Archive for September, 2012

Murders In Progress

September 29, 2012

Barn Birds

Cow Birds

(Episode 5)

‘Sound suppressor’…, Bob swished this around in his brain, taking another swig of cold beer.  That’s what the guys down at the gun shop had preferred to call them, but Bob didn’t know.  They were kinda nerdy and over-educated… one of ‘em wearin’ special glasses and glancing real close at things.  Ever since he’d been a kid glued to the TV it had been a  “Silencer”.

He supposed he had all afternoon to decide whichever: ‘Silencer or Sound Suppressor’.  Or longer than that.  He could take longer.  Sure he could.  He could take as long as he wanted.  ‘A guy with a Sound Suppressor is his own man,’ Bob figured as he shot another cow bird off the peak of his barn.

“This sound suppressor sure works.  Used to be with one shot, the birds  ‘ould spook, and he’d had to wait a coon’s age for another’n,” Bob said to his imaginary buddy in the empty lawn chair nearby.   “An’ then one more shot an that’n ‘ld spook!  It made for a long afternoon and a lotta beer.  But with this here sound suppressor,” he popped off another round after setting his beer carefully and sighting like a sniper, “they just fell of the peak of that roof like they was in a shootin’ gallery and he wuz takin’ all the stuffed teddy bears like they wuz just handin ‘em out.”  Bob grinned, so pleased with himself an’ full of beers, that he fully imagined his imaginary buddy grinning back.   ‘Damn!  I like this thing,’ Bob thought, ‘even though it don’t make no noise, to speak of.’  Harriet stuck her head out of the house to say something, and Bob pointed the gun at her… just in fun.  And she pulled her head back in.

And after about “Number 15” cow bird bit the dust, Bob decided that Sound Suppressor was what he was going to call it, ‘nerdy’ or not.   ‘It would make it sound more technical, like them boys down at the gun shop, and it might even impress Stan,’ thought Bob.  ‘Who could be mighty hard to impress, havin’ shot a bunch of people an’ all, an’ gotten away with it.  ..an’ probably raped several.’  Bob licked his lips… and felt that tingling in his groin.

‘Man, we is livin’ fast, ‘ thought Bob.  ‘Drinkin’ beer, killin’ cow birds, usin’ a silen… Sound Suppressor!’   Bob grinned wildly at his imaginary buddy again.

Ever since he had happened upon Stan his life had improved in so many ways, he could hardly sit still.   “A person wouldn’t normally think meeting a serial killer would have that effect on your life,” Bob explained to his imaginary buddy.   ‘But that seemed to be the way it was.  Nobody seemed to want Bob around for nothin’ nohow.  An’ now all of a sudden he’s got just about the most unusual friend ever.’  Bob shot another cowbird, (Number 16),  ‘leavin’ nothin’ but a puff of feathers.’  “Damn.”  Both Bob and his imaginary buddy just couldn’t get the shit eatin’ grins off of their faces.  They just kept looking at each other, turning away, and then looking back at each other again.

“There’s just the smallest whiff of a pop! an’ then thet cowbird was nothin’ but feathers,” is how Bob would explain it to Stan later, with his palms open to emphasize, after they’d finished eatin’ – with his silent wife keeping her own counsel – over the emptying dinner table dishes.  ‘Ya just couln’t get her excited over nothin’.’

‘Well, not entirely silent,’ Bob corrected himself, recollecting the event.

“You point that there gun there at me again, an’ you’re goin’ to encounter someone shootin’ BACK, Sound Suppressor or no,” Harriet had said with an angry twist of her head.  “An’ I won’t be aimin’ to miss.’

“You gonna take that from her?”  Stan said, once Harriet had stomped her way into the other room, carrying a load of dishes, after first spearing Stan with her gimlet eye.  Which gave Bob a little chill watching Stan.  Bob could tell Stan hadn’t liked it.

“Well.  Yeah.  I guess so,” Bob said.

“You gotta understan’ how marriages work.”  Bob defended himself to Stan later, trailing him up into the hired hand’s loft. “It’s a little give here, and a little give there that makes the whole thing work.”

Stan snorted, but never looked up from this plexi-glass case of curios and specimens ‘or somethin’ or other’ he seemed to prize so highly, ‘from the look of it,’ thought Bob.

“Plus, she’s a good cook and a good worker,” Bob added, while thumbing through some yellowed and stained bondage magazines, after several more minutes of rumination.  “Plus…”  Bob stopped turning the pages.  “The durn woman can shoot the nose off a squirrel!”

Stan glanced up, a quizzical look appearing on his face.

