It's been quite a ride, and has been one of the most difficult roles that I've had the pleasure of working on. The cast is brilliant and I cannot wait to get the show in front of an audience and see how they like it. It has been a lot of fun working with some of the people I've enjoyed watching but never had a chance to work with as well as some old friends that I have not worked with in a while. Plus it's always fun to have my wife hate on me on stage!
The Game Developer's Conference 2010
I had the wonderful opportunity to head to the Game Developer's Conference this year to hit the show floor and talk about our 2D iPhone engine. The first day there I happened to pull a muscle in my foot badly enough to tear the cartilage...not the best thing to have happen in San Fransisco! I met a lot of great developers and had a great time getting to sit down and talk to my fellow Torque and InstantAction teammates at InstantAction! Now I need to figure out how to afford going to it next year!
One thing that it cemented in my mind, though, was that the engine middleware market is extremely saturated. It's good to know that we have some strong strategies moving forward in the market at IA in the Torque group.
We now have two beautiful kitties! Sam is a 2/3 year old Shadow Tabby with the most beautiful coloring and a very calm and loving disposition. We did not realize until we read her adoption papers that she was classified as a "feral" cat that was trapped in Shelley. For being a feral cat, she sure is sweet!
Here's another one of her, showing off her mad camouflage skills.
We also have a new kitten, Beckett, who is not only extremely sweet, but an amazing bundle of energy.
And yet another!
They're a ton of fun! And, of course, we have our ferrets as well. Beckett wants to play with them and has fun, but they're still not sure what to make of him. Sam just runs from them.
When I was first approached about Richard, it was a dream come true in many ways. It is one of those definitive roles that makes actors chomp at the bit to play. Of course with it came the horrendous fear that such huge roles come with--at least for me. Memorizing lines is a grueling process, and even more grueling for me than many people I know since I do not act as much as my compatriots and keep my memorization skills up between shows. Plus, would I be able to "bring it" to Richard? I mean, there's been a ton of really amazing actor's playing the role.
The read through culled many of those fears, however. There are some great people in the cast and I cannot wait to work with them! It's been way too long since I got to work with Joe B. Haney and Kimberly Mumford, and I've been a fan of Ted's work so I am extremely jacked to get to work with him. He will make an amazing Buckingham! Plus, since my wife is playing Margaret, Marni and I get to scream obscenities at each other.
It has been quite a while since I posted anything. I wish I could say that I was being productive in that time, but mostly I think I was just being sick and goofing off. "Goofing off" has included limited playtime with Bayonetta, New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart Wii, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Collapse, and Swords & Poker. It has also included limited research on community theatre history in our region and into backend game server technology. Against my better judgement, I picked up Doom II RPG, so I am sure that my iPhone's battery will fail fast, most likely while I'm blasting baddies in turn-based goodness.
I am enjoying my tiny role in Gaslight at Westside. It is refreshing to get to help out with a show, wear a costume, and not have to learn any lines. It is also a lot of fun to see just how much people are loving Marni in the role. She does a spectacular job of being driven to the brink of insanity by her devious husband. I wish that I was able to see the end, however, since I am told that she shines, but that is while I am waiting to come on stage for my few seconds in the limelight.
Things We Have Seen Lately
Marni and I go to a lot of theatre. Since my last entry (Dec 14th), we have gone to A Dicken's Christmas at the Gateway Foundation, White Christmas at Mystique, November at ARTI, Gaslight at Westside (cheating since we're both in it), Avenue Q in Salt Lake, Crimes of the Heart at OTAS, and Old, New, and Broadway Too at Mystique. We also happened to see a couple of movies Sherlock Holmes, Avatar, and When in Rome and quite enjoyed them. We headed to Valentines Day last weekend for...you guessed it, Valentines day.
Where there are ferrets, there is trouble.
For a long while now, we have been under the impression that Zoe is not nearly the climber and jumper that Broots is. It made sense since he can jump up on the tub in a single leap and it often takes her a couple of leaps. He climbs anything he can get his claws into while she half-heartedly climbs only when there's not an easier way to get to where she wants to go. So, when we got back from Salt Lake and The Wedding Singer Saturday and noticed that one of them had gotten out, we assumed it was Broots. After all, he had done it before, but this time there was a difference: he had climbed back in the cage! This morning, our perception of our little girl changed somewhat.
It is fun to personify your pets; to add a little human thinking to them. Since she's never expressed much interest (or talent) in climbing, we didn't think that she would be the one who got out and made a mess in the book/piano room. We imagined her watching Broots from the cage, wishing she could go on a grand adventure. And just before we came in the door, he climbed back into the cage so that we would be none-the-wiser--except for the mess in the room, of course!
