Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mr. Zeederberg I presume . . .

To be honest, I don't know much about Jonathan Zeederberg, but I have enjoyed the few brief interactions we've had.  He seems like a nice fellow and it's good I feel that way as he is going to marry my sister.  ; )

What I do know is that JZ will bring some much needed international cred into our family (hee hee).  He is from Royal Tunbridge Wells and is currently living in the United Arab Emirates.  I look forward to hearing about all his other traveling as I know his family historically had ties in Africa and he likes animals

I also know he'll fit in nicely with my decidedly tech-focused familyI'm really a black sheep in that regardand that he and Cate (still getting used to that) will be settling where the visa system is the most welcoming.  And then I'll have to visit, right guys?  : D

                                              Look at that smile.  Poor guy doesn't know what
                                                             he's in for, eh?

The last thing I know is that Jonathan is very generous as he chose to throw in here and we barely know one another.  Thanks mate!

As for the rest of you, feel proud about the stats below.

We be jammin'!



Funding:                    70.2%
Days to Departure:   14

Monday, April 29, 2013


Hey all!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has contributed to this campaign.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness.

I'd also like to thank the folks who have expressed an interest in contributing. 

If you are one of these people, I would like to point up that I will be leaving town in two weeks, so if you are planning on mailing anything to Los Angeles it would need to be posted by the end of this week for me to receive it.  Otherwise I can give you an address in Ohio for anything mailed after May 3rd.

Insofar as possible I'd love to have most funding in place before I leave on May 13th.  If that is not possible I will happily accept any support until the end of the summer with hearty thanks.

Please let me know if you need any additional information and thank you again for all you do!

I look forward to getting back to bragging about those who pushed funding up to the current amazing level tomorrow!



Funding:                    69.9%
Days to Departure:   15

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Hey everybody!

As I approach my departure date more details are cropping up on which I need to focus.

So does anyone have or know of someone who might have a reliable vehicle to lend, rent, sell or barter from mid-May to mid-August or some stretch of time within that period?

I have a motorcycle license and I can drive a stick.

I would obviously figure out insurance happily pay for reasonable upkeep.

I'm very open if anyone has any ideas you may have, so please do let me know!




Funding:                    67.2%
Days to Departure:   16

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Well how about that?

I just noticed today that we've reached more than 3000 views on the blog!

That's pretty amazing!

Here's some stats that may interest you:

  • 50 Benefactors have backed the Summer Shakespeare Sojourn Subsidy
  • $2350.92 of the require $3500 has been received to date
  • 58 of 91 or 63.7% of days have been sponsored to date  
  • People from 10 different countries have viewed the blog, overwhelmingly from the US (87%)
  • The furthest benefactor donated from Dubai
  • Most benefactors have been from LA (18) and California (22)with the Dayton and Chicago areas showing many as well
  • The most popular donation method has been PayPal
  • 20 hours and 30 minutes of 116 hours and 15 minutes or 17.6% have been completed to date
  • The first blog post (2/25/13) is also the most popular with 798 views and 2 comments
  • Most of my computer viewers use Windows (35%)
  • Most of my phone viewers use iPhones (15%)
  • The most used browser to see the blog is Firefox (28%) 

If there's any other data you'd like, let me know and I'll crunch the numbers.  : )

And here's some other stats that may interest you as well:

Let's keep the ball rolling!  We're just over 2/3 of the way there!

Thanks for all you do!



Funding:                    67.2%
Days to Departure:   17

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lay on MacDuff!

Hey everyone!

Got a nice surprise from William Courson who played MacDuff in that MacBeth I was talking about in the Glitterati post a few days ago.  He also did a lot of Tech work during his time at Sinclair.  He has been active in the Dayton Theatre Community and is currently working with La Comedia Dinner Theatre, an institution in the Miami Valley.

Will is a strapping young lad with a surprisingly soft tone to his speech.

He's also way cooler than me.  See?

You can probably also see why he goes by "Supertramp"!

I enjoyed fighting with and being killed by him, so I look forward to catching up with him this summer!

Thanks Will!



Funding:                    67.2%
Days to Departure:   18

Thursday, April 25, 2013

MGM Hang Outs # 1 & 2 Complete

Hey errrbody!

Last weekend I not only got to Hang Out with Ms. Krull, but I also got some quality time with Michael G. Mauloff, my good friend and old room mate.  And currently my largest donor.  The guy who got the ball rolling!  Yeah.

Saturday, Mike and cadre of folks stopped by St. God's Memorial Hospital (nee Brohemia) and we chatted and then spent a few moments at Kingston before heading to the Blue Palms Brewhouse for a nosh.  Blue Palms was Mike's bar before he left L.A. so we had to go back and eat truffle fries.  Yum!

Then we took a trip to Jumbo's Clown Room and had a nice rotation ending in a two girl act where one used the other as a teeter-totter, among other things.  Great act.

I said goodnight when the merry band returned to the 'Bank, but I knew I would see them all on Sunday when Tucker & Katy held the Mickey Mauloff Memorial BBQ at Maloney Manor West. Mostly we didn't tick off time, but I did when Vulva made me participate in some Questionable Garage Behavior.

This isn't the last you'll hear of this rascal as I still owe him quite a bit of time.  I'm sure we'll make that happen in August.

Lookin' forward to the next one Miguel!


Funding:                    67.2%
Days to Departure:   19

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Herpes of the Craft World . . .

Yes.  I'm talking about glitter.

Glitter that this girl put in the envelope she mailed to me.

                                                             I'm the one in the balaclava; Ally's in coconuts.

In case you've never done it, it's a way to make sure someone thinks about you a lot as the recipient will find f#@!ing glitter in and around their domicile for months if not years later.

I have been the recipient of glitter mail many times.  Thank you for the latest infraction of decorum Ally Wetz.

Ally is blonde and F-U-N, FUN!

I met her at Sinclair when she stage managed Macbeth.

She has since relocated to Chicago and is holding down the fort S&Ming and Actoring.

I look forward to seeing her and her compatriots at the end of the summer.  : )

Who else will I see?  Hmmmm?



Funding:  67.2%

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bang Up Piss Up, innit?

Hey all!

I had the good fortune to see my friend Bridget Krull when she happened to be in town on business last week.  A good thing too.  I hadn't seen her in 6 years and I wasn't sure when we'd get to Hang Out, but as it happened she had a free night after a long week and we met up at one of the bars in the Roosevelt Hotel.

I have a lot of friends I haven't seen in a long while, but this was particularly special as Bridget now lives in London.  In fact, when I walked up to greet her, she was studying for her citizenship exam.  How cool is that?

We chatted about London and her move and her work with ticketmaster and had a few drinks before I suggested we should try to get her out of the Nexus of Evil (my name for the Temple to Consumerism that is Hollywood & Highland), every city has one.  We stopped at the Powerhouse, one of my favorite Hollyweird bars.  It's a little more cleaned up than it was when I fell in love with it, but we still had a nice time with a pitcher of Pabst before deciding we needed to go on a quest for grilled cheese.

Though we didn't find the Melt (which I today realized is all the way down on sunset) but had a nice nosh at Kitchen 24.  After a long week, Ms. Krull needed to call it a night before flying back across the pond, but man the night flew by!

It's always a treat when you see someone you haven't in ages and you feel like you pick up right where you left off.  This was a great Hang Out and it was so good to see her.

If the stars every align, hopefully I'll get to see her in her new town.  I haven't been to the U.K. since before the turn of the century and I'd sure like to go.

But man it was nice to see my old friend!

Hi Bridget!  *waves like a madman*  Come back soon!

Oh, and speaking of all things cool and British, Happy 449th Birthday Billy Boy!



Funding:  65.7%

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Forward! Fall Back!

Jen Maravegias, or Jen Vegas to all of us unwashed, is one of my favorite people.

She, like clockwork, always sends an email to remind her friends about Daylight Savings Time.  There's so much more to her, but that is a consistent quirk that means I get to think about her specifically twice a year.  A nice gift.

