Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

My Photo
Name:
Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Allie's Journey

For the next several months this will be dedicated to information pertinent to Allene M. Maddock. Her care has been assumed by Hospice as of 06Apr12.

Please feel free to call or write her. If you call be patient and take time to explain who you are. Currently she remembers, but you have to help her focus so she truly knows who she is talking to at the moment. We have to do this too, and I frequently say something like, "Yes this is Scott, your oldest."

Her phone is area code two-zero-six, and the number is 216 3816.

Her Address:
Allie Maddock
c/o Queen Ann Manor
100 Crockett Street
Seattle, Washington
    98109

Monday, February 28, 2005

Breaking In

I finally got a new laptop. I've needed one for quite a while, but my old Thinkpad has been a trooper. Windows 98, and dependable and rugged. I bought it because I liked to travel with it on the motorcycle, my two cylinder Moto Guzzi, which supplies a vibration which other laptops of the late 90's could not take. With IBM selling the laptop division off-shore my customer loyalty was challenged, then came necessity.

The old laptop didn't have the muscle or updated operating system needed to work from home, though my work station can easily. The problem is that I can't sit at the desk for a while. A week ago Saturday I broke my leg...

My last entry was during Expedia's prop night, and afterwards I went home and slept for a bit then took the motorcycle back to Seattle for my accent class. Nope, it wasn't the motorcycle, as was the first guess of most the friends and relatives when they got my messages or short calls letting them know. I got back home safe and sound, napped again and headed out for my friend's birthday party, where we met up at the roller rink. I almost didn't get skates as everyone was running late, but figured what the heck, it's been years and what's five bucks?

It was nice seeing some of my fellow Meisnerites, and after a few circuits I noticed it was nearly 6:25 PM, so I went for one more lap before leaving to run lights in North Bend. About a third of the way around is where my reintroduction to roller-skating ended. I started to fall automatically planted my foot, then felt and heard a terrific 'snap!', felt the lower right leg fold and fell down the rest of the way.

I was on the floor for about a minute when someone asked if I was alright. "No, I just broke my leg."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, of course I'm serious!" I wasn't especially gracious that moment. I didn't notice them doing it, but in a flash the floor was cleared and Dave, (Donna the birthday girl's boyfriend) was out checking me out for immediate care needs. He is an EMT. There was also a doctor who came out. I believe they were checking for any serious nerve or vascular damage. In five or ten minutes the on duty EMT's showed up. During that time my old Meisner classmates got my stuff out of the locker and brought it out.

The EMT's were a little skeptical about the break at first, because the muscle memory had snapped the leg nearly back into place. I pointed out one's foot doesn't normally point 90 degrees to the right. They were able to unlace and slip off the skate, but the sock and trousers were cut away. The skate hurt a bit coming off, but allowed the foot to come up to 45 degrees. Not so far from normal, and a little less pain. "Ah, it looks like one of them is broken here.", pointing to an irregularity in the shinbone line. That was the tibia break.

While they were taking vitals and getting the inflatable splint ready, I called Paula on the cell phone telling them I'd not be able to run lights because I'd just broken my leg. I figured they would worry more if I didn't call, because I am a dependable fellow. I told her I had to go in a minute, and she said they had to get ready for the show. I couldn't resist, so I told her, "Well, break a leg!" That pretty well let her know I wasn't about to die, as she and Steve would worry a lot. She groaned and scolded me at the same time my old classmates and friends gathered around me did. The EMT's looked at me like I was stupid.

A few seconds later my friends gave me whatever hugs and good wishes they could, I helped the EMT's move me to the gurney, and I was wheeled out. By the way, I hate speed bumps right now. Then for long waits in the emergency room. Called a few more relatives to let them know, and my friends Beth and Rachel. Steve and/or Gregory called me too. I was glad cell phones were okay in the emergency room. Lots of pain and quick acting/short lasting drugs. The worst part was x-rays. The twit twice asked me to hold my foot straight up after I had already told him I was trying, and I was. I wanted out of that torture chamber in the worst way. I finally told him something like , "The bone is broken, just look at the foot. It's dangling not twitching." I wish I could remember what he looked like so I could beat him with my crutches. I've a moderately high pain tolerance, and my eyes were watering like rivers. Wish I knew how to scream at will.

