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Thu, Oct 1, 2009

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SWEENEY TOOD by C.G. Bond at the Springfield StageWorks, Oct 1-10, 2009.

performances at the

State Theatre

19 S. Fountain Avenue
Springfield, Ohio

Oct 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, & 10
8:00 pm

Tickets $10 at the door

Crystal Justice, myself, John Weeks & Sarah
Smith look on as Ryan Hester's Tobias Ragg
hocks his wares.
-- photo by Larry Coressel
Our slightly abbreviated Tech/Dress week went well despite technical difficulties like the crap chair. Monday we got a new one that actually works but the decision was that it was too late to have actors start trying to perfect the drop down the grate hole.

I would do it but I don't think all the other actors are game. Though I know some are.

Now we have a more esoteric interpretation of the murders, not as graphic nor as striking as the violent deaths with the chair collapsing and sending dead bodies into a hole, but it's working better than I had anticipated ‐‐ though I would lie if I said I was happy we are doing that instead of using the chair and the drops. Still, now our job is to sell the gag we are offering.

Regardless of that particular piccadilly the three rehearsals Monday through last night went well. I think we had a very good Final Dress last night, though my personal opinion is we had some sluggish moments.

Decided to take part of the morning off tomorrow. I overslept this morning due to the late nights this week and just figure I should just plan on coning in late on purpose tomorrow rather than do it anyway as a "tardy" issue.

Also, as you can see above, the promo video is shot and done. I shot it Monday night and finished the edit yesterday and posted it.

So we open tonight. In the words of our director about our production: "It's exactly like the musical, but completely different."

Fri, Oct 2, 2009

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A view from the balcony shortly after the house was open on Opening Night of Sweeney Todd. Though not distinguishable in this picture, there are a few early audience arrivers down in the very front, before the stage.

Our Opening Night performance had a good feel to it. We had a small audience, maybe twenty people, so they were subdued in their responses, as small audiences tend to be. But we still did a good performances.

I think had we had more energy wafting at us we would have been charged a bit by that. I personally think we could have been revved a notch or two on the energy scale anyway. Still that's not to say we had anything like a bad night for our performance grade. We did good.

Of course, there were flubs ‐‐ nothing the audience would recognize, though. I am aware of one missed tech cue and was told of another. My own flub ‐‐ very minor as to almost not be a flub ‐‐ was to say the word "blabbing" rather than "babbling." I can live with that.

One show down, five more to go.

On another note, it was suggested that the music is too high in the mix for the promo video and I tend to accept that as probably true. But, since there is no dialogue to obscure, I am not going to "fix" it.

Sat, Oct 3, 2009

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Michael McDonald (The Bobby) & myself watch Randy Benge (Judge Turpin) sentence Michael Eresman (The Thief)
-- photo by Larry Coressel


The sophomore outing went well again despite being plagued with far more line flubs and various goof-ups.

At a critical dramatic moment a metal prop was dropped back stage and cascaded down a small flight of concrete steps with the accompanying racket.

For me, the line blunder was to jump ahead one line while in the court room scene with Judge Turpin (Randy Benge). Turpin asks Beadle where Sweeney Todd's shop is and Beadle is supposed to say, "Hardly a minute from here. I'll walk with you." Turpin declines the invitation then, in a distracted manner says, again, "Where....?" to which Beadle responds, "Fleet Street, his shop is. His name's Sweeney Todd."

Instead, when first asked where Todd's place is, I said, "Fleet Street" -- then I realized I said the wrong line and added, "Hardly a minute from here." I was gong to tag on "I'll walk with you," but Randy moved on and again asked where, that second time, so I just went on and said the second line as it should be, repeating the Fleet Street reference. I'd have preferred this hadn't happened but it was not a glaring screw-up, so, no big deal.

My other goof of the night was low-rent amateur. I tried something new and untested with a prop in front of an audience. Stupid and foolish and it failed in a most transparent manner. I pulled the hammer back on Beadle's pistol during a scene where I am threatening to shoot Todd. The hammer did not lock but rather came down with a clear click whilst I am discussing whether I'll shoot or not. At the moment of the failure I was yelling at myself in my head: You amateur moron!

Another lesson learned that I am chagrined to say I even had to learn. Oh well, "DOH!-Boy" strikes again.

Four more chances to do it perfectly.....

Sun, Oct 4, 2009

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The third show went well, too. The energy seemed up from Friday night. Must say the audience took a while to warm up; they were much more responsive during Act II. We in the cast give credit to the wine at intermission.

Again I was happy with my own work but not overwhelmed. I had two DOH! moments. The first was getting trapped on stage in the wrong spot during the market scene for the second night in a row. Friday I got stuck there because another actor jumped ahead a line and I lost my window to move stage left. Last night something else happened and I am not sure what, but I was caught in the same spot in the same moment of the scene. I had to squeeze behind Ryan Hester (Tobias). Many in the audience may not have noticed the clusterbust; theatre people would ‐‐ and did, since I spoke with two whom I know after the show.

The other was a synapsis short circuit during my scene with Jessica Broughton (Mrs. Lovett). I'm actually not sure anyone knew about this one but me. As I opened my mouth to say a line I momentarily drew a blank on it. I hesitated for an instant and it may or may not have been noticeable.

I noticed it.

Still, yeah, though, we did a good show.


Dayton Theatre Guild

I had started the day off yesterday with a special meeting at the Guild then stayed around to help a bit with the finishing touches of the Sunshine Boys set.

I painted a brown, upright rectangle in the set's apartment building hallway so that set designer greg Smith could later draw a three-dimensional-like door to the apartment next door. I also painted the walls of Willie's bathroom.

But, since I'd had to attend that £µç!<¦¦\¦@ 9:30 a.m. meeting and I did not to get to sleep in the morning after my Friday night show, I did duck out from the Guild early to get home for a nap before the 6:30 Saturday call.


Ralph Dennler (Willie) & Don Campbell (Al) during today's tech rehearsal for The Sunshine Boys

I did go back today but rather than working on the set I did a bit of painting in the theatre general. Touched up a few places and helped to finish some painting in the lady's restroom.

The Sunshine Boys was having their cue-to-cue and tech whilst I and others, including Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts, who have small roles in the show, painted. I peeked in a little bit. Looks good.

I'll be back Wednesday to show Natasha and Craig hosting stuff since they are going to take on most of that for the run of The Sunshine Boys. They are only in a small bit of Act II so they have volunteered to host a lot.

Hey, I am far more than okay with that arrangement.

I have some shopping to do, too. I may do that tomorrow after work.

On another subject, I have not found the time to edit that second short movie, the companion piece to Going Dark. Perhaps I can grab some edit time during lunches at work on my laptop. Ah, the loveliness of my MacBook Pro!

Plus I have time tomorrow night. Though I do need to start looking at some scripts to potentially audition for. And I have months-worth of mileage and expenses to log. Fortunately, as far as the mileage, between my iCal and this very blog, I'll be able to pinpoint every trip.

And I always keep my receipts.

Wed, Oct 7, 2009

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Brush-up rehearsal, last night


We had a brush-up rehearsal last night that one might be able to loosely categorize as an on-your-feet run. A few principal actors were missing due to work or illness, so some scenes or parts of scenes were skipped when the characters of those absent were the primary focus.

And it was cut-up night, joking around and having fun with it all. The lines were ran, but the blocking and characterizations were thrown out the window. Well, mostly. I actually did my blocking, but I, and I was not the funny man/woman of the night, did not attend to whatever it is I have settled on for Beadle's persona. I did one scene as a very proper, upper-crusted, Queen's-English, gentleman, another as Yosemite Sam and one as a bad attempt at Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau. But since my comedic abilities are bland at best ‐‐ (OK, they suck) ‐‐ I was not even close to the highlight of the evening.

There were many hilarious moments, but from what I saw before I bugged out ‐‐ I left soon after my work was wrapped ‐‐ the peak of the hijinks was Laura Buchanan and Bengt Gregory-Brown switching roles for the asylum scene. Now, Bengt still did Fogg's lines, but he was bound as Joanna should be and Laura was doing Fogg's blocking and mouthing approximate words as Bengt spoke them from his place of submissive posture. It was really very funny and, I must say, rather well executed.

I'm sure there was more after I left. But I wanted to get home to FinalCut *(see next).

Dayton Theatre Guild


I am in the midst of editing that second short about the move. This one's a bit more involved than Going Dark is so the editing is not as straight-forward. I have some significant amount finished, but will need to spend some time polishing it off with the garnish of stills. The pics will be mostly of, but not exclusive to, all the work that's been done in the Wayne building over the last fourteen months.

You know, I am not sure when I started the editing project for this. I think it may have started at lunch time at the rent-payer on Monday. Now that I think about it, that's probably it. I do know that I procured the royalty free music Monday evening, whilst watching reruns of The Closer. Last night I finally put the freeware I downloaded a year ago, Norrkross MorphX, to use. So there's a cool little morph from the old DTG logo into the new one at the start of the movie.

Along with finding and adding still photos to the movie, I also will have more than a little text on screen, much of which I haven't fully conceived beyond concept. I also have a closing sequence that I have planned but have not produced as of yet, though I did gather the elements together.

My hope was to have the movie cut and out there before The Sunshine Boys opens this Friday. It's not impossible that will happen, but I am thinking it's unlikely.

Fri, Oct 9, 2009

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THE SUNSHINE BOYS by Neil Simon at the Dayton Theatre Guild.


Springfield StageWorks

Springfield StageWorks
Well, there WOULD be a pretty cool picture here except that I left the camera at the theatre.

Decent performance last night. Kind of a tough crowd.

A few actors complained that they were off their games. I noticed nothing amiss.

See you there tonight.......right?

Tomorrow night?


Dayton Theatre Guild

  • I'd say I mostly have the new short movie edited but there is some detail work to finish. I knew I would not be posting it today, or earlier, as I had hoped.
  • Meanwhile, of course, Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys is opening tonight. My well-placed assumption is that we have a good show going up, but I have seen far too little of the rehearsal process to know the score and temperature.
  • Auditions for The Hallelujah Girls are this coming Monday and Tuesday at 7:00 pm. I have no other details.

  • Sat, Oct 10, 2009

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    SWEENEY TOOD by C.G. Bond at the Springfield StageWorks, Oct 1-10, 2009.

    The cast of

    Josh Katawick            Anthony Hope
    J. Gary Thompson            Sweeney Todd
    Crystal Justice            The Beggar Woman
    Jessica Broughton            Mrs. Lovett
    K.L.Storer            The Beadle
    Randy Benge            Judge Turpin
    Ryan Hester            Tobias Ragg
    John Weeks            The Balding Man
    Patrick Bolton            Alfredo Pirelli
    Laura Buchanan            Joanna
    Bengt Gregory-Brown            Jonas Fogg
    Michael McDonald            London Bobby

    The residents of Fleet Street Brent Eresman, Michael Eresman, Carrie McKeever, Sarah Smith, Roberta Stocker

    Springfield StageWorks

    Springfield StageWorks

    Springfield StageWorks

    Springfield StageWorks

    Springfield StageWorks
    This is the pic I had planned to post yesterday but could not because I'd left the camera at the theatre Thursday. This is from backstage left. Note the haze from the fog machine. It lingered a little longer and thicker than usual. But it makes for a cool shot. That's Laura Buchanan & J. Gary Thompson on stage.
    Several nights I have been pulling the camera out & taking shots of the audiences just after the curtain call. This one is from last night. In the front row, in the red & the black tops, sitting next to each other, are fellow actors & THE CASHIER cast members, Heather Gorby & Heather Atkinson, respectively.


    I know I have a few friends in the audience tonight which makes me look forward to tonight's show for one more reason. But tonight's audience will have to be pretty remarkable to beat last night's. Our October 9 audience has, so far, hands down, been the best we've had. They reacted more, laughed more, applauded more and sent far more collaborative energy our way than any of the previous four did.

