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

K.L.'s Blog © 2004-2017 K.L.Storer -- all rights reserved

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Sun, Oct 2, 2016

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JAN-MAR, 2012
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JAN-MAR, 2014
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JAN-MAR, 2015
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JAN-MAR, 2017
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OCT-DEC, 2017



WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:
soma fm - Groove Salad

As is occasionally the case, I am listening to my favorite, background, newage-ish, streaming radio station, Groove Salad Radio, from soma fm, as I compose this blog entry. Just a little unsolicited plug.


BUILDING CHARACTER AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
Final Draft 8 icon

Yesterday I attended the three-hour play writing seminar, "Building Character," at HRTC, featuring Playwright Michael Slade. It was a nice way to spend a few hours on a Saturday.

The three hours was mostly a discusion between Michael and us eight attendees. We did do one exercise where Michael passed out copies of a photograph of a young man in some sore of small, cinderblock room, made up like a bedroom, without bars on the window, so not suggesting a prison cell. Our task was to study the young man (late teen to mid twenties in age) and the items and furnishings showing, then create an identity, a biography, or a basic character description (or all three) of the young man.

I did bring a few pages of work to show him, actually I printed out the play pages I started last years as well as the screenplay for The Chorus for Candice and for the longer short movie that is not out of draft yet -- and for which I have tentative-to solid plans to shoot the end of next summer. We ran out of time during the seminar but Michael invited us to either leave him a few pages or email him such, later. I left him the first two scenes from the play, which only has a partial third scene written, anyway. Again, I'm not sure what is in those first two scenes shows character well, but we'll see.

At any rate, I was pleased with the seminar.


PROMOTIONAL WORK THIS AFTERNOON:
OUTGOING TIDE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo

Today is Tech Sunday for our DTG production of Outgoing Tide. I have chosen a few moments from the show to shoot later this afternoon. The plan is still do have the actors perform those specific moments more for the camera in a special shooting session, rather than having myself capture those moments while the cast runs the show.

The shoot is scheduled for 3:00. Theoretically I have fifteen minutes, and I think I should be able to "make the day" as it were, in that allotted time. If I go iver, it will not be by much. I sent the monets from the script to Director Kathy Mola last night and I assume she forwarded them to the cast.

One bright spot for this production: since I am not the sound designer, and am in no other way directly connected to the show, I do not need to be at any of the dress rehearsals, even including the rest of today. I can be at home to edit the promocast during any evening this week, while Tech Week rehearsals are going on at the theatre -- i.e.: since I have no obligation to be at the theatre as a designer, consulting and trouble-shooting, it wont be necessary to take a vacation day from the rent-payer!


By the Way
CORRECTION
34 Years

When I originally posted the graphic and the text about my sober anniversary last Thursday (Sep 29), the graphic and the text both stated I was "32" years sober.

Well, I cheated myself out of two years. After having my error brought to my attention, I changed the 32, to "34," in both the graphic and the text.

The "Sep 29, 1982" in the text has always been the correct, it was just my math that was incorrect.

Good math says "2016-1982=34."

I guess my error is either a sign that something approximating humility is somehow creeping in, or, old age is taking hold. It's probably the latter rather than the former.


AND INTRODUCING!

K.L.'s Theatre Production Terms            K.L.'s Film, Television, and Video Production Terms

If you are one of the five who inexplicably visit this blog with any regularity, you might notice that the little definitions footnote window for theatre and film making terms is absent, and rather the terms are now hot-linked. I have created the two pages you see icons for here, to get the clutter off the page, and to reduce the chance of "talking down" to what I imagine is the majority of the few people who do actually visit here and read this silly endeavor, and who are just as familiar with most or all of the terms I frequently use.

You will find if you go backward in the archived pages that I have hot-linked these terms throughout the blog and have eliminated all the definitions tables. To the best of my knowledge, I have, and will later convert any I may have missed.

Both the K.L.'s Theatre Production Terms and the K.L.'s Film, Television, and Video Production Terms pages are dynamic; I will add to them, and I will occasionally rewrite a definition if it seems it can be clarified or corrected to be more accurate.

As well as a link to the specific term being used, both pages will have these hot-link icons, above, at the bottom of the active blog page.



Thu, Oct 6, 2016

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ADULT ACTING AT HRTC:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
ACTING ICON
Last Monday evening, in the Adult Acting Techniques class at the Human Race Theatre Company, Instructor Jennifer Joplin had us play a couple games, one that was very probably from the Viewpoints school of training. Each of us were charged to, as we milled around in the performance space, to secretly pick one person as a "threat" and another as a "shield." The goal was, as we moved about, to keep ourselves positioned so that our "shields" were always physically between ourselves and our "threats."

You might imagine that what ensued was a little bit of chaos. Now mind you, we each kept our shields and threats confidential, so we were each in the space, attending to our own agendas with everyone else's agendas a potential conflict or stumbling block to our own, with us unaware of the vital information about all our classmates.

The two important things I got from this game: 1) in any script worth seeing on stage or screen, or worth being in as an actor, there will be conflicting character agendas that will wholly or at least significantly drive the story and provide the tension; 2) as an actor I must be conscious that my goals and methods for my performance and the goals and methods my castmates may at times may at times conflict and I need to be cognizant of this and find ways to better collaborate with said castmates when it's obvious such is needed.

The other game was for each of us to pair off with one classmate, pick a line from the scene we are doing for class, then, based on adjectives that suggest emotional motivation, such as "taunting," "shy," "proud," etc., etc. In other words, say the line with inflections to suggest the intent of each word.

We also spent a good half of the class time with each of us off with our scenemates working on our scenes, my mates and mine being the scene from Pick Up Ax, by Anthony Clarvoe. My next goal is to start working toward off-book; time to break out the index cards.......


"DTG PROMOCAST 1617-02 THE OUTGOING TIDE":

Screen shot of Final Cut Pro X editing suite with THE OUTGOING TIDE promocast DV movie project open, and a frame with all three actros in it showing in the edit window.
OUTGOING TIDE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo

The show is finishing up Tech Week, with Final Dress Rehearsal tonight. As I am not directly involved with the production I have not seen a full run of the show; I did see all of Act I and part of Act II when I watched the run last Wednesday. Everything seems to be going well. I, of course, was watching to pick the moments I wanted for the promocast, and I found them. Then, as planned, I had the actors perform those moments for me during the shoot this past Tech Sunday.

Despite that the promocast could have been at final cut even as early as Sunday evening, I didn't get to the editing phase until last night, so no earlier than usual posting of this one.

But it is up now: youtu.be/49NtcqbESPk.



Fri, Oct 7, 2016

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Opening Today

OUTGOING TIDE by Bruce Graham, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast of the show



Sun, Oct 9, 2016

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Happy Birthday John, Happy Birthday & Sean
Since I'm pressed for time and haven't gotten around to creating a 2016 graphic for John's (& Sean's) birthday, I'll just go ahead and recycle this from last year.

*and also, technically, this was posted the next day, Oct 10.



Mon, Oct 10, 2016

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xxxx
Making the line flashcards at lunch, last week.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
ACTING ICON

In the process of that off-book stuff for the scene from Pick Up Ax, by Anthony Clarvoe for the Adult Acting Techniques class at The Human Race Theatre Company, with Instructor Jennifer Joplin at the helm. Tonight, and from this point forward, most of class time will be spent working the scenes. I will not be "off-book" at all, tonight, but, my familiarity with the words and the character as he is evolving will be much better. I must admit, I could have been off-book by now, but I have let other things, mostly not theatre or otherwise arts related, get in the way.

