Friday, October 20, 2006

I Be Jammin'

I got to jam a bit with Your Warped Reality last night. It's been a while since I've played with other folks let alone played the drums. It was a lot of fun and a prettty laid back situation. The project isn't hardcore at all and is more in the "let's jam" mode right now. All the other members work at my favorite restaraunt Uncle Julio's Hacienda, so, it's like we're all family already. Stay tuned for more news.

Currently watching :
Lucky Number Slevin (Widescreen Edition)
Release date: By 12 September, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

'Twas On Like Donkey Kong!

I had a fabulous day of improvisation. I went to class from 7-8:20 PM at SC. We played a few games I had never played before. One was a "yes and" game where we all try to come up with a common story in our heads based on the words we throw at each other in a circle. The other game was a 3 stanza game with four lines each where three players take a line a piece. The first person initiates the meter and canter of the stanza while others support it while all take just on be line per stanza. It was pretty fun to watch!

I then left class half way through to hit Spot 6 for my show with Salsation. It was a lot of fun! We performed a series of short scenes each based on a word from a dictionary. The moderator thumbs through the pages randomly until someone yells "stop!" Then he/she picks a word and that's what the actors use to start their scene. We then performed a La Ronde and Monologue/Montage set. I loved every scene I was in and had fun watching all the other scenes unfurl. The crowd ate up what we were doing so it added to our jubliation!

After the show, a guy asked me "How do you train to come up with stuff on stage?" I told him, "Well, you spend a lot of money to give yourself guidelines on creating good theatre. Then, right before you get on stage, you forget all of that and go have fun! That's how I improvise."

How true. How true.

Currently listening :
Nintendo Sound History Series: Disc System Rare Selection
By Game Music
Release date: By 31 March, 2005

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Vortex

Just returned from Home Depot to get some keys made. That event in itself didn't prompt this blog entry. The fact that I was supposed to have a rehearsal tonight that didn't happen got my mind going. I'm with an ensemble that's been plagued by a roaming, yet surprisingly vicious, vortex of time-distortion that allows people to show up late consistently or not show up at all. Tonight the vortex claimed everyone except me and the director. Even the rehearsal hall we were supposed to be in had no attendants on duty for us to get in (the vortex doesn't discriminate...it struck them and had them show up 20 minutes after I arrived)!

To be candid, I had driven to the spot knowing full and well we wouldn't have enough people for a rehearsal. Call it clairvoyance, a hunch, or just plain guessing; I knew things were gonna be screwy. Hence, why I wasn't surprised nor angry when I showed up early (which, according to to my understanding of the vortex, is showing up on time within my space-time continuum, however, after time has been manipulated by the torque of the gravitational force, puts me 15 minutes ahead of almost everyone else. Quite fascinating! )

My interest in time has increased exponentially in the last few weeks. How time is perceived by the brain in some vs. others. As the song says:

"Time won't give me time
And time needs a lover's feel
I think that's something real
Cuz you and me know
We've got nothin' but time
But time won't give me time..."
Currently listening :
At Worst...The Best of Boy George and Culture Club
By Culture Club
Release date: By 02 November, 1993

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=10&blogDay=17&blogYear=2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ahhh...YouTube...A Time Teleportation Device

I would've posted this up yesterday, however, MySpace disagreed with me, and denied me access all day and night! I'm now convinced that the Republican Party is trying to divert my attention from the Foley/Hastert Page Scandal of '06 by denying my log into MySpace!

Anyway, as I was desperately trying to get into my second favorite website (first being Yahoo Mail), I ran across live Smashing Pumpkin videos on YouTube. A Majroity of them are live performances of the Pumpkins, which, in case you didn't know, is the best way to get aa feel for the Pumpkins. I caught videos from WAY BACK in the day when they were first together playing dives around Chicago. I got to see songs from the b-side collection Pisces Iscariot being played live at LollaPalooza '94, video of them jamming at Pumpkinland studios with Flood during the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (MCIS) era as well as recent footage during the Adore and Machina days! Very exciting for me. I have now been able to see how the Pumpkins transformed from a "bad pop song" band to one of the greatest of all time without leaving the comfort and time continuum of my own home. Below are some of my favorite clips thus far:















Currently listening :
Peel Sessions
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: By 12 February, 1993

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the Thirteenth...Great Day for an Audition!

