Saturday, September 25, 2010


I finished A Prayer For Owen Meany just a few minutes ago. As I suspected, the last few pages - indeed the last 20 - were some of the most exciting of the entire book. But was it worth my perseverance?

I'm not sure.

I get that the book's about love, destiny, and faith. Still, I didn't particularly care for the narrator of the story. By the end John Wheelwright was a rather weak and whiny character.

Overall, the book, for me was simply....meh.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Double Rehearsal

My usual pattern is to be in a show while rehearsing another one. So I don't readily recall there being a time when I've rehearsed two shows simultaneously. Tonight, for the first and hopefully the only time, I had to attend rehearsal for both shows.

At 7pm I arrived at the Cissna's for a run through of Act 2. I'm not completely off-book, so I still clutched my script, though I did get through most of 2.2 without looking. My least favorite part of rehearsal is the stumble throughs so I'll be spending the weekend learning and running my lines. We're at that point when nothing much else can be done until scripts are out of our hands. (And I'm one of the few that still needs the crutch!)

A bit before 8pm I departed for my first "Five & Dime" rehearsal at Open Space. We blocked from my entrance to the end of Act 1, which also means that Act 1 is completely blocked. We ran the 20 or so pages and we were released.

An Evening at the Theatre

Last night Chris, Mallorie and I saw just how beautiful life is at the Cabaret. For Theatre Alliance's revival, it's less beautiful and more dark and gritty.

Gray Smith revived his role as the Emcee, and he was outstanding! Danya Bray also reprised her role as Fraulein Kost and I was impressed with the nuances she brought to her questionable character. Tim Brown returned to the Cabaret, though in a different role. For this show he portrayed a despicable Ernst. Cheri Van Loon was the only returning Kit Kat Klub girl.

Jaye Pierce assumed the role of Sally Bowles, and I'm enjoying watching Jaye grow into these leading lady parts. Jaye has a wonderful voice, and while vocally she nailed "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret," she stood too stiffly behind the mic. I kept hoping she'd let loose and allow the music to power these solo performances.

I was most surprised by Gesh Metz, who played Fraulein Schneider. She breathed such real life into her character, I couldn't take my eyes off her! Except when Mark Armstrong joined her onstage. This was Mark's second time at the Cabaret, though this time he portrayed Herr Schultz. Gesh and Mark were perfectly matched and heartbreakingly sweet. I so loved watching them. (Unfortunately the erroneous Pineapple Dance during "It Couldn't Please Me More" took me out of such a beautiful, romantic number.)

It is a Theatre Alliance show, so of course, there is token nudity. The finale, I could tell, bothered Mallorie. Not because of the boobs and butt shots, but the depiction of the fate of the Jews.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Facebook Message

  • Conversation started November 13, 2009

  • Jay Equality Smith
    Catfish Moon

    Hello Guys and Gal. I am directing a Play at the Open Space Cafe Theatre. The play is called Catfish Moon by Laddy Sartin and the production will be in June. I don't have the exact show dates or rehearsal dates yet, but I wanted to get my cast together as soon as possible. Because of the short rehearsal process at OSCT, I wanted to be sure that we made the most of the time once we got into the space. I am wanting to have some rehearsals for read-thrus and table work before we actually get into the theatre and maybe some blocking stuff, so I wanted to get this production on your calendars as early as possible if you are interested. Please reply to this message and let me know if you are interested and I will be in touch soon.
    Thank you so much and I look forward to working with you all.

  • Neil Shepherd

    Oh, HELL NO! I wouldn't work with you people if my life depended on it. What a group of no-talent hacks...
    ...Lord, I can't even keep a straight face on FACEbook!!!!
    I guess I'm interested...when is the casting couch session, again?

  • Ken Ashford

    Definitely interested. Not sure whether I have a conflict though. I'm committed to doing "Rounding Third" at Theatre Alliance over the "summer" -- that's a revival of something Scott Stevens and I did last year at Open Space. But Jamie asked Scott and I about our availability for a May production, so... there it is. On the other hand, Jamie hasn't finalized his scheduled, so it may not happen at all!!
    But DEFINITELY interested. I'll even tolerate Neil if I have to.
  • November 14, 2009

  • Jay Equality Smith

    Just an update... I talked to Joe last night and he said that the production dates are in September. I looked at the calendar and I'm thinking it would open on the 16th(Thursday) and run that weekend and the next, closing on Saturday the 25th. Sorry if this caused any confusion. I know you had all gone out and cleared your calendars for June in anticipation. Just wanted to give an update. Thanks
  • November 14, 2009

  • Cheryl Ann Roberts

    Christmas has come early! Oh, Jay, what a grand gift!
    I may have a conflict. I work for SETC and we hold Fall Auditions the weekend after Labor Day - which may run into first tech. I'm contracted for these auditions, so I may be able to negotiate.
    I'm definitely's a beautiful script. And the chance to work with such talented men...priceless.
  • November 14, 2009

  • Facebook User

    I'm glad I waited until today to reply... I was all ready to compose my decline letter, but it looks like there should be no conflicts in September. I had the entire month of June booked.
    So, I'm not saying "no" yet, but need to check with the boss and compare schedules. What kind of a rehearsal commitment were you thinking? How soon do we start and how often do we rehearse? I need to see the script; I've only read the basic premise on line.
    Oh, have I mentioned that I am incredibly flattered, Jay, and that I'm honored to be considered to be in the ranking with Cheryl, Ken and Neil!!! Sounds like the dream team, to me.
    I'll get back, soon, I can talk about this with Elizabeth tomorrow night.

  • Ken Ashford

    September is good for me.
  • November 18, 2009

  • Jay Equality Smith

    Cheryl, with this much notice, I'm sure we can move the tech rehearsals if we need to. There is not really going to be much tech for the show anyway, so I don't anticipate having much to deal with. We'll make it work.

  • Neil Shepherd

    I don't know, depends on how many pteredactyls he's gonna make us push around the stage.

  • Jay Equality Smith

    there are no periaktois in this one. And I don't know what Neil's bitching about, he didn't have to move a single piece of set in CoE. But if he doesn't watch it, he may get to move the whole pier.
  • November 18, 2009

  • Neil Shepherd

    No, you are correct, Mr. Directorman. I didn't move a single pteredactyl...just had to sit for HOURS while you blocked them! And I've got your pier... Love you, Boo!
  • November 18, 2009

  • Facebook User

    Hello All,
    I officially CAN'T do the show. I hate that I'm going to miss this opportunity to work with you all, and was really looking forward to working for you, Jay, but I'll have to pass. I know you can find another 40-something actor to take my place.
  • November 19, 2009

  • Jay Equality Smith

    I'm very sorry to hear that Andy. I am upset however that with notice this far into the rehearsal process, we may not be able to find a suitable replacement in time;-). And when it comes to Andy Lopina, there is never a suitable replacement, there is just a replacement. Do any of you have any ideas who I could call. I really don't want to deal with auditions for 1 part and I would like it to be someone who everyone is comfortable with. ideas?

  • Neil Shepherd have officially broken my heart. I totally agree with Jay...there are no suitable replacements...just a replacement.
  • November 19, 2009
  • Facebook User
    Facebook User

    You guys really make me feel good about myself. I'll file your e-mails under "Open when having suicidal thoughts."
    What about Mark Armstrong or Tim Brown?

Update: Ultimately I wasn't able to to Catfish Moon due to my contract with SETC. As it turned out, neither Ken nor Neil did the show. Jay did direct, and although I wasn't able to see it, I heard it was very good.

I hate I missed out on working with Neil and Ken again. And it was very nice to be contacted by Jay.
According to Goodreads I've been reading A Prayer For Owen Meany for 28 days. 28 days?!?! It feels like I've been reading this book For Ever!

Several people I know have listed this book among their favorite books of all time. I borrowed the book from the library for this reason. I just began Chapter 8 last night, and I honestly don't get it. With each turn of a page I keep hoping why it's such a revered book will become clear.

Mallorie has suggested I return it and read the summary in SparkNotes. As tempting as that sounds, I simply can't do that. I've invested 28 days of my life with John Wheelwright and Owen Meany. It's now my mission to finish this book, and by the end of this month.

I'll only be slight perturbed if all I should have read was the last 5 pages.

Crazy Odd Facts

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. (Now that's more like it !)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet. (O.M.G.!)

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes. (In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. (Don't try this at home, maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off. (Honey, I'm home. What the...?)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field. (30 minutes. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. (What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. (I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity.)

Butterflies taste with their feet. (Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. (Hmmmmmm......)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. (Okay, so that would be a good thing!)

A cat's urine glows under a black light. (I wonder who was paid to figure that out.)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains. (I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed. (If they switch, they'll live longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. (What about that pig??)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010