Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Faith Is Shaken!

I am distraught. The evolutionary biologist, Atheist blogger and all-around cool guy PZ Myers has revealed himself to be the worst of heretics. And no, I am not referring to his recent simultaneous desecrations of a Catholic communion waver, a copy of the Qu'ran, and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. That was merely hilarious. No, the good professor has raised my ire with something far more insidious:

He saw The Dark Knight, and didn't like it.

My fingers twinge in revolt just typing the words.

"The plot wandered all over," says Professor Myers, "and the movie seemed less interested in telling a story well than in throwing up moral ambiguity and ethical dilemmas which, instead of actually pursuing with any depth, it would resolve with a punch from Batman's fist or an explosion." I feel compelled to point out two things:

First, the point of the story was that Batman and the so-called "good" people of Gotham were incapable of addressing moral ambiguity without violence; pointing this out was pretty much the Joker's raison d'être.

Second, the movie is based on a comic book. There's gonna be punching, and shit's gonna blow up.

That said, the good professor is certainly free to like or dislike any movie that moves him one way or another. I have a fondness for movies in general and Batman in particular, and when they are put together I am known to squeal with delight. (Seriously. Ask the wife.) And I cannot help but agree with those who claim this to be the best movie of the year. However, I do wish to follow Professor Myers' example — "Nothing must be held sacred" — and so I will finish my little tirade against his (slanderous! blasphemous! SCANDALOUS!) critique by saying, "I disagree. But that's cool."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pirate Rock!

Another show is in the books. Bloody Bess: A Tale of Piracy and Revenge left me sore, battered and bruised, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I had a hell of a lot of fun, met some fantastic people, and I got to swing swords around for half the summer. Now if I can only find somebody who will pay me to do that on a regular basis my life will be set.

One thing about the show that amazed everyone who saw it was the original music. Our composer, Tom Haigh, was good enough to post his work on his website. Check it out here.

I would like to leave you now with a couple of examples of a joke carried on way too far. On opening night of Bloody Bess, an actor backstage made an offhand comment that several of us thought would make a good song title. With the aid of GarageBand, fellow castmember Mathias Maloff and I made the dream a reality. Twice. Mathias provided all the lyrics and vocals, while I wrote and performed the music.

Get ready to rock.

Nut Punch Thunder

If U Could U Would

And hey, if you like 'em, feel free to download them and keep them for your very own!

Nut Punch Thunder

If U Could U Would

And the scary thing is there might be more coming. Watch out.

Next up for me is a fight choreographer gig: Shakesploitation by Andy Grigg, directed by Josh Miller. Three hilarious one-act plays based on the works of Shakespeare, with titles like Kung-Fu Hamlet: Burning Fist of Denmark. Awesome.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dog Days

My apologies for having nothing new to report in the last two weeks. The big news so far is that the wife and I finally received our stimulus check from the government, and like good American consumers we went out and bought an X-Box 360 and the game Rock Band. As you can imagine, we have done much of anything else for a few days.

My show has one more week, so if you are in the area please come on down to Gallery 37 on Randolph and check it out. If this play has taught me anything, it is that I am not a young man anymore, and that doing something as simple as a shoulder roll now requires a hell of a lot of prep time. I've been sore all over for about a month now.

Hellboy II opened this weekend, and we're gonna check it out tomorrow. As much fun as I expect it to be, it is merely an appetizer before next Friday's main course: The Dark Knight. We will be at the Imax on Navy Pier at midnight to behold the awesomeness.

Aside from those little batches of fun, things are in a holding pattern. School doesn't start for another six weeks or so (if at all — financial aid is being difficult) and while I may have another theatre project coming up over the horizon it is not definite enough yet to go into detail.

It's still early in the morning, so I'm gonna go try and slog through the last few chapters of Richard K. Morgan's Thirteen. It was at the top of a few Sci-Fi/Fantasy lists last year. I can't figure out why. It better have a hell of an ending.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Jesus Year — The Wrap-Up

I turn thirty-four today, and for the first time I can remember I am unhappy about getting older. A few days ago I realized that this constitutes the beginning of my "mid-thirties," and I definitely feel older today than I did a year ago. Mostly because of my show, Bloody Bess. I'm just generally sore all over, all the time. And the temp assignment I'm on right now has me sitting in these godawful bar-height chairs that do unholy things to my spine. And, of course, my Jesus Year has come to an end, and I don't feel like I'm really any farther along than I was when I wrote this blog entry a year ago.

Which is not to say the year was a total loss. I did get some stuff done. I took that writing class. Unfortunately it did not spur me on to feats of literary greatness. In fact, I've written very little since that class ended. I go in fits and spurts, and in the end I find myself tossing aside whatever I came up with. I haven't given up on it completely — to the contrary, when I return to school I plan on diving head first into a writing concentration — but I don't feel like I accomplished what I set out to do when I took that class in the first place.

And of course there is my theatre work. Since July 2007 I've been in four shows and one staged reading, and I choreographed the fights for two others. A pretty good year. I've enjoyed myself thoroughly, and made a few new friends along the way. I just wish I felt like I had some sort of a career growing out of all this work. All told I probably earned about four hundred dollars from everything I did in the last year. An audition popped up a few weeks ago that made me wonder if maybe I should put school on hold a little longer and try to pursue more paid (i.e. daytime) acting work, but it didn't pan out. So, I'm kinda back where I started with all that. Unlike the writing, at least I've been getting out there and doing stuff theatrically, but I don't know that I've made any real progress.

Also, all that running I was gonna do? Not so much.

I did enroll in school, which is . . . something. My enthusiasm about school waxes and wanes, and I find myself having difficulty defining my reasons for going back. When people ask, I say things like, "Everyone else I know has finished school, and I feel left behind." Which is true. But it was pointed out to me that this is not, by itself, a good reason. To be honest, I cannot really define why I am returning to college, other than to say it just feels like something I am supposed to do. Like writing, it isn't something I really want to do, but it is something I want to have done. Does that make sense?

It's just after 5:30 in the morning on this, the first day of my thirty-fourth year. I need to shower and get prepared for another fun-filled day of data entry. This evening, my wife and one of my best friends are taking me out to dinner, and that will be awesome.