Monday, February 23, 2009

Aloha again. and again.

After a period of quiet, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls has once again surfaced as a topic of conversation. During an entertaining wine and cheese soiree at Dean and Becca's abode, Dean and I got into a delightful discussion about Naomi Iizuka's text.
Now, if memory serves me correctly (feel free to correct me in the comments section, Dean) Dean Knight has an English literature background, which leads to a very specific interest in nice wordy textually-rich plays (ie. Shakespeare). So, naturally he had noted an interesting thing about her script.
While at first the whole no-uppercase -letters thing that she frequently utilizes annoyed him, Dean said that he was surprised at how quickly one became accustomed to it. Within only a few pages, her imposed style melted right into the background. Personally, I think this speaks highly of her work as a whole. I've read numerous plays where the "style" has been so distracting that I've actually given up reading in disgust.
We also discussed her use of punctuation. Whole speeches and conversations in the play would take place with nary a period in sight; instead, commas littered the page. Her sparing use of periods really brought emphasis to when sentences and thoughts actually ended. In fact, the only example I can think of right now of more effective punctuation use is by Shakespeare (heard of him?). Like the great one, Iizuka seems to use her commas to suggest stage direction (pause, breath, continue). One of the characters who is prone to rambling discourse, has page-long speeches peppered with commas, but without a single period. What an old trick she's borrowed with that one! Using the punctuation in the text to suggest characteristics. Neat!
So, I know: Aloha is amazing. All hail Naomi Iizuka. You've heard it all before from us and you're getting bored. Well, too bad. I guess I can't really help you there.

- Kerry

P.S. and if you haven't heard it all before, here's the link to our original discussion of Aloha Say The Pretty Girls:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Guide to Acting; from a Techie

I just decided to put together a list of things that I have noticed and think must be the key to amazing performances. Please use this to help guide your own performances in the future:

  1. Hold for all laughs---real, expected, or imagined! If you don't get one, face front and repeat the line louder. Failing this, laugh at it yourself.
  2. A good performance, like concrete, should be molded quickly and then forever set.
  3. Your first responsibility as an actor is to find your light.
  4. Do not listen to your fellow actors on stage. It will only throw you.
  5. Do not look at them either---you may not like what you see.
  6. Always be specific---point to what you're talking about.
  7. If a line isn't working for you, change it.
  8. Stage Managers are NOT actors---ignore them. Keep them alert by never arriving on time or signing in.
  9. Never be afraid to ad-lib to get attention, especially if you feel the leads aren't very entertaining.
  10. Mistakes are never your fault.
  11. Always find something to bitch about, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Your fellow actors will respect your professional attention to detail.
  12. Do help your fellow actors by giving them notes whenever you feel necessary.
    And give the notes immediately before they go on---it will be fresher that way.
  13. Play the reality---always be aware of the audience and whether you think they like the show, then gauge your performance accordingly. Why knock yourself out for ungrateful snobs?
  14. Need a character? Get a costume.
  15. Never change anything that is working, no matter how wrong or phony it may seem.
I hope this guide helps everyone out there to be the best actors they can be! But hey I am a techie, I could be wrong on some of these...


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Building A Company

The four of us in charge of NLC can't have a short meeting. Every time we meet, the time flies by and before we know it the early morning hours are staring us in the face and we realize we'll have to continue the discussion at a later meeting. I think each of us would admit that the time flies by so quickly because we are all excited about the projects we're planning (fingers crossed on our summer 2009 production and fundraiser goals). That said we cannot always expect to have the time for a five hour meeting nor can we expect to always be in agreement about everything.

For that last reason we have decided to operate using Consensus Decision-Making. Bonnie has experienced this process, but it will be my first foray into this method.

At my non-profit we rely upon Robert's Rules of Order - which is time effective but usually results in fractures on really difficult decisions. This leads to dissension among the community and can mean that we are defeated by our division. Of course, consensus decision-making is most likely not practical for an organization as strapped for time as my nonprofit is during the General Assembly. That said, I'm very excited to give it a try in Night Light Collective. It may take some time - but it appears we're all willing to give that.


ps - I'll admit that wiki may not be the best place to use as a resource, but I'm counting on Bonnie to post the official site:)

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Okay, so maybe it is Christmas, but the 2nd most wonderful time of the year is easily Turner Classic Movie Channel's 31 days of Oscars.
For one month straight they only play movies that have won and Acadamy Award in anything from sound design to best picture. It's phenominal, because finally, 24 hrs. a day, there is always something good on TV. My poor DVR is working overtime to record them all for me. I'm in movie heaven.
I know this is a really tenuous connection to theatre, but seriously, you've got to take advantage of any great performance you can find, and sometimes, it's at the cinema. Plus, sometime this week they're running a marathon of Sir Lawrence Olivier's Shakespeare films, so I mean, that kind of relates, doesn't it? Especially when one of them is Henry V. And another is Richard III. How very timely, eh?

I'm ready for my endorsement check now, TCM.

- kerry