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

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Thu, Apr 1, 2021

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Not this April 1, either.


EASTER SUNDAY, 2021

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HAPPY EASTER


Mon, Apr 5, 2021

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THAT ONE SHADOW IS GETTING DARKER AND READY TO REVEAL ITSELF:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
Song number 8 finished
Logic Pro X icon
AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON

Though I have not fully absorbed a lot of the info in the Udemy on-line course, "Music Production in Logic Pro X," with Tomas George, I have, nevertheless, began the new mix for "Just One Shadow." I'm taking my time, though it's not going too terribly slowly. I started last night and I'd say I'm approaching maybe around half-way through the remix. The goal is to have it mixed and mastered by this coming weekend.

All the work, of course, is and will be in Logic Pro X. I am already finding it far more musically friendly than Final Cut Pro X, which is as it should be, since FCPX isn't specifically for mixing and mastering audio music files, despite that it has many attributes that lend themselves to such.

This evening will mark the second round of mixing, though maybe not the last. I have a lot of other creative irons in the fire and an almost intimdating to-do list, but I am taking my time with this mix, yet sticking with it with that intent to finish it, along with the mastering, before Saturday.

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Final Cut Pro X icon
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
The only further preproduction for the "Just One Shadow" music video has been adding more photos to the library of options for the montages. Some are new ones provided by those responding to my calls, plus some more that I've again curated from the Creative Commons website. In terms of other preproduction, I have given a lot of mental thought to what I want to do. I'd say I have even created some storyboards in my head, if not on paper. I also have a decent idea of the image flow for the DV movie which is why I went back to Creative Commons, to look for specific sorts of images for specific spots in the song. If possible, I'll shoot some live footage this weekend. There are a couple different concepts that can be shot easily after the song is mastered. So, if the mastering is done by the weekend, which seems pretty likely, then I can shoot some of the live action footage Saturday.


ISO 2FS, MID-50S, RACE/ETHNICITY OPEN:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon

Auditions for The Roommate are just a week away. Once again, for those in the back, we're looking for two women who can play mid-fifties, and race and ethnicity is open. Might I add that these are two really good, strong female roles for middle-aged women -- an often overlooked demographic, even on stage. Also, I hope greatly that we do not have to cast this as an all-white cast. It all depends on who shows up and what their auditions are like. Until after April 13 passes, there are details for the audition just below.

In general preproduction for the show, I met this past week with our Covid Protocol Officer, Heather Atkinson, and our Production Stage Manager/First AD, Deirdre Root, to discuss the overall plan for out Covid safety protocols for auditions and all in-person work during production. I also met with Set Designer Jeff Sams to discuss what the show needs.

VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
In specific DV movie preproduction I shot a little bit of test footage in the theatre space, specifically to see if I can have some sound cues played at low levels that I can then superimpose the same cues over at a higher volume in the movie editing process. I also shot the video at 60 frames per second (fps) to see if I can shoot at this higher quality then convert it down to 30 fps for the final cut, without getting something hinky. As yet I haven't loaded the clips into Final Cut Pro X to finish the testing, but that will happen soon.

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Setting the DV camcorder to 60 fps.
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Playing the sound cue at a low level in the theatre space through Show Cue Systems.
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TEXT YADDA YADDAStriking the tripod.


      
also
      

Dayton Theatre Guild
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Meanwhile, the renovations at The Guild are moving along. We're ticking a lot of things off our To-Do list. We have received shipment of our new box office counter, which will be up and running and sitting there all pretty when the audience members are back at the end of the summer.


ONCE MORE FROM THE HOME OFFICE:
WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19

Finally, after a week of frigid temperatures, it was a nice day today to do my work-at-home on the outside patio. As I stated before in another blog post, this remote working set-up is winding to its ending. By mid-summer, if not earlier, I, as well as my co-workers, will be back in the office, five days a week. I can't say that I am 100% enthused about that development. This remote-working set-up was one of the few things about this year of covid-pandemic happenstance that I could give an exuberant thumbs up to. Well, as George Harrison once sang: "All things must pass."

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Not sure if there are any new angles left from which to shoot these "working on my patio" pics.



EASTER SUNDAY AT THE GLEN:
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HIKING ICON
COVID-19
HEALTHWISE ICON

Most things point to there being a light at the end of this covid tunnel. But, we are still in the tunnel, so I have missed my second Easter dinner in a row with my family. Instead, I spent some time Easter Sunday at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio, not too terribly far from my home. I'm still not making that multiple hikes in a week goal that I need to accomplish. But, I get my second vaccination shot tomorrow, (some referring to them as the "Fauci Ouchie"), so I may, in a few weeks, start going back into the gym, which, though I have had the opportunity to do for a few months now, I have not trusted as a safe, smart move. I still want to hit the forests as much as I can, but some work on the elliptical machine, as well as getting back to some weight lifting and other resistance training will be welcome as soon as I feel safe about it.

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At the actual "Yellow Springs" inside the preserve, from which the village derives its name.
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The portion of the Miami Valley Bike Trails going through Yellow Springs. I trekked a few hundred yards of it at the end of my hike to get back to the parking lot where my car was.
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The Glen Helen building, which a few years ago, was the last place I saw and spoke to the great Marsha Hanna, before her passing. We were there to see a special presentation of the one-person play, Underneath the Lintel, starring the incomparable Bruce Cromer.



Tue, Apr 6, 2021

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AND YET THE MOLASSIS IS MOVING:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
recording PRODUCER icon
AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Logic Pro X icon
Song number 8 finished

fb post - "It's always nice when at one point in the evening I'm shouting, red-faced at the computer, 'HOW THE #@$% DO I DO THIS?!?!' But then 25, 30 minutes later, I know the answer."

Remixing "Just One Shadow" was a little bogged down last night as I ran into an obstacle. I didn't know how to alter the reverb in one section alone, without affecting the setting from previous in the mix.

I was working with a grouping of vocals assigned to one of the auxiliary buses in the Logic Pro X project for the song. I was also working with the function, Automation, which allows you to alter settings for such things as volume, stereo pan, and the different elements of effects, like reverb, and place the settings at different levels in different points in the song. I was running into trouble changing the settings for the reverb for the choral arrangement. It took me a while, but I finally figured it out, but, in the meantime, my progress for the evening was stunted, if not stopped.

In the first email message response to a blog post that I have received in quite a few years, I was asked why I used the graphic, "Song #8 Finished," when I'm writing about still mixing and mastering the song. The answer is: "finished" refers to "finished arranging and recording."




DOSE DOS:
COVID-19
HEALTHWISE ICON
This afternoon I get my second Moderna Covid-19 vaccine shot.

I am bracing myself for any hard-core side effects that might bombard me. I had no reactions, except the usual minor soreness at the injection site, from the first shot last month. But I have heard stories about shot number two that run the gambit from "meh" to "knocked me on my ass!"

Yes, but honestly, twenty-four to thirty-six hours, or so, of feeling crappy is a small price to pay.



Fri, Apr 16, 2021

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CATCHING UP
BEEN DOING STUFF





SHADOWY PROGRESS -- AND, SOMETHING CHIRPING THIS WAY COMES:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
recording PRODUCER icon
Song number 8 finished

Logic Pro X icon
AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
The Remixing of "Just One Shadow" in Logic Pro X is hasn't been as quick and smooth a process as I had hoped, mostly because of the learning curve I'm cruising. The progress was even slower in the early part of this trek because I wasn't sure, or outright didn't know, how to do some of the manipulative editing I wanted to do. And I ended up with a mix that was gradually getting to loud, because as the instrumentation was building, I kept pumping the level of the base instrumentation.

Now I have to go back and almost start over because there is a bit of volume level tweaking as well as more EQ adjustments. I need to tweak some reverb here and there, too. Add that I haven't been able to be dedicated to this mix/mastering because my work with the DTG production of The Roommate has needed my attention (see below about auditions, ect.). I'm hoping to finish the remix, as well as the actual mastering, tonight. That way tomorrow I can start principal photography for the music video tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Music Video
The plan had been to shoot some of the live footage for the music video last weekend -- Saturday and maybe Sunday, but because the mix wasn't done, I held off -- I want to shoot the footage against the new mix. What I plan first is footage of me playing instruments: both the synth bass solos on the Embassy Pro. some footage of my on the regular bass line, on the Viola bass, and playing the chords on the Legato piano.

Footage of me singing at the mic -- (the new one, the Shure SM7B vocal mic, which I didn't actually use to record this vocal) -- will come after I get this year's-worth of Covid-no-haircut hair cut off. That haircut will come after this Tuesday, which will mark the CDC recommended two weeks past vaccination #2. If things work well, I will shoot that footage next weekend. So, the music video is a little distance from the final cut, but let's hope not too far distanced.


Note Addendum PS icon
Well, here in the mid-western United States, as well as I think a larger expanse of the country, this is another "Year of the Cicadas." I'm starting to hear them around the area. Last night there was an interesting mix of them and the frogs singing at the bank of a nearby creek. But, in a few weeks they will be out in much bigger numbers, reportedly peaking in June, with who knows how ling of a die off on the other end. The import here is that I have been recording in my apartment, and at the peak of their high-pitched, droning, unrelenting chirps, it may prove more than simply difficult to record vocals or any parts on the Giannini acoustic bass, or anything else I want to use a microphone on. I'm not recording in a sound-proof studio, to say the least.