I met Jen through mutual friends when she worked production for Wing & Groove Theatre in Chicago which has since closed its doors, but I know she does database and cross platform marketing work.  She is one smart cookie! 

This is the image I always associate with her!  And with good reason.  She figured out years ago that a consistent image on web platforms helps people know it's you.  And it reminds you not bother her before she has her coffee.  : D

I look forward to seeing her and her family this summer.




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big Thanks from last week!

Hey everybody!

Since I got to do some Hang Outs I didn't get a chance to say thanks to the folks who pushed the funding up to 60%.  Now that's some BIG Generosity!

First off, I want to say thank you to a couple that wish to remain Anonymous.  You know who you are.  You know how highly I regard you.  And I look at the time I will get to spend to you as an additional gift.  Thank you!

I also got a letter in the mail that looked like this with a check in it from the Wootten Family, one of my favorite families on the planet!  : D

Though I have not yet had the chance to meet Miss Miri, I spent a little time with Hank a couple years back.  Though he won't recall it, I do have photographic evidence of him connecting with me early on, well at least my hat!  ; )

Sam & Em, both former students, and steadfast friends, I have known much longer.

Sam is a wild and crazy guy, one of the founding members of Chicago dell'Arte.  He's a Bowie Freak, ex-lead singer of a funk band in Athens, and a great, enthusiastic actor.

                                                               Sam as John Wilkes Booth, collecting money for 
                                                              N&S at the Glamabilly Spectacular at Cal's Liquor 
                                                                                            in October of 2006

Sam runs the Tipping Point which his wife Emily co-owns in the Hampstead Community in Montgomery, Alabama.

Emily is no slouch herself when it comes to creative work.  I had the pleasure to work with her at the Act One Studios Certificate Program in Chicago where she and Sam moved after he graduated from IU.  Emily is a bubbly, vivacious and very dedicated actor.  She also has a beautiful singing voice, lending her pipes to some of the back-up tracks on the Mayberry STD record.

As you may have gathered, in addition to their pup, Lula, Sam and Em have two chilluns and a nice life downSouth that I don't get to traipse through enough.

Aren't they adorable? I hope to see them *very* soon! 

Thanks for everything Woottens.  Past, Present and Future!

I will see y'all SOON!



Funding: 62.2%

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Joe's Café and Freshly Squeezed Xanadoom Orange Juice

Hey everybody!

Another Super-Fun Hang Out is complete; this time with the fabulous Malina Moore!

We met up at Xanadoom and took a trip to an awesome breakfast spot anomieo and I stumbled upon a couple of months ago in Granada Hills.  I'll just say this: Best Bacon Ever.  I swear the guy fries each piece separately.  Joe's Café.

You be the judge.  (And pick up some chocolate chip bacon cookies while you're at it!)

Seeing as breakfast is Malina's favorite meal (wise choice), we decided to munch there and then retire back to Xanadoom for fresh squeezed orange juice off the tree and a last minute addition of shave ice using a machine anomieo found at an estate sale to remind both of the ladies of their respective times in Japan.

                                                                                     1/2 of those oranges made                                                                             
                                                                                     that pitcherful of juice; 
                                                                                    also see the hand-cranked 
                                                                                   Kakigōri Machine and empty 
                                                                                                   bowl.  Yum!

Besides breakfast, OJ and Japan, conversation topics ranged from Insomnia to the Media, Congress, Brain Tumors and Heart Surgery, Beautiful Weather, the Valley, racial profiling, executive vs trophy wife cars and a baby blue AMC Hornet.

It was a full morning.

Thank you for the Hang Out Malina!


Funding: 60.8%

Friday, April 19, 2013

RyKo Hang Out Complete

I had the chance to take a few moments to spend with my good friend and fellow Buckeye Ryan Kolbe yesterday!

Let me say this right out!


Not only do I like giving back to the folks who have donated to the Sojourn, but it's also nice to chill with great folks.

We spent our time on my back patio and talked about general life, the ins and outs of audio editing and Ryan's new web series Big Brown Couch.  

Check it out.  Subscribe if you like it.

Oh, by the way, as of yesterday we hit 60.2% funding.

How amazing is that?

