collisionwork: (tired)
In the midst of one of those wait-until-you-have-to-rush times as Berit and I prepare for regular running of Tanya Khordoc and Barry Weil's Secrets History Remembered at The Brick - Berit's running lights and sound, I'm running powerpoint/video. Berit's a lot more busy right now as she's sewing some costumes for it as well. Rehearsal tomorrow, tech begins Sunday for a coupel of days. The show looks to be great.

I went and saw a so-so show last night as part of my New York Innovative Theatre Awards judging responsibilities - can't say which, of course. More of an annoying show -- most of it not bad, not good, kinda average, with scattered moments of both incredible beauty/brilliance and incredible clumsiness/obviousness. Which makes it hard to judge many of the elements on a scale of 1-100, as I had to. I'd like to try and remember and be kind just to those fine moments of the show, but . . . it doesn't work that way. The two lead actors were excellent and had incredible chemistry, so I did well by them, I think.

Berit looks to have been up most of the night working, and has left a note for me to wake her up at noon, so I guess she still has a lot of work to do (I see an unfinished Red Bull in the fridge). I'm waiting for word from Barry and Tanya about going and buying them a monitor for the show, and just beginning to prepare for the show I'm directing in The Baby Jesus One-Act Festival. I'm doing a play by Marc Spitz that is very very funny (of course) and involves obscure music geekery (double of course) called "Marshmallow World," and to say anything more than that would be spoilerrific.

And speaking of obscure music geekery, my 80GB iPod now has 20,876 songs in it and is down to 10MB left in it - maybe 2 songs worth of storage. Every morning I cut more unnecessary stuff from it, and then add more "necessary" stuff. Here's 10 of what seems necessary, randomly, this morning:

1. "A Drunk in My Past" - X - More Fun In The New World
2. "Song X" - Sand in the Face - Sand In The Face
3. "I'll Give It Five" - Janice Nicholls - Beat of the Pops 07
4. "Best Days" - The Svengalis
5. "I'm Paying Taxes, What Am I Buying" - Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s - James Brown's Funky People (part 2)
6. "King Ink" - The Birthday Party - Prayers on Fire
7. "Beautiful" - Elvis Costello - House M.D. soundtrack
8. "Oh My Soul" - Johnny Otis - Let's Live It Up
9. "Get It Together" - James Brown - Star Time
10. "I Want to Wake Up" - Pet Shop Boys - Actually

I've been organizing things for The Brick with these companies going in and out, but I've been avoiding the place maybe more than I should this past week - I needed a little more time away between the clowns and Secrets, I think, than I was getting. I didn't see the Pig Iron show there last weekend, and I still don't know if I'm going to see The Debate Society's show there tonight or tomorrow. I should.

Actor-collaborator Walter Brandes ribbed me a bit when he came to see Bryan Enk's The Crow: Final, about my lighting that show and simultaneously working on the Clown Fest and directing Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, saying that he knew I couldn't actually take the rest of the year off from theatre and rest as I said I would (I guess I said it here, or maybe personally to Walter) after August. I actually had seen these varied gigs as a "rest" and "taking some time off" after the whammy of Ian W. Hill's Hamlet and the four August shows. A collection of amuses-bouche prior to digging into a big meal in 2008. However, too many of these little morsels can fill the stomach and ruin the appetite. So, some rest. Take it easy. More big things in 2008.


Nov. 1st, 2007 11:48 am
collisionwork: (sign)
Thanks, Time Out New York.

The Brick has been included in a list of 50 "essential" places, locations, services, etc. in NYC. Nice to be part of something essential for once.

Next up in our essential home, with the New York Clown Theatre Festival and The Crow: Final behind us, are a few guests:

Pig Iron is loading in as I type for Week 51 of 365 Days/365 Plays, playing November 2-3.

They will be followed almost immediately by The Debate Society with A Thought About Raya, November 8-10.

Then Barry Weil and Tanya Khordoc (Evolve Company) will take over with their puppet-play Secrets History Reveals, November 14-18.

Busy, busy, busy.

It seems I'll be directing something in The Baby Jesus One-Act Festival, coming to The Brick again in December (I directed Peter Petralia's The Christmas Suicides, starring Mick O'Brien, for the Fest in 2005). I will be deciding between two scripts once they come in -- Monday or Tuesday, it looks like.

Today, I get a rest. Keep the foot up. Watch the horror movies I meant to yesterday. I should drop in at the space at some point today, check in on Pig Iron, and make sure they have everything they need. A bit later, then.

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Hitting Williamsburg for the next two weekends (September 22, 23, 29, 30) is the 2nd Annual WPA Free Fest --

That is, a free festival from the Williamsburg Performance Alliance, where seven performance spaces/organizations in Williamsburg will open their doors all day and night to host free performances.

The home page is HERE (though it's not entirely updated as I write, and still has a lot of things from last year on there, but I'm told it'll be all set shortly).

The Brick will be participating on the first weekend in the evenings with their week of productions of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays.

And also . . .

Gemini CollisionWorks will be participating on Saturday, September 22, with two free performances. At 3.00 pm, the return of


directed by Ian W. Hill

performed by Ian W. Hill, Rasheed Hinds, Roger Nasser, and Jessica Savage. 70 minutes long, no intermission. Not appropriate for kids. Really.

Returning from August, and (we hope) prior to more shows later this year, you have a chance to see this popular comedy for free now. It's our "loss leader," cause we think you'll wanna come back and pay the sawbuck later, and bring your friends . . .

(more info on this show below)

and at 5.00 pm:

Ian W. Hill performs the monologue In Moscow (A Moscow Hamlet) by Anton Chekhov, translated by Carol Rocamora. 20 minutes long.

