Aug 222011
 

Will post updates here as the night goes on and the inspiration strikes.

6:52 PM – Power outage! An auspicious start!

6:57 PM – Playing with pictures!

20110822-065820.jpg

7:10 PM – This event is not starting at 7. We were lied to!

7:22 PM – The variety of dress here is quite amusing.

7:42 PM – We’re actually seated!

7:54 PM – Wonder what the odds are of this thing starting on time?

8:02 PM – Community theater? Oh, Jen.

11:10 PM – Ok, so…Clearly I didn’t actually keep Live Blogging. I started to, but then I realized I’d spend more time updating the results than I actually would have watching the ceremony and I didn’t want to do that. Next year I’ll actually plan it in advance and have the post per-formatted so all I need to do is update the winners. That said, a quick summary of the recipients for those who did not make it (those that I remember anyway…my apologies for the ones I’ve already forgotten)

Best Costume Design

  • Adrin Puente (American Stage)
  • Jennifer Cunningham (Gorilla)
  • Katrina Stevenson (Jobsite)
  • Mike and Kathy Buck (Stageworks)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Richard P. Watson (American Stage)
  • Christopher Swan (Gorilla)
  • Spencer Meyers (Jobsite)
  • Slake Counts (Stageworks)

Best Sound Design

  • T. Scott Wooten (American Stage)
  • Lynne Locher (Gorilla)
  • David Jenkins (Jobsite)

Best Lighting Design

  • Joseph P. Oshry (American Stage)
  • Megan Byrne (Gorilla)
  • Brian Smallheer (Jobsite)

Best Supporting Actress

  • No nominees from American Stage
  • Jonelle Meyer (Gorilla)
  • Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins (Jobsite)
  • Gloria Bailey (Stageworks)

Best Set Design

  • Jeffrey Dean (American Stage)
  • Jake Kavanagh (Gorilla)
  • Brian Smallheer (Jobsite)
  • R.T. Williams (Stageworks)

Best Director

  • Todd Olson (American Stage)
  • Bridget Bean (Gorilla)
  • Karla Hartley (Jobsite)
  • Karla Hartley (Stageworks)

Best Actor

  • Richard B. Watson (American Stage)
  • Christopher Swan (Gorilla)
  • Paul Potenza (Jobsite)
  • Joshua Goff (Stageworks)

Best Actress

  • Christine Decker (American Stage)
  • Caroline Jett (Gorilla)
  • Fanni Green (Jobsite)
  • Heather Krueger (Stageworks)

Winners list updated with information from this article at TBO.com.

Jan 302011
 

Sometime around October of 2001 I got a phone call from my friend “ranney.” He was directing a musical with a young theater company in Tampa and he was having a hard time casting one of the characters. He had directed me in a musical adaptation of The Birds that he wrote while I was a student at the Polk Community College and he felt I was a good match for the part. I came in and auditioned for him, and a few days later I got the call offering me the role.

The show was Maxwell: A New Rock Musical By Joe Popp, and it was the first paid acting gig I ever got. It was also the beginning of my year relationship with The Jobsite Theater. I was very much an unknown factor in this production, and I had the extra baggage of being recently divorced with the need to occasionally bring my five year old son with me to rehearsal. “ranney” put his full support behind me, though, and he managed to convince the Powers That Be to give me a shot.

Ten years later and I’m still working with them.

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Jun 112010
 

As has become the tradition here on my little ol’ blog, I am posting up links to all three major reviews that have come in for Dead Man’s Cell Phone. For the most part, they are overwhelmingly positive. There are some quibbles about the script itself, but even with those caveats all three critics had tons of lovely things to say about our little production.

A fine production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, an imaginative if flawed play by the ubiquitous Sarah Ruhl” – Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing, June 9th, 2010

“‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ starts out strong, then fades out” – Marty Clear, The St. Petersburg Times, June 10th, 2010

“‘Cell Phone’ message is loud and clear” – Kathy L. Greenberg, The Tampa Tribune, June 10th, 2010

I’ve said it before, but I’ll emphasize here again. I don’t do what I do just to get a nice review, but I sure as hell don’t mind it when that happens. All three of these reviews are awesome, and two of them are especially complimentary to me personally. Mark says that it might be my best performance, and Marty refers to me as “always excellent.” I’ve heard similar comments from some of my peers who have seen the show.

