Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Ode to Black Point

Don't get me wrong. I am as sad as the next guy that the Northern Renaissance Faire couldn't stay at Black Point, and visiting the site is an odd, bittersweet experience. But I was comforted by the fact that the valley, despite the homes on the ridge overlooking what is now a golf course, is still so damn pretty. I took a photo, posted earlier, from near where the Main Gate stood. And I found myself thinking back to what the same view looked like during the Faire days. My friend Kathleen had posted comparing that site to Eden... her personal Arcadia. I, with satirist hat firmly in place and way too much Shakesperean verse currently in my head, scribbled this:

Recall Arcadian verdure in its spring,
Where Porta-potties once, like diadem
Of stringéd pearls, bejewelled majestic hills;
Where, like unto the camp of Agamemnon
Before the very walls of ancient Troy,
Crew trailers did, in Bondoed rusty hues
Assail the burlapped Will Wood-mounted gate,
Whilst from the ridge, stained nylon three-man tents
Spewed forth the reek and rowd of stonéd teens,
(Divers, who knew, below age of consent)
And morning dawned with lusty workman's voice,
Alarum-like, "Get the fuck outta the road!!"
Here now, in what was once a dusty vale
Engend'ring mucous blacker than the Moor,
Republicans drive and wedge, chip and par, 
Boogers for bogeys are exchanged; yet still
Do birdies come anon to bless the day
And eagles, on rarer wings, do soar.
   We curse our Faire-ways missed, our hooks and slices;
   Arcadia's yet green, by whate'er devices.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RSC 30th Anniversary Webcast - Addenda and Google Map

Still aglow from yesterday's get-together with current Reduced Shakespeare Company mavens Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, and original members Sa Winfield and Daniel (Rover) Singer to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first performance of the RSC's Hamlet, Prince o' Denmark. The webcast took place live (when it wasn't dead), with thanks to and courtesy of Elizabeth Bugg and the fine folks at Stonetree Golf Course in Novato, California. The balcony we broadcast from is visible in the upper left of their splash page photo of the clubhouse.

Here, btw, is the Google Map of where we were.

View Black Point RSC Haunts in a larger map

I'd been wanting to do -- and offered to produce -- an actual reunion performance, featuring everyone and anyone who'd ever done a role appear for a scene or two in a production of The Complete Works. But Certain Quarters in London made themselves unavailable, which made it seem not worth pursuing. But then, by chance, it turned out that almost everyone else involved was going to be within twenty miles or so of the original Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire site where the first performances went down.

Considering the fact that when we discovered this last Tuesday, we had no plans to get together, none of us had ever done a streaming webcast, and none of us were able to arrive at the location we selected for the shoot (the clubhouse balcony of the golf course that now covers RenFaire land) until an hour before going live, it's amazing it came together at all! Although there were plenty of technical glitches (some my fault, some the server's. I for one will be switching from uStream to for my future live-streaming needs), you can see some of the rough results here. An edited version will come ASAP.

Sadly, the glitches left to a few stories with untold endings and untold beginnings. I demanded "hot towels!" from Sa to clean up all the corn syrup on our hands after the bloody Titus Andronicus. I hoped we'd get to trade injury stories, and show off some scars. Sa was trying really hard to plug Rachel Culp's awesome rock n'roll clothing when I, husbandlike,  interrupted her. Sa also never got to tell the tale of how she and Heidi Metcalf were backstage at the tiny Celtic Lodge at our first Fringe show, and it was so hot and cramped back there that they kept stripping off layers. By the time we were done with Hamlet... well, it was fun going backstage! etc. etc.) But you'll be able to hear that on the RSC podcast, soon enough.

For those of you who tuned in but were unable to see the live chat, I just fired up my laptop for the first time since yesterday, and the last twenty minutes or so of it's preserved:

