This morning's ear worm is Susan Johnson singing "When The Tall Man Talks" from the original cast recording of Whoop Up! You might not know this singer or this musical unless you have a Ben Whiteley. I do. Having Ben as a friend is pretty much like being on the perpetual upgrade list in life. You should run out and get yourself a Ben Whiteley. But, while you're wainting, please to enjoy Miss Susan Johnson...
For my Equity brethren: This is about the non-AEA tour of Catch Me If You Can and touring in general.
Read it (and check out Nick's "Touring 101" and "Touring 102" if you haven't already.)
If you have problems with this - any of it - contact our union.
If you are on board with this - any of it - contact our union.
Write emails, make phone calls, send old fashioned letters. Contact Nick directly. Contact the business rep of your current or most recent contract. Contact friends you have on council, on the committees. And don't just call or write to cheer or boo. Yes cheer and, God knows, boo, but then have a conversation. Get some skin in the game. It's our union. That means it's our responsibilty. AEA is not our parents, it's us and people who work for us.
Blowing off steam to each other in the wings and on the web is the first thing we do in these situations, but please don't make it the last.
Catchme-asaurus vs. Cashcow-asaurus...Or How Can Catch Me Go Non-Equity ?
As I laid out in my "Touring 101" and "Touring 102", touring is now a very difficult environment in which to make money -- whether you are a Producer, a presenter, or an Actor. Government funding has been slashed or eliminated, donors have pulled back and subscription lists have shrunk -- so the local presenters are refusing to pay the guarantees necessary to mount and run an Equity show, even on the lowest SETA category. If a Producer needs $280K to $300K per week to run his show and only three or four cities will guarantee more than $230K, the Producer (who may have already lost most of the investors' money during the Broadway run) will take the sure money -- exceedingly modest but sure -- of licensing the show rather than taking the risk of losing yet more of the investors' money.
President Nick Wyman
photo credit: newhartphoto.com
I've flirted with this world a lot over the years. I met my first conceptual artists in my teens, spent some time with a few Radical Faeries in my twenties, made Santa Cruz my home during my thirties, and in my forties I've sunned and soaked with strangers on tribal beaches from Florida to Vancouver and in hot springs under dripping redwoods, on the sides of mountains, along rivers, in rain and snow, and deep in Death Valley where I hung around the edges of the old hippie clan at Saline. And talked to burros.
I need to go to Burning Man. I think I may be waiting for me there.
We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye
January 7th, 2011
recorded 'round midnight, Charlotte, NC, in my hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express
Jill Morrison and me on vocals
me on tenor ukulele with a small soprano uke solo
MacBook Air Samson
C01U USB mic
This song is by Harry Woods, and a lot of people have covered it:
Guy Lombardo & His Orch. (vocal: Carmen Lombardo) - 1932
Paul Whiteman & His Orch. (vocal: Mildred Bailey) - 1932
The Boswell Sisters - 1932
Annette Hanshaw - 1932
Elsie Carlisle - 1932
Jack Hylton & His Orch. (vocal: Pat O'Malley) - 1932
Ambrose & His Orch. (vocal Sam Browne) - 1932
Frank Sinatra - 1947
Vaughn Monroe & His Orch. - 1947
Sammy Kaye & His Orch. (vocal: Don Cornell & 3 Kaydets) - 1947
Frankie Laine - 1958
Also recorded by : Andrews Sisters; Maria Muldaur; Toni Price; Barbara Carroll; Maxine Sullivan; Sylvia Syms; Pfister Sisters; Moms & Dads; Guy VanDuser & Billy Novack.
So... as part of my website on Squarespace (a service which I highly recommend) I can, and often do, look at the stats on the traffic here. (Because I'm vain and I worry a lot about whether I exist or not.)
The stats cover things like how many hits have I gotten in x number of days, how many page views, comments, and—the subject of yesterday's mirth—search terms. That is, what search terms were typed into Google, or whatever search engine, that resulted in folks making their way to my site. Here's a small screen grab of yesterday's list:
You can probably tell where I nearly shot bad hotel room coffee out of my nose.
I would give a week's salary to know who typed in that phrase and why?!?
(please note that I'm currently out on an ensemble SETA contract, so the gesture of sacrificing a week's salary? Myeh.)
I'm still laughing at this. What were they looking for? Was it someone from that cast who was going... "What was that guy's name... Gurr? Chris Gurr? I wonder what he's up to."
That can't be the case, as I have several dear friends in that cast who would glady give up my details, should there be inquiry.
I'm stumped, but it amuses me no end. And here are the two parts of that perpetual mirth/motion machine: 1) someone somewhere typed in that search, 2) I think it's important to check my stats on my website
Both things, pretty absurd. The two together? Hilarious.
[for those joining my life late in the game, here's a little historical catch-up on facebook]
Frank Loesser's What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
Another in the "recorded in a hotel room with Jill" series...
December 30th, 2011
recorded just after midnight, Pittsburgh, PA, in my hotel room at the William Penn Omni
Jill Morrison and me on vocals
me on tenor uke
Samson C01U USB mic
Here's to a great 2012
(the widget may take a while to load - you can also just click on the link below...)
I am known among my fellow theatricals as a sweet man; a kind man, even. This is the result of substandard observational skills on their part and a Steve Jobsian power of reality distortion on mine. I am one of the most judgmental bastards on the planet. No, really. Those in the know will tell you that I am truly, horribly hypercritical. And you would be, too, if you had friends like mine.
My friends are the yardstick with which I measure the world and deliver stinging blows to its ever-disappointing hands, back of thighs, and, when needed, head and neck. It can't be helped. My friends are of superior quality. As Wilde struggled to live up to his blue china, I struggle to live up to my friends. Case in point: David Turner. Just look at him:
Living up to David is a fool's game. Don't waste your time. Writer of strongly worded letters, composer of sassy-yet-haunting rags, pilot of planes which fly in the air, and flaming polyglot. And hips? None. None at all. The mid-carriage of a eleven-year-old, malnourished girl.
I ask you!
Just this morning I awoke to find the willowy sylph has gone and written a charming essay on his most recent Broadway show. (Did I mention the whole Broadway actor thing? No? It's not because I'm jealous. Really.) It can be found and should be read here, on Broadway.com. Read it and see if you don't suddenly find the rest of humanity just a little dimmer.