Shakespeare meme

  • Dec. 14th, 2010 at 12:09 PM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
Meme stolen from [ profile] viorica8957.

Bold the ones you've seen stage productions of, italicize the ones you've seen movies of, underline the ones you've read or listened to, and add a star to any you've performed in, done readings of, or in which you've otherwise theatrically participated.

the plays )

I also saw a play that was several of the history plays stuck together, but I don't remember which and that probably doesn't count.

Also, I don't use it much, but if anyone wants my tumblr of people I find hot and stuff I'm watching/thinking about, it's under the same name. Feel free to give me yours!

Dry spell over!

  • Dec. 9th, 2010 at 8:56 AM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
I know I've spammed a few of you already, but this just in:

I will be playing messenger/Conrade/Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing! I've had about ten or so auditions without results, so I was getting really discouraged--I know that's how it goes, but it's hard to keep perspective when you're feeling so judged--so I'm really really happy.

I'm also happy because the one show I've seen at the theater had some great acting, and I think it's a good step forward for me, career-wise. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I've worked with so far, and I've had a great time. But being in a cast where I'm not the lead and have to keep up will be good for me.

So, I'll be gone for pretty much the entire month of January, as we go up in early February. I want to start right away!


The Church of Man Love

  • Nov. 29th, 2010 at 8:51 AM
my_daroga: ambiguous? (batman)

Has anyone else encountered the phrase "GlamRPF" in their fandom travels and been really disappointed that it's not David Bowie/Iggy Pop/Marc Bolan/Lou Reed?

I think the reason I'm so confused is they cornered "glam" long before Adam Lambert and on top of that, there's a whole group of them, whereas as far as I can tell, GlamRPF is... Adam Lambert RPF. The problem, probably, is not enough people writing about David Bowie having sex, which is a CRIME.

Bowie's waiting...

In other news...

...I've been recognized several times as "Captain Kirk" and once, last night, as Puck. Usually while at other theatrical productions unaffiliated with the ones I was part of. Which feels awesome, actually, and despite the fact there's no value or review in "hey, I saw you," it reminds me to keep trying and that eight (or more? I've lost count) rejections in a row doesn't mean no one wants me.

Also I think I know my Halloween costume for next year. It's highly unoriginal, and quite early, but if I get started now I may indeed have procured a topcoat, baggy pants, large shoes, suspenders, a cane, and a bowler by next October.

Two Questions

  • Aug. 19th, 2010 at 8:15 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (iconic)
Totally unrelated:

1 - Is there a [ profile] help_haiti-type community for the Pakistan floods?

Here's my offering thread at [ profile] help_pakistan.


2 - I'm thinking of trying out for yet another Midsummer Night's Dream, as I need to get back on the horse and even if I'm not fond of the play, I do love Puck. Now. It's bad form to try to pre-cast yourself by auditioning with a monologue from the show, but... I already know them. It's worth it to go and Puck it up, right, rather than trying to find something else?

2a - Have any of you done film auditions? What sort of monologue do you prepare for one of those?

Outdoor Trek: Teaser Trailer and Photos!

  • Aug. 6th, 2010 at 3:39 PM
my_daroga: James T. Kirk (shatner)
I need to update--and catch up--but we have the great good luck to have a trailer put together before our final weekend. And some photos, courtesy of Riley's friend and [ profile] chaeche. Thank you!

I haven't watched the trailer. I can't really watch myself act, or I feel like I should never inflict myself on anyone ever again, and I don't need that right now! Pictures are bad enough. But I know other people will get a kick out of it. We had a great first weekend, and we're hoping for another.

And photos! )
If anyone else has photos, feel free to share them!

Everybody's Shakespeare

  • Jul. 21st, 2010 at 7:34 AM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
First off, my friend James has been here for a week, so I totally lost track of the internets. I am trying to catch up, but don't know how far I'll get. Anyway, one of the things we always do when he visits in the summer is see every outdoor Shakespeare production we can. We've got (at least) two companies in Seattle, GreenStage and Wooden O, and this year we saw Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello in three days.

Yes. That is a lot of Shakespeare.

Ever since I got back into acting about a year ago (two whole productions!), going to plays has become more interesting. In the sense that I am contemplating whether I can work for X company, and get to see people I've worked with in another context. The best was seeing my Oberon as Bat Boy, but there were three BLT alums in the shows this weekend. I got to see Starcat and Lysander fight as Tybalt and Benvolio, so that was surreal.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I would like to do more Shakespeare. Beyond that, I'd love to do more acting. I want to see what I can do before I inevitably decide I suck. But I lost several acting years in there, doing another (perfectly worthy) things, and now I wonder. I loved playing Puck. I'm a Puck-type, I guess you'd say. I'm not a leading lady. Neither am I a character actress. Right now, I'm a 31-year-old who's less than 5'4" and I wonder how long I can hold out as Puck (or Chicklet or whatever else). Have I lost my chance to play Peter Pan? Should I give up the idea of playing Viola or Jo March or Rosalind or Anne Shirley? It seems like men have a little more leeway in the sexless roles, and maybe when my metabolism changes or something I'll read as more of an adult. But I can see myself getting stuck in this weird place where I'm too old to play kids and too short to play adults.

