I want Jason to fully arrive on the set, that is what I mean. I'm impatient to be viscerally merged with him. My codicil is this: I have to make being Jason enough of a habit that when I don't feel it, I still have enough, let's call it muscle-memory, that I can still effectively behave as him in the moment and successfully sell it.

It's the same principle as how all the moments in the script that are spontaneous in the world of the characters are truly not spontaneous for the actors on the set. We can be poetic and metaphorical and say the actors must keep the moments spontaneous, but the practical reality is that is not really what they are doing. After weeks of rehearsal and multiple performances any real spontaneity is gone. The concept of the actor keeping it spontaneous is simply a way to say he or she breaks down their performance to moment by moment so they can create the illusion of spontaneity when it arrives in the story they are helping to tell on stage on screen.

The truth is, if the actor is worth his or her salt, they know the script and their part in it forward and backward, and every nuance of the script, the story, their actions and the actions of the other characters in scene with them. When Mother Superior Mary (played by Sue) unexpectedly smacks Sister Jane (played by Debby), in Act I:Scene 4 of our hypothetical play, it's Mary who impulsively reacted to Jane and smacked her. It was Jane who was shocked by the assault. That's true to the story being told. The actor, Sue, on the other hand knew on the bus to the theatre that she was smacking the actor, Debby, that evening, like she had during the last several dozen rehearsals and on into the performances already given. On her drive in from her country home, Debby knew, too. And every night, Sue made sure to cup her hand correctly to maximize the sound of the smack and to be sure to strategically strike that blow on the correct upstage spot on Debby's face to save her fellow actor any actual pain. There's not a whole lot spontaneous about that. But if Sue and Debby are good at their work, the audience will see a spontaneous moment between two nuns and the moment may even elicit a gasp or two from said audience.

That's the craftwork. The art of the actor got to the visceral truth of the character and made that their own; the craftwork keeps that alive. The craftwork allows the actor to embed the behavior of the character from first to last entrance within themselves so that what the audience sees is the character from the collaborative imaginations of the author, the actor and the audience members themselves, and not an actor on stage pretending to be the character. The most successful scenario is "every moment [being] us -- really us, what we are personally thinking, seeing, feeling, and saying" and behaving as the character so we sell it to the audience. The nights we only behave as the character and still sell his or her thought, vision and feeling to the audience is just as successful. The nights "we are personally thinking, seeing, feeling, and saying" but are poorly selling it: we've failed.

I don't know how this turned into an essay. Perhaps it was the inclusion of the Guskin quote.

I guess I should get back on point. I haven't fully discovered who Major General Jason Harrington is,and I haven't yet merged him with myself to breath life into him. Knowing all the words that come out of his mouth is a first major step in that direction, and one of the artistic focuses of this holiday weekend. I'd discuss how I'm going to be sure to differentiate Jason from the last Michael Feely character I played, Colonel Gregory Stratton, in Night and Fog in FF2009, but I want to move on, close this entry and get on with my day. So, Jason vs Greg is a topic for later. Right now, my Jason is pretty much a stereotype, and military archetype, so he's the same place where gregory started out for me. So one of my tasks is to keep the mutual archetype, as it is valid and appropriate, even demanded, but be sure Jason is his own man.


AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

The screentest Monday at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office went well enough. The movie will shoot in Michigan, what is likely a five to six hour drive from my humble abode. I'm still not at all sure how substantial this featured role is nor how long I would be on set: day player, several days, or more. I doubt it demands enough time on set to require me to join SAG/AFTRA. It could be more than one 600-mile round trip to set. However, depending on the call sheets, will it be one day on set, or will it be more than a day and thus a need to stay overnight?.


Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

This long weekend is also a good place to kick out a lot of the work needed for the sound for the two FF13 shows I agreed to design for.

This really shouldn't be a major burdon nor take up a lot of my extended weekend. The sound needs of these shows are pretty straight forward and simple.

I have the raw recordings of Rick Flynn, Kelli Locker, and Art Fabian for Jacob Cox's St. Paulie's Delight, director by Kathy Mola.

Both that show and A Position of Relative Importance, by Hal Borden, (directed by Debra Kent) don't call for any exotic sound effects, nothing that would take advanced mixing or creation. I likely have all the sound files in my library (which is about to get significantly bigger). What I don't have will be very easy to get ahold of.


SUMMER HRTC ADVANCED ACTING CLASS NEEDS STUDENTS TO PROCEED:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON
GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
The advanced acting class with Kay Bosse that is slated to start this coming Monday at The Human Race Theatre Company is in jeopardy of being cancelled. The class needs three more actors in order to fly. If you are interested you have till 5 pm tomorrow to register:

Classes are held in the Caryl D. Philips Creativity Center, 116 North Jefferson Street in downtown Dayton.

Advanced Acting Techniques
Mondays 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
July 8, 15, 22, 29 and August 5, 12
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.

click here for Adult Classes page to register on-line
or call Education Director Marilyn Klaben
(937) 461-3823 ext. 3132

Spread the word to those who might be interested.





And, to close out this 4th of July entry, I leave you with a great moment, from a great movie (and stage musical), featuring a great actor.

I MUST follow in Mr. Daniel's footsteps. This is a role I salivate to land.

again:

Happy Independence Day!



Mon, July 8, 2013

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NO TV ZONE

Thursday and Friday I indulged far more in TV connoisseurship than I had the time to budget. I did take care of some business while watching television, yet it still distracted me far too much and seriously interfered with productivity. I'm embarrassed to share some of the titles I watched multiple reruns of on Netflix during this ill-advised exercise. Coming out of the fog both Saturday and yesterday I decided to watch no TV, thoughI must admit that my TV was technically on for some period of time both days, but it was streaming the on-line radio likes of Pat Methany Radio and Groove Salad through iTunes via Apple TV. Clearly that counts as my staying within the No TV Zone because my TV was simply acting as an audio system.


ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
K.L. facebook post - "I hereby declare myself at that first stage of officially, technically, virtually off-book, with all the stumbles and lack of verbatimism (*new word) that needs to be smoothed out and eradicated."

Thanks in part to the No TV Zone, I met my goal of being very close to the ideal definition of off-book (my lines committed to memory and no need to use the script). This was achieved by the use of my signature flash cards while doing a vast amount of pacing in, primarily, two locations: an empty, more secluded parking lot at John Bryan State Park, on Saturday, and the front patio at my place on Sunday. I also launched my subliminal exposure last night by looping the audio recording of my scenes over night whilst I slept. I also have the sound files on my cell phone and burned on a disk for the car CD player.

Like the screenshot of a facebook from yesterday says, I still at that "[stumbling] and lack of verbatimism" stage "that needs to be smoothed out and eradicated," but still, I have the lines, save for refinement. At rehearsal tonight and tomorrow night I will still have the script in my hand, more for the blocking than anything else.

That's not to say that I would not be calling for lines were there not a script in my hand. Actually, I am likely to call for line if needed as I want to only have the script in hand to remind me of blocking.
xxxx
The flash cards.
xxxx
The park.
xxxx
The patio.



THE CLASS IS A GO:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

The Advanced Acting Class with Kay Bosse at The Human Race Theatre Company apparently has met its minimum enrollment, and is on for tonight and the following five Mondays. We're all supposed to come into class with a role we covet that we know we will never be cast in, because we're now too old or otherwise are not the right type. I have not identified mine, yet; though there are more than a few that meet the criteria.


BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION:
Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

I am at mea culpa junction and must admit that the lack of No TV Zone on the first half of my long holiday weekend has put me a little behind where I believe I should be for the sound work for both Jacob Cox's St. Paulie's Delight, directed by Kathy Mola, and A Position of Relative Importance, by Hal Borden and directed by Debra Kent. I have done some work, but I ought to be much further along than I am.

I can get it done in time, but not in as much of a stress-free zone than it would have been.

So-oh-well!


DTG Producer icon
45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

First off, remember that open auditions for 45 Seconds from Broadway are one week from tonight and tomorrow night at The Guild.

I'm still not shored up on my production team for this one. I have an "almost" on the costumer, but that person has not yet committed. The sound tech had to drop out due to A conflict he had forgotten about. I do have a tech who has just come on board and she will fill whichever slot is open, sound board or light board. So, right now, I am on the prowl for the other tech and am launching a campaign to persuade the costumer into a firm Yes.

AUDITION ICON
I am also still more likely than not to audition for this one, myself. I always feel a little weird about auditioning for shows for which I am the producer, and frankly, usually don't get cast. I did make it into A Case of Libel. I also produced Blackbird, but that was precast with myself and Ms. Atkinson in the roles from before we knew if we were doing the show at The Guild.



Fri, July 12, 2013

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ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.

I won't go so far as to say that my declaration of being "at that first stage of officially, technically, virtually off-book" was premature, but that it was the most hopeful spin on my state of readiness that I could have given is not unreasonable. There has been more than simply a little bit of stumbling and "lack of verbatimism" going on, especially the early part of the week, much more than pleases me, I can assure.

On a less self-critical note, my character work on MG Jason Harrington is inching along. I think I'm starting to get him to a fully dimensional human being from the cardboard version he's been. Okay, "cardboard" is probably a bit harsh, but he wasn't feeling as flesh-and-blood as he should be and now he's getting there; he now has some warm breath in him.

Wednesday night, Director Saul Caplan worked with just Shawn Hooks (Col. Corcoran) and myself and our big scene together. We got a lot of progress achieved on that scene, too. For one thing, I was able to fill out the veracity of Jason as a living entity and not a character being played by an actor. I am not fully there, yet, but Wednesday and last night prove I am heading that direction.

Last night we ran the whole show and where my character work on Jason still progressed, I still fell far short of being verbatim on the lines. A few times I just pushed my way through, knowing I was paraphrasing; a couple times I had to call for line. I'm always set on saying the words as they were written. With a new play festival where the text is the game, it's even more of an imperative than it usually is -- and I believe it is usually a pretty major imperative.

Meanwhile, I got a note about bad movement on stage -- one of my big, self-critical bugaboos. I apparently was subconsciously shuffling around, a habit I have witnessed, with great chagrin, on video of myself on stage. I think, in this case, it was idiosyncratic due to trying to recall the lines. Whatever the reason, it's action that must die.


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

Our first session of this summer Advanced Acting class was this past Monday. Some cold reads of some scene work that students will work on in the class series were done. None of what I will do was worked on.

In this series Kay want's us all to work on roles we want to do but know we would not get cast in for a production because we are no longer young enough or are otherwise not typed for. Kay has urged me to tackle Jamie from Long Day's Journey into Night. I'd also set my sights on a very challenging and intense character I am aware of from an unpublished play; I requested use of the manuscript for the class from the playwright, but he declined due to the play's unpublished status; he just doesn't want a copy out in the wild -- a position that I certainly understand. So, I don't have my second piece of work at the moment.


PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

PC-Goenner just contacted me about a possible modeling gig -- if you can believe that -- a week from today.

Unless the client is looking for particular character types, I cannot imagine me getting the booking. I mean, really. As I may have said here before: I may not be a troll under the bridge, but I'm not exactly People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," either.

But, the agency inquired about my availability, and it would be a few hundred bucks for a few hours, so, no sense counting myself out if the clients will count me in.


Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

DONE ?
At the absolute least I hope to get a substantial amount of the work done for both Jacob Cox's St. Paulie's Delight and Hal Borden's A Position of Relative Importance this weekend. Actually the goal is to get them finished and off my plate.

Today I will track down a few songs that have been especially requested by the particular directors, and I have some miscellaneous sound effects to pull from in my library.


DTG Producer icon

45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
Our first production meeting for 45 Seconds from Broadway is tomorrow afternoon. As always, my goal is no more than thirty minutes, though this one might run longer. I am adamant that one hour is the max, and really would like it to come in much under that. the big goal of the meeting is to make sure that everybody's on the same page and no one has something in mind that will come as a troublesome surprise to any one else, and to see what all everyone knows they need.

Again, for any local actors who might happen across this post, for some odd, bizarre reason, before it's too late, here's a reminder that the open auditions for the show are this coming Monday and Tuesday at the Guild -- *see details listed below (until July 17).

We still don't have the costumer, though I have a solicitation out there to a new referral. Our tech, who just came on board, may run both sound and lights, though really, if I can get a second tech, I will.

TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
We also have a good start on the production team for Time Stands Still. Again, I have one of the two booth techs for this, one of the two that the director, Debra Kent, requested. The other has schedule conflicts.

There may be a production meeting before summer ends on this one, too.



Paul McCartney Out There Tour
In Concert icon
Paul McCartney logo -- Extreme close-up of his eyes behind his autpgraph signature
On a Personal Note icon
Paul McCartney Out There Tour
Macca, July 14, 2013 ticket receipt and arena chart. Sec 17, row 14, seat number 6.

