I am quite pleased to announce that I have booked a featured supporting
role in an episode of the new Starz
cable channel series, Blunt Talk,
starring, Patrick Stewart.
I will play Walter Blunt's American cousin, who is on the opposite spectrum
from Mr. Blunt's ultra-crazy conservative image. I actually got to read
on Monday with Patrick Stewart.
It was absolutely awesome.
It's also April 1, today -- you know: April Fools day? So, come on....I
never even got an audition for this particular series.
Actually, the audition for a featured supporting role on an episode of a
cable series was for the first episode of the forthcoming fourth season of
the Cinemax series,
Banshee, and I am
sorry to report that I have not booked the gig.
I don't know what it is with me, a self-professed straight-play actor,
continuing to actively pursue roles in musicals. I guess it's just that
there are specific musical roles that attract me. One of my bucket-list
musical roles is coming around in the 2015/2016 season in the area. To be
generous to myself, I am at the last juncture where it could even be
considered remotely practical to consider me for the role, and that may
actually be delusional on my part. I'm going after it, anyway.
I stumbled over a few words during the reading, which didn't impress that
ultra-perfectionist critic in my head, but, he's always going to find
It's been two-and-a-half weeks since we wrapped the show, so I have a bit
of distance, which should help me have a clearer perspective. This is not
going to be an involved response or assessment or whatever we want to
label this; it's going to be short and sweet.
First of all, I have to repeat what I wrote last month about that I was
privileged to be surrounded by such great work from all the rest of the
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).
The screenshot above, of my Mar 7 facebook post, states an overwhelming
truism about the production; it was at a professional level of performance
and production. That's not just my thought, there were plenty of informed
audience members who expressed such opinion.
As for as my own work I have some satisfactions and some dissatisfactions.
I was happy with the life I breathed into both doctors, most especially
Dr. Madden. I was most dissatisfied with the several recall-fail incidents
I had during the run. Fortunately I never actually went up
during a performance, but I did have several instances of bad stumbles,
where the words did not deliver at all smoothly. I also was not happy
with the health of my throat and voice -- though that's not a personal
critique but rather a statement of how I never got to sing at my full
capacity. I got some positive response to my work; I even had a couple
people give me very positive commentary on it. I had my disappointments.
It was not all it could have been. I think if I walk away with anything to
use to be better next time, it's that I still have a lot of work to do on
focus: that, I believe, is what those recall problems were about.
As planned, I stopped into
The Guild after the
morning rehearsals for the evening prepared readings for the playwriting
class last Saturday. I spent the afternoon working on the sound design
for Criminal Minds. I actually brought the design within feet of
the finish line, with the sound plot programmed well above 95% finished
in the SCS software on the booth pc and no work done in SCS on my
laptop. Actually, I went back to the theatre after the evening reading
was finished and worked on the sound programing to get to the
Yesterday was Tech Sunday
and on a general note, it went exceedingly well, all around. Our four
actors, Katrina Kittle, Nabachwa Ssensalo, Pat Wanzer, and Jack O'Connor
clearly are ready for an audience already; man, are they ready! We got an
impressive ensemble lined up here. Jason Vogel's lights are working, my
sound design is working (though neither design is taxing), Les Dershem's
set, though not wholly finished, is looking good.
our illustrious director, has helmed a fine production, shored up strongly
by Stage Manager Deirdre Root and her crew, Sarah Caplan and Mike Beerbower.
Linda Sellers is costuming.
We got a show!
As I wrote in the April 1 entry, I had the sound design pretty close to
finished. Saul then asked if some city street ambiance could be added in
some spots. This past Friday, before we had our
dry tech, I tried to add the street
ambiance as well as another sound cue and the software kept crashing. I was
able to reopen and run the show that was already programmed, but I could not
add any cues, or change anything for that matter. I decided that the cue
file was corrupted and I would have to rebuild it. So we ran the Friday tech
rehearsal without the new cues, and I then rebuilt the show's programming
after we were done Friday. Actually I came in and tweaked a bit Saturday as
I also wanted to place a back-stage speaker to run a canned phone ring. It
would have been under a stage riser, right underneath where a phone prop
(which is notpractical)
sets -- so it would be a directed ring coming exactly from the phone's
spot. I had some electrical ground problem then some other problems, that
I won't go into, that took a bit of my time late Saturday, then the first
hour or so Yesterday. I wasn't able to get it worked out before the
Sunday tech run; I had the phone ring come from the up left
PA speaker. It was only supposed be for the Sunday rehearsal so we could
have the sound cue fire at the appropriate time. But, we all decided that
it worked just fine. So I nixed the directed placement under the stage.
No tech run tonight, instead, Saul has the cast doing a reading from the
script in the board room, while the set is being finished, so I can't shoot
the promocast video footage until tomorrow night. But I will likely get
Saul's voice-over tonight.
Obviously, I did not secure clearance to use dialogue from the play, so
we'll hear the director talk about the show rather than hear the characters
speak. It's also unfortunate that tomorrow night is the only night that
production stills can be taken, so House Photographer (and actor)
Craig Roberts and
I have to work around each other. Not ideal for either of us, but c'est
There may be some tweaking, but it would be subtle
Monday night I recorded the audio of
voice-over for Promocast
1415-06 CRIMINAL HEARTS. Last night was the
of the rehearsal footage, which will appear in the
final cut without audio. Today
I am editing to that final cut, which may be posted and available,
The promocast is done, but it was a little later than it might have been
for several reasons. First off Monday evening was changed from a tech run
to a table read, so my plans to shoot Monday evening then edit Tuesday had
to be nixed. I shot Tuesday evening and had all day yesterday to edit.
Except I woke up feeling a bit sick and sometimes when I am sick my eyes
won't focus well, especially if I didn't get good rest. This was one of
those times. It wasn't practical to try to edit with blurred vision. I went
back to bed for a few hours then got up in the early afternoon. I edited
the video to completion, but that final cut didn't happen until yesterday
evening. I started the upload to YouTube last night and went to bed. When
I awoke this morning, the video was live. I watched it only to find that
an element, for some reason, was not in the movie. I had to render the
movie again, this time, getting the final edit as it should be. Then I
deleted the original, flawed flawed movie at YouTube and uploaded the good
version. It's now up and running!
* Apr 17 addendum: see next entry for the promocast or its link
My plans to see the final dress rehearsal of Taking Shakespeare at
The Human Race Theatre Company,
last night were thwarted by the need to finish the promocast for
Opening weekend saw three happy, impressed audiences. I was mostly house
manager at the three performances, but also attended to particular key
sound cue moments, to check volume levels, mostly. So, I have a very small
personal witness accounting of the good work happening on the stage last
weekend. The audience members certainly reported such good work. The show
is off to a great start!
As I begin to write this particular section of today's post, it's later
Saturday afternoon, I'm binge-watching season 2 of the original
CSI on Hulu Plus.
The plan was to rehearse a bit for a shortly forthcoming audition for a
as the first icon here suggests,
I am once again, "under the weather!"
Yeah, I'm back to having a cold, a sore throat, and congested chest. There
was only a bit of respite, after Next to Normal closed -- naturally,
AFTER it closed. Last weekend I started to feel a sore throat coming
on. That's been my week. Even was off work a couple days, home in bed,
.....and not rehearsing the song for the upcoming audition.
It's try-to-nurse-yer-voice day. I may work on editing some piano
accompaniment I had recorded a while back for the song I will use for this
audition. I've cut the piece down and need to edit the recording to match
the cut, so I can rehearse with it. So, while I drink
Throat Coat Tea
with honey and lemon juice, suck on throat lozenges, drop some analgesic
antihistamines, pump the humidifier, gargle with warm saltwater with lemon
juice, and not use my voice at all today.
