Friday, May 11, 2007

Opening Night

I'm performing with peck peck dance ensemble tonight. After last night's dress rehearsal, I am kicking myself for not continuing to study dance all those years ago. Darn my fourteen-year-old brain for thinking flat feet were an insurmountable disability. I coulda been a contender!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Eleven Minutes of Legacy

I performed an excerpt of my solo play "Legacy" at The Marsh last night. This is the one about my relation to Brigham Young. I only had eleven minutes of stage time, and it was quite difficult choosing which segment to perform. I've got about 35 minutes of written material, and I intend the full-length work to be about an hour and ten minutes.

Overall, the performance went well. The audience seemed to really enjoy it, and luckily no one, not even le fiancé, noticed how badly I'd screwed up my lines!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'll Tell You What the Facts Are

Le Fiancé's new band played a show at The Knockout last night. It was only their second show, and they've amassed quite a following. The bar was packed, and everyone was really into the music. It's hard not to be - they're really, really good. And I'm not just saying that.

With this new band, I get to revisit the role of groupie. I wasn't in The Smnmblnts for the first six months that we were dating, and I used to go to the shows nervous, giddy, and filled with anticipation. At The Facts' first show a few months ago, all of those feelings rushed back, but the nervousness subsided as soon as they started playing. Then, when le fiancé picked up the tamborine for the song 'Treat Me Right,' the giddiness took over. His tamborine dance makes me very happy.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Filming ended yesterday on the little indie that I've been shooting for the past three weeks.

Week One
The location was the California Cavern in San Andreas. The director had given me an address to look up on mapquest. The directions seemed straight-forward enough, and I took off on the evening of Saturday, April 21 without concern. Shooting would commence immediately upon my arrival, estimated at around 8:00pm. Well, I hadn't planned for the route to be entirely comprised of back roads: one-laners nearly the whole way. Since it was dark out, and raining, and I was driving through unfamiliar territory, I went very slowly. I didn't make it to the town of San Andreas til nearly 10:00.

Although the California Cavern claims to be in San Andreas, it isn't really. Not in the town. It's way, way outside of the town at the very end of a long and winding road. A long and winding wet road (it was still raining), without street lamps. As my Volvo crawled forward, I kept seeing little white sparks leaping from the road. I thought they must be splashes of raindrops in the puddles, glinting in my headlights.

Finally, I spotted a large lit sign that said, "California Cavern at Cave City." At this juncture, I knew I was in the right vicinity for the shoot, but I hadn't been told where the actual location was. It was dark and raining, and I was surrounded by wilderness in all directions. I decided to stay put under the big sign. That's when I noticed that the leaping sparks were tiny white frogs! They were all over the road, and I realized I must have flattened more than a few along the way.

After some time, 15 minutes perhaps, I saw headlights emerging from the darkness, and a van pulled up beside me. It was the director. He lead me down a dirt path and to the foot of a stairway. With flashlights in hand and the hoods of our jackets pulled over our heads, we climbed the stairs to the mouth of a cavern. I'm talking about a real cavern, complete with stalactites, stalagmites, crystal formations, chambers and alleys. It was eerily reminiscent of Indiana Jones.

We finished filming that night at 2:30a.m. and drove directly to the Black Bart Inn to get some rest. (The website says the hotel "offers a restaurant, pool, banquet facilities, first-rate hospitality, and competitive room rates." They also offer bed bugs and a cracked-out cleaning lady.)

The next morning (day, really - I didn't wake up till noon), I wandered around the main road to find a cafe or anywhere that I could get a cup of coffee (as far as I could surmise, the Black Bart Inn does not have a restaurant - one that's functioning, anyway). Along my stroll, I passed a mural with a portrait of Mark Twain and a frog. That's when it dawned on me - I must be in Calaveras County and the frogs I saw are the Celebrated Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County! I loved that story when I was a kid!

Just a few blocks away from the mural, I came across a historical museum on Main Street. After moseying through the rooms of antiques and trinkets (it wasn't much of a museum), I continued my search for coffee. I found a small diner called The Country Station with a menu item I couldn't resist: poached eggs over homemade biscuits and gravy. Just then I saw the rest of the cast walking toward me. We all settled down in a Country Station booth and chowed down, compliments of the director.

Shooting recommenced in the cavern at 6:00 p.m., and wrapped at 2:30 a.m. Again, I drove directly back to the Black Bart Inn to catch some shut-eye before heading back to San Francisco.

Week Two
The location was a ranch outside of Fairfax. It was 85 degrees out. My costume consisted of thick, heavy jeans, tall cowboy boots, a long-sleeved canvas work-shirt, a gun holster, and a cowboy hat. I was miserable. To make it worse, a massive allergy attack kicked in as soon as I got to set, and I didn't have any meds.

I brought meds on the second day, but they didn't help.

By the third day, I was a wreck. Luckily, that was the day that my character gets shot and nearly killed. My worthless state was rather appropriate.

Week Three
We shot in a green screen studio here in the city for the first two days. So easy in comparison to the previous weeks. After shooting, I could go run my errands and live life like normal. Sunday, however, we were back in Fairfax for the scenes with the horse. Yup, I got to ride a horse. Its name was Elche. Okay, I didn't actually get to ride it - they had a stunt person for that. But I did get to get up on it, and shoot a scene where I make like I'm about to start riding. Maybe next time I'll get cast in a film that has the funding train me, so that I can do my own stunts!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of me on the horse. You'll just have to wait till I get a copy of the film!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Old-Timey Kind of Night

We ventured out to a remote region of San Francisco last night called "The Outer Richmond". Our goal was to see Hot Fuzz, the new movie by the creators of Shaun of the Dead. In deciding on a theatre to go to, we chose the one with the earliest show time, which happened to be The Balboa. The reviews on Yelp paint a picture of a small, independent theatre harkening back to days of lore, before the phenomenon of corporate-owned megaplexes.

The Balboa certainly is charming. It stands as the centerpiece of a single block-long strip of restaurants and cafes hovering in the middle of an otherwise sleepy suburb. The scent of popcorn reaches the entire length of the block. The popcorn bar is like the ice cream bar at Ponderosa - 12 different kinds of salts and seasonings beckon big eyes and overkill.

Directly across the street is a laughably nondescript dive bar called Hockey Haven.

My kind of place.

Hot Fuzz was a riot. I won't give any more details. If you've seen Shawn of the Dead, you'll know what to expect.