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Pan and volume adjustments in Logic Pro X.
Equalization adjustments in Logic Pro X.



ROOMMATE ON THE VERGE:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon

AUDITION ICON
Auditions were the first half of this week, this past Monday through Wednesday, with Wednesday being the callbacks. I actually called back all the women who had auditioned, save one who dropped out, herself.

We were set up to audition as many as twenty-four women, twelve on each of Monday and Tuesday. We had them register for a slot on one of the two nights, that way we had a bit of control over the size of the group both nights -- Covid precautions, obviously. I set Wednesday aside to give those who were real contenders for one or both roles a second listen, and to have a chance to pair up actors who had come on different nights to the open auditions.

I was pretty skeptical that we would get anywhere close to twelve either open audition night, though we did set things up and plan for it, just in case. We had four Monday night, but at break one dropped out because she had thought the production was a dramatic reading, not a fully-staged production. She's newer and didn't feel she was ready for such. Tuesday we had two, with a third bowing out because she has had a recent potential Covid exposure.

So, over the two nights, five women auditioned and frankly all gave me enough of what I am looking for that I felt they all merited a second listen, and, again, I could do pairings of women who had originally come on different nights. Bottom line, everyone read well enough their first night that they deserved that second night of audition, and I wanted to hear them all again.

In the theatre world, and probably the movie/TV worlds, you often hear it said, "I could have cast this more than one way, with totally different actors, and still had a good show....," blah, blah, blah. It's probably a good bet that sometimes that's just a way to mollify those who were not cast. However....

I could have cast this more than one way, with totally different actors, and still had a good show.

I cast the two women who meet the vision I have for my interpretation of the script, but in doing so, I did not cast some women who would have given me fine performances. If neither woman I did cast had auditioned, I still had good choices. That's the good part, that I still had good choices; the bad part is that I had to tell actors who gave me good auditions that I didn't cast them. Having been on that side of the fence more than just a few times myself, I didn't look forward to delivering that message to those particular actors. I will say, however, that I'm very pleased that my first foray into directing for the stage, albeit a stage/screen hybrid, is with the two fine actors I did cast. And here are the two women who must suffer me for the next few weeks:

The Cast of The Roommate:

CHARACTER
      ACTOR
Sharon
      Linda Donald

Robyn
      Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard


READING SCRIPTS
The Director icon
Clearly, by this time the process of reading and re-reading and re-reading The Roommate script has begun in earnest. Of course, the first focus was chosing sides for the auditions.

Beyond that immediate need is the also paramount focused script study as the director. There's the readings of each character from the perspective of an actor, which I believe a director should do, but then there is that proverbial "big picture" analysis, and the multitude of things that entails: what's the story arch? Where are the beat changes in the script? What's my best interpretation of the playwright's intent -- because if I am not ready to honor the playwright's intent to the best of my ability, I have no business directing the play.

VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
On Stage icon
Since, like so many current "theatre productions" this is a hybrid of stage and screen, I am both a stage director and a movie director, probably just a little bit more the latter than the former. So, I have to be thinking in terms of shot set-ups, at least in the broad-concept realm. I can't think in terms of many specifics until the set design is more solidified and is underway. Scenic Designer Jeff Sams and I have put our heads together for the minimal set design we are going for -- it'll just be a few steps beyond a black box set, and I have an overall idea of what the set will be, but I need specifics before I can decide on any shot-set ups, or about the blocking, for that matter, which has to come first, but being mindful of what needs framing in a camera shot.

Overall, however, I don't want to make the final product too cinematic. The goal will be to keep as much of a theatrical stage performance feel to what the audience sees as is possible. It's one of the reasons why we are going with a sparse, black-box set.

DTG Producer icon
Also, we have been without an official producer for the show, and I have been acting in that role. I am happy to report that Heather Atkinson, who is already the production's Covid Protocol Officer, has come on board as our producer as well. It's a new thing for her, but I have no doubt that she will rock it.

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Last week, on my patio, hunting for sides in the script, during my Covid vaccine recovery time.
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The stacks of audition forms, the character descriptions, and the production calendars on the counter in the lobby.
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Sanitary wipes and the forehead thermometer our Covid Protocol Officer, Heather, employs.
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The "Audition Counter," as it were.
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The stack of binders containing the sides.



MORE SWEAT EQUITY AT THE GUILD:
Dayton Theatre Guild

We board members spent a little more time at the theatre last Sunday working on getting the building ready for the reintroduction of our beloved audience members in late summer. We also spent some time getting the L. David Mirkin Mainstage area cleared out and ready for the auditions for The Roommate. And note our new box office counter in the photos!

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*these first three photos taken by Carol Finley
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DOOZY DOSE:
COVID-19
HEALTHWISE ICON
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A meal on the afternoon patio about 24 hours after Dose 2. At least one of the side effects wasn't loss of appetite. But, what do you call eggs and toast at 2 in the afternoon: late lunch? late, late brunch? way, way early breakfast?

Kept my appointment for my second Moderna Covid-19 vaccine shot, Tuesday afternoon, the 6th. The only immediate side effect was that I conked out pretty hard, though I don't know for certain that was a side effect or just the result of getting to bed rather late the night before and not getting a very good, deep sleep then. But after I woke from the conk I was a little tight and felt that uncomfortable you feel when you need a good stretch and maybe need to get a nice, high-priced. professional body rubdown. I have no doubt that was a side effect. I got back to sleep a couple hours later.

That Wednesday, I woke up for a little while around 9:00 in the morning. All my joints achingly sore, my needle-shot spot sore now, and feeling quite fatigued, with a bit of a headache. It also felt like I had several bags of wet sand crowding my brain, right behind my eyes balls.

Then I slept again until just after 12 noon. The rest of the day, after I awoke, I was still fatigued but had fewer bags of sand that are a little dryer. On the other hand, my joints were still quite sore. I had a slight bit of mental haze (more than usual that is) and still bit of a headache. My heart rate was much higher than usual, but my BP was in its usual realm, as was my blood/oxygen level (which is always a point or two lower than I'd like).

By late evening Wednesday, after another nap, the sore joints had eased up some, I had pretty much no headache, and there was only one, half-full sand bag behind my eyes. But the fatigue still dragged on me pretty heavily and was still on me Thursday, the 8th. I overslept until almost 11:00 -- don't even remember my alarms going off. I still went into the office, but only made it a couple hours before I came home and went back to bed.

Yet, I guess I wouldn't call my after-effects a horror story by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't clock in for remote work at all on Wednesday, and, as stated, left the office that Thursday after being several hours late and only logging a couple hours.

Still, I know people whose reactions were worse, and, of course, it's all worth it!


AGAIN! COVID-19 WORKING FROM HOME icon
On the clock on my apartment patio for the rent-payer, last Friday morning. Another attempt to make the same basic photograph setups look different.
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Sat, Apr 24, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



THE ROOMMATES GO INTO REHEARSAL, AND OTHER THOUGHTS:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
In REHEARSAL icon
ZOOM ICON

Our first week of rehearsals wrapped on Thursday and it is going quite well. We had our read-through last Monday, then, because of a schedule conflict, were off Tuesday. We did table work on Wednesday and Thursday, which essentially is us doing script analysis as a group. We will continue this virtual table work this coming week, then on Monday, the 3rd, we are at the theatre for our week of blocking rehearsals.

As for my cast and my directing these women: A few years before her untimely passing, I had the incomparable Marsha Hanna as my instructor in an advanced acting class at HRTC. Something she said during those sessions has stuck with me. She said (and this is going to be a paraphrase, because it was a good ten years ago), that the job of a director was to help the actors get to the truth of the characters; not to tell them who those characters are but to help them discover that for themselves.

I inferred from that, that Marsha was also saying that the actors just might come to deeper understandings of the characters than the director. And if she didn't insinuate that, I still personally am sure that is true. I believe this has often been the case when I have been the actor. I am absolutely positive it will be the case with this show.

One of my colleagues, Saul Caplan, who's been my castmate several times, including twice at HRTC, and who has directed me in a large handfull of productions, commented on this show as my theatre-stage directorial debut: "Director pro tip #1 -- cast your show well. That's 3/4 of the battle. And you NAILED that one!" I whole-heartedly believe he is correct on that. The two actors I am working with on this are talented, insightful women who I know are going to fill out the women from the script with a fullness that will be beyond what my vision has been and is.

Linda Donald and Melissa Ertsgaard are two strong actors with superb instincts. As I told them this past week, I would be an idiot to not avail myself of their actors' acumen. I truly believe I have a good vision for this show and for each of their characters. But for me to think that they won't add greater dimension to their characters and to the telling of the story in Jen Silverman's script, would be foolish, egomaniacal stupidity on my part.

The production crew is top-notch, too. I have Ms. Deirdre Bray Root who is oner of THE production stage managers in the Dayton area non-professional theatre world; she's also an excellent props master, sometimes doing some dramaturgy research to get it right, and often designing props. She's won quite a few Daytony Awards for her prop work. I have procured her properties talent for this. Technically she is Production Stage Manager/First AD in the stage/screen hybrid production -- though, besides inviting her input on more theatre type directorial stuff, her "first AD" status will be more like it often is for shorts or small films, and the big thing is the part of a film production's script supervisor's job of staying on top of continuity. The rest of a script supervisor's job is exactly the same as the script duties of a theatrical stage manager, so we know Deirdre has that down. There's no doubt in my mind that she'll ace the continuity stuff.