I will have to rehearse.
It was suggested to me that I am subconsciously bringing this on myself,
that I'm trying to avoid something.
I don't think that's true. I very much wanted to do Next to Normal,
I very much want to do this one. It could be a stress reaction. Musicals
are not my wheel-well, so there's certainly some extra nerves when ever I
am involved with a musical. My gut, however, says this is just
Last night I saw this two-hander, directed by native-Daytonian
Aaron Vega and featuring
and Jon Kovach. Really a fine
experience all the way around. Strong script; lovely performances by the
co-stars; great design work from everyone.
As a sound designer myself I give a special congrat to
who composed the music as well designed the eloquent sound mix.
The first of two nights of auditions for my latest targeted production was
last night. Giving my throat one more night, I did not go. I will be there
LAST CHARACTER PART CAST:
John Spitler has been cast in the last remaining role, that of Mazzini
Dunn. He joins Chuck Larkowski (Captain Shotover), Lorrie Sparrow-Knapp
(Lady Utterword), Cassandra Engber (Mrs. Hushabye), Jeff Sams (Hector
Hushabye), Cassidy Rowley (Ellie Dunn), Geoff Burkman (Alfred Mangan),
Dakota Duclo (Billy Dunn), Wendi Michael (Nurse Guiness), and Isaac
Hollister (Randall Utterword).
I believe I gave a good audition and that I proved I could succeed as both
Nicky and Trekkie Monster -- the self same roles I went after and was
called back for a couple years back at
The Human Race Theatre Company.
I even used the same song, my slightly altered version of "Wouldn't It
be Loverly," with Nicky and Trekkie singing. Yeah, I think I did a
good audition and showed I could do the roles, but I think there is
a bent toward casting the principal puppeteer roles younger than I.
The characters are described as being "twenty-somethings" and
despite that I can successfully voice both characters, and even though the
puppeteers should not be the focus, they are on stage and visible. I think
most directors feel that seeing someone who is not
"twenty-something" presents a dilemma for the audience; many
audience members may not be able to help but assign an older age to any
puppet/(character) in question.
I believe it was a factor at HRTC and I believe it is a factor this time. I
don't fit what most directors see as appropriate for the actor voicing and
puppet-working Nicky and Trekkie. I suspected this age thing alone would be
a big hurdle going into this audition so I am not at all surprised, though
I am still a bit disappointed. But I sure as hell was not going to stay
home because of a suspicion that I might not be cast because of this issue.
Not sure why I have slipped into the habit of not naming the production
upfront as it becomes close in proximity. It's not as if I haven't
previously announced my intentions to audition for this production. I
have a friend who's off on an audition shortly that he is not sharing
information about; his explanation for being mum is simply that he's being
a bit superstitious. Maybe that's it for me, too. Though, honestly, a lot
of people knew I was doing this audition and that I was pretty invested in
I am a bit sad because this was likely the very last shot I'll ever have at
Nicky and Trekkie. Not sure exactly what my next audition will be,
nevertheless, it's on to it, whatever it turns out to be.
Tonight I will utilize my season ticket package and sit in the theatre as
an audience member. Or maybe it's that I'll be as much of an audience
member as I can be, about 90-95% of one. I'll be scrutinizing the volume
of the sound cues, make no mistake.
I know am going to see a great show tonight, having worked on the
production. So, be prepared for a glowing response tomorrow!
Friday I was able to sit in the theatre using my season ticket package and
watch as a member of the audience. It was good to be able to experience
this fine production from the audience's eyes. Trying to put all my bias
aside, the performances were impressive, all the way around.
And the sound design was
A GUEST AT THE HEARTBREAK HOUSE:
I've taken on sound design for Heartbreak House. I have no ideas
yet. I'll be getting with Director Patrick Hayes soon to talk needs,
concepts, and such. All I know about the show is that it's a period comedy
that takes place during WWI.
Guess I have a play to presently read.
We are working some preproduction for Outside Mullingar. The most
important current business is the audition announcement, which can be
seen just below -- *(unless you read this post after July 7 of this
Nothing new to report as per pre-production for the production proper,
but as producer of the promocast I did try to find contact information for
Mr. Shanley in order to request permission to use dialogue from the script
in the DV movie. I found nothing directly to the playwright, but I do have
contact information for his agent, George Lane, of
Creative Artists Agency. I've drafted
and mailed him a copyright clearance request letter.
It's time to get myself back into a formal relationship with a talent
agency. It's past due time. Over the last eighteen-months or so, I've
missed the chance to screentest for several bigger professional full-length
features that have shot, or will soon shoot, in Southwest Ohio, including
the James Franco
The Long Home,
which will be shooting soon in Eaton and Lebanon.
I also am quite sure I need to open a Twitter account. I've thought this
for a while, but it was always more of: "Should I." Now it seems
inescapable that it's not unwise at all. It's clear to me that there's a
transition of professional networking toward the Twitter feed. In all
truthfulness, I've been lax in my on-line networking for a while, and never
was the supreme example of doing it right, in the first place. Hell, I've
never been the greatest at any form of networking. I need to step up my
game, all the way around.
I WON'T BE DREAMING THAT I MET A GALILEAN:
Thursday and yesterday, really more yesterday, I had an opportunity to
audition for the
Fairfield Summer Theatre
Jesus Christ Superstar,
which will be up this coming July 16-19. I have more than a little interest,
too. I would love to play Pontius Pilate. I spent a good part of Thursday
giving serious consideration to going after the role. However, I did a
some cost-benefit analysis and that dampened my resolve.
The round trip every day is an average of 110 miles and more than two
hours; that's 440 miles most weeks of rehearsal and more than 500 miles a
week at the end of rehearsal and into production. It's a grand total of
more than four-thousand miles with a projected $300 in gas expenditures.
Further, being in the production means I would have no involvement with
whatsoever, including attendance in the audience.
This is one of those times when for love of the craft doesn't
balance out. I just can't afford to drop $300 right now. Were but it a
paying gig, even if just a stipend, that might make the difference. Too,
bad, too, because I know a few actors who have done shows there and others
who have seen productions, and they all report that said productions are
....at some point....
MORE INSIDE OF MULLINGAR:
There is not a whole lot to report as per pre-production. I have some
leads on crew, lighting technician and possible stage crew member. I have
a preferred sound tech, but she can't confirmed until later in the summer.
It's too soon to have heard back from Shanley's literary agent, George
Lane, about clearance to use dialogue in the promocast. That will be this
coming week, at the earliest, but more likely a few weeks from now, or
Having closed its Broadway run at
the Friedman just over
a year ago, this play is already becoming at hot production property
regionally, both professionally and non-professionally. We, of course, are
opening our 2015/16 season with it, as the first non-professional mounting
in the region. But, it's running right now at the
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
(aka: ETC). It doesn't close there until May 30, so I hope to get down to
see it. The bonus is that Jennifer Joplin, a Cincy actor whose work at
HRTC I have always enjoyed, is
in the cast, along with her father Joneal Joplin -- that last fact being
rather interesting. I wonder if it's the first time they've appeared on
Several Guild board members, including myself, will speak to students,
eighth-graders I believe, at St. Helen's Parochial School this coming
Tuesday morning about the various aspects of "putting on a play."