Nasty, funny, bittersweet, tragic, satiric - the essence of Chekhov in 20 minutes, as an aging bohemian examines his own boredom, his own flaws, and his talent for appearing talented while knowing nothing in a cultural world that knows even less than he. As appropriate (or more?) to Williamsburg in 2007 as to Moscow in 1891.

Did we mention they're FREE?

Come on by and check us out, and go by some of the other participating spaces before or after and see what they're doing (also participating on both weekends: Vampire Cowboys/The Battleranch and Soundance at The Stable; participating on the second weekend: Triskalion Arts and WAX).

My shows are at

The Brick

575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

right by the L Train (Lorimer) and G Train (Metropolitan/Grand) stops

WARNING: Both shows feature the brief smoking of (legal in NYC but potentially annoying) herbal cigarettes onstage. It's actually important to both shows and the characters in them and it just looks silly mimed. Hope that's okay with you.


The Hobo Got Too High by Marc Spitz

directed by Ian W. Hill

3.00 pm - Saturday, September 22 -- The Brick

Bug Blowmonkey loves music. Bug Blowmonkey loves a woman. Bug Blowmonkey loves cocaine. Two of these things are good for him, but the other one is messing him up. Bad. Wanna take a guess which one? Bug knows the blow is taking him down a dark path, but can't quit it on his own. Luckily, he has a spirit guide to help him out of his hole, and towards the "light" he seeks: Marvin Gaye. Granted, Marvin is also a drug-addled paranoiac (and dead for 20 years), but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to spirit guides, it seems. Will Bug, with the help of Marvin Gaye and a stuffed buffalo in The Museum of Natural History, be able to overcome his addiction and fight the haunting, taunting spirit of the girlfriend he lost to win the heart of a new woman in his life, who may be able to save him from himself? Will he find his "light?" Will he figure out why every person he sleeps with has a tail? Will this whole story be told in a fast, jumpy, non-linear style, full of hysterical one-liners and astonishing situations?

At least three of these questions will be answered in a viewing of Marc Spitz's play, The Hobo Got Too High, staged by Ian W. Hill. Spitz -- often described, probably to the point of his being tired of it, as "a downtown Oscar Wilde" -- is known for a distanced, ironic, comic sensibility in his plays. Hill -- often described, with deep inaccuracy, as a protege of Richard Foreman -- is known for a stylized, abstracted, presentational directorial style. What do these two share? A deep love and understanding of rock and roll music, and a hidden romantic, sentimental side. Put them together in this play, and you get a production that feels like a great eclectic mix tape, moving from the lugubrious sadness of Leonard Cohen to the jumpiness of The Velvet Underground to the wistfulness of Michael Nesmith to the pure pop of The Lightning Seeds to the deep soul of Marvin Gaye.

The Hobo Got Too High is an hour of sex, drugs, rock and roll, romance, non-sequiturs, vast numbers of curse words, retractable penises, and an appraisal of Diane Lane's breasts. Come see it FOR FREE in the WPA Free Fest!

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
I'm still going through all the photos I have from the August shows and fixing them up in Photoshop, but I have the first batch done. These cover the first part of the two-part NECROPOLIS 1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed.

I still think I'm missing some that I should have . . . I'm positive we set up and shot scenes that I don't seem to have any pictures of -- such as the backlit shadow band from the club scene. The closest I have to that are a couple of behind-the-scenes shots, like this one of Art Wallace blowing his two-dimensional cardboard trumpet:

World Gone Wrong 2007 - Art blows it

So, inside the cut (which I hate, but I keep being reminded that cuts are "polite"), the first part of the show.

14 fragments of a World Gone Wrong )

Ah, yes . . . and here's Mateo, Art, and Alyssa (hidden behind Mateo) doing their number behind the scrim.
World Gone Wrong 2007 - behind the shadows

More soon.

collisionwork: (sign)
We did photo calls for three of the four plays we put up last month, the three NECROPOLIS plays, on the days they closed. I'm in the process of collating all of them from all sources, fixing them up in Photoshop, and posting them at my Flickr page -- I'll start posting them here once I've fixed the whole damned lot.

Berit and I don't currently have a functioning camera, so we relied on the kindness of our actors, asking any of them who had a handy digital camera to bring it to the calls, as I've had good luck in the past with a whole bunch of cameras each taking a whole lot of photos producing some really damned nice ones.

So at the WGW/WGW call, there was a lot of this:

The WGW Cast Shoots Itself

Here, Yvonne Roen, Mateo Moreno, and Stacia French take pictures of a scene they're not in as Sammy Tunis adjusts herself and Jessica Savage and Alyssa Simon lurk in the shadows.

Above photo by, I think, Iracel Rivero -- the problem is that as people were being photographed, camera were being handed back and forth, so I have no idea at times who took which shot.

Here's one of Iracel, taken with her own camera by, I think, Aaron Baker:

Iracel in the Shadows

So, sorry friends if I don't credit these all properly -- here's another two from Iracel's camera, possibly taken by her, maybe by Aaron - first, the shadows of a flunky (Bryan Enk) and a goon (Roger Nasser):

Shadows of a Goon and a Flunky

As their boss, Louis the torpedo (Jai Catalano), sits in the shadows:

Jai in the Shadows

And the dressing room of The Brick, during the whirlwind visited on it by the regular presence of 29 actors in four shows for four weeks in very VERY little space:

The Brick's Dressing Room

I'll have actual show pictures in the coming days, and some more of these behind-the-scenes ones, too.