Heather Atkinson is our Covid Protocol Officer and our producer. She's new to both positions, the first because, well, "Covid Protocol Officer," or whatever exact terminology specific entities are using, is a new thing. The theatre producer is a new thing she has stepped into. But, Heather is extremely capable and is a great asset. Some of you might know that she was also my co-star, ten year's past, now, in one of my favorite play experiences, David Harrower's Blackbird, which we did over one weekend at The Guild ten years ago this very weekend.

We have the multi-Daytony-winning costumer, Carol Finley, doing our ladies' wardrobes, and Jeff Sams who has done several really nice sets at DTG as our scenic designer. It's going to be a minimalist, black box set but it still needs to be good.

I'm the sound designer, and Sarah Saunders is back again as the crack sound tech. Margie Strader is doing the lighting design, though again, it will be a pretty simple design: pretty much flat, even lighting to accommodate the multi-cam shoot, such as the lighting is on multi-cam sitcoms. The lighting helps avoid having to do a lot of color correction, by stabilizing the color temperature that each camera is picking up from its specific POV, having the temperatures match more closely.

Great cast; great crew: can't ask for more than that. Except this --

Streaming passes are only $12.50 -- a steal!

dayton.booktix.com


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Shots from the virtual table-work rehearsal, on Zoom, this past Thursday evening.



THE MOLASSES MAY BE FLOWING SLOW, BUT IT'S STILL FLOWING:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
recording PRODUCER icon
Song number 8 finished

Production of The Roommate has been occupying more of my creative time and energy recently than has anything related to the album project, including mixing and mastering "Just One Shadow" or working on the music video for the song. I hope to change that this weekend.

AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Logic Pro X icon
It started last night. I sat down with Logic Pro for the first time in far more than a week to work on the remix of "Just One Shadow." I'd been away for so long, first, as stated above, because The Roommate is now in rehearsal and is rightfully demanding most of my creative zone.

I also needed to step away from working on the mix in Logic Pro. The learning curve is slightly steeper than I anticipated and I got to a point where I said to myself, "I gotta leave this alone for a little while." Some of the frustration is not being fully versed in the workings of the software, but some of it also is that despite what many think, and that my ego wants to convince me sometimes, I am far closer to a novice at mixing music than a seasoned expert. I'm not clueless by any means, but I have a lot to learn, especially now that I am delving further into tweaking EQ than I ever have before.

Before my break I had done a significant amount of mixing for the song, but I found that as the instrumentation built I was losing the rhythm track in the mix and so I kept bringing those volumes up. The end result was a mix that was finishing too loudly. I needed to drop back and start over. The feeling of needing to take a break from it hit me and I succumbed to it. Besides, I did have business with the play to deal with.

The play rehearsals are dark Fridays through Sundays, so last night I finally opened Logic Pro back up and spent the evening on the remix, starting over. I think I have most of the remix done. There are a few things I still want to address, and will today, probably not long after this blog entry is finished and posted.

If I am lucky, I'll get all the mixing tweaks done then be able to move on, and who knows?, maybe even finish the mastering today.

Music Video
There's some hope that some of the live footage for the music video will be shot this weekend, if not tonight, then tomorrow.

For certain, it will be footage of me on the Embassy Pro bass, in synthesized bass mode, playing both the solos, and maybe some other garnishes I play on that. I might also shoot some footage of the main bass line on the Viola bass.

Some footage of me playing the main chords on the Legato III piano is planned, as well, of course as footage of me at the mic singing. I wrote all this previously, of course, as well as how I'm going to use the new Shure SM7B vocal mic for the pantomime of the lead vocal, that mic which was not actually used to record the vocal.

In fact, all these performances will, of course, be faux -- pantomimes mocked up against playbacks of the mixed/master.


TEN YEARS AGO TODAY:
Dayton Theatre Guild
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Above I mentioned Heather Atkinson and that she was my co-star in David Harrower's Blackbird, which we did over one weekend at The Guild ten years ago this very weekend.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the closing performance of that "special presentation."

This is, to this day, one of my favorite theatrical experiences as an actor, well, as an actor period. It is an excellent, brilliant, challenging script. I was playing against an amazing performance from Heather. We had a very sweet, cute, lovable performance at the end of the play by the then, young Melanie Engber, now a young adult -- how does that happen?. And we were all in the savvy, expert hands of our director, Natasha Randall.

And let's not forget our SM, Dave Pope.

It is one of my performances that I am the most satisfied with. I am in good company at taking on the role of Ray, a seriously damaged man, trying to put himself together, an inexplicably sympathetic character who yet is guilty of a very bad, foolish, deviant offence in his past. The role was first taken on in America by Jeff Daniels in 2007 at The New York City Center. He reprised the role in 2016 at The Balasco Theatre. In between those, William Petersen took on Ray in 2009 at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre. I saw the Petersen production and left the Biograph determined to do this play. A little less than two years later, I was on stage with Heather, and we were bringing the script's two wounded souls to life.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HEATHER, TOSHA, MELANIE, & DAVE!!!

CLICK HERE to see the DTG promocast for our production.


What's the Agenda?
ROADTRIP!
YaY!

SUMMER VACATION GET AWAY 2021
ANIMALS!! Cabin Vacation Fire Pit icon HIKING ICON
Camping My Music Museum of Art etectera
The Wilds Cozy Amish Log Cabin Shawnee State Park Cincinnati Zoo Cincinnati Art  Museum

The last stream of the DTG production of The Roommate is scheduled for 8:00, Sunday night, June 27. I am the contact person for streaming patrons who have any issues, so I need to be available during the whole streaming period of June 24-27. It's best for me to be home where I am assured good internet connectivity.

But, Monday, the 28th, I am free and clear, and so will begin my Summer Vacation Get Away 2021! Two weeks away from the rent-payer!

I'm starting it off at The Wilds, with a two-night stay in a yurt. During my stay I'm going to do the Wildside Tour, which lets one get with Animal Management to see some sort of behinds the scenes of a Wilds program at work -- whatever is going on at the time: a medical procedure, or feed the giraffes, some other activity that's going on at the the time. Plus there's time in pasture getting closer to the animals than when on the standard Open Air (open bus) tour. I also wanted to add a Sunset Wildside Tour as well as a Sunset Safari Tour -- which is an Open Air Tour but when the animals are more active and there's also an added "other destinations for up-close experiences." Unfortunately both those sundet tours stop for the summer right before I visit, though the website says they last through August. I'm also doing the regular Open Air tour. I may call back a little later and see if maybe the sunset stuff gets added back in.

Then I'm off for four nights in a cabin, the "Cozy Amish Log Cabin" in Hocking Hills, which has become a go-to place for me, along with umpteen other tourists. Of course there'll be hiking and fire pits. Don't know what all else I'll hit while there, such as Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, etcetera. But, you can bet your monthly wages I'll drop into Pizza Crossing, in Logan, for that great pizza.

Then a trek down by the Ohio River for four nights at Shawnee State Park, camping of course, but also, more hiking and more fire pits. I've thought about trying my hand at fishing at Turkey Creel Lake, right down there, but I havn't fished in about forty-eight years, and I was never what anyone would call an angler. Besides, I don't have a fishing license, nor any of the necessary gear and tackle; I'm not even sure what all gear and tackle a fisher needs.

But wait! That's not all.

I'll leave the Shawnee campgrounds and head to a motel in Cincinnati for a stay that will include a day at the Cincinnati Zoo, and then at least some good portion of the next day at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

I plan on working on the album project, in one way or another, which will most likely be working on mixing and mastering. I'm probably going to also bring the Giannini acoustic bass, though if I bring any other instruments, it'll likely only be the Oxygen 61 Keyboard, which is more portable. If I bring that, I'm likely to bring the eight-track recorder, as well.

But, hey! Two weeks away from the rent-payer!



Mon, Apr 26, 2021

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MOLASSES, MOLASSES, MOLASSES:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
recording PRODUCER icon
Song number 8 finished

AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Logic Pro X icon
The remastering of "Just One Shadow" took longer than even re-estimated. I thought I had the "final" master Friday night, but, then, after reflection, I decided there were problems that needed addressed. A big problem was how the drums, and other instrumentation, were suppressed during the second synth bass solo. It took a while to isolate what was causing things to be cancelled out. My initial thought was that it had something to do with the frequency bands on the audio equalization spectrum, and so I went in to the EQ plug-ins and fiddled around but was getting only small results. That instinct was mostly correct but not wholly on the bullseye.

Finally I discovered it was because of the settings in an app called Exciter, which is a mastering plug-in that helps brighten the final overall sound of the recording. It heightens the high frequencies a bit, and even adds in some high frequency not in the original recording. I had the setting just a little tweaked from the default settings and that was too high. Once I dropped the settings down I eliminated the cancelling that had been happening.

I adjusted and fiddle around with many aspects of the mastering: volume, EQ, compression, settings in the limiter, settings in the stereo spread filter, the low-pass filter, the high-pass filter. Eventually, and not after some frustration, it all worked out.