Is this my best work? I honestly don’t know. I can tell you that it’s some of my most honest. I can tell you that the things that have been praised about the show are things that the cast and crew consciously worked on and that they were not “happy accidents.” I can tell you that the audiences that have seen the show so far have seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and that we’ve been getting lots of positive feedback on Facebook and Twitter.

Another show that I got high praise on, personally, was Playing with Fire : After Frankenstein. Unfortunately, in the realm of ticket sales, not a lot of people came to see that show (despite great feedback and positive reviews). I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case again.

Please, if you can possibly spare the time, give us an opportunity to entertain you for an evening. I promise you that you won’t regret it. If money is an issue please contact me directly. We have several means to get discounted tickets available and can possibly work something out to help you get into a seat.

If this sounds a little early for me to be all desperate and pleading…It’s only because I’m proud of the work and I want to share it with you. I have had people tell me that they “wished they could have” seen one of the shows so many times it makes my head spin. Don’t be that person!

Nov 232009
 

Editor’s Note – As part of my work with The Artist’s Way I am occasionally required to complete certain assignments that are intended to help me discover the things that have me “blocked” as an artist.  Unlike the daily exercise of completing 3 pages of long hand in a journal these stories do not, necessarily, have to be private.  As such I figured that since I was writing this anyway I’d go ahead and put some actual content in this journal for a change instead of letting it fester here unused.  Please understand, though, that what I am writing is not necessarily going to be a rational take on my experiences or any kind of plea for help.  On the contrary, these entries are actually part of a conscious effort to improve myself and my self-worth.

I have been asked to describe one of the “monsters” from my past that has held me back as an artist.  I really had to think hard about this because, frankly, I’ve had more support than not in my quest to be an artist. After thinking about it for a while I did manage to come up with my three, and here are the details on one of them…

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Aug 202009
 

Ok.  Yes.  I suck at updating.  I’ve gotten used to doing all my updates in 140 characters or less over the course of my day and have spent all of my verbose writing energy over at ShrinkGeek.  You caught me.  I’m a horrible person and it’s perfectly justifiable that the number of people who visit my site every day has dropped to about 6.

I fail at internet celebrity.  Seriously.

I could say that my life has been exceedingly busy lately and I wouldn’t be lying, but I’ve used that excuse before and promised that I would change.  I mean it this time, though, baby.  Come back to me.  It’s going to be different.  I love you more than I love that silly old Twitter business.  She means nothing to me.  All I give her is a bunch of cheap, quick hits.  You?  You get all the depth and breadth of my soul.  My innermost feelings.  The very essence of what it is to be ME.

Just ignore all those workout posts.  I was going through a phase.

Umm…Did I just anthropomorphize my blog?

Is that even a word?

So anyway.  Updates.  Right.

Got back in town on Sunday from the (now) annual excursion to Indianapolis to attend GenCon with Alex.  We has an absolute blast.  The highlight of the con was our participation in the NASCRAG tournament, and I’m proud to say that our team managed to snag both the best name category (“We Have 3 Virgin Men”) and Third Place overall.  Not only that, but Trish took home the prize for MVP in her portrayal of Sexy Kobold Left…or was it Sexy Kobold Right?  It was really hard to tell.  For those of you who are too lazy to click the link, NASCRAG is an annual role-playing tournament at GenCon in which rules take a back seat to having fun.  The focus isn’t on who knows the game mechanics but more on who plays their character the best and puzzle solving.  We had so much fun we’ve already determined that NASCRAG is a definite for next year already and our team is already starting to form.  We also managed to snag a few spots in a Second Edition Paranoia game loosely based on the Star Trek universe called Paranoia Trek (a GenCon tradition, apparently).  I managed to win a prize for role-playing in that one for my stunningly accurate portrayal of Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway.  I’m not entirely sure if I should be proud of that one.  We continued the silliness in a rousing game of Luchador : Way of the Mask, and Alex enjoyed that one so much he actually purchased a copy for himself and wants to run it at some point.  Finally we got to try out the latest edition of Call of Cthulhu in a scenario known as “Beatings :  The Musical” (which was, apparently, the censored title….the original title was “Buggery Hoedown on the Gaza Strip.”).  That was a very entertaining mix of the silliness we’d been participating in all weekend with some good old fashioned Cthulhu chills.  Yes, we died at the end of the adventure.  But, hey!  We did NOT go insane AND we managed to prevent the world from being destroyed for another 100 years or so.  Go team!

