Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


It's been a long day.

Work was downright lousy; which it is completely entitled to be. Namely the reason it's called "work" and not "paid vacation".

I don't feel that today was terribly productive in a few respects-- I haven't heard from my penciller/inker in a few days, nor from the man supposedly producing my demo CDs. He's had plenty of time to get back to me on the particulars of the project. This is what he does professionally. I know I'm not a patient guy, but I do want to see my demos get shipped as soon as possible.

Rehearsal for The Complete Bible went swimmingly. We're going to be in terrific shape for Friday. All the pieces are there, now. A little fine tuning, and presto: Showtime.

Regardless of what did or didn't get done, the day was no shorter for it. At the end of it, I'm a shower away from hitting the sack and honestly, I'm not ready to sleep. If it's insomnia, I'm not surprised. I've read that you're not supposed to read or watch TV half an hour before hitting the sack, to help your mind unwind a bit. Or something like that.

I'd like nothing more than to install an off-switch for the noggin. Or at least a dial. That'd be good, too.

I know I'm pretentious and self-involved. I know I think too much. I know that pointing these things out doesn't make me unique or interesting; nor change anybody's opinion. People that don't know me and read this probably won't be surprised; people that do know me and read this won't care. They already know it. They've accepted it as part of the package.

So why bring it up? Frankly, because this keyboard confessional is the cheapest therapy I can think of, not including the cost of the actual computer. This is post number five hundred. Color me addicted.

Sweet dreams, folks. Be well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Last Ones, I Swear

The Hits Keep On Comin'

Back By Popular-- Er, Non-Existant Demand

Monday, May 29, 2006

Where Else Am I Gonna Put 'Em

Heh Heh.

We had our cue-to-cue today for The Complete Bible. No small task, we were in practice for a good 5 1/2 hours. Not the longest one I've had; but not the shortest, either.

Part of the package: lighting. Spots, and finding one's place in them, took up a fair amount of time. I asked that we run a certain cue again; I was having trouble getting in the right spot in tme. Scott sighed with sarcasm; as if the day weren't long enough to begin with.

I looked at him, and lobbed it across the plate. "I'm sorry, Scott, I'm not perfect, like yourself."

Two seconds. Scott looks at me and just grins the grin of the smug: "Whoah, newsflash."

To which I had no reply. Well done.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Whatever Moves You

Heather's LJ pointed me to a very neat site that allows you to whip up your very own motivational posters. I could not resist. Hopefully you won't be able to, either.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

When The Onion Makes Me Cry

It's because they're makin' me laugh. I love this fake newspaper. Love it.

Passengers Bravely Take Down Plane Showing Big Momma's House 2. HAH.

And this gem from last week?

Don Knotts, Richard Pryor Team Up For Madcap Haunting. Just beautiful.

Check it out one time, won't you.

Rest For The Wicked

Well folks, in an unprecedented move on our director's part; rehearsal last night was cancelled. This decision was reached Tuesday evening following the first act, wherein I was so off my game I had quite possibly left the stadium.

We finished the practice, and I thanked her profusely for allowing me some downtime. Ordinarily I have no problem running myself into the ground, but if I'm sick to begin with, it can't end well. Nor would it have, I'm sure.

Anyway-- last night, I took care of a vital errand or two (namely ordering headshot prints) and then proceeded home, whereupon I crashed. I rested, I tried to relax, and I was in bed and out like a light before eleven. I cannot remember the last time I was in bed before midnight, let alone eleven.

Today? A world of difference. I feel good. This cold is on its way out, rather than hanging around the joint, my voice feels better, I feel better.

If that weren't enough: I awoke to find rough-sketchy goodness in my inbox from my penciller; for my new comic project. Believe me when I say the man does good work. I'll happily show the finished product (when it's complete) to any who care to ask, but for now I gotta remain tight-lipped on any further details.

Have a good day, folks. Tonight we resume our regularly scheduled program of rehearsal for The Complete Bible. *bell rings* It's go-time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Man Clones Self, Sui-Homicide Ensues

From the latest editon of the Not-Gonna-Happen Weekly:

Local busybody and chronic over-thinker (name withheld) was found dead twice in his home yesterday; after neighbors reported sounds of a heated argument.

A third incarnation of the deceaseds, clearly shaken by the experience, had this to say:
"It seemed like such a good idea at the time... I figure I'd brew up a few copies of myself and divy out the things I've been working on. Try to catch a break, you know? How was I supposed to know I'm not supposed to play God?"

