THAT ONE SHADOW IS GETTING DARKER AND READY TO REVEAL ITSELF:
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
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
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,
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
ISO 2FS, MID-50S, RACE/ETHNICITY OPEN:
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.
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.
Setting the DV camcorder to 60 fps.
Playing the sound cue at a low level in the theatre
space through Show Cue Systems.
TEXT YADDA YADDAStriking the tripod.
Meanwhile, the renovations at
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:
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."
Not sure if there are any new angles left from which to
shoot these "working on my patio" pics.
EASTER SUNDAY AT THE GLEN:
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.
At the actual "Yellow Springs" inside the
preserve, from which the village derives its name.
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.
The Glen Helen building, which a few years ago, was
the last place I saw and spoke to the great
before her passing. We were there to see a special
presentation of the one-person play,
Underneath the Lintel,
starring the incomparable
"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,
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
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
Yes, but honestly, twenty-four to thirty-six hours, or so, of feeling
crappy is a small price to pay.
SHADOWY PROGRESS -- AND, SOMETHING CHIRPING THIS WAY COMES:
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
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
tonight. That way tomorrow I can start
for the music video tomorrow afternoon or evening.
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
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.
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
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.
Pan and volume adjustments in Logic Pro X.
Equalization adjustments in Logic Pro X.
ROOMMATE ON THE VERGE:
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
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
The Cast of The Roommate:
Melissa Kerr Ertsgaard
Clearly, by this time the process of reading and re-reading and re-reading
script has begun in earnest. Of course, the first focus was chosing
sides for the
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.
Since, like so many current "theatre productions" this is a
hybrid of stage and screen, I am both a
stage directorand a
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.
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.
Last week, on my patio, hunting for sides in the script,
during my Covid vaccine recovery time.
The stacks of audition forms, the character descriptions,
and the production calendars on the counter in the lobby.
Sanitary wipes and the forehead thermometer our
Covid Protocol Officer, Heather, employs.
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
And note our new box office counter in the photos!
*these first three photos taken by Carol Finley
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
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
On the clock on my apartment patio for the
last Friday morning. Another
attempt to make the same basic photograph setups look different.
THE ROOMMATES GO INTO REHEARSAL, AND OTHER THOUGHTS:
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
As for my cast and my directing these women: A few years before her untimely
passing, I had the incomparable
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
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 THEproduction 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
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,
which we did over one weekend at The Guild
ten years ago this very weekend.
We have the multi-Daytony-winning costumer,
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
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 --
Shots from the virtual table-work rehearsal, on Zoom, this
past Thursday evening.
THE MOLASSES MAY BE FLOWING SLOW, BUT IT'S STILL FLOWING:
Production of The Roommate
has been occupying more of my creative time and energy recently than has
anything related to the album project, including
"Just One Shadow" or working on the
music video for the song. I
hope to change that this weekend.
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.
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.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the closing performance of that
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
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
The New York City Center. He
reprised the role in 2016 at
The Balasco Theatre. In
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.
The last stream of the
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
Get Away 2021! Two weeks away from the
I'm starting it off at
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
Then a trek down by the
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
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
I'm probably going to also bring the
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 Zoomrehearsals
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!
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
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,
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.
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.
Some pics of the laptop screen during the mastering process.
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
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.
This weekend, however, I was still able to start
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
(both synth bass solos), and the
(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.
The four-camera set-up for the Embassy Pro solos shoot.
Synthesized bass solo number one on the Embassy Pro.
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:
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.
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
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:
Sunday morning a few of us were at
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.
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:
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.
Some Oakes Quarry Park selfies from Saturday
MORE PREPPING FOR THE BIG TWO-WEEK
AFTER THE DTG
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 am also contemplating calling
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.
I shot principal photography
of the lead vocal for the "Just One Shadow"
last night. However, I'm not thrilled with the footage so I'm shooting
again, perhaps tonight after rehearsals for
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
So, I'm reshooting the lead vocal footage.
Doing the vocal lip-synch for the music video, for the
ill-fated footage, wearing my first haircut since
Prepping for blocking.
The beginnings of the set appearing.
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.
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.
Two shots from rehearsal this past week. Melissa Kerr
Ertsgaard on the the left, Linda Donald on the right.
As is my SOP, it was a multi-cam shoot,
using all four of my
Vixia DV cameras,
some shooting close-ups, some
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
Isn't it inevitable that I still feel the need to tweak the
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.
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.
From the reshoot footage of the lead vocal for the
"Just One Shadow" music video.
