Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Oh. My. God.

I just finished reading Michael Toscano’s review of The Mystery of Irma Vep. He came to the show opening night. It is officially safe to say that Mr. Toscano enjoyed himself.

Holy $#!t. That’s one damn fine review. Okay. I’m not gonna twist my arm patting my own back… I’m just… putting this out here for your perusal… and I’m going to go do my happy dance. A few times. Sweet.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

God, I Love Being Busy


My Voice-Over Demos are finally ship-shape (by which I mean trimmed down to appropriate lengths for professional release), and I’ll have them on my website shortly, I hope. In the mean time, I can start sending them out to some talent agencies in the area. I’ve done my homework, and there are a good three or four in the area that accept VO demos. Sweet.

Also, tonight, if he’s available, my partner and I are going to hit up a Kinko’s and print out Tuxxer. Done my homework on that end, too. There are roughly a dozen different comic labels that would be appropriate to submit it to; all of which accept unsolicited work.

I’m going in to both of these ventures with open eyes, and modest hopes. I don’t expect anything to happen, but I do hope good things will come out of it. A wise friend of mine told me a few years ago that expectations could only lead to disappointment, because you’re planning for something you really don’t have control over. Hope, however, isn’t making any declarative statement that can bite you in the ass later. Mikiah’s a pretty good guy.

I LOVE having things on my plate. Projects to occupy my time. Sure, I also love to have a night off to just chill out, pop in a movie and pour myself a frosty beverage, but come on. I couldn’t do that every night. I know that because I used to. When I was in high school, it seemed that every weekend was spent plopped in front of the TV with a bag of sunflower seeds (yum) and a fridge full of Pepsi nearby. If I wasn’t in a show, I didn’t have much in the way of alternate extra-curricular activities.

Nowadays, if I’m not doing three things at once, I wonder what the heck I’m doing. I’ve got an audition this weekend for a sketch comedy show in DC. I’ll be sending out VO demos and Tuxxer samples as soon as I can… It’s a good time to be active and alive. I’m sure there’s some alternative motivation behind this drive to be productive, but right now I don’t really care to know what’s behind it, so long as I keep it up.

If you’ll excuse me, I have some errands to run. Shazam.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Humor for the Thinking Person

I was sent these; and they're too good not to share.

1. Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.....
3. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
4. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
5. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
6. If I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" would I defeat the purpose.
7. What if there were no hypothetical questions?
8. If a deaf person swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
9. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
10. Is there another word for synonym?
11. Where do Forest Rangers go to "get away from it all?"
12. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
13. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
14. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
15. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
16. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
17. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
18. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
19. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?
20. How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?
21. What was the best thing before sliced bread?
22. One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
23. Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?
24. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
25. How is it possible to have a civil war?
26. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown, too?
27. If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
28. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
29. Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have "S" in it?
30. Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "asteroids"?
31. Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
32. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
33. If you spin an oriental man in a circle three times does he become disoriented?
34. Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?
35. Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

These made me smile. Hopefully you did too.

Never a Pet Owner. Ever.

The good Lord saw fit to bestow us all with certain gifts. For some, it’s physical beauty. For others, it’s being able to turn a handy phrase every now and again. For others, they can look at mathematic equations and see art.

I like to think that I was blessed a strong verbal mind and a facility for performance. In addition, however, I was also bestowed with an allergy to cats and dogs so strong as to put me off ever owning one. Ever.

Last night, I spent some time at my brother’s house. He recently acquired a black cat named Charlie. Charlie is away for a few days, but he certainly left his mark on the house. I went home, showered, got into bed, and still spent the night in allergenic misery. My nose was stuffed so I woke up with a throat that was raw and dry. I was even thirsty in my dreams.

I took some allergy medicine (too much, I think) and look forward to being dehydrated and sniffly the rest of the day. At least it was non-drowsy. Yes, I’m being a pill about the whole thing, waaah. I hate being allergic to pets. I avoid them whenever I can help it. Unfortunately, my best friend’s roommate has a dog, my brother has a cat, my dad has a dog, and another close friend is a dog lover. I don’t visit her home as often as I used to.

I don’t actually hate cats and dogs. I just hate what they do to me. Yes, the upside of having strong allergies is that I rarely get sick, but all it takes is an hour at a family member’s house to get my nose itching and my eyes watering. Urgh.

