Thursday, November 13, 2014

Six Shades of What the Heck! In A Good Way, Of Course...

Go ahead... ask me again if I'll ever grow up... go on, I bet you don't know the answer...

Yeah, no....

That's the tail gunner, I think...

So, the real question is, what kind of guy starts off a blog post with a photo of Full Moon Over Berlin? The kind of guy who's teetering on the brink of sanity, I suppose... so much has happened since last we spoke, I didn't know where to begin! So I began at the end... so to speak...

I cannot wait for you to see the Beyond the Impact web series I've been bragging about since last year... man, what a ride it has been, and it is daily evolving, as Jeff (our director and captain) comes up with one amazing new tweak after another... that's him in the plane, by the way... ok, fine, it isn't... but he might do something like that... those flyboys do things different, eh!

My acting class in Hollywood has been ten shades of challenging... it wrings me out, every time. I could wax long-winded about it, but most of you would be uninterested... let's just say that I'm learning how to play on stage... when I say "play", I literally mean it. As in, know your lines, come in with a choice, as far as how you're going to approach the part, and then be prepared to chuck it out entirely, and just try different ways of doing it, having fun with it, looking for honest moments, something unexpected... finding a place where you're off-balance and unplanned, and then playing with it...

Amazing things happen. But for a person like me, it is frightening... I like to contemplate, make clear choices, rehearse, plan, perfect, polish and present... it's liberating and terrifying to just try something else out completely...

The scene I've been working on lately, I played a man whose wife was angry with him. My approach to the scene and the dialog was to placate, and deflect her anger from me onto someone else. That made sense to me, in light of the script. My objective was to deflect her anger away from me, onto a third person, and keep it there until it was spent. Fine. I prepped along those lines. I present it, and apparently, it didn't work. So it was chucked, and on the fly, I was asked to pick a new objective. Same lines, different objective. Now I accept the anger, but try to get her to shut up about it.

Changing the objective changes EVERYTHING about the scene. Same dialog. Completely different scene. On the fly, change it. No time to practice, rehearse, polish... just "new objective. Now, GO."

That may sound like nothing much to you, but I assure you, it's challenging on the face of it. Add into the mix my personality, and it was terrifying, exhilarating, embarrassing, immensely rewarding, and exhausting. Something about no rehearsal time lent a freshness, unpredictability, spontaneity... watchability... that was lacking in what I'd rehearsed and prepared.

It stretches me. In ways I'm not quite ready to be stretched... but desperately need. It's making me into a real actor. Because I not only have to absorb a new objective, but closely monitor how it's being received and adapt on the fly accordingly... am I getting my objective? If not, try something else until I get it...

It's amazing.

So the Christmas Play has been written and cast. It is unlike anything we've done before, and I'm stoked about it. It takes Christmas and sort of turns it on its head... in a good way... it takes place in an airport terminal in the Midwest, the day before Christmas. Inclement  weather has grounded all flights, with people trying to get home for Christmas, and while folks wait to see if they can make it home or not.

The main character is a college student writing a paper on how families are over-rated... hilarity ensues.

There, that doesn't spoil things much. It's a tight dozen-page script, and man, it packs a punch.

The problems are: I'm commited to the web series, and we have a lot of filming to do on the weekends between now and the end of the year, including the Sunday before Christmas -- which is traditionally the day we have the Christmas play at our church. This means I have to have rehearsals during the week, I can't give myself a part, and I need an assistant director to be there the day we hold the play, since I'm going to miss it.

Things have a cool way of working out, so I'm not really worried about it. I'll just do what I can and roll with the punches. I think the script is strong, and doable, with the time remaining and the cast we have.

If you'd like to read the script, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Speaking of reading, I've been very lucky with books lately.

I read Thief's Magic, by Trudy Canavan, which is a wonderful book. Then I read perhaps the most delicious book I've read since Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. It is Pat Rothfuss' latest offering, The Slow Regard of Silent Things. This is so achingly beautiful, it defies my ability to describe it... which, if you know me and how verbose and effusive I can be, should be revealing. Add this one to your TBR List, wait for it to drop to a reasonable price, buy it, read it, love it. I can't recall the last time -- if ever -- that I wanted to immediately begin reading a book as soon as I finished it. It breaks every rule of novel writing, and really should not work... but it does, and wonderfully. If you haven't read The Name of the Wind, it might not have the same impact on you... your call. But it has no dialog, focuses on one character only, and the only real action involves this character making soap... and it is AMAZING.

Now I am reading Seven Forges, by James A. Moore. And it is incredibly well done as well. 3 for 3 so far! That's dang good! Usually, for every above average book I read, I hit a mediocre title or two... I'm on a good run. It makes me want to work on my novel(s) again!

Yeah, fat chance.

Endlessly amusing.

Lately, I've been listening to an odd mix of music. Middle Daughter is friends with a member of a San Diego band called Killing the Messenger, and I've been digging their first album. I have to be in the right mood to listen to it, since it's a band that does the "screaming" thing... but when I'm in the mood, I like it. Plus, I bought Pearl Jam's greatest hits album. And, of course, some Volbeat and Breaking Benjamin...

Yeah, so there's that about it.

I'm trying to recall anything else I wanted to share, but truth be told, I am quite spent at the moment. I needs me some sleepy sleep!

I'm just in a weird place in my life right now. Not a bad thing, just new. I feel a distinct "calm before the storm" vibe that, frankly, frightens me a bit. But, hey, a little fear helps one feel alive, yes!?

When I get something I'm allowed to show you for the web series, I'll post it here immediately. I think it's going to be amazing.

I have so much other nonsense to dump on you, but, not knowing how/where to start, I shall leave it be for now. Hopefully I shall cook on it enough to post it soon, so you can help a bruthuh figure some stuff out. Until that time...

Adios for now.

Dave... you know... Dave?


Anonymous said...

BA walked inside the white building hearing only dead silence. Light from the windows spotlighted flitting dust particles in their unrehearsed dance.

"Dave," BA called out. No answer. Where the heck fire are the commenters? BA shouted even louder a few more times. She had a thought. Shouting "Dave's Mom," BA blushed with the realization that she didn't know her surname.

Hmph, BA muttered as she placed her hands on the keyboard and typed:
Yes! I'd love to read the script. Somehow the live recordings are difficult to hear.
Added your recommendations to my list. I now have two: Revisiting the classics (154 to be exact), and then modern fiction, bios, a little non-fiction, etc..on the other. While painting yesterday, I listened to F. Scott Fitzgerald's, "This Side of Paradise." I've read "The Great Gatsby" and Librovox had others not yet read. The speakers are volunteers, but it's free, so there's that.
I wish I had a second career. I shall live vicariously through you. They're strangers, so what do you have to worry about? Fumble through and be the best.

Here's to achieving all levels of success you reach for. BA

Anonymous said...

Allow me to be the sound of one hand clapping. I appreciate your thinking - its a tool that has rusted for many of us... (julia)