Thursday, May 27, 2004

Machines that go *PING*

I like technology. I like gadgets. Where most people have an answering machine, I've got a Celeron 266 running voicemail software, and a cordless telephone with the Microsoft logo on it (yes, they really did make a telephone a few years ago -- the product didn't exactly fly off the shelves, but I love mine).

I'd love an MP3 player -- an iPod would be nice, though the Creative Nomad would work a whole lot better with my SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Platinum.


The point is this. I like gadgets. That's why I love the Gizmodo blog. Because they feature every amazing, cool, pointless, ridiculous gadget under the sun. The kind of gadgets that make you stare at them until you realize that the front of your shirt is soaked through with the drool that has been spilling out of your mouth for God knows how long. The kind of gadgets that make you wish you made four times as much money at your stupid, pointless job, so you could afford them all.

And that's why it's now listed under LINKAGE. Go. Read. Drool.

Learn something new every day.

I just learned that Blogger time stamps it's posts based on the time the post was started, not based on the time I push the "publish" button.

Wait, I guess that's assuming the date stamp as based on the time on my own computer. Maybe it isn't. Hm, hadn't thought of that. That messes up my whole theory. Maybe I didn't learn anything today after all.

Yup, gotta love the blogs for bringing this kind of fascinating, take-no-prisoners, information to the reading public. Yup. Gotta love it.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Stupid long weekends.

I haven't had a long weekend in years -- my schedule dictates that I work Saturdays and Sundays anyway, and if the extra day off happens to fall on a Monday, then there's no getting around working that day either.

So, in protest, I'm trying to work from home today. So far I've managed to learn that my so-called "home office" needs some improving. Like taking that stupid fax-modem off my bookshelf and plugging it back into my computer because, even though I haven't been on dial-up internet for a few years, it suddenly would be very nice if I could send and receive faxes.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Mucking about.

Just mucked around with the layout. Because thanks to the brand-spanking-new Blogger face lift, there's a whole bunch of new layouts available. Happier with this one than I was with the last one, but my additional areas in the sidebar (Contact Me and Linkage) don't look right compared to the other sidebar items.

Will have to fix that. But that's a project for another day.

Okay, now I can relax.

The proposal meeting is done, and now the waiting begins. Everyone needs to have the chance to read the plays that were pitched, and then gather again to discuss their thoughts.

I don't know why I find myself nervous about these things. Thankfully this year, the nervousness only lasted for about the first 20 seconds of my pitch before I realized I was sitting in room full of really great people that I had gotten to know even better this last year, and everything was fine. Maybe next year I'll be able to pitch something without any nervousness at all?

Yeah, that'll be the day.

Okay, so, agreed, this is a post that probably appears better suited to the new WL Studio Theatre Blog that we're currently testing out. But it also seemed *wrong* somehow to put these kinds of entries there, at least for the moment. Right now, I'm just some guy, proposing a play -- my proposal really has nothing to do with the theatre until I get the thumbs up from them.

Should that thumbs up come, I'll be sure to make my first play-related post at that forum.

Until then...this will be the forum for all my concerns and insecurities. As of which, I'm sure, there'll be few. After all, the pitch is done, and it's all just waiting now.

And, in fact, it's time now to refocus on the last play, that we're taking to Quesnel on the 28th for the Central Interior Zone drama festival. Posts from Quesnel will *not* appear here -- that's a Studio Theatre production, and will, as such, appear on the Studio Theatre blog (yeah, I know I linked it again -- it's a new venture, and I'd like to get as many readers over there as possible).

So feel free to drop by the theatre blog (ack! another link!) on the 28th and the 29th, and drop in a comment or two to the posts we'll be making from Quesnel. It's all part of keeping the community involved in community theatre.

Good 'night'.

Tonight is the Studio Theatre's play proposal meeting. It's the night when directors who want to direct something for upcoming season go out and propose their play. Then the people on the "selection committee" (for lack of a better turn) go and read all the plays, and consider all the directors, and try to come up with the best season they can.

Somehow, I'm just crazy enough to try this directing thing again, and will be pitching a play called 'Night, Mother in probably close to an hour.

It's a beautifully written play that just happens to be, at least in part, about suicide. Yet, in spite of that expectantly bleak subject, it's a play with a surprising amount of warmth to it. And, of course, it's not something that's going to be enjoyed by everyone. Surprise, surprise.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Okay, so now what the heck do I do?

Got some free time back. Finally.

The play is done, more or less. We've got a bit of work to do before the 28th, and then we're off to Quesnel to perform for festival, but other than that little bit, it's over. We ended our two week run here, with audiences ranging in size from "tiny" to "acceptable".

Yes, I'm very aware that part of the problem was that this a play that people didn't immediately recognize. It's hard to get people to come and see something if they don't already know what they're coming to see -- which doesn't make much sense to me, but it's obviously something that Hollywood figured out years ago, otherwise they wouldn't be pumping out so many goddamn sequels.

Not that I have any intention of "learning my lesson." I have no desire to direct something with an immediately recognizeable name, something that people have already seen the film version of, something where people already know what to expect when they walk through door.

It's partly that I don't want to end up inadvertantly compared to their memory of their previous experience with the material.

And it's partly because I want the audiences who come to see these plays to experience something new and fresh and interesting. Something that surprises them, something that affects them, something that makes them walk away without being able to just brush away the last two hours thinking, "Yeah, it was okay, but the movie was better."

This is all, of course, assuming that the powers that be decide it's worth it to let me direct again.

I'm pitching something for next season. The meeting's on the 20th, and I fully expect it to be a little awkward and bizarre to be selling material for next year while my mind is still not completely off the work being done this season. But I've found a play that kicked me in the stomach, and I had a fantastic time working on the play this year, and to be quite frank, I really can't wait to do it again.

So I'm pitching. It's a play called "'Night, Mother" and it's drama about suicide that, despite it's subject matter, has a surprising amount of warmth to it. It doesn't have an easy, happy, Hollywood-ized ending, in spite of the fact that there was a film made out of it.

In short, it's everything that *I* think a good, solid story should be. Interesting, dark, affecting, moving, and something that, hopefully, should people come to see it, will not be easily brushed out of their minds.

Of course, that's next year. And even that's only assuming those on the Studio Theatre's selection group decide to give me the go-ahead to direct again.

So what I do until then? Now that I've got my free time back, and I can start writing again, what the heck am I going to write?

As promised, I'll try to blog a bit more. I haven't been too concerned about the lack of updates here these last few weeks because I doubt too many people are dropping by for a visit. And if you have been, sorry for the vacancy.

I'll try to update every day or so. If only to practice the art of using the language -- which is pretty much what I wanted the blog for in the first place.

Outside of that, I've got a film script I'm eager to get finished in the next month or so -- well, the first draft, at any rate. It's something I want to try to film in the fall, so finishing that first will give me the chance to let it sit for awhile before going back to polish.

After that, there's a one act play I'd like to finish before the Theatre BC New Play contest cut-off -- which is, I think, sometime in June. After that, there's a top secret musical theatre production I'd like to work on, plus a novel that I started a few months back that is tugging at me. I'm tempted to leave it until November for National Novel Writing Month, and I may very well do that depending on how my schedule works out over the next few months. But I'm hoping I can back to it before then.

And, of course, there's last November's novel that's still waiting around for an ending.

So I've got my projects, and I've even got them structured into a rough "order of importance".

Then my lawn needs mowing, my house needs cleaning, my refrigerator needs re-stocking...