Re-[insert word here]

Re-Unemployed. As of today, I’m not working again. I’ve been talking for the better part of a month to the manager where I’ve been working. They don’t have any more work for me until a new project spins up later in the year. Since there’s a chance that they’ll want me back, initially I’m calling this ‘time off’ and “unpaid sabbatical”. I’m actually looking forward to it because I definitely need to –

Re-Work my solo dramatic play and I have a deadline (i.e. the San Diego Fringe Festival, as noted last time). I decided to take a playwriting class while I’m doing this work, figuring the ongoing feedback will be invaluable. It will also help to keep me on track. Yes it means for a few weeks I have both this and another class – the one for –

Re-cording. – I assumed I would like it (or else I wouldn’t have taken it), but the voiceover class is more fun than I expected. I’m certainly not the “best” person in the class, but I think I hold my own. Last week showed I have some issues with timing, but my characterizations seem to be a hit. And it is so nice to have a script in front of me, especially since I need to –

Re-trench on the comedy stage front. I was very comfortable and felt good about both the 30 minute show last week and the 10 minute show last night, but when I listened to the recordings, I’m not getting the laughs I expect. That goes for both new material my recent class and the tried-and-true. What caused guffaws in class or smatterings of applause in other shows have just registered moderate reaction in both of these shows. I’m finding it frustrating that even though I think I’m getting better, the –

Re-sponse doesn’t seem to match. I think part of this “unpaid sabbatical” will be spent reviewing material and seeing what I can do to pump it up. Looking at the bright side, I only repeated 2 minutes of material in the 40 minutes of show time I did in the last two weeks. And I still have 3 or 4 additional bits in –

Re-serve. That’s not a bad place to start from.

Juggling Off Stage

Juggling is the art of keeping three or more objects in the air at the same time, right?

So I’m sort of juggling starting next week. I have another week left in my comedy class and two shows scheduled where I’m going to be doing some of the new material from it. I start the voice acting class next week. Today I found out that I will be doing my dramatic show at the San Diego Fringe Festival in the summer, so I’ll be starting on some rewrites soon. And, I sent a proposal to Burning Man Arts for a conceptual/visual piece for this year’s event.

Breaking that down a bit…

The comedy class on Wednesdays is going well. I’m working on four new bits, each about a minute and a half long, so potentially I’ll come out of this with six to eight minutes of pretty solid material, just in time for the 30 minute show I am doing in La Mesa and the 10 minute show in Burbank later this month.

Taking a voice acting class is my way of expanding my range of accents and characters to use in my standup. This is an intro class, and I expect I’ll take a few “specialties” (e.g. voiceover for commercials, audio books) as my interests in these areas emerge.

After the Tucson Fringe premier of my one man show “The Big Break” I realized that there is a lot of room to tighten the script as well as smoothing out the flow. Of course, with other things going on, those rewrites moved to the “someday” pile. Now that San Diego Fringe has accepted it (and I’ll soon have money on the line), I have a deadline. Writers need deadlines. So it will definitely be a better show in San Diego.

How did a Burning Man project fit into this mess? Most of the years I’ve been to Burning Man or Burning Man-like events, I’ve created some sort of art. Twice I did a little performance art – walking around in a labeled “Drama Free Zone” (complete with music). Twice I did stand up comedy (once naked). I’ve done conceptual art costumes (e.g. “The Snuggie of Turin”). A few years ago I had the idea of doing a “pilgrimage” piece, with markers along a path through the city. This year’s theme “Radical Ritual” seemed like the perfect opportunity to implement it. Because I’m planning to put these markers on existing infrastructure, I’m not sure the art placement group will allow it, put I proposed it. As one of our Up With People students used to say “You already have ‘no’; you have to ask for ‘yes'”.

Put all that together, and there’s probably not going to be a lot of actual on-stage-in-front-of-an-audience time in April. So I’ll be juggling, but not always on stage.