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Action Bob Markle

Music, theater, and my personal life, not always in that order. I try to keep it interesting, I rarely hold back, because one thing I truly believe in is the shared experience of this reality we call life. We're all in this together, people. More than we even know.

Friday, September 25, 2009

SLAMBoston Auditions Saturday, Oct. 3

I've acted in the Slam maybe four times now. Every time a great time. Great, crazy audience. Judges that judge you Olympic-style--9.5; 9.8; 9.3...I've won the Slam once (a great thrill, because the Slam really is ten minutes of getting shot out of a canon) and yes, one of my plays, Minot Light is entered in the upcoming Slam.

So, get out there and audition.

Here's the scoop:

Holland Productions Audition Announcement

SLAMBoston: Diverse Voices in Theatre (trademark of Another Country Productions)

Holland Productions is seeking actors for the November production of SLAMBoston: Diverse Voices in Theatre (a trademark of Another Country Productions) to be held at The Factory Theatre

Casting Breakdown

CHRISTMAS VISITS by, Charles Watson Malcolm: 19 M; African-American; Lorine: 48 F; African-American; Malcolm's mother

ZOOLOGY by Emily Dendinger Maggie: 29 F; working woman Luke: 30 M; Maggie's husband

A FAG'S LIFE by Kyle Walker 5M Ellis: Early 30s, African-American, someone effeminate visual artist Buff: 40s, Caucasian, publisher of a gay men's style magazine; an Australian accent that may or may not be real Todd: 20s, Caucasian, trick, "gangsta" wannabe Rick: 20s, Caucasian, character in Ellis's comic Tyler: 20s, African-American, character in Ellis's comic

ABSOLUTION by Thom Dunn 2M Donnelly: 50s/60s; a clergyman Simon: mid-20s

MINOT LIGHT by John Greiner-Ferris 3W Stephanie: 20s-30s; a lesbian Andrea: 30s/40s; a lesbian Susan: 20s/30s

HER DYING WISH by Philana Gnatowski 2W Jess: Mid-20s Jillian: Early-30s; Jess's sister

ORI AND ADDISON by James Ferguson 2M Ori: 30s; nervous new father Addison: Slightly younger than Ori

Audition Dates: Sat. October 3rd
Audition Times 12-5
Audition Location: The Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St., Boston
Aud Requirements: 1 minute monologue
Rehearsal Start Date: October
Production Start Date: Monday November 2nd & Tuesday Nov 3rd
Audition Contact Name Victor
Contact Email hollandproductions@gmail.com
Please email Hollandproductions@gmail.com to request a slot between 12-5 pm.
All performers including those of color, seniors, women and performers with disabilities are encouraged to audition and will be given full consideration.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Save Oct. 19 for New Urban Theatre Laboratory

The New Urban Theatre Laboratory exists to use the experimental power of theatre to investigate the stories and voices of those who exist on the margins of society. We seek to bring the stories of the underrepresented to the forefront using the active ingredients of honesty and insight mixed in with equal parts sadness and joy, myth and mysticism, farce and cynicism and above all, truth.

Based in Boston Massachusetts, The New Urban Theatre Lab is also dedicated to exploring new ways that theater can build relationships with local business, and help promote the health of the economy.

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Exquisite Corps Theatre opens tonight with Infiinite Story

I'm hoping to check this out. Exquisite Corps is one of the many new theater groups that have sprung up in Boston. Infinite Story is their second production, if memory serves right for me, and the process of making the show, was very organic, much like NXR did for Shhh!.

Four playwrights and 13 theater artists met for a weekend of brainstorming to put together four original plays. Tonight's production of four plays is the result of that collaboration.

You have to hurry. The production runs just this weekend.

Here's the scoop.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daft

An interesting bit of theater...



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Check out Audrey Ryan this Thursday (9.24) at TT the Bear

I saw Audrey Ryan open for The Bittersweets at Club Passim a couple of months ago, and strongly suggest if you get the chance to see her perform to take the opp. I'm on her email list and got this. Just read it and you get an idea of what she's like. Check out her music here.

