collisionwork: (crazy)
Well, here I am, a day late on my weekly posting, and here we are, Berit and I, with two more days of rehearsals to go, today and tomorrow, one rehearsal each for each of the four August shows. Today, Sacrificial Offerings and then Blood on the Cat's Neck, tomorrow, George Bataille's Bathrobe and then A Little Piece of the Sun. We open the first show two weeks from yesterday.

Everything with the shows themselves is going well. All of them will now get one more rehearsal (which means anywhere from one to four run-throughs at that rehearsal), two tech rehearsals, and a preview before opening. That's more time, and runs, with shows this ready, and opening this far away, than I have ever had. I'm still occasionally freaking out. Of course.

Looking back, this is almost the same entry as last week. Well, actually, I'm less freaked now. A lot. Still . . .

The first techs won't be 100% complete. I'm still rushing to have most of the sound cues ready. Tonight's my one and only real time to get a lot of that work done, and it's slow going most of the time (sometimes just as I wait for multi-track files to be mixed down in GarageBand). I have all the music set for Bathrobe and Blood, but now I have to pretty much compose Little Piece's sound score. Things will get a lot simpler a lot faster now.

Berit has built a little scale model of the set from pipe cleaners and foam core, and actually looking at that makes me feel like the dreaded construction process on Monday won't be so bad. I'll have some photos of the funny little model and some other prop stuff soon (I'd have 'em now, but I left my camera in the car).

Oh, better get the Random Ten done. Here's what comes out of the 25,578 in the thing today . . .

1. "Your Heart Out" - The Fall - Dragnet
2. "The Cross" - Laibach - Jesus Christ Superstars
3. "Budweiser's a Friend of Mine" - Billy Murray - Victor-16049 78 rpm
4. "That's Pep" - Devo - Freedom of Choice
5. "Rhumba Chillen" - Albert Williams - Sun Records: The Blues Years 1950-1958 vol. 4
6. "Push Push" - Sunset Love - The History Of Texas Garage Bands In The '60s Volume 6: Psychedelic Flower Power with Sunset Love
7. "Your Love Is Burning Me" - Thane Russal & Three - Voyage Through The Sugarcube 1
8. "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss" - Yoko Ono - Onobox 4: Kiss, Kiss, Kiss
9. "El Mundo (Is A Weirdo)" - The Wayward Youth - El Mundo 7"
10. "Time Rarely Stands Still" - Guv'ner - Spectral Worship

Hooker gives not a damn for our work and stress; he just wants to know why Berit and I are never home anymore . . .
Hooker Wants Attention

And time to rush out the door and over to The Brick now. I think if I get all the stuff done between now and Friday that I'm supposed to, I'll be okay. Okay?

collisionwork: (lost highway)
The reading of The Confidence Man last night went fine - smaller audience than we'd hoped, and a lot less reactive than when we last did it -- Danny Bowes reminded me that it was April 1, 2007 in Coney Island, and that the show had run about three hours with no intermission that time - yikes! - it was almost 2 hours 30 minutes last night.

B & I are off very shortly for an all-day dry tech to have Penny Dreadful Episode 10 ready for tomorrow. It's a big, complex one, with a cast of 21 and two entirely different "mini-episodes" within it. And lots o' tech. And I return, acting, as George Westinghouse (so I've already shaved my beard back to the Westinghouse chops, which also worked well for the Melville reading last night).

The video of Episode 8, for those watching or catching up online, is now online HERE. Saturday night's performance of Episode 10 is sold out, but there are still some tickets available for the Sunday matinee.

