Letters to Holly

Wednesday, May 27

Home Stretch

Tuesday begins the home stretch for the one-act. We rehearsed twice tonight and plan to rehearse twice Thursday and one Friday before we perform. I say "we" becuase I'm doing the sound effects. I'll play the CD of music and noises during the show. Currently we start the show with "Birthday" by The Beatles, but it feels a bit too rock for this show and probably audience. I'd like something softer, something closer to the traditional sitcom theme for this demographic.

Again, I cite Golden Girls and its great theme song. Not an original song, by the way. It's a cover of a '70s AM radio song. The other best option is "It's My Party" by Brenda Lee, but that's a bit ... that era of music is forever colored by Dirty Dancing, and it sounds wrong for the show. We're definitely closing with "Michelle" by The Beatles. I have four days to be inspired for an opening theme, and, if it doesn't happen, I'm not too worried.

The rehearsal went well. The cast is moving at a good clip, and my direction is limited to small ticky-tack comments. I'm giving more accolades than criticisms as is proper at this stage in the production, and the cast appear to be enjoying themselves. I'm still making the sales pitch for the play format to some actors, and the concern now seems to be not about their comfort but the audience's understanding. I agreed to give a pre-performance speech, and I'll explain the play format then.

There some small adjustments. One actor is giving her punchlines too slow a delivery. It's a new development, and I got her back on course. I nudged another actor on movement to end the show. Nothing big.

It's funny. The majority of the actors comment on how easy going I am when they ask about small movements and delivery ideas. So many of their ideas are about establishing their characters, but they don't involve reworking the script.

It's almost a shame we're only performing this one time. Almost.

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In the News
Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Sonya Sotomayor, has garnered the usual reaction from across the aisle. She's liberal (duh), she's an activist (cliche), and she's a token (shock). A video of a judicial summit within the past ten years sees her saying the appeals courts are where policy is made, and she quickly apologizes for saying what the other jurists are loathe to acknowledge. The opposition has seized upon this, and again wave the flag of "legislating from the bench." It's odd that hardcore conservatives are reticent to see the courtroom as a competitive arena. The best combination of argument and cited precedent wins. If the right-wing wants to espouse competition in the free market, why not in the courts?

Sotomayor received Senate approval twice already during her ascension through the court hierarchy. She has ruled equally for business and labor and has more experience as a judge than all the current Supremes before their nominations. She's a solid first-time pick by the new president, and the GOP is quietly acknowledging that the Democrat majority will most likely see her through to the high court.

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The California Supreme Court's ruling on the gay-marriage amendment is fated to move to higher appeal courts. They ruled on the ability of the citizenry to amend their Constitution, and that ruling allowed the marriage ban to stand. The decision to let 18,000 gay marriages remain legal guarantees further judicial review, but the ban will remain unless there's another referendum. And that's practically a given. California is referendum-crazy.

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You might (but probably don't) remember my rant about the reboot of Spider-Man in the comics. After an initial spike in sales by speculators (and a one-time gigantic spike when Obama appeared on the cover), the Spidey titles are back to where they were this time last year. The great clean-up has done squadoo for sales.

The reboot -- Spidey and Mary Jane were no longer married and Spidey was back to relying on friends and Aunt May for a place to sleep -- even extended to the syndicated newspaper strip. People who never read a comic, but followed the daily paper strip were given the new direction as well. Just like with the comics readers, those readers were displeased. They complained. But unlike the comics readers, this reaction was heeded. The strip has apparently decided to go back to the marriage, and MJ has not returned to his life but come back as Mrs. Spidey.

Maybe it says something about the newspaper industry. Perhaps its need to appease the dwindling reader base. But I approve of the apparent response to reader complaints. The comic-book folks should follow suit.

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