Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm so glad my company (Write Act Rep) is taking advantage of this recent revolution in promotion:



The idea of a commercial for a play is not a new one. The ability to reach thousands of people for free ... that's remarkable. I've seen a few other play "trailers" online. This is a great idea that is taking hold, and is a great marketing boon for small theatres.

Also, the play looks wicked awesome!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream


I haven't been this proud of a show since college. We're hitting on all cylinders with this one; the set and costumes are lavish, the acting top-notch, and you can't get better dramatic material. Jeff Soroka has done an outstanding job assembling this group and helming this production.

My lovely wife choreographed the fairies. You can read about that at her regular blog. (here, here, and here.) Very sensual, very sexy fairies! Hell, that alone is worth the price of admission!



Oh ... and I'm in it.
 
Come see it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What to Draw

From UNCLE EDDIE'S THEORY CORNER!: WHAT TO DRAW WHEN SKETCHBOOKING

It's a fact: You can learn much about your art form by studying other art forms.

An artist and theoretician I admire is Uncle Eddie, veteran animator and esteemed man of the world. On Tuesday he posted the above blog entry.

Here are two quotes to ponder:
"If you draw people as individuals you'll end up as often as not with cliches: the middle-aged guy with a gut, the fat woman wearing tight clothes, the guy nodding off while he tries to read his newspaper, etc. That's because ordinary people people look pathetic when you draw them in isolation."
"Where people come alive is in conversation. That's where they become psychological and fleshed out. Take the fat woman. When she's talking she's no longer just a stereotype, she's a human being with a point to get across. She's more interesting."
Hear, hear! This goes along with something David Mamet rails about, namely "Dead Kitten speeches." In order for dramatic literature to be dramatic, you must see the interplay of characters. Bad writing shuts down the forward momentum of a play so we can see just how boring a character is (i.e. a horrible monologue.)

A well-crafted monologue somehow creates the same effect good dialog creates; it moves you forward in the story.

Good food for thought!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Mad Theatrics Journal


LAST CALL FOR ARTICLES!

UPDATED

The MAD THEATRICS JOURNAL is accepting submissions for our premiere issue! I should probably post some sort of submission guidelines, but this first issue is going to be very loose. Let's just say, keep the articles a reasonable length, somewhere around 2,000 words or less. There is no theme. Anything goes! We are looking for the following types of material:
  • Short plays
  • Theatre theory/history
  • Reviews
  • "How to" articles
  • Humor/satire
  • Photographs
This ezine shall be published in PDF format, with no support for hypertext. I, Andrew Moore, shall be the dictator-in-chief. Submissions (preferably a copy-and-paste-able file type: .txt, .doc, etc.) can be sent to me at scrapsflippy@gmail.com. If you have any questions, shoot me an e-mail or comment below.

(NOTE: This will be published under a "Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives" Creative Commons license. Otherwise, authors will retain their own copyrights. I'm not planning on making any money on this venture. To read up on why I'm doing this, read this blog entry.)

UPDATE: I corrected it up above. 2,000 words or less. I don't want a novel, just an essay or article.

Monday, September 03, 2007

No Flying Monkeys ...

Seth on cheap advertising:
Mysteriously, when the ads are cheap (think banners, or cable or AM radio), the content is lousy.

A SuperBowl ad costs a few million dollars to run... so the beer companies and the dot com companies spend millions creating the ad, even if it runs only once. [...]

There's no economic reason for this. You can run that banner ad in a thousand places. You can run that radio ad in 200 cities. If the media is cheap, it might just be a good value. And if you can run an effective ad, you can run it far and wide and turn a profit.
I don't think it's that mysterious at all. When it comes to a Super Bowl Ad, there is much more money at stake. With banner ads or AM radio ads there's virtually nothing at stake.

This is true for entertainment, as well. Compare your run-of-the-mill improv show with Broadway's Wicked. It costs virtually nothing to put on an improv show; very little is invested so oftentimes you literally get what you pay for: an hour or two of diversion. Meanwhile great piles of cash are shoveled into a BIG-TIME BROADWAY SHOW. A huge investment! Also a better bet than your local run-of-the-mill improv show.

It's not just the investment of capital, and here's where the mystery truly vanishes: The artists involved understand the scope. The improv show is playing to friends and family or die-hard improv fans or folks too broke to cross the street to see Wicked at the Pantages. A small pool. The artists involved in a BIG TIME BROADWAY SHOW know that there will be lines around the block. The artists have more at stake with a bigger audience and so bring their "A" game. As for the group playing to a dozen people, half of them comped ... there is a difference.

(HOWEVER, the Broadway show could be a crass, mediocre piece of crap performed by jaded jerks. The little improv show could have more heart and sheer talent on display than all the theatre palaces in the world. These are the exception to the rule. Not every improv is "The Kids in the Hall" back in the day, and not every Broadway musical is "Annie 2.")

The thing to do is to bring your "A" game regardless, to not settle for mediocre, to be remarkable. There was a little show in Hollywood that opened earlier this year titled "All About Walken." It's eight actors doing Walken impersonations in scenes and monologues. The show went up the the Gleason Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard -- I've performed on stage there myself, in a show that averaged five audience members each night. Just a hole-in-the-wall storefront theatre. Certainly not the Pantages.
 

 
This play -- a play that cost next to nothing to produce (i.e. no flying monkeys) that features eight people doing Walken impressions for crying out loud -- got major media coverage. The show was consistently sold out. These same eight actors could've just done a mediocre improv show, but they didn't settle for that. They brought their "A" game, and they flourished.

So that's the lesson to take away from all of this: Don't throw away any opportunity to be remarkable, no matter how "low rent" the venue.

[Also posted at www.thefelties.blogspot.com.]