Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sweet Home Chicago

So we're in Chicago for a couple of days. I was hoping that the harsh winter would chisel away at my love for this city, but we were walking around tonight and it started to snow. Not crummy, sting-your-face type snow but beautiful oh-how-I-love-this-town floating flakes of frozen sky. Pretty amazing. I'll try to get some pictures up.

Boy, could I live here...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Podcasting, Here We Come!

It's a little early, but keep an eye out for our totally new and original podcast. Hopefully it'll be up this week.

Not sure what a podcast is? Check out Podcast Alley.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Back to School

Another year has begun. It was a short week, but I'm exhausted. I forgot how much energy it takes to teach. I guess that's what summers are for - to refuel.

Classes seem good. The right students seem really motivated this year. There seem to be a lot of tech issues on campus, though, so that has been a bit crazy.

I'm loving my new Tablet PC. It's perfect for educators. Students, too.

Here's the school site.

ANCESTOR: Scott Sigler's new Podcast Novel - Sept. 11

For the millions of Scott Sigler's EarthCore fans, the world's first podcast only novel; His 2nd novel ANCESTOR will be out September 11. Not an EarthCore fan? Subscribe now! Scott's latest podcast novel is certain to have you again clutching your iPod in white-knuckled intensity. It's free, it's thrilling, and it's the hottest stuff on the burner.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Hazlehurst, Day 2

Woke up at 10:30, got to the diner next door at 10:59 - they just stopped serving breakfast. Of course. Went to the High School first. Interesting waste of time. As far as I could tell by the class photos on the wall, the last Caucasian student at the school was in 2003. The Principal made me wait and then couldn't get me off campus fast enough: Scary white guy with camera… They've got no librarian either.

Public Education needs money. On to City Hall…

City hall had nothing but this poster, and referred me to the paper. The folks at the paper were more than willing to help, but they had a fire in 1978 that burned everything from 1974. They suggested the library.

The library was a fast gold mine. They had all the old newspapers bound and, looking for one applicable to the show, I found one published on the date that the play takes place, 10/23/74! Too cool. How's that for accurate period information!?! Took digital photos of that and one of the ladies asked if I'd been to "the house." News to me. The movie was filmed in North Carolina or somewhere, so I'm assuming they're referring to a house that Henley lived in. Spent some time driving back & forth shooting houses. I probably got it, but I can't tell which one it is. They were unsure as well… I'll have to do a little more research on that.

Rushed to the airport, only to wait & wait & wait… the incoming plane was delayed coming from Houston - like 2 hours. Soooo… rather than get stuck in Chicago (which I would have loved, but would have been contrary to my purpose) I raced (literally had to call to ask them to stay open) back to the Hazlehurst library. Got there at 5:28. Two minutes to spare. I took close up photos of the paper and found a reference book on Hazlehurst & its history & families. Took photos of the Henley info. If I had time, I'd stay for some hours at the library there, but alas, I must go.

In my continuing effort to eat at local places and avoid the McDonald's across from the hotel, I went into the only place I could find to eat downtown: Elby's Sports Bar. Now the place was too contemporary to have been open since 1974, but after talking to the bartender (I was one of 2 customers and the other was obviously a regular) I found out that her boyfriend's father had owned the building for about 30 years (close enough for my romantic mind) as a pool hall, and they had just added a kitchen a year ago. Really good cheeseburger. While chatting (it's amazing who knows about Crimes of the Heart and who doesn't in this town) I find out that Sunday evening a police officer was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop and the killer had run off with the cop's gun. They had been chasing/looking for him since then and during a firefight Monday he had dropped the gun but was still at large. This explained the plethora of police I saw on my way in. What a crazy counterpoint to my peaceful visit!

After dinner I sat in the small town "oval" and listened to those things that aren't crickets but make just as much noise and watched a lightening storm come in. Very cool way to spend a half an hour. As I got back to the hotel, re-checked-in, and got to my room, the rain had started. I moved my table to the window and did some script work while watching the lightening and rain and listening to the thunder. Great way to end the trip.

