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

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K.L.'s Blog © 2004-2020 K.L.Storer -- all rights reserved

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Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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JAN-MAR, 2016
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JULY-SEP, 2019
OCT-DEC, 2019
JAN-MAR, 2020
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Opening Today

DECISION HEIGHT, by Meredith Dayna Levy, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast of the show



Mon, Oct 14, 2019

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PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

I've started back working on the next pass, the next revision of the play. I think there's going to be a graduation to full-out "rewrite" for a portion of it. I actually have added a slight amount in a few areas, along with some cuts -- mostly compacting rather than cutting actual material. But I am up against the end of the play and as I believe I've written before I see my biggest problem being the last portion of the play. I have an ending that I like, I just don;t think I've arrived at it well. I need to have a better path to that destination. I hope to have another table reading before the end of this calendar year.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON
Last Saturday I did some table reading, myself, as an actor, for the playwrights in the current incarnation of the Ohio Playwrights Circle playwrighting class. Mid-morning to early afternoon, I and several other actors read some ten-minute plays for the regular class session. Than after a break -- long enough for me to go get lunch -- some of us came back and read a the first draft of a one-actm by one of the writers in the class.

I'll be doing more readings for the class over the course of the next few weeks. By-the-way, OPC has another public reading coming up on Nov 3 at The Guild.


DECISION HEIGHT logo.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
SOUND TECH ICON
I did the soundwork for this one. It was a fairly easy gig. The majority of the sound during the show is plane fly-byes. The show takes place on an air base in Texas during WWII. There's also some other occasional ambient sound: vehicles driving by, birds, crickets, a few spots where the women in the play are listening to music or interviews on the radio.

For this one I opted to not have long files of the ambience to cover a scene thus making the placement of each sound during the scene less definite. I elected to have each fly by, or dive by, or whatever, to be cued by specific lines, that way there is a consistency to when they fire during the performance. More importantly, it eliminates a sound coming at a moment when we don;t want one. The pace and timing of the actors is slightly different each night. So when you have a long sound file peppered with sounds alon it playtime, when they come up during the performance each night will be slightly different. On occasion that can mean you have a sound just exactly when you don't want one. If each sound is a separate sound file that is cued of a specific line (or action), then this delima is eliminated and the unique pace of a specific performance is irrelevant.

I also will be on the sound board this coming Friday and Saturday as well as all of the last weekend, splitting the sound tech duties with the official tech for the show, Mandy Shannon.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
As you can see from the last post, the promocast for the show is up. If you watch it you will note that it is a slide show of photographs -- courtesy of Greggory Brugger -- playing over music. I was not able to contact anyone with the autority to grant me clearance to use dialogue in the DV movie. We do what we can. Not the video I wanted to make, but it'll do.


ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon
Open auditions for Icebergs are tonight and tomorrow night. As the producer I will be there.


By the Way
So, yeah, I went for quite a few weeks without a new post here. And the posts recounting some of my summer excursions and events are all now greatly delinquent. I now put them in the category of "lost weekends." I will be posting about all of them: the trip to New York City and the plays and other things done there, my eleventh time seeing Paul McCartney in concert, Dayton Playhouse's FutureFest 2019, and the Indianapolis Zoo.

They will be recounted here.



Wed, Oct 16, 2019

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ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon
Well, the auditions are done. But the cast list is pending.


Sun, Oct 27, 2019

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Closing Today

DECISION HEIGHT, by Meredith Dayna Levy, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Directed by David Senatore
Produced by Kathy Mola

Decision Height tells the story of six Women's Air Force Service Pilots (called WASPS) who flew aircraft during World War II. While they didn't see combat, these ladies were responsible for transporting planes and pulling targets for live ammunition training, freeing the men for active duty after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The WASPS proved an important asset for the military, but have been largely forgotten in the history books. This play was the winner of the 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The Cast of Decision Height
(in order of appearance)

CHARACTER
           NOTES
Mrs. Deaton
      Wendi Michael

Virginia
      Amanda Schrader

Eddie
      Samantha Stark

Norma Jean
      Carly Laurette Risenhoover-Peterson

Rosalie
      Heather Atkinson

Alice
      Amy Leigh

Carol
      Susie Gutierrez

Ziggie
      Janell Blanks

Mildred
      Kat King

The Promocast for Decision Height


Wed, Oct 30, 2019

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PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

Still dropping in on my play, in Final Draft, for some revision/rewriting. I still hope to have another table reading before the end of 2019, but must admit I am not optimistic it'll happen.

I've actually been giving a little more time to working on the story bible. Believe it or not, a lot of that effort has been working in various Excel sheets working on financial sorts of things in several different Excel workbooks that are linked to each other on various pathways. But I've been adding to the timeline documents, too. I don't believe this is avoidance behavior, though I do note that I am now a few years past the time period when the play takes place.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


UPCOMING PUBLIC READING, AND OTHER READINGS:
Ohio Playwrights Circle

First: OPC is presenting the reading of new plays (ten-minute plays) on the L. David Mirkin mainstage at The Guild. I am one of the actors reading.

Nov 1 addendum: I just noticed that I failed to say what day the public reading will be.

