Thursday, February 7, 2013

Let's Bury the Hatchet

Coming up this spring will be the release of a mini-feature I did with Bryan Hiltner and Michelle Vincig called "Let's Bury the Hatchet! (Deep in Your Face)."  This is a revenge comedy.  In it I am Amil Portraine, a small-time theatre director with big ideas who is facing the wrath of a "stage dad" whose daughter didn't get cast in my latest production.  Bryan and Michelle put together a great cast of Pacific Northwest actors for this, which even includes the Keep Portland Weird super anti-hero Frogman.  The snippets of footage that I've seen so far look really good.  Here is the trailer:

Trailer for LET'S BURY THE HATCHET! (DEEP IN YOUR FACE) from Bryan Hiltner on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

For the Time Being

I worked with Claire Willett a few years ago on a reading of her play "How the Light Gets In."  I was newly returning to acting at the time, and was very happy to have the opportunity to be on stage.  When I saw her casting announcement this year for a staging of W.H. Auden's Christmas oratorio "For the Time Being," I sent her a note asking to audition.  She wrote an enthusiastic reply saying that if I hadn't contacted her, she was going to contact me.  It turns out that she had had me in mind to play Herod ever since that previous project we did together.

Herod is a challenging part.  He doesn't appear until late in the piece, then his entire contribution is a 1600 word monologue in which he rationalizes his decision to order the Massacre of the Innocents.  Herod's scene causes a huge shift in tone within the poem, and is there to place the overly familiar and sentimentalized scenes of the Nativity into a modern context.


I spent two months learning the monologue.  I knew I had to have it completely in my bones.  It took a lot of work, but along the way, I learned quite a bit about how to do memorization.  I was very happy with the results.

Friday, February 1, 2013

24 Hour Play Festival

This past December, I participated in my first 24 hour play festival.  These events are marathons of dramatic effort.  A group of actors and playwrights convene at 10:00PM on a Friday, and by 10:00PM Saturday, they have written, rehearsed, staged, and performed an evening of one-act plays, complete with costumes, lighting, props, and completely off-book.

I played Wesley, a deceased secret agent returning from the other side, in a piece called "Across the Veil" written by Logan Loughmiller.  As seems to be my fate these days, I had several monologues to learn.

Mikki Lipsey, Summer Olsson, Jon Farley, William Wilson, & Logan Loughmiller

The whole evening came off wonderfully well.  The scripts were surprisingly strong, and all of the actors were up to the demands of the utterly relentless schedule.  Nick James of Jamestown Theatre Productions and his crew made everything run flawlessly.  It was a great experience all around.