Because of this problem and a few others that were bugging me a little, including some volume balance issues, I did more remixing. I bumped the volume of the drums and some other instruments in that solo section of concern. And while I was remixing, I pulled the volume of the lead vocal down slightly and fiddled with its EQ to eliminate a tinny quality it had taken on. I also pushed the volume of the first synth bass solo a little bit.

I'd expected to have a finished master by Saturday morning. It ended up being about forty-eight hours later. The first thing I did this morning, before "coming to work," was do one last tweak to the mix and one last tweak to the mastering. It is now possible that I have the £@¢|<!|\|& master for this song done now!

Music Video
NOPE ICON
Since the whole weekend was taken up, sitting in Logic Pro X, remixing and remixing and remixing and remastering and remastering and remastering, I shot no live footage for the "Just One Shadow" music video. Now, with four nights of Zoom rehearsals for The Roommate, which start tonight, it doesn't look like anything will get shot until Friday at the earliest. And I cannot dedicate the whole weekend to shooting because blocking rehearsals for the play start a week from tonight and I have to give more thought to that because I only have a vague notion of what blocking I want at the moment. But really, I have this serious need to have something shot for the video by the end of this coming weekend!

Music Business
There are also a lot of other things I need to start dealing with in order to "officially release" the single. I have to register the song and the recording with the U.S. Copyright Office, plus for one other song that I'll probably offer as an extra add on, a virtual B-side, if you will -- I am thinking about mastering a recording I made about fifteen years ago.

There's also formally getting it on the platfroms for digital sales, iTunes, etc. And there's the registering with ASCAP or BMI, I think you can only register with one.

I also should look into the best way to have physical CDs created. I'll do the jacket graphics myself, but I ought to look into a service to burn them professionally. I don't really anticipate that there's going to be a big demand for disks, but I ought to have them available. It's probably how I'll distribute to the public radio stations, and possible Indy rock stations, that might at least listen to the track for possible air play. And, despite that they pay recording artists and songwriters virtually nothing, I need to know how to get the song introduced to the music steaming platforms -- Spotify, et al.

Again, I'm a sixty-something unknown, living in southwest Ohio, without the backing of a big label and the accompanying promotional budget. I have no illusions that the Billboard charts will don my name or that of any of my songs, or the album title. I don't expect that I'll ever need to prepare a speech, or even attend, The Grammys. As I've intimated before, if I make more than modest pocket change, and ever-so-infrequently, hear, or be told by others that they heard, my music on a streaming service or a public radio station (if ever), I'll be surprised.

Yet, I am going to actually and really market this single and, I hope, by the end of the summer, the album, as more than some little hobby project to share with my friends and family. That may be all that it ends up being, but by god, I am putting it out there as something more, as an actual commercial release, albeit an indy release. If for no other reason than to be able to fucking say that I did it.

It's not likely to be the last album project I do this with, either.


Guest musician icon
Song number 6 in progress
As of yet, I have not received that guitar solo work for "Identity." Perhaps a little friendly inquiry is in order. I can cheat out a guitar solo myself, playing something high on a bass neck then jumping it an octave or two with a pitch effects plug-in, which I have done a couple times elsewhere in this project. That's really not what I want to do in this case. I'd like at least one actual six-string electric guitar solo on the album, and "Identity" is where I prefer it.

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Some pics of the laptop screen during the mastering process.



Mon, May 3, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



MUSIC VIDEO SHOOTING HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
recording PRODUCER icon
Song number 8 finished

AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Before we get to the music video, here's something I am learning, firsthand, though it's not exactly a shock: when you're relatively new to serious mastering of a music recording, it takes more time and effort than you anticipated. A lot of it really isn't the actual mastering part as much as it is the having a mix that is ready to be mastered. I have been doing a lot of tweaking. Some of it has been tweaking to the master, but a lot of it has been going back and tweaking the mix, then remastering, which in many cases has been nothing more than re-rendering the mastered sound file after fixing the mix. And, there are still a couple things that are bugging me a little, both volume level issues with parts of the mix. So I may not be, am probably not, done with the mixed/master.

Music Video
This weekend, however, I was still able to start principal photography on the music video. Well, technically, I shot a little bit of footage during the week, last week. I shot some footage of laptop screens with various sound application meters reading levels during playbacks, for potential cutaways.

Over the weekend I shot the footage of me on both basses, the Embassy Pro (both synth bass solos), and the Viola bass (just a few moments of the bass line in the intro of the song). Interesting is that it was relatively easy to recall what I was doing during the solos and play along with those off the recording. My memory of what I was doing on the regular bass line was more difficult. I wrote it, then practiced it for laying the track, then recorded it and have never played it again. And I don't have the song's chord progressions committed to memory either. That's really how it is for most everything on this album. If I were to live gig this stuff, I'd have to go back and relearn pretty much everything. Plus, I'd have to put together a band, which is a whole other issue.

I tried to slightly change my appearance for each part, each of the two solos, and the short clip of the bass line. I think I like the look for the bass line the best. That dude looks like a bass player.

The plan is to shoot me lip-synching at the Shure SM7B mic this weekend, which those of you who've been here before may remember is not the mic I actually used to record the vocal, but it'll look good. I'll have a different look for the vocalist, too. I plan to finally cut my year's-worth of pandemic long hair before I shoot the vocal.

For some reason, I don't think I'm going to shoot any footage of me at the piano, or at the Yamaha playing the pipe organ solo. I'm not really sure why I don't find these necessary, but I don't. Perhaps it's because I feel much less confident as a keyboard player, but I think it's more that I have a lot of those Covid still photos which I gathered from Creative Commons and from individuals, to incorporate and I want to make sure there is room.

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The four-camera set-up for the Embassy Pro solos shoot.
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The music video project in Final Cut Pro X.
Synthesized bass solo number one on the Embassy Pro.
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Synthesized bass solo number two on the Embassy Pro.
The Coool bass player plays the intro bass line on the Viola Bass.



THE ROOMMATES KEEP ON REHEARSING:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
In REHEARSAL icon
ZOOM ICON
Our second week of rehearsals, and the last of the Zoom sessions finished this past Thursday. A lot of really good virtual table work has been done. The actors are more than ready for the next phase.

On Stage icon
Tonight we are in person, at the theatre, from now on, and the women are anticipating being able to feed off each other's energy in the same physical space. We start the blocking rehearsals tonight, though it's going to be a little more on-the-fly than I'd like. I haven't had a lot of time with the rough draft of the set and the exact placement of key things are not finalized yet. So, blocking will be interesting and absolutly subject to change, I think sometimes big changes. That's all just minor obstacles and I know I have the cast a crew to more than overcome any current uncertainty.

One thing I know: having good, instinctive actors, and good production crew makes all the difference in the world. I've sang their praises before and I continue to do so. The first two weeks have been more than just encouraging.


THE DTG FACELIFT CONTINUES:
Dayton Theatre Guild

Sunday morning a few of us were at The Guild doing more work toward that great grand reopening in August. Most of the work was outside where folk were doing some weeding and planting some flowers in our front. I did a little bit of touch-up painting in the dressing area, some spots that are a pain in the neck to get to, so they'd been left undone.

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Garry Dowell, John Spitler, Barb Jorgensen, and Carol Finley, who is pictured alone in the middle photo, flexing their green thumbs.
Here I am painting in the dressing area.



ONLY TOOK ABOUT A MONTH:
HIKING ICON

Took a hike Saturday at Oakes Quarry Park. It was the first hike in almost exactly a month, mind you with no gym or other physical exercise in there -- not exactly great discipline, but what-a-ya-gonna-do? Good news is that my BP that morning was still pretty good: 120/77. It dropped to 108/69 afterward. I don't often get a systolic reading as high as 120, so that's an indicator that I've not been hiking much lately. But, all things considered, if a 120 systolic reading is what can be considered a "warning number" then I'm doing okay.

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Some Oakes Quarry Park selfies from Saturday



MORE PREPPING FOR THE BIG TWO-WEEK VACATION AFTER THE DTG SHOW CLOSES:
SUMMER VACATION GET AWAY 2021
Camping
I've decided that I want a little larger tent than the one-man pup tent that I currently have, so Thursday, after working in the office at the rent-payer, I dropped by Dick's Sporting Goods at the nearby Fairfield Commons Mall and picked up a Quest Blackwater 4-Person Dome Tent.

The new tent is, of course, ostensibly for the camping trip in July at Shawnee State Park, but it's obviously really in general for whenever I camp. I am likely to squeeze in a weekend sometime shortly just to try it out, probably right down the road at John Bryan State Park. Finding the time to fit that in may be a problem, but perhaps if I just do an overnight, say a Friday night, I might be able to get in a nice little trial-run with the tent.

I also just ordered a Rottay Waterproof Camping Tarp for under the tent. And I bought myself a nice little Redcamp Folding Campfire Grill. I will give both these a dry-run on that probable little test camp when it comes up.

The Wilds
I am also contemplating calling The Wilds again to see if the Sundown Safari and the Sundown Wildside Tour are now being offered during the period that I am there in late June. The availability was cut off just a few days before I am arriving, when last I spoke with a Wilds sale rep. But the website says they last into August, so I am hoping that events later in the summer were simply not available for reservations at the time. I really want to take those tours when the animals are prone to be active, which is closer to nightfall.