    To be honest, a couple of those other audiences were, um, to be as kind and diplomatic as I can:

    Frickin' D-E-A-D!

    Several of us think last night was our best performance, thus far. I have no sense of yes or no about that, overall. I did play a bit with my own deliveries and think I had an exceptionally good night. Leastwise it "felt" exceptional.

    I can say that I believe my scenes with Josh Katawick and Jessica Broughton were each at their best. I basically took that top edge off my performance and brought Beadle down from the, more-or-less, cartoonish flavoring (if only a pinch of such). I essentially filled him to a fully three dimensional persona and now wish I'd done so from the very start. It'd been my inclination but I resisted because I was not directed toward that. I think I ended up with a performance last night that both satisfied my instincts and did not betray the vision our director had.

    Hindsight is 20-20.

    Beadle, on the other hand, was a little uncomfortably close to a clonish mixture of Johnny Pateen and Clov, two of my past performances. Beadle was neither of them, I want to point out, but I did not divorce from either as cleanly as I would wish.

    That self-criticism aside, it was work that I ultimately feel good about and I had the pleasure to work a few people I had not worked with before and was able to be on stage with several very fine performers giving very fine performances.

    So, now, as far as being an actor, I go kick ass tonight then start prepping for the next planned audition, which is not that far away.

    Dayton Theatre Guild


    And, as soon as I finish this post, I become Movie Editing Boy for the rest of the afternoon before call for Sweeney Todd tonight.

    Mon, Oct 12, 2009

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    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Editing continues. If I can't make the first section ‐‐ perhaps I can even call it the first act ‐‐ more interesting, I'll need to trim it; it's threatening to be a bit boring. I have some potential solutions before I get out the blade. Along with copious amounts of DV footage, I also have copious amounts of pictures I have taken over the course of the last fourteen months. Where I'm at in the process right now is finding and dropping appropriate stills into the movie at the appropriate times. I think that will charge up the sequence I'm concerned about and make it interesting and compelling to watch.

    I have plans for text in that section, too. The text will probably be more labels than narrative, but at least the text will help the audience understand the context of the images they are viewing and the story being told by those images. There will be narrative for a later sequence (act) as well as for the ending of the movie.

    The music is 99.X% set. The first track used is a viola solo. After a sequence with dialogue, then comes a bass cello solo ‐‐ both are Bach. For the last two sequences I use a new age recording titled "Celestial Embrace," composer unknown. With the string solos, I simply fade when their time is done. For the new age one I actually did a bit of remixing. I have extended the prelude and then use a processed version of that extension ‐‐ extended even further ‐‐ for the ending. In between I edited the music to double its length. One can do that when one purchases royalty free music.

    I may try to sweeten the audio in the dialogued sequence. I'll render an interim cut first to see what it sounds like in the .mov file version, then decide accordingly.

    This is, as far as I remember, the first time since I've been house manager that I have been completely absent during the opening weekend of a show. If it's happened in the past, it has been a while ago. My understanding is that the weekend went well both in terms of turnout and in terms of the performances. I do know that I need to get some back-up cookies for Weekend 2.
    Wright State Theatre closed their production of Proof yesterday and DTG got permission to be at strike to grab up any carpentry work that was destined for the dumpster. I took a break from editing the DTG movie to drop by and help load pickup trucks. We got several flats and many elements of the porch that the play calls for.
    There are auditions tonight and tomorrow night for the holiday add-in. I am not aware of a character breakdown anywhere. But the auditions are at the theatre at 7:00 pm, both nights.


    Springfield StageWorks

    Springfield StageWorks

    The run is closed and it went pretty well. Our closing show was a good performance and it was a good audience ‐‐ but the Friday night audience this past weekend still was the best we had for the run.

    This production has had its challenges. The biggest of those challenges was dealing with the malfunctioning chair that eventually resulted in the characters (and actors) not actually dropping down into the hole. Instead we had the Angel of Death come out and take the victims away as Sweeney (J. Gary Thompson) went through the motions of dropping the victim ‐‐ collapsing the chair and all ‐‐ but without the character (actor) in the chair to slide down into the hole.

    It worked but it was not as effective. And for most of the cast it was a let down.

    The run was still a good one, especially "on stage." The production was peppered with some pesky conflicts on a few occasions but no blood was shed and no sworn enemies ‐‐ to the best of my knowledge ‐‐ were borne. Well, sometimes when strong egos with strong opinions come together to work on an artistic project, there are - - - - - disagreements.

    The "professionals" move beyond such moments.

    A couple times I was part of some of these trivial conflicts, two of the moments being Saturday. I must admit I allowed them to tarnish my experience of that performance day. But neither were really of significant consequence.

    Wouldn't this blog be a far more interesting read if I weren't so apt to censor myself and to be so ridiculously vague when I do write of the negative?

    At least there wasn't a war zone or anything on set and there ultimately was good work happening on stage ‐‐ I would hope I fall into that category. To go to that last point, as I said in the last post, I am quite satisfied with my work as The Beadle (or "A Beadle," as the script lists him). The last two performances are the two I feel the best about because of that toning him down and filling his persona's dimensions to fully three. I believe Saturday was my best performance ‐‐ but that's what I feel and who knows what that is besides my own emotional response?

    So now, I move on to the next project(s).


  • Speaking Of Editing A Movie --
    It's time to put off putting off. Post production for the improv movie must commence this week!

    There's a bit of Foley and ambient sound to create and/or find. Actually, I have a plan in my mind right now to create some Foley, and it'll be a simple process. But the first significant thing I'll do is edit the self-contained version of The Audition, staring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. It probably won't be exactly the edit that makes it to the final cut of the FLF. For one thing, the music in the background is surely to be different. I have not grabbed up any of the music by others that I need. That sequence needs the sound of a monitor at the radio station where the scene takes place. So I need some variety of pop music as well as on-air talent and probably a few commercials. The self-contained version may not even have the radio montiored in the background. We'll see.

    Thusly, it is time to start contacting folk about music. I have, of course, a certain amount of my own to use but not near enough. And some sections need something other than what I have or can whip up with my equipment, time, and present level of woodshedded ability.

    I also have several establishment shots to pick up. A couple need to wait until there's snow on the ground. As a part of a few those establishments shots, I need to mock up some signage, as well.

    And on a related note, yesterday, as I was copying new raw footage over to my 300 gig external hard drive I ran out of room before I ran out of files. It happened to be the DTG project, but still, "NOT ENOUGH SPACE" just won't do. So, I'd been yammering on for moths about buying an external terrabyte hard drive. Yesterday, on the way back from helping with the WSU/DTG dumpster dive, I dropped into Best Buy and did just that.

    And I look into the near future and one definite audition and one possible one.

    1. Peter Condopoulos at PC-Goenner Talent Agency called me today about an audition this coming Thursday for a commercial, which I am happy to say I can, indeed, make.
    2. I am considering but am not yet committed to auditioning next month for Shining City at The Guild. There several factors that keep me on the fence, including post-production for the improv movie. The play's rehearsals would begin on or about December 7, and I may want to be entrenched in editing at that point and during that period.

      A fellow actor does want to get together and rehearse for the Shining City auditions, and I am on board for that, to be helpful and for my own skill honing, if not for my own audition prep.

      I also have still to read it ‐‐ it's on my short agenda list ‐‐ so I may not be drawn to it, anyway.

  • U.D. Law Gig --
    I have a couple sessions improvving as a client for U.D. law students coming up in a couple weeks. I've not gotten the character and case details yet.

  • Mon, Oct 19, 2009

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    The editing process for this short movie is still underway. Once I have added all the stills and the text, I'll evaluate whether or not I ned to trim it down some. Right now it's going to come in at about nine minutes. Right now some sections seem a little long, but after I've added the text that may change.

    Too bad I couldn't have had a final cut before The Sunshine Boys opened. A rashly edited cut would not have been good though.


    Got the official email this past Tuesday that I was not cast in Rounding Third at The Race, which I had already come to terms with as the reality.

    On my laptop, using Garage Band to make digital sound files from the analogue tape of Irish dialect.


    And the one after that.

    Went in Thursday to the PC-Goenner Talent Agency office to do the screen test with other actors for a local commercial for Wayside Collision Center. I auditioned as Bad Mechanic no.1. It was mos (without dialogue).

    While I was there Peter gave me another audition for Friday in Columbus, a Safe Auto commercial. So I took Friday afternoon off and did the standard drive for an hour; sign in; wait a few minutes; do a 45 second screen test; drive for an hour home.

    I still haven't decided whether I will audition for Shining City as of yet. Still haven't read the play. Meanwhile, I transfered an Irish dialect tape to CD for a friend who is going to audition. And I still plan to do readings from the play with her prior to the auditions, regardless of whether I do or don't audition myself.

    U.D. LAW GIG:

    Tomorrow and Thursday I am at The University of Dayton playing the role of a bereaved husband, for the sake of law students, in an interesting legal situation stemming from my wife's "untimely" death and the orginal action in that case, which went south.


    This past weekend was one of fine theatre for me. I saw three well-done productions.

    • Friday night I saw tHe zOOt TheATre ComPAnY's awesome production The Tragedy of Hansel and Gretel, Brian McKnight's adaptation of The Brothers Grimm tale. The company, founded by Human Race carpenter, local puppet maker and theatre effects creator, Tristan Cupp, is touted as "Dayton, Ohio's new puppet and mask ensemble." To the best my knowledge, zOOt is Dayton's ONLY puppet and mask theatre.

      This particular production did not use puppets, but masks only, along with a minimalist stage that relied on various uses of a grouping of about a half-dozen polls. At one point between the three demons (Amy Brooks, Nathan Rogers, and Emily Smith), they and the family, Mother (Andrea Young), Father (Patrick Hayes), Hansel (Greg hall), and Gretel (Melissa Anderson) grabbed and passed off the polls to each other (with the demons grabbing polls and bring them back around as they hovered around in surveillance, all to most effectively simulate the family pushing through a thick of trees in the forest.

      Later the polls served at Hansel stockade and jail as the Witch (Ayn Kaethchen) fatten him up for her feast. Only Hansel and Gretel were not in costume mask, though director Sharon Leahy pointed out during the talkback after the friday performance that the children did have their own masks.

      Everybody's performances were impressive. Very notable to me was the movement work by the three aforementioned demons as well as by the Crow (Heather Gorbe). And I should also mention the last cast member, the Soldier (Rick Good). Good also composed the music for the production, each instrumental crafted for the specific moment in the play where it appears. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, having finally gotten to a zOOt production. I will be attending more.

    • Late Saturday afternoon I was at home (The Guild) to see our production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys. It was an entertaining afternoon with a funny show and a cast that was able to bring the humor out. Along with Guild standbys, Ralph Dennler as Willie Clark, Natasha Randall as the Sketch Nurse, and Craig Roberts as the Sketch Patient, there were many new or rarely seen faces on the Guild stage: Don Campbell as Al Lewis, Mike Stockstill as Ben Silverman, Jamie McQuinn as the TV Director, Chase Niemitalo as PA Eddie, Kathy Campbell as the (real) Nurse, and Chris Berry as the announcer (Chris' second DTG appearance). The play was directed by Matthew Smith (Billy Claven in that production of The Cripple of Inishmaan that is so close to my heart).
    • Went straight from The Guild to the Dayton Playhouse for William Gibson's The Miracle Worker. The evening was capped off with a well-done performance that was topped with Ms. Charity Farrell's wonderful work as Annie Sullivan. Granted, I have a tremendous fondness for this young lady and her talent (she is the daughter, Elizabeth, in my short movie The Chorus for Candice), but I am putting my bias aside to say that her Annie was a masterful mixture of moxie, confidence and the contradictory tinge of self-doubt that the script needs. The production's Helen Keller, Claire Warnecke, did a most effective job. She effectively portrayed Helen's deafness and blindness but was able to let the spirited and bright child show through. And it was strong work from everyone else as well: Wendi Michael (Kate Keller), Geoff Burkman (Captain Keller), Korey Harlow (James Keller), Jacqueline Patterson (Martha) Destiny Patterson (Penny), Cynthia Karns (Aunt Ev), Kurt Cypher (Anagnos), ShaDonna Crosby (Viney), Jim Lockwood (Doctor), Emily Cypher (a Perkins students), Shannon Eastman (a Perkins students), Brenna Kesson (a Perkins students), and Jordan Norgaard (a Perkins students). Jennifer Lockwood directed this successful production.
    • By the way, all three set designs looked great: The Tragedy of Hansel and Gretel ‐‐ D. Tristan Cupp & Jim Beam; The Sunshine Boys ‐‐ Greg Smith; The Miracle Worker ‐‐ Chris Harmon.
    • And I refuse to admit that any of these were anything more than my personal responses to the shows I saw. I adamantly deny that any of these were any such animal as "A Review!"