Quick Friday Random Ten -- if I get a chance later tonight, I'll try and put some links to the music in there (but I don't think I'll find links to too many of these songs . . .):

1. "Shadow Of Fear" - Last Knight - Psychedelic Disaster Whirl
2. "She's My Baby" - Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
3. "I Feel Fine" - The Beatles - Past Masters, Volume 1
4. "One Of The Boys" - Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes
5. "Bad Little Woman" - The Wheels - Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond, Vol. 4
6. "The Day the World Turned Dayglo" - X-Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents
7. "Is It Living" - Fems - 7" EP
8. "Chessboxin' In Suffragette City (feat. Wu-Tang Clan) - Man-Cat - The Rise And Fall Of Thuggy Stardust And The Hustlers From Mars
9. "Slave Of Desire" - The New Dawn - The 60's Choice
10. "I've Told Every Little Star" - Linda Scott - Mulholland Drive

And whaddya know? It's the return of Friday Cat Blogging!

Here, Hooker and Moni enjoy their current "favorite spot," one of their oddest - on the arm of, and endtable next to, the sofa, as Berit computes . . .
Computer, Berit, Cat Butts

Hooker in another favorite spot that gets him scolded and squirted with the water bottle - rolling around on the power cords for the computers and A/V equipment . . .
Hooker Likes Power Cords

And, hey, I actually got the little bastards to pose for a nice portrait . . .
H&M Pose, Stare

Gotta run - hope to see some of you at Penny Dreadful . . .

Reactions

Jun. 9th, 2008 08:00 am
collisionwork: (Ambersons microphone)
People, for the most part, are enjoying Ambersons. Some are really digging it on its own as a theatre piece and experience, some are somewhat enjoying it for the historical recreation value, and some are rather intellectually enjoying it from a distance as (it was put to me by one person) an "experiment" - and he seemed to very much mean that in the test-tubes-and-bunsen-burner way, which is indeed how I see some of my theatre anyway (not so much this one, but whatever).

No expressions of dislike to my face as yet - like you get those too often - and very few reactions that sounded like someone trying to be polite who didn't like it (which I can pretty well suss by this point).

Two reviews as yet (and probably ultimately altogether) - a GIGANTIC SLAM from Backstage, and a PRETTY SERIOUS RAVE from nytheatre.com (no links - find 'em yourself if interested). And the slam is kinda stupid and missing-the-point (he seems to want a theatrical copy of cinematic techniques that just doesn't work in theatre - you can do it, but it looks stupid, has nothing to do with theatre, and at best comes off as a trick). Martin Denton's rave is nice and he pretty well gets it - and it's not like I haven't gotten raves that made me feel odd and unhappy because the reviewer liked the show but obviously didn't get it at all; Martin "got" this one. So that's all fine and good.

The Film Festival: A Theater Festival is also the Pick of the Week on nytheatre.com, which is nice, and is illustrated with a publicity still from Ambersons.

Damned hot weekend, much of which I spent at The Brick, even after Friday night's Ambersons. Saturday I was on duty for six hours for a tech for Tod & I, which opened yesterday for one of two performances (I probably won't get to see it, but it looked gorgeous, and Hope & Jeff (on duty for the show itself) told me the story was lovely. No one showed up for the 4 pm screening at the space which I was supervising, so I went home and spent the rest of the day and night fading in and out of sleep, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour at a time up or down. Sometime late, while barely awake, I got word from Berit, who had Michael from The Brick on the phone, that the lights at the space were blacking out and flickering during a show, which usually means that the dimmers are overheated and/or needing cleaning (which I should indeed have done before the Festival). I agreed to go over yesterday morning and clean them before the first show.

So I did, but the problem still existed. Everything was clean, and I now had a fan blowing on the dimmers, but no go, they kept going off and on at about 10-second intervals. This began some panic, as a show was coming in and setting up, and there was basically no lighting (and the show REQUIRES it - it's mostly shadow-puppets). Todd, the LD/operator for Tod & I came up to help me out, and we spent some time trying to find the problem - mainly, we were able to eliminate all the things that weren't causing it, while getting no closer to a solution (he put in a call to a friend of his for advice and I called ETC in the meantime). Todd, somewhat by chance, then held the fan up to the tiny vent on the control module on the dimmer pack, and the problem stopped. We tried it off and on for a bit, and it was clear that this was the source. The control module was dirty and/or overheating, so we pulled it out (after another call for advice on just how to do that, as it isn't obvious), hit it with the compressed air, replaced it, and all was well again (though we kept the fan going on it as well, just in case).

