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

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Fri, Oct 2, 2015

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Opening Today

THE COLUMNIST by David Auborn, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast.

You can see above that the promocast is done and on the web, as it should be by Opening Night. No problems connected with the DV movie or its production/postproduction. Comparably, Tech Week2 went otherwise fairly smoothly, as well. The gremlin behaved itself, for whatever reason.

The show is on its feet tonight with me there as house manager, gala host, and sound designer still scrutinizing the sound volumes and balances. I have, of course, been tweaking the sound all week. I did my traditional ritual of spending the night last Saturday/Sunday to finish off the programing in Show Cue Systems and to begin the process of sound balance. Then, with the advent of Tech Sunday promptly began said tweaks.

And so, here we go, off into Audience Land....


SING, SING, SING:
AUDITION ICON
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

I still have every intention of auditioning, probably Tuesday evening, for All Is Calm. The specs say the auditioner should "prepare 32 bars of a Christmas or Folk song of [my] choice to be sung a cappella." I have the song picked out. As a tenor I am also to be "prepared to sing...1 verse of 'O Holy Night' in E flat in French or English." I'll be doing it in English.

VOCAL WORK ICON
My damned voice/throat is still not at 100% -- I'm wondering if I ever will find it so. I am doing the stuff one does: throat lozenges, Throat Coat Tea, room humidifier, lots of water. And though I've been working out my singing voice, I have been doing so with a gentle approach. This weekend will be largely me practicing the two audition songs, along with other acting type work I need to be doing.

I'm not singing the way I want to, but I didn't sing up to par through the whole run of Next to Normal (Beavercreek Community Theatre), either, and despite my general dissatisfaction, some people did comment favorably about my work.


MONDAY'S GIG:
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

Monday afternoon will be the first of four installments, spanning the next month, for the U.D. acting gig.

I'll spend some of my weekend brushing up on this same exercise that I participated in a couple years back.

It will also make me about forty-five minutes to an hour late for the Monday acting class.


HRTC ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

As I stated before, I have assigned scene work for the Adult Acting Techniques class at The Human Race Theatre Company, taught by Jennifer Joplin. It's some pages from Reckless by Craig Lucas.

I'll spend some portion of the weekend working on these pages, too. Not sure, with triage of the other two items -- the audition and the gig -- that I'll walk in to class Monday off-book (lines memorized), but I will be quite familiar with the pages and will have done some work on character, that's for sure.


CAROUSEL AT THE DAYTON PLAYHOUSE:
In the audience icon

Of a few local shows that have shown recently, unfortunately this one was the only one I could get to.

Fortunately it was a nice evening at the theatre. Pleasant overall production. I'm not much for musicals of this ilk and I still enjoyed the evening, so, there ya go.

Congrats to Jeff Sams and the rest of the cast, crew, and the musicians from the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra.


GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
fb post - "You know when that little voice in your head says, 'You haven't backed this drive up for a while, you should do that now'? It's always the wiser idea to go ahead and do it....."

Yep. The external hard drive I save and edit my graphics and photos to got corrupted and could not be repaired. I have a backup drive but I had not saved to it since about mid-July so I lost a bit of material, not a lot and nothing that breaks my heart in two, but still, a bit of a drag. I am thinking about extra storage space in iCloud. Of course, I will still need to heed that little voice, regardless of where my backups go to. And I will probably still have a local backup venue. But the iCloud contemplation is still not a bad one.



Mon, Oct 5, 2015

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The Columnist & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
The first weekend went well for the show. I was only there Friday and was, of course, pre-occupied with house management and the opening night gala, but the audience was quite receptive to the performance. Reports on Saturday and Sunday speak to the same reactions.

Also, I have received no reports of problems from the sound tech, Sarah Saunders, so, that's good.

Not sure when I will actually sit in the audience, but I will be back as house manager this coming Saturday.


THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
Just as I said I would, I dedicated a lot of time to prepping for several actor things. Though, a good portion of my Saturday turned out to be focused in other directions.

PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
The memory refreshment mark is close to 100% on the scenario for the University of Dayton School of Law gig, that which I first did back in 2013. I have my flash cards on me today and will drill myself periodically during the day.

The first group of interviews by law students is this afternoon, then more this coming Wednesday. The two groupings of counseling sessions will be in a couple weeks.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
The HRTC acting class with Jennifer Joplin is listed second because chronologically it's next to occur; in fact, I'll be late tonight for the class due to the U.D, gig. But in terms of triage, I have placed this lowest in priority since it isn't absolutely critical that I be off-book (have my lines memorized) tonight for the pages from Craig Lucas's Reckless. Being on top of the U.D. scenario facts and story and being 100% prepared for the audition, mentioned next, were both a higher priority. I've read the scenes for class out loud a few times, and I did borrow a copy of the entire play from the library, but, because of the activities-detour on Saturday, I have not read the whole thing, yet.

Stupid Life getting in the way of Life (!)

AUDITION ICON
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
fb post - "Rehearsing songs for an upcoming audition and though I am still not singing the way I want to, the way I know I ultimately can (or at least 'could'), I am still happy with what's happening tonight. Problem is, I have no doubt the competition for this one is going to be stiff, so I ain't gonna be too cocky about it." Still on to audition for All Is Calm, which auditions tonight and tomorrow night at The Guild. I actually won't be there until tomorrow. Since I have acting class until 7:30 tonight, and I don't want to go in without "preshow" prep, I am waiting. I'll rehearse some more tonight, when I get home from class.

I spent a couple hours working on both required audition songs last night. I did well with the notes and the vocal phrasing; now all I gotta do is get the @#$%&! words right!



Tue, Oct 6, 2015

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

Yesterday afternoon were those first several sessions of the gig for the University of Dayton School of Law where I play the small business owner seeking legal advice about a breach of contract incident.

Each of the students (lawyers) had thirty minutes to interview me to get the pertinent information, none of them used all their time. Some were as quick as only being in the session for ten minutes. I was really hoping the last student, whose session was 5:30-6:00, would get there early so I could get out early, and lessen the amount of lateness for my acting class, which starts at 5:30. But, alas, the last student arrived just at 5:30.

Tomorrow will be the last three students, then it's three weeks until the first counseling sessions, where the student lawyers give us actors their legal advice. "Us actors" being Wendi Michael, Anne Pesch and myself.


HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I was probably only about twenty minutes late for class, which was a little better than what I'd anticipated.

When I got there I was tossed on stage to do a theatre game where I had to act out whatever the audience (i.e.: my classmates) threw out. Each new action had to be added to -- not replace -- all actions already being done. In my mind, the main point or goal is to pull the actor out of inhibition of fearing looking stupid or silly on stage, to short-circuit self-censorship. As the game ended with me hopping on one leg, holding the other foot, blowing an imaginary trumpet in one hand while I waved an airliner to its parking spot with the other and intermittently bent down to kiss a dog, I'd say the concerning myself with looking stupid or silly train had left the terminal.

I wasn't on stage alone, by the way; our illustrious instructor, Jennifer Joplin, was also hopping, holding a foot, blowing a trumpet, air traffic controlling, and kissing a dog, too.

We spent a portion of the class working with the Effort Actions of the Laban Movement Analysis theory. It focuses on several different attitudes, or really, energies, that can assist an actor in finding such for a character: the character's basic energy and attitude and then into other attitudes and energies he or she will go to as reactions to the the dynamic moments of the story.

The starting spot in the exercise is physical movement and can incorporate vocalization. As i write this, I don't have, on me, the chart Jennifer gave us that breaks down the elements of each effort action, with each action having three elements under the classifications of Space, Weight, and Time. There are eight action efforts: Dab, Flick, Float, Glide, Punch, Press, Slash, and Wring.

Last night was my introduction to this so it's not possible for me to know the full benefit of this technique. My introduction tells me that it at leasts allows the actor to start off with a physical stance and approach that can help to internalize the energy, the attitude, the viewpoint.

Besides the Wikipedia link I gave you above, there's a nice explanation of the Laban Effort Actions here (savannahindigo.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/general-information-about-the-eight-basic-efforts-laban) at Savannah's Theatre Blog.

