Extended Ramblings

Been awhile since I did anything more than just post WKRP quotes, so maybe now’s a good time to empty the lint catcher with some random stuff.

* Despite my whining that I never actually got one, I did in fact manage to pull off a bit of a theater break. My last performance of Tenor was February 24th, and my first Curse rehearsal wasn’t until March 25th, so I had a legitimate month without being attached to a show. Yeah, I took a workshop during that same period, so between class one night a week and working with my scene partner at least one other time a week, it kinda *felt* like being in a show, but it was different. It was much more casual. By the time I rolled into the first Curse rehearsal I was ready for it. The break seemed to be just what I needed. Of course, with Curse scheduled for FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK from now until open, followed immediately by three weeks of intense prep for Pig at Festival, I’m pretty sure I’ll be toast by mid-June. But that’s okay… I’ll have a couple of weeks after that before launching into rehearsals for the dueling Tuna/Shakespeare production in September. Must… stop… world… spinning.

* The Workshop ended up being pretty interesting. Met some cool people, got to work some of the kinks out of my game, got introduced to a script I really like (“Second” by Neal Utterbach), and even managed to watch videotape of myself without cringing. Our final presentation went really well, although it highlighted an alarming trend I’ve picked up lately of not really focusing 100% until “it counts”. We struggled so much in rehearsing the scene, including the day before when he had our final prep with the instructor. I didn’t have high hopes for it. But then when we did the actual performance, we raised our game, and I know for me it was in large part because I knew it was “time to perform” and I managed to flip the proverbial switch. Which is bothersome. On the one hand, it’s encouraging to know that I have that extra gear I can shift into when the pressure’s on, and that I don’t shy away from performing and lose the stuff I have worked at, but at the same time I’d like to be able to be more consistent during the rehearsal process. The same thing happened at New Works this past year, where I just kinda fumbled along, butchering lines, never really getting a solid rehearsal under my belt, then belting out the performances as if there had never been any struggle. I’m putting in the time, I’m doing the work, I’m *trying* to get it right, but for some reason my mind has a hard time staying on target without an audience.

* So far so good with Curse. It’s a LOT more singing than I had expected coming in, and I worried after the first couple of rehearsals about my ability to learn all my parts given my lack of experience doing harmony vocals. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my own ability to pick things up. Granted, I’m still a LONG way away from getting it right, but I have faith I will. It helps that of the four Rooters I probably have the best actual singing voice, so when/if I get to actually singing it… you know… right!… it should be fine. In the meantime I can fumble along and at least feel like I belong because it’s obvious that when I *do* get it, it’ll sound sweet.

* The dancing on the other hand? Ugh. The less said the better.

* Been fun to watch Tommy go to work as a director. We’ve only had one real night of blocking so far, but it’s clear that he’s going to be very good. His ideas are wonderful and his ability to communicate with actors is sharp. Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows him. But a chunk of the cast does *not* know him, so it’s been fun to listen to them talk about how good he is without them knowing what a truly brilliant actor he is. I don’t know why, but I just sit there with a smile feeling like a kid that knows some big secret.

* So baseball season is finally underway and I am legitimately PUMPED for the first time in a number of years. Football has overtaken baseball as my favorite sport in the last 6 or 7 years, in particular since about mid-’04 when I moved to Woburn and didn’t have access to the Sox on TV. I missed most of the ’04 stretch run, so even though I saw the World Series win, I wasn’t quite as invested in that team as I used to be. But now that I’ve got cable in the apartment, I get to rediscover the joy of putting the game on and listening to Bob and Jerry’s call. That being said, I’m not a big fan of most of the moves the Sox made in the off-season, and I’m one of the few who thinks their offense may struggle this year. But I’m excited nonetheless. There’s something magical about baseball. Whether it’s the connection to the spring and summer seasons, or the way it takes me back to my youth, I’m not sure. But it’s uplifting. I’m definitely ready for it this year.

* Watching Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch every fifth day is going to be special. There’s something so very Pedro-like about watching him pitch. I was never all that enamored with the power pitchers like Clemens because while watching them blow heat by some slugger was impressive, it was a simple case of brute force. It wasn’t elegant, and it wasn’t nasty. It certainly wasn’t cerebral. And while a guy like Greg Maddux was certainly on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Rocket, he was so BORING to watch pitch, because he didn’t seem the least bit interested in being there. Petey, on the other hand, had a mean streak. A competitive fire that made watching him pitch exciting. Sure, he could blow it by guys, but he could just as easily make them look foolish by catching them off guard or throwing something that was so unhittable it defied description. Daisuke has a bit of that in him. You watch him throw this nasty curveball for strike one and you think, “oh man, that hitter’s got no chance”. Guys won’t know what pitch to expect. I predict a lot of AWFUL looking swings coming from major league hitters this year. Should be fun.

* I might still be bitter about drawing #9 (out of 9) in the timeslot selection process for Festival last week if not for the fact that, like most things I think aren’t going my way, it worked out for the better in the long run. Yes, we got the deathslot (in terms of having the crappiest tech time), and yes there will most likely be NO audience for the Friday night session, but as I found out about 24 hours later, having the Friday slot meant that Anne could actually do the show. So now instead of trying to shoehorn a new actress into a very tight cast, I have my cast in-tact. I’m far from the luckiest man on the planet, but I am damned lucky.

* We had our read-thru on Wednesday and it couldn’t have gone better. Most everyone agreed that the cutting was pretty smooth, with the stuff that I cut being stuff they weren’t going to miss too much. And we came in at 43 minutes, which means we have a good 17 minutes to add back in with blocking and pauses and whatnot. The version I gave them also had some potential follow-up cuts highlighted, but I now have some hope that I won’t need to make those cuts. Plus it was great to see everyone again. Rather than do it at the theater, we turned the night into a pseudo reunion party at Babs’ place (where we had the original cast party). We drank the leftover beer (yes, from the cast party), I bought a couple of pizzas, and we really had a ball. Everybody was psyched to be back together. Kinda sucks that we won’t see each other again for another month.

* Less than three weeks until “WKRP Season One” on DVD. Just over three weeks until the NFL Draft. Less than four weeks until my birthday. Have I mentioned that this is my favorite time of the year?


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