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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Very Gay Play ;^)

Getting ready for another short run. The Amazing Dickie, for which the title of this post is the subtitle goes up tomorrow, and closes Saturday. It's felt like an abbreviated rehearsal schedule, which brings up stress and abject fear. Most of tech was yesterday, and we ran through the first act in order, but with delays between. It is another challenging character for me, and I tried some different things which felt like they worked out well. A lot better than I expected in fact, and while the director didn't have notes for me, I made quite a few.

I still feel like I have at least 80% of my training from ETI (a one year conservatory program I finished about two years ago) to assimilate. It is nice to at least have the feeling that I am improving greatly. It helps me deal with the constant feeling of being an utter drub when I'm on the boards.

I'm horrible about announcing shows I'm in, so if you're a reader please consider this a personal invite! I vow to do better in the future.

On another note, it turns out I am an inch too tall for the bit (one of the soldiers) they wanted me for at the Seattle Opera. The good news, I'm the alternate for another bit (one of the guards) that is on stage a whole lot more. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing Aida from either the stage or my subscription seat. I've heard about it a lot, partly because it's a favorite in crossword puzzles. All the vowels I suppose.

Friday, June 20, 2008


It's not a compromise bill,
its a compromised bill!

It looks like the telecoms are going to get immunity. It is an action that speaks louder than any words from either party. Much like embracing torture as a fun way to conduct ourselves, something at odds with the foundations of our nation. We are no longer a nation of law, but of fear and power. The telecoms get a free ticket for knowingly breaking the law, because it wasn't really their fault the administration broke the law in asking them to abet. Such alibis would not work for you and I.

Alibi 1, "the decider told us to": If our boss asked us to do something illegal we'd still go to jail. They probably wouldn't. So the telecoms are getting a free ride that citizens never would.

Alibi 2, "the decider is above the law": We'd never get this kind of dispensation, even though in theory our elected officials should be more beholden to the law of the land than we are. So the president is not subject to the laws he is sworn to uphold against us.

Telecoms spying. Torture, in house and outsourced. Cooking intelligence. Etc.

It seems everything which has tarnished our democracy and reputation is initiated by scum who believe they are above the law and carried out by avaricious scum who either blindly follow or lead the pres by the nose.

PS - And now Obama is supporting the FISA bill? Please say it ain't so -- it is the very type of criminal assault on the law of the land that will drive me to a third party, particularly if the virtual pardon granting telecom immunity is included. On the up side, this kind of behavior has a slim chance of creating a viable third party candidate -- though the republicrats/democans/liebercrats would be united in their efforts to create additional third party candidates for diluting the power of the disaffected if anyone became an actual threat.

PSS - Obama may have just saved the republican party.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

McCain's campaign seems to make no sense whatsoever. We've finally started to crawl out of the hole of trauma induced cowardice and he's running on a fear based campaign. He's running as if we were just suffered another major terrorist attack and the GOP hadn't discredited themselves with fear mongering. The only thing at this point which could turn around the abysmal performance would be a new terrorist attack before the election. Listen to him. He is running as if an attack just happened, which will only work if we are attacked before the election.

Just a little thing for the conspiracy theorists to chew on. We all know that not even the decider would never allow an attack on the fatherland or suddenly catch/kill Bin Laden days before the election as a craven political ploy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SureWould (Random Thoughts)

The democrats are about to reaffirm their obedience to the republican belief the president should be above the law.
:: Sorry Mr. Kucinich. Sorry America. Sorry Planet.

McCain finished at the bottom of his class, 894/899. Some claim that is because he is a rebel, the same crowd that worships the "No Child Left Behind" blight to gut all education in lieu of narrow trade school training. The conservatives only apply academic standards where they are inappropriate. He still finished the academy, and I'd bet big money it was thanks to his daddy the admiral.

Now we've set the stage for the beginning of his career. We all know he was shot down and spent five and a half years in Hell -- as a POW. He is a hero for surviving and I believe his refusal to be released early (because of his Father's prominence) was a real act of bravery. That experience didn't magically make him more competent, though it opened the door for many opportunities. That is perfectly reasonable. He was given command of a training squadron, and is credited with earning them the MUC. When I was in the service it was generally granted for political points, or used by martinets as the only way they could get recognition. Also during my time in the Navy, training commands weren't the ones given to golden boys. He is credited with improving the squadron, and my jaundiced eye reads between the lines. All in all, an undistinguished career, other than opportunism punctuated by the horrific stay in Hanoi Hilton.

