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Tue, July 1, 2008

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Lisa Sadai            Anna
Elena Monigold            Claire
Sarah Caplan            Catherine
Saul Caplan            Director
Shannon Fent            Stage Manager
Deirdre Bray Root            Assistant Director
Blake Stuerman            Set Designer
Carol Finley            Costume Designer

for their successes at the 2008 Southwest Regional OCTAFest
with an excerpt from the Dayton Theatre Guild mounting of

David Mamet's

Boston Marriage

Here is the list of their wins:

  • Excellence in Acting - Lisa Sadai
  • Excellence in Acting - Elena Monigold
  • Excellence in Acting - Sarah Caplan
  • Outstanding in Directing - Saul Caplan
  • Excellence in Set Design - Blake Stuerman
  • Merit in Costuming - Carol Finley
  • and an invitation to take the performance to
    The 2008 State OCTAFest

    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: I did pretty well rehearsing "Act I" off-book last night. I did need to call for line more than a few times and missed several cues outright ‐‐ and in a couple spots I just did not know the line, though there were at least two times where I knew the sentiment, the thought, just not the words. I also can't say I was giving a full performance. I was often trying to remember. But, it's all part of "The Process" -- I use the term at the risk of causing at least one set of eyes to roll ‐‐ and, of course, as I get more comfortable and confident with the words....

    Would that I could get to "Act II" with the same accomplishment during this week of rehearsals, yet I have no time to sufficiently drill the line work. It'll have to be done over this three-day weekend we, here in the U.S., have coming up. So "Act II" doesn't get as attended to by me as "Act I" does until next week.

    The important note I got last night was that I am still "acting" more than "behaving" ‐‐ my wording ‐‐ which is really something I am aware of already. There are still some places where I don't yet know how Zipper delivers the line, so I'm still going big, i.e.: more dramatically than is necessary (more "acting" than "behaving").

    Zipper, in a related issue, moves from wise-cracking joe into dead-on, high-priced lawyer in a couple spots and I think at present I am bringing him over a little too soon. In those places he is in-your-face intense and they call for presentational delivery: the lawyer on cross examination. But the moments before are usually best played more casually, or at least not "intensely" those moments before are places for "bevavior."

    There are a few other lines that seem so inappropriate to the tension and drama going on in their moments that I have yet to come to Zipper's voice in those moments. One line in particular must be delivered exactly right or it will not work; delivered wrongly it will cause a pain-ridden groan to wash across the audience and come cascading up onto the stage.

    As for this "behaving" rather than "acting": the advice I was given last night was to relax a bit. It's certainly good and appropriate to try to delve deep into the character, but there is something to be said for allowing a lot of the character to surface during the rehearsal process, through the motions of doing the pages and responding to them and your fellow actors. Again, my paraphrase of what was said to me. I actually embrace that as part of what I do; I like both methods and employ them both in varying degrees.

    I will get more subtle with Zipper as I get more comfortable and familiar with him. I'll "act" less and "behave" more.

    JULY, 2008

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    Happy Birthday America! INDEPENDENCE DAY 1776-2008

    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: Overall, this has been a fruitful rehearsal week despite the on-book aspects. I have been relatively independent of the book for our Act I designation, and the others have really not relied on the book too heavily throughout the whole show ‐‐ they are all even less dependent than I for "Act II." And Mr. Williamson is the closest to totally off-book of any of us. It's also clear we each have sections where we are truly off-book. Much progress was made even with eyes often floating back to the pages in various spots.

    We were down one cast member every night. One was out of town on business, all but yesterday; another got delayed out of town yesterday. We still accomplished productive gains this week. A lot of blocking has been cleaned up and more importantly we are starting to really work on the dramatic performances.

    Myself, I got some bit of work on Zipper done, both through my own volition and through our director, Saul Caplan's insights. I hope over the course of this long weekend to advance Zipper greatly further. Of course, I am charged, as is the rest of the cast, to be off-book by Monday. As Mr. Caplan told us at end of rehearsal yesterday, "Monday, you drop the books."

    I have to admit that last night the mojo seemed to be off, at least for me. I suppose some of it was a variety of new elements thrown in: there were still only three of us, but it was a change-up in who one of those three were; we were on the main stage at The Playhouse rather than using The Guild stage, where we have been predominantly rehearsing; we were using some of the actual intended set pieces for the first time; I attempted most of "Act I" again without the book, and this time incorporating the new performance interpretations which were worked out Tuesday and Wednesday (when I had the book in my hand).

    There's one Zipper monologue, a reminiscence, that I felt particularly yukky about last night. This is a section that Saul specifically worked on with me and gave very specific ‐‐ and I must say "Dead On" ‐‐ direction. I know what needs done there, but last night it felt pretty lame to me. I chalk it up to it being the first time I went after it with the new direction and insight in a truly off-book attempt. And there is some diction in there that I need to be fully on top of. There is also a phrase that has to be said precisely, only because the paraphrase that seems to be coming to me naturally skews the intention of the sentence too terribly off the mark. Of course, it is important to avoid paraphrasing anyway, especially when presenting the performance of a new play in a festival where the book and its text is being presented over the production and performance ‐‐ but, this particular sentence is one I must be especially cognizant of saying exactly as written.

    The other big thing, a major thing, is getting those damned-able Zipper limerick songs into shape. I have yet to really get words to melody and chords. Dave played the actual uke for the first time last night but I was not at all prepared to sing the little ditties last night. Monday that has to happen, despite that he will be gone, out for the whole week. So, I suppose I will have to play the uke this coming week.

    This coming week we are going to be doing line work rehearsals, Monday and Wednesday, and maybe Thursday (if we don't drop the Thursday rehearsal); and I am not at all sure whether we have sights on a Friday rehearsal or not. I still think I ought to be working the singing of these limericks in, though.

    We are all off Tuesday because one of the cast will be at The Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio seeing Ringo in concert.

    Still have several lines that I have not come to an interpretation, a reading, a delivery that satisfies me. Although other lines have become quite obvious to me as I have come to grips with Zipper and since we all have come to closer and better understandings and agreements on the Big Picture.

    So what's in store for the rest of this long weekend?

    • Lines ‐‐ get all the words into my head; get "off-book" in all reality as well as studying the script deeper.

        -- and get the lines on sound files/CD.

    • Research and backstory ‐‐ without making it a major project, create a personal backdrop for Zipper (whose real full name I already have decided upon)

    • Limericks ‐‐ get the damned things musically ready.
    • Sound design ‐‐ gather together the sounds and get them organized and mixed/sweetened.

    Mon, July 7, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: First, here is my work for the weekend, presented in the present-tense journaling format, as I began to document it Saturday evening (during breaks, of course! )....

    • Polishing Off the Line Acquisition
    • Saturday, July 5

      7:05 pm:       Have been going after "Act II" for a while, since about noon. Taking a dinner break. Have five pages left to do memorization drills on; adds up to the last fifteen of Zipper's lines.

      8:11 pm:       Back to it.

      9:07 pm:       Done with the initial rote line drills of the last pages of the show, thus, done with the basic rote line drills of the show in general. Now it'll only be repetition drills of troublesome lines ‐‐ and I do indeed have some of those. With a couple of them it's just one damned word that keeps evading my recall!

      I will now go back to the point at the start of these last five pages and drill myself up to the end. Then I will go back several pages, start there and again drill to the end. I'll keep going a bit farther back and drilling to the end, until I get to the start of "Act II." I'll then drill all of this designated second act several times. After that I'll probably take a break before I drill the whole show multiple times.

      11:14 pm:       I am now in the midst of that break. Actually only went through the whole of "Act II" once, with a few rough spots. Still have decided to go after the whole play after this little break is done.

      Sunday, July 6

      12:57 am:       I got through the whole play once, again with some rough spots. But my brain is fried. I am off to bed. I'll get back to it in the morning.

      Also, need to get to all that other stuff: studying the script deeper (though a lot of that is happening as I drill the lines), getting the lines onto sound files/CD, Zipper's research and backstory, getting Zipper's limericks musically ready, and the production sound design.

      10:08 am:       K.L. Pours coffee. Finally, after a series of snooze alarm episodes, I drag out of bed. Next on the agenda, of course: COFFEE!

      Though I went to bed just after writing the 12:57 log entry above, I did read the whole play before going to sleep, which put my lights out at about 2:30. So, I am up and running here on about six and a half hours sleep, less than I prefer but a little too close to normal in recent times.

      So, a couple hours after I posted this entry I realized my math was wrong: 10:08-2:30 amounts to about SEVEN and a half hours, not six and a half.

      10:58 am:       About to head out to John Bryan State Park and/or Glen Helen Park to drill the lines.

      12:09 pm:       Just as I sit down at a picnic table in John Bryan, it hits me: I could have brought the uke and worked on the melody for Zipper's limericks! So oh well. Let's not go into why I first sit down so much later than I had decided to come to the park in the first place.

      12:38 pm:       Line study at John Bryan Park. As I am going through I am still finding spots where I can pull back on the intensity and the urgency, so that Zipper comes to a point relatively close to panic a bit later in the play. It is Saul's concept and a clear intent of the text (i.e. the playwright) that the sense or peril overcome the group in a cascade, with each character coming to his or her apex at different points, in different speeds and different intensities.

      1:46 pm:       Done with one run through. Still some stumbles; okay, a lot of stumbles. But I must say I do have the show in my head -- it just needs to be solidified stronger.

      And I really want to stay here in the park, but there is to much left to do that must be done at home.

    • Zipper's Limericks

    • 3:26 pm:       I had dropped by Yellow Springs for a short while, then did a little grocery shopping before I got back to the apartment to eat. Now I will work on those damned limericks.

      And I'm feeling like time's-a-wasting.

      3:56 pm:       Recording the limericks on the uke. Okay, so I have a chord progression, with the uke tuned to A-major, and a melody, all that are what I would describe as "passing," and that I suppose will do. Well, Art (aka: Dave Williamson), who plays the uke in the play, is not supposed to be terribly good, and the directions say that Zipper "mock sings." In other words, the sense is present in the script that this "music" is not meant to be fabulous.

      Good thing.

      Because what I have come up with is not.

    • Recording Things

    • 7:30 pm:       Recording the lines. Dinner break. I have finished recording the script on tape as well as capturing some cell phone rings, those to use in the sound design. Meanwhile, as I eat my tuna in mushroom soup, I have Lewis Black on the TV.

      9:22 pm:       Mixing and engineering sound. Discovered I made a major engineering blunder on the recording of my lines ‐‐ I essentially did not record a large portion in the middle. So THAT'S a bust. Well a lot of what I was delivering, recorded or not, was "take 1" style work, i.e.: a lot of little flubs and such that would have annoyed the piss out of me as I listened to the files. Whether or not I make another attempt at getting this recorded remains to be seen, since I am virtually off-book as it is.

      As well, the cell phone rings I tried to capture have too much room tone to them, and I didn't want to have to try to filter it all out, So I went to Sound Rangers and bought the damned things, as well as the muted sound of glass cracking and a door bell ‐‐ all needed for the production. I bought two new ring tone sound files, as I already had one (an unused Foley from The Chorus for Candice). One of the new ones I had to sweeten a little. I also used the start of a mp3 of a jazz recording for the fourth ring tone; had to sweeten that by dropping most of the low end of the EQ out as well as reducing the lower part of the mid range (to get a tinsel-like quality, as if it was coming from the small speaker on a cell phone).

    • Let's End This

    • 10:45-ish pm:       After having processed the pictures used in today's entry, I now will practice the limerick songs and then work on, at least, my trouble spots in the lines. And I will attempt to still get to bed at an intelligent time... (!!!)

    For the record, I made it to bed at about 1:00 am ‐‐ Not an Intelligent Time!

    Tonight we are, as stated, "off-book," and the rehearsal is officially designated as a "line run." We may or may not be on our feet to actually move in the blocking.

    And I have to debut Zipper's limerick melody; he sings three limericks but they share one melody line. Actually, there is a more poignant limerick later in the play that he does sans uke chords. There is no direct suggestion as to whether he speaks it or sings it a capella. Now that I have a melody, I may try to sing it, but if I do, I will sing it better than I have Zipper singing the other three (ya know, that "mock singing" the playwright indicates?). This last one is not Zipper trying to entertain with bawdy humor, it is he verging on sardonicism with a good portion of loathed culpability churned into the mix.

    STILL ME NEWS: Got word over the weekend from Director Beth McElhenny that the movie is currently being color corrected.

    Tue, July 8, 2008

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  • The Line Run ‐‐ Not at all bad for the first night off-book. I was happy with my own recall. I had a few stumbles, especially toward the end of the show. I had to call for line, I believe, about three or four times. Missed a couple cues, too. But it was still a satisfactory night for me. And I was told I was "about two percent away from word perfect."
  • Zipper's Limericks ‐‐ Saul didn't give any acting notes for the evening, but he did give me a note about the limerick songs. Essentially he told me they're too much of songs, in other words, too musical. So I have to trim back on melodic variety and such, probably reduce the chord changes, as well.
  • Sound Effects ‐‐ Going to reassign the jazz song as a ring tone from Art to someone else ‐‐ hell, maybe it'll become Zipper's. Saul feels that Art would consider a jazz tune as his ringer to be frivolous, that if he's going to listen to jazz it's going to be on his state-of-the-art sound system (that he undoubtedly has). Saul also wants at least two people to have a musical ring tone or none; I think the idea is that one musical ring tone is too conspicuous by its uniqueness. Got okay's for the door bell and the glass cracking.
  • Other Stuff ‐‐ We have decided, thanks to a generous donation of the money to cover the cost, to use a break-a-away drinking glass for a scene. I am the one who will be working with it, too (well, actually, "them," since we will need to rehearse the event several times). We are hoping the trick glass will be just fragile enough that I can squeeze it and have it "shatter" in my hand ‐‐ without causing me injury; leastwise, I want to avoid such.

  • a n d . . . . .

    T O N I G H T ,    A   B E A T L E   I N   C O N C E R T !

    Thu, July 10, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: One little detail, that really does not amount to much, that I discovered probably a week back is that I got the count of dialogue tags for Zipper wrong. He actually has 243 lines, not 241. Both Cheryl Mellen (Carol) and Geoff Burkman (Jackson) insist that I have more lines than either of their, individual characters, but I could swear I have fewer than either of them. Well, it really makes little difference; the thing most important to me about 243 lines is the memory quotient ‐‐ so in the most important aspect, that 243 is measured against itself. And, fortunately, as already stated, I am happy to say my off-book status is in nice shape.   YAY!

    Yet, last night, the rehearsal was a little rougher than the Monday night one, all around. Everybody had more recall problems. I certainly called for lines and mangled others, all that I was dead on with Monday. For myself, maybe it was because of the night off; though I did run my lines during the day both Tuesday and yesterday. Perhaps it was because we were off-book and on our feet both for the first time.

    On a good note, our director has told us that he thinks there is only a little bit of fine tuning to make to any of our acting. The sense I got is that this is far more about particular reactions than it is about characterizations, if it is at all about characterizations. Saul had asked me before rehearsal started if I had any character issues or concerns and I replied that I felt good about where I was taking Zipper and he concurred.

    However, I still need to revamp the limericks. Must admit what I was able to work out yesterday afternoon then present last night was pretty lame. So, I try again.....


    Ringo and His All Star Band summer 2008 tour
    (the Liverpool 8 tour)
    song list from the July 8, 2008 show at the
    Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio

    A Little Help From My Friends (excerpt riff) / It Don't Come Easy
    What Goes On
    Memphis In Your Mind
    Lonely Is The Night - Billy Squire
    Free Ride - Edgar Winters
    Land Down Under - Colin Hay
    Dream Weaver - Gary Wright
    Pick Up The Pieces - Hamish Stuart
    Liverpool 8
    Act Naturally
    Yellow Submarine
    Singing My Song For You - Hamish Stuart (acoustic solo performance)
    In The Dark - Billy Squire (acoustic solo performance)
    Frankenstein - Edgar Winters
    Never Without You
    Choose Love
    Stroke It - Billy Squire
    Work To Do - Hamish Stuart
    I Wanna Be Your Man
    Love Is Alive - Gary Wright
    Who Can It Be Now - Colin Hay
    Oh My My designated closer - (but they didn't put the encore break in)
       designated encore
    A Little Help From My Friends (full song) / Give Peace A Chance -- coda

    • Ringo Starr - vocals, drums
    • Colin Hay * - vocals, guitar
    • Hamish Stuart ** - vocals, guitar, bass
    • Billy Squier - vocals, guitar
    • Edgar Winter - vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, percussion
    • Gary Wright - vocals, keyboards
    • Gregg Bissonette - drums
    • there was another guy on bass and guitar, whose name I have not been able to find
      • * OF MEN AT WORK

    Sun, July 13, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: At Thursday's rehearsal Saul still wanted less song, more "chant" in the limericks. All the limericks are in "Act I" and Friday we ran "Act II" so I gave myself until tomorrow's rehearsal to have another try ready, since they don't come into play until then.

    On acting notes, Saul is happy with all of our work and I must say I am for the most part happy with Zipper. Though I do have to say that he's a bit too much like Stefen (Serge) from 'Art.' Now, not to suggest that Zipper is exactly like Stefen but there are a lot of similarities. I don't know if that's good or bad. I do know that in a perfect world I would prefer every character in my canon to be as distinct onto himself (or who knows, HERself *, for that matter) as I can make him. I know that ultimately there is a maximum limit to the width of that spectrum, since they all have to inhabit my body and use my larynx; still I would like to have that range be as wide as it can be and to continuously push the edges farther apart. On the other hand, Zipper and Stefen probably aren't really as close as I am concerned that they are. Zipper certainly has a more jovial edge and, conversely, a harder one to him than Stefen did.

      *Remember Peggy Sue Ingram ‐‐ even though she was dead?

    I am still making way more line errors than I would like, though I would still place myself in the mid-ninety-percent range for "off-book," which is good. We only ran "Act II" once on Friday. Some good acting dynamics happened, especially during a confrontational segment between Zipper and Jackson (myself and Geoff Burkman). Yet, we struggled with lines in many places during the rehearsal. We decided to call the evening to a close after that one run of the act. Tomorrow night we are charged to seriously have our #@&%+&%$#@!! lines down!

    My big thing is getting a little closer to word-perfect. I also must stop correcting myself during delivery. I have to start performing as if for the audience. If the word on the page is "shapes" but I say "figures" then I must just go with the error. I don't want to make the error, of course, but now it's time to not screw with the flow and to practice not telegraphing the mistakes to the audience. There actually is a place for correcting one's lines during rehearsal, but I believe I am now past that. Now I make mental note and be sure to correct such as I run lines and in the next rehearsal of the particular section.

    Worked on the sound design this morning. Have not gotten into master mixing on the whole yet because there are some decisions left to be made that will dictate how I mix. But I think I have all the sounds. I may need to still sweeten a couple a bit more, however.

    I was supposed to spend most of yesterday on that, but my car has been acting up thus a lot of my day was dedicated to that. And I have this fear that the auto shop is in my near future ‐‐ I have already priced the alternator, that which I am praying I really do not need.

    Also spent part of this afternoon helping with the general set construction for FutureFest as a whole.

    Now, after having taken a little nap then worked on this dorky blog, I spend the rest of my evening apartment cleaning and various and a sundry chores; and as I am engaged in such: LINES LINES LINES.....

    Wed, July 16, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: The Monday night rehearsal was much rougher than I would have liked. I had line farts that took me by total surprise. I don't want it to sound like the rehearsal sucked; it most certainly did not. I think we have a lot of great dynamics happening on stage. But we have some areas that really need improvement. I guess that's why we have a rehearsal period.

    It was good to have Dave Williamson back. We worked on the new limericks tune. That was also one of the parts that needed much improvement, but I don't think that is a problem ‐‐ and of course, we all expected it would be rough. Dave is not a musician at all, and even if, he was introduced to the chord progression precious moments before we began the stage work that night.

    Last night was better, but man were there still some of them rough spots. I, for one, went up on a line that I have never missed before. As well, I delivered a line quite wrong in another spot. I got the information out, but what I said was not quite what was on the page. I also keep getting a couple words wrong in particular lines, one of which I was not aware of at all until it was pointed out to me. I did get some line work in while I was waiting on my car in the shop yesterday afternoon ($405!!!); went through the show twice, then once again after I arrived early at the theatre. Still made some dumb-ass line errors in the rehearsal.

    Tonight is our technical rehearsal and as soon as this is posted I will finish off the sound design. I took yesterday and today off to address this ‐‐ and my car, and line work/character study.

    Tomorrow night we are off. Um, well, we don't have rehearsal. I, for, one will be into more line work/character study.

    Friday, we actors are on our own on stage: no calling for lines. Actually one could call for a line, there just will be no response.

    Saturday we are off. Um, well, we don't have rehearsal. I, for, one will be....

    Sunday we have our dress rehearsal in front of an audience.

    And, perhaps there may be one, of the small handful ‐‐ (yeah, "small" -- lets be real here) ‐‐ of people who have even thought about bookmarking this blog ‐‐ not that any have actually done such ‐‐ at least one may notice that my little design for FutureFest 2008, below, has changed to better reflect with and align to the 2008 design at the DPH web site.


  • STILL ME -- It's screening at two film festivals, so far.

    It is now absolutely official that the movie will be screened at Dawn Wells' Spudfest Take II film festival, July 31-Aug 2. The film is screening each of the three days. Still Me and other shorts will also be screened by SpudFest at an additional showing in Idaho Falls on Tuesday, July 29. Our director, Beth McElhenny, also thinks that some of the screenings at the film festival may be done at a drive-in. As to whether Still Me will get such a screening, I do not know.

    Then it moves on to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in September.

    Oh but were I to be able to attend either or both.

  • GHOSTBUSTERS: SPOOK UNIVERSITY -- Director Mike Sopronyi has just sent the master cut to Orlando Florida where a couple named Scott and Sandra Nance will be the sabre artists* for the visual effects**. Mike met them at a recent convention he was at ‐‐ I believe a Ghostbusters convention, but I am not sure ‐‐ and when they heard about the movie needing an effects team, they jumped in. "Sandra is a graphics designer," Mike says, "plus there was another member of their GB fan group that would want to help as well." Mike doesn't yet have his last name, but his first is Mark and he's a producer/director at the CW station in Orlando.

