collisionwork: (Default)
In the last two days, various trips, calls, and emails have bought a cake and arranged for it to be at the wedding, settled a rehearsal schedule for the wedding-play itself, gotten the Actors Equity Showcase approval for the wedding, finalized the rights with Samuel French for performing Devils in August, put together the entire United Stages program for the wedding, conducted two on-line interviews about the wedding (one short, one VERY long, with two new follow-up questions that came in this morning yet to finish), taken the car to the mechanic for checkup, created a four-hour mix for The Brick's iPod of songs on the theme "too soon" to play between shows in the Too Soon Festival, and settled numerous other matters that have come in that I can't remember. And everything, thus far, has been falling into place incredibly well.

So it's been a GOOD couple of days of everything happening the way it should. Now I wait for the other shoe to drop. And now I also rush to get ready for the opening cabaret of the Festival tonight . . .

Here's a Random Ten for today from the playlist of unheard songs on the iPod (with video links where available):

1. "You Can Have Watergate But Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight (Parts 1 & 2)" - Fred Wesley & The JB’s - James Brown's Funky People (Part 2)
2. "I Wanna Get in Your Pants" - The Cramps - Look Mom No Head!
3. "Talkin' Loud And Saying Nothin' (Original Rock Version)" - James Brown - James Brown's Funky People (Part 3)
4. "Sittin' On A Fence" - The Rolling Stones - Flowers
5. "All Your Love" - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
6. "I'm With Stupid" - Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental
7. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? ("Mistaken Version")" - Bob Dylan - 1965 Single
8. "Look Back In Love (Not in Anger)" - The Yachts - D.I.Y.: Teenage Kicks - UK Pop I (1976-79)
9. "We Could Be So Good Together" - The Doors - Waiting for the Sun
10. "Lady Madonna" - Os Mutantes - Rato's Nostalgia Collection 21

(Berit woke up and started her day as the second song above was playing, and suggested every song from that one on as potentially appropriate for our wedding mix . . . she's so romantic)

Wow . . . nearly found a YouTube video for the actual recording of every song on today's Random Ten! Just that one obscure Dylan single blew it. Here's a video playlist of the whole bunch, with bonus track:

And some leftover cat shots from last week. A nice picture of Hooker's fur in windowsill light:
Fur Light

And another of the boy, enjoying my foot as a chinrest and hugging support while I write:
Floor, Foot, Grain

Okay, all goes well, but all goes QUICKLY. So off to the mechanic to get the car and drive on to create some more theatre . . .

collisionwork: (kovacs)
The Wedding is full speed ahead. Just about everything is arranged. The play is written and sent to the cast (with some additions/rewrites to come). The space is set. The reception restaurant is set. The photographer is set. I'm having a meeting about the cake today. The guests have mostly responded. My costume has mostly arrived, and the rest should come today by UPS. The additional chair rental for the theatre has been arranged.

A few things need to be finalized, mostly with the performance itself. It's proving pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to get the cast together for rehearsals and costume fittings. Argh. It's a wedding-play, and simpler than a usual play on the cast, but there's still work and staging that has to happen. Don't know when right now, but somehow we'll work this out.

Nice little promo stuff for The Too Soon Festival that includes bits about the Wedding at and More to come, I'm sure.

I've had a good four days of mostly having my own time to get my own work done this week, but suddenly I'm back to engagements keeping me from the work for the next three or so days -- starting tonight with seeing Dénouement at The Brick tonight, working with David Finkelstein then at The Brick tomorrow, then seeing family on Sunday, then seeing the entire Cremaster Cycle at IFC Center on Monday (not the greatest timing, but it's there and I'd like to see it while I can, so . . .). Then I can get back to working on the shows and cleaning up the apartment (another immense job that must get done shortly).