IT'S THIS SUNDAT, NOVEMBER 3
2:00 PM
ADMISSION IS FREE


I've also recently been one of the actors reading for the most recent OPC playwrighting class, and I've been involved as a reader for two table readings of work-in-progress by OPC members.


THE CAST LIST:
ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon

The show has been cast since last weekend. Most of it was cast shortly after auditions, but we didn't have Calder until this past weekend. Here is the cast:

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Calder
      Maximillion Santucci

Abigail
      Sha-Lemar Davis

Reed
      S. Francis Livisay

Molly
      Lorin Dineen

Nicky
      Titus Unger

I personally am happy there are three faces brand new to our boards: Sha-Lemar Davis, S. Francis Livisay, and Titus Unger. And the other two, Maximillion Santucci and Lorin Dineen are not regulars. As talented as most of our frequent performers are, it is nice to see new and uncommon faces on our stage.

DTG Promocast Production logo
Copyright © Symbol icon
Unfortunately, for the third time this season, I have not been able to get clearance to use dialogue from the play in the promocast. I have come up with an idea for the promocast for this show in response to not having dialogue soundbytes. It will very likely involve some stock footage and may involve a greenscreen. I am also contemplating writing and recording the music, myself, which I have done only a few times before.



Fri, Nov 1, 2019

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PROMOCAST PREPRODUCTION:
ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon

DTG Promocast Production logo
Preproduction on the promocast has officially begun. I've been locating and grabbing stock footage. So far all I've downloaded are Creative Commons Licensed (CC) footage. I have looked at some royalty-free footage but I will have to do some triage; even though the flat fees are not unreasonable, multiple clips will add up to a hefty price tag. I also grabbed a few CC stock photos and will probably grab a few more.

The idea of putting the actors in front of a greenscreen may not be the route I decide to take. it depends on whether I find stock footage that would work with the actors in front of it. And I am still seriously contemplating writing and recording the underscore music for the promocast myself. Actually, in this case we can call it the theme music; I'll hold off on explaining why.



Tue, Nov 5, 2019

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ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon
fb post - "So I've charged myself with writing and recording some music for a project. So now I have to pull my bass out and come face-to-face with how horribly out of practice I am."
DTG Promocast Production logo

K.L. on Bass

The password is: "Rusty."

The other day, I pulled one of my bass guitars out. I have two. One is a cherry-red Epiphone I bought just before my eighteenth birthday, I believe a late-60's solid-body electric Epiphone Embassy Pro that is now in horrible disrepair. The other is a hollow-body acoustic/electric Giannini that I bought about fifteen years ago.

The Giannini, which is what I pulled out the other day, has actually been used on two recordings. First I used it for the theme music in the promotional video for the DTG production of The Dice House in 2007 -- a song I wrote called "Roll the Dice." Then I recorded the underscore for the closing credits of my short film, The Chorus for Candice. That was an instrumental, a bass solo I wrote, titled, "Candice Leaves Corinth." Now, of course, the plan is use it for theme music I'll write for the Icebergs promocast.

Yep, I pulled my Giannini out, and as my facebook post predicted, or more accurately, asserted, I most certainly came face-to-face with how horribly out of practice I am. Listening to me pick and peck on the strings and fumble on the fret board, one would not be able to tell that I was once a proficient bass player, even at times a pretty damn good one. Right now I am neither of those things.

It also doesn't help that I've never spent a lot of time playing this Giannini. I bought it because I've been living in apartments and practicing on an acoustic bass is the polite and practical thing to do when, as Paul Simon puts it, "one man's ceiling is another man's floor," or more succinctly: there's someone on the other side of at least two of those walls. Despite that I got an apartment-friendly bass guitar, I never got into the groove; I never started to play regularly -- anything even close to regularly. I didn't return to being a musician. Subsequently, I have never become intimate with this guitar; I've not gotten to the place where the neck is not a foreign object to me, but rather a best friend.

In my late teens, my twenties and my early thirties, I had that Epiphone in my hands no less than two hours almost every day. In my early and mid twenties it was more. I played that bass probably three hours every day, at least on average. My left hand and its fingers were old, familiar, constant companions with that neck and its frets.

I got a lot of woodshedding to do.


Note Addendum PS icon
As I started feeling nostalgic about my older Ep, which will probably cost as much, if not more, to restore than it would to buy a new one, I couldn't help myself from trekking over to the Epiphone website to look at the what might be a comparable new model. As it so happens, they have a new version of the Embassy Pro that is not too expensive. It looks virtually like my old one, and I have to tell ya, I was tempted so much so that I priced the guitar and the hard-shell case and calculated the impact on my VISA card. Then, yep, I yielded to temptation. So now I have to commit to actually being a musician again, because I can't spend that kind of money, unjustified.

My brand new Epiphone Embassy Pro dark cherry bass guitar arrives early next week.

Epiphone Embassy Pro dark cherry bass guitar
Epiphone Embassy Pro dark cherry bass guitar



PUBLIC READING:
ACTING ICON
Ohio Playwrights Circle
Sunday we performed the dramatic readings of the new ten-minute plays by the playwrights in the latest OPC playwrighting class, on the L. David Mirkin mainstage at The Guild.

It was modest but receptive audience.

