Saturday, September 6, 2014

From Stage to Page, Check Out The Wishmonger!

Occasionally I hear from someone who was a fan of and they always ask what I am doing now. Well, funny you should ask that, because I am now a professional novelist coming out with my second in a couple of weeks and I wanted to share my first with you.
So, here it is, The Wishmonger! You can read a few pages here, or just spring for the 99 cent download at Amazon!
After you check out The Wishmonger, go like my author's page on Facebook

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Just In! Updates In All Departments!

Spring Break! Ah! A few days away from rehearsal and classes. A chance to catch up on updating dramorama. So, here's what's new! In the Director's chair a little goal setting exercise to try. In the tech booth a link to a howto on stage manager's prompt books. In the scene shop a second installment on Mark's latest design project, Der Vampyr. In the prop shop, a little article on one of our favorite prop research resources. A couple of very simple ideas from the students of Jone High School in the costume shop. In the Green Room lesson two in our Pretending on Purpose series on acting technique. Last but not least on the business of theatre we have some ideas on audience development in our box office.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Long Live Hollywood! Or maybe not?

Hollywood is dead! Well, at least in its death throes. Between the glut of good indie media available today and the God-like attitude of many celebrities America’s romance with Hollywood is on the rocks. From skyrocketing ticket prices to wishy washy box office returns, the behemoth is dying under its own weight.

Our stars unable to compete with "reality" tv are succumbing to the habit of airing their very dirty laundry in public, and I wish I could say who cares, but according to the latest sales numbers for the Hollywood gossip rags, a lot of us!

I for one think that the lack of imagination and apathy brought on by too much money, too many drugs, too many adoring fans, and too little regard for personal or artistic dignity will bring our beloved Hollywood to its knees.

Here are a couple of examples:
NEW YORK - The Oscars are a ratings dud. Nielsen Media Research says preliminary ratings for the 80th annual Academy Awards telecast are 14 percent lower than the least-watched ceremony ever.
Nielsen said Monday that overnight ratings are also 21 percent lower than last year, when “The Departed” was named best picture.
The least-watched Oscars ceremony ever was in 2003, when there were 33 million viewers.

SUGGESTION!: Wanna make us watch it? Make Oscar a bobble-head and play bloopers for two and a half of the three hours.

Here’s another snippet of what the media had to say, notice the unholstered sarcasm.

Forget the clothes; that's what the red-carpet specials are for. And the recent, disastrous Golden Globes proved that even the awards themselves could easily be dispatched in a simple press conference. But for an industry in a constant state of self-congratulation over how entertaining it is to actually entertain the public for three-plus hours, all while congratulating itself over how entertaining it is … For that, you need a show.

WHEW! Lucky break the writer’s strike being over just ten dys before , huh? What a co-inky-dink! Two hours to tell us what the stars think will happen and who is wearing who, partnered with some really great comedy! Hey, Ryan Seacrest, your kindergarten called, they want their jokes back!
So, enough venting, where does this leave us? It leaves us with an awesome opportunity. With the tech available today anyone with an imagination and a credit card can make their own feature films, so why aren’t more of us doing it?

First of all, we are! Have you cruised around the net looking for indie film lately? It’s everywhere! Secondly, we have this whole, trust the experts, syndrome that has pervaded our bored overfed, pampered lives in every area of our society, including entertainment.
I’ll leave you with a little something special to inspire, this is from an email ring I subscribe to about indie film, enjoy!

Do It Yourself Acting Career by Bob Fraser
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of speaking to the participants at the SAG Conservatory/ AFI 3-day event at the very nice AFI campus. I say “the pleasure” because I got a lot of laughs. I’m still a slut for laughs. But – about half way through the proceedings there was a question that really put me in the ‘hot’ seat. Here’s the question: “What do you think actors should do about the constant ‘not getting it’ thing? We almost never ‘get it’ – yet our whole lives are centered around this ‘getting’ thing. I mean, How are we supposed to handle it?” Here’s my honest answer: “Don’t wait for THEM! “THEY, really, truly – sadly and unfortunately – don’t know diddly squat about “putting on a show.” They’re Philistines – people. You could wait forever! “Do it yourself! Technology has provided you with the tools to successfully supply the public with entertainment – without the mind-numbing downside of having to deal with friggin’ idiots.” Laugh. (No, seriously ... a very nice laugh.) I continued: “For about the cost of used Toyota, you can PURCHASE a movie studio! A hi-def camera is about 2 grand, a fully loaded Mac is about twenty five hundred, lights will run you about 800 dollars, software is about a grand. Total cost for movie studio - 63 hundred dollars.” Much “hmm hmming.” “Of course, the actors are free.” Huge laugh. (At least we actors still have great a sense of humor.) I was on a roll – “There are 8 million stories in the public domain. You could produce – oh, let’s say – Long Day’s Journey Into Night. 4 characters, one set. Burn it to DVD ... sell it on the internet ... and suddenly, you’re an independent!” A few chuckles and a lot of head nodding. “Look around. The audience has moved on to other activities. More people are scrap-booking and bowling, than are watching the latest network offerings or going to the multiplex. Calling it an “extra special episode” or “a cinematic triumph” – isn’t fooling anybody anymore. A nice chortle. “Here’s the point. THEY cannot do it without you! Actors and writers are the only people who are REALLY needed to put on a show. (I apologized to the director on my left. He said that one of the actors would become a director – inevitably.)

