As you know from my last blog, I didn’t make my blog writing requirement. Oh well. Luckily this course grades on a curve!  Again, it was a very inspiring evening. Its really been helping me stay motivated. And setting smaller goals makes me feel like I’m not doing too much work at all. Could I do more, maybe. But in the meanwhile, I don’t resent the work I’m doing, and that’s very important. Its also been very gratifying to make goals, and then be able to check them off.

One of the big goals I’ve been working on recently is reaching out the playwright from Wit. I have been met with some measure of success. I heard back from her agent – she said she would pass the e-mail along, as well as answer a few of the questions herself. She wants to know more about the production. I do hope that she will be able to make it.  I received this, auspiciously enough, right after I finished watching the movie. What a beautiful challenge it will be. I can’t say enough wonderful things about it. Its so relevant – socially, allegorically, intellectually. I am unbelievably moved by it. It is the epic story of an individual. I am excited to continuing my work. Next up - sponsorship! I've already begun to reach out to ovarian cancer organizations. I looking forward to collaborating with them.

 
Let the record show that I am committed to the growth of my career, the goals I have set, as well as the marketing group that I am working with as of 2011. Let it also show that I am cramming. I said I would write two blogs before our next meeting which is tomorrow. It is now 1:15 am.

I’ve seen a number of great shows in the past week. I saw Love, Loss and What I Wore during the week. It has a rotating cast, in fact, its been rotating for quite a while. I originally went to see the comedian Judy Gold (who was great by the way. She perfectly fit the role she played.) Though there were a number of very talented performers in the cast. Nikki Blonsky was great, and I’m actually thinking about reaching out to another one of the actresses for an upcoming project! There were also a few weaker links, but I chalk that up to them being film actresses and not used to stage work. It wasn’t insincere, rather just too small. From a storytelling standpoint, I am usually not a big fan of overly linear monologue shows “when I was five, my mom gave me a cookie, and that changed my life…” you get the idea. However, once I accepted the convention, I had a really fun time.

I also had an incredibly relaxing weekend in Philadelphia. The purpose was to go see my friend Stuart Williams show. I have always regarded him as one of my most talented colleagues. This role was no less. The show, Parenting 101, played in the basement of the Kimmel Center. As you can probably imagine, it takes you on a magical journey of parenting, from birth to your son or daughter’s wedding. Its extremely cute. All four members of the cast very talented. I actually got to meet one of them, Patrice Siebel. She was a lot of fun.  However, its about 2:15 with an intermission. My vote is get it down to 90 minutes and no intermission. Parenting is a vignette show, (each actor ended up playing somewhere around 20 characters – each with a costume change) but some of them aren’t quite funny enough – so I’d cut them. Also, (and I promise I’m not going to blab it any further than here,) but the songs are all preexisting rock songs or show tunes with different lyrics. Is that legal? I didn’t see anything in the program about ASCAP. But they did have a legal counselor. Either way, not my problem!

A bonus to the weekend was the fact that Amadeus was running at the Walnut Street Theater as well. Amadeus is most certainly one of my top five favorite shows. Thematically it draws me like few other productions. (Side note, I had to stop at this point. I was exhausted – so I missed my deadline. Oh well. – Anyway, back to Amadeus.) It is so epic. The story Salieri, who gives his life to his God, he makes a deal from as young as he could remember – “make me the best at what I do, and I will use it only to serve you.” And he holds up his end of the bargain – until, in as far as he could tell – God utterly betrays him. He makes an irreverent virtually immoral boy, who is humanist to say the least, the bearer of the gift that Salieri so greatly desires. Mozart can bring God’s perfection into music. And Salieri sees no choice but to destroy it. The very fact that it exists is unacceptable. What can be bigger to an artist?  Using art to declare war on God! What a story to tell. That said, the show was ok. We sat in the last row of the balcony, so maybe I lost a little in the translation. But the whole thing fell a little flat. From a technical standpoint it was ok, but the lighting design was not great. A lot of weird pattern washes in unmotivated colors. Salieri’s performance was solid but not earth-shattering, Mozart made a lot of the usual choices (the high-pitched laugh, etc.) I did think the Costanza was quite good though. However, both she and Salieri were blocked into a number of awkward moments at pivotal points in the show, so it made it hard to fully invest, so that was rather disappointing. Nothing smacked me in the face, which is what I think the show is so able to do. But no matter what, I still love this show. 

Two shows in less than 24 hours in a different city. Sunday was back at home doing nothing! Great way to spend a weekend.

 
Oh man! The first blog of the new year. I’ve been bad. But that’s not to say I haven’t been busy! I’ve begun work on a number of projects. A few are still in the planning phases, so I’m hoping that I should have some interesting news one way or another in the next week.

But there are a few things that I’ve been working on recently that I can talk about:

First, I have really begun to do a lot more marketing work. I have a coaching session planned with Savvy Actor’s Doug Shapiro (www.dougshapiro.com) I’ve already had an initial consultation with him and am really looking forward to continuing our conversation. He has asked me to do a number of “dreamboard” type exercises including a draft for my twenty year plan. As far off as twenty years seems at the moment, I am anxious to dream big. And its seems twenty years will be here before I know it. I like the feeling of knowing where I want to go – so I can plot a course how to get there! I’ve also helped to form a business/support group. We are essentially agreeing to hold each other accountable to our short and long term goals. We’ve had our first meeting, and it was incredibly inspiring. I learned so much about the other members of the group and even with all the differences there were a number of common threads. We all have that memory of singing at 11 pm at Denny’s. (Don’t lie, you have that one too!) I feel good about the goals I set (blogging more was one of them!) and I look forward to setting some more goals next week!

I have begun doing some planning for Wit, which I will be directing with Variations Theatre Group (www.variationstheatregroup.com) I have received some great news about some initial ideas and have reached out to the playwright. It was actually a great experience putting all of the thoughts I have about the show on paper so to speak. My next big goal is to cultivate some sort of relationship with an ovarian cancer organization. I am really hoping to give a lot back with this production. Part of Variation’s mission is doing a “play for a good cause” each season. This undoubtedly qualifies. On a personal note its important for me to do theater that means something.

Zac and I also had our first reading of Exiles, the show we’ve been working on together. We had a great group, Kelly McCabe, Katie Zaffrann (www.katiezaffrann.com) , Eric Kubo, Alex Krasser – all very smart actors who gave some very useful feedback. The second act is still very much in sketch mode, and there are some still big tweaks needed in the first act, but it still went far better than we thought. Zac is so busy, so the next draft may not be for another month or so, (check out his show – www.messedupheretonight.com) but I’m really looking forward to it!