Here's a YouTube vid of her from a few years ago. She's an eclectic performer. The night I saw her she played accordion, a few percussion instruments, and she worked with a digital loop gizmo to accompany her music.



Here's her email:

So even though I promised to cease playing local shows before my CD release on October 17th I still got offered a few I couldn't resist. I'll be playing tomorrow night at TTs the Bears with Elizabeth and the Catapult which is an indie rock outfit from NYC.

Thursday, September 24th @9pm
TT the Bears
Brookline Ave, Cambridge
9:15 - Audrey
10:30- For Orange Nichole
11:30- Elizabeth and the Catapult

Tix are $10 and it's 18+

I also recently did something I've never done before which is agree to be apart of a "competition" or more specifically a battle of the bands. In general I find these sort of things to be sort of asinine, after all how can you compare different kinds of bands? It's usually apples and oranges...but anyway, I did the first round of the "River Rising Star 09'" competition sponsored by The River 92.5 FM and well...I won...

so the finals are next month on Thursday, October 15th, venue TBA... However, I'd like to emphasize that I'd really just like all my friends and other people who appreciate my music (don't like the word "fans") to come to my dual CD release and documentary premiere of "the Loft Show Upstairs" movie. This is the show not to miss so please put it on your calender, plus there's even free beer and wine!! So how could you not go?

CD RELEASE:
Saturday, October 17th @7:30pm
The Sanctuary @ the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church
155 Powderhouse Blvd.
Somerville

(near Tufts, public transportation from Davis Square, or bus to Teele Square)

$5 general admission;
$10 admission and copy of new CD “I Know, I Know”

Schedule:
7:30pm- opener “Gretel”
8:30pm- Audrey Ryan
9:45pm- screening of documentary “Loft Show Upstairs” (40 minutes)

We will be providing free snacks and drinks including beer and wine while supplies last.

Thanks,
Audrey

And here's a bonus: A YouTube vid of Elizabeth and the Catapult.

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Comfortable in my own skin

Sue said two things today that made me feel so good. The first was that the house smelled so good with cooking last night when she came home. Yesterday I made granola and soup and bread, all part of Sue’s and my desire to feel good and live healthy so we can do the things we like to do.

And this morning while we were talking, she said that I was her best friend.

I’ve always had just one best friend (Sue said she’s always been the same way) just one person who I spent all my time with. Plus a few others close friends, but only about four, no more than five. I guess I value quality over quantity. I’ve never been a joiner, prefer being a loner, watching from the fringe, and never liked traveling around in large groups. On the surface it’s just too complicated and too much pandemonium for me, but that makes me look shallow. It’s simply in a large group you can’t do the one thing that I love to do, and that’s have a deep conversation, one on one. Baxter, and don’t ask me how he knows things, but he knows things, said the one thing that I’ve always craved my entire life is intimacy. I like close, and the closer to the bone we get, the better I like it. But it takes a long while to get where you know who you are, and not just what you want, but what you need. Or it took me a long time. Maybe I’m just a slow learner. Maybe there’s more for me to understand about myself. Well, of course there is. But feeling good inside your own skin gives you so much calm strength. I’m not perfect, but it would take a lot to take that away from me now.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The upside to a down economy

I was reading a news article yesterday that Amish view the current economic downturn (CED) as a blessing. It's forcing them to return to their core values, making those who abandoned the farm for the factory and the town, who turned to a wage-dependent job instead of a family business, return to the Amish religious and family-centric life.

Sounds all good to me.

The Industrial Revolution was what broke up the family to begin with, Shanghaiing the majority of the United States' population from Walton Mountain with three generations living under one roof and paying with cash, to the fast life of the city that ultimately ended in a soulless existence living off credit and using either drugs or the television to numb the frayed nerve endings.

