Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So a lot has occurred in the last few days which has made me think about life. At first, things were very tough, but once time went by it is better to understand everything as a whole in order to get through particular situations. Times will be rough, but they'll be okay. My problem at first was accepting a future change. Like, I literally couldn't believe it. I mean, it was complete shock. It left me confused and frightened. I hadn't the faintest clue what could come next. I didn't care. I was in so much pain. But deep down inside, I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason. I have always lived by those five words. After constant moments of burying my head in the pillow, I had to just face it. She's going to be fine, and so will I. For some dreadful reason, I kept seeing it as the end of the world. Like nothing could ever follow, but life will. She'll go off and I'll stay and work as hard as I can to make my life happy. I'll always think about her, but I'll always think of myself as well. I'm happy for her. And she wants me to be happy for myself - which I will. But I don't blame her at all. She did nothing wrong and I want her to know that. You cannot help what you want, because if you do not try to get what you want, then you settle down and it never happens, and you realize how much of a waste it was to let life go by and never have the chance to grip life by the balls or ovaries. She won't let life go by and neither will I. I too will experience the world and grab life by the balls or ovaries. But with the risk I run of this sounding cliche, I don't care: she will always be in my heart. If I can't have her, then I don't want anyone else. She's the love of my life, and if it turns out that it was never to be, then I had my one great love of this world. I know she'll be happy where she goes, and I do want to keep closely in touch, but I don't want to be the monkey on her back when she's searching for herself. I've always admired how strong she was. Even if she doesn't admit it, when I look at her, I see a very strong, intellectual, funny, beautiful, young woman.

I must realize that I'm only 20 as well. There's so much ahead of me. I've always had everything planned in my head. Well, I need to stop planning and start living. My epic film won't write and direct itself. And I really enjoy helping people through their rough times. I really feel like I need to help sometimes. If I can fix my own fucked up life, then I know I can help others. There's just some sense of joy that comes from making someones tears turn into laughs.. especially if those laughs are those which last forever in your mind.

I really don't know what else to say except that when you think about life, you just have to smile to make the insanity go away.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I've recently found my way into J.G. Ballard's writing. He's more than "the guy who wrote the novel Crash." I bought J.G. Ballard: A User's Guide to the Millennium and it has some of the greatest written analysis of film that I've ever read:

On Billy Wilder:
"Wilder's films, dominated by their bitter-sweet dialogue and filled with the theatrical characters who always seem aware of their audience, are untypical of anything in today's cinema."

On Psycho:
"Psycho, is one of the most powerful films ever made, a psychotic Little Red Riding Hood in which Granny disguises herself as the wolf. Chandler, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner could never have written the script and would have ruined the film."

Connecting Blue Velvet and Psycho:
"Blue Velvet, like Psycho, follows the trajectory of the drug trip. Paranoia rules, and motiveless crimes and behavior ring true in a way that leaves a traditionally constructed movie with its well-crafted plot, characters and story looking not merely old-fashioned but untrue."

Film as a Medium:
"Cinema was then a public medium, watched by audiences made up of complete strangers, and the restrictions accorded with the conventions of ordinary social life - on those occasions when we stray into the bedroom of a strange woman we usually find, alas, a husband with one foot on the floor in the approved Hays manner. Now, though, cinema is becoming a private medium. We watch on video either alone or with one or two intimates, and the imaginative demands for greater sexual freedom are all the more urgent - needless to say, I think there should be more sex and violence on television, not less. Both are powerful catalysts of social change, at a time when change is desperately needed."

Cinema Today
"Hollywood today seems set on returning to the simple and unsophisticated spectacle of the nickelodeon era, when my grandfather's generation gazed in amazement at express trains speeding over viaducts. Fortunes are now spent on the kind of computerized special effects that appeal to the Super Nintendo mind-set of the present-day twelve-year-old, for whom adult relationships, political beliefs, and the bitter-sweet ambiguities of love and loyalty - the magical stuff of Casablanca - are as remote and boring as the kabuki theatre."