Another development last night was that I found that my scenemate for the pages from Craig Lucas's Reckless has had to drop out of the class. So Jennifer is now my scene partner. She gave various options for how to get to material, including if there was anything I particularly wan to do. I asked her how she felt about playing a seventeen-year-old and she said she was just fine with that; so, this morning I sent her Greg Pierce's Slowgirl. Between the two of us, we will find some pages to do. Hey, I'll create any opportunity I can to further develop Sterling, especially one where I can get coaching from a seasoned pro.


YODLE-AY--EEH--HOO!:
AUDITION ICON
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON

Yeah, okay, that's not really true: there will not be yodeling, at least not from this auditioning actor.

I did not, as it turns out, rehearse the audition songs last night. The reason being that I wanted to go easy on my voice/throat as it is still not in perfect shape. The work was on the words -- memorizing the words. I'll rehearse this afternoon after I leave work from the rent-payer.

Unfortunately, the report from Director Kathy Mola is that only five men auditioned last night. I do hope there is a larger group tonight. Sure, a smaller cohort means less competition for me, leveraging better odds that I get cast; yet, this show needs at least a dozen strong singers...



Wed, Oct 7, 2015

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YODLE-AY--EEH--HOO! PART 2:
AUDITION ICON
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

HEALTHWISE ICON
VOCAL WORK ICON
I almost didn't audition last night. As we have already discussed, I have been, of course, getting sick -- "of course" because, ya know, there's a musical vocal audition in immanence.

Remember that I did not rehearse the vocals Monday night in order to not stress my voice too much. The idea was to get the lyrics absolutely committed to memory, well, the lyrics to "Oh Holy Night," at any rate. Monday I did my U.D. Law gig, went to acting class, then worked on words when I got home.

By the way, my other song was "How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours," the traditional gospel ballad that Michael Boyd had Chris Shea and I sing a cappella at the top of Act I of The Diviners, which Michael directed at The Guild just exactly eleven years ago, in 2004.

Tuesday, after the rent-payer I went home and took a nap for about an hour, then got up to rehearse the songs. The first thing I did after the nap was gargle with warm water with salt and lemon juice in it. Then I did some not-too-aggressive vocal warmups.

But, I was simply not hitting the higher notes, at all, in either song. "Well, this is not good," I said to myself. I tried some more warmups but still was not getting the notes well, nor being particularly strong on other vocal phrasings. I didn't think I was going to be able to give even an adequate audition.

Before surrendering, before calling or texting Director Kathy Mola that my voice was simply not in shape to perform, I heated some water and made some Throat Coat Tea with some honey and a lemon juice, and gave my throat and voice some more time, going on the supposition that some of the problem was that my throat and/or larynx had tightened up from the nap.

A few minutes later I started singing the songs more successfully, especially "Oh Holy Night," which calls for much wider range of notes. After a little while I was giving performances I was satisfied with. So, I went to the audition. I did stop on the way to get a couple more boxes of Thoat Coat Tea, however, as the bag I'd used earlier at home was my last one. And, I managed to drink a couple more cups, at the theatre, before it was my turn to sing at the audition.

In the end, I am happy to report that it was a successful audition. I did go up on a line of lyric from "How Tedious..." so just sang: "....and I forgot the damned words," then picked the lyric back up on the next line. I went up at least twice during "Oh Holy Night," but, by god, I not only got the notes right, but hit every damned one of 'em righteously in key!

So: success.

Only four of us auditioned last night. The show cannot at the moment be completely cast. So Directors Kathy Mola and David McKibben are holding another audition session this Sunday at 6:00 pm.


STILL NOT A BAKER, STILL JUST PLAYING ONE AT U.D.:
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

Heading to University of Dayton School of Law this afternoon after the rent-payer for the last three interview sessions for this gig....... That's it. Just mentioning that it's happening.



Thu, Oct 8, 2015

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

The interview sessions of the University of Dayton School of Law gig are off the books now. Billy Lawson, owner of Village Bakery has made his case as a client to his new lawyer (well, seven of them). Now the law students do their research and in a couple weeks Billy goes back for his counseling session(s). And I don't have to have anything memorized for those; I just have to sit and take in the sage advice.


Meanwhile I just booked another U.D. Law gig, dealing with mock trial, in November, and most probably a weekend U.D. Law gig in a few months. I'm hoping there will be a little bit of conflict to work around for that 2016 one, but that will be up to the grace of the theatre godess and the wisdom of a director.



Fri, Oct 9, 2015

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Happy Birthday John, Happy Birthday & Sean


Sat, Oct 10, 2015

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In the audience icon
The Columnist & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
Last night I was an audience member, albeit the only one who was allowed to take photographs of the performance, as I am the facebook administrator for The Guild and I took some shots to post on fb as publicity for the rest of the run.

It was, a very fine performance, though I already knew that would be the case. I sat with a friend and actually didn't scrutinize the sound design too much. I still found a couple spots to be concerned about. This really lends itself to an entry of some length, but I don't have the time today, so, perhaps later.

Meanwhile, here are a couple articles about the show, one, an information piece, the other, a review:

Here are three pics I took last night for social media publicity:
xxxx
Audience members take their seats before the show last night on October 9, 2015.
xxxx
David Shough as Joe Alsop
xxxx
David with Wendi Michael as Susan Mary, Joe's wife



Dayton Theatre Guild Community Outreach and Collaboration
The text of a press release from The Guild:

A NEW SEASON OF PLAY READINGS

The Ohio Playwrights Circle, in association with the Dayton Theatre Guild, is pleased to offer a season of new play readings at the Caryl D. Philips Theatre Scape in Dayton. You are invited to come and experience these new readings by local playwrights and screenwriters, including scenes, short plays, full plays and screenplays.

The Dayton Theatre Guild is generously providing their theatre space for these new readings at the Caryl D. Philips Theatre Scape, located at 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton Ohio 45410. Audience members will be asked to participate in brief feedback sessions for the writers. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

The dates and times for the upcoming readings are:

October 24, 2015 at 7pm - Six short readings from new playwrights
December 12, 2015 at 7pm - New script reading
February 6, 2016 at 7pm - New script reading

The Ohio Playwrights Circle (OPC) exists to bring opportunities and education to Ohio playwrights. OPC is a project of the American Artworks Foundation. For additional information please contact Ohio Playwrights Circle at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Playwrights-Circle/269003976491324
Blog: ohioplaywrightscircle.wordpress.com/



LEWIS BLACK IN CONCERT, OCT 11, 2015 a fund raiser for THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY - icon
In the audience icon
Tomorrow, I see Lewis Black live.

Pretty psyched about it.

Pretty psyched to meet him at the after-party, too.

Doubt I will get to spend a lot of time with the man.

I'll just be another of the group who shelled out for the premium ticket that includes the privilege of meeting him.

So oh well.



Sun, Oct 11, 2015

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In the audience icon
TONIGHT

LEWIS BLACK IN CONCERT, OCT 11, 2015 a fund raiser for THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY.
Since this particular entry has been recurring as part of each current post for a few weeks now, any of you few regulars probably know by now that I'm not at all directly connected to this event except that I am a huge Lewis Black fan and I also want to see The Human Race Theatre Company thrive and survive, for several reasons, some personal, some less so.

On the selfish side of it, I am an EMC (an Equity Membership Candidate), which simply put means that I am in the midst of earning points toward becoming a member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional American stage actors and stage managers. Most, if not all, regional professional theatres (Equity houses) and many in New York will both employ and issue Equity points to EMC actors. HRTC is one such Equity theatre. I live here in the Dayton area; it's the only theatre in practical distance -- since I still have a "day job" -- I can reasonably get an Equity-point-earning gig. There are such houses in Cincinnati and Columbus, even Indianapolis, but while I am still employed at what I lovingly entitle "my rent-payer," there's no sense even auditioning in those cities. So, I have a vested interest in The Race keeping her doors open.

Beyond that to what's bigger than my own self interest, I don't want to see the town I grew up in lose its one homebase professional regional theatre. Granted, there is La Comedia Dinner Theatre close by in Springboro, but it doesn't address the same cultural need nor should it be expected to do so. Plus, in concern of that self-interest, La Comedia is not an Equity house and does not award Equity points.

For more than a quarter century HRTC has provided the Greater Dayton Area with a local professional theatre experience; it's one thing for a touring company to come through; it's an entirely different thing for there to be a stable of local professional talent, the artists in residence, who can stretch their ranges in front of an audience familiar with their work who get to witness the further development of talented professional actors; it's another thing to have a house that gives us a handful of professional level productions, each year, that are, for all practical purposes, "from home."

