Wednesday, July 9, 2008

T Minus

Our two hour rehearsals have now stretched out to 4. We've added the clothes, the make up, and sign-age. Our lights and sound people are working hard. Our props and costume people are working hard. Our backstage tumble is turning slowly into a choreographed dance although occasionally we still break step and find ourselves in a pile of wheel chairs or shopping carts.

I've had a change of heart toward buttons. Seemingly innocent and efficient the button is a clever technology. In theater, however, when you exit as a woman and need to reenter in approximately 30 seconds as a man, the button (especially when in groupings of more than 4) is the enemy. And that is a difference between the real world beyond and the stage. A wall separates us from a time and place where the button is tiny and cute. I always laugh at the difference that wall can make. This is theater right? The illusion that whatever is happening in the space directly ahead of your seats is all there is. But not true. Just three feet to the left there is an underworld of moving parts. People rushing and frantic. People focused and undeterred. One character from Minnesota is dusting on their final powder as a character they'd never meet on stage slowly morphs into her Florida do. And all counting how many buttons between them and a late entrance.

We open Thursday. Time to take a breath.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rising Bank Fees Squeeze Consumers

by Yuki Noguchi

Banks charge consumers more in fees every year. Last year, banks collected $38.6 billion in service charges, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

That translates into higher fees for overdrafting accounts, wiring money or using another bank's ATM. (read rest of story)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Food Insecurity in Oregon


NOW WITH BILL MOYERS, March 29, 2002

TOM CASCIATO: Cassandra Garrison considers herself a warrior in an army fighting poverty. She fights her battles in what might seem an unlikely locale. This is Portland, Oregon, a city known — quite rightly — for its environmental consciousness, its outdoor lifestyle, and increasingly, its fine restaurants.

It's never far from the top of the list of America's most livable cities, in one of its most livable states.

But it's a state with a problem.

Read transcript here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Interview with Julianne Moore

Fresh Air interview with actress Julianne Moore. I always listen more carefully to actor's interviews when I'm in a show. At one point Moore says, "It's (film) not an actor's medium. You're really in the hands of the director in terms of how the performance is shaped." On stage as an actress you have you and then the audience. The audience sees you directly, not through a form of edits and color corrections. Also in theater your character gets to have an emotional arch...even if it's half a page. You act it front to back as it is written. In cinema you may film your death scene on page 89 three weeks before you film your marriage scene on page 14.

Listen to the interview here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A flyer near you

Moving from 4 walls to 4 wheels

Nickel and Dimed addresses this issue but just barely. I would have never seriously thought about if I hadn't been confronted with the idea in the script.

"As the foreclosure rate continues to climb, social workers across the country are starting to notice a new phenomenon: People moving out of their homes and into RVs and cars. Jennifer Collins reports." (Hear story or read transcript)

Monday, June 9, 2008

And the Clock Starts

Holy something! A quick glance at the calendar lets me know we have just over 4 weeks until our curtain rises and we'll stand in front of an audience. This knowledge rests peacefully most often in the back of my mind, but every once and awhile it stirs. At first it's only a rustle here and there, but as we get closer and closer to opening night it builds. There is a knot forming in my stomach and it is vaguely familiar. "Oh hello there nerves. I knew you'd be back."

This week we go off book. Off Book means you no longer get to look at your lines. They should be in your head not in your hands. We can still call for a line where in a friendly assistant director will say the first few words to help jump start our brains, but all the progress we feel we've been making through the past weeks will vanish suddenly on Thursday. This is just how it goes. You get use to having that script there. You get comfortable not actually looking any of your cast mates directly in the eye. And then poof! It takes some readjustment but this is the point (hands free) when we can really begin the acting. The script is necessary but it's also a hindrance. How much can you interact within your character with other characters when you are all face down in paper?

So scary? Um, yes.
Exciting? The fun is just about to really begin.