This is what I love reading about! He's absolutely right about cinema today. I'm tired of seeing these big Blockbusters: Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman, etc. I'm sick of seeing these movies advertised. All the money going into advertising can go into production cost and maybe some good movies can be made. What am I saying, we're talking about Jerry Bruckheimer, Paramount and Dreamworks. I read that Tom Cruise is the CEO of United Artists. That is a shame, because the company was founded by D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. These individuals are golden cinema legends who built a company that is now in the hands of a raving Scientologist freak. Not to mention all founders were considered the first individuals who formulated art into cinema. And now Tom Cruise is in charge.


We just ended the winter season for the Gordon Theatre with Brecht On Brecht. I really don't know how to express my emotions towards the play. From the audition onward, I struggled. This was a production that not only challenged me as an actor, but as a person. I didn't want to just say Brecht's poems, I wanted to literally absorb the meaning and live them out on stage. Some, I felt were quite successful, but others I felt myself fading back into the actor's mind-set which gave the illusion away. The main way one can tell when an actor is trying to recollect his/her lines is when they are seen as an actor though the audience eye. I tried to eliminate the actor in me to deliver a performance. But I worked so hard to build up an actor mind-set for the role that it kept pestering me to the point where it showed in the role. Brecht, himself claimed that no one had ever been able to achieve his persuasion of Mother Courage. Maybe this was so, because everyone tried to be Mother Courage. He wrote the role a certain way and everyone might have been trying too hard to be her that no one took in account that maybe it should occur naturally. In Brecht On Brecht, I tried being Filch from Threepenny Opera. I have not read the entire play, just the part with Filch. I constantly watched the greatest minds of the silent era: Chaplin and Keaton, and yet I still could not pull off the role (in my mind at least). Now, I'm not praising method acting whatsoever. In fact, I'm saying the opposite of what Strasberg and many others wrote about. Similar to that of Anti-Theatre, I'm hencing sort of a Anti-Actor. Brecht touched on this subject very well in his theory: The Alienation Effect. Brecht says,

"The actor does not allow himself to become completely transformed on the stage into the character he is portraying. He is not Lear, Harpagon, Schweig; he shows them. He reproduces their remarks as authentically as he can; he puts forward their way of behaving to the best of his abilities and knowledge of men; but he never tries to persuade himself that this amounts to a complete transformation. Once the idea of total transformation is abandoned, the actor speaks his part not as if he were improvising it himself but like a quotation."

Acting in this play really changed my whole mind-set as a actor. During The Old Hat, I wanted to really portray Filch, but I realized that even if I did, no one would understand who I was. In fact, finally after so many bad rehearsals, I decided to solely listen to the lines and act them out as I heard them. I was merely a puppet with words being tugs at strings forcing me to move. Like I said before, theatre is at its best when not trying to please an audience. That is a really strong Brechtian philosophy, because he thought about theatre with a fourth-wall. This is one of his mainstream theories: basically the performance act as though a wall is set up between the audience and the performance space. Everything should occur naturally as though an audience is not present. Now what is awesome is that the wall can be broken once reality has been sustained on stage. We did this in Brecht on Brecht with certain pieces gripping reality and then we broke the wall allowing the production to take place within the audience. I don't think I will ever look at another role the same ever again. I have great memories of this show, great friendships, great stories, and yet all of this did not occur to me until midway through our week of performing. And then before I knew it, the play was over. Many people claimed the play was short and they wanted it longer. Well, rehearsals were too short and I wish they had been longer now. Everything about this performance makes me happy and sad all at the same time. I grow depressed thinking about how no other show can give me the feelings that this one gave me. And yet, I'm being too pessimistic. Theatre IS about change. Change is good, because it serves as means of perfecting. I can take Brecht's methods and continue them, adding in certain beliefs of my very own. I think anyone who aspires to act would to this play. Amy and I are very excited about seeing more Brecht plays.