1. WINGS OVER AMERICA TOUR - May 27, 1976, CINCINNATI, OH (RIVERFRONT COLISEUM)

2. The Paul McCartney World Tour - Feb 12, 1990, Cincinnati, Oh (Riverfront Coliseum)

3. THE NEW WORLD TOUR - MAY 5, 1993, CINCINNATI, OH (RIVERFRONT STADIUM)

4. Driving USA Tour - Apr 29, 2002, Cleveland, Oh (Gund Arena)

5. BACK IN THE US TOUR - OCT 10, 2002, COLUMBUS, OH (JEROME SCHOTTENSTEIN CENTER)

6. US Tour - Oct 22, 2005, Columbus, Oh (Jerome Schottenstein Center)

7. ON THE RUN TOUR - AUG 4, 2011, CINCINNATI, OH (GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK)

8. OUT THERE!

July 14, 2013
Indianapolis, Indiana
(Banker's Life Fieldhouse)

ONLY TWO MORE DAYS!




Sun, July 14, 2013

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TONIGHT Paul McCartney Out There Tour






FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
My next rehearsal is Tuesday. I have Monday off to kick off auditions for 45 Seconds from Broadway as producer of the show well as to audition myself. Tuesday I have someone doing the 45 Second producer's duties for me so I can be at Kingdom Come rehearsals. This weekend I have been running my lines a lot. Am about to again, in fact, moments after I FTP this blog post to the server.

Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse
DONE ?
Though having the sound work for St. Paulie's Delight and A Position of Relative Importance finished did not happen this weekend, the goal was close to met; I no longer feel anxious about these tasks.


45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

DTG Producer icon
The senior production staff for 45 Seconds from Broadway had a good production meeting yesterday; and it was magically under thirty minutes, which is always my goal for these. Now, if we can only get the board meetings down to such a length.

As is usually the case, when he directs a show, Fred Blumenthal also is designing the set. He's going for verisimilitude and we are in the midst of looking for some restaurant accouterment: props and set pieces, like an appropriate toothpick dispenser and a bill spike.

AUDITION ICON
I FTP this blog post over; I run my On the Road to Kingdom Come lines; then, I spend the rest of my day -- before heading west to McCartney in Indy -- looking at the Simon script: as producer, sound designer, and auditioning actor.



Mon, July 15, 2013

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Paul McCartney Out There Tour
The Song List From Last Night's Show
      Banker's Life Fieldhouse
      Indianapolis, Indiana

Eight Days A Week
Junior's Farm
All My Loving
Listen To What The Man Said
Let Me Roll It
Paperback Writer
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
The Long And Winding Road
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen A Face
We Can Work It Out
Another Day
And I Love Her
Blackbird
Here Today
Your Mother Should Know
Lady Madonna
All Together Now
Lovely Rita
Mrs Vandebilt
Eleanor Rigby
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live And Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
Day Tripper
Hi, Hi, Hi
I Saw Her Standing There

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

I'll be back with comments, later. But, I will tell you, The Macca did not disappoint.

Yes: pics are coming!       cool smile icon





Wed, July 24, 2013

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CATCH UP

FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.

  • Actor boy stuff
    Our tech was early Saturday evening; it has now officially been rubber hits the road time for days now. We are finished with all but one final line-run rehearsal we will do late afternoon, on Saturday before the curtain for our one performance.

    Last night we had our final pre-festival-weekend rehearsal and it was discombobulated a bit due the need for me to attend the opening rehearsal (the read-through) for 45 Seconds from Broadway, for which I have been cast as Andrew Duncan, the English theatre producer. We rehearsed Kingdom at The Guild (since two of us connected to this show are DTG board members -- we borrowed some space) and I jumped between the two shows. Director Saul Caplan (who is cast in the lead -- Mickey Fox -- in 45 Seconds) abdicated this Kingdom Come rehearsal to AD Deirdre Root. This final, pre-festival rehearsal was a reading from the script, which Saul has been employing for final rehearsals on occasion. The idea is to go back and look at what is written to see (realize) little errors that we are making: places where we are consistently substituting a synonym, things like that.

    Our Final Dress, Monday night was not bad at all. The characters were certainly all on stage. None of us were word perfect on our lines and there were a few "WTF moments," as Saul called them. In terms of going up, I was fine and had no such mishap. However, I certainly fell short of that verbatim target.

    The Tech last Saturday was, in all reality, a run of the show. There were none of the starts and stops and jump-aheads that usually associated with the Tech rehearsal -- it wasn't a cue-to-cue, in other words.


  • Sound Design for FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse
  • Sound boy stuff:
  • DONE

    The sound work for both St. Paulie's Delight and A Position of Relative Importance was finished before the weekend; well, it was, save that I left a sound cue off the disk for one of the shows.

    I dropped off her CD to St. Paulie's Delight Director Kathy Mola on Wednesday and I dropped the Relative Importance disk off to Director Debra Kent on Thursday. There was more sound editing and mixing to do for St. Paulie's which is why I dealt with it first. With the festival opening this coming Friday, adjusting sound design is a little tricky at this late date.

    Kathy did need to email me Thursday to inform me that the curtain music was not on the CD. So I had to burn another copy and I dropped that off Saturday when I headed to DPH for the Kingdom Come tech rehearsal.


    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    The Cast of 45 Seconds From Broadway

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Mickey Fox            Saul Caplan

    *(the following, in order of appearance):

    Andrew Duncan            K.L.Storer

    Solomon Mantutu            Marcus L. Simmons II

    Bernie            Don Campbell

    Megan Woods            Mary Mykytka

    Arleen            Debra A. Kent

    Cindy            Debra Strauss

    Rayleen            Patty Bell

    Charles            John Spitler

    Zelda            Terry Larson

    Bessie            Linda Donald

    Harry Fox            Steve Kantor

    July 26 addendum: Don Campbell has had to leave the role of Bernie, which will now be played by Dave Nickel

    Aug 13 adddendum: the role of Bessie will now be played by Gail Andrews Turner

    No sense wasting time and space to report much on the audition, since it clearly went well enough. I am cast in the show. Rehearsals started last night with a bit of a scheduling conflict that had been avoided but then was reinstated by Director Fred Blumenthal. Months ago he had set the read-through for this past Monday, July 22. But as several of us who were auditioning for him are involved with FutureFest, which, as we know from above, has been having tech week at that time, Fred moved the read-through to July 29. When I auditioned last Monday night that was the schedule. The schedule changed after the fact and there are rehearsals this week, now.

    As stated above in the entry for Kingdom Come, last night I had to split myself between this show and that one, as we had the first rehearsal for this and the last rehearsal for the other. The only thing to report about the read through was that my British dialect work was spotty, at best. I need to polish it up, more than a little. Andrew was also a bit superficial and stereotyped last night -- but, it was read through.


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

    The class with Kay Bosse is going well. I wrote before that Kay is having us tackle characters that we are not probable to or absolutely have no chance to ever take the stage in. She asked to pick our dream roles; I really wasn't able to settle on one, so Kay suggested Jamie Tyrone from Long Day's Journey into Night. I'm doing Jamie's bug scene from Act IV, the drunken confession scene. To be honest, even though Kay is not requiring us to be off-book for the scene work, it'd be nice if I had less on plate otherwise in order to give this the time and energy it needs out of class. It will be a great exercise, no matter what, but I am skeptical I'll get anywhere as deep into this scene and this character as I would like.

    I am on vacation next week, but I have personal business to attend to, plus I am on 45 Seconds as producer and I have Andrew to contend with. Andrew, of course, is not the deep work that Jamie is, but Andrew's going on stage, so triage says he takes precedence. I need to get on that dialect, for one thing. And, as you'll see below, I am out of town mid-week, for something cool.


    On Set icon

    Sunday we did what is claimed to be the absolute wrap of my work on Greg Nichols' horror short, Medicine. We did some ADR, which according to Greg should be the last work he needs from me for the project. Well, technically what we recorded Sunday was not "dialogue" but rather other sorts of vocalization.


    'BE OR NOT' icon
    Film Dayton icon
    NOPE ICON
    As for my own "work" as a "director," I received the boilerplate response from the 2013 Eichelberger FilmDayton Festival concerning the submission of Be Or Not that I anticipated: "Many difficult decisions had to be made...." yadda, yadda, yadda. To be honest, I was skeptical of the movie's acceptance due entirely to issues of less than fabulous production values. Certainly it would not be rejected based on the performances by Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts; their work was wonderful -- as so was all the unsung work buried in the background by various other talented folk who helped me create the radio programming that rests low as an underscore to the scene.

    On a related note, I am still battling with IMDb over Craig's listing for my movie. For reasons I don't want to re-elaborate, IMDb created a new profile for Craig for my movie, treating him as a separate actor from the Craig Roberts in The Wonderland Express, which means he does not have one listing with both his movies contained. I tried to rectify that shortly after Be Or Not was listed at the site, but the result was that rather than getting to same profile linked to my movie as the other, any listing for Craig Roberts was deleted. I have just once again added the same Craig Roberts profile as goes with the other movie, so sonn his page should have both his IMDb movie credits on it.



    Paul McCartney Out There Tour
    In Concert icon
    Paul McCartney logo -- Extreme close-up of his eyes behind his autpgraph signature
    On a Personal Note icon
    THE McCARTNEY SHOW
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx

    My eighth attendance at a McCartney show was just as rewarding as any others have been. There's just no way around it, Paul is an immaculate showman. After the opening musical volley of "Eight Days A Week" and "Junior's Farm," he chatted for a moment with the stadium crowd, saying how the energy in the place was great and he was going to "drink it in." He walked to the edge of the stage, struck a pose like he was in an Old Spice commercial, and the audience went nuts. He knows how to play that superstar card. I thought to myself: "If I had tried that, the audience would have reacted with, 'Get on with it! Who you trying to impress?'"

    It was the magic that it always is. A few other Dayton-area folk attended: Jamie McQuinn and his lovely new bride Christina Tomazinis as well as Jared Mola and his twin sister Rachel (who is a college student in Indianapolis). All are theatre folk to one extent or another. We had dinner beforehand. None of them had seen him live before and they were all quite pleased with their evening.

    xxxx
    Christina Tomazinis, Jamie McQuinn (launching their delayed honeymoon), myself, Rachel Mola & Jared Mola, just after our pre-show dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Indy, just a five minute walk from the arena.
    Photo: Jamie McQuinn  

    At seventy-one, there can be no good argument, Paul's voice is not at the peak of his vocal career, yet, still, he was as formidable a presence on the stage as he's been every time I have seen him; and he was that formidable presence FOR JUST ABOUT THREE HOURS! The lady sitting next to me, knew I had the playlist on my phone. At 10:59 -- some two hours and forty or fifty minutes after he'd walked on stage -- as the band left after "I Saw Her Standing There," from Encore number one, she turned to me and asked, "Is he coming back out," her voice betraying incredulousness.

    When I smiled, nodded my head and said, "Oh yeah," she returned, "I didn't think he'd play this long!"

    "We've got another ten to fifteen minutes of music to go," I said.

    She shook her head, amazed, then said, "That's a vegetarian for you, I guess."

    The other thing that I noticed was he did not seem to take even one drink of water or any liquid the entire time he was on stage. I'm not sure what that means, but there it is.

    In the memorabilia line before the concert I overheard the same conversation I've heard at every show since 1990:

    "Glad we got to the show, 'cause I don't know if we'll get the chance to him again in concert."

    "Yeah, he's gettin' up there."

    "Yep."

    "Yep."

    Yeah, Paul's touring until a doctor tells him he can't or he drops down dead heading toward the tour bus.

    xxxx xxxx

    xxxx xxxx

    xxxx xxxx

    xxxx xxxx






    TONIGHT

    Steely Dan Mood Swings Tour


    In Concert icon
    THREE'S A CHARM    ?

    Tonight I see Donald Fagen & Walter Becker and company for the third time. The first was 2000 in support of the Two Against Nature album, then 2003 for Everything Must Go. This time it's in support of no particular album I am aware of. It'll be in Dayton at the Fraze Pavilion.





    SLOWGIRL, by Greg Pierce, at steppenwolf theatre, starring William Petersen and Rae Gray

    In the audience icon
    NEXT WEEK

    Speaking of the third time, I'll see William Petersen on stage for the third time, one week from tomorrow in Chicago, in the new play Slowgirl, by Greg Pierce, which also stars Rae Gray. It's the second time I've been to Steppenwolf. The first was to see Petersen in Endgame -- the last time I saw William in a two-hander, Blackbird, I left wanting to do the show so badly I managed to manipulate it into happening.






    Don't be surprised if the next blog entry is a day or so after FutureFest closes.

    I'm just sayin'....

