Acting Up

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

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

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Friday, November 30, 2007



I'm getting over a bug. I'd be over it I believe, but I went back to work too long yesterday. Oh well, if you live, you have the potential to learn from it.

Henry Hyde doesn't merit his own post here. Why is it someone who is the epitome of scum, a cynical user of other's spiritual beliefs and fears for profit and power, suddenly becomes slightly admirable when they croak? Whatever slime or gilt we earn in life is all we leave behind in this mortal coil. Right now we also have shitflower Rove claiming congress rushed the white house into Iraq. Anyone else see the similarity in these bits of denying history? I suspect neither of these users of their fellow man honored or recognized any potential for growth in themselves, much less in others.

We're all maladjusted to some extent, and when we see Calvin & Hobbes do we like to believe that's our kind of maladjustment? I do. When Calvin falls into greed or other vices like I do at times, he either meets cosmic retribution or is the agent of retribution for someone in his life. Is that what differentiates me from the likes of the sub-humans above? I'm painfully aware of my fallibility and that allows me the opportunity to become a better person and grow. It allows me to see the same potential for growth in others. How can unchangeable power mongers ever see any good in themselves or others? That is what makes good people despise the neocon cabal, or previous ones of either political ilk. They nurture and grow on the detritus of decaying virtues they've killed in their followers. Evil seems to thrive on the compost of dead virtue.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dishonor Before Discomfort

I have KIRO set as the station for my tv alarm. I woke at 7am this morning, not particularly early although pretty good for me. Got to work a little earlier than usual without having to forgo any of my rituals. It helped that I wasn't a bit hungry. Now there's a conundrum. I don't want to force myself to eat when I'm not hungry, that's an old bad habit. I don't want to skip breakfast, that's another old bad habit. I'd like to keep from falling into either bad habit again. This time I grabbed some carrots and a bit after I got to work had them and some v8. Not a balanced breakfast, but I didn't skip it and waited until I was hungry.

Now back to news on KIRO, and why I lost my apetite. Pretty lame seque, but hey, it's the Monday after Thanksgiving. They were talking about the big post Thanksgluttony sales, and even went into the prices at WalMart. During the news segment they ran this infomercial. This is the left coast, right? The media is liberal, right? So, do two lefts make a wrong? Or is the whole liberal slant of the media and the west coast more mythological than w's military service? Needless to say, the local newscast lost a great deal of credibility in my mind.

On the way to work, our domestic journalists lost a lot more credibility. I was listening to the NPR station out of Bellingham, as I'd just come back from there Saturday evening. They were talking to an Iraqi journalist whose brother, sister, and their families had been killed. While I understand the difficulty of standing up to well-heeled publishers, I don't respect the failure. Like so many other aspects of american life, I was reminded of how easy we have it and how soft we really are. Would our major corporations/government like to have the same power? It's a stupid question, because the answer has been thrown in our faces. From our la-z-boy induced comfort, will we raise in time to slow the slide into violent dictatorship? It has become sadly apparent the last six years, we are not as far away as I'd thought.

Would our journalists stand up against real and imminent death threats? I think some would. What I find puzzling and inexplicable is my related belief that fewer journalists would or do stand up against the pressures from ultra-rich publishers. Or maybe I can. When you have nothing, standing up for the truth at great cost does not threaten your life style. Much the same with my employment. If I speak too openly I'll not have a job for long, so I try to be circumspect, and it takes a bit of seniority to make one more open. Much like a journalist who is working for morally bankrupt rupert. Our comfort buffers us from the dire.

I think that same obeisant journalist would not be so likely to suppress the truth if he/she was living with the constant and imminent threat of death. So, while even our outlets who aren't as far to the right as FOX, like the NYT, are still tools for the reactionary conservatives. Remember, they were utterly FOXy in their oversight of Judith Miller, without whom the launching of the Profiteer's War would have been a lot more troublesome for the neocons.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Got Thanks?