TIP: don't start to memorize lines while laying in bed after a long day.


      
also
      
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
Final Draft 8 icon

Playwright Michael Slade emailed a short response to the two scenes from the play I started in 2015, which I had given to him at the end of the Building Character writing seminar at HRTC.

He had a few thoughts and suggestions, a couple I am ignoring, but a couple others I found most helpful and for which I almost immediately saw easy fixes.


OPENING THE SHOW:
OUTGOING TIDE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

As is the regular situation, I was there Opening Night, but I was the house manager so I did not pay much attention to the show. As is also the usual case, the audience's response was very positive, so I would say we have another notch on the Successful Productions Belt. I was not there at all the rest of the weekend, but can't imagine it was any different.



Tue, Oct 11, 2016

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
ACTING ICON
Jennifer (Joplin) focused on blocking during the first forty-five minutes or so of last night's Adult Acting Techniques class at The Human Race Theatre Company.

Then we moved on to our scenes, and if you have been here before you'll remember that the scene my scenemates and I are doing is from Pick Up Ax, by Anthony Clarvoe.

No, I was not off-book, just as I said I would not be. But I have every intention of being so next week.


OPEN AUDITIONS CLOSE TONIGHT:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
Last night we had a decent turnout for the open auditions for The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Steven Levenson. There were some good reads for all of the roles. The auditions conclude tonight at the theatre. If you're a local actor, it's not too late:

Three men, two women. For the specifics, see just below this blog entry if you are reading this today. Hope to see you there......



Fri, Oct 14, 2016

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ANNOUNCING THE CAST:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

The Cast of
The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin

(in order of appearance)

CHARACTER
      ACTOR
Tom Durnin       Ray Geiger

James Durnin       Tim Madden

Katie Nicholson       Ryan Kelly

Chris Wyatt       Ryan Shannon

Karen Brown-Canedy       Karen Righter

This is the first time I have been completely involved with the casting process. I have been involved before as Producer, save for a few cases where I had to recuse from the casting discussion as I had also auditioned for the show. In those other situations I was only involved in the post audition discussion. This time I sat at the table for all but the first forty minutes of Monday night, as I was late by arrangement due to the 7:30 dismissal of the Adult Acting Techniques class. Save for that forty minutes, I was essentially one of the auditors, albeit secondary, taking notes and making decisions with some amount of weight toward the show, a particular scenario I have never been in before.

Yeah, well, okay, as sometimes a competing actor and always as a guy with the ambition to eventually direct for stage, I always have taken mental notes during auditions I have attended, regardless of why I was there. But this is the first time that my notes were written, and the first time they had any actual relevance to the production the auditions were for.

Now, of course, Director Marjorie Strader is the one who cast the show; it's her baby; it wass her decision; but she did invite and take my input and my thoughts. It would be moronically impolitic for me to share any of those thoughts here; I won't even go as far as revealing if anyone in the cast was the choice I would have made. I will say that they are all good choices. No one made it onto the roster that made me want to tilt my head to the side and say, "Really?!?" which is a reaction I have had in the past when seeing some particular casting choices for shows -- Anyone who has been around theatre or screen work for more than just a short time has had this reaction from time to time.

Regardless of my input or influence, the latter for which I doubt was significant, we're cast. Rehearsals are likely to begin next Monday evening.


RIDING THE TIDE TONIGHT:
In the audience icon
OUTGOING TIDE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.

Going to be an audience member tonight for the start of our sophomore weekend of performances of The Outgoing Tide.



Mon, Oct 17, 2016

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FRIDAY NIGHT TIDE:
In the audience icon
OUTGOING TIDE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
I saw the show last Friday evening, as an audience member. Hat's off to Peter Wallace, Matt Smith, Barb Jorgensen, and the production crew in general for a fine, fine night of theatre.

You have, as of this writing, three more chances to see the show. I'd take one of them, were I you!


AND REHEARSALS BEGIN:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
The rehearsal period beings tomorrow evening with the table read, then we move from there into blocking the show.

Well, okay, Marjorie moves into blocking the show.



Tue, Oct 18, 2016

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

The itinerary for last night's class was for each group of scenemates to work on their scenes with each taking turns on the stage area of the classroom for work with our instructor, Jennifer Joplin. Unfortunately, one of the members of the group I am in was absent due to illness, so we got little work done on our scene. The two of us who were there did discuss blocking, to some extent, as well as our staging, again, to some extent.

We have all agreed to a special session this Thursday evening to make up for the lost time last night. I'd love to say that I was off-book last night, but I was not; I am not. I have actually begun the process of memorizing my lines, but "off-book" is more than just a stretch at the moment. You would think I would be -- it's only eight pages; I have thirty-nine total lines, and only two of them can be called a monologue, and neither could be called long ones.

Well, let's see what I can do between now and Thursday evening.....


TABLE READ TONIGHT:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

Tonight is the read-through. For me, as well as being AD, I will also do the opening producer's stuff -- disseminating some general information and some forms to be signed -- as our producer, Barb Jorgensen, cannot make rehearsals this week.

I'm still not 100% sure about what my duties as AD will be, but I will feel my way through and try to carve out my niche in coordination with our stage manager, Melanie Brenner, i.e.: perhaps take things off her plate so she can better deal with other of her priorities, as well as my defining whatever other duties I end with on my own plate.

Tomorrow night: the first blocking rehearsal.



Sun, Oct 23, 2016

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Closing Today

OUTGOING TIDE by Bruce Graham, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of THE OUTGOING TIDE
CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Gunner            Peter Wallace

Peg            Barbara Jorgensen

Jack            Matthew Smith

The show contains adult language

The Promocast for The Outgoing Tide


Tue, Oct 25, 2016

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WRAPPING UP THE ADULT ACTING TECHNIQUES CLASS AT THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY:
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ICON
ACTING ICON

Last night we wrapped the acting class with Jennifer Joplin, by doing a small, informal showcase of the scenes we students were all assigned, mine, as stated before in this blog, being from Pick Up Ax, by Anthony Clarvoe.

I must say several of my classmates impressed me with their work. For myself, I was mostly happy with my own work. I was a character named Mick, a fellow who walks on the shadier side of the business world, if not actually "mobbed up," then something akin to that. I did not meet the goal of being off-book; I did do the scene without the script, or, in this case, the sides in my hand, which meant that I did a whole lot of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is something I would rather not do. I did go up once, but it was such an informal evening, with only a small handful of guests there for the showcase, that I just simply said, "Is it my line?" To which a scenemate who was holding is sides said, "Yes." My response was, "I have no idea what the line is." The audience laughed, the scenemate prompted me, and we went on. Virtually the same thing happened to me during the showcase for last acting class I took with Jennifer.

All in all it was an enjoyable six sessions, but I must admit I'd love to get into a more advanced class with Jennifer. This was a mixed group, with a lot of enthusiasm from everyone but certainly some class members with far more skill than others. I'd like to get into a setting with Jennifer at the helm where all the pupils are on even ground so we can dig deeper into our skill development together.