We are on the Samuel French/Concord Theatrics map!
As our Roommaterehearsals 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.
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
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.
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.
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
The two stellar women actors of The Roommate doing
Set and prop work
More of the set is realized.
The part that I painted black of the half wall
between Sharon's kitchen and her side porch.
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.
The last piece of that masking in Sharon's hallway.
The black paint drying.
More black paint applied.
An important sheet of masking, leaning there,
waiting to be attached.
"Tim Taylor" screwing that important
masking in place.
The can of sawdust I collected from the scene shop
to use when I made up the faux left-over food.
The collection of faux left-overs, as of last
Scanning the script to be sure I've not missed a
The show's cues in the Show Cue System program.
TEST PITCH AND THE FIRST OUTING WITH THE NEW TENT:
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,
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:
EDGING A FEW INCHES CLOSER TO AN OFFICAL SINGLES RELEASE:
Perhaps you should not quote me, nevertheless, I'll state here that the
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.
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
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:
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
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.
There's a slight bit of editing and some
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.
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,
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
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
ANNOUNCING THE 2021/2022 SEASON:
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
= = = = =
by C. Denby Swanson
Production dates: February 4-20, 2022
Auditions: December 6 & 7, 2021
= = = = =
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
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:
Working remotely, for the rent-payer, on the apartment patio.
Late lunch on the apartment patio -- forgot to mention
the brownie bites for dessert.
WHAT? TWICE IN ONE WEEKEND?:
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
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
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:
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:
The bench I don't remember.
The photo impressed onto the wood on the inside
of the bridge.
ZOO SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED!!!!:
I called the booking reps at
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.
AND JUST A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO THE OFFICAL SINGLES RELEASE:
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:
No assembling was done last night, but I did have the
editor open for cataloging and notes.
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
board member) brought a more than adequate substitute for our use. So,
But it was a stressful day -- to the point:
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
Deirdre Root. Tonight, however, I start putting the movie together.
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:
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
Get Away 2021 awaits at the end of the
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.
Now you know we have to put a few selfies in the mix.
A close up of a spider and a shot of another spider's web.
DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR THE NEXT POST TO BE ANY TIME SOON:
I have a hard deadline to have a final cut
of the DV movie for
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
AND, BY THE WAY,
YOU GOT YOUR STREAM PASS?
It's on-line, so geography is not an issue
Doing a little DV movie editing at the home office on the
Shoot breakdown script
The new 8 terrabyte external hard drive
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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
Get Away 2021, *(see the photo of the ample
supply, on the left). I got enough that I could spare some for the little
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
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
that same day. It should arrive tomorrow or Saturday.
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
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
and a yurt, and lots of lovely, endangered, exotic animals.
During my first hike Sunday, I came across some nice spots
I'd never seen in the park before.
My Saturday night grilled chicken and veggies, with
a fresh, cut tomato.
The Saturday night fire pit.
Exploring a new path.
More of that John Bryan territory that is new to me.
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.
And now, more photos of one of my favorite hiking trails,
one that I frequent.
Moss-covered rocky wall on a part of that hiking trail
that I frequent.
More moss on rock.
My new Quest Blackwater 4-Person dome tent in action on
its virgin voyage.
Gettin' ready for a little hot chocolate. A watched
pot eventually boils.
The sky I looked up at while I was chillen later
My Sunday night dinner from Current Cuisine.
It was a good dinner -- not that my grilled chicken
the night before wasn't.
The south bridge at John Bryan.
Water by the water.
Sitting on the bench across from the waterfall,
just before nightfall.
As you may know, the streaming of
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
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
Get Away 2021, I am back on campus,
forty hours a week, for the rent-payer.
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."
My creative time and creative energy will now be focused on the album
project. Here are the first things on the agenda:
Just a little bit more work has been done editing the
music video for "Just
One Shadow." Between now and leaving Monday for
Get Away 2021 I doubt much more progress
is made. But, whilst on said
there's a strong chance I'll get the video to
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Get Away 2021
Probably not long after this blog entry is posted I am off on Summer
Get Away 2021. First stop,
I am taking a couple instruments, the
acoustic bass and the
Oxygen 61 Keyboard,
as well as the
and assorted accoutrement. I'll be working on the
for the "Just One Shadow" single, for sure. And who knows, I may
come home with a new song or two.
"Think ya [got] enough [firewood] there, Butch?"
What can I say, I like fire pits. Who wants to bet that
between the cabin in
and camping at
Shawnee State Park
I don't end up buying more?