I remember at one point, Dan grew furious with Lauren and Jenna B's piece, because he wanted them to speak as though they were talking to many listeners. He said many times, "Stop reciting poetry! Talk to us as though you were talking to us." At one point, Dan asked everyone to sit on the floor in front of them to add in a visual sight to speak at. He did the same for my piece where I voyage into the audience. At first, I hated going into the audience and touching them, but now that I think about it, I really broke down my own fourth-wall. My comfort acted as the wall and once I accepted terms of reality, I broke it down. God I love adopting theatre to life.

I have even taken an interest to adapt Brecht on Brecht to a film. Really, it would lose most of its meaning, but certain pieces are crying out to me to be made into a film - possibly a short. I started brainstorming, but nothing further. I purposed touring Brecht on Brecht to most of the cast members of the show, but they fiercely shot me down. I think it would be cool traveling and presenting this piece to many others, but obviously I was the only member of the cast philosophically touched as a person by the play. At least we should try and put it on at Dad's Garage. Now that would be SO MUCH FUN!

That's all for now...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mindcutters: A True Story

Last night, Amy and I went to Atlanta and saw a movie called Wristcutters: A Love Story. The movie was amazing! Like nothing I have ever seen. There's so much to say about the film, but I don't really know how to phrase it and have it sound coherent. The acting, story and message was all quite entertaining. To me, it seemed that after the movie began that it was all over. Too short. Maybe that's life. I've really been talking to myself a lot. I hate lying in bed trying to make yourself go to sleep, and you basically have a conversation going in your head. Maybe the movie was a message about life and how it is actually short. Life has managed to go by pretty fast so far. I hate accepting things, no matter what they are. I think when you accept something, you are basically lowering your craft of reason. Never accept something just because "it is" or "it isn't." I've found myself saying, "Well it's life," but what do I really mean when I say that? When life kicks you in the crotch or tank, you should just lay there and accept the fact that you've been beaten, or do you get back up? Are there more repercussions if you get up? If you stay down? Instead of getting up and moving on, what if you get up and run the opposite directions. I've tried formulating some of these ideas into my new story idea. I think I've learned that there's no use worrying about the future, because once the future becomes present, then the only worries existing are those in the past. The decisions I make now are serious. My thoughts and feelings are dangerously influential. Is there an equilibrium? Can you feed two lions with only one human being? Maybe its more a question of identity. Maybe I should rip a page and accept the "that's life." Maybe accepting doesn't necessarily weaken, but give motivation to push through times. Why does it have to be this way? Past, present and future is itself a routine. It's a never ending routine. We movie onward to the future and hope we know what exists afterwards. The afterlife to me is exactly what you want. When you die, everything you've journeyed upon exists when you die. This kingdom of desire fulfills, not punishes. In other words, when we die, there is an unlimited amount of fresh, warm Krispie Cream doughnuts. The most important part about now is to enjoy it. Because one day it won't be now anymore. Nickelodeon is not the same. I know this, because Amy and I found a book with the first thirty pages dedicated to the shows we grew up with and the rest consisted of new concepts brought forth over the past few years. I remember after my operation, lying in a hospital bed and watching Rocko's Modern Life. Maybe I'm still in the hospital bed. Maybe the reality I'm experiencing now is really happening, but just as an alternative reality. God, I love that movie. Well, that's enough useless rambling for now.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This week has been the most stressful and irritable week I've had in a while. I decided to chart out my week, so it makes the work appear more drastic than what I am thinking. Monday, we were supposed to be off book for the play. Tuesday, I worked the One-Act play festival from 7:00 to 6:00 and then rehearsed from 7:00 to 10:00. Went home and Wednesday was Halloween and had a Stagecraft test, which was awesome since I studied for it and was also multiple choice. Went home that afternoon to get sleep and came back for rehearsal. On Thursday, I had a Math exam, which I felt very upset after finishing. I got advised by Dan and found that I will be graduating in the Summer. I'll talk about my new classes ina little while. On Friday I worked the One-Act again, but this went from 8:00 to 4:00. I got payed and went to Dad and Lynn's, where I crashed. Got up early again on Saturday to be at the school by 9:00 to work on the Brecht set until 5:00. I came home, watched some Studio 60 and fell asleep. Got up this morning, downloaded some music, went over my lines and went to rehearsal. Hopefully this next week isn't that hectic. But the good news is that I got to see two great plays, was paid $80, received all my favorite classes and found some cool new music.