Back to more self-involved reasoning: I am part of a thriving local community of actors, many not the slightest bit interested in being professional (as in being paid, that is), some of us at least at a level of semi-professional, and many of us in that latter class with an eye on someday making much or all of our income as actors. Having a local house where we can snag some professional gigs for our résumés is important -- and let's not forget those Equity points! In some cases, having an HRTC here keeps such actors in the area so their colors can remain a vital part of the local artistic landscape, not just on The HRTC Loft stage but in many other venues.

Lastly, The Human Race Theatre Company is, itself, a vital and important part of the Dayton area cultural and artistic world. Let's keep it around.

So, I know that the show is probably close to sold out, but if it's early enough today (October 11, 2015) there may be time for you to get your ticket to see a world-class comedian, whose play, One Slight Hitch, by the way, the Human Race is mounting this coming April. Get your ticket to help benefit our local artistic community. While your at it, get some tickets for the HRTC shows, in general.



Mon, Oct 12, 2015

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CLASSIC BLACK FOR THE HUMAN RACE:
K.L.Storer with Lewis Black at The Human Race Theatre Company
Photo by Scott J. Kimmins
LEWIS BLACK IN CONCERT, OCT 11, 2015 a fund raiser for THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY - icon
In the audience icon
Mr. Black's show was exactly what I expected it to be: classic Black angry rant-a-thon hilarity.

Lewis did start the show talking about how important he thinks live theatre is and that he was glad to see us doing what we can to keep our hometown theatre up and running. He also mentioned, in jocular fashion, but underneath that, sincerity, that it's rare to see cities the size of Dayton having a professional theatre company -- his admiration for the fact the Dayton does have an Equity house, if not explicitly expressed, was certainly insinuated.

One particularly fun part of the evening was when he spoke of how the forthcoming HRTC production of his play, One Slight Hitch came about. He said a friend had told him the Loft would be a good space to produce One Slight Hitch. Someone in the audience (turns out it was HRTC Properties Manager Heather Powell) yelled out the name of Director Margarett Perry, who happens to be who will direct the HRTC production, and who also has directed at HRTC before, including the production of Michael Slade's Gingerbread Children, which I was in.

Black response was, "No, not fuckin' Margarett Perry." Then he said, "I'm not getting paid tonight so you don't get to fuckin' yell shit."

Then Black corrected her, saying that it was Lauren Ashley Carter, who had appeared in Miracle on South Division Street in September of 2014 (when I met him the first time). Ms. Carter had also been in a previous production of One Slight Hitch, which is, I assume how she and Mr. Black first met.

Carrying on with the story from last night, Black said to the "heckler" in the audience, "I want you to write that down so next time I'm here and I tell this story, when it's time for your portion of the performance......you'll say the right fuckin' line."

*Mind you, I'm quoting from memory so what's written here is likely not verbatim, but it's reasonably close.

I can't remember the set up but he did a circle-back joke while he was later talking about either theatre in Dayton or being back as a stand-up in Dayton and said something about someone being able to again shout out Margarett Perry's name.

It's kinda cool to be more or less on the inside of the loop on all that; it gives me the chance to pretend like I'm an ACTUAL insider -- or something akin to.

As for the photo of Lewis Black and me, that actual Meet & Greet moment: it was, as I suspected it would be, only a brief moment, not much longer than the first encounter a year ago. But at least I have now twice had the opportunity to tell him how much I love his work.


PLEASE STAND BY
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Just about the time I was heading in to Dayton to see the Lewis Black show, the extra audition for All Is Calm was starting at The Guild.

There is a cast but the cast list has not been officially released. I will post it here soon after it has been announced officially by DTG.

DTG Promocast Production logo
As for the promocast, I can't remember if I've mentioned this here before but I have a very strong concept for the promotional DV movie, one that requires no clearance from the copyright owners of All Is Calm, but will require the use of some of the men cast in the show as well as the talent of a fine photographer. The photographer I have secured; the singers will be Musical Director David McKibben's call. I will record the men, probably a quartet, singing a particular traditional Christmas song, but not a copyrighted arrangement from the show score. The movie will be another of the occasional ones, where I do a Ken-Burns-style still-photograph slideshow rather than shoot and use DV movie footage.

There's a moment, some dialogue and a song from the show, we are going to have to record for playback during the performances, anyway, so I can record the song for the promocast during the same session.


HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

I have suggested a scene to Jennifer Joplin for us to do from Slowgirl by Greg Pierce. I think a portion of Scene 2, which takes place at a hedgerow labyrinth that Sterling has created on a hilltop, might work.



Wed, Oct 14, 2015

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All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
I held off with the news that I was one of those cast in the show. Wanted to wait until the official announcement was made by DTG. There was a first rehearsal Monday evening, a "get familiar with the music" sing-through. Tonight in night number two: real work on the more challenging song. Stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile....

The cast in alphabetical order:

Gage Emerson
Michael Favors
David Gaylor
David Hallowren
Chuck Larkowski
Dave Nickel
Chris Petree
Jeff Sams
David Short
K.L.Storer
Mike Taint


HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Monday night, class was primarily about each of us pairings of scene mates working on our particular pages, mine, of course, being Slowgirl by Greg Pierce.

But we did start out playing a theatre game that deals with who has the power in the scene or on the stage, for which I forget the name of, one that uses Shakespeare's The Tempest. The game works like this: one partner is Prospero, the other is Caliban. Prospero has the power and whenever so chooses can give Caliban cramps, during which Caliban experiences the pain of cramps while asserting, with whatever intensity the actor gives to it, "This island is mine."



Sun, Oct 18, 2015

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Closing Today

THE COLUMNIST by David Auborn, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of The Columnist
CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Joe Alsop            David Shough

Susan Mary Alsop            Wendi Michael

Stewart Alsop            Rick Flynn

Young Abigail            Alexa Storar

Older Abigail            Jenna Gomes

Andrei            Dakota Duclo

David Halberstam            Chris Petree

Philip            Ryan Shannon

The Promocast for The Columnist


Wed, Oct 21, 2015

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Where's my Flux Capacitor? Happy Back to the Futre Day!





ALL IS...CALM?:
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Under The Weather
HEALTHWISE ICON
VOCAL WORK ICON
I don't know whether it's some sort of psychosomatic thing I do to myself, some sort of weird coincidental happenstance, or the sense of humor of the theatre godess, but it seems like every time there is a musical on the books for me to participate in, I develop a sore throat with or without further ailment; this time a bit with.

I don't really recall one during Caroline, or Change at HRTC back in 2011, but in the last two musicals, Fiddler on the Roof in 2013, also at HRTC, and then earlier this year for Next to Normal at Beavercreek Community Theatre I have battled with a sore throat, and thus, a compromised singing voice.

If you are one of the few ("the five," as I have lovingly christened them/you) who have been following this blog lately, you know that I am again in that self-same battle as I endeavor in the early stages of rehearsal for All Is Calm. I, in fact, auditioned in this compromised condition, just as I had for Next to Normal.

This has been a little more than just a sore throat; I'm not sure it's the flue or just a cold, but I missed more than half the work week last week at the rent-payer, and was pretty lethargic over the weekend. I've barely cracked the out-of-rehearsal study for the music; I'm hoping by the end of this coming weekend I'll be caught up to where I should be with the full load of music that I am responsible for (all of us cast members have a full load).

Last weekend, my more pressing priority was to get off-book on the pages from Slowgirl for the acting class. I was not fruitful at the endeavor. I just was not retaining anything in my memory banks. I actually spent as much of the weekend as possible, including Friday night, in bed, half or full asleep, save for my need to be at the DTG board meeting Saturday morning and then at strike after the close of The Columnist, Sunday. I was not at strike long, just long enough to deal with the strike of the practical phone and the camera that feeds the lobby and greenroom TVs.

Besides a lot of dead-in-the-bed time, I've been continuing to nurse myself back to health: medicine, throat lozenges, Throat Coat Tea with lemon juice and honey, occasionally gargling with salt and lemon juice in warm water, yadda yadda yadda.....

