Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Return...

Well, what a nice way to come back... But, first thing is, of course, first.

- I had a wonderful time at home. Between being able to see my family to the marriage of two of my best friends, everything was beautiful from the time I crossed into the Bluegrass state until the time I left. I saw The Dark Knight twice and I saw WALL-E twice. I got to eat at Belew's and stand barefoot in my backyard. I got more love in two weeks than I can possibly count, and for that, I am grateful.

Home is just...there is something about it that simply cannot be matched. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a country boy at heart. You can say what you want about the city and all of its trappings. You can keep 'em. Just give me a bright orange sun setting over my Granddaddy's farm.

But, one has to return to the real world. And, when I came back, I had some interesting events happen.

- First, I know the masses are wondering, "When will we be able to see you act again, Jacob?"

And, to that, I would say, "We discussed this before, masses. I'll be back in Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing in August and September. Duh."

And, to that the masses would say, "But we saw you in every performance of those! We want something more. Something new! By the way, you were great as Valentine."

And, to THAT, I would say, "Hey, thanks. I appreciate it. And, if you want to see me in something new, you may want to come out in November to the Tavern. We'll be doing Henry VI, Parts 1 - 3."

Yeah, folks. I'll be in History Extravaganza, Part Duex. You'll be able to check me out as (primarily) Somerset in Parts 1 and 3, Iden in Part 2 and, (secondarily) Offstage Warder 1, Officer, Servant, Gentleman, Soldier, Westmerland and Rutland's Tutor! It should be fun. I'm a huge fan of the histories, so I know I'll be in for a heck of a time.

- I also went in for a second callback on Monday for Kidstuf, out at Buckhead. I didn't really have any concept of what I was coming in to read for, but I must have thought on my feet well enough, because I'm going to be the new Comic Host for the Buckhead location. Awesome! I'm actually getting really pumped about it, especially after seeing some of the stuff we'll be doing. It's got a slightly off-kilter sense of humor that I can work with. Thumbs up. In fact, I'll be out at Buckhead this Sunday for Kindergarten Konfidential. I'm still not entirely sure what that is either, but I'll roll with the punches.

- So, it's good to know I've got a gig for November! Although, for the record, I am still available for October.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Communique from The County

I'm still not ready to resume daily posting, but here's a heads up to tide you over, blogfriend.

- I'm back in Kentucky. It's great. I miss it terribly. I've been able to see most of the people I needed to see so far, which is good. There are few things in life as pleasurable as driving through the back roads of my home town with my windows down. Being able to stand in my back yard at night is a simple pleasure that I take for granted when I'm here. I'm very happy to be here.

- That doesn't mean that I'm spending all of my time at home. No no... This last weekend, I went to Nashville (Cashville) to participate in a bachelor party (AKA Project Hedonism). Now, I say Project Hedonism, but there wasn't much of it, really. The best moments of the weekend were seeing the Watchmen trailer on IMAX and hitting up Kentucky Lake with a bunch of friends in a boat.

- I'm trying to work on a monologue for an audition I've got the day after I come back to Atlanta. It's difficult to pull myself away from people, though, to take the time to memorize it.

- The wedding I'm in is this Saturday. I will be returning to Atlanta on Sunday. I'll be back working / auditioning Monday. Back to the grind. But let's not think of that right now. I've got a date tonight.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Comp rant

I've got nothing else to do. Let's go ahead and talk about comps for a second.

So, I'm going back home this week, right? When I go home, I'm going to go see a production that a friend of mine is in at a community theatre that I've got a lot of connections to, right? Now, you won't hear me complain about this theatre in many respects. For instance, the changes that the current managing director has put in place have rejuvenated that theatre, making it a viable choice for the college students in the area. I've done some of my best work there, in fact. Outside of a couple of speed bumps, I've had nothing but great experiences there.

But...that being said...

Especially at the community theatre level, I feel it's completely inexcusable to not offer at least one comp to the participants. They give their time and expertise to a theatre and ask for nothing in return. Is it really too much to ask that they be given the ability to get someone in for free? Believe me, I understand that, more often than not, the audience is filled with family members and friends, rather than patrons looking for you to elucidate on the meaning of life. That's still no excuse to nickle and dime an actor out of what they earned. Often times, you're at the theatre, giving them three or more hours of your time, every day, for four weeks or so... Granted, the work itself should be the reward, but is one single comp really too much to ask?

