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

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WELCOME TO 2015


Mon, Jan 5, 2015

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THAT "BEING SICK" THING STILL GETTING IN THE WAY:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON

Though mostly on the mend, I am still not totally recovered from being ill over the last several weeks and my voice/throat is still in poor shape for singing. In fact I have spent the predominance of my time in bed, asleep. I did actually go into work at the rent-payer, as scheduled on Friday, but then spent the whole weekend knocked out.

The good news is that I actually am not called to rehearsal until next Monday. I'd put the call sheet schedule into my calendar app and then promptly forgot that I am not called until January 12; rather I had it in my mind that my first day or rehearsal was tomorrow night. Fortunately I was wrong, which gives me another week to work on melody lines, vocal phrasing, as well both memorization of sang lyrics and spoken lines. The off-book dates aren't until February 16 (Act I) and February 18 (Act II), but I'm all about "as soon as possible," especially since I don't have what I'd label a heavy amount of material to learn.


THE NEXT DTG PROMOCAST DV MOVIE:
4000 & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Podcast Production logo
I dropped into The Guild Friday night to, among a few other things, watch the full-run rehearsal of the show so I have some idea of what to shoot on tonight, which will be my only night of principal photography for the DV movie.

The plan is to edit to final cut on Tuesday. I have almost all the graphics for the movie finished. I'd wanted to edit together the opening splash before-hand, as wells as put together most of the elements of the closing credits, but, you know: that still-being-sick thing....



Fri, Jan 9, 2015

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Opening Today

ISN'T IT ROMANTIC by Wendy Wasserstein, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast DV movie


ON THE MEND BUT STILL BEHIND:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON

It's probably important to note that I'm actually not really terribly behind in terms of the production, but I am far behind where I had planned to be by now. I have done some work on the dialogue lines, but off-book is a long way away. Also my voice/throat is now healthy enough to start real work on my vocal parts.

I have in fact started work on the music, though full vocal phrasing is not something my voice is ready for. I'm hoping that by tomorrow I can start working on such. In order to experiment with the different vocal phrasing approaches. my voice needs to be up to par.



Mon, Jan 12, 2015

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I'M FINALLY CALLED TO REHEARSAL AND WITH A RELATIVELY IN-SHAPE SINGING VOICE:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
HEALTHWISE ICON
My voice/throat is in the most decent shape it's been since probably late November. It's still not 100% but still better than it's been for over a month. Yesterday was the first time I was able to really work, full-tilt-boogie on the Dr. Madden's songs. There's still some slight soreness this morning, as there was yesterday, but I have most of my singing ability back, enough to actually work on that "phrasing" I wrote of earlier. Truth be told, there's a little bit of backslide in the soreness, but it's still not too bad. But I spend today talking as little as possible, sucking lots of cough drops and drinking a lot of Throat Coat Tea. I had some hot chocolate. It may not really help, but, hey, I want some. In fact, however, the heat on the back of my throat has helped, so much so I am likely to get some more.

Tonight is my first call to rehearsal since the read-through rehearsal in mid-December. Ensemble vocals are slated for the evening. Tomorrow night, more of the same plus character work on Doctors Fine and Madden. I have ideas to bring to the table about both doctors.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

At this point the January 26-March 2 Advanced Acting Techniques classes with Kay Bosse at The Human Race Theatre Company is still on. I'm mailing my application form today.

I don't know what the count is right now, but the class needs at least six students to fly: Here's the official write-up:

Advanced Acting Techniques

Mondays 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
January 26-March 2, 2015 (6 classes)
Fee: $150.00 (Early Bird discount, register by January 19) / $165.00 (after January 19)
Location: Caryl D. Philips Creativity Center, 116 North Jefferson Street in downtown Dayton
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.

Register online now and pay using PayPal or download the registration form.

Save with our Early Bird Registration prices when you register at least one week prior to the first day of class.

To register or for more information, please contact Marilyn Klaben, Education Director at (937) 461-3823 x3132.



THE OPENING WEEKEND:
4000 & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

I hate to sound like a broken record or a deja-vu-all-over-again kind of a guy, but I can only report second-handed that opening weekend went very well. I worked Friday as House Manager and Opening Night Gala host so I did not see the performance. But the audience feedback was most positive and the cast felt good about it. I was there Saturday but l only pre-show and not at all Sunday. However the reports are that Opening Weekend went very well.


Ooops!
Note Addendum PS icon
Dayton Theatre Guild
Many local theatre folk will know that we've had a lobby TV up and running since the production of Good People last fall. Until last weekend, it wasn't placed in its permanent home, its intended mounting on the small angled wall in front of the main entrance into the L. David Mirkin Theatre (the main-space).

xxxx
The lobby TV as it was positioned for Good People through Isn't It Romantic, next to the DTG Artifacts Display Case.
The background is that we bought two 50-inch flat screen TVs for the production of The Dead Guy to serve as monitors for faux commercials and other supplemental video (the latter which I produced) to be shown during the performance of Dead Guy. When the show was closed we raffled one of the TVs off and the other we kept to repurpose as the lobby TV, which shows a looping movie about the current production and any other timely material or information.

We will also be mounting a camera in the booth so that after the performances start, the house manager will switch the TV over and the performance will show in the lobby. That camera will also feed onto a small flat screen in the greenroom. For a little while that camera may be one of mine, until I find the right one to buy.

So, here's the Oooooops!-factor: The lobby TV was mounted on the wall this past Saturday and it could have been completely set up with the computer living in the tech booth save for a little problem. The cable to send the signal from the laptop when it's in the tech booth, as well the cable to send the signal from the camera, in the tech booth, are running through conduits under the floor. That calls for a length of cable that gets tricky if the cables are HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). A/V signals begin to degrade after a certain distance of HDMI cable. The solution is run short HDMI cords out of the source devices and on the other end, into the TVs. The full cable in the conduits is Ethernet, which can keep strong audio and video signals over a very long distance. Then on each end we have HDMIs Extender adapters to connect the ethernet cables to the short HDMI cords.

Well, some idiot, whose initials might, perhaps, possibly be 100% similar to my own, bought the long ethernet cables; he just didn't happen to know there's more than one type of ethernet cable, and he bought the wrong kind. Fortunately, there is a solution that this person with the initials that might, perhaps, possibly be 100% similar to mine doesn't wholly understand. However, one of our volunteers, Jason Bigler, who is heavily involved in the installation, knows exactly what to do. So, there is hope that the TV will work as planned by next weekend.

As mentioned above, the TV is mounted where it belongs, but the computer is currently setting on a table right under it. The same table shown in the picture above, of the original, temporary set-up. Only in the pic the computer is hidden underneath. We couldn't hide it in the new spot because we don't have the length of cable to set in underneath.

....best laid plans....



Wed, Jan 14, 2015

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I'M NOW OFFICIALLY IN REHEARSAL:
In REHEARSAL icon
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON

fb post - &qout;Well, I'd say that rehearsal is canceled tonight, but it's only changed it's format from being at the theatre with cast mates to me at home working on my own"

The fb screenshot above is from Monday. Yes, I was slated to be there that evening, but because there was a forecast threatening and ice storm, Director Matt Owens cancelled the rehearsal. As the fb post says, I worked on vocal lines at home, instead. I was there last night, for ensemble vocal work and also a discussion about both my characters, Dr. Fine and Dr. Madden.

fb post - &qout;Aack! A little relapse in my voice! This is getting friggin' OLD!!!!!!"

I posted the one just above on facebook yesterday morning, but my voice rallied quite a bit by the time I made rehearsal. I still came close to not making it. I had an appointment with the eye doctor in the morning and he dilated my pupils for a test and I spent the afternoon into the evening listening to The West Wing and Gilmore Girls while wearing a sleep mask. Okay, it's possible I spent some of that time actually asleep. By the time it was time to leave for the theatre my eyes were okay. So I made it after all.

The ensemble music that Music Director David McKibben went over was not what I have been attending to -- and finally have been well enough to work on -- since I was cast. My lack of functional music-reading capability was driven home for me. I will be able to sit down with the sheet music and eventually parse out the notes for my ensemble parts, but as I have no sight-reading skills, I spent a lot of Tuesday night, well, lost. I did record the rehearsal on my iPhone, so between that and my slowish homework with the score, I'll get it. It has made me realize I need to at least get some better fundamental sight-reading ability.

Tonight, Matt blocks Act I.



Mon, Jan 19, 2015

COMMEMORATING THE
LIFE OF
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
AND THE LIFE OF AN
ELDER STATESMAN OF THE
DAYTON, OHIO THEATRE
COMMUNITY,
RALPH J. DENNLER

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

CLICK HERE FOR DR. KING'S SPEECH IN ITS ENTIRETY




xxxx

Join the Dayton Theatre Guild at The Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape today, Monday, January 19 for a gathering to remember and celebrate the life of Ralph Dennler.

The evening will begin at 5:30 pm and will last as long as it does.

