Friday, July 31, 2009

So, Now what?

Macbeth is officially "no," BTW. (Thanks for the call, CF, it meant a lot to hear from you.) Silence on Streetcar, which would be fine if they hadn't said they would be contacting "everyone" by Friday. I really don't need to get a polite no, but when they say they'll call...


I there's some stuff coming up that would be fun, and I can put energy there.

It's always been my intention to do another show with New Millennium Theatre Company, so that's probably my main target right now. Good group of people. Fun, energetic work. I did a show called Shakesploitation II: Iambic Boogaloo with them a couple of years ago, and had a great time. Always wanted to go back and do another, but the schedules never worked right. This leaves me wide open to audition.

I'm sure Chad, their Artistic Director, will take me to task for using them as a "backup plan," and complain about how much I "hate" them....blah, blah, blah...I think he's having a "curmudgeon contest" with me.

What happened to us, Chad? *sniff* I remember last summer, in San Diego, out behind the convention center, you in your Comedian costume, me in my jeans. I thought we had bonded, man! I thought we had something special! What happened to the love!?!


What I really ought to do is get back to some music. I haven't played my guitar anywhere near enough in the last couple of months. I've got pages and pages of lyric ideas, and I've started on songs about 10 times. I always end up deleting them. I get frustrated with the limits of my drum machine, and my ability to program it.

What I really OUGHT to do is sit down an figure out how to program the damn thing. That's what I ought to do. I have dreams of getting a decent electronic drum kit, so I can record easily, and bring in drummers. Or, God help us all, work on my own skills.

I mean, I can barely play the guitar! Now I'm talking about drums?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, when the weekend seems so close, yet so far...

So, yeah.

No word on my auditions from anyone remotely official. I know some people have gotten the "no thanks" calls for both. I, to date, have not. Really, at this point, I gotta just think that I won't be doing either.

Maybe I'm a back-up for first choices. That would explain why I haven't heard. That's fine, but I just can't imagine that they haven't at least offered the roles to somebody if people I know have gotten the "next time" call.

No biggie. We roll on. I mean, yeah, I'd have loved to do either show, no doubt, but you know what Jagger said.

For the record, I read for Macduff in Macbeth, and Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. I can tell you now because it's over, and I don't feel like it will jinx me. LOL! I felt I did the best I could, in the circumstances, with both. That's all I can ask of myself. After that, as I've said, it's all a question of taste.

I can't help it if they have no taste... ;)

(And, yes, that is a JOKE)


Thinking about Wednesday Comics. I still love the series, but I would offer the following constructive criticism. One; 15 is too many features per week. Seriously, I think you could cut the cost of the thing by a bit if you only had seven.

The Wonder Woman strip just smacks of a creator who has no clue how to deal with just having one page. The panels get tiny, which sorta defeats the purpose of the "large artwork" selling point, as he tries to stuff more and more story into that one page. The coloring makes it all muddy, and it's just not compelling in any way.

Palmiotti and Conner have it down pat with their Supergirl feature. It works like a daily gag strip, yet it's building a longer storyline. It only takes about a minute to read, but it's consistantly funny, and I eagerly await what they'll pull off next time.

Joe and Andy Kubert also have a winner with the Sgt. Rock offering. Kubert's such an old pro, he knows how to make each and every panel pop. Master class stuff.

The Gaiman/Allred Metamorpho strip really seems stuck in the mud. This week, at least, they broke out of the "whole page as one, giant panel" rut. It's visually interesting, but it slows your story down to a crawl. Nothing seemed to happen at all during weeks 2 and 3 for that reason.

Paul Pope's "Strange Adventures" is also really dense, but maintains a lightness of touch, and more concrete visuals that really hold up well.

Also a fan of the Flash, Green Lantern and Metal Men strips. As well as the Superman, Batman and Hawkman stuff. Really it's all good, but I wonder how the weaker elements got in there.

I think cutting strips back a bit, and dropping the price to say, $2.99 would keep me on board as long as you printed this. Mistakes are inherant in this sort of endeavor, it's brand new. Don't be afraid to fix some things.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Comic Wednesday 7/29/2009

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: JH Williams III
Co-Feature Artist: Cully Hamner

The second issue with Batwoman as our star attraction. Also the second issue at the $3.99 price point, and The Question back-up feature. Like most of the post-Battle for the Cowl Batman titles, this is holding on pretty strong. Rucka has built a pretty solid story, and Williams' art is amazing.

Writer: Len Wein
Artists: Tom Derenick and Pow Rodrix

So, now it falls on Len Wein to try to make this title interesting. Really JLA has been a meandering mess for months and months, but I hold on. First it was because I knew former writer Dwayne McDuffie was struggling under editorial mandate, and forced to spin his wheels a lot. Then he was fired for speaking out about the situation. I like him a lot.

