Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life is coming
apart. She receives phone calls from her missing daughter, has a
breakdown while delivering a speech, and believes she has a brain
tumor. When she visits "the other place," a cottage on
Cape Cod that the family once owned, the pieces start to fall into
place. Fact blurs with fiction, past and present collide, and the
truth about Juliana comes to the surface. This play premiered
off-Broadway in 2011 before running on Broadway, where it received
a nomination for the 2013 Tony Award.
When I watched the pilot episode of
Hill Street Blues
when it first aired in 1981, I remember thinking, Yeah, this is
NEVER going to make it. It's too damn good.
Television is often called, with some justification, "The
Vast Wasteland." Not all television programing bears evidence
to that nomenclature. From Hill Street Blues to
to N.Y.P.D. Blue,
and other shows, Steven Bochco made great TV.
Rest in peace Mr. Bochco.
~~~ 0 ~~~
I've booked a U.D. Law gig for this coming Monday evening at the
Montgomery County Courts. This
is a mock trial setting and a case I have acted in, I believe, three times
before, certainly twice, but I think three times. Just some brush-up,
memory refresher is all that's needed. I had hoped that I still had my
notes from last time, that would have simplified things even more, but I
don't seem to have them. At least it's not completely new information to
commit to memory.
ADDING TO THE UNIVERSE OF MY NOVELS AND THEIR PROTAGONIST:
Just so you know, even though there's no reason for you to have an
interest, by early 1992, my protagonist will be nominated for 31 American
Music Awards, four Golden Globes, 49 Grammys, four Emmys, and two Oscars.
Yes, I do, in fact, know how many of these, and which ones, he wins in
his universe, but I'm not revealing that information here. He does
With, I believe perhaps one specific exception, I did not arbitrarily decide
to preempt the actual win of an award by an actual artist out here in the
real world. I set up a lottery system for myself, and in some cases, weighed
the outcome in favor of his loss. Five folded pieces of paper that have
"win" written on them, five with "lose," and one with
"tie." I put them into a bowl, scrambled them around then pulled
a piece out -- whatever it said is what happens in the universe of the
novels. So, as he would have to, he will take Album of the Year, or Best
Male Vocalist, or Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Television Series,
yadda yadda, away from a real-world artist. As will with the projects,
castmates, production people, and artistic collaborators of his universe
take awards from projects and artists from the real world.
There were some times when I pulled some of the "win" paper slips
out of the bowl, to put the odds in favor of the loss, because he, or his
television series, or his musical album, or his movie, is up against something
monumental from the real world, but in those cases I didn't want to
absolutely deny him the chance to be the victor. In a few cases he was
the victor. There were a few times when I felt it would be good for him to
get the nomination for something, but I just wasn't able to allow him to
win -- or. more accurately, even in this alternate universe, I couldn't let
the specific real-world artist or work lose.
There is at least one place where I absolutely wanted the win, for
story-driven reasons. But, again, there were a few awards I just could not
take away from the actual winner out here, be it an actor, a TV series, a
movie, an album, a song, or whatever, simply because the is something of
import to pop culture, or, more importantly, culture in general, that I just
couldn't allow it even in the universe I am creating.
To be honest, on occasion, I'd see who actually won a particular award in a
particular year and I'd think, Oh, screw THAT!, and though I did not
succumb to my urge to push a loss on that real winner, I didn't weigh the
chance toward a loss for my guy or his project -- and I was always satisfied
when chance took the win from that particular real-world winner.
There were cases where I knew I wanted there to be a nomination, for certain,
and there were some when I left it up to chance with a lottery, similar what's
described above. There were also cases when I didn't want a nomination,
usually because I see it as a driving element in a specific spot or in the
overall story arch.
I've also been working abit more on the chart success of my protagonists
albums. The only work I am conscious of displacing are particular albums
that were actually the number one album on a particular date. My choice to
steal the spot from them has been less sophisticated; it's been the case of
making a yes-or-no decision. I think, back when I was first working out
the chart successes I flipped a coin a few times, but mostly it's been,
yeah, I'm okay taking that number-one spot. Or, it's been a case where I
wasn't okay with it and I had my protagonist's album coast at number two
until that real-world work fell from #1. I really haven't been doing that
chart peal stuff this time (not all of his records go number one) -- this
time it's been decision about extended the albums run on the
I'm using the bass-fretting icon because it's the closes one to appropriate
that I have. A few days back, I realized I have the need to replace a song
in the story arch. If you've read anything else I've written about this
project, you may remember that all the songs referenced in this story
arch are real, original songs, most written by me, some written by my old
songwriting partner and me, some by him, alone, and some by others. Well,
there are cross-overs from the real-world, too. My guy, especially early in
his career, covers a lot of other artists, some of them only from his world,
but many that you've had the chance to have heard of, for instance, The
Beatles and Steely Dan.
Any way, it's become necessary to replace what's supposed to be a song
from his early music career, written by an older recording artist from that
universe. Monday of last week, I thought to myself, You know, you haven't
written a song in more than a decade. You should get on this.
Some background: around 1980 or 1981, I was working as a janitor at a company
called Mail-Away. One day while I was sweeping an area from which the workers
were on break, I wrote a little pop-rock ditty in my head. It's basic
three-chord rock-&-roll, and I heard it all and both composed the melody
and wrote the lyrics while I was sweeping. I truly heard the whole arrangement,
even the whole production, in my head. And, if it had ever gotten out
there into the world, it might have actually seen some chart action of some
kind -- who knows, perhaps even some great chart action.
