Letters to Holly

Friday, April 17

New Music and Directing

Whilst strolling the new Barnes & Noble, I spied a CD by Toubab Krewe. It's a live CD from the Orange Peel, no less. I checked the recording date, and it's the concert we saw on New Year's Eve 2007. We're on an album. It was apparently released this January. Amazon and iTunes have it for $10. I snagged a copy tout suite.

I also bought Troubadour by K'Naan, a Somali rapper. He mixes the reggae influence of Wyclef Jean with the social commentary of Nas and the nasal delivery of Li'l Wayne, and this is a flat-out party album. Guests include the lead singer of Maroon5 (whose '80s inspirations dominate his song's chorus), Kirk Hammet of Metallica (whose guitar playing desrves a solo project), and Mos Def, the king of cool. Mos also played the locked-in patient on House a few weeks back.

The best songs to download are TIA, America, Bang Bang She Shot Me, and Stronger. But the whole CD is strong.

My theatre liaison said the last reading-theatre play rehearsed about four times. That feels insufficient for a comedy when timing and delivery are key. I'll increase that with my show.

"My show." Hm.

The auditions will be 2-4 pm next Saturday and Sunday.

This is the official press release as polished by the liaison:

BLT TO HOLD AUDITIONS FOR READER’S THEATER PREMIERE Brevard Little Theatre will be holding Reader’s Theatre auditions for a World Premiere of a one act play titled, “Mama’s Almost Birthday”, by XXXX XXXXXXXX, winner of BLT’s 2008 One Act Play Writing Competition.

Ms. XXXXXXX has created a delightful story that has the spirit of a classic sitcom with banter and one-liners galore. Two adult daughters, Isabelle and Rochelle, are preparing a small house party for the mother, Vera, recently injured after angrily chasing the paperboy. Isabella also invites her boyfriend Lenny, who changes the dynamics of the family’s relationship.

The play will be presented in a reader’s theatre format with actors working from scripts inside a suggested set. Director [me] will be holding auditions on Saturday, April 25th, and again on Sunday, April 26th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Brevard Little Theatre’s new home at the American Legion Hall, 55 East Jordan Street, Brevard. [I] will be casting for the following roles: Isabelle and Rochelle, (ages 30 to 40), Vera, (age 50 to 70) and Lenny, (age 30 to 40).

The one-act play will be presented as part of BLT’s Play Writing Competition Winners Luncheon on May 29th in Miller’s Hall at St. Phillips Episcopal Church. Here is a wonderful opportunity to be part of another Brevard Little Theatre World Premiere, so mark your calendar now for one or more of these auditions!

For additional information concerning this one act play or the auditions, please feel free to contact the director [me] or visit the BLT website at: www.brevardlittletheatre.com

That's right. We don't know who wrote this play. We're hoping to find out before we send the article to the paper.

Thursday, April 16

Directing Progress

I haven't had any contact with the theatre people since I agreed to direct. Mostly, I didn't want to interfere with the casting of the three-act play. Casting has become tricky lately (too many plays + too little time = burnout), and I laid low.

During my meager isolation, I made script notes. I listed how we could work some "scenes" -- there is no formal scene delineation -- and played with character angles. We have four characters: an older mom, two adult daughters, and one sister's suitor.

The script clearly wants the mom to be Sophia from Golden Girls. She's scrappy and brusque and stubborn. The sisters are standard sitcom siblings. One's dependable, the other's a floosie. I really like the suitor because there's room in the script to play him as dry humored and above the fray. He's slightly mocking the goings-on, and no one really gets it. If anyone winks at the audience, it's him.

My notes aren't detailed, because the actors should get a chance to play too. I talked to my liaison yesterday and set up audition times for next weekend. I'm also writing the press release for the local paper and desperately trying to avoid the usual adjectives like "wacky" and "uproarious." I'm also including a snippet of dialogue, something the theater's never done before to suggest the style of the show. I think this can helps us get more actors to audition. Hopefully the article will run twice next week.

My name is in the article as the official contact, and I wonder if this will affect turnout.

I had my first directing dream last night. I was teaching my first day of school. But it was really about directing.

The floor is done. The renovation company backed out of replacing the drywall this week, and we won't be home during the week again until the summer. So the money will go to folks who want our money and will work weekends.

Picture of the Day
New flooring. The larger tile pattern makes the room look bigger. It only took 18 hours for the cats to throw up on it.

Wednesday, April 15

Still Renovating

As I type, our old laundry floor is being removed and replaced with new vinyl. The floor crew will also replace the wood cut out when the heater leaked. Hopefully, the drywall crew will return tomorrow and fix the storage room wall.

I am officially coming down with the wife sickness. I tried to run it our of my system yesterday, but I was already weakened. It was a slow, grueling jog. We remain in separate beds.

I'm preparing the newspaper article to announce the auditions for the play I'm directing. I hope to hold them next weekend. I haven't heard what kind of turnout the other play got for its auditions last weekend. I've made notes throughout my script for certain emotional notes to hit and some delivery suggestions, but I don't want to give the actors detailed instructions for that. I wouldn't swallow that if a director gave it to me.

Picture of the Day
Out with the old floor. The room used to double as a bathroom. We keep the old toilet in my workshed, and I use it as a trashcan.

Tuesday, April 14


The restoration company is backing off its original assurances of repair. Now they say they won't do the flooring. Fine. As Your Sister noted, there are plenty of people who will gladly earn that repair money. Sounds also like they're dragging their feet on the drywall repair, and I suspect this isn't a big enough job to satisfy them. Which means they could knock it all out in a few days and enjoy that insurance money. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised by the attitude; they did blame the excess water on vent condensation and completely miss the open, spurting heater pipes.

+ + +

Dr. Laura, the conservative fundamentalist who makes her living scolding women for seeking equality, quietly deviated from her usual screed about our culture by approving same-sex couples. Not marriages, technically, no. But still, this is a huge swing for a person who made her bones defending America from the scourge of homosexuality. From her April 8 appearance on Larry King's show:

KING: This week, the Washington City Council voted to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. And the Vermont legislature voted to override a gubernatorial veto of a bill legalizing same sex. Do you think this — now we have four states, about to be five states.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, it’s issues of — sometimes it’s done by courts, sometimes it’s done by legislatures.

KING: Basically, five states now say you can have it. What do you think of that? What are you laughing at?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I don’t have much of an opinion on it.

KING: You have no opinion on it?

SCHLESSINGER: Not much, no.

KING: But you’ve always favored that marriage must be between a man and woman.

SCHLESSINGER: I’m very big on human beings finding love, attachment and commitment and being faithful to it, because there’s more to benefit when there is real true commitment and faithfulness to it. I still believe, as just every president has, and all the people who ran for office, that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman. So not calling it marriage works for me. But that two people would have that sort of commitment to me is very healthy and very positive thing in their lives and society as a whole.

KING: So, you favor marriage between a man and a woman, but you applaud the fact that even people of the same-sex can have that kind of commitment to each other.

SCHLESSINGER: That’s a beautiful thing and a healthy thing.

KING: We’ll be back with more of Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

She was on the show promoting her book In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms which, no doubt, belittles women who like to see the sun and earn folding money. I have considered her the national whipping post for years. People call her to spell out their outrageous scenarios and ask for advice, usually in the form of "should I do this-and-that." And Dr. Laura (who does not have a doctorate in any form of therapy or counseling) will tell them they are bad bad bad and are dragging down the country.

Picture of the Day
A city at night, but I don't know which one. At that size, it has to be New York, right?