Mon, May 10, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



SOME SHADOWS NEED TO BE RECAST:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
Music Video
NOPE ICON
Song number 8 finished

I shot principal photography of the lead vocal for the "Just One Shadow" music video last night. However, I'm not thrilled with the footage so I'm shooting again, perhaps tonight after rehearsals for The Roommate are done.

My problem is that I think my actions and movements need to be far more subtle than what is in the footage from last night. Plus, there is an important shot that has one of the other DV cameras in the frame, and I really don't want it there -- and I don't want to zoom the shot to crop the camera out.

So, I'm reshooting the lead vocal footage.

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Doing the vocal lip-synch for the music video, for the ill-fated footage, wearing my first haircut since pre-pandemic times.



ROOMMATE UPDATE:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
In REHEARSAL icon
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Prepping for blocking.
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The beginnings of the set appearing.

Blocking rehearsals are now wrapped. Inevitably there will be changes. Some of those will come as I get clearer visions of how I will shoot each portion of the show -- adjustments, especially, to the actors' movement in the space will needed to be made in some cases to accomodate good framing of each shot.

At the risk of being a broken record in singing the praises of my cast, I have to say that the character work is in great shape and ahead of schedule. Both actors are already giving me full characters on that stage, even though they both have some more refining to do. But, at this stage, they have less refining to do than one could easily expect. I cannot wait to see the humanity of the characters on that stage when they have fully fleshed them out.

Set Construction
Meanwhile, Saturday, Scenic Designer Jeff Sams and I put up the walls, brought in the fridge, and Jeff dropped the sink into the kitchen counter. I also painted a couple wall panels that mask off a set for a future show, which our Roommate set, sets infront of. We had brought the kitchen counter and other furniture in earlier.

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Two shots from rehearsal this past week. Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard on the the left, Linda Donald on the right.
The gathering of props has begun.
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Set construction has begun -- walls up, fridge in. More to come.



Tue, May 11, 2021

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My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
Song number 8 finished
Music Video
As planned, I reshot the principal photography of the lead vocal for the "Just One Shadow" music video, last night after Roommate rehearsals.

As is my SOP, it was a multi-cam shoot, using all four of my Vixia DV cameras, some shooting close-ups, some shooting medium close-ups, and one brief clip being almost a long shot. It's all really similar to the footage shot the previous night, though the set-ups were all slightly different, I had a different wardrobe, and I toned down my actions and facial expressions quite a bit, the latter being most of why I felt a reshoot was in order. I know the one pic below, from a still frame, makes it look like I was still going over-the-top, but that's probably as top as it gets, which wasn't the case for the Sunday evening footage.

With last night's shoot done, I am officially calling principal photography wrapped. With the exception of just a possible few specific still photographs that I may take, I have more than enough still photos for the video. Editing the video together is close at hand.

AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Isn't it inevitable that I still feel the need to tweak the mixed-master recording some. There are just a couple things that are bugging me, a couple spots where I think the recording can sound better. They are all volume balance issues, as has been the case here recently with the back-end of mastering this song.

Music Business
I also know that the time to deal with the various marketing things involved is closer now than just "around the corner." There's that registering of the this song (and its companion virtual B-side song), and the recording, with the U.S. Copyright Office. There's getting it marketed on iTunes, etc. There's the registering with ASCAP or BMI. There's the packaging of a physical CD. There's trying to get it on Spotify and similar platforms. There's getting it to the hands and ears of program managers at whatever public or indy stations have a format it's compatible with. None of which I've done no more than the most cursory of research on. It's time to step these parts of the game up.

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From the reshoot footage of the lead vocal for the "Just One Shadow" music video.



Wed, May 19, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



ROOMMATE UPDATE:
Map of the 48 U.S. States with THE ROOMMATE production at the Dayton theatre Guild on June 24-27, 2021 pinpointed
We are on the Samuel French/Concord Theatrics map!
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon

In REHEARSAL icon
As our Roommate rehearsals continue the two characters, Sharon and Robyn (i.e.: Linda Donald & Melissa Kerr Earstgaard), are coming alive more and more and more. My motto as an actor, my goal as one is: Less "acting," more "being," and that is absolutely what is happening on our Roommate set.

Set Construction
Last Friday evening through Sunday evening I was at the theatre doing set work, and some prop work. Mostly I was painting flats and large sheets of luan black, those that are masking areas we don't want seen in the DV movie. SOme of those areas show the set for DTG's next production; one area is a spot off set for our actors to be when they exit scenes. I also put those maskings up. And there were a few spots on the set that needed to be black, so I got those, too.


The other thing I did over the weekend that is not directly related to set work was to create left-over food in a collection of take-out containers some of us have washed out and brought in for this use. With the use of paint (some of it really old paint that was going to be pitched, anyway), some saw dust, some foamcore, and some paper towels, I was able to create a used brownie pan (with one brownie piece left), some sort of left over Asian food containers, a mostly eaten sandwich, crumbs at the bottom of a carrot cake container, and several other similar left-overs. I also grabbed a couple faux food items from our prop area for the mix.



SOUND DESIGNING ICON
Sunday afternoon, I spent about an hour doing some sound processing on my laptop, then migrating all the relevant files to Show Cue Systems, where I programmed the sound effects that will be live, i.e. part of the production sound when we shoot the principal photography. Some sound will be added in post, but I want to try to capture as much sound as I can in the theatre, during the performances of the scenes, to help with the sense of theatrical stage performance that I hope to convey in the final cut.

Lighting Designing icon
I also met with Margie Strader on Sunday morning and she set the even, flat lighting we need for the shoot. However, for technical reasons that are beyond the scope of this blog entry, she will come back in this Saturday to redo our lighting on the new light board, which the theatre just purchased but has not yet been set up as the working board in the booth. Obviously, it will be as of our shoot.

Some rehearsal pics
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The two stellar women actors of The Roommate doing their thing.
Set and prop work
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More of the set is realized.
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The part that I painted black of the half wall between Sharon's kitchen and her side porch.
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About 2/3 of the masking in our hallway to Sharon's "up stairs," which will hides the set for the next production, sitting behind our set.
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The last piece of that masking in Sharon's hallway. The black paint drying.
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More black paint applied.
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An important sheet of masking, leaning there, waiting to be attached.
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"Tim Taylor" screwing that important masking in place.
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The can of sawdust I collected from the scene shop to use when I made up the faux left-over food.
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The collection of faux left-overs, as of last Sunday.
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Photos of the process of making that faux food.
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More such photos.
Sound designing
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Adjusting the EQ for a sound effect.
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Scanning the script to be sure I've not missed a sound cue.
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The show's cues in the Show Cue System program.



TEST PITCH AND THE FIRST OUTING WITH THE NEW TENT:
Camping

Last Friday I was finally able to carve out some time in the afternoon to to learn how to pitch my new Quest Blackwater 4-Person Dome Tent. It took more than an hour, mostly because I could find no really good instruction anywhere. I watched a couple YouTube videos demonstrating how to pitch similar dome tents, and I found some directions that generically address putting up Quest brand dome tents. Between those and trial and error I finally got it up. There were few times I had to strike a portion and redo it, such as when I realized I had put the rain guard on inside out. But, eventually, I got the damn tent up correctly. It wasn;t as tight as it could have been, but it was up, by gosh!

I will spend three nights and four days in early July camping at Shawnee State Park, during my Summer Vacation Get Away 2021, but I want to get some camping in with the new tent before then, just a little practice run. So I booked Saturday & Sunday night, June 19 & 20 at John Bryan State Park, which is less than ten miles from my front door, but will be a valid camping trip. And let's hope I can get the tent up in much less than an hour when I get to my camp site.

Me on Friday, May 14, on the lawn in front of my apartment, on a not too gradual learning-curve of how to pitch my new dome tent. It's an imperfect result but a success, nonetheless:
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Fri, May 28, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



EDGING A FEW INCHES CLOSER TO AN OFFICAL SINGLES RELEASE:
My Music THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON Single icon
Song number 8 finished
AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON
Perhaps you should not quote me, nevertheless, I'll state here that the mixed-master of "Just One Shadow" is finished. As far as I know, I am satisfied with it. Of course, I still have some issues with the mix, but they are really minor and I have not been able to solve them. It's a volume-match dynamics issue where I blend a straight recording of the vocal with a uber-reverb version going into the last "guitar" solo. What is there is absolutely fine, but it's not precisely what I want; but, it really is not too far off what I want, so I am living with it --                           I think I'm living with it.

Music Video
Stay tuned as I will likely try to take out a big chunk of the editing together of the music video this Memorial Day weekend. With the principal photography of The Roommate starting this coming Tuesday, and then the need to deliver a locked version of the DV movie in time to stream on June 24, if I don't put some time in this weekend on the music video, I won't be able to get back to it until the end of the month. And I have to feel like I have made some progress here in recent days.


ON TO THE NEXT PHASE:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon

In REHEARSAL icon
Well, now the rehearsal period is technically wrapped -- so we are essentially done with what we can call the "theatre" aspect of this production. We will still, of course, be in a theatre, working on the thrust of The Guild's Mirkin mainstage, but from this point forward we're operating more like a movie production.

