Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
This post is dedicate to Ms. Hoy who demanded (not asked, mind you, but demanded) that I make a new post. And since I find her adorable (something that, upon telling her, she replies with a heartwarming "Whatever"), I'm going to do so.

For those of you who read my last post, I would like to take this time to explain the proseness (which is now a word. I said so) of the passage, which is not something that I normally do. At the time of writing it, I was listening to a book-on-CD of David Sedaris' "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim". If you interested in reading a really funny collection of short stories about someone else's absurd family (which is the best way to escape from - and simultaneously embrace - the absurdities of your own), then definitely pick it up (after which you would hopefully open it and read the words).

Today is the test reading for the one-man show, just to make sure that I don't suck at it. "But Jeremy," you say (hopefully in a seductive voice with a twist of your shoulder) "I thought you were already cast in the show." Well, here's the thing. I am, but today is the moment where the director can back out of the deal if he so chooses. If he suddenly decides upon hearing me read the script, "Dude, this guy sucks!", he will say so and we shall depart ways, still on good terms, most likely.

"So Jeremy," you say (again seductive, again shoulder) "Aren't you nervous?" Well, I say (acting cool so as not to look interested. That's the way the ladies like 'em), not really. First off, he obviously wants me to be in the show, else he wouldn't have asked (Lord knows they have plenty of very talented actors there who could do the role just as well, if not better, than me). And I feel like I can do this show, otherwise the idea of a one-man show would have been to scary and pretentious-sounding for me to agree to.

Plus, this is much different from any audition I've been to in that there's no competition. Most auditions, to use a term from tenth-grade Honors English (and subsequently twelfth-grade Non-Honors English, a class that I'm still baffled I was put in) are "Man Vs. Man". With this one, however, the conflict is more of "Man Vs. Self". The only thing that will keep me from being in the show will be myself. So that's a stress reliever. Wish me luck!!!

In other news, I'm going to see a show tonight. This wouldn't be big news (What? Jeremy seeing theatre???), but I wanted to point out the title of the show, which is perhaps the greatest show title in the history of theatre: "Poona the Fuckdog and Other Stories For Children". It's written by Jeff Goode, whose "Marley's Ghost" at Circle X Theatre was very good (well, to be more specific, it - like most original productions in L.A. - was a merely decent script that had an awesome production). So it will be interesting to see how the writer of a family-friendly Christmas show (which took place at the Hollywood Forever cemetary. Really cool) can also write a vulgar sketch-comedy show for Rude Guerrilla (a theatre company which is notorious for displaying the words "This show contains nudity" for most of its productions).

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Toward the bathroom door goes a young man who, through years of self-training, gives off an image filled with contradiction. He walks with the swagger of a Hollywood celebrity, all cool and confident. However, neither his looks nor his personality reflect the ego of his stride, a fact that has been pointed out to him several times.

His hair gives the look of being brushed seven hours ago, which it was, and his wardrobe reflects an indifference toward any sort of fashion trend or style. He often gets nervous in new situations, which he demonstrates to the masses through excessive fiddling with his watchband. He strains to be a model of decency, morality, modesty and caring. While he may not always achieve this, he has always at least seriously considered using those virtues.

Still, the connection of his chin to his neck make a 105 degree angle and his steps hit the ground without exercising too much hesitation or too much volume. This contradictory walk lies on such a fragile plane that the smallest bit of conflict thrown his way will obliterate any facade he is attempting to maintain, and his true manner will be revealed.

This very event happens as he reaches the bathroom door. Gripping his hand around its brass stick of a knob, he pushes down until he hears what he believes is the click of the latch clearing the way for a smooth entrance. Using his other hand, he presses against the door firmly.

However, the latch - while pulled most of the way - does not quite complete its journey, and the door does not open. The comprehension of this is not as fast as the momentum propelling his body forward, and he slams against the wood of the door, uttering a shocked "Ohp!"