Short of injections every week for a few years, what’s a guy to do?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Opening Night

The Mystery of Irma Vep opened this weekend at the Industrial Strength Theatre in Herndon, VA. We had a sold-out house for both performances. Out-freaking-standing.

My co-star, Nano Gowland, and I would be hard pressed to find a better way to spend two and a half hours. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun on stage, just doing what we do. Playing in Irma Vep is a workout, but a vacation, too. The audience had a great time if their laughter was any indication (and the Standing O we got on Saturday!), and the whole thing is one great whirlwind of kinetic goings-on from start to finish.

I love it. I love doing this show, I love the audience’s reactions, I love getting to use silly voices onstage for once rather than getting looks from friends for using them elsewhere… The script leaves itself wide open for plenty of sight-gags, and the time spent ad-libbing while we cover for each other (doing one of dozens of quick changes) make some of the funniest moments of the whole show.

My best friend, Pedro, came opening night. He’s coming back in two weeks to see the show again; this time he’s bringing a date. He said that his stomach hurt after the show, he was laughing so hard.

I have to tip my hat to my good friend Leta; who let me know about auditions for this in the first place. She handed me a copy of the script, and let me know when and where auditions were. Thanks, Leta.

The only thing that I would change about this show is the fact that it only has 7 more performances. Curses. This is one show I would absolutely love to take on the road indefinitely… Oh well. In any case, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

If you can, please come see it. I promise you won’t regret it.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Next Week

Well. It’s done. Tuxxer is as ready as I can make it. I’ve gone over everything several times to get to this point: Script re-writes, artist meetings (online, that is), notes to change even minute details… The finished product? 12 complete, original pages of Tuxxer-y goodness. Trademarked and Copyright-protected, even. Shazam.

Comic books are generally 22 pages in length, but making a dozen (plenty for demo/sample purposes) pages was stretching my budget as it is. This time next week, I’ll have printed out copies at some place professionally, and begun sending it out to potential publishers! That’s it! Outstanding.

Why aren’t I doing it right this very moment, you ask? Well… I literally don’t have the time. Rehearsals for Irma Vep are eating up every available hour I have until Saturday, when I have an audition in Westminster. (Still don’t know what I’m going to use for the monologue!) It’ll have to be next week… But it’s cool. I’ve waited this long. Another few days aren't going to kill me.

Unless I were trapped in a well. That would really suck. But I’m not. So no worries.

The Infinite Necessity of Velcro

The Mystery of Irma Vep opens this Friday. Everything has come together: Lights; sound cues (over 100), props… and costumes. This show would not be possible (for two actors, the way it is intended) without the help of Velcro. George de Mestral really knew what he was doing when he invented the stuff.

Of course, things don’t always go perfectly. In the third act, Nano attempts to rip a sleeve off the dress I’m wearing. Of course, the sleeve has not yet been tailored to come off, and so instead, the dress nearly came off entirely. The Velcro fastens in the back, so fortunately the audience of the director, stage manager, sound technician, make-up artist, and one or two others didn’t see anything they weren’t supposed to wardrobe-wise, but the rest of the scene was played out sprawled up against a wall to prevent my back from showing. They couldn’t stop laughing. I had a time of it myself, keeping my act together.

This show is going to be something. I cannot wait for Friday to arrive. If you’re anywhere near Herndon, I sincerely hope you’ll come check it out.

That’s all, folks.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Great Way to Kill a Day

Saturday, I reported to the Industrial Strength Theatre at 9:30 AM and got down to work on getting The Mystery of Irma Vep ship-shape for this coming Friday. It's a huge collaborative effort involving some great people at Elden Street Players. I brought coffee. (The good kind, too, for everyone to share in Joyce's coffee-maker. And there was rejoicing.) After rehearsing, a break for lunch, and a six-hour cue-to-cue, we were let go around 6:30.

I don't know what it was, but I was tired all day Saturday. Friday night I got home from work, didn't get to bed that late, and woke up as not the morning person. The cue-to-cue is an important step in the rehearsal process, and it was made no less delightful by my inexplicable exhaustion. Still. We got through, and at 7:30 or so I pulled into my driveway. At which point I went to bed. I was done.

I woke up bright and early (not to mention refreshed) Sunday morning with absolutely nothing to do. I made coffee, had breakfast, watched The Incredibles, had lunch... and was bored out of my skull by noon.

I thrive on being busy; I don't like doing nothing, and these days it's rare that there's nothing for me to do. But I knew my lines, there was nothing new to read, I'd seen all my movies... so I decided to go out for a walk. Got a haircut, too. (Needed one anyway for the show.) This got me to 3 o'clock, where I was once again at a loss for a diversion.