In the midst of this, I'm getting back to planning out the August shows -- finishing the writing of Spacemen from Space and the cutting of Devils. And, hopefully, many of the cast members I'd like to do the shows will be on board. if not, I can look forward to a frenzied audition period coming up. {sigh}

And here's this week's Random Ten out of 3,108 songs in the "A Brandnew Bag" playlist in my iPod (of songs that have been sitting there for years without getting played). Another 10 down, maybe including ones I can drop to make room for the Janelle Monae EP and CD that just showed up in the mail (hooray!). Ten songs, with associated videos, for yer dining and dancing pleasure:

1. "Old Man" - Neil Young - Greatest Hits
2. "Merry-Go-Round" - Wild Man Fischer - An Evening with Wild Man Fischer
3. "I Must Go" - Squeeze - Cool For Cats
4. "A Big Hunk Of Love" - Elvis Presley - A Big Hunk Of Love
5. "Billy's Birthday" - Romeo Void - Instincts
6. "Bring Back Reality" - Snakefinger - Manual Of Errors
7. "Elizabeth Dreams" - Status Quo - Messages from the Status Quo
8. "Rebel Never Gets Old (single edit)" - David Bowie (remixed by Go Home Productions) - GHP Complete - CD12 Official Remixes Vol. 1
9. "Hang Fire" - The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You
10. "Wasteland" - Pere Ubu - Wayne Kramer Presents Beyond Cyberpunk

And here's the video playlist for most of the above -- it looks like I'll NEVER be able to find a full Random Ten list of mine on YouTube, but there are some good substitutions in there (and a bonus track) . . .

And kitty photos from this week -- Hooker enjoying the breeze coming through the window in our hot apartment:
Window Light

Moni curled up into a ball on undifferentiated fur on the couch:
Pile of Fur

And Moni leaning in to clean Hooker's head:
Cleaning Head

Time to go -- I have to see a woman about a cake . . .

collisionwork: (Great Director)
So, now that the invites have gone out, and mostly have made it to their intended recipients, I can share the invite/show postcard.

Here it is, our card for The Wedding of Berit Johnson & Ian W. Hill: A Theatre Study by Ian W. Hill & Berit Johnson:

THE WEDDING - card front

THE WEDDING - card back

We're rather pleased with this. We had the design concept together, and both worked on finding the inspirational research materials. I did much of the writing, with input from Berit, and she did the entire layout, with input from me.

Now onto finishing up the script/planning for the performances . . .


May. 15th, 2010 03:46 pm
collisionwork: (sleep)
I am massively tired from a week of work on the wedding and the Tiny Theater Festival, which goes up again tonight and is a bit of a marathon to run for me, up in the tech booth.

I have not the energy for more of a full post right now. More soon with wedding updates.

in the meantime, here once again is a weekly Random Ten (with video links to the songs or something similar), again from the 3,169 tracks in a playlist of songs on the iPod that haven't ever gotten a listen on there yet . . .

1. "Think Twice Before You Go" - John Lee Hooker - The Ultimate Collection: 1948-1990
2. "Livin' On" - The 13th Floor Elevators - Bull Of The Woods
3. "Is It Love?" - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4. "River" - Joni Mitchell - Blue
5. "Come on Baby Let's Go Downtown" - Neil Young - Tonight's The Night
6. "Eskimo Blue Day" - The Gun Club - Pastoral Hide and Seek
7. "Living In China" - Men Without Hats - Rhythm Of Youth
8. "Reminisce (Part Two)" - Dexy's Midnight Runners - Don't Stand Me Down - The Director's Cut
9. "Year Of The Guru" - The Animals - Every One Of Us
10. "Lucifer Sam" - Pink Floyd - The Pop Side of The Floyd 1967-1972

And here's the video playlist of the songs above that I could find on YouTube:

Back soon, with . . . something . . . I need a nap . . .


Apr. 23rd, 2010 11:34 pm
collisionwork: (Default)
This week has been quietly spent switching back and forth between projects, doing little bits and pieces here and there.

The primary focus has been the continued writing of Spacemen from Space, which keeps coming in fits and starts -- suddenly I'll have 5 pages come out of me in one fast burst, and then nothing for a day. The characters inspire me differently -- there's 21 of them that I'm juggling, trying to keep the various plot threads in play -- it's inspired by and a parody of 1930s movie serials (in six episodes to run one after the other, but it's still a play, not meant to be split up into separate pieces), but because I'm trying to get in elements of several different kinds of serials, I have more plot and characters than you'd actually see in any one serial -- I have a "Commando Cody" - type figure ("Rocket Brannon"), a Gene Autry-type ("Cowboy Adam"), who both have assorted sidekicks, comic relief figures, and love interests, as well as some G-Men, some scientists, and two villainous figures, a masked supervillain ("The Lavender Spectre") and some aliens from the planet Ataraxia. A nice group. One character, though, has become a clear favorite -- "Chickie West," a tough-talking dame newspaper reporter. Whenever she shows up, she tends to take over the script for a little while. She talks in a constant rhythmic patois of 30s slang with melodic, machine-gunned cadences that are so delicious to write I have to force her offstage to control her (which is what the other characters are generally trying to do anyway).

