Friday, March 31, 2006

I'm in the Post! I'm Famous!

In the Sunday 26th Washington Post, this ad appeared:

The picture is from the prologue of the show. The guy furthest right is me (with added-on moustache and goatee. The eyebrows, though, are all natural). Here's me close-up:

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ju suis l'omelette du frommage

My apologies to all my adoring fans . . . and anyone else who reads this blog . . . anyone? . . . . For the lack of update. Lame Excuse: always tired / don't have a fun picture ready / don't know if anyone's reading this / my pinky hurts (okay, the last one isn't true, but I did recently get a cut on my hand during a run of the show because of a partly broken prop. I told someone I was getting a Jesus complex, so I was starting to develop stigmata).

Fear not! I'll get back to it. In the short term, I have a couple of recent dreams for you: 1) I dreamed that Scott Bakula was directing a show. I wasn't in the show, but I was understudying all the roles -- which was odd even in the dream, because I'm a union actor, but all the roles were non-union. Nobody would explain this to me in the dream. Also, Scott wanted me to make a "prop" spinal cord, and he wanted me to make it out of a 2x4 that he handed to me. 2) In this dream, Richard Frederick (a castmember, who portrays the Marauder) couldn't be there for a show, so his understudy had to go in for him. BUT . . . (in the dream) . . . Richard also had a solo number at the beginning of Act 2, and it was suddenly decided that I was to cover the song. For this solo I had to dress as a Frenchman, with a curly wig and thin moustache. And I was to walk on the beach when I sang. I was very concerned, because I didn't know the song and no one had ever given me the music for it.

And there you go. Analyze that, I DARE YOU!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Kiwa hirsuta

You may have heard by now there's a new crustacean in town: Kiwa hirsuta. It is also dubbed the "Yeti Crab," which is just about right. Check it out: .

Today is my day off. SHENANDOAH is in tech rehearsals now, so we're finally on the stage. It's wild -- there's hills on the stage steep enough to slide down, which I get to do, during the show. While carring a rubber rifle. What a life. But today is a much needed day off -- we've been working and reworking a lot of the more physical aspects of the show, and I ache all over. Previews start in 4 days, and we open in 9. Woohoo!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Today rehearsal went . . . fine . . . but I felt like I was running of 5 cylinders out of 6 (not 3 of 4 or 7 of 8; 5 of 6). And I didn't have as much fun as I should have. Really, I play dress up for a living! It should be fun!

So, for tomorrow's rehearsal, I plan to ask myself, WWJD? No, not that J. This J:

That's right, tomorrow, I plan to bring a bit of Jack to work.

You should try it. Tell your boss that you brought Jack.

No fish fashion here.

Today we had a fairly easy rehearsal. It was an evening rehearsal, and most of us only had to be there for the last hour-and-a-half to work on music. But the change of pattern in the schedule made us, uh, a bit unfocused. Take "regular folk" and give 'em all ADD -- that's what actors are like. This could be an interesting week: we're gearing up for tech rehearsals and orchestra rehearsals, and the schedule will get wonky for the next few days.

Meanwhile, here's some good things to know:

1) Exercise is good for your brain --

2) Fish and turmeric (a curry spice) are also good for the brain (if you eat them; there was nothing in the study analyzing the effects of wearing fish or turmeric) --

3) FREAKY -- Ambien (a prescription-only sleeping pill) may be linked to "sleep-driving" --

Monday, March 06, 2006

Great Scott!!

I suppose I should comment on Scott Bakula, who plays Charlie Anderson in SHENANDOAH. Scott, for those of you who don't know (and even for those of you that do), starred in the TV shows QUANTUM LEAP and ENTERPRISE. He did a few other things as well, but that's what he's most known for.

It turns out that Scott's a good guy. We had rehearsed for a week-and-a-half before he joined us. His first rehearsal was a fight rehearsal, and he jumped in just like a professional should. The scene that he and I "share" is very fun for me -- Scott looks me in the eye, and he reacts to what I give him (hopefully I return the favor). He has never given any sense that he is above us. I don't want to sound like I'm fawning -- he simply behaves like a pro should, and his fame doesn't seem to have gone to his head.