THE UNAVOIDABLE BLOCKING OF TOM DURNIN:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

Blocking rehearsals began last Wednesday and should end with the rehearsal this Thursday. Next week is all about scene work, with Director Marjorie Strader working on character development with the actors -- and I hope I get to participate in that collaboration. She has made Monday the off-book date, but I think the cast will still need to have their scripts in their hands in order to refresh their memories on, and to practice, the blocking.



Thu, Oct 27, 2016

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THE UNAVOIDABLY CONTINUING BLOCKING OF TOM DURNIN -- AND, EMBRACE YOUR INNER TIM (OR TAMMY) TAYLOR THIS WEEKEND:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
First things first: We welcome volunteers to help us this weekend with the construction of the show's set.

This Saturday set building is planned for 11:00 until 5:00. On Sunday it will be 2:00 until 5:00. The address is 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, Ohio, 45410.

We can use all the help we can get, so, if you are one of the visitors here who is local to me and DTG, check your calendars and see if you can spare some time this weekend. Looking forward to seein at the theatre! Embrace your inner Tim (or Tammy) Taylor. If you have an Al (or Alberta) Boreland in there, that's even better!

Meanwhile blocking rehearsals will wrap tonight.


In Concert icon
SCOTT BRADLEE'S POSTMODERN JUKEBOX
I don't really know much about the band Postmodern Jukebox. I don't yet have any of their albums, but I have liked everything I've heard by them. I especially like the version they do of "Royals," with Puddles Pity Party, as their guest artists, on the lead vocal.

They are appearing at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati next January 23. I'm going. I think I will enjoy myself. It would be great if Puddles was opening or otherwise joining them.....



Sat, Oct 29, 2016

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PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
I have just booked my first, and likely only, paying acting gig for 2016. I'm doing a U.D. Law gig on Saturday morning, Nov 12.

That'll be a busy weekend, since Tech Sunday for The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin at The Guild is the next day, and there is a tentative rehearsal scheduled for later in the day on the 12th, if it's determined it's needed.


HAUNTED PARKING AT THE THEATRE TONIGHT Huanted Parking at the Dayton Theatre Guild

Also remember that The Guild will be offering parking for $5.00 per vehicle for The Oregon District Hauntfest on Fifth 2016 Halloween celebration tonight.

Our lot will open around 6:00/7:00 pm.

Spread the word!



Sun, Oct 30, 2016

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CALLING TIM, TAMMY, AL, & ALBERTA!:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
Set Construction
There is set construction for the show today. If you live close enough, you are MORE than welcomed to come give a hand. Noon-5:00.

The address is 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, Ohio, 45410.

We can use all the help we can get! Looking forward to seeing at the theatre! Embrace your inner Tim or Tammy Taylor. If you have an Al or Alberta Boreland in there, that's even better!



Mon, Oct 31, 2016

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I VOTED!!

I did my early voting this morning. The plan was to do it yesterday morning before I went to the theatre to help with set construction, but that didn't work out. I read the Clark County, Ohio, Board of Elections early-voting schedule incorrectly -- as, I might add, did others -- so I associated the times of 8:00 am-7:00 pm with yesterday rather than Monday-Friday of this week. Yesterday the hours were actually 1:00-5:00 pm. There were a few of us there who had made the same mistake, because we associated the times with the dates that were above them not below them, the latter being the correct way to read the schedule. I can't speak for the others, but for me it was because I didn't start at the top of the schedule list as such dates weren't relevant to me, so I didn't see the precedent of the pattern. It was a small thing, but still, my thought is that people will tend to look for dates first, then times, which is what led me, and I believe, the others, to our error in interpretation. I am willing to bet that a lot of people misread the schedule. I spoke to one such voter, this morning, who, too, had showed up yesterday morning.

Yes, this is another of those blog entries that seems to not have any relevance to "artful things," but my justification is that who and what I vote for has an impact on how my community and my government supports the arts, so a post about me voting is, in the end, relevant. And, to reiterate from the past, it is my blog....


THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
Set Construction
Worked both Saturday and Sunday on Bruce Brown's set. Actually, though we were a much smaller crew than we should have been, we still made quite a bit of progress. There is tentatively another work day scheduled for next Saturday; I will post a beg sometime during the week for anyone who might accidentally read this and have an interest.

DTG Assistant Director icon
In terms of direct work as the AD, there's not been anything since the blocking rehearsal last Thursday. Since we are starting the off-book phase, tonight, with the cast who are called for the evening, I'll probably work in coordination and collaboration with our SM, Melanie Brenner, either being on book or doing line notes.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
I still have not been able to find contact information for our playwright, Steven Levenson, in order to seek permission to use dialogue in the promocast. It's looking like it will not happen. I haven't given up yet, but that move is coming soon.



Wed, Nov 2, 2016

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THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
This week, of course, is all stumble-through rehearsals, where the actors are off-book but call for lines quite frequently. Since Melanie Brenner, our stage manager, isn't doing line notes this week, there was no need for me to be on book, or, to take line notes. Next week, I think what we are going to arrange is for me to prompt while Melanie concentrates on line notes. By the way, I missed the Monday evening rehearsal this week; I was home, ill.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
On another production front, my last-ditch effort to try to contact Steven Levenson looks to have been fruitful. Where I did not get direct contact info for him, I did finally discover who is agent is, which happens to be one from William Morris Endeavor Entertainment whom I have dealt with before, on this very issue. So that's good. However, my routine with this particular agent is to send a one-page clearance agreement for him to sign and return to me. Usually I just rely on email correspondence to document permission.

Generally, I have not been able to make contact with any of the playwrights that are his clients, save for David Lindsay-Abaire, who was the one who first asked that I send an agreement to the agent. Since then I have come across a couple other playwrights he represents who were on our docket and have sent him said agreement documents, which he has always approved and signed. Monday, I sent one for this show, but since it's so close to principal photography for this promocast I anticipate that the travel time between here to New York and back through the U.S. mail, with the intervening period where the agent opens the envelope and has time to sign it, will see a signe agreement reach me after the video must be complete. It might not even get back until after the show has openend. In light of this, I also emailed the agent on Monday and asked him if he could email me back with approval, if there will be approval -- don't want to make assumptions.That way I'll know in time if I can do the DV movie with dialogue from the show.



Sun, Nov 6, 2016

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HEADING TOWARD THE UNAVOIDABLE ELEVENTH HOUR:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

So we've done our week of stumble-through, scenework rehearsals. This week we start running the show. I imagine the first few rehearsals will still be stumble-throughs. Director Marjorie Strader has put the theatre dark this coming Tuesday, election day. We're also dark Friday, Veteran's Day, but we have that tentative rehearsal scheduled for Saturday, which I mentioned before. Then, of course, the next day we kick off Tech Week with Tech Sunday.

Set Construction
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Today we will likely finish off the set, or almost do so. There are really only finishing touches left. I will also do much sound work today. Since there's not a lot to do, overall, for the show's sound plot, I might just get it all done today, if not all, most.

So, in few minutes, after I post this then make my lunch to take -- I do that a lot in this low-sodium world where I now live -- I am off to the the theatre.


PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
You five regulars may remember that I have booked an acting gig for U.D. Law this coming Saturday morning. I have been given the material for the case but have not yet began to study it. I hope there's time later today. I also will have Tuesday evening, and since I'm off from the rent-payer on Friday, and the Tom Durning production is dark then, like Tuesday, I have all day Friday.