Now, I'm holding on because James Robinson and Mark Bagley are taking over this title in 2 months, and Bagly is my favorite artist working right now.

Writers: Various
Artists: Various

I love this series, I love the concept and the art still looks gorgeous on the oversized pages. That being said the $3.99 price point is a bear for a weekly title. I doubt I'll stick around after the first 12-issue cycle.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen

...And, with this issue I can finally jump off this sinking ship. Marvel had one series that I was fully dedicated to, Ultimate Spider-Man. I had EVERY, SINGLE ISSUE. I loved it. Then, they slapped this Ultimatum crossover into the picture, and frankly threw the finely crafted work Brian Michael Bendis was doing on this series into a wood chipper.

Yes, the series re-starts in a couple of months. Stupid foil cover and all. However, I already feel kicked in the nuts. So, bye-bye Ultimate Spidey....I surely loved following your story.

Finallly a holdover released last week:

Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Guillem March

I'm not really sold on this series. It's obviously the weakest link in the post-Battle for the Cowl Batman line. This despite one of my favorite writers, Paul Dini. The man was writing the best Batman comics around, in Detective Comics, for the lat couple of years, in the face of Grant Morrison's high-concept misfires over in the Batman title. Dini held the line, telling compelling one-off, well, detective tales.

But this series seems a little off. Almost like Dini is indulging his own fetishes a bit too much.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Why didn't anybody tell me they had a dwarf/midget for a drummer?!?

Seriously, dude was awesome.

Anyway. CByrd got free tickets to the show last night, and so we went. I cannot honestly say that I would pay to see Toad the wet Sprocket. The Opener was a total snooze. They didn't even really tell us their name. Not that I cared to look it up, or anything.

I was a little worried right off the bat when Toad hit the stage. A little too mannered, no real fire. Things picked up as they went along. I was sort of surprised at how many of their songs I remembered. They had a lot more hits than I thought. I did really enjoy the show, they had some charm and warmth, and the songs are catchy.

I was curious enough to go looking around about their history. Their last album came out in 1995. They "broke up" in 1998, and, I guess, officially are still "broke up."

Yet they're playing shows.


I almost laughed out loud when, at one point, the singer said "I see you guys like the old stuff."

OK, dude...There. Is. No. New. Stuff.

I have to ask myself, why? I mean, OK, so you're playing shows. You were big enough that SOMEBODY would pay you to do another record. There has to be some reason why you'd play together, but not want to spend the time to actually write and record new music. Do you guys still have problems, but needed the cash enough to put up with each other for short tours?

I dunno. It's all conjecture. I had a good time, but I still can't help wondering what the backstage politics of this group are like.

No word on auditions...The waiting is the hardest part.

Shatner Reads Palin's Farewell Speech.

I do understand it more, now...

Looks like they pulled it off YouTube, find it here:

From Hulu

Monday, July 27, 2009

Audition Report

Things went pretty well over the weekend. I felt like I made some strong choices, and went with the stuff being given to me pretty well for both Macbeth and A Streetcar Named Desire. I know that Stanley and Macduff are roles I would love to play, which can either motivate the hell out of you, or send you down the wrong path entirely.

But did I do "well?"

How the hell do I know?

The only thing I can really point to and call a turning point is in the Streetcar audition, I just went ahead and took my shirt off when it was indicated. I THINK I either got it, or lost it at that moment.

Who knows?

AVENGERS movie lineup news....

I think it’s going to be Iron Man and Thor, Captain America and Nick Fury. I think it’s safe to assume that there will be some members of the Hulk universe in the film as well. In terms of the additional I think Black Widow, sure. The SHIELD organization for sure. What’s exciting, for me, about The Avengers movie is seeing those four characters interact with each other. I think anywhere from the first issues of The Avengers to Civil War the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is just awesome, it’s fascinating. It brings out sides in others that won’t be brought out in the other franchises. Going forward with the mix is a whole other thing, I think it will be cool. So to pile on another 15 or 10, frankly more than four would be too many.

Marvel producer Kevin Feige

Well, this is the first news about this that actually makes me feel like somebody's thinking over at Marvel.

Of course the fanboys are up in arms. "Where's Hawkeye?!?!" "Where's Wasp!?!!?" "Where's Triathlon!??!?!"

What's sad to me, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, is that fan's now seem to have the attitude that a comic "doesn't matter' unless it gets adapted to film. It's ridiculous. I love comics as comics. If something gets a movie deal, great...but the comics are still the good stuff.

