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June 13, 2010

I’m still figuring that out.

And let’s try again.

Been busy. The Merchant of Venice is blocked (I think). Monday we run the show to see exactly what I’ve gotten us all into. Then more vacation craziness happens (not mine). Hearing the play (#merven now) read by the cast is always an important step for me. I start with a basic understanding but hearing characters helps me shape the relationships and also is the only way I eventually get all the jokes. I think that’s why I love Rocky and Bullwinkle so much — they wrote the puns down and then delivered them verbally. Activate all the communication sectors of the brain. Which sounds like Star Trek talk.

Have also had a burst of other forms of creativity. Started a half chapter of continuing the @stirfryneon Twitter fiction. But then I woke up yesterday with new places and characters in my head and spent nearly the whole day writing down scenes. Maybe the hack science fiction/fantasy novel I’ve been wanting to write since I did family trees for horse clans as a kid might be working its way out. So far no horses, but I am considering jet bikes. And intrigue.

And then, in insomnia gear, I turned out a new Blink Kitty Love last night. It’s short, weird and fun. And there might be vampires. Find out below.

In my spare time (aka when I should be sleeping), I’ve been considering musicians and if they’re wired differently. Gayle, of course, doesn’t appreciate when I get into these sorts of analytic moods, especially when I attempt to analyze her. Been paying attention to Amanda Palmer for the band and picking up and leafing through Todd Oldham’s Joan Jett book for inspiration (must be returned to the library Monday so need to purchase soon). Musicians seem to have a very personal relationship with their fans. They really put themselves out there and inspire hurricane waves of loyalty. It’s amazing. And scary.

I’ve always been more comfortable being behind the curtain, stage, keyboard, computer or camera. Back when I was learning theatre by doing, York Little Theatre had the Studio Five program, where volunteer directors picked shows and put them on. I stage managed shows for a couple of years before I directed my first one act, which meant light, sound, props, actor cheer up, director support, everything. And a buddy of mine would always call me “Wiz” which I took as a compliment to the magical way I made everything work. Eventually, I realized it was a Wizard of Oz reference. I sat in the back, behind a triangle of plywood, running the show. And I liked it.

I also enjoy being at the front of a room and running the show, especially as a director. I’ve always done it. I wasn’t the captain of the softball team but I was the catcher who got winning games out of relief pitchers. I believed in them and they believed me.

But success these days seems to require being a public personality, tapping into the cult of personality circuit and letting people like you. How can that be hard? And why do musicians seem better at inspiring that sort of thing than any one else?

Hmmmm. So anyway, this is what’s going on in my head, along with Merchant of Venice, keeping the band ticking along on Twitter, figuring out how to motivate and/or teach and/or inspire particular actors, wanting to write, sketching vampire pinecones, photo safariing, et alia. Oh, yeah, and I finally came up with a way to respond to the horrors of the BP Oil Spill. There’s the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that has people who monitor, care for and protect the waterways of our world. This part of the world has a Riverkeeper stationed downtown. So I e-mailed him, offering to help with PR/Outreach (locally, they have strong go out and do something on the water support but not so much for press releases) and will be calling next week when he gets back from a conference in Mexico.

I think this is the beginning of exhaustion. Stay tuned.

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