“The people in charge of our industry are not actors or writers … and the business is on the ropes. Could there be a connection?” The place was quieting down. I think I had accidentally struck a chord. “Stop competing with each other – to win the favor of the Philistines – and start collaborating with your natural allies. Become friends with writers. Do what you want to do – which is tell stories. Above all, stop wasting your time – waiting to ‘get’ something from THEM. THEY have nothing to give you. THEY are takers.” The auditorium actually became deathly silent. It was the sound of about 150 actors thinking. My timing was impeccable (if I do say so myself). “Or you could just put out for the A.D.” Gigantic laugh. If only I could stay serious for a minute, I might actually be able to help. But, like I said, Nothing cheers me up faster than a cheap laugh. I can’t help it. Don’t worry though, Bev makes me go to a twelve-step program... Agitators Anonymous. * * * * * Bob's an actor, writer, director and executive producer (show runner) on such series as Full House, Benson, The Love Boat - and more. He has also been a lecturer at AFI, UCLA, USC, SAG Conservatory, Denver University, Equity Library, Film Industry Network, Women In Film, Actors Creative Network, Actors Site, Universal Studios, and other venues His Acting Career Courses are being used by 1000's of actors all over the world. You Must Act - The Virtual Acting Career Course http://www.youmusta Nail It! Delivering The Hypnotic Audition http://www.hypnotic audition. com Headshot Secrets Revealed - Marketing Your Career in Pictures http://www.headshot Action! The Professional Actor's Workbook & Planner Get Your Career On Track in 2008 http://www.showbizh action.html Subscribe to Bob's FREE E-zine for performers ... Show Biz How-To - by going here: http://www.showbizh

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's that time again!

Well, here we are another year almost gone and the 31st of October is upon us. i know many of you have mixed emotions about Halloween. I have always enjoyed it being an actor, it gives me a chance to dress up and run around in public without being labled a complete freak! Anyway I have added a few dress up tips in the costume shop, and the prop shop, enjoy! I know its a little late but hey most of you are already getting ready for next year, right?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Try Try Again

A wise man once said that you don't have enough time in life to make all of the mistakes yourself, so learn from the mistakes of others. I am about to let you experience that first hand.

We here at Family Theatre Warehouse have recently reorganized and formed a new company, The Donut kids theatre. We hired actors, bought costumes, built a set and put together one heck of a show and now we are waiting for an audience.

We failed to fully research the market and the best way of attracting an audience. Another wise guy once quipped that he who fails to plan, plans to fail.

So what now? Do we tuck our tail between our legs and run off to a quiet corner to lick our wounds? Not likely! I have three actors who have invested themselves in this production for the last six weeks and we are desperate to heve it seen! So now begins the process of rethinking what went wrong, finding out who to contact, getting the information into the hands of the right people and trying again!

Many times in theatre it takes a little trial and error to make things work smoothly. Unfortunately there are seasons when it is rather more error than trial, but giving up never got anybody anywhere.

So, when the dimensions of your beautiful set are wrong for the stage, or the paint color is wrong, or the costume won't fit, or the lead actor has a stroke a week from the Ameican College Theatre festival (true story), remember the old addage "The Show Must Go On". It isn't a fatalistic, callously uncaring mantra, but rather a rallying cry. It means, get creative! Get back up! Try again! Very few people in this grand endeavour succed their first time out, and even fewer succeed every time, so get back up and give it your best shot!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Basic Survival Training for Live Theatre!

Whew! Sorry it's been so long since anything new was added to the collection! Since May we have hosted seven weekends of performances at Family Theatre Warehouse here in Okc. So I thought I would give a little pep talk on how to survive the stress of back to back productions it takes to make a successful theatre!

First, get in the habit of doing everything you can in advance. From selecting paint colors for the set to designing posters, costumes and program covers, do as much in preproduction to alleviate stress as possible.

Secondly, ask for help! This is a toughie for me because the majority of shows I produce are class based and I feel guilty asking people who already help pay my salary to chip in with sweat and time. But I have found that as people become more involved in the process they take on a sense of ownership that can become a valuable asset. Besides relieving some of your stress they can add dollars to your bottom line! No matter how much you just wrote that check to the ad agency for, nothing sells tickets like proud actors, techies and family members determined to fill those seats!

Last but not least remember why you went to your first audition, wrote your first script, sang your first solo, danced your first steps...IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!! So take it easy. Take a fifteen minute nap, you may surprised how much better you'll feel. Stay hydrated and keep your diet as healthy as possible. Learn when to let go of ideas that are costing you too much, emotionally, physically or financially, and just enjoy the process!