Tuesday of last week, I did the same thing at work, minus the sweeping of
the floor. I composed a song in my head. This one has more than three chords
(I'll have to actually sit down and figure out the chord progression) and
three sections (verse, bridge, chorus). Again, it''s a nice little pop-rocker,
with, I think (hope), some reasonably clever pop song lyrics. I've been
hearing it in my head for the last week and I am pleased with it. I do
need to actually sit down with my bass, or, better yet, one of my cheap
little keyboards, and actually identify that chord progression.
My bass: I don't think I've had it in my hand for a couple years now.
That's some kind of pathetic. I should give that frikkin' icon up there a
little bit of legitimacy, shouldn't I?
A CATHOLIC AND A KNIGHT:
A Catholic -- I bought a ticket to see comedian
Jim Gaffigan at the
Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio, next to
Dayton, this coming July 27. Gaffigan calls this the "Fixer Upper Tour,"
and I imagine there could eventually be a comedy special, from the tour,
on Netflix, or
Comedy Central, or some such streaming
service or cable channel. I saw him in concert in October of 2008
at The Nutter Center, also
here locally, and that tour ended up on TV --
Jim Gaffigan: King Baby.
Gaffigan is one of my favorite stand-up comics. And he works clean, for
the most part; not that that is the criteria I need in a stand-up. I
absolutely lovePatton Oswalt,
and he most certainly does not work clean. Neither does
Sarah Silverman -- if I ever
have the chance to see either of these funny folk live, I'll do it. But,
for now, it's Mr. Gaffigan, and he'll do just fine.
A Knight -- The last time I saw Ringo Starr in concert,
back on July 2, 2016,
he was only Ringo, Rock-&-Roll Royalty; now, he's also, literally, a
Knight of the Order of the British Empire -- Sir Richard Starkey. I have
a ticket for him and his "All Starr Band" for their Fraze show on
September 11. This'll be the third time I've seen Ringo and His All Starr
Band, every time at the Fraze.
There's really nobody new in Ringo's band, so I'm guessing the song line-up
will be mostly as it was at the other two shows I attended. It'll still be
fun to see Ringo again.
My seats for both Jim Gaffigan in July and Ringo Starr
& His All-Star Band in September. Pretty good seats in
both cases. Gaffigan, Plaza B, Row GG, seat 12; Starr,
Orchestra A, Row A, seat 5.
I feel like I should make some sort of statement about
The Other Place,
but really don't have much to write. My only connections to the production,
besides that it was mounted at my home theatre, was the
sound design and the production
of the promocast. I wasn't there
this final weekend, except for two brief times on closing Sunday -- just as
the show was beginning, to change the marquee to designate the next show
up; then, later, after my Easter dinner with family, to strike the monitor
camera and related equipment from the booth.
I did sit in the audience once each of the first two weekends and know
first-hand that performances were up to Guild standards. The reports I have
heard are that the audiences in general liked the show. Though there were
some tweaks to sound levels needed after the emergency computer replacement,
the soundwork for the show was successful.
So -- another example of: "Good Theatre, Done
I was quite excited to gear myself up for an upcoming audition that was
recently announced. It's a role I've been interested in doing for a few
years, now, the role of Pontius Pilate in
Jesus Christ Superstar.
Local theatre company Dare To Defy is
mounting JCS this summer, and though there were going to be some
certain schedule conflicts, I was seriously considering altering my plans
to go after this role. I strongly believe I am a good fit.
...I did not look closely enough at first glance. When I went back to
recheck the contingent rehearsal schedule I noticed some text I missed
the first time: "If you are between the ages of 14-20...."
It's a youth production, and I am most certainly not "between
the ages of 14-20." So-oh-well! It's not like there isn't other
stagework on the nearby horizon for which I can audition.
On a related note, I recently came upon a casting call for a
short film that had
a role for which I am typed.
The instructions said to send an email to set an appointment for a
screentest. I did, and I
attached a résumé. I don't know which production teammate's
email I sent to, but whoever it was, that person did not bother to get
back with me: a clear indication that this is a production I should not be
upset about not being involved with.
this is coming up again.
So, I'll get my wonderful pittance of a tax break this year at the
expense of the stability and the structural integrity of the nation and the
post 2018 elections tax time, when the fleecing of most of the citizens --
including me -- takes full
The celestial answering service just got a new message.
Rest in peace Carl.
~~~ 0 ~~~
I've not really done any work on this, yet, but will start later today.
The sound design will be pretty
simple, so I'm not worried, it's not impossible that I would take a
significant amount of the sound design, such as it is, out today. I can't
say that such will happen, but it's not impossible.
I also will need to cover one performance as
By-the-way, Producer Rick Flynn has taken on sound tech for the run,
save that one show he can't make. He will gladly abdicate the position if
another sound operator can be found. So, spread the word if you're in the
I have not completely formulated exactly what I will be doing for the
promocast, but I have a good
idea. This, too, will be simple.
SPECIAL EVENT AT DTG:
Michael and Sandy Bashaw will once again, as last summer, perform
in concert in the DTG space with Theatre of Sound.
Also in the band are John Taylor and Erich Reith.
Three shows over the second weekend in June: the 8th & 9th at
8:00 pm, and Sunday, June 10 at 3:00 pm.
A bit of progress has been made on the sound design.
I've curated the pre-show.
My original idea was to alternate contrasting music representing the two
characters. Essentially I kept that but with modification.