I'll have another Hang Out to share with you tomorrow!

Enjoy your Friday.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

54.5% (alcohol by volume)

Hey y'all!

Dawn Barber: is one of those students I had that I never got to know as well as I might have liked.  She is beautiful, talented, smart and generally fun to be around.  In the typical fashion of LA, we both live here and have maybe seen each other once.  I'm glad this project has given me the opportunity to re-connect with people I don't see often.

She also has a fun tumblr about drinks!  (Well it's a business - that you should HIRE! - but enjoy.)

A woman after my own heart!

Thanks Dawn!

We're at 54.5% funded.

Who's gonna be the next to throw in?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Filling in the Blanks

Hey all!

NaomiO hyped me to this very interesting article by Nicholas Hytner.  It's definitely worth a gander.

The gist is that Shakespeare was an actor and therefore wrote for actors, so all the pieces and parts that critics and historians try to puzzle together to "make sense" of the Bard's work are merely starting points for actors to fill in the blanks.

Much like traditional Commedia gives you a scenario to work within as a specific character, Shakespeare is giving a structure in which an actor get the opportunity to create a character to whom that actor can connect and imagine and ultimately be.

In addition to this gift for the actor, I can't wait to see what blanks get filled in by the artisans and craftspeople with whom I have the opportunity to work this summer!  Fairies, Monsters and the Devil!  What will those puppets bring to the table? What will the opportunity for pure voice acting bring? What surprising ways will non-human elements answer the questions raised?

                                                              Zoot at the Goloka Gallery

This is gonna be cool!



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Box, Bottle & Play

Exciting News!

Zoot Theatre Company has posted a link about the Summer Series and the Box, Bottle & Play promotion.

This is an opportunity to have a picnic lunch (with or without a bottle of wine) in the Hale Cloister at the Dayton Art Institute as you watch one (or all!) of three plays produced by Zoot and DAI over the course of the summer!

                                                     (More about the Hale Cloister here.)

If you have specific questions about the Summer Series, you can find the answers here!

The official press release will go out on the 1st of May, but since you are all in the know, you get to click through these links now!  Neat, huh?

If you're not interested in the picnic, general admission tickets will be around $20 and both subscription and individual tickets will go on sale May 15th.

I hope you can join us this summer!



Monday, April 15, 2013


You know how I said I was going to see Mad Forest yesterday? 

Well I did.  And I got a donation from one of the cast members, Ryan Mulkay, on the same day.

Pretty cool, huh?

I love Baader-Meinhof and déjà vu and serendipity all the rest of that kind of phenomena.  I like to attribute events to them even when the equation doesn't make a lot of sense. 

So I will! : D

Ryan is that guy you know who is always in a project.  He's always working.  In a show.  Working on a filmBusy busy busy.  As such, I don't get to see him as much as I'd like.  I met him through Dave Groves and all the folks I know who live in and around the 611 Film Project.

If you'd like to see more of Ryan, check out the aforementioned production of Mad Forest he is in with the Open Fist Theatre Company.

It was nice to see it presented as it was Churchill's only major work I hadn't seen staged.  It is about the effect on a group of people during the Romanian Revolution and the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu.  Mr. Mulkay joins 19 other actors in playing multiple characters to tell this story.  Not as bizarre (and therefore fun to me) as many of her more ground-breaking pieces, but worth a look.

In other news, the SSSSMLH2013 is 54.4% funded and I depart for Ohio in about a month.  Woohoo!

Thank you for all you do.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Slacking

Goo Day All!

This Sunday I will watch a production of Mad Forest and then attend a Soiree in Sunshine Alley and eagerly await the return of  my compadre and room mate Shawn de Loache.

I hope your day of rest is as enjoyable and relaxing.

More soon!



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Guitars (not Guns) and Crafts!

Hey y'all!

I learned about this very cool charity this week. 

It gives under-served and at-risk youth the chance to learn to play the guitar and if they complete all 8 weeks of lessons, they get to keep the guitar!

Very cool.


In case you'd like to donate to something else, this is a good grass-roots cause in L.A.

