Thursday, July 20, 2006

"We don't need a map to keep this show on the road."

I enjoy the way Piddimus mapped the Birth-Death-Resurrection structure to the theatre/creation process in his latest blog entry. It’s interesting that you say that there’s nothing pleasant about the Death part of the process. I actually disagree… for me almost all of the joy in creation is in the execution of it (no pun intended).

I find pre-production (Birth) to be satisfying in a detached sort of way – trying to make solid decisions to ensure a strong production, finding the right cast, space etc. In the end, the success or failure of the work you do in pre-prod will define the scope of what you’re able to accomplish with the work.

Performance (Rebirth) is the least satisfying stage for me. It’s (of course) gratifying to have people enjoy your show, and every decision made in the first two stages must work toward and support the audiences eventual experience of it, but in terms of actual pleasure or joy, I’m usually left feeling kind of cold, and often spend the time wondering what my next project will be.

The rehearsal process (Death) is where 99% of the fun of creation comes in for me. This is where the creative decision are largely made, and the detail and depth of the show are discovered. (Rereading that sentence, it’s probable that a lot of directors would put this work into the preprod phase… I’ve always been an on-the-fly type though). One of the things that fascinates me about directing is take a creative work from potentiality to actuality… it’s the process of the execution of the work that gets my blood flowing in the end.

A quick caveat: I’m not trying to reopen the Process vs. Product debate again. As I said before, every single decision made in the pre-production and rehearsal phases of the show by necessity must work towards the good of the final product (which is a bit of an ‘ends justify the means” argument, I suppose). All I’m saying is that the actual pleasure for me largely resides in the journey of discovery, not the stasis of a destination.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nervous-Boy Trailer

Ben Vandenboom put this together over the last week... It came out looking fantastic. Three more chances to see Nervous-Boy, folks...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Adventures of Nervous-Boy

The Adventures of Nervous-Boy (a penny dreadful)
by James Comtois
Directed by Pete Boisvert

June 8-10, 15-17, 22-24 (Thursday through Saturday)
8pm, $15 Admission

Downstairs at The Gene Frankel Theater
24 Bond Street (between Lafaette and Bowery)

for reservations call 212-352-3101 or click here to order tickets through TheatreMania
"Poor Grendel has had an accident… So may you all."
—John Gardner

"Living in New York, I'm around a lot of people who are stressed out. Always stressed, always freaking out and always living in a constant state of self-created panic. I'm not really like that. I don't really stress out. At least, not in the way that people I know do. I don't feel stress. It's more of a constant feeling of steady dread…"

So opines the eponymous hero of The Adventures of Nervous Boy, a horrifically alienated New Yorker who's slowly and steadily losing his mind. In the new black-as-death comedy-horror play from Nosedive Productions, the cruelly-named Nervous Boy wanders around a grotesque nightmare version of the city and comes across New Yorkers of every kind, from rude cell phone users, belligerent alcoholics, pretentious academics, screaming couples, demons from the underworld and brain-dead zombies as he tries to burn a recently earned paycheck in order to maintain his sanity.

The Adventures of Nervous Boy features graphic violence and strong sexual situations and is recommended for adults only

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Ranking of the Bills

After a conversation earlier today regarding the new HBO polygamy series Big Love, I realized that even though I have seen him in almost a dozen movies, Bill Paxton has never left the tiniest impression on my brain. I have absolutely no opinion about him whatsoever. Whenever I see him in something, he slips out of my mind almost immediately. He's a cypher, nil, absolute zero.

In short, the perfect neutral point to design a Ranking of the Bills. Here we go:

10. Bill Murray - God
9. Bill Clinton - Slick Willy
8. William H. "Bill" Macy - An improvement to any movie.
7. The Bill of Rights - Essential reading.
6. Bill Shakespeare - A William by any other name...
5. "I'm Just a" Bill - He's ONLY a Bill.
4. Bill Pullman - The One From Spaceballs
3. Bill Maher - Keeps dropping down the list each year...
2. Kill Bill - Volumes: 1 through 2, Inclusive
1. Bill Cosby - PUDDIIIIIIIING!!!
0. Bill Paxton - The Perfect Neutrality of Bill
-1. Bill Bradley - Man, this guy disappointed me.
-2. Bill Nye - Science Guy
-3. Bill Amend - Foxtrot was really never that funny.
-4. William "Buffalo Bill" Cody - Poor man's P.T. Barnum.
-5. Cable Bill - Fuck you, cable bill.
-6. Bill Gates - Has. All. The money.
-7. Bill Kristol - Smart guy. Completely full of shit.
-8. Billy Carter - Drunken Brother of Jimmy.
-9. Mr. Bill - Eddie did a better Gumby on the same damn show.
-10. Bill O'Reilly - The Devil