I'm out of here tomorrow morning, blogfriend. Wish me well!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Love me, already

I'm getting to the point where I'm counting down the hours... Hedwig was sort of my one highlight for the week. Now, I'm down to one more shift at work and hanging out with some friends, and I'm out of here.

I'm feeling more encouraged about finding the next part, just in general. I think I just need to put myself out there more, frankly. I've done a lot of e-mailing in the last couple of days, so hopefully something will come of it. At the very least, I'm making contact with people, which is good. Working at only the Tavern feels very insular sometimes. I want to keep getting out and seeing shows and taking advantage of industry nights. I want to meet more people and get out there in Atlanta more. I'm thinking about staying in Atlanta for the long haul. I need to get to know people. And, hey, I'm doing it! Hate networking. Can't think of it like that. Networking feels so cold and calloused. I just want to get to know people...

Alright...one more day to figure out stuff to write...then I can treat myself to a couple of days off. Maybe I'll rant about comp policy tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lift up your hands...

Tonight, I went to go see Hedwig and the Angry Inch out at Actor's Express. Pretty great show. I've got no real complaints about it, which is a huge accomplishment, given how close I hold that show to my heart. Everyone was top shelf.

I'm bound to be a little bit hard on Craig Waldrip since he played a part I've yearned to play for so long. Granted, you may not know this if you don't read certain high influence local arts blogs, but Hedwig is one of the two dream parts I claim. And, granted, if you were to take a look at me, you might not immediately think Hedwig. But it's such a beautiful and complex role to play. Especially to take the setting of the show, which is the opening night of Hedwig's "world" tour. At what point in the show does Hedwig begin to completely deteriorate? When does it become not merely an act playing upon her recent fame? Essentially, when does this become something special, and not just something that happens every night? That's one of the most interesting questions posed, from an artistic standpoint.

I love Hedwig because of the universal theme. I've said it a thousand times before, but one might look at Hedwig, this "slip of a girly boy from communist East Berlin," and say, "Wow, that life experience is so far removed from mine, there's no way I have anything in common there." But it's completely untrue. It's not about Hedwig. It's about loneliness. It's about trying to make contact at whatever cost. It's about sadness and hope and failure and inadequacy and everything in between.

I would love to play Hedwig one day, but I don't think that day will ever come for me. Sadly, I'm not a singer and I don't claim to be a great singer. That being said, though, I don't know that you even need to be a great singer to play Hedwig. You just need to attack the role with complete abandon. Just rest assured...if I did ever get the chance to play it, I would throw myself into it with fervor. After all, this is the best way that I've found to be the best you've ever seen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give Me a Beat

Alright...daily blog material...

I still don't know why I'm trying to do it daily. I think it's just a good practice to make myself write. THOUGH, that being said, I hold to no such schedule when I'm at home. The next two weeks (starting Saturday) may be pretty sparse.

I'm just going to toss some random stuff up here and call it a day.

What bands am I listening to right now: Black Kids, Girl Talk, Architecture in Helsinki, The Format, Self

What I'm working at the gym today: Chest and shoulders

What I'm most tired of in my 9-5 job: Formatting a menu.

What game I'm most amped for: Chrono Trigger for the DS

Show I most want to be cast in for the typical 08-09 season: Oh man...I'd really like to be in Glass Menagerie at Aurora, but having a solid part in Romeo and Juliet at The Tavern would be great as well.

Thing that I'm most excited about from my apprenticeship: We're all working, by God! Mark is in Hedwig, which I'm seeing this week. Carol is doing something with puppets in Vermont. KG and I just wrapped up Much Ado. Tiffany and Stephen are about to start up with Midsummer. Derek will probably be in rehearsals for Don't Dress for Dinner at Stage Door Players when he gets back from Ireland. Josh just got cast in the next two shows at the Tavern. Look at all these working actors... Good job, compatriots!

What I miss about home: Besides everything? Besides girlfriend, family, friends, pets, fresh air, clear streets, solitude, memories, and the field out behind my mom's house? Probably the food.

Place I've always wanted to work: Alabama Shakespeare. Since I've loved Shakespeare, this is where I've wanted to work...