Last Call

Aug. 22nd, 2007 01:10 pm
collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Five days and six performances left in this crazy Summer. Here's the promo sent out to my list and posted on my MySpace page:




all shows at

The Brick
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
right by the L Train (Lorimer) and G Train (Metropolitan/Grand) stops

all tickets



Gemini CollisionWorks and The Brick Theater, Inc. present


Kiss Me, Succubus



At the Mountains of Slumberland

written, directed, and designed by Ian W. Hill

Wednesday, August 22
Thursday, August 23
Sunday, August 26

at 8.00 pm

"Gemini CollisionWorks's hypnotic new revival of Ian W. Hill's NECROPOLIS 0&3: Kiss Me, Succubus and At the Mountains of Slumberland

shows one of indie theater's most singular and unique talents working at full power. These two one-acts show Hill in top boundary-breaking form as he pays homage to H.P. Lovecraft, classic comic strips, and 1960s exploitation movies in the typically fearless fashion theatergoers have come to expect from him . . . terrific cast . . . one of the most visually stunning productions I've seen in a while . . . For theatre-goers who have never experienced the inventive and uncompromising work of this veteran indie auteur, I can't think of a better time to do so than right now."
-- Michael Criscuolo, - full review at

more information here: or


NECROPOLIS 0 and 3 is an Equity-approved showcase

** and also **


directed by Ian W. Hill

Friday, August 24
Saturday, August 25

at 8.00 pm, and
Saturday, August 25
at 4.00 pm

Bug Blowmonkey loves music. Bug Blowmonkey loves a woman. Bug Blowmonkey loves cocaine. Two of these things are good for him, but the other one is messing him up. Bad. Wanna take a guess which one? Bug knows the blow is taking him down a dark path, but can't quit it on his own. Luckily, he has a spirit guide to help him out of his hole, and towards the "light" he seeks: Marvin Gaye.

Marc Spitz's The Hobo Got Too High is an hour of sex, drugs, rock and roll, romance, nonsequiturs, vast numbers of curse words, retractable penises, and an appraisal of Diane Lane's breasts. All for a sawbuck. You may not see better value for your theatrical dollar anytime soon.

more information here: or


Ian W. Hill/Gemini CollisionWorks online:



Aug. 20th, 2007 12:07 pm
collisionwork: (tired)
Weirdly over-tired since Saturday's marathon. I should be tired, sure, but not like this. I have too much to do the rest of the week.

I'm going through the standard post-show depression on World Gone Wrong, but unlike most times, I have other shows running as this one closes, so I can't just lie back and recover, I have to keep working for another week -- especially as I have to put an understudy in for the lead part in At the Mountains of Slumberland on Thursday.

Got some great shots from the photo call on WGW/WGW. Have them up once they're all in and reprocessed.

This gave me some cheer this morning, however -- an early (1968) animated film by Terry Gilliam, pre-Python, which has more than a few ideas plundered for the series and Holy Grail:

(via Cartoon Brew) Enjoy.

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Tonight at 8.00 pm and tomorrow at 4.00 pm will probably be your last chances to ever see my play NECROPOLIS 1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed. I've done it twice, two years apart. It's had it's run. Unless someone wants to pay me to bring it back somewhere, someplace (unlikely), it goes into the storage cage, indefinitely.

World Gone Wrong - Scene 4

With AEA showcase rules, I couldn't bring it back for a while anyway, and I have other things to move on to - my own Spell, Kindred, That's What We're Here For (an american pageant revisited), NECROPOLIS 4: Green River, NECROPOLIS 5: ARTisTS, as well as plays by other people - Richard Foreman's Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville and George Bataille's Bathrobe first and foremost in my head.

World Gone Wrong - Scene 31

Martin Denton's review of the 2005 production is HERE, among others. Michael Criscuolo referred to the current production as "spectacular" in his great review of NECROPOLIS 0 and 3 (you've got over a week before those go away forever).

Tickets are $10 and available at the door (cash) or in advance (credit card) HERE. Scroll down for more info on location, etc.

Hope to see some of you.

collisionwork: (Great Director)
Well, now that I sent out the email blast and all the mid-run publicity stuff, we get the rave review of Succubus/Slumberland I've been hoping and waiting for, for pull quotes and the like.

Oh, well. Into next week's "LAST TWO SHOWS" email.

Thanks, Mr. Criscuolo -- glad you got it.

collisionwork: (sign)
Today, I have nothing I HAVE to do for the shows. So after some needed Art intake, I'm going to be walking all over the West, Center, and East Villages, Lower East Side, and Tribeca putting cards for the shows at as many Indie Theatres (and rep movie houses, given the noir appeal of WGW/WGW) as I can.

I've made up a list of 23 venues to card - some of them will wind up not being open, or not permitting cards from outside venues right now, and I'll find other places to hit along the way, so maybe 25 places total.

So, first I have to go over to Duane Reade and buy a bag of strong rubber bands.

Then, I go get the boxes of cards for The Necropolis Series and Hobo out of the van, sit down, and make up 25 packets of 20 cards each for each show, and band them (NB: As someone who has run a few theatres, it is POINTLESS and ANNOYING to leave any more than 20 cards at a time at any venue -- they will get knocked to the floor, spread all over the place, mostly not get picked up, and ultimately will wind up in the trash -- put out 20, check back a week later, if some have been taken, fill out the pile to 20 again, no more - for spaces with large display racks - eg; The Kraine - you can maybe spring for 2 piles of 20).

