Monday, December 20, 2010

Challenge Me.

It's beginning to look a lot Christmas, soon the bells will start...but where's the snow.  I spent the latter part of my life on the east coast and became accustomed to four, maybe three, seasons of weather and at least 3 inches of snow by Christmas.  I remember waking up on winter mornings and looking out my front door at the ashy streets and seeing a white blanket covering the sidewalks and remnants of plant life.

The trees were bare with icicle stockings 
and the world so quiet you can't even hear a mouse. 
Cars drive by with impeccable care 
and stop to greet one another and stare--
at the wonder of a winter land so proudly displayed 
on his and her house without dismay.  
The chimney's were smoking along each street 
and our snow shoes were 12 inches deep, 
in snow and in ash from our adventures outside. 
a white Christmas in Texas--no truth but a lie
This Christmas will be different and something to remember
But I cherish those winters and snow falls most tender.  
A Christmas in Texas, well I do declare
And raise my hat to welcome at last. 
Merry Christmas to all 
Merry Christmas y'all.  

 So I'm not Dr. Suess or Shel Silverstein, but for coming up with a poem on the spot about a subject that I'm not really feeling that festive about...I think I did a somewhat decent job.  No, this year I am not feeling the tinsel joy or the need for joining a chorus of elves.  I think I actually sympathize with the incredulous Mr. Grinch.  Perhaps my shoes are too tight or my head not screwed on just right, but its hard to sing out the merriment of whoville without who-blasters and my roast beast sandwich on rye.  And no this isn't gonna turn into a sentimental blog about the true meaning of Christmas is without gifts and good food but the memories of last year and good ones to come and friends and family all near you--gathered around a warm fire with chestnuts and mistletoe.  I'm not gonna lie by saying this year was a blast and I can't wait for another round or even that this year had its hardships.  It's been a constant struggle against what I perceived to be judgments made in and for my better interests.  The most I can ask Santa for is a way out, but since this year is almost over and I can't do anything about it anymore I might as well press on.  Things have to be better in the new year, not every light can be extinguished and squashed.  And if that doesn't work you can always make the best of your situation.  You know, make apples out of lemonade or something like that.  So here's my apple for the new year.  I'm turning this blog into not just me rambling and feeling sorry for myself but rather a challenge to myself.  I'm turning this blog into a writing experiment.  Each week I'll enter a blog in a new story line that I will write.  But in order to make this first happen I need your help.  I need the boundaries and conditions for the story.  For example, the story but take place at a beach front during a hurricane.  You have to talk about the future and use the phrase "on top of spaghetti".  You're genre will be 1940s or something like that and you can only have 5 characters.  You get the idea?  If you choose to help me with this challenge you have until December 31, 2010 to submit your recommendations I start writing in January.  So I'm asking for you to supply three elements that have to be present in the story, time and genre.  You can either leave me a post or click the email button to get suggestions to me.  Thanks alot and I'll see you in January. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Own Temple?

I have proven myself responsible enough to be in charge of budgeting and setting the theatre department for my school.  It's a great honor and I'm incredibly thrilled.  I'll be buying lights, sound equipment, costuming supplies, props, making brochures and everything. And teaching my craft to young people and getting them incredibly involved in the spirit of theatre.  I love that. 

I mean no disrepect to Temple, but it just doesn't feel like home yet.  My dream is taking footholds but in the most unlikely place I thought and in a place that doesn't feel like I belong.  Anyways, I just thought I'd share that. 

We'll be opening our first production in April, Charlotte's Web.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

and a bottle of wine...

I thought writing a blog would be easy because you just have to write about whatever you want.  You could use it as you're own personal complaining wall.  Then I thought it would be hard because you could easily become a one thought horse and all your blogs be about the same thing or go completely off the deep end and be about nothing but stuck in your own personal mind, where everything is of the utmost importance and develop extreme agoraphobia from life itself.  That may be a little too over the top and I've been watching too many episodes of 30 Rock and Pushing Daisies.  But this blog isn't easy or hard.  I'm not going to get all sentimental on you guys (not that anybody reads this, but in the off chance that you do stumble upon my writings, its not a cheese factory).  I just wanted to share that with you as I've been thinking and trying to avoid work, the usual stuff.  Anyway...
Ok so I have some things to say.  First I just found out, and by that I mean I was listening to NPR podcasts online about a week ago, that PBS cut funding for several of their top children's shows.  One of them being Reading Rainbow!  That's right, "Take a look, it's in a book..."  will no longer be the top sung phrase by pre-tweens around the continental US.  I guess we'll never know who can fly twice as high or how to use the Dewey Decimal System or how they make gum.  It may sound sarcastic but I am truly very outraged at this thought as I know the program will be filled by some furry fluffball.  I mean no disrespect, I love those fluffballs, they've taught me many valuable lessons.  But what about the shows that bridge the gap from introductory learning to Hannah Montana?  We something that progresses from how to learn to what to learn.  Whatever.  Needless to say, I am sadden by the loss of Reading Rainbow and wanted to share it with you.

