Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Inspiration

The Globe Theatre

So you may have noticed (or not) that there haven't been many updates here. This time last year I was posting regularly about our production in the rehearsal process. This year, not much. Why? Well, we haven't been rehearsing. We did have several rehearsals in October where we started working on the script together. We went through the entire play once and broke down the "beats" (actor talk for the sections, each "beat" is usually a new topic, goal, or idea). We even started blocking a little. But for November, I have been in London acting in another production. This has meant that John has had to step in and do a lot of the production.

Big thanks to John, and I know we are all working hard on getting off book so we can make the most of our rehearsal process. Being overseas makes me nervous. I worry about the short rehearsal period. I worry about not being able to help make sure things get done on time. But it comes with benefits too.

One of the things that is very special about being here is inspiration. I've seen 5 plays (so far) and visited Shakespeare's home town and the Globe Theatre (both the modern recreation and the original site, part of which lies under some Edwardian row houses and Southwark bridge). And it's been splendid. Not just as a tourist, though it's been that certainly, but as an artist. It's so inspiring to see work by other committed, talented performers. It's invigorating to visit the home of theatre in the English language. It's simultaneously humbling and energizing.

How can you not feel a sense of wonder, of purpose, of energy standing in the room where Shakespeare was born. Because he's not just a legend, he was a man. Gifted to be sure, but a human being who lived and died just like you and I. Knowing that, seeing that, just a man with a gift for language has given so much joy, knowledge, laughter, tears. How can one not be inspired?

Getting to perform a play in one of the centers of theatre in the English speaking world is an honor in its own right, and not something I'll soon forget. And the opportuntiy to see a host of other plays has triggered so many ideas of my own. I'm excited to come back to the triangle and produce another show. I don't know if my experiences here will make my performance any richer. I hope it will, but I don't know. But it certainly has inspired me to want to create more, to share more, and to find more in myself.

See you all soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Caretaker Kickstarter is here!

Guess what? It's that time again! Time to help fund local theatre by participating in this year's kickstarter.

>>CLICK HERE to be taken to our Kickstarter page!<<

We have a great cast and crew for this show. The Kickstarter campaign is a great way to get a ticket. It saves you a little money, but the important thing is that you get to be a part of the project's success. By buying a ticket through kickstarter you are showing your support for the play. You're saying "yes, I'm going to be part of this. This year we're also asking people to consider sponsoring one of our Buddha statues. The script calls for a statue of Buddha to be smashed each night (to be clear: we love Buddha, it's just what the play requires). That's 11 statues we need to smash, plus extras for rehearsals and spares. So consider donating another $15. We'll even give it to you after the show if you want. Well, maybe a few pieces. Even if you can't make the show, consider sponsoring a Buddha.

One more point: Seating for this show will be limited. We will have less than 50 seats each night. By getting your ticket through kickstarter, you will be able to ensure seats to the performance of your choice.

So help us get this show up. Be part of the team. I hope to see you in January!

Monday, November 3, 2014

It Takes a Village

Or a virtual theatre community. Or whatever.

We shot the kickstarter video yesterday, and we are gearing up to launch it later this week. But before we do, I wanted to talk a bit about Kickstarter/Indiegogo/etc and the theatre community.

These crowd funding sites are great ways to get projects rolling. Funding theatre, even small, independent, local productions, is challenging. You either need generous donors and grants or a large checkbook to even get stuff off the ground. For South Stream, crowd funding has been an important part of our financial mix. Most of our Kickstarter money is pre-selling tickets. Because of kickstarter and transaction fees, it's slightly worse for us financially to sell tickets this way, but we also get some generous additional donations each year that help significantly. More importantly, our audience, in a very real way, is making the show possible. It's YOU that are our financial patrons, and we need YOU to succeed. I believe this show is going to be great, and if you believe it too (and share it with your friends) it will be. It's a way to include our audience in the collaboration early, and an audience is a critical part of theatre. More than most other art forms (except perhaps live music), it really depends on you.

But before we launch our Kickstarter campaign (coming soon) I wanted to mention a few others by friends of mine.

hiSTORY Stage is currently running a campaign for their production of "The Maltese Bodkin" the weekend of November 13. My housemate is directing this cast in a "radio play" staging in 40s style. The script is film noir meets Shakespeare. It should be good fun. They even have a USO dance after one of the performances.

Maltese Bodkin Kickstarter

On a more serious note, another friend is producing a short film "NO MORE" about the aftermath of domestic violence. It's an important topic on a subject very close to more people than you might think. Go to their page to learn more and help the project happen if you choose.

NO MORE Kickstarter

Having a way for fans to contribute to theatrical and film projects is really a great benefit to our artistic community. It's financial help, but it's also spiritual and emotional help as well. Having a bunch of people, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, look at your project and say "Yes, I believe in you. I want your idea to happen," that is as important as anything else.

... but yeah, the money is important too.  So support your local artists. :-)