Short Theatre Stories

So, while I was posting these short theatre stories on another site, I thought “Ummmmm….maybe put this on your website?” So here are a few short Theatre stories from my youth:

Theatercraft
Our instructor for Theatrecraft 101 was a real easygoing guy, probably about 35. This course covered the basics of creating a set, lighting, costuming, sound, etc. And he had a lot of stories…from an insane stagehand who made a large set piece (house roof) come screaming earthward for shits and giggles to an incompetent assistant who nearly electrified the instructor. But the one that is relatable is on X-acto blades. As we were working in foamcore to build set dioramas and cutting it with X-actos, he made sure we were careful and used cutting surfaces. Because when he was in school (back when X-actos were a lot sharper and unsafe), a classmate was cutting foamcore with his jeans, skin and muscle as a cutting surface. Idiot Classmate finishes, stands up, notices his jeans are shredded, notices the blood starting to seep out, and then notices the pain. Blades back then were surgical sharp. Ouch.

Oh Apollo!
Theatre History 101. Our instructor, Alex, was a big bear of a man, 6’3″ and a little chunky. He’s got this deep baritone voice, and one day while studying an ancient Greek Tragedy, he mentions how sometimes a translation can miss the subtle directing cues the original work has. He describes a scene from Oresteia (an ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus) where Cassandra cries out in despair to the Greek god Apollo as she knows what’s going to happen to her. The English translation is essentially “Oh! Apollo!!” and Alex said this is where the translation fails. So – picture this bear of a man, a professor, mid-50s, inhaling in such a way it felt like he was trying to devour the air, then a split second later:

oooooOOOOOOOOOO!O!O!TOOOOYTOOOYYYYY!!​!! APPPPOLLLOOOOOO!!

Cue the class in shock, people in the front row with their hair blown back, and the DudeBro Frat guy in the back flicking his Bic lighter like he’s at a concert.

Drying or in character?
An actor can forget their lines (or “dry”) for various reasons…but the weirdest situation is when they forget the line because the actor is no longer there but their character IS.

So, theatre school, final project. We stage The Sport of My Mad Mother. I play the naïve American tourist. The rest are members of a London Cockney street gang. V—-, playing one of the gang, has a scene with me where we are comforting the female lead. I’d just said my line, and was waiting on V—-. And waiting.

Now to be fair, actors performing operate on stage-time (where every second for the audience is 10 seconds to the actors) and I have ADHD which is hyped by my adrenaline from the performance, I’m operating on a level of Matrix-like Bullet-Time.
I look over at V—-.
I realize V—- isn’t here anymore.
I then think “ohshiatnowwhat…hey, do I need to pick up milk later? No, no, I’m good…could do with some butter….okay where are we in the play again?” I mentally page through the script to his line, and quickly reword it so I can say it. The next actor picks up her cue, and the play goes on as normal. Afterwards, I ask V—- about it and he says “No, I said the line” to which everyone else in the green room says “Nope”. He genuinely did not remember. I’m glad it happened in a quieter moment, not in the middle of a fight scene.

Bonus Theatre “Cool Story Bro”: Accidental transposed line from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas at the Walterdale Theatre in Edmonton. This play has a cast of dozens along with about 5-6 stagehands and crew. The original line spoken by the First Voice is “Heads are picked, noses are wiped”. Unfortunately, (and you should NEVER DO THIS TO ACTORS OR PEOPLE SINGING SONGS unless it’s Weird Al Yankovic or someone similar) during rehearsal, someone in the cast jokingly made parody scenes and lines. The actor had heard the joke version, and that night transposed the nouns in that sentence. The First Voice caught her mistake and paused for a split second. Meanwhile, the entire cast and crew backstage and onstage are quietly exploding in laughter. But we continued on with no issues other than sore abdominal muscles from clenching them to prevent laughter.

Taste the Memories: new fiction!

Alrighty. NEW PODCAST! “Taste the Memories” click here for podcast, or for the text version, click here.

What else? Oh, yes, a Table of Contents (TOC) for my Library of Stories. After installing the widget and poking at it for a few weeks, being generally afraid of the work I suspected was involved, when I was posting the text version I saw there was a toggle button for a table of contents. One click later and “ta-da!” You can click on the icon on the top left of the TOC to expand or collapse it. For my next trick, I may do pages, or some sort of “back button”.

Other than that, as I peer out the window, it appears the snow squall forecasted has arrived. Music that might help: 1960s Jazz Music.

I was listening to some Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Goldsmith movie soundtracks from the 60s/early 70s. There’s something about the music of that time…yes some of it verges towards elevator music, but there was a lot of good stuff like the background music for the 1967 Spider-Man animated series. Yes, really. Or to get a really good idea about the energy of the music, try Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island.

NEW! Cannabis 101 “Potcast”

In conjunction with the Cannabis Education Company (CEC), I’ve launched a new podcast series devoted to information on Cannabis. Click HERE to go to this podcast where you’ll also find CEC social media links. Our website will soon be launched but in the meantime, feel free to comment on CEC social media sites, on my social media sites, or even on this post!

You can’t always get what you want…

First off, some music by the Rolling Stones to set the mood.

Today, even though it was smoky, I decided to walk to the East Village Superstore for some groceries and also to get some physical activity. In preparing for it, I contact two friends to see if either they want to go for a walk there and back, or if they are at home (one lives nearby).