    On an added note, Mike says that at this convention, he found that "out of the thirty-five-plus Ghostbusters there, about ninety-five percent knew about Spook University." So, I have a decent supporting role in a movie that has a pre-release rep ‐‐ never mind that the film can't ever be in commercial release.

    Nevertheless, my ego will grab onto anything resembling glory that it can find!

    PLUS ‐‐ Oh No! The Dreaded LOOPING!!!! And this morning I got a message from Mike that we need to re-record the dialogue track for an exterior scene that I and Dan Yohey (WDTN Channel 2) did. It was shot on campus at Wright State University and there's one, or several, HVAC unit blowers that are just too prominent on the audio. I have actually noted this problem with a location on campus that I'd love to use for my movie that I hope to shoot next summer. The spot looks perfect, but I don't know if I want to fool with the ADR*** that I know damned well would be necessary.

      *)    "sabre artist": a member of the production team utilizing a combination of software programs to create special effects.
      **)   "visual effects": alterations to a film's images during post-production.
      ***)  "ADR": Automatic Dialogue Replacement (AKA: Dialogue Looping, Dialog Looping, Looping). The re-recording of dialogue by actors in a sound studio during post-production, usually performed to playback of edited picture in order to match lip movements on screen. ADR is frequently used to replace production track of poor quality (e.g., due to high levels of background noise) or to change the delivery or inflection of a line. ADR can also be used to insert new lines of dialogue which are conceived during editing, although such lines can only be placed against picture in which the face of the actor speaking is not visible.

      (definitions from IMDb Film Glossary)

      Note from me: as I went to get the text of these definitions from IMDb, I discovered that I have often used the term SFX (or SPFX) incorrectly. It turns out that Special effects are done during production, while the camera is rolling. Such things as using a fog machine or having foam boulders fall on or near the actors, to create the illusion of an avalanche, in the second case. Those are special effects. Had they been computer generated and put in after the scenes were shot, they would be visual effects.

  • NONA -- I have emailed co-director and DP Tony Bushman to see if there is any news on a final cut. At this point I am totally in the dark about any progress. Hell, the DVD may have been burned months ago for all I know.
  • MY "FORTHCOMING" MOVIES -- Yeah, right. I'm gonna have some progress to report.

  • Fri, July 18, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: I'm so close to perfectly off-book yet still not there and stuck at some corner that seems to be difficult for some frustrating reason to turn! I never had to actually call for a line Wednesday night, but I certainly did mangle a few. Plus I was a bit tardy on a couple cues. I'm still correcting myself mid-line on occasion and that must stop ‐‐ as I've already written here, the time for line correction during delivery on stage is over. That plan to do line work last night was modified into doing INTENSIVE LINE WORK.

    On a related note, I discovered Wednesday, while looking at my script during the final stretch of sound design for the show, that I have been saying part of a sentence wrong during one of my more poignant monologues. Without spoiling it by giving you the context, Zipper is supposed to say, "blood dribbling out of his mouth"; I have been saying, since we put the script down, "blood dribbling down his mouth." Part of that is because I wrote it the incorrect way on the flash card ‐‐ so there is a particular danger to be on guard against when utilizing the flash-card method: be sure you copy the text verbatim from the script.

    By-the-way, I have also caught another numbering error on those index cards; I skipped some numbers when numbering each card, so the final count of Zipper line tags has jumped to 244 ‐‐ which is relatively useless information save for the sake of accuracy.

    Wednesday was mostly about technicals, however, and those seemed to go pretty well. We have twenty sound cues from opening music to closing music. The stickiest one involves me, a break-away drinking glass and the sound of cracking glass. The timing has to be exquisitely perfect and we have only one more chance to work on it before the official performance. We can't at tonight's rehearsal because we are not on the true set, in the true theatre; rather we are at the Guild on the "approximate" stage, without our newly engaged lights and sound.

    Only other sticking point as far as sound was that I only had eighteen seconds of the opening music (I cut it right before the vocals of the song start) ‐‐ Saul wants more, in case we need a bit more time; so, I sent an mp3 of the whole song to the sound operator.

    The light cues are simple. They took us probably five minutes to run through.

    So, my goal for rehearsal tonight is to be as close to word-perfect off-book as I can, and when/IF I'm not, to not screw the flow or my character work by correcting myself on stage, least not in obvious ways. As I wrote before, if I use a synonym for the correct word, I have to go with it; if I paraphrase, I have to go with it; I just need to make the mental note to be attune to the error, though there's a good chance the line mistake will be pointed out to me by our trusty stage manager or AD. Further, I have the terrible anxiety that we will get lost in a segment and I will not be able to help us get back on track ‐‐ not that such is on my shoulders alone, but I want to be up to my one-fourth part of such burden.

    AUDITIONS: There are few things coming up that I am eyeing, though I am not sure yet. Have read none of them yet. I have read most of Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark for the Human Race Theatre Company callback that should happen next month (for the The Victoria Theatre production that is up next spring). I know of at least one other local actor who also got the callback. He knows who he is reading for; I do not know who I am reading for. He is of the opinion I will read for the same role as he ‐‐ I have no clue whether he is on the mark or not. The insecure, competitive actor in me wants him to be wrong, only because it puts a face on my competition which I am fully aware has loads more experience than I, which includes a long stretch as a professional Equity/SAG/AFTRA performer. But, that would already be the case ‐‐ it's just that I have knowledge of this fellow, which makes the competition far more tangible to me.

    Considering the virtual friggin' disaster at my general audition back in May, it's a miracle I have a callback at all!

    MOVIE(S)?: It may seem like I have given up on shooting at all this summer. I have not. More when there's more to tell.....

    Sat, July 19, 2008

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    melancolía    gray    Düsterkeit         gloominess    depresjon    cynical

    grey         morose    slump    despondency    blue    unenthusiastic    unhappy    judgmental

    dissatisfaction         disapproving    self-critical self-indulgant ego boy    taking it too seriously    aloneness                 malinconia    sad    blind to the kind    Dons    para baixo    giù    depression         melancholy

    en bas    Hinunter                 Nors    down    hacia abajo    ned    cupo    five decades of nothing    pessimistic    frustration    вHиз

    displeasure    critical         hypercritical    condemnatory                 tomorrow?    half empty

    dépression    forlorn    dysthymia    sorrowful

    Sun, July 20, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE:                        
    That's why they
    call it, "Rehearsal."

    For the first time that we could not call for lines, that part was not too terribly bad, though there were some dicey moments. At least one little section, that I am aware of, was skipped. In another place, I dropped a line completely; I didn't even realize it was my turn to speak. I was actually one line ahead and was waiting for the cue to my next line after the one in question. So the other actor involved in the exchange, Mr. Burkman, figured out a way to get out his line, which was supposed to have been a response to the cue line I never gave him.

    I had two definite places where I could jump in when someone else was lost or had gone up, and batted 500. In one case, the other actor was clearly lost and was caught in one of those cyclical line loops. I had a line that I could give him to get him out of the loop and get the story back on track, so I said it. In the other case, the actor had gone up on a line and I frankly did not readily think of a good spot in our conversation to jump to. My mind was flipping through the rolex to find the logical spot, in the meantime he retrieved his line and we could go on. It seemed like a couple minutes to me, probably like ten to him; it was more likely twenty seconds or less -- but, ten seconds of silence is a long time on stage.

    The most surprising note for us overall was that the pacing and energy at the start of the show was low, low, low. To put it in Mr. Caplan's words. "The first twenty minutes took you thirty-five to get through." It did not seem to trudge to me; maybe I was feeling the energy charge from the anxiety of no calling for lines; and, maybe the mental retrieval by all of us was a major culprit because it caused some lags in picking up cues.

    My own self, beyond that line I dropped altogether, I know I did a few paraphrases. The limericks are not at all in the shape they should be, either, but this is mostly because Dave and I just have had very little practice to get them smoother. I got so flustered during two of them that I bungled the words. We have plans to get together before today's call, to really get them working well.

    A few other notes for me took my by surprise. I was told that Zipper is not showing enough tension and anxiety in a large portion of the show, which really bummed me because I was making what I mistakenly thought was a concerted effort to show just that. I also was told Zipper needs to be more pained in a particular part of the show; I had been sure I was showing his pained emotions. I was actually the most unhappy about that, how I was not playing that section as well as I thought I was.

    There are some technical notes that I need to heed, too. Ms. Root, our rehearsal stage manager, clued me in to a particular line I say that I need to be careful about the enunciation of, as it sounds like I am saying something else, at least to her. There's a place where Zipper illustrates kicking someone and I have never felt that it has worked. Saul showed me why and it was one of those "DOH!" moments for me; I've been letting the sole of my shoe hit the floor with each each kick, which causes a drag that stifles the momentum and ruins the flow of the action. For another moment in the play, Saul also literally illustrated the movements needed for me to bring off. I won't spoil the bit by elaborating here, but I mention it only to confess that I was blowing the bit on stage by not physically doing it in a manner that is, in Saul's words again, "show and tell,"

    I also adjusted something on the set in an action that I would not take during an actual peformance, but the prop placement was bugging me. I got a note about it, and the point was still taken.

    During this rehearsal period I have left the theatre on a number of nights feeling like a pretty damned good actor -- Friday night, not so much. (Did anyone pick up on my pathetic self pity in the last post?). Assessing myself unrealistically badly is as equally unfair to and unwise for me as when I overestimate my growth as an actor. Yet, I have to live with both reactions; they seem to be inbred into me. So I live with both swings of the pendulum. I was a dorky-assed sad sack for twenty-four hours. Now, screw it! It's time to move on!

    This evening we play in front of an audience. The dress rehearsal is open to the public for a $5 admission. I don't know yet how I feel about it. I have a mental leeriness but I always have such about putting a show up in front of an audience. You can be assured that before Dave and I get together to work on the uke routine, I will be going over my lines. As a matter of a fact, that starts right after this post is FTP'd to the server.

    AN AUDITION I MISSED: I am sorry to report that I had to pass up an opportunity to audition for an indy full-length feature. The audition was yesterday in Cincinnati and there was no way I could make it down. I just found out about the auditions too late. Judging from the specs, there is a principal role I could be a good contender for, too. Then there is the very attractive point that the shoots are all weekends, which means I would not have burned up vacation days, and thus would have saved them for another acting gig where I would need them. And at the moment, because I took two days off this week, that magic three weeks of built up time has moved into September. Four weeks, which would be better, is now December.

    Now, had I been cast in this movie, it would have certainly killed any chance whatsoever to work on any of my own film maker projects. And, as I have indicated, I have not thrown in the towel yet for this summer; though, all or most who said they were on board, may have.

    Mon, July 21, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: The dress rehearsal was "not bad." Apparently the first portion still lacks sufficient energy. I just didn't sense that from on stage; Zipper seemed to be at the right pace and the right level of energy to me, and I'd say Art, Carol and Jackson did as well. But I am on the inside looking out so I am quite aware that my perspective lacks the outsider's view. And I know from various past experiences that what I feel about a performance does not necessarily reflect what is emanating from the stage.

    The more positive note is that Mr. Caplan thought the overall performance was pretty good after we trod through the clay of the first third of the show. He believes from that point forward we are giving the playwright a performance that does his text justice. For most of his notes it was really pretty picky stuff and he even said, "If we're being this picky with the notes you know we're in good shape."

    My personal notes were all about adjustments to the blocking, due to the set -- the actual set at the playhouse which we've hardly been on. One note he didn't bother to give me was about how I had the damnedest time getting the word "philanthropist" out of my mouth; I had to give it three or four tries before it came out correctly. Of course, he didn't bother to point it out because he knew I was already fully aware.

    Must admit, I had a few other line farts, but nothing the audience, small as it was, would have been able to discern. And I did not go up, or even come close to going up. Well, I did during a brief run-through before the actual rehearsal run, but I was good during the dress. A few times I paraphrased or used a synonym and in a couple places I am aware of I switch some words or sentences around within a line.

    There was also a general note about volume, and I thought I was being loud enough, but maybe not. And, of course, I didn't bother to ask, 'cause that might make sense.

    One major point about the volume is that we were at a major disadvantage last night. The AC was out at the theatre, so there was a small battalion of fans in the house and we had to compete with the combined drone coming from them. Volume may not be as much of an issue when the AC is back up. And one does hope the AC is back up by the FutureFest opening this Friday. Yet, what if not? What if we are on stage Saturday night fighting against the same background racket? I'm guessing we won't need to worry about it, but what if...?

    Again, some lines got jumped, but everybody was smooth about covering and moving on. I know I altered my lines, or otherwise jumped in a few times to keep the thing moving. Not at all as good as getting all the text out as it was written, but better than breaking the momentum and flow.

    Tonight is an intensive line work rehearsal. We have been told to be sure we bring our scripts.

    On another subject, I changed my mind about not sharing the name I came up with for Zipper. As for my choice to give him a real name, well, maybe the play doesn't need him to have a name, but the actor playing him in this production does. Here's the background I have created for Zip. (My apologies to Mr. Hollenbach if any of this runs contrary to his intent)....


      Real name       Andrew Charles Kendrick (Zipper)
      *(some family members call him Drew)
      Born       July 8, 1953
      Father       William Gregory Artemis Kendrick (b.1923, d.2000)
      Thoracic surgeon
      Mother       Louis Patricia Hillbury-Kendrick (Lulu) (b.1925)
      Brother       Alex Geoffrey Kendrick (Al) (b. 1949)
      Married with two children. Wife (Sarah) - Son (Jeremy age 24) - Son (Mike age 21)
      Sister       Dianna Margaret Fitzsimmons (Dee) (b. 1951)
      Academy award winning Documentary film maker
      Married with three children. Husband (Kelvin) - Son (Kelvin Jr. age 32) - Daughter (Michelle age 29) - Daughter (Liz age 26)
      Brother       Brian David Kendrick (B.D.) (b.1956)
      Corporate attorney
      Not married. Lives with his partner of 21 years, Laurence.
      other family       aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides, grand nieces and nephews from Al's and Dee's children.
      Married       April 14, 1990
      Wife       Carolyn Janet Dewberry (b. Feb 20, 1960)
      High school biology teacher
      Daughters       Julia Patricia Kendrick (Patty) (b. Nov 17, 1990)
      Lisa Georgia Kendrick (Georgie) (b. May 8, 1993)
      Samantha Rita Kendrick (Sammy) (b. Feb 11, 1998)
      Divorced       May 2, 2000
      Infidelity. Both were having an affair. The marriage was falling apart and the two came to resent each other greatly. The divorce was not amicable and Carolyn has cut off Zipper from his girls as much as she can; especially since she did not get the level of alimony she wanted because Zipper's partner, Martin Jorgensen, represented him, and he is one of the best divorce lawyers in the state.

      Zipper first cheated on Carolyn five years into the marriage. He had a liaison with another tourist while he and the family were on vacation in Hawaii. Over the next year he had several more such brief encounters with strange women. Then he had a brief affair with Sarah Gotz, a paralegal in the office, shortly after he made full partner in 1996. By early 1997 that affair was over. In 1998, as his relationship with Carolyn had disintegrated to two people who felt practically nothing for each other, he began an affair with Julia Barringer, another attorney. He strongly suspected that Carolyn was involved with the vice principal at the high school where she taught and really did not care. The fact was verified during the divorce and was revealed to have been going on for four years.

      Zipper's drinking and his workaholism were another part of his contribution to the death of this marriage. The two went to marriage counseling in 1995 and Zipper agreed to attend some AA meetings. He went for only a few weeks. One fellow in a meeting, who was as unwilling to be there as Zipper was, introduced himself as a "court-appointed alcoholic." Zipper started introducing himself as a "therapy-appointed alcoholic" and in private he called himself a "bitch-appointed alcoholic." And, of course, he did not consider himself an alcoholic, at all.

      "Zipper"       Nickname given to him by his eighth grade debate coach Robert Scott, because he could be counted on to "zip up the contest" and take the team to a victory. After the team won the state finals with much help from Zipper, and the nickname was prominent in the local headlines, the name became common for him and has stuck. Now it has migrated to mean that he "zips up" cases in court.
      High School       Despite his further success on the high school debate team and in English class as well, Zipper was, overall, the classic under-achiever in high school, waning from his academic highs in elementary and middle school. He graduated high school with a 2.2 GPA and was one of those kids of whom the teachers said, "He'd be a straight-A student if he'd only apply himself!" Yet he scored high on his SATs.
      College       B.A. from Princeton as a legacy (his father). He had a mediocre academic start and was placed on academic probation twice. But he rallied as a student toward the end of his sophomore year and for the rest of his college career to graduate cum laude with a 3.1 GPA.

      J.D. from Columbia Law School. Graduated magnum cum laude with a 3.8 GPA.

      Law firm       Davis, Kendrick, Hoppenhouer and Jorgensen
      Junior partner in May 1990
      Full Partner on Aug 5, 1996
      Legal rep       Andrew Kendrick (AKA: Zipper Kendrick) has a reputation as a tough opponent in court and is considered one of the best litigators in town. His win ratio is impressive.
      Women post-divorce       Zipper and Julia were together until 2001. She ended it because he would not marry. He also started seeing other women while they were together. Since then he has not come close to a relationship that has lasted a year; and periods of monogamy during those "relationships" are fleeting.

    VOICE-OVER AUDITION: My agency just emailed the script for a voice over audition that I will probably do Thursday afternoon.

    ON AN UNRELATED NOTE: So, X Files: I Want to Believe comes out this Friday, and I can't get to see it until next Monday at the very earliest...(!!)

    I am a big X Files fan, and even almost have a more-or-less connection to Gillian Anderson because I am an acquaintance with Will Davis who actually is the very first film maker to have directed her on camera -- she was the principal in one of his college film projects when they were both students in Chicago. I've seen it; it's a five-minute short entitled, A Matter of Choice. Will is no longer making movies but he is a talented performance artist. I am sorry to say I haven't seen one of his shows for quite a while.

    I also am pumped that Billy Connolly has such a prominent principal role in the new X Files movie. I have always liked this guy's talent. And I love seeing really funny comics in dramatic roles. More often than not they are very good in the roles.

    Wed, July 23, 2008

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    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: The line work Monday night was actually done as reader's theatre. It was an intriguing idea. I can't speak for the others (though I'd bet I am), but I tried my damnedest to not read my lines. I mostly read everyone else's as a way to better ingrain -- if only a little more so -- the chronology of the plot and of the story. Though I will admit, I did outright read a few of my lines where I normally have a habit of some paraphrasing.

    We also shaved more than ten minutes off the running time. Some of that is accounted for by the lack of blocking movement, since we were all seated behind score stands, but that probably only shaved a couple minutes off. The rest of the cut time has to be accounted for by quick pick-ups on cues and the like.

    It also sounded very good. The lack of line anxiety gave us all the chance to put 100% of our characters and their emotions into every line delivery. Well, at least I know that was true for me, at any rate.

    Last night was our last time to put a wrench on anything in any real sense. We certainly will address lingering issues tonight, but this will be our actual last rehearsal run, period. We will get together to do a line run on Saturday afternoon, but tonight is our last time to rehearse on our feet.

    Honestly, Saul didn't adjust too terribly much, last night. For me, he did alter a blocking move at one point, but that was it for me. And he discussed changes in the line interpretations with a couple other people. But it was all slight and the sort of fine-tuning that indicates that overall we have a good performance going if we can work on such items.

    Now, we did come in a little long again, and it goes back to a slowdown in the first third of the show. It was better, but it was not as snappy as the reader's theatre work on Monday. So we must be very conscious of keeping things crisp and snappy in the beginning of the show.

    And once again, tonight is the last rehearsal on our feet, and, not in the actual space of the performance. We are at the Guild on our makeshift set. This last full rehearsal is roughly 72 hours before the performance. I for one will be going over my lines a lot in that 70-some hour period, over and above the line run we all do Saturday afternoon.

    VOICE-OVER AUDITION IS TODAY: After I had posted the entry on Monday, the VO audition was confirmed for today rather than tomorrow. So I'll go into the Roof-Goenner office this afternoon for the several minutes it'll take to make the 30 second mp3 recording.

    Then the waiting game; though usually for commercials it's not much of a wait. It would be nice for that short wait to have a yes at the end, finally.

    Fri, July 25, 2008

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    The Dayton

    July 25-27, 2008

    Dayton Plahouse FutureFest 2007

    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE: Ah well, our "final dress" was not a disaster but it seemed, to me, I guess the word would be "logy." I just felt like the energy was down or perhaps had only sporadic moments of strength.

    There was a spot, early, where most, if not all, of us were slow to pick up the cues. Myself, I had two distinct lines in a row where I was a snail in that section.

    Spanning the play, a few lines were dropped but we recovered every time, though with varying degrees of top-grade success. Two recoveries that I can remember were left up to me, and whereas neither were F work, they were not A+ work either, to say the least.

    The first time, the cue line was dropped and I gave the actor a few seconds then went on with my line but promptly tripped over my tongue because the noun I was supposed to say suddenly left my brain.

    The other one was trickier. With that first one, my line was not a direct response to the dropped line. This second time it was. Zipper responds in agreement with the person saying the cue line then directs the rest of his line to another person -- and that second part is pretty important. So I had to figure out a way to initiate dialogue (now, not with a response in it) that would get that second part out in the air. Unfortunately, there are two key complementary verbs in the sentence that I flipped around to totally reverse the meaning of the line.

    There's also some question as to how that dropped cue came about. It was said, after the rehearsal, that actually I had dropped my previous line. In that case a couple of lines leading up to the particular cue line I am to respond to were not there, which is why the cue line did not happen. I could swear that I did, indeed give that previous line which then led to a response that was its own cue line for the cue line I needed.


    I, however, may be remembering it wrong. Still, I could swear I did give that line I was told I did not give.

