Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My daughter

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Candle Burns At Both Ends

My candle burns at both ends,
it will not last the night.
But ah my foes, and oh, my friends,
it gives a lovely light.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

     Auditions for OF MICE AND MEN are in 5 days. Auditions for ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA are in 14 months. There are people eager to start work on both productions now. Uh-huh. Unfortunately I'm one of them. Suggestions?

     My writing partner completed the writing of her novel based on the play we co-authored. I'm most interested in reading the ending. In the play the bad guy is eventually dispatched by the good guy. In an early version of her book, the bad guy (who is not overly bright) tries to shoot it out with the three thousand attendees at a police marksmanship competition ... (or something to that effect. I remember it was a whole bunch of people). In a way I'm sorry she's not going with that ending - it had a Butch Cassidy sort of feeling about it. So now she has this new ending that she is excited about. Since she is an excellent writer, I can't wait.

     I got a new stove today. Not that anything was wrong with the old one. A friend of mine inherited furniture and asked several of us if we wanted any of it. The stove was better than mine - more bells and whistles, so I said yes. It arrived today. I put the old one out on the curb for garbage pick-up tomorrow ... (and yes, I called first). Ten minutes after I set it out, an old man in an old truck picked it up and drove away. Free enterprise. Don't ya love it?

     While the movers were here, they carried an antique library-style bookcase from my living room up to my study on the third floor. I had loaned it out for a play, and didn't at all remember it being that heavy when it came down. I have my living room back. My joy knows no bounds.

     All the foreign restaurants within 40 miles of my door are either Mexican or Oriental. I don't mind, I suppose, but a little variety would be appreciated. I mean, if I want an occasional real draft Guinness, why do I have to go all the way to Disney World to get it? Not fair. Other people eat at English Pubs and Russian Tea Rooms. Other people eat Hungarian and Spanish and Italian and German. Here even Tim Horton's has "Americanized." Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h!! 

     The Republican Party has started gathering forces together (already) for the next Presidential election. With one or two exceptions, the candidates are a pretty sorry looking bunch. There is talk that Sarah Palin might run. Every Democrat in the world hopes so - I'm convinced the woman is an idiot.

     Speaking of which, the other Sarah (Ferguson) appeared on TV earlier today. She confessed to the world that for years she has been an "utter and complete fool." To the best of my knowledge, not one person has disagreed with her.

     On the other hand, don't you think we need at least a few people like these in our lives? I mean, the occasional cold water of creative utter stupidity thrown in your face causes at least a jot of involuntary response in even the most jaded of temperaments.

     Aw well. Sorry. Sort of got off the theatre fence tonight, if that's what you were expecting. Sometimes - too often - with the work I do and love, it's far too easy to forget that there's another world if I simply choose to see it. And Will Rogers was right - "I never met a man I didn't like." And that's how I feel as well. If I run out of stories, it's because I've stopped listening.

     As before, it's late, and I feel much better after our conversation. You really are the best of company.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another Openin' Another show ...

     Auditions for OF MICE AND MEN are now two weeks away. I'm ready. I've augmented the crew I had on the last play with a few specialists - one being a fight coordinator. I've never used a fight coordinator before. This one is warm and friendly - until she has a gun or a dagger in her hands. I've not worked with her before, but I've seen the results of her efforts. Impressive. Should be interesting.

     About every actor I know has contacted me - they all want in the play. If half of them actually show up for auditions, I will have a galloping good cast. And of course it helps that I have one of the best scripts I've ever worked with.

    The play has a large number of men and only one woman. Since the main woman's dressing room is quite large, I'm tempted to move her somewhere and use that area for farm animals. (I'll have to look - I'm sure there's a form that covers things like this.) Several women I know are interested in the role - it's a chance for an actress to die on stage ... on purpose.

    More relaxed now. Paperwork is done, forms forms forms, audition forms, character break-downs, rehearsal schedules, budgets, publicity, yadda yadda yadda. The "director packet" of papers alone is a dozen pages long. I suppose this should bother me, except I have no plan to actually read any of it. I've worked with this group before, I know what they want. As long as the shows I direct for them make money, everybody is happy.

     I do miss the days before spirit-killing contracts - when a handshake was enough.

     I've had almost all my pre-show meetings. One more to go. I meet with the set decor artist on Friday. I love the designs I've seen so far. The set is going to be light and airy.  At the moment I don't know who is going to build the set. At the moment I don't care.

     And there you have it - a theatre director's version of a pre-flight check list. I'll let you know how it goes. Count on it.


Friday, June 3, 2011


Facebook offered to assemble a collage of my friends. This is way too cool.