Tue, Nov 8, 2016

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US
PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION DAY
2016




Today is Declared a NO TV ZONE
NO FB ZONE

I'm not one-hundred percent sure I can abide by this today. I did already check in once to facebook this morning. And I may break down and watch some TV, but if I do, it'll be Netflix or HuluPlus. Though, I run the risk of seeing an eleventh-hour political ad on Hulu, which goes far to defeat the purpose of my little TV/facebook hiatus attempt. I'm being judicious about opening mail today, too. Fortunately, most political email will go directly to my designated "Poltics" folder, so I don't even have to see the subject line on those.

It's just a Let It Go & Chill Out thing.


What's the Agenda?
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
At lunchtime, it's sound design work for The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin. There's not a tremendous amount of work to do, but there are a few things. There is a bit of building sound tailored for this show, from my library, some city traffic ambience for instance. I'm considering doing some Foley work to grab some new traffic sound, but that obviously won't be done at lunch today here at the rent-payer.

PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
This evening is all about getting familiar with the character and the facts for the U.D. Law gig that's coming up this Saturday morning.

One more reason for a No TV Zone tonight.



Wed, Nov 9, 2016

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A Bad moon has risen!




Thu, Nov 10, 2016

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THE UNAVOIDABLE APPEARANCE OF TECH WEEK ON THE HORIZON:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

Tech Sunday is three days and two rehearsals away. We've got the agenda set for the day. crew call is 1:00 with a dry tech to follow shortly. The cast is called at 2:00 with the cue-to-cue which should be wrapped by 3:00. Then we do the first tech run.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Actually, I'm likely to shoot the promocast video right be fore the cue-to-cue. I am again going to pick precise moments ahead of time and the actors will perform those for the camera, just as I did for Outgoing Tide. Several advantages to this: 1) I get good camera angles all the way through; 2) since this time I'm AD, it frees me up to attend to those duties during all the actual tech runs throughout all of Tech Week; 3) I won't have a plethora of footage to sift through to find good moments to use, which greatly speeds up my editing to Final Cut.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Haven't done much with sound since last I wrote of it, but, no worries. There will not be that much to do to get it into shape and ready for Tech Sunday.

I did get a concept of underscoring the last few moments of the play, which may or may not work -- we're going to try it. I also have the other, very limited production music choice to make. I have a few candidates but no decisions have been made. The sound cues, if I didn't mention somewhere in an earlier blog, are pretty sparse.


NEXT IN LINE:
LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon

Preproduction for Luna Gale is imminent, with a production meet scheduled for a week from this coming Saturday. Let me rephrased that: with a BRIEF production meeting scheduled for a week from this coming Saturday. In my mind, if it's more than thirty minutes, it's too long.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
I think I'm close to getting an answer on clearance to use dialogue from the show in the DV movie. All I need is the exact name of Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency. Then I can call CAA and talk with him or her with hope of a resulting "yes."

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
This will be my third sound design of the season. My intention is that it be my last sound design of the season -- at DTG or anywhere. I pretty much did the season at The Guild last year on sound design. I like sound design, but I don't want that sort of commitment to it this year. I haven't started even thinking about Luna Gale design yet, and won't get to it until Tom Durnin has opened.

And remember that auditions for Luna Gale are Nov 21 & 22. *(see "Dayton Theatre Guild forthcoming Audition Notices for the 2016/2017 season," below -- that is, until after Nov 22)



VETERANS DAY,
2016

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xxxx



THE UNAVOIDABLE APPEARANCE OF TECH WEEK CLOSER ON THE HORIZON:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

Tech Sunday is now two days and one rehearsal away. I believe I alluded yesterday to the previously "TBA statused" Saturday rehearsal without actually stating that it's been determined that it will happen. We will, however, be one actor down, but that actor's scenes are pretty solid so it's not a bad thing. The rehearsal call is 4:00.

It's going to be a busy day for me. I have the U.D. Law gig until about 1:00, then I am going to try a rush to my gym to get at least a little bit of a fitness session in. I'll probably get to our rehearsal just at call time. Then I may stay afterward to finish off sound design. Somewhere in there I need to fit food into the equation, too.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Nothing has been done with sound since yesterday's post. I plan to do some today, to fit it in to a busy agenda for this day. I will be at the theatre today, and I will bring my Tascam portable digital recorder to record Wayne avenue traffic out of the front windows, providing there is heavy enough traffic. I already have a good sound file of light traffic from that venue, so, no need to duplicate that particular result. But I'd like to get a good heavier traffic file for use on this show -- and, of course, for my sound library.

Set Construction
I'm going the theatre today mostly to do some light set work, mostly a bit of touchup painting, including running some paint over the strip of gaffer tape that's holding to the floor the power and sound cord for the speaker I put in the TV. There's also a set of steps that need to be added to a part of the set, the help the actors, and there's a part of the back stage where a good, visible path needs to be secured.


PROFESSIONAL GIG ICON
U.D. Law - University of Dayton School of Law icon
Tomorrow morning is the U.D. Law acting gig. Where I have begun study of the material, a lot of today needs to be about that, too. I have to finish getting my infamous index, flashcards ready and then spend some time today drilling myself. I am pretty sure the evening will be about that drilling. With my gym being on campus, I'd assumed it would be closed today, but was happy to find out that despite this being a national holiday, it's open, so I will finish the flash cards as my next task after posting this, then take them with me to the gym to study whilst on the elliptical machine. Then, it's off to the theatre.



Mon, Nov 14, 2016

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

The Saturday morning U.D. Law gig went well. I always feel like I am maybe just a little under-prepared and it always turns out that I am more than prepared and this was again such a case. This was my only paying gig as an actor for all of 2016 and will likely stay so. Let's hope for some EMC Equity points in 2017!


TECH WEEK IS ON:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

We had a good Tech Sunday yesterday, with a simple, straight-forward dry tech and cue-to-cue. The tech run, which occurred a little later in the day, went pretty well, too.

And so, Tech Week has begun.

DTG Promocast Production logo
I shot the principal photography for the promocast, yesterday, too, but all I've done since with the footage is transfer it to to the Final Cut Pro X project (technically to the "Events" folder) on my computer and transcode it all to the ProRes movie file format. Other than that all I've done is kick out most of the graphics I need, save for the group cast portrait I need for this and for the lobby movie, the latter which will run on the lobby TV before each performance.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Since tech Sunday was yesterday, it should be obvious that, save for the tweaking, the sound design is finished. Despite that it is a simple design that was hardly a task to put together, I finished the programming only within an hour of the dry tech. I guess I was the hare, napping on the side of the path for a bit.

Set Construction
So that "light" set work I was going to do on Friday, I didn't do until after the Saturday evening rehearsal; well, actually, part of it beforehand. When I arrived at the theatre I did attach a step to one side of a platform for easier access for the actors.

Afterward, I painted that step black, as it is in the audience sightline, and also painted a prop table black, that was to sit in the corner of one of the voms, also technically in the audience sightline. That table has since been repositioned to the other side of the curtain in that vom. And I painted that gaffer tape that holds to the floor the power and sound cords, running to the speaker inside the TV set piece. The idea there was that the paint, when dry, would secure the edges of the tape to the floor better. When I came in Sunday, it was clear that was not the case. So, I ran more gaffer tape over the edges and that seems to be working.