    Fri, Oct 23, 2009

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    U.D. LAW GIG:

    This particular intrasession was more interesting than usual, and they always hold my interest, not only for the improv acting experience but for the whole essence of the animal. Without getting too detailed ‐‐ because this exercise will surely be used again and law students certainly know how to use Google and Yahoo ‐‐ the exercise is set up to be more-or-less a misdirect to see if, during the initial attorney/client interview, the students pick-up on the real legal issue at hand.

    We all found on Tuesday that most of our students were focused on the legal problem which seems at face value to be the legal issue at question as the interview begins. Most were dedicated to that pathway because that was what they walked into the room assuming was the problem. Many were not listening to what their "client" was saying.

    All of us dropped light to heavy info, as each individual session worked out, about the real legal issue at hand. We all had the matching experiences that a minority of our students recognized this real issue and pursued it. A few practically missed the significance of the vital information we each dropped out there for their detection. Others saw a legal issue but did not see it as the real one and that the presumptive issue was actually not viably actionable in a court; and this group usually saw the real item as something else to look at but not high on the priority list. We all also had some students that recognized the real issue but refused to address it because it was "a separate matter" and not what we had come together to discuss and deal with. There were, of course, variations and cross-overs of all these reactions and courses of action by the students, but these represent the basic categories we all dealt with.

    We actors all did what we could to keep feeding them the vital info to pick up on, but many of them just would not refocus or would not refocus enough.

    Thursday most of them were on target. I think a memo from the program director helped more than a little. Even better on Thursday was how impressive most of the students who counseled me were. One of my charges was to be sure to make them clarify the options they were offering and any reasons why any particular option my character had hoped for was not viable. Most of them came in with such strong programs for the session that I hardly had to task them.

    So, both another one of these gigs and a little bit more experience in improvisation are under my belt


    Dayton Theatre Guild
    This damnable little movie is taking much more time and effort to edit than I'd anticipated. Finding just the right B-roll pics or footage for particular moments is tasking and it's caused some slow down toward a final cut. I actually have to go to the Oregon District and take a couple photographs that I need illustratively for B role. There are currently place-card images in the spots where the two photos will go. And I still haven't fully composed all of the text for the movie. I'm supposed to be into the editing process of post-production for the improv movie, but this little DTG short is not letting go of my time.

    There is an interim rough cut that I've embedded on a temporary private web page that I have requested a few people review and offer constructive feedback. It's a low-grade mpeg movie file and those two photo's are, of course, still missing, but it's good enough to get some feedback on basic concept and content.

    Sun, Oct 25, 2009

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    THE SUNSHINE BOYS by Neil Simon at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The cast of The Sunshine Boys

    Ralph Dennler            Willie Clark
    Don Campbell            Al Lewis
    Mike Stockstill            Ben
    Kathy Campbell            Nurse
    Natasha Randall            Sketch Nurse
    Craig Roberts            Patient
    Jamie McQuinn            TV Director
    Chase Neimitalo            Eddie
    Christopher Berry            Announcer


    Saw two more very entertaining productions this weekend. Friday it was a laudable production of Little Shop of Horrors at Sinclair Community College where I must say special kudos should be go toward the three principals: James Roselli as Seymour, Tracie Puckett as Audrey (1), and Saul Caplan as Muchnick. And it was a fun night at the theatre.

    Last night I went to X*ACT and saw a nice production of A Raisin in the Sun directed by Linda Donald (Heidi the cop in Fuddy Meers at The Guild). The strongest performances, both that I'd call excellent came from Catherine Collins as Lena Younger (Mama) and Gregory Parker as Walter Lee "Brother" Younger. Another night of good theatre.

    One noteworthy experience at the X*ACT production was the fellow audience members sitting next to me in the front row. It was a fellow of probably thirty or so and his six-year-old daughter. He was lovingly sharing and teacher the young lady all about live theatre. He read Linda's director's notes to her; he explained the cast to her and how all the actors had to learn the lines that somebody had written and how they had to "transform" themselves into the characters. He explained many many things including the stage manager and her job. She was completely enraptured by all of it. It was a wonderful thing to witness and I was quite touched by it. I shook his hand afterward and told him how I wished more dads were exposing their children to the wonders and beauty of live theatre.

    Tue, Oct 27, 2009

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    Well, yesterday morning I HAD a final cut of the Curtains Up short DV movie, I thought, but it was plagued with several silly typo errors. There was one that I was not going to fix in the YouTube version; there were two others pointed out to me that I just couldn't have in any version.

    The two that wouldn't do at all were the misspelling of "inaugural" and "Premiere." There was also one that I had already caught that I was going to let slide in the on-line movie file. There is a listing of all those who donated money over the years to the building fund to build the structure on the Fourth St. lot, then more generally for the new theatre structure, wherever it may be. It's been recently christened "The Platinum Playbill." I placed a scroll of it in the new movie and to help narrow text width on screen I did a find-and-replace of "and" with "&." I forgot to qualify it with a whole word command so every instance of "and" was changed regardless of whether it was "and" or part of a longer word. So the name "Candy," for example, became "C&y." I reversed it then redid the search-and-change for whole words only. Now this time "DP&L" is now "DPandL" ‐‐ an error I was going to fix in the master project and in the version that will be burned to DVD. But since I changed the other two errors for the YouTube version, I fixed that, too.

    I'd actually uploaded the error-ridden version to YouTube yesterday morning as well publicizing it at the Dayton Theatre Guild Yahoo! Group and The Guild's FaceBook account. Then I deleted it from YouTube. I now have uploaded the "fixed" version, though I wish the YouTube-processed version at their site didn't have some of the visual quality glitches it has. But I am letting that dog lie.

    So here's the movie. You may want to let the progress bar get a bit ahead of you before you watch, or you may get run stalls.

    Otherwise, the House Manager hat needs to be on my head a bit more, now. I got this last production off, but now it's time to get back into the cockpit. I need to, in short order, solicit hosts for the next show as well as start working on an instructional manual ‐‐ with the goal at some point for a video.

    And there's work at the building. More fixin'-it-up stuff as well as perhaps some set construction work for Hallelujah Girls.


    checkin playback
    Now that the DTG short is out of the way, I will be focusing on post-production for the FLF, starting tonight. Okay, well, I do have some DTG business to attend to late afternoon/early evening, but I should still get to some post work on the movie. My plan tonight, actually, is to record the sounds of myself washing my dishes. I need the sounds for the balboni's bar scene. Some, more minimalist and isolated sounds for my bar tender Quincy (Loren S. Goins), just off screen. More involved sounds to be dropped in faintly, as the far off kitchen.

    Meanwhilst, there are folk waiting impatiently for me to edit together the stand-alone excerpt, The Audition, which will be the first official work put out from the project. That is the next editing job I do in Final Cut.


    There are some artsy-like things to take up some time in the close future....

    • Shining City - I do need to read it still. I started a few pages over the weekend and like what I've read thus far. No final decision on auditioning but I will do a few sessions reading with a friend who is. And, if I do and happen to be cast, there goes evenings again.
    • Over the course of the next week or two there are something like four theatre productions to go see.
    • And there's the aforementioned work at the Guild.

    Mon, Nov 2, 2009

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    John Kenley
    John Kenley
    Feb 20, 1906 - Oct 23, 2009


    The Dayton theatre community and the rest of the Ohio theatre world feels the loss of theatre impresario John Kenley, who died last week. John was the founder and producer of the nationally-famous Kenley Players. The Kenley Players was a summer stock touring company that, for more than a quarter century, put up shows in several Ohio cities, those being Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Warren, as well as in Flint, Michigan.

    Being a Buckeye who grew up in Dayton in the 60's and 70's I was always aware of Kenley and the Kenley Players. I'm sorry to have to admit that I never once attended a Kenley Player's production, though my parents did several times. As a teenager who showed some amount of promise theatrically I had an opportunity to work with the Kenley Players Dayton productions at Memorial Hall, but I passed, for reasons that I cannot explain because I don't know, save for the ever-present fear of the unknown I battled often in my youth. I knew one very talented young actor, the lovely Cindy Tucker (from my alma mater, Wilbur Wright High School), who did work with the company, including some performances in some sort of dinner theater. She had a few really interesting stories about interactions with celebrities she'd met through that association.

    One great Dayton Kenley legacy was the tradition of cast parties at our local Marion's Piazza, which now has several locations, all with walls plastered with eight-by-tens of the famous cast members cavorting with patrons, most being those who had been audience members earlier in the evening. It's a wonderful part of our local theatre lore.

    When I returned to acting this decade I met many Dayton actors who worked with the KP company and knew John, himself, to lesser or greater extents. Some have shared fond memories and funny stories about John. A few years back I did a lobby display for the Wright State Paul Laurence Dunbar Library about theatre in the Dayton area. Naturally the Kenley Players was a part of that display and during the research I found some words about John written by Lucy Arnaz, for which I cannot relocate now. Ms. Arnaz is very fond of Kenley and her words were an example of the tremendous respect and adoration many from theatre, in Ohio, and in the "big-time show biz" world have for John.