For the Maude character I had picked a particular variety of music that
more or less borderlined on kitschy, although, honestly that was the concept,
but, I ended up mostly picking songs that were pretty removed from any sort
Over the weekend I decided I wanted to add something by a specific artist,
probably one of about three better known hits by that person. So I went to
iTunes to grab a few songs by
the artist. Then I thought I might as well get a nice greatest hits
collection for myself -- why I don't actually have a strong collection of
work by this artist is another question, I suppose. So I bought one of
those "Essential" collections.
As I was trolling through the thirty songs on the album, it hit me: I
should only use this artist exclusively for Maude. So I nixed the other
songs and selected eleven songs from my new collection.
On the side for the Lionel character, it was always clearly going to be
classical music. So it's eleven classical pieces. I then took one each of
the eleven by that one rock artist and one each of the classic instrumentals
and edited them together to create eleven mp3 music files, each with a
rock song and a classical piece. When the
Show Cue Systems pre-show
shoots out the random plays, a 50-50 split between the Maude and the
Lionel music is guaranteed.
I've also gathered all the raw sound files together to
build the sound effect files
for the show. There aren't a whole lot of cues in the show, but they all
need to be customized builds. I have some elements for one specific cue
for which I'm also going to have record another element -- so I'll do a
little Foley work for this one. I've
also curated, and in one instance, edited, the small amount of production
Perhaps some reading this know that for the
DTG promocast I am now having
the actors perform specifically for the camera rather than shooting a
rehearsal. Usually what I've been doing is picking several moments and
having the actors perform those, then editing the moments together to
create a trailer. This time
I'm going to shoot one portion from start to finish, and that'll be it. I may
shoot the non-verbal moment that happens right before the dialogue on thise
pages, but I'm not sure I'll use it, and if I do, it'll be truncated. Of
course, as has been the practice, this will be a
A Streetcar Named Desire
at Beavercreek Community Theatre
-- Saturday evening I saw a very fine production of this classic Tennessee
Williams play. Honestly, the only reason I went, having seen this show now
umpteen times, is because I know so many people connected to it that I had
to go and support them. I am glad I did. If you're in the neighborhood next
weekend, you should check it out.
I mostly finished up the sound design
Saturday evening. I elected not to Foley
that one sound effect, I
built the sound from my
SFX library, instead.
However, I was not completely satisfied with the effect as it was. I'll
be doing Foley work, after all. I have tied four empty rootbeer bottles on
strings and will record those bumping together today as well as finishing
the edit of the promocast to final cut.
I also built the several others that are needed. One of those needed to be
rebuild because I found at yesterday's run that some of the elements
distorted over the theatre speakers.
Saturday, I assembled as much of the edit for the
promocast as I could, so all that
is left is to plug in the principal footage,
shot yesterday. Last night I plugged the cast portrait photo that I had
taken earlier in the day, right after I shot the footage. Essentially, I've
already edited together the opening splash and the closing credits for the
DV movie. So now I plug the principal footage in. The movie should be on-line
before this evening.
In my kitchen last night, doing Foley work for the
"beer-bottle wind chimes."
So, I said yesterday that I was going to do some Foley
work to get a particular sound, that being the sound of "beer-bottle
wind chimes." I tied some ICB rootbeer bottles on some string and then
dangled them in front of a mocrophone to record on my digital 8-track recorder.
The sound I got was much more what I was looking for than the sound file I
created by mixing some similar library sounds
together. However, though the Foley sound had the right quality, it was too
frenetic; it made it sound like a strong wind was blowing rather than a breeze.
I decided to re-record it for a clamer effect. Unfortunately, nearby my home,
a large tree-trimming machine was fired up and there was no way that the mic
wasn't going to pick that up. I had to wait until evening, after rehearsal
to re-record the sound. By-the-way, I don't technically have anything closely
approximating a sound studio at home, hence the problem because of the
machinery outside, but my kitchen is relatively isolated, so I usually get
a pretty clean recording -- when the surrounding neighborhood environment
cooperates, that is.
Meanwhile, the final cut of the
promocast is done and on-line.
Editing the principal footage
wasn't as straight-forward as I had expected. There is a lot of "adult
language" is the script. The F-bomb is dropped quite a bit, including
the section that I choose. I told Rachel Oprea, whose character is
responsible for said language, to not concern herself with cleaning it up
for the shoot, that I would take care of that -- the deadly "We'll
fix it in post" philosophy. My plan was to extract those words by
cutting from one shot angle to another during each line with such, jumping
those words with the cuts. Mostly I could, but in a few cases, the cadence
and rhythm of Rachels delivery made the cuts too awkward. In a few instances
I had to just cut the whole line. But, it does work in the end, and
though it took longer than I expected to edit the footage, it still didn't
take all that long.
The large focus has been on finding two contrasting one-minute
monologues for my appointment
at the 2018/2019 Human Race Theatre CompanyGenerals, which is next
Saturday afternoon. I'm trying to pick two things that are at least somewhat
dramatically relevant to shows up in the season that it seems I might have
a shot at being considered for. As is usually the case, I'm looking first
at roles I've played, because, frankly, conquering a good performance of
one or two of those will be easier, more expedient. I'm looking at other
stage auditions, too.
After I'm done with my audition next Saturday at The Human Race, I'll do
a table read of a new play
for a class session of the Ohio Playwrights Circle.
Admirable also were her battles with mental health issues, over
which she prevailed, and, too, her activism, which she engaged in
more and more as she grew older.
Another person with which I think I would have liked to have been
Rest in peace Margot.