    I mean, I MIGHT post before that, but it's not really likely.



    Fri, July 26, 2013

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    OPENING TODAY
    The Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.

    And so it begins.



    Steely Dan Mood Swings Tour

    In Concert icon
    An account is on it's way!

    in the meantime, here's one photo: xxxx







    Yes, technically this is a post, but no new information has been included -- well, save for the Steely Dan photo, but still, the next "significant" blog entry is likely a day or so after FutureFest closes. I'll post tomorrow and Sunday, too -- but, no new info is likely, just event markers.


    Sat, July 27, 2013

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    SHOWING TODAY
    ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
    The Cast of On the Road to Kingdom Come

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Col. Thomas "Tommy" Corcoran            Shawn Hooks

    Cpt. Rachel Weiss            Jennifer Lockwood

    MG. Jason Harrington            K.L.Storer

    Robin Corcoran            Heather Martin

    The General            John Bukowski



    Sun, July 28, 2013

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    CLOSING TODAY
    FutureFest 2013 new play festival at the Dayton Playhouse.


    Thu, Aug 1, 2013

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    NOPE ICON
    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    You'll note below that I am not home, but am six hours north west, in Chicago. Yesterday, when I was about ninety-minutes south of Chicago, at a rest stop on I-65 in Indiana, I noticed I had a voice mail, which turned out to be from PC-Goenner. There were three auditions for me today; one commercial and two movies. Alas, they are not to be.

    What-a-ya-gonna-do?


    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Was at rehearsal Monday and will be back tomorrow night.

    Director Fred Blumenthal is actually going to block the other scene I am in tonight. I will get that blocking tomorrow night. If my other scene is any indication, there won't be much to my movements, so I am probably not going to be too far behind the curve by missing tonight.



    Steely Dan Mood Swings Tour

    In Concert icon
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    SET LIST FOR JULY 24, 2013 AT FRAZE PAVILION

      Blueport (Gerry Mulligan cover) (The Bipolar Allstars only)
      Your Gold Teeth
      Aja
      Hey Nineteen
      Show Biz Kids
      King of the World
      Time Out of Mind
      Godwhacker
      Monkey in Your Soul (Walter Becker sings)
      Bodhisattva
      Razor Boy (The Borderline Brats sing)
      Babylon Sisters
      I Want to (Do Everything for You) (Joe Tex cover) (Band Intros by Walter Becker)
      Josie
      Peg
      My Old School
      Reelin' in the Years

      Encore:
      Kid Charlemagne
      Untouchables Theme (Ennio Morricone cover) (The Bipolar Allstars only)


    Mr. Fagen and Mr. Becker (& company) seriously kicked some ass last week. I think the set list above is accurate; I'd had the list before the show, but the plat list was different and I have made changes by memory, which I concede may not be 100% accurate -- but I am 99.9+% sure it's correct.

    I am sure that my favorite Steely Dan album, one of my favorite albums, period, was well represented: Countdown to Ecstasy. Six of the sixteen Dan songs were from the album, though it would have been great to hear "The Boston Rag" and "Pearl of the Quarter," the latter which I have never heard live, I don't think, at least I don't recall it on either of the other SD concerts I attended.

    Again, the band was nothing less than the excellence that is to be expected of The Dan. I feel the need to specifically mention Guitarist Jon Herington as his work was nothing less than fantastic. As I told my buddy I attended with, "That dude's got serious skills!"

    The opening act, The Deep Blue Organ Trio, is an excellent jazz band, as well -- as if Steely Dan would have anything but top-notch musicians opening for them.

    My only major disappointments of the night:

    • I did not care much for the new arrangement of "Show Biz Kids." It was okay, but not the rock-driven feel of the original version, which I like very much. This new arrangement certainly doesn't suck, but it's not to my liking.
    • The dipshit fools sitting next to me, who one or more of the four were constantly getting up to go to concessions or the bathroom or something, causing distraction and interruption for all of us between them and the end of our row of chairs. beyond that, when they weren't interested in the songs -- pretty much anything that wasn't a blockbuster top-40 hit -- they would converse. Did I say converse? I meant yell a conversation and again distract and disturb all the rest of us. What they were, were four jackasses.





    COMING SOON

    The Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.

    It's going to take a little while to carve out enough time to sit down and recount the FutureFest weekend properly.





    TONIGHT

    SLOWGIRL, by Greg Pierce, at steppenwolf theatre, starring William Petersen and Rae Gray

    "Petersen suggests Sterling's interior struggles with a wonderful sense of hard-won calm and understatement. The girlishly sexy Gray, sublimely watchable, is a young actress of remarkable talent and smarts. And the intriguing chemistry between these two masters of the intimate stage is delicious to observe." -- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
    In the audience icon
    xxxx
    My view from the patio at RA Sushi.
    xxxx
    Yep, I am in Chicago as you read this -- well, assuming you are reading this on the day it was posted, Thursday, Aug 1, 2013. And in case you can't discern it, tonight it's William Petersen and Rae Gray at steppenwolf theatre.

    Got in last night and walked downtown to eat. Walked around a bit; didn't walk into the heart of the city, but did walk in a few blocks from my hostel on Oak St. off Lasalle -- yes, "hostel," more on that in a moment. Lots of Chicago bar and grills, but I wasn't in a bar and grill sort of a mood. I elected to patronize RA Sushi Bar Restaurant.

    Now, for the "hostel": Monday I went on Priceline.com to get a deal on a hotel room for two nights in Chicago. I got the best deal at Oak112 in the Gold Coast neighborhood. I didn't pay great attention after seeing the price and the proximity to steppenwolf, so I missed that rather than being a traditional hotel, Oak112 is actually a hostel. My first reaction was to cancel the reservation and find an actual hotel in the same vicinity, but then I thought, Eh, what the hell. It'll be a new experience. And, so, I key these very words from my hostel room. I actually have a room to myself, though there are two sets of bunk beds in here.

    I would have hung out downtown longer, but: a) I had things to do; b) it began to rain and I did not want to get caught in a downpour at some point (and very certainly would have); c) I am on a budget for this trip and had I hung downtown too long, I'd've gone through too much of the budget -- dinner was pretty steep for this rural Ohio boy, as it was. There is, however, a high probability that I am heading downtown to the Art Institute of Chicago today.

    Slowgirl should wrap about 9:00 tonight, so, I may head back downtown, perhaps with my local Chicago friend, who will see the show with me. As for the play: I await in great anticipation!





    Mon, Aug 5, 2013

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    CONGRATULATIONS!
    GENERAL THEATRE STUFF ICON
    Daytonys - Dayton theatre Hall of Fame
    Dayton theatre Guild Murphy Awards
    Here's to all the designers and performers who took home awards this weekend for the 2012/2013 Dayton theatre season from both the Annual DayTony Awards (for the whole Dayton theatre community) and from the Annual Murphy Awards (for my home theatre, the Dayton Theatre Guild).

    And here is a special shout out to the many designers and performers who did not take home awards, or awards that adequately reflected their excellent work and for which the oversights or under-recognitions are an absolutely indefensible crime. And make no mistake, every year, truly exceptional work is either underrated or ignored in Dayton just like everywhere else.

    I could write another several thousand words on this, with no effort, but I believe this is enough.


    STAY TUNED!!!
    FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse
    SLOWGIRL at steppenwolf theatre, starring William Petersen and Rae Gray
    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Sometime soon -- (SOMETIME) soon -- I'll give accounts of the Futurefest weekend, my visit to steppenwolf to see Slowgirl, and I'll catch up with the on-going progress of 45 Seconds from Broadway. There's other stuff to report on, too.

    It's all coming.... Stay Tuned



    Sat, Aug 10, 2013

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    STAY TUNED!!!
    SLOWGIRL at steppenwolf theatre, starring William Petersen and Rae Gray
    FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse
    ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Producer icon
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    On Set icon
    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    THE DEAD GUY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    Yeah, yeah, there's a lot to blog about. Some of that which there is to blog about, in fact, is why I have no time to blog right now.

    Despite that I like doing this silly thing, it's a good thing that I don't have much time to attend to it, at least when the reasons are as they are.

    The rub is that the longer it takes to get to the blog entry, the longer the entry will need to be!       cool smile icon

    It's all coming.... Stay Tuned



    Tue, Aug 13, 2013

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    STAY TUNED!!!

    Ok, yes, I know, the longer I put off updating all that needs to be updated, the higher the mountain of shit I have to write will climb.

    Of course, if you're smart you'll realize that some of it has been and is in some process of being written. It's just getting final drafts of it all together.....



    Fri, Aug 23, 2013

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    OPENING TODAY
    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY by Neil Simon, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Click here to see the podcast.




    STAY TUNED!!!

    All the 45 SECONDS, FF2013,
    SLOW GIRL, etc stuff is coming.



    Mon, Aug 26, 2013

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    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    More later (my current mantra) but I will at least say now that we had a good opening weekend.


    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Meanwhile, remember that auditions for this one begin tonight.

    *see below if you view this before 08/28/2013.


    STAY TUNED!!!

    The catch-up post is still on its way....



    Tue, Aug 27, 2013

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    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Auditions continue and end tonight.

    *see below if you view this before 08/28/2013.


    STAY TUNED!!!

    And, well, you know about the delayed stuff and how it will be here eventually...........



    Wed, Aug 28, 2013

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    ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF TIME STANDS STILL:
    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Sarah Goodwin            Cassandra Engber

    James Dodd            Alex Carmichal

    Richard Ehrlich            David Hallowren

    Mandy Bloom            Kelli Locker




    STAY TUNED!!!

    All that's been coming is likely to be posted within the next few days.



    Fri, Aug 30, 2013

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    CATCH UP
    AND NOW HERE WE ARE. SOME OF THIS HAS BEEN IN SOME PROCESS OF COMPOSITION FOR WEEKS. MOST, REALLY. NOT THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS, JUST A LOT OF DISTRACTIONS.......

    BUT NOW.....


    Ooops!
    GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
    MacBook pro with Retina Display ICON

    KL fb post - "So this sucks. I managed to get some water, the sweat from a soft drink, I suspect, into the tight crevices of my track pad, and there's a very good chance I have toasted it. We'll see tomorrow. I suspect there's a bluetooth mouse in my future. I can't spare a USB port for a mouse. I need them both for other devices."

    So Sunday the 11th I was working late in the light booth at The Guild, doing some editing work on the sound design for 45 Seconds from Broadway. At some point my cursor on my laptop stopped cooperating. It either would not move or would move erratically. My first thought was that I had over-taxed the memory cache and I needed to reboot the computer to clean it out. That however, turned out to be wrong, as the reboot did not help.

    BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION -- Then I notice it: some drops of water right in the bottom crevice opening of my track pad. I pushed on the bottom and a little more seeped out from underneath.

    This was a major DOH! factor situation!

    As the screenshot above of my facebook post suggests, my best guess is that the cup of softdrink I had was sweating condensation and I dripped some onto the laptop while taking a drink.

    The work-around for the evening was to borrow the mouse from the desk top in the booth. At home, later, I used that from my own old Mac Power PC tower. The cursor eventually stopped cooperating with me even when the mouse was plugged in. It was often moving on its own. The next day, it all was fine. I guess after the liquid evaporated the sensor for the track pad stopped getting false reading. The involuntary movements may actually have been the track pad recalibrating itself, for all I know.

    The good news, well, semi-good news, is my track pad came back to functionality and so far I have not needed to spend money on a bluetooth mouse. In order to be fully productive on my computer, that would have been necessary had the track pad not bounced back. The semi-bad news is that once after it bounced back it relapsed; thus far, only once. So, we'll see.....

    Seriously: the lesson here is not keep water away from the computer. THAT I already know. This one is:
    "KEEP YOUR DAMN GUARD UP!"

    Of course, it's relative to this blog because so much of what I do in my art universe depends on my laptop as a major tool.


    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
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    The rack inside the street door for our "Polish Tea Room," stocked with the goodies from Mr. Filichia.

    On Stage icon
    At this point the opening weekend is well over; in fact, our sophomore weekend starts this evening. Last weekend we did okay and certainly got good feedback from the audiences. One lady actually told me it was the best show she's seen at The Guild in the fifteen years she's been coming.

    I hate to seem like an ungrateful jackass but it's hard for me to see this particular show as the best we've done in the last fifteen years. It's not even the best Neil Simon we've done in the almost ten years that I've been involved. In fact, though I don't think it's a lousy show at all, it's nowhere close to the top of my list; it's not even halfway up my list, not even.

    That's not to say that 45 Seconds from Broadway sucks. It's a nice script and it certainly has loads of great opportunities for actors to play around with fun characters. Andrew is fun.

    DTG Producer icon
    Finishing up the budget stuff -- yeah, we're over budget.

    Gotta tell my little name-drop story now. Friday, the 16th, Director Fred Blumenthal came to me and said that he wanted some real NYC tourist brochures for a rack on the set. Did I know anyone in New York? Well, certainly, being little Mr. Barely Semi-professional Actor Guy I don't know a major host of New York folk, but I know a few New York theater people -- mostly Carolyn, or Change people, but a few other Dayton theater peeps who moved there. The other category are some of the steadfast FutureFest adjudicators. Some of those in this conglomeration are facebook friends, so I sent a group message to them all on the spot, telling them what we needed and why.

    Enter Peter Filichia, NYC theatre author and critic, who, though he hasn't been for the past couple years, has often been a Futurefest adjudicator. Less than a minute after I posted the message he responded with "Of course! Easy as pie! Tell me PRECISELY the type of brochures you mean." I did so and less than an hour later all the brochures we needed were on their way via FedEx. Pretty cool!

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    GREMLIN I
    So I had this great idea for the sound design. It had to do with ambient city street noise in the background throughout the show. After all, our "Polish Tea Room" is on 46th Street in New York City. My idea was to stick a speaker behind the upright back set door, which leads into the coffeeshop from 46th Street, and run an ongoing sound file that lasts through a whole act: one for each act, obviously.

    I mixed together two 70 minute sound files. Then I transfered (recorded) each on a MiniDisk cartridge to play back with the MD player in the booth. I brought in both my little guitar practice amp and my bass guitar practice amp to which to run the sound, back there behind that up-right door: 46th Street.

    However, I kept getting a ground hum that I could not eliminate. It happened through either practice amp. So I nixed those and ran the MD player through our smaller extra mixing board, into the second amp and back. No hum, but there's a lot of dust inside that mixer so the sound kept cutting out. It was incessant.

    As the result I killed the back stage sound source idea. Fortunately, because I apparently could smell that little gremlin bastard somewhere in the vicinity, I had created mp3 files of each to stick in the folder for the Show Cue Systems software. It's fortunate because, I had to program the street noise to come out of the house speakers. I placed them in the house left/stage right speakers, and a bit low. They don't exactly sound like they are coming from behind the street door, but there is an outside of the building, from the street illusion, or sense. It works well enough, even if not as well as my original idea would have, given good equipement to execute it.

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    GREMLIN II
    This one is a sound problem, too. Actually there were other problems, as well, and the gremlin really gets little blame for any of it, but I'm giving him some credit, anyway.

    Sound problem first. If you have already seen the podcast, which was a week late, you know the interview was a group interview, with the cast in an oblong circle. I used three mics to record auxiliary audio. The mics are not the best type to use in such a set up so some people in some positions were not recorded crisply; there is that quality of distance to the ember of their voices.

    I shot the group interview multi-camera: three stationary and one mobile camera -- Fred Boomer on the mobile. My standard practice with the auxiliary audio recording is to synch it with the on-board camera audio, then drop the on-board audio out for the edited video. In this case what I did was synch the auxiliary with the on-board from the mobile camera, but I kept both alive to blend them together. I then dropped them into the video for all four videos from all four cameras -- this is the audio track for every clip I edited from and thus for all of the edited interview in the final cut.

    The synch sounded great
              at first.
         What I did not realize was that there is clearly a small speed variance between the auxiliary audio and the video (and its on-board audio). So, as the footage progresses the synch gets off and there is a slightly growing echo. There is a fix, but I was already far, far behind schedule and I needed to put the project to bed.

    Beyond that, I grossly underestimated how long it would take to edit to final cut, otherwise. I'd arranged to take off one whole day from work but then flex my work hours to work over two hours the other four days, thus burning no vacation leave. It turned out I had to be off three days in a row and burn twenty-four hours of vacation last week, and still wasn't done on time. I reached final cut this Tuesday, while I was home sick with either a twenty-four hour bug or mild food poisoning.

    Well, it's done now, though greatly flawed, due to the crappy audio. Here's a big hats off to Heather Cretcher and Peter Wine who provided all the still photography, Fred Boomer who, as I wrote above, was the videographer on the mobile camera, and to Ralph Dennler, who facilitated the group interview.

    You can find the podcast elsewhere on this page or at youtu.be/8kcm3BD7XZ4.

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    Some of the choices for the practical phones for the set -- "practical" meaning they actually work, rather than being dead and any rings during the show being playback of recordings
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    The kitchen phone, placed backstage. The actors use it in view of the audience, in the kitchen doorway, but the phone itself did not need to be wall-mounted as it is not in view.
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    The placement of the amplified speaker that was the original output for the city street sounds ambience.
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    The speaker was back stage in this corner.
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    Another on stage view of the speaker placement
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    Sound design work in the booth. Probably volume level checking, but maybe something else.
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    More sound design work....
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    The main tools for sound design at DTG
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    As I have done a few times for past productions, I spent the night the Saturday before Tech Sunday, working late on wrapping the sound design. The several previous pics are from that evening.
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    The set for the group interview for the podcast
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    The podcast set from another perspective.
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    Final Cut Express open and the lo-o-o-o-ong process of editing this podcast underway
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    A set picture showing where the Filichia tourist brochures are on stage; see down-left corner of the pic -- though technically the rack is Up Right on stage.
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    Line study
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    This time for the flash cue cards I typed both my cues and my lines, then taped them onto their respective sides of each card, rather than hand writing each.



    AUDITION ICON

    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
    Two weeks back I auditioned for an upcoming Ohio Lottery spot. Does not appear that I landed the booking or I'd have been called already. It's a Halloween spot that I am sure starts shooting soon.

    FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON
    Earlier this week I went for a role in Time Stands Still at The Guild. The cast list above, posted Aug 28, illustrates the results.



    SLOWGIRL, by Greg Pierce, at steppenwolf theatre, starring William Petersen and Rae Gray

    In the audience icon
    floor plan drawing of the upstairs theatre space at steppenwolf theatre
    The floor layout of the upstairs theatre at steppenwolf. We were in the highlighted seats, B3 & B4, which look farther from the stage than they are. We were about six to eight feet from that corner.
    This section may not have a precise thesis, but I guess my main critical response to the play itself is: Slowgirl should be a longer one act or even a two-act play.

    I thought the performances by both William Petersen and Rae Gray, the staging by Director Randall Arney, the set, designed by Takeshi Kata, (being a sound designer) the sound -- Richard Woodbury, and the light design (Daniel Ionazzi) were all top notch. However, I found the script good but somewhat lacking, or, to my dramatic preferences, incomplete. There was so much to dig into with both characters and though we got into both, I did not feel it was enough.*

    Still, the 600-some mile round trip to Chicago and was not at all wasted. First off, being in the upstairs theatre at steppenwolf was a fine experience. Its "traverse" stage made the experience much like being in the audience right at home at DTG and our "thrust" stage, save that the rows of seats there are a bit deeper -- *(see image).

    Secondly, the two actors gave superb performances. Of course, I would love it if I were ever able to meet William Petersen to personally express my admiration and appreciation of his work in general and for something specific, such as the character Sterling, here, or Hamm in Endgame, or Ray in Blackbird -- (or that "Bug Man" character on that TV show). That opportunity has not presented itself, though I do have the snail-mail to send him something at William Morris so perhaps I will drop an old-fashioned fan letter on him; who knows if it would ever actually end up in his hands.

    However, after the show was over, Ms. Gray came out to a reception lounge, I believe to meet with some friends and/or family. We didn't impose but I did walk over, give her a thumbs up and tell her, "Great work." I managed to find an avenue to send her a message later and I simply told her again that I found her work very fine. I also said that as an actor myself, I try to get to that place where my performance is not "acting" but "being," and I asserted that she had achieved that. I also pointed out that her co-star is a master at making being the character look effortless, because he is; it is what draws me to Petersen as an actor. Further I told her that her co-star was well matched by his co-star.

    Being from a home theatre with a thrust stage I also much appreciated Director Randall Arney's staging of the play. The traverse stage set-up in the steppenwolf upstairs theatre calls for virtually the same sort of concern for staging that our DTG thrust stage commands. On both these types of stages there are many times when some part of the audience is at a visual disadvantage, a little less on the travers stage, but not significantly less. When staging shows on such stages (and others like this, such as arena stages, i.e.: theatre in the round), the director has to be conscious of the actors playing to all audience members during the progression of the play, keeping any sections from being ignored for any long period of time.

    You also want to be sure when some character or characters have their backs to some portion of the audience that others do not. The idea is to minimize any disadvantage for any audience members in witnessing action and drama. Key moments ought to be staged and played so no one misses the full effect. And all of that ought be done so as to hide the deliberate staging to meet those needs; the movement and the placement of the characters on stage needs to be natural and logical for the characters. It's usually not easy to do. Here it was done expertly, by the director and our two actors who did their part to make the movement real to the characters and the story. Every audience member got more time with a good view of the action than not.

    AND A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!

    * Jan 30, 2015 addendum: I have since purchased the script and read it several times and have revised my opinion in some great measure. I still think the play could be longer, a two-act play, but I have reconsidered my opinion about Mr. Pierce not adequately digging into each character. I am now satisfied that the script shows us plenty about both. It does leave some things to be guessed, but that's not a bad thing.


    On a Personal Note icon
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    The Oak 112 Hostel
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    Slightly different view of the hostel
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    The Oak 112 Hostel downstairs lobby and common room
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    Wall map, in the common area, of the Chicago Gold Coast and Lincoln Park neighborhoods
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    Three unused beds in my hostel room during my stay. I slept in the one in the lower right of the pic.
    Meanwhile, about Chicago: Have I said lately how much I like that city? This time, I stayed in the Gold Coast neighborhood, not far from the lake and right next to Lincoln Park, where steppenwolf is, and where I have done some carousing in the past. I'd made plans to check out the Art Institute of Chicago on this trip; that goal is in fact why I got there early. However, that visit was not realized. I made the mistake of trying to drive there. I got turned around and a bit lost trying find the museum, then when I did find it, it was obvious that parking was going to be a real bitch because a new exhibit opened that day. I went back to the hostel.

    The hostel: You five may remember that I stayed at a hostel this time around, by virtue of an error in choosing a cheaper hotel room while on Priceline.com. As I wrote earlier, I picked the best price I found reasonably close to steppenwolf, only to find later that I missed the fact that the Oak112 is not a regular hotel, but a hostel. Again, my first reaction was the thought to cancel the reservation and find an actual hotel in the same vicinity, but then I thought, Eh, what the hell. It'll be a new experience. The idea of rooming for a couple nights with foreign travelers, which was a probability, was intriguing to me. However, I had the room all to myself even though there were two sets of bunk beds in the room.

    I didn't really interact a whole great deal with the other guests, but I do know that none that I met were Americans; they were all either foreign students or foreign tourists: one young lady from Rumania, two English men, an African woman (don't know which country), a couple Swedish ladies. I might add none of them were over thirty.

    Beyond all that, both nights I was there I walked into the section of downtown close to where I was in the Gold Coast. For those who've never been to Chicago, some good majority of the restaurants in the downtown area have outside patios, most right by the sidewalk. Perhaps some of you reading this may know that I'm not all that much of an urban kind of a guy. I live a seven-minute bike ride and a thirty-second drive from farm land, and I am not at all unhappy about that.

    Yet, Chicago is an urban setting I could get used to quickly, I think. Every time I visit there, the small, quiet little voice that says, "This would be a great place to live," get's a little stronger. Mind you, it's still a diminutive presence in my head -- or soul, or wherever it's emanating from -- but its existence cannot be denied. Just like every other time I have been in the city, I have felt a certain comfortableness and instant affinity. I hate driving in urban traffic, and you can imagine that anywhere in the metro-Dayton Ohio environment there is no heavy traffic that compares with medium traffic in Chicago; yet, I don't mind much driving in Chicago.

    It might be imprudent to guarantee that my zip code may eventually be a 600XX, but no one should be shocked if that is an eventuality; it's not inevitable, but it sure ain't unreasonable to anticipate the change to at least a small extent.

    The caveat here, of course, and for which I am aware, is that it's one thing to visit a place and quite another to live there. I realize I don't have a residence perspective of the city. Also, I've been there once in the dead of winter, New Years Eve 1990, and for a winter-wuss like myself, it was more than a bad experience. Perhaps a trip northwest in December for a few days, that might be what breaks the deal. Still, it is a guarantee I have not been inside the Chicago city limits for the last time.