At the moment I'm off to the Craft Project Lounge at Santa Monica's new craft location.

It's FREE.  If you're in the area, stop by.

You still have an hour or so left!



Friday, April 12, 2013

Momentum Indeed!

Hey all!

I'd say 2% over night is a pretty great jump!

We truckin'!

Desiree Hattery (nee Brenno) was mentioned in a post on 3/23/12 when her younger sister Tamara contributed, back when we were only a mere 31% funded.  Seems so long ago.  : D

I haven't seen either of the former Brenno sisters since N&S played a gig at the Burt's Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque in 2006.  They came to a show we played with Vertigo Venus and others and we got to catch up a bit.  As they were airforce brats, the girls moved around a lot and we were lucky to have them in town after they moved into the former House of the Highest.

Dizzy Dezzy was always one of my favorites and I'm gleaning from her minimalist web presence that she finished school in ABQ and stayed there.  Hope to run into her and Tamara again.  : )

Thank you Dez!

In addition to this kind gift from former high school friends I also got a generous push from two of my newest closest friends out Los Angeles way.  Together they form a formidable creature we call Maarondith the Clute-Molinari Monster!  Rawr! 

I'm not sure if there's enough room on Blogspot to brag about these two awesome individuals, but as they reminded me that brevity is the soul of wit (not my strong point! Ha.) I'll try to keep it to a reasonable length.

Aaron Clute: is another one of those folks I mentioned that I know that does really good work.  He's a pediatric respiratory care specialist at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.  So he spends his time saving babies.  For realzies.  When not teaching interns.  And he loves to talk about it!

He also loves Halloween, Horror Movies and Music.  And he is the Ariel to my Snow White (+7") in xxDISNEYCORExx.   (Brad Fletcher, who I mentioned on 3/19/13, is our Belle.)

As you have probably discerned, I'm a pretty big fan of this guy.  And that goes for his gorgeous and just as twisted wife, Meredith Molinari.  She is the genuine article.  Beautiful, Smart, Funny and also into gore and horror.  She makes her living as an actor, model and a host and if you need someone to fill one of those posts, I would highly recommend her.

I've had opportunity to get to know this phenomenal young woman over past few years and boy am I lucky.  I hope to ensnare her in a project or two, so keep your eyes and ears open.

But in the meantime watch her videos and buy stuff with her picture on it!



Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's All Downhill From Here! (but in a good way!)

Hey everybody!

After getting up to the halfway mark momentum has continued and we are 52.1% funded.  Yeah.

So it should be all downhill from here, right?  : D

The most recent push came in a darling little card with a wolf on the front.

The return address belonged to one Christel Elsen, a wee spirtfire of a German-born American young woman with a big personality and an even bigger laugh!  I have had the pleasure to get my butt kicked by her at Mario Party on more than one occasion and I look forward to catching up with her when I make it back to Chicago at the end of August. 

All of your continued contributions are making this a tag at the end of the Sojourn a real possibility!  : D

In addition to being super-fun and super-sweet, Christel is very active in her Sorority and is a certified teacher in the state of Illinois. Trust me, she's the kind of lady you'd want teaching your kids!

See you soon Christel!

And I look forward to bragging about more of you soon!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leap and the net will appear.

Hey all!

I'm taking this advice from Mr. John Burroughs and fully committing to having this adventure in the coming months.

And it's all due to you lovely people!

As of last night funding reached 50.7%.

I had decided that when I reached the halfway mark I would buy my ticket to Ohio for the summer.  And so I have.  My itinerary is as follows:

There is still a ways to go, but I feel confident with this outpouring in this amount of time that I will be even more funded over the next 33 days.  Thank you all for giving me this clear show of support, be it through contributions or encouragement.

For best or better I will arrive in Dayton on the evening of Monday, May 13th ready to dive into work on A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

I have another number in mind before I purchase my out ticket, but I'm sure that will happen.  And remember if you can't donate now, I will accept any help until the end of the Sojourn - at least until the 16th of August.

Now who are the folks who helped us get over that 50% hump?