    Again, the energy overall seemed on the wane to me. When we were done, Saul asked us what we each thought. None of us were overwhelmingly enthused. My response was, "It felt weaker to me than it has before." Ironically, Saul says that we did pick up (or, more correctly, "shaved off") some time in the first third of the show -- but, it certainly did not seem that way to me as we were playing it.

    In the end, though, I think we will be okay Saturday night. Saul thinks all four of us are doing good work. I certainly concur about my three cast mates, and I feel good about my work. I think we each have some great opportunities for good acting moments and my own, totally biased opinion is that we all take good advantage of them. It's nice to once again have the great fortune to be surrounded by good actors.

    And, yeah, okay, I guess our directors are up t'snuff, too. And, Deirdre is a fab stage manager despite that her schedule got in her way a few times (you know, life happening in life?).

    Now that I'm done kissing up to everyone, I will note that I forgot about a note I was given Tuesday evening. I had reported that Saul "did alter a blocking move [for me] at one point, but that was it for me." Wrong. He also had me change the reading of the second sentence in a line into a realization from a probing question. The first part is still a probing question.

        They wanted us to have it?

      Then the realization:

        They want us to use it.

    And on another note, I have failed to report on the progress of those damnedable limericks. Since Dave and I got together for band practice before last Sunday's dress rehearsal, they have steadily improved. We got a good note about them from Greg after the Wednesday rehearsal.

    Last night there was a cocktail party with the playwrights, the adjudicators, the casts and crews of the six shows, FutureFest staff and Playhouse board members. No rehearsal at all. I did not even study my lines yesterday -- (but, today: I have used every free moment and shall continue to do so). Last night I met our playwright, Bill Hollenbach and spoke to him briefly, but we spoke of the play only in the most superficial of manners. I did not want to suddenly get anxious about my Zipper and did not want to inadvertently give him any pause for concern, even if only due to poor communication on my part.

    At the party, a colleague who saw the Sunday dress complemented me on my work, and others who saw that same performance did, too; always gratifying to get positive feedback.

    So, tonight, FutureFest 2008 kicks off with DeLora Whitney's Adam & Evey.

    COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER AUDITION: No great adventure to relate. I went into the Roof-Goenner office and recorded two different versions of the material. I just read one side of the conversation, the one character (which is suggested to be "reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld"). I did also read with another actor for his audition recording, but I made sure they still sent my solo one, mostly because I did much better work on the solo. And, so, as already stated, we wait.

    Sat, July 26, 2008

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    Inside the Gatehouse 
    by Bill Hollenbach
    July 26, 8:30 pm

    Dayton Plahouse FutureFest 2007

    the cast and crew:

    Dave Williamson            Art
    Cheryl Mellen            Carol
    Geoff Burkman            Jackson
    K.L.Storer            Zipper
    Saul Caplan            Director
    Greg Hall            Co-Director
    Deirdre Bray Root            Assistant Director &
    Gatehouse Stage Manager

    Sun, July 27, 2008

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    The Dayton

    July 25-27, 2008

    Dayton Plahouse FutureFest 2007

    Adam & Evey
    by DeLora Whitney
    July 25, 8:00 pm

    by Anita Simons
    & Lauren Simon
    July 26, 10:00 am

    Yellow to Lavender
    by Carl Rossi
    July 26, 3:00 pm

    Inside the Gatehouse 
    by Bill Hollenbach
    July 26, 8:30 pm

    Mary Band Road Show
    by Carole Lockwood
    July 27, 10:00 am

    Coming Back to Jersey
    by Carl Williams
    July 27, 3:00 pm

    The Playwrights

  • DELORA WHITNEY (Adam & Evey) received her MFA in Playwriting from The New School in May 2007. Immediately following graduation, she served as the Readings and Workshops Coordinator for New York Stage & Film's 2007 summer season; she's back this year teaching playwriting. Prior to attending graduate school, she spent two seasons as the Associate Program Director and Literary Manager for the Ensemble Studio Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project. She's the recipient of a commission from Mad River Theater Works. The resulting play, The Lay of the Land, is touring Ohio barns and county fairs this summer. Her play, The Visit was recently part of the 33rd Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Another of her plays, Malhado: The Storm of a Century (her original concept, development and direction) centers on a hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900. It was produced at the Strand Theatre in September 2000 as part of a month dedicated to commemorating the storm's centennial. Delora is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and America-in-Play.
  • LAUREN SIMON (Heartland) writes plays in her spare time. The rest of her time is spent as a freelance writer and journalist, primarily covering public safety and emergency medical services, and as a mom to her amazing daughters, Charlotte and Hannah.

          ANITA SIMONS (Heartland) grew up in Canton, Ohio and attended Ithaca College, Ohio State University and UCLA. Her first play, Goodbye Memories has won several awards, including first place in the 2004 Playwriting Contest of the Community Theatre Association of Michigan and semi-finalist in the 2007 Jackie White Memorial National Children's Play Writing sponsored by the Columbia Entertainment Company. Goodbye Memories has also had readings in San Diego, Hollywood and New York City and premiered in 2006 at Glen Oak High School in Canton. Anita currently lives in La Jolla, California, with her husband and two children and is the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of La Jolla Playhouse.

  • CARL ROSSI (Yellow to Lavender) is an American Playwright. His plays have been performed in New England, New York City and California. Mr. Rossi is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
  • BILL HOLLENBACH (Inside the Gatehouse) has been writing plays since the late 1970's. Much of his work has a political and social edge. His earliest produced play, The Persecution of Citizen Vasliych, (1981), examined the relationship of censorship in the Soviet Union and freedom to report in the United States. Bill has just completed Citizen Paine, a one man play about Thomas Paine, commissioned by Iron Age Theatre. The play will premiere in January 2009, featuring Bob Weick in the title role. As an actor, himself, Bill's favorite roles include Austin in True West, Peter in Zoo Story, and Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret. He has taught theater history, dramatic literature, acting, and theatre makeup at Delaware Community College, Villanova University and Rosemont College. Bill is a member of Dramatists Guild of America, the Interact Theatre Playwrights Forum and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center
  • CAROLE LOCKWOOD (Mary Band Road Show) has been consistently active in the professional theater since her college days at Purdue University, during the reign of their professional theater company. Winning Chicago's prestigious Joseph Jefferson Best Actress Award for her performance in David Rudkin's Ashes opposite John Malkovich at David Mamet's St. Nicholas Theatre, she has in 58 professional productions. It was Mr. Mamet who first challenged her to write a play. This weekend's play is the second in Carole's Civil Right's Trilogy. The first play, The Clucking of Hens, was presented at Futurefest 2006. Despite several film offers for that play, she has decided to wait and give it a theatrical production Off-Broadway in the NYC 2009/10 season. Dayton's Sarah Hartman has reprised the role of martha Nell in a reading at The New Professional Theatre. It is Carole's hope that Sarah will be available to recreate the role when it opens in New York. It is an Unexpected thrill for Carole to return to FutureFest and its outstanding audience. Although she has won seven readings of her work -- from Rhineland, NY to Long Beach, CA -- FutureFest remains her favorite New Works Festival. Carole is a member of Dramatists Guild of America and Actors Equity Association.
  • CARL WILLIAMS (Coming Back to Jersey) is a Houston playwright whose full-length, one-act, and ten-minute plays have won numerous national competitions, with productions from California to New York. Several of his plays have been produced off-off-Broadway, and 27 of his plays have been published, including four of his ten-minute plays that were selected for Smith & Kraus anthologies. He was a finalist in the 2003 Futurefest with his play Under the Cowboy Moon, which was subsequently produced off-off-Broadway. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the American Association of Community Theatre and Texas Nonprofit Theatres.
  • The Adjudicators

  • MARY DONAHOE is a director, actress, and professor of theatre at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She received her Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon where she directed her translation of the ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata. She was Artistic director of the Women Who Laugh Theatre Company in Oregon, which produced plays by multi-cultural women playwrights. Directing credits at WSU include her original translation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, as well as A Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, The Heidi Chronicles, and A Piece of My Heart, which was nominated for the Kennedy Center / American College Theatre festival and traveled to the regional festival in 1999. She has written and performed two solo pieces about the lives of women artists and pioneers in Seattle, Portland (OR), and Los Angeles. She has acted in professional and university theatre. Locally, her credits include A Delicate Balance (Edna), W;t (E.M. Ashford) at the Human Race Theatre Company and Lost In Yonkers (Grandma Kurnitz) at Wright State University. In 1996-99, she served as National Coordinator of the Jane Chambers Women Playwrights Award (ATHE). In 2006 she was elected Trustee/Director on the Executive Board for the International Centre for Women Playwrights. This last winter she traveled to Cuba as a delegate with UNESCO in support of Cuban community theatre practitioners.
  • ANDREA DYMOND is Resident Director at Victory Gardens Theater, in Chicago, where she most recently directed The Defiant Muse, by Nicholas A. Patricca. She also directed the world premier production of Jeffrey Sweet's (*see below) Court Martial at Fort Devens as part of Victory gardens' inaugural Biograph season. Other recent directing credits include: Hyde in Hollywood for Shattered Globe Theatre; Panther Burn for MPAACT; Helen at Next Theatre Company; Sonja Linden's I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me By a Young Lady From Rwanda, the world premiere productions of Charles Smith's Free Man of Color and Gloria Bond Clunie's shoes (these last three at Victory Gardens); Emily Mann's Having Our Say at Madison Repertory Theater and Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel at the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, TN. Upcoming directing projects include the new musical, Saint Heaven by Martin Casella and Keith Gordon at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington and the world premiere of Gloria Bond Clunie's Living Green at Victory Gardens. Andrea has worked in new play development for most of her twenty-plus years in Chicago and was a recent TCG New Generation Grant recipient. Last year she served as mentor to the MFA playwrights at Carnegie Mellon University and, this fall, Andrea begins her second year of teaching in the theatre department of Columbia College Chicago.
  • PETER FILICHIA is the New jersey theatre critic for the Star Ledger and its television station, News 12 New Jersey. He wrote the weekly column entitled "Stagestruck" for Theatre Works magazine during its nine-year run, and for three years he wrote for Playbill Magazine and Playbill OnLine. He now writes "Theatregoer's Diary" each day for He is the author of Let's Put on a Musical currently available through Back Stage Books. He served four terms as president and chairman of the nominating committee for the Lucille Lortel Awards and the Theatre World Awards, which recently elected him president. In addition, he writes liner notes for many Broadway cast albums, is the critic in-residence for the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, serves on the ASCAP Awards Panel and has appeared on Sally Jesse Raphael, Phil Donahue, Saturday Night Live.
  • HELEN SNEED received a B.A. in Theatre at Tulane University, with additional studies at Harvard University and the University of London. She has worked extensively in presidential, federal and state elections as a political strategist and speech writer. In 1988, Ms. Sneed founded Campaign For Oxford in North America, serving as Executive Director of the $400 million development campaign, the first in Oxford University's 800-year history. In 1990, Ms. Sneed became Director of Professional Rights at Dramatists Play Service. Since then, she has served as Senior Vice President of Music Theatre International, and as Visiting Adviser to the Musical Theatre Graduate Writing Program at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. During 1997-2000, she was Executive and Artistic Director of the National Alliance of For Musical Theatre. In January, 2000, Ms. Sneed began consulting in commercial and not-for-profit theatre, with a special focus on the development and production of new plays and musicals. from October 2000 to April 2001, she was Director, Special Projects, Walt Disney Theatrical Productions. A member of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Dramatists Guild of America, Ms. Sneed is the author of the musical Sally Blane, the World's Greatest Girl Detective and a new play, Fix Me, Jesus. She frequently speaks at conferences and seminars in the U.S. and Canada, and has advised hundreds of authors, composers and theatres in the process of creating and producing new works. She was a judge of the 1999 David Merrick Award for The New American Musical. In December 1998, In Theatre Magazine named Ms. Sneed one of the 50 leaders who "will usher the American theatre into the new century."
  • JEFFREY SWEET has been a resident writer with the Victory Gardens Theater of Chicago for thirty years; his fourteenth play with them, Class Dismissed, opens in March of 2009. An anthology, 'The Value of Names' and other plays, has just been released by Northwest University Press and includes nine plays, including two which won playwriting prizes from the American Theatre Critics Association (American Enter Prise and The Action Against Sol Schumann). He also teaches playwriting and has written two texts on the subject. The Dramatist's Toolkit and Solving Your Script. His book on Second City, Something Wonderful Right Away, has been in print since 1978. jeffery is a member of Dramatists Guild of America.
  • The Casts & Crews

  • ADAM & EVEY by Delora Whitney
    Amy Brown (God), David Shough (Snake), Annie Branning (Evey), Ben Norsworthy (Adam), Jennifer Lockwood (Director)
  • HEARTLAND by Anita Simons and Lauren Simon
    Becky Lamb (Berta), Allison Husko (Sonya), Sarah Gomes (Emma), Micah Stock (Rolf), James Goodwin (Gunther), Stefanie Pratt (Peggy), John Bukowski (Jack), Casey Dayton Blunt (Peter), Linda Dunlevy (Director)
  • YELLOW TO LAVENDER by Carl Rossi
    Barbara Jorgensen (Laurette Taylor), Devan Norsworthy (Eloise Sheldon), Robb Willoughby (Dwight Taylor), Anglea Palazzolo (Marguerite Courtney / Ray Dowling / Woman), Chuck Larkowski (Eddie Dowling), Becki Norgaard (Julie Haydon), Dave Gaylor (Louise J. Singer), Micah Stock (Tom "Tennessee" Williams), Ian Manuel (Randy Echols), James Goodwin (Young Man), Ben Norsworthy (Tony Ross), Fran Pesch (Director)
  • INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE by Bill Hollenbach
    Dave Williamson (Art), Cheryl Mellen (Carol), Geoff Burkman (Jackson), K.L.Storer (Zipper [& Sound Design]), Saul Caplan (Director), Greg Hall (Co-Director), Deirdre Bray Root (Assistant Director and Gatehouse Stage Manager)
  • MARY BAND ROAD SHOW by Carole Lockwood
    Dodie Lockwood (Sister Agnes), Becky Barrett Jones (Sister Catherine/Cathy), Reneé Franck-Reed (Sister Mary Mary), Roi Williams (Reverend Eli), Duante Beddingfield (Jonesy), Alan Bomar Jones (Director), (*James Goodwin, Dave Gaylor & Chuck Larkowski as the voices of the KKK)
  • COMING BACK TO JERSEY by Carl Williams
    Dave Nickel (Howard Karchmer), Debra Kent (Norma Karchmer), Lynn Kesson (Louise Karchmer), Robb Willoughby (Freddy Zuckerman), Susan Robert (Dorothy Arnfield), Richard Young (Sidney Hersch), Jim Lockwood (Director)

    Tasha Ward (Stage manager), Chris Harmon (Scenic Design), Anita Bachmann (Lighting Design), Tony Fende (Sound Operator), Scott Bachmann (Run Crew), John Hollister & Sandy Lemming (Costume Designers), Troy Berry & Jeremy Johnson (Videographers), Alan Bomar jones, Jim Lockwood, Greg Nichols, Fran Pesch, & K.L.Storer (Sound Designers)
    Amy Brown & Fran Pesch (Co-chairs), Nancy Campbell, Saul Caplan, Bernie Fox, Becky Lamb, Dodie Lockwood, Brian Sharp, Roger Watson
    Amy Brown, Tay Caplan, Russell Florence Jr., Debra Kent, Terry Morris, Teresa Onder
    Nancy Campbell & Fran Pesch (Co-chairs), Margaret Baird, Cecile Cary, Linda Dunlevy, Bernie Fox, Sandy Fox, Chuck Larkowski, Judy Rhodes, Pat Ronald, John Beck, Linda Miller

  • I will be back with more on the weekend later. But, I will tell you right now that Inside the Gatehouse went very well last night.

    Tue, July 29, 2008

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    I'M WORKING ON IT!: My wrap up, or whatever you want to call it, of FUTUREFEST 2008 is on its way. The plan was to write most of it last night, but a little nap I took when I got home from work became a bit longer and ate up the whole evening. But I will be back with stuff on our show, other things about the weekend, William Petersen and movie projects, soon. It'll either get posted tomorrow or Thursday.

    Or Friday.

    Wed, July 30, 2008

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    So now, Friday, Saturday,

    Certainly by weekend's end

    BUT ON ANOTHER NOTE, CONCERNING STILL ME: Director Beth McElhenny informs that the movie has been officially accepted for screening at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival and will show either Friday, September 12 or Saturday, September 13.

    Of course, it had its first public screening yesterday in Idaho Falls as a precursor to this coming weekend's Spudfest Take II Film Festival of which Ms. Dawn Wells (of Gilligan's Island fame) is the founder. It will show during the festival proper, too; and every day.

    UPDATE ON COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER AUDITION: No word, which for a commercial likely means: not cast.

    It's been a week.

    Thu, July 31, 2008

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    but in the meantime......

    UPCOMING AUDITIONS: I still have those two I have mentioned that I am not sure of my interest in. I will read both this weekend to see how I feel.

  • Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright by Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson is auditioning this coming Monday night for Springfield StageWorks. This will be a staged reading that will take place at The Westcott House which was one of Wright's designs in Springfield, Ohio. -- one of the two auditions I am not sure about.
  • Earlier Monday I will audition at Roof-Goenner for an on-line promotional video.
  • Monday & Tuesday in a week (Aug 11 & 12) I may audition for our first Dayton Theatre Guild show of the new season, Sutton Vane's Outward Bound. The other one I'm not sure about yet. It will depend on whether or not I do audition for the Wright production and get cast, or it may just depend on what I think after I have read it this weekend.
  • Came home today to a voice mail from Claire Kennedy, the Human Race Theatre Company's new company manager. My callback for Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark will be Friday, August 29. That production will be up at The Victoria Theatre, May 5-17 of next year.

  • Fri, Aug 1, 2008

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    and whilst we wait......

    MY MUMMY IS OUT AUGUST 5: Back in 2004, Natasha Randall and Wayne Justice were in a locally produced indy full-lenth feature, a comedy entitled, My Mummy. Got word from Tosha, via MySpace, today that the movie will be available on on Aug 5. It will also be available at Barnes&Noble on the same date.

    You can see the trailer for it on Tosha's MySpace page:

    It's been a while since Tosha and I have shared a stage; last time was The Diviners at The Guild in the fall of 2004. Wayne and I were just in Catch 22 for Springfield StageWorks.

    *Aug 2 Addendum: That is not to negate the fact that Ms. Randall was the most excellent director of The Beard of Avon at The Guild in early 2007 -- so we HAVE worked together more recently than 2004, just not as fellow actors.

    Sat, Aug 2, 2008

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    This is the blog that never ends; it just goes on and on my friend; I started blogging it not knowing what it was; and I'll continue blogging it forever because it is the blog that never ends; it just goes on and on my friend; I started blogging it not knowing what it was; and I'll continue blogging it forever because it is the blog that never ends; it just goes on and on my friend; I started blogging it not knowing what it was; and I'll continue blogging it forever because it is the blog that never ends.....

    INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE by Bill Hollenbach, cast and crew of the Futurefest 2008 production -- The Post Card
    the cast & crew of
    Inside the Gatehouse
    by Bill Hollenbach
    FutureFest 2008 production at the Dayton Playhouse

    STANDING (L-R): Saul Caplan (Director) and Greg Hall (Co-Director)
    SEATED (L-R): Geoff Burkman (Jackson), Cheryl Mellen (Carol), K.L.Storer (Zipper), and Dave Williamson (Art).
    NOT PICTURED: Deirdre Bray Root (Assistant Director & Gatehouse Stage Manager).

    *post card based on the original photograph by Anita Bachmann

    Let's get right to the performance of Bill Hollenbach's Inside the Gatehouse, Saturday night. There were unquestionably some flaws in our performance; that aside, we still smoked up there, overall. We were all on full-time, were totally present and were a great ensemble. I am privileged to have worked with this cast and crew. The four of us played well off each other on stage and I believe we each fleshed out our characters beautifully. I know for one that getting to Zipper was made so much easier because I had great renditions of Art, Carol and Jackson to play against.

    All four of us were on Russell Florence Jr.'s list of "notable performers" in his July 30 article about the festival in the Dayton City Paper.

    Click here for the full article.

    I have an affection for the confrontation section between Zipper and Jackson, for a couple reasons. First, it was just written very well for both characters and it gave both us actors wonderful opportunities. I also really enjoyed working with Mr. Burkman in the scene; his Jackson gave my Zipper a lot to react to and to pounce upon. I hope I, in turn, gave him a Zipper that was easy to react to. More on playing Zipper, later.

    Further gushing in a totally bias love-fest: all of Dave Williamson (Art), Cheryl Mellen (Carol), and Geoff Burkman (Jackson) gave solid, pro performances, each at times powerful in their craft when it was time to be.

    Art has what I guess can be called "the breaking point monologue"; Dave killed. And the unmitigated arrogance and aggression that Dave infused into Art was the ugliness that I believe Mr. Hollenbach intends from Art.

    Carol had to have been somewhat challenging for Cheryl to get a handle on as she is the least defined character in the text. Yet, we got a real woman on the stage who came off as a professional (a once corporate lawyer now working with battered women). And when Cheryl moved Carol relatively close to the brink of nervous breakdown, it was most effective.

    Jackson's paranoia was played to great effect by Geoff. It was easy for my Zipper to be annoyed and condescendingly amused with him -- then later more pointedly annoyed as the dangers became more evident. And Jackson's emotional distress was palpable when he was pushed into remorseful admission of his personal sinful actions.

    Not that I would give a review of my castmates' work, or anything.

    To, then, reiterate, ad nauseam, it was once again my great fortune to be in the company of such good players.

    Then, of course, my sucking up would not be fully realized were I to not rain praise down upon the production crew.

    As director, Saul Caplan certainly did right by me and Zipper. He primarily let me do with Zipper as my instincts and thought would have me do. But I got several really important directions from him. Of particular note is a revelatory monologue Zipper tells about a fight he was in at twelve with a "little punk in a leather jacket" -- late in the FF weekend, the playwright revealed to us the story was straight autobiographical. Saul choreographed Zipper's illustration of his fight and it worked well. In fact, an FF attendee specifically asked if I had come up with the action of that monologue or if the director had. She was impressed with it. I always felt I wasn't doing the segment justice, but I have been told a couple times that it did indeed work well.