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    More of my hostel room
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    Is it not a shock that I would be on my laptop during my stay?
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    Well, isn't it?
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    And now, a few pics of the Gold Coast
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    From where I was staying it was a pretty easy walk to Lake Shore Drive, but I didn't get across it to Lake Michigan.
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    I saw lots of people on foot with beach gear so it was clearly possible, but I didn't follow them.
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    A gazebo in the little park -- of which I didn't catch the name -- through which I reached Lake Shore Drive.
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    The view from the sidewalk patio of Lou Malnati's Pizzaria.
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    One of many brave interlopers at Lou Malnati's
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    Point Zero

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    The main agenda item for the trip, as seen on the window near the entrance to steppenwolf's Garage theatre.
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    Point Zero

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    Where we had dinner before the show, Trattoria Gianni, across the street from steppenwolf.
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    The "El" zipping by, as seen from the steppenwolf parking garage.
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    Under the El, leaving Chicago for home.

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    I was so fortunate to have been able to have a sit down with William Petersen -- ("Billy" to his friends) -- and Rae Gray to talk about the show and the craft in general and them have them pose for this picture.
    Okay, there's a chance this is all a lie and the photo is actually an official publicity photo from steppenwolf.

    So, you wanna know who the other part of the "We" is. She is a theatre friend, a most talented theatre friend, a gifted young woman who left the Dayton area for Chicago a little more than a year ago. Her name is Lauren Deaton and she was my guest. Some of you five may even know her. I had an extra ticket and I offered it to her or whomever else she knew in the Chicago theatre world she thought might want it.






    Dayton Playhouse large lawn sign with FutureFest 2013 logo superimposed over the top left corner

    ON THE ROAD TO KINGDOM COME by Michael Feeley at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2013 new play festival.
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    The cast & crew at the adjudication of Kingdom Come
    Photo by Kelli Locker     
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    Playwright Michael (M.J.) Feely addresses the audience during the adjudication; the adjudicators to the left & Dayton Playhouse Board Chairman Brian Sharp next to Michael.
    Photo by Kelli Locker     

    Well, now that the festival is on the verge of a distant memory perhaps I can see it with a clearer perspective. But what's more likely is that I will not remember some elements of the experience. And since as I write this paragraph I am in tech week as actor, producer, ad nauseam, in 45 Seconds from Broadway, and am now gearing up as, at the very least, producer for Time Stand Still, I have not given much mental energy toward formulating what goes into this recount of On the Road to Kingdom Come or the overall festival. Maybe as I soldier on a lot of things will return to me -- and at this moment I have no clue what timespan this "soldiering on" will spread over.

    I'd say overall our performance of Mr. Feely's play went rather well. There were a few line problems, but hey: live theatre and all.

    As for my Major General Jason Harrington, I was not unpleased with him. Michael was happy with my representation of the Jason he wrote, so that's something. The big challenge, as the five of you who read this blog may know, was to keep Jason from being the exact man that Col. Gregory Stratton was in Feely's 2009 FF winner, Night and Fog. I've already made the joke several times that Jason, in Washington, D.C. in the mid-seventies, is the younger third cousin of Greg, from Occupied Berlin in the mid-forties. That, of course, speaks to the fact that they are both pretty much the same archetype. Still, two different men, even if cut from the same cloth, are two different men. And there were differences between the two men inherent in the perspective scripts each appear in.

    Any conundrum I had was more that created by the actor who didn't want to give an identical performance for two different characters on the same stage within four years of each other. My belief is that between the written difference of the two men and my efforts to keep them separate, I put a different military career officer on the stage this July than I did in July of 2009. At least I hope I did.


    FutureFest 2013 new play festival at The Dayton Playhouse

    There was a good batch of plays on stage this year. For those who do not know, The King's Face, by Steven Young and A Position of Relative Importance, by Hal Borden shared the first place honor -- the first time in FutureFest's history that there has been a tie.

    I liked all the plays, though, I must admit I was very drawn to Mr. Young's play. That's most likely because I wanted the role that Chuck Larkowski won, that of Jonathan Bradmore, the physician who extracted the arrowhead from Prince Harry of Monmouth's skull.

    So this was one of the better years for FutureFest. It would have been great to have been in any of the six shows, well, five of them, as Tom Coash's Veils is a two-hander for young women. I've said and written this before, but it bears repeating: Futurefest is one of my favorite theatrical experiences of the year, especially as an actor, but also simply in general.

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    The FutureFest 2013 opening reception
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    FF13 reception
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    FF13 reception
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    Helen Sneed & Jim Lockwood
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    Faye Sholiton & David Finkle
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    FF13 reception
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    J. Joseph Cox & Robert Koon
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    Brian Sharp at the opening of the festival
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    Cast of A Position of Relative Importance
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    Brian Sharp & Hal Borden
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    Adjudication for Veils
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    Tom Coash & J. Joseph Cox with Sam Havens & Jim Lockwood
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    The Director & cast of The One with Olives
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    Brian Sharp & Sam Havens
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    Adjudicators
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    Director & cast of St. Paulie's Delight
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    J. Joseph Cox address the audience with Kathy Mola to his left
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    Adjudicators
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    Adjudicators
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    Adjudicators
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    Adjudicators
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    Sunday morning
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    Sunday morning
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    Sunday morning, with Eleanore Speert (in red) front & center
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    Sunday morning with Steven Young standing guard
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    Richard Brock & Sam Havens at the annual post-FF ice cream social and post mortem at the home of Saul and Tay Caplan
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    M.J. (Michael) Feely & Wendi Michael, again at the Caplan event, with Saul in the background
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    Partying at The Little York Tavern -- myself far right in the pic; Steven Young next to me; Helen Sneed next to him; then Eleanore Speert, Hal Borden & Richard Brock
    Photo by Kelli Locker     
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    Little York Tavern again, left to right: Chuck Larkowski, Tom Coash, Fran Pesch, Brian Sharp, M.J. Feely (back), Annie Pesch, Richard Brock, Hal Borden, Eleanore Speert, Helen Sneed, Steven Young, & K.L.Storer
    Photo by Kelli Locker     
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    The adjudicators, Brian & Fran at the awards ceremony
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    The playwrights at the awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony
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    Fran & Brian at the awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony
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    Hal Borden and Tom Coash at the awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony with Steven Young & others
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    The awards ceremony with Futurefest cofounders John Riley & Dodie Lockwood in frame
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    The awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony with Dayton Daily News writer Meredith Moss speaking with Eleanore Speert
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    The awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony
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    The awards ceremony with Josh Katawick
    xxxx
    The awards ceremony
    xxxx
    The awards ceremony
    xxxx
    My office environment for the processing (sweetening) of all these FF2013 pics
    xxxx
    The working conditions were rough I tell you!






    AND IN MACCAMANIA NEWS:
    Paul McCartney logo -- Extreme close-up of his eyes behind his autpgraph signature

    Sir Paul's new album of original music is about six weeks away.

    The album title is, NEW, cleverly written with paralel lines which don't show completely in the youtube embed here, but I have also placed a screenshot of the graphic spelling below.

    As for the embed, here is the first single, the title cut >>>>>

    Macca NEW graphic



    Labor Day 2013 TEXT

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    Labor Day 2013




    Ahh, how today would have been a good day to visit those great park systems close to my home, but, alas, no. I am finishing off this day's post on the patio at my apartment. At least I'm outside, even if it is overcast and I feel the slightest mist of what threatens to be an impending rain shower, and despite that the mosquitos are biting a bit. But, there's jazzy new-age coming through the window at me (Groove Salad Radio via Apple TV) and the weather is cool if slightly humid. Not a bad day off from the rent-payer.
    xxxx
    I'm kind of a dork, sometimes, no?




    TWO WEEKENDS DOWN:
    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    66⅔% through the run, now. We had just as good of a second weekend as we did first, if not maybe a little better. I'm not really too sure I can say that my Andrew was any better or worse either weekend, but the show may have overall notched up a bit for weekend 2. We've had decent sized audiences both weekends and they have all enjoyed the performances. Light comedies are safe and easy, though.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    As for the compromise of the city street ambient noise coming from the house left speakers at a low volume level. It is working, I must say. Of course, it's a bit more effective when the AC in the house has kicked off. The blowers are a bit louder than they ought to be, in general, and much of the nuance of the street noise is lost when the AC is on in the house; only the occasional louder honks, and the rare sirens are heard. Still, it is working as a sound design element in the scheme of things.


    MORE ACTING CRAFT STUDY:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    I continue my actor's education with two forthcoming classroom experiences, both via The Human Race Theatre Company. The first one in just less than three weeks, the other, several months away.

    • One Day Improv Workshop -- Margaret Knapp, Becky in the HRTC season opener, Becky's New Car, is facilitating a one day workshop on Saturday, Sep. 21: "Improv: Unleash Your Creative Potential." It's two hours in the afternoon; that leads me to believe the class will be small, which is actually good. I think for many reason it will be worth the $40. I even paid the extra $20 for a discounted ticket to Becky's... -- though I plan to attend "Can Night" on Wednesday, the 11th.
    • Advanced Acting Class with Kay Bosse -- I and some of my past Bosse classmates have another group of advanced acting class sessions coming up in January and February, 2014. I believe this will be my seventh group of acting classes under Ms. Bosse's tutelage, since the Sep/Oct 2011 sessions that immediately preceded our work as Grandpa and Grandma Gellman in Caroline, or Change, at The Race. I could probably legitimately get away with calling her my acting coach  cool icon.



    VERY PRE-PRODUCTION:
    THE DEAD GUY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

    As you five may or may not know, I am involved in several ways in the DTG 2013/14 season closer, The Dead Guy. One participation is for some of the technical aspects, though I am not going to be a technical director, per say. I am designing sound and I will be involved with a lot of the video work that is required for the show. I am precast, for instance, as the camera man, Dougie, for the reality show that is central to the plot of the play. Dougie's camera work will be seen in real time on TV screens on the set of the play. We are looking into the wireless options available to us.

    There are scripted commercials to run during the performance, TV commercials for The Dead Guy television show in the play. It is quite fortunate that there are pre-produced versions of these, as well as the opening sequence for the TV show, that could be licensed. We did. It's simple, the cost to license them was much, much less than what it would have cost us to produce them ourselves. Then you factor in the time and energy to produce them: casting, location scouting and clearance, all the properties and product procurance, principal photography, editing. It was a no-brainer; pay the license fee.

    I have looked at the resource. The only thing that I have a problem with is the aspect ratio. The clips are all in 4:3, what is known as "full screen." It's the screen dimension for old TV, closer to perfectly square. We want this to be a 21st century program, so we need the newer wide screen aspect ration -- what all new TVs and TV shows have -- that which is 16:9. It's the ratio I shoot the podcasts in. I'm pretty sure I am going to be able to force the videos into a 16:9 aspect ration with very little trouble.

    It's also time to start really researching the wireless camera equipment and related accouterment.


    MS. AUGUSTINE ON B'WAY, AGAIN:
    PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS

    As always, my disclaimer is that with all the immensely talented people I have the great honor to know, I'm sure many of them are doing great gigs right now. This is the one I am aware of, (not excluding the ones I've heard about but have forgotten)

    To again reference Caroline, or Change, one of our alumni, Taprena Augustine, is in rehearsal now for the B'Way production of A Night With Janis Joplin. Taprena appears as one of The Joplinaires. See the Playbill.com article, "Kacee Clanton Will Play Title Role in A Night with Janis Joplin Twice a Week," an article about the alternate lead. Previews of A Night With Janis Joplin start Sep. 20.



    Wed, Sep 4, 2013

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    In Concert icon
    Neko Case icon
    Neko Case at the Taft Theatre In Cincinatti, Ohio, Oct 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm, with Karen Elsen
    Floor plan of the Taft Theatre In Cincinatti, Ohio.

    A few seasons back at The Guild we did the Nathan Sanders play The Sugar Witch. Though there was not licensed stipulation, the playwright suggested some music for the production. One of the artists he thought was good for the work was Neko Case, whom was not yet on my radar.

    I subsequently heard some of her recordings and was very impressed. This woman has serious talent and skill!

    I further subsequently bought some of her work. I started with the album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, but now have several of her titles, not all, but most. I just bought her new one, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, that which I am listening to right now as I key these words.

    I am one of the 174 thousand-plus who have liked her facebook page. Weeks ago, maybe even a few months back, when she announced the current U.S. tour, I noted she'd be in Columbus, Ohio on October 19, at the Newport Music Hall. Of course, I thought there would be a chance I'd not be able to attend that show because I'd have to be on stage in a show -- but, as we know, I was wrong about that. Yesterday, I went on-line to see what kind of seats might be left for the Columbus show. The Newport Music Hall show is general admission, and though that means I could get a good seat, I just don't feel like playing the young man's game to secure such. Seeing that there is a show three days later in Cincinnati, with reserved seats, I went for that venue, even though the tickets cost a little more. I don't have absolutely great seats, but they aren't bad. About eighteen rows back in the center orchestra section. I have a feeling we will be standing for most of the show.