In the airport I saw on the news that they had caught the young man they were looking for. He had just been released for some other crime… It's weird, but I feel connected to his story in a yin-yang sort of way: my trip was similar in geography to his, but different in nature. Very strange…

One of the most obvious things about Hazlehurst - and the bartender and I talked about it because she's from Texas - is the pace. These people will take their time if it kills you. If they have a story to tell, by God they're going to tell it, no matter if you're next in the grocery line. I'll try to bring some of that back with me along with the pictures...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hazlehurst, Mississippi

I arrived in Jackson, rented a car, and drove down to Hazlehurst. About a 35 minute drive. I wonder how Meg got from the airport in 1974… It's a long cab ride… Hitchhiking? ...Didn't know that word had 2 h's next to each other..

Stopped at Stuckey's a couple of exits before Hazlehurst - mainly because of the TV show ED. Had an ice cream, but it was basically just a local gas station with a store inside. Lots of "Redneck" T-shirts, mugs, etc. I drove over the freeway to check out the county fairgrounds, but got scared off: there was some sort of police thing going on. There were approximately 20 law enforcement officers gathering in the parking lot; there were cars from various towns including Hazlehurst. I found out what the fuss was about on Monday night.

After checking into the Days Inn (I seemed to be the only guest - certainly the only car at the time), I drove around town for a little, just to get my bearings. Took some photos of the Copiah County Courthouse, City Hall, Hazlehurst High School, train depot and other cool looking buildings.

Had dinner at ? - one of those "drive-in" diners. They just brought out the food, though, and didn't leave the tray attached to my car like the good ole days. Had an OK burger and some fries that reminded me of the ones that ESPN Zone serves…

Went to the hotel (which, incidentally, is next to a Wal-Mart) for the evening. Started working on the script and wound up designing the set. I'm happy with the design, but not the colors. Have to be sure that I check the time period for the fans…

Fell asleep around 11pm only to wake up an hour later. Couldn’t get back to sleep until 2am… did more script work and changed the set colors to the pink that I'm still unsure of. At 6am the fire alarm in my room beeped. That "my battery is low, but I've got enough power to annoy the hell out of you" beep. Problem was it only did it once. And then at about 6:17. And 6:52. And about two more times. Needless to say this, combined with my 11pm "nap" conspired to foil my plans to get up early and do breakfast at the local place next door.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Week One Done

What a crazy week! Just getting back into the swing of things has been tough. We've got 3 classes right now: Directing, Voice, and Dramaturgy.

Directing: We're working with Anne Bogart's Viewpoints, a pretty popular technique in the last few years. We're using scenes from Steve Martin's adaptation of The Underpants. It's a fun show that I saw Tom in last summer at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento. One of the new things we're getting is the idea of a "Central Transaction" which is essentially your one sentence on what the play is about, only phrased as "who does what to whom & for what purpose."

Voice: We're focusing on the Linklater Technique. Good stuff that I learned a while ago and should be teaching in class. I randomly found an interesting article HERE on both Bogart & Linklater.

Dramaturgy: This threw everyone for a loop. There is a TON of reading to do. It's fun and necessary work that in an ideal world we would all be doing for each production that we do, but that's just fiscally impossible. If I can get the schedule posted here, you'll get a better idea.

The Full Monty: So this was our first show. How surprised was I to open the program and see the beautiful smile of Berwick Haynes! Berwick & I were in The Precious Damsels for the African-American Shakespeare Company way back in 1998. I sent him a note at intermission and then he came out afterwards and we talked for a bit. We'll be hooking up again in the next couple of week. Pretty darn cool. Oh, and the show was fun. I don't much like the book, but a couple of the songs are brilliant.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Chicago At Last

Well, we made it . All 6 of us. Crazy. Not too much sleep last night, but well worth the trouble. It's so nice to be back here again. It always feels like I've never left.

Have already met up with Amy & Will. More to see tomorrow. Also, the "Meet & Greet" tomorrow night should be fun - then straight to class on Monday morning. For the record, I spent $405 on books this year. I'm actually excited to have most of them, but not to pay for them.

I'll post some photos later. If you want to see the "generic" pictures of where we're staying, check out this site.

Here's the mailing address if you want to send me anything:

151 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601-7528

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Author Gary Lee Visits AHS

Gary Lee, newly published author of Brink of Insanity, visited the Period 2 Acting class today (Danielle Williams is his niece). The students read a scene from the book and asked questions about his journey to publication. Check out his site at Thanks, Gary, and congratulations!

