Sunday, July 25, 2004

Odds & Ends

Pete has a program which follows the traffic to this site. Well, he recently showed the gang that last month, 99 percent of our traffic was from the United States, and 1 percent (i.e., some guy) was from the Islamic Republic of Iran. At first when Pete showed me the table I thought it was a joke, but no. Someone from Iran checked our Web site out.

Nosedive Productions: Big in Iran!


Well, Nosedive was going to hold its semi-annual fundraising sketch/variety show benefit in early August, but the theatre space we were using was taken from us…by none other than my SISTER’S theatre company. I mean, of all the luck.

I’m going to have to kill her, of course. After I see her show, of course. Support first, then murder.

So, our upcoming fundraiser, “Nosedive’s Pottymouth Social,” will be going up in September. We’ll keep you posted.


Apparently Pete took some issue with my last Jamespeak, “Hacks,” and he’s posted his rebuttal on his ‘blog (and Philucifer has posted his). Sure, I guess I’m being a little too James-centric here on the subject, but then again, this is my page. I don’t mean to give the impression that an actor shouldn’t have boundaries and stick with them (yes, I’ll admit, there is something admirable about that—in an industry where people are constantly getting exploited and fucked over, actors need to set limits for themselves), but I do find it fundamentally alien that an actor absolutely refuses to say naughty words if they’re in a script. It STILL eludes me (I’ve never had a problem with “blue” language, either using or hearing it). And to never even attempt to stretch beyond your boundaries? I mean, there are boundaries and there are BOUNDARIES, people. This is, after all, just a big game of make-believe and pretend. I just don’t understand that type of timidity.

Another tangent: I also find it weird when professional film actresses who absolutely refuse to do nudity (for ANY reason) in film will pose nearly nude and…let’s call a spade a spade here…ultra-slutty on the covers of Maxim or FHM, the ultimate goal being to arouse the prurient interests of men (or “making dudes want to jack off,” to the layman). Yeah, I sometimes just don’t get people.

I guess I’m just saying that these types of actors don’t particularly interest me.



Although “The Dying Goldfish,” our next big show, had been tentatively scheduled for October, it looks as though it will most likely happen in March/April. This is basically due to money (or lack thereof). But fear naught, my little lambs! We’ll most likely be staging my adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” (no, I’m not joking; I was commissioned to write it for a theatre company that shit the bed, so now it’s ours) sometime in December.

At first, Pete & I were a little bummed about this. But then we realized, you know what? This is good. Because, 2005 will mark the five-year anniversary of Nosedive Productions (“Monkeys,” our debut production, being staged in February 2000). So we think it would be kind of kick-ass to do our two big shows (“The Dying Goldfish” in the spring and “McTeague” in the fall) on our fifth birthday as a company (and that’s, like, our 21st birthday in human years).

Let this be a lesson to me for writing plays that require elaborate sets.

Next time I’ll write a play that takes place on a bare stage I swear.


I guess this retrenching and regrouping is fine. Hell, it’s better than fine. Although I do want Nosedive to be this unstoppable and constantly moving thing (I was going to say “force,” but let’s not kid ourselves here), especially since I would like to try for us to ride on the crest of our success with “Mayonnaise Sandwiches” (“success,” in the world of self-produced Off-off Broadway theatre, being a very relative word here), I don’t want us to be like a shark (constantly having to move forward and constantly having to feed). That sort of non-stop momentum could (would) turn us into…well, a company. As in, an entity that puts the cart before the horse.

Plus, I have seen some companies that were too stubborn or proud to retrench, pull back or regroup, and prefer to soldier on—despite lacking the finances or manpower to legitimately do so—completely falling apart as a result.

I’ve always been very happy that the plays have come first and the company (that is, the entity known as Nosedive Productions) second. I think that if we spend more time worrying about seasons, mission statements and publicity than about the plays themselves (i.e., if the form takes precedence over the content), we’re screwed. As most theatre-makers know (that is, the ones that aren’t completely entrenched in the institutionalized theatre world), making theatre is about assessing, reassessing and re-reassessing your direction, goals and motives. Fortunately, we have three plays in the queue that we’re all pretty happy with and eager to work on (the one big perk of being an unemployed bum is that I have more time to write plays), so now we just have to figure out which order we’ll be presenting them in.

Right now I’m pretty pumped to try our hand at a “crowd pleasing” (again, a very relative phrase here) holiday show. Pete and Patrick have been trying to tell me that my adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” is good (since I’m needy and insecure, I need them to constantly tell me how wonderful I am), so I decided to read it again for the first time in about a year. You know what? They weren’t kidding.

I’m terrific.


This five-year anniversary also has me excited. This could be a super-cool thing, not just doing two full-length ambitious projects back-to-back, but also to see/show that we have lasted as a company for a half decade.

If you had told me and Pete five years ago that we would have produced eight original pays in under five years and still be alive & kicking, we’d wonder if you did in fact see bugs on your skin.

I’m really amazed that we’ve lasted even this long, considering what lazy fuckups Pete and I are. It’s also amazing to see that a company established by a couple of lazy alcoholic fuckwits (who honestly try to spend more time getting drunk and tormenting Pete’s housecat than coming up with a respectable business plan) has outlasted and outlived other companies formed by more organized and driven people. Hell, we still have yet to make business cards for ourselves!

Maybe that’ll be our big surprise for the five-year anniversary: we all finally get business cards.

Nah, too ambitious.

Not having much of a point this Jamespeak,

James “Whadda You Bitches Want From Me?” Comtois

July 25, 2004


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