In REHEARSAL icon
Needless to say, I have been holding back, not pushing my voice during rehearsals; all the rehearsals thus far have been musical. I have my assignment of monologues, eight of them, though a few are really only a sentence or two long. I have not began work on these at all, but that will start soon.

DTG Promocast Production logo
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Halloween weekend we will do the audio recording of a song from the show that is supposed to be being broadcast over the radio; we will also record an original, a cappella arrangement of "Silent Night" as the scoring for the promocast.

I've used the "Sound Designing" icon here, but, really, as I believe I've stated before, "designing" is a little off the mark. I am really sound engineering more than anything else. Just this one sound file, the radio broadcast, will be used in the show, and the design is really implied by the script. I am debating requesting that I not get credit as "Sound Designer" in the playbill; I have already insisted that I not be eligible for a Daytony Award for sound design. A few years ago I got an award of excellence for a show that had one sound cue; it was both ridiculous and embarrassing to have won that particular award, especially since various other authentically excellent sound designs from that season, including true ones by myself, were not recognized at all.

But, the overall shortcomings of artistic awards is another essay within itself -- perhaps another, very LONG essay.


HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

Monday in class we worked Slowgirl a bit. Again, I'd like to say I was completely off-book, but i was not. I had some of it committed to memory, from a cram session late the night before, but I still had to refer to the text often. I have this week to complete the journey to off-book, along with the woodshedding for All Is Calm.

Next week is the final class, which will include a showcase, which is essentially, in this case, a performance of the class to highlight the abilities of the students. Guests will be invited to attend the class and watch each of the several scenes that each pairing of students is doing. This being the reason why I'd like to be off-book, though it's not an absolute requirement by our instructor, Jennifer Joplin.

Of course, it is my privilege to be working my scene with Ms. Joplin, which I am enthused about: to work a scene with an actor whose work I always find impressive. We ran the pages a few times Monday and worked out a loose structure of blocking. I am looking forward to this last class.



Sat, Oct 24, 2015

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A NEW SEASON OF PLAY READINGS FROM THE OHIO PLAYWRIGHTS CIRCLE BEGINS TONIGHT AT DTG:
Dayton Theatre Guild Community Outreach and Collaboration
Still want to remind everyone that The Ohio Playwrights Circle will be holding a reading of six short works from new playwrights, this evening at 7:00 at The Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape. The reading is free and open to the public.

It's the first of three events The Guild is hosting for the group. The two remaining readings are:

December 12, 2015 at 7pm - New script reading
February 6, 2016 at 7pm - New script reading

The Ohio Playwrights Circle (OPC) exists to bring opportunities and education to Ohio playwrights. OPC is a project of the American Artworks Foundation. For additional information please contact Ohio Playwrights Circle at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Playwrights-Circle/269003976491324
Blog: ohioplaywrightscircle.wordpress.com/



Tue, Nov 3, 2015

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I VOTED TODAY.......YOU?


I N    M E M O R I A M
Maureen Ohara, RIP

Al Molinaro, RIP

Fred Thompson, RIP




COMING SOON!

BEEN DOING STUFF

All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
etectera
I'll catch up on everything soon. Right now stopping to chronicle recent events will get in the way and waste time better spent in the continued doing....


VETERAN'S DAY

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Thank you Veterans of the Armed Forces, this Veteran's Day 2015



COMING SOON!

BEEN DOING STUFF

All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
etectera
Yeah, it's all coming.......


Fri, Nov 20, 2015

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Opening Today





COMING SOON!

BEEN DOING STUFF

All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
etectera
Still coming..........




Tue, Nov 24, 2015

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CATCHING UP

BEEN DOING STUFF




K.L.Storer and most of the rest of cast on stage during dress rehearsal of ALL IS CALM
While in to shoot the official archival production photos for All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914, during Wednesday night's dress rehearsal, Craig Roberts snapped this one with his phone and sent it to me. Pictured behind me are, from left to right: Mike Taint, David Short, Gage Emerson, Chuck Larkowski, Jeff Sams, Michael Favors, and David Hallowren. Seated on the box next to me is Chris Petree. Not present in the frame are David Gaylor and Dave Nickels; both were on stage, just not where they can be seen in frame.
Photograph © Craig Roberts, all rights reserved     

THE END OF REHEARSALS AND OPENING WEEKEND:
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

If you are one of the few (the five) who do anything close to keep up with this silly blog, then it won't be a surprise that the "Been Doing Stuff" that I've been doing was the All Is Calm rehearsal period, which kept me busy and focused.

On Stage icon
But more on that later; first, Opening Weekend is now over and it went well. The audiences loved the show. We had people stand both Friday and Saturday night, and then on Sunday we were told before the show that audiences members had commented that they'd wished we had stayed on stage a little longer during curtain call. So we were asked to take longer pauses before each of the several group bows on Sunday. On Sunday, we got a full standing ovation, and the suggestion is that it was because we had given the audience the time to get there.

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I think this could be called a "working dinner." This was taken during one of those vacation days off to work on the music.
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The counter in the dressing "room" at DTG. *It's really more of a dressing "area."
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The dressing room racks with our costumes hanging. The coats are actually Swish Army issue, which works, since the idea is for the costumes to be military, but in a neutral, or generic manner.
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The little section of the racks for my costume. My neutral Swiss Army issue jacket.
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My area of the dressing counter. Note the red box with my name on it for the Kratt C to C pitch pipe I recently purchased for the show. Also in the shot are my flashcards for my few monologues as well as for foreign-language lyric sections of songs I sing *(see below).
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A close up of the flashcards with the French of the Military Cadence "Les Godillots" written out in my own sort of phonetic spelling.
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We are able to have water with us on stage, which is a godsend. Some of us have canteens, some of us flasks. I have a canteen, as shown here. I've determined a few key spots where I am sure to take a good swig of water during the show, that are both convenient and close to before some singing where I'd rather my throat not be at or teetering toward dry. One is most certainly before my "Auld Lang Syne" solo, and with luck, there is a nice place just before I sing to take a drink unproblematically.
Being live theatre, of course, none of the three performances were flawless. We had some moments where the harmonies derailed or almost derailed, but we were able to make corrections. That's what needs to happen with an a capella ensemble: everyone is listening to everyone else and corrections are able to be made. The most important one is when any individual member realizes he is off-key or otherwise compromising the harmonization as a whole, he drops out until he can get himself back on track. I did it myself, a few times over the course of the weekend.

My own real major flub was to start my solo at the beginning of "Auld Lang Syne" a half step high. At the Saturday evening performance, I blew the appropriate C on my pitch pipe while Chuck Larkowski started the monologue that takes us into the song. Then, at the mention of the song, during his monologue, I began singing on cue as he finishes the monologue. However, I started on a C-sharp. I felt it was the wrong key as I started, then, shortly, when I had to slip into falsetto earlier than usual I knew for sure. At that point, though, there's nothing much to do put push forward. I think the half-step up caused some mischief but it was minor and the ensemble recovered.

But you know, Live Theatre and the performances of, at least in some cases, fairly complicated arrangements of a capella music, that leads to many opportunities for imperfection to present itself.

THE ACTOR PREPARES ICON
NO TV ZONE
Now for the "Been Doing Stuff": the biggest "stuff" has been learning said arrangements. No small task, at least in several cases. So I blocked off many nice chunks of time over the last few weeks to attack the feat, with success and with obstacles. The TV is an easy one. It's not an obstacle if it's not turned on.

Let It Go & Chill Out -- To be honest "No TV Zone" was not wholly accurate but was reasonably close. The TV wasn't turned on until after I had burned out on working on the show and needed to retire the work for a while. Plus, there were the 11 am breaks most Saturday's for Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! on the radio. Have to have some priorities, ya know.

VACATION
During that period I burned up quite a bit of vacation leave from the rent-payer. I used more than sixty hours of vacation leave. As you five will know, I try to be stingy with the use of such leave, but, since it's mostly for arts-related use like this for which I try to hoard it, this is acceptable -- though I REALLY want to build it up in case I ever manage to need a few weeks off for a nice role in a feature movie production; a SAG/AFTRA feature would be the best scenario.

Hey: Hope Springs Eternal -- but I digress......