    Some emotional levels and some line readings (word emphases mostly) were adjusted, for me and the other three actors, too. Still, Saul mostly let me take Zipper where I thought and felt Zipper should go. Admittedly, there were a couple adjustments I never became sold on, but I went with them because they hardly impugned on my interpretation of Zipper -- leastwise certainly not enough to debate.

    Greg Hall did some good portion of the blocking, trying desperately to keep us from ending up in a straight line across the boards from stage right to stage left. He also tried to keep us from playing key moments up stage behind the furniture. And he consistently pointed out to all of us when we were moving about on stage as the actors rather than as the characters. "Why don't you walk over to the bar like an actual person might?" he might say.

    His other mission was to keep the pace going. "There was a lot of air in that section," he told me in notes for the final rehearsal, "the emotion was great, but the pauses were too long." I won't speak for the others, but Greg surely helped Zipper move more naturally and not drag the show's pace down too terribly.

    Lastly is Deirdre Bray Root, who started as the "rehearsal" stage manager but ended as our Inside the Gatehouse production/performance stage manager (as opposed to the overall festival stage manager) and she was our "assistant" director (as opposed to Greg who was the "co"-director). Gathering together the vast majority of our props, making sure the notes and tidbits came to the door of the gatehouse on time, tracking the missteps in line delivery, checking the lists then checking them again, then again, then.....

    Would I not be remiss if I did not mention the FutureFest festival production crew, those who ran rickshaw over the entire weekend? Tasha Ward, the festival stage manager who must have gotten less sleep than anyone over the long weekend. Anita Bachmann who designed all the lighting for all six shows and got maybe just a little more sleep than Tasha, since -- I think -- she ran lights for all shows. Tony Fende who ran sound for all the shows. Scott Bachmann who crewed all the shows. Chris Harmon who designed all the sets -- all in a motif of minimalist gray.

    As for the technical aspects of Gatehouse, it went well. You may recall, if you are one of the precariously few regulars here, that I designed the sound. That part was easy. Timing a few of the cues during performance was another issue. The cell phone rings were cake. Tony got a line cue then hit play and kept each ringtone going until he saw the prescribed and pronounced opening of the phone by each actor, such being his cue to cut the ringtone.

    The three bullet whooshes -- from a rifle with a silencer -- and the sound of the picture window cracking, from another rifle shot, all proved trickier. Cuing into these four "gun shot indicators" was not all that problematic. They were not as easy as the cues for the phone rings but with a little planning and practice Saul, Greg and we cast members were able to create movements by us -- visual cues -- that worked. In our one tech rehearsal, however, most people on stage did not hear the bullet whooshes. I did, but, being the one who designed and mixed the sound, I knew the sounds well. A balance needed to be struck. The whooshes needed to be just loud enough for us to all to hear them, but not too loud so as to interfere too vigorously.

    The first whoosh is a bullet shot through the open front door, right past Jackson's ear and into a pillow. Jackson is the only one to hear this one. However, Saul wanted the sound there for the benefit of the audience, and I wholeheartedly agree with that thinking. The whoosh helped them to focus on the action of the moment and gave them something to be startled by along with Jackson. When Zipper told Jackson that "we didn't hear anything," the audience accepted that conceit as valid -- they allowed that they were privy, as spectators behind the fourth wall, to something Art, Carol, and Zipper were not.

    Technically, by-the-way, that first whoosh is only a whoosh. It, like the other two, lasts about a third or fourth of a second. But the other two have quick thuds attached on the ends (or maybe "bumps" is a better word):


    The bumps are the bullets connecting with the bear heads on the wall -- each shot off the wall at a different point during the play. Greg had the eminently vital job back stage of pulling the pegs that released the heads so they would fall. He needed to hear both of those sound effects. Much better to have each head fall in sync with each WhooshBump! rather than before, or rather than a delayed half-second or so afterward -- though the second misfire would be better than the first; at least that could be justified as a momentum delay.

    The big sticking point with the bullet whooshes and the falling bear heads: we did not have the bear heads for our tech rehearsal so we could not rehearse with two key special effects, two key occurrences for the story. Greg and the crew did tech one bear head fall, but one was not tried until the actual performance; and we actors never rehearsed with falling heads. We were not even sure the gags were going to happen in performance. I am happy to report both fell as needed, and that the timing of each WhooshBump! and the corresponding immediate fall of each bear head was successfully executed during the festival.

    Another wrinkle: unbeknownst to me, I put myself and Dave in some level of jeopardy at one point during the performance. One of the bear heads hung over the closet door on the set. At one point, Zipper rummages in the closet, and, apparently, when I was done I closed the door and the head slid loose from the peg; after closing the door I still stood at the closet. Audience members worried the head would crash down upon me, then, in the next moment, onto Dave, who took my spot at the closet door. Neither of us were at all aware of the dilemma, which was probably good for the sake of our respective focuses. Had an injury occurred, I might think otherwise.

    The fourth gun shot -- actually, the second one in the play -- was indicated by the sound of glass cracking. It's a bullet through the picture window that then takes out the glass of scotch Zipper has in his hand. That gag was also a little tricky, especially with as little experiment and rehearsal as we could give it. The elements of the gag were as follows:

      I walk to the window and place my hand on the window counter there. That hand placement cues Tony to play the glass cracking sound file. As close to instantly as I can muster, I drop the break-away drinking glass from my other hand and jump away while yelling about how I just got the glass shot out of my hand.

    In the tech rehearsal it did not work. Tony missed his cue then I missed mine. As far as I can recall, it did work in the performance. Saul did want to try and have me hit the glass with a ring on my finger to have the trick glass actually break in my hand, which would be better verisimilitude, but it was in the call period before the performance, and I was a bit nervous about trying that in the eleventh hour; so Saul decided to drop it. I kind of wish I had felt more secure about it.

    Those special effects drinking glasses were expensive, too. After shipping and handling they were more than $100 for four, a cost that Saul and Deirdre split. We used three of them, I believe. One in a dry run before tech. One in tech. One for the performance.

    Back to Zipper. He is one of my favorite roles I've played, despite his flaws. I had a great time getting inside this guy. The suggestion reared its erroneous head several times that these were not fully dimensional characters. I most certainly stand behind Zipper as more than only a "cardboard cut out" whose purpose is to move forward the plot of the melodrama that is Inside the Gatehouse. I certainly was able to play him as 3-D, and the others played their characters so, as well.

    We get to see a lot of Zipper's sides. He starts the show as a poorly-humored wise cracker who is a bit too loose with his use of the "F" word. His limericks are mediocre and one sees no evidence in this early section that there is anything special about his intelligence. Then, as the little puzzles start presenting themselves, it is Zipper who catches on to things. And when the hint of a ghost in Jackson's past presents itself, Zipper's instincts send his radar up early.

    So, in the section I previously mentioned where he is confrontational with Jackson, we get to see why he is a successful lawyer, that he is sharp and keenly skilled. I, in fact, visualized myself (Well, Zipper) in a court room, cross-examining a defendant, as I played him, badgering Geoff's Jackson. This Zipper is not the Zipper who was making up crappy limericks an hour earlier.

    Finding that moment where he clicks into Lawyer Mode was something I appreciated greatly. In the minutes before he clicks over, his lawyer senses are tingling. The unknown assailants outside have delivered a bottle of champaign with a card addressed to Jackson. Jackson is a vodka man and even repeatedly affirms such. Zipper has the sense it's not caprice that champaign has been sent to Jackson, so he starts probing. Jackson makes a verbal misstep, a correction of himself in mid-sentence, that betrays him as hiding something. The lawyer emerges fully, sharply in that moment, and Zipper's further questions, his dialogue for the next couple of pages is all direct, pointed, aggressive and strong. The limerick improviser has recessed deep inside Zipper (or, Andrew Kendrick, if you'll allow me the bold presumption to maintain that name here for Zipper).

    In terms of his "personal failings" (to borrow from Zipper's own words), in the end, he's far more worthy of redemption than the audience seemed to believe he is. It has turned out, we find out somewhere about halfway in the play, that he's done something pretty reprehensible. But I might point out that he's the only one to admit his sin with some semblance of willingness, and his regret seems to be the most aligned with the deed rather than the getting caught. Terry Morris (Dayton Daily News) wrote in his blogspot article, "Day 2 of Futurefest gets to the heart of things," that Zipper "ends up seeming tame compared to the others."

    Our playwright does have a glitch in the Zipper through line, though. It's a legal technicality. Zipper's main sin that he confesses is that he refused to do something as a lawyer; it's something that, during the talk-back after the show, a lawyer/actor(*) in the audience pointed out he would not be expected to do; and, I further extrapolate, perhaps would actually be expected by the court to not do. As it stands right now, in all reality, Zipper is off the hook for the very action, or inaction, that I gave all that remorseful emotion toward in the scene where Greg told me there was too much air in between lines, at our final rehearsal. On the other hand, Zipper is at least complicit in something else -- and that could get him disbarred, at the very least -- but his real guilt load seems technically to be rendered moot.
    (*): It was Cynthia Karns, whom I've worked with in The Diviners and two incarnations of Sordid Lives.

    Another attendee pointed out, again, during the talk-back, right after the adjudicators were through with their responses, that Zipper seemed to be the one who was figuring everything out. He, meaning the audience member, found something wrong with it. He even said, "at least the actor played it that way." That is true, I did play it that way; the text makes the actor play it that way. I saw it in the text; Saul saw it in the text; the other actors saw it in the text. Bill Hollenbach verified that he put it in the text. To be honest, I am not exactly sure what the man's disapproval was all about. He said he felt that others should have been in on figuring things out. I don't know what difference it makes or how that is either a valid or an invalid thought on the man's part. More so, I think it's perhaps only personal caprice and sensibility.

    The playwright wrote Zipper as a friggin' smart guy. And I know he did, because we FutureFest actors and directors get to find out first hand -- which, you may imagine, is pretty damned cool! Of course I have been accused of being easily impressed. So, I know Bill Hollenbach intended for Zipper to be sharp because, 1) the text belies that; 2) Bill Hollenbach and I had a discussion about it.

    But, then, also, I am bias toward Zipper. I have that empathy the actor develops for the character he or she inhabits. On this point, I always think of Doris Roberts, most famous for her role as Marie Barone, the mother on Everybody Loves Raymond. Ms. Roberts consistently defended Marie as just a woman who fiercely loved her family, which is why Marie would do such backhanded and inconsiderate things to people, especially to her daughter-in-law, Debra (Patricia Heaton). But, I would not wish to have any involvement with Mrs. Barone. Ms. Roberts -- whom I have no such reservations about knowing, meeting, whatever -- was vested in Marie. She had to understand and sympathize with Marie's motivations, wants, needs, thoughts; she had to know and believe in Marie's justifications. Me too, with Zipper, or whomever I do on stage or screen. The actor has got be on the side of the character, at least in the sense of having a handle on what the character thinks and believes about himself or herself, a distinction that comes in handy when you're playing someone like Hitler. If the actor can't do that, he or she may not affect the audience members with the work; they may only see the actor rather than the character.

    All that to support my admission that I just might not be detached enough to see Zipper as lacking in suitability for redemption the way others may. From the start of the adjudication, about 10:15 or so on Saturday night, through the end of the day Sunday, I would hear people say how all four of the Gatehouse characters were such bastards and I would think:

    Not Zipper! Not REALLY! Come on guys! He shows real remorse for what he did, even the more reprehensible deed, the major unethical one. And he stops action toward the ultimate and horrible solution to their dilemma more than once. You just know at the end, he will not be the one to do what it is proposed to do.

    I even verbalized that argument a few times, usually to clearly skeptical ears.

    OH YEAH! Another thing! Zipper may use the "F" far too indiscriminately, but he comes nowhere near saying the most obscene things to be said in that 80-90 minutes on stage. That honor goes to Art.

    It was fun playing Zipper. I especially am gratified, that as far as on-your-feet performances, I am the first actor to give him life (though there have been staged readings). But, at least I have no high-profile performance preceding mine. Meredith Moss, in her "Tidbits" column for the Dayton Daily News, quoted me as follows, for the Monday, July 28 edition:

    K.L. Storer...said the exciting thing about being an actor for FutureFest is that "you get to play a role that nobody has defined." When he played the role of Teach in American Buffalo in Springfield, in contrast, that part had previously been played by Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pucino.

    I had further commented to Meridith how following in the footsteps of those particular three rather notable iconic performers in the role of Teach set the bar far more than simply relatively high (with no claim nor assumption, whatsoever, on my part that I met that bar ), a point I believe I have made before in this blog. You can read her whole article, which has several other interesting items, gleaned from the weekend, by clicking here -- of course, with the same old caveat: as long as the link is alive.

    The only one performance thing: I really wish I'd had a few more nights with Zipper on stage. It would have been nice to have honed him further and to have worked some kinks out of my performance. Plus it was a pleasure to play him and I would not have minded a few weeks of that. And I got such really good feedback on my work; what performer doesn't want to stay in that groove?

    *NOTE: Sorry for being close to cryptic everywhere above about the plot points of the play, but it is a new play that has not yet even been published. The story is not commonly known and I don't want to dish out spoilers.

    SO, K.L., WHO WON? Well, for those who've actually read down this far and who are not a part of the Dayton Theatre Community or connected with FutureFest, the honors went to Anita Simons and Lauren Simon for the historically based Heartland which deals with German immigrants and German POWs in the hands of the U.S. Government during WWII and the effect a travesty has on one immigrant and her family.

    As for a general observation about all the plays, I believe they all can have a life on the stage. None are, in my opinion, in their final draft, but all show potential and none were stinkers. The productions were all good and as I watched the other five shows I saw a lot of good acting going on this weekend. In the same article by Russell Florence Jr. which I referred to above, he writes, "As has been the case in the past, this year's...scripts were greatly elevated on the whole by the quality of acting and directing." Of the Heartland cast, Florence proclaimed their work as "authentic" and "wonderfully cohesive." He also gave them high scores for spot-on German accents and pronunciation of the German language, and I can testify he is right on with that. And of course he singled out actors from other plays for their fine work, too, including us bastards in the gatehouse, as I wrote earlier.

    One of the most enjoyable things about the FF weekend for me as an actor, and I bet I'm not alone in this, is the opportunity to socialize with the playwrights and the adjudicators. They are usually an interesting group of people. This year it began with the cocktail party, the day before the festival opened, in the penthouse of a high-rise condo building in Kettering, Ohio (birthplace and hometown of Bart Simpson). Then over the course of the weekend it was time spent in restaurants, bars and even Sunday evening after the festival closed at Saul Caplan's home for the Annual Ice Cream Social, Postmortem, And "My-Show-Shoulda-Won" WhineFest.

    Discussing theatre and the business with people who focus on such for a living: not a hateful venture for an actor who is not at all opposed to having Equity, AFTRA, and SAG cards -- hell, even a Dramatist Guild of America card; and you should know, if you have read much of my blog or know me even just a little, a Directors Guild of America card. Sometimes one can pick up some great pieces of information and pointers to act upon or file away. I actually will discuss one such item below in a separate section of this entry, this MARATHON entry. Plus, as I said, these are interesting people. I got to spend a bit more time with a few of them and no time at all with a few others. But it's all good and an experience that I like, a lot. By-the-way, I have added bios for all playwrights and adjudicators, as well as a whole slew of credits, to the Sunday, July 27 post above.

    Friday night I shot straight home after the Adam & Evey adjudication because the next curtain was at 10 a.m. Saturday and I needed to be sure I was well rested for our 8:30 p.m. curtain -- and I had my own line drills as well as the line run the cast did in the green room during our call time. But Saturday night and Sunday I cared far less about the time and did this socializing, schmoozing, quasi-networking stuff. That, along with sitting in the audience five shows, prep for and performance of our show, and the general energy and excitement of the weekend puts a power strain on ya:

    Note to self:
    Next time you do a FutureFest weekend, take a vacation day on that following Monday. Or AT LEAST take vacation time in the morning!

    GAWD I'M SUCH AN UNGRACIOUS RECEIVER OF KUDOS: Often I have this dumb-assed habit of practically arguing with people's complements to me. I'm especially stupid about it when someone tells me that the performance I just did is the best they've seen from me. It's some sort of parental affection I have for all my work -- or most of it -- that makes me believe I have to defend the integrity of my "other kids." I believe, in my more lucid moments, that it is an inappropriate and unnecessary reaction. When I get in that mode and respond to people with, "Yeah but you should have seen....." or whatever version of that I spew, I am essentially disavowing the complement and disrespecting the complementer.

    Last weekend I pulled this ungracious silliness on several occasions with those who gave me such kind and generous complements on my work as Zipper. My responses in these cases may not have been full-blown rudeness, but they came uncomfortably close to being so.

    Think about it: People were saying my performance was great, and I was, in these cases of ungraciousness, trying to dilute the compliment? I'll get my egomaniac license revoked if I am not careful.

    Ahh, now, let's be realistic here: there's no real danger of any such revocation!

    WILLIAM PETERSEN ON STAGE AT STEPPENWOLF AND THEN THE VICTORY GARDENS THEATER IN CHICAGO: One of the adjudicators I was able to hang with a few times is Andrea Dymond, who is resident director of The Victory Gardens. Last year we briefly discussed that William Petersen (of course, Gil Grissom on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) would be doing a play in Chicago -- where he, an Illinois boy, got his acting start. I had every intention of driving up to see him, but I erroneously thought he was on stage last spring, it turns out it was winter, 2007, and the reason he was gone for four or five episodes of the TV show last season. He is back on stage in Chicago twice in the new theatre season. Once will be this coming winter, at Steppenwolf Theatre reprising the role of John Plunkett in Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol, It turns out that he had actually appeared in Rhode Island with this last year. But this year he will be in Chicago with it. Then, next summer he will appear in a new play, for which I don't have the title for, and at Andrea's theatre. I have every intention of getting to at least one of those productions -- the summer one, though farther away, seems wiser.

    Ms. Dymond told me she once was stage manger for a show William was in and that he was compelling to watch. Well, he is one of my favorite actors, so I am all about seeing this guy on stage. See the Victory Gardens web page about his appearance, for as long as the link is active --

    MY MOVIE DIRECTOR'S PROJECTS: Now that I'm clear of FF08 I am bound and determined to get some sort of movie production off the ground. The short, long-form improv movies are the first order of business.

    Over the weekend at FutureFest I was able to finally catch up with a key player I want to bring in on this project, at least. I have been compiling a little list of actors whom I know have improv skills. I have mentioned the project to a few of them, but not all. I am now putting together the wording of my invitation into the project.

    Much production detail is not ironed out, especially locations. But that is the most open part, location. The crew is another thing altogether, but that can happen perhaps quickly.

    Also, in conversation over the weekend with Ms. Dymond she clued me in to a very important thing. I need to either condense or expand my longer short screenplay because the current length (of about 30-40 minutes) will be difficult to even be considered for screening at film festivals. According to her, movies should be twenty minutes or shorter or at least seventy minutes. At the moment, my inclination is that I will expand it, because my current thought is that I can bring in or follow some threads that will enhance rather than distract. However, I am not ruling out cuts, whatsoever. Certainly would be kinder in terms of production. Ultimately, I want to do what's best for the final cut.

    IN RELATIONSHIP TO MY MOVIE PROJECTS: You few will recall I bought Final Draft's "Scriptwriter's Suite" back in late March, to the tune of $314.23. Deirdre just recently came across and then made me aware of an open source screenwriting software called Celtx. I downloaded and installed it and took a cursory tour. Looks pretty comparable to Final Draft, so far.

    Purchase price?: ZIP!! ... ZILCH!! ... NADDA!! But-what-a-ya-gonna-do?

    GREAT BIZARRE LITTLE MOVIE WITH AN EX-DAYTON ACTOR IN IT: There is lovely and talented actor, Elisabeth Wenzel, who was of our local theatre community but is now in Texas. And if you click on her name here you'll see her IMDb page where she's got a few credits now. She appears in a well-done short movie titled The Funeral Singer, directed by Jenn Garrison, a newer director who's making a name for herself. Elisabeth plays, as she puts it, "an evil stepsister." Check it out by clicking here. You'll have to first watch a trailer for a major release, but it'll be short.

    So this entry is long long long and was, as you might guess, several days in the writing.
    I will probably be fixing typos and other dumb-assed errors for weeks or months

    Mon, Aug 4, 2008

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  • Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright by Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson (Springfield StageWorks).

    Read the play over the weekend and like it. Only have my eyes on the title role. Admittedly that's a long-shot. Again, the production is a staged reading performed at The Westcott House, a Wright design in Springfield, Ohio.

  • Earlier in the afternoon I'll audition at Roof-Goenner for an industrial promotional video that will be shown on-line and at trade shows.
  • I still have not counted out Outward Bound by Sutton Vane, our Dayton Theatre Guild 2008/09 season opener. I read that this weekend, too and like it. But I have to go after the Wright role, first. The DTG audition is, again, next Monday & Tuesday night.
  • 2007/08 MURPHY AWARDS: the Guild's in-house theatre awards are "The Murphy's." Itís based on Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will"). As the Guild writes of the award and the chosen nomenclature for it:

    Our determination to produce quality theatre stems from a firm belief in the necessity, desire and determination to mount outstanding productions in the eye of adversity, something every community theatre lives with on a daily basis!

