Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Try The Coffee

I'd been avoiding writing about auditions, because the lack of positive results lately has been a real downer. But this blog originally was intended for life-as-an-actor-et-al. commentary. And sometimes the auditions, or the journey to-and-from auditions, are too interesting -- such as a recent audition at Theatre of the First Amendment for Mariela in the Desert, by Karen Zacarias, to be directed by Nick Olcott. For this I ended up researching the Mexican artists like Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera, a fascinating, fiery pair. And at the audition Nick and I both gave each other that squinted eyes look that caused me to say, "Yes, you look familiar to me, too, and no, I don't know why, either." He checked my resume and thought we might have met in Montana when I worked at Missoula Children's Theatre and he was there for some NEA thing. This is certainly possible, but I recently realized we had met (again?) only a few months ago, at an audition at Imagination Stage. Karen Zacarias has a play being produced at Imagination Stage in the spring, and she saw me in Sleeping Beauty last fall. And so the world gets smaller.

(By the way, the audition was enjoyable, even though I haven't heard anything since.)

Yesterday I had an audition at Cumberland Theatre for Ten Little Indians. The audition itself wasn't anything spectacular: a cold reading, which Gary, the director, said was mostly for hearing dialects. Normally I'm quite good at dialects, but yesterday, not so much. The journey home included a stop at a Waffle House in Hagerstown. Waffle House is a guilty pleasure, and I'd been jonesing for weeks. One of the waitresses was named Shanice, though her tag said Shaynana. She said her manager likes giving employees nicknames (something he has in common with GWB), ergo the nametag -- she pronounced it "Sha-nay-nay," which make me wonder about her manager's gift for spelling. The tag also said "Salesperson." Later the jukebox revealed its own personality by abruptly dropping, then slowly raising, the volume as it played. I had a cheese omelet with grits, cinnamon-raisin toast, and coffee -- "Waffle House coffee . . . fresh ground . . . the best coffee for your meal." I always get the coffee, and it's always very strong and tastes lousy, requiring cream and sugar to make it palatable. It fascinates me.

This particular Waffle House is not far from Antietam, the location of the bloodiest one-day battle of the civil war.

I have more interesting stories regarding Waffle House -- including "ribbets," a car on fire, and a lousy day for all -- maybe, more on that later.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Cute picture, yeah? That's Ndeze, an orphaned mountain gorilla, drinking from a bottle being held by park ranger Andres Bauma.

However, the picture would be more adorable if it were of Ndeze being held by her own mother: "Four or more gorillas had been shot in the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], inside the Parc Nationaux de Virungas, and there was at least one new orphan clinging to a young male gorilla. The baby's mother and the group's silverback had been killed, along with several others. Equally disturbing, these deaths were the result of an ongoing feud between a number of individuals vying for control of the resources around the park, like charcoal production and mining." Click on the quote, you'll see some rough stuff, including a pic of some gorillas that had been shot.

By the way, this comes from Dr. Lucy Spelman's excellent blog. It'll make you smile and cry and stomp your feet in anger. She works with the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cave Squirrelum

Nuts. Yesterday, August 13th, was National Left-handers Day, and I missed it. I hope I'm the only one. I think we'd be recognized as an oppressed minority (via scissors, notebooks, 3-ring binders, chainsaws, school desks, pens, erasable pens, some spatulas and butter knives, writing in general, always stuck at the end of the table, shorter life spans, the occasional schoolmarm with ruler though not so much anymore, analog watches) if we could just take ourselves seriously. Belatedly, here's to us.

Actor News: The dreadfully long list of unrequited auditions continues to grow. Sometimes I'm surprised. Sometimes not (a big theatre with the moolah to get pretty much whatever they want recently called me in to audition to understudy Gremio and Vincentio in Taming of the Shrew. I'm not remotely the right age. There were 4 of us auditioning at the time, 2 who were the right age, plus me, plus a guy who is close in age to me. He said, "Yeah, I don't know why they called me in, either."). Today I had an audition for a PSA. It went well, I thought, but, who knows?

Cool Stuff In Art: I recently happened upon this sculptor, Beth Cavener Stichter. You must check her out! Her mission statement is rather heavy, but where it takes her -- well, the quality of her work is stellar. A lot of it is like a bad trip through Wonderland. I'm also amazed at her patience -- because her work is large clay pieces, she spends the bulk of her time hollowing them out before firing them. I just missed seeing her stuff at the Smithsonian, but I noted that she seems to come through Baltimore on occasion. Hmm. Anyhoo, wander around her site, won't you?

Cool Stuff In Nature: Squirrels heat up their tails for defense. True! It'll make sense if you read the article.

Sadie: Is 8 months old and over 60 lbs. And she's not fat. Woof.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Just wanted to post an entry so the blog's not lonely. Later, maybe I'll say more about these things: 1) "Stuff" is happening soon, that might turn into "more stuff." 2) I need to make a phone call. It'll certainly be interesting. Hopefully it'll be good, too.

Perhaps you'll wait with bated breath. But not baited breath. Much, much different.

Meanwhile, check this out, just because: Evelyn Rodriguez's blog "Crossroads Dispatches". Check out her "About" page, too. Just cuz they're interesting. (Found via -- which I found via.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

So . . . Do You Floss?

Yesterday I managed to work myself into an existential crisis, during which I accomplished nothing as I sat wondering, "What is the point of all this?" Eventually I felt better when I thought that maybe my purpose in life is to try to figure that out. This may seem silly -- the point of all of this is to figure out what the point of all this is. See?

Meanwhile, I found a marvelous site -- "American Science & Surplus" -- where you can buy all sorts of surplus stuff, science-related et al., at low prices -- art supplies, military bags, solar panels, robot parts . . . even a
dinosaur skull
(okay it's a high quality casting, and it's one of the few non-cheap items). If you have any geeky friends or relatives (like me!), this is a good place to do some Christmas shopping. Most product descriptions come with a sense of humor, too, so the site's worth checking out, even just to read.