Brother James Czar: is a Creative Communicator, Promo/Marketing Guru, Bassist and Roustabout.  He convinced Naked & Shameless to play the Cincy Fringe Fest and I hope to catch one of his acts when I in town this summer. 

I also got a great howdy from my old friend Matt Roben!  Matt is a Clown, Actor, Acrobat, Nutritionist and all around Great Guy!  He knows unicycle, stilts, high fly and balance stuff and I've seen him do some pretty creepy balloons for N&S's leaving Chicago blowout at Strawdog no less!

He says we may go Bowling!  Yeah.

See y'all SOON!

For now, I might as well JUMP!



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Missed it by *that* much!

Boy are you guys incredible. 

We are 1/3 of a % from being halfway funded! 

That is great!

The latest benefactors are:

Shannon Dedman: Prop Tart, Set Decorator, Puppet Enthusiast and All-Around Cool Chick!  After graduating from the California Institute of the Arts, Shannon has worked in a number of places including the Old Globe and the Pasadena Playhouse.  I was excited to learn that she has most recently branched out on her own with Handhead Industries.

Way to go Shannon!

It seems only right she's on the roster of contributors and I can't wait to pick her brain about my upcoming trip!  

She has also worked on the very cool Gothtober project for several years.

In addition to Shannon, one of my supporters has unexpectedly chosen to kick in an additional amount!

Thanks LJ;  that was incredibly generous and totally unexpected.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes people.

Will we reach 50% tomorrow?

*fingers x'd*



Monday, April 8, 2013

Is it your round?

Hey friends!

I was thinking about the coffee analogy I made in February and how that would be totally lost on me and so I decided that instead I might suggest another.  Many of my generous friends have bought me drinks and I have reciprocated.  Perhaps this is a more apt comparison.

Can we not assume it's your round and you can buy me a beer and I'll give you something back in the form of an artistic quaff?

This campaign started with me needing 700 people donating $5.00 to meet the goal, now, due to the awesome amounts of the donations I've received from 34 super generous people, I only need 359 people to donate $5.00 a piece and we'll be at the goal.

Obviously even I can't drink 359 beers in one sitting, so maybe some of them will be as I Hang Out before I fly back to the Midwest, or some might bought Midsummer whilst I play Bottom or later towards August before I make it back to the Windy City for a visit, which seems more and more likely every day.  Yay!

Regardless, I'm floored with how much we've raised so quickly and I do look forward to raising a glass with more than a few of you - literally or figuratively - as the days move forward.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pledges Honored; Hang Out Complete

Hey y'all!

I'm moving a little slowly this morning as I completed my second Hang Out last night.

I hadn't seen Loyana Maria Garcia Vodicka in almost 4 years.  She recently got back from Atlanta and though she's a bit poke-happy on Facebook, we hadn't ever really talked so I was surprised when she bought me for a stretch and flexed her generosity.

As it turned out she was going to be at going to a birthday party at Bar Sinister in Hollywood so we decided my Hang Out would be to accompany her to that event.  I had obviously heard of this Goth institution but as I tend to avoid Hollywood Blvd on the weekends I had never been.

Loyana hit the 'Weird early to avoid traffic and stopped by my place for some pre-game drinks and chatting.

As Loyana is a bit of a rum enthusiast I had that covered with my still ample supply of cane liquor from my Buccaneer Days Birthday Adventure last year.  We talked about this and that I asked her why she had decided to donate so much to someone she doesn't know that well.  She told me that this is what she does.
She contributes to kickstarters and buys art and is generally a benefactor.

Hooray for her!  And lucky me.

I thanked her profusely and gave her the swag she was entitled to from her contribution and then, a couple libations in, we climbed into her 1961 Comet and headed over to Hollywood and Cherokee to find that Bar Sinister didn't open for another hour.  In the meantime, we grabbed another drink at Sinister's parent, the rather stately Boardners and waited for her friends to arrive.

And boy was I lucky that this was the night I went.  The line stretched around the corner, but being in a birthday party got us in the VIP line and also got us some free crappy Champagne and places to sit. 

I don't think I'd want to go to this club any other way.  Getting too old for that crap.  ; )

So thanks Cher and Happy Birthday!