This is not, obviously, a dire thing in community theater. For one thing, they'll cast me younger as long as they can, because it's not high stakes and it's not on film. But it's interesting to look at the make-up of a cast and try to figure out where I fit as an actor, or where I will fit in the future.

"Space Seed" in Portland, July 10, 2010

  • Jul. 12th, 2010 at 11:00 PM
my_daroga: James T. Kirk (shatner)
On Saturday, [personal profile] lettered, Mr. Daroga, my!Spock and I went down to Portland to see Atomic Arts' production of "Space Seed," a TOS episode. Last year's "Amok Time" was our inspiration for this summer's project, so we were excited to see the new show, advertise, and talk to the cast. (Also eat at our favorite Lebanese restaurant and go to Powell's.)

The production was, I think, better than last year's. Very streamlined, very simple, the adaptation and staging were elegant. I thought the acting had improved: Khan and historian McGivers were particularly awesome. They take a differen tactic than we do. It's clear what lines people are cast along, and it's a little more faithful to the original, while ours is somewhat more transformative--same script, more gender/race-bending (where possible). And their sets, while minimal, are more complex than ours. Their uniforms more precise.

After, we spread out and papered the audience with fliers. They all seemed really enthusiastic and thought it was a great idea. The cast came up and asked, "are you Seattle?" and seemed very encouraging and eager to see our take. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience and we've also got write-ups in several Portland papers, in reference to this production. I feel we're gonna have an audience.

Here are my favorite photos from Saturdays' performance. Clicking gets you much bigger versions at my flickr account.

22 pics )
my_daroga: "Match me, Sidney." (noir)
Last November, I was in Orlando, helping out with a friend's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr. Daroga, [personal profile] lettered and I were providing the music, and we arrived in time to have a few rehearsals and meet the student actors.

Warning for cruelty to puppets )

I'm a terrible gardener!

  • Jun. 25th, 2010 at 9:25 AM
my_daroga: Tatsuya from "Touch" (cartoon)
A few things. First, our poster for Outdoor Trek, drawn by our Uhura and colored/design by Mr. Daroga.

The Naked Time! (SFW) )

There are also a few new blog posts at our Captain's Blog.

Next, this rose bush. When I moved in, there were several very old, very tall bushes. I know nothing about gardening or roses, but I have attempted to keep up with them. However, everything I've read suggests cutting away old wood--but nearly all the growth on these bushes is on old growth. So I've never been able to cut them back very much, and they end up just HUGE and with DOZENS of (small) roses all over them. I really like it.

epic rosebush

Outdoor Star Trek has a new home!

  • Jun. 11th, 2010 at 3:29 PM
my_daroga: James T. Kirk (shatner)
Anyone who wants to keep up with my Outdoor Star Trek project, or pass the links around for some of that new-fangled viral marketing, please check out our new Captain's Blog and @hello_earth on twitter. [personal profile] lettered/[ profile] tkp and I will be posting there regularly with behind-the-scenes info and insight into the process of bringing "The Naked Time" to the stage.
my_daroga: James T. Kirk (shatner)
I knew next to nothing going in to the University of Washington's production of Bat Boy: The Musical on Friday save that it was based on the Weekly World News story and the Oberon to my Puck (that's not figurative) had shaved his head to play the title role. I now wish I'd caught it earlier, so I could have gone back and seen it again. It had everything: "freaks," ironic musical theater tropes, real message couched in irony to salve its utter obviousness, blood, near nudity, a love story, spoilers ) and bats. [personal profile] lettered and I were aware the entire time of our own and each other's buttons being continually pressed, and it was delicious. (We are entertainment-psychic, by which I mean we can sit silently together in a theater and communicate via body language some fairly sophisticated commentary. Mr. Daroga and I have this as well, but it is a different language.)

In brief, the story follows a young man, half-human, half-bat, discovered in a cave in West Virginia by three siblings, one of whom is attacked when she offers him Fritos. Naturally he is captured and turned over to the local vet and caged, clad in a loincloth and unable to speak. He is gradually "civilized," falls in love with his protector's daughter, and longs to join the real world. Of course, the real world (or small-town W.V. anyway) is suspicious and uses "Edgar" as a scapegoat for their problems. There are whiffs of every wild boy/freak story ever, strong echoes of Joseph Merrick, slapstick humor, soap opera plot twists, and various other assaults on taste. In short, I love it.