    I can remember celebrities on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson talking about doing Kenley Players tours and how much they liked it. From the late 1950's through the mid 1980's, with a brief reprise in the 90's, an army of well-known Equity, SAG and AFTRA professionals graced the stages on the Kenley Players venues. The list of well-known performers of the day that have appeared in Kenley productions is long. Here is a partial list:

    Edie Adams,    Don Ameche,    Ed Ames,    Desi Arnaz Jr.,    Lucy Arnaz,    Ed Asner,    Kaye Ballard,    Tallulah Bankhead,    Gene Barry,    Meredith Baxter,    Orson Bean,    Ken Berry,    David Birney,    Bill Bixby,    Vivian Blaine,    Sonny Bono,    Debbie Boone,    Tom Bosley,    Anita Bryant,    Cab Calloway,    Dyan Cannon,    Jack Cassidy,    Richard Chamberlain,    Rosemary Clooney,    Imogene Coca,    James Darren,    John Davidson,    Pam Dawber,    Dom DeLuise,    Joyce Dewitt,    Phyllis Diller,    Mike Douglas,    Hugh Downs,    Sandy Duncan,    Barbara Eden,    Nanette Fabray,    Totie Fields,    Joan Fontaine,    John Forsythe,    Eva Gabor,    Zsa Zsa Gabor,    James Garner,    Arthur Godfrey,    Lesley Gore,    Robert Goulet,    Fred Grandy,    Joel Grey,    Merv Griffin,    George Hamilton,    Margaret Hamilton,    Noel Harrison,    Joey Heatherton,    Florence Henderson,    Robert Horton,    Rock Hudson,    Tab Hunter,    Artie Johnson,    Van Johnson,    Alan Jones,    Dean Jones,    Jack Jones,    Shirley Jones,    Howard Keel,    Durward Kirby,    Harvey Korman,    Hope Lange,    Carol Lawrence,    Vicki Lawrence,    Cloris Leachman,    Brenda Lee,    Gypsy Rose Lee,    Art Linkletter,    Rich Little,    Allen Ludden,    Paul Lynde,    Jeanette MacDonald,    Gordon MacRae,    Sheila MacRae,    George Maharis,    Dorothy Malone,    Jayne Mansfield,    Peter Marshall,    Kent McCord,    Ed McMahon,    Anne Meara,    Ethel Merman,    Ann Miller,    Donna Mills,    Martin Milner,    Ricardo Montalban,    Henry Morgan,    Hugh O'Brian,    Maureen O'Sullivan,    Ozzie and Harriet,    Bert Parks,    Jane Powell,    Stephanie Powers, Vincent Price,    John Raitt,    Martha Raye,    Robert Reed,    Burt Reynolds,    Ginger Rogers,    Mickey Rooney,    Soupy Sales,    Gary Sandy,    William Shatner,    The Smothers Brothers,    Robert Stack,    Connie Stevens,    McLean Stevenson,    Jerry Stiller,    Peter Strauss,    Frank Sutton,    Gloria Swanson,    Tommy Tune,    Brenda Vaccaro,    Karen Valentine,    Mamie Van Doren,    Jerry Van Dyke,    Lyle Waggoner,    Lesley Ann Warren,    Mae West,    Betty White,    Andy Williams,    Barry Williams,    Henry Winkler,    Jane Withers,    JoAnne Worley,   and    Pia Zadora.

    And that is nowhere close to a complete list,

    As well, as already stated, many of the fine professional, semi-professional and community actors still living and performing in the Dayton area got their starts with The Kenley Players, either on stage or otherwise involved as volunteers or staff.

    Here are just a few relevant links in light of John Kenley's passing:

    Dayton Theatre Guild
    Beginnings of the Hallelujah Girls set.
    Beginnings of a church choir pew.


    So Saturday night was "Hauntfest on 5th," the big Halloween party in The Oregon District. We cashed in and charged for parking at both the new Oregon District location ‐‐ right there ‐‐ as well as at the lot we still own at Fourth and Patterson (where the plans had been to build the new theatre) ‐‐ close enough to the action to be desirable to the partiers. It's the same thing we do every year, except in the past it's been just the lot on Fourth we'd worked.

    I showed up to help at the theatre but they didn't need me, so I left. I would have went to catch J. Gary Thompson's band at J. Allens then the very same J. Gary along with Chris Shea and Heather Gorbe doing some street theatre (selected Shakespeare scenes) on Fifth Street during "Hauntfest," but I've been hemorrhaging money lately, mostly on car problems, so I just didn't have the cash to even deal with the cover charge to get into "Hauntfest" or J. Allens, much less buy any drinks (for me: sodas). I went home.

    Yesterday I was back, though, for a little while, to give Greg Smith at least a little help with the set construction for our next production, The Hallelujah Girls. It was mostly work with cardboard; I helped Greg bend and form a large sheet into a faux church choir pew. I think Greg may have finished it a bit more after I left to go eat at The Dublin Pub with some other board members. I took some shots of the whole set after lunch and just before I went home, but I didn't really look at that pew up close.

    Set work will continue next weekend ‐‐ actually, I bet Greg spends some time during the week on it. If you'd ("Dear Reader") like to help out I am sure if you show up by 11:00 next Saturday morning, and probably Sunday, too, there'll be a task or two you can help out with.

    Meanwhile I am also looking for hosts for the performances, so if you want to be involved with that get with me at There are some perks we'll discuss when you contact me.

    And beyond all that we are not done sprucing the building up in general. We still don't have it to the so-called "final polished" appearance we want it to have as its normal look. There;s still all sorts of painting left to do and we have a pretty healthy task of getting the new permanent theatre seats cleaned up, fixed up and installed. We have a form for getting onto a mailing list for individual and general announcements of work days and work tasks.

    Click here for the page.


    Speaking of Greg Smith, yesterday I saw The Dixie Swim Club at the Beavercreek Community Theatre, which Greg directed. It featured the lovely work of Cassandra Engbar, Debra Kent, Stefanie Pratt, Jill Proudfoot, and Rachel Wilson. It was a funny and enjoyable afternoon.

    There's still a glut of productions on their way or already up that I'd like to get to. Tomorrow night I am getting to The Race to see Man of La Mancha. I also have plans to see Eurydice at Clark State Community College Theatre, Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business at The Town Hall Theatre, and Circumference of a Squirrel at the Seed Theatre Project.

    And, of course, The Hallelujah Girls at Home.

    K.L. directs


    Just looking at what needs to be done for the short stand-alone, The Audition, clues me in to the mammoth task ahead of me for the whole feature length version. I am not sure what the length of this short narrative will be but I will need at least three pop songs, which I probably have, but then I also need a radio announcer and I think at least pone cluster of commercials, those which will need to be mocked up, at least at this point. Maybe a station identification jingle, too. Fortunately I will not need to do a hefty amount of color correction for this one ‐‐ but I may need to do at least some.

    As for the time length, I do want to keep it to ten minutes or less so I can post it to my YouTube account without upgrading to a director account. My understanding is that a director account has a fee.

    The bare beginnings of work on the short has started; very bare beginnings.

    Tue, Nov 3, 2009

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    I Voted Today!

    Fri, Nov 6, 2009

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      First of all, how self-involved is the guy who uses "Miscellaneous Me" as a header?

    • Another Audition Through the Talent Agency --
      Peter Condopoulos at PC-Goenner called yesterday and we set up an audition for a PSA for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Got the sides yesterday and am going into the office tomorrow morning. It's character acting in the purest definition of the term; it calls upon some comedic performance ability ‐‐ and we all know how impressed I am with my own comedic skills.

      Only one way to get better.

    • Improv Movie Post-production Progress --
      It keeps seeming to me like I'm not moving forward on this project but I actually am, when I step back and assess it. I am in the editing process but I have not yet began to edit. I've been reviewing, studying the different takes and camera angles for each take of the "The Audition" sequence. There are two takes with three camera angles on each take. Since this is improvisational work there are different riffs and different material in the takes. So I have a good palette of material to work from to create a scene the seamlessly integrates Natasha Randall's and Craig Roberts' work from both takes. When I do sit down to edit the sequence, I want to have a strong idea what part of what clips I am using and where.
    • Shining City --
      Still on the fence about auditioning.
    • In the Audience this Weekend --

      • The Line Shack, a film by John Adrian Riley: I believe I will try to catch the screening of this tonight at the Dayton Playhouse. *see below.
      • Eurydice at Clark State Community College Theatre: I hope to catch this one this weekend, too. It features Ms. Liz Dillard as well as Nick Moberg.
      • Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business at The Town Hall Theatre: I wouldn't mind getting to this one, too. I am slightly acquainted with one of the adult actors, Ms. Grace Davis, who was in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
      • Circumference of a Squirrel at the Seed Theatre Project: this company is a new one that Adam Leigh is involved in founding, if he indeed is not the founder. They have a two night premier performance tonight and tomorrow night that features Alex Carmichal.
      • I have no idea how I'm going to logistically make all this. I really doubt that I am. I'm pretty sure I will miss something.


    As an FYI, here are a couple upcoming Springfield auditions I know about --

    • Snowed in with Scrooge: A Holiday Variety Spectacular

      This Monday and Tuesday (Nov 9th & 10th) evenings from 7-9, at The State Theatre, 19. S Fountain Ave., Springfield, Ohio.

      "Come join the biggest holiday event of the season. Open auditions for actors and comedians for our variety show. In collaboration with Springfield StageWorks.

      "The basic theme of the show surrounds a small group of 'spirits' who will go to any lengths in order to instill a bit of seasonal cheer into the heart of that classic holiday miser, Scrooge. With this simple template we are constructing a show consisting of everything from short-form comedy sketches, to musical numbers, maybe even a video short or two. The sky's the limit with this open-ended format and so far we have come up with something that feels both traditional and completely original all at once."

      Needed: 5-14 people for various roles in short skits as well as a central cast

      -Scrooge- Male 20's to 60's Age not required if capable of playing

      -3 visitors- A trio of performers that can work well together, almost an Animaniacs dynamic with scrooge

      -Various other roles within skits as well as musical segments

      If you have questions, email me and I'll forward:

    • The Vagina Monologues

      Springfield StageWorks will hold open auditions for The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.

      This event will be held with the help of the V-Day campaign:

      Auditions are at 6:00 pm on November 9th and 10th at the State Theater in Springfield. (19 S. Fountain Ave.)

      Performances are February 11, 12 & 13, 2010.

      Cast does not have a specific size or age range. Any female of size, age or race, with any level of experience is welcome to audition.

      The play is a series of 10 monologues, with dialogue to the audience interspersed.

      Rehearsal schedule will be largely determined by the size of the cast, but commitment level shouldn't be high until close to the performances.

      A one-minute monologue is optional.


    All in all I am not a major fan the musical. Generally I attend a musical because I am supporting friends or acquaintances, I'm adjudicating for The Daytony's, there are performers in it I really want to see work (whether I know them or not), or it's one of those few musicals I have a real interest in. Little Shop of Horrors, which just had a successful run at Sinclair Community College falls into the last category; the SCC production, as well, also had friends and others whom I wanted to support and see work.

    Dale Wasserman's Man of La Mancha is another of the musicals that draw me in. It's "more than a musical," to quote someone I spoke of it with recently. It's considered one of the greatest American musicals of all time and I think I'm going to have to concur with that, despite that I am not an American musicals aficionado, nor a real connoisseur of musicals of any region or era.

    It's such a noble story to begin with, and the songs by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion are just so damned good. They incorporate brilliantly into Wasserman's strong adaptation of the seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, who is himself the main character in the story outside the frame piece of Don Quixote. When the musical is done well it's simply magic.

    I saw the current Human Race Theatre Company production this past Tuesday evening, and in my humble, not-a-critic-or-reviewer, nobody-to-pay-attention-to, opinion HRTC does Man of La Mancha most well and lifts it to that magic. Nobility and romanticism are such a core of the story's soul that a production or particular performances in a production are in grave danger of being too sentimental, too saccharin imbued, even, on some occasions, too silly. For me, Tuesday performance did not stoop to that too-sweet level.

    Some may disagree with this, but I believe it's one of those musicals that demands real vocalists in almost every instance. Certainly Quixote himself has to be a better than average singer; and if the Padre is not an excellent tenor, that alone will cost the production dearly; (I've seen the show twice now, and the actor playing the Padre was a fabulous tenor both times ‐‐ the first time it was a fellow named Robert C. Banks, who lived in the Dayton area at the time); "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)" may be the famous song from the musical, but the Padre's "To Each His Dulcinea (To Every Man His Dream)" is arguably the most beautiful and if the song is butchered, which it can easily be, that can be the wave that turns the tide in the wrong direction for a production. In the Race version the Padre is Kristoffer Lowe, and he is also an excellent tenor. I don't think when I was at my most practiced I was within the same hemisphere either of these men occupy as tenor vocalists.

    Then there is the lead role, which is a challenging one. The actor has to assume several personas. First he must be the thoughtful, artistic intellectual, Miguel de Cervantes. Then, framed in Cervantes's performance during the play within the play he must be the aging, fragile, idealistic, romanticist Alonso Quijana, who then in turn, with his deep soul, his spirited, hopeful heart, transforms himself into the charming, charismatic, noble, righteous, stalwart Don Quixote de La Mancha. And Quixote has to be so admirable that the audience, though perhaps amused, and maybe even bemused, by his many moments of naiveté, will not see him as horribly ridiculous in those moments. It commands dexterous acting skill to give Man of La Mancha the lead character the story demands. And let's face it, Quixote has to be able to sing. If he doesn't pull off "The Impossible Dream," as well as the musical's title song, and his others, we have more bad waves disturbing the tide of any potential magic.