I read in three of the six plays. I was a small corner of a raggedy old security blanket (i.e.: the subconscious of a little girl), a bohemian photographer, and a brother who, along with his sister, was dealing with the aftermath of the funeral of a family member.

Had fun. What more can you ask for?



          
also
          

I VOTED TODAY -- how about you?



Sat, Nov 9, 2019

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EVERY ASTRONAUT DRINKS GATORADE*:
K.L. on Bass

The hard-shell case I ordered for my new Epiphone Embassy Pro bass arrived Wednesday. The bass itself arrived yesterday. I picked it up at the local Guitar Center. While I was there I picked up a new 20-ft guitar cord, two guitar straps, one for the Epiphone, one for the Giannini, and a packet of guitar picks -- I only had one pick, at least only one of which I know the whereabouts.

I also pulled out my old practice amp, after I got back from Guitar Center. My memory was that it's not in great shape, but I wanted to be sure before i picked another one up. My memory was good: hums and buzzes, and dust static crackles. It's not crazy to believe I'll have a new one before the end of this weekend -- maybe today.

I've been working with the Giannini acoustic bass (pictured in the icon to the right -- and below) and I'm still coming face-to-face with how out of practice I am. Man am I rusty! I don't even think "rusty" is an adequate word to describe my state of ability; that might give me too much credit. It's as if I had never played the bass before. My little bit of work on the Epiphone takes me back; the neck feels just the same as my original version of this model. It's easier to play. I will be woodshedding on both of them.

Since, with only a few extremely brief interludes, I've not played bass for somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty years, I've decided to approach this as a "start over." I was self-taught before, so there's obviously better ways to finger the frets, etc., etc., than what I worked out on my own. I'm going to approach this like a beginner. I may even take some lessons. I certainly will utilize Youtube exercise videos and such, and I've already found a couple Youtube channels that, on cursory view, look like they'll be most helpful with both lesson-type and strength-building-type material. One of the videos I watched had a great exercise for strengthening my left hand and those four fingers. That pinky finger is the biggest challenge. I didn't use it for fretting in my youth, but this time around I will.

There are a lot of little muscles in the hand and forarm that need to be in good shape to play any sort of guitar, muscles in the fingers, of course, but also in the hand, proper, and below the hand. And it's not just the hand one uses to finger the frets (pick the notes); the hand one uses to pluck the strings needs muscle development, too. And if you're a bass player who uses fingers to pluck the strings, you need need those finger muscles fine-tuned. If you use a pick, you need a strong wrist to help you with both precision and speed. I'm a bass player who plucks with fingers and also uses a pick. I've already began some exercises for my right wrist, holding a 10-lb dumbell weight and working my wrist. And I've been using some of the exercises from the Youtube channels to work on the fingers in my left hand, especially my third and pinky fingers. For further work to build and maintain strength in my hands I've just ordered two items to exercise my hands.

I ordered a D'Addario VariGrip hand exerciser, which is specifically for guitar players, regular and bass. I also ordered a Kootek 50-150 Lbs hand grip, which is for general hand grip strengthening but is also billed as for musicians. It was actually the sort of apparatus I was looking for during my web search; the one I already own is misplaced and who knows where it is. The hand grips, by-the-way, have already arrived and I've already clocked some time using them.

As I wrote earlier, along with using the bass player Youtube channels, the hand exercise equipment, the woodshedding of old work from my past, all that practice, practice, practice, I'm contemplating some out-and-out, in-person lessons, if I can manage to carve out a regular time. My ultimate goal is to become better than I was. I got to a point of being "good," but I don't believe any more than just good. I intend to clear that bar with room to spare then set bar higher.

Epiphone Embassy Pro Bass guitar case.png
Epiphone Embassy Pro Bass guitar case.
D'Addario VariGrip hand exerciser.png
D'Addario VariGrip hand exerciser.
Kootek 50-150 Lbs hand grip
Kootek 50-150 Lbs hand grip

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The neck feels the same as the neck from my youth.
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For the record, here's the Giannini. The strap, however, is new.

*) "Every Astronaut Drinks Gatorade" is a mnemonic device that represents the open musical notes for each of the four strings on a bass guitar. Going from the lowest tone (highest position on the neck), to the highest tone (lowest position on the neck): E, A, D, & G.
E A D G on the bass guitar neck



TECH WEEK IS ALMOST JUST AROUND THE CORNER:
ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon

Tech Sunday is just two weeks from tomorrow, so there's some stuff to get done. There's producer stuff to deal with. I haven't dropped in to check on spending, for one thing. I also need to finish gathering all the information for the playbill: cast & crew bios, headshots, and other material. And then I have those other two hats I'm wearing.

K.L. on Bass
DTG Promocast Production logo
As of yet I have not run across that stock footage that would work on a greenscreen behind the cast. At this point in time that pretty much means the idea is dead because getting the session together is starting to look not too achievable. I don't think I've grabbed all the stock footage that I will, and I still have only grabbed free stuff, but I'm betting before this weekend is up I have paid a fee for some footage.