At which point, I remembered I had a game I picked up for my X-Box that I hadn't really gotten into yet; namely Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I sat down, resumed a game I had spent less than an hour on total, and got sucked in. Like slipping into a warm bath...

Next thing I knew, it was time for dinner. Then, it was time to do laundry. Then time for bed. The game (which I'm getting good at) successfully finished out the rest of my day. Thanks, George Lucas. You rock.


Friday, March 18, 2005

The Short List

As stated in the previous posting, there are exactly four people I know that can effectively shut me up. I’m a talkative guy in the right environment (not including the work place, more like a church mouse there), yet these particular ladies found ways to get me to stop talking altogether.

Heather, I’ve known the longest. She’s one of my oldest friends (going on ten years this August), and she can pretty much do it with a look if it’s time to be serious.

Wendy is a girl I’ve known since college, and falling for her (myself along with nearly every guy she meets) wasn’t hard. We’ve remained great friends through thick and thin, and she has mastered the “Shut up, Casey” glare without even trying. First time she struck me with it, I felt like I had been smacked in the face, it was so startling to see such a stern look coming out of warm, friendly hazel eyes.

Then there’s Tamia. She has my number. She completely has my number. We were comrades on stage with Theatre IV, and toured together. Bouncing from hotel to hotel with a handful or less of people for months on end gets to become very close. You will either love your cohorts, or hate their guts, by the end. Tamia also mastered the “Shut up, Casey” glare very quickly. I can be a handful, what can I say.

As for Mary… well, her power to get me silent in no way resembles that of her co-list compatriots. When I talk to Mary, it’s like having to fine-tune my mental frequency. The usual chatter just won’t cut it. She’s a wonderful girl to spend time talking to. There are times when I will find myself completely flustered; and no two words have a prayer of meeting up in my head to try to start a sentence. My mouth just runs out.

To date, she’s the only person I’ve met with whom that’s the case. For the sake of my verbosity, I hope there aren’t too many like her out there. That would be a real shame.

A Need To Be Right

We’re none of us perfect. This much I know. Still, for as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had the almost compulsive need to be right. Any sort of question that’s up for debate, some small detail that gets overlooked, the name of movie stars that strongly resemble other movie stars and get mistaken for them... In other words, largely stupid stuff.

Still. I can’t help myself. Most recently, it’s been an argument online at one of my favorite sites, about a scene in The Incredibles. I love that movie. Seriously. Love it. There has been a lukewarm discussion about whether or not Mirage had powers or not, based on her sneaky way of seeming to appear out of nowhere. I said no, and backed it up. Then the other guy claimed yes, and backed it up with claims that he ‘watched the scene dozens of times’.

Ugh. I’m already aware that I’m a dork. That much is obvious. And my brother, and others can attest that I will admit when I’m wrong (see a trivial discussion about Finding Nemo. What is it about Pixar, anyway?), but if I think or know I’m right, I can be stubborn as any given mule. I have to be right. And, I have to be right, right now.

This habit of mine used to drive a friend in Richmond up the wall... She was on the deserves-to-be-notorious Short List of people that can actually shut me up. (For the record: Wendy, Tamia, Heather, & Mary.) Drove her loco. Heh.

I know the need to be right stems from, or is closely related to the need to have the last word. I’ve tried to be better about that, and I think I’ve done well. But its ugly cousin still rears his head from time to time. Like today. On the site.

Of course, the sooner this guy accepts the fact that he’s wrong, the sooner we can all get on with our lives…

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Beware the Ides of March

Oh, the terrible, terrible Ides!

This is the day when all good little Shakespeare students can look over their shoulders and make sure they're not about to get gang-stabbed by a bunch of power-hungry toga-clad senators.

Julius Caesar. "Beware the Ides of March", so said the soothsayer, to which JC was all, "Pshaw. Right. I'm king, baby. I got no worries. Damn." Not too much later, than the big guy got stabbed up in his junk a whole bunch of times; ending off with Brutus, his trusted friend, doing him in.

Et tu, Brute'? Caesar asked, before collapsing in a bloody toga-y mess. Got to hand it to Willy Shakes to write a play where the title character dies and the play keeps going. He doesn't even pull an Obi-Wan until much, much later on, and even then it's a brief cameo.