I went to my second audition of the month today. I had dropped off my H/R in their mailbox at the request of the owner prior to today so he could review prior ot the audition. I tried multiple times to deliver it in person but they aren't open until Friday night (weird). They were looking for improvisors, so, I figured I matched that description.

Right before I left, It hought "what if they didn't get my H/R? Maybe I should bring another one just in case". Since I have only the BEST headshot int he world a la J-Veezo Photographitti, I had only the BEST place to make my prints...Walgreens. I had already uploaded the file to their website so when I went to try to get some copies drawn up, the website wouldn't work. DAMN! So, I figured I would just print out my resume which has a lovely banner across the top very similar to the one on this blog . So, I headed over there and got there early.

When I walked in, there were people filling out paperwork. I then saw that they had brought their headshots and resumes with them. DAMN But hey, at least I brought up my resume which does happen to have my picture on it. The girl running the audition was a bit hyper due to handling the whole thing practically by herself. The owner was on the phone a lot so he couldn't do much. She asked me to fill out another form which asked the usual "when are you available?, what can you do?, do you like green?" type questions. I got to know everyone in the lobby and the people coming in. It turned out I had actually been on the set of Quebec with one woman. She recognized me and started asking all kinds of questions about having an agent and being getting screen time. I tried my best ot be non-chalant about my approach with acting, i.e., have fun with it and thinking about the current moment as much as possible, and gave her the best advice I could. Then I ran into another person who's name I felt was very familiar. However, I couldn't place where I had met her...all until she took off her jacket and I admired her lovely shape..THEN I remember I had a 4 week workshop with her at SC What can I say...I can't remember a face or a name but I can recognize a pair of tatas quite well .

We eventually got into the room and I was blown away. My audio engineering hat went on and I admired how all the walls were done so that they are not in direct angles to each other like a real studio would do (long story short, the less your walls face each other, the less reverberation the room has). They had painted the walls a dull black and had put up some foam to absorb some sound. Acoustically, it was a "warm, blue" room. I loved it.

The audition was 1 hour and 45 minutes long! It consisted of a group of 9 playing games such as onion peel, style options, emotional options, take that back, and of course, 151 (I do recognize that all of these games have different names). I kicked arse in 151. It's a game of puns. Check out this previous post where I demonstrate it. There were some people that were unbelievalby good and some unbelievably bad. I felt I leaned towards the good category. Overall, the audition went well on a personal level. I hope I have what it is they are looking for.

Now I am home working on a musical project for a fashion show. Gotta love Indian fashion shows. I had everything thrown at me at the last minute and they want it done by tomorrow. LIttle do they know I won't get it to the before Sunday! Actually, they do know.

Currently watching :
The Lake House (Widescreen Edition)
Release date: By 26 September, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Great Show and Great Fans

Recapitulation, my Music Improvisation Level I ensemble, rocked Donny's Skybox on Sunday evening. It was great. There was a lot of nervous energy in the air prior to the show which re-enforced to me that warm-ups are essential to performing any task whether it be getting ready to hit the stage for a performance or scrubbing the tub with a toofbrush (yes, TOOFBRUSH). It took us a bit to calm down but after 25 minutes, we were ready to rock.

The show itself went without a hitch, honestly. I kinda memorized the running order right before we went on by pulling up the neat little web browser in my phone and pulling up the email someone had sent out. When asked about knowing the show by our director, I stated, "Yep...I'm ready" and held up my phone to show him the order. He smirked but I could see the worrying in his eyes. I figured the worst thing that could happen is that we improvise until we get back on track Luckily, it didn't need to get to that point because everyone in the ensemble banded together and supported each other. I had some of the best singing and scenes I've ever done that night. What fun!