    I once auditioned for a production of this, and was realistically going after Sancho Panza, Quixote's squire ‐‐ well, that's whom I assumed I had the most probability of being cast as. Mostly, I just don't think I have the voice range, and any more, the vocal strength, to sing Quixote. Were I ever cast as Don Quixote de La Mancha I would wish that I could give to the role what I saw our own Dayton's Kevin Moore give to it. As an audience member in commune with the actor on the stage, I was with him the whole time and I was moved ‐‐ by that correct proportion of sentimentality ‐‐ as he is first broken by the Knight of the Mirrors, then as he dies, just having been given his dream back by Aldonza (Dulcinea). And as the show ends with Cervantes walking into the brutal fiery arms of the Inquisition, while the cast sings the choral reprise of "The Impossible Dream," I was choked up just as I think I was supposed to be.

    And, by-the-way, there is not a weak vocal performance in the cast.

    The director, Scott Stoney and the cast as a whole told the story so as to play my emotions just at the measure that seems appropriate to my ideals of this play/(musical). This cast, though, as is the norm, is peppered with Equity actors from out of town, has several locals whom I have worked with in one manner or another in productions (i.e.: some theatre friends) as well as others I am acquainted with. I commend the ensemble for its highly laudable work: Kevin Moore (Miguel de Cervantes/Alonso Quijana/Don Quixote); Melissa D'Amico (Aldonza); David C. Maxwell (Sancho Panza); David Tillistrand (the Governor/the Innkeeper); Kristoffer Lowe (the Padre); Jamie Cordes (the Duke/Dr. Carrasco); Katherine DeBoer (Antonia); Reneé Franck-Reed (Maria/the Housekeeper); Eric Ulloa (Pedro, a Muleteer); Joseph Spieldenner (Anselmo, a Muleteer); Jerome Doerger (José, a Muleteer); J.J. Tiemeyer (Juan, a Muleteer/Horse); Aaron Vega (Paco, a Muleteer/Mule); Jason Roberts (Tenorio, a Muleteer); Matthew Natale Rush (Mateo, a Muleteer); Jake Lockwood (the Barber); Mike Kennedy (Captain of the Guard); Liz Wheeler (Fermina/the Moorish Dancer). Scot Woolley is the musical director and the impressive set was designed by David A. Centers.

    All these people conspired to give me the magic experience that Man of La Mancha is supposed to be.

    Yeah, I know, I know, this whole prose congregation that is assembled above smells suspiciously with the pseudo-intellectual odor of a bone fide review. What can I say, this musical is one that actually attracts my attention and seeing it done right makes me have things to say.

    But, of course, this WASN'T a review, this was a "RESPONSE."

    And in the spirit of promoting things, check out the little promo video for the show that HRTC has produced, with Scott Stoney talking about the play and the story (though at some point the video may be pulled from YouTube when it's no longer relevant):

    Sat, Nov 7, 2009

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    Off this morning to audition for the PSA for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.


    There are two new theatres in the Dayton area, one which is debuting this very weekend and another that has its premiere production next month.

    The first of these new theatre family members is the SEED Theatre Project, founded by Adam and Michelle Leigh. Last night and tonight the company has its first production up, Circumference of a Squirrel by John Walch and featuring resident artist Alex Carmichal.

    Glass Apple Theatre, LLC, founded by Brian McKnight premiers in December with Erosion, written and directed by Brian.

    Obviously, if you click on the hot-linked names of the two theatres you'll get more info at their respective web sites.

    T O N I G H T    AND    L A S T    N I G H T !


    a film by John Adrian Riley:

    John Riley's period short narrative movie is close to final cut. The current edit was screened last night at the Dayton Playhouse and it has another screening tonight at 8:00 pm, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.

    The screenings benefit both the Dayton Playhouse Futurefest and Dayton Theatre Guild Building Fund.

    Tue, Nov 10, 2009

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    Dayton Theatre Guild
    Hallelujah pews.
    Spent a few hours both Saturday and Sunday helping with the set for The Hallelujah Girls.

    Most of my work was on the church pew benches ‐‐ the regular pews, not the choir bench that I helped Greg Smith fold from a large sheet of corrugated paper last weekend.

    My big role was to paint them, but I, and Brian Buttrey, did, for a few of the benches, help Greg fasten the corrugated paper sheets he'd folded, molded and cut to fit over the kitchen chairs he used as the base for each of the benches ‐‐ two chairs for each bench.

    Ahh.... Magic - Illusion - Theatre !


    Saw the screening of John Riley's movie Saturday night at the Dayton Playhouse. Really nice work. A good script, with good acting, good direction and good cinematography.

    I had stated earlier that the movie was in final cut but I was mistaken about that. It's actually in later-stage rough cut with some color correction and sound track sweetening to do. In fact, John plans to re-record the narrative at the movie's front end as well as do a tad bit of ADR* for a few scenes. I would suppose that further content editing is not out of the question, though the assembled cut I saw at the screening looked fine to me.

    He also does not have his original music score yet. He hopes to have a final cut in the spring and have the movie ready to submit to film festivals. I think it can be a contender. I certainly believe he ought to submit it to the Secret City Film Festival, in Oakridge, Tennessee, which I attended last Oct ('08) as the representative for Still Me. And, I might add, where I had the honor of accepting the award for Best Family Film on behalf of the Still Me production. Judging from the screenings I saw that weekend there can certainly be a spot in the mix for John's film.

    The Line Shack is well done and should be better in final cut. Here's hoping John walks onto a few podiums to accept some festival awards.

        *ADR: (Automated Dialogue Replacement ‐‐ AKA: 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 low levels on the production recording of the video) 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.


    Sunday I attended the closing performance of this production of Sarah Ruhl's reconsideration of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It featured the lovely Ms. Liz Dillard in the title role and Nick Moberg as Orpheus. Both gave impressive performances. I've worked with Liz in Work Song for Springfield StageWorks in the fall of '08 and since saw her excellent rendition of Ophelia in that same company's Hamlet. Nick, I've worked with indirectly, as he was Kenny in The Guild's Salem Avenue swan song, Fuddy Meers; he was also in the DTG Wayne Avenue premiere show, Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

    Wed, Nov 11, 2009

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    Here's to our Veterans --
    active, retired, and
    no longer with us.

    They've rarely picked and chosen when to take up arms. They've gotten the call and did their duty with honor and grace. And our citadels are in tact because of their sacrifices.

    Thu, Nov 12, 2009

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    Screenshot of Final Cut editing project for 'The Audition.'
    A screenshot of Final Cut as I worked on sound sweetening
    Natasha Randall as Marian, the director in the scene, with the director of the scene in the background, ruining this shot for the sake of another.
    Craig Roberts as the actor, Robert, auditioning for Hamlet


    Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of my holiday off in the Final Cut editing suite working on The Audition. I'd love to say that I began to assemble the actual cut into the sequencing timeline, but what I did was spend almost eight hours on color correction, audio sweetening, and related work.

    Some of that time involved reading the manual's section on color correction ‐‐ which I would not hail as being written as clearly as it could be. Fortunately the source footage I have for this particular segment did not have a terribly dramatic difference in color temperatures and white balance between the three cameras. There are some other sequences that indeed do have major temperature conflicts. I may need to anticipate some tedious task burdening when I start to work on those segments. Then again, I was dealing with the front end of a learning curve as I worked to match color in all the clips yesterday. I will pick some speed at this process as I move along.

    The sound "sweetening" was simply choosing which sound track from which camera I would use for all the cameras' footage, then setting a volume level and balancing the stereo fade to middle. I picked the audio track from camera 2. After processing it I created Final Cut editing sequences for the footage for cameras 1 & 3 and for each of the takes and cutaway shots. Then I copied the cam2 audio tracks into the corresponding 1 & 3 FC sequences, synced them up and then turned off the original audio.

    Final Cut sequences won't copy over into the editing viewer, only into the canvas. This inhibits the ability to select only portions of the material in that FC sequence to drop down into a new FC sequence; you have to put all of a FC sequence into a new one. So I took all those cam1 & 2 processed sequences and rendered them as new movie clips. Those I have complete trimming power over in the viewer and can drop as small a portion as I want into the new FC sequence. When I start my assemble edit I will be working from these movie files:

    1. Robert entrance and exit (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
    2. Robert entrance and exit2 *original with audio sweetened
    3. Robert entrance and exit3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
    4. shuttle establishment *original with audio sweetened
    5. The Audition Take01 cam1 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
    6. The Audition Take01 cam2 *original with audio sweetened
    7. The Audition Take01 cam3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
    8. The Audition Take02 cam1 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
    9. The Audition Take02 cam2 *original with audio sweetened
    10. The Audition Take02 cam3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence

    Possibly I need to go back to the original DV min cassette because I may have not transfered a piece of footage over, a cut-away close up of Marian (Natasha Randall) writing on an actor's r´sum´. I'll double check at the front and back ends of the clips I have, but I don't remember seeing it. I think also that the room tone in the project we shot next in the same space on the same day, "The Ring," again with Natasha but now with Duante Beddingfield in scene. To be honest there are probably several places with no dialogue on the movie clips I have that can serve the room-tone purpose if I need such.

    There's at least one pickups shot I need for this segment. Actually there's more than one for the edit that will go into the full movie, but for the stand-alone I'm about to cut I only need one. I need to mock up a notice for the casting call to replace Hamlet in the community theatre group, Thespian Collective's, production of Hamlet. Ultimately I want a shot of it at an outside commons bulletin board in Yellow Springs; Yellow Springs is one of the village/small town locations I am using for exterior shots to represents the movie's fictional location of Bellcreek, OH (pop. approx. 13,000). That one needs to happen when there's snow. Right now, for the short movie, any wall will work. I'm thinking about sticking the flyer up on an announcement board on campus to get the shot.

    There are a few pickups I want of small town exteriors both with and without snow. I also need to mock up a corporate limits sign for Bellcreek. There are a few signs I may be able to superimpose on footage because the shots will be static ‐‐ the camera will not shuttle or track, but the Bellcreek sign needs to be physical because I want that shot to shuttle the camera (it'll be a tracking shot probably from a car) and I don't have the animation capacity to insert a virtual image onto footage in a moving shot.

    It seems obvious to me I can drop graphics into shots where the camera is not moving. I can shoot an exterior of an appropriate-appearing building and superimpose the "Balboni's Casa de Piazza" sign onto it. And I may be able to put a radio stations signage onto a plate glass window. Both of which I plan to do.

    And there's still all sorts of ambient background and Foley sound to get and create, as I have said before. I recorded myself washing dishes and using the sink in my kitchen, about a week ago or so, but I am not happy with that and I am going to record such again. And, as I have said, I am still in need of lots of music. The big need is some for The Audition, which is supposed to be happening in an old production suite at WACI radio ‐‐ Bellcreek's radio station. Marian works there. I actually had made her a traffic coordinator but in scene with Duante, Natasha made reference to Marian's radio show. There's no reason to change from her assertion. At any rate ‐‐ and I am sure I've written this before ‐‐ there needs to be WACI on air programing down low in the background as if on monitors in a hallway close by. And, like I indicated before that will take a few pop/rock songs, some radio jungle work and a couple commercials, as well as on-air personality.

    Hmm. Metaphorically, I'm about a foot or two into this five-mile sojourn that is the post-production process.

    Tue, Nov 17, 2009

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    It wasn't through my agent, and I did not earn a paycheck, but I went to Springfield Saturday to appear in the role of a husband for a TV spot for the Marriage Resource Center, which is a marriage program aimed at teaching healthy relationship tools to men.