Then I bag the packets up (and this is going to be a damned heavy carry, unfortunately . . . 1,000 cards? half of them oversized 8.5x5.5" ones? . . .oy . . .). Go shower, shave, and get clean -- I have a need to feel nice today. Blue contacts and fake teeth in, too. Maybe if it's nice enough, I'll even wear my straw boater in my perambulations (Berit's still out cold, or she might dissuade me from walking out the door with that hat on by calling me a "fop").

Subway to MoMA, check the heavy bag, spend as much goddamn time as I like and need in there to feel right again. See every damn thing in there that I can until I can't see anything right anymore.

Then, subway to the Village, start on Vandam.

And then, a couple hours of walking -- from Bank, Commerce, Christopher and whatever to Ave. A, Suffolk and whatever to Church and Franklin, and then subway home.

So this is the day off. It's a nice one.

collisionwork: (Laura's Angel)
Woke up this morning, went into my normal panic about "What do I have to do on the shows to get them ready RIGHT NOW," and realized that all the shows are now up and running and there's nothing else I have to do for any of them (except replenish programs and the disposable props).

I am now quite happy and am sitting back and just enjoying some music by myself for the first time in weeks.

Last night, we gave damned good performances of WGW/WGW (for a quiet, good-sized house) and Hobo Got Too High (for a small, wonderfully-reactive house). Today, I have all three programs of four plays to get through -- Succubus/Slumberland at 4.00 pm, WGW/WGW at 8.00 pm, and Hobo at 10.30 pm. Ah, just like the old NADA days. At least I'm not actually in the second half of each of the first two programs.

And they're all in good shape. Wow.

Come see them, if you were thinking of it, please.

collisionwork: (tired)
Okay performance of WGW/WGW last night. In the house was playwright Jeff Jones, whose 70 Scenes of Halloween I once directed at NADA -- well, kind of, we had to cancel the production because we were being evicted, so we did a weekend of free performances of it as a staged reading (though the actors surprised me by learning almost all their lines anyway and not using scripts except for a scene here and there). Bryan, who was in that production as The Beast, was working box office and had a nice chat with him about it. I hope to restage that production someday. Though I don't think Mr. Jones liked last night's show very much. Oh, well. I don't know if I could get Frank Cwiklik and Michele Schlossberg back to play Jeff and Joan, but I could get Bryan and Christiaan back as The Beast and The Witch -- I don't know why, but its always been important to me that the two couples in that play be played by real-life couples. Jeff Lewonczyk and Hope Cartelli would be great as Jeff and Joan, too, though the image of an onstage young married couple sniping at each other being played by a real-life young married couple might be a bit more uncomfortable when the actor shares the same name as the character.

And why just "okay" last night . . ? Well, I've never been able to cure second-show-slump. There's always that big DIP in energy after the cast has gotten one show under their belt and feels like they know what they're doing. A bit low-energy last night. And a little low-attentive. I had fixed the sound a bit, mainly to eliminate the giant pauses I had on the soundtrack between scenes, during the transitions. But I seem to have gone too far, because almost none of the transitions got done on time last night, and people were always still out on stage changing things when a new scene would begin.

At the same time, it wasn't only the shorter time, but that people were being a bit slower about it, too. On opening night, everyone was still so jumpy and nervous about getting the transitions right (we didn't rehearse them nearly enough, of course) that they just WENT FOR IT. Last night, I could see the cue line for the transitions happen, which people are supposed to GO on, but there would be a beat and a breath and then they would tentatively start for the stage (not everyone, but enough to make a difference). It got better as the show went on, and the cast realized they had a lot less time to move things, but it was still wonky to the end.

So I'm lengthening the transitions a bit, where needed, but I also have to get people to go faster and with more purpose and focus. Berit and I will fix the light cues a bit too, as they should go down faster at the end of every scene (it doesn't encourage people to start moving on a transition when it looks like they'll be walking into a fully-lit scene, though the lights will be changing right along with their move). The transitions are a little harder to deal with on this production, as compared to the 2005 original, because we've replaced the rolling trunk on a dolly with an actual desk, which needs two people to move it (carefully) as opposed to just quickly rolling it into position, and the power cords for the light stands now trail upstage rather than out a downstage aisle, and they tend to get caught on things more (unfortunately, now that they are being controlled from the board, that's where they NEED to go . . .).

The show between the transitions, however, was good, if not so sharp as opening night. Tonight I'll take a closer look at whether I should tighten up some of the scenes in dialogue editing or not.

My plan for today was to finish the transition-lengthening, drive to The Brick and drop off the new disks, pick up lots of cards for both shows, L Train it into Manhattan and schlep around from theatre to theatre (and a couple of rep movie houses) dropping off packets of cards, hitting as many Fringe NYC venues as I could. But the weather is not so great for this . . . Still, has to get done. Then I'm meeting a friend at The Brick at 3.00 to just hang out for a bit. And around this I want to work on my performance and lines for The Hobo Got Too High, which we'll be actually doing for an audience for the first time tonight.

So, maybe I'll just work on my lines and other Brick things, and do the theatre runaround tomorrow. The weather's gotten worse as I've been typing.