My main thrust will be sound design, though I might touch on producing, as
well, depending on which way the wind blows. Meanwhile,
will address scenic design,
will address costuming, and
will, I believe, address producing in earnest. Between the four of us we
may also touch on other aspects, as well as we can: directing, lighting
design, stage management and crewing, promotion, box office, set decorating,
house managing, whatever of those or other topics may come up -- maybe
even the process the actors go through.
I'm looking forward to it. I know it will be fun. I'm bringing my laptop
to demonstrate sound files, and a crash box to demonstrate organic sound
Of the cast of Grease, I have worked directly on stage with one
actor: Desmond Thomas (Next to Normal). From Shrek, I've
worked with Arron Brewer (The Dead Guy), Janelle Chamness (Catch
22), and Abby Land (also, Next to Normal). As far I know, I've
not worked on stage with anyone in The Addams Family, but I know I
have been in a
HRTC acting class with at least one actor, Rebecca MacDougall, the last
class series that ended just before Next to Normal opened in March.
Yesterday morning was our visit to sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders at
St. Helen's Parochial School, where
and I represented DTG in a morning Drama Camp workshop about what it takes
to mount a theatrical production. We covered a lot of ground, hitting on,
as far as I could tell, all the points at least to some extent. Barb, who
took the lead as our facilitator, covered being a producer and overviews
of many aspects. As I stated in Saturdays entry that we would, Fred,
concentrated on scenic design, Carol on costuming, and I on sound design,
though we all contributed comments and information in other areas,
including each other's.
The class was comprised of about twenty students. We had a general
assembly at first where we all gave a short presentation ("lecture,"
if you will), then we broke into smaller groups that rotated until we each
had had a session with all the kids. In the break-outs we discussed our
focused aspects in relationship to a play the kids had read, a one-act entitled,
The Pied Piper of Hamelin,
Thomas W. Olson.
Obviously I discussed where they could put in music and sound effects, and
what type of each could be used. We talked about whether they should use
organic (live) sound effects or whether it could be canned (pre-recorded);
we discussed how they might record it if they needed to.
I talked about how the audience will hear the sound as what we tell them
it is. I used an example of the monkey that jumps on top of the car at
the end of
To record that, I put two quarters on top of an old steel microwave oven
I owned, then stuck a mic close and tapped on the top with my fingers. When
the sound cue was played, one of the characters remarks that there's a
monkey on the roof of the car; so, the audience hears a monkey on the roof
of a car. As I told the kids, the audience members don't think to themselves,
Hey! That's really two quarters bounding on top of an old steel microwave
because some guy is tapping his fingers on that top!. The kids got it.
I mean, they are kids, the power of imagination is not lost on them,
The kids got it all. They were right there with us. they were engaged and
thoughtful and ripe for ideas and ideals. I was impressed. Their enthusiasm
made for a good morning for all us old people who came in to share a little
bit of our experience and "expertise."
Thanks to Michael Welly, educator at St. Helen's and long-time Guild
audience member, for inviting us in!
A GUEST AT THE HEARTBREAK HOUSE:
Had a brief production meeting with Director Patrick Hayes last night, to
get his idea on what he wants for music and sound. Now I know which general
direction to take, and I am off on the journey.
STILL INSIDE OF MULLINGAR:
Pre-production is moving along, if not at the quicker rate it will have as
the summer moves on. We have some tentative plans for production meetings
and how we will deal with the Irish dialect, etc. I'm still working to get
the booth crew solidified. No word yet from Shanley or his agent about
clearance to use dialogue in the promocast DV movie, but I hadn't expected
to have received any word, at this point.
Note the new graphic icon for
Mullingar, freshly redone by myself for here, now that DTG's
graphic designer, Wendi Michael has finished and distributed the 15/16
artwork to the various Guild folk who need it, including me -- though my
Guild needs for the show graphics are the promocasts, the lobby movies and
the digital marquee.
Until these last several months, B.B. was still working so much
that he wracked up more than 150 gigs per year, many years close
to, or more than, 200 -- in his late 80's. That itinerary alone is
an inspiration. And then, his life and his music and his heavy,
heavy influence on more than just one generation of guitarists,
across several genres.
You had a good life Mr. King, and you wrenched every drop out of it.
Congratulations and rest in peace, good sir.
I got a tip yesterday about a casting call for the male lead in a short
SAG/AFTRA movie that is shooting
in just a few weeks. I've been in contact with the producers and I haven't
heard back but I believe I will be auditioning this coming Wednesday.
WORK AROUND THE HOUSE:
Yesterday (Sunday) it dawned on me that Tech Sunday
is next Sunday. Though I've taken action toward the sound design for
the show, it's been "hunting and gathering" sound rather than any
actual "designing," i.e.: editing or programming. Though, isn't
it true that conception is part of the design? Can't it be successfully
argued that concept is, in fact, the meat of the design?
As for not as yet actually getting to the construction of the design,
fortunately, as I may have written before, this is not a sound-effect heavy
show, and I have a good idea what Director Patrick Hayes wants, both in
sound effects and in music. So this should not be too taxing; I don't
anticipate stressing out as Tech Sunday approaches.
As I wrote above, after my meeting with Patrick I went about bringing
together the music for pre-show, the opening and closing of acts, and the
two intermissions -- yes, two intermissions: it's an older play by an
Irish playwright; what'd'ya expect, a ninety-minute one act?
I'm waiting on the arrival some specific stuff, but it will be here by
mid week, at the latest. No worries. I would like to have run some of the
sound effects during this week of rehearsals, but that likely is not going
to happen, both because I doubt I have in the shape it needs to be and I
may not be able to make it in to the theatre much, anyway.
Okay, here was the itinerary I'd set for myself for yesterday:
• Laundry in the morning, lots of laundry, all morning
• Work on Heartbreak House sound while doing laundry
• Attend a brass ensemble concert a friend performed in
• More work on Heartbreak House sound
• Possible work on something else related to DTG
The "Laundry in the morning" was to start at or around 9 am,
which meant I needed to be up by at least 8. I set alarms, 7:00, 7:30,
8:00, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, 9:00. It was about 11:30 when I rolled out of bed,
and I'm okay with that.
The gods of spontaneity then arrived and convinced me I should take lunch
in a park. I dropped by the local IGA grocery store, bought a two-piece
(two breasts) chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans, added
three potato wedges, with a small tub of sour cream from home, and a small
serving of ice cream, then I headed off to
John Bryan State Park
I ate a little more than I should have, so when I got home it was time for
a lets-have-a-laid-back-Sunday-afternoon nap, then did my laundry for a
couple hours and during that got at least some of the pre-construction
work done on the Heartbreak House sound, while doing that laundry.
I had a lot of laundry to do and I only got halfway through it.
Then, a little more work on sound and a little other work for The Guild,
Not sure why I felt this merited an entry, but, there ya go.
This morning, I made my appointment for
The Human Race Theatre Company's
2015/2016 General Auditions.
This year I have elected to not audition with a song. My appointment for
the generals is Sunday morning, May 31. Now all I have to do is decide what
monologues I am doing. Actually I'll probably do the option of "one
two-minute monologue tailored toward the specific show [I am] interested
Meanwhile, after work today, I have the audition for the
SAG/AFTRA short. It will actually
be on campus at the rent-payer,
just about a short thee-minute walk away from my desk to the room where it
will happen. If cast, I will be playing a salesman, so the beard I had
been sporting, until last night, had to go. I also wore dress pants and a
dress shirt to work today -- not often my attire here; and I brought a dress
jacket and tie. Gotta dress for the role, ya know.