So this was a new one on me - I knew the dimmers needed to be cleaned with some regularity, but never knew about the control module. Now I do, and all is good - though I didn't feel all that good after being silly and using that much canned compressed air in the tiny space of The Brick's tech booth without regular breaks for fresh air (it's not good for you, and it says so on the label, if I'd been smart enough to look - mainly, it just left an awful metallic taste in my mouth that wouldn't go away).

Which leads me to my current source of nervousness - at some point yesterday, after going to The Brick for Stolen Chair's Kill Me Like You Mean It last night, the interior of the car began to REEK of spray paint. It didn't on the way over, but it did when I got something out of the car before the show (I didn't quite catch that it was coming from the car), and when I got in to drive home, it was overpowering.

So there's probably a can of spray paint in the car that got overheated and sprung a leak.

In the car. With the costumes and props for Ambersons. Underneath all of them where I can't get to it.

Silver spray paint, Berit says, as she ran out of the one other color she had been using. I've twice gone through what I can get to in the car to see if I can find it, but after taking everything out that can be easily grabbed, it's not there - all that's left is the immense pile of costumes that I can't take out because I have no place to pile them when I'm not at the theatre. And the smell, when trying to look for the can in a stationary car, without wind blowing through windows, is overpowering and nauseating and I can't keep looking for all that long.

So, I'll go over to the space a couple of hours early today to get all the stuff out carefully and try and find the problem element, and hope that none of the rented costumes were hit - the spray paint would have been inside a plastic bag, maybe even two bags, so that should help, but who knows how much. I hope the costumes don't wind up reeking too much of it - maybe some serious Febreezing will be in order . . .

{sigh}

So there's the day and week. Show tomorrow and Thursday (and that's IT for this show - no way I can extend it, as I can't afford the costume rental again), then focus more on the Festival in general and the August shows in particular as I can. Should get back to writing this week on Spell and Everything Must Go and recast the actress I lost from the former of those.

Okay, back to the needed relaxing before the back to work . . .

collisionwork: (sign)
The Baby Jesus One-Act Jubilee: Second Coming opens tomorrow at The Brick.

Berit and I have teched all the shows the last two days, and, amazingly, everything's run smoothly and the 12 shows look good - even with rushing each piece in and out of tech in 45 minutes. I'm pleased with my direction of Marc Spitz's Marshmallow World in the "Marys" program (and Aaron Baker, Alyssa Simon, Jason Liebman, and myself are all having a hard time not cracking up at each other's work - it's a funny piece).

Follow the link above for info on showtimes/dates - we basically run the next three Thursdays through Saturdays - and come on by if interested.

(you will also get to see Berit and I together on stage in non-speaking roles in The Bender Family Christmas)

Today I run around for the last props and costumes I need, and just keep running my lines for the Spitz piece, which I actually have down, but don't want to lose. Back on Friday.

collisionwork: (sign)
Back from away. Happy cats. Won't leave us alone.

We were going to spend Tuesday at The Brick fully restoring the house plot for the December shows coming up (the last two shows almost completely rehung and recabled and due to some changes in who was supposed to do what when, Berit and I got stuck with the last third-or-so of the restore), but I had too much email business built up to take care of - invoicing for money owed on shows directed or teched (I get WAY too lackadaisical about this until I NEED THE CASH NOW!), answering questions from people coming into the space shortly, casting the Spitz short that is coming up fast, etc. So Tuesday was spent on that.

Yesterday, Berit and I went over to The Brick to work and we should have started much earlier - fixing the patch (her job - she handles the lightboard) and recabling the lights (my job - I handle the hardware) wound up being more of a pain than expected. After two shows in recabling things up there, there's now a giant mess of unnecessary jumpers all over the grid. And I had to add a few more to get things working ASAP.

