Whew. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, between auditions, callbacks, performances, work, kids… life. And I had the beginning of a post here related to a Steve Almond quote. So I’m just gonna do things all bullet pointy. And I hope the Almond quotes speak enough for themselves in how they relate not just to writing, but to improv as well. Because I’m not going to go into any elaboration just now. Maybe later.
- Back in June 2004, we at SmokeLong published The Evening of the Dock by Steve Almond. What’s stuck with me over the years is not so much the story (which is excellent) as some things Steve said in his interview. Here are the specific bits:
You treat the alpha-husband quite tenderly here. Do you think it’s important for a writer to have some affection for all of his characters?
Absolutely. The attitude an author should have with his characters is along the lines of Christ: unconditional love and forgiveness. In fact, we should love our characters not for their nobility and strength, but for their iniquity and weakness (as Christ did). You have to love them enough to expose them fully and forgive them. That’s sort of preachy, but it’s also true. Think of any great book—it’s an act of transmission of love, from the author to the characters to the reader.
If you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?
Fuck style. Tell the truth.
Preach it, brother.
- Speaking of writing, you should really go check out the latest issue of FRiGG Magazine. Lots of great stuff, including new work by old favorites Randall Brown and Alicia Gifford.
- Interrobang auditions were awesome. I’ll be blogging about that more very, very soon. But not here. Because one of the things that’s kept me busy the past couple weeks is creating our new web site. Woo! Check it out, because it’s lovely: http://interrobangimprov.com/. That’s where I’ll be posting about the auditions. I’ll quickly say here, though, that we cast Becky Bartlein, Jillian Boshart, Phoebe Richards, and Bryan Sullivan. And they’re all awesome. And we had to pass on a number of amazing people as well. Which was brutally hard. Anyway… more about that process in a couple days over on our new site.
- I heard a couple people at UP say that “CIU” was their most successful long-form show yet (I’m guessing in terms of audience?), and they’re hoping to re-mount it at some point. Cool. Dunno when or where, but as soon as I know, I’ll post here. Will be interesting to see how many of us are actually available to do another run.
- “Quiz Show” may have a complimentary performance some time soon so that we can record it with really good sound equipment. More about that if/when it happens, because hey! Free show!
- I’m a Seattle Mariners fan. As of right this second, the Mariners have lost 16 games in a row. The day before the losing streak, they had exactly a .500 record, and were actually sort of still in the playoff hunt. If the season ended now, though, they’d be in line for one of the top draft picks. What’s amazing to me, though, is that the first few losses were disheartening, but the last few have been kind of hilarious. Which reminds me, in a roundabout way, of a quote from Ian Schempp during his long-form essentials class (this may be paraphrased): “I’d rather do a horrible show than a mediocre one.” Yup.
Probably won’t post again til next week(ish). Gotta get the auditions post done for Interrobang, and then I go right into the insanity of 14/48. Which will be amazing, exhilarating, terrifying, and if you’re in Seattle, you should damned well come.