Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fitting Her For A Black-Hat

I'm a fan of Heroes. It's been great so far; and looks only to get more intriguing as, well, the plot thickens.

There's just one problem, as I see it. Niki (aka Miss Split-Personality) isn't a Hero. Never has been. Aside from her super strong alter-ego ikiN, her main power seems to be getting into trouble.

What's her dayjob? She hosts a pornographic website out of her garage. Granted, to pay for her brilliant son's tuition at an expensive school, but still. She's shown remarkably poor judgment on a number of occasions. She married a criminal, for starters. When he was arrested, she turned to a notoriously violent loanshark for money; and in the face of slipping even further off the good guy list, tried to back out of an arrangement to wipe that slate clean. The attempt nearly got her killed.

Now ikiN steps in, taking steps to survive and keep her son. These steps just happen to include robbery, sexual blackmail, and bloody, bloody murder. She even knows where to ditch the bodies.

Most of our super-powered folks are comparable to an established comic book character. The only one who comes close to Niki is Two-Face. A bad guy.

Each of ikiN's actions fall neatly into the Villain pile, and she's dragging Niki along for the ride. The fact that she's being played in a sympathetic light doesn't make her crimes any less horrific. She's made messes of more than a few people.

Last night, Niki finally had a one-on-one with her other personality, and in next to no time at all, was taking orders from her more aggressive self. Ikin's become the Alpha Bitch.

How many comic book bad guys 'needed the money'? It is noble that Niki wants to provide what her son needs and deserves, but she's doing a lousy job of it. The words 'unfit mother' pop in my head, but I'd like to see the social worker that could go fifteen rounds with ikiN.

The show already established the main black-hat in Mr. Horn Rimmed Glasses; who has capably demonstrated he can get the job done. The only mistake he's made so far, really, was not taking care of Niki/ikiN when he had the chance. Underestimating her may come back to haunt him. Now he has some competition in the Bad Guy category, whether she realizes it or not.

Good thing she looks great in black.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween, Bitches

Evening, folks. For your consideration, I submit the song re: Your Brains, by Jonathan Coulton. It's catchy, it's clever, it's about zombies. Love it.

I look forward to listening to his other songs soon.

Mmm. Brains. Chow for now.

Evidently Serving Up More Than Coffee, These Days

I was in town yesterday, enjoying some coffee with my Dad & Elaine; to (belatedly) celebrate his birthday. We were chatting about things going on in their lives, in mine; such as the move to New York and a recent voice-over gig.

"...went great. The demo will be shown to them next week and that kid isn't wearing pants. What??"

A barely potty-trained three year old who had yet to develop a sense of modesty came out of the bathroom and proudly(?) lifted her dress to show her mother; while simultaneously mooning the Joneses. The mom didn't bat an eye. I suddenly decided that my shoes were fascinating, and gave them a close inspection.

"Dad. Is the kid dressed yet?"

"Uh, nope."

"Okay. Let me know when."

A little (and I mean little) afternoon burlesque is all well and good, but... Well. A little afternoon burlesque isn't good. Not in your local Starbucks, and not from the wee tykes.

Insert your own jokes here, folks. I got nothin'.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Urinetown Begins, Old Problems Pop Up

We started the twelve-show run of Urinetown, this Friday. Friday's show went off without a hitch. Last night, I had a panic attack half an hour before curtain. It carried all the way through Act One.


It's not the first time they've happened before a show. I honestly don't consider them the... trigger, for lack of a better word, but it sure as hell isn't a coincidence. They happen because of stress; and I'm moving to New York in a month. It's a safe bet that that's the biggest contributor to this.

I still did my job; and according to Jeff and Michael, the attack was unnoticeable on stage. Hey hey, it's acting. Whattya know.

My thanks go to Jenna, Andy and the others who helped out. Having someone to focus on makes a great difference. Can't thank you enough.

Sweet dreams, folks.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Witty Title, I Just Love These Books.

I'm reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife for what must be the fourth time. I absolutely love this book. It is one of my all-time favorites.

