Writing Is Not a Solo Sport

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photo credit: Arne Parrott

Striking a hero’s pose here is Drew Mierzejewski. I briefly met him two years ago through Alyson Grauer. Now if Aly’s name sounds familiar, it’s because you can find her lending her voice to one of my podcasts here, hear her rock the steampunk here, do it again here, and then giving good panel at DemiCon 25. Aly’s got game. So does Drew. That might be one of many reason these two got married.

Check it out, Chicago. This is an up-and-coming power couple to watch. I’m just sayin’.

Thing about Drew—I wish I knew him better. Something just tells me we’d be talking to the wee small hours in the morning about…stuff. Deep stuff. I especially got that impression when I saw a random Facebook post from him yesterday about the road creatives walk. The entire thread is here, and you really should check it out or even chime in if you like, but this was the part that made me stop and think…

Therefore, I would like to place a hypothetical to each of you. Why do we do walk this road alone? There are many of us! Why do we not band together in a great bonfire of creativity and make art? Is it impractical? It is idealistic? Is it too terrifying? What is stopping us from creating a massive company that makes art year round, in which we pool resources and talent to make the best of what we have to offer? Now, I want to reiterate that I ask this in hypothetical but I do want to hear your thoughts on this. So please take a moment and tell me in the comments what you think. Tell me why.

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Remembering Alan Rickman

Alan-Rickman-zv-alan-rickman-6916293-1280-1024I honestly have no words.

No, wait. I do.

Fuck cancer.

I am still processing the life and death of David Bowie, and then this morning I saw it pop up on Facebook. I was trying to confirm it before I said anything to Pip, but then it downed on me: the news was just breaking. Alan Rickman, star of stage and screen, had died of cancer at 69. Identical to David Bowie.

I’m going to say it again. Fuck cancer. (#becausePGH)

I’ve been a fan of Alan Rickman’s work for decades. He raised the bar for villains in Die Hard, and sure, that’s what everyone knows him best for; but I still recall watching him in Sense and Sensibility and thinking, “This is Hans Gruber…and this time, he’s totally stealing this movie!” As I recall, Sense and Sensibility was marketed more as a vehicle for Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. The movie also gave Kate Winslet a lovely introduction to American audiences. It was Rickman’s Colonel Christopher Brandon, though, that completely won over hearts everywhere. Any movie Rickman appeared in could be promised at least one solid performance; and when you read his biography and see the amount of accolades he received for his work over the decades, it’s no surprise whatsoever as to why we loved him.

This is really too much. I’m at a loss.

So I’m going to let Alan Rickman speak for me… Continue reading

Glyn Jones: A Man for All Seasons

 

glyn_jonesThis is Glyn Jones. There’s a chance, unless you were at theatre student at James Madison University between 1988 and 1989, or active in theatre circles of England, you don’t know who he is…

…but if you’re reading this blog, you all have met him.

My first meeting with Glyn was in my Freshman Year at JMU. I was acting opposite of him in Molliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. I made a memorable impression by tripping over his chair, and practically falling on top of him. This was the beginning of a friendship where, much to my loss, I fell out of touch, even though we reconnected on Facebook. (Not really the “reconnection” I hoped for, but it was good to see those updates.) I failed in emails and phone calls, but Glyn’s name came up often in my conversations, especially when I talk about my days in the theatre. Continue reading

Thank you, Peter O’Toole…

Yesterday, a star fell. He’s always been one of my favorite actors, and with a biography entitled Loitering with Intent, you know he got up to some shenanigans.

When I think of Peter O’ Toole, I think of this film. I saw it at the Ridge Cinemas with my dad. We had heard it was supposed to be funny, so we went one afternoon, my dad and me. There was maybe twelve people in the theatre with us, but my dad and I laughed for a full house worth. It was a terrific afternoon, and a movie that really made an impact on me.

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Thank you, Peter O’Toole. for giving my father and me such a wonderful memory. From Lawrence of Arabia to The Lion in Winter to The Stunt Man, you gave everything you had in every role. Good movie or bad, it was a gig, and you showed up and did the best you could. For your incredible work on stage and screen, thank you.

“May flights of angels sing thee to they rest.” — William Shakespeare, Hamlet

All the World’s an (Audio) Stage: Wherein an Actor Embraces His Muse Once Again

I’ve met a lot of incredible people in what will be ten years (come May) as an author. One real stand-out started as a star-struck business proposition between myself and Lani Tupu. People know him best for Captain Crais in Farscape, but Lani is a pretty multi-talented, multi-faceted dude. Artist. Teacher. Just an all-around good guy. There are two conversations with him that have always stayed with me, and this weekend one of those conversations came back with a vengeance.

We (me, Lani, and our agent, Jean Orrico) were having a post-convention meal, following the first run of our workshop, From Page to Stage. I remember the subject turned to acting, and how I had resigned that I would not be returning to the stage.

Now this was before I had met Pip in person and understood just how dangerous it is to anger a kiwi. And Lani, when that resignation left my lips, was angry.

“You never stop being an actor!” he stated (quite passionately), “The stage will always be with you, and it will be waiting for you when you return.”

It was more about the zeal behind his statement that stuck with me, and maybe at the time I thought “Spoken like a true-blue actor.” Lani’s sentiment was well intended, but I just felt like I had taken a different path at that crossroad.

This weekend, that changed. Continue reading