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Painting 'Till Morning

The fact that it took me three times to spell "morning" correctly in the title of this entry is very telling.

I've just finished painting the Playhouse West groundcloth. I'm still at work, and somehow I found my way to the keyboard.

For those of you that know what I'm talking about, the Maxi-VAPA is tomorrow & I'm going to be dead tired. Not that I'm complaining.

See y'all later.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Aquarium Closes & Birdie Opens

Well, the show's down until August. We had a great closing night: full house, Michelle from my Chicago MA program was there, and Heddy came up from San Diego & we got to have dinner pre-show. Thanks for being there!

Went to Ashland, OR last week for the Shakespeare Festival. Fun stuff. Good season this year. Nothing astounding, but nothing too bad either.

At AHS we open Student Directed One-Acts next week and then Bye, Bye, Birdie! the week after. Crazy. Is it summer yet?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Short & sweet...

Great show tonight. Marc, Nikki, & Richard were there. Totally cool. We got to hang out afterwards for a long time. Thanks, guys. It means a lot.

Mother's day tomorrow. Thanks, Moms.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

NYC ya real soon!

So at the show last night, Tim told us all that Aquarium was accepted into the New York Fringe Festival! Two & 1/2 weeks in NYC in August. How cool is that. Chicago, then NY - tough life. Congrats to Robin on her great script! Check out the festival here.

The show went great last night. My best bud Tom & his wife Sarah came and were very complimentary (not to each other - to me!) . Thanks guys! Michelle from my Master's program came too - great to see her!

Goin' to The Happiest Place On Earth right now. Makes the title of this post even more clever, don't you think?


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Two Down, Some More To Go...

Opening night went well. The audience was great and everyone had nothing but great things to say. We had a smaller house last night, so as a result the show was a bit more aggressive, though still solid. One of my former students - Becky - drove all the way up from San Diego with her husband to see the show. I was totally surprised and flattered. It was great to see her. Thanks, Becky!

I spent most of today setting up Robin's wireless network at her house. Seems I'm always seeking out the techno-stuff. Felt good to help out, though. And now I can check my mail and post to all three of you reading this!

We've got a show tonight and then I'm on a plane at 6am tomorrow to get back to work at AHS. Fun stuff!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Aquarium (The Info)

All right. Here are the times and dates. I'm not doing the last week because I'll be in Ashland with my wonderful students. We're supposed to get the postcard emailed to us on Wednesday, so I'll post that soon.

by Robin Maguire
Directed by Tim Redmond

April 29, 30, May 1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13
Shows start at 8 p.m.

Stephanie Feury Studio Theater
5636 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

Please call 323 -933-7649 to make a reservation.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hunter Hits the Ice!

So we just got back from the ice rink, and my son is a natural! They've got these "double blades" that you strap on to his shoes like the old roller skates (for anyone over 28 reading this) and he was actually able to, well, skate. He liked it, too. No, really. He also rode around on a sled and loved that. I'll have pictures probably late tomorrow night.

Flying to LA tomorrow. Bright and oily. We have a 12:00 run-through of the show. All the flights back are sold out, so we'll see what happens. Nothing like hanging out at LAX trying to fly Stand-By. Fun, fun, fun...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Here's one with the three of us... does that mean I'm a vampire?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

So, everyone asks for recent pictures of our son. What's funny is that we always have new ones, only I have no great method of dragging them around with me. Anyone want to buy me the new Photo iPod?

Anyway... here's a great shot from Christmas. Did you get to pick what you wanted?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Aquarium (The Play)

The show that I just got cast in is called Aquarium. Robin Maguire is the author. You can check out her website HERE. It's devoid of info about the show, but is pretty cool considering she's huge in the Stationary industry.

That makes it sound like she's immobile.

Anywho, I don' t have the exact info on the performances yet, but will let you know specifics as soon as I can.

What am I doing here?

Okay, so the original reason for this site is to update my students and friends on the exciting (at least to me) events during my upcoming summer trip to Chicago. I also thought that I could post insightful anecdotes about the show in LA. Hopefully, if I get any good at it, it'll be a place you'll visit frequently. Forgive any lack of excitement or extended periods of neglect. It's nothing personal...