April Fool's Day came early this year, in January, with an
ominous foreshadowing in November, 2016. Yet, sadly for us all,
there was no relieving punchline to come either time; there was no
assurance that it was all a horribly bad joke rather than bleak reality.
I'M NOT AN EXPERT ON MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, NOR AM I THE
VICE-PRESIDENT AND ASSISTANT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF A SMALL MANUFACTURING
COMPANY -- I JUST PLAY THEM FOR THE BENEFIT OF LAW STUDENTS:
The U.D. Law gig is tonight. I
have spent much of the last several days reacquainting myself with the
material for this case, which I have done, I believe, twice before; but it
has been a few years so I had a bit of refreshing to do. Plus, the law
instructor has added some peripheral material that I have to be at least
somewhat familiar with. But, I thinks it's all good. At any rate, I have a
call to be at the
Montgomery County Courts
building by 5:30 tonight, so if it's not all good yet, it'd best be close.
Yeah.......it is......no worries.
Recreating those handy flash cards
Much of the time I've had
Groove Salad, via,
iTunes internet radio playing
on my Apple TV whilst I have studied
on the information. The first portion of my "study" was re-doing
the flash cards that I usually use to memorize information -- in this
case -- or, in most acting scenarios, my lines. I'd had some from past times
I've done this particular gig, but I could not find them. I likely tossed
them. This time. perhaps I should keep them, hey, just in case? Of course,
on the other hand, the act of writing the flash cards helps with the
memorization, so perhaps redoing them is not a terrible thing. Except, I
really would rather have just read the old flash cards and said, Oh
yeah, I remember these facts!
All I can say is we have racked up another mighty fine production in
another stellar season. Of the fine work done by the performers in this
cast, I must say that a few were simply excellent.
And major congratulations to Jared Mola for his work as Merrick! I am
green with envy that he got to step into that role. Any actor worth his
salt would relish the challenge; I certainly would, were I thirty years
younger. That aside, Jared was just damned great in the role, absolutely up
to the challenge, and met it in spades!
*) "Good Theatre, Done Well" has been the DTG motto for decades
Two weeks left to do my taxes.
Better get on that.
Sadly, another year where I don't file as an actor, whatsoever.
Of course, last night was the
U.D. Law mock trial classes at
the Montgomery County Courts.
Please allow me to be self-critical, because if you know me you already
know your granting or withholding of permission isn't relevant, and in
that light to say that my assessment of last night is:
My response stems from one of my two times on the stand, when I was in the
role of the VP of the company being sued. The student who was on the defense
team took me down a line of questioning that I was not prepared for, that
the material didn't really provide for. It was a legit line for a defense
attorney to take his client down, just not one that, based on the fact I
don't actually have the professional background or expertise of the
character and the things he was trying to glean from me were not covered in
the material I was given, I was not versed well. And I was not very fast on
my feet at pulling some decent improv out of the air, or my ass, whichever
way you want to go with that. I suppose, in the end, it was not all that
bad, but I did not clear the bar I set for myself for these gigs.
It was a well done production of a very sweet play. The performers were all
on their game and Mark Halpin's
scenic design is impressive. But the thing that I liked most about the
production was the "non-traditional" casting choice of Bill Ray
and his son Billy as African-American rather than white. I don't think
there was any original intention of that father and son being anything
but white; there is however, nothing inherent in the script to restrict
them to being white. I am one of those who firmly believes that unless there
is a reason, as dictated by the needs of the script, to not open a role
up to multiple races or ethnicities that directors and producers ought to
do so. I like that it is starting to happen a bit more; my personal thought
is that it probably isn't happening as broadly and as quickly as it should,
but it is starting to happen more, and that is good.
I think this is true about gender, too. But gender does have far more of a
habit of being dictated by the script. And I personally believe it is a
cardinal sin to change a character from the dictates of the script without
the specific permission of the playwright, or whomever it is that legally
controls licensing the script. Although, producers and directors can
seek such permission, can't they?
And just to remind, I will again be a student in an
HRTC acting class
with Ms. Joplin at the helm, (the third time), coming up in May/June.
An advanced class with the working motto: "Be Ready, Be Brave."