Pushing the knob harder, he hears a louder, more definitive snap that lets him know it is now safe to proceed through this door of deceit. Upon entering, he is greeted by another man, drying his hands with two paper towels. He heard the accident - how could he not - and was both looking at this young man to see who had actually done such an embarrassing deed, and attempting not to look at him as a feeble method of avoiding any sort of confrontation.

It does not help that this man seems to represent, in look, everything that the young man does not practice. The hair is perfectly formed, as if in a deep sleep. The clothes are neatly pressed, and the choice of tie is a pattern that is both striking without being distracting or out of place.

The young man again tries to be the pinnacle of decency, and seeing that the man is drying his hands - often the last step in a trip to the bathroom - holds the door open for his subsequent exit. A half-second passes and the man says nothing, but continues to look/not look. The young man suddenly realizes there is more drying of hands that is to be done, and he lets the door close behind him as he proceeds, eyes down on the ground, shoulders slumped, steps quiet, to the nearest urinal.

The look that was given by the man suggested utter confusion. And why not? He sees a somewhat disheveled young man run into a door, enter through it, freeze for a brief moment fixing a stare at him, and then proceed to a urinal. It's not even a moment that can be taken the wrong way, because there's no possible way to take a moment like that.

The man leaves and the young man's evacuation goes without a hitch. No liquid, water or otherwise, is spilled on his pants. The door opens with more ease exiting than it had entering. This makes the young man happy since he had enough embarrassment in the last two minutes.

His walk completely morphed into a style more indicative of his true character, the young man returns to his seat, wondering why he has so many moments like that in his life.

Monday, July 26, 2004
These are things that have occurred within the past 72 hours which make me happy:

* A call from a friend who I haven't talked to in months who has one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard. I'm such a fan of people's voices.

* An evening spent with a friend who I haven't seen in months, and whose company I enjoy immensely (despite - or perhaps because of - her love of flirting with people).

* Having my voice back for the show, making the previous weekend's horrible performances nothing more than a memory.

* People I know and haven't seen for a while coming to see the show (especially those who have never heard me sing before).

* Michael Parillo's unexpected falsetto when he said, "I'll shoot my wife, I'll shoot my kids, I WON'T SHOOT ANYONE!!!"

* Kelly Flynn's shamelessly blustering President Garfield impression.

* My beautiful ex-wife dressed as a hippy putting her head on my shoulder in a tired state (even if she does want a divorce and insists on keeping my class ring).

* An incredible response from a normally enraptured-but-uncomfortable audience for Sunday night's performance (including one guy with a humongous grin on his face the entire time who gave us a standing ovation).

* "The Bourne Supremacy", which was quite good, and kicked "Catwoman"'s ass in box office receipts (just like I predicted).

* Two friends of mine who have never met getting acquainted and talking without me there to formallly introduce them (especially while one of them has a line of people wanting to get her autograph, which took some guts from my other friend to cut in front of them).

* The CD of Sesame Street songs that I'm listening to right now.

* Hanging out for a few hours at a beautiful city park, feeding ducks in a pond with pieces of my Burger King Whopper bun. It's amazing how normally suspicious and nervous animals will walk right up to you like we're at a business meeting if you feed them hamburger bun. Apparently no one has told the ducks about Atkins.

* Talking to a random 13 year-old girl (whose name I never did get) about random topics for over an hour while sitting on a park bench.

* A beautiful woman smiling warmly at me as I hand her half of a breakfast burrito.

And perhaps most of all...

* At the theatre where I'm performing "Assassins", I was offered the one and only role in the one-man show that's next in their season (not asked to audition, just given the role). After reading the script, I gladly accepted. This is going to be such a challenge for me. It's about a 90-minute show that will be just me talking (that's 90 minutes that I'll have to memorize. Linda Emond in "Homebody/Kabul"'s got nothing on me). I'll be playing a crazed prisoner with multiple personalities. It's going to be a side of me that nobody, including me, has ever seen. The part that really got me going, "Oh, man, I'm going to do THAT???" is when I and my alter ego (also played by me) sing songs filled with racial slurs and tell jokes that make fun of handicapped people.

Friday, July 23, 2004
When I wake up in the morning, I have about an hour between the TV alarm going off and my getting out of bed. I spend that time in a half-awake stupor listening to the morning news and indulging whatever random thoughts slip in to my head.

This morning's thought was about high school (which was actually a very fun time for me), and how five years ago to the day, I was smack dab in the middle of summer vacation. I would wake up, and I'd have the entire day ahead of me. I could do whatever I wanted to do. Wake up at noon. Make myself a sandwich. Watch "Singin' in the Rain" for the fiftieth time. Whatever. Go through my parents' old records. Whatever. Ah, those were the days. The days of doing half-ass work on my assignments, dance class on Wednesdays, Lake City Playhouse (a theatre that - along with North Idaho College's Schuler Auditorium - felt like another home), cruising Sherman Avenue in my friend James' LeBaron convertible, dates at The White House Grill on Spokane Street, the big and little gym at the high school (which is now the junior high). It was a great time for me. And at the same time, I'm so glad to be out of there.

So today, I took an online quiz that gave me my pirate name ("Black Harry Flint". I like it), and it reminded me of my favorite pirate joke (I really like pirates, by the way):

A pirate walks into a bar, and he has a steering wheel tied to his testicles. He goes up to order a drink, and the bartender says, "I'm sorry, but I can't help notice that you've got a steering wheel tied to your balls." And the pirate says, "Aye, matey, and it's drivin' me nuts!"

*BA DUM BUM* Tip your waitress.

Last night, I was watching "Scrubs", one of the very few sitcoms that doesn't totally and completely suck. They had a trailer for the film "Garden State", which was written by, directed by, and stars Zach Braff, who stars in "Scrubs". I had heard of the movie, but knew nothing of what it was about. After seeing the trailer, I still knew nothing about the plot. However, I definitely know that I want to see it something fierce. It has a kind of Jeunet/Burton/P.T. Anderson look that I'm a big fan of. So I have my fingers crossed. This weekend it's all about "The Bourne Supremacy". "The Bourne Identity" was exactly the kind of action film that I'd like to do, with running, gun pointing, car chasing, and martial arting, but with a plot, good acting and actual character development.

So yeah, I hope "Bourne Supremacy" beats out "Catwoman" for the number one spot today (I have no interest in seeing that movie, although I will probably find some pictures of Halle Berry in a cat suit on the Internet, much like I did with Keira Knightley in her "King Arthur" battle armor). And then next week, I'll be all about "Garden State".

Thursday, July 22, 2004
I witnessed society take a step down yesterday. I went to Disneyland to get my Annual Passport renewed (the price rose to $259, and I got word that it's going to make a huge leap in price in the next year, which is insane, since Disney is already making too many dumb decisions), and then went to Innoventions to visit some friends of mine that work there.

After visiting with them, I explored Innoventions (which is filled with "futuristic" technology that's actually from about 2002), and saw a new exhibit in which you could test drive the new Segway's. In case you don't know, the Segway is that two-wheeled transport that looks like a cross between a scooter and a pogo stick. It relies on your balance to get you around (lean forward to go, lean backwards to go backwards), and makes for a surprisingly smooth, safe ride.

However, I don't think I'll get one anytime soon for the following reason. While I was standing in the line, there was a guy behind me, and he was shouting to his family about what he was in line for, and this is what he said: "You can ride the new Segway's! You know what a Segway is? You don't have to walk no more!" Those words really rung with me. "You don't have to walk no more!" We can't bother ourselves with walking anymore? I'm serious, you don't have to even use your feet to push, like with a bike or a scooter. The only thing you exercise is your left wrist when you turn yourself. So celebrate, America! You don't have to walk no more! Soon, you won't have to think no more (some would say that with the onslaught of reality television, that's already happened).

Later on that night, I went to Dave & Buster's which - being a humongous arcade with a full bar and restaurant - is a nerd's paradise. So I was playing video games galore, most of them shooting games, which is an unusual thing for me to love since I'm not a big fan of guns or violence (and for that matter, what the hell am I doing in "Assassins", where we hold real working guns).

Now, at D&B's (as the people in the business like to call it) you don't put quarters into the machines. Instead, you buy a rechargeable game card, and you swipe that at the machines. So I bought a ten dollar card, and after it was used up, returned to the bar. I spotted a card sitting at a bar, with no one to claim it. Seeing as I was the only one near it, I took it, thinking it may have had a game or two left on it. I go to swipe it at a game, only to find out that it has around 250 credits on it. That's a lot of money. I found out later that it had a collection of 1100 redeemable tickets in it (which is almost enough to get me something along the lines of a lava lamp at their ticket store). It was really cool to score something that, in that building, is of great value. However, I also felt really bad - knowing that someone worked hard and spent a great deal on that card - and that I was going to benefit from their absent-mindedness.

But I still have the card.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
I hate talking on the phone. It's without a doubt the most intrusive of all of the forms of communication. Talking in person, you know that the other party has your attention. If they're not paying attention or they're busy doing something else, you are fully aware at all times. And with e-mail, they can get back to you at their own convenience (there's also that extra perk of being able to go back over your words and making sure you don't accidentally blurt out anything damning like "Have you gained weight?" or "Can I have buttsex with you?"

But with the phone, there's all this mystery shrouded around every conversation. Did I just interrupt a family fight? Were they eating, or looking at porn (or possibly both)? Do they want to talk to me or are they making faces at the thought of me? I've tried to be more social over the years, but it still takes a lot of work for me to call someone on the phone, and even then, I always hope it goes to the answering machine. Does this make me weird? Anyone else like this.

In other news, I found out today that some of the work our department does at my job will be outsourced to India. It's interesting because we're a successful company with a patriotic name, and yet we're taking jobs away from the American economy and sending them to countries with lower standards of pay. It's just amazing how obviously hypocritical we can be sometimes. We tried this last year with Mexi-Cali, and our department's work was found to be too difficult. So I have my fingers crossed for a repeat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
There is a constant search for the catalyst that will create world peace. People around the world are trying to find some unifying thing that will start us down the road toward a peaceful existence. I believe I have found it. And I believe it to be the ride Soarin' Over California at Disney's California Adventure.

Granted, the park itself is not much to write home about (it's strong point is an abundance of atmosphere. It's weak point is a deficit of decent attractions). However, Soarin Over California is a very enjoyable and accessible bit of beauty and serenity. I have yet to find an unhappy person leaving it. There's just something about flying over the most beautiful parts of California (and also L.A. and Disneyland) that just puts you in a good place. It's better than my previous plan to have "Gilmore Girls"'s Alexis Bledel travel the world being really adorable and winning hearts and minds.

And on the other side of that, if we wanted to find new ways to torture prisoners (you know, once Abu Ghraib gets boring), then we can put them on Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror. That should scare the crap out of them. It does to me.

Since this post is pretty short, it's time for some filler. So here are the seven shows that I would most want to see if I had the time and money to spend a week in New York:

1). "Bug" by Tracy Letts - I know next to nothing about this play, except that it's a big off-Broadway hit, it's supposed to be really good, and it's written by a guy who never went to college and took any training in writing plays. Just like me.

2). "Avenue Q" - The musical-comedy is back, and this one so far seems to be the strongest of the bunch. I love the soundtrack, and the idea of humans and puppets living a poverty-stricken life in New York (like a more adult version of "Sesame Street") strikes me as very funny.

3). "Caroline, or Change" - I recently listened to the soundtrack of this, and was very impressed. This musical (from "Angels in America"'s Tony Kushner) isn't gimmicky, pretentious or sugary. And it has a really cool sound to it.

