Apr 30, 2012

Watch The Skies production still

A while back I acted in a short film being shot by some pretty smart cats with an outfit called Stump Productions. The short is called Watch The Skies and the director, Benjamin Davis, just sent me the first still. It is of yours truly.

Wanna know what's what as this little film gets off the ground? Follow the project on its FB page... HERE.

Apr 28, 2012

Owl t-shirt spotting

This just so happens to also be my beautiful wife sporting her own "An Owl Was My Babysitter" t-shirt!

I'm so pleased with how this t-shirt came out. Get your very own HERE.

Apr 26, 2012

Handwriting That First Draft

"But there is obviously more to writing than typing. What I'm really doing is composing. Composition requires focus. It is, like most acts of creation, monotasking.

I stumbled upon this great article by Patrick E. McLean entitled "A Defense of Writing Longhand." It totally struck home, since I am struggling through the first draft of a new play called THE DOLPHINS OF MARS. I realize I always write out my first drafts in longhand. I do the first round of edits as I type in that draft, because it forces me to re-read my own work.

Why do I use a pen and paper the first round through? the same reason I doodle in my sketchbook... I just need to get the ideas out as fast and furiously as possible. Inspiration does not wait on my slow-ass hunt-and-peck typing skills. Plus, there is that nice feeling of being about to hold a notebook - that tangible thing - in your hand, filled with scrawled-on pages and think, "Yeah, I made something where before there was nothing."

Apr 23, 2012

Weekend in San Antonio

Me and the cast of the Overtime's production of  FOR THE LOVE OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST
 Good weekend in San Antonio. I experienced two showings of my play FOR THE LOVE OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST at the Overtime Theatre. I was struck by the genuine enthusiasm the cast and crew had for the play. They missed a few things, but found a whole lot. In fact, sitting through the piece I was affected by how clear the same themes and motifs have become and still get sprinkled into my works (searching, confusion, isolation as well as goldfish, bees, cocktails, etc.). I have have to revisit ANESTHESIOLOGIST and expand it into a fuller-length piece (right now it is designed for just over an hour).

With director Bryan Ortiz

CHOP in performance at the Overtime Theatre.
I also performed CHOP twice and it was wonderful to revisit that piece as well. It was well received, too. Even though I was extremely tired each night, I turned in two pretty solid performances. I even received my first standing ovation - for CHOP - on one night. Hazzah!

The folks at the Overtime had a definite divey-DIY-homemade vibe, but they bowled me over with just wonderful amounts of hospitality. Good weekend of art-making and art-experiencing.

Apr 22, 2012

A look back at the Dallas premiere of ANESTHESIOLOGIST

Overtime Theatre in San Antonio is currently running my play FOR THE LOVE OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST. They have a wonderful production and did several delightful things with it that I never would have thought of. It reminded me of working on the piece myself (I directed and designed as well) way back in the summer of 2004. I remember having a blast! I had a great cast and my dear friend Jeff Swearingen got to play his first lead role. No solid video survives of that production and just a scant few photos, but I'll put a few below as well as a few of my first really glowing reviews.

Here's to looking back at FOR THE LOVE OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST...

Dallas Observer - July 22, 2004 - By Andrea Grimes

In Friday's finale, For the Love of an Anesthesiologist, Texas-born writer and director Brad McEntire achieves, nay, creates new levels of hilarity in a Tarantino-meets-Twilight Zone effort from Audacity Productions. Alfred (Jeff Swearingen), an occasionally spastic man on the run, searches for meaning, an anesthesiologist (Maura Murphy) and his way out of an eerie island bar. Joining him are a transgendered cocktail waitress (Julie Reinagel), a man in a trench coat (Kenneth Fulenwider, who steals the show) and a pirate-like Parisian ex-lover (Trista Wyly). Love shouldn't be missed.

Absurd comedy is a real knockout
A tantalizing slice of artful hilarity premieres at a Dallas theater festival.
By Perry Stewart (Special to the Star-Telegram - 7/20/2004)
Perhaps For the Love of an Anesthesiologist will one day be presented as a companion play to The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. For the present, in its premiere run at the Festival of Independent Theatres, Brad McEntire's comedy shares the bill with two other one-act works that seem pedestrian alongside its artful absurdity. 

A packed house had thinned noticeably Friday by the time Anesthesiologist, the last of the three that evening, took the stage at the Bath House Cultural Center. Audience members who left early missed the gem of the trio. (What's with these people? Do they leave baseball games after the sixth inning?) 