Eventually the doctor came by briefly to explain the options, and it sounded like rodding the leg was the way to go. Once I was admitted he came by again and explained in more detail based on the questions I'd come up with (and written down). Rodding still sounded the way to go, short term and long term. The next morning they would take me to surgery at 7:30 AM and insert a steel rod the length of the tibia, which in turn would act as a splint for the fibula. They were both long oblique spiral breaks, the tibia down by the ankle, the fibula up by the knee. (Same type breaks, same leg, same hospital as my brother had when we were skiing when he was in 8th grade.)

Steve and Paula stopped by after their gig with food from Azteca -- I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight. That gave me about 25 minutes to dine. Finished up just in time. Gregory arrived from Seattle about 10 minutes before midnight. We talked for a bit, at midnight my roommate asked them to be quiet. He wasn't gracious, but he wasn't feeling well either. Hospitals are that way. Ten or fifteen minutes into the new day everyone gave me a hug and went home.

Going through the surgery was pretty standard, except it seems the only stuff on the hospital cable early Sunday morning were hateful, eerie looking preachers telling me why God wants me to hate certain people. Well, like my room and the ER the tv controllers didn't work. Three for three, and I couldn't get them turned off. I don't know when the general was applied, I just woke up in the recovery room, feeling utterly miserable. When I got to merely miserable it was back to the room. Most of Sunday was a blur of pain. My brother came by in the morning, an hour or two after the surgery, but he had to run to another hospital because the flu had really hit my sister-in-law, Tonia.

I had a ridiculous experience Sunday night. I had acid, which developed into reflux. I asked for antacid, but was turned down. I guess nobody wanted to waken the doctor for heartburn. You'd think they could have one person on staff capable of prescribing a Tums. I was using the morphine drip to keep the increasing acid pain under control, which in turn kept me awake more than the intense heartburn. I don't like the way morphine makes me feel, so usually I only get enough to alleviate the pain enough that I can sleep. The same with percoset and vicodin. I've never had heartburn that hurt so long or consistently. A couple antacids and I would have used a quarter the morphine and slept more than an hour that night.

When the PT lady returned Monday morning I passed the crutch test and was given the opportunity to check out. After the previous night? I called my brother, the strongest of those who offered rides and got it set up. In the mean time, got to talk to Bruce my roommate. Really nice fellow. Eric got there about forty minutes late, and helped me pick up crutches and such on the way home. Sadly, he had to go to a job site and see a fellow. Between that and the forty minute conversation he had with the fellow, the trip home took an extra two hours. The pain meter was pegged, and stayed that way until Thursday. I should have had him drop me off at the house while he did his business. Still I was happy to be home.

Beth came over that evening and made me dinner. I fell asleep pretty early. I had a sleeping bag as a comforter. Don't ever do it. Use cotton. Hot or cold, it felt like a cold clammy sweat from the pain and medication until Wednesday when Beth was over again, and she brought my comforter from downstairs. Beth was a sweetheart, and the next day, Thursday, did laundry for me, and helped me get the shower sheath for my leg over my knee. Between that and the comforter my level of comfort went up tenfold.

Beth and my roommate Aaron continued to help me through the week. Aaron not only picked it up, but set up this laptop so I didn't have to configure it. Otherwise it would not be online for another day or two. Steve came by last night with the loot from an amazing shopping spree he and Paula went on. They were very sick last week, and wanted to be sure I was set as they are going to visit Paula's failing grandfather this week. Aaron is up in Canada for a few days, celebrating he and Sonya's first almost wedding anniversary -- they were married on 2/29 last year. Through the haze of pain and drug discomfort my wonderful friends and family were always there. From talking to people on the phone while I was in the hospital to setting up a new computer while preparing for a trip, or buying and delivering groceries (and assisting with changing the dressing) while preparing for a trip, to making meals and helping an invalid shower, I never once felt bereft. Rather I felt gifted, and still do. Thank you! I love every one of you people so much.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Cuppa Two, Three

The second cup of leaded coffee lasted about two minutes. I was actually a little startled it went so fast. I was spell checking my last post when I noticed there was just a swallow left. Didn't remember drinking the rest of it. I waited until my entry was posted to drink the rest of the cup.

Between the venting on our trashy pop culture and the caffeine hit I am all perked up. The release is going very smoothly, so hopefully all this alertness will go to waste.