4:21 rabidpsycho: YES COME BACK TO LONDON
4:21 rabidpsycho: Well, yes, not right now
4:21 Parrarie: yeah, I saw them during the low countries tour twice, in two days :P
4:21 actormanager: Have youplayed Ashland or any of the other Shakespeare festivals?
4:21 KyraSoleil: oh boy here we go
4:21 KyraSoleil: no sound :(
4:21 itzmechrisb:  ooooh  exciting  lets see??
4:21 reduced: Can you hear us talk over the pics?
4:22 actormanager: no sound
4:22 itzmechrisb: no
4:22 rabidpsycho: Nope, 'fraid not
4:22 reduced: Jess in tights
4:22 reduced: Yep, that's Jess. Ooh missus.
4:22 rabidpsycho: I envy your shapely legs, Jess
4:22 reduced: That's 15 min Hamlet from UC Berkeley.
4:22 MiaVee: Gotta scoot guys, but I've enjoyed it so far, looking forward to catching up with the whole thing once it's up :) and thank you for ten years of laughter and counting that you've brought me x
4:22 KyraSoleil: nice face
4:23 rabidpsycho: See ya, Mia!
4:23 reduced: Jess at ren faire doing the sneeze bit
4:23 reduced: with Danial as Polonius
4:23 ruccha: am I missing sound, or is there no audio?
4:23 reduced: Barbara as Ophelia!!!
4:23 reduced: Adam in black wig - the new Ophelia!
4:23 reduced: There's no sound.
4:23 ruccha: thx
4:23 reduced: Jess and Daniel
4:23 reduced: Jess and Yorick
4:24 reduced: Southern Faire
4:24 reduced: Probably 1986 now.
4:24 reduced: Ah the Pikes!
4:24 reduced: The caravansery stage
4:25 reduced: A rare clean-shaven Daniel
4:25 reduced: Beards were in
4:25 KyraSoleil: Beards went OUT?
4:25 reduced: DEath of pOlonius
4:25 reduced: LA Fringe Fest!
4:25 reduced: Reed Martin, ladies and germans
4:26 reduced: This was staged reading of Revised script in 2007
4:26 reduced: Still have 28 viewers!
4:27 KyraSoleil: whoo!
4:27 reduced: Welcome back to the sound portion!
4:27 rabidpsycho: Hurrah!
4:27 reduced: sound of screeching brakes
4:27 KyraSoleil: Blah
4:28 KyraSoleil: commercial
4:28 kirane0212: where'd it go?? :(
4:28 KyraSoleil: back
4:28 rabidpsycho: I seem to never get the commercials
4:29 kirane0212: they need to be louder, i can barely hear
4:30 KyraSoleil: THANK YOU. :)
4:30 kirane0212: thank you!
4:30 kirane0212: i love y'all, i'm attempting to direct the complete works of shakes in the fall (after i buy the rights of course)
4:31 KyraSoleil: no!!!!!!!
4:31 rabidpsycho: Worst time to go off air, in the middle of a melted spine story
4:32 KyraSoleil: back :)
4:32 reduced: The whole story will be uninterrupted in the audio podcast version.
4:32 rabidpsycho: Hurrah!
4:32 kirane0212: yayyy
4:32 KyraSoleil: yay
4:33 KyraSoleil: Ouch!
4:36 KyraSoleil: Sing! Sing! Sing!
4:39 rabidpsycho: (Psst, bring Sports to the UK, if just 'cause my Dad keeps asking me what it's like)
4:40 hesherman: So, what have I missed?
4:40 actormanager: still can't hear Jess
4:41 reduced: Would love to bring SPORTS to the UK!
4:41 cutypie12-1: just came back, did i miss too much?
4:41 Parrarie: Hop over the Channel to the Netherlands and Belgium then as well :)
4:41 actormanager: naked showers were fun
4:42 hesherman: Is nuclear fission ocurring behind you? Nothing but bright white light
4:43 actormanager: sunshine too bright
4:43 reduced: Welcome back HE! Just sunshine.
4:43 rabidpsycho: Sunshine?
4:43 rabidpsycho: You'll have to run that past me again
4:43 rabidpsycho: (Though, to be fair, it's 12.43am here)
4:44 hesherman: have u ever tried to reduce material and been unable?
4:44 actormanager: yeah Todd!
4:48 cutypie12-1: you should copyright reducing :)
4:49 KyraSoleil: What was the scariest moment on stage for you guys?
4:50 Parrarie: Question: Besides the Complete works: abridged, what are some of your favorite Shakespeare adaptations? (from any medium, film, theater, literature, etc.)
4:50 reduced: I remembered!
4:50 Parrarie: :)
4:50 KyraSoleil: :)
4:53 hesherman: I once saw radically cut HAMLET where R&G didn't die, just disappeared
4:54 reduced: In a puff of smoke?
4:54 hesherman: Just never spoken of again
4:55 hesherman: Hamlet in that production was Chris Walken
4:55 reduced: So they doesn't happen in the real play? :)
4:56 KyraSoleil:  Cheers!
4:56 KyraSoleil: Salu!
4:56 cutypie12-1: may there be 30 more :)
4:56 hesherman: L'chaim!
4:56 rabidpsycho: Congratulations, you guys
4:56 Parrarie: Proost!
4:57 actormanager: drink, drank, drunk
4:57 rabidpsycho: It's our honour
4:57 KyraSoleil: Yay for new generation
4:57 hesherman: Meadlowlark Lemon is gone, but the Globetrotters go on!
4:58 mclepus: Congrats! Sweet 30!
4:58 itzmechrisb: and the rest IS silence
4:58 reduced: Yes, we're the reduced Globetrotters!
4:59 rabidpsycho: I look forward to the non-skipping recording
4:59 reduced: Thanks so much y'all....
4:59 rabidpsycho: Thank YOU for doing this, rather!
4:59 Parrarie: Thank you, RSC, for reducing expectations since 1981!
5:01 Ustream-Bot: [Ustream-Bot leaving] Need assistance with Ustream? Type !help to join the live Ustream help channel.
5:02 Parrarie: I'm going to bed now, it's two in the morning over here. Good luck rehearsing tonight!
5:02 rabidpsycho: Beats my 1am - sleep well!
5:03 Parrarie: you too!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

iMovie Madness: Our Turkey Video

I spent a week or two trying to sift out my online media strategy. Cuz, you know, I have two blogs, (this one and LA Food Crazy), a personal Facebook page (where I have never not-accepted a friend request), an Author Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn page, a website. Sure, I have one or two followers in each place, but you start adding 'em all up and it might add up to what in the biz is called a "platform."

I decided that each has its place, so I kept them all. Thankfully, I have Hootsuite to help make multiple posts to multiple places. Hootsuite, btw, is utterly awesome. Create one post and send to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, all at once. Add the "Hootlet" menu bar button, and you can easily share any Webpage you're currently looking at to any all with a couple of clicks.

But still, I sometimes I feel the need to "personalize" the posts to the platform. Who the hell wants to see hashtags in a Facebook post? And if this was Facebook, the post would already be too long. I'd have to change it to a Note. Zuck you, Fuckerberg!

Anyway, here's a video, or short film, I made in iMovie 11 of our trip to France and Turkey last year. In case you didn't see it posted on a million other Jess Winfield platforms... enjoy. And FYI, this is the one place where I will speak the real truth, about everything, in as many words as I damn well please.

I ended up both loving and hating iMovie 11, by the way. Perhaps that is the subject for another post. Has anyone tried the hated Final Cut Pro X? I'm curious.

Jess and Sa Winfield in France, Istanbul, and Cappadocia from Jess Winfield on Vimeo.