I mean, people buy books in the first place so that they can read them more than once, don't they? Otherwise we'd just go to the library. TTW is the first book I ever deliberately sat down and chatted on with friends, in this case fellow cast-members of Proof. We'd all just devoured the book. My first and only 'book club' moment.

Can't seem to get enough of the books in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, either. I've read most of them at least twice. The same goes for Kingdom Come by Mark Waid & Alex Ross; one of the best graphic novels I've ever read. Likewise Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.

Why do we do that? Re-read books we've already pored over, more than once? They hold no surprises. Punchlines lose their impact a bit, as do twists in the story. Nevertheless; I can't get enough of the aforementioned works. And others.

Heck, Christopher Lee reads the Lord of the Rings trilogy annually. That's quite a few times, for a man in his eighties.

I dunno. So, what are your faves? What books can't you leave behind? I'd love to hear.

20 cc's of Fresh Columbian Roast, STAT

I'm tired. Tuckered out. Been getting home late, recently; as rehearsals for Urinetown are wrapping up. We had Monday off; so I put the time to good use by recording a kick-ass demo for a sound software company. Seriously. It kicked. Ass. Followed that up with a visit to my brother's; haven't seen him in a few weeks.

In any case. 6 hours' sleep makes Casey a dull boy. Been getting a lot of mileage out of in-car naps once I arrive at the theatre. (Not to be mistaken for in-car naps on the way to the theatre. That would be bad.) Gotta get that sleep in where ya can...

Well. There's a books-on-tape session this afternoon to look forward to, though I have no idea at present what voices they're gonna need. Hooray for spontaneity.

Have a good one, folks. Ciao for now. *yawn*

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Dryer Must Be Way Mightier Than The Sword, Then

Well, in the latest display of sheer unmitigated brilliance, I left a pen in a pocket, doing laundry. At least two button-down shirts are ruined, to say nothing of a few undershirts which now belong on a Dalmatian.


Those were good shirts, too. I liked 'em. Guess I'll have to head for the mall, sometime in the future, to replace 'em. It sure isn't happening this week, we're knee-deep in rehearsals for Urinetown, opening this Friday. It's gonna be a good show.

Have a good one, folks. And for pete's sake, check your pockets when doing laundry. Sheesh.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Now Entering The Fourth Circle

I'm trying to work on a script that has been in various stages of Development Hell for what feels like at least a year. It could well be that long, I honestly don't remember when I started the damn thing.

Ordinarily, when writing a script, it takes a few weeks at most; once the plot's established. The things I write aren't notoriously long; something I've tried to work on. I'd like to pen a few full-length plays, if I can just get the words down and A) find a story that hasn't been done a dozen times already, B) pull together some characters and C) get 'em talking.

That's just it. I have the story. (Not mine.) I have the characters. (Also not mine.) I have the premise for wackiness to ensue. What I'm missing is... something I don't have a word for.

On using someone else's characters: I'm hardly the first. They're in the public domain, they're easily identifiable, which means making them funny will be a relatively easy job. The concept won't be a hard sell. Satire's always an easy sell.

Still. Getting them to open up and chat a spell is taking some doing. It's currently taking more doing than I can do... if that makes any sense.

*IQ drops 30 points* Urgh. Writing hard. *smacks keyboard w/ club*

Merit Vs. Luck

I confess I'm not entirely neutral on the concept. Not feeling all that objective.

I write. I 've tried to get published. To the point, I've written a comic book that, per the rules of the game, no-one will consider in any capacity without artwork attached. Since no-one good works for free, putting All Fall Down together has taken a sizeable investment; just for the dozen pages.

It's good stuff. Canning false modesty, the concept is sound and the artists I found have put together some gorgeous work.

I haven't had any luck getting it published. (Tempted to say "Yet", but I'm no Jinx's bitch.)

Thinking too much. In any case; I'm wondering what led to my deliberate following of not one but two career paths where the outcome (my getting the job) is so tangibly based on my performance in that moment. I got a desk job by joining They found me, with no impressive business resume'. One job interview later, I'm learning how to be a stand-in secretary.

Things currently on my mind: Avenues missed because of monumentally bad timing. Letting go. Recording a demo tomorrow that could be another gig, or the start of something enormous. (I refuse to count chickens.) Moving. Breaking bad habits. Thinking too much.