Tomorrow's tech rehearsal is not going to be the traditional theatre tech rehearsal; it's going to be a movie tech rehearsal. And, of course, when we move into the principal photography on Tuesday, it's going to be a movie shoot, with concerns about such things as continuity in all of wardrobe, props, and blocking.

I think there may be some concern about, oh, shot set-ups, and such, too. Whether or not we'll have craft service is another issue.

SOUND DESIGNING ICON
There's a slight bit of editing and some EQ tweaks to some of the sound files left to do. That has to either be today or tomorrow morning. When we get to the tech rehearsal tomorrow, we need all elements to be as they will for shooting.

Publicity
I have one media publicity spot to do and potentially another. A week from this coming Monday I'll drop by WDPR and record a segment for ArtsFocus with announcer Larry Coressel, who happens to have also directed me in a few plays, Endgame and American Buffalo, to name two.

Then, last evening, right before rehearsal, I stumbled across a sweet opportunity. I was walking to a restaurant, close to the theatre, to grab myself a salad for dinner. There was a young woman setting up a heavy-duty professional tripod. As I walked by her she approached me and introduced herself as a news reporter from one of the local TV stations. She was in the Oregon District two get person-on-the-street comments from folk about the almost total relaxation of Covid-19 safety rules that will take effect in Ohio on June 2. I gave her a soundbyte that she can probably use, and in the course of her brief interview with me she asked what my plans for the holiday weekend are.

I tole her I was from the theatre right around the corner and that I would probably spend a good portion of the weekend there. She asked me what we had coming up, so I told her we had this production coming up. Then she said that this sounded like it might be a good story and asked me who she could contact.

I said, "Well, you can contact me, I'm the director."

She has to pitch it to her editor, but she took my contact info and I gave her our basic schedule, then I followed it up by emailing her the info about the show. So, here's hoping this great opportunity materializes. If it does, I'll reveal the reporter and the station, of course. Right now I feel like I don't want to identify her just to come back later and say, "Nah, she ain't doing it."

More pics of the awesome cast as we wind down the rehearsal period:
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ANNOUNCING THE 2021/2022 SEASON:
Dayton Theatre Guild

With The Guild's on-line production of The Roommate, the long intermission is over. But in August DTG will open our doors back up and invite you all back to our mainstage!

DTG has been fortunate to have your loyal patronage for all these years, and is impatient to get back to the business of "Giving You Good Theatre, Done Well!"

Dayton Theatre Guild is most happy to announce the 2021/2022 season:

Morning's at Seven
by Paul Osborn

Production dates: August 20-September 5, 2021

= = = = =

Women in Jeopardy!
by Wendy MacLeod

Production dates: October 8-24, 2021
Auditions: August 23 & 24, 2021

= = = = =

The Road to Mecca
by Athol Fugard

Production dates: December 3-19, 2021
Auditions: October 11 & 12, 2021

= = = = =

The Norwegians
by C. Denby Swanson

Production dates: February 4-20, 2022
Auditions: December 6 & 7, 2021

= = = = =

The Price
by Arthur Miller

Production dates: March 25-April 10, 2022
Auditions: February 7 & 8, 2022

= = = = =

The Old Man and the Old Moon:
a Play With Music

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Pigpen Theatre Co.

Production dates: May 27-June 12, 2022
Auditions: March 28 & 29, 2022

(tickets, including season tickets, will be available soon)
www.daytontheatreguild.org

DTG Assistant Director icon


Also, as an aside, I will be the AD for Women in Jeopardy. It'll be the second time I have been Margie Strader's AD for a Guild show. It would have been the third time, but I had to drop out from one when I booked the role of John Dowd in Banned from Baseball, by Patricia O'hara, at The Human Race Theatre Company.


THE SWAN-SONG DAYS OF THE HOME OFFICE:
WORKING FROM HOME icon

As I believe I've indicated before, there are not a whole lot of these Working Remotely From Home days left. I am back in the office every day starting in July. Last Friday the weather cooperated quite nicely and I was able to be out on my apartment patio for my rent-payer hours, as well as for lunch: grilled chicken and grilled veggies -- a trial run for some meals whilst I camp. I believe it will work well as a camper's meal. At any rate, following are more versions of the same photos I've been posting in warm weather, since the fricken' pandemic took hold:

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Working remotely, for the rent-payer, on the apartment patio.
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Late lunch on the apartment patio -- forgot to mention the brownie bites for dessert.



WHAT? TWICE IN ONE WEEKEND?:
HIKING ICON

Hey! I managed to hike twice in the same weekend! I did another go at Oakes Quarry Park after work last Friday. Then Sunday I hiked the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, the covered bridge side, on the west side of Grinnell Rd., which would only mean anything to any locals who might happen to accidentally stumble upon this blog-thing.

At both places I was on the lookout for frogs and snakes to get some photos of. I had no luck in either case, though I was constantly hearing frogs jump into the water as I approached; I guess I can't claim to be the most stealth woodsman around.

I did happen upon both a blue herring and a deer during the Oakes Quarry Park hike. I got a few shots of the herring but only managed one of the deer, before the latter bolted.

I hope to get at least one hike in this weekend -- despite that the parks will be quite populated for the holiday.

A few shots from my last visit to Oakes Quarry Park, including a few of the herring and the one shot I got of the deer before it bolted:
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Next are pics from my last visit to Glenn Helen. The last photo, that of the native American woman -- that image is on the inside of the covered bridge. It's clearly a photograph and I am not sure how it was put on the wood. I also don't remember ever coming across that bench shown below. I guess it's possible I've never hiked that far on that side of the nature preserve. Also note the cicada molt shell -- yet, I neither heard nor ran across any in the park:
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The bench I don't remember.
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The photo impressed onto the wood on the inside of the bridge.



ZOO SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED!!!!:
SUMMER VACATION GET AWAY 2021
The Wilds
I called the booking reps at The Wilds to see if I could add a Sunset Wildside Tour and a Sunset Safari Tour to my stay there in late June. I was originally told that they ended on June 26, a couple days before I arrive. I called back hoping these tours were possibly added to the second part of summer. What I discovered this time is that in June those two sundown tours are only available on weekends and I am there Monday through Wednesday. But the rep I spoke to this time did recommend the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour, and though it isn't at sundown, it's in the afternoon, it will be a "special variation of a Wildside Tour led by one of our Animal Management team members who appear on the hit Nat Geo WILD TV series, Secrets of the Zoo." I don't know if the only difference from the regular Wildside Tour is the notoriety of the guide but I'll find out, as I also have the regular Wildside tour scheduled, just not a sundown version.



MEMORIAL DAY, 2021

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 graphic of a soldier's grave cross with the words over it: "In memory of those who died in the line, many who were fighting in Antifa campaigns, such as WWI & WWII"


Tue, June 08, 2021

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CATCHING UP BEEN DOING STUFF AGAIN!



BUT HERE'S ONE THING -- "IT'S A WRAP!!":
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon

STAY TUNED FOR MORE!! You know, when I have some free time to write here.


Today my mother would have celebrated her 104th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM
My Mom, June Storer, at my college graduation, 1994
June Storer
1917-1997


Wed, June 09, 2021

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AND JUST A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO THE OFFICAL SINGLES RELEASE:
My Music THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON Single icon
Song number 8 finished
Music Video
Final Cut Pro X icon
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Lunchtime at work, yesterday.
"Just One Shadow" won't be out next week, or mid-summer, but it has inched a little closer to being out there. For the first time in a while, I worked on editing the music video in Final Cut Pro X. I did so at lunch yesterday. That's the current plan. In the evenings Final Cut will be opened for the DV movie of The Guild production of The Roommate; Lunchtime, it's the music video, especially lunchtimes at work, which now means Tuesdays through Thursdays. I probably only added ten seconds to the video yesterday, but some progress is more than no progress.


POST HAS BEGUN:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
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No assembling was done last night, but I did have the editor open for cataloging and notes.
Now that principal photography is wrapped, I go into what I am sure will be two-weeks worth of postproduction.

We only made the day the first day, last Tuesday, June 1. In fact we wrapped on Sunday, rather than Saturday, pushing the set strike to Monday. So, we got a little behind schedule, but it could have been worse, so there is that.

And of course, the production gremlin couldn't help but show up the screw with us a little. There is a prop in the show that isn't exactly a MacGuffin, but briefly plays an important role. Right before we were going to shoot on Saturday, the damned thing fell apart. We managed to fix it with the help of someone who knows how to fix such things, but the prop was too damaged and again fell part. So this same savior, one Scott Madden (fellow DTG board member) brought a more than adequate substitute for our use. So, KUDOS SCOTT! But it was a stressful day -- to the point: Saturday kind of sucked a little bit.

But Sunday we had just one scene left and shooting that went very well. In fact, something very serendipitous happened that I'll detail later, in the post mortem blog post, after the streams are over when it's not a spoiler.

I have not actually began assembling the DV movie yet. That happens tonight. Last night I was doing a bit of cataloging and note taking. Some things that couldn't be done during the shoots because the person who was going to take on this role could not participate due to extenuating circumstances. I was too busy to do it during the shoot as was SM/first AD Deirdre Root. Tonight, however, I start putting the movie together.

