Recent projects

It’s been a while since I was called in to work on live theatre, it seems; not sure when or how exactly, but I seem to have become more of the video specialist of late. Wasn’t entirely by choice. Maybe it’s a money thing; Was happy working for Balagan until they found someone who knows his stuff and would work basically for free (I think he gets free drinks and tickets or somesuch). Can’t compete with free. The theatres with the most money are equity, which I’m not… but maybe it’s also just that’s where I’ve been doing more networking, who rents more of my props, and it fits in well with the firearms work that’s become a more intentional specialty of mine (I saw a niche that needed filling, locally).  Maybe it’s the acting crossover- I can still appear in films I’m working on, since I just have to be there for the day.  Can’t act in plays right now because I can’t give up that many evenings and weekends.

Anyway, it’s been fun to work on a stage again, if briefly- I was called in for a couple rehearsals of Rumors to work on the slapstick and pratfalls. I’ve worked with this director on this show before, a few years back, but they’re now re-staging with a slightly different cast and set. It’s fun getting to work something that I can bring my skills to bear on even though it’s not directly a fight. Lots of physical acting though, and in discussion after the first rehearsal I was very happy to be able to help one actress find something that helped make the job at hand make more sense to her. She’d been at a bit of a loss (and was visibly awkward and unhappy about it) with how to sell the repeated back spasms in a way that would be funny, tell the right story, and have at least some kernel of truth. Was glad to be able to offer her some things to try.  Everyone has something different that helps what you’re trying to show them “stick”, helps it make sense to them, and sometimes it’s just a matter of trying different tricks, metaphors, language, or methods until you hit that aha moment.  Had another actress find me in the lobby after last night’s rehearsal and say they used to hate doing that scene, and now it’s their favorite part.  Feels good to hear.

The other recent project was JourneyQuest. It’s from much of the same team that did Dorkness Rising, and while I think the humor and production qualities are very similar, I find the story and characters much more mature and compelling… some of that will take a season or two to get around to, especially since they had to cut it down a fair bit to get the first season made. Still- good stuff, and I look forward to seeing it. First set I’ve been on where they were shooting with one of the new DSLRs (I think a Cannon Mk 7?). Looked good from what I could see over Ben’s shoulder. Sean Shelton did wonders with the makeup, as usual:

Combat was being done by the Seattle Knights, and it was interesting to see how Dameon runs a set. I’ve seen plenty of their live shows before, and worked with a number of Knights and former Knights on sets before, but never been on a set they’ve been running. Definitely saw the advantages there of having your own team that trains regularly together- a concept that some day I would love to be able to be a part of.  Jackie Chan talks about that on his informative My Stunts DVD, as well.  I may well end up on set with some of the knights again next week, as I referred a commercial gig that was looking for knights in shining armor.

Still a little bummed we weren’t able to do a fire stunt, but the budget (both time and money, really) just didn’t allow for it. My character did get to at least brandish an orcish “Atrocity-knife”, one of the last creations of my late friend John Moore. Looks completely fantasy and wicked, as it should, but actually handled great, was a dream to throw, and the jagged cutout between the two blade parts would have made a great sword-catcher as well… all in all, a great design and well done for an obvious quickie (rough ground and still had some sharpie on it where he’d drawn out the pattern first). Might have to ask the crew what’s happening with those when they’re done with the series…

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