Friday, November 19, 2010

The End of The Week

So, here we sit. The week is....ALMOST....over, and all sorts of things have been going on.

Mainly, I've been reading plays. It's selection season for Stage Left's Leapfest festival of new plays. In the last few weeks I've read about...I think it was about twenty-four plays. Some I loathed, some I enjoyed, some I wanted to set fire to, but was very, very powerful, to me. I was floored reading it, and I dearly hope it's going to be in the festival.

Of course, that's not a foregone conclusion, there's another round of selection to pound through. Things can swing in any number of directions, and I'm pretty aware of the fact that my tastes aren't necessarily the same as the rest of the ensemble. Nice thing is, since I made myself read so many in the early stages, I have very, very few I will have to read going forward.

There's something to this overachiever stuff.

No, I'm not going to discuss anything in detail. The selection isn't made, and, until that happens, mum's the word.

Of course, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to be able to work on Leapfest. It's scheduled for June of 2011, the dates are set, but not public, not final. Still, I know I'm booked until May 15th (more on that in a minute), and CByrd and I have tentatively set a vacation trip for May 20th to May 29th. It'll be overseas, but the exact destination and itinerary are still up in the proverbial air.

Still, Rush is playing at the O2 arena in London on May 25th. Definitely a thing to make you go...hmmmmm.

Gratuitous Rush Picture - I'll get 20-30 more hits for this, no joke

So, that MIGHT prove a problem for scheduling.

Ah, well...a bridge to cross when we get there, right?

So, as to my booking. I'll be playing the role of Milt Shanks in The Copperhead by Augustus E. Thomas, with City Lit Theatre this spring, under the direction of Kathy Scambiatterra. I'm pretty excited, and more than a little scared. Perhaps there's some sort of magic in whining on a blog, because this role is very much along the lines of what I was wishing for. Milt's a farmer, so yeah..."big guy," but there's also a whole load of things going on under the surface, and a great deal of physical change I'll have to go through as the show progresses. Here's City Lit's description;
A lost gem from the early days of American realism, and it kicks off City Lit's five-year commemoration of the Civil War during its sesquicentennial years 2011-2015. In the spring of each of those years, we will produce a show dealing with some aspect of the war: its issues, personalities and legacy. Thomas' play follows an Illinois man from the early days of the war through the turn of the 20th century, as he carries the weight of his town's disapproval for his Southern sympathies. 
 So, there you go, and I can't wait to start. Of course, that's not until the end of February. I have a tentative plan to try to get off book either before we start or very, very shortly after. I found a full copy of the play on line, and printed it out, so I have the script (unless there are cuts and changes...oy!). I do wish we were starting sooner, I'm itching to have something to do.

More time to work on music, right?

Speaking of which....

I'm playing an acoustic gig for the first time in a long, long....well, forever. I'll be doing a half hour, or so, at a low-key Stage Left fundraiser at our office on December 4th. Again, excited but a little freaked. It's been a LONG time since I played in front of anybody, and a long time since I played most of the acoustic-based tunes on my first CD.

So, I'm re-learning my own songs. LOL. I suppose that's probably not as unheard of as it would seem. I mean, do you think Keith Richards knows how to play every obscure track on the flip side of Out of Our Heads the second it's brought up?

...Yeah. You're right. He probably does.

Well, it's not like what I was writing at that time was incredibly hard, anyway. It's funny, going back and revisiting these songs is making me very aware of who far I've come with the guitar. It had been so long since I'd REALLY played when I started working on that first disk. Now I feel pretty comfortable moving around the neck. I still can't do everything I'd LIKE to do, but I can come up with some interesting riffs, I think, anyway.

One other thing that's become very apparent to me since I started going over these songs again is how long it's been since I've played acoustic. It hit me the other day, when my fingers started hurting, that it's been about 9 months since I picked up my acoustic guitar. It may seem strange that there's a difference, but acoustic strings are heavier, and the tension is higher. Harder to push down, and they cut into the fingertips a bit more.

So, I'm playing a lot just to re-build my calluses on the fingertips. So silly, really. I should be putting in time on both the acoustic and electric. It's just that the stuff I've been working on lately is so very much in an electric, hard rock vein. I've thought about putting acoustic sections into a few tracks, and this experience is plainly showing me that I shouldn't neglect that part of the deal.

As for the recording/demos I'm working on, things are proceeding fairly well. I've gone completely off the rails since I found out about this gig, but I have a track on the recorder that I think will be quite good. I really ought to take some time tomorrow to finish the music, and have that off the plate to fully work on my setlist. I do think that these recordings will, ultimately, be demos. I expect I'll be getting a new recorder sometime in December (12 months same-as-cash = time for a bigger purchase), or else just going whole hog into pro-tools. It's a big decision, but I do think there's systems out there that will give me more flexibility, and better sound. Certainly a jump to pro-tools would.

Another bridge to cross when I get there.

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