Suddenly Sound Design

 I'm playing Seymour in our production of Little Shop of Horrors, and I've REALLY been enjoying rehearsals. I love the music almost as much as I love pizza. As a frame of reference, I CANNOT stand listening to soundtracks from musicals - I hate hate hate them. The only two exceptions are Little Shop and Man of La Mancha. (JC Superstar is a Rock Opera, or I'd count that).

Speaking of music, though canned music is not optimal (and can be risky) I've enjoyed putting the tracks together as sound designer way more than I thought I would. We have a great musical director, who's been doing a huge amount of music notation (which I can convert to midi, then WAV files) and I have the most bitchin sound mixing program that keeps getting better every time I use it. I'm completely geeked out on how far user-friendly technology has come since my analog tape days back in college.

I also got to put together a nice "Meet the Apprentices" vid for the company. Check out our new peeps...


Blogging, career, shows and the big move.

 It's been too long since I posted here. Some of that is due to schedule and some of it is due to transition - a lot of stuff has been shifting around these days and my blog is one of the things that's been in limbo. I have been re-thinking what it means to blog and how that relates to my shifting concept of self and career. The short story is that I had initially thought my blog should be more professional or at least relate to my profession, so I've been hesitant to blog about personal stuff. However, my decision has been to start a different blog for professional-type subjects and keep this one for personal crap. So here's my personal crap along with a better explanation of what I'm babbling about career-wise.

Laura and I have decided to move back down to North Carolina. The central issue is to be close to family - that's been a pretty painful part of being up here - we're virtually isolated from Laura's relatives, all of whom I consider family. MY relatives are scattered throughout the country, so being close to family is always... uh... relative for me.

The other main component of this change is that I won't be looking for any kind of theatre related work in the near future, nor will I look to make room for it avocationally. I'm exhausted from such a fragmented approach to life. I intent to do what I love and have it be what I do - no more "this is my job but THIS is my passion." My job must be my passion and it must pay the bills.

So I'm looking for a job in North Carolina as a writer. I've done it freelance for upwards of seven years now. I'm good at it and I love doing it. It satisfies my need for creativity and problem-solving and it's an actual real-world job for which people pay you cashy money.

How this relates back to blogging is that I intend to enhance my online presence in the process of the job hunt - being familiar with social media is a plus and a selling point for me, but only if I clean up my act a little. Tidy up my website, tweet a little bit about stuff related to writing, and start a more professional-looking blog with writing as the topic. I have some ideas and I'm pretty excited about it. It'll probably be Wordpress.

So that's the skinny. My compadres here at the theatre know this is our last year here. Laura and I are very sad about leaving, but we've thought about it for a LONG time and carefully weighed the options. We've developed a vision for how we intend to live and move forward and it's time to take steps to live that way.

So hey, if you know anyone in the Asheville or Chapel Hill area who might work in marketing, PR or corporate event planning, let me know!

PS - Though my head seems to be a little bit in the future, cool things are happening right now. Enemy of the People has been a revelatory show for me - I don't know that I've ever had such a large role, certainly not of this type. I've gotten a lot of compliments and I'm very proud of the work I've done. We have three more weekends - I'm glad to put away such an exhausting show, but I'll be a little sad to set it aside.
My set for Sylvia is ALMOST to the level I wish it to be. Even though it's open already, I intend to do a little touch-up painting. After the last two shows I designed here, I'm glad to finally create something I'm proud of, set-wise.
And in a few days we start rehearsals for Little Shop of Horrors. I'm excited as hell to finally play Seymour, especially since I'm just about to head north of the age range to realistically play the role. Ironically (age-wise) I played the old guy Mushnik twice, when I was 20 and 21, still too young to really even play Seymour. I'm terribly, geekily excited.
AND it's my birthday in a few days!


2011 Updates!

Laura and I are actually starting to settle into our new place. We’re no longer buried in boxes, and we’re expecting our long-ago ordered gift from the family to finally arrive today – a portable dishwasher! This means I may have more time to blog in the future.

Collapse )That’s my life, and it’s a good one.



So I wrote a play...

I just participated in National Playwrighting Month and wrote an 80 page play in one month (in the same month that I opened a show in which I acted and designed/built the set). There are many things about this that please me (besides simply finishing the script in the allotted time in and around an insanely busy schedule):

1. I’ve been saying to people “Why no, I’m not writing anything just now” for about two years, and it was seriously starting to annoy me. And depress me. And cause me to question whether I should even consider myself a playwright. I needed some kind of impetus to just write something, and this was it. Now I can say “Why yes, I just wrote the first draft of a new play, thanks for asking. Hummus?”

2. My lifestyle has changed considerably since the time I wrote most of my plays. Back then, I was either working at a low volume call center where I could write a ton in big blocks of time, or working freelance at home, where I could write a ton in big blocks of time. Now I’m busy and away from my desk frequently and I’ve had to learn how to write in small blocks of time. I learned this month that I can do just that.

3. I actually love the play I wrote. The NaPlWriMo vibe isn’t necessarily about quality of work, it’s about cranking out a complete draft of a full-length play in 30 days. It can be, and apparently often is, without cohesion, sloppy, and ridden with continuity problems, characters appearing out of nowhere, shifts in plot that don’t make sense, all the rough, sloppy stuff that should just pour out of a writer in a first draft, leaving the subsequent rewrites to make sense out of it. But silly me, I wrote a nice little first draft that I’m psyched to show people. It has its problems, but the play I intended is very clearly there.

4. I had a ball writing it. Because of the time constraint I didn’t want to work on something that required heavy research, complex structure or any of the usual over-thinking and overanalyzing that I always do before even getting the dialogue on the page. What form and structure should I use? What genre? Is this marketable? What theatres can this play in? I threw all that out. I had a concept near and dear to my heart – to write about my father – and I just let myself riff on that. Fun, sloppy, dirty, silly, boyish riffs on what it means to be a hillbilly stock car driver stuck in Wisconsin.

So that was a blast. But now what do I do with it?