Wed, Nov 16, 2016

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UNAVOIDABLE -V- AVOIDABLE:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
We are now beyond halfway through Tech Week and on our way to Opening Night. Tonight we will be doing scene work on several selected scenes rather than a tech run. Tomorrow will, of course, be a tech run, the last tech run, the Final Dress Rehearsal. At the start of tonight's rehearsal it will be 48 hours till the doors open for Opening Night.

BUNGLEBLUNDERGAFFATION
DTG Promocast Production logo
Ooops! -- So. Um. Here's the thing. I guess I could easily be considered the quintessential textbook example of why one needs someone else involved in the editorial process of their own work. The show promocast is done. I have now locked it to a final cut, despite that there is a glaring error in the information during the credits at the end.

There actually were two errors at one point -- a point AFTER the DV movie had been published to the DTG YouTube channel. One of the errors I caught at that point. I had misspelled our director's last name. I created a new DV movie edit in which I corrected that error and then republished the video. The problem is, you can't republish to the same URL at YouTube. You have to publish the corrected DV movie then delete the original. If you've already shared the original video you have to backtrack to be sure everyone knows the old URL is dead and give them all the new, live URL. I had to do that last night.

DOH! -- So, then, this-morn-ing I finally discovered that other error. I put the run dates as starting on Nov "20," instead of Nov "18." I did not want to deal with another replacement URL and the followup to that, so I edited the information text on the promocast web page and, through YouTube, added what is called a card to the section of the video where the run dates are in the credits. A little window pops up in the top right corner of the video and says, "Suggested: Tom Durnin date correction." If one hovers the cursor over that window a thumbnail of a ten-second movie with a still graphic that says, "The correct dates for the run are Nov 18-Dec 4, 2016," with a red box around the "18," pops up. If one clicks on that they go to the movie. But the whole text graphic is visible in the thumbnail, so no one needs to actually go to the movie.

Besides this carelessness, it is a pretty good little movie. Oh, yeah, one more DOH!: I had selected thirteen moments from the play to have the actors act for the camera, which I believe has become my new S.O.P. When I started editing yesterday morning I realized I skipped shooting one of those moments. It was one I really wanted, too. It was too late to shoot a pickup, because I needed the final cut by late afternoon. I would have had to shoot last night which would have meant finishing the edit today, which would have meant more taking more vacation time from the rent-payer, and that was not going to happen. So, I managed without that lost moment.

Click here to see the finished promocast, even with its glaring error.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
DONE
With the exception of tweaking the timing of when specific cues are executed, the sound design is finished. I don't think any volumes need to be changed, and I am sure no further sound editing needs to be done.

Actually, as I wrote that last sentence I thought of one little programming tweak I want to do. I want to shorten the fade in of a crossover transition. I suppose that means that I am only almost done with sound design.



Thu, Nov 17, 2016

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UNAVOIDABLY, IT'S 11:59:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

The big question is, will I be able to avoid another bad pun as part of the headline to blog entry sections about this show? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Final Dress is this evening; Opening Night is tomorrow. I do believe we have a good show going up.

Last night's scene work went well. So, now it's Game On!



Fri, Nov 18, 2016

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Opening Today

THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN by Steven Levenson, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast of the show
*NOTE: The credits at the end of this DV movie erroneously give the first date of the run as November 20 rather than the correct November 18.



Mon, Nov 21, 2016

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OPENING WEEKEND DOWN*:
xxxx
A view of some of the Opening Night audience only a few moments before curtain for The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

Opening Weekend has come and gone. We had a particularly good Opening Night, with close to a full house and good work by the cast and crew. I actually sat in the audience, though it was not my "audience member night," i.e.: I did not make a ticket reservation with my season ticket package, but there were open seats, so I took one.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
SOUND TECH ICON
Of course, as I sat there during the performance last Friday, I did note a sound design flaw that needed addressed. And would you, those five of you who visit here regularly, expect me to not find something that needed fixed? The flaw?: I had assigned a sound to the down left house speaker that should have been assigned to the down right house speaker. I fixed it after the show.

Saturday evening I was in the booth running sound because our sound tech for the production had to attend to some family business. The audience was a bit smaller on Saturday than any of us liked, but, what are you going to do? I did not attend at all on Sunday, but the report is that it went well; don't know what the house size was.

Meanwhile, check out the preview article by Jacqui Theobald in the Dayton City Paper:
"All happy families are alike: Dayton Theatre Guild presents The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin"

I haven't posted any photographs in over a month, so:
xxxx
The sound tech area in the tech booth as the sound work was underway.
xxxx
At work on the sound design.
xxxx
An amplified speaker mounted inside the TV set piece, for two moments in the play where we need audio from James Durnin's TV.
xxxx
Fastening the back of the TV set piece back on it after installing the speaker.
xxxx
The power and sound cords running from the TV to off stage, before they were secured to the stage floor with gaffer tape.
xxxx
The end of the line for the power cord for the TV speaker: power strip just outside the tech booth.
xxxx
Editing the promocast.
xxxx
Working brunch.
xxxx
Production sheet with the shot I forgot to take marked out.

*Look Ma! No Unavoidable pun in the headline!



Tue, Nov 22, 2016

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FIRST NIGHT OF AUDITIONS DOWN:
LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
There was a good turnout for the first night of open auditions. Between those who showed last night and an arranged early audition, Director Debra Kent already has a decent pool to cast from. Now we'll see what tonight brings to add to the pool. Tonight's final night of auditions start at 7:00 pm, at the theatre.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
Yesterday I spoke with the assistant to Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency and I will probably get an answer on clearance to use dialogue in the promocast today or tomorrow. This may be one of those that has to be pulled after the run is dark. That's not really what I like; I like the promocasts to stay up as a sort of archival thing, but the limited-posting stipulation is better than a denial of clearance.


FIRST ACTING GIG OF 2017:
ACTING ICON
FOR THE LOVE OF THE CRAFT ICON
Earlier today I was offered a role in a forthcoming staged reading of a new play. The playwright is who solicited me and I am more than pleased to take on the particular role I was offered. I'll give more details later.



Wed, Nov 23, 2016

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THE SHOW IS CAST:
LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon

Auditions are wrapped and the show has been cast. Boy, were there a lot of good actors at audition! Many of them were brand new faces, too. Mostly, the final decisions Director Debra Kent made were based on who looked the part -- there were, in most cases, multiple actors who read quite well for a part. But here is the cast, in order of appearance:

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Karlie            Kayla Graham

Peter            Andrew Poplin

Caroline            Cheryl Mellen

Cindy            Cassandra Engber

Lourdes            Heather Atkinson

Cliff            Tim Moore

Pastor Jay            John-Michael Lander

It's gratifying to present two names new to the Guild stage on this list: Kayla Graham and Andrew Poplin. It's also great to welcome back John-Michael Lander after quite a long hiatus from the DTG stage -- I believe it's been eleven years, so this is his overdue debut on the Wayne Avenue, L. David Mirkin Mainstage.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
As of late in the morning today, as I start my lunch break, I have yet to hear from Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency, nor the agent's assistant about the clearance to use dialogue in the promocast. I still think that if the answer is "yes," it'll be contingent on pulling the promocast when the show closes. However, as I wrote yesterday, the limited-posting stipulation is better than a denial of clearance.



ThanksGiving 2016

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Happy ThanksGiving from K.L.


Mon, Nov 28, 2016

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SOPHOMORE WEEKEND DOWN:
THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon

I wasn't there this weekend, save for a little while before the Friday show, in order to change out the lobby movie for a version that has the Luna Gale cast list rather than the audition announcement. Reports are that the shows went well over the weekend, however.