A light dinner will be served.

Bring your memories of our beloved elder statesman and share with Ralph's friends, colleagues, and family.

430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, OH, 45410

*if you want to join the facebook event, click here




Thu, Jan 22, 2015

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PROGRESS WITH DELAYS AND CHALLENGES:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
In REHEARSAL icon

HEALTHWISE ICON
First off all, though still not at full, one-hundred percent capacity, my voice/throat has been in much better shape the last several days than it has been in about six weeks, if not longer, though there's still a little tickle in my throat. But the overall shape is much better, which is good because I have been anxious about how the sore throat retarded my work on the musical aspect of the show. Although, in terms of my main, solo vocals I am in pretty good shape. It's the ensemble vocals parts that are my anxiety.

Monday, which I had off from the rent-payer for MLK Day, was mostly about all those ensemble vocal parts that are, for the most part, not as easy to pick up by ear from the original Broadway cast album as are the solo vocals. You know that point earlier in rehearsal when you ask yourself how the hell you're going to get it all down cold and safely burned into your brain and molecular structure? That's where I have been. That's been the more recent anxiety, specifically in respect to these ensemble vocal lines.

I'm not fearful that I won't get it; it's just that I'm at that place in the process where it seems amazing to me that I ever have committed to memory all that needs such commitment for any role of any substantial size, especially when something such as these ensemble vocal parts, which are proving to be an enormous challenge, are thrown into the dog fight.

xxxx
My lyrics and notes highlighted on a copy of the score
xxxx
The keyboard, the score, and my laptop, the latter from which I play back the recordings of whichever songs I am currently studying.
Since I have zilch sight-reading capability, and only a fundamentally functional ability to read a music score at all, my method is to sit down and painstakingly parse out what each note is, based on the key signature to the left of the staff, *(which indicates which musical key the composition is in), then use a key board to get my vocal part. I am better at getting the pitch of the note than I am at getting the length of the note, but I have the recording to assist me with that.

This, of course, all has to do with working on my vocal harmonies in the ensemble work for the show. There's a lot to cram in and to suggest I am more than just beginning this work would be a very big lie. I do know other cast members apprise their own status similarly and express the same low level of anxiety, so at least I'm not swimming alone with the shark.

The good news is that the off-book dates, as I believe I have stated before, are February 16 for Act I and February 18 for Act II, so I -- (WE) -- have more than three weeks left to get this stuff down, along with the spoken lines. I mean, I assume off-book also means "off-score."

The sitzprobe is then a week after the off-book deadlines and a week-and-a-half before we open, so I would hope that my castmates and I have a firm grip on the show by then! Actually, I feel confident that we all will. The great, bright ray of hope for us is that, from what I've heard, we are solid on our main, solo vocal parts, so we all can devote more time, energy and focus on the complexities of this ensemble work. And the dialogue text is not a daunting amount for any of us. I haven't worked on my spoken lines for a while, because my triage told me these ensemble parts are the high priority. But I am not at all worried about my lines. But, man, this ensemble stuff is a bit overwhelming!

We were slated to finishing blocking Act I then start Act II, this past Monday, but we actually got all of AI on Wednesday of last week. A few people were sick this Monday, and Director Matt Owens was sure that we could get all of Act II blocked on Tuesday (previous slated to finish blocking it). So we got Monday off, which helped me in terms of the Ralph Memorial (*see below), from which I would have needed to exit early had there been rehearsal. But, the whole show is now blocked, at least the rough overview with tweaking as we get into the runs that are coming up soon.

Last night we were scheduled with Music Director David McKibben for music review, etc., but he had to cancel due to a car problem. So, at some point soon we will be picking this work up. Honestly, I was a little relieved because it gives me a chance to get a little more work in, on my own, on the ensemble stuff so I don't walk into rehearsal barely able to productively contribute. I think I will change my tact and devote as much time as needed for each piece before moving on. Tonight, for instance, I will work first on "Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I" and only move on if and when I feel some palpable progress. So, it may be then only thing I work on tonight.


THE RALPH DENNLER MEMORIAL CELEBRATION AT THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD:
Dayton Theatre Guild
Portait of Ralph Dennler

The memorial gathering at The Guild last Monday evening to honor and celebrate Ralph was a lovely event and I am very happy I was able to spend the whole evening there, rather than leave after the first hour as I would have had to do if I'd had Next to Normal rehearsal. As fellow board member Deirdre Root put it about the evening: "...Lots of good people, good stories, laughs and tears all around....A bittersweet night."

In the Dec 27, 2014 blog entry I wrote a bit about Ralph and I'm not going to repeat what I wrote there. But I will essentially repeat what I said at the memorial, expanding on it somewhat. I only spoke briefly because I was a half an instant away from loosing it by the end of my little commentary.

The quintessential word for Ralph is "gentleman," that's not a point that many would argue, and none successfully. Yes, Ralph was the dictionary illustration of Gentleman. When I was welcomed into the DTG family, Ralph was one of those there leading the gesture.

However, as much of a gentleman as he was, as much benefit of the doubt as he was willing to allow you, he did not just assume you were good at what you did. He wanted to see good action and good results before he decided you were one to call upon for any given task, the one to trust with the job.

Earlier in my tenure as a Guild board member I brought up in a meeting the need for us to purchase a new CD player for the tech booth. This was back in the days when we used CD players, and mini-disk players, in the cramped little booth on Salem Avenue. Someone made a motion that the board approve the purchase of a new CD player; then Ralph tacked an amendment on the motion that the new DC player be purchased by Bob Mills. Bob, you see, has a Ph.D in electrical engineering and was one who'd done a lot of sound design for shows and had already done some of the rigging for the sound system we had at the time. Ralph knew Bob and what he brought to the table. He had less of a sense of my skill set -- though I'll freely admit, though I was perfectly qualified to choose a new DC player, I did not and still do not have Bob's skill set. This practicality aside, I was nevertheless pissed off about being, as I saw it, dissed by Mr. Dennler. The truth, of course, is he was simply being diligent to assure the best outcome for the theatre; it was nothing personal.

In intervening years I have designed sound for quite a few shows and have shown some technical ability and knowhow, albeit of the seat-of-the-pants variety -- no Ph.D. here. I designed sound for Ralph a few seasons back when he directed Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate He expressed great approval of my work on that show. This past summer, as he was gearing up for what would be his last directorial venture, our 14/15 season opener, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, by Lee Blessing, he sent me an email that basically said, "I hope you are willing and able to design the sound for my show. I can't think of anyone I would rather have take on the task."

I don't believe I have ever stated here that I took over Greg Smith's term as DTG board chairperson when he left town and then was re-elected into the position in Aug of 2013 when I finished that first term. A few weeks or more after Ralph sent me that email about Nice People we had the first meeting of the 2014/2015 board, when the Chairperson for the new season is elected. I was nominated for a third term (the second full term). After the nomination was seconded, Ralph immediately said, "I move that nominations be closed!"

As I said at the memorial, that motion was one of the best compliments I have ever received.


Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
After a break of two shows, I will be back designing sound for Saul's show. We have a production meeting this coming Sunday after the closing performance of 4000 Miles.

Don't know if I'll be approached to do the last show of the season, but, honestly, I hope I have a conflict. There is, you see, a production at the end of the season, at another theatre, that I am greatly interested in.



Sun, Jan 25, 2015

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Closing Tiday

4000 MILES by Amy Herzog, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of 4000 Miles
CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Leo Joseph-Connell            Jared Mola

Vera Joseph            Barbara Jorgensen

Rebecca (Bec)            Lindsey Kortyka

Amanda            Anna Prince

The Promocast for 4000 Miles



WORK WORK WORK:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
I'd say I'm about 90% solid on being off-book for Act I, in terms of both lines and lyrics. The solo vocal work is solid, but I still am shaky on my ensemble vocal parts, though there is improvement, if marginal. Act II: again, solid on the solo stuff, shaky on the ensemble stuff, and I haven't really worked on dialogue, yet. Though there's not much dialogue to work on.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

The Advanced Acting Techniques class with Kay Bosse, set to start Monday and run through March 2, at The Human Race Theatre Company is officially on. I don't know who else is in the class but I'm sure at least some of the usual suspects will be there.

Fortunately, as I may have stated before, Next to Normal director Matt Owens has been gracious enough to allow me to arrive late on the Mondays in question, though I am most probably either going to leave early or miss the last class session completely since that is the Monday of Tech Week for NtN, and I can't personally justify not participating fully in all the show runs during the last stretch before opening.


Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
This evening, I attend a production meeting for this one.



Fri, Jan 30, 2015

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IT'S GONNA BE GOOOOOOOD!:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

fb post - 
				"I feel a great privilege to be working with my talented castmates in NEXT TO NORMAL, as well as the impressive dramatic and musical directors, et al. To quote a song from the show, but minus its irony, 'It's Gonna Be Goooooood!' - 
				Those folk being: Becky Barrett-Jones, Kip Moore, Brandon Ramos, Abigail Pearl Land, Desmond Thomas, Matthew Owens, David McKibben, Emily Phillips, Kathleen Carroll, John Falkenbach - 
				Oh, yeah March 6-15, Fri: 8 pm, Sat: 3 pm & 8 pm, Sun: 3 pm at Beavercreek Community Theatre"

My estimation of my own musical vocal ability is that I am good, just centered at "good"; I'm adequate; I hold my own. I'm not Mandy Patinkin nor am I Michael Crawford and would not dare to suggest so. But, I can hit the notes and give some quality of good style to a song. I feel safe in stating that I am the weakest singer in the NTN cast ensemble, hands down....

....This is a good thing.

In REHEARSAL icon
We had musical rehearsals Tuesday and Wednesday this week and hearing where the vocal work has already progressed to was exciting. And we're not anywhere close to the polished results the next few weeks hold in store.

Last night rehearsal focused on moments that do not involve me so I wasn't called. I worked at home on one of the songs in which I am sing ensemble harmony. The song, in fact, was "It's Gonna Be Good," referenced in the facebook post I inserted above. The challenge is to correctly get my pitch for each section I sing. I think I worked it out, but some serious practice will need to be involved.

This weekend will again be about heavy work on the ensemble vocals, especially, Act I, but also II, which we haven't really adressed as much in rehearsals, yet -- but will on Wednesday. Of course I'll still keep in practice and keep improving upon my solo vocals, which are in pretty good shape. And I will work to get solidly off-book on I and begin to work on getting so for II. Fortunately, I have many fewer words in II, and I am pretty solid on the lyrics to Madden's solo vocals and relatively solid on my ensemble lyrics, so I have a decent start on II.

And to reiterate in a more straight-forward manner: I am feeling very good about this project as a whole! This a great company of performers and production crew!


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

The Advanced Acting Techniques class with Kay Bosse The Human Race Theatre Company got off to a nice start Monday evening. It was mostly orientation and get to know each other night. Only one classmate from previous classes is in this one. I also know one other from the theatre community. But most of the class members are new to me. I also am the only male which somewhat restricts some of the scene work that might be done.

I did bring my copy of Greg Pierce's Slowgirl*, so perhaps I and the one younger woman, who can sell teenaged girl, might do some pages from it. At any rate, I'd love to take on one of Sterling's monologues.

* AT LEAST ONE OF YOU FIVE MAY REMEMBER MY AUG 1, 2013 VISIT TO STEPPENWOLF TO SEE WILLIAM PETERSEN AND RAE GRAY IN THE SHOW


In the audience icon

The Fantasticks at Dayton Playhouse -- I'm seeing this one tonight. It features quite a few people I have worked with before: Shawn Hooks, Robb Willoughby, Charles Larkowski, and Saul Caplan; other cast members: William Scarborough, Kami Flanders, Tyler Henry, and Brian Sharp. Matthew Smith is the director; Ron Kindell is musical director; Mike Embree is choreographer. Word-of-mouth is that it's a great production.

Things My Mother Taught Me at Beavercreek Community Theatre -- Tomorrow night it's Aaron Brewer, Steve Strawser, Terry Larson and Jamie McQuinn, all whom I have worked with, along with Aubrey Strawser, Christina Tomazinis, and Andrew Stokely in the cast. The production is directed by Jill Proudfoot, who is a past DTG board member (as is Steve Strawser).

Waiting For Godot at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company -- A week from tomorrow I head to Cincinnati to see one of my favorite actors, period, Bruce Cromer, in a matinée performance of Beckett's most well-known work. And when I say Bruce is one of my favorite actors, I don't just mean locally or regionally, I mean: altogether, even pitted against the nationally or internationally known actors.

Family Shots at The Human Race Theatre Company -- I'm excited to then see, that evening, after Godot, Michael Slade's new play that features Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk, Randy Brooks, Adam Halpin, Arash Mokhtar, and Dayton's own Anne Pesch. Kevin Moore directed. You may remember that Mr. Slade is the playwright of Gingerbread Children, in which I had the privilege to be cast as part of the workshop production at HRTC in early 2013. He also wrote the intense Under a Red Moon.


PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS
I know that there is a bit of this type of good news to share but I've been so busy that I haven't put it all together as far as what-where-when. I'll find time to gather it all together and post it.



Mon, Feb 2, 2015

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SUNDAY IN THE PARK APARTMENT WITH KITT & YORKEY:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
NO TV ZONE
My mistake on Saturday was to opt to watch an episode of Friends on Netflix while I was taking care of some personal record keeping, etc., in the morning after I arose. In case you're interested, next in the cue was, "The One After Ross Says Rachel." It's no shocker that I was not able to restrict my viewing to that one episode. The mischievous little pixie in my head kept enticing me to watch "JUST one more!" to the point that I'd viewed a mini Friends marathon before I mustered the discipline to shut it down and do the planned NtN woodshedding that Saturday had been intended to be wholly about, or, at least so about until it was time to get ready for Things My Mother Taught Me at BCT. I did do some work, but I cheated myself greatly. It was not one my finer Be-The-Professional-Actor days.

So, yesterday: NO TV! Well, NO TV "programs." I did access a few ambient music channels, via Apple TV, while I worked on line and lyric memorization. Other than that, though: NO TV!

One good thing about yesterday was that one task was to woodshed memorizing the words (lines & lyrics) from Act II. Fortunately, the predominance of my words in that act are lyrics that I already had fairly solidly memorized. Further, I was already even closer to completely solid on Act I, so this off-book deadline of February 16, though still not fodder for complacency, is hardly intimidating. Now I'm certainly running in the high 90% range with it all. Still, this doesn't stop the perfectionist in me from almost stroking out whenever I err.

There is one other hurdle to overcome, though "overcome" may be a slightly stronger word than is needed. Dr. Madden has to waltz briefly with Diana in an Act I moment. If you are one of that minority of people reading this who have regularly read this blog (AKA: You Five), or you otherwise know me well enough, you will know that I essentially have, as I have intimated before, two, possibly three left feet when it comes to dancing. Fortunately the dance moment is short and I don't believe Director Matt Owens needs or wants anything elaborate for the moment. A simple box-step waltz should accomplish what is needed and I can accomplish that well enough. Else-wise "overcome" becomes a much more appropriate, accurate word to use in context.

Okay, okay, I will admit I did watch some actual TV programming for a bit after I burned out on woodshedding my ensemble harmony parts. But my home rehearsal work was finished and I was outside the zone, so I'm good. Well, it was virtually finished; I did review my line/lyric flash cards after I went to bed

*) OFF-BOOK: The point in the rehearsal period when the actors have their lines committed to memory and do not need to read the script.



ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Session 2 is tonight.

Kay has another student and me working a moment from the play The Dazzle, by Richard Greenberg.

There's still probability work will be done from Slowgirl, too.


In the audience icon
The Fantasticks at Dayton Playhouse and Things My Mother Taught Me at Beavercreek Community Theatre -- Nice evenings at the theatre this past weekend. Friday night at The Fantasticks, featuring Tyler Henry, Kami Flanders, Shawn Hooks, Robb Willoughby, Brian Sharp, Charles Larkowski, Saul Caplan, and William Scarborough; directed by Matthew Smith; music directed by Ron Kindell; choreography by Mike Embree. Saturday evening it was Things My Mother Taught Me featuring Aaron Brewer, Aubrey Strawser, Terry Larson, Jamie McQuinn, Christina Tomazinis, Steve Strawser, and Andrew Stokely. It was directed by Jill Proudfoot. The latter closed yesterday. The Fantasticks runs for one more weekend.

• OH, AND BY THE WAY!: 4000 Miles at DTG -- Seems to me I've been so preoccupied with Next to Normal that I failed to mention that I sat in the audience for the closing performance of our most recent Guild show, 40000 Miles, by Amy Herzog. My impression?: nice script performed quite well by Ms. Barbara Jorgensen, Jarred Mola, Lindsey Kortyka, and Anna Prince. It was directed by Kathy Mola.

Waiting For Godot at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company -- Of course, this coming Saturday afternoon I head to Cincinnati to see Mr. Bruce Cromer in this classic Beckett work. Bruce is joined on stage by Jim Hopkins, Jack Johnson, Nicholas Rose, and Brent Vimtrup. (I can't find the director's name at the site).

Family Shots at The Human Race Theatre Company -- Saturday evening it's Michael Slade's new play, featuring Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk, Randy Brooks, Adam Halpin, Arash Mokhtar, and Dayton's own Anne Pesch, with direction by Kevin Moore.



Wed, Feb 4, 2015

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DOH!
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon

The plan, for the Mondays while the acting classes are in session, is to drop into DTG and hang between the rent-payer and class time, rather than waste gas by driving home then to downtown. Then, of course, from class I drive to Beavercreek, to join NtN rehearsals, already in progress. So, this Monday I did that. I dropped by a fastfood joint on the way, went into the boardroom, ate my dinner, then went into my rehearsal briefcase to pull out the music score to look at some problem music spots. I noticed that my mark-up copy of the libretto was not in the briefcase; neither was the original libretto. We were working Act I and I really needed the mark-up copy, since all the blocking* that has already been determined, was/is in that version.

