Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Advice to the Young

Don't let your quarter-life crisis
Lead you to join up with ISIS.

Your life may end up shorter,
And what you thought was a quarter,
May turn out to be your life entire,
Cut off abruptly by enemy fire.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Carlyle on Heroes

At book club tonight we discussed Thomas Carlyle's book on Heroes & Hero Worship & the Heroic in History, based on some lectures he gave in 1840. The book itself I found an unreliable guide to the announced topic, full of preachy fulminations in the 19th century style. I remember finding it unreadable when I was in college.

The theory of historically relativistic truth is incidentally championed. Of course in a literal sense, something can be "true then but not true now". For instance, "Virginia is a British colony" was true once, but no longer. But to say that Dante's beliefs were true once, and no longer, is a deeply problematic form of discourse, if it is to be taken seriously. 

Embracing contradiction
Brings on mental friction. 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Russ Tutterow

I was saddened to see that Russ Tutterow has died. He was the person in charge at Chicago Dramatists for a long time. Years ago I took 4 play-writing classes there, including a class he gave on the business side of play-writing, which was frank and helpful.

As with the other arts,
there's money at the top,
but few songs make the charts,
and lots of plays go flop.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

End of First Weekend

Devilish Children is one quarter done. 
I'm onstage quite briefly, but it's always fun. 

Devilishly Sweet Review

Well, when you're in a play, it's always nice to see a line like this:

"4 out of 4 stars"

We opened Friday, the audience seemed to enjoy it both Friday and Saturday, and now we see that at least one critic, John Glines, liked it a lot.

"Each story, and each character, is unique and humorous, and the Devilish Children whom Little Karl encounters rhyme throughout. Each actor’s German accent was spot on, and their characters all had their own mannerisms and dispositions which really brought them to life. The sound design was especially beautiful; there was a lot of word painting going on with the music, as the music reflected the current mood of the play."

Four stars out of four!
I know it's the maximum score,
but couldn't he give us more?

(We always strive
for five.)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Devilish Children

I'm acting in a play at Dream Theatre.

We open tomorrow with The Devilish Children and the Civilizing Process. It's an adaptation of a classic 19th century German book for children, "Der Struwwelpeter", which is a collection of short rhymed stories.

This play adds a through-line, a hero's journey, for little Karl, aged 3.

Although the original stories are for children, our production runs to the graphic, and you should only bring children who won't be terrified.

These cautionary tales
were originally designed,
to scare bad children into
a civilized state of mind.

Marathon, No. Fringe, Yes.

Yesterday I got an email that opened like this:

"Thank you for entering the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon lottery. We regret to inform you that your name was not selected."

I was feeling sort of unlucky.

Then tonight I got an email that opened like this:

"Dear FringeNYC Participant,

That’s right, Participant! CONGRATULATIONS! Your production of O'Brien & O'Brian has been ACCEPTED, and on behalf of The Present Company and the entire FringeNYC team, we want to welcome you to FringeNYC."

My play got into the NYC Fringe.
I feel my brain is about to unhinge.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Major League Wildness

The White Sox are playing the Orioles tomorrow, in Baltimore.

There won't be much of a crowd -
no fans are allowed.

It's some kind of safety thing because of the riots in the city of Edgar Allen Poe. Apparently it has never happened before in the history of major league baseball.

Things are out of hand
when fans are banned.

I wonder what Poe would have thought of this.

Once upon a baseball season, having lost all trace of reason,
I sneaked in to see the Orioles play as they have played before.
While I watched them, barely waking, suddenly there came a breaking,
As of someone boldly taking, hatchets to the stadium door.
"'Tis some rioters," I muttered, "breaking though the stadium door -
It's a mess, in Baltimore."

Professor Has Had It

Prof goes off on class,
says none shall pass.

"The lengthy, fiery email to students explained to students why they would all be receiving failing grades, included is Horwitz’s claim that the students were spreading untrue online rumors about his wife and that he felt threatened enough to physically teach the course that he required police protection."

Administration says no,
this isn't a go.

I'd say he sounds excitable.
At least that's not indictable.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just the Ticket

A speeding ticket for 58 thou?
Just, wow.

He was going about 14 mph over the limit. It happened in Finland:

"Mr. Kuisla is a millionaire, and in Finland the fines for more serious speeding infractions are calculated according to income."

He says he's thinking of leaving the place.
I can see where he would, if he likes a fast pace.

Dog Whispering

When teaching "down" to a lazy pup,
you may first need to get her up.