Meanwhile, Burt Saidel wrote a really nice review of the show in the Oakwood Register. Click here for the article.


OFFICIALLY "IN REHEARSAL," TONIGHT:
LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon

The table read is this evening. I will be there to give the producer's spiel: what I need and when I need it, yadda yadda....

Not sure if I'm staying for the whole rehearsal or not.

Tue, Nov 29, 2016

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George Harrison
Feb 25, 1943-Nov 29, 2011
xxxx
Paul McCartney: "For You Blue" &
Paul & Eric Clapton: "Something"
at The Concert for George

xxxx
Eric & Paul: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
at The Concert for George

click on the images for the videos at YouTube


Wed, Nov 30, 2016

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A NEW COMPUTER BAG, AND NONE-TOO-SOON:
On a Personal Note icon
GENERAL TECHIE STUFF ICON
xxxx
The beaten-up bag
xxxx
The new one....how long will it take?

I'll call this "techie stuff" because my computer bag holds my laptop, my still camera, my audio, graphics, & backup harddrives, and assorted accouterment, all which are paramount to the tech life I live. Not to mention that my bag is basically an inorganic appendage to my person. So, getting a new computer bag very much relates to the General Techie Stuff of my existence and the interconnected General Artful Things my techie stuff is geared toward.

I bought the just-replaced computer bag four years ago, at the same time I bought my current laptop, my MacBook Pro with Retina display, (mid 2012 model). It was a great bag with a lot of room to fit a lot of that afore-mentioned accouterment. Some might say I pushed the envelope on fitting harddrives, the assorted accouterment, and miscellany into that bag. In fact, some did say.

Essentially: I wore the damned thing out. And I'm working on wearing out the laptop.

Last year when the strap rings finally got to the point where it was no longer possible to attach the shoulder strap to the bag, I started thinking about how I might, just might, just possibly, need a new bag. As the fabric started to rip at various spots around the bag, I thought more and more a new bag was a good idea. Frankly, I've truly needed a new bag for months, maybe more than a year.

Well, I got one now!       YaY!

Now the question is: how long before this one is beat all to hell?



Sun, Dec 4, 2016

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Closing Today

THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN by Steven Levenson, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The Cast of
The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin

(in order of appearance)

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Tom Durnin            Ray Geiger

James Durnin            Tim Madden

Katie Nicholson            Ryan Kelly

Chris Wyatt            Ryan Shannon

Karen Brown-Canedy            Karen Righter

The show contains adult language

The Promocast for THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN

*NOTE: The credits at the end of this DV movie erroneously give the first date of the run as November 20 rather than the correct November 18.

I will see the show from the audience again today -- as well as being the house manager. Today, of course, is also Strike, so I'm there for that as well. I'll be back here tomorrow, or close by, with some final thoughts on the show.


LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
Rehearsals are now underway without the presence of the humble-servant producer. As it turns out, I did, after all, stay for all of the table read this past Monday evening, that I was not sure I would stay for -- I needed to fill in by reading for a cast member who had a scheduling conflict that prevented his presence. I have not been back as of yet.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
I have been in active communication with the assistant to Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency (both by phone and email) and I await the agent's final decision about the clearance to use dialogue from the script in the DV movie.



Wed, Dec 7, 2016

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








LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
Overall, for me, this point in preproduction is going slowly, as all of producer, sound designer, and promocast producer/director. As the show's producer I did answer a budget question last night. I also recently asked about the planned execution of a particular special effect, mostly to see if my assistance was needed to bring it about, but the crew has it under control.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Save for a preliminary look to get an overall idea of what is needed, I have done little on sound design, but I am about to start into it a bit more. Working on a determination about music for scene transitions. There will definitely be music into and out of both acts, and it looks like there will be scene transition music -- as to what that music will be is something I don't know right yet. The script doesn't specifically ask for ambient sound in any scenes, but there are a few that I believe call for it.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
I have still to hear back from the assistant to Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency. We have, as I reported earlier, had a few phone and email conversations. Theoretically, an answer on clearance for the DV movie is imminent.



Thu, Dec 8, 2016

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xxxx


Tue, Dec 13, 2016

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FLORENCE HENDERSON, Feb 14, 1934-Nov 24, 2016
So, how in the heck did I miss the passing of Florence Henderson last month? I've clearly been avoiding the news as much as possible since Black Tuesday -- well, technically, Wednesday. Being a "latch-key kid" just prior to the coining of the phrase, and certainly having been essentially babysat by television as a kid, Florence (i.e.: Carol Brady) was a big part of the pop-culture of my youth.



Colonel John Glenn, July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016
In honor of Col. Glenn, here is an essay I wrote about meeting him and Neil Armstrong in 2003, just before the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first flight:

"Meeting Two of Ohio's Other First Flyers and Looking at the Nature of 'Greatness'"

I might note that I first met Col. Glenn when I was about sixteen and he was campaigning in my East-Dayton neighborhood for re-election for his seat as a U.S. Senator from Ohio. This essay reflects when I met him again at Wright State University, which is on Colonel Glenn Highway in Dayton, as it so happens.




THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Assistant Director icon
POST-MORTEM
Toward the end of last week I had lunch with the ...Tom Durnin director, Marjorie Strader, where we did an informal post mortem on the production -- a different post mortem than this personal one here. Some of what we talked about makes it into this, some does not.

There is not going to be any deep analysis, nor will there be any great revelations in this entry, just some closing thoughts. My first thought is that it was good to be an AD in a production where the director allowed me creative input including giving occasional notes and coaching some of the actors -- doing some minor coaching, that is; I was the AD, not the director, so the heavy lifting was not mine. But I did get some generous feedback from some of the actors about my input on their work, which is gratifying.

The related thought is that it was more gratifying to see the progression of those particular actors, a bit less veteren to the stage than some of the other actors in the cast. To see the growth of the characters as rehearsals moved forward and know that I played some role in that growth brought significant personal satisfaction, even if the role I played was not all that big.

I'm starting to look forward more than ever to sitting in the director's chair.

Here's our cast:
xxxx
The cast of The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin -- Standing: Ray Geiger (Tom Durnin); Seated (L-R): Karen Righter (Karen Brown-Canedy), Tim Madden (James Durnin), Ryan Kelly (Katie Nicholson) & Ryan Shannon (Chris Wyatt)
xxxx
xxxx
xxxx
Photographs taken by Craig Roberts for The Dayton Theatre Guild




LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon

YaY!
Yesterday I received word from the assistant to Rebecca Gilman's agent at Creative Artists Agency. Clearance to use dialogue in the DV movie promocast is granted.

Now that I know what I can work with, I'm moving forward with the plan to pre-select moments in the play to shoot, with the actors performing for camera. I'm scheduling principal photography for during Tech Sunday, which will be January 15. So what's good about that is that since Monday, the 16th, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I have the day off from the rent-payer, I won't have to burn up eight hours of my vacation leave time to edit the movie.



Wed, Dec 14, 2016

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LUNA GALE & Dayton Theatre Guild combined logo.
DTG Producer icon
DTG Promocast Production logo
glitch!