Gotta tell you, for a guy who's only barely musically literate, in terms of music theory, a lot of the All Is Calm score is, well, challenging, to say the least. "Silent Night" is especially so, though not exclusively so. It is the hardest of several more demanding arrangements from the show. The afore-mentioned "Auld Lang Syne" is one of those that are a close second. Of course, the other side of the coin is that the arrangements are impressive, so it's a trade-off, and the pay-off for conquering them is that we can make especially lovely music on stage.

Under The Weather
HEALTHWISE ICON
VOCAL WORK ICON
Early on, some of this "No-TV-Zone/vacation" time was hindered from being used at peak productivity because, though on the mend, my voice was much, much less than 100%. I tried hard to not aggravate the condition into a backslide, so I used less of some of those days off than I wanted to, to work on actually singing the arrangements, which is the best way for muscle memory to be trained. I did, after some nursing, start gently singing, then later using more voice, but I saved full singing for actual rehearsal in the evenings.

In the end, though I got in much less time than I had budgeted for during those vacation days, being home from the rent-payer all day, thus not needing to talk very much or at all, was still not a bad circumstance for my larynx and vocal chords. There was great improvement in my throat health and consequently my singing voice, but it still was fluctuating and was at least compromised a little bit, throughout. Even still, during the first weekend of performance I had sore-throat problems, albeit minor ones. Since the weekend there's been a further backslide, but I am taking the measures to combat that and also get me closer to, if not all the way at, 100% vocal health. I'd loved to be there by this coming weekend for shows 4-6.

In REHEARSAL icon
By the wrap of Tech Week and Final Dress things were going quite well despite that some cast members had to miss various of those last rehearsals for various reasons; not ideal, but unavoidable.

Personally, I was, by some miracle, in good shape musically. It was some of the German and French lyrics that were sticking points for me. It's clear that when I am memorizing lyrics in a foreign language, one which I don't know, those foreign lyrics are simply sets of nonsense syllables that my mind cannot easily anchor to something meaningful. That makes it a frustrating challenge for me. I've had practical proof, through present observation, that others in the cast find this process easier than I. So, for me it was been repetition, repetition, repetition. The results were "positive," yet, improvement was slow to arrive.

Otherwise, in terms of being off-book I was also a little behind the curve from where I usually am at by that time, and with only a small handfull of short monologues. It's just that learning the music was such a time-and-energy consuming priority. By Opening Night I was where I should have been, but I got there much later than I usually do. I, in fact, went up on a line during Final Dress, an occurrence I was not at all happy about.

AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
Technically, I suppose, I did do some sound design for this show; it was at a minimum. There was the curating of the pre-show music, the production of the two sound cues, and the choosing of the curtain call music.

The production of the two sound cues was more about the recording/engineering and then mixing than it was "sound design." There is a song called "Christmas 'Round the Campfire" that is supposed to be a radio broadcast, and though I suppose it could be performed live on stage, making a recoding to play back made better sense, especially since it could be fiddled with to make it sound like a 1914 radio broadcast. In the mixing phase I simply dropped a lot of the low-end frequencies from the equalization as well as adding a sound file of slight radio static. There also is a small monologue introduction into the song on the broadcast. We took about twenty-minutes or so at the start of a rehearsal a couple weeks back to record both the song and the monologue.

There is also "The Last Post," a British Infantry bugle call, that takes place close to the end of the show. Ideally, it would be live during the performances, but a bugle or trumpet player was not found who could do the run of the show. So we settled for a recorded performance for playback. Music Director David McKibben brought in Trumpet Player Alex Lindon and I recorded him, actually, on Tech Sunday before the proceedings began. Fortunately, I had enough time to get the recording processed into the Show Cue Systems program for the show and we were able to have "The Last Call" as part of the rehearsal that day.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Earlier in the rehearsal process we recorded the several songs from the show that are featured in the All Is Calm promocast. The license with Theater Latte Da, which developed the show and owns the rights, only allows for a total of thirty seconds of material from the show, for which I contained to music. I edited together a fast potpourri of selected songs from the production, the choices more David McKibben's than mine, but I had no objections to his selections. The thing is, I needed more the a half-minute of music for the DV movie. My plan had been to get a select small trio or quartette of men from the cast together and improvise an arrangement of "Silent Night" specifically for the promocast. I actually discussed with David in a production meeting before auditions.

Things got a bit hectic after the show was cast and the alternate arrangement with cast members was never recorded. So, the night before Tech Sunday, I got with The George Spelvin Choral Quintet and recorded an arrangent of "Silent Night" by George's wife, Georgette.

The alternate version of "Silent Night" gave me enough to cover the meat of the DV movie, which was a collection of still photographs, taken by fellow actor and DTG board member, Rick Flynn, with a few photos I took on another night. Rick came in and shot the Monday rehearsal of Tech Week. There were a couple unfortunate happenstances about that night. First, all the costumes were not ready as had been expected, so I elected to not ask those who did have costumes to wear them. I did not think a mixture of actors in and out of costume would work well. Also, two actors were not able to be there, one because of his day job, the other who was ill. Rick was otherwise booked on Tuesday so he could not change his night to shoot. So I took some shots on Tuesday of the two actors missing from Monday, as well as using some pics I had taken of them on Tech Sunday. But the photography in the DV movie is overwhelmingly Rick's work.

For the closing credits I relied on D.A.W.N. Music for a theoretically royalty free version of "Green Sleeves." I say "theoretically royalty free" because right now, on our DTG YouTube channel there is a third-party royalty recovery ad attached to ever single DV Movie that uses a royalty free song I have purchased from D.A.W.N. This is a problem since the ads are intended to be attached to recover royalties from videos that don't use licensed music -- AND WE ARE USING LICENSED MUSIC! But more on that after I get back from the warpath I am about to embark upon.

BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION
BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION
DOH! Ooops!
Ooops!
Ooops!
So this happened: Last Wednesday, I took the day off from the rent-payer to edit the promocast, which is what I usually do on the Wednesday before a DTG show opens for that specific purpose. Most of the time I am using eight hours of vacation leave, rather than arranging to make up the hours on other days of the week. Making it up means four ten-hour days, which I don't mind, but, if I am very involved with the production, on stage, behind the scenes, or both, that extra two hours each of the other days can become problematic. In those frequent circumstances I take a vacation day, instead, as I did last week. I had actually assembled a bit of the edit over the previous weekend. I had the promocast intro as well the music to go under Rick's photographs in the edit project. That preparation made Wednesday mostly about dropping the photos in and processing them so they have that B&W sepia coloring, a vintage-esque look to them.

Around 3:00 or 3:30 I had a final cut. I began the process of rendering that edit into the master QuickTime movie. During the rendering I decided that one of the credits in the ending scroll should be placed earlier in the listing. I cancelled the render then went in to delete the partially rendered movie. I also emptied the trash afterward so I would have maximum hard drive space for the buffering during the next render.

HOWEVER: when I opened Final Cut Pro X back up to change the closing credits......
                                                        ......there was no project edit file for the promocast!

Yes. That's correct. Turns out I had not deleted the partially-rendered master movie; I had deleted the FCPX project file. Had I not also then cleaned the trash out, there would not have been a problem. I could have simply went into the trash and recovered the file. But I HAD emptied the trash and though a recovery was not imposible it would have taken software I don't have or a trip to a computer doctor I had neither the time nor money to spend.

After several minutes of loud verbal abuse against myself, storming close to violently around my apartment (and do not assume I am being hyperbolic about that), I settled down, called my boss at the day job and told her I would need to take all of Thursday off, too. Which means another eight hours of vacation leave. That means this show has now cost me almost two full weeks of vacation leave -- pretty steep. It was, in the end, willingly sacrificed, yes, but still -- pretty steep, and a big invasion into that alloted savings for the whatever-it-will-be big project for me as an actor......

All whining aside, I did get the movie done and out into the world by late afternoon on Thursday. It was a faster process on Thursday since I had the blueprint from the doomed edit assembly from the day before, and I was even able to make a few improvements.

Note Addendum PS icon
*A little clarification: I do also like to use some of my vacation leave for an actual vacation. I don't want to only use it for acting or film making, etc. -- as an example: "Chicago trips!", (of which which we know I am fond).


THE FINAL SESSION OF THE LATEST HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY ACTING CLASS:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON

A few weeks back the HRTC acting class came to an end. The closing class was a very small showcase where my classmates and I did our scenes for a handfull of invited friends and other guests. I, of course, was privileged, through the circumstance of the student who was my scenemate needing to drop the class, to be able to act my scene with our instructor, the talented Jennifer Joplin.

