Monday, November 30, 2009

'Caffeine! Resurrection and The Runaway Dog'

Last night's show was a small but powerful audience. The show is getting more solidified each time I perform. I have to be bolstered by the fact that each show brings its own discoveries, (interacting with the screen and the new photos, testing different text interpretations) so, the nerves are beginning to subside, and I can relax on stage and just 'tell the story'. Rustin's proficiency in the tech booth gives me freedom from worrying about the technical side of things, he really understands what I'm doing 'up there', as the production side of the show brings a heft that the show needs. (We've pared down the sound cues, but reinserted some since San Francisco). Last night, after doing the show now thirty times, I really had a renewed sense of the quality of the show and the value of doing it. (insert self effacing comment here to balance what I've just said). I still have fourteen more shows here, so by the end, I should really have it completely finished, perhaps once that feels right, I can move on to another project.

Coming down here was meant to be a three part attack, the show, the webisode, Caffeine!, and the music world. The music scene, as I've mentioned, is pretty hard to crack, however, the other night at the 'Johnny Cash' bar, the band playing was the first one I've heard here where I thought, "I can do what they are doing..." I suppose, going to see the top musicians in Austin right out of the gate was a little daunting, but it takes all kinds of music here to make it work. Rustin works for hours each day playing his guitar, I only wish I could be more disciplined with the music. As I feel more comfortable with the show, I can turn my attention to the other two parts of the bigger picture.

As for the Caffeine! series, its a project that has refused to die in my mind. As I've said before, it is something I know can work, and getting going again will be a continuance of the learning curve we started on two years ago when we started to shoot it. (it took nine months to shoot the ten episodes) As time marches on, I can look at the episodes and still be excited about its continuance. I can see the flaws, but I can also see the vast potential of this project. The first order of business is to get the website in a different and 'new' format, which Dan is working on. The website needs an overhaul to make a splash, and Dan is the man for the job. We are also about to launch a blog for the website, so that we can begin assembling 'friends' that are getting the word out about our project. Caffeine! is the only project I've developed that had any potential for making a living doing, although this 'one person show', BC, hopefully, can eventually sustain me, (and also free up time to launch a second season of Caffeine!) I know if we can find the right people to understand its potential, we will relaunch the project and a second season. Austin has a great film scene from what I understand, but I've not tapped into it yet. Kurt, (who directed now eight of my plays including this new one) is also interested in seeing this project on its feet again. He was the first to understand exactly what we were doing, and coined the phrase, 'high brow, low brow...' Although I don't believe we were the first ones to discover this hybrid, its a great formula that utilizes the skills we know how to execute. As pretentious as it sounds, we want to somehow literalize pop culture in a way that appeals to a lot of different people. (think Quentin Tarrentino meets F. Scott Fitzgerald) We want to raise the age level of our original cast, so that we can appeal to that demographic, and continue on with the tongue and cheek nod to the great books of the world, (or destroying them--depending on how one looks at it). Part of its appeal to me is that I know where the money is coming from to sustain the eventuality of the project, (advertising). I started a theatre company years ago so that I could immerse myself in the learning of that craft. When I was young and hungry, and willing to sleep on my brother's couch, eat bologna sandwiches and see poverty as a virtue, it was exciting and idealistic. Oh, wait a minute, I'm still doing that, what am I talking about! The point is, I want to parlay that education into something else that will support me and allow me to support others. I believe it is a natural evolution for my life. I love the theatre and its creation, but let's face it, its probably one of the toughest businesses to sustain and actually make a living from--Caffeine! will allow me to do both. (continue with the creative cycle of writing and producing, and find a sustainable living). So, one step at a time, I'll find a way to get this off the ground. I may have mentioned this in one of my earlier entries, in each project I do, there is a certain point in its early stages when I have a 'click'. There are other projects I have ideas for that never reach that point. Once the 'click' stage happens, its very rare that that doesn't eventually happen. Writing is the same for me. I've abandoned plays after thirty or so pages because the 'click' did not occur. With plays, I had to always see the eventual production of the play to have it 'click'. Once I gave a project a production date, the click had occurred, and it was now unstoppable. With the Caffeine! project, the 'click' happened in the early stages of the writing of that first episode. Even though I was going through one of the darkest periods of my life, that project continued. It had a sustainability that probably helped save me from greater destruction. I usually have two reactions when I 'pitch' Caffeine! to people. An enthusiastic "I get it, that's cool..." Or, the glazed over--eyed sidestepping reaction, "I have no idea what you are talking about..." All I can say to both reactions is, watch for the second season, coming to a computer screen near you...

Its rainy and cold in Austin today, so, no dog park for 'Baby'. I told you I'd refrain, (somewhat) from 'dog talk', and so I've asked Baby to start her own blog. Yesterday, to my surprise, I let her go outside with me for my cup of coffee, and for the first time since I've been here, she ran away. I was shocked, (I thought I was the perfect master with complete control of my dog). She ran away like a prisoner who just made it through the second fence. Rustin and I hopped in our trucks in search for her, (she's extremely fast), and fortunately, two joggers were holding her at the corner, (busy intersection) on the fast track to the dog park that I know she probably thought she could get to. So now, I have to leash her everywhere except the dog park. So much for the faithful dog, walking in unison with my step, just behind my right leg... "and that's the way it is in Austin..."

5 comments:

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

I had to laugh at your runaway dog, was very interested in your ideas about Caffeine...I saw only an episode or two and how the play is going. Are you working right through Christmas or what? I hope you can draw people in.

Gerry said...

I was describing your problem with runaway dog in my blog and said she was caught by two bloggers. I noticed it after a while. She is so fast I thought oh if she ever gets away! I am glad that she came through it without injury when she did. And that she learns about traffic without being hit. Sounds like you are getting more used to your work in Austin. I am glad of that.

Jeremy Cooney said...

I feel the same way about Caffeine! everytime I watch the clipshow. It'd be nice to do a second season on a soundstage with better equipment. If we do get it up and running, I know a true-blooded Irish folk singer from Sedona who I'm sure would love to plug himself! :-)

Pamela said...

I'm so glad your dog didn't get hurt! Sounds like she's an adventurous little thing, huh? Kind of like her owner?
Have a good day.

DB said...

It's true about the click. Once it happens some sort of result is inevitable. Sometimes it happens reight away. Other times it happens after you have decided it never will.

DB