~~~ 0 ~~~
I saw Tom Wolfe on CSPAN once, talking at a book convention, and he
spoke about how once you've written your first novel, which whether
it's autobiographic or not, is autobiographic at least in the sense
that you've pulled from your world. Now, with novel number two, you
have less material. Everyone says, "write what you know,"
which is true. So how can you, since you already wrote that book.
The answer is simple: Learn more so you know more. Take a trip. Do
whatever it takes to expand your experiences so you have more and
new knowledge to write from. This is, of course, my own words, but
it's the gist of what he said.
~~~ 0 ~~~
Yesterday I did my audition at the Generals
for the 2018/2019 season at Human Race Theatre Company.
As far as I can tell it was a pretty decent audition, at least I don't feel
like I blew it. I dropped part of a line, and knew it the moment I did, but,
what-a-ya-gonna-do? And I still feel good about it.
I did a cut of a Joe Keller monologue
All My Sons.
It's the monologue that I worked on in the last acting class I did at The
Race last fall, with
at the helm. I had to edit it down a bit more to make it fit the one-minute
maximum. I also did something I got from an acquaintance of mine who used
work in television, Robert (Bob) Earll,
who just passed away a few months back.
I had the option of doing a two-minute monologue from a play in the HRTC
season that I am interested in, but, the one I'm most interested in,
Banned from Baseball, is new and not published yet, so I was not going
to be able to get hold of the script. So I went with the two, contrasting
one-minute monologues. I figured Joe Keller would be close enough in
type with several of the characters
in this play, at least in attitude and personality, that Joe was a good
The Bob Earll monologue was the comedic one, and I think a pretty fun piece,
plus I know that there's no way the auditors,
and Tara Lail, heard this one. They likely hadn't heard the Keller,
either, but the Earll one, I know I brought in uniquely. And, they, too
thought it was a fun piece.
The table read of the new play
for a class session of the Ohio Playwrights Circle that was going to happen
yesterday has been postponed. There's no word on when it's rescheduled to,
but that info should come soon.
I'm doing a small amount of preproduction.
Director David Shough sent me the audition specs
to get them posted, which they are. There are a few prop needs we are going
to get a head start on, as well being mindful of getting the production
crew together. There's some sound design
that we need to be aware of ahead of time, too.
I have just secured an audition that I am pretty excited about. I'll be
shooting a DIY video audition
this weekend. If cast in this production, I'll have to alter some of my
planned involvement in some other projects, but, in this case, I would be
just fine with that situation. I'd also have to cancel some
time I currently have scheduled for earlier in the summer because I'll need
to use that
when the project starts. As well, I'll have to bow out of attendance at an
event I am looking forward to being at, but, again, under this circumstance,
were it to develop.....
Maude Gutman, an unemployed bartender, lives in a trailer park and
has purchased a painting for $3.00 at a thrift store that she
believes to be an unknown painting by the great Jackson Pollock.
She hires an art expert to verify the painting. Lionel Percy, a
stuffy New York arts expert and a self-described connoisseur, goes
to Bakersfield, California, to render his verdict as to whether Maude
has a Pollock or a fake. This smash-hit comedy premiered in London
in 2016 and has already had several productions across the United
Since the theatre was dark,
Monday, having just closed Bakersfield Mist,
and with Theatre of Sound having not yet loaded in for their concerts June
8-10, I took the opportunity to use the Mirkin Main Stage to shoot the audition.
I was assisted by fellow Dayton actor and theatre person (and fellow DTG
board member) Scott Madden, who read the other character's lines, just
Of course, one of the wise rules about auditioning is to dress the part.
That really doesn't mean to go in costume, that's usually too much, unless
the casting call specifically
states that particular clothing or costuming is wanted -- which is rare.
But one should go in attire that suggest the character being auditioned for.
More importantly to NOT wear attire that does not suggest the character.
If I'm auditioning for a lawyer, I'll go in dress slacks and a dress shirt,
(and dress shoes); I might even wear a suit jacket -- but, I will not audition
for a lawyer wearing jeans and a Steely Dan T-shirt with sandals on my
I came a tad closer to a costume for this one. This, in fact, is for a lawyer,
and I wore a dress shirt, a suit jacket, and a tie. But, since I was
sitting at a desk for the shoot, I didn't bother to put on the dress slacks
or dress shoes for the actual shooting of the scene. Hey, I was seated at
a desk. If news anchors can do it, I can do it! And I can tell you, news
anchors do, in fact, do this -- I've seen them.
I did do a brief, full-body shot segment for the top of the audition movie,
and did wear the whole dress suit for that. But for most of it, I was as you
can see in the relevant pics I've posted here.
Scott and I did twelve takes. My
original idea was to give the director two different reads, but I changed
my mind, because the contrasts were not as distinct as I wanted. I went with
the one take that I liked best, overall. I edited the movie to
final cut yesterday. I was off
work anyway because my car was in the shop, so it was good timing. I sent
the movie off last night. The producers will likely send it to the director
As for my assessment of my performance in the movie, I find the acting good
enough. I am, however, not sure that I have the correct presence for the
role, for the specific character I am up for, which happens to be a real
person. But, several seasoned actors have said this to me in the past, and
I have also read it in show biz trades, that it's up to the director (and/or
producer(s)) to decide who's right for the role. So, I submit it and give
it up to the theatre goddess. I do admit that I very much want to cancel my
plans to use that time later in the year as a cast member in this project.
Glen Helen on Sunday.
Again, Glen Helen on Sunday.
Then, John Bryan on Sunday.
Oakes Quarry Park, where I ran my lines Monday
before heading to DTG.
Setting up the shoot.