Staged under the banner of the appropriately named Audacity Productions, McEntire's play introduces the fugitive Alfred -- portrayed with manic gusto by Jeff Swearingen, who looks like Emilio Estevez and sounds like a young Richard Dreyfuss on speed. 

Alfred abides in a purgatorial way station where various people from his past parade by. Several are played by Kenneth Fulenwider, who has one encounter with Swearingen that's right out of Waiting for Godot. 

Trista Wyly, who has delighted Hip Pocket Theatre and Pocket Sandwich Theatre audiences, is marvelous here as a kinky Eurotrash countess. 

Apr 20, 2012

Another fine review for ANESTHESIOLOGIST

Steven Star (left) and Tadeo Garcia perform in the Overtime Theater's staging.
Photo: Courtesy, Bryan Ortiz / SA
“For the Love of an Anesthesiologist” opens with a masked man in a trench coat using a rope to slowly drag a trunk across a bar.

The scene has the feel of something from a Greek myth ... until the man's back seizes up and he stops short, groaning in pain and shoving the mask from his face. Creepiness gives way to comedy, setting precisely the right tone for what unfolds in the hour-long piece, the current offering at the Overtime Theater.

The dark comedy, written by Dallas-based playwright Brad McEntire, is set in a tiki bar somewhere between life and death. This is the confusing universe where Alfred (well-played by Tadeo Garcia) finds himself after pulling his lanky frame out of that trunk.

At one point, he winds up caught in a who's-on-first-esque loop with Man in the Trenchcoat (Steven Star, who slips gracefully in and out of various characters). Alfred asks, “Where am I?” To which the Man responds, “You're here!”

Tended by a waitress with a heart of gold named Hank (played with strong timing by Mary Goodhue), Alfred indulges a fondness for fire and struggles to make sense of what's happened to him. That includes sorting out his messy romantic life. He was caught between two women: A crisp anesthesiologist (Halen George) and the forceful, riding-crop-wielding Contessa (the very funny Julienne Ponce).

Director Bryan Ortiz — who also created the effective sound design — has done a great job of creating a weird little universe in which all of these goings-on make sense. Some credit for that also goes to lighting designer Steve Wire, whose well-thought-out design helps indicate shifts through time and into various realities.

The piece is frequently laugh-out-loud funny and well worth catching. Those who go this weekend may want to stick around for the late-night show: McEntire is slated to perform his solo piece “Chop,” in which a guy discovers the world of amputation fetishists, at 10:30 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets to that show cost $7.

“For the Love of an Anesthesiologist” can be seen at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through May 12, with one matinee at 3 p.m. April 29, at the Overtime Theater, Blue Star Arts Complex, 1414 S. Alamo, Suite 103. No performance May 4. Tickets cost $9 to $12. Call 210-557-7562 for reservations or visit theovertimetheater.org to buy tickets online.


Apr 18, 2012

Revisiting CHOP

CHOP promo trailer from FT Bonnigan on Vimeo.

This coming weekend I'm taking my one-man show CHOP to San Antonio for a two-night engagement at the Overtime Theatre. I haven't performed the piece since last summer and it is the fifth time I've come back to the piece after not performing it for a substantial amount of time. Here are some of my thoughts on returning to CHOP I've had over the past week as I reacquaint myself with the work...

1. I remember the story. What I mean by this is I could tell you the whole story of the piece at a drop of a hat. I am familiar enough with the overall arc and main points of the narrative that I could tell it like I was telling a good bar story.

2. I don't remember the word-for-word details as well as I had hoped. Reading back over it, I realize there is a tremendous amount of finesse (for lack of a better term) to work back into the piece. The artfulness of the telling has to be worked on. that's what most of the last few days have been dedicated to.

3. Remembering where I stored the sets/props has been difficult. Ruth and I moved since I last performed CHOP, so nothing is exactly where I thought I'd left it. A full day was spent just locating and collecting material items between my house, my folk's garage and a storage unit. When I have to gather and worry over tech stuff, I understand why some solo performers just work on a blank stage.

4. I've discovered more layers to my own piece. I, of course, approach it differently now than I did even last August. I'm different so the play is different. This is the most rewarding aspect to remounting a very personal theatre piece. It deepens. There is always more to mine. And hopefully, each time I perform the piece, it will be richer and richer, both for me as well as the audience.