First I shall discuss the One-Act. I saw two great plays out of 13. That's two more I liked than last year. First was Mr. Kirk's Catholic School Girls. I really enjoyed the play a lot because of great acting and an entertaining story. At one point, wveryone speaks over one another and it reminded me of a Robert Altman film. I really like the overlapping dialogue. The acting was really strong coming from a high school cast. Lauren won for "Best Actress" and I enjoyed watching her and Mr. Kirk both take in the moment. That's something for a director to have an actress win an award. Most of the director's talen shows through the actors. And I know that made him feel really good, which he should feel. Frankly, the way judging is formulated is pretty bad. It's judged on taste. Yet if the winner was decided by the popular vote of the audience, the triumph would still go to Bang Bang, You're Dead, due to the sheer fact their cast and crew took up practically half of the treatre. So, I have nothing to say on the part of judging, except that it's based on taste, which makes it unethical, but that's the society we live in. On Friday, I saw Calloway High School put on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Even though I had to run lights, I still had my face glued to the stage and was drawn into the performance. I really think it was the greatest one-act I've ever seen. I am a sucker for Absurdist Theatre. All it takes is a judge to not care for it and they lose. And that is just what happened. Except it was three judges. They came in next to last. Instead a play called "Yellow Boat" won. The play was about a kid with aids and had a lot of stupid Sesamee Street pupets, which drew me off for the fact that I'm not a child. And yet the play received a standing ovation by everyone and also tears. It was like an episode of the twilight zone. I was trapped in a world of bad things winning. Wait, is that reality? Usually the losing piece of art is actually greater than the winner. I guess there are exceptions, but if there are, then I guess it blows the whole theory. Maybe I should create a story. Bang Bang Your Dead was awful! I don't know what is worse between the two winners. Bang Bang was 1) Too preachy about how guns are bad, 2) Had a monstrous and distractive set, 3) Annoying acting, 4) Too much damn spectacle, 5) A cast that exceeded our stage capacity. I hate large productions anyways. If it exceeds 40, then make it a movie. I guess I hate "Big Theatre" plays. You can tell the difference when you see one of these productions. I really feel like theatre should be split into "Good Theatre" and "Bad Theatre." Musicals go under bad theatre in case you're wondering. We're doing Brecht on Brecht now and it really makes me appreciate theatre. It seems that the more minimalistic theatre is, the more special it becomes. Yeah, that's it! Really, the more you try and impress an audience, the more it gets away from real theatre. Musicals and big productions are there to make money. The only set peices we have are stools.

The classes are got are great! I was so happy to get the film class. It brings me so much joy knowing that I have the opportunity to study something as great as cinema. I also am taking British Literature with my favorite English professor, Dr. King. He is such a great professor. I could go on and on about his teching methods and his writing, but I won't. I just know that I'm a better writer thanks to him. I'm excited to read new things as well.

Last night I think I achieved REM sleep. This si really weird! I slowly felt myself drift off after I closed my eyes. It was really hard to accept the fact that I was asleep. In fact, I didn't know until I woke. But I was driving on a road at night and it was very hard to see. But out of nowhere, I see a person in front of me, but can't stop in time, so I ram into him. I felt the full impact and everything. I woke and realized it was a nightmare. My heart was beating rapidly and I was sweating badly. I usually sleep in hardly anything, and I have many covers, but hardly ever wake up with that much sweat. It was fear coming out of my pours. I almost didn't drive today, but decided to in the interest of not letting my dreams affect my everyday life. I fell back asleep and dreampt of a Salo-like world in which I saw people tortured and killed. I didn't really worry too much about that one today.