I read about another family that eliminated $106K in debt over five years. They racked up that kind of debt, not by fast living, but simply buying new: new cars and clothes. They didn't even own a home. I've never understood people who pay thirty grand for a car when you can buy something used and serviceable (that means a beat up old pickup) for ten grand. But that's still a lot of Gap sweaters and Abecrombie hoodies.

Long ago, my grand plan was to own a small farm--no more than 12 or 15 acres--and garden and raise one or two head of livestock that I could prod into the truck and take to the slaughter house for storage in my freezer. I wasn't a crazy Unabomber type. It was just a continuation of how I saw many of my relatives, who lived on farms in Indiana, live. You're hitting the jackpot when you live a life like, being close to nature and the seasons taps you into a spirituality you won't get in the grandest European cathedral. You're healthy, wealthy (with a good life) and wise from good, fresh, organic food, fresh air, and just the right amount of exercise. You go to bed with a clean conscious because you're tired and you know you've put in a honest day's work. Again, I wasn't talking about going off the grid. I was just thinking about simplifying.

Well, I don't have a farm, love living near the city because of all the intellectual pursuits it offers, but my (and Sue's) instincts to always simplify a bit more have served us well.

Since getting laid off back in December, I've fully realized that I'm happiest working at home, on my own, working with clients to promote their products that I can really believe in. I knew it, it just took another two years in a cube to really drive that idea home. Not that I wouldn't still take a staff job with a company. It would have to be the right one, with the right people, that's all. In the meantime, working at home has let me simplify, and live life more like I like to live it, even though I'm not living it on a farm.

Today is a good example. Right now I have projects with Saucony and MIT's Sloan School. I honestly believe that those two organizations make the world a better place--the Sloan School obviously through education, and Saucony by helping people stay healthy. It's a great day when you can get up in the morning and look forward to your work, because for the longest time I didn't.

Sue and I get some nice quality time together, even though both of us keep very busy. We got up. Sue jumped in the shower while I put the coffee to brewing. I was heading for our home office here later in the day, but because I wasn't racing to get to an office--grinding my teeth to either catch the T or leaving to sit in the parking lots that make up the highways and beltways that circle and crisscross Boston--Sue and I had time to talk and enter the day slowly.

Someone I know who is way up there in an ad agency described his job as trying to drink from a fire hose. Now he says he can't even do that. Our jobs are killing us--literally. The pressure and the anxiety that's out there is lethal. And what's funny is I have anxiety in my life, too. I worry about money, where the next paycheck, project, client is going to come from. It's not easy right now at all. But it's anxiety that I can handle because I feel in control of it. Most who have jobs right now don't feel that way, and they're going to need their paychecks to pay for their heart transplants.

I have a nurturing side. When my first-born came into the world, I wanted to stay home and take care of her, but I was the primary wager earner, which meant I was making a lot of money basically doing something I didn't want to do at a place where I didn't want to go. I finally landed a job where I could telecommute, was able to work and take care of now two kids, but the job was extraordinarily unrewarding, even worse, destructive. Living life in a way you're not meant to live it can not only destroy you, but damage the people around you.

I think this American life we fell into, where both parents go off to work because they "need" two or four big,expensive cars, a big-screen television with every premium package from the cable company, a huge house filled with every finest of everything sapped our souls and damaged our families and relationships beyond repair. I'm not saying live like the Amish. I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying we need to live more simply and pay attention to what's important to a healthy life, both spiritually and physically. And more than anything that means paying better attention to our loved ones, and reducing the amount of stress that's in our lives and giving back more time so we can do whatever it is we as individuals do to feel enjoyment in our lives.

So now that I'm home, I can take better care of Sue and myself. This morning I made pancakes, and at the same time made a batch of granola. Towards noon, I took a break and went grocery shopping, came home, put together a batch of chicken soup that I can now smell simmering, and threw ingredients in the bread machine for fresh, healthy bread. Sue's got a crazy job, but it gives me a little bit of solace that I stay at home if I can work to make her life a little easier or more pleasant. And that makes me happy.

