Sunday, January 17, 2010

'Crazy Heart and Another Move'

The last few days have knocked me out of blogging commission. We had to be out of our current apartment yesterday, and today is our tech rehearsal for the four performances for the Frontera Festival. It's been a fast several days. My legs are sore from schlepping things up and down stairs. Yesterday, we started in the morning and got to bed at midnight. We are, however, in a new apartment. Although the location where we were living was a great, rents are cheaper towards the North. I found a one bedroom sub-let, only fifteen minutes North of our most current location. Our first apartment here was furnished, which presents a problem there, but we do have a mattress and a futon, and of course, all of our kitchen wares. I've now moved eight, (or is it nine times) the last year doing this show. I have it down to a minimal science, (oxymoron?), so although there is not lots of furniture moving, there is everything else. It's amazing how much weird stuff you can accumulate in a short time, I don't know where it came from. Then of course, there is always 'Baby' to consider, always an adjustment for her, but she is doing fine.

I am making progress. Even though I feel the weight of getting the show up in a different theatre, with new technical requirements, and only two and half hours to do it. It will definitely be a challenge, much higher ceilings, vast amounts of space, and two short stools to find. Doing music is a different animal, as you can usually go into a situation, set up, and be ready to go. Theatre requires much more precision, all the cues have to be exact, and there is sound cues, lighting cues, and in this show, slide cues. As of right at this moment, we don't know how we are going to 'rig' the projector. The screen I have is a rather cheap one, so I can't backlight it. Most of the spaces we have been in have less ceiling space, so we have been able to 'shelf' our projector above the audience, this one is to high. So, we have to go into a two and half hour rehearsal and figure all of it out. This afternoon, Rustin and I will try to fashion something in the apartment, (still a mess) and then take it into the theatre. Because there is a different lighting tech, we have to have a new script for him with all of the cues written in the script. If the projector cannot be figured out, we will have to do the show with just sound and lights. This bothers me because the screen and the slides act as a 'set' for the show. Our first show for these performances is on Thursday, but this is our only tech rehearsal. All of the performances have to be up and ready to go in fifteen minutes, so you can probably imagine some of our dilemma, still, its a great opportunity, and with these shows, we will be able to keep %100 of the box office, of course we have no idea what this will be.

Thursday, I went to meet a 'friend of a friend', again, I won't mention names to keep their identities anonymous, (thank you, by the way) who owns a record company and a recording studio. It turns out he knows everyone in town in the music business. We had breakfast and he gave me lots of information about how the Austin music scene works. He also agreed to record another kind of demo tape with short segments of my songs, which is what you have to have here, something that showcases what you can do without them having to listen to everyone of your damn songs. This makes sense to me, I wouldn't want to listen to the hundreds of songs that are out there to book a one night gig either. He let me know that a 'Starbucks' gig here is a good place to be, (gotta start somewhere), and so for now, I will focus there. Like LA was for 'producers' in the theatre and film business, Austin is the same only geared in music. Its true, throw a brick and hit someone in the music business. Time for pitching songs, I have a slew of em', maybe I can hit someone with a song instead of a brick. I am pretty excited about playing music out here, and have been re-shaping songs and writing some new ones.

On that 'note', I saw 'Crazy Heart' yesterday, another 'must see' film, starring Jeff Bridges playing a jaded songwriter and performer with a drinking, nicotine, and women problem. He is making his journey to discover and re-discover his music, and where he fits into the 'biz'. I enjoyed the movie, but was a little depressed the rest of the day. Maybe I'll visit that one more in depth later, but in five minutes I have to do a 'check out' at the old apartment. The movie made me think of a play I wrote, C&W, that I did one time a long time ago in Phoenix. I was so excited about this play and this production. I had almost forgot about it, but this movie made me think of it. The themes are similar, so maybe I was onto something, clear back in the nineties. The play seemed to get a lot of attention at the time, but like lots of plays, it went no where beyond the fine production we gave it. I have to go, will write more tomorrow, there is much to be done today, and I'm feeling some wear and tear. Oh, I don't know if I told you, I'll be here for three more months. Enough of you donated to my cause to get me two months worth of rent. The food, I'll find or steal. (just kidding, or not.) I really hope these four shows make the kind of money they told me it would... I'm ever optimistic...

5 comments:

Gerry said...

I knew you must be awfully busy to miss blogging so long (it gets in your blood) and I was right. I don't know how you got it all done, and must still get it right for the performance on Thursday. I am praying for some viewers just like I pray for a reader or two. Ha. I dont know as I want to see Crazy Heart. I have enough alcoholics to contend with right now. In fact, one (Doc) is my main support and protection from crazies on drug highs. I told Dan and he said he might have to go beat the neighbor up! Baby is turning into a vagabond right in front of our eyes. A show dog on the road has to be a vagabond. Really enjoyed your piece in Vagabond Journeys. Guess I made you a good vagabond by moving you so many times. You said I was bad for your stability, but I was a wanderer, too, in those days, following my 'bliss' as Doc quotes Joseph Campbell as saying.

Gerry said...

See my new profile photo without glasses!

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

Moving from spot to spot has to be difficult, but it sounds like you are moving right into a new spot for your show. I hope Babe is keeping you happy! Nothing like a good dog to get you up and moving. May your new show go very well!

Chuckh said...

I was thinking about you when I saw the press for Crazy Heart because it reminded me of your play C&W which I read several years back. Funny how ideas keep coming round and round...Best of luck in the new space. Break a leg.

LaRena said...

Wow, you really have to hustle don't you? I always laugh when I think of your mother in the little orange vol ks wagon, loaded to the gill with blankets, clothes and whatever you might need in Utah. Kids went in last. And off you would go. These moves always seemed impulsive to me but maybe they were planned more than I thought.Anyway she taught you to be flexible. Those high ceilings are a worry. Oh well just sing your heart out, as only you can do with your songs and it will be impressive. Best of luck.