Photo by Carl Nelson

 

 

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From the Editor’s Perch

September 28, 2012

Keeping our head straight; thinking right…

Photo of Actor/Playwright John Ruoff by Carl Nelson

Murders in Progress

September 24, 2012

Episode (4)

Does the Name Nancy Loomis Mean Anything?

          “Does the name Nancy Loomis mean anything?”

          “Sir, do you have some information you wish to share with the Kimmel County Sherriff’s Bureau?”

          Ruth liked the word ‘Bureau’ better than the word ‘Office’.  It sounded vaguely Federal which, she felt, gave it more ‘Oomph’.  Sheriff Leland didn’t.  But then again, Sherriff Leland never answered the phones.  So Ruth figured the two of them were whoever she said they were. 

          “I don’t know.”  Ramey was on a disposable cell phone he had picked up in the city.  He had a box of them.  After watching all of the TV shows he figured one could come in handy.  And he had been right.  He couldn’t have these calls traced back to a practicing dentist.  That could cause all sorts of difficulties.  “I’m not certain, I mean.”  Ramey was looking out his car window at a flower stand.  He was working his way, left to right, through the various hanging baskets of assorted flowers, slowly pronouncing the name of each.  This seemed to keep the flashes of horrible imagery, terrible things really, from overwhelming his thoughts.  “Petunia,” he said softly.  “Chry-san-themum”…

          “Sir, you’ll have to speak more loudly,” Ruth said in her Passive Aggressese, getting a bit annoyed.  After all, this was Federal Business.

          “I don’t know!”  Ramey shouted.  Then tried to calm himself, moving onto the next hanging basket of florals.  “Begonia…  I mean, I’m not sure.”

          “What information is it that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  Ruth said again, mustering all of her authority.  These ‘informants’ were so flakey.  She had often told Sherriff Kimmel, ‘sometimes I wish we could just haul them in and beat it out of them with a rock!’, which had gotten a laugh.  But she also wondered if Sherriff Leland hadn’t become a pussy.  After all, she was the one in the trenches. “Is there information that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  She growled more loudly, “…sir.”

          “I don’t know.  I mean, I’m not sure if I do or not.  If the name Nancy Loomis means anything to you, that is, if it figures in a current, by that I mean an, on-going investigation, then, I figure, I do.”

          “I know what current means, Ramey,” Ruth said, finally discarding all of her patience.

          Ramey looked at the cell phone as if he had been cheated.  He had asked the fellow in the city directly: ‘Is this phone traceable?’

          “How do you know my name?” Ramey asked, the disbelief creeping into his voice.

          “You’re my dentist!” Ruth barked.  “Everybody around here knows your name Ramey.”

          Ramey flushed.  “Well fine, then!”

          “What is it you want Ramey?  … for the fourth time.”

          “I need to know if the name Nancy Loomis, figures in any way into your investigation,” Ramey’s voice trailed off softly, “of the recent murders…”

          “I’m sorry sir, but ….”

          “Ruth, it’s me, Ramey!”

          “And I told you, I know who you are, RAMEY.  But we can’t reveal any information on an ongoing INVESTIGATION.”

          “Well then, for Pete’s sake! Ruth.  Just tell me if the name Nan-cy Loo-mis  figures in any way in what is currently happening in the investigation.”

          “That would be to reveal information.  This phone is for incoming information: tips and leads only.  Now if you would like to leave a tip or a lead, or any other information you may have or know of relating to the current INVESTIGATION, I would be happy to write it down and relay it to Sherriff Leland.  Do you have any of that information?”

          “I don’t know!”

           “Well then, perhaps you could call us back when you do know, sir.”

          “That’s not my job, that’s your job,” Ramey pointed out.

          “Are you phoning to tell me my job Ramey?”  Ruth’s voice went from Passive Aggressive Bureaucratese to actively hostile in a quick second.  Which was a relief, Ramey felt.

          Ramey quickly said the names of three more flowers.

          “Okay, Ruth.  Let’s do it this way.  You’re into me for $300. of past dental work on two old fillings with a deteriorating crown coming up that could fracture any second, given the nature of this ‘fractious’ conversation.  Now do you really want to give the only practicing dentist within 50 miles – as the crow flies – trouble?”

          “Are you trying to threaten a Federal officer, sir?!”

          “YES!” was Ramey’s curt reply.  You didn’t stay in a dental practice long without learning to play trump.

          Ruth ground her teeth, then stopped, remembering what Ramey had just said.  Then Ramey could hear her polished nails clicking on the desk as she thought it through.  The one with the big phony rock on it struck loudest and last.