In other Human Race Theatre Company news, as some already know, HRTC is
mounting the world premiere of Daniel Goldstein's
stage adaptation of Family Ties, the popular 80's TV show
that put Michael J. Fox
on the map. The big news here is that the role of Elyse Keaton will be
played by Eve Plumb,
whom any younger Boomer, and I think maybe a fair amount of Gen-X and younger
folk, will know was Jan on the iconic 70's sitcom,
The Brady Bunch.
I'm sure I'll likely attend the Can Night for this show; and if I get to
meet Ms. Plumb, I will NOT say: "Marsha! MARSHA!
MARHSA!" -- because, I'm guessing she's heard
that two-or-three-million times too often.
Those of my generation and earlier know that Mr. Rickles was The
king of the insult comics. Somehow, though, there was no malice.
He never seemed to be really mean, he just gave the pretense of
meanness. In his own crass way, he was endearing, and damned funny!
Ultimately, Don Rickles was beloved.
Rest in Peace, Sir.
I'd completely forgotten that I had this coming up. Got a good seat, too:
seven rows back, first seat on the middle isle.
WITH APRIL 17 AROUND THE CORNER:
Just past midnight this past Saturday, to be exact.
So, tonight I will be in the audience to hear
Amy Sedaris's brother. Might
even get to meet him.
As many know, David Letterman's mother, Dorothy Mengering, passed away
on April 11. Mrs. Mengering was an occasional guest on her son's show. Her
segments were always so lovely, sweet, and adorable. Her reports from the
Olympics were such a treat. She seemed like such a lovely, gracious woman.
My deepest condolences to her family and friends.
The show this Tuesday was thoroughly enjoyable. My big problem was that
when I got to work the next day I wanted to share some of the many
funnier moments but all of them were "Not Safe For Work."
David did a book signing and meet-and-greet both before and after the show.
I contemplated buying a book and getting it signed -- and meeting him --
after the show but I was feeling a little tired and a little impatient, so
I left right after the show to go home. The next morning I regretted it. I
could have met him, which would have been cool.
Yesterday I did the first professional theatre
audition that I've done in
quite a while, actually, the first professional acting audition, period,
that I've done in a while. It was, of course, the
General Auditions for
the 2017/18 season at the
Human Race Theatre Company.
How do I rank how I did? As usual: who knows? I can say that I did not
leave feeling bad about it, at all.
The second is an old stand-by that I've used at HRTC a few times, the
cockroach monologue from
Neil Simon'sJake's Women.
I hate using a monologue in front of them that they've heard from me before,
but I didn't find another good comedic monologue that would be good for a
program aimed at this upcoming season. Bottom line is that I should have
started looking sooner. But I do rock that cockroach monologue!
I'm looking forward to this one as it's an advanced class that "will
include exercises in movement, improvisation, character exploration, vocal
expression, relaxation techniques, energetic connection, and emotional
recall, with an intense focus on working in the moment."
I'm sorry to report that the Adult Advanced Acting class at
The Human Race Theatre Company,
which was to be taught by Jennifer Joplin,
and was to start this coming Monday evening, has been cancelled because
too few students signed up.
I stopped by rehearsal for
Wonder of the World
this past Wednesday evening to watch it to inform myself of what moments I
want to shoot for the promocast.
I'll shoot the principal photography
tomorrow, during the production's Tech Sunday.
I've created the sheet with the moments I've chosen and have sent it to
the production team, who have distributed it to the actors. So, we should
be all set, with everyone on board and prepared.
Like always, it should not take a big chunk of time to do this shoot.
was Sunday afternoon. It took a little longer than I'd planned, by at least
a few minutes. I also almost jumped some moments I had designated to shoot.
Thanks to the WonderSM, Carrie
Thurston, I did not, because she, apparently better-able to follow my own
shot sheet than I, pointed out the skips.
To paraphrase one of my production instructors from college, George Frey:
That's why God created first ADs.
Though, technically, in a movie production of any real size, it would be
the script supervisor
who'd be pointing that stuff out.
