Acting Up

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

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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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Neato, Oh No

I don't like committing to vacation. I keep feeling like maybe I should do this, or that, or some other thing I'm overlooking. Plus thanks to peer and master driven american dysfunction, I have trouble getting over the feeling of doing something uncomfortably amoral or dirty when I'm on vacation, and usually I like that feeling.

It's going to be a bit of a repeat of my September vacation, but with colder weather. Probably no kayaking this time around, but maybe a bonfire or two as there won't be any burn bans with the rainfall we've been having. Hopefully more horseback riding though. I'll look into rentals for when I'm back to Duncan. So here's the geography. Aaron and Sonya live on 40/80 acres on Denman Island (it's 80 acres they share with land partners -- nice people -- artisans I got some turquoise from) which is a couple hours north of Duncan, and just a mile off the leeward coast of Vancouver Island. Kalon, Dave, Jade, Kali, and Cullen live in Duncan in a duplex they share with Dave's mum, which is a bit over an hour north of Victoria, BC. Except for two year old Cullen who's visited a couple times, they have all been my housemates for a couple years or more. I thought it might be fun to take the older kids in Duncan for a ride if they've stables nearby, and I think I saw some last time. They used to live in a more rural area (Duvall, Washington), and would likely enjoy it.

It turns out I had more vacation to burn than I thought. We can carry over 3 weeks worth, and I noticed Tuesday that halfway through November I had 165 hours on the books, already 45 hours more than I could carry over. There'll be another two days accrued by the end of the year. So, instead of the five days off I'd expected, it'll be eight days off. Nice surprise, with a bit more of that dysfunctional guilt. Good God, stop the presses, that's less than two weeks away. Cool.

It would be sweet if I was doing some homework for a show while I'm up there. We'll see how auditions go the next week and a half. I just asked for an audition slot for Tartuffe, and also saw that the Greenstage audition notice was just reposted. I hope that means good news for me, while at the same time I feel bad they didn't a stronger response. I keep hearing how there is a shortage of guys in the age range I can play, and I see it is so for every show I've worked behind the scenes. It never seems to be a factor when I audition though. I know, sob, sob, whine, whine. I've enjoyed every show I've been in, whether I was pre-cast, competed against lots of other auditors, or was cast for lack of anyone else.

I'll be taking my laptop with me, and maybe I'll actually get some writing done. I'm picturing neat little coffee shops in the Great White North where I can huddle and write. I'll have extra time in both locales. I do love visiting, but I love my own time when I vacation too. I'll be up there for 11 days, coming back Christmas Eve, for a nice vacation spool down. The 26th is a holiday for us and I think it may be a hibernation day for me. Though if I get nicely relaxed in Canada I'll probably be calling all my local friends to see if they want to do anything.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Low...

Where'd it go? I started a post yesterday, and thought I saved a draft. Must have been my imagination, the saving part.

I've two auditions next Sunday (Freehold Studio Series and Driftwood) and one Monday (Greenstage). Getting back into it, and figuring for 10-20 auditions per part I've a ways to go. Especially if I have to make up for only doing 2 auditions last time. Then if it is closer to twenty, well I've another 40 auditions to go and that's assuming my 10-20 window is not too optimistic. Some people say you can make numbers to say anything, for me, it's anything pessimistic. I'm not completely dour, heck I'm even fantasizing how I'll handle things if I have multiple offers. Of course, I'm more likely to wake up to next a 40 year old Raquel Welch or Audrey Hepburn tomorrow. Without dreams the world would be a dull place.

Generally I manage to have fun at auditions, even if it involves some self-deception. They're still stressful, and I still really feel like I suck at each one, though there is sometimes a feeling of "That's not as bad as it used to be." I wonder how I'll feel at the end of next week. Couldn't have done worse? Could have done better? Pretty okay...

I just had some left over soup. It's as good as I remembered when I wrote about it Saturday. It was cold and icy out this morning, and I'm one of the few who came to the office. While IM'ing with a co-worker he asked if I was working from home and I responded,
Nope. Drove in around 11am. I have 4wd on an old truck that has peeling paint and lots of small dents. It's a champ in the ice and snow, plus no worries about damaging it as not much could make it look worse.
He quite enjoyed my quip. I saw one car slipping trying to go up a road I didn't even know was inclined. Not a lot of snow, but it was falling at the same time as the temperature last night, and a good part of the area is sheathed in 1-2" of very solid ice. I'm wearing a snow fleece in the office, and thinking maybe this is the time to use the last of the bath salts my friend made for me.

It's strangely lonely at the office, with so many people stranded at home. I'm going home now for the aforementioned sybaritic pleasures and maybe pork chops. I'm not feeling very hungry yet, so maybe I'll skip dinner. At least I had breakfast today. That sounds good... Pork chops for breakfast tomorrow. I love this diet. I'm still slowly losing weight, and unlike Kipley who feels flabby for peaking at 218, I'm just now getting to where the scale says 218 or even 216 for the morning low. Getting rid of dairy, wheat, eggs, and most processed white sugar in your diet pretty much eliminates junk food. A few Frito's, though that doesn't always work out. I got a pack earlier today, but they weren't the plain ones and had dairy and wheat in the flavoring. I suppose I could have dealt with them, but I considered the albeit minor discomfort, and they didn't seem rewarding enough. They're waiting in the kitchenette for another home.

I don't figure any of the things that I've taken out of my diet will cause me major trauma if I eat a touch or even binge here and there, it's just the ongoing discomfort and such that eventually got to feeling traumatic. I haven't gotten to where I feel I've earned a real binge, I'll have to drop below 200 pounds for that. I fantasize about an ultimate burger, preferably one of the spicy specials, and a big blizzard at Dairy Queen. And now that I'm likely only two or three months from hitting the goal for a binge, it doesn't sound all that appealing anymore. The blizzard seems too cloyingly sweet, and the plasticized effluvia fast food restaurants market as cheese makes me feel even more nauseous than it used to. (I actually stopped ordering cheeseburgers about a year ago.) Has the thinner me been struggling to get out of me like some beneficial Alien for all these years?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bad Movie Tag

Kipley talked about a couple bad movies, and I thought, there's an idea.

Last week I rented Nacho Libre and RV. I had very low expectations, and even those were not approached. I mean shit, the bar was resting on the ground, no effort needed to get over it.

RV had a good cast, but like a few of that director's recent movies the fun towards the end didn't make up for the formulaic boredom of the first 75% of the movie. Even Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels couldn't save that one.

I watched Nacho Libre first, and it made the humdrum uninspired RV soar to the heavens in comparison. It was first, last, and hindmost a vehicle for Jack Black. Hey the guy's okay, but I don't think he is the second coming of Harold Lloyd, or anyone else for that matter. There was not a moment in the whole thing where you didn't know exactly what was coming. Not a shred of risk or originality to relieve the tedium. My brother liked it, and a few others I talked too, but they are on the Jack Black Bandwagon. I'm not generally much of a follower of trendy fads or fashion. It is like when I saw The Mummy Returns, and felt a need to scrape the soles of my shoes afterwards and others were calling it a fragrant rose of a movie. Of course, the bad special effects and butchered plot lines drive them crazy now, but at the time nobody understood why I was so disgusted. The same reason my clothes look dopey. I'm not a trendy fellow.

So if you love SUV's, cigarettes, Macy's, Budweiser, and everything else marketers order you to love you'll love one, maybe both of these movies. If you ain't a hip hyper-consumer don't even consider renting them.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Next!

It's snowing, and feels even colder than it really is. I've got the heat turned up more than is my norm. I kind of like a cool house, which is easier to attain in the Winter, but I feel chilled at the moment.

I'm tired, and content. It's funny that I'm hoping schools aren't closed tomorrow, as I remember praying for just the opposite when I was 9 or 10 years old. Well, here's hoping we all get our wish somehow. I suspect we'll all be disappointed. I'm guessing school will start late, so I won't get to do my Monday morning read, and they won't get an extra day off after the long weekend.

The barbecue is warming up, and I'm about to prepare some lamb chops. I'm feeling very anticipatory at the moment. First, I'm quite hungry, and second I know there is a bit of intense meditation coming up in the next few days. I'll probably socialize with Aaron, my other old roommate from Canada, who is down visiting. The last two weekends have been hoser visits, eh.

But on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll probably forgo my morning coffee, and any drinks or anything in the evening, and settle in for more than homework. I'm looking forward to it, and a little nervous. I don't have any choices to make, or at least life changing things like whether to commit to ETI and art, or fade back into the matrix. Or maybe there is something as important but not so apparent. Is it that unknown I fear?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sated

My stepmom sent me home with some turkey left overs. Drumsticks and thighs a bit carved up, and some other bits and pieces including a good bit of white meat. I made a three part process. Pull the meat, crack the bones, and brown the skin and fatty bits. I like making soups, but I didn't have the whole carcass or drippings, so I improvised.

It worked out well, and without going into exhaustive details I'll expound this much. Sauteeing the fatty meat bits and skin together didn't create as much of a dripping flavor as I'd hoped, though it did provide a wonderful combo to fry uncooked rice in. I do that for soups once in a while, sort of a Spanish rice mode of adding rice to soups or casseroles. Often works out nicely.

Then I added the first broth extract and stubborn veggies -- carrots and celery, which take a while to cook -- to the faux drippings and rice. The broth came from smashed bones, and was run through a strainer. With the last bit of stock I added the meat and onions. No more to bore you, but it smelt divine, and the last taste had me wishing I could get a bowl of the finished product without delay.

So it is a good holiday weekend so far. It looked like I've only picked up a pound with the feasting, and the meals have been wonderful. Now I'm making a traditional type turkey soup, with a little extra spice and some hominy and fried brown rice for my signature. I think I'll go get a nice whiskey while my soup finishes simmering, and proof this tomorrow.

One other thing. I had dinner with a very good friend last night. Great food and company, and I feel constrained to leave it at that. Unless said dinner guest cuts me loose from these mortal bonds.

Addendum: I had the soup for a late breakfast this morning, and it was as good as when the tastes gave me shivers of yumminess and the bowl I had last night. Pretty standard ingredients, but for the hominy and sauteed brown rice kernels. I badly wanted a second bowl, but realized I was full. Surprising thing this morning. I think overall I've actually taken a pound or two off this week. I thought with the slightly richer foods and feasting, and missing a lot of breakfasts I'd be back in storage mode. I don't think on it much, except when I write here, but my overall diet has radically changed. I think of it as more of a lifestyle change than a diet. I wasn't initially motivated by the desire to lose weight, rather by being tired of digestive problems and discomfort. Well, the weight loss has certainly been a great motivation to stick to the change.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks

I was about to head over to the folk's house a bit before Noon. My Dad called to see how I was doing, meaning "When will you be here?" He told me it had just stopped snowing at his house when I told him I was about to get on the bike. In hindsight, I should have stuck with my plan.

Instead I jumped in the truck, and when I got to the West Seattle ferry I found the longest backup I'd ever seen. I'd guessed a six boat wait, and that with the sparse schedule thanks to the tax reduction initiatives.

Driving through Tacoma wasn't much better. The 30 minute drive to the Interstate 5 exit took well over three hours. The only time I'd seen that traffic slower was for a 26 car pile up during a Summer Friday rush hour.

I was moments from turning around, and was about get out of the backup to turn around and go home in defeat. I called my Dad to let him know I might be giving up on the holiday commute. That nearly sealed the decision. I felt pressured, and I generally resist pressure as it generally leads to badly considered decisions. I reminded myself they just wanted us to be together. I waited a bit longer than moved out of the queue to exit on Sprague.

The new construction had changed the off ramp from three lanes (one for Sprague and two for SR16 to the bridge) to one poorly marked lane, hence the unusually bad back up. I let out the inner republican, unable to resist cutting in front of an SUV that had just cut into the line. Ironically I immediately got into the right lane which nobody was in for some unknown reason, so I didn't even slow down the traffic. Still, I felt a little guilty.

On the other hand I was extremely hungry and thirsty, as I'd dashed out of the house without breakfast figuring to get some fruit on the ferry, or after a quick drive to Port Orchard. Since getting my diet healthier, I get as grumpy as my Dad when really hungry. My Grandfather was the same way. Terrific tradition. I may have gotten some of their nice characteristics too. That's my hope.

I finally got there after the most miserable commute I remember, aside from faster moving, but sweltering one on the motorcycle last Labor Day. "Hi everybody, it's nice to see you," then immediately on a search for water and a little food. The vegetable tray was my best friend. My thirteen year old nephew Mikey tends to be pretty oblivious to others, and when he started an attempt to yank on my somewhat bushy mustache as a reality check I told him I didn't care if thought it was fake and I'd wallop him if he tried. Luckily he is learning to be aware of others, and he resisted the urge to bring his adolescence to an abrupt and tragic end.

With some water and food I became nearly human, and an hour later the rest of the family arrived. So we had the kids and grandkids for our nuclear family. I'm grateful one of my parents is someone we like to spend time with. My stepmom is a gift too.

It was a great family gathering, and I left an hour or two after dinner. That earlier long drive while starving took a bit out of me, and traffic returning was only slowed down approaching the bridge. It only took me about 80-90 minutes to get home, maybe ten or twenty minutes longer than doing the trip without any slow downs.

I was beat, and glad to be home. Watched Kolchak and had another meal, and feasted on some dark chocolate. Even though I managed to wait several hours after the first course, turkey does make one hungry. I think put on a pound yesterday. Actually pretty modest for an American my size.

Lots of things to give thanks for. The last year has been a good one, and I'm half-way maybe more to an optimal weight for myself. Our country is turning away from fear, greed, and fascism. Not enough to make us admirable again, but at least we're on the right track for the moment. Let's just hope those with financial motives in subjugating the country have trouble finding people to listen to their vile voices. I'm afraid I'll be cynical for the rest of my life about the goodness of our country. It seems like the inherent courage and generosity of our nation is in balance with offsetting and inherent cowardice and greed. I'm thankful we're moving in the right direction for now, and hoping to nurture that growth in whatever way I can.

Plus, I got to hear Alice's Restaurant. A number of radio stations play it at Noon on Thanksgiving, and have for many years. Since I was initially planning on taking the motorcycle, I'd brought up a copy on YouTube. It was 22 1/2 minutes long and talked of the original version, then a couple hours later while stuck in traffic I got to hear the original version. For me that was another treat.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Growing Pangs

I auditioned for Macha Monkey last week. The co-artistic director who was an auditor wrote me a gracious thank you, we'll be keeping your headshot and resume, and we'd love to see you again. Maybe I'm delusional, but I believe it. I actually did okay at the audition for a change -- maybe that's the delusional part. I actually think my old weight and natural hair color would have been better for the role, and I'd just gotten over my colds and my voice felt really resonant. Perhaps a bit much for that space. It is ironic that losing the weight, and the self-confidence may have been contra-indicated for that role.

I wrote earlier I didn't feel like I got to the place I should have been several weeks before we opened Amateurs, until the second (and last) weekend of the run. I wasn't totally sucky, I just knew where I could have been with a reasonable effort if I wasn't hampered by the need for sleep and recuperation.

I'm starting to fold into a normal existence again. Or as normal as someone who considers their career a day job. I'm thinking about art and life a lot again, my art and my life. ETI did something for me I wasn't expecting. Since I took that first acting class in Spring of 2000, and found myself on the boards for the first in the Winter of that year I've pursued training with more vigor than getting roles. It was a fantastic first experience on the boards, being in a professional production in packed large venues. It drove me to pursue acting as a vocation, and to get the tools so I could bring as much to an audience as I get from them.

It was partly a confidence thing. "I have to be better before I'm worthy of an audience." Too self-critical? Maybe. I don't really think so. When you feel you have something worthwhile to do, something you are driven towards by love, passion, and longing why trifle? I wanted to bring out the best I could. I never thought I was especially gifted, but I had the desire. I am gifted technically. It got me through flight training and being an officer in the Navy. It also taught me much less talented people with a passion would outperform me. A wonderful lesson for a precocious kid. I wasn't a Mozart, but even without being a prodigy I was a royal pain in the ass for fellow students and teachers. I shuffled along, knowing when I needed or wanted I could be the kid who would be dropped off the bell curve so the others could pass. Big deal. Without challenge your grasp never grows, you don't muscle up.

I have to work hard to get much done as an actor. Those gifted people awe and frustrate me. I know from experience my passion can move me to their level, but it will take more work. It will also give me more range. All things I learned from slacking in so many of the technical fields I've worked in. I've seen it in my peers in all my acting classes too. Having a gift doesn't do many people any favors. Having the gift of challenge and passion is a better thing for me, and I suspect most of us.

I realized I'm at a point where I still want to improve my skills, but feel non-classroom experience is what I really need and want. I feel I have the chops necessary to bring something good to an audience, and if anything it makes me want to be lots better. My confidence, training, and experience are at a point where I am as driven to find productions as I was to find classes. Little things like the better ability to keep children engaged when I read, or realizing that I'm an order of magnitude better as a performer, even when I'm sick as a dog and can't do the work I need. It's exciting. I'm hungry to stretch myself. I want to be so much better. Yet I get choked up when I think about what I can now bring to an audience, and how it affects me in return.

In Amateurs there was a scene where I did a couple bars from Cabaret (Money Makes the World Go Round). It wasn't supposed to be good (thank God), and one of the other cast members joins me. I got to the point where I hammed it nicely, meaning doing it with enthusiasm as badly as it needed to be. Making a huge fool of my character, but something was missing, something to let the audience finish the experience of the train wreck with a laugh. We studied 'takes' when we were doing commedia work last year. Part of it is timing, which is impossible to quantify, but I seem to generally do pretty well. So I did a double take, first to the cast then to the audience, with a subtly shrugging return. It ended up being one of my best laughs of the show, instead of a moment of awkward silence. Jane started delaying her entrance after that, to let the audience really get down. At one level it was a very technical bit of physical comedy, but there is an art to it. It is part of my toolbox now. Thank you George. (Of all our instructors last year, George was considered by more of us than any other instructor to truly love us, and that is saying one Hell of a lot.)

I've grown as an artist and actor, and there are times like now where I realize and acknowledge it. When we change it usually feels gradual. Even big things. ETI changed me in so many ways, yet I'm generally not aware of them. I've more confidence during auditions and rehearsals, better presence and awareness, etc. And I'm as driven as ever to continue improving. The change feels gradual, but it was only a 10 month program, and the actual change I think was profound. A number of people I greatly respect have said as much too.

I changed my eating habits three and a half months ago, to deal with food sensitivities and have lost a touch over 35 lbs. It is a profound change, yet it doesn't feel that way. I suspect the confidence and perseverance I gained through ETI enabled me to do this. People are noticing it too. My old officemate ran into me in the cafeteria Monday while I was waiting for some rice and stir fry, and was visibly startled at the change. One of my manager's peers, who is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast called me "Scott the incredible disappearing man." Or was it "shrinking man." Other friends and acquaintances notice it now as well.

I am going through great change and growth as an artist. Doing much the same physically. Emotions well up when I think about it. I'm not sure what they are, and given free rein would they likely have me crying or laughing. I think there'll be tears in there somewhere. One of these evenings, when the time is right I suppose, it will finally hit me directly. In the meantime I'll just keep on dancing and working on poetry and monologues around the house when the gentler mood hits me.

Third Time's an Entrè

So, it was an effective clean, then prepare for cooking weekend. I forgot one thing. Half the week is holiday so I'll be freezing a lot of things this evening. I'll also be preparing my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner. I'd planned to make pumpkin pie, but forgot my oven is broken. It's a long and silly story, and I haven't had a chance to fix it. The broiler coil turned up dead despite appearing nearly new a couple weeks ago. So I wiggled it around, as well as the thermostat probes. So now the baking thermostat probe doesn't work, and I can't get current to the baking coil. The oven is now solely for storing idle roasting pans.

Instead, I'm making frozen mango dessert, the faux ice cream, that was so popular last year. And like pumpkin pies, I'll only be able to have a bite or two. My brother is a pumpkin pie nut, and makes the greatest pies and crusts. I make my own pumpkin filling by baking the pumpkin, and he swears it is the best ever. I like pumpkin pies too, but I don't see that big a difference from the canned filling.

With Dave, Kalon, and Cullen visiting I got my upstairs about half way squared away. The rest was fine, just the kitchen and living room were cluttered. Now they're a little cluttered instead of really cluttered.

I started up another batch of kid, and this was better than the first two go arounds. The coconut curry I did last time was a limited success, and I went back to a tomato base and longer simmer, to break down the fat. A hint of balsamic vinegar helped. It was a simple sautèing of the kid in a little olive oil, a lot of garlic powder and some salt. Then into the crock pot with two large cans of stewed diced tomatoes and two cans of hominy. I've found hominy is great in several kinds of soup, and it worked well with this too. I simmered on low for 24 hours. Had a bit with some rice then added some more hominy and several cut up Yukon gold potatoes, and simmered another 8-10 hours. There were a few other spices, mostly The Spice Hunter's Mexican Seasoning mix. It is quite good, if I say so myself. Pretty damned good in fact.

You may have noticed I added potatoes. I tried some potatoes several weeks ago, and this time no problem, though I had the definite feeling moderation is good. Nice because I really like potatoes, and can treat myself once in a while. I think my abrupt reaction several months ago, may have been as much from the morning coffee. My system seems to like variety, but at times rebels at too much new variety. How do you figure that out? I'm thinking at the beginning of the year I'll restart the elimination diet. My system has made some major adjustments, and it makes sense to go through the exercise again, now that my metabolism has adjusted. I seem to have slipped into a new lifestyle with regards to food, and while I still carry at least 20 extra pounds I actually feel slender at times, and that is some good positive feedback. I'm just starting to cross the 220 mark on my variable scale...

As I was cleaning up a bit this weekend something occurred to me. Cleaning up was generally something assigned as a punishment when I was a kid. Both parents had an unreasonable white glove approach for different reasons, so there was never a case of "Good job Scott." Got that good kind of feedback for lots of other things, but not cleaning jobs. I like having things neat and clean, but don't do the work voluntarily. Light bulb! Figured out the block. Will that be enough to finally make cleaning a regular routine? I'll let you know if I think of it.

I started off this morning with some more cooking. I'd been marinating some chicken for several days, the mild marinade that imparts a buttery taste. Some mistakes, or at least things to avoid in the future. Needed fresher rosemary, more cumin, maybe a touch more vinegar. I think a lot of driedparsleyy would create an attractive speckling too. I may have been low on salt, but it may have been the rinsing. Note: Light rinsing is great for more pungent marinades, but not for milder ones. It's still tasty, and made for a pretty nice breakfast.

Tonight it's rabbit, which has been marinating in teriyaki for several days. I'm trying to decide how to cook it, and am torn between sautèing and barbecuing. Maybe half each way... Then I'll have lots of kid stew, chicken pieces in sauce, and rabbit to freeze. At least I'll have some yummy lunches the next couple weeks.

It's been a food centric week. Some other things are going on, and I'll expound on another post.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Turkey Haze

What a fun morning. Both ends. Dave and Kalon, and young Cullen visited this weekend to help Kate move. She'll be heading over to Toronto, though she and Jim may move to BC at some point. I arranged the piano move, since I was bequeathed with a baby grand piano. Now I can take my step sister's upright piano to her the next time I go to Bellingham and there is decent weather. They now have room and I have an extra piano. Luckily I can move that one by myself, as I can back my truck right up to the basement door. I may have to lift one end of the piano for a bit, but the doorway is only a few inches different from the tailgate height, and lifting an half an upright piano a foot or less is pretty easy.

Anyway back to today's mornings. Dave and I watched an action flick (Basic) Saturday evening, and he sacked out a bit early last night. So Kalon and I chatted until about 2am! I've two friendships where I'm close to both partners in a marriage, and feel blessed. In both cases, I don't foresee problems, but if there were I can't imagine not remaining close friends with both. We talked about sexual politics through the ages -- from the beginnings of farming to high tech. That was just for starters. A great talk, then I got up at 7:30am for my second morning experience of the day to prepare for reading to the kids.

The first book was an autobiography by an author of children's books. It was pretty short and we briefly talked about how some things interest us, and others don't. It fit in perfectly, as about a third of the kids found a part of the story boring, though they all liked some of the silly bits. The author (Helen Lester) talked of being a "mirror writer" and writing backwards when she first learned to write, and how the teacher had to hold her papers in a mirror to read them. That caught pretty much everybody's attention.

Then I read some Shel Silverstein poems. When we have extra time, I read from Where The Sidewalk Ends. The kids love it, and so do I. I read requests from it a couple years ago, but had only read a quarter or so of the poems. I decided to do something this year that has worked out nicely. Start at the beginning and read every one in order.

One of the things I like most is when I start a poem that some of the kids know, but think boring. You can see them prepare to gut it out until a 'fun' one comes along, or whisper the bad news to a friend. Thank you ETI for the classical training last year. The language itself is usually fun, and Silverstein was a modern linguistic genius. Hitting the right words because of structure and such is natural, and having fun with it works great. The kids who prepared to be bored seem the most delighted. There's a little surprise they didn't expect. It's a huge boost for my ego, to be able to do that for them, as well has hearing the teachers chuckle from the other side of the room. They generally work on something while I'm reading to the kids, seeming satisfied with the balance I'm working for letting the kids cut loose a little, and quieting down for each other or the reading.

I'm having a ball. Kids don't care if your dialect isn't spot on or even close, so long as they make the character more distinct, identifiable, and fun. I like surprising them, and making them laugh at things they thought would be boring.

I read to both fourth grade classes. The second class is preparing a presentation for the other class on Wednesday. After we were done with the books, they wanted to ask me questions about acting. Quite flattering as their teacher is a Cornish grad from the acting program, and I'm sure put them up to it. I stayed an extra 15 minutes answering questions and telling short stories about stage fright, forgetting lines, etc. I enjoyed that immensely, and if I helped just one of them deal with or getting through nerves I'll be delighted.

Then, they had something for me. Kids from both classes had made Thanksgiving cards for me, and I was handed a large Manila envelope. It was most of the kids in one classroom, and one of the working 'teams' in the other. I looked at two cards this afternoon, and am saving the rest for the next few days when I get home. They are wonderful, and totally unexpected. I asked them if I could show the cards to my friends and they all answered with a big "Yes!"

For you US readers, have a great Thanksgiving. For you others, I pray w will be so busy manufacturing photo ops that he'll forget about his delusions of subjugating the rest of the world for a few days.

The Tab

The republicans have achieved most of their goals, and we will be haunted by them for years to come. Let's put aside the immorality and deception they used to start a war of aggression, and claiming that torture and other violations of international law is in fact taking the high ground. If we pull out of Iraq immediately we lose. If we stay we lose. I don't believe there is a way we can win. At the start the presence of 300,000 troops might have done the trick, but it is too late now. The new enemies created, established, and nurtured by the republicans are too entrenched. We'd now need 600,000 to 1,000,000 troops to have even a remote hope of fixing things. We as a nation are not willing to make that kind of sacrifice. Many liberals are willing to, as we there is a moral imperative to at least make a sincere effort to make things right which we have bolloxed, but the so called conservatives don't have the moxie, integrity, or courage to do it. No more than they had the courage to face the truth before attacking Al Qaeda's number two enemy for them -- Saddam's regime was at the top of their list and we did that chore better than they could have themselves. They'd rather point fingers and blame everybody else for their epic fuck up.

No matter what, we the American people will come out losers as a result of this republican pipe dream. And no matter what they will blame those doing their damnedest to clean up their mess for creating the mess, and again whine about democratic policies failing.

Same approach on taxes. We have a national debt which we couldn't imagine in our worst nightmares six years ago, and we're going to have to pay those bills before Halliburton, Bechtel, etc. demand payment and put our country in bankruptcy. The whiney little conservatives will again whimper about taxes, which are necessary to pay for their failed policies. And the tiny fraction which is used for domestic charity will be vilified for supporting those most heinous of beings, welfare mommies. Kind of overlooks the corporate welfare the republicans used to bankrupt the country with the apparent goal of quickly turning the US into a third world country with lots of cheap domestic labor.

Take the ridiculous WalMart behavior. An aide to Edwards tries to score a PS3. Instead of simply saying, "You've got to be kidding." WalMart makes a press release. Demonstrating very explicitly, that respecting the privacy of customers is an alien concept to them. Is it even legal to announce a customers query? I know the car insurance industry will increase your rates if you give out your name while shopping for a better deal, and also degrade your credit score. Your information is freely spread among insurance carriers, in order to keep you from protecting yourself from being gouged. I've no idea how this can be legal, shopping customer information to the world to keep them in line and rip them off. Whether you are attacking a critic or a bargain hunter, it is reprehensible. Of course, insurance is simply gambling, mandated by the state. Removing customer protections, makes the industry a gambling scam rather than a prudent investment. Is a variety store any different when they abuse somebody's privacy? Why doesn't the so-called liberal media whine about the invasion of privacy instead of mocking the victim?

Friday, November 17, 2006

And who's the Great Git Boy?

So that was nifty. I went and saw The Great Gatsby at the Seattle Repertory last night. Sixth row, aisle, free. I'd called earlier to order a ticket and when I asked about TPS (a local theatre professional organization) discount, they said I'd probably get a better seat if I came in on standby, since they only had a couple left to choose from, and undoubtedly some people with great seats would fail to show. I still thought the ticket would be $15. Nope, I showed them my membership card a little before the show and they gave me a ticket for $0.00, and told me where to wait. I talked to the usher, George, who is a local playwright, and as the house was closing the two of us on standby went in and had our choice of empty seats.

And it was a good show. My folks saw Doubt there recently, which they thought was the best show they've seen this year. It is nice to see the rep doing consistently good work again. What a difference an artistic director can make. With the exception of R&J, I liked most of the shows the previous artistic directed, but a lot of the other shows made imitation vanilla seem fresh and exciting.

I'd read The Great Gatsby in junior high school and didn't remember the story. The nasty little digs of some of the characters resonated, even though I thought the book insufferably dull and pretentious at the time. Likely I got the characters confused with the book itself. I was surprised I remembered even that much, and now I want to read it again. The weakest principal in the show was still a good connected performance, which I had no issues with. I think some different choices would have been better, but Daisy was still good and I'd recommend the show.

For me, it was quite timely. The callous indifference of the rich as they use and destroy the people they live off of screams out today. People like Bush, Cheney, and company who look on our country as something to coldly toy with for a little extra pocket change.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Meandering

The show's done, and I miss Wayne, though I still have the funny hairstyle. I keep forgetting to take a pic or two -- maybe I like the silly feel of the look. I'm thinking of actually using the dye remnant too. It's been opened as I only use half at a time, so the rest has to be tossed or used soon.

I feel I didn't do justice to Wayne thanks to the cold. I did much better the last two shows because I was finally past the parade of colds. Still, it was a choice too. I still have a day job, and I have to give that fair effort as well. When the bug came along, I had to choose. Something had to give, and I chose health and got more sleep where I could. To be honest, being sick is not something I can overcome at this point in my training anyway, so being healthier was probably the better artistic choice too. Sometimes feeling off can bring out great things in a role, but when it goes on and on... I opted to get sleep. It was the right choice, as getting sicker would have served nobody. Still it was frustrating to finally feel healthy and know I was at the point I should have been two weeks before opening, not two days before closing.

So that's my brutal personal honesty. I could have done a lot better. Factors mostly out of my control stepped in, factors I'll have to deal with if I switch day job careers. After the first cold started (thanks to the dislocated rib) I stopped all vices, and after the second one started I took up caffeine again. It actually seemed to help with some of the cold symptoms. Would have living clean prevented the first cold? I don't think so, but it is possible.

To be fair to myself, I did as well as I could given the circumstances. It's just knowing that bad luck diddled me that is irritating. It was certainly an order of magnitude better than anything I did before ETI. I feel even at the beginning of my effort to assimilate that training I should have done another order of magnitude better. Reasonable expectation? Maybe. I truly found it frustrating to not have time to do things I really wanted to do. More physical work. More text analysis. More character work. You know something though? Even doing line throughs, scene work, and thinking of things as I'm going to sleep can't help but bring those things into focus. I'd have liked to dedicate more time to it, but I'm constantly thinking of things like character, text work and physicality while doing the other rehearsal and performance tasks. I suppose the fact those are things I really want to do is indicative of something.

The constant work during ETI changed my process priorities. I got off book early. When I was under the weather I worked hard on staying connected and focused and their concomitant actions and motivations. Those were advanced things for me a couple years ago, and now they are the basic building blocks. It is what I want to build from, not spend most of my time building to. Once those are solid, change becomes easier. Changing tactics doesn't come for me until I have the others.

Thursday was the last day I felt sick, but I could feel the ickiness lifting. That was the night my folks came. My stepmom thinks I'm brilliant, and that is wonderful to hear. My Dad has my favorite laugh in the whole world. He's 75, which given our family history means I should be enjoying his laugh for at least 15 more years, and maybe even 25 or more if longevity increases for his generation. Still it was somehow all the more sweet to hear his laugh when the realization struck me backstage I won't be hearing that laugh for the rest of my life unless I punch out early. It wasn't a sad thought. It only increased my enjoyment of the moment. Is it age, growth, becoming an artist, or all of the above. To be cheered by the realization of a loved one's mortality? Simply letting yourself live in the moment. It is what we strive for as performing artists, and a good life goal too.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On My Feet

So... Last night was very nice. The ravages of my cold weren't the biggest obstacle, I felt my best physically in over a month -- since the viral review of colds started promenading in my head and throat. I was so much more present and focused. I've no idea if cast and crew saw a difference, but I sure as Hell felt it and am really looking forward to tonight.

I even noticed and enjoyed my new physicality a lot more. Just the warm-up was hugely different. My voice was easier to warm-up and loosen without having to constantly clear it and hold back coughing fits. I had a couple horrible coughing fits on stage, but managed to keep them in control so I didn't interrupt lines/actions. One person thought it was good the way I made the coughing seem so real... Maybe I covered a lot better than I'd hoped for. Also while I was stretching and such it is a lot easier to breathe. Not only the reduced congestion, but the reduced belly. While having the belly in the way helped me expand the back of rib cage in order to get a little breath, I can breath deeply now in the same stress positions.

Mostly I was able to really explore the character a lot more. Previously, I'd been directing most of my energy towards staying in the world of the play, so I'd not lose focus or connection. Last night I didn't have to consciously struggle with that or my lines, those two basics came so much more easily. I was getting more specific, getting more affected, etc. And, my voice was working! Now that it is finally almost normal, the last month has made it seem a bit strange. I dropped off voice a couple times, but I'd say I had good projection for all but three or four sentences.

Too damn bad we're closing tonight. This is where I felt I should have been the last week of rehearsal. And while I'm disappointed with most of the run, my work probably doesn't compare to what I did before ETI. It is a good show though, and the audiences are loving it and talking about it animatedly during intermission and afterwards. While I'm frustrated I didn't do better it is nice to start feeling the edges of where I can go. Like finding the water's edge on an iceberg. There's a lot more above you, and another magnitude right under the surface.

One of my co-workers came last night. Phil has a degree as a concert pianist, and he quite enjoyed the show, checking on their season schedule. Vince also came. He was the artistic director for Exchange Theatre, and wrote one of my letters of recommendation for ETI. I saw him before the show, and when I felt the instruments clicking during warm up I felt better. I really wanted to validate his support. Plus he is a friend and terrific actor/director himself and a good person.

Greg also showed up. He's come to more of my shows than anyone but my folks and maybe Beth. That's a good friend. We hung out for an hour or two after the show at Racha's. It's moderately priced, but they have terrific seafood and a simple bar. Jenny from the cast, and Frank and Lea other friends of Greg's, and like Greg alumni of Next Step Theater, were with us too. Five was a nice sized group, and the get together lasted the perfect length of time. I had a small very small snack (a small carrot I think) when I got home, and too much chocolate. Three bars. They aren't very big, but then I realized 4.5 ounces is over a quarter pound. Then I felt like a big fat pig. Still slept great though. The best night's sleep in a month.

I'm off for closing night. Looking forward to it, and a little rest, though I'm hoping to schedule at least one audition next week...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Regular Guy

I lost 10 pounds in 24 hours. Given my scale fluctuation it might have been closer to 9. Funny, as I've taken off weight the scale fluctuation has reduced. This morning I was down to 216. That's the lowest in more than a decade. I think I weighed about that when I got out of the Navy in September 1993, and if not I did within the year.

I expect to be back in the low 220's by the end of the week. I had a crampy feeling and lost most my appetite since Saturday, yet was putting on weight quickly. It sounds obvious I'm sure, but the pain kept me from realizing it. I was chilled and sleeping only about 90 minutes at a shot on Tuesday. I went home early and to bed early, so it was at least fun to quickly check election results between bits of sleep. And I was able to get back to sleep. Never having needed that 'kind of medicine' except once over twenty yours ago for a backwards pumped barium experience. I took a dose of salts, literally. I have Epsom salts for soaking and bath salts, and never thought I'd need them internally. And today I'm less of a man for it. Or at least, I'm not as full of shit as normal. ;)

This diet I'm on has helped with significant weight loss. And that wasn't the intent, but trying to find food sensitivities forces one off all packaged snack foods and most if not all prepared meals. Fast foods? Not even in the galaxy. You know, it is more work but I haven't really missed it. I feel better, even though I've been fighting nasty back to back colds the last month. When it comes to preparing a snack instead of opening an irritating mylar bag, you generally realize that you're not really hungry. Still, I do eat more fresh fruit and veggies than ever before.