For those who don't know, Jennifer and I did a few pages from Greg Pierce's Slowgirl. One point of interest is that when I suggested the scene I thought we should do to Jennifer, I had a later part of the scene, where the two characters talk a bit about their dilemmas. Jennifer suggested an earlier part of the scene, a little more situational to the scene, that gives you a taste of the characters through their reactions to each other. Also interesting is that I did not have the bulk of the lines, whatsoever. Ultimately this was a better choice than what I had had in mind, first because of that point that we learn about the characters through their actions and reactions, and also because it gave me a chance as an actor to show the character through his nonverbal reactions, his "internal dialogue" as the thespian teachers are known to label such.

After a recent facebook post about this class, a friend wrote of thinking about doing a beginners class, and then said, "I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that wasn't the one you were in?" Of course, unless you didn't already know, this was an introduction-to-acting class, but I took it because Jennifer was teaching it and I didn't know if she'd be back and wanted to seize the opportunity. Besides, even a beginners class has something to offer for someone like me whose been doing the advanced classes. There is always a new theatre game or warm-up game or something that can be taken away from it. Jennifer had some of those; plus, I got to act in a scene with an actor whom I respect -- can't beat that!


THE BAKER GETS SOME LEGAL COUNSEL:
PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon

The early part of the month I also wrapped the U.D. Law gig where I played the bakery owner who had a breach of contract beef with someone. The seven students came in and under the scrutiny of an actual lawyer in the room with us, gave my character counseling on what action to take.

I originally had another U.D. Law gig booked for Saturday morning, Nov 14, but I had to cancel due to a conflict that came up. There is supposed to be a courtroom mock trial in February, that as far as I know, is still on.


NIGHT WATCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon

I've done some pre-production for the promocast for Night Watch. I emailed Dramatist Play Service seeking the contact information for Dorthy L. Hermann and/or Wendy E. Harlow, whom are Playwright Lucille Fletcher's daughters and the executors of her estate. The sisters control the copyrights on the Fletcher intellectual properties, so they are who would grant clearance to use dialogue from the play in the DV movie. I've been unsuccessful in otherwise obtaining good contact information for the two women, so I tried DPS.

I got a response but it was not helpful. Rather than give me contact information, the email just told me what I already knew, that DPS cannot grant me rights for the DV movie -- that would be because DPS does not control such rights. Which is why I need to get in contact with the sisters, who do control such rights.


LAST MONTH'S PLAY READINGS FROM THE OHIO PLAYWRIGHTS CIRCLE:
Dayton Theatre Guild Community Outreach and Collaboration

I have no first-hand knowledge of how the playreading went Oct 24, but the report was that it went well. Remember there are two remaining events from OPC to happen at The Guild, one coming up soon:



Not in the audience icon
Once again, a lot of friends and acquaintances are, or have recently been, in local productions that I have not been, and/or will not be, able to attend.

The one I am most regretful about missing is Bruce Cromer as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

A close second is Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Clark State Community College, with Saul Caplan, which just closed this past weekend.



ThanksGiving 2015

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APR-JUNE, 2017
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OCT-DEC, 2017



HAPPY THANKSGIVING







NIGHT WATCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
Announcing
The Cast of Night Watch

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Elaine Wheeler            Debra Strauss

John Wheeler            David Shough

Curtis Appleby            Rick Flynn

Blanche            Lorin Dineen

Lt. Walker            Dave Nickel

Helga            Julie Hauwiller

Officer Vanelli            Andre Tomlinson

Dr. Tracey Lake            Cynthia Karns

Sam Hoke            Richard Young

CONGRATULATIONS!
*updated Jan 1, 2016 to reflect a cast change



Sun, Nov 29, 2015
*retrospective entry

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xxxx
It was late this day before I realized it was the fourteenth anniversary of the death of George Harrison. What a loss. This man's gentle soul was a key element to the make up of The Beatles and was instrumental in the strength of love that emanated from his music as a member of The Beatles and afterward.


Tue, Dec 1, 2015

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THE SOPHOMORE WEEKEND:
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
On Stage icon

The second weekend went as well, if not a little better than the first. We had close to, or actual, sold-out houses and the performances were good, too. Several connected to the show believe the Saturday performance was our best thus far. Myself, I can't say; I can't tell from my point of view on stage. I do know we have on most nights had the audience on their feet at curtain call -- actually all but one, and even a few that night.

I have an overall satisfaction with my own work over the weekend. But, of course, there were sone flubs on my part: at least one substitution of a synonym for a correct word; a mis-delivery of a line "we hadn't seen any ourselves in ages" rather than the correct, "we hadn't seen any ourselves since we left England," and one place where I stumbled slightly on some words. Now that I think about I flipped the syntax in a line, too.

Though close, my vocal health is still not quite at 100% and at Sunday's show that played a big factor at one point. During my solo at the beginning of "Auld Lang Syne" my throat was a bit dryer than I'd like, and I had just drank from my canteen and about half-way through the solos I got this tremendous tickle in my throat that threatened to sabotage the solo; I wasn't sure I would make it to the end without my voice failing. But I pushed through to the end. My voice did fail later in the song when I was in with the ensemble, so it was easy to drop out briefly without being a detriment to the performance.

A cast mate asked me what that look of panic on my face was during the song. When I told him he replied that he heard no problems in the solo, which is good to hear. Of course, I then worried that the audience saw the look of panic, too.

Pictures from before the show this past Sunday, November 29, 2015
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The greenroom
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The tech booth
xxxx
The stage from the booth



AND THE NEXT SHOW IS UNDERWAY:
NIGHT WATCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Last night I attended the first meet-and-greet for cast and crew of our next DTG venture, Night Watch. I spoke shortly about the sound design, Very shortly as I have not really began to work on sound for this show due to concentration on All Is Calm.

DTG Promocast Production logo
I also spoke some about shooting the DV movie footage for the promocast. Basically warning them that I would be around toward the end with cameras.

Copyright © Symbol icon -- As to whether we will be using dialogue from the script in the DV movie, that is still up in the air. I'll send a clarifying email to Dramatist Play Service explaining that I am not seeking clearance rights from them, which I was already aware they cannot grant, but that I am seeking contact information for those who can grant the clearance I need, namely Dorthy L. Hermann and Wendy E. Harlow, who are Lucille Fletcher's daughters. Now I'm awaiting what I hope is a more productive response from DPS.

FYI ICON
As a nice little aside, over the weekend I heard a segment on Studio 360 about Lucille Fletcher's 1943 radio play, Sorry, Wrong Number, which was recently added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. You can hear the Studio 360 segment by clicking here.



Thu, Dec 3, 2015

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All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Got a very strong review from Burt Saidel in The Oakwood Register.


Check out the article here.


Sun, Dec 6, 2015

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Closing Today

HOLIDAY EXTRA -- ALL IS CALM by Rothstein, Lichte, & Takach, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of All Is Calm
(in alphabetical order)

Gage Emerson
Michael Favors
David Gaylor
David Hallowren
Chuck Larkowski
Dave Nickel
Chris Petree
Jeff Sams
David Short
K.L.Storer
Mike Taint

The Promocast for All Is Calm

The Final Weekend, OR, MOST OF IT:
On Stage icon

Crud Bug icon
VOCAL WORK ICON
It started late Wednesday evening, or more accurately, early Thursday morning. I woke up very sick with acute dizziness and nausea that did become vomiting, to the point of dry heaving.

I thought it was a mild case of food poisoning, which I chose as the hopeful outcome over a potential influenza bug. The food poisoning, at a mild dose, would have been history in probably twelve hours or so, and there would be no associated vocal health problems. The flu, however, could be a threat to my performances over the weekend.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be the latter, some sort of a bug, because by Thursday afternoon my throat had backslid into being quite sore, then got worse. As of about 1:00 pm on Friday I was not able to competently sing my "Old Land Syne" solo. As it stood at that point I would only be able to sing as ensemble and gently so. I texted Director Kathy Mola and Music Director David McKibben and warned them we might have wanted to seriously think about who could take that solo Friday night, just in case.