My second thing is I wanted to say.  I saw another show in its second season, which is now off the air but it struck me as an artist, teacher, writer and greatest-cognitive-image-producer (daydreamer).  I would love to write him a letter.  Its pure poetry.  That’s all  it is.  He’s created this world that’s, yes heightened to say the least, but vaguely hinged upon the imaginative daydreams of our wordly existence.  Why couldn’t a person’s death be comical but not overlooked?  Why couldn’t language be played with to the point of lyric prose.  He made the characters desirable, believable and distant.  We cared about the individual stories.  Believable because the situations are as the common person talks.  And distant because the world they lived in was not our own but the one of our choosing.  We were allowed into their world for an hour at a time.  It’s more than some snarky tv series or quirky tween drama.  It required an audience.  It required and demanded an audience.  Thanks B.F.

"The only man Hook ever feared"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Here I go again

So I'm back again and working on more projects and lesson plans.  But its fun and creative.  I'm really excited about these new pieces I'm working on.  There both like The Prestige but one your waiting for the reveal and the other one you're hoping to not see it anymore. 

I don't really know what else to talk about.  My current movie is in post production and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival.   I hear good things and it was just an amazing experience.  The actors were good the direction was good.  Everything was great. 

Again I'm running out of things to say.  I've sort of run out of things to say.  I guess this is why I lost my last blog.  For once in my life I'm wordless.  Speachless maybe, although probably not likely.  I tend to talk a lot about about nothing at all.  I talk to hear my head rattle. 

I think its time to end this blog for today.

A picture of my dog, Boerne.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sketchy Beginnings

So I thought I would try this again and see where it develops.  I tried to start blogging before and I've just never known what to say or really what to do with it.  I guess I could start with what I currently finished.

Recently I wrapped my first screenplay with Ben Green Films and Orange Tree Productions.  The experience was amazing!  It was beautifully shot and acted and everything.  I couldn't have asked for a better first experience into the movie world.  It was a two day shoot for a short 10 minute play at two different locations.  We'll see what happens next. Thanks again for everybody who helped out, it was amazing!

As for other news I did just find out that a dear professor of mine passed away.  He taught me creative writing and not to be so poetic just get it out there and tell your story.   He was a great man and an absolute creative icon in literature. The University of Dallas English Department and all his students will sincerely miss Dr. Eugene Curtsinger.  

Other than that things are going well.   I'm at that point in the blog where I'm not sure what to talk about next.  Is this thing completely devoted to me and therefore I should just rambling about how great I think I am and what I am doing and how unique and blah blah blah.  Or should ponder the existence of life/death and growing up or perhaps type a 5,000 word summation of why the butterfly decided to land outside my apartment versus his usual spot across the way?  I really don't know what I should be writing about.  Nothing truly exciting happens.  I bought crickets today for our lizards at school.

I used to pretend I was a great storyteller growing up.  Everybody wanted to find me and hear my great stories of trips to Talakamoo in the deepest farest corners of Africa or dining with 10 and 20 royals at her majesty's the Queen of Bummbelliy private spring tea.  Just me and my trusty storytelling hat.  And, of course hiding in the cupboard beneath the television always helped out too.  It added mystic to my craft.  "Where's that voice coming from?"

"The sky"

"The drapes"

"No, the cupboard under the television stupid!"

That was me, Eloise Carmichael.  That was back when I was eight.  I'm nine now and I have grown up since then.  I was a mere child.  I was an infant.  I was...cookies!  gotta go.

(A snap shot into my brain.  Enjoy!) 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I've done a little sound design in my day. But I'm not sure if you know that my love is painting and radio. So of course, I had a blast doing the Christmas show at Wayside Theatre as a live radio play. It just sent rays of happity goodness down my spine. So I thought I would share with you some of my ideas for how I came about with the foley sound props.

You are all familiar with the various noises heard from the stage or off in the wings—no not talking about the actors or tech crew—the sound effects. Those shrills, winds and sirens are about to make their stage debut in this year’s holiday performance A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on the Wayside Theatre stage. Everything from the traditional piano to those blustering winter winds will have equal time on the stage time with the actors of the “radio” studio.

So a little information about the sound effects: we are using a particular style of sound effects called Foley sound technique.A quick definition is the natural sounds of an environment are made using usual and unusual methods. One of my favorites would be the creaky door. A simple solution would be to have an actual creaky door or rusted hinge on stage but if you are on a budget, I suggest using other methods, perhaps a piece of resin wood with a screw stuck in it and a pair of vise grips to twist. You may have discovered this sound when breaking down and building theatre sets of the same wood. More traditional Foley sounds include footsteps through the snow made with shoe trees and corn flakes on a wooden tray.


So, now starts the fun. I have been preparing since December, mailing resumes and headshots, emailing theatres, researching theatres and various career paths. Now comes the time to put all that hard work to use...SETC. In one week I will join my fellow theatre people of the United States as we converge upon Chattanooga, TN in the hopes that someone will pick me! Chorus Line, had it right. Although, there is a plus side, unlike Chorus Line highly overchoregraphed numbers are slim on the ground, slim in the air, just fairly trim at SETC. I'll be going for, you guessed it, sound design. My background in sound engineering and radio/podcast/webcast production. So if you know of anybody wanting a sound designer who's friendly and easy to work with give me a call. I'll be here. Until I go there...but I'll be around.