Nobody should have to go through what he went through at the hands the North Vietnamese. Even if they are our enemies. They say bad things happen to good people. My personal opinion is that McCain is a good example of bad things happening to people who are not so good, or at my most charitable, to unremarkable flip-floppers.

Why was Obama my only choice since Edwards dropped out? He appears to me to be the only candidate who takes stands rather than trying to game the polls while at the same time pandering to the bottom feeders for their party. I don't agree with everything Obama says. He could disagree with me on a much larger number things, and I'd still support him. You see, I actually feel I know where he stands.

I can't say the same for McCain. Is he against torture? Kind of, almost... Is Hillary opposed to the war? Kind of, now, almost...

Of course we know where Bush stands. For the uber wealthy and against everybody else. His lies and once charming (to some) illiteracy cover up the harsh reality. He is "Hood Robin", taking every possible cent from the poor and giving it to the rich. Would the old machine candidates (McCain and most the other gop'rs, Hillary and a lot of the other dem's) be any different? That is the question everyone needs to honestly ask themselves. While you're conclusion may well be different, I'd hope you'd prefer "Robin Hood."

The republicans blocked extending benefits for the jobless. I guess they need to economize in order to bankroll the tax cuts for the wealthy executives, so they can more easily cover the initial cost of permanently outsourcing more jobs. Curious this is more heavily reported in the foreign media.

Like I said yesterday, for the first time in my adult life I feel our country may be moving in the right direction (even if it is to the left). Towards responsibility. Towards honor. Even the democratic party has taken a step in the right direction! Still we have to constantly watch those driven by avarice. The ANWR can only be destroyed once. Yet, it has to be saved several times every year. Eventually we'll allow the oil companies to poison. It won't put off the day when we deplete the planet's oil reserves by very much. It won't save us a cent at the gas pump. It will give the oil companies and their puppets (all those bribed politicians) a nice windfall. The hunger for destruction is eternal, whether for it's own sake (i.e. wars for the heck of it) or the greed of a few (i.e. oil), and keeping them in check enough that we can heal scars faster than they are created may be a losing battle for mankind. The basis of hope, is the belief there is a possibility we can save our nest before the blindly avaricious piss it out of existence.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I am really excited about Obama clinching. As you've no doubt figured from my ponderous past posts, I don't think much of Clinton for her support in starting the Iraq War and all the predictable war crimes being the bad guy leads to, or for her belated and neocon style cold-hearted use of the military, dead, active-duty and veterans alike. A good deal of my life's baggage summed up there. So there is a deep and unforgiving detestation of people like her, w, Rumsfeld, Powell, Petraeus, etc. Whether they are instigator or enabler they are responsible for bringing our nation to the brink of destruction, and the deaths of every soldier, marine, and Iraqi innocent sacrificed with no real reason for those of us who don't have salaries in the 7 digit and above range.

Obama. Elected or not come November, the fact that we have chosen a man above the fray, who speaks his mind instead of vetted sound bytes, and believes that government should serve the voter and not the other way round is heartening. For the first time in thirty years we are moving towards democracy, instead of using it as a catch-phrase to justify the most heinous corruption and oppression in our country's modern history.

Someone who gives me hope. Someone I can vote for! I'm freaking tired of trying to pick the lesser evil. Perhaps for the first time in my life I'll have the chance to vote for principle, instead of the recurrent and depressing exercise to guess the least onerous.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Bush Illegacy Begins

The whitehouse conveniently 'lost' copious records of their E-mail records. Gee whiz golly gee. That may soon cause them more pain than it relieved. The cabal's above the law credentials have wilted a bit, despite everything they could do to maintain opaqueness and openly encourage further terrorist attacks to help them keep the level of fear they so desparately need to implement their policies.

Now, that scoundrel Abramoff is resurfacing and documentation is showing he had much more contact with the whitehouse than was previously admitted. Poor babies. They may not have the resources to magically find (and cook) the missing E-mail archives. About all they can say is "We have better documentation, but we lost it since we were illegally using gop accounts and failing to properly archive the legal E-mails..." Hmm, I think this may be too much for their one time supporters base to swallow.

