New Location for Blog

Dear friends – there’s new news over at my new website. See you there!

Saturday vs. Sabotage

I have an audition tomorrow night.  Have had it on the books for a MONTH, and I’m only half-way prepared.  Why?  Well, it’s a musical.  Okay, it’s The Wizard of Oz, in Berkeley.  Of all the other kinds of athlete I’m not, I think the one I’m LEAST like is a vocal athlete.  I enjoy singing & karaoke, but it’s never something I do in front of strangers.  So I’m DREADING it; I may have effectively sabotaged it already by not securing sheet music (or even listening to the song again) for the pianist yet.  Alright, so it’s a song I’ve always loved, and could sing it in my sleep if I had to – but the idea of going into a room with new people, handing music to an accompanist, and standing on a stage, waiting for my cue… even my fingernails are sweating.

For what it’s worth, though, I’ve resolved NOT to chicken out.  Even if I completely screw that part up, they told me there are plenty of roles without solo requirements.  Plus, it’s frikkin’ audition experience, right?  This is #3 overall, and #2 for actual staged productions.  (First one was for a web commercial that had no lines.)

So I’m off to Dolores Park to practice for our final scenes on Tuesday.  I’m Baron Toozenbach in Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’, and we’re doing the scene from Act 4 where I say goodbye to Irina & head off to my duel with Solyony. 

Definitely NOT a role I would have chosen to play on my strengths, which is good – I asked for something that would stretch me.  However, this scene is all of … 12 lines total for the Baron, and less than that for Irina.  And if rushed, if done the way Olivier directed it in 1970’s film version, it’s over in less than 60 seconds.

There’s all of this complexity & subtext that we’re supposed to bring into it, which I’m game for… but the scene, the whole damn play, is a drag.  Granted, I’m new to ‘classical’ drama, so I don’t know a shrew from a seagull, but this play starts in a bad place and only seems to go to darker, worse places.  Upon further study I’m sure I could find a valuable meaning – I assume it has one given its incredibly long period of survival & revival – that would help push me into new directions with what I think of as Theater.  But right now I can’t explain why anyone would put on this production because I don’t know why anyone would pay to see it.  Such are the lessons I need to learn… best way to learn is to hang out with other actors & artists who love to do this stuff.

Off to accomplish that bit.  Will update you on the audition later this week; clap hands!  (I’ve decided to say ‘clap hands’ in places where you’d expect to see ‘cross your fingers’.  Look for that to come up in future pop culture references; after all, I started the whole ‘Balls!’ craze about two years ago.  I tried ‘Sack!’ first, but found its sibilance controversial/discriminatory to people with lisps, much like the word LISPS.)

Top 5 Updates

Alright kids, here’s the dish:

1) I got my new website up & running (duh).  It’s a shiny new toy & I hope to spend hours & hours in the next few weeks turning it into a home.  If you have any suggestions or thoughts, let a brother know.

2) I auditioned last weekend for a part in a play that’s going to be done as a component of the SF Fringe Festival.  I didn’t get the parts though.  I did, however, learn a lot from that audition experience.  Thank you to the ManTrip men for helping me celebrate getting the audition; thank you to the Bay to Breakers crowd for supporting me actually going to the audition while y’all were still here; and as always, thank you to my wife for talking me down from ledges.  (Only a few roles require auditioning from a ledge.)

3) I do have ANOTHER audition lined up for next weekend – but this one involves singing.  Holy crap.  Does anyone know where I can find sheet music for Elvis songs?  Seriously.  Buckle up.  Audition is the 31st, so look for an update here around the 3rd or so.

4) I’m still working on comedy for open-mic / stand-up formats, but that’s taken a bit of a back seat lately to all the auditon prep & regular acting classes, not to mention all the business trips, vacations & guests we’ve had.  However, if you happen to be keeping score, you’ll know that Open-Mic Night #1 is not far off…

5) Work is work, though I’m less than thrilled with the negativity that circulates ad nauseam these days.  And no one seems to be willing to try anything different than what we’ve already done – all of my suggestions get forwarded on into the realm of the “If Only We Weren’t Scared Of Screwing Up We’d Do Something Like This.”  So on a scale of 1 to Not Motivated, I’m definitely Not Motivated.

… No no, I said Top 5, I meant Top 5.  Go back to your BBQ – happy Memorial Day.  Unless you’re Canadian.

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