I found when I got to the theatre Friday evening that my castmate Dave Gaylor was on call to step in if I was still too bad to take on the solo. I had worked at nursing my throat and voice all afternoon: Throat Coat Tea with honey, gargling with salt and lemon juice and warm water. I was able to rally back to a decent capability to sing the solo. Of course, I needed to pull back most of the night so that I could give the solo its due when the time came.

So I successfully performed Friday night, but there were problems. First was that pesky vocal thing. It helps that my castmates and some audience members assured me they could not tell I was having vocal problems. I, however, know I wasn't up to snuff, that I had to pullback a bit, even on the solo. The other problem was I was a little weak and had several moments of light-headedness or dizziness. There were several times when I almost lost my balance, especially at points when I was to be in a soft freeze, just standing there.

The dizziness put me a bit off my game at several points. In fact as I was walking downstage to give my first monologue, I got dizzy and it threw me a bit. So I struggle some to remember my lines. I stumbled over some words, drop some of it and the had to make up my character name. The weakness and dizziness made my overall performance lackluster; I just didn't have the gusto, the energy, and the finesse of reactions I usually had. Our director insisted I did not let my condition show -- that pleases me.

Yesterday I was in much better shape, no line screw-ups, and my voice was in better shape -- at least better shape than Friday night. I did drop out during a couple spots as I sang ensemble, because I could tell my voice was going to crack, and my voice falter for a moment during the trio I am part of in "Old Land Syne" just after my solo. But it was a good show for me, nevertheless.

I actually was moved close to tears several time during yesterday's performance. I was feeding off some audience members who were moved. At several points during "Old Land Syne," in fact, I got so choked up I almost couldn't sing. That happened a few times earlier in the show, too. Toward the end of the show, on my last monologue, I got very choked up on my last four words, which are "We will remember them." Choked up to the point that I almost didn't get "them" out. I have gotten choked up there before, but yesterday it was worse.

All things considered, this weekend has, thus far, been as successful as the first two were.

I'll do a full-blown post-script about the production sometime soon. Meanwhile, onward to the next thing....

After today's show, of course.


Robert Loggia, Dec 3, 1930- Jan 4, 2015


Mon, Dec 7, 2015

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History Channel - Pearl Harbor Day - http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor







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John Lennon
"An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, perhaps, of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival."

Howard Cosell, Monday Night Football, Dec. 8, 1980

      Reposted/Revised From Previous Dec 8's:
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY: JOHN LENNON John Lennon

Wow! So it's been thirty-five years since the assassination of John Lennon. In some ways I remember it like it was yesterday, cliché, I know, but still true. On that day, thirty-five years ago, I was twenty-two years old. I was, and still am, a major Beatles fan, as was, and are, most of my friends whom I grew up with. I had just recently been on the phone with one of my friends, whom I've known since first grade, Jerry Spencer. A few years earlier, Jerry had moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. We had talked of the merits of John Lennon's new album, Double Fantasy. Of the pros and cons of him sharing space equally with Yoko Ono, and of the surprisingly good B-side to the single, "Starting Over," a song written and sang by Yoko, titled "Walking On Thin Ice." It stands, still today, as the best thing Yoko has done musically, and actually good enough that if I were to catch it while changing stations, I'd actually stop and give it a listen. Not that there's much chance that would happen.

Jerry and I also talked of how excited we were that John was preparing to announce a U.S., then international, concert tour to support the new album.

We were stoked!

December 8, 1980 was a Monday. For whatever reason, I had gone to bed earlier than usual that day. I was still living with my parents and after I'd been asleep some period of time, my mother came in and said, "Jerry Spencer's on the phone."

Groggy, I picked up.

"Hey man, did you hear about John?"

In a fog I said, "Who?"

"John Lennon. Some nut just shot and killed him! Howard Cosell just announced it on Monday Night Football."

"Yeah, right. And we know it's happened because he's barefoot on the front cover of the album, right?"

"No, man! It's true! Some nut shot him and killed him."

Still, really not totally awake, I sort of acquiesced to the fact and said goodbye to Jerry. I remember that I lay there for a moment and thought: Well, guess I'm not going to ever meet John Lennon. Then drifted back asleep.

It was getting ready for work the next morning and hearing the report on the news. That's when it hit me. It was as if I had just found out that one of my best friends in the world had died. The impact was overwhelming. I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and wept.

John Lennon is dead.

John Lennon is dead!

JOHN FUCKING LENNON IS FUCKING DEAD!

Even as I write these words, three decades later, I feel the drop in my gut, the hole in my chest, the sorrow.

"John Lennon is dead."

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, are to me, like many others, my major artistic influence. I don't simply mean my major musical influence, I mean that they had, and despite that many don't believe it, Paul still has, an artistic approach that basically says, "Why not?"

As one in thousands of examples: Why not end a pop song with a major sixth chord and dissident vocal harmony? ("She Loves You").

I was pretty young when the Beatles came out. I turned six in June of 1964, so, though I was certainly aware of pop music, that the Beatles were injecting rock and pop with a radical new twist on the genres was beyond my thought processes. But I remember what in retrospect I think was my first aesthetic appreciation of John. It was when I heard "Rain." I say "think" because I know that in the studio, The Beatles were very democratic about the arrangements and the process of recording their songs. Any good idea to make the end product better was considered and often chosen. John wrote "Rain," and as I got older I developed great poetic appreciation for the message of the lyrics.

But as a kid, my first impression and what appealed to me was the sonic presentation. There is this powerful wall of sound that stampedes like a title wave of dark rich guitar chords and booming bass. It's one of the first times I can remember really recognizing artistic craftwork. Somewhere in the same period I heard "Eleanor Rigby" and I was starting to know there was something special about The Beatles.

Of course, being the age I was, The Monkees were more my speed (inspired by The Beatles movie Help, which, though I don't dislike it, is my least favorite of all Beatles movies). The Monkees existed, in fact, because The Beatles had no interest, whatsoever, in an offer to make a sitcom in Hollywood.

Well, then, in 1967 my older cousin Greg bought the album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was fanatically raving about it. My family and his spent a lot of time together in those days so I heard the album a lot. And my enthusiasm for The Monkees as my favorite band began to quickly fade. By the time I was ten, I was a die-hard Beatles fan.

I personally have a little bit more of an affinity for Paul McCartney, but don't be mistaken: my love of John Lennon as an artist and human being is strong. And there is no question that lyrically, John Lennon is the strongest of The Beatles. He is, I believe, one of the best lyricists in rock and pop history.

Sometimes beautifully poetic, other times, straight-and-direct-to-the-juggler plain spoken.

"Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away
Across the universe

Pools of sorrow
Waves of joy
Are passing though my open mind
Possessing and caressing me"
-- "Across The Universe"

"You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know you can count me out

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow"
-- "Revolution"

John was probably a bit pretentious in his early 1970's anti-war presentation, because, as anyone who's studied Beatles and/or John know, his ego was pretty big and strong and certainly matched Paul's, and really, in many ways dwarfed Paul's. That doesn't mean that there was anything insincere about John's anti-war sentiment. It was not a PR stunt. And when John said, Hey, the press is going to be following us (him and Yoko) around, anyway. We might as well use the space they're going to give us, no matter what we are doing and saying, to do and say something of value, when he said this, it was not disingenuous.

As for his personal life, John was open in both his art and his interviews about most of it. The raw honesty of his 1971 album Plastic Ono Band makes it one of the greatest artworks of his career. Just as Paul had done with his home-grown McCartney album the year before, and The Beatles had done with their last released album (second to last recorded) Let It Be, John also returned to a simpler presentation of the music: the arrangements and production were bare boned, even more so than McCartney. The opening cut, for instance, "Mother," is a solo vocal, a piano, a drum kit and a bass guitar, recorded live in the studio. No over-dubs. no double tracking. The only production trick is the bongs of the tower clock at the start, which John slowed down and edited on.

That album is lyrically raw and relentlessly honest and unapologetic. In "God," he basically says, among other things, "Suck it up fans, The Beatles are over. I'm not a Beatle anymore.":

"God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
Our pain,
I'll say it again,
God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
Our pain,
I don't believe in magic,
I don't believe in I-ching,
I don't believe in bible,
I don't believe in tarot,
I don't believe in Hitler,
I don't believe in Jesus,
I don't believe in Kennedy,
I don't believe in Buddha,
I don't believe in mantra,
I don't believe in Gita,
I don't believe in yoga,
I don't believe in kings,
I don't believe in Elvis,
I don't believe in Zimmerman,
I don't believe in Beatles,
I just believe in me,
Yoko and me,
And that's reality.
The dream is over,
What can I say?
The dream is over,
Yesterday,
I was dreamweaver,
But now I'm reborn,
I was the walrus,
But now I'm John,
And so dear friends,
You just have to carry on,
The dream is over."