The first clone (clearly identified by a tattooed #1 on his arm) had been created from a do-it-yourself kit ordered through the mail, with the intent of taking over Acting and Voice-Over responsibilities. The second clone (suspiciously lacking a #2 marking) was issued any and all writing responsibilities.

"It worked so well in the movies. But nooo. Number Two got a bad case of writer's block, while Number One sat around looking moony-eyed, writing bad poetry. We/I missed a rehearsal and then fought over who got to use the computer. It was ridiculous."

The supposed original went on to explain that a heated argument broke out between the copies when the time came to go out with the trio's girlfriend.

"I've known her a long time, and believe me, she doesn't swing that way. Neither do I, point of fact. Least not with other guys. I don't care if they're me or not."

The growing tension finally erupted in an all-out melee when the clones both confessed they wanted to do everything themselves. "You'd think I/they would have learned to share, but no. They were determined to burn that damn candle at both ends. Both of 'em. When am I going to learn?"

The surviving party looks forward to collecting on his own life insurance; with which he will bankroll future endeavors of a similar nature.

"But first things first. I have to get a tattoo removed. Um. It's... uh... it's the name of an old flame. Yeah. that's it. By no means is it a numeral two."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Short of Eating Babies, Alternate Energy Suggestions Will Be Thoughtfully Considered

Man. The word is bushed. Took a nap, coffee and a power-bar to get through yesterday's rehearsal. I'm either in the throes of an allergy fit or just plain sick; which almost never happens. Either case, I'm feelin' less than 100%.

I received a notice today that babies are a remarkably high source of protein and vitamin E. Eager as I am to put some pep back in my step, that's one dietary supplement I just won't stomach. No sir. Keep the babies off my plate, thank you.

Your grandmother's eccentric remedies, old family traditions and any other possible solutions to the one-man energy crisis will be taken under all due consideration.

Alright. Gotta scoot. More to follow folks. Ciao.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm Goin' In!

Well, it's time. Tonight continues a non-stop string of rehearsals for The Complete Bible, opening June 2nd at the Industrial Strength Theatre. Every night this week, every night next week.

Mm. It seems I'm going to become well acquainted with the Herndon Starbucks. Very well acquainted.

In other showbiz news, League Audition sign-ups are in two weeks. A shout and grateful thank-you goes out to my brother for all his work on headshots, one of which is up in the corner of the window. Shazam.

Talk to you later, folks. Be well.

Spiffin' Up The Joint

Folks, those of with you with speakers; I invite to visit my voice-over website, skillfully maintained by my brother, Andy.

There's a new narration demo, replacing the old one. With the completion of the demo, my new CDs should be ready within the week for shipping. Neat.

Happy Birthday, Sir Larry

Today is the birthday of Sir Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century. Olivier was the first actor ever to direct himself in an Oscar-Winning performance; namely Hamlet.

He inspired generations of actors with his over-the-top melodramatic performances-- often changing his whole appearance to better reflect the character. No-one ever looked at their dentist the same way again, after watching his Dr. Szell in Marathon Man. "Is it safe?" Not anytime soon, it isn't.

He also starred in my all-time favorite movie: Sleuth. It was up for major awards the same year as The Godfather, so you can guess how that turned out. Still; Sleuth is a gem.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of his greatest feats as an actor: performing from beyond the grave. Olivier's likeness was used for the villainous Dr. Totenkopf in Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow. He'd been dead for over a decade and he was still getting work. Now that's talent.

Cheers, Lar.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


It's my honor to report some fantastic news for not one, but two close friends of mine. Both events are less than 24 hours old.

Heather graduated with her Master's Degree in English today; and Amanda is officially engaged to be married.

I don't think I've ever put so much good tidings in one freakin' sentence. Congratulations Heather; Congratulations Amanda & Rob! Outstanding.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Obligatory "Da Vinci Code" Hubbub Deflation

Well. It was inevitable, I think. And now it's here: An opinion nobody asked for, to be chucked in with the lot. This is merely an opinion. Granted, an eloquent one (smirk) but only my personal views. It's not like I'm drawing a cartoon of Mohammad or anything.

I'm the son, nephew, and grandson of Methodist ministers. I had a religious upbringing. For what it's worth, I'm also a Universal Life Church minister, myself. (Weddings available on request.)

Spoilers below, I guess, though of the vaguest possible nature. Quit reading if you don't want to know.

A large number of people are having a very, very difficult time thinking about the notion that Jesus Christ could have had a wife and children. Not accepting it, just thinking about it. (A comparable fervor would be the stigma that followed Julie Andrews, namely that Mary Poppins never went to the bathroom. Ever.)

