Live performance is a system of interlocking skills honed individually and together over time like any other muscle-building, and then deployed all at once. It is almost always desired that the edges of that displayed set of skills are folded under and invisible to the uninitiated, and, on the highest level, even to fellow initiates. So as one progresses, craft becomes more and more opaque. The skilled stop understanding how and why they do it and the very best seem to require no effort at all. One of those skills is line memorization. It is the favorite party trick of audiences at talk backs the world over and the bane of new performers taking on walls of text for the first time. It is also a performance muscle that isn’t really worked in tandem with other real world skills, so time away from performance really can decondition that system. And
In 2009 World Theatre Day changed my life. I am a community minded sort. Often my reaction to any given event is: How could we have involved more people? How could more folks have been helped? When Rebecca Coleman mentioned on Twitter that Vancouver had celebrated a city-wide World Theatre Day in 2008 and what if we made that happen across cities? I was or course interested. I had no idea what I could do locally. I had no money, no space and no standing company to help me with either. But I could help activate Austin and push other leaders to do something. Latifah Taormina of what was then the Austin Circle of Theatres was one of the folks who I reached out to to try to facilitate an event. She suggested presenting this controversial piece that everyone was talking about, Seven Jewish Children by Caryl Churchill. She suggested
We get trained to do what we do in very specific ways. It is VERY difficult to change the ways we do it when the future arrives, or even conceive of how it needs to be done. I grew up and was trained in proscenium theatre spaces. As I got older, my usual haunts were all black box thrusts and shared spaces. But they were still formal storytelling spaces if less opulent and less formal than the sorts of traditional theatre spaces I considered Real Theatre. I am more than capable of sliding up and down that continuum pretty fluidly. I like to think that the tools I’ve developed work well in lots of forms and forums. But all of them are in formally designated settings. Even if there aren’t velveteen folding seats and a grand drape, it is understood that we are in a sit silently and watch situation
The first question most people ask about dying is, “was there a light? Anything?” What they mean is did you cheat and get any answers to bring back. The answer for me, as the answer has been for any folks who’ve made a two-way trip, is no. It’d have been great if the faulty wiring in my cardiac region led to me being deputized as a messenger angel, but no such luck this time out. I’m a narrative driven person. I am lover of stories even discounting my Christian upbringing, which sort of doubles down on living your life by a story. Every bit of my life dresses in characters and arcs and emotional roil of one kind or another. What dying did for me was flip on the work lights. Nothing de-romanticizes life quicker than dying due to electrical failure out of nowhere. I’m not suddenly divorced from a life
And we’re back with Episode 7 of our slow out into the Twin Cities theatre community. Tonight I open Julius Caesar, the first part of this season’s “Spring Rep” with the Classical Actors Ensemble. Tomorrow we go even bigger with a two show day, opening Macbeth to make the pair. It’s perhaps a little odd to celebrate your third (and fourth) show(s) in a city, but – at the risk of sounding like a baseball fan parsing a hitter’s batting average on Sundays at home when it rains – tonight I open my first show in town that I’m not part of because I know my wife. My first two shows in town were great experiences, and I was a valuable part of both of them, but my involvement had an awful lot more to do with my knowing Megan, my infinite availability, and my price more than something I inherently brought to
My Austin, like everyone’s, was the confluence of specific versions of people and places and projects and that river only moves in one direction.