    It's more-or-less a turnabout from the improv movie, as I was acting for a client of Crystal and Wayne Justice's company, Resource, which aids non-profits in various manners including projects like this as well as events, grant writing, and more. Crystal and Wayne are two principals in the improv movie, Celeste and Grady, the proprietors of Balboni's Casa de Piazza.

    The shoot was done in the courtyard by the government buildings in Springfield. It took all of ten minutes. I just riffed some improv as a satisfied married man and waxed philosophical about the benefits of marriage such as companionship, sex and children.

    I am an actor, you know.

    Having not gotten this through PC-Goenner it's important to reiterate it was not a paying gig. It's not cool that I freelance a paying gig for camera, or any signatory paying live acting gigs. I should let the agency know about those and get the producers in contact with the agency.

    Meanwhile, I'm heading into the Dayton office this afternoon to do an audition for Nationwide. And there is paying commercial gig that I was made aware of on facebook that I gave Peter Condopoulos, at the agency, the heads up about and he replied that he too had been given the same info over the weekend. So I'm doing that audition Thursday evening, again, at the Dayton office.

    Beyond all that, there is a short horror movie being produced shortly that I may do some bit part work in. Wayne Justice is a principal ‐‐ and maybe Crystal is, too, but I'm not sure about that.


    shooting pickup of casting call flyer
    Shooting the CU (Close Up) of the emergency casting call flyer in my apartment
    Casting call mock-up flyer

    So after I got home from shooting the TV spot I was going to re-record myself washing some dishes in my little kitchenette space in my humble little apartment but there was too much grounds keeping going on outside. Neighbors took advantage of the unseasonable 60°+ weather to mow lawns and trim foliage and other activities that used machines that would be rather conspicuous in the ambient sound of a bar. It would have all been pretty far back there in sound level, but I didn't want to deal with filtering all that out.

    There should be just the kitchen sounds ‐‐ in step with that I'll turn the refrigerator off so that motor will be out of the equation. I need just water and clinking dishes for both deep back Balboni's kitchen sounds and closer bar sink Foley; though the up-close bar sink noises will still pretty much all off-screen as will be the dialogue I got with Loren S. Goins (Quincy) a few weeks back.

    Meanwhile, toward the end of the last week I mocked up and printed that emergency casting call flyer that Marian (Natasha Randall) has posted around our little small town of Bellcreek. Sunday, while at The Guild to help with set construction I got part of an interior establishment shot, a zoom in on a bulletin board in the DTG office, with the mock flyer tacked to it. I also shot a close up (CU) of the flyer on the board but that shot did not turn out. So, I re-shot the CU Sunday evening at home (see the left column here).

    The Cu had one challenge. It was easy enough to stand a cork bulletin board up with the flyer on t as well as place a good light source close by ‐‐ bad lighting of the CU at the DTG office was one of the problems prompting the reshoot. In the reshoot I did what is called a pedestal shot, which is simply that I moved the whole camera from the top of the flyer to the bottom by cranking the height adjustment on the tripod. The challenge cam in that I have somehow and somewhere lost the lock screw for the horizontal pivot on my tripod, so I had to gingerly keep the camera steady in terms of horizontal jerks it moved downward vertically. I was not perfectly successful, either. But I think the shot, after several attempts can work.

    Yesterday I did some pickups: establishment shots for The Audition. At the start of lunch at work I shot an exterior of one of the automated door entrances to the library where I work. I also shot two different tall sections of the library building with the one that is the sure pick for usage being the one with transmitter antennae visible. The shot is establishment for the radio station.

    I may use both the view up at the building with the antennae and the shot of the automated glass doors. I will almost surely superimpose the station call letters on the glass doors. I'm also contemplating creating suspended lettering on the side of the building.

    For both I am pretty sure I can use green-screen technology, creating the graphic image with green as the background then using the green screen video filter when adding the image in the shot in Final Cut. If that doesn't work, I may just trap the appropriate portion of the background in the shot as the background in the graphic and simply lay the whole finished still image over the footage so the backgrounds match up.

    I actually planned to at least start creating these graphics last night, but it was one of those closed my eyes for an hour's nap that turned into sleeping all evening situations.


    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Didn't drop by on Saturday to help with the set but I did put a few hours in on Sunday.

    Was pretty much a couple hours of painting things dark brown:

    § The steps up onto the proscenium stage.
          § The legs that show on the church pews; those pews which I painted a base, light brown the previous weekend.
               § The choir pew.
                    § Some of the door frames.


    Saturday night I saw fellow DTG board member and cast member in the Brilliant Improv Movie project, Wendi Michael, featured in Marrying Terry at Brookville Community Theatre. The production marked Dave Nickel's directorial debut. Dave was a fellow cast member with me in the DTG production of The Best Man two seasons back. The leads were Leo Geiger, whom I have not worked with yet but whose work I like, and Susan Robert, whom I also have not worked with.

    As one who plans to put the playwright's hat on, sooner or later, I'd say the play was cute but there are no surprises or twists. I pretty much predicted the plot and the outcome from pretty early into the performance. But, at least the play didn't suck.

    Complements to Dave for a respectable debut as director with some really nice moments happening on stage. There was some good work from the cast, too, especially Leo's Terry Adams, which was a refreshing lower key, more even-keel persona than the characters I've seen Leo play in the past. Wendi was a convincing snooty, erudite Penny, fiancé to Leo's character.

    Also in the show was Robert Martin, my scene mate from the Acting III class at The Human Race, (with Marsha Hanna at the helm). Robert was the uptight, aggressive fiancé of the other Terry Adams ‐‐ Susan Robert. Yes: two Terry Adams in a hotel in Chicago on New Years Eve with the snow storm of the decade raging outside; a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications; a case of mistaken identity; and both Terries are engaged to jerks. Wonder if the two will be together by the end of the play?

    The cast I did not know at all were Rani Deighe Crowe, G. Michael Robinson, Alain Alejandro, and a woman whose name did not make the program, so I don't know it right now.

    To round out those I know, two other DTG board members (both with whom I've worked in productions, on and off stage) Deirdre Root (stage manager) and Steve Strawser (run crew) worked the show.

    So, this coming Saturday, I controverse at the Dayton Playhouse.


    Tue, Nov 24, 2009

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    I wrote last entry about how I shot some pickup establishment shots for The Audition on Monday during lunch at work. Rather than using both as establishment for the radio station where Marian (Natasha Randall) works, I'm going to use the view up at the building with the antennae for the radio station but the automated glass doors have now become the bellcreek Community Center, which is the location of the bulletin board with the emergency casting flyer, the footage I shot last weekend.

    With the help of Corel Painter I was able to transform the Wright State University Library, in Beavercreek, Ohio, into the office building in downtown Bellcreek, Ohio, that houses WACI Radio (lite 97.5 FM). The back doors of the same library are now the front doors of the Bellcreek Community Center.

    It was not a bing-bang-boom-we're-done proposition. Several hours of three evenings and most of two lunch hours last week were dedicated to getting both these brief images correct.

    Since neither the shot of the building nor of the door are straight-on images with perfect level right angles and even depth perspectives, I had to be sure I got both the rotation and tilt precise for the images I superimposed so they would look to be truly adhered to the surfaces to which my altered footage suggests they belong.

    To start the process I created a still of the first frame from both short pieces of footage; then, in the afore-mentioned Corel Painter I process both frame down to 640 pixels wide from the stretched 720 that Final Cut saves master images to. Yes, in Final Cut, the default for a full screen image (what is known as a 4:3 aspect ratio) is 720 X 480, a 12.5% horizontal stretch. In the end the vertical can be output as the true 4:3 width of 640 and that compression (which is -11.1%) actually helps the picture look better as a 640 X 480 image. With getting too bogged down in all this, I'll just explain that I needed to compress the still back down to 640 wide before I set about using the layer image graphics functions in Corel Painter to create the letters suspended on the building and the lettering on the glass door. I wanted the true two dimensional renderings to use as my bases for both graphic effects. Foremost in that is that we shot the movie, obviously, in 4:3 rather than the wide screen (16:9), and when i render the movie or any parts of it I will be rendering them at 640 wide not 720. So, I will be creating any graphic effects on a 640 wide template.

    The video bars in the sequence timeline in the Final Cut project for the The Audition sequence ‐‐ *(slightly different use of the term "sequence").
    Now, in the Final Cut, as in most video editing software, you create your "finished" movie in what is called a sequence timeline. There are two separate sets of horizontal bar areas, the top is for video and below those is a section for audio. You can have many bars for video and for audio, and very frequently will have six or even more for audio. A soundtrack (bar) with the voices of the actors speaking their dialogue. Another soundtrack with the room or out door ambient sound; another bar peppered with Foley sound of things like a drawer opening, a car pulling up, perhaps a purposefully placed bird chirp. There may be another bar with movie score. You can lay layers of video or audio tracks on top of each other and balance and mix for the final effect you want. On the right is the video part of the time line for the sequence timeline for the radio station establishment shot. The bottom track, the blue one, is the footage of the library building. Sitting on top is the still graphic image of the radio station call numbers. The protocol is that whatever is at higher level will cover or partially cover all the video below it, unless its opacity is reduced to make it transparent; but, then, until it's opacity zeroed out it will be visible over the video below it that occupies the same part of the screen. The opacity is not reduced in this case. In this case, the jpeg is a crop of the building down to just bordering the text. It sits on top of the blank-walled building, and I am able to move it around on the screen to position it in the place it was on the un-cropped photograph. Thus, the result you can see below in the frameshot. The still image is that small square of a crop from the 640 X 480 jpeg I created in Corel Painter. When I dropped it into the timeline Final Cut automatically stretched it the 12.5% horizontally so it matches up with the same area in the video footage below it. I just needed to position it correctly over the appropriate spot. And the editing windows show the footage and the images at the true 4:3 aspect ration rather than the 112.5% wide rendition ‐‐ though the DV footage is captured at that stretch.

    How can superimposing these effected images take three evenings and two lunch hours? you may ask. Admittedly, after a little trial and error at first, getting the orientation as far as rotation and slant became pretty easy. Though I did have to go back in with both images and adjust them a bit. There were other minutia of more taxing problems, though.

    First, and I may later learn how to better overcome this one, there was green-screen problems that I could not resolve so I abandoned that approach to getting the virtual in=mages onto the footage. I actually only attempted it with the station call letters on the building and didn't bother with it when I moved on to the glass door. When I went the green screen, or "green chromakey," route I had remnants of the green bordering my still image that I was able to successfully filter out without changing the color of the image too much for it to have a seamless fit onto the original footage. That's when I opted for the straight superimposition.

    What I encountered on that path was that when you drop the jpeg into the timeline bar, the image is automatically enlarge to fit the whole frame, in the case of these still images it's several-hundred-percent enlargements. I had to reduce the images back down, but, interestingly enough, 100% is too small, and each needed to be at a slightly different range, both hovering around 112% ‐‐ but this is both width and height.

    Next problem, which I was aware would probably be true, as I was shooting the footage last week. The idea of shooting the footage was spontaneous. The thought occurred to me as I was about to take lunch and return the DV camera to the Center for Teaching and Learning, from which I had borrowed it. I knew I needed steady shots, absolutely stead shots, since the images I would superimpose would be static on the screen, unless I was willing to spend many many many hours repositioning the images frame by frame. And I just don't have that kind of time available. It's possible, but not tenable so long as I have so many other obligations (like my paycheck employment). I did not have a tripod so I attempted to securely hold the camera against stationary objects to try and achieve perfect stillness in the footage. The resulting shots that I use are pretty close, but still there is a bit of migration of the building and of the doors by the end of the respective shots. Were it not for the stationary images superimposed onto the footage that slight migration would not be easy or perhaps even possible to see. But, by the end of the four-plus seconds, both added effect images are off-set, if just slightly. It's more prominently noticeable on the building just by nature of the geometrics that surround the jpeg ‐‐ part of the line of the top edge of the building and the line of the seam below the call numbers are part of the effect image and they are slightly off by the clips ending.