Unfortunately, both were busy/unavailable. As I’m walking downtown, I remember I’m walking by ANOTHER friend, and call him. He’s not home. So I get to Superstore, and I see my neighbor shopping. We chat, he offers me a ride home, we get our groceries, chat further, and I get a lift home. Wasn’t necessarily looking for a ride, but strangely enough the company.

Now, whether or not you believe in magic or synchronicity, coincidence or the Power of Attraction…I wanted to talk to someone, didn’t necessarily want a ride, but after buying a few things…I needed a ride (lots of stuff was on sale). Or in other words…

…But if you try sometimes, you find you get what you need.

Ducks & Airports – Two short flash fiction

So this week – as things are getting busy for me – I recorded two short fictions to my podcast channel. One was inspired by a Gary Larson “Far Side” cartoon on the irrational fear that somehow, somewhere, a duck is watching you. The other was a futuristic “slice of life at the airport” scene.

So. Links are as follows:
Click here: Text version of “Watch the Waterfowl”
Click here: Text version of “Just another Airport Story”
Click here: My Podbean page and this episode with both stories

Or just regularly visit my Podcasts page, and if you like what you see, follow me here or on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook hyperlinks) and please donate to my Kofi page to help keep me sane and writing (or at least the right kind of benevolent crazy and writing).

Both Sides of THE End – flash fiction

Well, I finally got off my ass to post this. Reading it and the actions that occur, I hope you end up thinking “what…wait, why?” and wanting more. That’s the essence of #flashfiction – it’s a quick snapshot. The difference? A novel would be the equivalent of describing a house, the property it’s on, and the contents of a house. A short story is describing the contents of one room. A flash fiction is essentially you walking by a room and looking in at what’s happening as you walk by. Text of the story is available by CLICKING HERE or if you prefer to hear it as a podcast, go to my Podcasts page, or to my Podbean site.

The Missing Menu – a new flash fiction

The Missing Menu – a new flash fiction available in either podcast format or in text format! This flash fiction covers the thoughts and musings of some…thing as it’s sitting down to a meal.

Posting this was my challenge – and finally, with the help of some Ultra Sour sativa and playing “Eye of the Tiger” on a loop, I got it online. Although the tenth repeat the bird got pissed and started squawking in protest.

Why the delay in posting new creative? Well…I’m working on other stuff offline, and my laptop was going senile. So June was a write off as I tried to work around it. Fortunately a friend who works at Best Buy suggested I switch my hard drive out for a solid-state drive. And whoa, boy! Behaves about the same, but faster on startup. Unfortunately, while they were able to preserve a lot of my files, my desktop and any apps I need to download (Firefox, Audacity, GIMP) had to be updated.

Which also caused some issues. Yet, I persevered! True, I had to sigh and quote Dorothy Parker “What fresh Hell is this?” but…I’m also going to look at the Library of Stories page and think about how I could better organize it…maybe a table of contents? We’ll see.

Nose Hill July 2020

Just some pictures from today’s 8km hike. Nice day. Not too hot, trails weren’t too busy.

In the meantime…

Ooooooooooooooohkay. So part of this delay for June…I tried going off my ADHD meds for about a week.

A time which will be known as SQUIRREL WEEK. Because I got really fuck all done. I mean, I was still doing stuff, but nothing focused and big. Then Audacity (the software I use for creating and editing my podcasts) decided it’s going senile. I’m not sure if it’s the software or worse yet (le sigh) if it’s a sign I need to do a re-install/refresh on my computer operating system.

Alternately, I could just start dumping a whole bunch of my saved ideas/ pictures/ jokes on my website (and social media) in the meantime. I’ve got a tonne of stuff, and considering the instability of social media at the moment. Advertisers and users are fleeing Facebook/ Twitter because these two (among other services) are enabling racists and morons to spread their cancerous messages. I’ll still use them as promotional channels, but this is my semi-annual reminder to me to use my website more.

Anyhow. Gonna figure out projects to work on, continue planning my week, etc. In the meantime, as Pride month closes out, and with BLM and protests still being relevant…here’s a very very gay version of that old Shirley Bassey favorite, Diamonds are Forever sung by Black and Gay British musician David McAlmont, arranged by British film composer David Arnold (whom I can’t confirm is gay, but he’s clearly hung around gay men at some point in his life from his acting in the video).

And as I’m about to post it, an idea comes to me….And I think I speak for all when I say WHEN THE FUCK ARE WE GOING TO GET OUR [someone who is not a white straight male] SPY MOVIE?

Alone Plague Journal and…

Days 10-12 of the Alone Plague Journal are now up. How would you like it? A text version? The podcast on my Podcasts page? Maybe through Podbean? It’s your choice, but if you could either follow me here, on social media, or even better, donate to my Ko-fi account so I can continue to maintain my parrot in kibble and seeds, that’d be swell.

Besides that, I finally figured out the problem with a video version of one of my stories. I’m taking the audio from my stories and posting it into a PowerPoint presentation which I convert to video, so I can also post to YouTube; but it’s a bit slower. Yet, if you’ve not yet heard my one story “Seeds of Time” you can click on the hyperlinked title and watch it now on YouTube.

Ehhh…what else? Why not a picture of Diva?

quaker parakeet
She looks innocent, but she’s plotting.