Several hours ago I IM'd with my second cousin for a bit, and we're going to go see Tartuffe in Edmonds on Thursday. This is a very nice community theatre, and I've seen some good work there in the past and some caricature work. I've two friends in this production, one a classmate the other an instructor who I worked with in a show, so I'm having trouble keeping my expectations open. I expect them to do good work. Sarah in particular, who is the education and outreach person for the theatre. I took a writing workshop from her for a while and it was a great experience. She brought in people like Craig Lucas and Steven Dietz to talk to us in addition to the workshopping and guidance. Steven Dietz was talking about writing for children's theatre, and said something I've repeated many times. "If you see two people on stage, sitting side by side in a car [he gestured like one of them was driving] and adults says, 'They're in a car.' A child says, 'Where are they going?'"

Thursday I saw Waiting For Lefty at CHAC. I had an acquaintance in the show, which was outstanding. Protest theatre from the depression. Frightening in a way. Not because of the stories it was based on, but the feeling we are inexorable being pushed into a similar extremis. The undercurrents won't go away, no matter whether we label them as communism or terrorism. I'm still hopeful we won't have to relive it all. I mentioned a while back my friend told me we don't repeat history, but it does rhyme. Here's a wish for some doggerel.

Cuppa three. Ate my breakfast, or whatever meal it is now. I was both hungry and desirous of a touch more coffee. I've been trying not to think about my theatre venture, with mixed results. The idea of working on a production, rehearsing wherever we can, and putting up the production wherever we can find an affordable (or free) space appeals to me. Not as a repeating process, but as a start towards building an ensemble and a production company. I've worked on enough shows in basically this way that it won't feel like a step down. The difference is this time I'll be working towards something bigger.

That's why I'm trying not to think about it now. A cart before the horse thing. Here I am talking about how I hope this theatre and ensemble will grow, and no one has even signed on yet. It's only been four hours, so it is too soon to start worrying. I don't want to build up my hopes. That balance between building oneself up for a greater disappointment, and being over cautious or cynical. Cynicism is not a healthy attitude for me. I don't that it is for anyone, but I can only speak for me. Caution can be sensible, cynicism is self-indulgent.

I'm about to indulge myself. Go home and sleep for a few hours. I'll still be thinking nice theatre thoughts. One thing I'm doing for myself is learning Tennyson's Ulysses. It's a slow memorization, as it is taped to the clear shower door and a learn a few sentences each morning. I'm also planning to read the Odyssey again, and do a little reasearch and such like it was an actual role. Process practice, and a classical piece with a sentiment I love. Not so much the end of days thought, but the more important thought to me, to not stop living to the fullest. You see, I want to look at two people on stage and say, "Where are they going?"

Cuppa One

A quarter to one in the morning. I tried to sleep during the day, preparing for our release night, but I didn't get much after 10 AM. I'm doing well so far, just poured my first cup of leaded coffee. Sure tastes good.

Well, I put them on the line. I wrote to five friends asking them to be a part of the theatre I hope to get rolling. I read and reread them so many times I wasn't registering what I was reading any longer. Save them, polish them, make them perfect... No! That's just evasion by procrastination, one of my (old) tactics. So, I sent them. Boom. Don't expect to hear anything for a while, but that won't stop me checking my inbox all the time. Like a dope I sent them from my work account, forgetting to change the sender. That means I'll have to log in to my work account to check later in the weekend. Much more bother. Bother.

After I'm done here, it's on the motorcycle and to Seattle. I bet it is a cold ride. It has been frosty all week, and as I don't commute on the freeway it's not too bad. A shorter trip to Seattle from the office timewise, but it will be very nippy at 60mph. I was thinking of going to Caffe Vita, but they don't open until 7AM. Maybe I'll go home and sleep for a couple hours before my 11AM class. I write that down, and it makes a lot of sense now. Probably because it wasn't nearly 2 AM when I packed up the laptop and such planning on a morning writing session.

I have a simmering rage. The history of the House Un-American Activities Committee gave me a different perception of the 50's and the adjacent decades. We so often look back on those days, as days of innocence. Bullshit with a capital B. Anyone with functioning gray matter should have seen through the bizarre hype about the communist threat. It became so embedded people now fear it without any concept or understanding. A national bogeyman, nothing more. I'm not enthralled with the idea of non-ownership, but neither am I enthralled our version of capitalism, in which government and business exercise increasingly authoritarian control over the population for our own good and safety. Interesting we call it privatization. It was tried seventy years ago, then we called it fascism. Changing the name doesn't seem to have made it more ethical, compassionate, or palatable.