Wow. As I was about to leave the office Tuesday I saw a mail from the director of Troilus and Cressida in my inbox. Since callbacks were the previous Wednesday I figured it was a polite thank you but... Surprisingly they make me feel better, I find that bit of closure is nice and will lift up my spirits when I'm not cast, which is most of the time. I'm not quite sure why, though I there are a couple possibilities. It could be knowing I've not been cast makes it easier to deal with and move on than the assumption with it's infinitesimal doubt. It could be the courtesy of letting me know I've not been cast is appreciated makes it easier to take. Probably both to some degree, as well as other things.

That made the surprise even nicer when I found I was offered two small roles, King Priam and Calchus. I accepted. That's a good way to start of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Rehearsals don't start until the end of January, so if I'm a good boy that should be plenty of time to do some exhaustive script analysis. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I love NPR. I saw the headlines about how the Blackwater branded american terrorists had been granted immunity a couple weeks back. On the way in to work, I then heard how they are trying to correct the situation. I had a concern this was yet another victory in the distressingly successful republican assault on our form of government. Failing to honor immunity deals is something our wannabe dictators would love. Another win-win situation if they handle it right. Keep the light of day out of their mechanisms, and if that fails destroy the ability to use immunity to investigate them in the future. Who would ever testify against corrupt politicians again? Luckily NPR went into a little more detail. It was the State Department who offered immunity to the contractors (terrorists/mercenaries for hire in this case). It was not Justice, and while that may prevent using those particular statements from being used, the State Department does not have the power to grant immunity.

Of course, the State Department has shown their level of oversight, hence the attempt by the culpable bosses to further stymie investigations. I'd bet a good deal of moola the improper immunity wasn't offered to elicit testimony, so much as to keep those same statements out of a courtroom, where they would become public. The idea a department under rice would have high ethical standards or be transparent is so laughable it loses it's humor. After all it was handed to her when the once honorable powell starting showing signs of restlessness from his sad vantage on w's lap.

Thanks to NPR my suspicion the conservatives were going to ruin the tool of immunity was a put away. The last thing they can afford is to have people who can testify against their talking heads. It is hard to underestimate their morals or overestimate their audacious villainy. Luckily for them, and sadly for us, the likes of Clinton and Pelosi have shown they aren't interested in fixing america. Rather they want the heady power of absolute corruption painstakingly constructed by the repubs for themselves. Of course the conservatives are just as stupid. Like me they don't want dems to wield the kind of power they had, but they quiver in their little pink airport booties at the very hint of taking the abuse back out of american politics. Of course reining in what the dems could do in a couple years, requires the current ship of state be rocked. It is a must, or they will have an even harder fall than they can imagine.

Suppose we elect a president and a few more senators and congressmen who have ethics which aren't available to the highest bidder. They'll be fighting both democrats and republicans. With or without some honest and stout elected officials, what is the legacy of Pelosi, Clinton, and company? Nothing new. We must try to hold these cowards accountable, even if it is as futile as the last decade with the gop. I wonder if their refusal to restore democracy and rule of law has less to do with being beltway insiders, and more to do with cowering over what the fear mongering right might accuse them of. Either way, we as the voters must make it hard for them. Obviously we can't compete with corporations at their own level, but if we find our balls as a nation our votes in aggregate could spank them.

Can you imagine our politicians and multi-national corporations being treated no better than citizens like you and I? The rich shallow shriek it would destroy civilization as we know it. First a question. Haven't the rich done that already? Second, an observation. There are a few rich people who realize it would only make them less obscenely wealthy (Buffet saying he is under taxed for example), but they are sadly, very rare. Even more sad is the very people the rich prey on, are even less likely to see that holding the rich and powerful to at least the same level of accountability as everyone else would be a good thing.