If you are in San Antonio this weekend, April 20 & 21, here's the info. Come out and see the show!

Apr 15, 2012

BSJ episode 2 - Daily Ballast

Jeff Hernandez and I recorded episode 2 of the enormously popular podcast* Bike Soccer Jamboree!

Listen to it HERE.
* This is completely subjective.

Apr 14, 2012

First San Antonio ANESTHESIOLOGIST review is in...

First impression: ‘For the Love of an Anesthesiologist’

Playwright Brad McEntire has created an odd world in “For the Love of an Anesthesiologist.” It’s set in a sort of limbo in which a man (Tadeo Garcia) has to work through his complicated romantic life. The crew at the Overtime Theater is clearly having a great time with the material, which is often laugh-out-loud funny. Director Bryan Ortiz and his crew have done a top-flight job of building the universe in which the action takes place — everything from the music to the lighting has been designed with care and wit. (Side note: Those who come out next weekend will get the chance for a two-fer of McEntire’s work: He’ll also be performing his solo show “Chop” in the late night slot.)

“For the Love of an Anesthesiologist” plays through May 12 at the Overtime Theater. Call 210-557-7562 for reservations or visit the Overtime Web site to buy tickets online.

Apr 12, 2012

Early press for the San Antonio ANESTHESIOLOGIST

Overtime heads into limbo with 'Anesthesiologist'

By Deborah Martin for MySanAntonio.com Blog - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tadeo Garcia plays the lead in the Overtime Theater's "For the Love of an Anesthesiologist." Courtesy Overtime Theater

Bryan Ortiz was sifting through scripts with other folks at the Overtime Theater when he happened upon “For the Love of an Anesthesiologist.”

“It's such a weird, interesting little play that I fell in love with it,” Ortiz said.

And that's how he ended up directing playwright Brad McEntire's comedy, which premieres this weekend at the theater.

In it, a guy (Tadeo Garcia) wakes up one day to find himself in a 1960s tiki lounge somewhere between life and death. He's also caught between two very different women from his life.

The script reminded Ortiz of “Defending Your Life,” Albert Brooks' 1991 movie about a guy who dies in a car accident and ends up in Judgment City, where he and a legal team look back at his life to determine whether he has progressed enough to move on to the next level of existence, or whether he's doomed to return to Earth.

“‘Anesthesiologist' is very silly and nonlinear,” Ortiz said — so much so, he was grateful that McEntire gave him a timeline to clarify what happens when.

Folks who enjoy it might want to return to the theater next weekend for “Chop,” McEntire's solo show about a guy who just might have found a place for himself among amputation fetishists.

As for “Anesthesiologist,” it's a quickie: It clocks in at around an hour.

“It kinds of goes back to the roots of the Overtime Theater,” Ortiz said. One of theater founder John Poole's guiding ideas initially was that no show would run more than an hour.

Nodding to that part of the theater's history is especially appealing now, Ortiz said, given that the theater is preparing for its next big move.

Renovations to the Blue Star Arts Complex are causing the company to leave its current home by the middle of next month; its leaders are hunting for a new space and nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 to cover expenses of the move, including renovations.

The deadline for the Kickstarter campaign is Monday.

Original article: HERE

Apr 11, 2012

An Owl Was My Babysitter... t-shirt by Brad

So, today, I designed a t-shirt which I am supper happy with. You should buy one today for yourself or someone you love!

Remember when you were a kid and your mom would leave you at the house. You knew, you just knew, you were old enough to stay home all by yourself. You stared out the widow aimlessly, munching on bagel-bites. And there, not on the highest branch, but pretty high up perched that owl. Yep, that owl was put there by your mom to keep an eye on you.

Get one in the Tee Shop... HERE.

Apr 9, 2012

Easter sketches for Kylie

I spent Easter Sunday with my family. My six-year-old niece Kylie hunted Easter eggs and had me draw pictures for her. Here's some Easter drawings.
The Nervous "Easter" Squid
The ernstwhile "Easter" robot

Apr 8, 2012


The folks at Overtime Theater have put together a little promo video for their production of my play FOR THE LOVE OF AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST.

Apr 7, 2012

Big Sexy Weekend of Improv 2012

I'm a participant as well as a sponsor in this year's Big Sexy Weekend of Improv presented by the Alternative Comedy Theater. I'll be performing with Fun Grip, hosting the Monologue Jam, teaching a solo improv workshop and am a sponsor via Dribble Funk Comics and the new Bike Soccer Podcast. So, I'm involved.

