Archive for July, 2010

From the Editor’s Perch

July 29, 2010

"The Next Good Idea You Have May Be Irrational"

“Many large corporations, with hundreds of workers, who have their headquarters in Seattle, wall themselves off from salespeople by offering only one generic phone number, no mention on their website of who works there and a receptionist who, when you call, sends you directly to a ‘vendor’s voice mail’ before you can recall  hearing a “Hello!” 

So what do you do?  Especially, if you’re a salesperson and know that this company needs your product and/or pricing?

One of the things you can do is to call one of their out-of-state offices.  Then you ask whoever answers if they would direct you to the person who handles the purchasing and leasing of the product you offer.  They will usually tell you, (with such sadness in their voice!)  that this is ALL handled by their headquarters in Seattle.  So, you ask them (with a sigh) for the person who would handle it “there” – and they often will toss you a bone.  If they don’t, then you call another out-of-state office.  And “by the way,”  you also ask,  “Do they have a direct phone number?”  Often times they will give you that also.

A playwright’s mind is often like a large corporation.  It is often beset with a very large problem and does not want to be bothered.  And so it often walls itself off from considering just those ideas that it needs to perform its mission, by blocking all the ports of entry and interruption.  This can help to get you really stuck.

At readings, common feedback often reinforces these inclinations.  Listeners often recommend that the playwright cut this and/or that scene and/or authorial interruption from the script as they bear ‘no rational relationship to the narrative line’.  This is a great way to never find the story.  I support following up on those blips which seem out of context, or wholly divergent from where the story seems to be heading.  This is the authorial equivalent of calling Miami.  And it has a good rate of success.  ”

                                                                    – Carl Nelson

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Fashion with Chris

July 29, 2010

Editor’s Note:  This is the second in a several part Chris Mathews beach fashion festival series.

“Possibly the last payphone in town & my creditors STILL manage to find me! I didn’t spend a bundle on this ensemble. It was donated, baby!”

“Yes!  I AM wearing 3-D flip-ups, a Keith Richards t-shirt AND eating a watermelon bomb pop! No worries, it’s all completely & easily washable!! And, no. I haven’t seen your dog.”

Chris Turns on the Beach Heat

“Posing 101: complement your beachwear with a sassy bit of body language (hoping that no one will notice the beach umbrella stuck in your head. Ouch…)”

                                                         –  Chris Mathews

Photos by Carl Nelson

Artistic Director: Lynn Nelson

Work, Work, Work… by Rita Andreeva

July 27, 2010

Rita

 

Editor’s Note:  This beginning piece by Rita is a little long, but if you don’t let her complete her pitch, you just don’t know Rita.  Rita is a sort-of Seattle-based Harvey Pekar, with a bit more ambition.  She’s funny, unique, and gives a unvarnished account of what most artists think and suffer.  I don’t think Rita knows what ‘varnish’ is.  If you enjoy Rita’s voice, I’d buy her book.  You’ll just get more and more of her.  It’s really a fun read.

Backstage

“There is no fate more miserable than that of an artist in the modern world!
The word over-saturated with artists, who can’t even get their work looked at without having to pay a fee! You work, work, work, and you slowly die inside, because a need to share your art is eating you up. Because art not shared is like cancer in artist’s heart.
A modern playwright can’t even take up to the street and perform for change, he’d get arrested. And then there is the fact of making a living, doing something boring and detestable, while wanting the whole time to go paint or write!

I started out getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design, thinking that the word ‘industrial’ might mean that it will be easier to get a job as a designer. No, that didn’t happen, and I spent the next 25 years of my life working for a minimum wage in the service industry as a clerk, a receptionist or a sales person, and I sucked at all those jobs and hated them with passion.

Now, what did I try to sell my art? What didn’t I try…
I put up my paintings and drawings, and t-shirt designs on Myspace, Facebook and Imagekind, and even Tagged, in the hope that some guy will offer to buy something as an excuse to meet me, all without any result.
http://randreeva.imagekind.com
http://myspace.com/ritaandreeva
http://www.facebook.com/#!/randreeva
Not a single person bought anything, not a painting, or a print, or a t-shirt. I had people comment how much they liked my art, but no money. I made some illustrations, free of charge, of course, for a book about UFOs, see one of the book pages.

Then I put my books on Scribd and Lulu:
http://scribd.com/ritaandreeva
http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fSearchFamily=-1&fSearchData[author]=Rita+Andreeva&fSearchData[accountId]=34752&showingSubPanels=advancedSearchPanel_title_creator&showStorefrontLink=
I had a bunch of people look at them, but, so far, only Carl Nelson was gracious enough to buy a copy of my sci-fi novel after reading the first few pages on Scribd. (I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of the book.)

Then I exhibited a few paintings at Art Not Gallery in Seattle a year ago, I had to pay a $100 to exhibit them for a month. Again – no buyers.

Alien

I started writing short plays. There is a wonderful independent theater group in Seattle called Warp, which gives the local playwrights an opportunity to see their work performed on the actual stage.  Warp is made up of very talented, open-minded and forgiving people, and participating in its productions has kept me somewhat sane for the last five years. Of course, there is no money to be made by participating, we are all volunteers, but at least I can brag that my plays were performed in a theater, and some of them even come up in a Google search.

I also wrote four full-length scripts. One producer in NY (Huge Pictures) liked one of the scripts (Split Personality) and said he wanted to make it into a movie. He was sitting on the script for two years. Now the Huge Pictures company suddenly disappeared – I tried Googling it, and it wasn’t there. I wonder if the guy managed to sell the script…”

Recent Note:  (Hello, please modify the part where I said I couldn’t find Huge Pictures, I finally found the website, and it does still have my play split personality listed as In Development. To find it you have to type in Huge Pictures LLC otherwise it doesn’t come up.  Please include this in some post:
People, please go to http://huge-pictures.com/Home_Page.html
My script Split Personality has been on the ‘in development’ list forever, and now they are bypassing it again, saying that more people are interested in some other movie.
Please go to that site to the contact page and send them a message that you want to see Split Personality by Rita Andreeva on the screen!)

“I would produce my scripts myself, but I need a cameraman with a good HD camera and lots of free time. If you happen to know someone like that, please talk to him about me.

Then I got interested in video production, bought a used little Canon camcorder for $250 and a used Mac laptop for $600 and taught myself to film and edit. That turned out a little more lucrative than art, writing, or theater, but hasn’t covered my expenses, so far. I managed to win two prizes last year for two commercials I made: a third prize in the international London Festival in the amount of $500, and a second prize for a local KOMO contest. You can see them here:
http://www.mofilm.com/competitions/lff2009/    – AT&T commercial Cuppa Tea?
and the second one is among my commercials video portfolio at
http://zooppa.com/users/randreeva
I participated in the 2009 48 Hour Seattle Film Project, but I had to pay an entry fee of a $150 and didn’t win anything. Of course, that was to be expected, since I was only making videos for two and-a-half months prior to entering the festival. But it was fun. You can see the short film The Killer Dog on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-JMeuqQgI4

Then I thought, maybe if I took some programming classes I could finally get a job as a graphic designer or a web designer. So I took 45 credits of those classes at Seattle Central between January and June of 2010. Then I sent out letters and resumes to just about every design firm in Seattle area, offering to work for free until they feel like they want to pay me, but I received not a single response.

I made a website for my daughter’s new photography business, and am still working on another version of it: http://jeneva.zxq.net/studio   and    http://jeneva.zxq.net

Watching Her Daughter Perform

I made a website for Jessica Davis: http://jessicadavis.freehostia.com
and are in the process of making a few websites and blogs for myself:
http://ritaandreeva.freehostia.com/itc298
http://ritaandreeva.freehostia.com
http://andreevadesign.zxq.net
http://randreeva.wordpress.com

You can also see more videos on youtube: http://youtube.com/user/ritaandreeva

If you know anyone who might need a video, or a website, or a portrait painted, or a sound recording made, or might know someone who might know of a design job or a developing job or, really, any job, at this point, please speak to them on my behalf.

A truly starving artist,

Rita Andreeva”

Photos by Carl Nelson

Fashion With Chris

July 25, 2010

 

Editor’s Note:  For this summer issue, we asked Chris if he could take us to the beach.    This is the first of a several post report.

“I know you’re seeing the lovely lady in the large pink hat NOW, but the first thing your eye flew to was my protruding gut! This we were taught at Modeling Academy (or MA): to distract from more appealing sights, stick something out!!!  Works, don’t it? ”   

“Oooh, a man in a kilt. Nice legs, but, as in the song from that li’l ol’ band from Texas goes, does he “know how to use them”?”

“And HE DOES!!! Bend knee, right leg forward, bend left knee, left leg forward!!! (You’d be surprised how many models screw this up) And with no distractions, the gut is now covered & deflated!!! ”  – Chris

Photos by Carl Nelson

Artistic Director, Lynn Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

July 25, 2010

“When the competition is over, the Kings and the Pawns all go back in the same box.”

                                          –  Italian proverb

          

 

SUCCESS

From what I’ve been able to glean from Wikipedia, each fertilized human embryo represents a huge Oklahoma-like Land Rush representing an average 30 million sperm participants.  And the fellow/woman you’re looking at here, sleeping under this thin grey coverlet, represents the winner of such an event.  So think about this: each person you encounter every day has been enormously successful.  And I mean on the level of a Bill Gates.   

So what about this poor fellow/woman?  Well, my first thought would be that indeed, “winning IS everything”.  But, by that I mean, success in one sphere does not necessarily transfer well to another.  (i.e. that’s all it was, and now it’s gone.) 

In fact, we’re all has-beens.  It will be the very rare person who can replicate the success they had by just being born.  So, I think we shouldn’t be alarmed so much by failure… By being broke?  Well, yes.  Maybe a bit – or even a lot!   But I think each of us should get up each day and walk with our shoulders back and our head up – in light of the immense success we already are… even if you’re a little hungry and sleeping under a bridge.

                                         – Carl Nelson

Photos by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such by Jorj Savage

July 18, 2010

If You Watch A Lot of Plays...You Must Prepare Yourself Physically...As Well As Mentally

“THE GENTLE INSANITY OF DON QUIOXTE

I went to see this play at Taproot with my playwright friend Mari Salinas and we had standby comps which got us, by chance, front row seats in a sold out house.     I’d seen the original production of MAN OF LA MANCHA on Broadway back in the 60’s at Lincoln Center and last years staging at Sand Point.  This was differfent in that it was intimate and the ensemble cast worked together to act out the play within a play.  The theme of the idealist waging war with life as it is runs through my plays as well.  Someone demmands of Don Quioxte “See life as it is!”  His reply is one of my favorite speeches in all theater.  “I have seen life as it is…” he begins and he goes on to say he was soldier and held men in his arms as they died asking not why they must die but why they had lived. He ends by saying we must see life not as it is but as it ought to be. Every part was well played and they all had strong singing voices but my friend Mari particulary liked Don Darrly Rivera as Sancho Panza.”  – Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such by Jorj Savage

July 17, 2010

Jorj Often Has a Beer After a Good Show

“You get two shows for one this year and the show runs one more weekend at The Seattle Repertory Theater, Thursday thru Saturday at 8 with 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday.

BOX AND COX was a “chase comedy” from the 19th centry and I saw it done in 1965 at Virginia City, Montana with David Arkin in a leading role.  He is Alan Arkin’s cousin. Gilbert and Sullivan borrowed the story of two men who shared the same bed and didn’t know it becase one slept days and the other nights.  They reversed the names to COX AND BOX and substituted songs for chases and cut it to 40 minutes.

There is an intermission while that set is “flown’ and then the curtain rises on the deck of a ship for H.M.S. PINTAFORE. Talk shows host David Ross plays Dick Deadeye and John Brookes is in the plumb role of the suitor no woman would want for a husband.  So the story unfolds, played for some emotion, and the young lovers make a nice couple although Jenny Shotwell can probably break a glass when she gives it everything she’s got. There’s nearly 50 in the cast including the uncles and the cousin’s, he has them by the dozens.”

I found I knew many of the lines by heart and was carried along with the elderly crowd, carried back to an earlier time.

David Ross, in my opinion, could hold his own on Broadway and certainly in Congress but Seattle is lucky to have him getting us fireworks and sparking up Gilbert and Sullivan every year.”    –  Jorj

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such by Jorj Savage

July 16, 2010

Jorj Savage Heads Out

“11 at El Puerto 8 at Driftwoood

I go to plays with my playwright friend Donna, and tonight we joined 9 fellow playwrights and their partners and spouses at a popular Mexican Restaurant in Edmonds where they serve Margueritas.  Then we all moved up the street to the 220 seat “alternative stage” where, out of 87 one acts submitted, 8 had been chosen and produced.  There was a great variety of themes including terrorism, physical disabilities, the treatment of a brain injured Iraq vet and what a pitcher and catcher talked about when a World Series game is on the line.  I particularly liked Ann Teplick’s play about a husband who didn’t want to go to a family gathering because his wife’s cross dressing brother evoked feelings he wasn’t comfortable with.  Tickets are $10.   The show runs Saturday and Sunday with the audience voting a best play every night and the judges voting best play the last night.  www.driftwoodplayers.com.   Jorj”

Editor’s Note:  Celebrated actor/playwright Jorj Savage will be filing stories from his wanderings from time to time.  (Hear his one-time interview here also, on Schn00dle’s Blog.)

Photo by Carl Nelson

Audience Fashion

July 16, 2010

Chris Matthews Always Dresses for Success

“No, it’s not Dr. Demento— but just li’l ol’ me!!! The beard is referred to as a Van Dyke (though I doubt Dick or Jerry ever sported one) & is now retired (from my face, at least)… As for the shirt/scarf combo— do NOT utter the word “clash”. When you’re oohing & ahhhing at the Indepence Day fireworks, do you ever worry that the colorful explosions don’t exactly “go together”. No, of course not. You just ooh & ahhh, like a good patriot. Fashion favors the bold. If you’re worried what people will think about what you’re wearing, go naked. Oh, but don’t forget a tasteful hat: like the black porkpie style I’m rockin’…”

                                              – Chris Matthews

Editor’s note:  Chris will be filing fashion updates from the theatre scene from time to time.

Photo by Carl Nelson


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