Wednesday, March 30, 2005

How to Steal a Scene by Just Raising a Finger:
Sometimes a finger can steal a scene. Now appearing in Samuel Beckett's 'Endgame,' the 79-year-old theater veteran Alvin Epstein compels the audience with little more than some careful movement of his hands, which peek out from the tin can that his character, the ancient Nagg, inhabits for the duration of the play. Exploring the uncertain world outside the safety of the can, those digits pique our curiosity. Like characters in their own right, they scramble meekly, but with a visible, desperate energy, around the can's rim, like hungry mice, distracting the audience from all the other action taking place on stage.
Mime is considered more of a punchline than an art form these days, but to watch Mr. Epstein - who studied the craft alongside Marcel Marceau more than half a century ago - is to appreciate the lingering finesse it can lend an actor's work
(from The New York Times).

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Six Surprising Ways to Find the Perfect Venue:
  1. Look for barter opportunities
  2. Try to negotiate
  3. Go to nontraditional spaces
  4. Consult alternative resources
  5. Look for performance spaces that include rehearsal time
  6. Split the fee with another group
(from backstage.com).

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Joke about Californians:
So as not to be outdone by all the redneck, hillbilly and Texan jokes, you know you're from California if:
  1. Your coworker has 8 body piercing's and none are visible.
  2. You make over $300,000 and still can't afford a house.
  3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.
  4. Your child's 3rd grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.
  5. You can't remember . . . . is pot illegal?
  6. You've been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
  7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
  8. You can't remember . . . is pot illegal?
  9. A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.
  10. Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.
  11. Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney.
  12. It's barely sprinkling rain and there's a report on every news station: STORM WATCH.
  13. You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cells or pagers.
  14. It's barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
  15. HEY!!!! Is pot illegal????
  16. Both you AND your dog have therapists.
  17. The Terminator is your governor.
  18. If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one!!!
(I did not create this, it was forwarded by a friend).

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Milton Glaser on Professionalism in Creative Pursuits:
Early in my career I couldn’t wait to become a professional. That was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid well for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is limiting risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please doc, do it in the way that has worked in the past.
Unfortunately in our field, in a so-called creative activity - I’ve begun to hate that word. I especially hate when it is used as a noun. I shudder when I hear someone called a creative. Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is desirable in our field, is continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. Professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal
(from miltonglaserposters.com). He is writing about graphic design, but I think it may apply to acting as well.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

The Balance of Finances and Acting:
One strategy is to turn your day job into something that is rewarding, both creatively and financially. That's what David Grae did. A writer for the television show Joan of Arcadia in Los Angeles, Mr. Grae, now 37, spent much of his early twenties trying to figure out how to make it as a comic writer and actor in New York. At first, he was neither acting nor writing, but struggling to make rent, while working as a bike messenger and other jobs he describes as random. But he wasn't happy. I felt that I needed a day job - I didn't want to wait tables, he says.
Eventually, he co-founded Gotham Writers' Workshop, an organization that offers creative writing courses for adults, and found that owning his own business was a good way to make ends meet - without giving up on his dream. These days, he isn't involved in the day-to-day running of the business, but income from it was crucial to carrying him through his first few years in Los Angeles, before he secured a writing job.
(from CareerJournal.com).

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
-James Baldwin

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Harold Pinter 'to give up writing plays':
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, the 74-year-old said: I think I've stopped writing plays now, but I haven't stopped writing poems
(from BBC News).

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