Later last night
STILL WORKING AROUND THE HOUSE:
Yep, I'm still working around the Heartbreak house, but it's been a little
slow. I am awaiting the arrival, through a cool library loan network known
as OhioLink, for an important piece
of music; that particular item should arrive soon, perhaps later today.
The major sound effects build will happen this Saturday, followed by my
sound tests in the theatre space that evening.
I am, in fact, highly likely to do my frequent ritual of spending the night
at the theatre; Tech Sunday
is, of course, the next day. However, we have a
dry tech scheduled for 2:00 pm
Sunday, and I really, most likely, will not need to be there until noon at
the very earliest.
But, you never know. I am not sure when I'll be actually programming the
sound plot into
Show Cue Systems, so I might
be up until the WEEEEEE
hours of the morning, and maybe I will just rather not drive all the way
home to just wake up and drive right back.
I probably will not make it to the rehearsal tonight, but I am committed
to be there tomorrow evening, when all of Act III
will be run, and that is the act with the preponderance of sound effects.
I am also committed to Friday's rehearsal as they will do a
stumble-through of the full
show. As a designer I need to see the show performed as this cast and crew
will perform it to better help me collaborate in telling the story. Also, as
promocast director/producer, I need to see a couple runs before I shoot the
footage so I know what to expect and can tag some moments I want to capture.
On the subject of the promocast, since this coming Monday is Memorial Day,
rehearsals will be dark. I will have to shoot the footage of a
dress rehearsal Tuesday,
then edit the movie to final cut
Yesterday afternoon, after work, I met with the director of the
SAG/AFTRA short, and auditioned
for the lead role. It seemed to go all right. I gave him a few readings
at his direction, the last one video recorded with his iPhone for his
producers. We chatted a bit in an informal interview and that was that.
I feel good about it, though I have no clue what my chances are.
Something I appreciate is that when he sent me the sides
on Monday, he said there was no need to have the lines memorized, which as
both an actor and someone who has done some narrative directing and plans
to do more, I think this is the much wiser tact to take. I think directors
and producers who want the actors to be off-book
(or off-script, if you will) for an audition are in error, and are, for
the most part, getting weaker audition from their talent than they could.
I remember having a talk a few years ago with a auteur about this and he
argued, and I believe quite successfully, that unless an auditioning
actor has had his or her sides for long enough, more than a day or so,
then the audition will be hindered by the actor's stumble-through on the
lines. This director said he wants to hear what an actor can do with the
character; his take is it's better for the actor to be familiar with the
sides but have them there to refer to as often as possible so that the
anxiety and struggle of the early time off-book doesn't interfere with
showing the character.
Of course, I've read and seen video of various casting directors who remind
of the importance of looking up frequently so the casting folk can see our
eyes, in the room or on the screentest. But few of them say to be off-book.
Most say exactly what our auteur said, be familiar, but the keep the sides
with you, relax, and worry more about showing the character than a
The next time I direct, whether it's a narrative movie or, finally, a
stage production, this will be my approach -- then and afterward.
I DID get cast in the short-subject narrative movie I auditioned
for last week. It turns out that it is not a
SAG/AFTRA film, but rather a
student film being shot by students in the
Wright State University Motion Picture program.
The SAG/AFTRA notice in the original casting call was simply there to
attract actors in the union, since they would be eligible to participate.
Well, it doesn't dishearten me that it's not union; after all, I'm not
union, and I would have gone the Taft/Hartly Act
route, had it been.
is mornings till about noon -- but probably later -- Friday, June 5
and the next day, with the rain date/pickups
that Sunday. Yesterday I had a meeting with the director that was more an
orientation, but with some rehearsal, but not really much. No other cast
was present. This Saturday afternoon we have a rehearsal on location with
myself and the other key principal actor, actually a young actress,
somewhere around 8-10 years old. Then we have a full cast rehearsal next
Thursday, late afternoon to earl evening, will full cast, on location,
Nice to see a movie director who is rehearsing, that often does not happen,
save for a possible, and often hurried, rehearsal just before shooting the
scene; and those don't always happen.
INTO TECH WEEK:
Tech Week began with
Tech Sunday over the weekend.
I finally was able to sit for a full run of the show last Friday, to watch
as both sound designer and to inform me for the promocast DV movie shoot.
Saturday evening, into the wee hours of Sunday morning was my sound build.
Yes, I did, once again, (for you five who may remember), do my frequent
ritual of spending the night at the theatre.
Sunday we did a quasi-dry tech,
which was really just me running through the music and sound effects for
Director Patrick Hayes. The we did a cue-to-cue,
then did the first tech run
of the show.
And Tech Week continues......
The shoot for the promocast will be Wednesday night. At first it was to be
Monday night; then I got the idea, through miscommunication, that there was
no rehearsal Monday, so I moved it to Tuesday; then I discovered I was wrong,
so I moved it back to Monday. THEN we ran into a situation of the
sound technician not being confirmed, and none on deck for Tech Sunday, so
I would rather be in the booth that sound person's first tech rehearsal,
which was Monday; then I decided it would be good to still be in the booth
while the sound tech takes the helm for the first time, tonight. Plus, the
DTG house photographer, Craig Roberts, will be taking the production archive
photos tonight, and I want to both avoid us getting in each other's way and
not pick up his camera clicks on my audio.
So, I shoot tomorrow night and edit during the day Thursday, even though
that's cutting it razor-close to having a published final cut
before opening. To speed things along, I have done as much pre-production
on the DV movie as possible, editing into the
Final Cut Pro X project
as much as possible, so I have less to deal with on Thursday when I add
in the rehearsal footage.
*I'll post a few pics, later in the
This coming weekend and early next week is audition-heavy.
My appointment for the
The Human Race Theatre Company's
2015/2016 General Auditions
is Sunday, at noon. Again, as I already indicated, I am not auditioning for
musicals this year, only straight plays. I still have not decided if I am
doing two one-minute monologues or one two-minute monologue. That needs to
be a choice I make soon, as in today. I've been looking though the
repertoire I have collected; one seems a safe standby: I know it well and
it works well for me; I can't remember if either
or Tara Lail have heard it before; I suppose it doesn't matter, but I prefer
to do fresh audition material for any given auditor.
Over the course of three evenings, this coming Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday
I will audition for
I suppose I am, more-or-less, focusing on a particular role, but not really.
It's a specially scheduled audition because the director, that
fellow, is in rehearsals for
Inherit the Wind,
at the Yellow Springs Theatre Company (which does not seem to have a
website), and can't be at the Monday/Tuesday auditions; so his show is the
Sunday evening audition. It's a one-hander (one actor on stage), and all
the men interested will be there. But it's really more that I want to
audition in an open field for all or most of the shows, more than a desire
for that role -- though doing a one-man play is a goal, and I am not going
to pass up the opportunity, especially since it's a staged reading, so I
don't have to be off-book, just
terribly familiar. It's not a bad way to initiate into a one-actor
That said, that show is not my current priority; there seem to several
roles in several scripts that I am typed for so this year, in a real sense,
I am throwing spaghetti against the wall. Though I have no doubt as I am
sitting in auditions I'll start prioritizing which roles I want to land.
This past Saturday afternoon I went down to the
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
(aka: ETC) to see their mounting of
with Jennifer Joplin, the Cincy actor whose work at
HRTC I have always enjoyed, along
with her father Joneal Joplin, Brian Isaac Phillips and Dale Hodges. It
was an excellent production, all the way around. Also, as producer for our
upcoming mounting, as well as the sound designer, I came away with a few
there will be some tears shed
rain and thunder can (should) be a sort of underscoring for
as producer, I saw a few set pieces that we need to be sure
in conjunction with #3, I need to troll for a properties
As previously indicated, last Saturday I was on location to rehearse for
the shoot this coming weekend of the student film, The Tooth Man
Cometh, written and directed by Mitch Centers from the
Wright State University Motion Picture program.
