Friday, March 28, 2008

Hard Rain

Sorry for the big long delay in posting here. I've been up to my ears in Sextangle, which opens tomorrow night. It's been a challenging process, and there are many things I still don't understand about it, but it's showtime, folks! Come see for yourself.

Meanwhile, I feel that it's my duty as an American to share this little tidbit:

Yep, that would be the McCain Girls' response to the Obama Girl. The internets are abuzz with the question of whether this is Republican earnestness or Democratic irony. I don't know that the difference is all that important.

Like the man said:

Whoever you are, wherever you're from
You should have noticed by now our behavior is dumb

Too true.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Improv Everywhere!

By now, you've surely heard of (and probably seen) Improv Everywhere. These are the guys and gals who did the Freeze in Grand Central Station, and other brilliant bits of street theater. They remind me of The Yes Men, but without as much of a political element. They don't really comment on politics, policy, or even "society" at all. Well, except maybe that Starbucks Sleep-In - but that may just be me projecting. (Isn't it interesting, though, that these days simply doing ANYTHING creative in public can seem just a little bit subversive?)

Another thing that separates IE from The Yes Men is that, while Yes Men's projects tended (are they still active? Haven't heard from them in a while) to be very involved and difficult to pull off, most of what IE do is actually pretty simple. While the ideas are really creative, stunningly so, almost anyone could participate in (or create) one of their 'missions,' with just a little bit of organization and discipline.

A singular exception is the following work of Public Art: an impromptu Musical in the food court of a Los Angeles mall. Watch the viddy before reading on.

This isn't your typical IE project. First, they worked with the mall to get permission to do this, which is unique among their performances as far as I know. Next, these people have some skills (not that standing still in Grand Central doesn't involve effort, but it's a world away from singing and dancing). Furthermore, this took, in addition to the always impressive preparation, some serious rehearsal.

Theater fans will notice that the songwriters here are Scott Brown and Anthony King, the guys who wrote Gutenberg! The Musical! which I blogged about with glee a year or so ago. SO much fun!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And the best the Post could do is "Ho No"?

Ok, Sherin and JP and Katie (and about a thousand of their closest friends) went to Albany yesterday for the Family Planning Advocates' action yesterday. Yup. That yesterday. When all that Spitzer business went down. (No pun intended, but now that I see it, I'll leave it there.)

SO the lobbying didn't go exactly as planned, natch. Sherin and I had some very brief and perfunctory communication on the subject, and here's an edited version of an email I sent to Sherin as a result.

Welcome back from your trip. Were you guys able to get anything done? My sense is that everything ground to a complete halt once the newest chapter of Hookergate began. What's your sense on the timing of all this? Not too damaging to RHAPP, I should think, but hardly helpful.

The Spitzer nonsense is just that. I enjoyed reading your Glenn Greenwald link, though part of me kept thinking "Glenn, do you have something against getting real?" It's a nasty Catch 22: the prostitution laws are archaic and stupid, but to say so now seems spiteful and defensive. The War Crimes and Attacks on the Constitution of the current administration are 100 times worse than what Governor Spitzer has done, but to say so now, well, see above and multiply by 2 (why, Why, WHY has the "opposition" party not been willing, eager, compelled to go after those crimes - and yes, I mean prosecute people and throw them in jail CRIMES - all along?? Why did the Democratic Governor of Vermont - real Conservative hotbed, Vermont - say that Impeachment would be a poor use of resources? And of course now Impeachment would seem like electoral politics even if it weren't for Spitzergate. Here's Nat Hentoff on that subject, sort of, and referring to a pamphlet that looks worth reading.) And Greenwald wondering why the 'crime' of prostitution gets so much play: "Why should it be such a big deal? Does every elected official have to resign for any and all lawbreaking? Like jaywalking?" Maybe good sound reasoning (Maybe. And it's very very tough to 'set aside the question of hypocrisy' in this case - God, I get nauseous reading about the gloating on Wall Street), but what world do we live in? The one where people make sense, and make decisions based on good sound reasoning? Or, you know, this world? Where people go absolutely fucking NUTS when someone mentions sex. Where the political sharks sharpen their teeth on the bones of their victims. Which world did Spitzer think he lived in?

