As the days begin to shorten and autumn, if your binoculars are powerful enough (which mine most definitely are), appears on the horizon, what say we take stock of our New Year’s resolutions? Oh come on, it’ll be fun. I’ll start.
Here’s what I wrote on January 1, 2013: “Resolved: to instigate more creative projects in 2013 than I instigated in 2012, to be less of a prig, to hike Table Rock a few times (the right way) and Lake Jocassee (the right way, also), to build a dozen more fires at Picnic Shelter #1 before the weather turns and to use up all firewood purchased last year in the process.”
Working backward through the list, there’s no question that Michael Craig and I built a dozen more fires at Picnic Shelter #1 before the weather turned, maybe twice that many all total, and we used up almost all the firewood. So I’m calling those deeds done and done.
Mountain hiking. No progress here yet, but it’s an October-to-December activity in my world, so no worries, either. Besides, I street hike an average of five miles per day with a 20-pound Crumpler strapped to my back. That should count for something.
Priggishness. Ummmm. What’s next on the list? Ah, yes …!
Instigation of creative projects. Thanks to Fête Greenville impressario Jay Spivey’s permissiveness and encouragement, Dream Logic has emerged as a publishing platform that allows your humble correspondent to combine concepting, writing, performing, directing, still photography, page design, graphic design, videography and video editing in whatever way I like. So yay for Jay and yay for me. Curmudgeons enabling curmudgeons we be. Yay, too, I hope, for anybody else who decides to come along for the ride … folks like Peter Saputo, Beau Philips and BJ Koonce, the early adopters thus far.
But to answer the obvious questions before they’re asked, yes, I have missed performing (a bit, no more) and yes, Dream Logic is, among other things, how I’m giving that back to myself in easily digestible doses with minimal commitment and almost no oversight whatsoever. An invention bred of necessity, because …
As a networking-challenged actor of very ordinary type and very standard skill set (and extremely narrow personal preferences), odds are that I’ll never grace a Greenville stage again. Roy Fluhrer’s production of Osage County, for example, was cast over a year – yes, friends, over one solid year – prior to its slated production at Warehouse. I’m neither hungry nor patient enough to sow the seeds, pay the dues (noch einmal) and do the legwork necessary to break into such a system.
But it’s a system I understand and support. I’m a vocal advocate, have been forever, of the repertory company paradigm. Find yourself a couple of ingénues, a couple of character actors, a “king”, a “queen” and a comic or two and choose marketable plays according to the group’s abilities and desires.
I understand the vicissitudes of theater management, too. Long, long gone are the days when “community theaters” (a term as meaningless today in towns this size as “non-profit hospital”) could afford to choose seasons merely hoping the right actors would come along. Shows are cast as they’re chosen, and cast in quasi-repertory fashion using faces already familiar to the directors. That, friends, is life in the fast-ish lane, though not necessarily in the HOV lane, which is where people of my middling ilk find work.
Which takes us out of town. To Temple Theatre. About once every 1.5 years.