I met and worked with Mitch, as well as our DP,
Joe Cook, and also with my co-star, Ella Gallagan, a talented nine-year-old
who may just be smarter than me.
I'm not saying she is smarter than me, for certain, but it is
not outside the realm of possibility.
is, of course, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is an outdoor shoot
and the weather threatens to be a problem. The schedule has been revised,
which is not uncommon, with my call tomorrow at 11:00 am, but earlier on
Saturday (9:45). The rehearsal originally planned for tomorrow night has
been scrapped. Hey, gives me more line study time.
As we get closer, the prospect of rain happening during this totally
exterior shoot seems
to be growing. The pickup
days could possibly be next Saturday, the 13th, or the following Saturday;
either one sees me with commitments, the 20th be the harder commitment.
But, I am getting the cart before the horse, there, aren't I? I have let
the production team know about the conflicts, though, so they can plan
accordingly if they need to.
SOP: my trusty flash cards, hand-written on 3x5 index cards.
Speaking of lines, I wasn't completely off-book
(or "off-script") at the Saturday rehearsal, I was pretty
familiar with the script, but I'd had pretty busy week so I had more than
a few "I don't know my line" moments. With my agenda for
the time between getting the script and Saturday's rehearsals it would have
been pretty difficult to have the script down pat. But, now, things have
been freer and tomorrow I will be in good shape, even considering that a
slightly revised script arrived in my email last Sunday evening.
Sunday, at noon, I did the
The Human Race Theatre Company's
2015/2016 General Auditions.
Mostly because of the schedule I've had lately, I did not prepare anything
new, as I already indicated would be the case. I used what I call
"The Cockroach" monologue, from
I told them it was one of my favorites and I wasn't sure when I had last
done it there, so there was a chance at least one person in the room had
heard t before. Then I did it. I suppose it went well. I didn't feel as if
it went badly. So, we'll see.
Then these past three evenings, I've auditioned for Dayton Playhouse's
that, for any unlikely person from out of the local area who may not know,
is the DPH annual new play festival, this one actually being the
twenty-fifth anniversary, which would make it the twenty-sixth festival.
I've gone to the last ten, and have been on stage in six of those. The
last time I appeared on stage at one being in Dayton-native,
California-transplant, M.J. Feely's
On the Road to Kingdom Come, during FF2013.
For the uninitiated, FutureFest auditions are more like a
cattle call, even more so than
the usual community theatre open auditions.
The exception, this year, was the auditions for the play being directed by
Blue Over You, by Dan Noonan. Though they were technically
"open," any actor interested needed to contact Saul to express
his interest. Saul then set up an audition time Sunday evening at DPH, and
only five of us showed for the audition -- can't justify calling that a
"cattle call." The main reason for this special arrangement, as
anyone who may have read previous entries here might know, os that Saul is
himself, currently cast in
Inherit the Wind,
at the Yellow Springs Theatre Company, and this week was the production's
Tech Week, and Saul could not be
at auditions for FF on Monday and Tuesday. It worked out better, anyway,
since this is a one-character show, it was somehow better for that audition
to be lifted out of the cattle-call style auditions that took place the next
two nights. Saul had each contender come into the theatre alone, and read
one selection he had chosen and then one the actor chose to use.
Generally, though, for FutureFest, a whole group of actors, somewhere
between fifteen to, some years, a couple dozen, or more, sit in the theatre
as each director takes twenty or so minutes to call up actors to read from
sides. There are usually at least
two rounds of that, three plays per evening, each directing getting two
sessions to read actors. One night will be for the three fully staged
productions, the next will be for the three staged readings.
Then, after auditions are closed, the directors get together and negotiate
for the actors they would prefer to cast. As one veteran FF director once
put it: "The blood bath then begins."
This past Monday night were the auditions the three fully staged ones,
Hail the Conquering Hero by
The Consul, the Tramp, and America's Sweetheart, by
and, Smoke, by
Gloria Bond Clunie,
directed by Geoff Burkman. Last
night were the two remaining staged readings, Book of Hours by
Thomas Klocke, directed by Brennan Paulin; and Return to Goodnight,
by Jared Robert Strange, directed by Debra Kent.
The directors got together after last night's auditions for their
negotiations (or, bloodbath, if you go with the one take on it), tonight.
I don't know yet whether I am cast in anything or not. I do know I did
not get cast in Blue Over You, as Saul has already cast that
role. I do know who it is, but I don't think I am at liberty at this point
to divulge the name. I can tell you, that though I have no self-doubt that
I could have successfully portrayed the character in that one, he who was
cast is really a better fit for the role, and the outcome, not only was not
a surprise, it was what I expected would be. This is one time when the
suggestion of a "serious casting error" could not be thrown about
with any sort of earnestness.
As for the other shows:
One of the elements of the usual FutureFest audition, you may have been
able to surmise from above if you aren't someone who is familiar, already,
is that it's rare to be able to come into the auditions prepared, as in
having some familiarity with the scripts ahead of time. These auditions are
cold read, almost always. They
will be especially cold at the start of a session for a play, as the the
actors reading a particular side will not even have the luxury of having
heard someone else audition off that side ahead of them. Hey, I got a plum
role a few years back with a stone cold read, the role of Darren in A
Woman on the Cusp by
You five that have actually, for whatever reason, been following this blog
may know I have been working a lot the last couple years on cold reads. In
acting class with the incomparable
we have made this one of my key focuses for a while now. It has helped me
greatly to get to the involvement and interaction with the script, as well
as spontaneity toward intent. Without hesitation I can say I used to suck,
suck, suck at cold reads; now I may not be brilliant, but I am much. much,
much better. My progress with cold reads, I believe, has enable me to
enhance my work with scripts in general, which leads to a faster intimacy
with the character, the person, I need to build from that script and what
I bring to the table.
However well that worked for me last Sunday-Tuesday:
ADVENTURES IN PROMOCASTING:
My view during lunch
The first real editing session, the one before
the eventual redux to fix errors
Shooting the promocast
Attempt at editing the movie, outside
Of course, the promocast is finished and out there, see the previous post.
-- Little a bit of a problem after it was first posted Thursday. Some will
know that I am the producer for the first show of the 2015/16 season,
While I was working on pre-production for the promocast for Heartbreak
I was also working a different pre-production for Outside Mullingar.
When I worked up the template for the closing credits of the Heartbreak
promocast put in the performance dates for Mullingar. Naturally, I
did not catch it until after the promocast was already on youtube, as well
as posted on facebook and on the front cover of the DTG website.
I had already realized that I had neglected to put any segment with one
particular actor in the movie. I actually had one picked out, too. Despite
that I had inadvertently snubbed one cast member, I was going to leave it
But I knew I had to fix the wrong production dates in the credit crawl.
While I was re-editing the movie, Thursday evening, to change the credits
I went ahead and stuck that missing segment segment in, as well. I
uploaded the corrected movie, deleted the original one, then tried to get
to all the fb posts and shares and add a comment with the link to the new
version, and a reference to it. I've had to do this before, re-post a fixed
edit of a podcast or promocast, then have to get the word out about it.
The pictures here show the original editing process, and I post them
because I haven't been posting pics here as much lately, really, that's
the gist of it. Last Thursday, which I had taken off from the
the rent-payer to edit, it
damn nice out. I decided to edit on my little front patio. However, it
was too bright for me to see the screen well enough. Ya kind of have to be
able to see the screen well to edit a movie.