Have a good night, folks. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Details, Details

I like Heroes. Its appeal is intended for broad audiences; besides those with a prior interest in comics.

Take, for instance, the adult content-- an artist can draw paintings of the future; but only after taking heroin. You won't find that in too many comics.

The kick? All his art was done by Tim Sale, the man behind more phenomenal comics than I can list here.

Do I have proof? Nope. Don't need it. I know the guy's work. This is that.

Something comic book dorks would spot in a snap.

NBC did their homework. They did it well.

Friday, October 20, 2006

FINALLY, A Urinetown Story

Okay. Last night we conducted the latest full run-thru of Urinetown, where, despite a hilarious script in the hands of some of the funniest people I've ever worked with; there have been to date no real "Oh, I gotta blog that" moments.

Last night, Jaclyn and Michael provided it. In the first act, Jackie asks Michael for a coin, and he tosses her one. Blocking has Michael on the 2nd floor, now, and Jackie waited on the ground floor. He obligingly flipped her a coin, which bounced twice, than rolled straight off the stage, into the audience. "Ah, shit." "Better luck next time, Little Sally!" Not batting an eye, Little Sally's heart sank just a bit.

At their end of their scene, Little Sally thanks Lockstock for the coin. Again, smooth as paint, Jackie adhered to the script and delivered the line, heavy with sarcasm. "Thanks for the coin." (Subtext? "You big jerk. Jeeze.")

I love it when harmless things go wrong, and I love it even more when it works.

Good times.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Putting A New Face On Movies

Well, this is news. A company named Image Metrics is perfecting software that would create digital actors that'd make Lord of the Rings' Gollum look like quite the poor cousin.

Similar programs created last year's Polar Express. Thing is, the visual emotional display of the company's newest models is eerily human. jokingly suggests that it could largely put actors out of a job.

Well. Screen actors. Someone is still going to need to provide the voices for these CGI facsimiles. The article above has a demonstration attached. Check it out.

I honestly don't know how I feel about this kind of progress. It is progress, that much is certain. But I don't have the foggiest notion what to make of it.

Anyone else feeling like a monkey poking a laptop with a stick, right now?

On Cancelled Plans

Well, ain't that a bitch. Over the last several weeks, more often than not, social get-togethers and similar rendezvous have been affected by the absence of one or more parties.

A dinner party's attendence was cut in half due to circumstances beyond people's control, and another evening's numbers were reduced to a party of one by similar bad-luck events. It's nobody's fault; it just happens. Apologies were received in any case. Taking umbrage over such slights is pretty pointless.

That's the mature perspective, anyway.

Monday night, a friend who was in NY was supposed to swing by for the Dead & Breakfast reading; and he couldn't make it due to circumstances beyond his control. In this case, it was his work. Last-minute stuff. He apologized, and I assured him it was alright.

... There's a difference, though, in A) saying it's okay, and B) pretending my feelings weren't hurt in the first place. I'd rather get it out now, than let it fester. Passive resentment isn't a good look on anybody. (Leastways, no-one I know.)

Did it suck? Yes. Did he do it on purpose? No. Am I getting over it? Yeah. It really is alright. Just needed to get it off my damn chest. Kaplahr.

Okay, then. Moving on...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Better Late Than Never

It's been a long, full day. Okay, two of them. No excuse not to broadcast Kate's birthday, which elapsed fourteen minutes ago. Heh heh. Whoops.

Birthday Wishes likewise extended to Amanda. Lotta Libras in my circle, I tell ya.

* * *

I spent yesterday and today in Queens, NY. A script of mine had a staged reading, and I wasn't about to miss that. I also fell for Queens in general. Made some friends last night. The streets were quiet and safe at an ungodly hour; I loved it.

Okay. Enough out of me. Have a good night, folks.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gettin' On That Train

Well, I have my ticket reservation for Monday-- Hopping a train up to the Big Apple for the staged reading of Dead & Breakfast, thanks to Kate and the Red Door Theatre. I'm thrilled.

It will also give me an opportunity to embark on the first foray into apartment hunting. There's some promising spaces available that no doubt have strings attached, so the job of the day will be to examine said strings. Without losing any fingers.

* * *

On a different note, I'm freakin' tired. Haven't been sleeping much. A friend is getting some tests done, and I'm praying for her. There's also this last-ditch effort for All Fall Down, and Urinetown is two weeks away from opening. Lots going on.

I did secure the demo gig with the sound software company; I'm writing the demo script and providing voices. Something else to sink my teeth into; the sooner the better.

Have a good one, folks. More to follow.

Something To Think About

I'm headed for Bethesda this Saturday; the Small Comic Press Expo is taking place at the Marriott. Dozens of independent comic publishers will be on hand pitching their wares. Hopefully, they'll be taking submissions as well.

I can't shake the feeling that this is more or less my last chance to see All Fall Down get into print. I've worked hard on the concept, made a large investment in the artists involved, and done everything I can think of to get my pages in the right hands. It's been turned down or ignored by every label that's seen it.

They (the infamous 'they') say that getting your first comic published is hard, if not darned near impossible. I'm learning that.

At this point; I'm considering going the route of publishing online. It'd require an investor (I don't have the scratch to produce the last 10 pages), some internet savvy, and a strong following to carry it from one issue to the next; all they way to issue #12. I have one or two ideas along that line; if it comes to it.

It's more than stubbornness at work here; I really believe I have something good, worth sharing with readers. The people I've shown pages to first-hand have agreed that it's good work. The fact that someone besides me thinks this could work is encouraging. Enough so to fight the very discouraging corporate replies, thus far. But a guy can only take so much.

I'm girding up for tomorrow. I'm going in, armed with as many copies as I need; for any publishers interested in tights n' flights stuff. (Yeah, another rub: Many small press comics don't have the slightest interest in superhero stories.)

Wish me luck, folks. I am gonna need it.

Bravo Hearts Aaron Sorkin

I like Bravo. It's a good network. I'm not crazy about their Reality TV, but I like their choice in programming.

They're batshit for Aaron Sorkin.

I like me some West Wing. I'm considering having an affair with Studio 60, it's so good. (I know she sees other people. I'm okay with that.) Both are shown on Bravo.

What flick are they airing tonight? A Few Good Men. By Aaron Sorkin. If it were possible, I think they'd present a picture-in-picture showing of The American President to cram as much Sorkin in to a day as possible.

Too much of a good thing? I don't know. It's just TV, after all.

Beats thinking about real stuff at this hour.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

*Insert Pee Joke Here*

I've scarcely said two words about the impending show, Urinetown. It's going to be good. The actors are starting to relax into the roles, now that we're off book. Definite choices being made. I don't think I've done a show where so many folks had to struggle to keep a straight face, before.

Just now, I fought the urge to wax rhapsodic about other past shows. No need for that.

Yessir, it's going to be good.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It's midnight into Tuesday. I got all of five hours' sleep last night; but that apparently didn't stop me from staying up tonight, now did it.

The brain has been in overdrive lately; even on walks. I can't seem to just relax without some serious distraction. (On tonight's menu: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.) I'm hoping that the Yoga DVD (picked it up Sunday) will help with that in the future. Course, that's the future, this is right now.

Still trying to get published. Still hammering out a contract for the audio series. Still in rehearsals for Urinetown. Still saving up for The Move.

More to follow, when I'm making more sense. Sweet dreams, folks. Ciao for now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Did You Know That? You Knew, Didn't You.

I, for one, feel like a bit of a dummy. I always assumed that espresso had more caffiene than normal coffee. It somehow came up in the conversation w/Pedro yesterday (his being a Starbucks manager, it's not all that surprising). I was stunned to learn that per ounce, Coffee has more of that sweet, sweet eye-opening nectar than the so-called concentrated stuff.

Well. That's the last time I buy a latte' before a show for a quick pick-me-up. I do enjoy the more shi-shi drinks (to use a coined phrase), but the major reason I drink the stuff is for the lift. (I cannot count the number of shows I've done, having downed a cuppa joe for the needed zip.) It's also a lot cheaper just to grab a large coffee, rather than that venti 2% latte'.

Is this common knowledge? I seriously feel like a putz that I took that for granted. Oh well. Live n' learn.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Now *That's* Good Casting

It's official; the title role in 2008's Iron Man has been cast. One of the only prominent super-heroes to grapple with substance abuse... will be played by Robert Downey Jr.

*Looks through kitchen drawers for a knife to cut the irony with*

I'll have to get back to you on that.

Good, Good Birthday

Yesterday was a good, good day. It was downright charmed!

Perfect weather. Received a draft of the audio series contract. Lined up a voice-over gig with huge potential.

Saw my brother, bought some movies, watched Hard Candy (a disturbing but excellent movie) with him. Then I skedaddled over to Arundel Mills to catch the Project Greenlight flick, Feast, with Bill. It's a gore-splattered horror flick, but for the life of me I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard. It was phenomenal. Bill and I were in hysterics.

To cap off my day, I got pulled over for speeding on the way home. The cop took my license and rental registration and came back a few minutes later with a written warning. He wished me a happy birthday, and that was that. Thanks, Officer.

Good, good day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All Of Their Cards Are Belong To You

Folks, just a quick head's up: Vista Print Cards is having a sale. They're the fine company that made my super-snazzy business cards, and the 80%-off discount they're having is ca-raaaazy. *Throws a fistful of cards in the air like confetti*

In need of some quality cards; check 'em out. Don't say I never did nothin' for ya.

Monday, October 02, 2006

G*dd*mn I Love This Show

Second entry in the "I love Studio 60" diary: They talk about comedy. The characters talk about the funny; how to work it, use it, make it happen. How to "make it work". Because they're that good. They know what they're talking about.

Forgetting modesty (false or otherwise) for a minute: I know how to get people to laugh. Give me a script, give me lines and give me a crowd, and I will get the right kind of laughs from them.

Watching the fictional folks on this show talking about what they're doing, working and communicating as though Comedy were their co-star... I'm eating it up with a spoon.

See this show. See it.

US RDA Of Bitterness

It's Monday night, and I'm catching my first episode of Heroes. It's pretty damn good, so far.

A thought I can't get out of my head is this: This show is about people who have super-powers and real life problems. The series premiere was a ratings hit.

Folks with A) Powers, and B) Realistic life problems. I can see now how that would not make a marketable premise.

*Sarcasm detector shakes violently, glows white-hot, explodes. Twice.*

Right. Moving on...

Q: What's Playing? A: Nothing Good!

The Lorraine theater in Hoopeston, Illinois has made the papers recently; as the owner, Greg Boardman, would rather close his movie house for two weeks, than screen bad movies.

It's a rinky-dink theater in a small town, but Greg Boardman just became my hero. Rather than show the likes of The Covenant or Jackass 2, Boardman gave his employees two week's paid leave and put the storefront on hiatus.

He doesn't eschew R-rated movies, either. Just crappy ones! I think this is phenomenal. Bad for business? Oh yeah. But it's still phenomenal.

Greg Boardman, I salute you; you and your standards. Saaaaaaaa-lute!

I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight-- Oh, Wait, I Totally Have.

The week is off to a good start. Saw my good friend Bill last night in Baltimore. Bit of a trek to get there and back, but what the hell.

Transcription is off to a good start this morning. I like it when it flows; especially on a Monday morning. Makes me feel productive, which I also like.

The week is going to be more or less packed. Having dinner & a flick with my brother, followed by a later movie w/ Bill. Rehearsals through the week, and Dinner w/ Dad and family on Friday.

I want to get my comic in the mail to another label today or tomorrow, if I can help it. In the meantime, I've begun re-writes to portions of the plot that *coughs over name* studio had issues with. The trick will be crafting something they don't find objectionable while sticking to my core theme; namely 'Shit happens'.

I'm reminding myself that they made no promises; a rewrite doesn't guarantee interest on their part. Honestly, at this point, I'm willing to explore some options, folks. More on that as it develops, or not.

And oh yeah, tomorrow's my birthday. *blows pre-emptive noisemaker*

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's The First Of The Month

Bunny, Bunny.