The gasoline conservation was spoiled for the day, because it was clear I had to make the forty-mile round trip to home and back to get my mark-up copy, so I'd have it when I finally arrived at rehearsal.

Acting class runs from 5:30 to 7:30. I promptly left on the dot and arrived at the theatre just a little before 8:00. I noted as I pulled out my cellphone to turn it off before entering rehearsal that I had a text from Kay Bosse: "I have your Next to Normal script. Should I wait here." Of course, it was too late to go back by this point. And I did not know what she had. Clearly I had pulled something out of the briefcase to get to class material, then ldid not put it back, but wasn't sure what. It could have been the score for Act I, or that for Act II; it could have my working copy of the music relevant to me. It could have been the original libretto or my mark-up copy. It was the mark-up libretto. And the original was not in the briefcase, either.

Fortunately, there was an extra libretto on hand for me to use, though I didn't have my blocking notes.And yes, I'm at a good place as far as having lines memorized, but it's not time to be on stage trying to recall lines. I mostly was able to recall lines, and definitely lyrics, but still had to refer to the script more than just a little. It's easier to recall lines in the kitchen or the car than on stage, for one thing. For another, until stumble-through, I really don't want to slow down the rehearsals by calling for line. So, even if I am trying to recall lines, I want the book in my hand so I can quickly get lines I am having problems with.

Well, Monday rehearsal was not catastrophic, despite the ironic turn of events. We worked Act I, including music, sans instrumentation, i.e.: we sang a capella. Did the same last night for Act II.

Tonight, music with Musical Director David McKibben. I still don't have my ensemble harmony parts mastered, but there has been much improvement. Although I wouldn't want to take my current proficiency with them into a performance. That's why there's rehearsal, I guess.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Monday night Kay had us all do cold read, which is fine by me. The more practice I can get on that, the better. I, in fact, did mine stone cold, having read only the first, short sentence of the monologue before I did the reading for the class. All I had to go off as I began speaking the words was a little bit of character direction from Kay. To a lesser degree I had some help since the monologue is from the Allan Miller play, The Fox, which is adapted from the novella of the same name by D.H. Lawrence, the latter which I read in college. The fact that I've read the original source was help of "a lesser degree" because it's been a while and I barely remembered it.

I was pretty happy with the stone cold read. In fact, I think everyone did a good job with their cold reads. We all did our initial cold reading then Kay had us do them again, using mire directed approaches than our original blind, exploratory interpretations.



Fri, Feb 6, 2015

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IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I SING:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

HEALTHWISE ICON
Yeah, that damned sore throat problem, which has never been 100%-recovered but was on the mend, has backslid. I am more than a little frustrated. It hasn't slip back a lot, but it has regressed, all the same. Last night, toward the end of rehearsal, there was some certain failure on my part. It didn't help that I had taken some cold medicine designed to dry out my nasal cavity; keeping my larynx hydrated was a challenge. Dry throat was a major factor in my vocal flopping, along with the area already still being sore.

I have a nice vocal moment in the finale and right now I cannot deliver as it should be delivered. This does not make me happy. The section needs Dr. Madden to deliver it full-voice, in the middle register. The compromise last night to was to hit the key notes in falsetto, but I believe that diminishes the impact. And by the end of rehearsal I was even doing that badly, which utterly destroyed the impact. In fact my voice was giving so much that the whole song was an unsuccessful endeavor for me. My solace is that I have four weeks left. If my throat and voice aren't in performance-ready shape by then............then, well, I don't know what.

Today, I am back where I was a few weeks back: talking as little as possible, sucking lots of cough drops and drinking a lot of Throat Coat Tea. I'm laying off working on vocals today, including vocal warm-ups, or at least any warm-ups that would push my voice. I actually would like to catch a theatre production tonight, but I believe I am going to pass and stay home out of the chilled air, etc.

On another front, this week I've been attempting my lines without looking at the script, while rehearsing. I've had the book in my hand, first because there are blocking notes in there, and still blocking notes to be added. As is always the case, off-book is easier in the car than it is on the stage, when you're on the spot. I still feel good about where I am with off-book status and it's something I am constantly in study to improve.


In the audience icon
Though I am likely to skip the show I'm considering attending tonight, the shows tomorrow are still on: Waiting For Godot at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Family Shots at The Human Race Theatre Company.



Mon, Feb 9, 2015

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JUST ANOTHER DAY:
In REHEARSAL icon
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON

I have been taking it easy on my voice and throat, just as I planned. I have been rehearsing the vocal lines (the notes) but I have not been often pushing those moments that have been proving challenging due to the under-par shape of my throat health. I've also been nursing my throat in the appropriate manners: talking less, cough drops, and drinking a lot of Throat Coat Tea, occasional gargles with lemon juice and salt in very warm water, and keeping out of the chilled air as much as possible. I haven't tried to hit those challenging notes since Saturday, where I was not wholly successful, so I can't report where I am at the moment. There is still some congestion in my throat and a tinge of soreness, so I probably am not ready to belt that finale line as it should be belted, just yet.

I did lie in bed last night with my flash cards of lines and lyrics and score pretty close to 100% off-book. I'd estimate I was at about 97-99%. *And I'm not going to bother with the "definition" footnote to explain "off-book.".


In the audience icon
In the audience icon
In the audience icon
You five may know that this past Saturday was a two-theatre-shows day for me, first seeing Bruce Cromer and his castmates in Waiting For Godot at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in the afternoon. Then, in the evening seeing Michael Slade's new play, Family Shots at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Bruce was unsurprisingly wonderful as Estragon in the classic Beckett play. His castmates, Nicholas Rose (Vladimir), Jim Hopkins (Pozzo), Brent Vimtrup (Lucky), and Jack Johnson (The Boy), all did great work, too. The production was well directed by Brian Isaac Phillips.

Michael's play is a lovely, lovely story with very fine work from Corbin Bleu (Aaron Baker: the gay son), Colleen Zenk (Marsha Baker: the high-strung mother), Randy Brooks (Sam Baker: the even-keel father who has been hospitalized with a heart arrhythmia), Adam Halpin (Aaron's husband), Arash Mokhtar (Dr. Geoffrey Pattel), and, of course, home-grown Anne Pesch (Joyce Anderson: Sam's Nurse). Kevin Moore directed this beautiful production.

All in all, a good day in the audience for me.



Wed, Feb 11, 2015

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NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
HEALTHWISE ICON
My throat/voice seems to be only marginally edged closer to 100% and I still cannot sing the moment in the finale with the middle-register full voice I believe it deserves. I did get it a couple times while woodshedding before rehearsal last night, but my voice started failing on the critical notes by the end of that session. I had to use falsetto at rehearsal. That worked, well enough, I suppose. I will work to make the falsetto version as impactful as I can, but I'm also going to keep testing the middle-register version, and with hope as we get closer to Opening, my vocals will be there rather than in Falsetto Land for that finale moment.


Mon, Feb 16, 2015

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"UH, UM, UH...LINE!" PT.1:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon

Off-Book Day for Act I is tonight, with this Wednesday designated for Act II. But I, and others in the cast gave it a try at the Thursday rehearsal. I may have correctly rated myself earlier in the week at 97-99%, but it's one thing to recall lines and lyrics in bed, or in your car, or walking down the hallway at the rent-payer, but it's a different thing to be on the set and on the spot. Still, none of us did horribly, which eases the stress-factor for tonight. I still drilled on the words all weekend, and, at least "off stage" I'm "off-book." We'll see how proficient I am On stage, tonight.


      
also
      

VOCAL WORK ICON
Oh no! Another new icon
HEALTHWISE ICON
I really wanted to spend some dedicated time working on that vocal spot in the finale that has been challenging me so heavily. Though I did get some time in on it, my voice is still not at the place to work it too much.

Actually, the stuff I sing later in the finale has been proving difficult for me to deliver with the zest and power it should have. It all hovers right in a precarious zone for me. The top of my middle register and bottom of my upper register. Much of it works better full voiced (middle register), but until I get my throat to 100%, that's not working too well.

I again took the day off, on Saturday, from singing at all. Then, yesterday I had to take it easy singing everything. This isn't over; I will get my voice into game shape soon and I will figure out how to do my finale vocal justice.