There's also the concept of me composing and recording theme music for the promocast -- a major factor in the rekindling of my interest in bass guitar (and the purchase of the new one). As I've been noodling on the bass I already had, in between stumbling around to demonstrate to myself exactly how drastically out of practice I am, I think I have the early workings of the music for the DV movie. I intend to focus on that music today and tomorrow.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
It's also time to start concentrating time on the sound design, too. I've already found a particular production song that will be used in a scene as music coming over a radio or other device in the universe of the play. I'll also need production music to go into the show at the top of Act 1 -- which, might be this music I compose and record for the promocast, if I think it works. I also don't yet have the music taking us into intermission, or that opening Act 2; nor do I have the curtain music.

Sound effects play a small role in this show. But I do have to grab a lot more current pop music for pre-show and intermission music. I have some, but I'll need more.



Mon, Nov 11, 2019

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Thankyou to our veterans. The man & women who have served our nation with valor


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ANOTHER SEVERAL HUNDRED BUCKEROOS!:
K.L. on Bass
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Ampeg BA-210 bass amplifier

In the continuing story of my rekindled interest in having a bass guitar in my hand, I wrote in the blog post, this past Saturday, that my old practice amp is in horrible shape and that it was "not crazy to believe [I'd] have a new one before the end of [the] weekend -- maybe [that day]."

I didn't make it to noon on Saturday. In fact, at just about noon that day, I was in the parking lot in front of Guitar Center loading my new Ampeg BA-210 bass amplifier into my car.

As you'll hear in the video featured in the next entry of today's post, I have as of yet to use the amp, which is not a practice amp, at full volume-capacity; I live in an apartment, if you remember from previous blog posts, so there are other human beings on the other side of two of my walls.

It seems wise to get an amp because more than one of the youtube videos I've recently watched stressed that a bass player should practice with the guitar running through the amp, that way one is not stroking the strings harder than one should. As I wrote before, this time as I'm starting back up, I'm also trying to start over and unlearn some bad habits from before. One is that I need to have a lighter touch when plucking, with either my fingers or a pick.

I do have the acoustic bass, which, it is true, does not need to be amplified, but even there I can amplify it, and probably, usually will do so. Plus, there's a difference to the action on the neck; the neck has a different thickness and width, the strings need a stronger push when I fretting. It's a different animal to ride and I need to get a feel for both the new Epiphone solid-body and the hollow-bodied acoustic one.

Plus, if and when the time comes, I have an actual, big-boy bass amp.

Just this morning I got an email response from my old music partner, Rich Hisey, whom I sent a photo of me with the new bass. He wrote, "Looks sweet!!! We should jam sometime." I wrote back, "Jam after I recover at least some of my skill. Right now I suck."


TIME TO MAKE SOME MUSIC:
ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Promocast Production logo

I had big plans over the weekend to get much or all of this theme music for the Icebergs promocast finished. I got it started, but at this point all I've done is assemble and lay down the basic drum track and the track for the main bass line. I have what I would call a "decent" riff going, to which I will build upon. Now my goal is to have it into a final mix by the end of next weekend. There's a bit to do, too. I haven't figured out a chord progression nor a melody. I'm also not completely sure what instruments will be used for either, especially the melody -- I am pretty sure there will be a chorded bass part, or two, in there. Meanwhile, at the risk of looking really bad and embarrassing myself, here's a little youtube DV movie about the very beginning of this process:




AARON AND HARPER IN DAYTON:
In the audience icon

Last Saturday night I got to see the Dayton Playhouse mounting of Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. This is the second time I've had the privilege of seeing Aaron Sorkin's version on stage, and it was a wonderful evening of theatre both times!

Congratulations to Director Tim Rezash and his cast and crew -- they certainly are doing the script justice!

If you are in the greater Dayton, Ohio area, there are three more chances next weekend to see this lovely production. But I understand there may not be a lot of tickets left, so you'd best jump on it. You won't be disappointed.

And yes, I will, at some point, MAYBE soon, give you my account of the first time I saw this script in action.....Really.



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NOPE ICON

Last week I auditioned for something but was not cast. So it goes.


My Music
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My new Williams Legato III, 88 key digital piano.
As far as I know, for the most part I have stopped spending any big money on bass guitar stuff for a while -- as far as I know. So I got the urge to get a better electronic keyboard than the two I have, both which are functional but just a step or two above being toys. I wanted a piano sound for this new music I've written that sounded like a real piano rather than the facsimile you get from a cheaper electronic keyboard. Thus, Saturday, I went back to Guitar Center and picked up a Williams Legato III, 88 key digital piano.

It wasn't the most extravagant digital piano in the shop, but it serves my purpose and came in a few hundred dollars under what I had said I would spend. Since I've been burning my credit card up a lot, recently, I decided to add a little less heat with this purchase. Then, of course, I had to order a gear bag for it.

The rest of the weekend was about recording this new music, initially for the upcoming DTG production *(see below), but beyond that scope. Like I've written before, if I've spent all this money on this music stuff lately, then I need to not put this stuff away and only occasionally use it all. I need to make returning to music a constant -- however exactly that turns out to manifest itself.


MacBook Pro 16" - 2019 Build ICON
In other major big-ticket news, over the weekend my credit card account was finally charged for the new MacBook Pro 16", 2019 build I ordered six weeks ago, and Monday I received both an email and a text notification that the machine has shipped. When I write that this is a "major big-ticket" item, it is. I took out a signature loan to purchase it.