4). "The Frogs" - Okay, so I'm a musical guy. Can you blame me? And when you get Stephen Sondheim, Susan Stroman, and Nathan Lane in the same show, I want to see it. Simple as that.

5). "Frozen" by Bryony Lavery - Going by scripts alone, this is the one that should have won the Tony for Best New Play. Lavery's powerful script about child molestation blew me away when I read it. But instead it lost the Tony to...

6). "I Am My Own Wife" by Doug Wright - I can't wait to see this production when it comes to L.A., mainly just so that I can see Jefferson May's performance. This guy plays over 40 different characters in one show. How kick-ass is that?

7). "After the Fall" by Arthur Miller - You really can't go wrong. You've got a play by one of 20th century theatre's great playwrights, a great actor (Peter Krauser of "Six Feet Under" and "Sports Night"), and Michael Mayer who I hear directs a good Broadway show, even though he's hard to get a hold of (I know this from experience).

In other news, my throat is almost done being sore. I'm feeling very phlegmy today, which I haven't lately. So maybe by tomorrow, I'll be back to normal. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, July 17, 2004
Embarrassment, and I'm talking pure, unbridled embarrassment, doesn't happen to me very often. If ever. I almost never get fully embarrassed to the point where I just want to walk away from the situation and try to forget that it ever happened. ALMOST never. It used to be never until last night.
Ladies and gentlemen, last night was the worst performance I ever gave...ever. I'm talking worse than "The King & I" in the third grade when I hammed up my one and only line ("Walk on water???"). Worse than when I tried (and miserably failed) to play an old man in "Harvey" my senior year. This was the uber-suck. The ultimate in bad. I'll write to you about it, but I couldn't tell you if you asked me, because my voice is fucking GONE!!!
I'd had a sore throat all day. Okay, no big news. I can get over it, it's happened before. I was sucking lozenges, cough drops, hard candies, teas, water, anything and everything like there was no tomorrow (or even day after tomorrow...starring Jake Gyllenhaal). Still, the throat was sore. Fine, I've sung with a sore throat. I've got - in all modesty - a powerful voice that can battle through being sore. Right?
Okay, so then how come from the first moment that I stepped on stage, I couldn't hit one single fucking note??? Not one. During my big song, I'm sitting in an electric chair, going off on this crazy rant, singing really high notes, and every single other night I nailed that sucker like I was a hammer. But tonight, I get about 20 seconds into my song, and I realized that I have not hit one single note right. They've all come out through this distorted frog filter that's making me sound like a direct descendent of Jimmy Durante.
So I say to myself, "Alright, then, I'm just going to Rex Harrison this fucker!" I start talking the song. And since it's a crazy rant, I soon start yelling the song. Which isn't making my already strained voice any happier. By the time I was done, I realized that I had never sung that way in front of people ever. That was the worst vocal performance I have ever had. You know those American Idol rejects that are so incredibly funny because they can't carry a tune? Multiply that by five. That's where I was. I could carry a tune, I couldn't carry a note. I wasn't even singing in the wrong key, I WASN'T SINGING ANY KEY!!! I'm up on stage doing my best Harvey Fierstein impersonation, and I can just feel people cringing. Do you know what it's like to feel people cringing at something that you're doing? Especially when the weekend prior they were telling you how great of a voice you had?
My song ends, and I retreat off-stage, pretending to have some dignity. I soon start sucking down a TON of water to try and salvage whatever's left of my voice. I realize what a mistake that is about a half-hour later, when I suddenly realize that I need to pee REALLY bad. Now for those of you who haven't seen the show, I spend a great deal of time behind the set, where there is no accessible bathroom. From the time I enter the theatre, which is around 7:00, to the time that I exit into the lobby after singing "Another National Anthem", which is around 9:30, I cannot pee. Which is bad when I'm sucking down so much water. So it's about 8:30, and I realize that there's no way I can hold it for another hour. I also come to the realization that there's a good chance I could pee myself during my next song. So I ask everyone to kindly turn their backs, I take my water bottle (which has very little water in it by this point), and I quietly and inconspicuously relieve myself in it. That's what it had come down to, folks. I was pissing in a bottle backstage!!! I couldn't sing, could barely speak, and I'm pissing into my own drinking water.
Now, I'm on vocal rest. I have a cup of water and a cup of tea next to me. I have a hot towel wrapped around my neck to decrease the swelling. I cheer myself up by looking at the good reviews we got in the Orange County Register and L.A. Times (the Times! I was actually mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, one of the country's largest newspapers! Top of the world, ma!), and by reminding myself that no one that I knew was in the audience. And then of course, I vent out my frustration (and, yes, embarrassment) on this post.
So be glad you weren't there last night. As for me, I'm going to lay down and worry about what tonight's show can bring. I doubt it could be any worse than last night's. Famous last words........

