Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week 33 Experimental/Naturalism - Play

Last week we closed a show at the San Francisco Fringe festival. Our “sister” company Dark Porch was also doing a show called “Cockroach”. I went and saw it last week and it gave me an idea.

There show was an experimental movement piece with text, a meditation on homelessness and schizophrenia. It was very well thought out and performed. Still these sort of shows aren’t really my bag, I found myself drifting during performance.

The idea that came to me while I was watching there show was this:

A play in two acts. The first act is a sort of experimental performance thing like the Dark Porch show. All poetry and dance, an abstract meditation on a few characters and there relationships. Then the second act is all naturalism. The same characters, the same relationships presented the way sleepwalkers does best; a realistic slice of life.

I’m not sure what relationships and situations would work best for this but I find the structure totally intriguing. It would be an awesome thing for for Sleepwalkers and Dark Porch to do together. Or if anyone reads this maybe they could find a way to do it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week #32 Through the Looking Glass - Novel

A few months back I took a trip to New York city to attend a concert for my friend James Call’s 30th birthday. As a matter of coincidence that also turned out to be the same weekend that another old friend of mine, Mike Garlington, was passing though the city on his way back from Europe.

The trip was chaotic, fascinating, nostalgic, debaucherous and quite painful all at the same time. I slept so little and consumed so many damaging substances that I was having auditory hallucinations on the plane ride home.

The events of the trip seemed to all fit into a basic theme for me. They all reflected something I’d been thinking a lot about recently. What happens to all of us who’ve been spending our twenties behaving like it was a second adolescence when our bodies can’t keep up? What happens when the illicit desires we’d been slave to in our youth start to fade away and lose there luster?

I’d been wanting to write a novel about this for sometime. I’d written a few parts of a screenplay a while back about this subject. Interestingly a good part of the screenplay took place during the main characters return to New York. I suppose the city represents to me the hight of my youthful hedonism.

To add a little structure to this project I thought it would be good chance to do another thing I’d always wanted to do; base a story on Lewis Carroll’s less read sequel to Alice in Wonderland, “ Through the looking Glass and What Alice Found There”. I always had a soft spot for this book and it’s dream like plot with less well know characters made it an easier choice then it’s more popular predecessor.

Right now this idea is still mostly a nebulous blob existing more as few journal entries than anything else. I think the idea would be to follow the structure of the Carroll book for the stuff taking place during the weekend but also to include extended flash backs on my past with these people. The chances of me ever writing a whole novel are fairly slim but still writing the idea here makes it actually feel doable. Who knows!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week #31 Breakupocalypse Fringe Show - Play

This weeks project is one that’s well under way and will in fact be presented to the public this Friday.

My theatre company Sleepwalkers Theatre is putting up a show at the San Francisco Fringe Feastival called “BREAKUPOCALYPSE”. It’s two plays in 30 minutes, both written by Maria Ferrari and both dealing with the subject of break ups.

I get to play a sort of stoner slacker dude, it’s the first time in years I’ve got to use my own mannerisms in a show. It’s a lot of fun.

Here’s our press release blurb for this thing:

Two exploding relationships in under twenty five minutes.

Written by Maria Ferrari

Runners [funny :)]

In the middle of a marathon, recent exes Hunter & Liz have one last knock down, drag out fight. While running. The whole time.

Directed by Tore Ingersoll - Thorp

With: Ariane Owens & Ian Riley

The Ugly City Game - [sad :(]

“The thing about cities is- you feel like they love you back…”

After a colossal heartbreak, Paul takes solace in the parts of Chicago others overlook.

Directed by Amy Marie Haven

With: Mallory gross, Tore Ingersoll - Thorp, Damian Lanahan - Kalish, & Leia Layus

The unjuried format of the Fringe Festival allows the artists to have total creative freedom when producing their work and provides for a unique theatre going experience. As a result of this boundary-free approach to creating theatre, the Fringe has become a popular development tool; encouraging artists to take risks, explore ideas, pose questions and tell their stories in new and exciting ways.

The complete schedule and descriptions of Fringe shows are available at www.sffringe.org

Please come see it! It’s Awesome!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Week #30 Reviewing the Reviewers - Website, book

I was pretty swamped last week with the Mishap Prom so that's why there was no post. But now I'm back (if maybe a day later than I would have hoped.)

This week's project is one that's still very much in it's larval stages. I came up with it a while back when I was looking for the phone number for the Li Po Lounge. The Li Po is a drinking establishment in Chinatown very close to my heart; after all this is where my theatre company Sleepwalker's Theatre was essentially formed. Still it is not a place oozing with swankyness, nor does it try to be.

It is my belief that all forms of criticism should be based on whether a project or place succeeds in what it's attempting to do. Therefore I was a little peeved when I saw on the Li Po Yelp page, next to some glowing semi-ironic ones, a few reviews disparaging it's dingyness, criticizing it's bathroom and even one that mentioned the "pervy chinatown ruffians".

After my initial irritation I began to wonder a little about the people who wrote these things. Where did there impulse to criticize come from? Where does that impulse come from in any of us?

To answer these questions, as well as give reviewers a little taste of there own medicine, I thought it would be cool to create a website where we review the reviewers. As a start I thought we'd review each person who's posted regularly to Yelp in a very methodical way. Read all their reviews and point out recurrent themes and make thesis's about where there impulses and quarks came from.

The natural extension of this would be to write a small book where you review famous critics in mainstream media the same way they review movies, books, food and music.

I'm not sure how hard this would be to do as a website but I do know the amount of work it would take to actually write the reviews might not be worth it. Still if this website existed I'd read it.