In November & December of 2013, The Hideout Theatre put up a production entitled A Bedtime Gorey, improvised bedtime stories inspired by the works of macabre illustrator, Edward Gorey. I was struck by the set design, costuming, and makeup of the improvisers so I decided to setup a few lights and capture it.
A wise person once told me that the most productive and creative people on the planet journal consistently. I keep a black journal on me at all times (well, almost). A lot more ideas go into it than I share publicly, but still I have not felt creative lately. Despite being someone whom creates constantly, I have felt productive but not creative.
One thing I HAVE done lately is acquire some camera equipment that I’ve been thinking about getting for years and years. One such item is a 56″ moon unit reflector soft box to use with my trusted ABR800 ringflash light. This off-camera tool with allow me to do more fancy lighting with more consistency and control. I’m still not crazy about artificial lighting but it’s nice to have when you’re looking to book a larger variety of gigs.
Some people say “don’t show weakness”. I don’t know if I’m into that. I always feel much more human when I just show you my cards.
I struggle with comparing myself to others, both in positive and negative ways. Todd Roeth is always five steps ahead of me in the most endearing way and I owe a huge part of who I am to the possibilities that he’s shown me just by living his life with intense purpose. Both Nessa K and Nadine Latief have created booming photography businesses (far more successful than mine in many ways), yet I still remember meeting with them to talk about camera stuff as they were getting started. Noël Wells has made her way to Saturday Night Live, and I remember sitting in the same improv workshop as her. All these people have really taken off with their careers and creativity and sometimes I wonder if I’m not asking enough of myself. This is a bizarre feeling because I don’t necessarily want the same lives that these folks have achieved. I have a lot of interests and I pursue all of them equally. Every since I was thirteen, I have asked myself: Is it better to pour all your passion into one focus, or do all the stuff you want at the same time. I can’t say I’m not jealous of other people sometimes. But I can say that I’m extremely excited for these people. I just sometimes forget that I’m uber-lucky too and constantly asking the question “am I doing what I want?”.
On a more positive note, Halyn and I have been making more efforts to live the kind of lives we say we want all the time. This usually just results in more indulgent uses of our time. For example, Halyn wanted to make a pumpkin cemetery for our yard and this is the fruit of that idea! I love it and I think she did a glorious job with it. She’s constantly finding creative projects for herself while going the extra effort for others as well (her cheer gym, friends, family).
This post doesn’t have a strong focus. I’m completely fine with that. I feel much better for writing it.
So, I perform in a lot of improv shows. In fact, it’s rare for me not to perform twice a week. This makes it progressively more difficult to get friends and people out to see you perform. It’s also usually during a prime fun time for most people (Saturdays at 8pm).
All of that, the show I’m currently involved in is NOT to be missed. It’s called Theatresports and it was created by Keith Johnstone (the man who created Maestro and several other formats). It pairs up two teams to face-off with improv challenges that can literally be anything (the first week, we had a paper airplane-throwing contest). Like most “competition” shows in improv, it’s not really about winning but getting you amped up and raising the stakes.
This upcoming weekend will be the third week of the run, and my second performance (I missed the second week). The inaugural show was phenomenal. The sold-out audience was booing judges (yes, there are judges), demanding a tie for the exhibition act, and screaming their heads off the entire show. The show feels more like a sporting event than anything I’ve been involved with. So come on out!