Assuming I am in the lower 220's once I recover from the recent cure, I'm pleased as that was my hope for the beginning of the year. Maybe I'll beat that hope by 10 or 20 pounds. I'll try and get some snapshots this weekend, and update my blog picture. My face does look a lot different, to me anyway, and not just the cheesy mustache and sideburns which are too long to be professional, and too short to be cool. I told my fellow players I thought it had that kind of Ron Jeremy doofus look, and only one or two looked puzzled. A couple others pretended puzzlement which was funnier than those who out and out laughed.

I am pleased and a little surprised at the election results. I am one who believes that republicans regularly fix voting machines and counts. Not that dems don't ever do it, but the corporate (read corrupt) nature of the gop lends itself to that kind of behavior, along with voter suppression with intimidation and misinformation. What that means is that when democrats win it is the result of a super majority, not a real majority. I didn't think enough people were willing to admit they'd been bamboozled to accomplish that yet. I'm happy to be wrong.

I'm also wrong about Allen conceding in Virginia. I figured the recount, which usually gives an edge to democrats as it is harder to suppress/change votes in that atmosphere, was going to go on to the bitter end. Then the gop'ers would cry fowl claiming the increasing margin for the democratic win demonstrates the voter fraud. It happened here in Washington when recounts overturned the initial gubernatorial results. Our state auditor is one of the rare honest politicians, and even rarer, like Dan Evans a republican with integrity.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All Dressed Up...

Our show for tonight was canceled because there were zero presales. I've debated this with numerous actors the last couple years. Generally, I'd prefer to put up the show. The space is paid for, and an extra run without an audience while a let down is not a waste of time. As you get into a run, you find things you'd like to try. Well, I do anyway. Some things are small enough to go for, but others may not be something you want to try on a paying audience without a lot of thought first.

It seems most other actors would disagree with me. Take a day of rest where you can. Now, some feel that putting on a show for just a couple walk-ups is not fair to the audience because they miss the chemistry of a full show. I solved this once by asking the house manager to comp them to a future show of their choice, since we'd decided to use the show as a pick-up rehearsal. They were delighted, and even watched the rehearsal as well as bringing along quite a few paying friends when they used their comps. Hadn't expected that, so it was a nice bonus. I nearly got stuck buying the tickets as I gave them the comps before the house manager arrived, and when she got there told her I'd cover the two tickets if it was a problem.

The producer and house manager (Ben and Gwen) will still be there tonight to make the comp offer, and while we'll miss the rehearsal opportunity, we'll not alienate any walk up traffic. It allowed me to vote after work instead of before, and I'm looking forward to the night off now. Still, given a choice ahead of time... We have a great chemistry, and I think people would have chosen to skip the show given the choice, so I'm not upset. It is something that should probably be brought up during rehearsals, but maybe board decisions for this type of business is better. My mind is not made up. So, I'll not mourn missing the boards tonight, rather I'll simply enjoy having a respite to help finish off this damn cold.

Excedrin Headache #43

I saw part of csi last night, the one with David Caruso. Why is this dreck so popular? Most of the acting by the regulars is utterly atrocious, sometimes rising to forced caricatures and fakey emotions. The decent acting where it appears are characters for which you can have no sympathy. Take Caruso's character. It is believable compared to others in the show, but a still an over the top tedious, pretentious, judgmental character. All the boorishness of Sgt Friday from the old Dragnet show, but without the wry (sometimes self-effacing) wit and human warmth. Never thought I'd talk of human warmth in Webb's character. I remember loving Webb when he showed up on the Tonight Show, and generally had Johnny in stitches. I've never seen Caruso on Letterman or Ferguson, yet I can't imagine humility in the man. If he has it, which I suspect he does, he is a brilliant actor in need of an artistic outlet. But the Caruso csi character's total lack of humility or humanity makes it pretty unappealing, especially compared to old formulaic cop shows.

Last night's show, the bit I watched, consisted of cops badgering witnesses, one for selling high performance tires to the victim, making a ponderous point, over and over and over and..., that he was somehow responsible for the death by selling high performance tires to a teen-ager who got his head lopped off doing a stunt. How fucking stupid can you get? Yeah, sell the kid inferior tires for his racing around, and it will save him from decapitation when sticking is head out of the sunroof. Now there's a great idea. Does anyone actually sympathize with the bizarre and preachy law enforcement characters in these shows? Maybe if they got preachy about sensible things, or had half a drop of humanity in the characters to water down their overbearing smugness and self-righteousness they'd be bearable. I didn't even wait for the commercial to switch it off.

Even trying to write about the show makes me sound a bit officious like all the cop characters. I know real cops, used to hang with them when I was in the Navy. They are human, and compassionate. That is what burns them out, and the portrayal of assholes burning out does not ring true. They're the ones that don't. These characters are written as one dimensional, but not so much so that the acting/directing combo could create some near reality based and complex characters. I can only assume the producers/advertisers won't allow it. Too bad. There is some real acting talent in these shows, though you mostly see it in the witnesses and perpetrators who are more likely to be real, though the villains are often as one dimensional as the cops when the writers get lazy.

I don't watch much network tv, but I often see snippets of csi as channel 7 (CBS) is my default as I use the news as my alarm. They always leave me with the same after-taste. And when they can't figure out some unbelievable plot to go along with the unbelievable premise that csi constitutes real law enforcement, they simply write about some mysterious terrorist, without any believable motivations or goals, just a make believe boogie man to go for the Wes Craven angle.

And the major networks can't figure out why they keep losing market share. I turned off cable at my house, even though I could get some basic stuff for free with the cable modem. Shows like this and the *700 club are the reason I refuse to make an effort to bring them into my house, and am willing to make a minor effort to purge them. If you are disgusted with what is on tv, disconnect cable/satellite. I don't miss it, and even though it would be free I'm happier knowing I've made an insignificant statement about network programming. Enough insignificant statements...

Why does this shitty programming bother me so much right now? Maybe because I was friends with one of the guest stars this Summer while we were doing The Merchant of Venice. Not really, though it may add something to my irritation that his talents may be squandered. No, it is mostly the anger of portraying cops as omnipotent warriors without meaningful restraint. It does not reflect the real world, and worse yet it glorifies the attitude and mob cowardice that have led to our current state of affairs in this country. As a nation we act out of fear more than for all other reasons combined. Were we always this way, or is this mob cowardice a (hopefully) transient psychotic episode our nation is going through? This sort of show is wonderful propaganda for maintaining a fear based culture, while removing restraint from the hands of public servants.

I'm sure not every episode is vile in the way I've described, and I've seen parts of shows that don't seem to be anything more offensive than incredibly pretentious, which I can generally deal with. Most of them though... Well, who needs emetics?