    I'm not such a hardcore fan that I am intimately familiar with all her songs, but I admire her playing and art enough that I am excited about the show.


    In the audience icon

    • I am attending "Pay What You Can Night" for the final dress next Wednesday of Becky's New Car at The Human Race Theatre Company. Plus, I get another ticket for the run through the forthcoming improv workshop I'm enrolled in; that, facilitated by Margaret Knapp, who has the role of Becky in Becky's New Car.

    • I hope to get to Hairspray at the Dayton Playhouse next weekend.

    • There's also Hair at Beavercreek Community Theatre opening in a few weeks.

    Not sure what else in the immediate future. I am not looking to take any serious road trips -- I kind of blew my wad on the Chicago trip. I suppose a play in Cincy isn't out of the question.



    Thu, Sep 5, 2013

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    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    This afternoon I am heading to the PC-Goenner Sharonville office to do another screentest for another Ohio Lottery commercial. It shoots in Cleveland on the 12th.

    Earlier in the day yesterday, before the call about the lottery, the agency called about another gig next week in Indianapolis, one with no lines. I have no more information than that, though there is some sort of health network that I have auditioned for before, out of Indy, that has actors take action without dialogue, to illustrate what's being said in voiceover. There's a chance that is what this is about. By the way, I don't even know if this one has an audition or if I would just get booked; that can happen when one has previously auditioned for another project by the same client.

    Who knows, I could possibly have to take a couple days off from work next week, perhaps even spend at least one night in a motel room somewhere. But, you know, unhatched chickens and all.




    Fri, Sep 6, 2013

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    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    Closing weekend starts tonight


    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    The Ohio Lottery screentest yesterday at the PC-Goenner Sharonville office went well enough, I suppose.

    The commercial does shoot in Cleveland on the 12th, but there is a wardrobe fitting in Cleveland the day before. So, if I'm booked, that motel room is now a 100% given.

    As for the gig next week in Indianapolis, I was correct that it's for a local health network, the same I've auditioned for before.

    Counting chickens before they hatch be damned: wouldn't it be great for me to be doing about 800-plus miles of traveling next week?




    Sat, Sep 7, 2013

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    Were he alive, my father would be Ninety-four years old today.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD
    My Dad, George Storer, at my college graduation, 1994
    George A. Storer
    1919-1995





    Sun, Sep 8, 2013

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    CLOSING TODAY
    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY by Neil Simon, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The Cast of 45 Seconds From Broadway

    CHARACTER
               ACTOR
    Mickey Fox            Saul Caplan

    *(the following, in order of appearance):

    Andrew Duncan            K.L.Storer

    Solomon Mantutu            Marcus L. Simmons II

    Bernie            Dave Nickel

    Megan Woods            Mary Mykytka

    Arleen            Debra A. Kent

    Cindy            Debra Strauss

    Rayleen            Patty Bell

    Charles            John Spitler

    Zelda            Terry Larson

    Bessie            Gail Andrews Turner

    Harry Fox            Steve Kantor

    The Podcast for 45 Seconds From Broadway

    I'll post about this weekend and whatever else occurs to me about the show, perhaps tomorrow.


    A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE SHOOT:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    DTG Podcast Production logo
    VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    My Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder icon
    Long story short(er), I needed to shoot some DV movie footage this weekend, which means for me, at least as standard procedure, that I borrow a DV camcorder or two (or three, or more) from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on campus. I regularly borrow Canon ZR800 standard definition, mini-cassette DV cameras from them. Most frequently that's to shoot the DV footage for DTG podcasts. I, in fact, borrow four of them to shoot the group interview for the podcast above in this post.

    The CTL business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am till 5:00 pm. It was about 6:00, Friday evening, not long after I'd arrived at The Guild for that evening's performance of 45 Seconds... that I realized I had failed to check anything out for the shoot.

    Early yesterday afternoon I bought two Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorders. I've needed to again own DV cameras for a long while. The jump to HD has been too long in the waiting, as well. I actually wanted to buy three but my finances would not allow that. I'm not terribly sure two was a great idea, at that.

    This model is not a high-end one and it would be ridiculous to think for a moment that it is close to what is accepted as a professional camera. But it is a step forward from the standard def footage, a good step forward. Having a topnotch DSLR camera or two still needs to be eventually realized; and that time is coming. But for now, at least I've moved forward a bit.

    And so, starting with Time Stands Still, the DTG podcasts will be in HD.



    Mon, Sep 9, 2013

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    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    I will post my postmortem wrap-up on the show soon. I kind of want to post some pics with it and they aren't sweetened yet. I'd thought about putting prose here, now, then coming back with the pics, but changed my mind. and thus---
    SOON



    MORE ON MY NEW TOY(S):
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
    TOYS ICON
    My Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder icon

    Now, of course, the transition to HD is naturally proving to not be straight forward. No change in one's technology ever is.

    We know I bought two Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorders, over the weekend. I barely played with them, as my weekend was a little full. I guess to be more precise, I barely played with one, the other has not come out of the box, yet.

    One problem that I don't yet have a solution for, but that is troublesome to me, as I am sure it is to anyone who seriously approaches DV movie making, is that I have thus far noticed a high significance of what is known as jitter whenever the shot is a pan or a totem. Pan is left to right, or vise versa; totem is up/down. Jitter means that the picture shakes or bounces: it's not a smooth movement. That is a problem in general with digital and can be worse with HD. What I am getting has thus far been what I consider an annoyingly high measurement of jitter. I am hoping there is a solution, because I do not want to have to avoid shots where my camera does not pan of totem. Those are just such fundamental things to do. The search for the solution is on.

    Another problem, which has been solved was one of file format. The Vixia HF R40 high-end HD is saved in what is known as HVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition). The HF R40 model creates the newer AVCHD that is known as AVCHD Progressive, with a frame rate of 60ps (60 frames per second). Here was the dilemma for me: Though Final Cut Express 4 will import AVCHD files, the newer progressive version crashed it every time I attempted. FCE is too old for the newer format version. AVCHD Progressive, by-the-way, is considered a professional class level, whereas the original version is not -- though AVCHD Progressive is on the lower spectrum of pro-class.

    There is also, of course, some chance, some big chance that my copy of Final Cut Pro X will successfully import the progressive version. At least one of you five regulars may remember that about a minute after I bought that crap I discovered that I really hate working in it -- the interface sucks canal water; it's a bad hybrid of FCP and iMovie, with too much DNA from iMovie in its genetic makeup. So, until I graduate to Adobe Premiere or Avid -- or until Apple's FCP developers get their act together and perhaps make FCP 11 the valuable editor that v.1-7 were -- I will be editing with FCE 4 and need to have files from my new camera that I can work with.

    Roxio Toast 11 Titanium
    Enter the $107.24 solution: Toast 11, Titanium, AV software from Roxio. Toast 11 has a fabulous feature that will convert the AVCHD Progressive files into any of a myriad of file types that I can edit in FCE, the most important to me being QuickTime ProRes HD at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

    I've done a couple test conversion but have not yet put anything in a Final Cut project. In theory, the short test clips I shot were correctly converted; QuickTime plays them, so it seems FCE should have no problem with them. I'll get back to you on that.

    Besides having a robust ability to convert movie file types, Toast 11 also does a lot of other things, some that pique my interest. Among those other features, the ones that grab my attention are: it will capture video "from anywhere"; will copy CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, purporting to copy duel-layer DVDs onto single-layer DVD discs. It is also CD, DVD and Blu-ray burning software, which is what I had first heard of it as a good software for which to use. It's been touted as better than iDVD, that being what I have been using. I will have to give Toast a test run at burning disc as well as some of those other things (and other tasks I didn't mention here) -- after all, a hundred bucks just for file conversion is a bit steep.



    Wed, Sep 11, 2013

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    91101 Emblem

    NOT JUST
    poems and essays on September 11, 2001







    45 SECONDS OF CLOSING COMMENTS:

    xxxx

    45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    I don't know if there's a lot left to say, but I will say that it was a good run. I'm happy with my work as Andrew, even if it again wasn't the most challenging work I've done. I may have written this before but I see this play as not the most brilliant in Neil Simon's canon; it does offer a lot of opportunities for actors to climb into some fun roles, not deep great roles that one chews at the bit to play, but fun characters to do.

    Neil Simon won one Pulitzer prize and was nominated another time. Rest assured, neither the win nor the nomination was for 45 Seconds from Broadway. Our audiences certainly loved the show, however. As I related earlier, one lady claims it as the best thing she's seen at the Guild in her fifteen years of patronage. I'm afraid I don't agree with that assessment. It's not a bad show, but it certainly is not the best DTG has done in a decade and a half. Yet, it was a lot fun for the cast and the audience.

    As far as Andrew Duncan is concerned, again I was happy with the work. I made Andrew what he is supposed to be: a nice, gentlemanly, gregarious man, genuinely enthused about the prospect of working with Mickey Fox, of whom he is a big fan. Further, I may not have done A+ British dialect work, but I did pretty well, certainly better than a B grade.

    xxxx
    Director Fred Blumenthal
    xxxx
    Saul Caplan as Mickey Fox
    xxxx
    Myself as Andrew Duncan, with Saul
    xxxx
    Marcus L. Simmons II as Soloman Mantutu & Mary Mykytka as Megan Woods
    xxxx
    Debra A. Kent as Arleen & Debra Strauss as Cindy
    xxxx
    Patty Bell as Rayleen & John Spitler as Charles
    xxxx
    Terry Larson as Zelda & Dave Nickel as Bernie
    xxxx
    Gail Andrews Turner as Bessie, with Saul
    xxxx
    Steve Kantor as Harry Fox, with Saul
    *all nine photos in this array by Craig Roberts     

    CONGRATULATIONS!
    Fred Blumenthal
    for your sixty years at
    The Dayton Theatre Guild!



    AUDITION ICON
    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    Mid morning today I'll be at the agency's Sharonville office to screentest for a Scott's Miracle-Gro commercial. It's a local, non-union job, but I not yet being union.....

    NOPE ICON
    AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION ICON
    Once again it does appear that I have not made it into an Ohio Lottery commercial. Since principal photography is imminent and all, since the wardrobe fitting is this afternoon in Cleveland, it seems pretty clear I will not be on the set tomorrow.

    That Indianapolis gig is clearly not happening with me on its set, either. It also shoots this week.

    Oh-so-oh-well!


    A RELUCTANT, BEGRUDGED CHANGE OF HEART:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
    Final Cut Pro X icon

    KL fb post - "So here's something I never thought I'd be writing: now that I am moving my Dv movie work into HD I may start using Final Cut X as my editor. Go figure. But it seems to be built better for the work, even if the interface sucks. That's '*S-U-C-K-S!*'"

    Okay, so in the last post I wrote the following:

    There is also, of course, some chance, some big chance that my copy of Final Cut Pro X will successfully import the progressive version. At least one of you five regulars may remember that about a minute after I bought that crap I discovered that I really hate working in it -- the interface sucks canal water; it's a bad hybrid of FCP and iMovie, with too much DNA from iMovie in its genetic makeup. So, until I graduate to Adobe Premiere or Avid -- or until Apple's FCP developers get their act together and perhaps make FCP 11 the valuable editor that v.1-7 were -- I will be editing with FCE 4 and need to have files from my new camera that I can work with.

    My Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder icon
    Roxio Toast 11 Titanium
    It seems I may have written that prematurely. I have been playing with the HD file formats. I converted the AVCHD Progressive files from my Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorders into workable QuickTime HD ProRes files, as well as HDV files, using the feature in Toast 11 then dropping those into Final Cut Express 4, to compare workability. In both cases the video looks good. The QT HD takes much longer to render in the timeline than the HDV does. But, they both have one major problem: audio sync; this is a common problem with HD and other digital video media.

    So, I opened my FCPX and first tried importing the AVCHDp files into the FCP project directly from the camera. As I suspected, it worked. Not only did it import them successfully, but it linked the separate files for each "take" into one file. The camera saves each take (the point from hitting the record button to hitting the stop button) in files that are no longer than twenty minutes. If your take is longer, it gets broken into twenty-minute segment files. If you shoot a forty-five minute take it will be three files: 20:00, 20:00 & 5:00. When I converted the files with Toast 11, I had one each of these individual segments. FCPX imported the segment as one conglomerate file, the entire length of the take (the sum of all parts). That's, I have to admit, pretty convenient.

    FCPX also has a couple other features that have great merit and value: color analysis and correction and audio analysis and synchronization. The second one seems to have come in handy for me. It corrected the sync problem I was previously experiencing. That's very valuable. I have not utilized the color correction yet, but I do believe it's possible to use one particular clip as the template and have all other clips color corrected to match it. That, too, quite valuable. It may make it possible for me to get that eventual final cut of Vignettes in Bellcreeek to be in color rather than black and white -- which is the current plan due to horrible color variances between the shots from different cameras during the multi-camera shoots that were the production standard for the whole project.