I travelled down the road to the local
IGA, got me a
two-breast fried chicken dinner, with mash potatoes and green beans,
sat outside my front door for lunch, then went inside to edit a promotional
movie for a theatre production. The first session, where I forgot a sequence
and then put the wrong show dates in. Again, this paragraph is only here
to elaborate on the pics, which are here simply because I haven't been
posting pics here much lately.
An interesting subplot arose concerning this promocast. When the
movie was first up on YouTube
there was a monitizing commercial dropped onto the front. Those are
only added when there has been a copyright infringement claim made
and YouTube has placed an add to generate income for the copyright
holder, in lieu of copyright royalties. It turns out that the
company I purchased the ROYALTY-FREE music from had
made an infringement claim. I immediately disputed it, citing the
fact that I indeed have paid the license fee required to use the
music. It didn't take long for the front ads to disappear. I am
curious as to why the claim was made. My suspicion is that there's
a robot program surfing and when it finds music the company owns,
it randomly and arbitrarily files claims that must then be
disputed by the legal licensees.
We start shooting The Tooth Man Cometh tomorrow morning, weather
In the meantime it's: lines, lines, lines, lines, lines, lines, lines....
Not that there is some great, overbearing multitude of lines; but, still:
lines, lines, lines.
Follow-up On the YouTube Copyright Infringement Claim:
As I wrote yesterday, on Thursday last, after I uploaded the
Heartbreak House promocast DV movie to the
Dayton Theatre Guild YouTube channel,
a copyright infringement claim was leveled against it for
unauthorized use of the instrumental "Piano Grovin',"
which I have been using for two seasons as the closing credits
music for these promo vids. Here's the thing, I had purchased a
royalty-free license for its use on the web.
I have and will continue to purchase such licenses for all the
music used in the promocasts, and their predecessors, the
"podcasts." I buy from several on-line service companies,
one being D.A.W.N., which is
run by CSS Music. Actually,
D.A.W.N. has been the primary service I have purchased such licensed
music from, for the last several years. D.A.W.N. is where I found
"Piano Grovin'" and purchased the license.
What tipped me to the infringement claim was the fact the ads had
been front-loaded onto the video. On
YouTube when a video starts
with a commercial, that usually means a copyright holder of content
in the video has filed an infringement claim with YouTube and, rather
than pull the video, YouTube incorporates some cycle of ads into
the video to pay royalties to the copyright holder.
Of course, as I indicated yesterday, I immediately took the steps
on YouTube to dispute the claim. technically, it's still in dispute
there, though the ads are not attached right now. When I saw that,
yesterday, I sent an email to CSS Music, explaining the situation.
A few hours later I got a call from Mike at CSS, who confirmed
that they were aware of my legit status. The claim was actually
filed by a robot program run by AdRev,
which is a service that administers copyright protection of
on-line use of music. The robot program searches YouTube for
copyright infringement of client music as a standard procedure,
then, in arrangement with YouTube and advertisers, has the
commercials attached to violators to generate royalties for the
copyright owner. It's called "monetizing a video."
If you read my last post you will see that this particular scenario
was one I postulated was highly likely. So, the problem lies in that
AdRev, and other services like it that I am sure exist, do tag
licensed music as not being so. Which is what happened to me.
Mike, sent me some instructions about how to "white list"
the music I purchase from them so this erroneous claim won't happen
again. I think I may contact the other to royalty-free music
services I purchase from,
Soundrangers, where I
especially get a lot of sound effects, and
PremiumBeat, out of
Quebec. It will be an initial inquiry when I go to any other such
services, as well.
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE TOOTH MAN COMETH
I have an 11:00 call this morning for Day 1 of
on Mitch Centers'
Wright State University Motion Picture program
junior film, The Tooth Man Cometh. The project slides back into the
category of professional gig because I will receive a performance fee for
my work. It's not going to be a big check, but payment makes it a pro gig.
It'll actually be the first actor's check I've received for months
ANOTHER FUTUREFEST, ANOTHER ROLE:
I have been cast in an FF15 play. I will be in the opening show,
Hail the Conquering Hero by
It's a fully staged production, as the Friday evening shows always are.
This is my seventh time on stage at FutureFest. As of yet, I have not been
in a staged reading at FutureFest.
The cast is, as follows:
J. Gary Thompson as Tom Azuric
Terry Larson as Ginny Azuric
Cydnie Hampton as Kimberly Azuric
Cynthia Karns as Marilyn Froling
K.L.Storer as Wally Froling
Shawn Hooks as Bud Peel
Kathleen Durig as Mom
Annie Pesch as Sylvia Sanchez
MISCELLANEOUS PROMOCAST PRE-PRODUCTION STUFF:
No reply yet from John Patrick Shanley's agent about whether I can get
clearance to use dialogue in the Outside Mullingar promocast.
Yesterday I contacted
Playwright David Auburn
and left a message, asking him the same question about the promocast we
will do for The Columnist.
This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I played with a great group of
WSU film school
students and a good ensemble of actors. Over three days we shot Director
Mitch Center's script for his short narrative film,
The Tooth Man Cometh. Everyone knew their business and the crew
worked as a solid team. Mitch made his day,
all three days, despite the fact that the production was 100% an
exterior shoot and the
weather threatened to interfere greatly.
There was the threat of rain most of the weekend, especially as it drew
close, last week. But it only rained for about twenty minutes, Friday
afternoon, postponing the shooting of one scene, slightly. It was the
partly-cloudy, sometimes overcast, sometimes sunny moments that fluctuated
through Saturday and Sunday that were probably a bit more maddening for
both Mitch and his DP,
Joe Cook, only because it will make lighting continuity
a bit of a challenge. Though with various diffusers and harsher reflectors,
and in one case, electric lamps, they evened it out as much as possible to
make any post-production adjustments easier.
The movie was shot with a Red Scarlet
DV camera, and though not top-of-the-line for Red DV cameras, hey, it's a
Red camera, so it's going to produce some nice images. Could I afford one,
along with the massive amount of data storage capacity required, and a
tower computer (ahem: Mac Pro)
to successfully edit and render the
4K resolution, or
higher, images, I would have me a Red, Scarlet or otherwise.
We shot in
in Centerville, Ohio, and beyond the issue of inconsistent sunlight, there
was also the problem of inconsistant background audio. There were passing
cars and trucks, the occasional overhead aircraft, geese and ducks and
other birds, the sounds of park goers. Sunday, there was a particular
problem with a small gaggle of geese at a nearby pond. There was also the
issue of a nearby homeowner who was mowing his lawn. production staff asked
him if he could hold off for a while, but he was not much interested in
our needs. Of course, he had no obligation to care about our situation
and he exercised that prerogative.
What comes to my mind is the story, which may be apocryphal, of how when
they filmed scenes of Cairo's cityscape for
Raiders of the Lost Arch,
the production had to pay citizens to pull their satellite TV dishes off
their roofs, since the movie takes place in 1936 and such equipment would
be rather conspicuos. That's not 100% compatible with the mentioned sound
problem, but 100% the same principal in action, and there was a discussion
about paying the guy $20 to hold off his mowing.
sound mixer Kel
Lind had his work cut out for him. He had to record a lot of
throughout the three days. It seems at least a little possible that we
actors may have to go back and do some ADR
of at least some of our lines.
None of these challenges were horrific and putting them aside it was a fine
experience. As I wrote above, everybody was on their game, and it was a
lovely experience. Mitch Centers is a fine film director, patient and a
good communicator. Joe Cook seems to know his way around a camera quite
well. All the crew were on top of their duties. It was impressive. The
other actors did their work like pros.
