Sep 20, 2014

Applying with Dribble Funk



I am applying to a comedy festival with my solo improv format Dribble Funk. This will be the first time I have purposely aimed to perform DF at a big festival, especially outside the DFW area. I have performed it outside of Dallas a few times (like in Hong Kong and in Austin), but, honestly, I don't perfom it very often. It scares me every time I do it. Sometimes I kick-ass and sometimes it is just lame. As I develop it, it has a certain two steps forward one step back thing about it.

I am at my best in the Dribble Funk when I combine solid characters with a tidy plot that gradually becomes clear. Also, I'm learning that velocity is important. If I can spin it out at the same speed I'm thinking it up, then it makes magic happen. This is way more difficult than it sounds.

I may not get in the festival, but applying has made me consider Dribble Funk lately. I had to post a link to a video performance and realized I didn't have any Dribble Funks on YouTube, so I threw one up. It is one I am pretty proud of. I call it the "Ryan's School Report or Flying Fox Set."

Enjoy.

WARNING: Strong language! NSFW!



Sep 16, 2014

The Holding Fix performance video

I wrote in an earlier post how I directed a group of student actors in a short student-written play at the beginning of the summer. It was for an event called PUP Fest, produced by Junior Players and Kitchen Dog Theater. They just sent me a link to the video of the show. For one week of two hour rehearsals, I was very pleased with how the young actors performed. They have their scripts in hand because technically it is billed as a staged reading.

Here's the video...


The Holding Fix from Devon Miller on Vimeo.



Sep 9, 2014

Originality Over Perfection


"The Collective works, ultimately, towards perfection. My idea of an Individual working in the Theatre is different. The goal is not perfection. The Individual Theatre-maker (such as a solo performer) is working ultimately for the most personal outcome. Originality trumps perfection."

~ "Originality Over Perfection." Brad McEntire

I make a substantial realization over on my Tumblr about the goals associated with the kind of theatre I persue. See it... HERE





Aug 28, 2014

The first Audacity Solo Salon

Van Quattro reading his work STANDING EIGHT COUNT
A lot of my theatre activities over the last several years nave narrowed on an interest in solo performance. I started a solo performance blog that touches on, admittedly, only a fraction of the solo performance happening around the nation. I developed and performed three distinct original solo pieces, including CHOP, which is probably the piece I am most proud of and which has proven most artistically fulfilling to date in my creative process. Last May I produced the first ever Dallas Solo Fest, a Fringe-like theatre festival bringing together local as well as national solo acts in a celebration of one-person shows.

Now I am extending this interest, and the ethos of the DSF, into a quarterly event, a sort of solo performance open mic/workshop series I am calling the Audacity Solo Salon.

The aim of the Audacity Solo Salon is to support and nurture both established and emerging solo performers in the north Texas area. It is also a way to extend the mission of the annual Dallas Solo Fest beyond just the festival itself. 
 
This will be a way for solo artists to rehearse, experiment and develop their work in front of supportive audiences. The Audacity Solo Salon it will serve as a collaborative gathering place so solo artists and their audiences can meet and inspire each other and help cultivate a growing community of solo performance in DFW.

This first Salon was on August 25, 2014 and featured local
DFW solo performers Van Quattro, Steven Young and Beth Bontley. It seemed to go pretty well, with about a dozen audience members. The solo artists all semmed to come away with some good feedback, too. 

Culture journalist Danielle Georgiou did a nice write-up on the Salon in the Dallas Observer... HERE. And you can see pics from the evening... HERE. And a bit of info... HERE and HERE, as well.

I'm aiming to do the next one on December 8, 2014.

The Elevator Project

AT&T Performing Arts Center
The huge AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District is doing an experiment. They have opened their smaller spaces to several small arts groups (theatres, dance groups and storytellers) to each do one production in the venue during the 2014-2015 season. It is called the Elevator Project. I weighed in on this yesterday after an article about the project appeared in Art & Seek, a local arts and culture website.

Here's me quoting myself...
"In fact, I think it might be a fallacy to believe more mid-size and larger theatres would be good for Dallas. There are so many smaller groups percisely because there is room to operate, room to say something unique and audiences to appreciate what is said at the smaller end of the spectrum. Dallas seems to reward gumption, spark innovation and prides itself on fostering scrappy go-getters. And I would hazard to argue that there are no groups more scrappy than the 40-someodd theatre groups spread all around the Metroplex that do little shows for handfuls of audiences at a time.
Read my whole soapbox rant... HERE.


Aug 24, 2014

CHUPACABRA RIGHTS at Dallas 1MPF

With fellow playwright Samantha Rios, 1MPF founder Dominic D'Andrea,
and actors Mayam Baig and Travis Stuebing at the Dallas One-Minute Play Festival
Below is a fuzzy pic of one of my pieces in in performance at the 1st Dallas One-Minute Play Festival at Kitchen Dog Theater, CHUPACABRA RIGHTS

The 1MPF played August 16-18, 2014 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, sponsored by Kitchen Dog Theater. I had two pieces in the production. Dylan Key, of the Undermain, directed my play I HATE IT HERE and CHUPACABRA RIGHTS featured the excellent Danielle Pickard and Danielle Georgiou and was directed by Second Thought Theatre's Kelsey Head.


Danielle Georgiou and Danielle Pickard in CHUPACABRA RIGHTS
In reflection, I observed a few things about this unique event: 

1.) It was wonderful to get such a large and diverse swath of the Dallas theatre community together in one big project. Besides seeing a bunch of old friends and dear colleagues, I made some new friends and contacts as well.

2.) I definitely saw the "community" angle that the founder of the 1MPF concept, Dominic D'Andrea, was shooting for. The plays were purposelfully a cross-section of the interests and concerns of Dallas. They were furthermore grouped into roughly similar themes such as racial issues, gender/sexual awareness, dense traffic, dependenace on technology, Texas pride and so on.

3.) Though I liked being part of the "community" I think it also took a little something away from the individuality of the plays and playwrights involved. Instead of a collection of individual voices, what came out was a jumbled mass of coincidently intersecting "bits." I guess a better way to say it would be that the pieces were plugged into the service of the project, instead of the project serving the voices of the individual writers. This was not necessarily a fault so much as the nature of the beast (all the plays are one-minute long, for goodness sake), but it was definitely noticeable.

I'm printing CHUPACABRA RIGHTS below. I added "presumeably male" in the opening directions, since I guess it wasn't clear before, particularly after seeing how the piece was presented at KDT. The director took an interesting angle with the piece, by flipping the genders and putting in a bit of interesting blocking (they are sitting in front of chairs). Not completely sure why, but it actually seemed to come out a-okay.


#     #    #


CHUPACABRA  RIGHTS
By Brad McEntire © 2014


Lights up. Two, presumeably male, Chupacabras stand facing the audience. We know they are Chupacabras because they probably have little cardboard signs on them that say, simply, “Chupacabra.” At rise A YOUNG LADY kisses CHUPA 1 on the cheek and exits.


CHUPA 1
Cute right? I’m going to marry her.

CHUPA 2
You can’t marry her. You don’t have the right. You’re not a citizen here.

CHUPA 1
So?

CHUPA 2
You aren’t even human. You don’t have the right.

CHUPA 1
I don’t see the problem. The Supreme Court says corporations have rights, like people. Why not us?

Nice little beat.

… Besides I love her.

Lights fade. End.