It's an idea suggested in a work of fiction, for cryin' out loud. Not true. Concerning the Bible, I think that any story that skips eighteen years of the main character's life and then tries to assert that the character didn't do certain things in that stretch is weak to start with. How can you say that he didn't, if you won't tell us what he did do, instead?

Regardless-- Even if he was married and a father; it doesn't have to diminish the miracles he performed, the people he helped, the message he gave or the sacrifice he made. But oh dear Lord, we can't have people thinking that Jesus Christ actually knew physical love with his wife, because sex is dirty.

Hang on a tick, it isn't. There is nothing dirty, wrong, or inappropriate about sex. Everyone's equipped for it. The most important physical change you go through prepares your body to do exactly that. Is that why the Bible skipped Jesus hitting puberty? Was it too jarring a thought to consider him becoming a man, rather than just instantly being one?

He also turned water into wine. Anyone care to harp on him for drinking?

Christians believe (myself included) Jesus Christ, also known as Joshua, was the son of God. He was touched by the Divine, and more than just a man. But he was also a man. The mortal child of Mary. He ate, he slept, he pooped, he bled, he died. All things a man does.

Catholic Priests don't marry. They take a vow of celibacy, to boot. Among their reasons for doing this is to have a closer relationship to God. Jesus was God's son. His direct descendant. Do they really think a relationship with another human being is going to weaken his relationship with his Pop?

I think of these people getting upset over all this, and I can't help comparing their faith to the walls of Jericho. The Da Vinci Code is merely being carried around by Joshua (an earlier Josh) outside their walls. They're only talking about an idea, not even shouting. They're just out there. Granted, the idea is going to be mentioned in thousands of movie theatres, with millions of copies of the book in print. So it's a loud, clear voice. They're still not shouting.

If your walls tremble over a work of fiction, what does that say about you?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

On Voice-Over Villainy & Other Various Ventures

Yesterday saw a new challenge at the books-on-tape studio I do work for: my first lead villain. Shazam.

Granted, I transcribed the book into script format and cherry-picked the role for myself-- Oh, what the hell. Carpe' Bad Guy.

It was fun. In addition to the usual volley of voices and death scenes (there's a whole bunch of red-shirts in these books), I got to spend some quality time getting to know a real peach: Sadistic, sarcastic, and excessively violent. Coming soon to stores near you!

After leaving the studio, I headed for Herndon to rehearse The Bible. We were on stage for the first time, and will return tonight for production photos. The show is picking up steam. We're going to be in great shape for Opening Night, I have every faith.

I want to take a minute and issue congratulations-- to Heather, on graduating this Sunday with a Master's Degree in English. I couldn't be prouder of you. The work you've done has been so challenging, and you're done. Way to go. Simply outstanding.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chance, Chance, Chance

I don't know why it's taken me so long to see it, but the wide majority of my interests involve no small amount of sheer dumb luck, if they're to succeed.

Auditions: For stage shows, for voice-work notices, for the odd screen gig. It's not much more than showing up (or submitting a demo) and hoping for the best.

Writing: I'm working on my second comic book; and when I have the necessary materials ready I'll mail them, e- or otherwise, to some comic publishers that accept submissions. Last time; I counted myself lucky to get rejection letters that actually went into some detail. They're under no obligation to even answer you, if they're not interested. That's just how it works.

"Here I am if you want me", #1: Next week, I'll be shipping demo CDs to ad agencies, talent agencies, books-on-tape companies, and yes; cartoon studios all over the place. They're not asking for them, but they won't toss them into the trash unlistened to, either. I'm having 100 copies made, and will go through a large number right off the bat. Again-- these places are under absolutely no obligation to contact me. I could get a dozen calls, I could get zero.

"Here I am if you want me", #2: In June, the League of Washington Theatres is holding its annual cattle-call. Hundreds of professional actors will show up for all of ninety seconds apiece to do their thing. I'm going to be one of them. Yet another venture that could be great, or yield absolute bubkes.

Hmm. I can't say why that's on my mind, but there it is. That's showbiz.

Tally Ho

In a move that can only be called unfounded optimism, I've begun writing the 2nd issue of the comic.

Is the sales-pitch package complete yet? Nope. It's written, and my penciller/inker is hard at work making some truly drool-worthy pages, but there's miles to go. Still needs color, still needs captions, still needs actual (unsolicited) shipping/e-mailing to the publishing powers that be.

I just felt like writing.

I have no vision of this series outlasting 12 issues. It's intended to be a mini-series. There's no guarantee of it even seeing print. But to actually write out the series? Do what I can to flesh out a hopefully decent story and get from A to B? Totally worth it.