Special kudos to young Ella, who was very much on top of her work as my
co-star. She was as professional as everyone else on the set, and has some
serious acting chops. Like I said in my June 3 post, she may just be smarter
I took about 140 pics over the weekend, I placed twenty-eight of them here.
There are actually a few I would love to post but they would essentially
be spoilers and I don't want to do that. I also have refrained from putting
a lot of names with the pics, because, quite frankly, there were a lot of
crew there and I am afraid I'll misidentify some people -- and I really do
not want to do that, either. But, for the record, here is the film crew as
Mitch Centers (Director), Joe Cook (Director of Photography) Liz Yong
Lowe (1st AD, co-producer, &. Production Designer), Louis Leshner
(2nd AD), Jessica Barton (On-set Producer), Michaela Scholl (Script
Supervisor), Kel Lind (Sound Mixer), Ethan Frederick (Boom Operator),
Nick Kutskill (1st A.C.), Olga Wagner (2nd A.C.), Aubrey Keith (Stills),
Sydney Waltz (Art Director), Colin Gleason (Art Assistant), Randy Miller
(Gaffer), Brian Merritt (Key Grip), Jerry Ankenbauer (Grip), Leighanna
Hornick (Grip), Aly Loy (Production Assistant), Leah Byrd (Production
Assistant), Michael Dib (Production Assistant), Danny Kiwacka
(Production Assistant), Mark Yungmann (Production Assistant), Barbara
And, the cast in full:
K.L.Storer as Barry
Ella Gallagan as Ena
Nate Foster as Kane
Jacqueline Cook as Cari
plus, Marissa McClary and Peter Cutler (on-screen extras)
Save for the one, up to the right, of my script on a clipboard, here are
Myself with my co-star Ella Gallagan, along with
Jacqueline Cook, who plays her sister, and,
finally, our director, Mitch Centers.
Me and our fourth principal actor, Nate Foster.
Some crew at the equipment truck.
Director of Photography Joe Cook & crew set up a
A reflector & a diffuser
Jacqueline & Ella, waiting.
Boom Op Ethan Frederick & Sound Mixer Kel Lind.
Mitch works with Ella.
Ella's parents, Julie & Josh Gallagan.
Jacqueline & Ella, playing.
Olga Wagner, whom I met when she volunteered at
DTG. She sits next to the Red Scarlet.
Setting up for a dolly shot.
More set up for a dolly shot.
Stills Photographer Aubrey Keith & Nick.
Setting up a shot.
Joe shoots Ella's running feet.
Getting ready to shoot on a hill.
Getting ready to shoot on a hill.
Two of the many geese who caused Sound Mixer Kel
Lind some consternation on occasion.
My street close, hanging on a tree.
Craft service: dessert.
AND REHEARSALS BEGIN:
I attended my first rehearsal for Hail the Conquering Hero last
night. I missed the table read last Sunday as I was still on the
Tooth Man set. Director
did a specific table read of the scenes I am in. We also spoke of my
character Wally's motivation. Wally is from New Jersey, so we talked about
his Jersey accent, which I will manifest for the role. So the task in front
of me is memorizing Wally's lines, and in the proper dialect.
This past Friday was my second rehearsal. Director
did a rough blocking
of several scenes, including most of the ones I am in. Tomorrow night, I
assume we finish the rough blocking, then adjust as the rehearsals progress.
I then have three days dark from rehearsals. Time to memorize lines, and
to do in a Jersey dialect. I've really barely begun either process,
memorization nor acquiring the dialect. Part of today is about that. As
soon as I finish writing this day's blog post, which I am doing in the
laundry room, I will start the process of my flash cards, written with
the necessary words spelled phonetically to prompt the vowel shifts and
consonant characteristics that say, "'New Jersey." And, as I have
found out, for the overwhelming population of the Garden State, it's
not "New Joisey."
Last weekend, on the set of The Tooth Man Cometh has produced an
itch to get back behind the camera in a manner more so than as the
director/producer of DTG promocasts. I haven't been a director of actors
on screen since 2009, six years. And of all that footage shoot from late
2008 into summer 2009, only
Be Or Not has manifested
as a finished product.
There may not be anyone reading this who read the blog back in the first
few years, when I worked on two different screenplays, one for which I was
more enthusiastic about. I still am so about that one, titled, Perfect
Luv, and it is on a shelf but not discarded. I am thinking about going
into early preproduction
for a longer short narrative film.
This is a rather loose idea at the moment, with a goal of either moving
into principal photography
in late summer 2016 or 2017. Whether it's in fourteen months or twenty-six
months depends on what looks more practical as I venture in.
Perfect Luv is a strong contender, but I have another contender,
too. There is a short story on
The WriteGallery Creative Writing Web Site,
my sleeping literary site, where this blog is parked. Several years ago,
if not longer, I recognized how suitable that story is for an adaptation
into a short narrative. All I have to do is contact the author and work
out an option deal on the story. I'd like to give the writer a nice check,
too, not just some symbolic stipend. I'd like to pay everyone, not do this
as a "no pay"
I guess we'll see how much of this is that Gemini talk and much is
Gemini action. Anyone want a litany of
my unfinished artistic projects I occasionally flog myself for not
The Cast of Heartbreak House
in order of appearance
The Promocast for HEARTBREAK HOUSE
And the Dayton Theatre Guild 2014/2015 season is officially dark.
No new blocking
last night, at least not for me. Well, there was some re-blocking
in scenes I am in, but we haven't made it to new scenes I am in yet, at
least not on our feet.
I have three days off from rehearsal, to work on lines and that Jersey
dialect. I gave the accent a shot last night at rehearsal, but it was not
what I would label, "verisimilitude," by any hue of a
definition. I have yet to finish creating my signature flash cards which
are always a big part of my line memorization work. I should get that done
tonight along with some good time put in on the drills.
I didn't look close enough at the rehearsal schedule to see that the
deadline was split in two, with essentially the first half of the script
tagged for off-book on June 29 and the rest on July 3. However, our
director, Fran Pesch,
moved the first date to June 28. That's a week and half from now. I should
be good. We'll see how "Jersey" the words are, though.
Working on putting the production team together and some other details.
Still no word from the playwright's agent about clearance to use dialogue
in the promocast.
Remember that auditions are coming up July 6 & 7. See just below the
blog entry field for details -- providing you are reading this before
July 8, 2015, that is.
Though there's no answer, yet, either way, I am currently in communication
about clearance to use his dialogue in the promocast for our 15/16
Auditions for this one, by-the-way, are Aug. 24 & 25. Again, see
below, until Aug.26.
As of last evening, all my blocking
except that it's not.
That, meaning that all the blocking is very much subject to change.
The big goal is still to get off-book
and to work on the New Jersey dialect. If I've learned one thing, it's that
it's best to work on both at the same time, at least for me; though, I
know for a fact that other actors, many other, are the same as I. A whole
lot of the rest of today will be about that, as will be a whole lot of
tomorrow. As I reported earlier, off-book for the first half of the show
is next Sunday, and for the rest of the show it's July 3.
As any returning readers will know, the actual
deadlines don't start falling until Sunday, June 28, but most of us took a
shot, to one extent or another, at not reading from our script while we ran
Act I, last night. Nobody was able to keep our
eyes off the page all the time, though we all had nice chunks where we didn't
hold our scripts.
I am not sure how, but I believed the call for rehearsal last evening was
5:00. Hey, that's what the calendar on my lap top and on my phone told me.