DANCE WORK icon
And yet, another new icon
However, the biggest challenge of the show is about to descend upon me. For a few bars during the song "Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I," my Dr. Fine will be waltzing with Diana (Becky Barrett-Jones). Those who know me or have read much of this blog will know that I pretty much have three left feet when it comes to dancing. Fortunately the dance segment is not very long, only a few measures. The monkey wrench is during my little waltz I will be singing what will, at some points, be a counter puncture, so throwing dancing into the mix is going to be an interesting endeavor for me. I'm sure I'll get it, but no one best expect Fred Astaire.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Also this weekend I partially re-read Greg Pierce's Slowgirl in the event that I and a particular young woman from class do a scene from the play. The young woman (who can sell the seventeen-year-old character, Becky) was given a copy at the last session. I had recommended the play to Kay and she got it and read it and likes it. I, of course, like it and have a strong interest in portraying Sterling on the boards.

When I posted about the play in August of 2013, having just recently seen William Petersen and Rae Gray take it on stage at Steppenwolf, I wrote that I'd found the script somewhat lacking, incomplete. However, now that I have read the script a few times I have changed my mind. 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.



Wed, Feb 18, 2015

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LET'S START IT ALL OFF WITH MY OBLIGATORY, AT-LEAST-ONCE-A-WINTER-SEASON, SUB-SUB-FREEZING WEATHER WHINE:
C-c-c-cold icon

Until today, it hasn't broken above 9°F for several days anywhere in South-west Ohio. For instance, yesterday morning when I climbed out of my warm cocoon it was -8°.

**********     -8°!     **********

Yeah, this is not working for me. It can warm up right now. Right now as I write this sentence, it's 16° in Dayton, but the forecast is for the temperature to drop back down to close to 0° by midnight. Hey, I'm trying to get my voice back up to 100% singing capability! This is not helping the goal-achievement.


"UH, UM, UH...LINE!" PT.2:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
I am happy to say that I did well with the off-book situation Monday night. I flubbed a lyric once but that was because I was flustered over a missed musical cue moment. The original plan for the rehearsal had been to run Act I, but that was altered and we worked on musical problem spots quite a bit as well as running chunks of Act I with both dialogue and songs in tact.


      
also
      

VOCAL WORK ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON
As for the continuing saga of my vocal whoas, I have not pushed my voice at all, so far this week. Well, I did a little bit last night, but later in rehearsal my voice revolted somewhat on me. I'm still nursing it much: Throat Coat Tea, yadda yadda. The frigid air outside is not helping the predicament, and, as I was discussing with Ms. Barrett-Jones last night, I also am singing more rigorously than I have in a very long time, quite possibly since I was in my twenties. My voice is, I think, getting fatigued from being out-of-shape and, let's face it, older; that likely is, in part, retarding the wellness work. This factor being a poster for doing daily warm-ups as a regular routine, regardless of musical gigs or not, and singing a lot as well, regardless. I have loads of music CD I love to sing with, that I can use to consistently keep my voice in shape. For Next to Normal I'm hopeful that as the weather warms and I continue to sing, my throat will heal and I will fatigue less. I'm confident that by performance this will all be worked out and I will be performing at a standard that pleases me, or, almost pleases me, anyway.

DANCE WORK icon
fb post text Our choreographer was there last night and choreographed the little dance segment I am in. It could have been worse, but, my three left feet didn't get in the way as badly as I anticipated they would. I am not fearful it'll look to bad or awkward. There will surely be some dance calls, maybe not through the run, but surely during Tech Week. As I predicted, the biggest challenge for me is that I sing some counterpoint during this and there's a section that I already have timing problems with that adding the dance moves to, edges the challenge for me and my rhythmically challenged self.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

My classmate Brianna and I did the first few pages of Greg Pierce's Slowgirl in class Monday. It was a nice, mostly cold read. I think I could have done better, but I didn't suck. It was a virtually spontaneous read by me. It certainly would not be the Sterling I would present on the boards in front of a paying audience, but it was adequate for an early try. Kay has me prepping King Richard from Shakespeare's Richard III for next week. I will be playing against Angela Riley's Lady Anne. She also has suggested that if time allows, we might return to Slowgirl. the big problem there is that next week may be my last session. The following class session is the Monday of Tech Week for Next to Normal and I will either miss class altogether or leave at least an hour early. I just cannot allow myself to miss a tech rehearsal for a show I am in.



Thu, Feb 19, 2015

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"UH, UM, UH...LINE!" PT.3, & MORE:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon

First off, there has had to be a cast change. The role of Dan (the husband/father) has just been assumed by Geoff Moss. Tuesday night was his first rehearsal. The original Dan, Kip Moore, had to drop out when outside conflicts made continuing in the production untenable. Before Geoff, another replacement was bought in but then he, too, had to drop out. So now Geoff as joined the ensemble and clearly seems up to the challenge of learning this significant role in a compact period. He's got a lot to cram and I am not envious. He and I are only slightly familiar with each other, but judging from the last two nights, it's obvious he's more than capable of mastering the role and will no doubt catch up to the rest of the cast in a timely manner.

Last night we ran Act II off-book. Few flubs, but not many. We did stop and work some problems, mostly musical, and often, of course, for Geoff, who obviously isn't yet required to be off-book.

VOCAL WORK ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON
The voice has been pretty much the same, with a few instances where my voice essentially annouced to me, Yeah, um, no. No, I'm not doing that. Sorry.

Last night I sang my section of the finale using what I deem the compromise of using falsetto. After rehearsal I asked Music Director David McKibben if my compromising crap worked. He responded that he didn't know why I call it "crap," that in his opinion what I did last night is the correct approach that section.

So, I guess I'll embrace the falsetto thing. But I still would like my voice up to snuff so even that could be a little stronger. It feels weak and lame to me -- what can I say?

I also have to work on a couple moments in other songs where I need to better get the pickups going into those particular vocal lines of mine.



Fri, Feb 20, 2015

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It's Still Too Damned Cold!!!
Or, Another Sub-Sub-Freezing Weather Whine --
A little after midnight, last night, the weather app on my iPhone said it was -6°, and forecasted that it would dip down to -9° before it started climbing back up to a heat-stroking +16deg; by late this afternoon. At 10:30 this morning it was 3°. I was still up at midnight, last night, because the rent-payer was closed until 10:00 am today; yesterday we were closed until noon. Both days it was due to extreme cold. Yes, I know, this phenomenon is effecting pretty much most of the USA and Canada, and I also realize the North-East is getting socked with snow. But I still wanna bitch and whine and nobody's gonna take that away from me. Just 'cause others are getting the same and just 'cause others got it worse, that don't mean this is happy-fun-time, nor that it should be erroneously embraced as such.

So... WHAH!
sad icon



NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
We ran Act I last night, which was a change from the rehearsal agenda. The change, of course, to accomodate Geoff Moss's newness to the show and giving him a chance to work on it. The guy was on stage frequently without his book! Good thing to see for the new dude. I, of course, had prepped more for Act II, before rehearsal, not knowing the change was afoot.

VOCAL WORK ICON
The big issue for me musically last night was a particular ensemble part that I thought I was counting correctly to sing at the right moment, but discovered that I was still off slightly. It's the thing to work on the most right now, just ahead of healing my throat to the elusive 100% singing voice status. I also need to perfect a section of what I am singing during my choreography, but that's the easier of the two direct musical issues I face right now.


DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo
We have no clearance to use dialogue in the promocast for Desire. Sunday being Tech Week for the production, I will grab audio of Director Craig Smith discussing the play and production and will shoot MOS footage for the visuals. I edit Monday and hope the DV Movie is up by late Monday eve or early Tuesday morn.



Fri, Feb 27, 2015

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Opening Today

DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS by Eugene O'Niell, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.
CLICK HERE for the Desire Under the Elms promocast


Sun, Mar 1, 2015

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NEXT TO NEXT TO NORMAL:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon

So, it's Sunday morning as I write this, and the show opens in less than a week. Our sitzprobe was last Thursday. It went well. The orchestra for the show is a rock combo* of piano, guitar, drum kit and occasional electronic keyboard (played by the guitarist). No bassist at the moment; there was originally going to be, but apparently there was some sort of conflict that crept up. Don't know if one will join the production this week, but I suspect that such will not happen. Too bad, because a bass line, on a bass guitar, would have been valuable.

This evening marks the official start of Tech Week with Tech Sunday and cue-to-cue. We don't have the full band tonight for Cue to Cue; nor do we have it tomorrow night, so that's a dress rehearsal with piano accompaniment only -- like tonight. Practically speaking then, whether it's officially labelled such, or not, Tuesday, when the band is back, is essentially Wandelprobe, only with a full run.

Snow Day
The weather threatened to be an issue, but not so much now. When I got up I found an email in my in-box from the National Weather Service with a winter storm warning touting a prediction of upwards of seven inches by noon. But by the time I was up, that was revised to one-to-three inches. As I look out my window, right now, I see the asphalt on a cleared road. And believe me, if the road I live on is cleared, the highways and the main roads I need in order to get to rehearsal are all cleared, because my neighborhood is always behind the curve in terms of winter weather maintenance. Right now Weather.com forecasts a possible addition of less than an inch for this evening; so, I have no worries that rehearsal will need to be cancelled. That makes me happy, as I am sure it does the rest of the NtN company. Also, we have a virtual heatwave of 30°F going on out there!