Take Watchmen. If ANYONE expressed interest to me in that graphic novel, would I send them to the good, well-made, but in no way ground-breaking or transcendent movie? Or would I send them to the original comics? It's a no-brainer. It's actually a silly question. Compared to the comics, the movie is empty. In fact, much like the Harry Potter films, it really has no resonance unless you've been exposed to the book prior.

The Dark Knight is a fantastic Batman story...but there are a dozen comics that top it. Comic that allow Bruce Wayne to push outside the "heroic" ideal. Bruce can be an absolute dick in the comic books. There's Bruce's way, and the wrong way. The comics have been able to play with the idea that Bruce's way ain't always the right way. The Dark Knight touched on this, but couldn't really dig in.

A friend of mine put it thusly:

The comics are the real deal, the meat and potatoes. The movies are those properties shoved through a funhouse mirror of mass-marketing. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, and I've loved several adaptations. (First two Spider-Mans, First two X-Men, the Donner Superman, Iron Man, The Rocketeer, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, etc...)

But, see here's the deal...You're a COMIC BOOK fan? Then why the hell are you in Hall H looking at Avatar footage, or worse STANDING IN LINE for that footage, when Jerry Robinson, Sheldon Moldoff and any number of other pioneers of this medium are sitting off in a corner of the convention center, in a room you could walk right into? These men, and their stories, will not be around forever. You know my most treasured memory of my first SDCC in '06 was sitting in a room with Jerry, Shelly and several others listening to them talk about what a ass Bob Kane was.

Those encounters are to be treasured. Plus, I could walk right up to Shelly and say hello. He wasn't shuttled off to a private, VIP-only room to be hidden away from the public. He'd sign books. HE DIDN'T CHARGE YOU TO SIGN SOMETHING, and this is a man who can probably use the extra bucks. These men are the history of this medium we profess to love.

Look, I love movies, too. I would've liked to see the Avatar footage, too. I'd like to hear Cameron hold court. I saw the Watchmen presentation last year. These are cool things to see.

But I booked a hotel for next years convention today, and in 2010 I am going to re-think what I choose to give my percious time to when I'm in that convention building.

Friday, July 24, 2009

One thing I will say about MySpace over Blogger....

I could tell over there if anybody was reading this stuff.

You know as soon as you write something like I did yesterday....

The crisis of confidence will hit, and you'll go back on everything you've put up as "common sense" advice.

Yeah, the callback tomorrow has me a little worried.

Not "quaking in my boots" worried, or anything. I'm fairly certain I won't make a total ass out of myself. That being said, they sure picked a hell of a scene. Juuuust a little bit difficult. Not that I don't understand, completely, it's exactly what I would've asked guys after this role to do. You don't want to throw softballs.

Lot more confident about the one on Sunday. I'm feeling good, and strong, about stepping into those shoes.

I also have another audition on Sunday, where they want me to play guitar, and, frankly, I just can't really drum up much interest. I kinda just want to blow it off. Probably won't, but....hmmm...

Yet again, I'm looking at a weekend overflowing with places to be and commitments. I'd LOVE to have a free weekend, at some point.

I also just realized that the Ratt/Extreme show I wanted to go see at the House of Blues is tonight...Well, missed that one.

Did the average IQ drop suddenly?

How long are we going to indulge this fantasy of the extreme right?

I mean, seriously....Obama won, and you're scared to death, I get it. Grow the hell up.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Political HumorJoke of the Day

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big weekend

Just got the call (well, E-mail) for a second callback for Sunday night, on top of the one I have on Saturday.

These are two great roles. I am, without a doubt, excited. Difficult, and, no doubt, will be hard to win. However, they're top notch challenges. The only correlation I can think of for myself would be playing McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in '07. It's that kind of iconic, "oh my God, I always wanted to take a shot at that" stuff.

I always assume I'm NOT going to get cast. I've been doing this long enough to understand that's the way to avoid a lot of heartbreak. I always get this split personality in my head. I'm excited, I want to tell people, but then I think I sound like I'm bragging, or I'm jinxing myself.

The audition process, can be so cruel. You go in, throw yourself out on the stage, and then go home. If you get it, you hear. If you don't...most of the time...nothing. No feedback, at all. I have friends that are driven nuts by this. Who want some sort of response, for good or ill.

The truth is, 90% of the time, it's nothing you did, or didn't do. It's all in the eyes of the director. If you get called back, I feel, you're, essentially, being told you could play this role. Good for you. That's a win. Your skill and talent is validated.