Of course, I just wonder about JC's final meal: Did he finish off a Caesar Salad before he, himself was finished? And did he wash it down with a nice, refreshing frozen Orange Julius? We may never know the answer to these and other haunting questions.

Rock on. And watch yourself. Beware the Ides of March.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Irma Vep Is Going To Need New Boots...

…for all the ASS she is going to kick. I couldn’t be more excited about how things are going. Honestly. Last night, we did a run-through of the costume changes (2 guys playing 8 parts!), and it was ridiculous. Even taking things step by step, it was enough to make my head spin. Thank god for Velcro. We’re still looking for costume volunteers… otherwise who knows how we’re going to make the changes fast and efficient. Anyone out there interested in being part of our ‘pit crew’?

In addition, our sound man was also in the theatre last night. He showed us what he had in store, and the musical selections were phenomenal. The music which will also be played during the scenes, not just for between, is really going to do something to heighten the suspense, the comedy, and the dramatic tension. It gave me and Nano (my co-star) chills, and we were just sitting in chairs listening to the music. I can’t wait until we have a live audience…

We’ve got another rehearsal tonight. It’s going to take some time to coordinate everything into a fine-tuned machine I know it can be, but it’s also going to be one heck of a ride.

Come and see.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A First Tonight

Good Morning, all!

I have absolutely no reason to be so chipper today. And yet, here it is. The light at the end of the blah blah blah.

I am somewhat jazzed, however; tonight is the first night of Mystery of Irma Vep rehearsals where we'll be dealing with costumes. Woohoo!

Why is this such a big deal, you ask? Easy. It's a two man show. I play four characters. Four characters who, on occasion, talk to each other. Onstage. Yup. Tonight we pay homage to the velcro god with our humble (who am I kidding, we're actors) show. Hmm. Velcro god. There could be something there. Potential for a sketch, who knows.

In any case. We open on the 25th of March and run for four weekends. Anyone in the neck of the woods of Herndon, VA should scoop up tickets. There are a lot of season ticket holders, so there will be limited opportunity to get 'em. Neat!

Oh. One other glorious facet I neglected to mention: Nerf boobs. I am playing a woman or two in the show, and our costumer has been kind enough to provide me with enough decolletage to play a few rounds of tennis. With. Her boobs could serve as the balls, is what I'm going with there. Anyway. The last time I played a woman (or a guy pretending to be a woman) I was modestly (again, who am I kidding) lacking in the endowments. Strictly A-cup material.

No longer. No more will I feel the shame of playing a flat-chested woman. Lady Enid will be robust and voluptuous. Rock on.

Ooh. Feels good to say that. Been in a positively crummy mood of late, (seeing as how my girlfriend and I broke up) but it's great to feel the beginnings of the bounce back. Speaking of bounce, come check out Lady Enid's. Heh.

Rock on, indeed.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Strange Dreams. What Else Is New?

Last night, I had one dream that got turned on its ear and became a completely different dream altogether. Strange things are afoot at the Circle K, indeed.

It started out simply enough. Dreaming that I had been cast in a Theatre IV-esque children's show, I started rehearsals and found myself working with a colleague or two from my past. Nothing all that out of the order there, aside from the fact that rehearsal was taking place in a shopping mall. About halfway through our first rehearsal together, we as a whole discovered that we had super powers.

Yup. Super powers. I found myself able to genuinely fly, which was exhilarating. I've dreamt of flying before, but 9 out of 10 times (and it was a rare dream anyway), I wasn't that good at it. Instead of the real deal, I could only manage to take really long leaps, hover, and eventually come back down not that far from where I started. Not last night. Last night, I could soar. I started off with one of the uber-leaps. As I felt myself coming back down, I thought to myself; "Nope. We're gonna keep going." So, instead I looked up at a cloudy blue sky and just went. Higher, faster, until I was above the clouds and chasing the sun. It was pretty damn neat.

By the time I had landed, my co-stars had adopted superhero names for themselves, and costumes. (I don't remember either their names or what their suits looked like.) One guy, however, had turned to the villainous side of things and set a series of challenges against us, all within the confines of a huge bookstore. We kicked his butt. Endorsement offers came in, we were suddenly very popular. I forget which one, but some celebrity dropped by the mall with some advice on how to handle our newfound stardom. He gave some good tips (again, don't recall what they were), and went on his way.

I don't have the foggiest idea where any of that stuff came from. The flying was fun, though.

That's all I got at the moment...