My current MacBook Pro is now seven-years old and on occasion it's just randomly shutting down. Thus far, there's been no major corruptions of the OS or any apps or files, but it's only a matter of time. Plus, I know that sometime soon the OS updates are going to be too much for my current machine.

The new machine is pretty loaded. It has a 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, 32 GB of RAM, a Retina display, with 4 TB of memory on a solid state drive. It is scheduled to arrive next week, a few days before Thanksgiving. The last time I checked it was in-transit from Shanghai to Anchorage.

Interesting dilemma is that with the new laptop I'll have more space on my laptop than I do on my Airport Time Capsule backup storage. So, at some point in the future my backup storage will need to grow. Of course, since Apple is discontinuing the Airport line, my next backup system will be from another maker.


ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon
My producer's hat for this show has been pretty light on my head, although I haven't yet been hit with any of the production receipts. My concentration has been on the soundwork and the promocast production.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
The focus right now is on the sound work. I have until this coming Saturday to get it all together, because I need to to program the sound plot into the Show Cue Systems software. The next day is Tech Sunday and the start of Tech Week. It's not going to be difficult to make the deadline; this is not the most sound-demanding show. I pretty much have all the pre-show, intermission, and production music. Now to deal with the minimal amount of sound effects.

DTG Promocast Production logo
I Have a few preproduction things left to do for the promocast. I still have to procure a bit more stock footage; I've grabbed a few Creative Commons clips, and I'll likely grab some more. But, despite how I've been heating up my credit card *(see above), it's going to be necessary to grab some royalty-free stock footage for which I'll have to pay a one-time license fee. I'll grab some more stock photographs, too.

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In the recording session last weekend
As I alluded to above, my original music for the promocast is finished. I recorded the bulk of it this past weekend and finished the mix master on Tuesday. I plan to use it as production music in the show's sound plot, too.

The music is a jazz-fusion instrumental with a strong pop-rock flavor to it. The piece runs 8:17, so clearly neither the promocast nor the live production will utilize the whole recording.

Obviously I used the new Epiphone and the new Legato III digital piano. I also used my Giannini acoustic bass; and I used my Yamaha PSR-180 keyboard, which I inherited from someone -- not exactly a top-end electronic keyboard, but when used appropriately can make a strong contribution. In this case the Yamaha contributed greatly.

I'm going to wait to make the full-length version public until after the promocast is in final cut and published.

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More shots from recording this past weekend



In the audience icon
The show closed this past Sunday, but, Friday evening I saw The Cake, by Bekah Brunstetter at Human Race Theatre Company.

It was really sweet play; it didn't develop exactly as I expected and there is some funny comedy and some very touching moments.

Greg Hellems directed, and WSU alumnus Claire Kennedy appeared along with Laurie Carter Rose, Candice Handy, and HRTC resident artist Tim Lile

It was a nice, entertaining night at the theatre with the cast giving wonderful performances. Kudos to them, the director, and the whole production company.



Mon, Nov 25, 2019

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SOMETIMES YOUR IMPATIENCE HAS TO WAIT:
MacBook Pro 16" - 2019 Build ICON
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The new Mac in its box. It arrived Friday.

I'm happy to report that my brand new MacBook Pro 16", 2019 build laptop arrived Friday.

I'm sorry to report that time has been, and will be, so tight that I won't be able to get it set up and everything migrated from my Time Capsule to the new machine until Thanksgiving eve.

Fortunately, my current MacBook Pro is still functional.


TECH WEEK HAS BEGUN:
ICEBERGS logo.

DTG Producer icon
It started yesterday with what was probably the easiest Tech Sunday I've ever been associated with; in fact, I'm sure it was the easiest; I cannot think of one that has been easier. The dry tech was about twenty-minutes long, with us going over our whole total of twenty sound cues and comparable amount of light cues; actually, I think there are fewer light cues than sound cues. We didn't even bother with a cue-to-cue with the cast, we just went into the first tech run, which went smoothly.

The Final Dress Rehearsal falls on Thanksgiving Day, and we are doing it then, but in late morning, with hope of wrapping and being out of the theatre by 2:00, which is plausible.

I only have about a ten-minute drive to my sister's from The Guild, for a 4:30 "grubs on" time, so, I'm good.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
As already stated, Tech Sunday was smooth. A small amount of tweaking was done, and at the request of the director I added underscoring to a moment in the show. I dropped in some light piano work under a tender moment. There will, of course, be some tweaks, both in the timing of a cue or two and some volume changes. But, I think the sound design is 98+% finished.

DTG Promocast Production logo
My preproduction for the promocast has been in hyper mode. I actually have turned some of the postproduction into "pre" as I have begun the edit of the DV movie. I assembled the opening splash and the closing sequences already. Now all I have to do is plug in the principal section once it is shot. I'll shoot Tuesday evening during that tech/dress. Of course, also during the final phase of editing, which I'll do Wednesday morning, I will be incorporating the stock footage and stock photos I've been accumulating -- though I realized last night that I still have a few specific types of stock photos to grab.