          “Okay Ramey,” Ruth said.  “I’ll give Sherriff Leland the message.”

          The finger with the big rock on it struck once again.  Then, dial tone…  Ramey smiled.  Sherriff Leland was a patient with a lot of gum problems.  He’d get back.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Murders in Progress

September 22, 2012

Editor’s Note:  Publishing editorials always awakens my urge to publish murders…  Here is episode 3, hot off the pen of Eldon Cene.

Cow Noir

(Paranoia & Guilt with a Rural Backdrop: Episode 3)

 

Stan knew that he had killed all of those women.  But how did the cows know?

It made him angry the way women could insinuate themselves into his most personal thoughts.  Nothing was sacred.  They had to look, and observe, and turn it over… ruminate over every LITTLE thing, from some little light-hearted comment, to an upturned gaze, to even a breath that was a just a SHADE deeper than the rest…  and it was like his mind was a picnic basket for them to rummage through!  He inhaled the last puff from his smoke, as he looked out across the shit speckled pasture he’d stopped to look out over to calm himself.  Bad choice!  Stan knew what perversities and abominations such a ruminating and placid demeanor could revel in revealing, and he hadn’t wanted any part of it.  But here they were everywhere…  F#$king cows!

He flicked his cigarette butt at the most condemning of them and the dumb old milker didn’t even budge.  ‘They deserve to be extinct!’  He thought.  He briefly considered killing them – and butchering them too.  But Bob’s wife wanted him to pick up some milk

He supposed he’d better.

Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

September 16, 2012

Our Monolithic Local Theater

As a playwright of 15 years experience, I’ve become conditioned to having my the hairs on the back of my brain stand up whenever I hear a theater worker gush about how much they respect playwrights.  I imagine it’s something in the realm of how an African-American reacts wherever someone remarks, “Oh, I just love Black people!”  They suspect that somewhere in this person’s experience there has been a great black maid… truly one of the family

Because my experience in the Theater has been that most theaters like their playwrights either dead or out of town.  Directors will declare it can’t “be done” that way.  Dramaturges will insist that ignoring their advice is tantamount to intentionally blemishing their career.  And the Producers will say that if they do not get their way, although they love the play so much!! the production will be cancelled; the play will be dropped.  If the playwright is not dead, or out of town – they may soon want to be.

 This is because most mid to high end theater nowadays is not creative.  They are production entities.  They are like the copyists of the old-time Louvre.  Known, established hits of the recent season are imported, and the theaters’ job is not to fuck them up.  The critics report on how well they have done this.  “Yes!  In this production they magically recreate the flair of Titian’s brushwork.”  It’s educational.

Copyists

 WELL, all that has changed!  according to a recent article in the Seattle Times by theater critic Misha Berson:  “Move over, coffee: It’s playwrights’ day in the sun in Seattle”.  The larger theaters all say so!  And, apparently, it’s all come upon us quite suddenly.   

 Three months ago in a meeting of the Dramatists Guild at the ACT Theater, representatives from the Rep, ACT, Issaquah’s Village Theatre, and the 5th Avenue, announced that they were now intent upon establishing playwriting entities within their theater’s organizations in order to foster the creation, work shopping and perhaps production of New Plays.  

I asked them a number of questions then.  First, why all of a sudden?  Local playwrights have been doing everything short of tossing bombs at their doors for the past 15 years of my experience in an effort to make just this sort of thing happen.  Their non-committal answer was just a general shrug and a few general statements to the effect that, the time seems to be right, or it seems to be what is currently in the air.

Well, who can really say?

 (This writer suspects that it is the money.  You want to understand any organization, you follow the money.  And major theater in this town has seen patrons and income steadily decrease in numbers over the past many years.  At the next Dramatists Guild meeting the Artistic Director of another major theater in the area said that she had had to let all of her assistants go.  If this is true throughout the industry, then the next jobs to be lost are going to be those of the very people who were  speaking to us.  This can be a motivator.

 

But why, suddenly, are they so chummy with Playwrights?  WE haven’t any money.  Trust me. 

 I suspect it’s either due to a major change in grant or funding priorities among the philanthropic entities, though your erstwhile reporter here has come up blank.  Perhaps they are just getting desperate and are casting about wildly in their death throes like large animals.  Or perhaps, when you take the money away, people become creative… or at least open themselves up to the idea.)

 Well, part of the answer is that they are not really chumming up.  They are allowing the playwrights into their theater.  When asked the benefits of this, the lone playwright of the group who was part of this newly hatched program said, “Well, I get to talk to other playwrights.”  He thought for a while.  “And I get to use the copy machine.”