Of course, I don't believe an accurate E-mail trail would exonerate these tyrants of anything. It's just nice that we've finally arrived at a point where they may feel a bit of discomfort while peddling lies. At some point I expect the house of cards will collapse. This probably isn't the tipping point, but it moves them closer to realizing their legacy. Or should the be the Bush Illegacy?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pursuing New Old Habits

Wow, a full night's sleep. That was a treat. The show went very well this weekend, better than I expected. I was surprised at one thing, and quite pleasantly. It was the first chance I'd had to really work with some of the commedia and clown work I did at Freehold during ETI (a one year conservatory type program). I've used little bits here and there in developing characters, but never as a routine or activity on stage.

As I think back on it there were a couple Lazzi's I developed for bits of the show. I probably wouldn't have named them, but during the cast party it was mentioned people delayed their entrances while I was doing my bit with the saw and wood. I was pleased I was able to get a nice audience response, but didn't realize anyone was noticing.

I think it was reflex from the training, and plus some exploration (also a habit from the training). I still have so far to go in assimilating what we worked on two years ago, so these little triumphs are both encouraging and formative. Formative in that next time I'll do more than what comes from reflexive habit, and dive into the work deeper. And that's another thing I love about art. At fifty, I'm still going through formative experiences. How neat is that?

All I did was try to cut a piece of Masonite with a handsaw in one, and the flexibility of that dense particle board creates different problems depending on the depth of the cut. There is of course a way to do it without much trouble, but somehow that never occurred to Barney. The audience loved it, especially the last time when I finally got all the way through, and picked up the little piece and used it as a template for the next cut as the other actor entered. The other bit was cutting a 2x2 length-wise. Trying to find a way to cut it, which usually ended up with me straddling the board as it rested on sawhorses. Silly, simple, and quite effective. I guess it's the sort of things we've all futzed with at some point. George, thanks for all that physical work you had us do.

When I first decided to pursue acting, I figured I would have to find some way to enhance the non-physical aspects. Two big lessons there. First, and obvious to everyone but me I imagine, is the fact that you can't separate the physical from acting. I learned that before the first continuing ed scene study class was done, and other than the stage fright thing it was the most daunting thing for me to accept, much less embrace.

Second, was learning to embrace the physical, as I find my way into so much that way. I felt I was the world's worst athlete growing up, and to discover that physical work was not only enjoyable, but productive and something I could be good at was a huge surprise. Also, a major shift to my self-image. Every once in a while I ponder what would have happened if I'd been encouraged in art or athletics as a child. Not for long, as I believe I wouldn't be having so much fun right now. I don't think I was ever a glass half-full person before, and now I have my moments.

Hmm, does this sound boastful? Well to be utterly frank, I suppose I am a little proud. However, this was more a discovery than an accomplishment. We did a lot of work in that conservatory program and I've noticed some wonderful things from my old classmates since then. Stuff they struggled with, yet since have brought to the stage like they'd always been doing so. It has been wonderful to see them blossom. I've felt like a dud, and still hesitate to claim anything close to what they have done. Typical actor self-denigration or accurate self-appraisal? It pisses me off that I haven't the foggiest.

We still feel like the same person that walked into that first day of elementary school. It's mostly the world around us that has moved, morphed, and changed. Is it the same with developing as an artist? I don't feel much different or more competent than I did when I started seven years ago, much less two years ago. I've gotten feedback from people I trust (Dad, Joyce, Beth, Rachel, ...) that I know to be sincere. Not just because they said it, but because of what they commented on. I don't believe I'm wildly gifted, I just have passion. From my tech careers in naval aviation and computer science I know that is more important. Math is easier for me, but it doesn't have the same persistence or constancy for that I find in the theatre.

I've finally learned to avoid deflecting compliments. I still do a bit, but I'm usually gracious to the person saying nice things and even to myself. Still, there is that feeling that I should have done a hundred times better, and they missed noticing my shortcomings. Is that the difference between doing something you have a gift for and something you have a passion for? Or is it just the difference between the mundane and art?