Rehearsing the audition.
Rehearsing the audition.
Rehearsing the audition.
Myself and Scott Madden, who read, off-screen, for
The most impressive thing to me was that
Olga Wagner was the
DP for five of
the seven movies. I met Olga a few years back when she volunteered to help
with set construction for a couple shows at DTG. I usually run into her
whenever I attend film dayton's
monthly Film Connections meetings. She was also crew on the
Mitch Centers' WSU student
film I appeared in,
The Tooth Man Cometh.
One of those five films she was cinematographer for this weekend was her own
film, for which she is writer/director,
Rashid. Again, good work. Olga has plans to make a
feature-length film, soon.
I told her that if there's a middle-aged, bald, white guy in the script.....
I had never seen this show before, though there have been productions
mounted here and there in the area since I've been back in the theatre
world. It's a fun script and last night was quite fun and quite funny!
It runs though June 17.
So, that audition I did via DIY video audition
last week -- I'm now in a position to reveal more details. It was a
callback off of my audition for
the Generals for the
2018/2019 season at The Human Race Theatre Company.
The callback was for the first show of the season, Banned from Baseball,
by Patricia O'Hara. As you will know if you read the May 30 post above, I
shot the video on Memorial Day, at The Guild,
with the help of Scott Madden, who read off-camera for me.
As I wrote on the 30th, while I wasn't horrified by results of the shoot,
with what I cut into the locked edit,
I wasn't too sure I conveyed the right presence for the character. I didn't
see me being cast in the role, which, by-the-way, is that of
John Dowd, who was special counsel
to Major League Baseball during the investigations of Pete Rose for
gambling on professional baseball -- the major subject of this play.
I also wrote that "several seasoned actors have said this to me in the
past, and I have also read it in show biz trades, that it's up to the director
(and/or producer(s)) to decide who's right for the role." And here's
the proof that such is true: yesterday I was offered the role, which, as
you might guess, I accepted.
Dowd, by-the-way, was previously an attorney for the DOJ, and has also
defended various high-profile clients in nationally high-profile cases.
Until this past March, he was one of the attorneys representing the current
occupant of the Oval Office in the investigation into possible collusion
between Russia and the Trump campaign. And overall, the research I've done
thus far does not suggest that Dowd is exactly a likable guy.
Banned... will be directed by Margarett Perry,
who usually directs one play each season at HRTC. A few years back, she
directed the dramatic reading
and workshopping of
Michael Slade'sGingerbread Children,
that which I was one of the actors/readers. The irony is that I had occasion
to contact Margarett on a different matter not but a few days before I did
my general audition for the season. During the conversation I made a quip
that "who knows, at some point you might be tricked into thinking I'm
right to cast." Now, I did not know at that time that she was the
director for Banned..., really, I didn't. It was the show that
specifically identified as being interested in, because it's a new play and
also because thee seemed to be several characters for which I am the right
type. I also, by-the-way, wrote on
the audition form that I would be interested in any other roles in other plays
in which they thought I would be a good candidate. But, as far as Margarett
and Banned from Baseball is concerned, I hear by swear on this stack
of Samuel French plays that when I conversed with her a few weeks back I
did not know she was directing that specific play!
This will be my fourth production at the HRTC, and the third that gives
me points toward my Equity membership candidacy.
I will have 21 points when the show wraps. Also coming into play will be a
few other things I wrote about in recent posts about this: I had some
scheduled earlier in the summer -- for one thing, I was thinking seriously
about going to Chicago for the Fourth of July. Now I'm holding all my
to use during the rehearsal and the performance weeks so I won't be
working a 40-hour week at the the rent-payer,
especially while in the rehearsal period, which is at least 30 hours a week,
and usually more, in itself. Plus, I need some time outside of rehearsal
to do script analysis and
On a related note: I hope I get the script soon enough that I can walk
into the table read at
or close to off-book. Not that I
won't keep my script in my hand for a while, mostly to make notations in the
script, remind about blocking
until I have it down, and to not slow a rehearsal down with memory stalls.
On sacrifices, I also have to give up my ticket to see Ringo Starr
on September 11. There's a Banned from Baseball performance that
night. Oh well. And, I have to bow out as AD
for Marjorie Strader in our second show of the season at DTG,
This Random World.
Due to Banned... I would not be able to attend any rehearsals of
...Random... until the week before its Tech Week,
save for Mondays, which will be the Equity day off,
nor would I be able to give it its due attention, so there seems no point
to stay on as AD.
But, still, despite the things I have to give up and bow out of.....
So, yeah, since I am off work for the holiday on Wednesday, July 4, I decided
to schedule Mon-Tue, July 2-3, as
days and give myself five days off so I could go spend a few days in Chicago.
One destination would have been back to the
Art Institute of Chicago, which I visited
once before but only allotted myself a couple hours to be there -- that was
not enough time. Next time I go I will give myself pretty much a while day
there. But when I got cast in Banned from Baseball, as some of you
have read in previous posts here, I rescheduled all my
leave to cover works during the rehearsal and the performance period of
Banned... so I don't have to do 40-hour work weeks at the
the rent-payer during that
time. But, then, I thought, Well, you know, you can drop up there over
a weekend; that's what you did last time.
I started contemplating this mini-vacation, then I posted the facebook post
about it that's in the screenshot here. That was yesterday. I didn't know
what show would go see; I hadn't checked the Chicago theatre scene, and
though I get emails from
Victory Gardens, and
I couldn't remember what the latest news from any of them was, and all the
emails were deleted.