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Memorial Day eve, plotting out the shoot, on the set.
The low lights with the 60 watts bulbs that were used.



A SATURDAY HIKE BEFORE A SHOOT:
HIKING ICON

We could not start the DV movie shoot until 5:00 on Saturday, so I took advantage and got a hike in at John Bryan State Park.

I have most of my time spoken for the next couple weeks, but I am going to try my best to get one or two hikes in, nevertheless.

But then plenty of hiking during Summer Vacation Get Away 2021 awaits at the end of the month!

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I ran across a couple who were hoping to find some good fishing at the park. They weren't having success, but this great blue herring was having a feast.
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Now you know we have to put a few selfies in the mix.
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A close up of a spider and a shot of another spider's web.
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DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR THE NEXT POST TO BE ANY TIME SOON:
Note Addendum PS icon

I have a hard deadline to have a final cut of the DV movie for The Roommate. So, pretty much the next two weeks, or so, I will be spending all my free time working toward that final cut -- save for lunches, when I'll work on the "Just One Shadow" music video. I'll see you on the other side.....



Mon, June 14, 2021

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Photo of flag blowing in the wind, with a blue sky and the number 244


Tue, June 15, 2021

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H-Happy B-Birthday H-Harry - Harry Nilsson, June 15, 1941-Jun 15, 1994


Fri, June 18, 2021

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Photo of Paul McCartneyfrom jist a few years ago playing his Hoefner bass on concert with the text "McCartney LXXIX -- Happy Birthday Paul"


Sat, June 19, 2021

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June 19, 1865, with a drawing of a thick chain with a broken link in the middle


Thu, June 24, 2021

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CATCHING UP





IT'S SHOWTIME!

Opening Today

THE ROOMMATE, by Jen Silverman, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

The promotional trailers for the show: The Roommate trailer 1
The Roommate trailer 2

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A screen shot taken during the first failed attempt at uploading the DV movie final cut to Booktix Live.
I got the The Roommate DV movie to final cut Friday evening, well, honestly, about 12:30-ish Saturday morning, then immediately compressed the ProRes (.mov) version to the MP4 version which Booktix Live requires.

There was, however, trouble uploading the DV movie. I have a cable modem at the house but at a lower bandwidth rating. The MP4 version of the movie comes in at 6.3 gigabytes, and my upload was slow enough that the Booktix server kept timing me out. So I had to use the connection at work, where the bandwidth is considerably larger. The movie was uploaded two days later than I'd planned but still was a few days ahead of the first stream.

But then....... DOH!

While I was doing a stream test for each scheduled event, I noticed a big, serious, inexcusable misspelling in the credits. How I missed it is beyond me. Actually, it's that same ol', same ol, of how one is one's own worst copy editor. Regardless, I could not allow the show to stream with such a glaring, stupid error. So, Tuesday evening I corrected the misspelling, re-rendered then re-compressed a new MP4 version to replace what was on the Booktix Live server. I had to wait until I was in the office yesterday morning, but that was still plenty of time ahead of the tonight's streaming event.

There's been some publicity finally out there. On June 7, I recorded an ArtsFocus spot with Larry Coressel at Discover Classical, the local classical public radio station. Besides talking about the show, I also plugged the forthcoming Guild season. Here's the link to there the on-line stream of the spot: ArtsFocus: The Roommate.

Also, local arts reporter Russell Florence, Jr. interviewed me for a feature on the show that appeared in last Sunday Dayton Daily News. Here's a link that I think won't hit a pay wall: "Friendship, connection and secrets fuel Dayton Theatre Guild's ‘The Roommate'."

Tools of the Trade icon
I shot the DV movie at 60 frames per second (FPS). This so that the source footage was at a high quality. As I wrote above, Booktix requires an MP4 movie file and at 25 FPS, but the higher the original quality, the higher the quality after the movie is converted to the required file format. Technically I rendered the ProRes final cut at 30 FPS, then compressed to the 25 FPS MP4, but the principle still stands.

But here's the thing about raw HD footage at 60 FPS: the files are pretty big. Shooting with four cameras, I had somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to ten hours of 60 FPS footage. That amounted to almost 5 terabytes. When I started this project, I had a 4 terabyte external hard drive that already had other movie stuff on it. Some of it could be deleted outright, other things I moved onto my laptop hard drive. By the time I was less than halfway through shooting the play it was clear I needed a larger hard drive.

I bought a 5TB hard drive but didn't move anything already shot to it, but rather only put newly shot footage on it, just in case it was still inadequate. And it became clear that it was inadequate. I was worried that there would not be enough space left on the 5TB to actually work on the editing -- there needs to be a lot of buffer space, and the 500, or so, gigs of free space was, believe it or not, pushing it.

So I got an 8TB and migrated all the raw footage to it. That's where I edited the movie. The problem is that the 8TB is a USB 3, so the background rendering was slower at times than what I've been working with on my old 4TB, which is a Thunderbolt interface, which is faster. But the 8TB has the room for all the source material for the movie, so that's where I worked. The migration from the other hard drives took a while, too, because the slower connection is the one that governs the transfer speed.

Well, it's all done now. As I wrote in an earlier blog entry, I'll get back with more of an accounting of the whole project in a post mortem.

AND, BY THE WAY,
YOU GOT YOUR STREAM PASS?
It's on-line, so geography is not an issue

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Doing a little DV movie editing at the home office on the patio.
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Shoot breakdown script
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The new 8 terrabyte external hard drive
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I usually don't hook the external speakers up when I work on the patio, but needed to for this.



THE MOLASSES IS STILL SLOGGING DOWN THE TREE TRUNK:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON
Single icon
Music Video
Final Cut Pro X icon
Song number 8 finished

Gradually, I am adding seconds of visuals to the "Just One Shadow" music video, and, again, almost always during lunch time for the rent-payer, whether I'm in the office or at home. I hope to pick up momentum and get the video to its own final cut here in the close future.

Music Business
I also have all that accompanying business stuff (marketing, copyrights, etc.) to attend to as well. I'll deal with that stuff when I get back from the Summer Vacation Get Away 2021. Up first will be that related directly to the single.

Speaking of which, I still have to master the virtual B-side of the single, i.e.: the song I will offer along with "Just One Shadow," which is a song I recorded a few years back. I don;t think I have the original, raw, individual tracks available for an actual remix, but I think I can do a decent job of mastering the recording. This will be material that will not be on the album.


Whilst on that Summer Vacation, I plan to start working on remixing and remastering some of the other songs for the album. I may start some of that this weekend. On the other hand, I haven't actually played for a while. I might spend more time doing that this weekend than any other music stuff.

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Working in Final Cut Pro, on lunch at work, June 10.
A couple days later, June 12, on the patio, before I got to The Roommate.



PREPPING FOR THE TRIP:
SUMMER VACATION GET AWAY 2021

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Camping
HIKING ICON
I did a trial-run of my new dome tent over the weekend at John Bryan State Park. Stayed two nights. The weekend is detailed, perhaps too much so, below.

I bought an abundance of firewood for this upcoming Summer Vacation Get Away 2021, *(see the photo of the ample supply, on the left). I got enough that I could spare some for the little precursor.

Museum of Art
Cincinnati Art  Museum
A few days back I went back to the Cincinnati Art Museum web site and was able to reserve an arrival time for July 9. When I was planning the vacation the museum wasn't allowing reservations that far out, as they were waiting to see what the public health climate would be like. To be honest, I am a little surprised that there are still designating arrival times -- so much of Ohio has gone the way of almost complete relaxing of all Covid precautions. I'm not complaining, I think a lot of what we are doing here in Ohio might be a little premature. But I was expecting a surge to hit us, which hasn't happened, as far as we know, at any rate.


Meanwhile, during last weekend's JB camping trip I realized there are two things I want for the Shawnee State Park camping trip: a portable, battery operated fan and a camper's cot. I got the cot at Dick's Sporting Goods Tuesday after work and I ordered the fan from Overstock.com that same day. It should arrive tomorrow or Saturday.


FIRST OUTING WITH THE NEW DOME TENT:
Camping
HIKING ICON

So, yes, this past weekend I camped two nights at John Bryan State Park, the little primer for Summer Vacation Get Away 2021. The big point was to log some time with the new Quest Blackwater 4-Person dome tent, which I took on its maiden voyage on this little weekend trip.

There was rain involved and I'm happy -- very happy -- to report that the tent's rain tarp works quite well. It rained overnight Saturday, sometime in the wee early hours Sunday, but the inside of the tent stayed nice a dry.

It was mostly sunny on Sunday. In fact, it was hot and a little humid. I took a morning hike, starting on a trial from the campgrounds that I've never been on before, and then some of one of my favorite trails, along the Little Miami River. When I got back to camp I tried to take a nap, but, as you may know, tents, especially nylon tents, act almost like hothouses in the sun. Rather than getting in a nap, I was getting in sweat lodge time. This was, by the way, just about the time that the idea of the portable, battery operated fan came to me. But I had no such fan, so, I cheated. I drove the ten, or so, minutes to my apartment, took a shower, threw the sweat-drenched clothes in the hamper and got fresh clothes for the rest of the camping weekend.