If you haven't been to Bar Sinister, the club itself is large, nice and spooky enough replete with things like this altar of candles in the back fountain:

 And there are lots of half-naked people:

We caught a few more drinks and the birthday girl shook her tail feather before Loyana found some balloons:

And proceeded to suck out all of the helium which resulted in this:


After a little more horsing around, Loyana bought me a Tommy's burger (with none of that gods-awful chili baby poop) and had one herself to sober up for her ride back to the Valley.

It was a fun successful night and I got to go somewhere new and meet new people!

And maybe get a little red from too many random drinkies . . . ; )

Thanks Loyana!

My other honored pledge came from the one and only Bearded Jew, one David Mickler, coiner of the phrase: "A beard ain't nothin' but a rug on your face," the man responsible for the Take That Dude Festival and for any of us knowing about that seminal short film at all!  

                                                      as the Rabbi Photobaum, October, 2012

He's also a great photographer and film-maker and a general hoot to have around.  Mr. Mickler was the artist behind this gem a couple years back and we are eagerly awaiting his hip hop record.

When's that gonna drop sir?  I can't wait. 

It's people like this that are making this project possible.  

I'm a lucky, lucky guy.  : D

Enjoy your Sundays y'all!



Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Roster

Hello All.

It is my understanding that last night Zoot announced its summer series to be produced at the Dayton Art Institute.

Though I haven't found an official link or press release, I have been given leave to let you, my loyal readers, in on the major roles I will have the opportunity to portray this summer.  I say the major roles as I will likely be playing multiple characters and/or helping with the Ningyōtsuka of one or more others as the casts for the second two shows will be small.

I'll give you more information as I get it in rehearsals.  Neat, huh?

First off, I will finally have my crack at Nick Bottom the Weaver in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream opening on Wednesday June 19th and closing Sunday June 30th.  Like most theatre professionals who focus on text or classical work, I have worked on this show in a number of capacities somewhere between 5 and 10 times depending on how you count it.  Probably more.  But this is the first time I get the chance to focus on a single character, and one of the most delightful comic roles in the comedies.

After this I'll be able to proudly say: "My friend's don't call me Jackass for nothin'!"

The second production will be Christopher Marlowe's Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus which will open n July 10th and close on the 21st of that month.  Doctor Faustus, as it is often called, is one of the few other plays that made it out of the Elizabethan period along with Shakespeare's and I am eager to be invovled as I have never had the chance to work on this piece in any capacity. 

I will be playing the Pope.

Told ya.

To round out the season I will be lending my voice to Caliban, one of my favorite characters in all of Shakespeare's canon.  Like Midsummer, I have worked on The Tempest on several occasions but this will, again, be my first chance to interpret the monstrous son of a witch as an actor.

This production will open on July 31st and close on August 11th. 

I am jazzed about this as The Tempest is one of my favorites and I would expect there will be some cool and unexpected results from the Artists at Zoot!  In fact, I think these three pieces are a magnificent menu of theatre for the talents of the puppet-makers and I really can't wait to see what they cook up.

I bet you'll be impressed as well.

I hope this  information makes it even clearer why I was so desperate to be involved in this season of plays and I'd like to express again how thankful I am to all of you who are helping me to achieve that goal.

See you in magic land!



Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Four-Four Forty-Seven %


We are so close to the half-way mark I can taste it!

Thanks y'all!

And who, you may be asking yourself, were the most recent folks to push up a couple of percent?

Well, I tell ya!

Carrie Thurston: was a student in the Design & Technology Department when I attended WSU.   Although I'm certain we worked on many of the same projects, I'd be hard pressed to tell you the number or the names.  Perhaps we can figure it out when I see her in Dayton this summer, eh Carrie?

Laura Johnson is one of a select group of my friends who makes their livings saving lives.

I bow to these folks.

Though I think the Arts are a vital part of society that must be funded and used to improve the quality of life, these are the people who make sure those lives are intact and flourishing so Art can be enjoyed.

Laura is an Oncology Nurse and makes life or death decisions every day.  As such, she knows how to have fun when she's off the clock. 