Check it out if you get a chance. Should be more fun than robots have on their days off.

Apr 6, 2012

BIKE SOCCER JAMBOREE episode 1 is online

My friend Jeff Hernandez and I have launched a new podcast series called Bike Soccer Jamboree. The first episode just came out. It basically involves Hernandez and I just sitting around chit-chatting, really. I may have misremembered the movie Something Wicked This Way Comes. I totally remember Jonathan Pryce's character having eyes in the palms of his hands. The thing is, outside of actually watching the movie to verify this (which I won't do, as explained in the podcast), it is impossible to say if this really is the case. Maybe he only had the faces of the young protagonists tattooed on his hands.

Anyway, the first episode is out. Take a listen... HERE.

A RASPBERRY FIZZ review that almost slipped by...

Raspberry Fizz
by Christopher David Taylor ~ March 5, 2012 ~ Stage Directions Blog

Raspberry Fizz, by Brad McEntire and directed by Andy Baldwin (who opened Lord of the Flies at Level Ground Arts on the same night) is a delightful piece of theatre, expertly acted by Jeff Swearingen, Natalie Young and Shane Beeson.

The piece tells the story of a young boy and girl on the cusp of teen-hood, the boy wanting to ask the girl to a harvest dance. The Carnival Barker is there to create a sense of mystery and he continually recites a mantra designed to capture the interest of the young boy. Swearingen as Ellson hits all the right physical notes with his character; one would hardly believe he wasn’t a child based on his physicality. Young as Samantha is pitch perfect in her flat, midwestern accent that reminded me of something out of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. Beeson’s Barker was a little more challenging. At times his patter came across as forced but it didn’t detract from the overall performance. The final moment of the piece, Swearingen and Young dancing slowly, was a nice end to the evening. Tension built up and released by the slightly childish dancing on the part of the two actors.

What was interesting for me in the double bill was the difference in the age of the performers. Grayman is made up of University students and Audacity Theatre Lab’s cast is decidedly not but the two groups in the same space within the same time frame created two distinctly different but complimentary pieces of theatre. Searching for love and purpose, belonging and a cold raspberry fizz.

Apr 5, 2012

I am in a new podcast about to launch!

Me and my friend Jeff Hernandez are launching a new podcast about... well, whatever we feel like talking about for half an hour at a time. It is called Bike Soccer Jamboree and it is going to be awesome!

Check it out here.

Apr 4, 2012

CHOP in San Antonio!

It is confirmed. My one-man show CHOP will play at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio this month.

CHOP concerns a man at a loss of what to do with himself, profoundly isolated from the busy, happy, productive people in the city around him. Through a chance encounter with a mysterious tattooed woman he is introduced to what might be his true calling - a unique subculture of amputation fetishists.

Playing April 20 and 21 at 10:30 PM
At The Blue Star Art Complex
1414 S. Alamo, Suite 103
San Antonio, TX, 78210
(210) 557-7562 ~ Tix: $7 at the door

Apr 2, 2012

Making stew

I don't cook. Not really. I mean, I can make grilled cheese sandwiches and scrambled eggs and turkey burgers. I usually never attempt anything drastic or too extensive. Until now...

In an effort to improve my eating habits (which is part of a larger Getting-My-Act-Together protocol) I looked up a recipe online for "detox soup." My plan was to make the soup, eat it for about three days, kinda priming the pump for good nutrition, then switch to Tim Ferriss's Slow-Carb concept, which I have tried in the past.

The soup came out really well. I'm calling it stew since it reminds me of my mom's beef vegetable stew, sans the beef ('cause now I'm married to a vegetarian, so things are even a bit more healthy)...

Here's what I did:

- 4 quarts of filtered water
- 1/2 a head of cabbage
- 4 chopped carrots
- 4 chopped celery
- a bunch of chopped green onions
- 1/3 bunch of parsley
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1/4 pound of spinach
- 1/2 cup of mushrooms
- 4 Massel brand imitation Chicken bouillion cubes
- 2 15 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop up everything.
2. Add cabbage and water into a big pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for one hour.
3. Add everything but the chopped tomato. Simmer one more hour.
4. Add tomatoes and let simmer one more hour.

Eat for days.