We prosecute a president for having an affair, and telling a 'gentleman's lie'. The very next president lies about his military service, obtains and buries the official records, lies to start a war, condones war crimes, prosecutes grunts following said guidance, promotes the man who codified the guidance, promotes another man who was implicitly involved in US war crimes against the Sandinista government, and so on. As a nation we resent the fact we are no longer respected and trusted like we once were. We lie and say we simply can't understand anyone not idolizing us, so we blame the rest of the world for not thinking terribly highly of us. We need to be sent into the corner, and have our graham crackers taken away. Apparently we are not mature enough to be treated in any other manner.

Today I turned on the tv for a bit, switching between the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on the comedy channel and Columbo on bravo while I cooked and ate my lunch. I don't watch much tv, and daytime tv is not something I've watched in years. The ads were disturbing, especially those for casinos and reality shows. They pandered to something unsavory and dark. Are these ads actually producing revenue? I shudder to think they must be. It's boggling to me to think anybody can watch these and think, "Gee I think I'll go to the casino tonight! And tomorrow, I'll watch survivor.", because of these ads.

More subtle is the tone for more sedate commercials. They are somehow reminiscent of the fifties and early sixties. The innocent, wholesome facade which did not age well at all. You see those commercials now and the mockery is automatic. I get that same feeling watching most ads today. Like saccharine gone horribly bad. Is it just my disillusionment with America at the moment, or do you see the same things?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Going Places

It was snowing very heavily when I drove to A.G. Bell Elementary School Monday morning. The kids excitement for the snow evoked memories and a little excitement in me. Fun, as snow doesn't generally shake my world now. I brought a couple things along with the books I read this morning, which were Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Giggle, Giggle, Quack, both written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin.

I brought in my electric typewriter, which I haven't used in nearly fifteen years. I have a lightweight manual typewriter, but I couldn't find the darn thing. About half the kids had never seen a typewriter, but most knew they were replaced by the computer. I briefly described typesetting, and how typewriters made much of that obsolete. Both books had bits which were great for a chorus, so I printed sheets with a very large font that said things like:
Click, clack, moo.
Click, clack, moo.
Clickety, clack, moo.

Giggle, giggle, quack,
Giggle, moo,
Giggle, oink.


I had the papers folded in the book, and with a little set up we read them together, and I made the appropriate animal sounds, getting many of the kids into the act. I was worried they would think the books were for 'little kids'. I started off asking them if they liked to be silly, and they said they did. I said I did too, so we had a nice silly time. Next Monday is a school holiday and I miss them already.

My last audition fell through, but I've another scheduled for this Sunday for a late night show. We'll see how that goes. I am really antsy to get started on something. I'm going to have to broaden my search. Before I decided to pound the pavement, so to speak, the frequent notices from my favored sources seem to have hit a famine.

Tomorrow is another prop night at work, and again I signed up for the first shift, 10PM to 6AM. I may well be writing some incoherent entries in the wee hours tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to the Capitol Hill Arts Center to see Waiting For Lefty. I know at least one of the cast members, since he E-mailed me. Very few theatre sites list the cast and crew for shows. This bugs me just a little, as that is a major criteria for my show selection.

Darn it, I won't do the same thing. I just initiated my TPS application for "East Side Fringe." Maybe the name will change when I lure other people in. I'll be composing a number of E-mails tomorrow, assuming I don't have any issues to address. (My group is pretty sharp, so I feel pretty safe.) My friend Beth sent me some information about 501(c)(3) exemptions; she's a CPA so she's smart about that stuff, whereas I most certainly am not. Yet. She suggested I ask people why they chose 501(c)(3) status, as there are other non-profit possibilities. Anyone?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Help Wanted

I've been rethinking my theatre idea. More the startup process than the concept. I contacted TPS, to find out about the non-profit umbrella status for member companies, and it was trial think last year, and they haven't decided if they are going to do it again. I was hoping to get in that program, making it easier to find a donated space. Looks like that is out. Even if they revive the program, it is now demonstrated it is not something which can be relied on. Funny, I was so excited about the service I was planning on a decent donation for TPS. Turns out I'll be needing that for my own stuff. No hard feelings or anything silly like that, I still plan on donating to TPS, but likely not for another year or two when I have either given up or have an east side thing going.