She is very active with the Breast Cancer Angels in Long Beach. 

Thank you for all you do Laura!

I can't wait to see what the weekend brings . . .



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Smart Alec and Know It All

                                                              I leave it to you to figure
                                                              out who each of us are . . .

There are many reasons why I am so thankful for the opportunity to go home and work this summer, but I'd like to take a few moments to talk about one that I hold very close to my heart.  It's big and there are lots of facets, but I'll see what I can organize to make it clear why it is so important that I finish a trifecta of being directed in Classical theatre by one Brian Joe McKnight.

Brian is one of my dearest friends, one of a small circle of spiritual siblings and I have known him for damn near 20 years.  It kind of blew my mind to realize we've been grating on each others nerves for that long - and we're both still upright!

That is a key point.

It wasn't too long ago we thought we had lost Mr. McKnight for good.

I was all but helpless on the West coast while good folks in our community like Brigitte Ditmars, Josh Horvath and Chris Carpenter did a heroic amount of work to get Brian what he needed and back to Ohio.  I assisted as much as I could from afar, but these great folks, among many others, and his strong family, saw him through and he beat the Big C, as much as one can . . .

Honestly, to no one's surprise.  After the fact anyway.  It was rough going for some time.  That is Brian's story to tell, however, and if you don't know it, I'm sure he'll share it with you.  He is a teller of tales.  That is integral to his genetic make-up.

The particular Trifecta I mentioned started in the Fall of 2007 just after I had moved all of my belongings to storage in Rosemead, CA.  I was contracted to join the In-School Shakespeare Tour produced by the Human Race.  That year's production was entitled Will Power, adapted and directed by Brian.  I stayed with my folks in Xenia, where they still lived at the time and got the chance to take turns at pieces of Hamlet, Falstaff, Tybalt and Petruchio with four other actors as we taught and (hopefully) delighted students at local Miami Valley schools.

It was great fun and a nice stop-gap as I figured out what my place might be in Cali.  Turned out I couch surfed in Temple City for quite a long period of time before landing unsteadily on my feet in Hollyweird. But that's another story.

After the great fun Brian and I had had working on the Folio technique I got the question from him about whether or not I might like to come back to Ohio and play MacBeth under his direction while he taught at Sinclair. Would I?

It was one of my dream roles and as I had arranged the violence for Richard III when Brian played the lead in 2003, I already had a relationship with the faculty, staff and students there.  So in the Fall of 2008 I taught at both Sinclair and Clark State and choreographed, memorized, folio'd and had my crack at the Thane of Cawdor.  Brian had a house at the time and I stayed in the spare room.

I still saw my family, but was able to submerse myself in classical text.  It was great fun.  Many of our old friends blew through town as did one of the biggest (waterless) storms to which I'd ever been privy.  It knocked down a huge tree that narrowly missed Brian's house.  It felt related to the storms in the show somehow.  But that sort of mystical connection tends to follow McKnight around.

A few months ago I was asked if there was any way I could join Brian a 3rd time for some Shakespeare, only this time in concert with Zoot.  Shakespeare and puppets!? Sign me up.

The official season announcement should come down tomorrow (4.5) and I can be far more specific about what I'll be doing this summer, but it will involve Shakespeare (mostly) and Brian directing me.

I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Brian and I have been room-mates, co-conspirators, confidantes, (friendly) adversaries and sounding boards for one another.  I have directed him, choreographed his violence, coached his dialects and sniggered with him from the front row of classes.  He's done the same for me.  In fact we've had the rare chance to work with each other in nearly every combination our skill sets will allow.  My only complaint would be that it's been far too long since we've trod the boards together.  The last time being a short version of Who's on First? for Sinclair.

We must remedy that soon.  I'm thinking it's about time for Belch to his Malvolio if anyone is listening out there in the wide world . . . mayhap something like-ah dis?

Suffice it to say I feel very lucky to spend some more time with one of my most brilliant and dedicated colleagues and friends in what I believe will be a truly one-of-a-kind experience for the performers, producers and audiences alike!

Come see what we cook up if ya can and stay tuned for more information.