I joking suggested in a status update on Facebook that I should maybe toss out the rest of the play and just write a series, The Chickie West Mysteries. A couple of people suggested this might be a more fruitful path than struggling with Spacemen, and certainly it's a spinoff I'd love to produce at some point, but apart from the character and her mode of speech, there's no there there -- I at least know where Spacemen is supposed to go - though my original outline has been considerably tossed out as I've turned out to be creating a far better structure on the fly - and have not one idea for another Chickie West series. So, that sometime later. Now, I keep plugging at Spacemen so it'll be ready for August to run in rep with Devils.

As for that show, it's still sitting there, waiting to be cut by about a half-hour. I think the two shows will work nicely in rep, as they are designed to -- they are both about anti-intellectualism and the use of fuzzy religious or spiritual thinking in stomping down clear, rational modes of thought and discourse, Devils in a nasty, unpleasant hit-you-in-the-face manner and Spacemen from Space in a completely hidden, comic, spoonful-of-sugar way.

I was also somewhat thinking of the way Ken Russell made two films in 1971 with much of the same cast and crew: his film version of the same play, The Devils, and the sweet and beautiful and meaningless film of Sandy Wilson's retro musical The Boy Friend, as if making one of those pieces meant he HAD to make the other one. I feel much that way, as if in order to allow myself to give in to the viciousness of Devils and the silliness of Spacemen, I have to do both.

And before the August shows, we of course have our June wedding, currently going by the title The Wedding of Berit Johnson & Ian W. Hill: A Theatre Study by Ian W. Hill & Berit Johnson (though actually, it's really solely "by" me, as usual, with input from Berit -- I just wanted the balance in the title, and maybe wanted to encourage B to give some extra input on this piece). I have lots of pieces for this, with no clear structure yet, except for the general structure you'd find at any wedding.

We've more been focused this week on the reception and so forth going on around the wedding-performance -- we will be doing four performances of this wedding-play in The Brick's Too Soon Festival: a "rehearsal dinner"/"critic's preview" performance on June 19; the actual "wedding," invitation-only, for friends and family with proper reception after on the 20th; and two encore/revival performances of the wedding later that week. Today we met with a woman at the restaurant where the reception will be to discuss seating arrangements, menu, and the like. It was a wonderful and calming meeting, which we needed. After that, we felt so good, and it was such a lovely day, we decided to amble down further in our neighborhood to Coney Island for lunch at Nathan's and a trip to the NY Aquarium, which was packed, primarily with Orthodox Jews, interestingly -- certainly a large demographic in this area, but unexpected on a Friday (though sundown is late these days). A full day, and now -- when this post is done -- back to real work.

As for this week's Random Ten, I'm picking it from a smaller section of the iPod. I've noted every week the total number of tracks in the iPod -- this week, it's 25,431 -- that the ten are randomly coming from. However, while trying to see what could be cut from the iPod to make space, I discovered that almost half of the tracks in this little device -- 12,021 -- have been sitting there and never been played. Which would seem to suggest that I wouldn't miss them if I cut them all, but a look over the list indicates a lot of good stuff in there (I don't load anything into the iPod unless I REALLY think I'd like to hear it on a random play while driving sometime), and I made another list of songs in the iPod that haven't got a spin that I know deserve to be in there (currently at 3,333 tracks).

So I've mainly been playing this list recently, while driving or walking -- and today was one of those days where the iPod just seems to KNOW what music should be the underscore, as our pleasant, ambling drive from Williamsburg to Coney Island was scored by the loud, Summery sounds of T-Rex, The Dictators, Black Sabbath, The Dickies, Cheap Trick, The Ventures, Tom Jones, and early Dylan and Stones. Perfect cruising tones.