This morning, I slunk out of bed in my usual early-morning Gawd-I-HATE-mornings stupor. I heard something sliding around in the other room so I went to investigate, expecting them to be moving their food dishes around the cage. I also thought Broots may just have gotten out again, even though Marni secured the blanket on our makeshift door (the real door still in shipping limbo from Marshall's). Broots was in the cage, excitedly running back and forth. I saw something fall down from the side of the cage and thought that she must be down on the bottom. She was, but she was trying to crawl back up the outside of the cage to get back in. I like to think it was to put on the ruse that she never really escaped.
So now I know that if she really wants to, she can not only jump and climb like crazy, but she can get out of the cage and back in without us knowing. I hope Marshall's gets the new cage door here quickly! I think I'll have to move it back down to the bottom so that they don't have as far to climb. It just makes it a pain to clean. The current arrival date for the cage door is Thursday, but now that they know they can get out, they just keep doing it!
Since I was absolutely abhorible when it came to lines last night, I was worked up and annoyed at myself. So I couldn't sleep. Which means that I can't concentrate much today. Luckily I've been reading documentation for the most part, so it hasn't been bad. I only hope that my lines aren't as awful tonight, even though I have not had time to work on them so far. I can't take another night like last night.
Save a Kentucky Treasure!!!!
Please help us get the word out by forwarding this message to as many people as you can.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre (formerly Horse Cave theatre) is fighting for its survival. Caught in this nation’s ever-tightening recession, this unusual, 33-year old, Equity (fully professional) Theatre located in rural, low-income Hart County, Kentucky, is struggling to meet its basic operating expenses and to maintain even a nucleus staff. As a result, the Theatre is mounting a “Save a Kentucky Treasure” Campaign to raise $350,000 before March 15, 2009 to support the Theatre’s basic operating expenses. The Theatre must meet this goal for its doors to remain open.
In 1977, when a group of visionaries first founded Kentucky Repertory Theatre (then known as Horse Cave Theatre), not many people believed that it would be possible to produce world class, Equity (fully professional) Theatre in Horse Cave. Ours is farming country. This tiny town is surrounded by cedar-covered hills and rolling pastures. Beneath them is a honeycomb of caves that have attracted tourists and spelunkers for over 150 years. But a theatre? Producing classic plays? Many doubted.
That was 33 years ago. Since then, Kentucky Repertory Theatre has produced season after season of great classic plays, the best new works, and an education program that now touches the lives of 15,000+ students from kindergarten through adult years annually, many of them with little to no exposure to live theatre and starved for creative outlets.
In 1977, most of Horse Cave’s historic downtown was composed of derelict buildings, several of them empty. Today that same area is a registered historic district with appealing shops and restaurants occupying carefully restored buildings. As the owner of five buildings in the historic district and the first organization to initiate adaptive re-use projects here, Kentucky Repertory Theatre is an important catalyst in the effort to save one of Kentucky’s very appealing small towns.
Now entering its 33rd year with a history of careful stewardship of its resources and a balanced budget, this remarkable Theatre suddenly finds itself in a serious financial shortfall brought on by the deepening recession. This fall, inflated gasoline prices pushed theatre attendance beyond the means of many of our patrons and nearly all schools. Several donors, even some long-term, major supporters, have notified us that they cannot contribute this year. As a result, we are seeing declines in both attendance and donations totaling $200,000 in lost income, nearly 1/3rd of our total budget. Most of this has occurred since September.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre fills a unique niche among American cultural assets. Please help this Theatre, identified by USA Today as one of “…10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway,” and recipient of Kentucky’s most significant award for arts organizations, Governor Steve Beshear’s 2008 Governor’s Award in Community Arts.
Contribute today to Kentucky Repertory Theatre’s “Save a Kentucky Treasure” campaign to raise $350,000 before March 15, 2009, a goal we must meet in order to fulfill our financial obligations, maintain a core staff, and mount another season. No gift is too large or too small. Your donation will truly make a difference.
Most sincerely, Mail checks to: Kentucky Repertory Theatre, P.O. Box 215, Horse Cave, Ky. 42749, or call 270-786-1200, or go to www.kentuckyrep.org.
Mary Margaret Villines For more information, see: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090201/SCENE05/902010333/1011/SCENE
None from me. I'm not the best giver-of-advice, but I do like to read the advice given by others. Here's some great advice from some people that I quite enjoy reading:
The biggest one, in my opinion, is the first one: finish it. This is an area where most people I know who write have an issue. Finishing is hard, and often times nigh impossible because we try to incorporate all of our revisioning into the first draft. And yes, I know that I need to follow this as well. Manifest Destiny is actually coming along nicely for dreaming about it two nights ago and writing it the next night while getting snockered on Jameson.
Love him or hate him, Bob Lefsetz has a lot to say about the music industry, and I think that we should listen to him. He's been throwing punches around the music industry for a long time. Unlike many people who comment about the industry without being an insider, Lefsetz is an insider who does not pull punches and isn't afraid to go for the throat. His advice in this piece, while a bit rambly in comparison to his other pieces, is on good word of mouth. People who have their own businesses, who work support for other businesses, who deal with customers, who are members of non-profits, or who are interested in sharing the things they like should take notice.