Thursday, July 15, 2004
So I feel gross today. This is for many reasons. One is that I am recovering from a cold, and am coughing and phlegming all over the place. I've been taking healthy doses of Vitamin C and drinking plenty of teas and water.

I don't like to take medicine when I'm sick, because I believe that most diseases can be controlled mentally. Granted, something like cancer or AIDS isn't going to go away because you deny it. But have you ever noticed that those who overcame those diseases always did so through a strong spirit, whereas those who gave up the fight (such as the father of one of my friends from high school) passed away just shortly after being diagnosed. So I refuse to take medicines and instead will do things like eat plenty of oranges and try to mentally eradicate the disease. A lot of this is done through a sort of meditation where I imagine the disease as this black, gooey substance and I pull large portions of it from my body. Okay, I have a big imagination, but it's worked so far.

The second reason why I feel gross is because I haven't showered yet today. I woke up at 5:20 a.m., knowing I needed to be at work by 6:00, and knowing that with no traffic, it takes me 30 minutes to get to work. So I skipped the shower, which I will take when I get home. So I'm covered in stank and sweat.

And the third reason is because of the dream that I had last night. I dreamt that I was driving around and was stopped at a stop light. Suddenly a guy in the car next to me got out of his car. I thought at first that he was going to do a Chinese Fire Drill - in which you run around your car once while stopped at a red light and try to get in before the light turns green - but instead he threw up into the hood of his car. I laughed, amused by this guy's choice of place to throw up. However, it turned out that he wasn't done, and he proceeded to throw up in the hood of my car. I was okay with this, because I really saw no harm in him doing this. However, upon driving again, I saw that I was finding it hard to see out my windshield and realized with horror that it was getting covered with vomit, which was splashing up from the hood of the car. So I pulled over the car, only to find that I was covered in vomit. Apparently, the vomit from inside the hood was coming through the vents and splashing onto me. I then woke up, and realized that the "vomit" I was feeling was my own sweat. So now I feel like I'm covered in vomit.

By the way, are you going to eat all of that?

Monday, July 12, 2004
So...I'm married now. Not officially, but I am. Here's the dilly:

Saturday night, we're celebrating another wonderful performance of "Assassins" by having a party at the house of fellow cast member Courtney. She and I and a few other people were drinking (like you do at a party), we were in her jacuzzi (like you do when you're drinking) and we were naked (like you do in a jacuzzi). Courtney was talking about how displeased she was with her looks (which is crazy, because she's really beautiful) and with guys that have cheated on her in the past (which is crazy, because she's a really cool person). I told her these things, and she asked if I would marry her. I said I would, and then one of the other jacuzzi dwellers mentioned that she is an ordained minister, and so she married us, right then and there (she also subsequently married herself to one of the other cast members). Nothing has been signed, so right now it's a double naked spa marriage of words.

But I'm a married man now. I find it funny, because I have trouble finding a girlfriend, but no trouble at all finding a beautiful wife.

The next day, a lot of people at the show were surprised to hear that I did all of that. I guess I give off this impression of being a conservative guy (and I guess that for the most part, I am). However, there's this crazy, wacky cannonball of a guy just waiting to get out. The problem is that often no one seems to be interested in seeing that guy. But when I was asked to go naked in the jacuzzi, I didn't give it a second thought. What does that make me? Spontaneous? Shameless? Nude?