That was Thursday. Yesterday, I got one of those emails from steppenwolf.
"Email offer to The Roommate" the subject line said. The body of
the email said, "Email Offer: $35 tickets to performances June 21-July
8," and "A Chicago premiere by Jen Silverman, Directed by Tony
Award winner Phylicia Rashad," it continued. Then "A comical
mismatch of two roommates leads to a surprising and touching friendship.
Think The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad."
July 7 seems like a good day to see a comedy at steppenwolf. So, I went
on-line, used the discount code and bought me a ticket for the 7:30 show.
I'll drive over and up on Friday, the 6th, stay at a cheap hotel in
Merrillville, Indiana, then drive into Chicago the next morning. It's
what I did last time I went. This will actually be kind of a clone of that
day. I'll park in a garage close to steppenwolf, then I plan to walk to
the Chicago Zoo from there. It's only about 20-30 minutes. Since I won't
get to gym over the weekend, the walk will be a good thing.
I'm hoping to have lunch or dinner with one of my Chicago friends. but
that is not confirmed yet. The plan is to just traverse around
on foot. I might just come back into the city on Sunday and spend the day
at the arts institute; thing is, I will have a long drive back home, so
that might not really give me the time in the institute I want. The other
alternative might be to flip it around, to do the art institute on Saturday
before the show and the zoo on Sunday. But then the car is not staying
parked as much. All though -- I could ride
the L from by
steppenwolf to the institute, then back. Or, I could go back on another
weekend and hit the institute. Hmmmmm. Things to ponder.
Michael Bashaw, Sandy Bashaw, John Taylor, and Erich Reith
I'll be dropping in to see the final Theatre of Sound concert today.
Last night I saw the
Young at Heart Players'
by Lisa Kron,
at The Dayton Playhouse. It's
a rather intersting script with the play and the players self-aware that
they are in a play and that there is an audience. By script design, the
actors in supporting roles
even at times break character
and speak as themselves, actors cast in the roles, being referred to and
responding to their actual names. The two lead actors,
playing daughter and mother, never break character, but all those on stage
break the fourth wall
and address the audience, and even comment on and critique the script they
The production features Anne Pesch and
in the leads -- Anne as daughter, and playwright,
Lisa, and Barbara as her mother, Ann. The supporting roles are filled by
Bryana Bentley, Justin Lampkins, Kerry Simpson, and Steve Strawser. The
cast gave a nice performance of an interesting script. As is usually the
case, it was directed by Young at Heart Players founder,
Sunday I attended the final of the three concerts by Theatre of Sound
that we hosted over the weekend at DTG.
The Theatre of Sound is a derivative of the Dayton local musical quintet,
Puzzle of Light, with four of the members performing in this off-shoot:
Michael Bashaw on flutes, harmonica, vocals, percussion, and sound
Sandy Bashaw on guitar, vocals, and sound sculptures
John Taylor on drums, keyboards, bass gutiar, percussion, and sound
Erich Reith on percussion and sound sculptures
The "sound sculptures" they play are all of those
vibraphone-looking objects in the photos here, as well as other items, such
as the series of ascending cymbal-like disks, frame-right in the top picture,
the series of ascending bowl looking objects, frame-left in the same photo,
and the large sculpture, in the pic below, with all the strings attached to
it, as well as other unique sound sculpture instruments not pictured here.
Michael Bashaw created them all, by the way.
So, the "Theatre of Sound" is a blending of a more common -- or
usual -- musical sound and an avant-garde musical sound. What the audiences
got was an experience of sometimes jazz, sometimes folk, sometimes world
music, all with the edge of the sound sculpture experimentation. It's really
quite a unique experience and all the players on stage are excellent at their
craft. These concerts are a wonderful musical experience.
This was the second time we've hosted Theatre of Sound; I hope we do again.
If we do, and if you've not attended and are near by, you should. If you
have, you should come back.
I have also heard some rumors that someone either closely or
loosely connected with this blog, this website,
The Dayton Theatre Guild,
and most, or perhaps all, of the theatre and movie productions I've
been involved with, also celebrates a birthday today, but that
this person is considerably younger than the American flag.
I've come to decision, as the fb screenshots on the right display, that I
am going to fill as many weekends this summer as I can with some little,
weekend getaway, mini-vacations.
We already know I'm heading to Chicago for a weekend next month to see
The Roommate at steppenwolf,
and that the plan is spend the earlier part of the day at the
Chicago Zoo (aka: The Lincoln Park Zoo).
I'm taking some shorter jaunts, too. In fact I've got plans for most every
weekend this summer, especially this first part, that, in part, includes the
Columbus Museum of Art,
and I've made a reservation for a weekend in a cabin in the forest in
Hocking Hills, Ohio,
a couple hours south-east from my abode. There are a few other places I am
thinking of heading to and I'm keeping myself open for other options to
get spontaneous with.
I will, of course, attend FutureFest 2018
next month, and though I was going to anyway, it still can be considered
part of this weekend getaway, mini-vacations
project, despite that I'll be coming home each night to sleep. Some of
the treks will only be one day events, such as the Columbus trips. I'm
thinking about the Indianapolis Zoo,
too; not sure if that'll be a one-day thing or if I'll grab a motel room --
guess it depends on when I do it and what my bank account looks like.
Sometime after Banned from Baseball wraps at the
Human Race Theatre Company,
I intend to go back to Chicago for several days to do that whole day at the
Art Institute of Chicago
that I wrote about before -- and, yes, I'll probably catch a theatre
production, while I'm there; but that'll be in the fall.