    We had our annual picnic yesterday, which is where the Murphy's for the just-ended season are presented. Here is the list of winners. I'm doing this from memory, so I may have to pop back in to make corrections later:

      WINNER            AWARD

      I Ought to Be in Pictures            Best Show
      Director - Fran Pesch
      Producer - Greg Smith

      Saul Caplan            Best Actor
      in the role of Herb
      I Ought to Be in Pictures

      Cassandra Engber            Best Actress
      in the role of Constance Middleton
      The Constant Wife

      Michael Boyd            Best Supporting Actor
      in the role of Bernard Kersal
      The Constant Wife

      Barbara Jorgensen            Best Supporting Actress
      in the role of Mrs. Culver
      The Constant Wife

      Greg Smith            Best Director
      The Constant Wife

      Anita Bachmann            Best Lighting Design
      I Ought to Be in Pictures

      K.L.Storer            Best Sound Design
      Park Your Car in Harvard Yard

      Blake Senseman            Best Set Design
      The Constant Wife

      Carol Finley            Best Costume Design
      Boston Marriage

    Most of the directors also gave out their own awards; the only one I'll mention is Sarah Gomes' award to Smoky the cat (in his role as Brackish's cat, Nathaniel Hawthorne. in Park Your Car) for "Best Non-union Feline Stand-in." Smokey lives with DTG board member Brian Buttrey.

    I just can't remember all of the other directors' awards or I'd list them.

    I also am quite flattered to report that I was recognized with a certificate for my work as house manager and board member. It was a surprise and an honor.

    Wed, Aug 6, 2008

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  • The Industrial Promotional Video ‐‐ The specs had said the producers were looking for a good variety of types, though all business people. They'd suggested certain types and ethnicities (as examples). In prep I had tried a couple types that were my ethnicity, American WASP. One was pretty much just me; the other, following the specs, a "straight laced, buttoned-up, corporate type with anxiety." Then I tried both an Irishman and a Russian. When I got to Roof-Goenner, Jim Payne said we were going with one version and he liked the Irishman. So I did the screentest as an Irishman. Three takes. First one wasn't big enough. Second one, I blew the lines. Third one, pretty good take, though some words were difficult to understand through my faux-brogue. But the personality was there so we kept that as the submission. The auditions run through the week, so I would not know right away about being cast.
  • Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright -- Not a lot of auditioners there either night, but there is at least one other contender for the role of Frank, and a strong one. I went back last night, though a call to arms to work on something last night had been issued from The Guild, and also despite that I had another bad headache that I'd actually went home early from work because of. There's another audition session on Friday, and I'll probably make that, too.

    On the audition form, where it asks what role the actor is interested in I wrote simply "Frank." He is really the draw for me to this play. I made sure to point that single name out last night, trying very hard not to come off like some sort of diva. But there are other projects that I am attracted to, as well.

    I also made sure Larry ‐‐ (Coressel; the director) ‐‐ knew that I would be auditioning for Outward Bound next week if my casting here was not determined yet.

  • LET'S GIVE MR. MILLS HIS DUE CREDIT: Here's a little note about my Murphy Award that I neglected in the last blog entry. I would be remiss if I did not give Bob Mills his well-earned credit due for the success of the sound in Park Your Car in Harvard Yard last winter. I did design it, but had I not had his expertise as an electrical engineer, we may have not had the proper hardware configuration to execute that design successfully. The whole soundwork for the show was a major challenge and it would have not succeeded without Bob.

    And for those who don't know or have forgotten, there were several times that he operated both this sophisticated sound design AND the lights, simultaneously, during some rehearsals and some performances. He was vital to our success.

    OH YES! THE DREADED LOOPING!!!!: We will be doing the ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) for that exterior scene in Ghostbusters: Spook University, the one that features Dan Yohey and me, this coming Saturday. Director Mike Sopronyi thinks it will take about an hour or so. I think longer. We have the facility (Miami Valley Communications Council) for four hours; I'll bet we use at least half that time. However, I am more than happy to end up being proved wrong and Mike being proved correct.

    Thu, Aug 7, 2008

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    The BIG Dayton Theatre Guild News!

    Well, for those in the Dayton area theatre community who'd been hearing low, hushed rumblings, the news is officially out, broke yesterday in an article by Terry Morris in the Dayton Daily News. The Dayton Theatre Guild is in the finalizing stages of closing a deal to purchase the Dayton Gym Club building on Wayne Avenue, which will place The Guild in the historical Oregon District. It's exciting news that we board members have been keeping hold of until this official news release -- though there were whispers that snuck out there.

    Hey, nobody heard nuthin' from me or read nuthin' in this dorky little web space here.

    Click on the title for Terry's article, "Theatre Guild moving to Oregon District." That is, as always, until it is no longer on-line.


    Still Me, is off to a, as Director Beth McElhenny writes, "great start as we roll out to all the festivals!" Scott King was awarded Best Actor, for his lead role as Jack, this past weekend at Spudfest Take II, the latest installment of the film festival founded by Ms. Dawn Wells, of course, best known internationally as Mary Ann on the 60's pop culture staple, Gilligan's Island, as I believe I have frequently mentioned.

    Sorry, but I think it's cool as all get-out that I am associated with a movie that has screened at a film festival founded by Dawn Wells ‐‐ MARY ANN. And, even though I have a small supporting role, hey, Mary Ann Summers has seen me act! And she gave a Best Actors award to someone I have worked on screen with.

    So let this geeky freshman have my happy-happy-joy-joy fit!

    Ms. Wells, by-the-way, is also the founder of The Idaho Film and Television Institute, by which Spudfest is sponsored.

    Meanwhile: Yay Scott!

    Scott King accepts Best Actor Award at Spud fest Take II flim festival
    Scott King accepts his Best Actor Award at Spudfest Take II 2008, with Ms. Dawn Wells looking on.
    Scott King and Dawn Wells, again, at Spudfest 2008.
    Scott King and Dawn Wells again, at Spudfest 2008
    Beth McElhenny and Dawn Wells at Spudfest 2008.
    Beth McElhenny, director and screen writer of Still Me, and Dawn Wells at Spudfest 2008.

    Now it's on to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, which runs September 11-14.

    Again, I would have loved to have made it to Spudfest and wish I could be at Big Bear!

    ANOTHER AUDITION NIGHT FOR FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: I am still probably going to show up tomorrow evening for the third audition session for Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright, which Springfield StageWorks is producing with performances at The Westcott House, a Wright design in Springfield.

    STILL THE DREADED LOOPING!!!!: The ADR for Ghostbusters: Spook University is still on for Saturday.

    AND REMEMBER TINA GLOSS'S MARATHON ‐‐ "HELP ME IN MY TRAINING TO END STROKE": Speaking of lead performers in Still Me, Scott's opposite in the film, Tina Gloss (also playing the mom in the past on Pushing Daisies), still has that thirteen mile marathon to benefit the American Stroke Association coming up. And she is close to her sponsorship goal, as she writes here:

    Tina Gloss holds her 'I'm Training to End Stroke' t-shirt. If you don't know by now, I'm running a half marathon for the American Stroke Association. I'm almost there with my mileage and with my donations; I'm running upwards of eight miles so far (well, running and walking) and I have already raised $2100, but I need to reach my goal for both mileage (13.1 miles) and my $2400 donation goal by August 8th.

    Just go to to make a donation....This year, approximately 780,000 people in the U.S. will have a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country, behind heart disease and cancer. Please won't you read my letter below and help me reach my goal.

    Click on this image for a PDF of Tina's original letter:    PDF of Tina Gloss letter about 1/2 Marathon to benefit stroke victims

    Thank you for your continued support,
    Tina Gloss Finnell

    Fri, Aug 8, 2008

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    LAST AUDITION NIGHT FOR FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: It's a toss up, at best, as to if I'll be cast as Wright in Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright. My readings of him felt good and right; I believe I did very well. I think, however, that I will not be cast as Wright, which means, if my audition form was attended to correctly, I will not be offered any role. Remember, in the section that asks what role the actor is auditioning for, I put only "Frank." So I think it very likely I will be at the auditions Monday and Tuesday for Outward Bound at The Guild. Director Larry Coressel should send the casting email sometime tomorrow.

    THE DREADED LOOPING!: Tomorrow I go to re-record my dialogue for that exterior scene in Ghostbusters: Spook University, along with Dan Yohey. That being done in the studio at the Miami Valley Communications Council with the ADR process. It's been two years since we shot that scene. I looked it over a bit tonight and will some more tomorrow morning. This, by-the-way, for the one person who may remember, is the scene that I crashed and burned on the first night we tried to shoot it because I'd been on location all day on standby, and was, frankly toast when we finally got to it. I and Dan both asked to re-shoot it later and the next shoot was much better, save for the HVAC units that now necessitate the ADR.

    Sat, Aug 9, 2008

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    Microphine and scirpt pages on lecturn stand for Automated Dialogue replacement session. THE DREADED LOOPING!:
    So Dan Yohey and I re-recorded the dialogue for the Ghostbusters: Spook University scene today at the Miami Valley Communications Council. It took longer than an hour to do the ADR *(see above ‐‐ Aug 6 entry). The major problem was that we did not have the scripts in memory anymore so we were reading and trying to watch the screen for our lip movements. We had to also go through and mark up our scripts a bit, making changes to reflect the slight paraphrases we said as opposed to what was on the page. It also did not help that what we had at first to use for the ADR were sides from an earlier draft with significant differences, in some cases, from the shooting script we had used in production. Fortunately, I brought my script, so we were able to make copies of the pages from it; then the mark-up was not quite so extensive.

    There were a lot of different takes. The last three we did without even bothering with the scene on screen. We just read the scene at different speeds of speech each time. This is digital recording, so Mike (Mike Sopronyi, the director) will have a lot of leeway to mix and match parts of sentences from one take to another, to shrink or elongate pauses; he can even, if he has the touch, shorten or lengthen a word. It will be a task, but it can be done.

    now for some Ghostbustin' ADR (and more) pictures

    Dan Yohey
    This is Dan Yohey ‐‐ winner of two regional Emmy Awards as a videographer for WDTN: Channel 2. Here he is in his role as Josh Stevens in Spook University in another scene, shot in the Student Union at Wright State University.
    K.L.Storer and Dan Yohey, looping dialogue
    Me and Dan, doing our little Looping dance. The ear pieces ultimately didn't work. Technically, Mike couldn't run the playback and record our new dialogue, without recording both. We weren't able to follow it along well anyway, so the sound track playback just got in the way, all the way around.
    K.L.Storer and Dan Yohey, making script changes for ADR
    Here we are listening to playback to mark the adjustments on our scripts: the contrasts between what the text said and what came out of our mouths during the good takes. Such as a line where my text was "Well, Mr. Stevens you are correct..." but what I said was "Actually, Mr. Stevens you are correct..."; in looping I had to say the latter, of course.
    Dan Yohey and K.L.Storer recording ADR.
    Another view of Dan and me doing the ADR thing. This is when we were no longer attending to the visual playback of the scene. What you see on the monitor in front of us is a view of that moment. Mike videotaped the ADR session for the Behind The Scenes chapter of the DVD, and the montor was showing the shots being taped.
    K.L.Storer and Dan Yohey, waiting for ADR session to begin.
    Here we are, early in the session, waiting for Mike to get everything set up in the control room.
    Dan Yohey
    Another shot of the Emmy Award winning SlAcKeR.
    Dan Yohey, K.L.Storer and Mike Sopronyi on 'SPOOK UNIVERSITY SHOOT' summer 2006.
    Dan, myself and Mike on the original shoot of this scene, two summers back-- with the pesky HVACs blowing and humming all around us. Again, on campus at Wright State University.
    Dan Yohey and K.L.Storer on 'SPOOK UNIVERSITY SHOOT' summer 2006.
    Full frame of the scene shot in the Wright State Student Union.
    These cells are all from my own 'Behind The Scenes' footage, by-the-way.
    Dan Yohey and K.L.Storer on 'SPOOK UNIVERSITY SHOOT' summer 2006.
    ...and, again....
    Dan Yohey on 'SPOOK UNIVERSITY SHOOT' summer 2006.

    If you live anywhere near the Dayton area, those screams of agony and frustration you hear in the next few days or weeks, the ones that come from south of town, in the Miamisburg area..... they will be coming from the gut, throat and mouth cavity of Mike Sopronyi as he tries to fine-tune edit what we recorded today to make the words from our voices match the words from our lips.

    God Speed, Mr. Sopronyi, God Speed.

    AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT AUDITION: Whilst I and Dan were dubbing our dialogue, Larry Coressel, the director for Springfield StageWorks's production of Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright sent out his email with the offers of roles.

    The role of Frank is offered, as I strongly expected it would be, to an actor with some serious skill, whom I saw in his excellent performance as Stage Manager in the SSW production of Our Town, Peter Wallace. I was, indeed, offered other roles (multi-casting as in Catch 22). In my email response, along with saying that I thought Peter is a smart choice, I also reaffirmed that Frank was the compelling draw for me to the production and my only interest. Now, there are some other options coming up that have my attention and interest that I need to pursue.

    Also, I said how I really want to avoid looking like (or being) some megalomaniacal diva, but there are some other roles in other productions (that conflict with the WORK SONG rehearsal period and performance schedule) that I'm as interested in as I was Frank. That I really want to go for one until I snag one or get left cold on the sidewalk.

    Beyond that, I have some personal artistic projects that I ought to give some attention too, as well. And if the theatre gods zap me, with their sick senses of humor, and see to it I am not cast in anything I have an interest in, I will sit down with my own projects, like I probably ought to be doing anyway.

    The odd thing here is that even though I am simply being true to myself, despite that I did make sure my narrow casting interest was known, I still hate the idea, to some extent, that I turned down a role (or, roles, in this case). It's like I'm sending a vibe that I think I'm too good for the casting, and that is not the case.

    It's not that I had to have "THE LEAD," it's that all the circumstances of that production and the other opportunities that are out there narrowed my focus of interest down to Frank. It's a staged reading, so for me, there must be something compelling about doing the performance. The character of Frank Lloyd Wright is drawn in a most interesting and compelling way. Performing him would make the weeks of time spent in rehearsal for only three performances of a staged reading still a valuable thing weighed against the other main, interesting opportunity: to be in a full production that runs three weekends and is in my favorite theatre space. That, of course, would be Outward Bound, up at my home theatre, The Dayton Theatre Guild. No, it's not at all that I had to have The Lead role; it just happens that in the case of Work Song, it was the only role I cared about enough to cut myself off from other productions or artistic ventures.

    In Outward Bound, by the way, I'm not even too sure there is a lead role, but if there is, it's either Prior or Rev. Duke, and I am sure I am not going to be cast as a "thirtyish playboy" (Prior), and only a little more likely as a "thirtyish minister" (Duke); though the minister is not absolutely out of the question. I actually am most interested in either Scrubby or Rev. Thomson. Both are supporting, and in fact, Thomson does not show up until Act III. I'd be happy with any male role in this, though I am too old for several of them. It's a good script, though an actor friend of mine thinks very little of it.

    Well, there'll be a lot of men auditioning this coming Monday and Tuesday. I have no reason to think I am anything like a shoe in. Those theatre gods may just tell the first joke as I read a cast list later in the week without my name on it. Yet, but, there shall I be, both nights, hoping to be back on my own stage again.

    And if not cast; maybe more time focused on these so-called "movie projects."

    Were I to be cast in Outward Bound, I unfortunately would not be able to make the Westcott performances of Work Song. I still want to talk the project up. First of all, the script is damned good. And it is a very cool concept: the reading of play about the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, performed in a house he designed, now an historical site and a museum to the man. I've already mentioned it to a few people who think it's cool and are planning to attend.

    Click here for the web site of The Westcott House.

    I've sent info about the roles I was offered to a handful of actors I know who all could pull those roles off. Don't know who will be interested or available. But, hell, I turned the roles down, I ought to try to help fill the gap.

    Mon, Aug 11, 2008

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    THE THEATRE GODS HAVE THEIR CHANCE FOR AN IRONIC JOKE ON ME: Yep, tonight and tomorrow night I audition for Outward Bound at home ‐‐ The Dayton Theatre Guild. We'll see if the Thespis deities think I need some humbling for my recent, um, what?, "presumption of selectivity"(?).

    I looked over the script a bit yesterday and I still hold the same position that I'm interested in any male role in the show, knowing there are a few I am not correct for, but with more of a draw towards Scrubby, Lingley, or Rev. Thomson. Actually, I'd throw Rev. Duke in, but I may be too old for that role in the eyes of the director. I did look over Duke, but if I am cast at all, being cast as him would take me a bit by surprise.

    Tue, Aug 12, 2008

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    OUTWARD BOUND AUDITIONS AT HOME: A bit of competition at the Dayton Theatre Guild last night. I was told I did good reads and I suppose I did. The feeling was, overall, luke warm. My first read was about as cold as you can get. Director Greg Smith had me read as Henry, for whom I had not prepped at all as he is too young for me. Greg said he wasn't really reading people for parts at first, however, he just wanted to hear people read (and I interpret that as meaning he wanted to hear people's British dialect capabilities).

    I was read as Scrubby and as Prior, but not Duke, Lingely nor Thomson. If I am read as either Lingely or Thomson tonight I will be surprised; I believe the actors who will get those respective roles were there last night; perhaps I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I was a bit surprised I was read as Prior, but I do feel good about my read as him ‐‐ though, as I wrote yesterday, I'm not sure that I'm not too old for the role. Wouldn't mind being read as Rev. Duke, either.

    Well, back tonight for round 2.

    Thu, Aug 14, 2008

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    GIGGLES FROM THE GODS: If I make it to the Guild stage this season, it will be in some other show besides the season opener.

    Fri, Aug 15, 2008

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    AUDITION FOR A VOICE ACTING GIG: Went into the agency yesterday and recorded an audio audition (MP3 format) for an animated training video. Also have an audition for an industrial video coming up, but the client hasn't sent the script yet.

    NOW THAT THE GODS I AND HAVE SEEN TO IT THAT I'M NOT IN A PLAY RIGHT NOW: I'm trying to get the ducks in a row for the improv on camera. I also have some more literary things to deal with. The chapbook in progress at site proper needs wrap up sort of attention ‐‐ that, unless I go ahead and once again extend deadlines, since the submissions have been so underwhelming in volume. There are some works to add, and I guess I need to start thinking about graphics. There has not been even one graphic illustration submitted.

    STILL ME ACCEPTED IN ANOTHER FILM FESTIVAL: Just got word that the Secret City Film Festival has accepted Still Me as an entry for their 2008 festival, October 9-12, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. More details as they are sent my way.

    That's only about 325 miles for me. I am considering making this trip. I don't have a play performance in my way.

    Sun, Aug 17, 2008

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    A NEW TIME TABLE STRUCTURE ‐‐ BUT NOT A NEW MEASUREMENT, NO, A NEW DIMENSION:                   27 hours per day

    9 days per week                      

               6 weeks per month

    14 months per year

        As a fellow actor who is also an impressively accomplished writer once told me, when I asked if there were any auditions coming up in her future:

        "Too many loves; not enough time"

    I just want to dive into so many goddamned oceans of endeavor, it at times gets debilitating and I am emotionally urged to just stay in bed and watch reruns of Friends and That 70's Show.

    Still, I am doing stuff......

    • The In-Progress, Theme-Based Chapbook The Motion In Motive -- I've spent this morning giving more full-blown attention to being the editor of this chapbook than I have for a while. And I have a handful of poems to post shortly. I am also reading some prose submissions.
    • More Work On My Own Fiction ‐‐ Last night I did a little work on a new fiction work by myself. Actually, it's not new, it's just "the newest." It's a work from which I posted several paragraphs many months back in the Dec 10, 2007 blog entry, with the workshop title of "Betty Pern." Click here to go there, but you'll have to either open it in another window or tab or be prepared to click on your backward browse button when you are done, as I have not provided a link back to here.
    • DV Movie(?) ‐‐ I'm still drawing together game-plan lists and such for this alleged long-story improv movies project. I am a bit impatient about it, too.
    • The Grate [sic]  American Novel ‐‐ I am starting to sharply feel I have abandoned, for too long now, the re-write of my novel, Starting for the Sun, which sits and gathers moss.
    • Music ‐‐ I have a whole damned concept music album, that has been recorded for a very long time ‐‐ two decades and some change ‐‐ that I need to do something with. I have mentioned this before. It's f|_|¢'%!|\|& time I get the thing out to the world!
    • So You Wanna Be an Equity Candidate ‐‐ One thing that MUST happen, is that I need to study the sides for my upcoming Human Race Theatre Company callback for Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, which is up next spring at The Victoria Theatre. There is no reason I should not be off-book by the audition date of August 29.

    THAT GRACIOUS APPLAUSE FOR THE OTHER GUY: So, tonight I and several hundred other Dayton area theatre people will attend the 2008 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame and Daytony Gala, which will feature the induction of two staples of the Dayton Theatre scene, Dodie Lockwood and Jim Lockwood. The Daytony theatre awards for the 2007/2008 season will also be awarded. This is the point when many of us ‐‐ actors, directors, producers, set & lighting & sound & costume designers, choreographers, properties managers, yadda yadda yadda ‐‐ will sit, smile and clap for those names called, other than our own. We will be genuinely happy for those whose names are called, but we will still experience that sinking in our chests, our stomachs, that ache of disappointment that our work was not found to be adequate to the recognition.

    I speak in the spirit of the better angels when I say that all will be "genuinely happy" for those others. And I personally always go with the expectation forced upon myself that this will be my scenario, but still always with that hope that my work has been seen as valuable enough by enough judges to be deemed worthy. Overall though, I am fully prepared to leave tonight fighting with a bout of battered self-esteem and yelling at the lesser angel in me to stop resentfully and childishly trashing anybody else's work.

    And make no mistake, I will be in no sort of minority.

    Mon, Aug 18, 2008

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      all those who took home an award from the 2008 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame and Daytony Gala last night.

    And, again, major kudos to Dodie Lockwood and Jim Lockwood for their inductions into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.

    The Daytony web site will be updated with the list of all the winners sometime this week:

    But one personal note and congrat to Debra Kent for her Excellence in Acting in a Lead Role Award for her portrayal of Kathleen Hogan in Park Your Car in Harvard Yard ‐‐ for which, of course, I was the producer.

    Tue, Aug 19, 2008

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    The State Theatre marquee. SPRINGFIELD STAGEWORKS NEWS: It has been declared official, The State Theatre in Springfield is now the permanent home for SSW.

    This is where we performed Endgame in 2005. The building is at 19 South Fountain Avenue, right across from the government building.