Yet, in smaller productions, the first AD (rarely not the only AD) is also
the script supervisor. When I shot The Chorus for Candice
in 2006, the wonderful Lisa Sadai was my AD/script supervisor -- and she
was great at both. She's also one of the most talented actors I know, as
If you follow the DTG facebook page
my facebook page,
the promocast should be posted and shared by tomorrow morning. I'll obviously
link it in an update to this blog, tomorrow, too. Plus, it'll be at the
Guild web page soon.
With only something like fifty seats, it was a very intimate setting. I
thought Alan was very personable and genuine as Judge Marshall, walking
the audience through a very accessable script from the pen of George Stevens Jr.
Yep. My last blog entry was two weekends ago. It's not that there hasn't
been anything to report, I just have been wrapped up in other things, see
the next entry. So here I am, on my patio, listening to
Groove Salad and doing a
little catch up.
Toward the end of my college days, I started working on a novel. That
progressed into the first few years after I'd earned my degree. I had a
finished draft around 2003. Sometime during the process of getting that
novel out of me I realized I needed the write a series in order to tell
the whole story -- whatever that whole story will turn out to be. So,
though I was not (am not) close to a final draft on the first novel, I
felt compelled to wrote some chapters of the next installment.
I had already done a heavy, heavy amount of supplementary support work on
the life of my protagonist and his friends and family. I have a time line
going back to 1900, that starts with the birth of a man who will in a
later novel, probably number three but maybe number two, be a
well-seasoned veteran actor on a network television show my main character
will become a cast member on as young teenager.
I have a lot of the first part of my main character's career in show business
already mapped out through his earlier adulthood: television shows and
movies he's appeared in, the first several albums he's recorded, and his
concert tours for very successful music career. With that I have dove
into the minutia of the financial side of his business. Trying to make the
earnings reflect some verisimilitude that matches the time periods of the
projects he's been involved in: union scale for
SAG and AFTRA (they were
separate unions until just the last few years), and musicians, realistic
wages for the variety of people he might employ, some sense of reality
about what sort of income he will derive from actors' residuals and
musicians' and songwriters' royalties, concert tour earnings. I try
very hard to have the attached overhead expenses be real, as well. There's
a bit of sometimes rather frustrating research involved.
Believe it or not, this helps me have a decent handle on some of the
places his head will be at. It all actually points me toward some plot and
story ideas, relationship opportunities, conflicts and obstacles.
For some reason here lately, I've been immersed in further developing this
particular supplemental material. There are a lot of Excel spreadsheets
I don't know whether this is good or bad, but it is what's been happening
and am okay with it. At some point, it might not be a bad idea to return
to and finish that draft of novel one to a finished one, that which ends
when my protagonist is still a boy, and not yet in The Biz.
Here's a screenshot of some of the sort of things I've been doing as of
late. I actually wrote this perhaps four to six weeks ago. It's not that
business stuff, at least not dealing with numbers, but more along the lines
of critical accolades. In case you don't already know, Lennon, McCartney,
and The Hollies are real -- the rest of those mentioned are my inventions.
This is a fictional entry into a real
Rolling Stone magazine
piece from 2012,
"500 Greatest Albums of All Time."
The number ranking is blurrd out because I just don't want to yet be so
presumptuous as to displace an actual artist on the list. At some point I
probably will. Those orginal songs listed at the end, by-the-way,
"Just Don't Know What I Did," "Just By Being You," and
"Easy Living," are actual songs, written by someone who may or
may not be intimately associated with this blog.
This past Friday at the rent-payer
I was having some back spasms -- that getting older stuff,
I presume -- and at just about lunch time, I decided I needed
to go home and lie in bed on top of a heating pad. But I
still had to eat. So, I went home by route of one of those
places you five regulars might remember is a favorite of mine,
John Bryan State Park.
If I was going to eat lunch anyway, why not there? A little
tuna salad, veggies, a few California dates, and might as
well get some more work in on that minutia of supplemental
at the Dayton Playhouse are
tomorrow and Tuesday night. It's highly likely that I'll be there. I'll
probably lose the beard, too.
