Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Most of you who know about this blog right now don't know the person I'm going to tell you about, but I want you to hear about him anyway. His name is Colin Arrick. He died a few days ago.

Christmas of 2002 and 2003, I was in Cripple Creek, CO, performing the role Thomas Crocket (based on Bob Cratchett) in A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol. Colin played Young Gooch (based on the young Scrooge). I believe Colin was around 15-17 at this time. In the summer of 2003, I believe it was, Colin went to Stagedoor Manor, a "theatre training program" for kids, mostly teens, where I was working as a director and instructor. He took my swordfighting class.

A couple of days ago my friend Chris Armbrister called me and told me the news. He said, even though I don't believe any of us ever knew, that Colin was at risk of epileptic seizures, and that perhaps this was the cause.

Here's what I want you to know about Colin: he was a really good kid. He was very dependable, and was always fun. He was one of our go-to guys if something needed to be covered quickly. I remember when he covered for Chris Sorensen as the voice of Franco the monkey, he did a really good job. He was funny! When he took my swordfighting class, he was the only one I trusted with the weapons. I remember watching him play chess in a coffeeshop with a friend. I remember wondering if he was interested in / dating one of the teenage girls in the cast. I rembember we occasionally gave him a good-spirited hard time, and he gave it to us, too.

It's not right, but then that's not the way the world is. That's something we try to bring to the world. Colin should have gone on to . . . what? Go to college, pursue a dream, fall in love, become a dad, grow old. Maybe he would have become a leader or a teacher or a coach, he certainly had it in him. He was an excellent young man.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tennis and Gender

I just caught an article in the NYTimes that says, "For the first time, the women's champion and men's champion will be paid equally" at the French Open. At first glance, that seems like "Yeah, sure, that's how it should be, equal pay." But: in Grand Slams, the women's game is best 2 out of 3 sets, the men's game is best 3 out of 5. So the men have to work a lot harder to get the same dough. The minimum number of sets for men equals the max for women. Also, because the women's game doesn't require the same endurance or the same amount of time, many of the women that play singles will also play doubles, which means they can make more money than the men in the tournament.
I've read about a number of women players demanding equal pay, but they never seem to demand equal play! Why not? Make the prizes equal and change the grand slams to best 2 of 3 or to best 3 of 5 (3 of 5 is my fave, but I like games of stamina) for all players. Until that happens, I don't see how there is equality.
Go ahead and make a comment, if you like. I'm up for a debate.
Some links:
  • NYT article
  • Sharapova article
  • SI.CNN readers reactions
  • Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Fishing and Soymilk

    I'm currently drinking coffee with some soymilk instead of regular milk. It seems to give it a slightly nuttier taste (go ahead, make a joke, you know you wanna).

    [And thanks to "proofreader" -- your moniker looks familiar for some reason -- for the comment from May 22, re Shenandoah backstage. I'd forgotten how interesting backstage theatricals can be, so I'll try to talk more about that with future shows, whenever those may be . . . .]

    In the news: Ken Lay and Andrew Skilling have been found not just guilty, but WAY guilty. Good. Lay's defense of "just because I was in charge doesn't mean I had any clue what was going on" didn't fly. Hopefully this translates into more prison time than for someone caught smoking pot (cuz they caused a lot more harm). No link, cuz this news is easy to find.

    From NewScientist: getting a good night's sleep isn't just good for you, it can help you lose weight (or: not gain it):

    And here's a silly drawing I did during the run of Shenandoah :

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006


    I was originally going to post a picture of an "architectural model" of an ant "nest," made by pouring orthodontic plaster down an ant hole (I originally read about this on BoingBoing). But I thought this (from NewScientist) was cooler (more cool?) -- a robot version of a gecko:

    It's called a Stickybot. And it sticks to walls and other surfaces the same way a real gecko does, using "an intermolecular force called the van der Waals force" (vdW force is neat stuff, but I'm not going to try to explain it right now, lest people's eyes glaze over). Stickybot comes from Stanford U., and the article also mentions that "The Pentagon is interested in developing gecko-inspired climbing gloves and shoes." The Pentagon, heck! I want some of those!

    But if you still want to see ant nest, which is pretty wild on its own, go here:

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    The Sun Sets on Shenandoah

    Oops. Carl noted that I didn't mention what my callback was for on 5/15. It was for The Foreigner at the Olney Theatre. I read for Froggy and Charlie. My Froggy reading was good; my Charlie wasn't anything special. I haven't heard back from them re further callbacks, and the grapevine has it that casting has been finished for that show. 'S okay -- I felt a bit young for Froggy, and perhaps they felt the same. Meanwhile . . . .

    Shenandoah closed yesterday. I don't really feel it yet, but I've been going pretty hardcore these past few weeks, with the show plus 18 hours of commuting per week plus various auditions plus teaching part of an acting class plus a couple of other little projects, etc. It's Monday, which has been my official "day off" for the past 15 weeks, though this is the first time in a number of weeks it has behaved like a day off. I could very easily spend the day staring into space and in a quiet monotone repeatedly muttering "hwuhhhhh." I'm exhausted.