*Repeat rant from a couple months ago: And the 700 club, Pat Robertson's personal evangelical instrument for the dissemination hate and implementation of international assassination is on Disney's f@@@ing ABC family channel!

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's All About Me

So, there was something else nice at our opening show. My sister-in-law, nephew and nieces noticed my weight loss. So far, people have only noticed when I mentioned it first. But the nasty back to back colds have at least helped with that. I've actually had the scale show me at under 220 a few times, but I think 222 is about where I'm at now given the scale fluctuation factor. I'd hoped to drop another ten pounds in a month or two, not a week or two. That is over thirty pounds lost so far (I started at 255-6). Soon I'll need a new headshot! I already look significantly different, but I'm waiting until my weight stabilizes. Hopefully around 190-200. I've weighed as low as 160 as an adult, but that was in 1990 and while it felt better than being overweight it was a little light for my size and bone structure, but was nice for the long distance running I was doing at the time. I've gained some muscle mass since those days, and I'd like to hold onto some of it.

My nieces and nephew are great. They were like really excited about the show you know. It was really great, and they like used the 'f' word in the show. Jimmy had two of his friends with him from the drama club -- I guess the football and hockey friends weren't as interested. He is quite the popular kid with all the different groups at his high school, and it drives his older sister the senior nuts. Being an older brother myself I understand. Jim and his friends were excited for two reasons. All the women in the cast are attractive, and the two which I have relationships with in the show are the ones they thought were really hot. And the more flattering thing was how much they were jazzed by the show, saying it was super for them to see what good actors can do on stage. Pretty high praise in my book. Especially nice after the way I've been berating myself. Being sick for performances is not as fun, but having the surprise appearance of family like that sure made a difference.

On Sunday my friend Beth and her mom, Peg, noticed my weight loss too. Finally, I"m at the tipping point where people notice. My nieces and nephew were particularly flattering. "Wow Uncle Scott, you're skinny and cute again." It feels peculiar to have teenagers say you're cute, but it was nice and I remembered to be gracious. I think I commented here a year or two back when I visited them on the 4th of July, and the nieces and their friends were looking at old pictures from when I was in the Navy and said in a kind of shocked way, "Geesh, Uncle Scott used to be really hot." Maybe it isn't so shocking anymore.

Along with the proclivity to carry extra weight, I get much of my basic physical build from my mom's side of the family. Very much a tapered 'V' kind of thing, thanks to really wide Scandinavian shoulders and chest. I was a little startled to notice in the bathroom mirror at work that it is starting to stand out again. The kids were being sweet, as I'm nowhere near skinny yet. I still carry extra weight, but I guess I'm not really fat anymore, at least not by American standards. It is nice to have that little advantage back. Looking buffer than I am because of the wide shoulders. They are a royal pain in the ass on airline, stadium, theatre, car, or motorcycle seats. I usually have to lean forward or seat twisted to make room for my shoulders. As I lose the waist dimensions, the damn things finally stand out again. My vane side likes that, and the more practical side wonders if it could ultimately help me with getting cast in shows.

I feel like I'm finally getting over this damn cold. I sounded like a frog on Friday and Saturday, and was worried I'd lose my voice. I worked hard to keep my voice in my chest and the pipes open so there'd be very little stress, and I kept the squeaking to a minimum. Had a little more range back yesterday afternoon, but developed a coughing fit. Keeping the coughs back until I had lines, and using them in a way that punctuated my text, or at least kept me from making it unintelligible seemed to work. It in turn made my sinuses cut loose. I did a lot of acting with the coughs and nose tissue. Luckily it is a show about a party, so I was able to pour myself drinks to sip which helped. I kept the tissue work subtle, like you would at a party and it seemed to work out alright. The play is about an opening night and "Did you catch it when I went out the window?" is a repeated question by my character. I had a little fun with that with my friends, "Did you catch it when I was coughing and blowing my nose?" It took them a moment to get the joke, so I guess I covered about as well as I could. Still, I don't want to go through that again anytime soon.

So it's been a hard month, with a couple nasty colds. Are the 4th graders immunizing me? They helped me drop an extra ten pounds, sooner than I'd hoped for, which isn't all bad. Speaking of the 4th graders, I sure do enjoy my Monday mornings again. This was the hardest thing to give up when I did ETI last year, and at times I feel like I haven't assimilated nearly what I should have in ETI, my improved skills taking on voices and characters while reading to the kids are something I can notice both in myself and my ability to hook that wonderfully young and curious audience. The kids are a fun crowd, and if you're honest with them they respond wonderfully. Like performing Shakespeare at the prison. If you bring truth, they'll bring their spirit into the show. If you bring caricature they'll check out immediately.

Another funny thing happened as a result of the training. I invest more in the text I am reading. I like to read the books aloud twice before reading them to the kids, as I am more easily emotionally involved in them, yes even kids books. It doesn't take much involvement for me to get a little choked up, if I'm not breathing appropriately. For example, this morning I read of a true story about a Newfoundland (from Newfoundland) helping rescue the passengers of a foundering ship in 1832. I already knew the parts about the recognition from the King and such at the end moved me, and took breaths there to let me honor the feeling without getting mired choked up breathing. Much like preparing for stage work, knowing when and how to breath. Yup, not only do I enjoy reading for the kids, but it is good for me too.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Real Life

Okay, wow. Opening night went better than I expected. I've got a nasty cold, and think I sound like a frog. A big, lovely surprise though. My sister-in-law, nieces, nephew, and their friends came to the show. A group of eight, and I'd no idea they were coming. They seemed really excited after the show, and you can't ask more than that.

I'm tired, our show about an opening night party just opened, and we hung out at T.S. McHugh's for a bit of an opening night party. Not as funny or as dysfunctional. A wonderful time as far as I'm concerned.

I got to meet several significant others, including one who was an MLB pitcher, five years for the Mariners. I've had several people ask me my favorite aviation movie as I'm a former military flyer, so I asked him his favorite baseball movie. He had to think. Not the The Natural as it was to unrealistic. Probably Bull Durham, for it's portrayal of the minor leagues. Of course, professional athletes get distracted by the mechanics of actors -- that's not the way they really do it syndrome. It sounds like it is worse for them than it is for us watching military flyers in the movies, even though the inaccuracies sound a lot less egregious. Perhaps that is my perception getting in the way.

So, I had fun meeting other people's friends and significant others. Now if I can just get rid of this sore throat and cold so I sound less like a frog.