So, drop it (not), or figure out a way to establish non-profit status on my own. Just the sort of thing I hate doing. I'd been hoping to find a venue using the non-profit status as a selling point, allowing the landlord a write-off. Maybe someone will be willing without the write-off, but that will not be my starting off point now. I'll be writing to some actors I know that live on the east side, in particular two of my classmates from Meisner last year, and two other great actors I know taking the class this year who also live on the east side. I'll also need to contact some directors. Hopefully with them and other accomplished actors/directors they know we'll have a starting point.

I had initially thought to find a venue, get a couple production organizations going, one for community theatre, and one for fringe. Also an outreach program for both prospective local theatre audiences and theatre professionals on the Seattle side of the lake, providing a low cost venue for some established fringe companies over here. Of these, the most important to me is the fringe theatre.

That means I need to learn the basics of establishing a non-profit so I don't hopelessly screw things up. While I'm doing that I've got to ask the people I know on the East Side if they are interested. I'm thinking to start I'll want to simply find people who want to do a show, rehearse wherever is available, and beg a venue for a run. Probably have to pay, but I've a few contacts so maybe a good deal is possible. This would be something more for the actors and director to create art and build an ensemble. In the next week or two I'll renew with TPS, this time as a producing member. I've a couple east side readers of this blog I'll be approaching. If you want to beat me to the punch, and pick up one of the individual memberships let me know. It'll be free. Worst case you have a free TPS membership for a year, best case we get something meaningful started.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Stepping In It

Oh God, today is going slow. I'm busy at the day job, usually dragging time is due to boredom. Right now I am waiting on a fairly long running bit of code, but have barely had a chance to breathe the first seven hours. Kind of fun usually. I tend to get odds and ends type projects others don't like doing. As a result I work out of the mainstream, and it has it's own challenges and joys. The biggest danger is you tend to be overlooked when it comes time for reviews and such. The upside is you make people very pleased that haven't had a resource, often for a long time. The managers I've had thus far at Expedia appreciate this, so I haven't had to put up with the second class status so often associated with these types of projects.

I got to wondering if I sound too much the Pollyanna in my journal. Admittedly I do vent, especially about the rampant and vicious corruption of our political leaders. They say the cream floats to the top, but so does scum. Right now scum is certainly in ascendancy. Anyway, back to Pollyanna. I do like writing about what delights and moves me.

Are you people reading bored with effusive descriptions of people and things I experience in the theatre community? I do state every so often, first and foremost, I write this journal for myself. So if the rosy outlook bugs you, deal with it. I often figure out things as I write, and I also burn it into my mind. I am aware of the crap, but why would I want to embrace it? Been there, done that. If you think I should be doing that all the time, "Screw off." You've problems bigger than I want to deal with.

Shit does happen. Last week I had one of those damned boots latched onto my truck wheel as I was unloading a show, in a vacant lot while I was in using the toilet, $200 down the hole. One of my friends brushed me off on Saturday. I got pissed at someone in a rehearsal situation. I did not get a response to an audition query. The table I built didn't look very good close up. I can't find the proofs for my headshot. I missed a friend's show. The insurance company is refusing payment, saying I didn't send paperwork which I mailed and faxed at different times and no longer have. There's plenty more but who really cares? Everything gets worked out or fades into obscurity. Most of these have already had resolutions.

Sometimes things really suck, and I talk about them, like when I was sacked from a show last year. (Of course, that ended up providing a great opportunity with a great director in a great show.) When things are good, well good. I'm not a crisis junkie, and don't want to be like DK, my friend in high school.

In tenth grade DK got a very good paying job at Safeway, in the butcher department. Within two weeks all he talked about was how much he hated the job. Finally he got another, better paying job with the cable company I think. Two weeks later he was bitching constantly again. When he got another good and better paying job, at the shipyard I think, we took bets on when he'd start bitching about the worst job in the world again. He was a pain in the ass to be around.

I saw DK again about three years ago at my home town church. Surprisingly for someone who hadn't seen him in 25 years, he turned into a very distinguished and good looking fellow. However some things hadn't changed, the other guys who had stayed in the area evaporated within seconds of DK mentioning his job. I commented, "I wonder where they went?"