    I worked and worked to try and fix this problem but was not able to improve anything. The good thing is that I'm not going to be using the whole of the 4.5, or so, seconds of either clip. Each will be on the screen just long enough to read the text then it'll be cut to the next shot. And for the glass door shot I aligned the effects graphic to its perfect spot at a point toward the end of the clip just before the reflection of a biker riding by is seen in the window next to it because that is the spot I'm using in the movie.

    If you remember from a previous blog entry, Final Cut sequences won't open into the editing viewer so I rendered both these short sequences as new Quicktime movies. Those I can open in the viewer and then grab the smaller sections I want from each for the "final" sequence that will be rendered into The Audition ‐‐ if it keeps that title.

    Some other footage I got last week, when I shot the exterior library footage was about 45 seconds of interior in the library's group study room so I can have some room tone crowd ambience for the shot of the bulletin board. It will be the shot after the exterior of the Bellcreek Community Center doors ‐‐ where we'll see the biker's reflection in the window. Of course, I'm only using the audio from the group study room; in fact, the video is only of the camera case. I've sweetened it, mostly by compressing it a bit and then rendered that as an aiff audio file.

    The shot of the glass doors will have some light city street ambient audio, which I procured the other day, along with a short bit of royalty free jingle music. I don't have the time right now to write and record the music, so I just went to Sound Rangers and grabbed some appropriate music to put under the announcer's "You're listening to W A C I, light ninety-seven point five F M." It'll probably be me, but I may process the voice to pitch it up to, with any hope, the voice a woman.

    And, as I believe I've stated earlier, there's still some commercial spots to create and some pop music to find. The station ID will be mixed up over the shot of the WACI building. The radio programing, (the songs, commercials, and perhaps weather report by the radio announcer), will be low in the background under the scene. None of this audio is necessary to assemble the edit of the whole short movie. Still, I feel the urge to create the station ID jingle soon.

    Other arts stuff and other life stuff have been on my plate the last few days, but I believe tonight the actual Final Cut sequence timeline for The Audition will be started.

    *Point of note: These images I post with blog entries are almost always 4:3, even if from a DV movie frame. Though, actually, in shrinking the images down a slight amount of vertical height is gained that makes the "3" closer to a 3.008. These images I use here on the blog pages have, for a while now, typically been 250 X 188; a perfect 4:3 would be 250 X 187.5.
    Here's a frame from the CU pedestal shot footage, I shot in my apartment on Nov 8, of the emergency casting call flyer.
    Movie frame of a back entrance into the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library at Wright State University
    Movie magic and now we have the front entrance to the Bellcreek Community Center ‐‐ this is the same frame as the library entrance to the left
    The five-story section of the same Dunbar Library
    The WACI Building in downtown Bellcreek, Ohio. Again, this is the same movie frame as that to the left, but with the post-production graphic effects applied.
    A movie maker?


    • COMMERCIALS LAST WEEK ‐‐ I played a tacky car salesman for the Nationwide commercial audition. The DP&L commercial audition was really an interview. The was no performance involved; for each auditioner, a photographer took a picture then we each sat with the director and told him a bit about ourselves.

      I've heard nothing so far and at this point I think that means it's on to the next audition.

    • SHINING CITY ‐‐ Sunday afternoon I got together at the Guild with a fellow actor and did a script-read rehearsal for next week's auditions of Shining City. Though I'm leaning toward auditioning, I've not totally decided that I will. But I'm conducting myself as if I am.

    Dayton Theatre Guild


    Was at The Guild again for a little while both Saturday and Sunday to help finish the set for this coming weekend's opening of The Hallelujah Girls.

    I finished masking the walls with large sheets of cardboard in the back hallways on the stage and then painted them as well as drawing and painting floor trim and runners onto those walls.

    Finished off painting the floors in those hallways, too.

    I also brought in that Yamaha PSR-180 keyboard that I've under utilized and it has become the piano that Crystal (Natasha Randall) uses in the show. Greg Smith built a shell that it fits into and now there is a practical faux upright piano on stage, up stage right in terms of the whole stage area, but can also be considered down right on the back proscenium area. One of my assignments was to secure the piano into the floor with L brackets, which is about as sophisticated as one can wisely trust my tool-related capabilities.

    And so that Ms. Randall (or Crystal) can play it, the Yamaha is plugged in under its encasement with an extension cord running back into the U.R. back hallway of the proscenium. To hide the cord's bright orange countenance, I first covered its whole length on the stage floor with black electrical tape, then covered that with white masking tape, then painted the whole length with the brown that the floor is painted with. It's now at least un-noticeable and from many vantage points invisible.

    Did some touch-up painting wherever necessary, as well.


    Saturday night, a friend and I went to see Terrance McNally's Corpus Christi at the Dayton Playhouse. There were some superb performances and I thought the show had some good staging. From a personal note there were, as now is pretty much always the case, actors I've worked with: Mark Diffenderfer, Charles Larkowski and Matthew W. Smith. I've been directed once by this show's director, Michael J. Boyd (The Diviners) and almost worked with him twice on stage in Sordid Lives ‐‐ but I was a dead body in both runs of that and can't really say I "worked" with anybody on stage in that one.

    As was true of the whole run of Corpus Christi, there were folk of the Christian faith protesting the production the night we went ‐‐ for those who don't know, Christ and the disciples are gay in this play. They were not of the militantly intimidating sort of protester, though. They peacefully sat, with their signs asserting that neither Jesus Christ nor any of the apostles were homosexual. They were quiet and even were polite. A friend told me that at the Friday night show one of them told him to enjoy the show. So: more "Ghandi" than "Moral Majority."

    Have to admit, I was not as impressed with the script itself as many others are. It is "okay" by my judgement but that's about it. To me, with the exception of the gay twist, which didn't justify itself to me as much more than a gimmick, it was pretty much a retelling of The Passion with a little more back story than usual. There was some nice humor in it and I certainly didn't dislike it, though I thought there were some moments in it placed there strictly for shock value, which never impresses me as more than self-conscious provocation. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I found the production more interesting than the script.

    Once again I'm flirting with the prose above being accused of being, at least partially, artistic criticism, but, what-a-ya-gonna-do?

    Wed, Nov 25, 2009

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    Screenshot of the Final Cut project with the start of the editing sequence for The Audition ‐‐ the first twelve seconds.

    The actual assemble editing of The Audition has begun. Started at lunch today where I put together the first twelve seconds, consisting of the opening credits and the first shot, that being the establishment shot of the Bellcreek Community Center. And I'm about to work more on it, just after I post this.

    Last night I recorded the station ID voiceover; marrying that with the jingle music will be part of the editing tonight.

    I should be able to get a significant amount of the rough cut done over this holiday weekend, if not the whole rough cut done, despite that I have other things ‐‐ including a particular traditional family dinner tomorrow ‐‐ going on.

    It's not likely I'll have the rest of the radio programming ready to drop in by the end of the weekend but I may at least get it started.

    Thu Nov 26, 2009

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    Happy Thanksgiving from K.L.

    Fri, Nov 27, 2009

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    THE HALLELUJAH GIRLS by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    Sat, Nov 28, 2009

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    "Le Studio Brillant d'Audion de l'Artiste dans l'Appartement."
    -- I used a free translator program to create this nomenclature, and if it created something that is ridiculous in French, hey, all the better.


    I'm four and a half minutes into the first assembled rough cut of the first work out of the improv movie project, the self-contained short, The Audition, starring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. The scene will also be a segment in the completed full-length movie but it can be pulled out and shown outside the context of the movie without any backstory necessary ‐‐ so I am doing that.

    It's more-or-less like a "single" from an album, especially back in the "dark ages" when albums were twelve-inch vinyl disks that revolved at 33 1/3 RPM and singles were seven-inch disks rated at 45 RPM.

    You kids may have heard tell of those.

    My hope was that I could keep this single to a maximum length of ten minutes; that way it would be legal to post on my free YouTube account. I know, however, that I am thus far much less than halfway through what I will assemble for The Audition and I have no desire to sacrifice many moments that I have yet to drop into the movie edit. I will have a longer movie than that ten-minute allowable maximum.

    I suppose I can look again at upgrading to a director's account, if I can ever get any good information from YouTube as to what that entails. Well, I am going to investigate, even if I have to employ the team of Sherlock Holmes' great-grand-nephew, Earl (Karma Boy) Holmes, and Stephen Hawking to assist me.

    Using the camera 2 audio for all three camera's takes was absolutely a smart move. As I have been switching shots in the edit, sometimes in the middle of a spoken word, the dialogue audio has not been a problem, whatsoever.

    I do still have some color problems between the thee different camera's footage. I had originally done color correction as you may have read and the three different footage sources are close but there is still some tweaking that needs done. I worked a bit on it yesterday but I am not done.

    That concept I proposed a few days back that I might have a finished rough cut by the end of this holiday weekend was premature. I do not believe that is going to happen. I have house management for The Hallelujah Girls that claims more time this weekend and I need to get some study in on Shining City for my potential audition this coming Monday and Tuesday.

    I did mix that station ID jingle together but I have some pop music to get together. I'm going to mix one of the songs from my album project from my twenties as one of the songs. The song is called "Freedom From Bondage." I've also initiated getting permission to use a song one my friends recorded a while ago. I may need at least a third song ‐‐ depending on how long the sequence goes. And there're still some commercials to produce. I may also have the radio announcer give the weather or perhaps even go off to the traffic reporter or the news.


    Besides the possible audition for Shining City, I have an audition Tuesday afternoon through PC-Goenner Talent Agency, at the Dayton office.

    By-the-way, I know for a fact that I am not cast in the DP&L commercial because I know the actor who is. Don't know for sure about Nationwide, but, at this point, I doubt I got it.

    It is very easy to start questioning your adequacy as a talent.

    Dayton Theatre Guild


    Lobby poster

    As is my practice, I attended as little as possible to the show since I am yet to sit in the audience. I, in fact, know almost nothing about the story and have watched virtually none of the rehearsal sessions.

    I'm just one the grunts that helped build the set.

    The opening night audience certainly laughed a lot, however, and were exuding positive feedback at intermission and after the show.

    We appear to have a winner on our hands.

    Wed, Dec 2, 2009

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    • SHINING CITY ‐‐ So I did audition for John, the lead role. As far as I can tell I did okay. It felt like good work. I have no sense that I am in the running, whatsoever. I guess we will see. Of course, all I've been doing is second guessing myself since the audition. I'm also, on average, pretty skeptical about being cast in a lead role at the Guild. It just does not seem to me I am looked upon as belonging in such there. I am, however, quite willing to be mistaken about that.
    • OHIO LOTTERY ‐‐ Did a short and sweet non-dialogue screentest at PC-Goenner Talent Agency yesterday afternoon. Auditioned for the role of a security guard.


    This, under the category: So, why are you even mentioning it?

    The bare-bones beginnings of a possibility of a theatrical endeavor by myself and another who has a great interest, in a venture of which I don't want to give any specifics at this time, has been instigated and is edging toward a germination that could possibly come to fruition, perhaps as soon as next season.

    Thu, Dec 3, 2009

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    Back on the job today at lunch after a few days away from it. Working on tweaking the color correction before I move on to more assembling of the rough cut.


    A local film festival is coming up in February with a January submission cut-off date. The Audition may end up being too long to be eligible. I did check and The Chorus for Candice is not too old to submit, and it certainly meets the criteria of being a local movie as well as well under the fifteen-minute maximum time limit.