And here's a Random Ten from that playlist, with links to YouTube videos of the specific song, or something similar from the band or artist:

1. "World Destruction (single version)" - Time Zone featuring Africa Bambaataa & John Lydon - World Destruction 12"
2. "No Head No Backstage Pass" - Funkadelic - Let's Take It To The Stage
3. "Caveman Raveman" - The Revillos - Attack of the Giant Revillos
4. "He Doesn't Go About It Right" - We The People - Mindrocker 60's USA Punk Anthology Vol 6
5. "What Do You Do When Love Dies?" - Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis (Deluxe Edition)
6. "Papa Satan Sang Louie" - The Cramps - Fiends of Dope Island
7. "Miss Gradenko" - The Police - Synchronicity
8. "The Intergalactic Laxative" - Donovan - Cosmic Wheels
9. "Trouser Freak" - The Bonzo Dog Band - Cornology Vol. 3 - Dog Ends
10. "Tryouts For The Human Race" - Sparks - The Best Of Sparks

Hey, why not put together an entire video playlist of all the YouTube links above? Here you go, 11 videos (I've included a spare based on the song that came up next, and those of you on Facebook will have to follow the link to my original post to see this):

Only one (not-so-great) picture of our two monsters this week, here with Berit's foot on the couch . . .
Pile on Couch

But I have some shots from when I was in Maine of me with the aged cat, Bappers . . .
Chest Bappers

And the adorable young dog, Sasha . . .
Lap Sasha

This week, I discovered that some good background input to have on while I write are visually stimulating movies that I know very well and don't have to pay much attention to. So I've gone through much of the Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger (and Powell alone) canon, and have moved on to the films of Mario Bava. And so, with Kill, Baby . . . Kill! playing, back to work . . .


Feb. 12th, 2010 01:07 pm
collisionwork: (hair)
More work on everything still taking longer than it should.

I'm close to finished with my work on the Devils script, and every day go back to it several times, and every time now I change my mind about what I think of it. Is it too big? Too unwieldy? Completely wrong for The Brick? For me? Sometimes I'm overwhelmingly happy with it, and then I look again and it's not at all the play I was interested in directing. I can't tell what it is anymore. Reading it right now feels more like Robert Altman meets A Little Piece of the Sun meets the 17th Century, and I'm not sure that's what I was intending. Sometimes it seems like an NC-17 version of something they'd do at The Pearl, and that's not quite what The Brick seems to be about.

I think the next step with this one is to set up a reading -- preferably with the "dream cast" I have in my head for it (27 people, oy), and some other friends -- and hear it and see what works and what doesn't, if anything. Berit also has to read it first when I'm finished with it -- I have all the scenes and dialogue in order now, but I need to write all the stage directions and clean it up so it makes sense.

The Wedding play is coming along more steadily. Luckily, a number of ideas for it emerged that have made the whole thing much clearer. I'm still waiting back to see if the entire "cast" can do it (Berit doesn't like me to call them the "wedding party," but really that's the "character" our "cast" will kind of be playing). Other planning goes on -- getting the dates set for the three other performances besides the "real" one, renting extra chairs for the "real" one, and so on and so forth. We've seen friends go through the pre-wedding craziness a few times in the past few years, and I overconfidently thought we wouldn't have nearly the trouble, as for Berit and I it would just be like doing a show. Now I've realized, Oh, right, Berit and I go completely nuts ourselves when doing any of our own shows on this scale, so it's going to be the same as doing an immense show for us, with the added fun of dealing with extra "spaces" and "designers" that are more outside our control than usual. Also, on the shows, decisions are a lot easier -- we're still at a loss on where to begin with what kind of cake we want -- we know several bakeries we like and will check out, but every time we discuss the cake, we get bogged down in too many possibilities. {sigh} Well, it's all happening. I just want it all happening faster.

And Spacemen from Space has stalled in the writing. I'm worried about getting it done now in time for this year. I need a second show -- I can't just do Devils as I can't afford the rights to enough performances to fill up the whole month -- and I've made it a rule that at least ONE of my August shows every year has to be an original written or co-written by me (The Brick also is really about new, original work, and I always feel a bit guilty about the revivals I do, no matter how changed or re-interpreted). But right now, this show just isn't coming out of my brain. Maybe when I get the others out I'll be able to focus better.