In the famous interview on Tomorrow with Tom Snyder in 1975, he explained that as a song writer all he's ever been doing is, "reporting on the state [I am in] at the time."

In an interview not long after The Beatles broke up he was straight forward about being a professional musician and a pop star. Asked if he was ever worried of being accused of "selling out" his response was, "Selling out to where? Any rocker who signs a contract with a record company is selling his wares. 'Now I'm singing for my supper.' To think you're not is to be fucking lying to yourself." (I'm quoting that from memory but I'm pretty sure it's verbatim).

With the last album that John saw through to the final product, Double Fantasy, his honesty was much less radical but no less straight forward. The songs, mostly written toward the end of his self-imposed five-year hiatus from the business showed the migration of philosophy toward a middle-aged man who was at peace with himself much more than he'd ever been in his life.

The philosophy of "I don't believe in Beatles" is clearly less important than the idea of his family. There is an inherent message of being a husband and being a father. Granted, the love-torn, "I'm Losing You," is on the album, but that was written during his separation from Yoko in the mid-70's, when he was bar hopping with Harry Nilsson to escape his misery. Lennon included the song because it's a good mid-tempo rocker, a good track.

Along with McCartney and some others of his generation, John is so incredibly important to the movement forward of rock-and-roll and pop music in general because of artistic inquisitiveness and his ability to think outside the box. If he's not THE leader, he is one of a very few on a very short list. Lennon didn't think there was anywhere that a rock artist couldn't go musically and artistically. Anything was fair game to throw into the mix. This was why he, McCartney, and George Harrison, (who is arguably the first to be responsible for the fusion of Indian music into rock and jazz), were so compatible artistically. *I didn't include Ringo here because I'm addressing songwriting and major musical arrangement.

As one of my cultural icons, John Lennon transcends his musical appeal and innovation, by his intellect and his use of his fame as a platform to ask for, to appeal for, to try to influence us toward a better world, one where love rules and hate and war and greed are relics from a yesterday.

I can't believe the world has been without him for over three decades. I have relived my weeping for him from that morning so long ago so often since; it has become a perpetual yesterday morning.

I'm still saying Goodbye, today.

*originally posted on Dec 8, 2010, this latest version has been on slightly updated/revised to reflect current time




PLEASE STAND BY
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

POST-SCRIPT COMING SOON!



Thu, Dec 10, 2015

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On Set icon
I have been offered a small role in a Wright State University Motion Picture Program student film. Principal photography is slated for mid-January, but my scene should be likely one half-day.


Dayton Theatre Guild Community Outreach and Collaboration
A NEW PLAYREADING

The Ohio Playwrights Circle, in association with the Dayton Theatre Guild, is pleased to offer a season of new play readings at the Caryl D. Philips Theatre Scape in Dayton. You are invited to come and experience these new readings by local playwrights and screenwriters, including scenes, short plays, full plays and screenplays.

The Dayton Theatre Guild is providing our theatre space for these readings at the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, located at 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton Ohio 45410. Audience members will be asked to participate in brief feedback sessions for the writers. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

The next event:

December 12, 2015 at 7pm - New script reading:
Just Her Imagination by Wayne Wolfe
directed by Jene Rebin Shaw.

Future events:

February 6, 2016 at 7pm - New script reading
June 18, 2016 at 7pm - New script reading

The Ohio Playwrights Circle (OPC) exists to bring opportunities and education to Ohio playwrights. OPC is a project of the American Artworks Foundation. For additional information please contact Ohio Playwrights Circle at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Playwrights-Circle/269003976491324
Blog: ohioplaywrightscircle.wordpress.com/



PLEASE STAND BY
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

POST-SCRIPT COMING SOON!



Mon, Dec 21, 2015

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NIGHT WATCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
It's starting to look like there will not be clearance for use of dialogue in the promocast for the show. The week before last I contact a different person at Dramatist Play Service and that person referred me to the William Morris Endeavor agency. I called them only to find that the agent who handles Lucille Fletcher's work was transferred to the agency's London office. I have left several messages on that agent's voice mail and have received no response. She's American so I'm wondering if she hasn't traveled back to the States for the holidays. I may not hear back from her until it's too late, even if clearance would be granted. I have to have a final cut by January 6, which means I have to be in production before I may likely hear back, if I ever do hear back.


CRUMPET AT THE RACE:
In the audience icon

Saturday evening I saw the final performance of Tim Lile in David Sedaris's Santaland Dairies at The Human Race Theatre Company, directed by Scott Stoney. The play is a one-man show, adapted by Joe Mantello from Sedaras's short story of the same name. Our protagonist is Crumpet, as played by Tim Lile, who chronicles for the audience his experience working as an elf at Macy's in New York City. I enjoyed the performance and the production and, as is usually the case when I see a one-person show, I couldn't help but consider whether I could pull one off.

By the Way
A side note: we produced this at The Guild a few years back at Christmas of 2007. We presented it with Mark Diffenderfer in the role, and with the companion piece of Season's Greetings, another Sedaris piece, also adapted by Montello, with Katrina Kittle in the role of Jocelyn Dunbar.


PLEASE STAND BY
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

POST-SCRIPT COMING SOON!

It seems to always take me a while to get these post-mortem essays about shows I've been in into shape. The better the experience, that more difficulty seems inherent. It took me a few days to start this one, and then writing about it has been start-and-stall. I also had some medical drama thrown in there that took me out of the game for everything for several days. I am working on the post-script and it'll be up sometime this week..........

..........probably..........                                          



Tue, Dec 22, 2015

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THE WORK CONTINUES:
NIGHT WATCH & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON

I've been attending rehearsals and building concepts for the sound design. I started gathering jazz music from the era the play is being set in, specifically 1974, but the concept has migrated in another direction, probably, so I may use little if any of that jazz. I also started gathering together Top-40 hits from the era, at least the more "adult contemporary" style hits of the era. Those may not be used, either. I haven't come to a firm decision, but at the moment I am inclined toward almost exclusively string and orchestral music, for all of production music as well as pre-show and intermission. I also have to put together sound effects, but that won't be difficult; some will be built by editing sound files from my library together; and I may Foley some sound effects, as well.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
Since I've still not received any response from the agent at the London office of the William Morris Endeavor agency, she who oversees the work of our playwright, Lucille Fletcher, it's looking more and more like there will not be dialogue from the play in the promocast DV movie.


PLEASE STAND BY
All Is Calm & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

POST-SCRIPT COMING SOON!

Ya know......working on it......yadda yadda......


BRITTANY'S SEXY DARTH VADER:
PROMOTING MY FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES IN PROFESSIONAL GIGS

Though this is technically not a "gig," here's a new music video from Brittany Campbell for the song "Sexy Darth Vader" from her album Heroes. As some of you may know, I met this uber-talented young woman on the stage at The Human Race Theatre Company, when she and I were in Caroline, or Change.

I'm telling ya, sooner or later she's breaking it big, big, big:


CONGRATULATIONS!
*Just a reminder this is only a small sampling of the professional work of my friends and colleagues. I'm simply not going to be aware of all their good fortunes. Plus, I may screw up and learn of something and forget about it -- I can be that way, easily. But if I know (and remember), I'll give a shout out for the pro gig successes! And I know that in the last few weeks and months I have failed to mention a lot of stuff from a lot of my friends. Chalk it up to schedule and mental disorder conflicts.



Christmas Day, 2015

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM K.L.











Winter Holiday Feature

"Before The Unwrapping Begins"
a Christmas poem by Cynthia DiSciullo and William Zigmont

Christmas Poems by Kathleen Patricia Egan

Christmas Stories (and an essay) by Leola Claiborne Carhee

"Let Me Come In (a Christmas poem)" by Richard Bugg

"My Little Friend" by Malathi Nidadavolu
*illustrated by Rambabu Arle

"The Spirit of Christmas" by Butterflypoet






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