Negatives of the con?  I attempted to pick up a copy of Call of Cthulhu along with a few GURPS supplements from Atlas Games and had the very embarrassing experience of discovering the Chase had decided to cancel the credit card that I took along for goodie purchases the night before (after I had used it to pay for dinner).  This is not the first time the Chase has screwed me over, but it was the worst and will be the last.  I have one card left with them that has a zero balance, and as soon as I’m able to make sure I have another “emergency” card on hand to take its place I’m canceling that one.  We also had a lovely experience with Alex’s blood sugar on Sunday morning due to the fact that he ran out of one of his types of insulin and didn’t tell me about it because he thought I’d be mad or something.  He had high levels of keytones in his blood and was vomiting before we got on the plane to come home.  I was able to get his blood sugar down to a reasonable level with what we had on hand and we made it home without incident, but it was a real pisser of a way to end the vacation.  It was also another reminder that he is not completely mature enough yet to handle his blood sugar related issues without being monitored closely.  I know he hates that, but until he proves we don’t need to anymore it is how things have to be.  There was also a snafu with the hotel bill that caused my bank account to be overdrafted, but that managed to get fixed and I’m being sent a coupon for a suite upgrade for next year.

Overall, though, it was a fantastic time and as usual I have come home with a renewed desire to get together with the family and friends to do some more table top gaming.  I have also walked away from the weekend finally able to see a picture that has been forming in my head ever since I made a concerted effort to actually read the Fourth Edition Dungeon Masters Guide from cover-to-cover.

One of the things they pointed out in that book is that a good Game Master never says “No.”  On the surface that seems like a truly disastrous statement to make, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was a completely true statement.  The fact of the matter is that in many ways a role-playing game is just an improvisational theater game.  You have a set of rules, you have an established character, and you have one person setting up the scenarios you will encounter who has an outcome in mind.  The fun comes in the getting there, and as part of that the players are just as important to telling the story as the game master.  Accepting that an RPG is a form of improv theater it makes sense that the “never say No” rule of improv carries over to table top gaming.  This is not to say that you let your players get away with completely running over your story, but it’s imperative that you let them actually take part in shaping it.  The best game masters I’ve ever played with did this, and I saw many fine examples of it this previous weekend as well.

I am inspired to do the same.

On another acting note we’re still in the midst of casting the 2010-2011 Jobsite Season with all the angst and anxiety that goes along with it.  I have at least one more show to audition for on August 31st and I’m still waiting to hear about another one.  I have already landed a few roles and gotten very close on a few others (including one that, unfortunately, I REALLY wanted…and not just because I could use the extra paycheck).  I am thinking that, next year, I need to at least go to the Tampa Area Unified Auditions at the Gorilla Theater.  Jobsite has been my theatrical home for the last 7 years and as far as I’m concerned they will have my eternal loyalty but I wonder sometimes if I’m doing myself a disservice by not at least seeing if anyone else would like to use me.

I was, however, reminded of something yesterday by a fellow actor and parent.  Every role that I miss out on is one more opportunity to spend time with my son before he’s grown up and out of my house.  I have plenty of time in my life to act after he is gone, but I will never get these years back.  The role I was gunning for hard this year would have prevented me from going to GenCon with Alex in 2010, and while I was prepared to make that particular sacrifice I think in the long run the time Alex and I spend together will be a much better investment.

Jul 222009
 

I started writing this post a few days ago.  I figure I’ll just go ahead and append on the end of it with the understanding that, perhaps, my head space is a bit different than it was when I first began this ramble.

Not only do I feel the need to break up the utter and complete monotony of posting nothing but my workouts here, I also have a compulsion to simply talk about a few things.  Get some stuff out of my head and out there in the ether as it were.  As a result this may end up being an incoherent post at times, so I apologize in advance.

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Apr 022009
 

So.