Next Wednesday through Sunday, we put on Brecht on Brecht. I'm a little nervous, but not too much compared to the usual. People were freaking out about the audience being really close, but I just imagine that it's more nervous to be in the audience and have to watch someone really close. I may be wrong. Shit, I'm nervous. Haha. I'm dying to do another intellectual play. Compared to something as boring as Diviners, this is depressingly delightful.

I thought I had more to write about, but I guess not.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm blogging from the Gordon Library this evening for several reasons. I don't want to waste gas and drive home, second I'm bored out of my fucking mind, third I need to study for my history exam tomorrow, and I need to finish getting off book for Brecht On Brecht. Those really are not reasons for blogging in the library, but it is nice and quiet, so it's fine by me.

First I shall discuss the exam. It's 50 multiple choice with no essay (damn to hell!). Dr. Thomas distributed a study guide to everyone in the class. The guide is comprised of 20 key terms. I hate these kinds of study guides, because okay, that means there are either going to be almost four questions pulled from each term, OR other questions will be pulled from other various parts of the lectures. I hate the second, because the study guide is supposed to prepare me for the test, not make me study really hard on a particular area. Maybe I have just been spoiled by other professors who in the past gave me study guides which basically were the test. I thought I did very well on the last one and I received a C. There are only 3 or 4 tests in the class, so I have to do well on this one. BUT he gives extra credit for the book and film review. I mainly took the class for the movie review. I've been torn between several ideas. Gangster (The Roaring Twenties, Public Enemy) or Western (Silver Lode, The Great Train Robbery) Vietnam (Platoon) or Desert Storm (Three Kings). These are just the ones that I'm dying to do. There are others that serve even more relevence towards the material covered.

The play is going well... kinda. It's just that I have so much going on right now. If I were not busy with school I think I could be more intuned with the characters and deliver a better performance. So far I don't think I've even come close to my expectations. Well, I'm still reading from the script which might be a block in my way. I have to be off book for Act One tonight. So, now I am going to write out one of my long speeches to better help me remember my lines. "I am a playwright. I show you what I have seen. In man's markets, I have seen how man is bought and sold. That is what I show you, I the playwright. How they walk into each others rooms, with plans, or gold, or rubber truncheons. How they set traps for one another, full of hope. How they meet for their appointments. How they hang each other. How they love each other. How they eat. That is what I show you. Words they cry out I report. What mother says to son. What topdog barks to underdog. What wife replies to husband. All the begging words. All the bullying. The pleading. The misleading. The lying. The unknowing. The wonderful. The wounding words. I report them all." Now I am going to check and see if I missed a line. Damn! I forgot "How they stand in the street and wait." Fuck! Maybe I am taking this too serious. We don't have that long to prepare for this. Oh well, I'll try not to worry. Yeah right!

Well, I had better study and quit blogging. I'm happy that I've kept up with this pretty nicely. Off to study things that have already happened and continue to be even more things that have already happened.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First there was Bonnie and Clyde...
And then there was Mickey and Mallory...
There is Will and Amy!!!!!

I have to remember that my blog is important. Time has been pretty scarce for me in the past few weeks. Just this past weekend, I received three days off rehearsal thanks to the Georgia Theatre Conference. I took the liberty to relax. Amy, Mama and I watched "How I Met Your Mother" yesterday and had such a ridonk time! I love that show so much! I enjoyed watching Amy laugh at a very certain part where Lily looks like a hunchback and makes this sound that just kills me. Yeah, Amy was a cat and an Irishman last night. I can hear her now: "Oh God, they won't understand!" Hehe. I love Ameeyow so much!"