    Artistic director Larry Coressel writes: "Thanks to Jim and Nike Lagos for generously offering this historic building for StageWorks home offices, rehearsal and performance space."

    BACK ON THE FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT PROJECT: On the subject of Springfield StageWorks, I sent emails out to about ten actors last weekend to see if I could help fill in the void I left in Work Song - Three Views Of Frank Lloyd Wright by turning down the casting offer I had received. These were actors whom I did not know whether or not were in other projects, but whom I knew could pull off the roles. Some were, as it turns out, already committed; some felt it was too far to drive; the rest I don't know about. I gave them Larry's email and phone number. None have approached him. And as of yesterday the hole was still there.

    So, yesterday I volunteered to step back into the roles. I do want to pursue some projects but I also don't want to see the production in a dilemma that I played a part in. I would have never thought to come back of my own volition and say:

    Well, gee! Since Johnny won't take me to the prom I guess I'll go with Billy after all.

    But, I told Larry that I'd be happy to step back into the roles if I were still welcomed (and I was prepared, without rancor, to not be welcomed). They are, after all, decent parts, just not as attractive to me as Frank was. Larry was congenial and receptive so I am back in the production.

    The good thing is that rehearsal will not be every night until close to the performances, and still maybe only every night the week of. I still have windows for the tasks listed in the Aug 17 entry.

    By-the-way, I don't believe I ever revealed exactly what roles I was offered. They would be Edwin Cheney and Alexander Woollcott. The latter being the famed New Yorker critic and commentator and a member of the notorious New York Algonquin Round Table. Woolcott was also one of Harpo Marx's closest friends. The former, with whose wife, Mamah Cheney, F.L. Wright had a torrid affair that resulted in the lovers each leaving their spouses for each other.

    There is the full table read through tonight, and as I write this, I am not wholly sure I can make it, but probably about 80% sure.

    Hey! Theatre gods.....

    KISS MY /\/\()+#3\&@%$#&$@#$!||{[}}-------

    unless, of course, this was all their design

    Wed, Aug 20, 2008

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    WORK SONG: I was able to make the table read last night. It went well enough for a read through. I always find them awkward, but there's really little more that they can be. No one has been able to get down to any emotional depth or much understanding of any dynamics. Most hardly have a handle on their characters and the voices.

    Always my situation at any rate.

    I did note at one point that Alexander Woollcott is referred to as a "New York Fairy," which means I will have to play up some level of "Dandy" in my portrayal. I believe there are some sound files, elsewhere here in cyberspace, of Woollcott reading some prose. If I'm right, I need to get them so I don't have to guess how a gay, New York socialite speaks. A cursory search has not brought the results I'd expected, but I will give it better attention sometime soon. I have much more research to do on him, too. Meanwhile, Edwin Cheney is even more opaque and I'm guessing I will find much less information on him compared to Woollcott.

    The rehearsal schedule calls for only Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while; we have already established that this works well for me, given all the other pies I am wanting to bake right now.


    • Upcoming (?)  Movie Project ‐‐ My game plan now is to do some test shoots, all fair game for use, but really experiments with the production techniques that best work to capture long-story improv on camera.
    • Wait Until Dark for HRTC ‐‐ The callback audition for this Victoria production is nine days away. I have begun the flashcard process. I am serious about being off-book for this (or would that be "off-sides?").
    • The Rest Of It ‐‐ still on the table.....

       it were.

    Thu, Aug 21, 2008

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    MORE ON BILL HOLLENBACH'S INSIDE THE GATEHOUSE AT FUTUREFEST 2008: Burt Saidel of the Oakwood Register gave Inside the Gatehouse his top vote for FF08 in his August 5 article (vol.17:no.32), "FutureFest offers drama, humor and pathos."

    He called the play suspenseful, dramatic and forceful. He wrote in part, "A clever and absorbing plot, well acted by Dave Williamson, Cheryl Mellen, Geoff Burkman and K.L. Storer, responded to Saul Caplan's direction and the excellent script. The play explored class warfare and inner warfare."

    See the whole article by clicking on its title, above.

    AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE DTG MOVE: See also Burt Saidel's nice write-up on the Dayton Theatre Guild's move to our new building in the Oregon District, in the August 12 issue (vol.17:no.33): "Dayton Theatre Guild." It's the second article down on the "Arts" page.

    Sat, Aug 23, 2008

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    STILL ME SCREENING ON OCTOBER 10 AT THE SECRET CITY FILM FESTIVAL: The schedule is out for this film festival and Still Me will screen at noon on Friday, Oct 10. I am looking at my budget to see if I can make the seven hour drive to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The screenings take place in the theatre of the Oak Ridge Playhouse ‐‐ where, coincidentally, Wait Until Dark* happens to be up in performance right now, having opened just last night.

    The festival web site describes the playhouse theatre as a "1940s-era building with 344 seats....a large enough venue for most screenings, yet small enough to be intimate." It goes on to say that the workshops and panels will be held nearby, thus the festival is centered in one area.

    I really want the math concerning my personal finances to work in favor of the trip!

    BY THE WAY, AT BIG BEAR: Meanwhile, coming up here sooner, Still Me will screen on Saturday, Sep 13 at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in Big Bear Lake, California.

    Unfortunately, I do not have to do the math on that prohibitive trip.

    *) RE: My callback for the Human Race Theatre Company production of Wait Until Dark, up next spring at The Victoria Theatre.

    On an unrelated subject, I will be adding what are likely the last additions to the theme-based virtual chapbook, The Motion in Motive, this next Friday, Aug 29.

    Sun, Aug 24, 2008

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    Alexander Woollcott WORK SONG: I did a little bit of Yahoo & Google research on Alexander Woollcott last night. I was still looking for some sound files of his voice. I have found none. I did find a nice bio of him at the BBC web site that describes his voice as a "reedy, birdlike voice (pigeon-like might say it better)." That at least gives me an informed approach to some measure.

    As well as writing reviews, columns and essays for the print media, Woollcott also was an author of more than a dozen books and wrote several plays and screenplays. He also appeared on stage and screen as an actor. Woollcott had a starring role, as Binkie Niebuhr, in S. N. Behrman's Wine of Choice, which ran for about six weeks at The Guild Theatre on 52nd St. in New York City ‐‐ now The August Wilson Theatre. He wrote and directed The Dark Tower. That play ran fifty-seven performances November, 1933 to January, 1934, at The Morosco Theatre, on 45th St. in New York. The play became the movie The Man with Two Faces, starring Edward G. Robinson. The most notable cast member from the staging of The Dark Tower, to me, would be Margaret Hamilton, indelible in the mosaic of American pop culture as The Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 classic The Wizard of OZ. Even youngins today will know that gig. But how many of you want to show your age by admitting you remember her as the spokesperson, for years, for Folgers coffee?

    Plus, Margaret was also a Buckeye: a fellow native of Ohio.

    In terms of his own biggest spot in that pop culture tableau, it is likely the fact that the character Sheridan Whiteside in the play and derivative movie The Man Who Came to Dinner is directly based upon him, and has been described as "a caricature that exaggerates all of Woollcott's best and worst qualities." Whiteside was actually written for Woollcott to play on stage by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Monty Woolley played the role on Broadway as well in the movie, with the screenplay by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein. Woollcott, himself, portrayed Whiteside on tour.

    See Woollcott's IMDb page for his movie credits, and his IBDb page for his Broadway credits.

    As I mentioned before, Woollcott and Harpo Marx were close friends and as well, Woollcott was very close to Dorothy Parker, a fellow member of that infamous Algonquin Round Table

    And by the way, I just stumbled across The Internet Broadway Database this morning. How long has that been out there?

    OPEN HOUSE & SEASON PREVIEW: The Dayton Theatre Guild held an open house at our new building on Wayne Avenue last night. We gave tours of the facility. There was then a preview of the 2008/09 season via staged readings. I gave tours.

    ANOTHER INTERESTING NOTE ABOUT BIG BEAR FF: This has nothing to do with anything except my Beatlemania, but I notice that there is a documentary screening at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival entitled Desperately Seeking Paul McCartney, which just happens to have a trailer available from YouTube.



    Tue, Aug 26, 2008

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    WORK SONG: Tonight we rehearsed Act I in which I am Edwin Cheney, husband of Mamah (MAY-muh), the love of Frank Lloyd Wright's life, who left Edward for Frank. Rehearsal went pretty well. Of course, this being a staged reading there is no blocking, but there are the occasional pointed gestures.

    I haven't done any research on Edwin yet; I've been focused on Woollcott. At this point I have no absolute idea about the speaking voice of either, but, again, I have a stronger idea for Woollcott than Cheney. Tonight I played with various augmentations of my own voice for Edwin. I think I want to eventualy land on something with a good measure of Chicago (Great Lakes) accent, but not too pronounced. Woollcott will be upper register, slightly effeminate, with a sprinkle of generic New York (but not a heavy Brooklyn or Bronx dialect). Woollcott was actually from Jersey, but I'm betting he picked up a "Manhatten" sound to his speech ‐‐ at the risk of being too general in my label. I haven't settled on the precise sound of Woollcott's voice, either, but I am closer on him.

    WAIT UNTIL DARK: I am counting down to Friday's callback for the Victoria Theatre production of this. I'll stand where I stood about three months ago and thought I'd blown it by going up in a major way on a monolgue on the Loft Stage at the Human Race Theatre Company during my general for the HRTC 2008/09 season.

    I am close to off-book on the sides for the audition. I may hold the sides during the audition, but I don't want the paper to be anything more than a prop. And that does not mean I want the sides to be a crutch. No, I am 85-95% memorized right now. By Friday afternoon I will be 100%. Hell, probably by the time I go to bed tomorrow night I'll be 100% memorized.

    MAYBE ‐‐ "MAYBE" ‐‐ AN AUDITION FOR AN UPCOMING INDY FLIM: I have made contact with a director who plans to shoot an indy film in the late fall. We actually met at the Dayton Theatre Guild Wayne Avenue open house last Saturday. The conversation was really more about his needing help, advice, feed back about the casting call, which has not been launched, yet. We have not been back in touch with each other, yet, and I know next to no details about his project. But at this point it's a potential option for me as an actor. I did send him an email with some tips, especially about venues for posting his audition notices, but have not heard back.

    Fri, Aug 29, 2008

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    THE WAIT UNTIL DARK CALLBACK IS TODAY: So, late this afternoon, really, early evening, I go to the Human Race Theatre Company's Loft Theatre to do my second professional callback audition. I go with the idea that I give it my best shot but try to keep embedded in my head and stomach that the odds ain't in my favor, but that no matter what, it is a valuable experience. I am off-book (or, as I have suggested before, "off-page," since I audition from a four-page side*). I do hope to wrap up all the update to this web space soon (as I write this it is 12:01 pm) and get to some wood-shedding of the scene, however. I took a vacation day, today, so I would not have a work day just behind me when I stood infront of the director. I may go ahead and keep the pages in my hand, though I really want them to be, as I already said, of no significance to my audition.

    *) Sides (or Asides): one or more selected pages from a script, separated out from the script, often retyped or photocopied, used for the purpose of audition.

    WORK SONG: Last night I was Alexander Woollcott with a voice that is getting there but at which I have not fully arrived . Actually, I believe the texture and pitch are there, but I need to perfect dialect and get the delivery to point of consistency.

    AUDITION FOR AN INDUSTRIAL: Next Tuesday I am in Cincinnati in the afternoon for a screen test for an industrial video, via Roof-Goenner Talent Agency. I cannot take all day Tuesday off, however, so I am in the office (at the bill-paying job) in the morning. With today off, and the potential of the following Monday off (if I am cast in the industrial), I have to log some time Tuesday morning.

    I just keep pushing that 120 hours of banked vacation leave farther and farther into the horizon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
               . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                                                    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Sat, Aug 30, 2008

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    YESTERDAY'S WAIT UNTIL DARK CALLBACK AUDITION: Whether or not I will be on the Victoria Theatre stage next May remains to be seen, but I don't feel "awful" about my audition last night at the Human Race Theatre Company studio. I won't say it could not have gone any better because it can always go better. It certainly could have gone worse, however, and there's nothing I think back upon and cringe at. I was ‐‐ maybe, am ‐‐ up for Carlino, along with at least three other actors I know, all with a good résumé of professional work on their sleeves. But I think I did the character justice. The director had us backtrack over a portion of the sides and directed me to be more forceful, which I think I did, but you know, I was on the inside looking out and all that jazz.

    I was relatively cool, but nervous enough that I did not embed the director's name, even though I made a point of repeating it to myself several times. And I can find no information about the production that lists the director.

    All I can say is that I feel good about the audition and guess it all boils down to: am I what John-Bob-Whosit Smith-Jones-Whachamacallit is looking for in terms of type (or at least am I not a type he'd rule out) and did I show him a Carlino that fits his vision? Plus did I show him an actor he thinks he'd like to work with? And, who else and what else has he seen and will he see as he is in this casting stage?

    The audition was rather short; I notice that the one before was at least twice as long and the one before that even longer. That may not mean anything at all. For mine it may mean he quickly saw I was not what he was looking for; it may also mean that he quickly saw something he was looking for. What it does, indeed, mean is that I am most assuredly one of those actors who must indulge in at least a little obsessive second guessing.

    As if that's some great new revelation about me; and as if I am in some sort of minority as an actor on this score.

    By the way, yesterday I posted some additional literature to the theme-based virtual chapbook, The Motion In Motive for anyone who might have an interest. It includes a poem by me and two from a familiar and wonderful poet, Anne Foxbank, as well as work from other fine authors.

    Thu, Sep 4, 2008

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    CAST & CREW:

    Lisa Sadai            Anna
    Elena Monigold            Claire
    Sarah Caplan            Catherine
    Saul Caplan            Director
    Shannon Fent            Stage Manager
    Deirdre Bray Root            Assistant Director
    Blake Stuerman            Set Designer
    Carol Finley            Costume Designer

    for their successes at the The 2008 State OCTAFest with an excerpt from the Dayton Theatre Guild mounting of

    David Mamet's
    Boston Marriage

    Here is the list of their wins:

  • Outstanding in Acting - Lisa Sadai
  • Outstanding in Acting - Sarah Caplan
  • Outstanding in Directing - Saul Caplan
  • Outstanding in Set Design - Blake Stuerman
  • Outstanding in Costume Design - Carol Finley
  • Excellence in Acting - Elena Monigold

  • TINA GLOSS ‐‐ "I MADE IT!!! DISNEYLAND 1/2 MARATHON SURVIVOR": Tina Gloss, the female lead in Still Me and Ned's mom in flashbacks to the past on Pushing Daisies, completed the American Stroke Association marathon this past weekend. Here is a portion of her "VICTORY" email, with some additional material added in:

    Tina Gloss after completing the marathon. Well, I did it!!! Can you believe it?! I sure can't, but my sore legs are reminding me of it today. I finished the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) with a time of 3 hours 18 minutes and 44 seconds at an average pace of 15 minutes and 9 seconds a mile. PHEW!

    I wanted to thank you all for being so supportive of me and my goal. With your generous donations I have exceeded my fundraising goal to end with the total of $2749.00 for the American Stroke Association.

    By making your donation you have invested in the future of all stroke survivors, like Beth McElhenny (who wrote and directed Still Me), and patients still suffering with the after effects, like (Tina's friend) Pavo. 85-100% of each dollar that you have donated goes directly towards research and educational programs which are teaching people about the warning signs of stroke, funding research to find ways to prevent stroke, developing guidelines for physicians to treat people with stroke, providing stroke survivors and their families a place to get answers after a stroke and much, much more!

    There were over 14,000 runners that day. It was an inspiring event and I was just in awe of how many wonderful people and groups came out to root us on during the run. Girl and Boy Scout Troupes, school bands and cheerleaders, dance troupes and bands performing, local businesses offered their support with signs and there was even a cooling misting type tent from a company that was along the route. Not a minute would go by without someone cheering you on.

    Inside Disneyland there were costumed characters waving and runners stopping to have their pictures taken with them ‐‐ so much fun.

    There also was the mobile Pie Hole Trailer (re: Pushing Daisies) passing out mini apple and cherry pies to all of the runners afterwards. You should have seen all these starving runners attacking the pies. I got a few myself. Mmmm.

    Tina Gloss at the PUSHING DAISIES Pie Hole Trailer. With love,
    Tina Gloss Finnell

    Meanwhile, Tina has just finished working on another episode of Pushing Daisies, this her first appearance in the sophomore season. There is a nice PD fan site Pushing The Fan Site where Tina has sent a few pics related to the show. You can go directly to the five pictures she sent by clicking here.

    The exact broadcast date of the episode (number 2.06) has not yet been announced.

    MY AUDITION TUESDAY IN CINCY: Drove down to Cincinnati Tuesday afternoon for the screen test for the industrial video. It felt good. When I'd received the call from Roof-Goenner Talent Agency I'd not been suggested what role I should be up for, but there were three that it looked to me like I would be good for, and vice versa.

    The best for me of the three was a fifty-year-old doctor, who runs "a family practice. . . is warm [and a] nice guy [with] children at home." Then there was a more intense, competitive character who runs his own business (52 y.o). The third was a high school teacher of forty-five, described as "good natured" with self-deprecating humor; not as financially well-off as "the others at the club" but feels secure about his "growing wealth."

    I kept interpretation for each of the three simple. For Mr. Intense I put just the slightest bit of an edge into my voice and made sure I pronounced words just a little sharply, crisply. For Mr. Jovial Teacher I infused a bit of a laugh into my voice. For the doctor, I essentially was myself, but enhanced the hint of nervousness and shyness that I believe I often transmit. This was all as I was prepping, rehearsing each of the three with myself. I only performed one of the men for the casting directors.

    Since I wasn't sure which role I would be auditioning for, I didn't try to memorize any part from the sides. And as it turns out, the script was revised as of Tuesday morning so they were handing out the new version at the audition. One of the casting directors did ask me which role I was auditioning for and when I said it looked like the doctor was the best bet she replied, "That'll work."

    I read one of his monologues for the screen test, but I was reading it off the page, and with my reading glasses on. They had me redo it, riffing on the jist of the paragraph so I could remove my glasses and play more to the camera ‐‐ and give them the character more so than verbatim text.

    It felt as though I did nice work.

    The shoot is this coming Monday, so we shall see most soon if I gave them the doctor they are looking for. In fact, I'd say if I'm not offered today, I won't be offered at all.

    WORK SONG: Back in rehearsal tonight. We do Acts I and II, where all my work is. Act I, I'm Edwin Cheney; Act II, I'm Alexander Woollcott.

    MY OTHER STUFF: "Don't ask," or "Stay tuned," or somethin'.

    DTG STUFF: As a board member for The Dayton Theatre Guild, I am appointed to (actually I volunteered for) the sub-committee to determine the uses of the many wonderful spaces in the new building on Wayne Avenue in Dayton. There are lots of possibilities which very well may include other arts organizations ‐‐ though we are very early in the what if? stage of that last thought.

    One given ‐‐ we have been renting storage space in a very cool place called the Front Street Arts Complex for most of our costumes and bigger set pieces. And though that's been a great help, it's a monthly expense we can now eliminate to funnel that money toward our new building payments.

    The sub-committee had a meeting last night to deal more immanently with the quickly approaching move of the material from Front Street to the new building. That is happening before the end of the month.

    Fri, Sep 5, 2008

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    WORK SONG: Good rehearsal last night. I believe I have a strong handle on my interpretation and voice for Edwin Cheney. I had played him a bit naive, but it came to me that he's not naive, but rather staid and inhibited, yet not in a overtly weak manner. So, I am playing him now strong but boring. Rigidly bland might be another description, but proudly bland, though he does yearn to be "more interesting." So, I took the taste of whimpiness I had been flavoring Edwin's voice with and replaced with a more reserved, confident up-tightness.

    As for Alexander Woollcott, I have a very strong idea of his character, I just need to get a constant delivery of his voice.

    We were down a few actors, so a few of us covered their lines when we could. A few times a couple of us had conversations with ourselves as we read our own characters in conversation with an absent actor's character.

    DAYTON THEATRE GUILD NEW BUILDING IN THE OREGON DISTRICT OPEN FOR TONIGHT'S "FIRST FRIDAYS OF DAYTON" ART HOP: Board members will be at the new building on Wayne Avenue tonight, as we open the doors for part of the First Fridays of Dayton event for this month. We'll give out season brochures and answer questions. There may even be some tours. It's 5:00 until 10:00. I'll get there at least an hour late, as I am trying to make the gym after work once again a constant in my life ‐‐ see below.

    WHO'S THAT ‐‐ ACTUALLY IN THE GYM. . . . WORKING OUT ?!?: Okay, in the scheme of things, when you're talking about the level of actor who subscribes to any or all of Back Stage East, Back Stage West, Performink, Variety, Daily Variety, all with the practical purpose of honestly reading these trades as an active tradesperson of the craft, the actor who has one or more of the union cards, SAG, AEA, AFTRA, and is in active use of those associations, in that realm of the theatrical reality, I am simply a Podunk little actor in a Podunk little theatre world. In terms of talent and skill I am no doubt better than my insecurities will let me believe and not even close to as BRILLIANT  as my moronic ego wants to shout from the roof tops.

    Just exactly what does this thought have to do with anything?: well, maybe I am "Podunk Actor Boy" but I do take it seriously (some may say too "pretentiously" seriously)  and I want to be very good at it. Screw that, I want to be most excellent at it. Even more so, as I have said before, I want to truly BE a friggin' BRILLIANT ACTOR!

    "Yeah. . . . So?"

    SO, one of the things a "serious" actor should be is in good physical shape. That both for stamina and letís face it, for physique, just the plain ol' LOOKIN' GOOD factor. That takes exercise and smart dieting. I was, at one time, pretty disciplined about the gym. Then I started acting again and ran into periods when fitting the gym into my day became difficult. My ideal is six days a week in the gym (three cardiovascular days each in between three weight lifting days). Some times that is nothing more than a pipe dream. And though I am not nor have never been a vegetarian (or the more hard-core vegan), I rarely eat red meat though I do consume some dairy products (I loves my extra-sharp cheddar and my ice cream). But I am big on chicken, turkey and tuna. And I do love salads and veggie stir fries.