There are two more weekends left in the run of The Lieutenant of Innishmore at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.  I’m getting a pretty clear vibe from my friends at Jobsite that they could really use some help getting asses in seats for the last eight performances of the show.  We say that a lot (and we always mean it), but it’s particularly important that this show make money for us – or at least break even.  Why?  Because it was hellishly expensive to produce.  Jobsite took a big risk with this production and really made an effort to bring Tampa Bay a show that was unique, and they succeeded.  The special effects alone in this show are totally worth seeing it, and that frankly took up a huge portion of the budget.

But hey, don’t go see it for charity reasons.  In fact, I can supply you with a list of reasons why you should get off your ass and get over to TBPAC to check it out.

  1. All three major newspapers gave the show glowing reviews, as did several local blogs.  This doesn’t happen all that often.  Take, for example, Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  It was one of the biggest hits Jobsite ever had, but the Tampa Tribune absolutely trashed it.  When all the local critics agree a show is worth seeing you might want to stand up and listen.
  2. The writer of The Lieutenant of Innismore, Martin McDonagh, has won several awards and was most recently nominated for an Acadamey Award for In Bruges.
  3. The special effects are totally awesome.
  4. The cast and crew is made up of some of my favorite people in the world who have been working insanely hard to bring Tampa a quailty production.  They spend an hour and a half after every performance cleaning the stage and getting it ready for the next show.  That means that on a good night they are getting home around midnight and almost all of them still have day jobs (Tampa doesn’t really support living wages for actors).  I’ve been watching them like a worried old man for the last few weeks, cautioning them to make sure to eat well and get plenty of rest.  Every show deserves to make enough to let the actors see some extra scratch in the final paycheck, but this show in particular is requiring lots of effort beyond the actual acting.
  5. Kari Goetz and Matt Lunsford have great chemistry.  Seriously.  Such talented actors!  Also, they are both hot (least that’s what I hear about Matt.  Tall, blonde haired blue eyed englishmen don’t really do it for me, though).  Eye candy doesn’t suck.
  6. It’s funny as hell.  I probably should have mentioned that before, but it really is.
  7. Greta will scold you if you don’t go.  You don’t want that.  Seriously.
  8. Tickets to see the show are only $24.50, and if you pay attention to the Jobsite Blog or follow them on Twitter you can often get some great list minute ticket prices.  Considering the high cost of Broadway tickets these days, supporting local theater for the cost of a movie with popcorn and a drink is a great deal.  You can also see said movie at any time when it comes out on DVD.  Once a Jobsite show closes that unique experience is lost forever.
  9. I’m Irish.  This show is about Irish people.  If you don’t go see this show it must mean you hate Irish people and, by extension, me.
  10. Every single person in this production has a better Irish accent than Sean Connery.

Ok, I think I’ve made my point.  Please, go see The Lieutenant of Innishmore.  Support Local Theater!!

Jan 122009
 

I haven’t made a post here in almost a month, and all I have is the really lame excuse of “I was busy with the holidays and rehearsing for a show.”  I’m still really busy, actually.  I just started a new semester of classes at Saint Petersburg College (I’m taking the classes necessary to get into their B.S. Technology Management program).

That being said, my creativity is kind of at an all time low – which really sucks because I’m working on a super-secret new project with some friends that is going to require quite a bit of creativity from me in very short order.

The preceding two paragraphs were a lame setup for the cheesy premise of the post that follows.  I’m going to take some of my tweets from the last month and expand on them.

So lame.

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Nov 212008
 

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to preface this particular entry by reminding my readership that I am ensemble member of the Jobsite Theater.  All this really means, in the grand scheme of things, is that I have worked with Jobsite in the past and they do not need to see a monologue from me at the beginning of their casting season.  They know what I’m capable of, and if they think I might fit a role they call me for that specific show.  I am not involved in the business end of Jobsite at all.  I am not on the Board of Directors.  I have no financial stake in Jobsite beyond the shows that I do with them, and my interest in their health and future only impacts me directly in that if they were to fold I’d actually have to actively seek roles with other companies if I wanted to keep acting.

I mention this only because what I’m about to write is going to be fairly critical of another local company, American Stage, and I do not want you all to think that my words are in any way motivated by a desire to see them fail.  The truth of the matter is that any company that does well here is good for the community at whole, and that’s kind of why I felt the urge to make this post.

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