Theatre producers seem to live in a permanent terror about the pending Ragnarok. It may be that most of the theatre makers I know don’t have even 60 days cash on hand never mind a liquid operating fund, but it seems that they are always looking to paint innovation onto whatever mission they already have. That they’re seeking to continue doing theatre that they enjoy making while shoehorning in whatever the kids like these days. Since the Gossip Girl-ification of Sleep No More immersive has become as hot as a theatrical fad can be, with even pretty tepidly dramaturged lobbies trying to claim ‘immersiveness’. I’ve heard calls since I began blogging in 2006 to increase audience ownership of the performance and performance space. Bromides about relaxing rules, expectations and essentially eliminating the silent sanctuary in theatre that emerged with the naturalism of the last century. This all gets phrased as though theatre makers
You don’t get to script your endings… Willie Mays as a Met, Dwight Evans as a Baltimore Oriole, Joe Montana as a Kansas City Chief – I actually couldn’t tell you what colour Jerry Rice was wearing when he stopped playing football. It doesn’t change their story. Not really. Not in any material way. But it’s narratively disappointing . We’ve been well trained to want our fairy tales to end with a wedding not a marriage. I didn’t really get to script my ending with Austin theatre. The timing just didn’t work out. We’re decamping earlier than I thought, so making Trouble Puppet’s Frankenstein my final show as intended simply wasn’t feasible. Instead my final curtain call in Austin will be as Falstaff. It was an honor unlooked for and there an end. I don’t know that there is a more suitable end than playing a galactically outsized dirtbag Shakespearean clown outside
Over the course of a couple of days this week I watched a livestream of someone cleaning up his Facebook profile. And it was riveting. As part of the Austin-based performance/art Fusebox Festival Brian Lobel recreated his Purge performance art piece with two local performers. The piece consists of the performer/subject sitting in front of a rotating panel of three people and defending their relationship with each of the people on their Facebook friends list for one minute. At the end of the minute the panel decides whether or not the person will remain on the friends list. It sounds like a really dull sort of game show. It sounds like the sort of pretentious grad school performance art that even folks on my performance art friendly social media feeds mock for being a sketch version of performance art. I watched like 6 hours of it. It was spellbinding. The premise
1. All of Megan Kimber‘s stuff (currently has an exhibition up at Greyduck Gallery) 2. The Berlioz section of Chagall’s Paris Opera House Ceiling 3. Christina the Ghost Art Doll Figurine from Shain Erin: 4. The weather is relaxing into habitable and I am tired in my bones… I would love to spend some time reading something engaging without being bitten by anything or sweating and drinking a Negroni made with Navy Strength Genius Gin. I admit it it’s these cherries that sold me… 5. This right here? THIS is a coffee machine.
1. This entire series of figures from Marina Rubinke is so macabre I almost feel guilty linking you too them. 2. Look. I’m Late to the party but Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand is effectively the theme to The Strange Case of Edward Hyde and Doctor Jekyll that I open next week with Trouble Puppet… I mean… yeah. 3. Conrad Roset’s Cicuta Part of his Muses set. [The People’s Print Shop!] 4. “WORN OUT” BY PALESTINIAN ARTIST IYAD SABBAH 5. Jason Brueck’s A Prayer to Genevieve
The year two thousand twelve. Chronologically. 1: Messenger No. 4 (or How to Survive a Greek Tragedy) 2. My first tattoo 3. Tis Pity She’’s a Whore 4. Rose Rage 5. Birth of Athena 6. Cape Cod 7. Weekend in Utopia 8. Doctor Faustus 9. Quills And so ends 2012. The least balanced most selfish year of my life. In many ways it was a rewarding successful year, in many ways a frustrating altogether too quick year. If you are a friend or family member I likely shorted you this year. I know. I’m working on it. To a more balanced, more focused 2013.
1. While trimming our tree on Saturday afternoon, I came many beautiful decorations which were Mike’s before we were even a couple. One of them was the “Mike Angel,” a gift from our friend Sandra from 1999. The “Mike Angel” was a hilariously funny addition to our tree for years. She made it out of a styrofoam ball and orange yarn and it really looks just like Mike Young. So, Saturday, Baxter found it and said, “What’s this?” And I said, “Do you think it looks like anyone?” and he said, “Daddy Mike?” I told Bax all about it and how much we loved it and used to have it on our tree when we lived in Philly. Read the rest. Baxter is a kid like I imagine most of the folks who would read a post like this were. Merry Christmas. 2. Peter Greenaway. Last Supper. Do you need
1. Steampunk, check. Shadow puppets in front of the magic lantern styling, check. The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello! 2. Paper crafts. Like doctorate level paper crafts from Peter Callesen. 3. Haunting work from Fuyuko Matsui 4. I love smart t-shirts: 5. Steam Punk RECORD PLAYER:
Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher’s film The Social Network had a tidy little weekend this weekend scooping up $22.5M. I enjoyed the film very much but this post isn’t about that. I saw the film, as I see most of the films I see, at the Alamo Drafthouse. The Drafthouse is an Austin institution (coming soon to a New York near you?) that along with serving beer and pub grub (or better) while you watch the movie is known for the special event programming and for their custom made pre-shows. Tim League and his minions cut together preshow montages relevant to the feature you are about to see. In the case of say Spiderman III: The Wrath of Plot you might see the Turkish Spiderman and a clip from Spider man and his Amazing friends and something from Electric Company… For The Social Network we were pretty much bombarded with
My good friend Will Hollis Snider recently answered an emergency call for headshots newer than my junior year of college. That ol’ headshot was fine (or a reasonable facsimile of fine) through the last time I auditioned for someone other than my good friend Will Hollis Snider…. That headshot: Is pretty well out of date at this point. It’d been four years and several hard roads since that last audition. I was reading last Saturday for someone not my good friend Will Hollis Snider and thought that I should act as though I had heard of professionalism so took advantage and headed down to WHS’s swinging South Austin pad. That Will is good. We shot for about an hour and he played with some light. We got three great shots: The super serious artist blah blah blah – or as my wife put it, like I was trying to play
1. Raymond Carver Mad Libs! (from Yankee Pot Roast) 2. A great series of maps with a graphical representation of demographic locations in the top 40 American cities. Below is Austin. (via Fast Company) 3. 4. Pouring Lamp from Yanko Design 5. An night to remember for always – Filmgoers watch Buried from their interred coffins. .
My apartment was recently foreclosed on leading to a quick search through the listings in case we weren’t able to stay in our current home. We were able to stay on but I still browse the listings occasionally Currently on the market? 3900 Pearce Rd Austin, TX 78730 $3,850,000 7 Bedrooms 8 Baths 12,000 Sq.Ft. Is four Million dollars too much to pay for this much pretty? No. No it is not. The estimated monthly payment is a skritch above $15K: Foyer! Entertainment…. chamber.. torium? Kitchen! Dining Room Wine Cellar Billiards Salon Movie Theater Master Bedroom [EDITED TO ADD: “Where the Magic Happens”] Reading Nook Master Bath/Swim Facility Hallway… Viewing deck? Sweat Closet! Guest Room Spare Bathroom Sitting Room Guest room for guests we like! Coffee Nook View View! Lagoon! View! Bar! I would let Megan fix the lighting.
Sometimes social media metrics analysis site Klout.com partners with companies to offer Klout Perks(tm). In this case FOX wanted folks with “entertainment blogs” and a social media presence to preview their new fall television Lonestar. To facilitate this viewing they send out a screener DVD and a whole bunch of things with Lonestar printed on them:Movie All Is Lost (2013) Well there was nothing to it but to have folks over, make waffles (or have waffles made for you) and watch this disc with a bunch of elitist theatre folks because FOX lumped a theatre blog/SM Media presence together with general entertainment blogging presence. This is orange juice, corporate bacon (bacon prepared on the microwave tray so it comes out perfect and straight every time) and waffles prepared by Ms. Amanda scraped with a touch of Nutella, a sprinkle of cayenne, a sprinkle of cardamom and a
Download Printable Headshot/Resume (PDF) 2019 The Ever and After The President Theatre Pro Rata Sofia Lindgren Galloway Stuck in an Elevator With Patrick Stewart II : The Wrath of Fandom Daniel Jimmies Theatre Cosmic Kevin Houle God of Carnage Michael Lex Hamm Community Theatre Sara Skar 2018 A/Part (Workshop) Guide Playable Artworks Margo Gray Cyrano on the Moon Cyrano Red Dice Collective (MnFringe) Mason Tyer Measure for Measure Pompey (and Varrius) Assistant Director Theatre Unbound Kate Powers 2017 ValleyScare Judge Valleyfair Joel Sass 2016 If My Feet have Lost the Ground Video Puppeteer Open Eye Figure Theatre (Torry Bend Productions) Torry Bend Macbeth / Julius Caesar (Repertory) Angus / Citizen 1 / Company Classical Actor’s Ensemble Joseph Papke / Randall J. Funk A Midsummer Night’s Dream Egeus / Snout Classical Actor’s Ensemble Michael Kelley Merchant of Venice / Volpone (Repertory) Gratiano / Avocatori Classical Actor’s Ensemble Kate Powers / Joseph Papke 2015 1
Personal: Guardian on 7 Jewish Children Guardian Coverage of Rehearsal vs. Stage Technique Austin Chronicle personal feature (Dan Solomon) Academic Papers: Tizzano – On Seven Jewish Children: Explicitation and Implicitation in terms of ideology Stef Craps: Holocaust Memory and the Critique of Violence in Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza
The Wars of Heaven (Pt. 1) Iarath / Company Trouble Puppet Directed by Connor Hopkins “Travis Bedard’s voicework gives magical life to his characters” – David Glen Robinson CTX Live Theatre – Michael Meigs Austin American Statesman Austin Chronicle American Theatre Magazine Changelings Magus Kemp Vortex Theatre Rudy Ramirez “Travis Bedard is Magus Kemp. None dare call him Professor, and Kemp warns us that he being him is like you being you on a quarter-tab of mescaline at all times. Bedard embodies Kemp with the apparent glee of one who has finally found a role he sought for years. Hardy and Bedard create a character of whom the producers of the movie Ghostbusters would be deeply envious.” – David Glen Robinson “And while there really are no weak links in this talented group, standout performances are also given by Ray, McLemore, and Travis Bedard.” – Elissa Russell The Strange