Monday, December 31, 2007

looking at the end of the year from outside the cave

so, here we are on the last day of 2007. it's been quite a year. 365 days - 51 blog posts - 1 play - several life lessons learned. am i cured of my cave dwelling ways? not fully, but it's getting better.

agreeing to direct the play for my producer/playwright buddy was a great choice. i got to spend time with talented, creative people and get my own talent in gear. it's a good thing to be able to do something i know i'm good at. i don't consider that bragging. in a world full of things i can't do (surf, scuba, paint a masterpiece, play the cello, etc...) it's a blessing to have a few things i can look at and say, "damn, i'm good".

several great home cooking recipes.

since i won't be kissing anyone at midnight, i will make do with cooking a meatloaf for dinner.

still, being out of the cave is a good thing.

in 2008 there are things i want to improve upon and/or accomplish:
- healthy activities (buy a good used bike and get out on the bike trails)
- keep losing weight (15 pounds gone so far, give or take a scone...)
- learn to play the guitar that mysteriously arrived at my door during the holidays
- budget my bucks better
- put some elbow grease into my home improvement list
- possibly learn how to knit a scarf
- make a few more new friends
- continue to try to be a good parent (always a challenge no matter what year it is)
- work on developing more producer contacts so i can direct more plays
- plan a vacation (actually hard to do for a cave dwelling homebody)

2007 was a tough year in some respects, a healing year, a year that needed to take place in order for more good things to happen. cheers, 2007. you may have had some bumpy days, but i think we made some advancements, too.

2008, here we come. let's do this up right.

new year's eve

At the sound of the tolling midnight bell
a brand new year will begin.
Let's raise our hopes in a confidant toast,
to the promise it ushers in.

May your battles be few, your pleasure many,
your wishes and dreams fulfilled.
May your confidence stand in the face of loss
and give you the strength to rebuild.

May peace of heart fill all your days
may serenity grace your soul.
May tranquil moments bless your life
and keep your spirit whole.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

psych test on a saturday morning

now that i know who i am i will go get coffee.

You are a Visionary
Your imagination, self-assuredness, and knowledge of the world combine to make you a VISIONARY.

You have clear notions of how things could be, and the confidence to try to make them that way.

You enjoy having a routine, and prefer comfort and familiarity to risk and adventure.

Not needing others' approval to forge ahead, you are confident in your designs for the future.

Your imagination allows you to envision the world as a better place.

You're better at thinking of the big picture than you are with details, and you can see wonder in abstract things.

Style and appearances are important to you, and you have a good eye for beauty.

You are somewhat rigid in your beliefs, which comes from both confidence and an aversion to change.

You are good at creating works of art in forms with which you're familiar.

You're not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

If you want to be different:

Appreciate the earthly, functional elements of things.

Your clarity of vision sometimes prevents you from being open to new ideas. Try expanding your horizon of experiences, and experimenting with novel ways of doing things.

how you relate to others
You are Encouraging
Your outgoing nature, understanding of others, and directness make you ENCOURAGING.

You want others to do well for themselves, and you generally believe in their abilities.

You often know what's good for people because of your caring nature and your worldview.

When you care about someone, you don't keep it to yourself: you are good at letting people know that you're thinking of them.

Because you trust people, you take violations of that trust very seriously.

You thrive in social situations, and even though you know who you like and who you don't like, you can interact well with many different types of people.

You have a healthy respect for people who have earned what they have, and you strive to be similar to successful others.

You are a loyal friend and a good listener.

If you want to be different:

Sometimes, in the course of being encouraging, you can be a bit judgmental—this can make it more difficult for others to follow your advice.

While you are an expert at getting the most out of the world and taking advantage of many experiences, you might gain some insight by taking the time to be alone, reflect on things, or just observe the goings-on in the world.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

show opens!

last night was opening night for our Christmas production entitled Eight Tiny... it's an evening of eight short plays written by local playwrights and produced by New Voices Playwrights Workshop in orange county. i've been lucky enough to have my producer buddy, John, ask me to direct for him. i've gotta tell you, on one level, it went really great! on another level, it sucked eggs.

remember how i was concerned about my actors getting completely off book and ready for performance? well, they pulled through with flying colors, creating funny, full, comedic characters with depth and levels that made the show full, not fluff. i was very proud of them. the thing that sucked eggs? technical issues. every single friggin light cue was wrong and the music was late. grrrr. the tech probs were apparently due to a broken dvd player, which housed the sound cues. the stage manager was so focused on the sound problem, the light cues were out of synch. i gotta feel for her, having problems with hardware in a live situation must have been horrible for her to experience. i'm sure they're working out those bugs this afternoon for tonight's gig.

even though the light cues were messed up, the show still got lots of laughs and i was very proud of my boys. sitting in the dark audience, watching my actors give birth to a brand new show, i was sweating buckets - much more than i ever have as an actress. i even had to go and wash my pits in the bathroom afterward!

i'll try to video tape the show tonight and upload it for you to see. fingers crossed on my own technical ineptitude, which i can't blame of hardware issues, only ignorance. if i do this successfully, it will be a part of Citizen of the Month's Christmahanukwanzaakah Holiday Concert. Many thanks and blessing to blogger Neil Kramer, for creating such a wonderful community forum. his blog is a treat to read. Go there on monday to experience his online holiday extravaganza and return often for more fun and great writing.

# # #
update. it's 11:59 p.m. and i can't find the software or driver to upload my video. can you believe i've never uploaded a video before and don't know where the software is? oy.

in lieu of the video, here's a picture of my actors, the playwright (in red sweater) and yours truly:

a home made ornament:

and our traditional home made poptart cottages:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Hug the ones you love.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

thoughts on the show

tonight is the first tech rehearsal for the christmas show. it's basically a meet and greet with the technical people and then running lights and sound, cue to cue.

my actors have the potential of being fantastic in their short play. the guy with the most experience (in film) seems to be the one holding up any real progress since he hasn't fully gotten off book. he's spread a bit thin doing showcases and background work in a paramount film. i'm assuming he'll be a late bloomer and miraculously be ready by final tech and opening. it just makes it hard to keep giving character notes and intricate bits and not see much progress in the pacing and timing of their argument when the momentum is killed with line problems. yesterday's rehearsal was supposed to be fully in character, but everyone broke character multiple times with dropped lines. i know this is to be expected at least once in a rehearsal period, but we've had very few opportunities to rehearse due to everyone's professional and work schedules.

this is a freebie production (actors are not paid) so i know it might not be their immediate priority, but it's their asses on the line if they screw up on stage. i want to see a clean performance with the nuances i've given them to make the audience laugh. that's my reward...getting the actor to a place where they have the audience engaged, laughing and enjoying their evening.

fingers crossed.