Okay, so, yeah, it's only June 15. Rehearsals don't start until August 13,
eight-and-a-half weeks from today. There's some time. There's plenty of
Still I'm impatiently waiting for the arrival of my script. I want it now
so I can start working on my lines. I'd love to have it before I'm at the
cabin in a few weeks. Ah, hell I want it way sooner than that!
*06/17/2018 addendum: under the heading of "Hold On Ta Yer
Danged Horses, Feller!" comes this news -- the script arrived
in the postal mail later in day on June 15.
In case you missed the addendum to Friday's post about this topic, the
Banned from Baseball script, of which I was so impatiently waiting
the arrival, was delivered in the postal mail later that day, after I had
posted the original border-line whiny entry; it was in my mailbox when I
got home from the rent-payer.
All the associated paperwork also came in the mail and I have attended to
• Wardrobe measurements have been taken
• Actor's bio has been written
• Headshot -- at
least a temporary selection -- has been chosen
• Photography and publicity waivers and releases have been
• Personal information form has been filled out
has been completed
• Direct deposit form has been completed
• EMC form has been
filled out and signed
• The Performer Agreement contract has been filled out and
all be in the mail today or tomorrow
-- except the bio and headshot,
which were emailed Friday evening.
Now it's time to break out the newly-purchased supply of blank index cards
and start making my flashcards and start the trudge toward
off-book, as well as time for all
the other aspects of script study
and some dramaturge work on my
character, John Dowd.
I only have one scene, but it's a good scene and I have an opportunity to
contribute greatly to the story. I think of
Wilford Brimley's work
in Absence of Malice
as Assistant U.S. Attorney General James A. Wells. He had one scene, but
it was a powerful scene and his performance is memorable, so much so that
it is one of the things people remember best from the movie. I have a
chance to make something of a similar impact in Banned from Baseball
-- there's my challenge. The scene is written strongly enough for that to
happen; the rest is up to me, in collaboration with
Director Margarett Perry, of
course, and in collaboration with my scene mates.
Having just the one scene, and having two months before rehearsals begin,
AND having the script in my possession, means that there's no good
reason not to come in off-book, as well as well versed on John Dowd and on
the historical aspects of this story.
As a side bar, I look forward to the day when working an
Equity show is enough of a
commonplace occurrence for me that I don't bother to denote the
details of the hiring process. But, for now......
Some of it is some pretty cool and exciting stuff, but I am keeping mum
for the time being. But, some music selections will be made for both shows
in the near future.
Lunchtime, Friday, at the rent-payer,
looking at the Little Foxes script for sound cues.
Also, for The Little Foxes, I will need to have the sound design up
and running early. Tech Week for
that one starts on August 12, and where I can and will be there for that
Tech Sunday, rehearsals for
Banned from Baseball begin on Monday, August 13. I will miss the
rest of tech for The Little Foxes. Thusly, I will be teching the
sound the previous week so that there will be opportunities for me to make
adjustments and corrections.
Though I started making my line-study flashcards on Monday, as I'd planned,
I did not finish them off; I started it, then did subsequent sessions
during some lunch hours at
the rent-payer, but outside
of those moments, I've been focused on other ventures. Despite that rehearsals
don't start for two months, and despite that I can't, in a rational way,
believe I am falling behind on this, I still feel like I did when I was ten
and I hadn't done my homework assignment.
I still have plans to do some dramaturgy,
not only on John Dowd, but also on
the investigation and related historical background.
So, yes, I did send a headshot to HRTC
for use at the website and in the printed program for Banned from
My headshots are not well-defined as "recent." My plan was to
get a new set this week. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make an appointment
with my preferred photographer until next week, I've already been told it's
okay to send an updated one to HRTC when I have it, that "we have
loads of time," so I'm not concerned about the delay.
My original plan had been to pose for about half the photos with a beard,
then come back the next day shaved, but I don't have time right now to
grow a thick enough beard. I will get some beard shots at some point before
the end of the year, sometime later when I have the time and opportunity to
sport a thicker one. It's always good to have the right headshot for however
I look at any given time.
Meanwhile, it's also occurred to me that I haven't updated my page at
Now Casting for
quite a while. Mentioning Now Casting, I got an email a few weeks back
from someone about some voice work.
This person had pulled my name from Now Casting. She asked me to respond
if I was interested. I did respond, asking a few fundamental questions,
such as the production date or dates and time, location, and salary. I never
received a follow-up.
I'm also on a push to gather together my actor's film work to make a
reel to post at my
YouTube channel. I've
needed a reel for a while. I don't yet have a whole lot of sizzling footage
to put in one, but I should have one up, nonetheless. There are a few
industrials and TV
commercials I don't have access to, so my work in those isn't available
for the reel, but I'm going to gather together what I can.
LOOK, MA! MY NAME'S ON THE SCREEN!:
It's always nice to see my name in a credit scroll at the end of a film.
This one is from a film I worked on in 2010, a
student film titled Leavings & Left Alones, which can be viewed
on Vimeo by clicking here.
I had never been told about the disposition of the
final cut so I wasn't sure if
I even made it into said final cut. In the recent effort to put together
the reel, mentioned above, I went on a search to find the director to
enquire about this film and about getting footage. I both found the director,
Olivia Otten, and the film (as
linked to, above).
Like I told a friend about the film, "if you blink, you'll miss me."
I'm on screen for a very short time during a funeral scene, where I play
the presiding preist. My scene was shot at
at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio.