I'd rather be called Pollyanna than DK. I've plenty of demons, and while I do share them here at times, most find their way into different writing projects in a much bigger way. I'm not sure when it happened, but the demons are not the focus of my life, maybe that makes them imps? Sort of a corollary example. Say the light is low, and you step on a giant slug or pile of dog doo. Do you stand there and study the goo on your foot, or do you distractedly brush it against the ground and look at the spectacular sunset in front of you? Me, I like looking at the sunset. Why is it most people choose to study the goo most of their lives?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Back To School

My weekly entry? Not by plan, but by schedule. Last week was another busy one, though I'll have some breathing space this week.

I spent part of the morning with Chris Hulteng's 4th grade class at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School, starting my active participation in the BookPals program. 10:00 - 10:30 AM. What a delightful group of children. It was not an earth shattering experience, rather a warm fuzzy. I enjoyed myself as did the children, though I was a little worried as I read and saw two or three kids looking out the windows or counting holes in the ceiling. Well, the gazers had some of the most incisive comments about Cinder Edna.

I've a feeling the weekly sessions will build in my heart. I said it was not an earth shattering experience, partly because I was almost expecting something like that and because I expect it to become so in a deeper slower manner. I recognize the beginning of a rich and loving experience. The last five years I have dedicated myself to pursuing richness and love, the essence of what art and theatre is to me. Five years ago this morning's experience would have floored me. This is an exercise, because at that time I wouldn't have had the experience and comfort to be able to read to kids in an engaging fun way. Now, I don't experience shock from a great experience, though it is appreciated no less. That is a gift, and I hope I never lose the awareness of it.

The kids? They are wonderful, and I am looking forward to building up a relationship. A beginning. A gift for all of us I hope. Work an extra hour in the week so I can come in late after reading to children on Mondays. Easy peasy. I was talking to someone this weekend, who wondered at the 'sacrifice'. I didn't and still don't consider it a sacrifice. It is something I want to do, and enjoy. Nothing terribly hard about that. Besides, I got to go into the faculty lounge and use the restroom. The only difference I noticed was porcelain mounted higher for grown-ups. Still, I got to go into the hallowed refuge I'd never seen as a kid.

Our Studio Series piece started Thursday and closed yesterday afternoon. The last two shows were especially wonderful, and satisfying because we had the most enthusiastic applauses. Maybe not better than the other seven pieces, but surely unsurpassed. They did a good job the first two nights, but really connected the last two. The audience response was tangible evidence my perceptions weren't skewed. It is hard to be unbiased when you're so close to a production. The two actors were both very good. One was experienced, professional, and generous. The other was not very experienced, but courageous and open. A challenge, but they worked together with neither getting visibly frustrated with direction that was too advanced or too basic for their needs.

Paula shared an interesting observation with the actors. She was explaining why there were what seemed to be inconsistent direction at times. "But you told us to try it this way yesterday?" As the actors improvise and try new things, what is possible and what will move the story in the desired way changes and evolves. She knows the story she wants to tell, and uses the actors to help fill and shape the picture, and heighten it. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," say the actors. Or at least I assume so. It was an intense rehearsal process the last several weeks, and there is only so much which really gets assimilated. However, the actor serving as td/stage manager/set and prop designer/fabricator got a lot out of it. My stints as crew and production staff have paid off, giving more insight into the artistic process, which makes me a better actor (I hope!) and certainly easier to work with.

So many of the actors I work with have taken a similar path to mine. They have pursued acting seriously, without going through a matriculating program. Talking to people who have gone through BFA and MFA programs I know they spend a lot of time working behind the scenes. There is incredible value to it. If you are truly serious about acting you better damn well work as a prop master, stage manager, tech director, etc. I think it is just as important for the crew and staff to do some acting as well, so they have an inkling of what the actors are doing.

So, you actors that don't want to do crew or production staff ever out of fear or disdain, get off your rear end and do it anyway. You can't seriously think of yourself as a serious or courageous actor if you don't know what the rest of the people are doing to support you. I have about as much patience with actors who refuse to ever lend a hand, as I do with the turds who turn their noses up at community theatre. Some of the very best productions I have seen were done by community theatres (where the cast usually serves in crew capacities as well), and some of the worst were done by professional companies.

Why do we have such a diverse and highly talented theatre community in the Seattle area? I believe it is the opportunities at all levels, allowing people to grow and get experience, and keep theatre accessible for all social levels. The very best actors (with regards to both talent and professionalism) and crew I have worked with, all have some cross training or experience. Hell, you might even surprise yourself and find you like doing behind the scenes stuff. I found I do, though my first and foremost love in theatre is being on the boards, and I would eventually lose interest in the rest without it.