And on the iPod this morning, from among 21,056 songs:

1. "Where Are We Going?" - Marvin Gaye - The Very Best
2. "A Day in the Life" - The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. "The Gremmie, Part 1 (alternate version)" - The Tornados - More Surf Legends (And Rumors)
4. "Glass Onion (remix)" - The Beatles - Love
5. "Sweet Dreams" - Roy Buchanan - Sweet Dreams: The Anthology
6. "Liar, Liar" - The Castaways - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
7. "Summertime Blues" - Blue Cheer - 45's on CD Volume III ('66-'69)
8. "Sunday Morning" - The Velvet Underground - Peel Slowly and See
9. "Marlene On The Wall (live)" - Suzanne Vega - Live At Stephen's Talkhouse
10. "Settle Down" - The Flirtations - Northern Soul: The Cream of 60's Soul

More after the weekend, when I finally have a day off (and I think I'll be making a MoMA trip, finally, for the Serra).

collisionwork: (Great Director)
Okay, so first, we opened NECROPOLIS 0 and 3: Kiss Me Succubus and At the Mountains of Slumberland last night, and they went quite well. Few little missteps here and there, but not bad. Not bad at all. So we've now "opened" all four of the Gemini CollisionWorks shows at The Brick in August (including the opening night run-thru of Hobo), and we have seven performances left of each of them.

So I just got a good night's sleep for the first time in . . . well, a while.

And then I got an email from John Issendorf telling me that the Times review was up for NECROPOLIS 1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed, and congratulating me on it. Yeah, Jonathan Kalb came to see the show on opening night . . . our VERY rocky (technically), but okay, opening night. Originally, I had been told he might only be able to stay for the first half, as he had to catch a plane to India, and he would be noting in his review he had only watched World Gone Wrong, but he wound up staying for the whole show, which I took as a good sign (he also asked Ivanna, who was working the box office, how long The Hobo Got Too High was and when it would start, and if it had been shorter and started earlier he would have stuck around), so I wasn't terribly worried about the review.

And, well, it's an okay review. It reads better than it is -- that is, you get the sense of a good review from it, but when you look at the details, it's really, really mixed . . . maybe even a bit more negative. The almost exact opposite of the 2005 Time Out New York review of the show which was pretty close to a rave, but read like a pan -- I've received two congratulatory emails on the Times review already and when the TONY review came out two years ago I got nothing but sympathy emails, though the review was primarily full of phrases like "breathtaking effect," "stunning style," and "tour-de-force text."

So reading the Times review was like:

"Hmmmn. Okay, okay. Good. Great! Neat. This will be good for the show. Well, that was . . . wait a minute, he didn't like it very much, did he?"

And the TONY one was:

"Oh. Oooh. Oh, dear. Shit. Oh, this isn't good. Dammit. She didn't get it did she? Oh, well, maybe next ti-- wait a minute, did she just spend half the column space saying the show was brilliant?"

Tone may be more important than actual content in reviews . . .

At least in getting butts in the seats, which I think this review will actually do.

Have to go out shortly and get the actual print paper to see it there, and see what the photo of Stacia and I looks like in print (assuming it's used there).

Hmmmn. Well, I'm a little unhappy with some of Kalb's criticisms, but not much. I've heard it before about WGW/WGW and other pieces of mine, especially the two-part ones, which, to me, are usually about theme (part one) and variations (part two), with the variants sometimes being a bit minor and subtle.

I think of the original pieces that way, musically -- WGW/WGW is a big sprawling symphony for a Wagnerian-sized orchestra; Succubus is a string quartet; Slumberland is a piece for small chamber orchestra.

And just as often, scupturally -- you look at the work in space from one side, you think you "get" it, then it is turned 45 degrees and you suddenly get a whole new understanding of the materials, the structure, the way it moves and displaces air, how light falls on it differently, what it means . . . but only if you look closely enough to see the subtle change the different perspective has made.

During the final stages of these shows, as I've been wandering around The Brick, crazed, doing whatever I could to be "ready," I've been muttering a paraphrase of Kurt Schwitters to myself: "I am a theatre artist, and I nail my plays together."

So, now I have to go do some more nailing -- the sound for WGW/WGW needs to be fixed a bit, then Berit and I will go over to the space early to fix all the light and projection issues. I'm looking forward to tonight's show. It's going to be beautiful.

UPDATE: Nope, no photo in the print edition, dammit (I think it would be a lot more eye-catching). Looks pretty good on the Times website, though . . .

World Gone Wrong - Scene 17

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Last night was opening night of NECROPOLIS 1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed and The Hobo Got Too High.

It was preceded by my staying up for 44 straight hours finishing some of the important tech elements for the show, and then dealing with some huge problems that cropped up with them. Fun. That's the longest I've ever stayed awake by far. I've got 6 hours sleep since, so I'm better now.

Yesterday was a day of much stress and tension that wound up okay. It was a huge question all day as to whether both or either show would actually be able to open. As it was, we were able to get WGW/WGW going, albeit with reduced tech, and as only three people showed up for Hobo, we begged off doing the show to them (and they were cool about it) and did a runthru for ourselves to get it down better before next time.

So we did good, and it will be more beautiful next time.

Next . . . Kiss Me, Succubus and At the Mountains of Slumberland.

And in the iPod this morning, 21,054 songs, 73.33 GBs, and I get this fine fine superfine Sunday morning mix:

1. "Meet James Ensor" - They Might Be Giants - John Henry
2. "Triumphal Theme" - Cop Shoot Cop - Consumer Revolt
3. "Funny Little Frog" - Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
4. "Soon There'll Be Thunder" - The Common People - Of the People, By the People, For the People
5. "Die in Terror" - The Residents - The Commercial Album
6. "If There Is Something" - Roxy Music - Roxy Music
7. "Hostess: Twinkies" - Raymond Scott - Manhattan Research, Inc.
8. "Just in Case You Wonder" - The Ugly Ducklings - Too Much Too Soon
9. "How Many More Years?" - Howlin' Wolf - Best Of Sun Records Volume One
10. "How Soon Is Now?" - Love Spit Love - The Craft soundtrack

More soon . . .