After the January show (Frank Cwiklik's Bitch Macbeth, which I acted in in both the previous versions - 2001 at Access, 2003 at The Kraine), I should have a chance to tear everything down and start from scratch and make it clean and efficient again. Maybe then we'll also finally be able to add the top border pieces Berit and I have wanted to do for some time now, to clean up the line there.

So today we have three hours (between a class and a rehearsal) to go in and focus the lights and dress the cables, which probably won't be enough, so I'll have to finish during the day tomorrow, as we get set up for The Brick's Quinquennial Party. Berit and I were going to have a video/performance piece for this, but between the extra time going into the house plot and the Spitz play, it ain't gonna happen. Pity. It was rather specific for the event, so it just goes into the hopper of unrealized paper projects - a couple hundred by now, probably.

Well, while I have about 5-8 unrealized projects for every one I get done, it's not like I'm not overburdened anyway, and I usually wind up cannibalizing the good bits anyway of the paper projects anyway - the "post-apocalyptic acting company" framework I placed around my original production of Ten Nights in a Bar-Room was nicked from an unrealized combined re-construction/collision of The Wild Duck, The Pelican, and The Seagull (to be called Bird/BRAINS) that David LM Mcintyre and I were going to do after Even the Jungle.

I just spent some time typing out a description of what tomorrow's piece was going to be and it got me so excited about trying to do it again that I'm going to wait and see if there's ANY way I can get it done today/tonight. If I can't, I'll post the description tomorrow.

The problem is that besides the immediate work at The Brick, I'm still dealing with casting for the Marc Spitz short. I had three out of four cast, with two possibilities for the fourth, when one of the cast had to pull out as he hadn't looked closely enough at the schedule and turned out to have conflicts. So now it's just me and Alyssa Simon in the show. It's less than 10 minutes long, and not-at-all staging heavy, but I'd like a good 10 hours of rehearsal work on it at least, and time is getting short (we tech the individual show on Monday, have a tech with the whole program on Wednesday, and open on Thursday).

I have one actor still checking schedule to see if he can do it who can play either of the roles, and another who can do it, and is perfect for one of the roles, but can't make a lot of rehearsal time, or either of the techs (but works FAST and gets things right, right away). And now I have emails out to several other actors, and am waiting for responses.

Not a great time of year to try and cast something, especially when the last performance is on December 22. It seems like everyone's leaving town on the 20th or 21st. One of the roles can be played by many different types of actors, but the other has certain specific demands that make it more difficult to cast. We HAVE to rehearse on Saturday.

Ah, the joys of casting. I'll be happy when I have everything set, cast-wise at least, for all my 2008 shows by the end of January. At least that's the plan . . .

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
I needed some production photos quick for publicity purposes, so I asked some of the actors who live near The Brick to come by last night and get into costume and get some photos after the shows were over. Gyda Arber and Bryan Enk were able to make it - and thanks for the loan of the camera and for uploading the shots to Gyda.


So here's some of what the show pretty much looks like. Here I am as Hamlet with Enk as Polonius (". . . conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive . . ."):


Hamlet & Polonius #2


With Gyda as the Norwegian Captain, talking of futile war:


Hamlet & The Captain #2


And the two of us again, looking out on the Norwegian troops being sent to their deaths in Poland:


Hamlet & The Captain #3


And finally, the shot you have to get, Hamlet with Yorick:


Hamlet & Yorick


Now, a rush. Shower and shave, off to Staples for new programs, off to Big Apple Lights to exchange a loaner piece of equipment with our repaired one (the "brain" for our practical dimmers), off to The Brick to put the piece in and then practice for a few hours. I'm feeling good, though Berit and I were at The Brick fixing tech things until 5.00 am again last night (this morning). Now to keep this up through the show.

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