Thu, Nov 28, 2019
ThanksGiving Day

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING - My Thanksgiving is a celebration of all the good that pushes through all the bad that human beings can do. I celebrate the kinsman-ship that can develop between disparate people and cultures. I celebrate the bonds of family and friends. These are the things I choose to honor and be thankful for on this day.



TECH WEEK CONTINUES:
ICEBERGS logo.
DTG Producer icon
Lighting Technician icon
Yep, Tech Week continues but it ends early this afternoon with the Final Dress Rehearsal that starts late this morning. Since today is Thanksgiving I will have to cover as the light technician for this final rehearsal. But, with the whole total of six light cues, it will not be a burdensome task.

DTG Promocast Production logo
I edited the promocast to final cut yesterday, with all the stock footage and stock photos incorporated into it. The main body of the DV movie is presented as the opening title sequence to a TV show -- and, of curse, it features the instrumental I recently composed and recorded.

Click here for the promocast.


My Music
To the right is the full version of my instrumental for the Icebergs, promocast, which, appropriately enough, is titled, "Icebergs."



Fri, Nov 29, 2019

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Opening Today

ICEBERGS, by Alena Smith, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Click here for the promocast of the show



Sun, Dec 1, 2019

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THE NEW MACBOOK PRO IS UP AND RUNNING:
MacBook Pro 16" - 2019 Build ICON
xxxx
Finally, after a lot of trial and error, the migration commenced.
xxxx
The first Time Machine backup on the new MacBook Pro -- the progress at just about 24-hours in.

For the five who may have followed recently will know, the new MacBook Pro 2019 arrived Friday, a week ago. I've had too much going on to deal with getting it off the ground.

The plan was to start the migration of the all the system files, apps, and document files from the old laptop to the new one on the evening of Thanksgiving. That didn't happen; I had some problems that I can't exactly identify. Whatever the problem was, I could not get the migration to start. After a few hours the migration software was still gathering inventory of the files on the old computer. I went to bed. The next morning, it was still in that phase.

I had first tried to migrate from my latest backup on my Apple Time Machine, but I kept getting a message that no disk volume could be found. So then I went to the machine-to-machine migration that gave me the failure mentioned above. So, in the morning, I called the Apple help line to have a service rep give me a hand.

There were still several glitches, including that I screwed up the new admine password and had to to a rest-reboot, and kept doing it wrong because I missed, at first, that the rep told me to hit "command" and "R," rather than just "R." But by late morning Friday the migration from the old MacBook to the new MacBook had started. That one only took maybe an hour.

In the afternoon I started a Time Machine backup on the new laptop. That one was wireless to my Apple Airport Time Capsule. Because it eas a new computer the whole system was copied, despite that the backups for the old laptop have been inherited. The whole system is 644 gigabytes; I started the backup at about 4:00 Friday afternoon, maybe a little earlier. It was finished about midnight Saturday night, at least 36 hours later.

Bottom line: my new MacBook Pro (2019 build) is up and running. So YaY!



DRAMATIC READING:
Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON

I'm one of the actors for the next Ohio Playwrights Circle dramatic reading, which takes place Sunday, December 22 at DTG. This will be another reading of a full-length, this one by OPC member Steve Weaver. More details will follow.


GOOD OPENING:
ICEBERGS logo.

DTG Producer icon
I wasn't at the theatre last night, but I was the house manager Opening Night, and though I was busy and didn't see the performance, as per usual when I house manage, the audience response was positive and the cast and crew felt good about the night.

Lighting Technician icon
A week from this coming Friday, I will be back in the booth covering as the light tech. Scott Wright, who is also the lighting designer for the show, has a schedule conflict.



Thu, Dec 5, 2019

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THE MR.RICKEY... CAST:
MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING logo.
Auditions were held Monday and Tuesday for the fourth show of the DTG 75th season. There was a lot of competition, especially for the role of Branch Rickey, the one Caucasian role.

Of great importance to me, and I don't believe I am alone, is that we are welcoming several new African American faces to our boards. I had nothing to do with picking the slate for the season, but I was pleased to see us putting up a show that calls for five African Americans. The first thought for many might have been, "How are we going to find five African American men with the talent to do the show?" The answer, of course, is that they are out there and if we do a show that needs them, we can find them. We picked the show, and here they are.

The cast of Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting

(in order of appearance)

CHARACTER
      NOTES
Branch Rickey
      Saul Caplan

Jackie Robinson
      Shaun Diggs

Clancy Hope
      Robert Culpepper

Joe Louis
      Robert-Wayne Waldron

Paul Robeson
      Edward Hill

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
      Franklin Johnson



Sat, Dec 7, 2019

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Sun, Dec 8, 2019

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Thirty-nine years ago today, John Lennon was murdered. Here's to John, via his friend and partner
xxxx

Here's what I posted about this on this date nine years ago




THE UPCOMING OPC DRAMATIC READING:
Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON

Here's a little more detail about the upcoming Ohio Playwrights Circle dramatic reading on Sunday, December 22 at DTG.

There will be a reading of the full-length play, That Very Wicked Thing, by OPC member Steve Weaver. I'm reading in that. I'm not sure what character I am, but I have read in scenes from it during playwriting class as Orville Wright.

After Steve's play, there will be a reading of a portion of the play The Death of a Lie by Phillitia Carlson.

