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8230041

True Grit - The Bitter Lemons Story

Colin Mitchell made me write this. The playwright/blogger/self-described Army Brat knows full well that I’ve focused my energies on improv and music as of late, yet still prods and pesters me for my perspective on LA Theatre. His guilt trip, only a few e-mails long, worked, just as his flattery and a few pieces of Pie got me to write for Bitter Lemons all those years ago. Dude’s got GRIT.In the book Imagine: How Creativity Works, author Jonah Lehrer considers grit, or the tenacity to keep on persevering,...
8601438

TORNADO WEATHER

I’m annoyed that Colin Mitchell asked me to write for Bitter Lemons. Or, to be clearer, I’m annoyed that I’ve written so much on Facebook, and Twitter, and public forums, that Colin saw enough of it to think this was a good idea. I’m annoyed that my labor union brought that about.Now, I’m going to annoy you by telling you things about myself that you won’t give a sh*t about. I’m 51 years old. I’ve been acting since I was 15. I turned down a casting offer from a theater...
5128941

“ART” VERSUS “PAY” (VERSUS “PLEASE JUST GO AWAY”)

People from the anti-99 side of our community, and even some friends of mine, have asked why I frame this debate as acting for “art” versus acting for “pay.” The answer is simple: what’s the alternative?The 99-seat debate, by its nature, cannot be described without attributing motives. As a result, most people use a sort of short-hand to describe different reasons actors choose to act. Both sides do this, sometimes innocently (I’ve been called “amateur,” as in “s...
844016

You Win Some, You Lose Some, in Love and "War Stories"

According to the website DiscoverLosAngeles.com, there were 4 million people living in the City of Los Angeles in 2015. If you add all of LA County, the number grows to 10.1 million. That’s a lot of hearts falling in and out of love at any given time.In Sarah Kelly’s new play, War Stories, we meet four of them: Chelsea (Sarah Schreiber), an actress constantly attracted to catastrophe; Sam (Clayton McInerney), a writer whose motto is ‘never fall in love with an actress’; Jen (Sarah Kelly) a th...
295257

THE DESCRIPTIVENESS IS GREAT BUT THE STORYTELLING NEEDS WORK IN "WARM CHEESE"

Mom. It’s one of the few things all of us have in common, and she is perhaps the most important relationship any of us will ever have. Some moms nurture, some abuse. Some do a little of both. Some moms inspire, some discourage. Some are peculiar and some are positively nuts. In the one-person memoir which just opened at the Hollywood Fringe, writer Teresa L. Thome sums her mother up as a “mildly neurotic control freak.” That would appear to be an understatement.With descriptive, precise, detailed d...
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IT’S A BIT CHAOTIC INSIDE ‘YOUR MOTHER’S VAGINA’

There was an inherent awkwardness to my editor’s request, “I want you to review Your Mother’s Vagina at Hollywood Fringe.” Playwright/director Amy Chaffee is quite aware of the title’s projected discomfort. She has sewn it into the fabric of her two-hander journey through the convoluted friendship of struggling actress/bartender Leila (Beth Gudenrath) and part-time university academic/cocktail waitress Sue Anne (Rachel Hirshorn). Within three time-spanning scenes, they spend most of the...
3133397

Plaintiffs in Actors vs. Actors Equity Association respond to AEA statement

Dear Equity Member and Los Angeles Theatre Community –By now you have seen Equity’s Press Release and letter to their members attacking actors for their efforts to preserve intimate theatre in Los Angeles. Equity’s letter is malicious and false.The Plaintiffs filed this suit on behalf of the entire Los Angeles Theatre Community after Equity ignored a referendum in which the Equity members of this community defeated Equity’s proposed changes by one of the widest margins in Equity’s votin...