Yesterday afternoon I found out that one of the actors has been excused from Tech Sunday (Jan 15), which throws a small monkey wrench in the works as far as my principal photography plans for that day. The workaround is to shoot the moment, or moments, that actor's character will be in during the previous rehearsal, which is currently slated for Thursday, Jan 12. I do not want to shoot that actor on Monday evening, Jan 16 (Mlk, Jr. Day), because I want to edit the promocast to final cut on that Monday, during the day. Remember the whole, "avoiding burning up eight hours of my vacation leave time to edit the movie" idea?

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Show Cue Systems icon - http://www.showcuesystems.com/
I'm going to do a little more documentation of what I'm doing to design sound for this show because there are couple people who are interested in learning sound design -- and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY embrace their interest! One of them, in fact, has the goal of designing for a show later this season and I aim to help him meet that goal. We're going to do at least one session where they are there with me as I program the sound cues in Show Cue Systems in the tech booth at the theatre. Plus I'll give them the written accounts of what I'm doing, and why, yadda yadda....

After discussion with our director, Debra Kent, I've established that we are going to use music for scene transitions, even when they are quick. One of the things I need to decide now is whether the music will more reflect, 1) the social worker, Caroline, 2) Luna's parents, Karlie and Peter, or both. If it's just Caroline, then I have a pretty good idea what I might do. If it's the young parents, I'll need to do a little research about recording artists they might like. I know some more contemporary performers, but I'll need a bigger list than I can make on my own.



Christmas Day, 2016

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM K.L.













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ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK:
Big Heart emblem

On Sunday, December 27, 2015, a year ago Tuesday, sometime in, or coming close to, mid morning, I was awaken by a sharp, burning, cramping pain in my back. I'd had similar pains periodically over the course of the last several months. Sort of like the pains of a tooth ache, only not in my teeth, and not always in my back. I'd feel them in my sides and other spots on my torso, including my back. In the few weeks prior to this I felt them several times in my jaw, sometimes almost the entire length of jaw at the same time. That last one, I had assumed meant I was going to need to take a trip to the dentist soon. I'd also recently had a couple bouts of acute vertigo with violent vomiting, one of those episodes, just about a week prior to this day, which had sent me to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with a viral ear infection.

On that morning of December 27, as I paced with this cramp in my back, I would stop and bend or contort my body, attempting to stretch it out of my back. It didn't work. The sharp, burning, cramping pain began to radiate a little further up my back -- not moving, but adding to the real estate that felt the cramping, from essentially the small of my back up toward my neck, and even a little into the lower part of the back of my neck. Then it spread left and right into both shoulders.

Full disclosure here: during those months that I felt the similar pains in all those other spots, I did wonder sometimes, especially in the later months, if these were somehow connected to the hypertension and the high cholesterol I'd been diagnosed with and whether or not they were possible indications that the potential heart disease I was now at risk of had manifested. But I consistently dismissed the notion. You know: If I ignored it, it would not be true.....

If anyone reading this happened to have read my New Year's Day 2016 entry, you will have read the short essay section titled, "How a University of Dayton School of Law Acting Gig Saved My Life." In that I refer to one of the U.D. Law gigs that used to be recurring and that I did several years in a row. For these U.D. Law gigs we actors take on the roles of clients and witnesses in various different learning experiences for the law students. Some of the exercises are mock trial settings, some are simply interviewing and counseling sessions. We actors don't go by scripts but we are given sets of facts, about our characters and about the cases, that we need to be intimately familiar with. I refer to these gigs as being guided improvisational gigs and that is as accurate a nomenclature as I can think of. This particular gig was a medical malpractice case that starts with the team of usually two law students interviewing us; then it moves on to a deposition preparation session (dep prep), then a deposition session where the opposing team gets to depose us. Next is a trial prep session, where our team goes over the responses they want from us for both their questions and for opposing counsel's questions -- and more importantly, the responses they want us to avoid at all cost. Then finally, there is a mock trial.

Every year in this medical malpractice case I played a particular expert witness for the defense, a doctor who is the head of an emergency department and an expert in chest trauma, and who, accordingly, knows much about heart disease and, to the point, about heart attacks. In preparation for the gig, I had to learn a lot about the symptoms of a heart attack (myocardial infarction -- "MI"). I did this several years in a row. The first year, memorizing all the information was a tad daunting, but I did it. After that, each year it was simply review and reinforcement. The key piece of information is that a person having an MI does not always suffer from chest pains. Second is the radiating of burning, cramping feelings that one may experience. And the last bit, is that pain migrating to the victim's left arm.

On the morning of Sunday, December 27, 2015, as I had those aching, burning, cramping pains that started in my back, then radiated and migrated to my shoulders, I did not experience chest pains. But, as I tried to stretch the cramps out and it wasn't working, and as the pain started to spread, and based on my hypertension and high cholesterol conditions, and based on those nagging suspicions I had ignored for months, I had a thought:

    You might be having a heart attack here.

I grabbed my cell phone but tried some more stretching, which wasn't working any more than it had before. When the pain moved into my the upper part of my left arm, I knew it was time to call 911. I gave the dispatcher my name and my address and then said, "and I think I'm having a heart attack." I shut my apartment down, closed up and locked up it, and sat on a chair on my patio waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

At some point after I had hung up from the 911 call I remember thinking how I was going to feel pretty silly if I wasn't actually having a heart attack. The immediate response from the voice of reason in my head was:

"FUCK that, Dude!"

The local police showed up first and shortly afterward the paramedics truck arrived. They hooked me up to a portable EKG and then one of the paramedics said, "Yeah, we're going to be taking you to Springfield Regional [Medical Center] because you have some issues." Then he gave me an aspirin and then a nitroglycerin tablet to place under my tongue.

At the medical center I was taken to a surgery theater where the man who would become "my cardiologist," Dr. Akber Mohammed performed a cardiac catheterization, inserting the catheter into a vein in my inner thigh. At some point, Dr. Mohammed told me he was going to put a stent into the left anterior descending artery in my heart because it was completely blocked. I think he may have performed an angioplasty on, at least, that artery if not others, too. At that time, or maybe at some other point, he also explained that two other arteries were about 80% blocked and a fourth was about 40% blocked.

The bottom line: my coronary arterial health was BAD.

I also remember that at some point later in the procedure I asked one of the nurses if I had in fact had a heart attack. She said, and I will remember this quote verbatim, forever, "Oh yes, Honey, you had a heart attack."

Dr. Mohammed told me that he was calling in a surgeon and that I would have heart surgery the next morning, and that it would be at least a double-bypass operation. He did not say he was going to consult with a surgeon who might recommended heart surgery; he said he was going to call in a surgeon -- whom he hadn't called in yet -- who was going to operate in the morning. In other words, there was no question the surgeon would decide to operate. At some point, maybe not just then, maybe not even that day, but at some point in the next day or so, I realized the stent was simply in there to keep me alive until the inevitable surgery.

Dr. Mohammed also inserted a balloon pump into my aorta, which would stay there for a few days so my heart did not have to work as hard to get blood to my body. I think the ballon was removed on Wednesday, but it might have been Tuesday.

Later that night, the surgeon, Surender Neravetla, MD, came into my room on the cardiac care unit and told me he would perform a triple bypass on my heart the next morning.