Saturday night I was able to grill a slab of chicken breast and some veggies over the fire pit. I decided to not grill Sunday's supper. Instead, on my way back to the campground, I dropped into Current Cuisine, in Yellow Springs, and pick up dinner: roast turkey on wheat, some veggie salad, and a piece of something called "Steve's Comfort Cake." I put it all in the cooler for later.

Back at the camp site I hung and chilled for a while, and sat in the shade to write a significant portion of this blog section. I'd have a photo, except that I was writing on the iPhone, which also is the camera. As I sat there, I was listening to the cicadas, which, though not swarming at all, made a bigger presence than when I had hiked at the park a few weeks back. This time I actually saw them flying around, but it was nothing invasive like it's been in other parts of the area, especially in Dayton-proper. My sister lives just south of Dayton in the neighboring Kettering, and parts of her neighborhood have been inundate. For my Sunday afternoon, they added a nice, high-pitched drone to the chill-factor, not at a intolerable decibel, but certainly not faint.

I was hoping that since it was Sunday, that when campers struck camp and left, no one new would come in to take their places. That happens sometimes on Sundays at campgrounds and then Sunday evening the grounds are close to empty of neighboring campers. No such luck, however this time. When I got back, a couple had replaced the three young women who had left earlier on one side of me, and a young family had set up camp on the other lot next to me, which had been empty. But neither group were the noisy, ate-nighters that sometimes you have to tolerate, so that was good.

My second hike of the day was later, pushing sundown. I've always before been just a hiker at John Bryan, so I've always had to leave at sundown, because the park closes. As a camper I got to be on the trails later. The night before I hiked down to the one bend on the river that I love and meditated at a picnic table from about midnight until 1:30 or 2:00. We've had a lot of rain lately so the current was strong, the rippling cadence was strong. It was soothing. A few times I heard deer snapping branches as they moved through the brush, relatively close by. I hoped that with my eyes adjusted to the night I might spot one at some point, but never did. Almost on cue, I heard an owl. I'd wondered if one would hoot; about a minute later one did.

Sunday night I did a hike I've done a few times before: hiking the distance between the two bridges across the river, then back, which is a good hike. On the way back, I stopped at a bench that sits across from a little water fall. I logged more chill time there, maybe 45 minutes from sundown into nightfall. It was, again, peaceful. No animal sightings, again.

So, a nice little camping trip and a few hikes under my belt this weekend, and this coming Monday I'm heading off to The Wilds and a yurt, and lots of lovely, endangered, exotic animals.

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During my first hike Sunday, I came across some nice spots I'd never seen in the park before.
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My Saturday night grilled chicken and veggies, with a fresh, cut tomato.
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The Saturday night fire pit.
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Exploring a new path.
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More of that John Bryan territory that is new to me.
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I came across a couple spiders on a log, but one of them scampered before i could get the pic, and you see that the other oner was on its way.
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And now, more photos of one of my favorite hiking trails, one that I frequent.
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Moss-covered rocky wall on a part of that hiking trail that I frequent.
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More moss on rock.
My new Quest Blackwater 4-Person dome tent in action on its virgin voyage.
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Gettin' ready for a little hot chocolate. A watched pot eventually boils.
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The sky I looked up at while I was chillen later Sunday afternoon.
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My Sunday night dinner from Current Cuisine.
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It was a good dinner -- not that my grilled chicken the night before wasn't.
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The south bridge at John Bryan.
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Water by the water.
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Sitting on the bench across from the waterfall, just before nightfall.
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Nightfall falls.
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Sunday night's fire pit.
Monday morning camp strike.
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One last pic from this park that i love.



Fri, June 25, 2021

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AND WE'RE OFF!:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
In the virtual audience icon
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Opening title sequence as the first stream began.

As you may know, the streaming of The Roommate premiered last evening on BookTix Live. I "attended" as a regular audience member with a stream pass that I purchased, though I believe as admin I can watch each stream gratis.

Being the contact person for those experiencing problems, I missed some portion of the start of the show because two people had problems that I think boiled down to their systems. Both had trouble accessing the show once they got on the web site; they both got errors suggesting system problems. Both were able to access the show by using different devices. One of them even suspects his problem stemmed from his desk top having a Linux-based OS, though I don't know for a fact if that suspicion is justified.

I texted a few people I knew who had passes for last night to see if they experienced problems and they all reported smooth sailing. So, my hope is that these two were isolated problems.

You have five more chances to see the show:

    Tonight at 8:00
    Tomorrow at 3:00 & 8:00
    Sunday at 3:00 & 8:00

    ONLY $12.50!
    dayton.booktix.com



THE LAST HORRAH:
WORKING FROM HOME icon
Today is my last official day working remotely for the rent-payer. The weather has not been ideal and rain may eventually drive me inside. But, by gosh, I’ll work on the patio as long as I can today! This will, however, be the last day to get pics of me working in front of my home, or from a park somewhere, for the rent-payer. Oh, there'll be pics of me working on the play manuscript, or song lyrics, or learning lines for a role. But after I get back from Summer Vacation Get Away 2021, I am back on campus, forty hours a week, for the rent-payer.

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Sat, June 26, 2021

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TWO DOWN, FOUR TO GO:
THE ROOMMATE logo.
DTG Director icon
Streaming TV icon

The second stream last night seemed to go with no hitches save for one audience member who had trouble accessing the stream. The solution was again to use another devise. I am going to try to get to the bottom of exactly what the issue for these few people has been. Though I suppose there are several different issues. Sometimes I think it night be the power of the processer in the devise, or an older operating system or an out-dated browser.

But the stream itself went on without a glitch.


Last night a theatre colleague texted me a lovely complement on the show, and in my thank-you response I also expalined what I am unhappy about in terms of my own efforts. Because that's how egomaniacs with inferiority complexes are. We love, crave, need the compliment, but we aren't sure we really deserve it.

All evening after that excahnge I heard my greatest mentor in life, Denny Lawrence, may he rest in peace, say to me:
"When someone compliments you, you say, 'Thank you,' and then shut up. When you go on to explain what was wrong with the thing you did they are complimenting you on, that's kind of arrogant, and it's you telling them that they are wrong. And that's just rude."
And how often am I guilty of that? Often.


You have four more chances to see the show:




NOW IT'S TIME TO WORK ON MUSIC:
My Music
THE ALBUM PROJECT ICON

My creative time and creative energy will now be focused on the album project. Here are the first things on the agenda:

Single icon

Music Video
Final Cut Pro X icon
Song number 8 finished

Just a little bit more work has been done editing the music video for "Just One Shadow." Between now and leaving Monday for Summer Vacation Get Away 2021 I doubt much more progress is made. But, whilst on said vacation there's a strong chance I'll get the video to final cut.

K.L. on Vocals
Song number 7 in progress
The other day I listened to the current mix of "Chilled October Morning" and made the decision that it really needs to be back in the status of "in progress." To be frank, there is just a lot of the vocal that I am unhappy with and I feel the need to re-do it. Wether it happend this weekend or when I get back from vacation, it's going to be re-recorded. There are just some phrasings that are not working for me. I can do better, so I'm going to do just that.

Guest musician icon
Song number 6 in progress
Finally have the lead work for the guitar break in "Identity." My nephew, David Bernard, sent it a couple weeks back, but I didn't attend to it at all at the time as I was neck-deep in production and post for The Roommate. Now I;'ve given the work some attention and will likely start working on the re-at work of the song in Logic Pro. again, at some point during vacation.



Sun, June 27, 2021

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Closing Today

THE ROOMMATE, by Jen Silverman, at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

Directed by K.L.Storer
Produced by Heather Atkinson

Sharon, in her mid-fifties, is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn's secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life -- and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Cast of The Roommate

CHARACTER
      ACTOR
Sharon
      Linda Donald

Robyn
      Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard

The Promo trailers for The Roommate

Well, the ride's almost over. There are two streams left as I write this, late morning. The only technical glitch on Saturday that I am aware of was with my own system. I lost internet connection for a little while during the 3:00 matinée. I rebooted my computer and restarted my cable modem and got back in. I missed the pivotal moment, but it's not like I don't know what happens. No one esle called or emailed me with a problem so I assume it went smoothly for all the audience members. Here's a big hope that no one has any difficulties today, either.

I was messaged by another theatre colleague this morning who sent his compliments on the show, especially complimenting the cast.

Again, you have two more chances to see the show:

And just to start looking forward, past this production, as I am on-call today, and as I monitor the streams to day, I will be in the midst of prepping to head out tomorrow on the start of Summer Vacation Get Away 2021



Mon, June 28, 2021

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THE JOURNEY BEGINS:
SUMMER VACATION GET AWAY 2021

Probably not long after this blog entry is posted I am off on Summer Vacation Get Away 2021. First stop, The Wilds. I am taking a couple instruments, the Giannini acoustic bass and the Oxygen 61 Keyboard, as well as the eight-track recorder and assorted accoutrement. I'll be working on the music video for the "Just One Shadow" single, for sure. And who knows, I may come home with a new song or two.

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"Think ya [got] enough [firewood] there, Butch?" What can I say, I like fire pits. Who wants to bet that between the cabin in Hocking Hills and camping at Shawnee State Park I don't end up buying more?
Didn't have room in the trunk, you know.




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