Let’s see. “I get to use the copier machine.”

(Hallelujah!  I thought.  I have to say, this whole charade was getting me pissed.)

 They all made it very clear that they were not just opening the theater doors ala carte.  They planned to contact select writers with invitations.  These writers would then be allowed to work and talk with other writers somewhere on the theater grounds.  And out of all of this, if the powers that be deemed the product of sufficient quality –  some portion of this would at some point have scheduled readings – when they could be arranged, if the budget was there for them.  And hopefully from this might come some productions.  (Smiles all around.)

 (I was steaming.  ‘I could scratch something out today, have it read down at the Odd Duck tonight, and in a show there, or in the TPS Theater by the end of the next month!’  My ears were blowing smoke.   ‘And all without having budgeted a dime’.  A street person could DO this.)

 And in case they had qualms about the dubious quality of such work coming out of a rundown place such as the Odd Duck?  I would remind them that the two playwrights they so prized, and had produced upon their own stages, and had been just now passing congratulations back and forth about – had passed through just such a scenario at the Odd Duck, in years past, themselves.)

 So I asked them, “Why not just save your selves a lot of time and effort and money and just cut to the chase?  Go see the shows produced around here which have done well and give them a leg up?”

 (I didn’t add, “Because that’s what you do already!)

 It was not just a question of quality, was their answer.  It was also finding the show which was right for their theater.

 “But in ten years you haven’t yet found a show which was right for your theater?” I asked.

 Believe us, we’ve looked, was their answer.

 (This kind of shit just makes your jaw drop.)

 “But Joe Boling, an independent fellow who had tried to see how much theater he could attend within the Seattle area within a year, by attending every day… (They all nodded their heads and smiled.  They all knew the guy.)  …found he couldn’t see all of the productions, within a year, there were so many!  You couldn’t find one success out of all of those produced scripts, over the past 10 years which was suitable?”  I asked again.

??????

Believe us, we’ve looked, was their answer. 

They didn’t blink.  They didn’t break ranks.  You’ve got to hand it to them, when it comes to p0litical playbook, these folks know their way around.  They appear when they are invited, and then they come bearing gifts – to mute any criticism which might rear its ugly head.  That would be unseemly.  And it had muted me.  What I should have continued on to ask was this:

(“Let me phrase this question another way – since it seems you have to be hit on the head with a big stick!   If local theater producing new, local plays has created audience with a series of hits – while your theaters have been steadily losing audience…  Wouldn’t it be more logical to say that perhaps your theatre is not ‘right’ for this town?”)

 But they propped their sagging tits of an argument up this time with a few anecdotes about how time consuming and taxing watching new theater could be.  Which led to the condolences passed amongst themselves, (they were all on good relations), regarding sacrifices that a person makes for the theater… 

 So I figured that was enough questions from me for a while.  Since no other playwrights attending followed up on my queries, I just sat and simmered. 

 The other playwrights asked questions about how one became picked by a theater; how one should best submit their work to the theater, and on and on; just dogs, basically, who were sitting on their hind legs asking politely what the protocol was to be for chasing the bone.  And one thing the panelists agreed upon was that there was no equation to give!  They were looking for quality, and then something which tugged at their heart.  But one thing we could do was to research the theater we were sending our scripts to.

 (A little background here:  The Dramatists Guild recently supported a study of the state of live theater in this country, which caused somewhat of a sensation when it came out around a year ago.  Not only was it shocking how little even quite ‘successful’ playwrights made from their theatrical productions (not even close to a livable income).  What struck closest to many of us (especially me!) was the finding that there were no scripts produced in major theaters around the country from mailings.  The playwrights in all cases that were produced had a personal relationship with that theater.)

 For example, said the fellow from the largest theater.  If I receive a script and it has blah, blah, blahs name on it.  I know that that person hasn’t researched our theater at all, because they haven’t been the literary manager here in several years.  So into the round file it goes…

“You’re kidding me. The guy thinks HE’s still the Literary Manager?”

 (The arrogance of these people just twists me in knots.  At ten cents a sheet, the playwright may have spent $12.00 for the copy, another several dollars for the binder, maybe $3.00-$6.00 for the postage, and then double that amount for the return envelope and postage.  This is not to mention the year (or years) and turmoil spent to write it.)

 So I had to ask:  “So, after you have produced a new play, how do you go about selling it to the other major theaters.  Do you just make sure you get the names correct and mail it to them?” 

 (And even though a person would need be an idiot not to suspect the answer, they were either too blindsided, arrogant or stupid not to suspect I was being arch.  Because they said…)

 Oh no, no.  We try in every way we can to get them here to see it!!! 

