Saturday, January 31, 2009

Whatever happened to concepts?

Have the collective shrinking of our attention spans and our the push to leave no child behind caused us to lose our ability to conceptualize? Have artists replaced concept with gimmick and shock value? Have bold artistic statements been replaced by sophomoric references to bodily functions? Must we bastardize complexity and boil it down to base appeals to our carnal desires just to engage an audience? We live in an age with a tremendous potential for enlightenment, yet we seem to be plummeting toward the dung heap of banality. Hopefully the change in leadership will signal a positive change for our cultural landscape. Then again, I do enjoy Ubu Roi.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm back from KCACTF and Playing catchup at School

I had a great week at KCACTF. On Monday we had our first rehearsal for Atlas of Mud, which won the national science award last year. On Tuesday, we met the playwright, and she realized we had the wrong version of the script. After a 1/2 hour delay for photocopying and three-hole punching, we were back on track. Had some good prospects stop by our table at the college fair. I also had the chance to chat w/ friends and collegues I hadn't seen in a while. On Wednesday we rehearsed in the morning and afternoon in the Lied Center, and we performed at 3:00. great space, great play, great playwright, and great group of actors and director to work with. On Thursday my workshop was packed(thanks in part to Serena and her friends). Thursday night was spent exploring what Lawrence had to offer with my good friends Tim and Scott. Friday I had a luncheon, saw The Rabbit Hole, and proceeded back to Marshall. i saw some other shows, readings, and workshops during the week, but left them out of my brief chronology. On firday night the boys decorated a cake for grandma Myrna. On Saturday we hopped up to Iowa. I saw Slumdog Millionaire in Des Moines. If you haven't seen it get off your ass and go! On Sunday we had a suprise brunch for my mom in Ottumwa. This week has been about getting caught up from being gone for a week. I've been invited to go down to the Region 6 festival to do some workshops, but I don't think I can work it into my schedule. I'm still mulling it over though. I forgot that before we went to Iowa Saturday, Martin's Shark Car raced in the Pinewood Derby. Also, this week Rowan made a Chinese Dragon for the Chinese New Year celebration at school.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art or craft

So this morning I made Martin some scrambled eggs, and I used the ketchup to turn them into a lion. He told me he loved the art I created with ketchup and eggs, and I returned the compliment telling him that I loved the art he was creating with pencil and paper(he was learning to draw super diaper baby and some other characters out of captain underpants). Martin then informed me that what he was doing wasn't art since he was learning to draw from a book. This brings up the art or craft argument. Is one creative just because they are technically skilled in their particular artform? What role does creativity play. If all one does is repeat what has been done before, are they truly an artist, or simply a craftsperson? And, why SIMPLY a craftsperson? Is being an artist inherently better than being a craftsperson?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It was cold today, but not as cold as I had expected. Cold, but sunny and calm. It was actually inspirational. I thought spilling green tea in the car was a sign that it was going to be a horrific day, but all in all, not too shabby. We finished Martin's pinewood derby Shark Car, although we may still add a bit of weight. I believe I here that the wind has arrived. It sounds brutal!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ready to go!

So, I'm back from St. Louis, and I'm ready to actually start classes tomorrow. Saw some good auditions and tech interviews this weekend, and had a good workshop session. Tomorrow its on to Theatre History and Playwriting. I'm not sure that I have a rant tonight. I found out that my KCACTF workshop will be on Thursday evening next week, so with rehearsals and performances, and workshops, I will be there all week. And I was just going to pop over for a day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The New Semester

Ok, so we are nearing the end of Christmas break and heading into a new semester. I love the excitement and the potential of heading into a new semester. It's kind of like the smell of napalm in the morning. Hmm? What I hate is the crossing of Is and the dotting of Ts (wait a minute, reverse that) that comes with putting the final touches on a new syllabus. I guess its all part of the wonderful bureaucracy that seems to make people feel as if they are living in a logical ordered world, but which I feel stifles all impulses to do good and makes me want to run into a cave and scream until I'm buried in an avalanche of hot fudge sauce and cashews. Anyway, classes start up again on Thursday, but I'll be in St. Louis doing workshops, then I'll have a week of classes before heading to Lawrence for KCACTF and a staged reading at the Lied Center, and perhaps more workshops. I'm not sure where this was heading when I started, but it has become a laundry list of my schedule for next couple of weeks. Sorry you had to read this. I'd delete it, but I'm really not that sorry, and it may have value as some sort of therapy. Bottom line is this, the new year is here, I'm back in Missouri, and I've got toget some shit done before I can get some shit done. Did I accomplish everything I wanted to over break? No. Did I waste time? Not really. If I had it to do over again, would I change anything? Yes. I would have gone to a movie. Again, sorry for putting you through this.