Note that there will be live gunshots during the performance
The Promocast for WONDER OF THE WORLD
I'm going to catch the closing performance today. Not being directly
involved in this production, save for producing the promocast
and doing a small amount of advising on the sound design, I haven't actually
seen the whole show. For the promocast I only chose to shoot into the beginning
of Act II, as is my standard practice, and I
haven't read much past that, so I don't know how the show ends. Nice to be
an audience member and not know what the wrap-up is.
Then, of course, I'll hang around, as a dutiful board member, and help
with the set strike.
Since I haven't posted for a while, I haven't yet mentioned that I went
to see a thoroughly enjoyable mounting of
the Dayton Playhouse. A big tip of the hat to Director Matthew Smith and
the whole cast and crew for an excellent endeavor.
There's some sound design work coming up, two different projects, both for
First, The Guild is taking Luke Yankee'sThe Last Lifeboat
to the regional dramatic competitions of
OCTA (the Ohio Community Theatre Association),
which will take place July 8 at the
Troy Civic Theatre. Of course,
I designed the sound for this production and the segment that will be taken
needs the sound if the full effect of the drama is to be reached. But I'm
going to have to remix the sound from
This is most importantly because the sound will run from the Guild's laptop,
which doesn't have a sound card to support a quadraphonic mix, and also because
even if the Troy theatre can support quad, I don't want to get into the
possible hassle of integration.
Since Wonder of the World
and the 2016/17 season close today. I'll be able to go in and do the remix
in the theatre space, probably within the next week or so. I have also
elected to run the sound at the competition.
I'll be starting to work on the sound deign for the 2017/18 opener,
All My Sons,
which I am also producing.
At this point, it's the only show I am 100% on board as the sound designer
for next season. I have about an 80-90% committed to another, but at this
point I am more comfortable saying that it's pencilled in, in heavy lead.
There are a few RIP graphics I mean to get to. They'll probably be created
tonight and posted tomorrow.
Live and Let Die
was the first Bond film I saw in the theater,
(technically, the drive-inn theater which regularly showed
first-runs in those days). I'd seen virtually all the
Bond films on TV and though not a hardcore James Bond
enthusiast, I put that same bar up for Moore as pretty much
everybody else did. His Bond was different, but I still
liked him. Of course, my introduction to
was as Simon Templar in the British TV import,
so, even at fifteen I knew that at least he was a good
choice to replace Connery as the world's favorite MI5
agent. Have to admit, I've not closely followed Roger's
career, but there was always a strong sense of class to
his presence on screen.
Southern rock has never been my bailiwick as a music fan;
that said, it would be ridiculous to not be able to
recognize the profound impact and influence
had on that genre and on rock and roll in general. His
solo version of
was among one of my favorite hit singles from my teen years.
No, I never ran out to get his new releases, but still,
Mr. Allman was an immensely talented musician.
I might be a contender for one of the
staged readings, which
audition tonight. There is another event happening tonight I have a great
interest in attending, so at the moment I am not sure if I will or will
not audition tonight.
Lana Reed, who once work at the PCG Talent Agency and is now a regional
film maker, will be the guest speaker at
tonight. I was always quite happy when Lana was the one who directed
my screen tests. It was always so much easier for me to get to 100%. I
have no doubt she's a strong director, and I'd like to connect better
I haven't been going after film auditions too much these last few years
and I want to change that. So, going to film connections tonight is as big
a pull for me as going to audition for the one FutureFest role I might be
typed for -- and considering that I am going to be among quite a few
other men in the situation of seeing a scarcity of roles for them in this
festival line-up, competition is likely to be tight; thus, ending up at
film connections has an edge in the odds making.
My favorite recording artist performing one of the many of
his iconic songs -- and my favorite song -- for this day,
his 75th birthday. Meanwhile Sir Paul happens to be touring
the states with a three-hour concert show. And if you
think it's just an old guy on stage, you've never been to
one of his shows.
In Honor of the 76th birthday (June 15) of the late, great
Harry Nilsson. Here is his signature hit. Written by Pete
Ham and Tommy Evans of Badfinger, It's, IMHO, one the best
pop singles and absolutely one of the greatest pop vocals
of all times!
As well as June 14 being the 240th birthday of
The American Flag,
it's also rumored that someone closely related to this blog turned
on that day.
June 8 would have been my mother's 100th birthday.