 About this they all agreed.

 And then it was pretty much over.  I left without speaking.  If I did start talking, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stop.  And also, it was pretty clear that neither the panelists nor the other playwrights were much interested in what I might have to say, might be.

 But to finish up, I think I’ll just say what I have to say right here:

 I agree with Jon Jory (founder of the Humana Festival) that the future of live theater is probably at the amateur, semi-professional level of production.  What I see happening here are the deaths throes of a large, monolithic creation which is currently stumbling under its own weight, and fighting to retain what employment there is.  Large theater as we know it is going down… It’s getting re-sized, re-packaged.  Who knows, maybe even chopped up for its parts…

 (An administrator’s head… maybe an arm?   Here’s a thumb.  Maybe get it bronzed?  Ha, ha.)

 But theater as it’s about to be will be coming to your block.  And who knows?  Maybe soon.

And more about that, later. 

Photos by Carl Nelson of Person and Actors whose sentiments may very well not be mine.

Seattle Celebrity News!

September 12, 2012

Ollie’s Day Out has found it’s legs in actor Arthur Goodman

OLLIE Keeps Going!

Actor Arthur Goodman, who played the role of OLLIE BROWNSTONE in The Dangerous Theater’s production of Ollie’s Day Out recently, likes the play so much he’s touring it to the “over 55” communities in his Denver area.  So – to the delight of his contemporaries – our OLLIE, spindly 84 year old legs, pee stains and all, continues to teach that younger man PAUL a thing or two about talking to a blonde in a bar!   And Actor Arthur Goodman seems to relish the job.  Arthur reports that the play has been “greeted with enthusiasm”.   And he plans to keep performing it.

With 3 actors and one minimal set, Ollie’s Day Out, is a breeze to travel – with a role any elderly thespian with an urge to perform can chew their way through.  Plus, you get to woo a lovely young woman every evening and drink!  If you’re an elderly actor who’s still able to hobble up onto the stage – and hasn’t kicked the urge – this could be the play vehicle for you.  Just contact our office here at Seattle Celebrity News! for script rental and arrangements.  Our secretary is standing (well, sitting, kind of…) by.

Eager to take your calls!

Photo by Carl Nelson

Seattle Celebrity News!

September 12, 2012

Francisco Menendez Directs

Film Release Today!

Fransisco Menedez – the director whose interview appeared right here in Seattle Celebrity News!  about 2 years ago – has just released his latest work… which looks to be a big budget, glitzy, hollywood type thing called Stealing Las Vegas.  It should be available for streaming on Netflix, I Tunes and Amazon now

Working in Seattle on The Divine Marigolds

Here is a photo of Fransisco, in the midst of a cold outdoor evening shot, taken in West Seattle while he was up here working on The Divine Marigolds about 2 years ago, when we last spoke…  To hear his interview, taken at the time, go to:  (https://schn00dles.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/seattle-celebrity-news-7/)

(Photo by Carl Nelson)

Travelling Expenses

September 9, 2012

Editor:  Paul’s film is nearing completion.

Setting of the Scene

“Room 13 is in final edit. All cast and crew have been paid and the final cut is now a month away. From there it will go to a local studio for credit roll and graphics. It should hit festivals early next year. Thanks for you patience and support friends. It has been a tough road back.. But I did discover who my friends were. Film at 11…”  – Paul Eenhoorn

Photo by Unknown

Seattle Celebrity News!

September 8, 2012

Champagne and Duck (well… chicken) Were Served

SAVE THE DUCK! BENEFIT IS A BIG SUCCESS!!

Warp Productions has done it again, with a big save for the Odd Duck.  Hundreds of dollars  were reportedly made.  Culture (and duck) was served.  And all sorts of luminaries were there, both onstage and off.  Here are a few of the highlights:

Photos by Carl Nelson

Travelling Expenses

September 8, 2012

Editor’s Note:  Our hero Paul is beginning to pixilate…

“I have been feeling uneasy lately… It seems that as I get closer to my goals I feel more isolated.. I have some really good stuff in the can and deals on two of the four shot and another to shoot in December. I am a phone call kind of guy…

, I love voices. I can tell how life is by voices but i don’t hear any these days. Are we all so busy? Is a text really a human communication? My state of mind reminds me of a quote from Mandela I think and used in Coach Carter.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

I have played small to fit in and all it did was make me sick.. still, maybe comfort zones are where we all belong…. but not me…”  – Paul Eenhoorn

 
Photo by Unknown

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