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.