VOCAL WORK ICON
As for my singing: what can I say? My vocals are still not where I want them to be, at what I believe is one-hundred-percent-up-to-par. I don't find what's been going on with my singing as total failure, but I still have not yet reached the level I am really satisfied with. As part of the treatment for my still-ailing throat I have not yet sang since the sitzprobe on Thursday. I will do vocal warm ups and woodshed my show songs this afternoon, along with woodshedding my lines.

Oh, yeah, lines. I had more than several frustrating moments during this past rehearsal week where I went up. At this point I am not allowing myself any slack for not remember any line or any lyric. I AM OFF-BOOK, GODDAMNIT! Atthis point the problem has to squarely be focus. That doesn't mean that I won't be hitting the line -- and lyric -- drills heavy today and this week.
* I'll supply the names of the band members at some point.



BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION:
DOH!
DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo
Final Cut Pro X icon

fb post - "So this happened!: After several hours of editing and being close to the home stretch, something that doesn't happen very often happened. My editing software crashed. Then something that has never happened, happened. The entire movie project disappeared; gone; vanished. Not in the trash; nowhere to be found. The source files (the event files) are all in tact. So, I can at least start all over. But, still.....I am not happy."

As it turns out, only some of the events, described in the above Feb 23 facebook post, happened. It was true that Final Cut Pro X did crash on me while I was close to the end of the edit for the Desire promocast DV movie. I was trying to paste the text of the closing credits into the scrolling text effect. When I opened the software back up, there was not a project file for the movie in FCPX. I then opened Finder to open the project file from the 4 terabyte external hard drive I use for HD movie editing.

It   Was   Not   There   !

I was alarmed but not wholly panicked yet. It have a choice when I start a project to either save the file on my laptop hard drive or the external. My want is to save to the external but I have in the past erred and saved it to the laptop, in which case I have to move the project file over. So, I looked in the Movie folder on my laptop for the Desire project.

IT   WAS   NOT   THERE   !

This was the point when that loud "HEY!" could be heard rumbling, thundering, echoing from South-western Ohio. It was followed by:

You son-of-a-bitch! You're suppose to autosave the fucking file every time I make a CHANGE (There actually IS no save button in FCPX). YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! All that WORK! ALL THAT WORK!

At least the FCPX Event was there, on the external where I intended. The FCPX Event is the folder with all the source material for a movie project: the raw movie file footage, any graphics, any audio files. All that material was still there. I could build the promocast movie project again. But it was not going to be Monday. I had put in over five hours. This mishap occurred about 1:30, maybe 2:00, in the afternoon. I could have at least started the redux of the movie. I would not have finished it, because I did need to woodshed some on Next to Normal; I also had to do some prep for the advanced acting class with Kay Bosse at HRTC, which was less than three hours away. I could have started it, but I just wasn't in the mental place to deal with it. I couldn't take Tuesday off from work, due to what my work day entailed that day. So I took Wednesday off to assemble the damned movie again.

So, what do you think I discovered when I opened FCPX up on Wednesday?

Turns out the project file was in the Documents folder. Had I looked a little harder inside FCPX I would have discovered that on Monday.

So:  DOH!

As irritating as this discovery was, I was also quite relieved that I did not have to rebuild the whole damned movie, but just pick up where I had left off. This not withstanding the point that I had went from an arrangement, where I could make up all the lost time on Monday at the rent-payer, to one where I had to use sixteen hours of premium vacation leave. Despite this vacation-burning situation, I elected to take the rest of the day on Wednesday to work on a few other projects for DTG. Of course, I also used some of the day for Next to Normal woodshedding.

*See the finished Desire Under the Elms promocast by clicking HERE.


DAYTON THEATRE GUILD 2015/2016 SEASON:
Dayton Theatre Guild

Here is our forthcoming DTG season:

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by John Patrick Shanley

Production Dates: Aug 21-Sep 6, 2015

    From the author of Doubt and Moonstruck comes a romantic comedy set in rural Ireland. Anthony and Rosemary are forty-somethings who haven't got a clue when it comes to love. These hopeless singletons will need to overcome a bitter land feud, familial rivalries, and their own romantic fears to find happiness. Full of dark humor and poetic prose, Pulitzer-Prize winning writer John Patrick Shanley's tenderhearted portrait reminds us it's never too late to take a chance on love. (Tony Award Nominee for Best Play)

Directed by David Shough
Produced by K.L.Storer

Audition dates: July 6 & 7, 2015


THE COLUMNIST by David Auburn

Production dates: Oct 2-18, 2015

    In mid-century America, newspaper columnists are kings -- and Joseph Alsop wears the biggest crown. Joe sits at the nexus of Washington life: beloved, feared, and courted in equal measure by the very people whose careers he determines. But as the sixties dawn and America undergoes dizzying change, the intense political dramas Joe has been throwing his weight around in -- supporting the war in Vietnam and Soviet containment, criticizing student activism -- come to bear a profound personal cost. A play from the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning author of Proof.

Directed by Doug Lloyd
Produced by TBA

Audition dates: Aug 24 & 25, 2015, 7:00 pm*


**** HOLIDAY EXTRA ****

ALL IS CALM, THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914
by Peter Rothstein with Musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach

Production dates: Nov 20-Dec 6, 2015

    The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man's Land, singing "Stille Nacht." Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

Directed by Kathy Mola
Produced by Barbra Jorgensen

Audition dates: Oct 5 & 6, 2015, 7:00 pm*


NIGHT WATCH by Lucille Fletcher

Production dates: Jan 8-24, 2016

    Elaine Wheeler, troubled by unsettling memories and vague fears, suffers from insomnia and appears to be close to becoming unhinged as one suspicious event after another takes place. From their Manhattan townhouse, her husband tries to comfort her, but when he steps away for a moment, Elaine screams as she sees (or believes she sees) the body of a dead man in the window across the way. The police are called, but find nothing except an empty chair. Elaine's terror grows as shortly thereafter she sees still another body -- this time a woman's -- but by now the police are skeptical and pay no heed to her frantic pleas.

Directed by Saul Caplan
Produced by Debra Kent

audition dates: Nov 23 & 24, 2015, 7:00 pm*


SLOWGIRL by Greg Pierce

Production dates: Feb 26-Mar 13, 2016

    Sterling, a former lawyer turned recluse in the Costa Rican jungle, is surprised by the arrival of his seventeen-year-old niece, Becky, whom he barely knows. She is a talkative high-schooler whose parents sent her out of town for a week of obscurity in the wilderness. Unaccustomed to having constant company, Sterling slowly acquires a sense of Becky's situation, which is disconcertingly similar to his own retreat from the opinions of others, and both realize their own remorse over moral negligences.

Directed by Rick Flynn
Produced by Kathy Mola

Audition dates: Jan 11 & 12, 2016, 7:00 pm*


TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL by Horton Foote

Production dates: Apr 15-May 1, 2016

    Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas, with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." But her son, Ludies, is too concerned for her health to allow her travel alone, and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts "escape" attempts each month, which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts' Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape, and one last trip home.

Directed by Craig Smith
Produced by Debra Kent

Audition dates: Feb 29 & Mar 1, 2016, 7:00 pm*


LAST GAS by John Cariani

Production dates: May 27-June 12, 2016

    Nat Paradis is a Red Sox-loving, part-time single dad who manages Paradis' Last Convenient Store, the last convenient place to get gas -- or anything -- before the Canadian border to the north and the North Maine Woods to the west. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he's forced to choose between new love and ols. Last Gas takes a hilarious and heartbreakingly hard look at love lost and found, and what it means to "get back to happy."

Directed by Debra Kent
Produced by K.L.Storer

Audition dates: Apr 18 & 19, 2016, 7:00 pm*


*all audition dates may be subject to change. Information about the 2015/2016 Season Tickets will be forthcoming



Mon, Mar 2, 2015

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LAST NIGHT'S "CUE TO CUE":
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
fb post - "Um. Paraphrasing does not work for me. I've done it several times tonight. That CRAP is gonna have to stop! (then an angry face emoticon)"

We ran the show last night with full tech, but without costumes. It was more-or-less our cue-to-cue, though it really wasn't. It was really a run with all the tech cues incorporated and adjustments being made as we went along or being noted as needed.

As you can see from the screenshot above of my facebook post, I did not deliver a perfect off-book performance, still. It's irritating. I never went up, but I did stumble over a few words (i.e.: almost going up by losing the word for a split-second too long). And I substituted several words for synonyms. The last one may not be as bad, and doesn't affect the moment on stage as adversely as other sorts of line screw-ups. But, if the playwright has the character saying "hangover", then "headache" is not what should come out of the actor's mouth. That being one specific error of mine last night.

Despite that little bitch about myself and my brain-fails, the run last night was, overall, pretty good. The ensemble, as a whole, was in good form. I felt good about my character work, and thought everyone else was portraying their characters well.