    What a ride it's been lately! Hooboy! Does Shenandoah have a future after this? There have been murmurs of a Broadway run or a tour, but currently there's only murmurs. This might be the "end" of it. But it might not. It would be a kick for it to have a second life. Right now, though, I'd love something with more meat to it for me personally. I'm itching to chew on some scenery.

    And in the news: Prince has been voted the "sexiest [male] vegetarian" in a PETA online pole. I can't say I'm jealous, because I eat seafood, and therefore don't qualify. Besides, he's vegan, which takes a lot of dedication.

    Monday, May 15, 2006


    That's me. Six squared. This is a long one, so if you don't want to read all of this, skip to 5/14.

    Much has been happening lately --
    5/8 (Mon.) -- a callback audition for Back at Leipzig at Rep Stage. The callback went poorly -- I thought I gave a pretty mediocre audition.
    5/9 (Tues.) -- taught the last of a basic acting class at Howard Community College (I took over the last month of the class when the original instructor had to go to NYC for a show. Unfortunately, this means there's no rapport with the class). It was the final presentation of scenes. A few of them did okay, i.e. they remembered all their lines and their blocking (sense of character? Uh, never mind). From there the remaining scenes gradually descended into tragedy. We had a show that evening.
    5/10 (Wed.) -- Toured the White House (the cast received an invitation from the "Office of the First Lady"). Well, just of the White House -- the East Wing, a couple of floors. Saw the Blue Room, the Red Room, the Vermillion Room, the Green Room, a couple of other rooms, lots of paintings of past Presidents, First Ladies, relations, other influential folks, lots of antique furniture, pictures of Presidents with their dogs, a picture of George Bush (I) with the Queen of England and Angela Landsbury. It was all okay, but oddly, not as spectacular of a tour as you might think, but now I can say I went to the White House by invitation. Another performance that evening.
    5/11 (Thurs.) -- Two shows, noon and 7:30. Between shows, I graded stuff from the class (wee) and had a brief nap and looked over lines for industrial. Got home at 11:30 PM, which is normal.
    5/12 (Fri.) -- Got up at 6AM, drove into Baltimore, filmed an industrial (for Sylvan Learning Center) for two hours, which was delightfully quick. We used teleprompters. So when I was talking to Todd (the actor playing the "Sylvan representative"), I was actually looking over his shoulder at a screen that had the script on it (Supposedly, the audience never knows this, because of the angle of the camera). It's wierd trying to respond to someone that not directly looking at. Actually, this was kinda fun, since I'd never done it before. Evening performance -- Andrew, who plays James (one of the brothers), was out with a hurt back, so (dominoes) three understudies went in. We eventually found out that he has a bulging disk in the lumbar region. He'll be out for the remainder of the run, which is a shame. Welcome to the magical world of theatre.
    5/13 (Sat.) -- My dad, my stepmom Pat, and my little brother Matthew came out. We had lunch in Historic Ellicott City, and they and Jenny saw the show that evening. There were a lot of hiccups in that show, but most went unnoticed by the audience, and the relations had a very good time.
    5/14 (Sun.) -- IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! 36, aka (for the math geeks) 6 squared aka 3 squared x 2 squared. For the more spiritually (?) inclined, this is the year of the Dog (that's me), and 3+6 = 9 = my "life number." This all means that great things should be happening for me RIGHT NOW. Right? We had two shows today. It's a good thing I like my work -- I actually had a very fun day, even though I have a bug in my system that's playing havoc with my voice.
    5/15 (today) -- I have a callback audition in an hour and a half. No time for proofreading, so please excuse the typos. Gotta go!

    Thursday, May 04, 2006


    Why, you ask, hasn't Peter posted in so long? Because Peter is . . . a slacker. I have some lame excuses: show, understudy rehearsals, visiting relatives, car issues . . . but, really, I coulda posted 1 or 2 or 3 by now. Anyhoo --

    1) Relations. My mom visited for a couple of days. She saw Shenandoah on Tuesday the 25th and said she really enjoyed it. I introduced her to a few people there, like so -- Me: "Hey, _____, this is my mom." Mom: "You can call me Marge." This intro eventually became -- Me: "Hey, _____, this is my mom. You can call her Marge." Mom: "Hi!" Then Jen's mom and dad (Terre and Barry) came to visit, arriving hours after my mom left. They stayed through the morning of May 1. I didn't get to spend much time with them, because of my work. But they saw the matinee on Saturday the 29th, as did Jenny's aunt and uncle (Leslie and George -- George and Barry are brothers). Everyone seemed to be fairly impressed with the show, and we all went out for an early dinner afterwards.
    2) Callbacks. I have a couple of callbacks coming up soon. First, Bach at Leipzig at Rep Stage, where I might see my good friend Carl Randolph, who also was called back. Then, a week later, a call back for The Foreigner at the Olney Theatre . . . where I might once again see Carl! So, wish us luck. Cross your fingers, knock on wood, etc., etc. Carl and I were both in The Killer Angels at Wayside Theatre (directed by Warner Crocker, who as far as I know was not called back for these shows, but then, he didn't audition in the first place. So there you go.).