Friday, August 8, 2008


Last night's Metaluna was one for the books.

One thing Jen has a lot of patience for and is willing to work with is scheduled conflicts. As a director, I want my cast set in stone. If you're going to even miss one show or one rehearsal, I'm going to take that heavily into consideration before casting you. She probably does, too, but I think she's more willing to try to make it work than I am. For example, we have Dave Dastmalchian as "Tristan" in our show. We knew going in that Dave was going to miss a full week of shows because of another commitment and since he makes his living as a film and commercial actor, the rest of the run could very well be up for grabs. Jen worked out a system of Regan Davis, who plays "Rupert," stepping into the role of "Tristan" whenever Dave can't be at a show and then Scott Barsotti steps into the smaller role of "Rupert."

Still following me?

Well, last night, Dave couldn't make the show because he booked a national commercial at the last minute (you have and will see this man in commercials and you probably already saw him in The Dark Knight as one of Joker's henchmen). Well, a national commercial brings in a lot of dough and Dave had to take it. Unfortunately, Scott was unavailable for "Rupert." So, what the hell do we do? Who's the one person most familiar with the show that we can most seamlessly throw into the backstage and onstage whirl that is Metaluna? The director, of course.

Jen Ellison played Metaluna's poet laureate. And, in true Jen Ellison style, she did it quite amazingly well. "Rupert" has a moment on stage where "he" recites a sonnet, Morning Glory by the Brook. My character is fortunately situated in the audience and I could hear the rest of the cast gathering behind the lobby curtain and the offstage areas to try to watch her. What's interesting to me is that even with such little time to prepare, Jen made that character her own. Very distinct from Regan's version and from Scott's - who also made it his own. And she was hysterical. I had a tough time staying in character because I kept cracking up.

Such is theater. Crap like this happens and it turns out to be a jolt of liveliness and creativity for the show. There's also a scene in the second act where "Rupert" kisses "Marlena"and are interrupted. Let's just say we were about five seconds late with that interruption.


Yesterday, I asked...

"The McCain campaign has started a rewards program for supporters who plant official talking points in the comments section on certain websites. This is a new twist on an old ploy known as what?"

50% said "Ghost Speaker"
- They already have a ghostly speaker - John McCain. If the guy were any paler he'd be translucent.

50% said "Having No Original Thought Or Opinion"
- True, yes, but not the right catchy term.

No one went for "Cyano"
- Instead of Roxanne, he's trying to whoo a nation.

And no one got the right answer "AstroTurf"

According to The Washington Post, spread John McCain's official talking points around the Web -- and you could win valuable prizes!

That, in essence, is the McCain campaign's pitch to supporters to join its new online effort, one that combines the features of "AstroTurf" campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs.

On McCain's Web site, visitors are invited to "Spread the Word" about the presumptive Republican nominee by sending campaign-supplied comments to blogs and Web sites under the visitor's screen name. The site offers sample comments ("John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan . . .") and a list of dozens of suggested destinations, conveniently broken down into "conservative," "liberal," "moderate" and "other" categories. Just cut and paste.

Activists and political operatives have used volunteers or paid staff to seed radio call-in shows or letters-to-the-editor pages for years, typically without disclosing the caller or letter writer's connection to a candidate or cause. Like the fake grass for which the practice is named, such AstroTurf messages look as though they come from the grass roots but are ersatz.

The more you post, the more you earn points that can be cashed in like skee ball tickets. Prizes include books autographed by McCain, preferred seating at campaign events, even a ride with the candidate on his bus, known as the Straight Talk Express. The biggest prize is four-to-eight more years of destructive war, torture, spying, pollution and corporate greed. Sorry, Mark. No handjobs from McCain's MILF-y wife.