So, it looks like the Blackwater war criminals will be harder to prosecute as a result of rice's minions and their bogus immunity deals. But the privateers (what else can you call privatized mercenaries?) and their sponsors amoral ass covering may not be the get out of jail free card rice and her handlers had hoped. Of course Mukasey makes it easier for them. We can have all sorts of morally deficient pols and mouths spouting how wonderful and patriotic Blackwater is. Still, those of us who are actually subject to prison for committing felonies are starting to see that privatized mercenaries are probably the next to last segment of society who should be trusted to act in the interest of society without oversight.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Killer Auditor

I've been quiescent lately. All over the place, not just here. Had a couple more auditions this week. Sunday was a cold read, and I was timid in my physicality and even realized it at the time. Then I made a bad decision, kept going the same way. Geesh, doing the wrong thing would have been better. At least it would have shown some kind of range. Last night I had a classic and a modern monolog for Troilus and Cressida. I had to shorten both, as it was a tight schedule. I was aware of myself evaluating technical things, like my voice, intention, action, text, and movement. With the movement I found myself being consistent in defining my world, and realizing I wasn't happy with my choices, and more, they should have been less consistent between the two. Both monologues I was talking to someone in the same freaking spot. There were little realizations with the other aspects as well.

I of course commenced an orgy of self-flagellation walking back to the car. Then I thought about it a bit. Without letting myself off the hook for doing a lot more work on my audition skills, I gave myself a little credit. I'm not getting into the character or really living through the character's lens in the audition. Doh. I've had that problem all along. Still, I got past the loud frightened monotone sound of a 10 year old talking in front of the school assembly. I don't know that I ever sounded quite that monstrous, but I did in my head and honestly, it couldn't have been much better.

Logic doesn't count here. I get more nerves from a couple of auditors than a large packed house -- which I love. Remember towards the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?" I tell myself that about auditors, and something inside still makes them killer bunnies. I've been an auditor, and know that's not usually the case, but even that direct knowledge doesn't stop the head from playing games.

At least I do continue to have more fun with auditions, which should have told me something. My mind became conscious of lots of technical things I need to work on. I still wasn't connecting or living in the world, but I had a passing acquaintance with the character. Before just the horror of how I must sound was about all I had in my head, so this is a big move. Forward, I hope.

Practice, practice, practice. That's what I need. A couple weeks ago I had a couple auditions, so now I'm up to four. Another sixteen and maybe I'll have a part. I'm figuring if I get something 5% of the time I'm doing good. Due to luck and prior acquaintance I've done much better in the past, but now that I'm auditioning differen't places I don't expect that luck again for a while. I do plan on doing some more audition workshopping or hooking up with a coach or two. I'm not ready for that yet, and may not be for a bit. I need to assimilate so much right now, that a workshop would be more of a placebo. Sugar pills don't work so well when you're in on the trick.

Last night my auditioner chuckled a couple times at my modern monologue, and in the appropriate places. That was a watershed, and damnit, I thought so at the time which further demonstrated my distance from the world I need to be in. Maybe I'll be considered for some pretty small roles. We had a nice chat even though I blurted out a stupid question, wondering if a friend who had been in her production of The Tempest was auditioning. It felt like a big faux pas to me, and she was very gracious and did nothing to make me feel faux pas-ier.

I have a two or three more auditions lined up for next week. I'm being slightly selective. Looking for productions that have some appeal to me, and aren't a miserable commute. It wasn't that long ago I'd go for anything with commutes up to an hour or two. The first speaking role I had was in Port Orchard, and a long drive. It included a ferry ride, and that is where I learned most my lines. That is a lot harder to do now. We've had so many tax initiatives for the greedy, that about the only things left are conservative pork barrels, which don't cover public transit. Ferry schedules are deliberately inconvenient, as opposed to the last forty or fifty years. Why is it the dems let the corporate sock puppets get away with every bit of pork they can, while gutting public services in the name of pork reduction? Kind of like shooting someone in the head seven times to save them from drowning.

Now I look for roles that will grow my art. There are still lots of opportunities, and the concommitant increase in opportunities to hone my audition skills. Well I'm getting ahead of myself. I need to get an edge on them first.