    I have ultimately until January 22 to submit, so, if The Audition ends up short enough I'll submit it. But I won't trim the edit especially for this film fest.


    I was not cast.


    There was a big casting call for extras for the self-same DP&L commercial I had auditioned for last week ‐‐ and didn't get cast in either. The shoot was late yesterday afternoon. I contemplated going but didn't feel well and opted out. The slots were full pretty early in the day, anyway. I think pretty much most of the actors in the Dayton area heard about it.

    Mon, Dec 7, 2009

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    Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Pearl Harbor Speech, December 8, 1941

    Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 ‐‐ a date which will live in infamy ‐‐ the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

    The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

    Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

    It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

    The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

    Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

    Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

    Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

    Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

    Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

    This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

    Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

    As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

    Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

    No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

    I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

    Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

    With confidence in our armed forces ‐‐ with the unbounding determination of our people ‐‐ we will gain the inevitable triumph ‐‐ so help us God.

    I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.


    • THE HALLALUJAH GIRLS AT MY HOME THEATRE, DAYTON THEATRE GUILD ‐‐ Saw the 5:00 show this last Saturday. It's a cute show and a fun time. The more important point is that this season extra has had good-sized audiences and has brought in a lot of extra funds, which look like they are going to cover all, or a significant amount, of the expense to complete the theatre lighting system, bolstering it to the system it is designed to be.

      It's a fun show ‐‐ there's one weekend left:

      • Friday at 8:00
      • Saturday at 5:00
      • Sunday at 3:00
    • EROSION PRODUCED BY THE GLASS APPLE THEATRE -- Right after Hallelujah Girls I zipped on over to Sinclair Community College's Blair Hall to see the premiere production of Brian McKnight's new theatre company, Glass Apple theatre, LLC. As well, it was the premier of Erosion, McKnight's own work, which he directed and performed a supporting role. I applaud Brain for a good script executed well by his cast. And he used Beatle songs which automatically biased me far toward liking it.

      Of course, now I am wondering how I can set time aside to write a play, as well as finish the screenplay I started a couple years back, and start another screenplay I have in mind, and then there's that idea for another screenplay that could also be a stageplay, or.........


    The next charge is to read a couple plays, both of which it has been suggested to me that I consider auditioning for. I'd love to audition for Taming of the Shrew at Springfield StageWorks, but I know I cannot commit to the rehearsal schedule.

    No word yet, by-the-way, about the Ohio Lottery Commercial I did the screentest for last week. Which probably means: no.

    Tue, Dec 8, 2009

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    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    John Lennon                     
    (Oct 9, 1940-Dec 8, 1980)                     

    Sun, Dec 13, 2009

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    THE HALLELUJAH GIRLS by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

    The cast of The Hallelujah Girls

    Katrina Kittle            Sugar Lee Thompkins
    Barbara Jorgensen            Mavis Flowers
    Stephanie Pratt            Nita Mooney
    Ellen Finch            Carlene Hart Waldrep Mukewater Travis
    Natasha Randall            Crystal Hart
    Heather Martin            Bunny Sutherland
    Michael Boyd            Bobby Dwayne Dillahunt
    Blake Senseman            Porter Padgett

    Mon, Dec 14, 2009

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    My facebook post at 10:41 last night:

    As of last night, I'm eleven minutes, plus, into the assemble edit of the movie and I am mostly pleased with what I have. The demerits go toward the color on the footage from camera3, which, though I've tweaked it closer, still is not quite a match for the rest of the footage. There's more color correction for this movie in the forthcoming days.

    Like I stated in the facebook post, I am more than pleased with the footage Natasha and Craig gave me to work with. I am far more than pleased.

    We did two takes of the scene, and it being improvisational, the two takes only slightly resemble each other. They both had the same basic framework based on the scenario I had set up, the nature of the scenario (an audition), and some framing that evolved from the actors' improv in the first take. But there was a lot of differentiation, as well. I have a lot of material to blend into one scene.

    One continuity issue did prohibit one editing choice, but ultimately has thus far forced a better edit, in the end. Both scenes start with an interview session. My first choice was to blend elements of each together as one interview in the movie. Unfortunately, Natasha (or, Marian) handed Craig (Robert) the audition sides before he sat down for the interview the second time but not the first, so it was not possible to mix the two takes together: in some shots Robert would have the paper in his hands, in others he wouldn't. But I was able to find a spot later for Marian to go back to more interviewing and was able to use some material from the second take that I want in the movie.

    I've dropped in the return to the interview as a diversion before Robert performs from the second side. The big challenge was a logical move back into that second performance. The solution was to take bits of a previous dialogue sound byte by Marian and edit together a new transitional phrase from her will the camera is on Robert. I still have to smooth and sweeten the edit, but: it works.


    I forgot to mention that Still Me won Best Drama at the recent Knight of Shorts Film Festival in Riverside, California. The actual name of the award is "The Thespian's Tournament (Drama)."

    Tue, Dec 15, 2009

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    In my kitchen, washing my dishes and making another more successful attempt at restaurant kitchen ambient sound for the Balboni's bar sequence.

    No new footage has yet been added to The Audition, but I did sweeten the sound for the "re-cycled" Marian dialogue, last night. There were also a couple production noises I was able to pull out of the soundtrack at lunch today, and rather seamlessly if I do say so myself. There are a couple more I may drop out, as well.

    Still haven't tweaked that color from camera3 yet. That is likely to be done tonight ‐‐ with my hope that I finally solve the incongruity. I also hope I finish the assemble edit tonight, too.

    On a more general note, I re-recorded myself doing the dishes for ambient kitchen sound for the Balboni's bar scene (featuring Brett Taylor, Duante Beddingfield, and others). The first session didn't satisfy me, but I think this second one will work.


    So, I'm still pursuing that "possibility of a theatrical endeavor by myself and another who has a great interest." It looks like the project is not outside the realm of possibility.

    Fri, Dec 18, 2009

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    Still have not added new footage to the assemble edit but the good news is I have virtually arrived at color agreement between the three different cameras used to shoot the The Audition sequence. There is at least one shot of Craig Roberts that bugs me because I can't seem to get the flesh tone warm enough without throwing the rest of the color scheme out-of-whack. I may just have to let it go.

    So there's new hope that I get back to adding to the narrative tonight.

    Dayton Theatre Guild


    It's a little after the fact, but here are a couple articles about the Guild and The Hallelujah Girls by Peter Wine in the local on-line news site, The Examiner:

    Mon, Dec 21, 2009

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    Over the weekend I added about another fifty percent to the assemble edit; the movie/sequence is now at 16:04. I think I'm probably within sixty seconds of its conclusion. If it's more than that, it's not much more.

    Since the short is coming close to twice the maximum length allowed at YouTube, I guess I'm looking for another venue for the on-line posting. The bigger goal is to have a final cut before January 8 for the Yellow Springs Short Film Festival; though I will have until January 22, but the Eighth is the early entry deadline. The Twenty-second seems the more likely date, but I would love for this to be in final cut by Jan 8, which is two-an-a-half weeks from now.

    Even if I can't make that second deadline, I have already found, as I previously reported, that The Chorus for Candice is still eligible.


    That damned Ebenezer Scrooge seemed to be everywhere Saturday. I saw him twice. First at the Wegerzyn Metro Parks Gardens ‐‐ A Christmas Carol, as adapted by Lynn Stevens at Dayton Playhouse ‐‐ then at the State Theatre in Springfield ‐‐ Snowed in with Scrooge (including an pared down rendition of A Christmas Carol) for Springfield StageWorks. I hear he was also in downtown Dayton hanging out on Main St., too ‐‐ Human Race Theatre Company ‐‐ and will continue to through next Saturday.


    So, in recent times I've had four theatre directors ask me if I was auditioning for their shows, with clear indications that they hoped I would. This is always a good sign, but, yet, however....

    I also had a director talk about a show that has not been yet picked, by the theatre in question, that he wants me in.

    But, yet, then, however....

    Only once has one of this type conversation ended with me on stage in the role. It's a nice confidence booster to have the director express a desire for my talent, but, the bottom line, at least with my auditioning, is that when the pool of talent is in front of the director during auditions, the landscape may change and he or she may no longer see me as the best fit. Sometimes that's obvious as I sit and look at the other auditioners; other times....

    So, I take these moments as a complement and not allow myself to be complacent ‐‐ even though it still disappoints the crap out of me when my name is not on the cast list.

    Tue, Dec 22, 2009

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    Fade to white


    At lunchtime yesterday I finished the assemble edit of the narrative portion of the movie, sitting at a study carol in the basement hallway ("The Tunnels") at Wright State University. From the opening credit fade-in to the fade-to-white before the closing credits (not created yet), this rough cut currently runs 16:40. So, probably, the final cut will run about 18:00 minutes with the closing credits.

    Last night, after getting home from a rehearsal of sorts, I tweaked color correction a little more and discovered a feature in the color correction application that is most helpful. I'll be aggressively attacking that process further ‐‐ perhaps even re-doing some color correction ‐‐ while moving into the production of the radio programming that plays underneath the narrative footage.

    I may foley in some office noise, too: other radio station employees, etc. I also am thinking about bringing in someone to do the news report during that programming. I'm thinking I want a woman. I may use a few others to do voice work for some ad spots. I need about fifteen minutes of programming, only the first forty or so seconds to be up front, the rest will be underneath the dialogue, pretty far underneath ‐‐ coming from a monitor down the hall at the radio station where the audition is taking place.

    And actually, in the full-length movie there's another sequence that The Audition blends into that takes place just after in real time, right there in that radio production studio. That means ultimately I need somewhere around thirty minutes of continuous radio programing: another fifteen minutes, or so, for that following sequence that features Natasha Randall and Duante Beddingfield.

    As for the music, I will be using a pop song I wrote and recorded ‐‐ um, last century ‐‐ for the unknown, un-famous ‐‐ (un-released) ‐‐ Heart Walks album project. It's titled "Freedom From Bondage." This'll be a quick-and-simple mono mix, since I'm rendering the whole movie in mono. I also am meeting shortly with a friend about the use of a song from him and his band that will fit the program format of "Lite 97.5 ‐‐ WACI Radio." And, as we know, I may need to find a few more pop-sounding songs to use for the continuation into the folowing sequence; I can deal with those later.

    *I will at some point do a complete digital stereo mix of the HEART WALKS project and get that thing, finally, out. Another of those back-burner items, awaiting my eventual time and attention.

    Although it might not be a bad idea to digitize the multi-track masters sooner rather than later. That magnetic tape is getting old and has been getting so for a while.


    A fellow performer and I got together last night to do an initial rehearsal for a project we hope to get off the ground in the future.

    Thu, Dec 24, 2009

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  • TUESDAY EVENING ‐‐ Yeah. One of those days I took a nap that lasted way too many hours, so that evening was shot. No movie stuff, no Christmas stuff.
  • WEDNESDAY EVENING ‐‐ Most of the evening dedicated to Christmas prep. I did watch the rough cut a few times and adjusted some color on a few clips.
  • TODAY ‐‐ Spent several hours attempting to tweak the color. The whole process started to become a huge quagmire. Different clips have different RGB adjustments and other color balance and saturation adjustments, from multiple filters. It's getting difficult to get agreement or know which particular filter to tweak. It's clear I've discovered later in the process, better ways to filter the color, but some earlier attempts are now obstacles to the better techniques that I now know to employ.

    I've realized that since I have refined my understanding of how the color correction applications work as I have moved along on this project, I need to go back and start the color correction process all over with my better understanding of how to approach it. It's going to be much easier for me to get all the clips to be in color agreement if I start from ground zero.

    I deleted out all the color correction filters from all the clips and will start fresh tomorrow, or maybe tonight after the family gathering.

    *Though I did save the old color correction filtered project file as a back-up, just in case I find I need the filter settings, or some of them.

    Got to get it right, you know.

  • Christmas>

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