After that, it's all about any number of variables. Height, weight, age, hair color? How all of those things fit with the rest of the's all in the eyes of the director. It's a gut instinct, something that most directors probably can't even put into words. Something you give off, a confidence, a way you smiled, the way you took the stage, whatever, resonated with them. It sparked and they wanted you for that role.

I would confidently wager that, for most directors out there, it's not an intellectual process. Oh, yeah, thought goes into it, putting the callback groups together and such, but that moment when the light turns on, when the choice seems so simple, it's right from the gut. At least it always is with me, when I'm on the other side of that table.

The generals weed out the people who either didn't prepare, are absolutely wrong for the role, or just don't have any skill. The callbacks put everyone in front of you, so you can watch, and wait for the spark. I never call back anyone who I don't think can do the role.

(I also don't call back any more than 3 people for any role. I mean, seriously, looking at 10 people for every role is silly. It's wasting people's time.)

What it all comes down to is this....You can't predict anything about any audition or callback. You just can't, there are too many variables and personal gut instincts involved. You're doing nothing but wasting energy worrying. The best thing to do, which will also allow you to let the best of yourself come through, is to relax and have fun with it. Stop trying to figure out what they want to see, and be yourself. Show 'em how you would play this role, that's what they want to see, and that's what will get you the part.

...If they see it the same way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Comic Wednesday - July 22nd

I expect this may become a weekly entry - what I'm buying, comic-wise. It's also a way for me to keep track of what I have bought:

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish;
Covers by George Pérez

A very solid series. It's been marred with a lot of scheduling delays. Perez is slow, we all know that by now.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy;
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari

Blackest Night has managed to survive the hype, and the long, slow build-up to actually be working for me.

POWER GIRL #3 $2.99
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art and Cover by Amanda Conner;
Variant Cover by Guillem March

Seriously, Good, fun superhero work. Glorious art.

SPIRIT #31 $2.99
Written by Mike Ploog; Art by Mike Ploog and Dan Green;
Cover by Nick Cardy

The series hasn't been the same since Darwyn Cooke left after issue #12, but still, I am saddened by it's impending cancellation.

Various Writers and Artists.

This experiment by DC is just amazing the HUGE pages allow the artwork to shine. Fantastic creators at work.

No Marvel books this week. Admittedly, I am much more of a DC fan. This will only become moreso when Marvel's Ultimate line is reset in a month or so...

Then the world went insane....

I think I have a new hero

Craig Ferguson...

This may just be a swipe at Jimmy Fallon, but it doesn't make it less true.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The problem with the new GI JOE movie...

I grew up on G. I. Joe, both the 12-inch figures, and "Adventure Team" trappings of the 70's , and the 3 3/4-inch "Real American Hero" of the 80's. I've got a healthy nostalgia there, no doubt.

The problem I really see in the trailers for Stephen Sommer's big-buget movie version is the "accelerator suits."

Look, this is "Real American Hero" Joe-verse, here. Where every little figure had a background file that came with them. They looked different, and, via the Larry Hama-penned cards, individual personalities. That was part of the fun, you could have your favorite Joe, something about that little toy, be it how it looked, or the person described on the file card, that called out to YOU, and there were DOZENS to pick from.

Now, we slap 'em all into these "accelerator suits," and they all look...exactly...the...same.

What a rotten movie summer...

Seriously, I had high hopes when Star Trek hit. Yeah, maybe it wasn't everything that made up Roddenberry's vision, but it was a fun, exciting adventure movie. One that didn't make me feel stupid for watching it.

Since then, with the exception of Up, a rotten, rotten summer.

Don't even start with the Harry Potter stuff. I know, yeah, it's great. Got it. I will probably like it about as much as the others, meaning that I think it's OK, but lacks any real spark of it's own. Watchmen suffered this same problem.

Normally you can't keep me out of a movie theatre from May to August. I'm rabid with celluloid desire. Yeah, sure most of them were crap, but there would be sparks that would sustain me. Last summer was particularly good. Iron Man, Indy Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (yeah, I liked it, shove off.), The Incredible Hulk (never would've guessed that), Wal-E, and the biggie, The Dark Knight.

Solid work, all through the summer. What do we get this year? Land of the Lost? Wolverine? Year One? Transformers: The Rise of the Fallen? (excuse me, I got a little sick, there) It's crap central in 2009. I'm actually praying this G.I. Joe film doesn't suck, so that the blockbuster season isn't a total write-off.

Then, I head over to the Music Box Theatre two weeks ago, and at a midnight show I'm treated to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and all is not lost. It's a cycle, and quality is out there to be found, you just might have to look a bit.

The new thing....

Having gotten well and truly tired of MySpace, I will be blogging over here from now on...

More meandering thoughts soon...