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
We have two shows opening the day after tomorrow . . . well, actually tomorrow, at this point. And a third (made up of two shows with two casts of 8 people) next Wednesday. I knew this was an insane plan. I didn't know quite how truly psychotic it would turn out to be.

After a few days of thinking we were so behind it would be impossible to open, it has become clear that we can open on time, and well. However, in order to make this possible, Berit and I will become total wrecks for a week or so. Fine.

Not much else. I'm about to go to bed for three hours while she works, then we'll switch off, as she needs the good computer for the Powerpoint slides for the show, and I need it for the sound editing. Hoo boy.

Oh, and here's the card for The Hobo Got Too High by Marc Spitz, opening tomorrow at 10.30 pm. A little simpler than our NECROPOLIS card, but just here to get the job done:



Don't know about a random 10. Maybe I'll need a music break at 5.30 in the am or something. I'll let you know.
collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
NECROPOLIS #1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed opens in five days. The cards should be here tomorrow. Sometime this week, I have to find a time (hah!) to go around and leave them in good places and good spaces.

I already posted the more interesting front, but here's the back:

NECROPOLIS Series card back

Final card is 8.5 x 5.5" (and therefore legible), with glossy front and matte reverse.

Today, work all day on the soundtracks, then, at 6.00 pm, three hours of Slumberland rehearsal (and record one last bit of the show), then two hours of Worth Gun Willed rehearsal.

Tomorrow morning, record the last pieces of Succubus, then work on the soundtracks, then 60 minutes of World Gone Wrong rehearsal, 90 minutes of Hobo Got Too High rehearsal, then 90 minutes of Succubus rehearsal.

Wednesday, rehearsals all day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm with different individuals/groups from different shows (Jessica Savage gets the big block of 90 minutes to rehearse bits of all three shows she's in), then the first big World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed rehearsal from 7-11.00 pm, with 18 out of 21 cast members (best we can do until tech on Saturday.

Thursday, daytime left open so Berit and I can actually do tech stuff, etc. 7-11.00 pm, Succubus rehearsal, including filming one of the "porno" movies featuring half the cast.

Friday, rehearsals all day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm with different individuals/groups from different shows, including a big block where we film the other "porno" movie with the other half of the Succubus cast. Then Hobo tech from 7-11 pm.

Saturday, we have the whole cast for World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed from 12 noon to 6.00 pm for cleanup, cue-to-cue, and tech/dress run. Then break. Then we open the show at 8 pm. Brief pause, then The Hobo Got Too High opens at 10.30 pm.

Then, Berit and I get up and go to a wedding on Sunday. If we can get back to NYC in time, we rehearse that night, either Succubus or Slumberland or both (probably just Succubus).

Monday night, we again rehearse either Succubus or Slumberland or both (probably just Slumberland).

Tuesday, we tech Kiss Me, Succubus, At the Mountains of Slumberland from 6.00 pm until done.

Wednesday, we open that bill at 8.00 pm.

Then, we're running. And we're fine.

Then August is over, and Berit and I go collapse in Portland, ME for several weeks.

But right now, I have work to do, and shouldn't be futzing with my blog, except that sometimes, you do need a break in the work, just to stay sane.

See you on Friday, with a Random Whatever list . . .

collisionwork: (Great Director)
I spent the last 4.00 pm to 3.00 am editing the sound for At the Mountains of Slumberland -- and that was just the dialogue editing. Didn't even get to do any music/effects tracking or mixing, as I'd hoped to have for this morning's rehearsal -- Slumberland from 10 am to 2 pm (we'll just work with the dialogue tracks - start getting the actors used to being "dubbed"). Then I have to spend 3 pm to 7 pm doing more sound work, trying to get the backing tracks for this evening's World Gone Wrong scenes ready for those rehearsals.

Everything will happen. But later than I'd like.

Berit, up all last night on the other shift, crashed when we got home from yesterday's morning rehearsal, got up in the evening, and took over on the computer from me around 3.30 am, when I got to bed. I woke up at 7.00 am, and she wanted my opinion on the card front:

NECROPOLIS Series card

I think that works. It'll look good BIG, too (we're doing a 8.5x5.5" card with this, as I think I mentioned). I've typed and laid out all the text for the back, and we know the images to go there (just need to FIND one of them . . .).

Okay, have to leave in 15 minutes. Need to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.
collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
I just got up to get ready for rehearsal. Berit's been up all night. This will be the way the shifts work in the home for a while.

Berit will stay up all night, I will get up in the morning to work on the shows and she'll go to sleep. Today, we both have to leave for rehearsal in 30 minutes, so when we get back from it at around 3 pm, she'll go to bed and I'll work until midnight or 1 am on the sound design and email blasts.

Then, I'll go to bed and she'll work all night. We've kinda got the pattern down by now, after a few years. It's even more necessary right now, as we have to share the one REALLY GOOD computer in the house - her for the postcard/prop work, me for the sound work.

So last night, Berit pretty much finalized three things while I slept. First, a prop from Marc Spitz's The Hobo Got Too High, which will be printed out on sticker and placed on a real margarine box for the "commercial" scene:

I Don't Understand, It's Not Butter?

Next, and not quite finished, but almost (it needs to be "degraded" a bit), the image for the postcard (and probably some products in the Gemini CollisionWorks store) for NECROPOLIS #0: Kiss Me, Succubus:

Kiss Me, Succubus

And finally, the postcard/t-shirt/etc. image for NECROPOLIS #3: At the Mountains of Slumberland:

At the Mountains of Slumberland

Okay, have to quickly shower and make myself presentable for the actors, and shove more coffee down myself to make myself able to function. More later.

collisionwork: (music listening)
Posts will continue to be slow around here, probably, as I scramble to get my four plays on three bills ready to open.