The treatment of rural white folk is lamentable, as it entirely follows the bigoted, small-minded, ignorant stereotype. On the other hand, the preacher is one of the few who does not reject Edgar on sight, so religion is treated as something corrupted in specific practice, not absolutely. And the setting is, after all, a direct reference to the original story.

I'm not sure what else to say, other than my former castmate was AMAZING and I predict great things for him. I never really paid Bat Boy much heed, though, and I was so delighted by it I had to pass it on.

This weekend also brought me Bleacher Bums at my old theater, mostly notable because I got to see a bunch of my theater friends, and more interestingly Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Banksy film that's sort of about street art.

I don't want to give too much away, as I went in cold, but I also am not sure how to review it. I'm not sure yet how I feel about it or what I want to say. But it was interesting and a bit of a puzzle and well worth it, even if I would love to see a film about street art that went in a bit of a different direction.

In Outdoor Star Trek news... )

Thoughts on Puck

  • Jan. 11th, 2010 at 3:45 PM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
This week, rehearsals began for a 50's rock 'n roll version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in which I play Puck. I wanted to get some preliminary thoughts down, in an effort to work through how I'm going to do this, and I thought other people might be interested.

The way the script is put together, basically, 50's pop/rock songs are scattered throughout cut but otherwise unaltered Shakespeare. A prologue is added which I find not only unnecessary but problematic, and here's why:

It makes explicit certain aspects of the period and setting which alter the dynamics between the characters despite the language of Shakespeare being intact in the rest of the play. To wit: The setting is high school. Theseus is the principal, Hippolyta the drama/gym teacher and his fiance. Oberon and Titania are high school royalty, the Mechanicals are mostly former graduate ne'er do wells, and Puck is the (explicitly female) freshman class clown who follows Oberon around.

So far so good (sort of--the prologue is not at ALL Shakespearean in tone, and I fear will do more to confuse than clear up), but what does it mean when we get to the lines which imply a former relationship between Oberon and Hippolyta, or Theseus and Titania? That's not, ultimately, my problem, and good thing. The problems facing Puck are more interesting, I think.
Read more... )

Pon Farr in the Park

  • Jul. 26th, 2009 at 10:03 AM
my_daroga: James T. Kirk (shatner)
Yesterday, Mr. Daroga, [personal profile] lettered and myself drove down to Portland to see Trek in the Park, a free, live-action rendition of the episode "Amok Time." Yes, with the "Vulcan biology" and the sexy fighting.

The play was a lot of fun, and there were tons of people. We were late, and only secured a seat through the generosity of a man whose friend didn't arrive. He'd never seen an episode, so we tried to explain to him what we love about the show without sounding rabid or anything. I'm not sure how well we, or the play, succeeded but he was really nice.

Most of the joy of the production came from everyone's knowledge of the source material. Stripped of the background and acting of the actual show's leads, the dialogue comes off rather ridiculous. If you're not a fan, maybe it does anyway, but somehow Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley are always able to make things sound far more reasonable than they are. Maybe because they've made those characters real people. None of the actors yesterday impersonated those original actors' quirks, but most of them lacked that "real person" sense. Kirk was far too passive, though Spock did a better job of imbuing his performance with some sensitivity and edge. Mostly, though, it was campy fun. There was a soprano delivering the theme song, sound effects, and Kirk's uniform was strategically pre-ripped. It wasn't great theater, but it was good fun, and I'm glad we went. We spent the drive home speculating about how we'd do our own production in Seattle, with me as Kirk, Mr. Daroga as Spock, and [personal profile] lettered as McCoy.

So as not to say we'd driven all the way down there just for that, we spent the day in Portland, visiting the legendary Powell's--best bookstore in the world--and seeing other sights. I didn't get photographs of everything, but here's a sample.

grant park and ramona quimby )

multnomah falls )

trek in the park )

Jekyll and Hyde, again and again

  • May. 2nd, 2009 at 5:33 PM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
Today I think I came the closest to seeing Jekyll and Hyde done as I want it to be done. I’ve always been attracted to the story, and aside from the novel (which I always felt held only the kernel of the story, a story Stevenson wasn’t willing or able to pursue) I’ve seen the versions with Spencer Tracey, Mary Reilly (horrible film and novel—I’m sorry, Malkovich!Hyde is really hot), heard the Anthony Warlow version of the musical, and very much appreciated the Moffat Jekyll miniseries from a couple years ago, which at the time came the closest to the ambiguity I feel is most interesting about Jekyll’s search. The miniseries fails in a couple of points, none of which is the performance of James Nesbitt at the center, but otherwise pushed a lot of my buttons where this story is concerned.