Screenshots, from Leavings & Left Alones, of me as the
priest at a funeral. Shot in the Sesquicentennial Chapel at Miami
THE GREAT DIALOGUE CLEARANCE SPREE OF JUNE, 2018:
At the start of every summer I say that I am going to get a jump on
requesting clearance to use dialogue from our DTG season's plays in the
promocasts for each one of them.
Every summer I've said that, and every summer I have not done it.
Well I have done it this summer. Yesterday I emailed six of our seven
playwrights, or their representatives, for the 18/19 season and requested
the use of their words in the promotional videos. The remaining one I had
to mail a postal letter to because I have found no on-line avenue to contact
this one or her reps.
In two cases I was able to contact the playwrights themselves, for the
others, it has been their agents or the play publisher, whichever is
designated to handle the matter.
Two playwrights, Steven Dietz
and Luke Yankee, have
already granted permission. Actually, Luke Yankee granted permission to
me, himself; Steven Dietz granted it via his agent.
Luke didn't surprise me, as DTG has a bit of a relationship with him,
fostered last year when he was so intrigued by our theatre that he came to
one of our performances of his play,
The Last Lifeboat.
I had contacted him about clearance for dialogue for that one and that
led to his interest in our house. When I approach the playwrights, or
their reps, I include links to recent promocasts to show them examples.
Luke looked the ones I'd sent then browsed more of our
and was impressed with the plays we do. I believe he said something along
the lines that our seasons look like those at an
Equity house not a
community theatre. He also
thought we were doing such interesting plays, ones that even some professional
theatres aren't' doing. "I have to go check out this theatre," he
told himself. He likes DTG quite a lot and sings our praises; so, I was
not all surprised when his response was "Yes, of course, whatever you
With Steven Dietz, I have no frame of reference to know whether his yes was
to be expected or not. However, I was quite pleased when his agent replied
with "Steven has approved this, thanks for asking us." To be
honest, I expect more resistance when I have to seek clearance from the
agents. I am always afraid they may be more inclined to a protectionist
stance than the playwrights, themselves, will likely be. I don't think I've
ever had a playwright out-and-out say, no. A couple have deferred to their
agents or the play publisher, but none I have contacted directly have said
no. In fairness, though, one agent did respond to me once with a refusal
that was credited to the playwright.
The thing that hasn't happened is anyone wanting royalties for use; I'm
assuming that's because we are a non-professional theatre.
I finished making my line-study flashcards, as my main method of line
memorization. I have ninety-three lines in my one scene. None of them are
anywhere in the neighborhood of being
monologue-length, so if I'm not
off-book by first rehearsal in
mid-August then I'll need to seriously consider never acting again. And,
really, if they were all monologues, I still would have little
excuse to not be off-book by then.
Yesterday afternoon I did a short photo shoot with Nick Falzerano, the
proprietor of Nicholas Studios,
to get myself from badly-needed headshot
updates; my most recent previous headshots are now
The impetus behind getting the new photos, as any return readers might know,
is because of the forthcoming
Human Race Theatre Company
production of Patricia's O'Hara's new play, Banned from Baseball.
But, I've needed new headshots for quite a while, anyway.
It was an outdoor shoot because, at the moment, Nicholas Studios has
construction work happening, so a studio session wasn't tenable, and so I
arranged for this to be a temp session. As the appointment day approached I
was more and more worried about the weather since rain, or at least overcast
skies, looked like a real possibility. But, we had blue skies and sunshine.
The only problem is that I forgot that my eyeglasses do that auto-tint thing
in the sun, so in any photos where I had my glasses on, it looks like I'm
a cool dude in his shades -- and though I wouldn't mind having his masterful
stage presence, I wasn't going for a Jack Nicolson vibe. Fortunately, we will
be doing another one in the fall, in the studio. Also, fortunately, I posed
for many shots without my glasses on, those shots which I will be able to
use more broadly as headshots.
I will be shortly scrutinizing those that are usable to pick the one to
send to HRTC for BfB.
I must also say that even if many, like the one above, could only be used
for very targeted roles, I still think it's a cool photo.
Here are three headshots from this new session that I definitely
will be able to use as such:
Last Sunday (the 24th) I went on the first of my planned summer 2018 series
of weekend getaway, mini-vacations.
This weekend, I'm doing another one. Whereas last weekend was only one day,
this weekend it's the whole weekend. I leave in the mid-afternoon,
I took a lot of photographs last Sunday so the delay in posting about it
has to do with getting those pics properly processed. Last weekend's jaunt,
by-the-way, was directly related to the "Diary of Artful Things"
theme of this blog. This weekend will be, not by nature of the actual
destination, but because I'll spend some time memorizing my lines for
Banned from Baseball, also in line with the overarching, general blog
As soon as I have the pics from last week done, I'll post an entry about
that venture. The rub is that I'll do some of the work on these
images during this weekend's sojourn. Of course, I'll be taking a lot of
photos this weekend, too. The bottom line: timely posts about any of these
simply are not going to happen.
I have another one the next weekend, too, as well as the weekend after that
-- and likely the weekend after that.
THE GREAT DIALOGUE CLEARANCE SPREE OF JUNE, 2018, PART 2:
Both permissions came via the play publisher
Samuel French, though I had
actually been in direct contact with Jethro Compton. Mr. Compton,
however, wasn't sure about the process of gratning me the right, though he
was fone with my using dialogue on the video. He deferred me to SF. To be
honest, I am quite sure that he had the right to grant me permission, as I
am 99.9999999999999% sure such rights are retained in his control, but it
didn't hurt anything to acquiesce to him.