Meanwhile . . . I am really enjoying reading about quantum mechanics (and didn't realize until just this moment about that similarly-named show Scott was in). I like it because it's kinda magical in how it works. Because, in its smallest details, we live in a wild, wild, wild universe. Technically, according to QM, I could walk right through a cement wall. Really, it's not impossible; it's really, really, really, really unlikely, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE! I can't test this idea myself right now because I'm, uh . . . busy . . . but if anyone out there would like to give it a go, please feel free. Let me know if you have any success.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A New Theory of Everything

Hoo, boy.

So, there's some familial, uh, entertainment going on -- the husband (though hopefully for not much longer) of a family member has finally revealed some less than admirable qualities . . . involving cocaine, crack (probably), bad checks, thievery of credit card numbers, and, worst of all, some heavy-duty spousal abuse. There had been some suspicions that he was a bad seed, but nothing as impressive as this. The stories that I have heard reach such levels of absurdity that it's difficult to imagine someone actually being this way.

The good news (?) is that now this is a known thing, and he is being monitored and kept at "arm's length."

Add to this that I've discovered that Scott (Bakula, the star of SHENANDOAH), Jeff (the director), and Evan (one of the performers) all love the TV show "Project Runway" (on Bravo). Jenny loves it, too. I can't stand it.

Meanwhile, I've been reading "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. A good book, though not a fast read. First, he explains the theory of relativity and what it implies. That is difficult, though not impossible, to wrap one's head around. Now I'm reading about quantum mechanics. Woof. Fortunately, Greene starts off by saying that you shouldn't be worried if you don't "get" QM, because even those who specialize in it don't really get it. Here's a good description of QM: imagine if the master designer of all things subatomic was Pablo Picasso. With Salvador Dali covering PP's days off. (Favorite sentence from TEU: "This is wierd.")

So today I have come up with my own theory: The universe is a piece of jazz music, being played by an infinitely large band with all the instruments that mankind has and has not imagined, and the band leader is Miles Davis.

That's right. God isn't the big, white, old, bearded guy on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He's a little guy with a raspy voice, dark skin, really amazing eyes and a trumpet.

If you really consider my theory for a moment, you should see that it makes a lot of sense. As much as anything.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Introducing Ernst Trent Malby

Since our big fight day, rehearsals went much more easily. Today it's almost absurd: I have the day off. Little bits are being worked, and none of them involve me. I must say, while it's nice to have a bit of free time (so I can look around the apartment and look at the stuff that needs doing, and then avoid it entirely), I enjoy working. Sometimes just because it makes me feel valuable.

Yesterday we had a good sized break during rehearsal, long enough for me to swing by the Woolly Mammoth theatre and audition. I performed a monologue from DADDY KNOWS BESS by Trent Malby. In this monologue, the character Sam confronts his wife, Harriet, with his recently found knowledge that she originally slept with him because of a bet she lost in high school (which caused a pregnancy and a lousy marriage), and that she is currently having an affair with the poolboy. Sam then uses this information as leverage, proposing that Harriet have have a second child with Sam, for him to raise. Trent Malby ( full name: Ernst Trent Malby) by the way, is a pseudonym. He is me. Well, more accurately, I am him. As far as I can tell, he's a fun guy who enjoys being a touch subversive. And he's a good writer, although my opinion may be a touch biased. Anyhoo, they seemed to like the monologue. It was a satisfactory audition.

News worth knowing: there are electric cars (with lithium-ion or lead acid batteries) being made now that'll do 0 to 6 in as little as 3.6 seconds. 3.6 SECONDS! This ain't your daddy's golf cart! They're still too expensive (hundreds of thousands of $) and not practical for long distance (ranges of a couple hundred miles), but think of this: just a couple of decades ago, the most sophisticated yet affordable computer was Atari, with Pong and Breakout. Give this another decade or two. Check out this link: