Ahhhh. Scotland. In Edinburgh, everything revolves around the castle, a towering edifice built on the most impressive mound of mossy rock I've ever seen. It's massive and fantastic--I keep wanting to charge up its side with half my face painted blue.
Things here are good--though the flight was atrocious and delayed, we have since recovered. Somehow it took longer to get from London to Edinburgh than it did from New York to London--go figure. Also, owing to "the magic of theatre" we had to carry forty pounds of solid lead trestle on the airlines, and this, suprisingly, was not quite as amusing as it looks.
Advance buzz seems decent from here--I have an interview with the BBC tonight, people at the venue and in the area seem to have heard of the show, and I've talked to 3 folks who have read the book. Downside is that the poster isn't getting all that much traction--it seems to be outclassed in size by other posters, and where I've seen it (in the Assembly hall) it hasn't garnered choice location. From what I can tell it is a fluid game--there are conservatively 3,500 shows here this year, so the way to win is word of mouth coupled with the rare TV and radio exposure.
Our producer on the ground, Marlene, is wonderful to work with--warm, energetic and on the fucking ball. I love people who know their shit...who OWN their shit, completely and utterly. Marlene is one of those, and I swear I could kiss her every time she answers two telephones and juggles email to elegantly toss off perfect press releases. She really is inspiring...in my next life, I want to be in relations, as it appears to be more fun than actually creating things.
The venue itself is intimate and perfect--I am so delighted. I actually think it may be the best venue we've ever played, and this particular combo of trestles, desk and door, though a bitch to get together, kicks total ass. I love the whole of the Assembly rooms--it's a wonderful spot at the heart of the fest, and there seem to be a great deal of
So, now we do press tonight, and the big press kickoff tomorrow...we're performing the first movement of training, as it's smart and funny w/o needing a lot of grounding from other parts of the show. Part of me thinks it would be wiser to patch together "greatest hits" from throughout the show, but I don't want the thing to look like it created by an epileptic with ADD, so for now JM's wisdom and sanity prevails.
Last thing: against all experience, our first real meal in the UK featured an excellent goat cheese SALAD. Salad! In the UK! It's enough to make a grown man weep with joy.
Well, well, well. This blog has been well and truly dead for months now. It's interesting to me how these things work in cycles--for the longest time, this place served as my public journal, then it became a repository for links which were cool or strange, then it became somewhat political and flame-oriented, slowly devolving into just random pictures and links without explanation until it was finally here...cold and empty, drifting in cyberspace. Folks were starting to dicker over salvage rights. Not pretty.
Now that there's no chance of hangers-ons still looking, it's time to start up again, I think. First, an update on where I've been...I still live in Brooklyn, in Carroll Gardens where I am very happy in my apartment. I'm still married--as a matter of fact, today is my 3rd wedding anniversary, a milestone I'm proud and pleased to have passed. Three years isn't much to some, but it's what I have so far--and I have to say that a lot of folks don't get to three. Yeah, I know--it sounds silly, but three years can be a lot in our ADD-flooded culture.
Over the last six months I have been working intensively on creating a show with HBO, and those efforts have been going very well--it's exciting work, and the people I've gotten to work with so far are stellar. It's been challenging, learning a whole new idiom, and to some extent it has been humbling, because things take me a lot longer than I initially thought they would...one of the reasons this part of my life has gone by the wayside.
Other projects: a few months back, I was the artistic director for TEN STORIES: A Humble Offering To The Manhattan Skyline, a very cool project that involved dropping the roof of a Brooklyn brownstone in a park on the East River, and then setting plays on it, silhoutted by the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. I'd missed producing big, sprawling projects with lots of moving parts, and it was a great environment to be back inside of again.
This spring I helped my friend Suzanne's new show, YOGA BITCH, find a venue and get itself rolling. YOGA BITCH is an autobiographical solo show, about Suzanne's exciting bout with cult-like yoga immersion in colorful, decadent Bali--lots of pissdrinking, cattiness and revelations. I'm quite fond of it, and it was directed by my wife, whom frequent readers know directs my shows...it was terribly instructive to see someone else's show go through the wringer I go through, and it feels good to be helping to promote an interesting theatrical form that doesn't get a lot of play.
Tonight I celebrate my marriage in the tradition of my people, by getting in a metal tube and hurtling over the ocean at 800 mph. We are traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Fringe Festival--they have the largest such festival on the planet, and for the month of August I will be in residence there, performing 21 DOG YEARS, seeing other folks shows, writing and developing new work. It's a very exciting trip--Edinburgh is the epicenter of DIY theater, and this festival has immense variety, with a ludicrious number of performances happening all month long. Check out the main site for the scale of the festival, and here is my show, which you can purchase tickets for right there on the site through the Power of the Internet.
Well, I'm off--there's a lot to finish off before this evening, not the least being a block of new pages in this script. My next update will be from on the ground in Scotland.
Folks are trying to escape Cuba in a floating '51 Chevy truck. Fantastic.
Watch a movie of tool-making crows and wonder where this places them in the hierarchy of intelligence.
Grossest Story Award: An X-ray showing a fork lodged sideways in the stomach of a 32-year-old woman who accidently swallowed it while using it to scoop a cockroach out of her throat.
Men pay anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 for the chance to come to the middle of the desert to shoot what they call "Bambis" with a paint ball gun.
Isn't that a creepy thought?
Apparently, online voting in 2004 will require Windows and Internet Explorer. I hope that when I'm a convicted monopolist my products will then be required for use by the electorate.
A review of the greatest game: Real Life.
Article on how to teach people to play board games makes some excellent points about design, process and getting along with neophytes.