It's starts at 2:00 on Sunday, Dec 22 at The Guild. Admission is free.



ICEBERGS logo.
In the audience icon
This past Friday night I attended the Icebergs performance as an audience member.

Of course, I've seen a good half dozen runs of this production during the end of the rehearsal period, but, the cast was, as one would hope, in the better shape one wants them be in front of the audience. They did a great job Friday.

And, of course, the soundwork was EXCELLENT!


LET'S HEAR SOME TALKING THIS TIME:
MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING logo.
Copyright © Symbol icon
DTG Promocast Production logo

Thus far, this season, I was not granted clearance to use dialogue in any of the first three promocasts. I'm hoping the streak will be broken with this show. I have contacted Playwright Ed Schmidt directly to request the dialogue clearance for Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting. I'm just waiting for his answer.



Sun, Dec 15, 2019

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Closing Today

ICEBERGS, by Alena Smith, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Directed by Debra Kent
Produced by K.L.Storer

Welcome to Los Angeles, California, where the weather is always nice, and the future looks bright -- mostly. We visit the trendy Silver Lake hills of L.A. on a warm November evening, on the Day of the Dead. Calder is a promising writer/director, and his wife Abigail is an actor still waiting for her big break. An old school buddy of Calder's visits, as does his agent, and Abigail's friend Molly -- who stops over to read Tarot cards. The evening weighs in on loyalty, principles, climate trauma, carbon footprints, the fear of having children, and the fate of humankind.

The Cast of Icebergs

CHARACTER
           ACTOR
Calder
      Maximillion Santucci

Abigail
      Sha-Lemar Davis

Reed
      S. Francis Livisay

Molly
      Lorin Dineen

Nicky
      Titus Unger

The Promocast for Icebergs


Wed, Dec 18, 2019

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PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon
Of late I've not been working on the revision of the play manuscript. I have worked some on the story bible for the universe from which the play takes place, specifically on the transcript of an interview on Fresh Air that takes place in 1991, which is later than the time of the play; I had an idea, so I acted on it.

I have popped in a few time recently on the play, but just to work on a few spots where something occurred to me to fix or add. But I will be back into the revisions and the rewriting momentarily. I'll probably spend some time on it at some point today. The plan to have another table reading before the end of 2019 did not pan out. My goal now is in the period of late winter/early spring.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


NEXT OPC READING:
Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON
Monday we had a rehearsal of the dramatic reading of Steve Weaver's That Very Wicked Thing, at The Guild, in the Ralph Dennler board room. It was the first rehearsal for this ensemble and the first with our director, Maddie Wagner.

We have our second rehearsal this evening. We'll likely have at least a partial one on Sunday, prior to the performance.

Of course, the reading is this coming Sunday at 2:00 pm. Remember: admission is free.



Sun, Dec 22, 2019

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TODAY:

Enjoy a Theatre Double Feature. Ohio Playwrights Special. THAT VERY WICKED THING by Steve Weaver, and, THE DEATH OF A LIE by Phillitia Carlson.
OPC presents the reading of two New Plays
on December 22, 2019 at 2 pm.

First up is:......................

THAT VERY WICKED THING by Steve Weaver

Katharine Wright fears the unwavering devotion she shares with her famous brother Orville will be forever altered if she succumbs to the temptations of a late blooming romance.

Followed by:.................

THE DEATH OF A LIE by Phillitia Carlson.

A foster Girl survivor uses poetry to face the pain of her past and become unapologetic about her future.

If you enjoy the excitement and satisfaction of exploring new work and new writers, please join us at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

Admission is Free and Refreshments will be served.

Ohio Playwrights Circle
Dayton Theatre Guild
430 Wayne Avenue
Dayton, Ohio, 45410
937-278-5993
www.daytontheatreguild.org
Dayton Theatre Guild

Ohio Playwrights Circle
ACTING ICON
So, with two rehearsals for today's dramatic reading of Steve Weaver's That Very Wicked Thing, we present it at The Guild this afternoon. Our director, Maddie Wagner.


PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

I'm now back, full-speed, into the latest revision/rewriting of the play manuscript. The big sticking point is the second part of Act 2. That's what needs the biggest overhaul, that's where the significant rewriting is occuring. The rest has been mostly revisions.

It was probably cowardly of me, or at least something akin to diversion, but I started at the start of the play, doing the revisions all the way through until I got to the place in Act 2 with the problems, i.e.: the ending. I haven't so far moved much distance past where I had decided that the significant rewrite needs to happen, but I did gain some ground.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries



Christmas Day,
2019

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Happy Holidays from K.L.

And here are a couple wonderful videos of some flash mob performances, both of which I really wish I could have witnessed in person:




AND HERE IS MORE CHRISTMAS CHEER(?) FROM ME:
My Music

In 2015, I recorded an ensemble a capella version of "Silent Night." The original reason was to fill out the music in the promocast for the DTG mounting of All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914. Then I went ahead and created a little music video to post at my YouTube channel. Here's the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DYiZvABA-A. Since it was first posted, there have been 39,325,177 views.....

Okay, I might have overstated that number by around 39,325,100 views, or so.