VOCAL WORK ICON
It also makes me very happy to report that last night my voice was in the best shape it's been during the whole rehearsal period, going back even to before the audition, which was hampered by the early period of this mammoth, compromised-throat marathon. It's still not at 100%, but it's closer than it's been for months. I was actually able to sing my finale section at full voice in a manner that did it justice -- the first time I have been able to do so. I still feel some soreness and tightness in there right now; but I'll be babying it all day and I think it's on an upward, mending trek. I am hopeful for tonight, the rest of the week, and more importantly, the performance run.

Tonight we run our first dress rehearsal, though without the full band. Tomorrow night is the quasi-wandelprobe night (i.e.: the show on it's feet with the band, but a full run rather than jumping from music cue to music cue).



Thu, Mar 5, 2015

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NEXT TO OPENING NIGHT:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon

First things first: Monday night I broke character on stage during a dress rehearsal. That is simply not acceptable; no, it's not acceptable at all.

Yes, yes, it was a rehearsal, but this is nitty-gritty time, it's down-to-the-wire, final-stretch time. It's time to put on the wares as if we're in front of the audience. Breaking character during a dress rehearsal is not a suitable option. Muddle through, push through, work around any problem, do whatever it takes to keep that fourth wall standing.

The Monday rehearsal wasn't bad, save for that particular guffaw. There were, of course, glitches. Other than that amateur BS mentioned above, I had one that was unavoidable. During the start of one my songs in Act II I got a burning, piercing tickle in my throat. I started the song, but had stop, take a swallow, then start again. Fortunately it was song that leads from a musical vamp. This time, I stayed in character and made it look like -- or almost look like -- the re-start was part of the show. Much better than breaking character and thus breaking the fourth wall!

Tuesday was a really good rehearsal. The last of the set-piece elements were thrown and we hadn't yet adjusted to them, but, nonetheless, we all felt good about the rehearsal. The energy was high and we were all solidly on our games. I had one little line garble but it was minor. It was a good night and we all left feeling good about what we have going.

Snow Day
Good thing we had such a strong rehearsal Tuesday, because last night's rehearsal was cancelled due to the threat of treacherous travel due to mix of rain, snow and below-freezing temperatures. I spent the evening drilling lines but not singing. I gave my voice the night off.

VOCAL WORK ICON
HEALTHWISE ICON
After the improved level of singing/throat-health on Sunday, my voice did relapse, but only slightly. I was still able to sing satisfactorily both Monday and Tuesday. But, since we had the night off from rehearsal, I chose to not sing last night, also giving my voice and throat that night off I wrote of above, doing some nursing with throat soothing tea (this time Yogi Throat Comfort), running my humidifier, etcetera. Shortly before I left for what would end up a cancelled rehearsal, I had done warm-up exercises. The text that rehearsal was cancelled came while I was in route. So the warm-up was it for the day for my voice. The resting of my voice just seemed like a good move, since I had the opportunity. Right now my voice/throat is a little sore but the Yogi tea and the throat lozenges therapy is about to begin for the day; plus, I'll speak as little as possible.

Now we come to tonight and Final Dress. Personally I am not anxious over the fact that we lost a dress rehearsal this week, and I doubt anyone else is either, though I am sure we all would have rather had it under our belt.


ADVANCED ACTING CLASS WITH KAY BOSSE AT HRTC -- FINAL SESSION:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Monday, before NtN, I attended the first hour of the final acting class with Kay, where I did scene work from a couple plays. I did a scene from Man from Nebraska, by Tracy Letts with one classmate, then revisited the scene I had previously been involved with from Shakespeare's Richard III. I had fun with both. The Letts scene was one where I had to start it in distress, where the character "shakes insuppressibly, weeps, sobs," so I had to move myself into that place emotionally. While Kay was addressing the class on other assorted business and instruction, I took advantage to get to the zone I needed to be in.

In more general terms, I'm sorry the class is already over. Seems like we just get firmly in the groove with these things as they come to an end.


ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF CRIMINAL HEARTS:
Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Ata            Katrina Kittle

Bo            Nabachwa Ssensalo

Robbie            Pat Wanzer

Wib            Jack O'Connor

On a Personal Note icon
Nabachwa was one my classmates in the advanced acting class that wrapped Monday evening. She has very good acting instinct. I am excited to see her cast. I have read the play and believe, whole-heatedly that she will nail the role.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
I am designing sound for this, as I believe I stated somewhere in an earlier post. I'm invited to the table read-through tonight. But, of course, I have a prior engagement.


Photo of Leonard Nimoy. Inscription - "Leonard Nimoy, Mar 26, 1931-Feb 27, 2015" - imbed of screen capture of Mr. Nimopy's last Twitter tweet - "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, excpet ion memory. LLAP." (Tweet dated 2:30 AM, 23 Feb, 2015)
When I heard the news that Leonard Nimoy had died, a thread in the fabric of my childhood was pulled and that fabric is now a little more frayed, a little less in tact. His passing actually moved me to tears, which was a reaction I would not have predicted. I didn't, until that moment, fully appreciate how deep an impact his Spock had on my consciousness.

I'm not going to do a treatise on the metaphorical significance of Mr. Spock. I will say that I cannot now imagine anyone playing the role with such grace, strength and presence as did Leonard Nimoy. Whatever the pallet that Gene Roddenberry presented to him way back in the mid-sixtes, Leonard took that and, with his own brush strokes, defined the cultural icon that is Mr. Spock, adding his own depth and significance to the portrait. At the risk of drawing the wrath of a legion of Trekkers who may believe differently, I believe that Mr. Spock is the most profound and the strongest such cultural icon from the entire Star Trek cannon. Nimoy is as responsible for that as is Roddenberry's vision of the character.

I had recently re-watched the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and it was the first time I was able to disregard Mr. Spock and allow Nimoy's Dr. Kibner to not be a Vulcan without pointy ears. I saw it when it first came out, then several times over the years on cable, and could not let go of Spock when I saw it. I had the same problem when he was a cast member on Mission Impossible not long after Star Trek was cancelled. I was not alone in that and that, of course, was the bain of his career for many years. His first autobiography was title, I Am Not Spock. He apparently eventually came to terms with the cemented association, as his second autobiography was, I Am Spock. This multi-talented man should have gotten more recognition for his other artwork, directing two of the finest Star Trek movies being part of that, as well as some fine photography. The presence of Spock is still the kind of impact most actors would love to make.

There is, sadly, no Genesis planet to place this fine artist and humanitarian on. So: Rest in Peace Mr. Nimoy.



Fri, Mar 6, 2015

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Opening Today

NEXT TO NORMAL by Kitt and Yorkey, at The Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Last Night's Final Dress -- "The tip of the tongue (TOT or Tot or Presque vu) is a metacognitive phenomenon, an instance of knowing something that cannot immediately be recalled": twice. Not lines, single words in two different moments. Also left my street glasses on while on stage as Dr. Madden. Dr. Madden doesn't wear glasses. Other people had their own flubs so I don't feel alone. It was a good rehearsal, though, with that right mixture of Final Dress imperfections. The adage is that you don't want a perfect Final Dress; it jinxes Opening Night. My voice was okay. Still not up to snuff.



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THE FIRST WEEKEND -- "Okay!.........Great":
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
On Stage icon

The first half of our run went most well. Very high praise to my castmates, the pit, and the crew. The audiences certainly liked the performances.

Other cast members and I suffered from various levels of compromised vocal health at various times throughout the weekend, but we all coped. I had problems with that finale section at the Saturday matinée. I sang it full-voiced, having had success Friday evening doing so, and my voiced crashed a bit. So I used mostly falsetto Saturday night. Sunday morning when I awoke it looked like I was in serious trouble. My throat was so out-of-whack that I was afraid I was not going to be able to sing at the Sunday matinée, at all. After doctoring my throat, and voice, all morning I got it into relatively decent shape. I also gargled with salt and lemon juice in warm water throughout the performance, whenever I had enough time off stage; that helped greatly.

Overall, I was satisfied with my own work, though there were a few blunders. The worse of those blunders was when I went up on a lyric line and made the cardinal sin of breaking character for a moment. A few people I spoke to afterward, who I do not believe would lie about it, said they did not notice. Some connected to the show did. Regardless, I am unhappy about that particular screw-up. I stumbled over a few words a few times, too. There were also a few paraphrases, but, paraphrasing is the easiest flub to live with, though not something of which to aspire.

Still, the performances were all very good, accounting for the collective of the strong ensemble. We had a good weekend.

These last two days, Monday and Tuesday, I have rested my voice, not even doing any heavy warmups. I've been continuing the honey, lemon, juice and throat-sooting tea, as well as throat lozenges. My voice is healed somewhat. I'm hoping to have it healed a great deal more by Friday. We have a brush-up rehearsal tonight, which will be the only time this week I don't take it easy on my voice, until the show Friday.