Now - the question of what was up with those Federal (!) wiretaps is pretty effing important, and I hope it gets a lot more play than it has so far. Tied in with that, I go back to the timing of it all - relative to your action in Albany, relative to the elections, relative to FISA and the torture bill veto. Gotta say 'hmmm...' a little. Larry Craig (and Jim McGreevy) were big news (though their jobs weren't as high profile), but the timing was so much less conspicuous

[Sherin provided me with this very good Harper's link in response to these last points. No surprises here, but the information is laid out clearly and succinctly]

In other news, things are good. Much on my mind these days, about the show, about the acting career, about the dayjob, about the living situation, about life in general, but it's all good. Well, ok, not all of it is good, I suppose (with the dayjob, for instance, the little shakeup in my division is looking less and less 'little' as each day passes), but on the whole, I'm doing pretty damned well.

So there that is. Happy Tuesday, everybody. Good night and good luck.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Ok, time for just a wee rant on the way the dayjob handles recycling. Not in any grand industrial fashion (I don't have the info on how that gets handled), just good ol' office-style recylcling: paper, bottles and cans, that sort of thing.

It's pretty much an open secret that the cleaning crew dumps the 'paper recycling' at the desks and the 'all round garbage' into the same bag, which then heads, presumably, to the truck to the barge to the landfill. My fellow cubicle-dwellers bitch about this from time to time, but I'm inclined to do a little finger-pointing of my own here: these same people can't manage to separate the 'garbage' from the bottles and the cans in the kitchen recycling bins (the contents of which, I allow myself to hope, actually find their way to recycling facilities). Came from lunch to see the food bags in which my peeps had got their lunch delivery tossed in the recycle bin (which even required lifting the lid that has the little bottle-sized holes in it.)

One especially self-righteous Greeny is among the offenders, which is extra-special annoying because he has a tendency to go off about how tiny his carbon footprint is (may not be the only tiny thing about him). This is the same guy who is pissed about the company's intention to phase out bottled water in favor of using filtered water from a cooler: "What do they expect us to do? Fill a cup? Then we're wasting cups?!" Um, dude, maybe re-use one of the 14,000 bottles you've gone through already. "Oh, so I'm saving old bottles, that are going to fall apart?" Well, I guess they will fall apart eventually, but... yeah. Maybe even wash them once in a while if you can live with the shame. Or, if they're really too flimsy for you, how 'bout one of those hard plastic Nalg*ne things: we've got those with one of our brand logos on the side, for fuck's sake. "What about when there's a conference? Do we get bottles of water for that? Or are we supposed to have our vendors go into the kitchen and fill up a paper cup?" I guess you're right, bro. Some people are too important to drink water from the same cooler as the rest of us. Sorry to have made you step down from the high horse (that somehow fits in your hybrid car) to have this conversation. Go back to Star*ucks, and whatever you do, don't bring your own mug.

Stupid thing to get upset about? Wouldn't be the first.

Ok - the company pays very good lipservice to environmental concerns, and is of the 'continuous improvement' school. They/we claim to be Greenifying at the industrial level, and maybe it's the case. They/we claim to have safe, fair labor practices, which is certainly true here in the States; I haven't been to the plants in Malaysia to check on them. And yes, yes, alright - I get the irony in the fact that I am perfectly happy to cash the paychecks this job provides. But it drives me a little bit nuts to wonder: if we suck so much at the easy stuff, how can we ever possibly tackle the hard stuff?

See, this is what happens when I am at my desk waaaaay too late on a Friday.

Maybe next week I'll write a few words about some of those 'improvements' that corporate has come up with...

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I'm in rehearsal for Sextangle, going up at the Ha! Comedy Club on West 46th at the end of the month. Yes, it's another link in the chain of movies and shows I've done that sound like they should be pornos: A Pound of Flesh, Suburban Peepshow, Everwood. But this is a mashup of a bunch of styles and archetypes: elements culled from Commedia dell'arte, Shakespeare, Cyrano, Moliere, I Love Lucy and probably a bunch of others wrapped up into what's essentially a farce. Oughta be funny; think about coming to see it.

Don't get your tickets yet, though! (if that's even possible) I'll be getting a discount code soon, which will have the magic ability to save you money while making me money, so wait for that. Wait for it... Wait for it...

Equity members, the jury is still sort of out, but it looks like you'll probably be able to use your cards to get a free pass - there will still be a two-drink minimum, though. Hey, when did a couple drinks ever hurt a comedy?

If you visit that website for the show, be aware that at the time of writing, it's still somewhat under construction. It does, however, feature the image that I'm using for my new headshots. Here it is again, in a larger format: