derring-do

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hannibals-souffle asked: Hey I know this is kinda weird but I'm auditioning for the Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo and was wondering if the monologue I was auditioning with would be okay for it. I don't really know the play and I don't really have monologues since I'm fairly new to theatre.

fuckyeahgreatplays:

So once I worked on the worst production of Cats of all time. I know this is a strong statement but hear me out.

The director had a “concept.” Like how the director of R&J in Slings & Arrows had a “concept.” She said that the Cats rights don’t specify anything about the book* so she’s going to give the show a framing device. And add some characters.

During the overture, there’s a dumbshow of a kid misbehaving in school, and the teacher hold him after for detention. He’s in detention and he gets mad and starts pulling down the posters in the classroom and OH WAIT WE’RE IN A JUNKYARD. Then it’s Cats +1 Boy. The show proceeds mostly as usual except there’s a kid in every number. Cats are teaching him things about life I guess? Also Grizabella started to sing her song and reached out to him on “Touch meeeee” and he SLAPPED her for some reason.

And then, at the end of the show, Griz goes to Kitty Heaven, everyone sends her offer whatever, and then we are BACK in the classroom. Kid takes all his Kitty Lessons and is now a great helpful student. The teacher comes back in and SPOILER ALERT GRIZABELLA IS THE TEACHER. End of show.

I should add that there is at least one actor currently starring on Broadway who was involved in this production.

I also felt bad for the guy who played the kid because he was in every scene but how the hell are you going to explain on your resume that you played the Kid in Cats?

*the further I get in my career the more I am sure this is a LIE.

Director hell.

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Leaks Everywhere

Time to Leak

"Welp," said the burglar, loading a crowbar into his duffel bag, "time to leak some jewelry."

"Welp," said the kidnapper, loading some chloroform and towels into his duffel bag, "time to leak a human."

"Welp," said the assassin, loading a. 357 Magnum into his duffel bag, "time to leak some blood."

"Welp," said the hacker, loading some photos onto his hard drive, "time to leak some bile into the pool of human decency."

Filed under leaking leaks nudephotos

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Being a moody poet is easy

Being a moody poet who never writes anything is easy
Describe yourself in hairy adjectives
You are trans-spirited, wind-walking, child of the primeval electrical impulses
You write every day in your own mind
And writing or typing your poetry
Of the Ages
Is like swimming through molten lead: heavy, hot, toxic
Mere mortals cannot follow your quicksilver thoughts!
Gather with like-minded souls, in big groups,
where you steep hair tea and cookies of pure lachrymal essence
Then go to sleep, smug in the thought
That you have saved someone else from trying to understand you.

Filed under poem poetry

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have a tank

1.
the tank came into town last night
driven by our boys, it was quite a sight
the children ran to climb inside
the sergeant driver gave them a ride
we all waved and cheered as they drove away
maybe the tank will visit you today

2.
the tank came into town last night
driven by our boys, it was quite a fright
the children ran to escape death
the sergeant driver took their last breath
we all cried and wailed as they drove away
maybe the tank will visit you today

3.
the tank came into town last night
on a flatbed trailer, one of ten
unloaded by some lipless men
they’re yours for now, they told us flat
then fired ten shots, and that was that
we’ve owned these tanks since yesterday
might as well use them, they’ll waste away

4.
there’s a tank
reading this over your shoulder

Filed under tanks war civilized

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fuckyeahgreatplays:

"Young people don’t come to the theater anymore! How can we get a young audience?!"
(later)
“Young audiences are ruining our theatergoing experience!”

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One Hundred Percent Online Tickets

Your local HugeBigTheatre offers one hundred percent online ticket sales, right? And there’s nothing wrong with that, right? So offering one hundred percent online ticket sales is natural and healthy for all types of theatre productions, right?

Last year, the Toronto Fringe Festival only offered 50% of tickets to a show online. This year, the Toronto Fringe Festival started making 100% of all tickets available online, before the show. It has sparked some lively debate amongst my theatre colleagues. I wanted to more closely examine the issue, because I think it’s an important one.

It’s Legal

The requirements set forth by the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals say nothing about ticket sales.

The Basics

If you are interested in becoming a member of CAFF, consider your responses to the following questions:

  • Will your Festival be primarily based around indoor theatre productions?
  • Will your Festival be completely uncensored?
  • Will applications from theatre companies be accepted through a lottery or on a first-come, first-served basis?
  • Will your Festival return 100 percent of the money generated from ticket sales to the artists themselves?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then CAFF would love to see a proposal from your Festival.

It’s Becoming Common Practice

I did a quick search through some of the major Canadian Fringe Festivals this morning. In all cases where I have 100%? beside a festival, it is because I couldn’t find anything saying that there were limitations on tickets sold online beforehand.

(All Fringe festivals have some sort of time cut off after which you can’t purchase tickets for a given show online. I was looking for a statement similar to “We offer x% of tickets online.”)

  • Winnipeg — 50% online
  • Vancouver — 100%? online
  • Calgary — 80% online
  • Hamilton — 50% online
  • Montreal — 100%? online
  • Edmonton — 100%? online 

It’s Good For The Fringe

Tickets sold online do a few things for the festival itself.

  1. It lessens risk of theft in handling actual cash. We’ve all heard stories of venues getting robbed. If all that money is electronic account information, then you need a better class of thief to get at it.
  2. It smooths out the revenue stream. Each ticket sold has a two dollar processing charge on top of the ticket price. The ticketing provider of this years festival doesn’t disclose how much it takes from that, but it could be none: http://tytix.com/ticketing-solutions/ticketing-solutions-features/#web-sales. If HST gets taken from the $2, that potentially leaves $1.74 per ticket sold in the pockets of the Fringe. And as we see from the CAFF requirements, none of the $10 ticket fee can go to the Fringe itself.
    This is much preferable to having your volunteers stand in line with plastic watering cans asking you to “tip the Fringe”. That particular revenue stream can be highly variable. Although I confess I would be curious to see comparisons of both numbers on an annual basis going forward.
  3. It gives nice auditable numbers for government arts agencies. Arts grants are going down, but giving nice statistics is always appreciated and required, and reporting automatically provided by your ticket host is an easy way to do this. (NOTE: I am not suggesting the Fringe is engaging in activities that require an audit. I am suggesting governments love to audit the arts.)

Is It Good For Audiences?

If as an audience member, your goal is to see the biggest hits as validated by the excellent Fringe critics roaming the festival, then this is a perfect system. Without leaving the comfort of your air conditioned home, you can browse the reviews, call up your calendar, review your schedule outside of the theatre, then with a few mouse clicks, a credit card, and some typing, you have got all the tickets you will ever want or need.

If, like me, you are old fashioned and like to chat with people in line ups for shows and discuss the hits, then it gets a bit problematic. There is a certain thrill with talking about a hit show in line and then pumping your legs like hell to get to the next performance of that show before someone else gets your ticket.

So now, word of mouth is more valuable in that it validates you made a proper mouse click. But this seems like a very minor thing to get upset about. Only theatre types seem to find this irksome.

Is It Good For Artists?

For artists who manage to latch onto the cachet of “hit show”, this is great! Easy to sell tickets, easy to collect money, and once your know our show is sold out for the rest of the Fringe, it gives you more time to relax and socialize. Because why would you need to go and hand out flyers and postcards if you are pretty well assured of an audience?

For artists who do not manage to latch onto the cachet of “hit show”, well, what happens to them? Of course they have to work the lines like they always had to. Probably even a bit harder. Adrenaline is a wonderful motivator. Fight or flight, as an artist, the correct answer is almost always fight.

The implied assumption in all this is that there will still be enough people left over as an audience to support all Fringe productions.

Now, I’m no expert on Fringe productions, But, given my general experiences as an audience member, I know some shows do not click for many reasons, despite the best intentions of the production company behind it. Word of mouth and reviewers quickly point out the things most people will not enjoy seeing.

So, here I am, an average audience member. The hit show that got NNNNN and my friends have told me is so good is sold out on the only day and time I can go. What do I do?

I would probably, as an average representative of the theatre-going public, work my way down the list. Can I see this show on another date and time? Can I see a NNNN or NNN show instead? If not…do I want to go see a NN show? Probably not.

Would I have gone to see a NN show if I was at the venue (because I had no prior knowledge of whether my NNNNN show was sold out or not), my car was parked, there was money burning in my wallet for a show ticket anyway, and there were people in line talking about other, more entertaining shows?

Conclusions

Theatre relies on a stable production milieu. The production company and the artists try to provide this, and to put on a pleasing production tor a large number of audience members. Revenue from these audience members in turn pays expenses for the production company and the artists, and hopefully some profit as well. This gives both the theatre and the audience a reason to continue engaging in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Of course, this is a highly idealized model. Competing entertainment sources like movies and the Internet (e.g. Netflix) mean that the competition to obtain a steady audience is more difficult. Past governments seemed more willing to help fund the arts, but recent governments have shown that even established festivals (e.g. SummerWorks) are not immune to having their funding reduced or totally abolished.

So, with respect to offering 100% of ticket sales online, I am torn. I understand that keeping a stable and valued production company alive (Toronto Fringe) is very important. To that end, 100% online ticket sales is very useful.

For the artists involved in the Fringe, I don’t know. Of course, you always gamble in mounting a production anywhere. And an unpopular show will be unpopular whether you offer 0% or 100% tickets online beforehand.

There’s a general idea that art needs to conform to Darwinian ideals, now that survival has become more difficult, and that bad art should naturally be weeded out.

The danger is that you go too much in the opposite direction and we only see assorted riffs on romance stories between a man and woman with two and a half children, and three quarters of a dog,

I don’t know. When I started this, I was totally against this new policy. When I thought through it, I still didn’t like it, but I can see maybe why it happened.

I do know that the Fringe does need to exist as per the CAFF guidelines up at top of this post, and that artists are very adaptable, because they need to express themselves. I’ll be curious to see any Fringe particpants’ experiences that come out of this.

Filed under theatre TOTheatre FringeTO

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jem rolls One Man Traffic Jam

jem rolls

The French and Spanish have a different word when you go to a play. You don’t attend it, you assist it.

I was reminded of that during and after seeing jem rolls perform for the first time today.

I almost didn’t make it in. I was second on a waiting list. I almost missed my name being called because I was buying a water. But despite my shortcomings, I did get a ticket.

Any show that gives a special to a toy London doubledecker bus is guaranteed to get a large chunk of my love before it even starts. And then jem rolls came onstage.

Or, blasted onto stage like a supernova. He was at full energy from the first moment on stage, and did not lose energy the whole way through because, like any good performance, he took the energy we gave to him and multiplied it.

Assist at a play. Remember?

I’m not going to try and describe this poetic assault on the mind and heart. It needs to be seen live to appreciate it. So do so. Assist and be assisted.

Filed under jem rolls FringeTO

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cinephiliabeyond:

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s grave, Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw. Thanks to K. Thomas Kahn.

There are mysteries, secret zones in each individual. —Krzysztof Kieślowski

On March 13, 1996, the self-effacing Polish film maker, Krzysztof Kieślowski, died of heart failure in a Warsaw hospital. The film world mourned, especially when it was revealed that Kieślowski, who had been retired since the completion of Red in 1994, was contemplating a return to work with a new trilogy of films about heaven, hell, and limbo. What we are left with in the wake of the director’s passing, however is an extraordinary résumé that includes such memorable features as Camera Buff, Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique, and the Three Colors trilogy (Blue, White, Red). Less than a year before his death, Kieślowski, agreed to be the subject of a short documentary by his long-time assistant, Krzysztof Wierzbicki. The hour long film, which was made for Danish television, featured Kieślowski’s recollections of his life and movies, along with several candid shots of the director relaxing and enjoying his retirement. What was initially intended as a fairly inconsequential interview unwittingly turned into a remarkable tribute. 

The title comes from Kieślowski’s belief that people should not lie about how they’re feeling just for the sake of polite conversation. As a result, when someone asks him how he’s doing, instead of replying “Well” or “Very well”, he says “I’m so-so.” In truth, however, there’s nothing “so-so” about this particular motion picture. Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So is a striking picture of an extraordinary man who made some of the most powerful films of the last two decades. This movie will live alongside the director’s body of work as an important and informative companion piece. —James Berardinelli

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

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cinephiliabeyond:

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s grave, Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw. Thanks to K. Thomas Kahn.

There are mysteries, secret zones in each individual.Krzysztof Kieślowski

On March 13, 1996, the self-effacing Polish film maker, Krzysztof Kieślowski, died of heart failure in a Warsaw hospital. The film world mourned, especially when it was revealed that Kieślowski, who had been retired since the completion of Red in 1994, was contemplating a return to work with a new trilogy of films about heaven, hell, and limbo. What we are left with in the wake of the director’s passing, however is an extraordinary résumé that includes such memorable features as Camera Buff, Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique, and the Three Colors trilogy (Blue, White, Red). Less than a year before his death, Kieślowski, agreed to be the subject of a short documentary by his long-time assistant, Krzysztof Wierzbicki. The hour long film, which was made for Danish television, featured Kieślowski’s recollections of his life and movies, along with several candid shots of the director relaxing and enjoying his retirement. What was initially intended as a fairly inconsequential interview unwittingly turned into a remarkable tribute.

The title comes from Kieślowski’s belief that people should not lie about how they’re feeling just for the sake of polite conversation. As a result, when someone asks him how he’s doing, instead of replying “Well” or “Very well”, he says “I’m so-so.” In truth, however, there’s nothing “so-so” about this particular motion picture. Krzysztof Kieślowski: I’m So-So is a striking picture of an extraordinary man who made some of the most powerful films of the last two decades. This movie will live alongside the director’s body of work as an important and informative companion piece.James Berardinelli

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

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In a crammed room

The buzz in the cramped meeting room was like the buzz of twenty five starved locusts with a field of amber wheat almost in sight. A handpicked group of journalists had been invited to listen to Rob Ford speak, his first public speaking engagement in two months.

It was 3:28. Ford had been scheduled to show up at 3 p.m., but even two months in rehab had not cured his habitual lateness, it seemed. They didn’t care. They would camp out until the next morning to get those sweet sound and video bites from either of the Ford brothers.

Suddenly a noise swelled outside the tiny, packed room. The door flew open. A bodyguard walked in and then, just behind him, the first glimpse of Rob Ford in City Hall in over two months.

He looked good. He had truly lost weight. He walked to the podium, the only noise in the room being the soft whirr of his Italian leather shoes on the carpet.

Rob stood behind the podium and looked over the journalists. He smiled, unbuttoned the top button of his dark blue golf shirt, and began to speak.

"Here I stand." He grasped the sides of the podium. "I haven’t been this fit since football camp. And I am back. Back for good."

He paused to pour himself a glass of water. “I learned a lot in rehab. About bad habits, about how my friends were affecting my choices. About how I needed to move on and make better choices. And,” he said, patting his belly, “it’s clear I have.”

Rob raised his gaze, looking at the ceiling. A couple of the journalists also looked, but all they saw was a ceiling.

Tears began to form in Rob’s eyes. He blinked them back. “But I learned something else, a long time ago, from my dad.” He lowered his head and narrowed his eyes, and looked at every journalist there.

"He taught me to never quit. And now that I feel better than I have in years, I am going to take his advice."

Rob leaned forward. “No more Mister Nice Guy!” His face started turning red. “No more kid gloves! Rob Ford is back, and he’s back to take charge! No questions!”

Rob Ford’s bodyguards cleared a path. The doors to the room were then locked for ten minutes. Then twenty five journalists rushed out to try and report this however they could.

Filed under rob Ford welcome back