    And so....it seems....that I am going to start editing in Final Cut Pro X. Even bought a pdf manual, Final Cut Pro X: How It Works, by Edgar Rothermich. Sort of an "FCPX for dummies" concept going on there, I believe.

    Now for the more money part of the situation, several hundred dollars more money. My hard drive for my MacBook Pro is actually a solid state flash derive with a .75 terabyte capacity. I have more than 400 gigs free on it at any given time, specifically due to DV movie editing; I want to be sure I have the free space for the processing. I went to bed while FCPX was analyzing one of the two large movie files I was using for my test. This morning I discovered that the provess did not complete because of the "Your startup disk is almost full" message. I checked, there was more than 200 gigs free at that point, but video software sometimes needs a lot of space for processing. I think I could probably go in an adjust some maximum memory allowances but that might be risky to over all operating system performance. I have elected instead to edit DV movies on a Western Digital Thunderbolt Dual 4TB External Hard Drive. Ordered it yesterday: $504.00.

    My credit card is running out of space, too.


    In the audience icon

    Becky's New Car at The Human Race Theatre Company -- I actually will see this one twice. I got a ticket as part of the package for the improv workshop I'm doing with the show's lead actress Margaret Knapp on the 21st, the other will be at Can Night, this evening.

    Hairspray at the Dayton Playhouse -- This weekend I see what is being reported as a great production. Not sure which day, yet.



    Thu, Sep 12, 2013

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    No Professional Auditioning

    How did the audition go yesterday? It went like this: there was no audition. I went, but it was a major crash and burn and I don't wholly know what happened. I had the script down, but when it came time to shoot, I kept going up, again, and again, and again. It was most frustrating, and for the most part bewildering.

    I was given some time to get it back, but it just didn't come back. Time was moving on and I needed to get back to Dayton. While another audition was underway I told the assistant that I needed to leave. I was headed to the rent-payer but on the drive up I-75 North I changed my mind about going to work. I felt a need to go home and do nothing for a few hours. I did. I slept. Then, I decided to skip the Can Night for Becky's New Car, which I'd planned to attend; I do have another ticket.

    On the road home yesterday morning I made a decision. I have pulled myself from availability for the agency. Though there are other reasons, yesterday was the deciding factor. I've been coming to a place where I feel a need to change up some of this, this, whatever the fuck it is I'm doing. I'm on some kind of a road and I have some notion of what road -- some. I need to somehow change up the travel plan. I think maybe I've done a bit of that here recently. It may not readily seem like it, but the impulse this past weekend to go HD I think factors in somehow. This I am sure about: yesterday means something. Eventually, we'll see what, I suppose.

    At the moment I don't want to reveal what, but I did have an opportunity present itself yesterday afternoon that might be a part of this reconfiguration, or whatever it is. We'll see about that, too.

    Here are two links that have relevance, in their own ways, to where I am at right now:

    • "The Prophecy of Your Birthday," a short story of mine that was published ten years ago in the Rockford Review, Vol.XXII:no.3 (Autumn, 2003).

    • "Why You Need To Decide That You're 'Good Enough'," an article by Anthony Meindl posted on Backstage on-line earlier this week.



    Fri, Sep 13, 2013

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    MOVING THROTTLE-OPEN TOWARD HI-DEF DV MOVIES AND PODCASTS:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    Yesterday my Western Digital Thunderbolt Dual 4TB External Hard Drive arrived and last night I took it for a test drive, importing the longer AVCHD files directly from my new Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder into a Final Cut Pro X "event" (the new word for what was a "project" in earlier versions of the editor). I designated the event and all its files be saved to and worked with on the 4 tb external drive. It worked fantastically with no "disk almost full" nor other out of space messages.

    It seems I have solved another nagging problem that was threatening to be a major inhibitor to interesting shots. It seems I have found how to avoid the pan and totem jitter that I got with the original footage I shot with the new camera. I used the Dynamic Stabilization setting on the camera and shot what appears to be very smooth pans1, pedestals2, tilts3, dollies4 and zooms5, this morning. The playback on the camera suggests it, anyway. I'm pretty sure when I transfer the footage to FCPX and view it, it'll be as stable.

    Looks like I am on track to start producing HD podcasts for DTG as well as for whatever my next movie project is as a director -- and whenever.

    1) PAN SHOT: a movie shot taken where the camera is stationary (usually fixed on a tripod or jib) and turns on an axes from left to right or vise versa for a shot that spans a geographical area, such as the horizon, or a room. The shot motion may to some extent be diagonal, but going from left to right or right to left must be the main element of the movement. If the camera is not fixed in one spot but is literally moves from left to right (right to left), meaning if the camera is in side ways motion via the camera operator walking or otherwise moving from place to another, that is not a pan shot but rather a tracking shot.

    2) PEDESTAL SHOT: To moving the camera up or down while maintaining a stationary axis, i.e.: not tiling the camera up or down, but actually moving the entire camera up or down. The shot motion may to some extent be diagonal, but going up or down must be the main element of the movement.

    3) TILT SHOT: Moving the camera up or down while maintaining its horizontal axis; usually done from a tripod or jib, but can also be done as a handheld shot.

    4) DOLLY SHOT: To dolly a shot means to move the camera into (toward) or out from (back away from) the subject of the shot. This is not a "zoom in" or a "zoom out" where the focal point of the lens is changed to make the subject image closer or farther away while the camera stays stationary. In a dolly shot the camera may or may not be mounted on a dolly truck, which may be mounted on tracks or have wheels. Now the term means any shot where the camera operator moves the camera toward ("dollies-in") or away from ("dollies-out") but with the same lens zoom for the whole shot, and regardless of the means of transport (walking, dolly truck, wheel chair, the latter made famous by Kevin Smith as a dolly method).

    5) ZOOM SHOT: A zoom changes the focal length of the lens to alter the magnification of the subject to increase ("zoom in") or decrease ("zoom out") the subject's size on screen. In other words to make the shot move into or away from the subject while keeping the camera stationary. This is different from a dolly shot, where the camera itself physically moves toward or away from the subject. Zooms keep the relative positions and sizes of objects around the subject constant; in dolly shots such relationships change as the perspective changes by the movement of the camera in or out.




    NEW LOCAL TALENT AGENCY:
    GENERAL ACTING STUFF ICON
    MISCELLANEOUS ICON

    Here's an FYI for local actors:

    A new local talent agency, The Active Artists Group has launched in Middletown. They have an open call for voiceover artists, print models and actors (all ages and ethnicities) that is happening tomorrow in Franklin, Ohio, from 11:00 until 5:00. Click here for details.



    Mon, Sep 16, 2013

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    THE HI-DEF DV MOVIE THROTTLE STAYS OPEN:
    MOVIE PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
    Western Digital Thunderbolt Dual 4TB External Hard Drive ICON
    My Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder icon
    Final Cut Pro X icon
    xxxx
    The FCPX interface screen

    The image stabilization setting on the Canon Camcorder works very well. The footage I shot Friday, with all the pans, zooms, etcetera, looks good when imported into Final Cut. There's no jitter, just smooth images with all the different camera shot movements. And that, my friends, is good.

    The new Thunderbolt 4TB External Hard Drive is also living up to expectations. I was able to use the drive for editing the jitter test footage from Friday. Though continuing to learn the FCPX software proves frustrating, the speed of which the software responds with the application sitting on my Macintosh hard drive while all the files and all the work is being done on the external drive, is swift. And that, my friends, is good.

    Yesterday afternoon I went to John Bryan State Park to do more test shooting. It was intended to be more jitter tests, but what was more beneficial was assessing the camera's ability to shoot in environments with acute lighting contrasts, such as in the forestry canopy areas.

    What I discovered is that my camera doesn't really do amazing work with stark light contrast. I think very few digital cameras do. Many do better than mine, but it's the only the really high end ones that handle the contrasts extraordinarily well, the Red and other cameras that run in the tens of thousands of dollars, or more.

    At this point, with this camera, it is clear I will need to be very careful about camera movement when shooting in environments where there may be stark lighting contrasts. When the camera is given a chance to adjust, or more accurately, when the processor is given time, the lighting contrasts have a chance to adjust and stabilize. But even stationary shots, in some circumstances, will not work at acceptably, certainly not as acceptable as what would I want. Some shots with acute lighting contrast problems will just need to be avoided, unless I would happen to want that imagery for some poetic/artistic effect.

    Fortunately, the problem areas were not as hot when I viewed the footage in FCPX on the computer. It's still not ideal, but it is not as bad as it looks when I view it on the camera's monitor screen. And that, my friends, is good.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Myself, yesterday, playing wanna-be gorilla movie director at John Bryan State Park, taking my HD camcorder on another test run.

    Meanwhile, I'm still playing with Final Cut Pro X. I need some functioning measure of editor's proficiency here soon as I will have a podcast to edit in a few weeks. I have been finding some helpful tutelage from teenage boys who post How To movies to youtube. They are all very far ahead of me in the game, I might add.

    Hey, I'm not proud! If a fourteen-year-old can teach me the fasted, most efficient way to make a key frame in FCPX -- which is not at as easy as it was in earlier versions -- then I am all ears (well: ears and eyes).



    Tue, Sep 17, 2013

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

    I have secured a U.D. Law School gig for this coming Thursday afternoon. It's a new scenario I haven't done before, and the specs technically put the character at twenty years young than I, but I've been given leeway to adjust it to a more plausible age. Judge Mary Huffman, whose criminal trial classes I've done guided improv gigs a few times before, is teaching this one. It seems to be one of those focusing on interviewing new clients. It's a civil case rather than a criminal one, where my character would be the plaintif if legal action is pursued.


    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    This Saturday afternoon is the one day workshop, "Improv: Unleash Your Creative Potential," with Margaret Knapp, who is playing Becky in the current Human Race production, Becky's New Car.

    The delusional members of the sub-committee of my mind, that sub-committee being known as "Ego," are convinced I am an accomplished improvisationalist; these members have a right to express their opinion; they are, however, mistaken about my improvisational prowess. Mind you, I'm not horrible at improv, yet Robin Williams or any troupe member of Second City or Upright Citizens Brigade have nothing to fear from me.

    Add, that I do it so rarely that I'm always a bit rusty when I do stand up to work some improv. So, if I'm ahead of anyone on Saturday, I won't be demonstrably so. Plus, another workshop on the discipline will not hurt me, whatsoever.

    I also have a voucher for a performance of Becky's..., which I may shoot for using that evening or the next day. You may remember I was also going to catch the final dress rehearsal -- aka: "Pay What You Can Night" -- but was out of sorts that day, so did not.


    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    DTG Producer icon
    DTG Podcast Production logo

    There's really not much to report on here, but I haven't dropped much in on this show, so thought it should at least make an appearance. As producer I am badgering the last of those who owe me biographical text for the playbill (one-hundred words or fewer, thank you).

    Thursday, after I have wrapped the U.D. Law gig I'll shoot the rehearsal for this as the start of principal photography for the podcast -- and, of course, as the very first podcast footage to be shot in HD.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    I have not really started the sound design for this, but will be doing so soon. I imagine I and Director Debra Kent will discuss it Thursday. The show does not have a whole lot of sound cues. I do know that it needs rain at one point, and perhaps street ambience, just as I put both into 45 Seconds.... The street sound I worked up may be able to be used as is. I may have to reshape the rain, however.


    THE DEAD GUY & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
    VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

    This development doesn't look all that encouraging: I've started researching and reaching out for the technicals of the real-time live TV feed that the script calls for, and though it's not strictly necessary, I believe we do want to satisfy that effect if we can. The preliminary look into a wireless camera for my character, Dougie, (the videographer for the TV show in the play) is not hopeful. We don't have final numbers yet, but it seems probable that rental will run a total of around $2000, if not more. Make no mistake, that will take it off the table as an option. As was said by Shaunn Baker, from World Stage Media, whom was one of those I consulted yesterday, we may be casting a cable wrangler for the show. That is not the optimal scenario but may be the realistic one.

    Wireless would be better since Dougie follows the other characters around on the stage, shooting the live images that are sent to the monitors the audience in the theatre can see -- in the universe of the play, it's the "broadcast" of the TV show. Wireless makes maneuverability a whole lot easier; cables, even with a cable wrangler, make blocking far more challenging.


    In the audience icon

    Heading, Friday night, to see Hairspray at the Dayton Playhouse. It's directed by Tina McPhearson, who is the programming manager for City Folk. The production is getting great buzz all over the local theatre community. Ms. Kelli Locker, who is also now in rehearsal for Time Stands Still at DTG, is in the cast.

    Of course, I have that voucher for a performance of Becky's New Car.


    PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS
    CONGRATULATIONS!

    A big YAY! to local actors Saul Caplan and Jeff Sams for taking up residence in Anatevka some 108 years ago in The Human Race Theatre Company production of Fiddler in the Roof. A possible YAY! to any other local actor or actors whom I know but have yet to discover will also be in that little Imperial Russian shtetl.

    Saul is cast as Lazar Wolf, a role that I had when I was, I believe, seventeen, at Wilbur Wright High School in East Dayton, Ohio. Saul's a bit more age appropriate and lot less gentile-inappropriate for the role.

    Lazar was about the only role in the show I thought I had any chance of in this forthcoming production, and, honestly, that's relatively speaking; which is to say I didn't think I had much chance, especially after I tanked my general in such an ea-gads! manner. Even before that train wreck, however, it was the slimmest of chances. But it's a great role for Saul and I am not at all surprised he landed it. Jeff is the Constable: also a good role for him.



    Thu, Sep 19, 2013

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    PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON

    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF  at The Human Race Theatre Company
    In another prime example of how I don't always know how to assess the situation, Tuesday afternoon Kevin Moore, who's directing Fiddler on the Roof at The Human Race Theatre Company, called and offered me a role in the show. Of course, I accepted.

    So now I join Mr. Caplan and Mr. Sams, in that little Jewish shtetl, Anatevka, in the Imperial Russia of a century ago. I am cast as Rabbi (the village rabbi). It's not a major role, whatsoever, but that is okay. First, I'm back on a professional stage; second; by the end of November I will have earned another eight points as an EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) -- i.e.: points toward membership in the America stage actors and stage managers union, Actors Equity Association. I will have thirty-six points left to earn at the end of the Fiddler run; taking out those remaining thirty-six is still gonna take some time. I have no immediate worries that I am a union actor who can't appear on my own theatre's stage -- which will be the case when I make the points then if I assess my life at that point and decide it's an advantage to being in the union. That's a fork in the road down the path.

    CONGRATULATIONS!
    Back to my present life: yesterday I learned that we are joined in Anatevka by Charity Farrell, who is cast as Hodel. Charity, by the way, has just had a feature film, in which she stars, released, Forever's End. Some of you (one of you five, at least) may remember her from my short, The Chorus for Candice, shot in late summer 2006, when she was just thirteen or fourteen, somewhere in that age range.

    Neko Case icon
    The Fiddler schedule means that I have to break my date with Neko Case on Oct 22, which makes me a little sad, but I'll get over it. Further, we start rehearsals on Friday, October 4, the opening night for Time Stands Still at The Guild. So I'll also pretty much be AWOL as TSS producer at that point; I won't be covering any Guild house management duties for that one either. Shooting the podcast for the next one, The Gifts of the Magi will not be imposible, but will be a challenge, as well. I did manage to do a reasonable production of the podcast for Blue Moon...Dancing at The Guild during the Caroline, or Change rehearsal and performance period. Essentially I showed up on Mondays -- the Equity day off -- to shoot Blue Moon rehearsal footage. The rehearsals for the workshop of Gingerbread Children were compact so it wasn't an issue toward the podcast for Leaving Iowa.

    U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
    THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
    In the meantime, I have that gig this afternoon for the U.D. Law class taught by Judge Mary Huffman. I've been studiously creating and studying my flashcards with all the vital information about my character and the case.

    It doesn't appear this is one of those two-part classes, where we come in one week as the new client then come back the next week for the student (the lawyer) to advise and counsel us about the next step, if there is one.

    This seems to be a class for newer students where the point is to learn about the initial interviewing process. One of my instructions, which is not an uncommon one for the U.D. Law gigs, is "force the students to ask questions." That basically means, give short answers and volunteer nothing.


    AND ON ANOTHER NOTE:

    SERIOUSLY!

    In The Gym
                . . . . . . . . . .



    Fri, Sep 27, 2013

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    CATCH UP

    THE LATEST ON THE NEXT:
    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF  at The Human Race Theatre Company

    The production contract is signed and it and all the supplemental paperwork, also signed or otherwise completed, is in the mail. The rehearsal schedule is pretty much what I expected it would be. And with my commitments to DTG for that period, ítza gónna be tight. At least, though, for the moment, barring no extra rehearsal hours (which are on the calendar as "TBA"s), I only have to eat two hours of vacation time for the the rent-payer during the whole two months. My hours there will be flex hours, with some weeks being really odd: ten hours, Monday; nine hours, Tuesday; seven for each of Wednesday through Friday -- as an example.

    The total work schedule, rehearsals through the close of the show, is eight and a half weeks. Logic told me this "8 ½" means eight and a half points (weeks) toward my Equity Membership Candidacy, but I was not absolutely sure that is the case. It might've been eight points; it might've been nine. I contacted Actor's Equity Association to find out for sure. The response was: "If the start date through the end date equal 8.5 weeks, that would be rounded up to 9 weeks": a little better than what I'd figured.

    So, on Dec 1, I will have earned a total of fifteen points and will be thirty-five away from the option to join AEA, followed promptly by the need to leave this area if I do join, as options as an actor will become very, very limited. I would not be able to act on The Guild stage, nor on the DPH stage for FutureFest or any other non-professional theatre stage, unless they did special contracts which is just not going to be in the mix of possibilities.

    Back to today, however, I have grabbed a score and a libretto of the show to at least attempt to be a little ahead of the game next Friday.

    ren
    Neko Case ICON
    Lastly, though there was a small chance I might have gotten the night off from rehearsal to get to the Oct 22 Neko Case show, I made a decision to nix it. I really started to dislike the idea of missing a rehearsal so close to the start of tech. Granted I did miss a late rehearsal last summer for the FutureFest production of M.J. Feely's On the Road to Kingdom Come, and I did have a more significant bit of work in that, but I just started to not like the idea of missing a rehearsal in the second half of the rehearsal phase of an Equity show. I gave the tickets to my niece and her husband, those who treated me to tickets to the Paul McCartney 2011 concert in Cincinnati. Turn about.


    ONE DAY IMPROV WORKSHOP:
    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

    Last Saturday afternoon I attended the The Human Race Theatre Company workshop, "Improv: Unleash Your Creative Potential," facilitated by Margaret Knapp, who plays Becky in Becky's New Car, which closes this Sunday. There were about eight people in the class, including Gregory Mallios, who plays Becky's son, Chris, in the show, and who is an alumnus of the Wright State University Theatre Program.

    The two hours was essentially Ms. Knapp introducing improv games to the group. That's not to say that it was too rudimental for me. I do full-out improvisational work so seldom that there was enough rust to scrape off to make it a worthwhile afternoon for me.

    It's always a case that I have sluggish movement into the right mindframe to improvise fearlessly, that relaxed place where I find I need to be to stop myself from needing to be brilliant, to stop censoring myself. I had a bit of both those problems, at least to some extent, for most of the first hour of the workshop.

    I had a couple good moments when I let loose and was able to freely go wherever I went. So, that's good.


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

    As for the more structured improv work that is the U.D. Law School acting gigs, the one last week went well. Eight law students interviewed me as the upscale bakery shoppe owner who has a breach of contract complaint against a business associate. The goal was to not volunteer any information, to make the students get the information out of me through their interview questions. I'd say I got perhaps a solid B for my work; I think I let info slip a few times, but overall, I was not too terribly forthcoming.


    JUST SOME SHORT RESPONSE NOTES -- NO REVIEWS, HERE:
    In the audience icon

    Hairspray at the Dayton Playhouse -- I saw a fun and well-done production of Hairspray at DPH last Friday evening. A lot of good work and some superb work. Kudos to director Tina McPhearson and her cast and crew.

    Becky's New Car at The Human Race Theatre Company -- The next night I saw an entertaining production of Becky's New Car at HRTC. More very fine work, and kudos to all there.


    TIME STANDS STILL & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

    DTG Producer icon
    NO TV ZONE
    I've dropped in now to a few rehearsals and the show seems to be coming along, with the actors finding their strides.

    The set is starting to look really very cool, too. Speaking -- writing -- of the set, a set piece need, really, a prop need, has come up that will force me into the No TV Zone at home. We need a working flatscreen TV on set for Act II. This need came up just a few days ago, so I have agreed to loan my relatively new flatscreen for the production. I was planning on buying a smaller second flatscreen for the bedroom, anyway, and decided this would be a good time to do that: bring in the big one for the set and go get that smaller one, and use it during the run of the show.

    After making the commitment, I had an unexpected expense that has furloughed the purchase of the new, smaller TV. It will be a few weeks. As of Saturday I will have no TV for at home for three weeks, though that is not much of a bad thing, at all. My bigger concern is the safety of my bigger model, as it will be sitting precariously close to the audience, and there is a dangerous time period (when they are returning to their seats for Act II), when it will be especially vulnerable. At the end of the show, as they are leaving, too.

    Well, the theatre does have insurance. My TV get's damaged, a claim will be filed.

    SOUND DESIGNING ICON
    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
    Much, really most, of the sound design is rolling toward completed. I have some music choices to decide upon then edit for opening and closing the acts, and for scene changes. The plan is take it all out and have the sound plot programmed in SCS by mid-day tomorrow; early evening at the latest.

    As can often be the case, a little production gremlin giggled creepily in the rafters. Here's what happened:

    The Guild's own doctoral electrical engineer technical guru type guy, Bob Mills added an eight channel sound card to the computer in the tech booth. That way we can spilt sound to any of the four house speakers, or in any combination. And in fact can add up to four more speakers. We wanted to again put the street ambience on New York City in an off-stage location, this time, behind the windows overlooking the street from the loft apartment of the main characters. *You may remember that for 45 Seconds from Broadway I wanted that sound coming from a speaker behind the door that was leading to 46th St., but had equipment problems that prevented doing so.

    xxxx
    DTG's new Gateway SX2110-UB25
    The gremlin shenanigans?: the pc in the booth could not handle the new sound card nor the software installed to control the new card. The first line of defense was that Bob was going to max the RAM in the machine, but that was going to cost almost $200, more than the worth of the computer, and was only going to get us two gigs of RAM. So, instead we just went out and bought a new pc with four gigs -- the Gateway SX2110-UB25 desktop model. The new system, with all the needed software installed, is set up and just waiting for me to program the show in -- now, with the ability to have NYC coming from the other side of the loft's windows, overlooking the street. Now, with the ability to isolate any sound in a particular house speaker, or any combination of two or more, that I want. In fact, if we had eight speakers, we could have eight different sound files running, one from each speaker, at the same time.

    DTG Podcast Production logo
    My Canon Vixia HF R40 HD Camcorder icon
    WESTERN DIGITAL THUNDERBOLT DUO 4TB EXTERNAL DUAL HARD ICON
    Final Cut Pro X icon
    xxxx
    Podcast commentary audio recording setup -- same as it ever was
    Principal photography for the podcast has been underway for more than a week. It's all been what will likely be silent B-roll, but I have noted that the condensor mics on board the Vixia R40s pick up pretty well. Even when the AC blowers are on the dialogue can be heard reasonably acceptably.

    Of course, the HD video files are much larger than the old SD DV movie files from the older Canon ZR800s I previously have used. Though there are a few experimental projects, with HD file formats, most of what is on the new Thunderbolt 4TB External Hard Drive are the several days of footage for this podcast project; I have already claimed several hundred gigs of space. Who wants to bet that I don't have an eight terabyte external hard drive before 2013 come to an end -- maybe more than one?

    PRODUCTION GREMLIN ICON
    The commentaries are almost finished, that part of production should wrap tonight. This is one where I am not shooting the interviews for the commentary on DV, I'm just doing audio, as voiceover. Once, again, the little gremlin in charge of hot broadcast radio signals decided to play his annoying game. I hear low levels of radio broadcast in the audio recording of the commentaries; last night they were a little hotter than previously in the week. They probably will be drowned by the podcast's underscore music, but it's still bothersome that I haven't managed to block them, yet. I actually haven't listened to the recorded sound files to see how prominent or obscure the radio signals are in those.

    The big "we'll see" about getting this one to final cut will be my ability to maneuver through Final Cut Pro X, a software I am mostly unfamiliar with, that has an interface that I don't know well and don't find enticing, whatsoever. My journey of learning the editor has barely begun, and I'd love to know it way better than I do before I sit down to try to edit this DV movie in the compact time frame I have to get it to a final cut on the web. I don't have that luxury, however.

    Those screams of "AAAAARG!" you hear next week coming from the north-east region of Greater-Dayton, Ohio, will not be a wayward pirate; it will be me, in my apartment, melting down because I can't execute another editing command that ought to be too simple to worry about.

    Also, we have added this warning to all publicity for the show:
    Be Advised That This Play Contains
    Adult Language And Themes




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