Monday, February 18, 2008

back to the desk job

Well. I tell you.

Cool, wet Monday morning showing itself outside. Cat asleep on the radiator, Nancy asleep in the bed. Me and my coffee and juice, typing this. Going to the gym for the first time in two weeks as soon as I finish. Now that's going to hurt.

Watching the political talk shows yesterday, before the Big Reading. Smart men and women told me that Bill Clinton's operatic Third Act is going to force Hillary Clinton's long-anticipated Second Act to close early. Interesting.

Great words about Fatboy in Chicago on and I'm just going to pretend that those two outlets are much more important and influential than the Tribune or the Sun-Times. Why not?

So, the Big Reading. We had a few...adjustments we had to make right then and there. Live theater and all that.

Paul Urcioli, my lead, the Clown King Himself, was playing soccer a few hours before the reading. He planted his foot wrong, twisted it or something, and off he goes to the Emergency Room. He's fine, thank god, we won't know the extent of the damage until next week when the swelling goes down and he gets an MRI, but he may have torn his A. C. L., the main ligament that allows your knee to behave like a knee, or it could just be a very bad sprain. (In great synchronicity, there's a big article about the rise in ACL injuries in the Times today.)

So I'm thinking, fine, I can move Ben over to the Clown King and have Emily or Kate or someone do the Boy Clown. But then I'm thinking, that will compromise two roles instead of the one. Hmmm... What to do, what to do?

All of you who know me know what I decided to do, right? Ham that I am, Bottom the Weaver in my soul?

So I'm up there doing the Clown King. Wearing black lipstick, throwing water into Matt Oberg's face, aping and mocking Kurt Rhoads' performance, dragging Matt and Melissa around by a rope. Talk about your meta upon your meta. Second Act is when the Clown King tries to be the Lead and the Director while his Clown Gang is screwing around. And there I am, actual script in hand, telling people to get offstage and to take it from the bit where we do the thing and yelling at them that they're not taking this seriously.

Deeply weird, a lot of fun. And we packed the joint, had to add a row of chairs in front. If anyone reading this was there, I'd love to get some feedback. Learned a lot in the bar after, talking to all of my smart friends. Going to make some major cuts in the first act and clarify the Academics at the end, but probably going to let it sit for a day or two. Much, much business to catch up on.

Our Monday Morning Music Quiz has a gospel flair to it today, praise His Holy Name. I've loved gospel all my life, especially the old-timey stuff. The Swan Silvertones and the Blind Boys of Alabama, that kind of crazy, wailing sound. Gospel, like country, just gets worse and worse the more you produce it. Closer it is to a field, the farther it is from a recording studio, the better it's going to be.

So which of these songs is an actual gospel song and which is just vampiric nonsense?

1. There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
2. Are You Washed in the Blood?
3. O Lord, Give Me Your Blood
4. Power in the Blood

All right, someone get Malta on the phone for me. Let's do some bidness.


Rose said...

I'm gonna say that There is a fountain filled with blood sounds way too much like those vampire role playing games I used to play in high school. I mean... I never played vampire games. I mean... I'm still cool, right?! PS: The staged reading rocked!

John said...

You little vampire.

Excellent notes from the reading last night, thanks for those. If you wouldn't mind and you got time, can you summarize them here? Trying to see if I can use the Comments section here as a cyber post-show talkback.

Susan said she'd try to say something. And if any of the actors are reading, please join in.

John said...

This from Brian Parks:

Enjoyed the reading a lot yesterday. The second act is feeling much improved, though it was obviously a little confusing given no Paul, and limited costume/staging. I'm sure it's meant to go much faster, which is what it would need to do, to avoid the momentum falling off from the first act. Kurt was great, as was everyone. The one thing I still don't buy, though, is the "Entertainment" comments and shouts, which comes across as heavy-handed, to me anyway. I like it all best when the various theatrical levels are all operating at once together, without apparent heirarchy -- especially when the bound-up younger characters are dragged back on. I also especially liked Eva's farewell to Tom Hatcher.

Ann said...

Whenever presented with a multiple choice quiz and no clue as to what the answer might be, I go with C. So: O Lord, Give Me Your Blood - final answer.

Next week, the Monday Music Quiz needs to have something to do with 80's new wave, k?

I'm sure you noticed I wasn't at the reading on Sunday. I certainly fucking noticed, I was gnashing my teeth over it all weekend. After seeing the first act in rehersal and then reading the play (That Nan, she has her shit TOGETHER - sent it right out to me) I desperately wanted/needed to be there, because as much as I loved reading it (my lord, how I laughed!) I need to *see* it. So...would you mind doing it over? Soon?

If you can't, no worries. I'm already working on getting to Scotland. Jim laughs at me when I mentions it, and says we can't afford it, but I don't give up so easily. I have taken to mentioning it as though it's a foregone conclusion that we'll be going:
Jim: Have you read that book I got you on the Supreme Court yet?
Ann: No, I'm saving it to read on the way to Edinburgh.
Jim: *eye roll*

Overlord's exciting, John. Your cast is rocking it, the words are exquisite...I'm interested to hear more about how you plan to flesh out The Academics, that was the part of the play that felt the least strong to me.

Yes, yes I *did* just kinda critique something I didn't actually see. Ballsy, huh?

showard said...

well I've been washed in the blood of Jesus amen
so number two it is
loved the stumble through and sharing the experience with everyone what an amazing group of actors I felt like we all enjoyed deconstructing the familiar stereotypes plots and subplots the killer clowns were also familiar but as they mimicked their way through the story and finally gave up altogether I took away a commentary on the loss of art the creative. why they spared the academics i dont know my favorite character the clown king as frustrated artist.

John said...

Excellent. Thanks, all. Ann, you're on a roll with these music quizzes. 80s new wave it is.

Remember when there was an actual debate between New Wave and Punk?

Those were the days.

Rose said...