Afterwards, I had my fans waiting for me. Granted, no one asked for an autograph, but, my time will come where that is common place My friends and I went across the street to eat and chat witht the rets of the ensemble at Wells on Wells (WoW), but the seating already was a bit fragemented between to tables at opposite ends of the bar, so, instead I hearded my peeps over to Corcorans next door (the food is better there anyway) where we sat outside and chit-chatted. After about an hour and ahalf, my adoring public disbanded and I stopped back in to WoW to say my bye-byes. I then headed home with a sudden feeling of tiredness due to my improv high wearing off (that and I ate 3 mini-burgers so my body was using energy to digest it ).

For those of you who have yet to see me in action, you've got another opportunity soon on the 18th of October. Drop me some love if you aren't receiving my weekly emails. I need to hurry up and set up my listserv.

Currently listening :
Laffy Taffy Pt.1
By D4l
Release date: By 06 April, 2006

Saturday, October 7, 2006

I've Earned The Right

..to continue paying Second City for the honor to continue in my Conservatory for Improvisation study from levels 2-5! My audition went well this morning and I got in. I am saddened though that the class has been kinda broken up due to them dropping one of the available days, thus, cutting out some people to actually join me on the journey. However, I have a feeling they will be joining me soon enough.
Once again, thanks to everyone who has been supporting my artistic efforts Most of all, thank you Jill for loving me and supporting the funny in my tummy! I love you.
Currently listening :
Duro En La Pintura
By Chingo Bling
Release date: By 20 January, 2006

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=10&blogDay=8&blogYear=2006

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

I did a gig today with Second City Corporate at Navy Pier for a phone company's hurrah over their integration of a formal rivals network, and making the largest, best, least dropped calls, yada yada yada network in the US. So, we put on a mini-show to support this announcement for the execs and had a jolly old time.

The call for this invited both current and former Conservatory students to come out for the event, and since it wasa paying gig, lots of people signed up for it. However, I hadn't seen nor met a majority of the folks that showed up to the rehearsal and the eventual gig. It was like a freaky reunion. I watched how people were with each other and there seemed to be a lot of comradery going on. So, I chilled out and talked to a couple of guys I did know. I listened to a lot of conversations going on (I know, eavesdropper!) and came to the realization that I was quite square compared to some of the folks there. I like to think I'm a wild and crazy kind of guy, but when I got around these other folks, they made crazy look and sound sane...kinda like the sock-wearing RHCP's putting out a musical record. There were a lot of crazy mofos up in that place that I couldn't hold a candle to. Man, if I improvise with these cats, I might as well quit now...there's no way I can come up with off-the-wall characters when they just can go up on stage and be themselves

I tried this morning to get to know a few of the folks there. One girl I swear was deaf (read that as crazy) because everything she repeated back to me was incorrect. She asked, "Hi. I'm _________. What's your name?"

"I'm Nelson," I replied.

"Oh, Dawson. How's it going?"

"No, It's Nelson," I corrected her with a sense of urgency.

In a deadpan manner, she replied, "But your name is Dawson"

(Cue Twilight Zone Theme)

Another person greeted me with a funky handshake. She made her hand like a beak and offered it to me. So, I grabbed the beak and shook it. She then exclaimed, "No. I wanted you to shake my like this!" So, I made my hand like a beak and cupped it around her hand formation. We shook and she then bolted out of the area shaking her head saying, "Nevermind!" WTF?!

I haven't met people like these before. I know theatre people have a reputation for being strange and that's a sterotype, but damn...these folks sure did perpetuate the belief!
Currently listening :
Permanent Joy Division 1995
By Joy Division
Release date: By 15 August, 1995

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=9&blogDay=30&blogYear=2006