Seth's one of those great marketing minds who fits into two very distinct categories: 1) he is successful enough at what he does that people listen to him and really want to listen to what he says even if they can't quite fathom it in their practices or organization, and 2) he makes a lot of marketing people or people embedded within the status quo quite nervous, often because he makes up analogies that they just do not understand (the Big Moo, the Purple Cow, etc). He is also worth listening to since he has a great perspective on how to stand out. I've been a fan for years; now if only I would take some of his advice.
I love Jill Dolan. She's an extremely gifted mind in theatre and has one hell of a head for theory. Her Utopia in Performance, while lighter on the theory than say Geographies of Learning, is a testament to the utopian power of theatre to transform the indivuals involved in it and the spectators engaged with it. In this essay, presented at the ATHE 2008 conference "elephant in the room" session, Dolan asks fundamental questions about why departments break down the spirited enthusiasm of their students during the course of training.
(as a side-note, Dr. Sandra G Shannon's "American Theatre History: A Segregated and Untruthful Affair" is also an interesting read)
We had such a wonderful turn-out of family and friends who answered the call to help us move. It was really irritating for me to wander around and not be able to help very much, but they were really good at being mean to me and telling me to back off and not try to pop a stitch. We had so many great and gracious faces that I know I'll miss a couple, but Mark and Lisa Jones (and the whole brood), Bart, Brandy, and Michelle Bullock, Dine Smith, Justine Rollins, Marvin and Norma Mongomery, Dana Facer and her girls, Joe B. Haney, Lynn Leonard, Debbie Flair, Jackie Czerepinski helped out in a massive way! (As did others, I'm sure, but I was walking around shocked by the number of people, the huge trailer that Justine and Dine brought.
So that was our saturday morning. After all of it, I was exhausted! I can't even imagine how everyone else who actually could lift stuff was feeling! That night we closed a wonderful show (Cash on Delivery). We had a nice cast party, though it didn't end up running that late. I was given one of the coolest gifts ever! I got a Portable Cooler stocked with awesome beers from around the world! The cast had Dine put it together. After all, he is a beer judge and has exquisite taste! He's also one of the nicest and most giving people I've met--but don't tell the people who work with him that! He has a reputation to keep!
After the cast party, Marni and I went home and slept in our house for the first time. It was a really fun night, even if it was in the dining room because the carpet layers can't get in until the middle of the week due to people being out sick. So we are still not in our bedroom since that is the last place that needs the carpet. Hopefully we will be before our cruise.
We got some stuff done yesterday, mostly in terms of buying things that we needed. We also talked to Brin who is going to be putting up our French Doors starting here soon. We are thinking of taking out the load-bearing wall to the left of Marni in the picture as well as doing wall-to-wall bookshelves in the Piano Room with the piano in the center. It should be pretty sweet by the time it is finished--and Brin will have some extra cash as well!
Living outside of the hub of theatrical activity in the major centers of the US, I did not realize that Jeune Lune closed its doors in July. This makes me extremely sad in that of Marni and I's "13 plays in 13 days" excursion to Minneapolis in May of 2007, we saw two extremely magical and amazing productions: Don Juan Giovani and Figaro. Both were a combination of spoken dialogue, seemingly improvisational monologues and dialectic moments combined with fantastic opera, elegant yet complex stage effects, and amazing video scenework.
Figaro was by far my favorite, combining the music of Mozart and the play of Beaumarchais with modern technology of video screenwork, daring monologues and dialogues by Steven Epp and Dominique Serrand. It was a very funny production with a sweet and tragic bite to it. It was one of the most daringly beautiful pieces of theatre I have seen in a long time.
Don Juan Giovanni was a combination of Don Giovanni and the story of Don Juan and set apace with daring opera and fantastic travels. It was fun, frantic, and absolutely beautiful.
Steven Epp will be performing Pinter's The Caretaker at the Downling Studio in the Guthrie, however. If you have not seen him perform (and you can get to the Minneapolis area), I would strongly suggest going.
Here is the information:
by Harold Pinter
directed by Benjamin McGovern
Featuring Stephen Cartmell, Steven Epp, Kris L. Nelson
October 11 - November 02, 2008 (Opening October 15)
Price Range: $18 - $34
Widely considered Pinter's first success after receiving recognition from the public and critics alike, The Caretaker is a provocative piece that elicits a multitude of interpretations and reactions from its audiences. The Caretaker is set in a run-down flat in London shared by two brothers, Aston and Mick. When one of them brings home a talkative, homeless, older man, their everyday routines begin to take uneasy dramatic turns.
Confusions and tensions grow between the hosts and the intruder - who vaguely seems to be an old acquaintance - and as the intruder attempts to define his place in the household, a precarious balance of the brothers' lives is inevitably upset. Pinter's masterful use of dialogue and the play's depth and perception completes this modern masterpiece, dealing with the distance between reality and fantasy, family relationships and the struggle for power.