    Now, in terms of the "stamina" I'm gonna grade myself at C+ at the very best; perhaps B- if I want to be especially generous. But that "physique" part, that "LOOKIN' GOOD factor": well, I have enough sense to know that I will elicit a much different reaction if sporting around shirtless than the likes of Matthew McConaughey. I'm not thinking it's likely that I'll ever get to the sort of cut, six-pack, .9 ounces of body-fat form that someone like McConaughey has. But I certainly can rid myself of the annoying flab I currently have (since I have been without it in my later adulthood). And I am damned sure I can improve my stamina! I have also, in my later adult life, been in the solid B range for stamina and see no reason to not make it into the A range -- A- at the very least.

    K.L.Storer - summer 2007. K.L.Storer - summer 2007.
    NOT Matthew McConaughey: summer 2007
    It would be nice to recover the bulk in my arms and chest that I had just last summer ‐‐ 2007 ‐‐ and have lost, then move beyond it. That is, to regain and improve on the bulk and lose the chub, as well. And then there's leg tone, too. Actually, I have had better bulk than even a year ago, during those days in the late 90's and early 2000's when I was, indeed, hitting the gym six days a week as a constant norm, and in warmer weather, biking on that seventh day ‐‐ usually a Sunday.

    Vanity? Shallowness? Two-dimensionalism?: Yeah, probably
              . . . . . Too bad.

    On the other side, there is no question that I need to lose some chubbiness in my face if I want to work a lot on camera. And maybe, to that end, it's not bulk I should aspire to as much as it is muscle tone.

    Jeez ‐‐ this really is vanity and shallowness and two-dimensionalism! Or so it does feel.

    Yet, none of it can be labeled as illegitimate concerns.

    The point being that I have been hitting the gym recently at least three times a week. I've been staying clear of excess cheese and ice cream, too. So, at least for the moment I am taking the physical well-being of the "Actor"  seriously.

    Or, maybe, I am once again takin' myself a bit TOO seriously.
              . . . . . Too bad.

    Sun, Sep 7, 2008

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    Were he alive, my father would be Eighty-Nine years old today.

    Dad and I had too many a friction but I miss him much and as I do of my mother I wish Dad had been around to see my return to the world of theatre arts, where I have always belonged. He would have been profoundly proud and would have bragged to anyone who would listen.

    My Dad, George A. Storer Jr., at my college graduation, 1994
    George A. Storer Jr.

    K.L.Storer in his office at home

    me in my office at home

    K.L.Storer self portrait - 'Tie Sorting'

    self portrait: Tie Sorting

    K.L.Storer self portrait - 'Watching TV'

    self portrait: Watching TV

    K.L.Storer in his office at home

    again, me in my office at home

    The pictures to the right have no relevance to any entry material below, but I did them yesterday (well mostly) and simply wish to post them. Tie Sorting was actually taken last Monday, but I rendered some effect to it yesterday. The first picture is proof positive (to me, at least) that I do, indeed, need to lose some weight in my face.

    Now, onward....

    WORK SONG: Though this production is a staged reading, I have every intention of being off-book for the performances. I will look down at the pages, but I want the freedom to be able to look up and away for dramatic effect. For instance, in the first scene I am Edwin Cheney and in that scene I and Frank (Peter Wallace) are riding in a train car on our way back to Illinois from a tragedy. Edwin looks out the window much in this scene and comments on what he does and does not see. I wish to dramatize that and not have my face and eyes tethered to the script.

    There is a scene in Act II where my Woollcott suffers from a hangover and says several lines of dialogue with his eyes closed. I choose to do that most especially so I can open my eyes in surprise to deliver a certain responsive line that follows that bit.

    Just two examples of why I want to be off-book, even if for most of the performance I do let my eyes touch the pages frequently as a part of the fabric of the staged reading performance. And if I don't have it all memorized, I will have many sections memorized.

    Though I have not begun that process, whatsoever.

    PRODUCING FOR THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD: I had already agreed to produce Glen Merzer's The Cashier at the request of its DTG director Sarah Gomes (we occupied the same roles for Park Your Car in Harvard Yard); at the August board meeting I volunteered to also produce David Lindsay-Abaire's Fuddy Meers, being directed by Fred Blumenthal. This means that as of the moment I am slated to produce the last two shows of this new season.

    Producing The Cashier was contingent on my not being cast in Wait Until Dark, and though I always knew it was a long-shot, I believe by this time we can all safely assert that I am free and clear to produce Sarah's show. I have also been asked about my interest in auditioning for Hamlet for Springfield StageWorks, but that is auditioning in January and then has a long rehearsal period before its run in late April and early May. I have a few more goes at getting on my own theatre's stage this year, actually including both shows I am producing as well as the first show of 2009, Catfish Moon, by Laddy Sartin. Though I have not yet totally counted Hamlet out, it does not seem likely to me. Though I do ultimately have an interest in doing Shakespeare.

    The big question is what do I do about producing if I am cast in either or both shows? I am not wholly convinced there would be a difficulty for me to produce and appear in either or both cases. And I am incredibly convinced that being producer would give me no "in" as far as being cast in either play. Beyond that, I have not actually read either play yet, nor Catfish Moon for that matter, so I may not be as interested in any of these as I am assuming I will be. I have to read all three soon, the two I am producing, because I am producing them, regardless of whether I will or won't want to audition.

    MORE DV MOVIES FOR THE GUILD (?): More than a year ago, I got this idea to make a DV training movie about hosting at The Guild. I had never set aside the time to shoot it. I had pretty much decided to shoot it over several weekends in August (the one that just past) but then the Dayton Gym Club purchase manifested itself and it seemed like waiting until the move was done and shooting in the new space was more sensible. Never mind that we are not likely to be producing shows in the new building until the start of next season.

    At the open house we did a few weeks ago I then got the idea to shoot footage of the building, periodically, over the course of the remodeling, then edit together a movie showing the transformation. Too bad I hadn't thought of it before that night; I could have taken footage of that night for the movie.

    Both the movies would go on the DTG YouTube page, where the trailers for the plays were until removed because some board members became afraid of infringement suits. Currently there is no movie posted there, but I did not kill the page.

    At the open house in the new building in the Oregon District this last Friday for "First Fridays of Dayton," it came to me that I can also shoot a virtual tour of the Dayton Gym Club building, right now: a digital version of what we did this last Friday and on August 23. This would be something to post as soon as it is shot and edited.

    I haven't formally passed either of these DGC building movies by the board yet, but those whom I have mentioned the original idea of the "progress movie" have all liked it. The several people there this Friday also liked the idea of this more immediate virtual tour.

    Friday I did shoot a little footage, but not much. My own consumer DV camcorder is still out of commission, but I now can borrow a nice little domestic 3CCD model Panasonic DV camcorder from the rent payer job. Friday, I took one out for the weekend to test run more than anything else. Must admit I have hardly played with it. I will today; first, I have to dump the footage into a FinalCut project; then, I should set some time aside to look over the manual and maybe shoot some more trial-and-error footage, just to get better acquainted with the unit.

    OTHER AUDITIONS I AM LOOKING AT TO CLOSE OUT 2008 OR START 2009: I haven't read this one yet, either, but I borrowed a copy of Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning, which is the first Dayton Playhouse FLIPside production of this season. It auditions in about a week and is up October 10 & 11. Rehearsals could be a problem for the first couple weeks, since that is when we will start picking up steam and frequency for Work Song in Springfield. I note that the Lady audition calls for a monologue with a strong suggestion of one in the language of Shakespeare ‐‐ a chance to finally get that friggin' John Crowne monologue right? That being "The Great Constable Explains the Folly of Virtue to His Son, His Prisoner," from The Ambitious Statesman. The one that I choked on during the audition class with Scott Stoney at the Human Race Theatre Company, and came close to choking on when I first used it to audition for Fuente Ovejuna a year ago. It's a good piece, so I might as well try to get the damned thing down ‐‐ if not for the Fry show, then for something else down the road.

    I also am very interested in the next FLIPside show, Arthur Miller's Creation of the World and Other Business ‐‐ there is however the clear conflict with Catfish Moon, which I haven't read yet but currently have a strong interest in just based on what I do know about it.

    Honestly, I have not looked all around yet to see what else is out there that I will care about, so there may be other draws for me, stage or screen.

    Wed, Sep 10, 2008

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    WORK SONG: Currently in the process of getting all my lines onto flash cards.

    * * * * *

            Meanwhile, this
            being back in the
            gym has extracted its cost: I
            am pretty beat up right now

            And so motivates that
            little voice in my brain to
            argue how I should skip

    Thu, Sep 11, 2008

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    Not Just

    Anne Foxbank

    It's not just New York
    It's not just Washington
    It's not just Shanksville
    It's not just the buildings
    It's not just the airplanes
    It's not just the field
    It's not just the symbols
    It's not just the pictures
    It's not just the dead
    It's not just the heroes
    It's not just the hearts
    It's not just the sorrow
    It's not just the nation

    © 2002 Anne Foxbank, all rights reserved

    Fri, Sep 12, 2008

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    DAYTON THEATRE GUILD NEW BUILDING IN THE OREGON DISTRICT OPEN FOR THIS EVENING'S "URBAN NIGHTS": Once again DTG board members will be at the new building ‐‐ 430 Wayne Ave -- tonight, as we again open the doors, this time for Dayton's Urban Nights. We will give tours and hand out season brochures, yadda yadda. As last week, it's 5:00 until 10:00.

    Drop in, if you're local; or, even if you're not.

    This time I plan to take and post some pictures, as well as shoot DV footage for the as-of-yet unsanctioned movies about our new place.

    Sun Sep 14, 2008

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    Overhead view of open court area
    The open court area, filled with costumes, set pieces and properties.
    Overhead view of open court area
    Another view of the court area.
    Back alcove and the back mezzanine
    The back alcove with large set pieces. Above, the back mezzanine where our costumes will be stored.
    The back mezzanine space
    The back mezzanine space where costuming will be housed.
    A MINI VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD'S NEW BUILDING IN THE OREGON DISTRICT: I spent some time at the new DTG home (430 Wayne Ave) for "Urban Nights" Friday night. And as I said I would, I snapped beau-coups of pictures ‐‐ more than ninety of which seventy-five were keepers.

    The goal for this post was to hone it down to a select few. As ruthless as I thought I was, I still left myself with thirty-two. As you can see, I have not used all thirty-two, despite that I did sweeten and process them all for here. And I have used twenty of them.

    What we have here is a not exactly comprehensive look at the soon-to-be new home of the Dayton Theatre Guild. Still a glimpse for those local who haven't been to the building yet, and for anyone else who may be interested.

    Click on each picture for a larger version.

    During this last week we vacated the space we rented at the Front Street Arts Complex for storage of the bulk of our costumes, larger set pieces, and other assorted types of stage properties. The open basketball court section of the new building now holds all that was on Front Street.

    Big set pieces (stoves, refrigerators, furniture, antique door frames, etc) are now actually in the place where we plan to store them, in the alcove under the back mezzanine of the building. The costumes will be moved up to the back mezzanine. The more miscellaneous type of stuff will end up in an area or room we haven't yet determined.

    That big open space ‐‐ well, not so open right now ‐‐ will hold probably four different sections. There are no good pictures of it here, but the part of the court area that is still empty, the area you can see a portion of in the down right section of the first picture here, will be where the theatre lobby is.

    In the same picture, in the vicinity of where the hanging costumes are will be where the actual theatre space will be. We are going to essentially keep the same thrust stage. The stage will be a little bit shorter and a little bit wider, and we will seat a few more people than we do right now, but we will maintain the intimacy of the playing space.

    On the other side of the main stage, we are seriously thinking about a rehearsal stage, the same size as the main stage.

    In the open area right before that back alcove will be the scene shop area where we will do the major work on set construction.

    There are double doors coming in off of Wayne Avenue. Those are designated as the handicap entrance. Just off that hallway is a large office area we plan to convert into a third rehearsal space.

    Down stairs there is a large restaurant area with a long bar and a working kitchen. There is talk of that area serving as the green room, but that, as most of the plans for use, is not written in stone at all, and the potential is pretty broad. There is an open room just off the restaurant area, which was a game and dart room for the Dayton Gym Club, that may end up being the green room ‐‐ or maybe not.

    Again, off of the restaurant area is a small room that had served as the weight room. The current thought is that it will be the make-up room (separate from the green room). There is a room off of that which can be a changing room and there is a bathroom and a shower right there. There is also a sauna room close by, but the prevailing thought is that the sauna will go away.

    Back behind that make-up room area, and behind what was the dart room, is a large open hall that clearly was a party room ‐‐ probably held receptions, dances, etc. How we will use it is not determined yet. One thought has been studio space; another, the major small prop area. But, it's all up in the air for now.

    So. . . . More pics. . . . :

    A view of the handicap entrance pulled back.
    Pulling back, here is another look at the hallway with the handicap entrance, showing us a little bit of the lobby space.
    Large office area off handicap entrance hallway
    This is that large office area we plan to make into our third rehearsal area. When cleared, the room has a comparable square footage to the main stage.
    Message from Dayton Gym Club Board ‐‐ 'DGC members will miss this place. But the community will enjoy these walls many years to come. Thank you, Rick and the Board.'
    The Board of Directors for the Dayton Gym Club left us a note ‐‐ a welcome message ‐‐ on the white board in that large office area.
    stairwell to the restaurant area
    Just outside the large office, by the planned handicap entrance, are stairs leading down to the restaurant area.
    Restaurant, down stairs
    The restaurant area down stairs with kitchen in the up left section and the bar just to the right of it.
    The bar in the basement
    Another look at the bar counter
    Dart room
    The game and dart room, just behind the restaurant.
    Open hall room
    The open hall room behind the dart room.
    Entrance to the old weight room from restaurant
    With the dart room in the upper right, the doorway just about center leads to what was the weight room and is now proposed to be the make-up room.
    The old weight room
    The propose make-up room. Picture vanity tables with mirrors lined up against the walls.
    The shower
    It ain't fancy, but it's a working shower, off that proposed unisex actors' restroom.
    Room off old weight room
    This room, off the proposed make-up room, may be turned into a dressing room.
    The sauna
    The sauna ‐‐ which will probably be removed.
    The bathroom just off the weight room
    The bathroom just off the weight room. For any Dayton actor who sees this and is not enthused with the idea of a unisex bathroom for the actors ‐‐ well, there are two sets of single-sex bathrooms on the lower level alone. The building has seven working restrooms.
    Side Mezzanine area
    This long section of the mezzanine that overlooks the court might be used for studio space ‐‐ perhaps by other arts organizations.
    Hallway to double doors for handicap access
    Just off from the lobby area, this leads to and from the Wayne Avenue entrance, what will be the handicap entrance.

    Most of what we propose to do with a lot of the space is written in pencil. There are a lot of vibrant things that can happen in this building, beyond the main focus, which will always be the theatre season of the Dayton Theatre Guild. But, the potentials for a rich and vital arts environment are almost mentally and spiritually overwhelming ‐‐ at least to me they are. And we are trying to give it all much thought and care so we utilize this great new space as best we can.

    I also shot more DV footage for the two movie projects. The virtual tour and the watch-it-grow movies. I will be dumping that into FinalCut today.

    Mon, Sep 15, 2008

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    STILL ME WINS AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT AT BIG BEAR: Got word from Director Beth McElhenny that Still Me screened Saturday at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival to an audience of "about 70+, including some very important Hollywood industry professionals." All the principal actors were there for the screening ‐‐ Scott King, Tina Gloss, and Chase White ‐‐ along with Director of Photography Chun Ming Huang, and, of course, Beth.

    She also reports that "there were several other personal friends attending ‐‐ but most were regular festival goers [and] probably another handful of...local residents." Beth attributes the locals' attendance to her and Scott and their on-the-street promotion of the film: "[canvasing] the small town, [talking] up the film to the residents and shop keepers, and [getting] our poster [hung in shop windows]."

    Beth further reports:

    Seven films played first, and with few exceptions, the audience stuck it out to finally see Still Me.

    There wasn't a dry eye in the house! Even the industry people cried! Many, many folks I didn't know came to hug me and express how this impacted them emotionally.

    In a landslide, Still Me took home the Best Short ‐‐ Audience Award!

    So - - - - - YAY!

    As for my attendance at the film's screening at the Secret City Film Festival coming up in about a month in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, I need to see how much money I am shelling out this week to repair an oil leak in my car. I am actually quite hopeful that I will make the trip. Depending on how I feel about my poor old car, I may drive it down; or, I may rent a car to go down. I do know that I can buy a pass on-line this month for a $15 discount (i.e.: $60 ‐‐ not bad at all), and further there are a certain number of cast & crew discount passes ($40) available; if I wait too long to commit, those may all be gone. But sixty bucks ain't too bad. Then I also must look at gas, food, lodging, and maybe a car rental fee.

    My little rural corner of the Midwest was dealt those high winds that much of the country got from Ike. The power in my little town kept going off. So dumping the taped DV footage of the new Dayton Theatre Guild building onto the computer seemed risky to me until the wind storm settled down ‐‐ the power went off once while the computer was on, fortunately with no fatal problems but I was not going to push my luck. I turned the Mac off and waited out the storm. The power must have went off for a moment or two at least a half-dozen times.

    Later in the evening I was able to transfer all the footage; then, just minutes after I had finished and closed FinalCut, the power went out again, and more than two hours after the wind storm had fizzled out.

    Actually, this morning I took my car into the shop for that repair work only to find that they were part of a black out, so no repair work today.

    Yet it's hardly like I have a lot of room to whine. Compared to a lot of other people, in my region and other-whereís, the affect on me of this aftermath of Ike has been pretty minor. And certainly compared to the folk in Texas and thereabouts I got nothin' to bitch about.

    Wed, Sep 17, 2008

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    WORK SONG: Last night was my first rehearsal in two weeks. I wasn't scheduled for Tuesday, September 9 (it was only Act III, which I am not in), and then last Thursday's rehearsal was cancelled due to our director being ill.

    Haven't quite put all my lines down on flash cards yet, and have just barely started the routine to memorize them, but I should get something satisfactory accomplished before the performances. Since, I really don't need to be completely off-book, I may first pick and choose what I plan to have down cold, then try to get the rest. If I can keep my eyes off the pages for those several key spots, I will be happy.

    We were to run all three acts last night, and again tonight, but we only did Acts I & II. We will concentrate on II tonight; that being where I am Alexander Woollcott.

    I'd say Woollcott's development is coming along. I feel I am in the ninety percentile of having his character down, but I still am not wholly satisfied with the tenor (in the literally audible sense) of his voice. The good dose of effeminate quality is all right; it's the "bird-like" sound of his voice I have not arrived at yet.

    Cheney, on the other hand, I believe I have pretty much as I will present him in performance.

    Still Me: Things are afoot. This coming weekend the movie will be screened at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theater, on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, at 11:25 am and 12:25 pm each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    There will be some more exciting news that I'll share when the time is ripe.

    Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for my auto mechanic to be up-and-running, find out what the financial damage of having my car worked on will be, then I'll know how viable it will be for me to go to Tennessee for the movie's competition in the Secret City Film Festival. And maybe I'll finally get to see the movie, myself. I am afraid I won't be at the Laemmle this weekend.

    Thu, Sep 18, 2008

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    WORK SONG: As planned, we only rehearsed Act II last night. For me, I'd say I am coming closer to the audible quality I am targeting for Woollcott. A new affectation I was giving "Alec," as his friends sometimes called him, was a little hiccup of a giggle before some of his quips. Director Larry Coressel adjusted me away from that; his thought is that it deludes the sharp-witted aspect of Woollcott. I do not agree, but it is a small matter and I pick my battles. In other words, that little affectation is not important to my interpretation. So, Mr. Coressel wins. He also said he detected some of Clov in that little half giggle, and for the life of me I cannot see how in the world he could get Clov from anything I am dong for Woollcott. Perhaps it's there, but I don't think so.

    Tonight has been rescheduled to Act III only, so I have the night off. Though I am likely to be doing my own work at home on the show.

    MAYBE TENNESSEE: My car goes in the shop this afternoon and I soon find out if I can still make the trip to the Secret City Film Festival coming up October 9-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

    By-the-way, have I mentioned that on October 2, I will see comedian Jim Gaffigan in an appearance at the Nutter Center, which is a ninety-second drive from where I have my bill-paying job?

    Fri, Sep 19, 2008

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    WORK SONG: Tonight a full run of the show (all three acts). Then Monday we start the first of three tech rehearsals on site at The Westcott House.

    I haven't made a whole lot of progress on memorization of any lines. I have some opportunities this weekend. As I already indicated, I'm going to go after select passages first ‐‐ Edwin's first small monologue at the top of the show, and Alec's last little monologue at the bottom of Act II are the two most select.

    By the way, for those who may plan to attend the show, seating IS limited. I am not sure what the demand for those limited seats is or will be, but it may be smart to get tickets ahead of time, not at the door. They can be ordered now at 937-327-9291.

    MAYBE SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE: Meanwhile I'm trying to work out how to make it to three theatre productions this weekend.

    There's Rocky Horror Show at Beavercreek Community Theatre. My best bet for that one is the midnight show tonight. But then I have a DTG board meeting 9:00 tomorrow morning, and am actually supposed to be there at 8:00 to help move some items from the Salem Avenue building to the Wayne Avenue building.

    I could see it Saturday night, except that I'd like to catch Music Man at the Dayton Playhouse.

    Well, I could see Music Man or And Then There Were None at Brookville Community Theatre on either Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.

    Though I'm not sure my wallet can handle the draw of both the tickets and the gas for all three. And I have to really attend to the fact that 9 a.m. is already even earlier in the morning on a Saturday morning than it is during the week. Being out until 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. just beforehand will make it earlier still.

    Nope: I ain't 21 no more.

    PROBABLY TENNESSEE: Since I only spent $84 on my car, the trip to the Secret City Film Festival in Tennessee next month is looking a bit more practical.