NECROPOLIS 1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed opens Sat. Aug. 4 at 8.00 pm. The Hobo Got Too High by Marc Spitz opens at 10.30 pm that same evening. NECROPOLIS 0&3: Kiss Me, Succubus & At the Mountains of Slumberland open the following Wednesday, the 8th, at 8.00 pm. Not a lot of time, and much to do. At least we're all cast and working, and the backing tracks for the NECROPOLIS plays are mostly recorded. Now I'm doing the sound editing/mixing, which, as always, is a slog. A fun one at times, but a slog.

I was up most of the night Wednesday (or rather, early Thursday) hacking out a rehearsal schedule for the four shows that would actually give us enough rehearsal time with each show before it opens, that would also actually work with the varied schedules of the 30-or-so actors involved. And I think I licked it. The actors seem to think so, at least. When I'm not on the computer doing the sound work, Berit is on designing prop pieces or putting together the postcards, which we need to send out soon to the printer. So there's been a few images batting about the desktop for research for the giant (8.5 x 5.5") card we're doing for the three NECROPOLIS shows:

for At the Mountains of Slumberland:
Little Nemo Wakes

for Kiss Me, Succubus:
Une Vierge Chez Les Morts Vivants

for World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed:
World Gone Wrong - Ned and Christina

But now I'll take a break from dialogue editing to check my blogs and listen to some music -- iPod now at 21,016 songs, 72.57 gigs, and here's what's random:

1. "In a Hurry" - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Ubiquity Studio Sessions Vol.3—Strings & Things
2. "Young Savages" - Martin Denny - Ultra-Lounge 17: Bongoland
3. "Roadrunner (live)" - The Modern Lovers - Precise Modern Lovers Order: Live In Berkeley & Boston
4. "I Can't Get Next to You" - The Temptations - Hitsville U.S.A., The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971
5. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)" - Pet Shop Boys - Please
6. "I Love You" - The Velvet Underground - Peel Slowly and See
7. "Cool" - Lou Busch & His Orchestra - Ultra-Lounge 4: Bachelor Pad Royale
8. "Mirage" - Tommy James & The Shondells - Bubblegum Classics Volume 3
9. "Fortune Teller" - The Throb - Before Birdmen Flew - Australian Beat, R&B & Punk: 1965-1967 Vol. 2
10. "The Fun We Had" - The Ragamuffins - Pebbles Volume 4 - Surf'n Tunes!

Okay, I can allow myself another half-hour for myself, then back to the shows . . .
collisionwork: (Great Director)
Ah, the fun of deciding to come right off one of the biggest and most tiring projects you've ever done and overload yourself again immediately.

Gemini CollisionWorks (ie; me and Berit) pretty much have August to ourselves at The Brick, so, as mentioned before, I decided to take advantage of that by putting up a whole bunch of shows, namely NECROPOLIS #1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed, NECROPOLIS #0&3: Kiss Me Succubus/At the Mountains of Slumberland, and The Hobo Got Too High.

Yeah, smart.

I figured as they were all shows I'd done before, and not technical monsters for the most part, no problem. I was also somewhat relying on having more members of the original casts back, for some reason (I only had the vague statements from some people that, yeah, they'd like to do that show again sometime). So there's been more running around to recast than I anticipated. I asked all the original cast members for World Gone Wrong and Hobo, and the ones I still thought would be interested from the other two shows, and wound up with less than half the casts for the NECROPOLIS plays, and three out of four for Hobo.

(having one of the original actors from World Gone Wrong marrying one from Slumberland with many of the other actors from those shows attending the wedding, which is in the middle of our run, or even being in the wedding party I believe, has not helped casting or scheduling either)

So, we sent out a notice on some lists of Glory Bowen's and Edward Einhorn's (thank, guys), and we had auditions these last three days.

MASSIVE SIDELINE HERE: I hate doing auditions. I hate the process, I hate everything about it. So generally I find people I like from within what Scott Walters and others are accurately calling "the tribe" and work with them over and over -- some time soon, when I have a moment (HA!) I should talk about The Tribe process of theatre, which is pretty much the model I've been working in for 11 years now, and how it works (and doesn't). One thing I've realized in seeing the posts about this idea is that the most fruitful tribes I've been a part of, as member or as boss (or, what I think is a more accurate term for this position in a tribe, "catalyst"), have all been based around a physical space - a theatre, a group of theatres, or a neighborhood. When the tribe becomes a single theatre company, it tends to turn in on itself and not work as well -- inbreeding produces defects. My old tribe was the one based around the L.E.S. theatres in general and the NADA theatres specifically (1996-2000), and when those lands grew barren, I and others wandered in the wilderness, foraging, until members of the tribe I had once been the catalyst for found themselves at The Brick, let the rest of us know it was a good home, with many trees and sweet water, and gradually we've brought much of the old tribe back together there, and stronger. Still, auditions are necessary to keep the tribe going - but in doing them, talking to the actors as people not as auditioners, and seeing if their mindset and personality fits the tribe, is as important as how well they can do the part. If so, great, more of us makes us stronger. Anyway . . .

Berit and I were amazed that for the first time in either of our experiences with a somewhat "open call," we didn't have any clunkers. Not a one. Amazing. All good actresses - and I normally have stopped using "actress" as a word distinct from "actor," but there's a point to be made there: I've only seen women thus far, and I still need men. At least three. The ratio of women to men I got from my casting announcement was 30:1. As in only one man actually responded. He wasn't able to make his audition time due to an emergency, and I'm hoping to meet him this afternoon. I have one other man to meet besides that. And, actually, I need one more man on top of that. So, I'm scrambling. What else is new?