Of course, since the two calendars are synched through
they would tell the same story. So I got to sit on the bench in front of
the Dayton Playhouse
in the muggy late afternoon and run my Act I
lines a few times. That is, it's what I did after I ate most of what was
the last meal I will order from a particular Chinese restaurant, as I
prefer my food to include flavor as part of the experience. Don't fret
fellow thespians, I had arrived early enough with my food that I was done
well before that erroneous 5:00 call, so even had I been correct I would
not have been eating during rehearsal time. Even had time to run the act a
couple times before I started saying to myself, Welp, where is
everyone?.....Um, did I get the time wrong?.....Yeah, I must have gotten
the time wrong. As one of the comments to my fb post above puts it:
"The second commandment: an actor is never on
time. An actor is always early."
Tonight we run Act II, tomorrow,
III, then we get a night off and Friday we run
the whole show. Again, none of these are off-book designated, but we all
are trying to beat the deadline. Tonight's call is late, 8:00, because
there are six shows competing for rehearsal space, thus different areas of
the theatre are scheduled in shifts to different shows. Some shows do a lot
of rehearsing off-site. It's just the nature of a play festival; at least
it is of this one. Well, I certainly have time to run Act
II lines before call, don't I?
Yesterday's lunch-time, flash-card fun time -- Act III.
Just the cards that are loose; the ones bound by
rubberbands are Act I & II.
We have now officially gone through the whole show with each of us actors
at various stages of using our memories to deliver lines rather than looking
at our scripts. Like Monday night, Tuesday and last night each of us had our
own spots where we did not have our books in our hands at all. I had those
moments for sure, but certainly there were many places where I felt the
need for the security of the pages at easy access. There were those lines
I had to go to the script for, too, as there were such places for the
other actors. Most of mine had to do with wording or syntax that is not
natural to my own speech patterns. So, granted, though we weren't actually
in the literal sense this week, it is safe to say we were, and are, at least
slightly ahead of the game.
We've had three nights of one act per night, tomorrow night we run the
show from top to bottom. It's one more pre-off-book-deadline rehearsal to
ween ourselves a little more. We have tonight off from rehearsal. Of course,
for me there will be line study, but I'm also going to see a show (see below).
My lines for this show are not wholly taxing, I admit. In a few pages of
I probably said more words than I do in all three acts of this one. In
fact, many lines for this one I already had committed to memory just by
rehearsing. It's pretty easy to remember a line like, "Hi-ya, kid."
I found myself already knowing quite a few lines when I would first sit down
to begin the memorization process with portions of the script. That's
happened before and it is always welcomed.
Dick Van Patten as Tom Bradford -- It would be hard
to argue against the declaration that
Eight Is Enough
was schmaltzy, light fair, but it certainly was not without a large dose
of charm. Van Patten's patriarchal Tom Bradford contributed heavily to that
charm. A dad who was a good guy, a great moral compus, probably only barely
competent at any sport but always willing to toss the ball, or whatever,
when one of his kids needed practice. Yes, technically I was a young adult
on the verge of my twenty-somethings when the show debuted, but still, in
my youth. And I admit, I saw most, if not all, the episodes.
Patrick Macnee as John Steed -- He was the epitome
of establishment cool. He could kick ass and without barely ruffling his
suit, perhaps he might have to adjust his hat when the scuffle was done
and brush a bit of soil off. But he would never allow his immaculate attire
to be too disheveled by some thug's ruffianism.
John Steed was one of the coolest idols of my childhood. I can hear that
iconic "Mrs. Peel!.....we're needed." as he called to her
to endeavor in another case of espionage and intrigue.
LET THE STUMBLE-THROUGHS BEGIN:
The rehearsal last night was closer to a true stumble-through
than we've done, but it was one-hundred-percent so. None of us made it
through without consulting our scripts, but we all stayed out of our
scripts far more than we have before; I certainly did. Tomorrow it will be
an official stumble-through for the first half of the play. It is Off-book
Day for the first fifty-some pages.
Meanwhile, I would say that my work on my character, Wally Foling, is
coming along. I can't say I have perfected the Jersey accent yet, but I
have it close to consistently believable. I think I have the personality
down. So onward on lines, on accent on on straightening the Wally quotient.
Tonight it's Avenue Q at Beavercreek Community Theatre.
Though there's not much to report, there actually is some pre-production
going on. I have feelers out for the booth tech crew; we have acquired our
stage manager; the set design is
underway and the build will be starting soon; Director David Shough, the
stage manger, and myself will have a short meeting next week.
As of yet, no response on clearance to use dialogue from the script in the
And remember that auditions are coming up July 6 & 7. See just below
for details, as long as you are on the front side of those dates.
I may not be the world's biggest
fan, but that doesn't mean I don't have a deep
appreciation for the band's collective brilliance,
masterful musicianship, and great contribution to Rock Music
as well as Modern Music in general. Yes has had a profound
and positive influence on not just Progressive Rock, but
Rock and Roll in general, as well as, arguably, at least
to some extent, on Pop Music in general.
was a founding member and one of the chief architects of
the amazing, innovative music that Yes has given us for
more than forty years. As for his bass guitar work, let's
just face it, he was one of the best there has ever been.
As did his band, with their unique and signature sound,
Squire carved out his own niche, creating a sound and style
that belongs only to Chris Squire. Others have copied him,
sometimes quite well, but it's his. More important than the
fact that he sculpted his own sound as a bass man is the
fact that it is a most excellent sound. Rock and Roll and
Modern music in general are better off because of his
All things considered, yesterday's stumble-through
of the first sixty-some pages went well. None of us were at perfection; no
one escaped the need to call for lines; and, of course some of us were far
closer to Off-book
on the pages than others were. I was one of those who was closer, but then,
I am not taxed with the number and volume of lines that others are, so I
had no excuse to not be closer. That being said, we all found there were
lines we thought we were getting verbatim that, in fact, we were
not. There's the humbling in the stumbling.
The weekend was a little full for me but I did have time to drill the pages
earmarked for off-book on Sunday. I paced on a concrete ledge by the
which was on the route from my home to the theatre, doing so with my
trusty flashcards in my hands. The off-book deadline for the rest of the
show, is Friday.
And now, for the inevitable, obligatory pics of me studying lines.
You knew they were going to show up,
The famous (or is that "infamous")
Using those flashcards
A better view of the venue where I was using said
As I have declared in the past, such language from me is a
"response," not a "review." I ain't tryin' to be no
DTG SERVICE & OUTREACH:
For the third summer in a row, The Dayton Theatre Guild has shared our
Brighter Connections Theatre,
a "theatre program that [adapts] to the needs of students...with
Autism Spectrum Disorders." The 2015 performances were this past
weekend. I was the board member on site this past Saturday. I didn't see
all of the Saturday show, but I did see snippets. This is a great venture
and I am proud that our theatre is helping to facilitate this.
*The website linked to the organization's name is a little out of date,
but the info about the mission, etc., is still good.
Last night was actually not an off-book
night; we picked up just after the point in the play where we are currently
required to be off-book. However, I went off-book last night, anyway,
because, as I intimated in the post yesterday, I have few enough lines that
I ought to be giving total off-book a try before those actors charged with
far more words to memorize than I. I did relatively well, too.
We have tonight and tomorrow off, so I have some good time to do more line
work. I have other things to attend to, but I can still make lots of room
for drilling the lines in better.
There's a short and sweet production meeting tonight.
Other than that, remember that auditions are coming up July 6 & 7.
See details just below the latest blog entry, if you are reading this
before July 8.