There's something about a Shakespeare theater that I just agree with. I mean, it's not just that they do plays by one of the world's greatest writers, but there is a sense that all plays done at many "Shakespeare" theaters are, either, enduring classics or something that their audience will identify with closely. It just feels right. Some of the best examples, I think, are Shakespeare Tavern's Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's The Bald Soprano and even this year, with Orlando Shakespeare presenting a play called Wittenberg, a premier about Hamlet taking classes from Dr. Faustus. A classic is a classic.

Ok...that's enough.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hence, the quotes...

Well, here's the moment where I become less of a "professional" actor, and more of an "unemployed" actor.

The final show last night was a lot of fun, but, now that it's over, the panic is setting in a bit. August and September, I'll be back on stage, but after that...?

I question if I should even be posting stuff like this. You know, is it too personal for a so-called business blog? Eh, I dunno. It deals with performance, so I judge it's alright. You won't hear me whining about trouble with my girlfriend in this forum.

Either way, I'm sure all will be well. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of performances this week! First, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Actor's Express and then, maybe, Valhalla at Essential Theatre. There's even something out at Push Push I want to see this week. THEN, off to Georgia Shakespeare as soon as I get back to see either Merchant or All's Well. I'm so happy to be getting out and seeing stuff

But, I am panicked. Call me in to read for something. It'll be fun.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy.

I were but little happy if I could say how much.

Seriously, though, that's one of the most romantic lines in all of Shakespeare. Nevermind what he does later.

Tonight is my final performance of Much Ado About Nothing at the Shakespeare Tavern. I'm hoping it's a good one because I'm going out on it.

But, you know, not really final. We'll be back in August and September, ready to rock again. Right now, though, tonight is my focus.

Claudio really is a great character. He's a hard character to get into. A cursory look at the text might lead one to think he was just a stupid, easily swayable guy of, frankly, suspect moral character who rails at a poor little defenseless girl at her wedding. He can be a screaming, mercurial jerkoff.

But ain't that just the simple way to play him?

I've done this play twice before. Once as Leonato, in college, and once as Don Pedro, at a community theatre. Each time, Claudio has been a big point of contention, but I never looked at him in the same light. First, as Leonato, he appeared to be the aforementioned screaming, mercurial jerkoff. We played Leonato as old, but still very physically fit, so the challenge was visceral. There was no question as to whether or not Leonato could give Claudio a fight. Then, as Don Pedro, he was like a puppy that I had to look out for. It certainly helped that Claudio then was a quarterback type guy who was played with a quick temper. As one of the old guys in that cast, it was easy to sidle into the role of Don Pedro, trying his darndest to guide silly little Claudio to a good ending.

Now that I've actually had time to delve into him, though, as is often the case, I see so much more. He's just as tore up about the Hero situation as anyone, which I think gets lost in the shuffle. It's an anger brought by extreme pain. I know I've been in situations before where I've lashed out at someone I cared for, only to regret it immensely later. To call Claudio out for that is to be hypocritical about any huge fault we've made it our lives. He's got a problem with trust, and might be naive, but he isn't flat out stupid. The fact that he's from Florence would have carried weight with an Elizabethan audience.

To play him as a railing miscreant is a disservice to the character. Anyone with a line that beautiful isn't an all out dickhead. And it's the simple path to take him that way. It is an interpretation, but, by God, it ain't my interpretation.

He isn't that easily swayable jerkoff. He's a human who reacts strongly when he thinks that the woman he is going to marry has betrayed him. I think he's a lovely young man, and it's a joy to inhabit that place for a couple of hours a night.

See you at the Tavern tonight, hopefully! Then, in August...whoo!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

With no regard for form...you're such a brute.

So...daily blog posts. Let's try this.

For instance, I have nothing to really note today. I've been doing the beginning stages of the Bas Rutten MMA workout, and that's been GREAT! I feel awesome after I get done with it.

They just called fifteen minutes...

Oh, I'm backstage before the second to last performance of Much Ado About Nothing. I'm excited to do it today. I'm gonna miss C-Lod when I get done, I think. He's just a super flawed, but basically good man. Young man. Very young.

I just had an incredibly unsatisfying shave. Oh well...I don't have to put a razor to the face until I clean up for a wedding!

The new album by the Black Kids is pretty darn good. When are they going to come to Atlanta again! They just live in Jacksonville!

I spent all day cleaning up my apartment.

They just called ten. I'm going to go get into character and shove some girls around.

I joke. He's hurt. Shut up.