But the women are set. I had three women have to drop out of World Gone Wrong in the last few days due to schedule conflicts, but luckily had good people from the auditions to step right in. So, I've asked six women from the auditions to come in and fill seven roles in three of the plays, and asked one man I know if he'd do another two parts. Three of the women, Jody, Olivia, and Sammy, have signed on. Three haven't yet responded. The guy is still thinking about it. I need at least another three men on top of that, and have only two to see. {sigh} Great. I'll make it work.

I haven't emailed the other women I saw to tell them "Sorry, no part for you" yet, as I may need them if one of the people I've asked says no. However, from their emails, I know that some of them have been looking at this blog . . . well, if that's you, you were great, but I asked someone else first, and if they say no, you're in.

(I can't stand saying no to actors who were perfectly good for a part, but someone else was just slightly more perfectly good than them -- oh, it drives me nuts!)

And hip hooray, one more actor, Amy, has just emailed after I typed all the above and accepted the hard-to-cast role of Little Nemo in Slumberland! Well, that makes my day, somewhat.

Amy wants to have a character meeting this afternoon, so I'll try and work that out. When working on this tight a schedule, with pretty much no rehearsals where you can actually get the whole cast together in one place at one time, and very few rehearsals in any case, it's a hugely good idea to have as many individual meetings with the performers where you mostly sit and go over the script line-by-line, moment-by-moment, in great detail.

Yesterday, I spent four hours at The Brick doing this with Jessica Savage, who, like me, is crazy enough to be acting in three of the plays. We talked a lot about Succubus, blocked her scenes in WGW and worked them each a little bit, and then worked her scenes for Hobo in more detail (we blocked that whole show on Saturday with the entire cast, thankfully). Good hard detailed work. And, to my great relief, she was cool about and calmed my anxieties regarding one of the most uncomfortable parts that sometimes comes up as actor-producer-director: saying to an actress you don't know all that well, "Okay, here's the part where we're making out, and later we'll do the part where we're pretending to have sex." Yeah, never comfortable. Having my fiancee in the room taking down blocking may decrease the discomfort however.

Then last night we sat around at Alyssa Simon's talking with her about the world of Succubus and the character of Lucille in WGW. And that was work, and worthwhile.

Today, maybe meet with Amy, definitely meet with Aaron, maybe audition another guy. Tonight, try and pin down the people I've asked who haven't answered. Next two days, get the publicity and AEA materials out, set up character meetings with the other new people and then have them, and find the last cast members.

And in the midst of this, I have to pull together and rehearse the two Suzan Lori-Parks 365 Days/Plays pieces I have going up on Saturday and Sunday. Okay. Better go do that now . . .

So, for those interested (those of The Tribe that read this), here are the casts as they stand for the four plays:

NECROPOLIS #1&2: World Gone Wrong/Worth Gun Willed (after film noir) by Ian W. Hill

Ian W. Hill -- BILL, the Fall Guy, a Private Eye
Art Wallace -- CHARLIE, a Traveling Salesman
Gyda Arber -- DOLORES, the Good Girl, Bill's better half
pending -- RACHEL, a Gal Friday, Bill's secretary
Jessica Savage -- AURORA, a Rich Spoiled Nympho
Stacia French -- CHRISTINA, a Femme Fatale
Danny Bowes -- DOMINICK, a Beatnik Bartender
Olivia Baseman -- IDA, a Blowzy Waitress
Aaron Baker -- STEVE, the Long Arm of the Law
uncast -- ARTHUR, a Doomed Man Who Knows Too Much
Yvonne Roen -- KITTY, a Harpy
Iracel Rivero -- THERESA, a Newspaper Reporter
Alyssa Simon -- LUCILLE, a Faded Spitfire, the entertainer
Christiaan Koop -- INGRID, a Magazine Editor, in charge of information
pending -- WILBUR, a Gunsel
Bryan Enk -- JOHNNY, a Flunky
Roger Nasser -- TINY, a Goon
uncast -- LOUIS, a Torpedo
Sammy Tunis -- BRIDGET, a Moll, an angel in the wreckage
Ken Simon -- THOMAS, the Businessman, a gangster
Adam Swiderski -- NED, the Avenger, Bill's partner and dream-doppelganger, another Private Eye

NECROPOLIS #0&3: Kiss Me, Succubus (after Jess Franco, Radley Metzger, et al.)/At the Mountains of Slumberland (after Winsor McCay and H.P. Lovecraft) by Ian W. Hill

Alyssa Simon -- HIS WIFE
Jody Christopherson -- HIS MISTRESS
uncast -- HIS GUEST
uncast -- THE INCUBUS

Amy Liszka -- LITTLE NEMO
Bryan Enk -- CAPT. NEMO and CHORUS
pending -- PICKMAN and CHORUS
Sammy Tunis -- CHORUS
Gyda Arber -- CHORUS
pending -- CHORUS

The Hobo Got Too High by Marc Spitz

Ian W. Hill -- BUG BLOWMONKEY, a troubled young man
Jessica Savage -- SHELLY, a ghost, and NEW-SHELLY (aka MARTHA), a ray of hope
Rasheed Hinds -- MARVIN GAYE, Marvin Gaye
Roger Nasser -- EVERYONE ELSE, many unpleasant people

With any luck, more soon . . .


collisionwork: (Default)

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