Have I said yet that through all of this I was pretty damed scared, and kept getting more frightened as it went on? This news of a triple bypass made me even more anxious. The nurse who prepped my that night assured me that Dr. Neravetla knew his stuff. The nurse said, in fact, "If President Obama were in Springfield and needed heart surgery, Dr. Neravetla would be the first choice to perform it." Whether that was simply to boost my moral or was a gospel statement makes little difference to me; it was some reassurance that I needed to hear in the midst of the frightening spectre of being about to undergo major heart surgery.

When I woke the next day from my surgery I was told that once he opened me up, Dr. Neravetla decided to perform a quadruple bypass. That's one of the few details of December 28 that I remember well, only because it reiterates the point that my coronary arterial health was BAD.

Now let me take another chance to sing my raving praises for the nursing staff in the Cardiac Care Unit at Springfield Regional Hospital. These women -- and at least one man -- rock! Their level of attentiveness, dedication, and patience was dumbfounding and impressive as impressive can be. They took good care of me and I will be forever grateful for how they got me through the next several fearful days of my life, treating me with care, concern, and respect, reassuring me and keeping my dignity in tact. I've always bought the claims that nurses are under-appreciated and probably under-paid; I am convinced of it now more than ever.

In his post-op counseling with me, Dr. Neravetla told me he did not want me to live alone for the next several weeks, that during that critical recovery period I needed to have support from others. To the rescue came my sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Joe. They were in the room as I had this conversation with the surgeon. He'd said that if I didn't have a place to stay he wanted me in an aftercare facility, which I think translated to "a nursing home." I said I could stay with my sister and there was no hesitation on her part to allow that.

So I spent five weeks in my sister's home. They set me up in their spare room and though it may not have been in any large sense, at least to some extent my presence disrupted the routine of the household. But they were, as they always are, accommodating and supportive. In fact, one of the things I had planned to do the week I ended up in the cardiac ward was buy a new mattress -- I'd only needed one for about two years or so, conservatively. After I got to the place where I was allowed to be in public places, they took me shopping for that new mattress, even gave me an extra bed frame they had in their attic. They even "loaned" me some money to help pay for the new mattress. On top of that, they kept not taking money from me for groceries while I was staying with them, saying, "You can pay us back later." Well, they would not let me pay much of the grocery money back, and they told me to consider the money for the mattress a gift.

Family's not always a bad thing.

At my Feb. 2 appointment with Dr. Neravetla he removed the moratorium on my driving and told me I could return to work parttime the next Monday. After the appointment, Joe dropped me off at my apartment where I picked up my car and drove it back to Pat and Joe's. I stayed with them until that weekend. The next Monday, the 8th, I returned to work.

My recovery has been pretty damned good, and I really have no complaints, but my theatrical life had to suffer some disappointments, which, believe me, under the circumstances, I can live with and accept. They are still disappointments. The first was the sound design work for the Dayton Theatre Guild production of Night Watch, by Lucille Fletcher, which I was in the midst of when I had the heart attack. Of course, I had to pass the reigns on and they were picked up by Tony Fende who now shares a Daytony theatre award with me for the show.

The next disappointment was the biggest one. A few reading this will know that in the summer of 2013 I went to Chicago to see Greg Peirce's Slowgirl at steppenwolf with William Petersen in the male lead. I brought it back to The Guild play reading committee for consideration for our stage and it was chosen for the 2015/16 season. I, of course, had every intention of winning the male lead as it is a perfect role for me. The show was up in Feb/Mar of this year, opening just two months after my surgery. The auditions were January 11 and 12, only two weeks after my surgery. There was no way I was up to going to the auditions and there was no way I would be in shape for a rehearsal schedule. Slowgirl was out for me as an actor. However, I did design the sound for the show, and if I do say so myself, kicked ass.

I did make an appointment for the general auditions at Human Race Theatre Company for their 2016/17 season, knowing that my only possible chance to get on their stage for the season, going on right now, was likely to be the season opener, Sweeney Todd. Around the same time I set the appointment for the HRTC generals, I auditioned for 1776, which was up in the spring of 2016 at the Dayton Playhouse. I was not cast, and that was a large disappointment. However, based on how fatigued I was still getting by 8:00 or so in the evening every night, and that being during the time period when 1776 rehearsals were underway, I came to realize I was not ready to commit to the rehearsal schedule that would have been required for that show. Then, I realized that if I was cast in Sweeney Todd it would have meant committing to at least thirty-six rehearsal hours a week beyond my forty-hour work week at the the rent-payer, and all that starting in mid-August, which was only four months away. I was not at all confident I would be up to it and really didn't want to push it. So, I called the HRTC company manager, Preston McCarthy, and cancelled my appointment. But I'm pretty sure I will make the generals for the 2017/18 season.

In this year since the heart surgery, I have made one appearance on stage, during a public reading for the Ohio Playwrights Circle. In May I participated in the public reading of scenes from several plays (works in progress) by several local playwrights. It was hosted by The Guild. I enjoyed all the roles but one in particular was an especially fun one to step into and, without revealing too much, I will step into that role again in the near future for a full reading of that particular play -- details to follow.

This year has been all about not pushing my recovery. I'm not being too careful, but I am not going to jeopardize it. Without getting too maudlin or melodramatic, the point is still that I almost died in December of 2015 -- that's not a debatable thing. I now have a statistical chance of not living as long as I otherwise might have, but that's not the way it has to be, So now I have a bit of a different life style. I read labels in the grocery store looking for the levels of sodium, cholesterol, and sugars. I don't eat fast food, save for the occasional baked potato from Wendy's. I prepare 99+% of my meals, myself. I monitor my weight, blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen content on a daily basis. I am in the gym at least three times a week, and more when I can manage to fit it in. I take my medications as prescribed.

I have no intention of leaving this mortal coil one moment earlier than is necessary.

On the anniversary of my open heart surgery, I spent part of my day in the local forestry at Glen Helen Nature Preserve and John Bryan State Park, something I haven't done this year nearly as much as I like. One thing that occurred that day was a man who walked by me wearing earphones, and all I could think was: why do you need earphones when you have all this out here to listen to? So I pulled out my iPhone to shoot video of one of the features of traversing this forestry that draws me the most, one that is maybe the greatest stress reducer of all the natural symphonic aspects of forestry: the music of the flowing river. To the left is the resulting DV movie.

I have to admit: I told myself this week I have off from the rent-payer was going to be highly productive. That goal has not come to fruition. There are a few things that have been on the shelf for a while that I could have attended to, finished in most cases. It's a question of discipline -- this essay, for instance, was started early enough that it could have been finished and posted on Tuesday, the actual anniversary of my heart attack. I'm not spending any time self-flagellating myself. I've been chillin' -- that's the way it goes.

Hey! It was the anniversary of my heart attack and major open-heart surgery!

On that note, here are three from a few dozen photos I took on Wednesday in the forest:
xxxx
A selfie at a tree at Glen Helen that I seem to pose at once every few years.
xxxx
I like this photograph a lot.
xxxx
The river that runs through the John Bryan and Glen Helen parks is The Little Miami

Oh, and something I've discovered while working on this essay entry: one of my favorite actors, and a fellow native Daytonian, Martin Sheen, underwent a quadruple bypass a little over a week before I had mine. See "Martin Sheen recovering from a quadruple bypass surgery..." So, if we ever meet, there's another subject to talk about besides acting, the latter which you can bet I'd bring up if it were at all not an imposition on the man's time.




RIP Greg Lake, Nov 10, 1947-Dec 7, 2016
RIP George Michael, June 25, 1963-Dec 25, 2016
RIP Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher



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