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BRUSH-UP:
NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
In REHEARSAL icon
We had a brush-up Wednesday evening. We were on our feet with props but not costumes. We only had piano accompaniment from Jenn Clark and there were no mics nor light changes. In terms of costuming, I did wear Dr. Fine's lab coat because he pulls a half dozen pill bottles out of the pockets to give to Diana during the course of "Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I," and I didn't want to pantomime those actions. Actually, some actors did pantomime some prop use, but overall we used our props. We ran Act I at pace, but ran Act II a bit more as a speed-through, including faster tempos for most of the songs.

I had two mishaps -- both, going up. One is a little easier to forgive myself for. There was a bit of silliness action going on in the audience area and I lost my place during a song, thus flubbing a line of lyric. Still shows a focus problem on my part, but still a bit understandable. The other was when I went up on a line a few scenes later. That one was a memory recall issue. I will assume that the latter was a focus problem, too. I really am off-book, so these instances of going-up are really perturbing me.

HEALTHWISE ICON
VOCAL WORK ICON
My voice was in better shape than it was for Sunday's performance, though still not at the elusive 100%. Feels much improved as I write this, and yet still. All the same nursing, as has been the norm, is still going on. Don't know if it will be tonight, but it'd be nice to get at least one show in with my voice completely up to snuff.

TONIGHT: OUR SECOND AND FINAL WEEKEND BEGINS!



Sun, Mar 15, 2015

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Closing Tiday

NEXT TO NORMAL by Kitt and Yorkey, at The Beavercreek Community Theatre.

The Cast of Next to Normal
CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Diana            Becky Barrett-Jones

Natalie            Abby Land

Dan            Geoff Moss

Gabe            Desmond Thomas

Henry            Brandon Ramos

Doctor            K.L.Storer

Stage manager: Emily S. Phillips
Light Designer: John Falkenbach
Choreographer: Sandra Hyde
Costume Designer: Kathleen Carroll
Costume Assistant: Maggie Carroll
Sound Tech: Shannon Michalak
Stage Crew: Hans Unser
THE PIT:
Jenn Clark (Piano)
Damon Barnett (Guitars & Electronic Keyboard)
Thomas Landis (Drums)


          
also
Closing Tiday
          

DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS by Eugene O'Niell, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of Desire Under the Elms

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Ephraim Cabot            Dave Nickel

Abbie Putnam-Cabot            Danielle Dowler

Eben Cabot            Alexander Chilton

Simeon Cabot            Mark Anderson

Peter Cabot            Adam Clevenger

Sheriff/Old Farmer            William Styles

Fiddler Father            Rick Flynn

Fiddler            Alex Bindemann

Young Girl            Brianna Caron

Man            Harry Shepard

Woman            Sarah Saunders

The Promocast for Desire Under the Elms


St. Patrick's Day
2015

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Image of a green irish derby with a small leprechaun, all in green, standing behind the derby, to the right, with his back to us



NEXT TO NORMAL & Beavercreek Community Theatre combined logo.
DONE
POST-SCRIPT
Without any hesitation, I can say that Next to Normal at BCT is one of the best productions I have been a part of, period. So many wonderfully talented and capable people sat at the table on this one. I certainly was amidst a stellar cast. The directorial staff gave us great direction. The pit, the crew, all gave us strong support. It was a well-done collaboration all the way around.

Kudos to Becky Barrett-Jones (Diana), Abby Land (Natalie), Geoff Moss (Dan), Desmond Thomas (Gabe), Brandon Ramos (Henry), Matt Owens (Director), David McKibben (Musical Director), Emily S. Phillips (Stage Manager), John Falkenbach (Lighting Director & Producer), Sandra Hyde (Choreographer), Kathleen Carroll (Costume Designer), Maggie Carroll, (Costume Assistant), Shannon Michalak (Sound Tech), Hans Unser (Stage Crew), Jenn Clark (Piano), Damon Barnett (Guitars & Electronic Keyboard) and Thomas Landis (Drums).

*I'm likely to do a "Part 2" to this, sometime soon.



Thu, Mar 19, 2015

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DRAMATIC READING FOR PLAYWRITING CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON

A couple Saturday mornings ago, on the 7th, to be exact, I attended the Playwrighting - Level II class at HRTC, taught by Michael London of the Ohio Playwrights Circle. I attended as one of the actors who dramatically read the work of the playwrights taking the class, so they can hear their characters aloud. On the 28th I'll return to read for the final reading for class, which will be be presented in the evening.

In a nice little complement, I was told that a playwright "has requested [that I] be cast in [that] final prepared reading of her work...." That's quite flattering.


BACK ON THE TECH SIDE:
Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
DTG Promocast Production logo

Though only the bare beginnings, I have started the sound design for the next DTG show.

I'm also designing sound for the first two productions of the 2015/2016 season, the first of those, Outside Mullingar, by John Patrick Shanley, for which I am the producer, as well.

Meanwhile, I have heard nothing back about clearance to use dialogue in the promocast DV movie for Criminal Hearts, so, at this point, that may not be happening. It may be MOS footage only with voice-over from the director, Saul Caplan, talking up the production.



Wed, Mar 25, 2015

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Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
I have gathered a generous amount of music together to use as production music and as pre-show and intermission music. I have only put one piece of music into the Show Cue System software, because it's needed in rehearsal for a dance sequence.

I should be attending more to music selection and programming later in the week. Also, I have a window, Saturday afternoon to be at the theatre working on this, as I am already in town for the reader's theatre gig associated with Michael London's Playwrighting - Level II class at HRTC.


AUDITION ICON
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
On Set icon
FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON
On Stage icon

I have tentative plans to audition for a local community theatre production that will be up in a couple months. However, without giving much detail, as I've been told to not do so, I am auditioning for a professional gig that I can't pass up the opportunity to go after; unfortunately, if I book that gig, it's very likely to be a scheduling conflict with key rehearsal time, or performance dates, for the non-pro stage gig. Like I said, I can give no details, yet, save that it's screen work for a cable series, and it's not just day player work, it's a guest spot, which is pretty much a featured role. Obviously, there would be travel involved if I book the gig. Actually, there will be travel involved if I get a callback audition. More complete information when I'm allowed to pass such on.


In the audience icon
Saw a couple theatre productions this past weekend and had a good time.

Helen Sneed's Fix Me Jesus at The Dayton Playhouse -- First I saw this play, by steadfast-regular FutureFest adjudicator, Helen Sneed. I saw it Saturday evening and had an enjoyable evening with a nice little play brought to life by Rachel Wilson, Sofia Shannon, Tina McPhearson, Cassandra Engber, Pam McGinnis and Shawn Hooks, under the direction of Brian Sharp.

The Human Race Theatre Company production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, by Christopher Durang, at the Victoria Theatre -- Sunday evening I saw the closing performance of this one, directed with great comedic sense by Margaret Perry, (who directed me a couple years back in Gingerbread Children at The Race). Kudos to Margaret and her cast: Matthew Boston, Sherman Fracher, Jennifer Johansen, Ben Palacios, Alex Sunderhaus, and Torie Wiggins. Click here for the "Who's Who" page for the production.



Sat, Mar 28, 2015

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CRICKET CHIRPS:
WAITING
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
On Set icon
AUDITION ICON

No word about the supporting spot on the episode of the cable series. The callbacks are Monday and Tuesday in Pittsburgh, so if I don't hear sometime today, I'm not going to hear. This is another in that recurring: "If it was 'yes,' (callback, that is), I'm betting I would have already heard."


DRAMATIC READING FOR PLAYWRITING CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON

Meanwhile, this morning and then this evening I will be with the Playwrighting - Level II class at HRTC, taught by Michael London of the Ohio Playwrights Circle. I'll be one of the actors performing the final prepared reading for class in the evening. This morning will be prep/rehearsal.


Criminal Hearts & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
This afternoon I'll drop by The Guild to do some sound work. There's also set building going on, but I believe I will give my attention to the sound. I'll migrate (well, really, copy) all the music from my laptop into the Show Cue Systems program on the DTG booth desktop. I'll probably do most of the programing in the SCS on the desktop machine, then copy the project file so I can fine-tune and augment on my laptop.

I'll have to wait to assign any sound to dedicated channels above no.1 and no.2 until I know I am done working on my laptop. I can't create a virtual sound device with more than two channels in SCS on my laptop, because there are not more than two receiver channels, or hardware devices -- the laptop's stereo channels. SCS will not allow you to open and work in, or run, a project that needs more actual channels than you have access to. Once I create the, probably, four channel virtual device for the project, I am committed to only working on and running the sound plot on the booth computer. Not that this particular aspect means anything to hardly anyone but me. But it's one of the things on my mind.

I have contemplated buying an 8-channel sound card, comparable to the external one we have for the booth desktop, but I'd rather have one that is native to my Apple OSX, rather than the Windows7 in my virtual machine; I have not found one, yet. I'm sure I could run a Windows-only card through the virtual machine, but I'd rather have full access on my laptop.




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