    Mon, Sep 22, 2008

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    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    I took this photo just before the Sep. 22 rehearsal and added it to this entry on Thursday, September 25 ‐‐ the date of the first performance.
    WORK SONG: It's all at The Westcott House from this point forward: all our final three rehearsals (the tech rehearsals) and, obviously, the performances this Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

    Tonight will be my first time there. The cast had a private tour in August but I had to miss because of the Dayton Theatre Guild open house and season preview we did at the new building.

    As for getting off-book for various passages: I have some memorized and I carry a handful of flashcards with those earmarked passages around with me to pull out and drill on when I have a moment.

    Again, for those who may plan to attend the show, seating IS limited. I am still not sure what the demand for those limited seats is or will be, but still believe it may be smart to get tickets ahead of time, not at the door. They can be ordered now at 937-327-9291.


    • Shot a bit more DV footage at the Wayne Avenue building. Got some exterior shots around the building and the streets. Also walked down to The Oregon District proper (I.E.: Fifth Street) and shot street footage of our neighbors. These were mid-day shots. I plan on getting some weekend night footage of the Fifth Street Oregon Strip, too. Maybe this coming Saturday night after I host Outward Bound at the Salem building.

      Snapped photographs of all this, too.

    • This past weekend, as house manager I had to go in and get the House (on Salem) ready for this coming Friday's opening night for Outward Bound. Don't really like getting it prepped several days in advance; there will be little messes that accumulate between yesterday and Friday. But I cannot get in anytime this week due to Work Song.
    • I have to read Catfish Moon a little sooner since Director Saul Caplan is having the auditions in mid-October instead of during Thanksgiving week. I am mostly thinking I am interested in auditioning, but I won't know 100% until I have read it; also, I have no idea if I will be perceived as a right type by Mr. Caplan.
    • Somehow Carol Finley was left out of the official recognition at The 2008 State OCTAFest for her costume design for Boston Marriage; she was not mentioned at the State Competition as a winner; however, it has been discovered that she is, indeed, listed at the web site as garnering an "Outstanding" award for her work. So, a belated Congrats to Carol.
    • I discovered, in a conversation with someone over the weekend, that there is some sort of nice little blurb in the latest Asides, the periodic newsletter mailing from the Guild, concerning me. It is along the lines of kudos for my volunteer work for the Guild. I had not looked closely at my own copy so I missed this kindness. And I can't find my copy now, so I don't know exactly how I have been flattered, or at least what specific words were written.

      But I do appreciate being appreciated.

    IN THE SEATS: I only saw two of the three shows I wanted to see over the weekend. Brookville Community Theatre's And Then There Were None had to be sacrificed ‐‐ mostly because it was the least convenient to travel to.

    • Rocky Horror Show at Beavercreek Community Theatre ‐‐ Great fun. The cast was clearly having a blast. I was sort of jealous; their enthusiasm made we wish I was a part of the company. My past cast-mate Mark Diffenderfer was in the role of Riff-Raff and just kicked serious ass! Chris Harmon did a great Frank 'N' Furter, too. Deirdre Root, with whom I have various theatre connections including that she is a new DTG board member, stage managed the show.
    • Music Man at the Dayton Playhouse ‐‐ I am always in awe of actors who can do both sing and dance (dance with some coordination, that is) at the same time. Besides the incomparable Reneé Franck-Reed, there were other lovely voices and there was some nice choreography that would have taxed my clumsiness to the limit.

    Thu, Sep 25, 2008

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								Eric Simonson. A staged reading directed by Larry Coressel. September 25, 
								26 and 28, 2008, 7:00 pm each night. Performances at The Westcott House, 
								1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio. Tickets: $10.00 at the door, or by 
								calling 937-327-9291.

    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    The Westcott House parlor- 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    WORK SONG: The first of three performances is tonight. The rehearsals in the house this week have gone well enough though last night's final dress was low on energy and many of us made silly errors. It is difficult to justify a line error when you have the script in front of you. But a lot of line farts still happened.

    I had two, neither of great consequence in the end, I suppose. Early in the play I said, "You have ruined my life," rather than "You have ended my life." Later I said, "But there's a lot on this house," which was supposed to be "a HOUSE on this LOT." Others made similar sorts of mistakes.

    It was an off night for us. There seemed to be some pacing and timing issues, and as I said, the energy was on the wane from what it has been. This, I have noticed, is not an uncommon occurrence for the final dress of a production. The consensus we actors came to was that we need an audience, that we are ready for that commune.

    We are performing in what I would say is the parlor of the Westcott House, note the photograph here, though it is a little dark. Our stools and portable lecterns are set with the row of parlor windows behind us.

    The seats are truly most limited. There will be a capacity of about 15-20 audience members. So we are back to that caveat, even at this close proximity to the performances:

    Seating IS  limited. It may be smart to get tickets ahead of time, not at the door. They can be ordered now at 937-327-9291.

    GOIN' TO THE VOLUNTEER STATE: I've reserved a car, a hotel room and made arrangements for my cast discount for the weekend pass for the Secret City Film Festival next month in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. My estimated budget for the affair is running about $715 right now ‐‐ but that may be a tad high. I am rating gas at $4.00 a gallon and rounding the miles up to 700 round-trip. I also estimated fuel efficiency at 32 MPG, which would be about right for my car, maybe my car would do a little better with mostly highway miles. However I'm renting a car that may get better gas mileage. I could just use my car, but I'm thinking it better to drive a rental; that rental has a quote of $135 (that does not include any insurance I tag on ‐‐ if I choose not to utilize my personal driver's insurance). I also have included a hundred bucks miscellaneous money, which is, I hope, a high estimate; and I have averaged my meals out to $10 a pop: that also may be high (Budget Boy will eat a lot of fast food).

    The game plan, as it currently stands, is to leave home Wednesday afternoon, October 8, a day early, then drive back Sunday, Oct 12. That might include a stay in a cheap motel on the way home. That five-and-a-half hour drive might be taxing for me after the weekend at the film festival. I'd pull that motel stay out of the "extra" hundred bucks.

    The Still Me final cut is now on DVD for cast and crew and there will be two, possibly simultaneous release parties, one in L.A. and one in Ohio, where we all get our copies. I have actually not seen the movie yet, whatsoever. The Tennessee film festival will likely be my first time to view it. There is both a tickling anticipation and a mild churning dread fighting it out inside my body cavity toward seeing it. Seeing myself on screen is never exactly the experience I expect it to be and I am rarely terribly satisfied with what I witness.

    Fri, Sep 26, 2008

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    OUTWARD BOUND by Sutton Vane at the Dayton Theatre Guild,

    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    WORK SONG ‐‐ LAST NIGHT'S OPENING: It was a pretty good performance. My work seemed okay but as is often the case I did not get many of the laughs that I think were there for my characters to get ‐‐ and I believe that goes back to my inadequate if not even barely present comedic instincts.

    There actually were a few more seats set out than I had anticipated, about 40, though our audience was about 15, and we lost some at the second intermission, after Act II. I think that had more to do with the time than dissatisfaction with the performance. I hope.

    The audience did seem to respond well. There was no fidgeting, which can happen in a staged reading. During the more dramatic moments they were clearly drawn in. So I'd call it a good opening night.

    NOW TO PUT ON MY DTG HOUSE MANAGER HAT: And not because I am folically challenged in the cranium region.

    The new season is upon us and I am always looking for a good host volunteer to host a show or two at the Guild. I might be able to be accused of the occasional spam blast but I try to not be too big a pest. Further, regardless of how low the result-percentage from a mention here usually is ‐‐ to date I don't believe a result has presented itself as existing ‐‐ I will still put something out to the small handful of you locals who drop in here to read my latest nonsense.

    We love welcoming new people to help us make our performances great theatre experiences for our audiences ‐‐ hosting a performance plays a big role in this.

    A host needs to arrive 90 minutes before curtain (30 before doors open) in order to attend to the lobby (vacuum, etc) before the doors open. There are step by step instructions for those who are new to this, and you will be with an experienced host.

    Currently performances are still at our theatre building on Salem Avenue, not the new facility on Wayne Avenue. We look forward to the forthcoming day when we are hosting shows in the new building, but for now we are still at 2330 Salem Avenue, close to Good Samaritan Hospital. (937-278-5993).

    If you would like to host a show, or know more about it, drop me an email:

    To see what slots are open, you can go to the Dayton Theatre Guild Yahoo User Group ‐‐ -- and sign up. It's free and can keep you in the loop about DTG stuff. As member you can see the schedule of hosts for each production in <files/2008-09 Season hosts/>. Each production has its own pdf file that shows the taken and available slots. I do my best to keep them current. You can also email me about availability.

      Note that if you have never hosted before you are eligible for any "first timer" slot, and we will pair you with an experienced host, so you can better learn the ropes. Then, we hope to call upon you again during the season, if you are available.

    C'mon, give it a try.....

    DTG AUDITION FOR THE COVER OF LIFE: The auditions for the next Guild production are coming up this next Monday and Tuesday (Sep 29 & 30). The details are as follows ‐‐

      THE COVER OF LIFE by R.T. Robinson
      Directed by Fran Pesch

      Open auditions will be held
      Monday & Tuesday
      September 29 & 30, 2008
      7:00 p.m.
      at the Guild
      2330 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH, 45406

      Show runs: November 21 - December 7.

      Casting requirements:

    • Tood (20s) ñ genuine; a bit of a dreamer
    • Sybil (20s) ñ flashy; sophisticated
    • Weetsie (20s) ñ very religious; country girl
    • Aunt Ola (40ñ50s) ñ mother-in-law of the three women; matriarchal
    • Kate (40ís) ñ correspondent for Life magazine; woman in a man's world
    • Addie Mae (40ñ50s) ñ local newspaper reporter
    • Tommy (20s) ñ Tood's husband; youngest brother of the family
    • All actors, with the exception of Kate, speak with a North Central Louisiana dialect.

      Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. If this is your first time auditioning for the director, you are also asked to prepare a brief contempory dramatic monologue.

    Sat, Sep 27, 2008

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    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    WORK SONG ‐‐ SECOND NIGHT: We had a virtual full house of about forty-three people for the Friday show and they responded well to the performance.

    I'd say we were more on top of it last night even than we were Thursday. There were a few little errors we cast members were aware of but that the audience would not be able to detect. All in all, we had a good vibe and energy going.

    Though I still did not get the laughs that I think both Edwin and Alec should be eliciting, I still felt like I was doing both characters justice, overall. Yes, I got a few complements from audience members, but it still bugs me greatly, as it always does, that I can't seem to get to that knack to play characters in a manner where the audience will get intended humor.

    The closest I've come was Col. Cathcart and Maj. Major in Catch 22, but even they didn't get the laughs they should have on a consistent basis. And Whitcomb just did not come off as funny as he should have. It's not that I aspire to be a great comedic actor, but if the character is supposed to be really funny, or have funny moments, then I want to get to that because I am supposed to get to that.

    Well, tangent over; regardless of my angst about this issue, we had a good performance last night and at least I wasn't lousy. At least Edwin and Alec actually did fully appear in a meaningful manner, if less amusing than intended.

    The parlor at the Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    From before the show last night, this is the parlor at the Westcott house with the forty-some chairs set up. Note that they flow into the next room, the front room.
    The parlor at the Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    Opposite view ‐‐ from the front room ‐‐ of the parlor.

    We are off tonight because there is another function at The Westcott House. The cast party happens tonight at Mr. Coressel's. I will be late as I am the host for tonight's performance of Outward Bound at The Guild.

    Sun, Sep 28, 2008

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    Springfield StageWorks - Springfield, Ohio's new theatre company Presents

								Eric Simonson. A staged reading directed by Larry Coressel. September 25, 
								26 and 28, 2008, 7:00 pm each night. Performances at The Westcott House, 
								1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio. Tickets: $10.00 at the door, or by 
								calling 937-327-9291.

    Springfield StageWorks presents a staged reading of an imaginative new play about the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Making its area premiere at Wright's The Westcott House (1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio), Work Song - Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright is an in-depth look at the master builder at three distinct phases of his life and career: in Act One, as a young man in a hurry to change the way people live and finding inspiration in Mamah Cheney, a unconventional married woman who becomes the great love of his life and leads to his greatest tragedy; in Act Two, as a doubting genius at the crossroads, fending off creditors and reeling in clients before he salvages himself by coming up with one of his greatest creations, the house called "Fallingwater"; and in Act Three, as an old showman at twilight, visiting a house from his past and taking stock of his sacrifices and successes in his quest to build the perfect dwelling. WORK SONG is about Wright's ideas, his passions, his love affairs and his tragedies. It's a play about a man who wanted to create the perfect home for the American family but could never build one for himself.

    Tickets: $10.00 at the door, or by calling 937-327-9291.

    the cast of Work Song
    and their characters

    Peter Wallace
    Frank Lloyd Wright

    Ron Weber
    Louis Sullivan, Otto Freundlich,
    & Grant

    Erica Copen
    Catherine Wright, Ayn Rand, & Carolyn Brooks

    Liz Dillard
    Mamah Cheney, & Olgivanna Lloyd Wright

    Edwin Cheney, & Alexander Woollcott

    Ben Turner
    George Brodelle, William Brooks,
    & John Wright

    Dayton Shafer
    Julian Carlton, & Leelai

    Mon, Sep 29, 2008

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    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    WORK SONG: I'll be back to write the wrap-up tomorrow. I will say now that we had an overflowing full house yesterday and the most responsive audience of this small run.


    On this date in 1982, when I was twenty-four years old, something happened to me in the early hours of the morning, or perhaps I should describe it as that I happened to something.

    I have still today only but the most vague, foggy memory of this happenstance, and that only for some small segments of the event. I was grossly blottoed, wasted, drunk off my ass, highly intoxicated, whatever term you like.

    For a brief period during that chapter, especially the next day, this drama seemed like the worst thing that had ever happened to me.

    It really wasn't, even at the time, the worst thing that had ever happened to me. But, in the truth of the matter, it was a pretty damned bad thing. It certainly was one of the worst things that had ever happened to me.

    And in that badness, in the ugliness of the episode, in its legitimacy to be on that particular list of my life's lower moments, came its elevation to perhaps the one of best things ‐‐ if not The Best ‐‐ that has ever happened to me.

    I experienced, though I was only barely aware at first, and had nothing close to a true comprehension or understanding, a very real sort of rebirth on September 29, 1982.

    The path was altered for me only because I was forced to recognize that it had to be or I might someday soon have been dead.

    It is the path that eventually led me to another cross road that allowed to me get back on the path I was on earlier in my life. The road to where I am today.

    So today, September 29, 2008, I am, in spirtual reality, celebrating my twenty-sixth birthday.

    I have real regrets that I am not much farther down my path as an artist than I am. I will never deny that I am so far behind in experience and in my cannon of work than I could be. I feel a true grief for not having sat at the place at the table that was set for me long ago.

    On the other hand, I am so very pleased and grateful that there was still room for me at the table when I finally sat my ass down in the chair that had bore my name for so very long.

    Tue, Sep 30, 2008

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    The Westcott House - 1340 E. High St., Springfield, Ohio - A Frank Lloyd Wright design
    Peter Wallace, Erica Copen & Ben Turner in Act III on Sunday, September 28.
    click on the picture for a larger version
    The packed house during Act III on Sunday, September 28.
    click on the picture for a larger version
    Another view of that packed house.
    click on the picture for a larger version
    WORK SONG WRAP UP: Our little three-performance run went pretty damned well. The overall best show was on Sunday. I think that was because we had more than a full house, which helped generate a more communal response and attentiveness from a collection of people I suspect were already prone to more of both of those attributes to begin with.

    There was a planned forty-five-seat set up as illustrated in the pics from the September 27 entry above. Sunday we had fifty reservations. The Westcott House staff scrambled to get extra chairs and I believe they set up more than fifty. Unless I am mistaken, there were some walk-jn business and I think a few people were turned away.

    We did have several blemishes on that last performance, as we did for the others ‐‐ unavoidable in a live performance, you know. A few lines were said wrong and a few pick-ups were slow to come after their cues.

    One technical problem we all were stricken by was our little score lights going out on us. I lost mine half-way through Act I and was therefore tardy myself with some cue pick-ups for about a half a page; I'd lost my place and since I was only selectively off-book, was not completely sure of all my exact cues or lines in that section.

    All of us had at least one big slip up, some that I think were obvious to the audience, others that probably were not. Mine was that first lagged cue response in that spot where I'd lost my place because my little light went out on my stand. My line there, "There he is," meant to interrupt Mamah (Liz Dillard), lacked pointed deliverance and conviction. It stumbled across my lips rather badly. and barely interrupted Mamah.

    That's a rather nit-picky complaint I will admit. Further I'm happy to report the Sunday crowd gave both Woollcott and Edwin the laughs I have felt they both should get. I don't know if that was fluke ‐‐ like when I happen to bowl a 250 game by some queer accident, or if it was that I finally understood the right timing and delivery, or if it was the generosity of this receptive audience.

    The dramatic moments went over especially well on Sunday; they had sold well on Thursday and Friday, but Sunday the audience was drawn in and captivated more so. As Edwin, I got to contribute not insignificantly to the most tragically dramatic moment of the play, which ends the first act. Edwin is emotionally devastated and I have always been able to get at least most of the way there and effect the rest of the distance in my performance by invoking technical affectation. Perhaps because of the receptive energy from the Sunday group, I was especially there emotionally and was able to tear my eyes up and have a truly emotionally-motivated quiver in my voice in a fuller way then I had before.

    My closing monologue-ette as Woollcott was received and attended to well as it came off of an exceptionally well-executed monologue by Peter Wallace as Frank ‐‐ his conception and design of Fallingwater. The audience had been held by his monologue the other two shows but they were especially riveted Sunday.

    It was the same with Dayton Shafer's Carlton monologue about Carlton's arson and murderous rampage at Taliesin in 1914. That's the monologue that leads up to my moment as Edwin Cheney, at the end of the first act, where he is devastated. Cheney's ex-wife and his children were among the seven victims slaughtered by Carlton. Dayton had always held the audience with his recounting of his homicidal venture. Sunday it was more intense than it had been. All of us in the scene were more intense, Dayton, Peter as Frank, Ben Turner as Frank's son John, and myself. The audience was clearly more affected Sunday than either of the other shows, where the audiences most certainly had also been affected.

    Not to suggest that Thursday and Friday weren't good performances, too. We had a good run with this. The idea is a good one, to perform this play in a Frank Lloyd Wright home. The staged reading works nicely in this setting and our ensemble had a good time with it. We certainly got some good feedback from some of the audience members.

    Though one person did express the thought that the second act, as written, is the weakest, and I only partially agree with that. It is true that it is weaker. The middle act should be. Or more to the point, the beginning and the end need to be stronger than the middle. So in that sense I agree that the second act is the weakest act.

    However, the true meaning of this person's comment is that the act is weak and needs a bit of work. I suppose any play needs some work, but though I believe this person has a right to that opinion, it is, however, not one I agree with.

    Act II is a logical progression from the first act and good change in mood, tenor and pacing from the first act. It takes us to a point where Frank is in a long slump and is basically living the life of a grifter, if a non-nomadic one. It is robust, tinged with humor and there is nothing there that does not need to be nor is it incomplete.

    The act takes us to Taliesin in the 1930's when Wright has a communal artist colony, The Taliesin Fellowship, for young architects. This "school" is really hardly more than a scam to financially support Wright who is having problems getting commissioned work because of his reputation as immoral and socially controversial. Woollcott and the novelist Ayn Rand to give us a sense of the social circles Wright associated with and it shows us the most important relationship of his life, with his wife of thirty-one years Olgivanna Lloyd Wright. The act does a superb job of defining her incomparable influence on his life and shows that Mamah Cheney may have been "the love if his life" but the woman who best suited him and loved him the most was Olga, who clearly had a much deeper and wiser understanding of Frank than Mamah.

    The act also illustrates the political quandaries Wright found himself in with the FBI keeping him under surveillance as a suspected communist and lascivious character, with the agency even employing the use of a mole. And it ends by showing Wright's rally back into his game as the Great Architect with dramatic. last minute creation of one his most celebrated architectural feats, Fallingwater.

    The idea that Act II "needs a little work," outside of the maxim that any play could be improved, is not an idea I subscribe to. To my mind the act serves the very strong purpose of filling out the landscape of the story by giving us a view of a very important part and aspect of Wright's life and history.

    But maybe that's just me. And I will admit I enjoyed portraying Woollcott greatly, and he is an Act-II-only character. I adamantly assert that this does not sway me toward my defense of the act against what I consider a wayward criticism of it.

    Declaratively I can say Work Song - Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright at The Westcott House was a successful venture. It is one, too, you may remember, I turned down participation in when first offered the roles I ended up in. Now, don't think that I'm eating crow. I turned down roles I had indicated I was not auditioning for. Then I rolled the dice on another audition and lost, understanding all the while that I might lose.

    Deciding to accept the roles clearly turned out to be a good move. It was a good happenstance that the roles had not been filled after I was not cast in Outward Bound. As I wrote in August, I would have never had the gall to go back to Larry Coressel and say, "Gee, guy, I didn't get that gig I ditched your offer for, so now I'll take your offer."

    But when Larry contacted me about giving him more referrals because he had not cast them yet, I offered to step back in, providing that there was enough free time from rehearsals. It was stroke of luck that I could get back in and play these roles, especially Woollcott. Had I not been interested in other projects, I might add, I would have accepted Edwin and Alec first time around.

    If I could have been cast in Outward Bound I would have had no regrets. Being able to step into Work Song, even if not as Frank, certainly made the rejection from Outward Bound easier to deal with. And it's not like it was a rebound affair. The characters of Edwin Cheney, and more so, Alexander Woollcott, in this show, are credits I am proud to have on my résumé.

    TINA GLOSS BACK ON PUSHING DAISIES: Tina's next new appearance on Pushing Daisies will be in episode six of this new season, "Oh Oh Oh. It's Magic," which is scheduled to air November 5. She'll also appear in tomorrow's season opener by way of the season-one recap at the start of the show.

    Tina now has her own web site:

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