A few months ago, Joe asked me to direct a show for his 365 project. After carefully and deliberately reading all 365 scenes he wrote last year (okay, I had been reading them as I went, and I think I have read all but maybe a handful) I decided on a nice little block called “A Thing I Wrote.” There were a couple of scenes that jumped out at me, one of which being a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery titled “The Case of the Speckled Bullet.” I was also fond of staging a scene featuring King Kong, and there were a few others I liked as well.
I decided early on that I’d like this to a Robot vs. Dinosaur joint, since we are Joe’s soul mates (cell mates?) and I knew we would have a lot of fun. Once we figured out a night that most of us could meet (Wednesdays) we set the rehearsal schedule and have been rehearsing for the last three weeks.
Now for some reason, and I don’t know what that reason is (okay, vanity, you caught me) I decided I would also like to perform in this little powerhouse of scenes. Truthfully, I really wanted to butcher an English accent in the Sherlock Holmes scene, so sue me. I’ve always enjoyed performing, but I’m a little rusty as it’s been about three years since I’ve done any real acting other than some understudy stuff and a walk on role here and there. Add to that the challenge of directing myself and the rest of the cast and, well, it’s been an interesting mess inside my brain. It hasn’t helped matters that RvD is also prepping our next show (warning: plug ahead), 12 Angry Sketches, that opens at Donny’s Skybox on June 4 (just 5 days before our 365 show). So I’ve been busy.
Good organized thing I’m.
As far as the acting goes, I think I can pull it off because so far no one has seen through my calm and cool exterior to realize that I am FREAKING OUT ON THE INSIDE!
Rehearsals have helped to calm me down though, because I have a cracker jack cast (I always wanted to use that phrase and it fits so I’m using it). Most of the cast are veteran RvD writers and performers. They are, in order of the size of their genetilia: Mike Bauman, Geoff Crump, Becca Levine, myself, Nat Topping and Mackenzie Yeager. Mackenzie is the one newbie in the group but she comes with great credentials and has rapidly gotten used to our shorthand way of communicating, mostly through dick jokes and obscene hand gestures. These guys are all good enough that if it comes down to it I can just hide behind them and they can run with the show and only my Mom would miss me.
Thus far we have blocked everything but our special silent scene and will be running and working and working and running scenes going forward. I block fairly quickly and I think that went smoothly, but we had a helluva fight on our hands wrestling the lyrics to “A Gospel Song for Atheists” so they would fit with music. (No fair changing Joe’s words, we somehow made the music fit.) And I would be petty if didn’t thank Joe for rhyming “spaghetti.”
I have also had some fun with the title scene (“A Thing I Wrote” in case your forgot), breaking it up and sprinkling it throughout so that it sort of forms the spine of the show (very much the way RvD likes to do things). It also features a glasses wearing, slightly balding, comedy writer character that I can only say is very much like someone you know if you have read this far into this blog entry. I shall do my best to do this character justice.
Ahem. I’ve said too much.
Wednesday, June 9 (paired up with “Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Treadmill” which starts at 8 p.m.) Our show will begin shortly after theirs ends and it’s only $10 for both shows!
“A Thing I Wrote” (Director - Chris Othic. Cast: Mike Bauman, Geoff Crump, Becca Levine, Chris Othic, Nat Topping, Mackenzie Yeager)