Well, hello everyone!
It's a new year, eh! Same as the old year?
Maybe, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, for me... Yeah, that sounds selfish, I know... but hey, I can't talk about you with any authority! I don't know how things are going with you, you never talk to me anymore! Remember when we used to hang out, and, like, go on picnics and ride skateboards at the beach and eat spaghetti? Remember!? What happened!?
I guess we grew apart. *sigh*
But it's a new year! Let us renew our friendship! To keep things simple, my friendship can be purchased for a reasonable price... I accept cash gifts, as well as Amazon Gift Cards! I'll use it to buy more books! Which I will, of course, go off by myself to read... it's a vicious circle, really...
So, what's new, then?
Well, the most exciting tidbit of news that is consuming me of late regards theater acting... The Illustrious Andrew Ian and I are in talks with a local 100-seat theater here in Beautiful San Diego, to produce original plays, to be performed in their down time between big productions. I would write and likely direct them, at least initially, which is sort of a win-win for everyone involved. It's a beautiful space - when I saw it, the possibilities blossomed in my brainpan. I'm already working on (and am almost finished with) the first of a half-dozen scripts for play ideas I had. I can't give too many details yet, since the board at the theater has yet to sign off on it, but it looks like this year might see Andrew and I making an entrance into the local theater scene.
I know my focus these past two decades has been on spiritual themes (read: I write church-friendly plays), so those that know me may wonder if I'll be writing secular plays now, or sticking to church stuff. Well, yes and no... I think I've found a sweet spot in the middle, with secular characters and settings, which hit themes that can be considered spiritual. Sort of like the Christmas play we just did (called "Out There"), which you can watch in the previous blog post, if you'd like. Non-religious people dealing with things that include spiritual, philosophical aspects.
More info as it evolves.
As far as Beyond the Impact, excitement levels are ramping up on the cast and crew, as the scope of the project intensifies and expands. It truly is amazing, as Jeff and his inner circle put piece after impressive piece into place. Of course, Jeff is increasingly concerned about keeping details under wraps, and I know he occasionally reads this very blog, so I will leave it there. Let's just say, no one is ready for this... MUAHAHAHAH!!!
Also, movie-related. I went on opening day to catch a matinee of Quentin Tarantino's latest film, The Hateful Eight. And I wrote a review of the film, which the Glorious Two Gay Geeks, Ben and Kieth, posted on their website for their millions of fans to read! If you'd like to read my thoughts on the film, by all means, head over there and check it out! HERE is the link!
And while you're there, catch the latest podcast. They're all great fun to listen to. I'm a big fan (even though I'm pretty sure I annoy Kieth... sorry Kieth!).
I guess one could logically ask why, if I consider myself a church-going person with a strong faith, would I subject myself to a film like The Hateful Eight, with a tidal wave of foul language, violence and other offensive elements... I mean, not exactly a film I would invite a church youth group to go see, lol... and the answer is multi-faceted, and ties into my life-long love for story-telling, in its various forms. Books, films, TV shows, music, plays, poetry, dance... anything that takes people away from their daily concerns, and not only entertains them for a while, but also inspires them and possibly makes them think about their concerns a little differently. I love when I see stories that do that for me - jar me out of my civilian noise and let me see things in a way that could possibly lead me to a solution. As a prayer supplement, of course. Does God communicate to me through stories? You bet he does....
Plus, I love good acting. Which brings me back to the Tarantino film. The beautiful visuals, the effective setting and costuming, the richly-drawn characters, the snappy dialog, and the eyes... man, great actors communicate so much with just their eyes... I wish more actors understood that, especially locally. I've seen so many locally-made short films and web series', where the actors have dead eyes. It's as hard for me to get past as a bad script is. Mediocre dialog delivered by dead-eyed rote is impossible for me to handle for very long.
I'll take great, effective story-telling wherever I can find it, even if it's bathed in mud. Because if it's done well, I can find the lessons in it, the inspiration, the escape, the new perspective. The film isn't for everyone, I know, I and I don't fault you if you stay away from The Hateful Eight. I saw the gold in it, like I knew I would.
Here's an hour-long round-table discussion featuring an incredible set of top Hollywood directors: Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, David O. Russell, Alejandro Inarritu, and Tom Hooper. I found it endlessly fascinating.
And for those of you who don't have an hour to watch a video like that, here's something fun instead! A little slight of hand from an amazing performance artist.
One last acting-related link, which is to a series of incredible videos on the Variety You Tube channel, called "Actors on Actors," in which a pair of big name actors/actresses sit down and "interview" each other. There are some incredible videos in this collection. LINK is right here.
So that's that.
So, yeah, lots of cool stuff on my plate, including things I haven't mentioned yet (and won't, in this post). Going to keep plugging along and see what happens. Who knows? If big things happen, I'll take you along with me!
Adios for now,
Dave the Still Blogging After All These Years.