Part of what I love about this story—which Stevenson didn’t really touch, as far as I recall—is the fact that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. This is obvious, of course, but so many versions make it black and white, and there’s an underlying assumption that Hyde is Bad and Jekyll is Good. Whereas, even if we accept that binary as the underlying theme of the story, Jekyll cannot possibly be Good. Jekyll is Both, the self before division, and what’s always interested me most is his repression, his insistence (at least publicly) that Hyde is not part of him, and the dialogue between the two selves. (You can see why Jekyll worked for me in many ways.)
musings on the ACT production )
But I’m curious about your Jekyll and Hyde experiences, if you like the story. What are your favorites? If you are drawn to it, why? And what haven’t you seen done that you’d like to see? If you like it, or even if you don’t, why do you think we (as a culture) keep coming back to it time and again? And how is it there’s still something to discover in it, as above? (And maybe that last question is actually the answer to the one before it.)


  • Feb. 13th, 2008 at 10:05 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (angry)
I didn't get the part. But I'm not too broken up, because I knew it already. Still... I made my folks alter our vacation plans in case I was going to be in the show this summer. Which I feel bad about, now.

In other news, I love this election. Even apart from who wins, or who I support, or why, I'm vastly entertained by all of it. I know entertainment isn't the point (or shouldn't be), but the excitement of it is fantastic and just the closeness of the race(s) and the engagement of the public is heartening. When's the movie coming out?

Double Dicking: My Day with Philip K.

  • Nov. 12th, 2007 at 11:06 AM
my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (rogue)
I married into the PKD cult. It was more or less a requirement for our involvement, a love for We Can Build You. Combined with an instinctual hatred for Blade Runner. So it was interesting, on Saturday, to go see a new play about him and a screening of the aforementioned film in its new, “Final Cut” incarnation. The play is called 800 Words: The Transmigration of Philip K. Dick, written by Victoria Stewart and premiered here at the Live Girls theater (a dangerous name, seeing as it's a group committed to staging new works by women rather than to taking their tops off).

PKD died three months before Blade Runner came out, having only seen a few minutes of it. He didn't live to see the plethora of adaptations of his works, most of them atrocious, or to feel his influence. Or to see plays written about his final days and talking cat. If you think that last one would have been impossible, you don't know Dick.

The play is entertaining; it weaves one of Dick's ex-wives, an FBI agent, Stanislaw Lem, Sacha the cat, and a muse/seductress/other half who is by turns his dead twin Jane, an East Berlin communist, and a teenage drug dealer. The playwright knows a lot about him, and the stuff she gets wrong seems to be intentional. “History is not kind to Linda Ronstadt fans,” the playwright-as-actress tells Dick late in the play, after proving he's in a play by pointing out that the first act was accompanied by the Beatles, whom he hated. This being a play about Dick, reality is mutable and authorship in question.

Unfortunately, Stewart isn't as smart as Dick. I think the same would be true for nearly anyone—no one was better at adulterating our senses through mere words than Dick, and he is the only person I believe was qualified to write this play. Maybe Tom Stoppard. There are some touches of genius, however: the talking cat, played by a puppet and an actress dressed in black from head to toe, is a perfect commentator and companion for both the reclusive Dick and the audience, and knows more than she lets on. There is some nice play with theatrical conventions. But what should have been a gradual breakdown of reality until neither we nor Dick knows what's going on is more like a stab at revelation; the point seems to be that the character Dick knows he's in a play. It reads like one of the spate of new films which plays with meta-cinema but only coyly--I Heart Huckabees comes to mind.

The acting was variable, with the cat and Jane/Commie/Muse/Girl With Dark Hair as the standouts. Phil was excellent in some scenes, and generically manic in others. Then again, he's on stage the entire play and the part isn't simple. I thoroughly enjoyed it, since it was far better than I expected; but it could have been so much more.

After a run through Subway, we found ourselves in front of the enormous Cinerama screen downtown. Both Mr. Daroga and I had seen the film before, separately, and both hated it. It seemed, however, that if we were ever going to give it another chance, this was the time. And that turned out to be a good decision.

I enjoyed “The Final Cut” much, much more than the original film I saw. I don't remember enough of either the book or the other versions to honestly review its differences. In short, Blade Runner captures the atmosphere it should and in Rutger Hauer as Roy finds a heart. But it is a shallow reflection of a much larger work; my emotional involvement came wholly at the hands of the enemy android, whose performance lends him more sympathy than I suspect he was supposed to get. I'm not saying the film is unambiguous, but I'm not convinced Hauer was supposed to be quite that good. The new version seems seems to do a better job at drawing the subtle inference that anyone (hint hint) might be a replicant, and mercifully cuts out the pointless voiceovers. The music by Vangelis and Sean Young's shoulder pads are the only dated things about the film, so it holds up well.

It's just not PKD. The play is more true to his spirit, but there is no replacing him. Imitators beware.


my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
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