Thursday, July 08, 2004
Abandon wit all ye who enter here! My fatigue prevents me from being funny. Sorry.

"Assassins", the show that I'm currently in (running July 8th through August 15th at the Hunger Artists Theatre in Fullerton, CA...shameless plug) opens tonight with a preview performance (more on that later). So I'm massively tired, as I am rehearsing until late in the evening, and then showing up at work early (and earlier than usual, since - coincidence of coincidences - they need overtime this week!). I've now learned to depend on the kindness of naps.

But the thing is, I'm still really happy. Getting the show together has been a relatively pain-free process, which is surprising to me. It's a beautiful looking show - great sets, costumes, lights, sound, cast, etc. - and the music and writing is incredible. I've just been involved with so many shows where there was a multitude of problems, and even when they got smoothed over, it was still just a mediocre show. So to be part of a show where everyone acts like professionals and gets the job done quickly and without any hassle takes me back to the days of Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre up in Idaho (one of the best summer stock companies in the Northwest). The only difference is that we're not getting paid. This is the first show in a while where I felt comfortable with how it was going at all times. I feel like we could open tonight. Oh, wait. We do.

That leads me to the bone that I have to pick (just when you thought this would be totally positive journal entry. You don't know me well). Tonight is the first time that we perform in front of an audience, but tomorrow is our official Opening Night. But Jeremy, you ask me (preferably while checking me out if you're an attractive woman), how could that be? Well, I say (posing seductively for you whilst you check me out), that's because tonight is our "preview performance". Now this is something that Broadway theatres do all the time. They'll have a month of previews so that they can perform in front of a crowd and see what works and what doesn't. That way they can have the best possible show before they perform in front of the press.

However, the community theatres around here like to have one preview performance. Why? I have no clue. Nothing changes from the preview to the "opening" performance. We're still performing in front of a paying crowd. We never had preview performances in Idaho. We would just invite friends to see the final dress rehearsal for free. We didn't even call it a preview, we called it a final dress. It just seems like a very pointless thing. Can any theatre owners answer that one for me?

Sunday, July 04, 2004
So, I went to see "Spiderman 2" last night. It was really nice to see a summer film that knew how to balance its big action sequences with its smaller dramatic moments, and make each equally fascinating. The entire movie was fun to watch, and there was dimension to the characters (I was surprised to find myself feeling sorry for Dr. Octopus). It was also cool to see Kirsten Dunst playing Cecily in "Importance of Being Earnest". Oh, if only THAT were the production I could have been Algernon in.

The film has been setting records - like opening day box-office and such - but the showing I attended made yet another record: The most number of times an audience applauded during a movie. I'm not kidding, there were like twenty different moments that the audience applauded. When the showed the Marvel Comics logo, when they showed the title, at the end of every stinkin' action sequence (the action sequences actually weren't stinkin', and in fact were inventive and thrilling, but you know what I mean), and at every single plot point in the last half-hour (none of which I'll give away).

Who are you applauding for? I can assure you that Tobey Maguire, Kirsetn Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Sam Raimi and Michael Chabon have better places to be on the opening weekend of their film than at the Block in Orange County. Perhaps the projectionist? Granted he turned on and off the projector with ease, and made sure the lighting was bright enough to register the images on screen. The characters? They're not real.

I can understand applauding a play or a concert or a political rally. There are live people there who can hear and respond to your praise. But when you applaud Spiderman, Tobey Maguire's ears won't be ringing in Los Angeles. He won't hear you. No one will hear you but the other people in the audience. And that incredible projectionist.

Thursday, July 01, 2004
Are you looking for a way to wake up without using the stimulants of coffee or caffeine? Well then, have the hot water shut off at your apartment. Take it from me, nothing perks you up faster than a nice cold shower.

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