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Not doing anything Thursday?--check out Holland Productions' kickoff

Got this from Krista.

Holland Productions is kicking off their 2009/2010 season with a benefit at Kitty O'Shea's. I can't make it, I have rehearsal that night, otherwise I'd be there. (Okay, now there's a reason right there to go!) If you're not doing anything and want to hang with some really good people and support live theater and new voices in Boston, here are the details.


Kitty O'Shea's
131 State St.
Boston, MA US

Thursday, September 24, 7:00PM

Help Holland Productions kick off our 2009-2010 season and raise money for our upcoming show, Kid Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh by Jordan Harrison (October 30th - November 15th at The Factory Theatre)! Join us for a night of food, fun, and live entertainment.

Raffle on great items including those donated from The Friendly Toast, Good Vibrations, Rotary, Hypothesis, and the SpeakEasy Stage Company!

Bid in our live "Date Holland Productions" auction.

$10 at the door (includes a raffle ticket)
Cash bar

We'll see you there!

About Holland Productions: Holland Productions believes in honest theatre; theatre that engages the heart, cultivates creativity, and dissolves boundaries. We believe that theatre is truly a collaborative process and we strive to create work where all those involved, from actor to audience, can bring individual experiences to explore. It is our goal to provide a forum for the ideas of contemporary playwrights and a channel for the female voice. Through smart, sensitive, and stimulating theatre Holland Productions is committed to challenging the complexity of reality.

About Kid Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh: Moll, a girl who invents things, wins the science fair with a machine for hearing sounds that can't be heard. But when a shape-shifting Mercenary steals the invention (and her heart), she must embark on a quest to save noise as we know it. In a quirky fable of innocence and experience Moll crosses chasms and rafts rivers into a world where sound is always more than what meets the ear.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dumb joke

My mother came from a big family due to my grandmother being hard of hearing.

At the end of every day, grandpa would say to grandma, "Well, do you want to go to sleep or what?"

And she'd say, "What??"

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The Longest Way

Check it out. This guy walked for a year--4646km through China and recorded the changes to his face--actually his whole head and deameanor. Really cool soundtrack and editing.

The Longest Way 1.0 - one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.

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Deadstring Brothers--Sacred Heart

Saw Deadstring Brothers over the weekend at the Middle East for the Rolling Rock Beer-B-Q sponsored by Bloodshot Records. Yeah, I actually went to something by that name. Five bucks and a bunch of bands including Graham Parker and Bobby Bare. Jr.

Anyway, despite the lousy sound system that plagues the Middle East (and always makes me think twice about forking over even such a paltry sum because you know it's gonna sound bad) I was glad to get turned on to these guys.

Wikipedia says their sound is reminiscent of the Stones Exile on Mainstreet. Okay. Yeah, I've always liked it when all those English musicians incorporated the U.S. South into their music.

Here's their MySpace link
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It Might Get Loud--great flick about the creative process

It Might Get Loud is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. I was hunkered down in my seat and was so quiet--wasn't fidgeting because of my back--that Sue thought I was asleep. Nope, just really absorbed.

Take three guitarists at different phases of their lives: Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, The Edge from U2, and Jack White from The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, put them on some couches and let them talk about their guitars. Pretty simple concept.

What you get, though, is a lively discussion on the creative process from artists, one who is solidly ensconced in rock and roll's history, another at the height of his creative path, and a youngster, well on his way but still feeling his way along. What you get is a deeper appreciation for each one of these musicians and their body of work, and how they individually used their guitars to share what's inside them.

Jimmy Page is peaceful and almost avuncular, looking back on his life with The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. He reminisces on what IT was like. The Edge talks mostly of not only how he works, but why he plays and writes. Jack White talks about his roots and how he's constantly going back to them.

Check it out if you're into music or if you're in any way involved with the creative process.


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