I'm not currently over-burdened with other tasks, anyway. No time like the present.

More to follow, folks.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jolly Good, Pip Pip

I saw The Winslow Boy tonight, at Rockville Little Theatre. Directed by Michael Kharfen, the show was just top-notch.

Good set, good costumes, the music was nice and never overbearing, and the transitions between scenes, under projected reel-footage from Edwardian Oxford was an interesting tool for maintaining the mood.

But what of the acting, you ask... Kharfen knows how to pick 'em. The Pater Familias was played with vulnerable grit and determination by the very human Albert Coia. His character grows weaker as the show progresses, and it's clear in his physicality and his voice exactly what he's feeling. Great work.

Andrea Spitz (for whom I am admittedly biased) did a terrific job as daughter Catherine. What is it about her playing strong women named Catherine?? Okay, granted, the last one was nearly two years ago, but she knows how to play 'em. Catherine's increasing responsibility in the family, coupled with a strained romance and occupation with Women's Suffrage show several of her facets; something not easily accomplished from a taciturn Brit.

One of the best performances of the night came from Bill Taylor, in the role of Sir Robert Morton. I was reminded a bit of Remains of the Day by his performance, there was so much Morton was feeling, and incapable of saying. He said more with a handshake than some can do with a page-length monologue. I'm just saying.

Leta Hall was great as Violet, the maid, aka the only Cockney amidst the proper Brits. She added a much-needed humanity to the play. Everyone was tight-lipped, restrained, and effectively English, while Violet begins the show with the warmest show of affection of the entire show-- she hugs the shivering son, Ronnie. As the show progresses, the Watsons can no longer afford to keep her on as the maid, but they do anyway. They haven't the heart to dismiss her, and her energy and light keep certain scenes moving that would otherwise come to a halt. Well done.

It's been a long week. It'll be another one, presently. That's all the word that's fit to print, so I'm out of here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Another Day At The Office

Wanna see something neat? Go here. Click on the "Talent Recording Sessions" below. It's a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar's new movie, Cars.

Speaking of Voice-Overs, I have an audition coming up to dub a live-action series originally in Turkish. It'd be in New Jersey; which is fine with me. I sent them a demo a few months ago and forgot all about it... just goes to show that you never know when something will pop up.

Have a good night, folks.

Titles Aren't Obligatory


Suffice it to say I'm feeling not so hot. I went to work this morning where I was spontaneously hit with some kind of chest pain; we'll call it a tightness. Not exactly a panic attack, but I could point a finger at stress and probably not be far off the mark. It hurt like a motherf*cker.

So I came home. I'm lying down, I'm drinking water, and I will have ample time... to do something. Who knows what.

Rehearsal for Complete Bible went well last night. We were more or less successfully off book. We also laughed our butts off. It's going to be a good show.

Ciao for now, Folks.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Take Two Beers & Call Me In The Morning

Last night was my night off-- from rehearsals and any and all other obligations. I was getting ready to take a walk when who should call me, but Albie? Haven't seen the guy in months, he's in town wrapping up a combined tour of Dracula and Taming of the Shrew; wanted to grab "a frosty adult beverage". Beats the hell outta takin' a walk...

We did a show together in summer of '04, The Foreigner. The fact that we've stayed in touch that long after the show closed (pretty decent, for actors) should tell ya something. He hasn't changed.

Albie and I caught up, traded new stories (largely conquests on his side), and generally just had a great time.

Just what the Doctor ordered.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Folks, I'm having a good day. Part of which is thanks to this article. This article right here, giving an in-depth nod to Philip Seymour Hoffman. BAM.

Item number #4 at least, in the reasons I wanna win an Oscar some day-- shortly thereafter you get asked to play a supervillain. (Gene Hackman [Lex Luthor], Geoffrey Rush [Casanova Frankenstein]& Kevin Spacey [Lex Luthor] already being on that list.)

Okay. Enough outta me. Ciao for now...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Go Learn Stuff!!

Folks, right now, my friend Amanda is in Indianapolis at the 2006 Hand Care Conference. Her hospital is sponsoring her to go, all expenses paid: 5-Star Hotel, meals, the works. There are roughly twenty therapists (physical & occupational) at her facility, and she's the person they chose to send.

Through Saturday, she's going to be going to all sorts of classes, presentations, demonstrations, and yes, even some time in a cadaver lab. Neat! It's a great opportunity for her, not to mention a refreshing change of pace. I couldn't be prouder.

Go get 'em, Amanda.

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's The First Of The Month

Bunny, Bunny.