Dexter comes on tonight and I'm really excited! I wasn't able to watch last weeks episode until last night and the suspense builds quickly. And now I get to watch another whole episode tonight. Wow, I'm a lucky bastard! I am currently studying History. I just finished writing about how Hawaii was the first US foreign involvement. And how in 1875 we signed a Reciprocity Treaty which admitted Hawaii sugar to the US DUTY FREE. The US also established a base at Pearl Harbor (Irony). After a while, the price of sugar fell drastically because of the McKinley Tariff Act, which discontinued the duty on raw sugar from all countries. The Hawaiians wanted to end all relations with the US, so guess what we do? We overthrew their leader and established a provisional government. So, we just went in and took over? That is fucked up! Whatever the US wants, it gets. The worst part about this is that the Hawaii incident inspired future leaders to invade countries and take over. From Puerta Rica to Iraq, the US thinks it can just acquire whatever it wants. Soon it will learn exactly the same lesson that a child must learn: "You cannot get everything you want!"

I just watched the Bill Maher video again and it is so funny. A 9/11 Conspiracy group decided to hide in a Real Time audience and start exclaiming long phrases that no one can understand. Sarcasm: Here, let me yell out a long made up fact which will take forever to finish. First of all, if you want to chant something, make it short. "Impeach Bush!" Not some long ass sentence. Well, these interruptions were in response to one of Bill's New Rules. I cannot believe a bunch of kids take New Rules seriously. It's a comedy sketch! Although Bill wouldn't take the idiotic outbursts. He went out in the audience and pushed the security that were escorting the people out. I mean, it pisses me off too. I read on a few blogs and they are trying to get people to downplay Bill Maher. A few actually are comparing themselves to the guy who got tazered at the Kerry speech. Here's the difference: that event was a Q and A. When you are an audience member, you are supposed to keep your fucking mouth shut. I am very big with free speech, but that is just plain stupid to go on someone ilses show and preach your opinions. At least the guy at FL was keeping the subject relevant. These 9/11 Conspiracy assholes are really getting on my nerves and I cannot wait to watch Real Time next Friday to hear what Bill has to say. I hope he bashes them in the opening monologue so good.

Anyways, that's it for now. I had hoped to talk about film, but I really need to study so I can watch Dexter tonight. God, I love good TV! That reminds me: Studio 60 is now on DVD. Buy it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

I remember the plane ride to Florida turned into a philosophical adventure. The time was somewhere between seven and eight PM. I overheard certain individuals around me indulged in conversation, but ceased once a few gasps made their way over the "gibber talk." I found myself in a situation that I doubt will ever happen again. Looking past the bald guy sitting next to me on the left - I noticed the moon, but while glancing across the isle - I saw the sun making its way down. The left side filled with glistening stars, whereas the right side consisted of one horizon filled with a rusted yellow shade. I thought to myself, "This is really cool, because there's the moon coming up and there's the sun going down. It is as if I'm between time." A sheer fact that at first seemed absurd, at second made the situation seem really interesting. The plane traveled along the border of time, because as time continued, the border slowly moved further right with the falling sun. Maybe it would be possible to chase time. If we were traveling south, that means the sun fell to the west. This means if one travels west constantly, then darkness can never fall. Now time itself is a measurement. You cannot measure time with time. So, what I was in between something even greater than time itself. I need to research this. The very essence of time travel is to move forward or backward? There is past, present and future. There is north, east, south and west. It seems like I've stumbled across a puzzle. Without sunlight, there is dark, which is natural. The sun itself keeps time in existence. Does time exist in space? The only way time exists in space is by the calculated set time on Earth. What if Earth no longer existed? Would time exist no longer? The batteries on a clock would eventually run out. The sun is our clock, but without surface, can we tell what time it is? A sundial can be placed on a particular location here on Earth and we can read it, but in space, there is no surface. It's space -- infinity. I was technically in space. Without modern advances of technology, I could not tell what the time was on a plane, because the plan is not a surface. Would there be a way to calculate that when sitting on a plane that I am sitting flat? There isn't, because we've proven that Earth itself is not flat. So, how can we measure time?

Okay, so I realize that my thoughts just now might appear a little crazy. That is what I get for just writing and not thinking. Or just thinking and not writing.

It is incredibly late and I am tired. Maybe I will post another entry tomorrow less boring.