Tuesday, March 28, 2006

All Over The Map

As the title of this Jamespeak entry more than implies, this will be a scattershot entry as I ramble briefly on a number of subjects. I’m pretty sure this is a result of having either far too much or far too little to say. At the very least, I’d like to get everyone up to speed as to what’s going on with our fair company, Nosedive Productions.

First of all, Nosedive just had its Good Night. And, Get Laid fundraiser show this past Saturday night, and I was pleased with it. I think the show itself was probably the best comedy show we’ve ever put on, and the attendees seemed both amused and drunk. Plus, there was virtually no overhead for the fundraiser, so we made a very respectable profit. There’s a good chance we’ll be posting some of the sketches on this Web site on our “Videos” section, so with a little luck, you can all see me dancing seductively to a song by Prince. I’m not kidding.

Many thanks to all who participated and volunteered for this, and also many thanks to all who came out and saw it. You all rock.

For those of you who missed it, you can still donate online here. Select “Nosedive Productions” from the drop down menu titled “in behalf of” and fill out the rest of the form as applicable.

It’s looking like there’s a 90% chance that our next play, The Adventures of Nervous Boy (A Penny Dreadful), will go up in the downstairs space at the Gene Frankel Theatre (what used
to be Juvie Hall) in June. We’re just checking out some other options right now (Patrick’s meeting with the management of another theatre space goes tonight), but still it’s looking like the next announcement we’ll be making is that The Gene Frankel on 24 Bond Street in June is where you’ll catch our latest comedy-horror-satire show. I’m very happy about this, since I’m pretty damn sick of hunting.

Mac Rogers and I have started the third and final installment of our online dialogue. With a little luck, it should be posted before taxes are due. At least, that’s the timeframe we’re gunning for. Who knows if that’s really when we’ll finish it? Suffice it to say, we’re working on it.

As Mac and I bounce back questions and answers to each other via email for the third part of our dialogue I figured I’d take this time to point some of you, dear readers, towards some areas of cyberspace that might be of some interest.

Granted, I tend not to point people in the direction of other theatre blogs because, well, I’m a small and spiteful man and want you to get your information about the theatre world through me and through me only. But, every once in a while these people out there make some good points.

Zay Amsbury wrote up a wonderful partial list of why we sometimes wake up and go, “Damn it feels Good To Be a Playwright.” He’s pretty much right on the money. Like comic books, theatre is one of the few artistic media wherein the writer for it gets full creative control and ownership, as well as an immediate reaction to what he’s written.

If you notice on our links section, we’ve added a new link to a theatre blog. Although I’ve admitted many times that I’m not really an avid reader of the theatre blogosphere, Joshua James’ blog is one that I’ve been checking up on as close to regularly as I can. I don’t know the guy, and I haven’t read or seen any of his plays (I was planning on seeing his play The Elf, The Bunny & the Big Xmas Blow-up when Jamie Taylor restaged it in 2004, but life of course got in the razza-frazzin way), but his blog brings some much-needed insight and humor to the world of self-produced Off-off-Broadway playwriting. Plus, he actually sounds more irritable than me (if such a thing is possible).

For those of you who may have been confused as to just what the hell Mac and I were talking about regarding David Cote’s review of Rabbit Hole in Time Out New York, here it is. I haven’t seen the play (although I’ve seen Mr. Lindsay-Abaire's Fuddy Meers), but Mr. Cote opened up a weird can of worms about theatre and what we as audience members expect — and should expect — from theatre. I mean, on one hand, isn’t seeing theatre supposed to make you feel a little ill (or at the very least, ill-at-ease)? Then on the other, how can we continue watching plays about middle-class angst when it seems pretty clear that we want to watch brain-eating zombies?

(This is, admittedly, coming from a writer that writes about both. I’m just as happy to write and stage a play where two monkey puppets hit on the audience as I am to write and stage a play about realistic middle-class angst as I am to write and stage a play about vampire dudes picking up zombie chicks. Hey, from where I’m sitting, it’s all good.)

Now, you may have noticed that I point readers of this page in the direction of other theatre bloggers so rarely. This is for a number of reasons, besides the one mentioned above. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not much of a formal theatre theorist. I’ve read and seen a number of plays, continue to read and see a number of plays and write and stage a number of plays, so many of my thoughts and opinions on the subject are based on these actions. I’m usually in the dark (sometimes deliberately) as to what trends are going on in the professional and amateur theatre world(s).

I don’t find the Ongoing Discussion of The Current State of Off-Off-Broadway Theatre particularly interesting or useful. My interest level in what’s happening in the world of theatre is roughly zero. True, I find myself getting caught up in it myself, but I also find myself getting caught up in an elimiDATE marathon on TV.

The debate over arts funding, for example, is one I can’t really get too engaged in, since Nosedive has never received any grants. Therefore I have only detached theoretical opinions on the matter. So, when I hear stories of arts funding being drastically slashed, I can’t get too worked up over it, since it has no bearing on Nosedive’s ability to produce.

(Pete and my opinion on the matter — which I assume would be and is considered blasphemy in the theatre world — is that although arts funding should exist, since theatre never makes any money, any company that’s dependent on government or corporate funding is just asking for trouble. “Independent” theatre should really be just that: independent).

And as for what We Theatremakers Should Be Doing, I don’t know. No one does. When Nosedive stages a show that coincides with a current trend in theatre, it’s pure coincidence. The day we start second-guessing what we’re doing and where we’re going we’re just asking for trouble. (Again: monkey puppets, middle-class families, vampires and zombies. It’s all good.)

So, now that I’ve (yet again) successfully alienated Nosedive from the theatre blogosphere community, it’s time for me to return to my current day job of writing about mortgages. Check those links out, and with a little luck, Mr. Rogers and I will have the third and final part of our dialogue online before you know it.

In the meantime, there’s an elimiDATE marathon going on and I’ve got a bagful of Funyons.

Unplugging the phone,

James “Philosopher of Lust” Comtois

March 28, 2006


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