Two years back, while driving home from work one day, maybe about a week before Christmas, I got the idea to do another of these ensemble a capella songs with a video. So, I spent an evening multi-tracking myself singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas." It's not the most amazing thing one would ever hear. It's okay, though, despite some imperfections. It's also at my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDkTDVYgeCc.

Over the course of the last week, I've been telling myself I ought to do another Christmas music video, but I kept putting it off. For some reason, on Monday, a fire was lit in me and by evening I had the piano and the eight-track recorder out and I was in the process of both writing and recording a new Christmas song. Since Monday was the night before the night before Christmas, that was the premise I stared with. That became the title of the new song. And here it is in the form of a lyric video:

APRIL 19, 2020: The original video with the original performance has been removed from YouTube. What appears here is the revised version with a new vocal, a partially rerecorded bass solo, and new visuals.

My first idea was to write lyrics that touch on how there's a lot of bad crap happening in the world right now, especially here in the U.S.A., yet there was still reason to be optimistic and to have a good feeling in the holiday season. But, that wasn't where I ended up. It became smaller than that, if smaller is the right word. I suppose "more intimate" or "more personal" would be more accurate. Honestly, as I was heading toward the end of the lyrics, I was writing a song about a guy whose woman had left him and he was making himself as hopeful as possible about a reconciliation.

But, then I realized that the song touches on more than that. It presented itself to me as a song about anyone missing anyone they love at Christmas. It's for the loved ones of active duty service folk; it's for anyone missing a mom or a dad or a child or sibling or a best friend who is no longer alive. It's for.....well, you get the idea.

Two years ago I did "I'll Be Home for Christmas"; "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas" could be considered a repsponse to that, the other side of the story.

And moving beyond holiday music , it's not impossible that there will be more new music before my little holiday break from the rent-payer is over.

I dropped all that money on the new music equipment.......



Fri, Dec 27, 2019

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ON THIS DATE, FOUR YEARS AGO:
Big Heart emblem

I was fifty-seven years old. I woke up to a heart attack. There were no chest pains but a lot of other symptoms, including the eventual cramps in the upper left arm. That was when I called 911.

The next day I was in the operating room getting quadruple bypass open heart surgery.

The night before the surgery, four years ago tonight, I lay in the hospital bed, terrified, not sure I'd wake up from surgery.

But, here I am.


My Music

STAY TUNED!!!

I do believe there will be a slight redux of "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas." In fact, I am sure of it. Yes, with little doubt, or no doubt, there's a terribly strong chance, of just about exactly 100%, that it's the first thing on my agenda of things to do today. It's a certainty, actually.

So STAY TUNED!!! for "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas" (Version 2.0), perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

*APRIL 19, 2020: The original video with the original performance has been removed from YouTube. What appears here is the revised version with a new vocal, a partially rerecorded bass solo, and new visuals.


STILL TRYING TO GET PERMISSION:
MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING logo.
Copyright © Symbol icon
DTG Promocast Production logo

So, Tech Week for Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting is not terribly far away, just three weeks and some change, with Opening Night being less than a month away. I need to shoot the promocast in the first part of Tech Week, so I need to hear back from Playwright Ed Schmidt, or his representation, for clearance to use dialogue from the script in the DV movie. I contacted him a few weeks back but have not received a response from that. Christmas day I sent a message to his representation; I had a name but not an actual email, so I took a shot at a couple possible configurations that might work at the email server for his agency; I guess I'll find out if that worked.



Sat, Dec 28, 2019

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DAYTON STRONG



Big Heart emblem
A big shout out to
DR. SURENDER NERAVETLA, M.D.
Heart surgeon extraordinaire
Who, five years ago, today, performed a quadruple bypass on me, saving my life!
And let's not forget Dr. Akber Mohammed, M.D., who's been keeping me ticking since then! Oh, and who also saved my life the night before, keeping me alive until the surgery!!

Also, how could I foget the nurses on the cardiac ward back in 2015, or the nurses at cardiac rehab, afterward?

Nurses, if you didn't know, should be paid more than they are -- just saying.


THE NEW AND IMPROVED CHRISTMAS ROCK BALLAD:
My Music
VOCAL WORK ICON
K.L. on Bass

Basically, I rushed getting "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas" out. I wrote and recorded it Monday, you know, the night before the night before Christmas. Then before and after the family Christmas gathering, I made the lyric music video so I could share it Christmas Day on YouTube.

In my haste to get it out, I overlooked some things that, as I listened to it a few times, I became unhappy about. I was not happy with the vocal and I was more unhappy with the second half of the bass solo. With the solo, I had made a conscious decision, while I was playing it, to not resolve the solo line at the end, but to bring it up to resolution in the start of the chorus section that follows. It didn't work and even though it wasn't really out of key, and even though it was deliberate, it sounded like an error. I couldn't live with it.

I re-recorded the lead vocal and I dropped in a new recording of the last four bars of the bass solo. I also added some harmony back vocals during the chorus sections. I am much happier with the new vocal and the bass solo as it is now; and the backing vocals are a nice addition, too. This new version is better.

And here it is:

I also have an idea for another new song that I will get started on tomorrow.

NEXT (JAN-MAR, 2020) --->

For the index of K.L.'s creative writing and essays, click here.