So in between writing, walking around the neighborhood, or sitting around feeling blocked and frustrated, I've been watching a lot of Jean-Luc Godard. But that's another blog post (to come shortly).

As for now, here's today's Friday Random Ten, with associated video links, from the 25,442 tracks in the iPod . . .

1. "What Can I Do For You?" - Bob Dylan - Saved
2. "Diamond Dew" - Gorkys Zygotic Mynci - Barafundle
3. "Lifetime Piling Up" - Talking Heads - Sand In The Vaseline
4. "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky (alternate take)" - Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series - Volume 3: Rare & Unreleased, 1961-1991
5. "Too Much Junk" - The Alleycats - Dangerhouse Volume Two
6. "Rooster Blues" - Lightnin' Slim - Excello Story, Volume 3: 1957 - 1961
7. "It's Now Or Never" - El Vez - Graciasland
8. "Ain't No Tellin'" - Mississippi John Hurt - 1928 Sessions
9. "Deep Purple/'S Wonderful" - Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman - Ultra-Lounge 18: Bottoms Up
10. "East To The West" - Anti-Pasti - Rondelet Records Punk Singles Collection

And two cat pictures from last night. First the two, curled up and sound asleep together . . .
Double Kitty Curl

But then they woke up, and of course I couldn't get Moni to look at me no matter what (Hooker, as usual, obliged):
Piles of Fur

I had to go out and get groceries in the middle of the snowstorm a couple of days ago. And despite how I look in this picture, I enjoyed the walk (all the photos of me looking cheerful also make me look demented):
Snow Day

Someone had built a snowman in front of the building (not these people, who were playing with it; they wanted to know where it came from):
Snow Day - snowman

The day itself seemed to be black and white, and the snow on the branches was almost an eye-straining optical illusion:
Snow Day - close branches

But if you pulled back, you saw a pretty, snowy Brooklyn street:
Snow Day - 2nd Street

Finally made it to the supermarket, where they weren't bothering to clean up the outside too much:
Snow Day - at Kosher Corner

And, as always, time to get back to work . . .

collisionwork: (kwizatz hadarach)
The heading is simple for those who know the people, but I like the look of those three words oddly together, and how it might appear to those who don't know.

In any case, Qui Nguyen and Abby Marcus of the theatre company Vampire Cowboys were just married over the weekend (I don't remember which day, only that Qui announced on Facebook that he was going to "marry the shit out of Abby" that day), and I probably wouldn't have brought it up here were I not so completely and utterly taken with the sweetness of the photo Qui posted over on his blog, Beyondabsurdity, HERE.

I am filled with awe. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!.

Congratulations Qui! Congratulations Abby!

I was also reminded that once again, B & I have forgotten our "anniversary" day, September 4. I remembered on the 2nd, then forgot. Then on the 7th, and then forgot. Then on the 12th, and . . . well, you get it. I don't think she's remembered at all. I think I'll let her find out from when she gets to this post. So, eight years now. Huh. Amazing. We'll probably deal with marriage next year or the following - next year would be nice just to finally GET IT DONE, but Berit makes the point that marrying in 2010 will make remembering the year pretty easy - we'd also like to get married on June 20, as that's halfway between our two birthdays (June 16 and 24) to make that easier to remember, too (we think - knowing us . . . well, we'll see how likely it really is).

I still have to write and design the service, which will be performed in a theatre as a multimedia performance piece. We're hoping that The Brick will decide on a Summer Festival theme that our wedding will fit into, so we can do an actual 4-performance "run" of the wedding in the Festival (one performance would be the "actual" wedding, by special invite only).

But that's in the future. Today, we run another show together at The Brick. Tomorrow, we have a day off, so maybe we do something nice together - oh, wait, we have a board meeting in the evening for UTC#61. Well, maybe we'll do something before that. Then, we're back on Clown Festival work through Saturday. Wheee.

And from the past eight years . . .
Rock Band Party - I & B
Niagara Falls, ON - Ian & Berit #2
First Photo Booth Picture
Berit & Ian at The Gates
Molde, Norway - August, 2002

We're very very fortunate.


collisionwork: (Default)

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