Sunday, July 31, 2011

Questions and answers

A dog. In a bag. On the subway.
Q. But Andrew, I want too much information!

Q. You have to be kidding, that's your blog?

A. And you can get to my other blogs from it: , , etc.

Q. Wow. You really overshare!

A. Do you want to see some pictures of cats?

Q. It's the Internet. Of course I want to see pictures of cats.

A. look around but there are plenty o'cats everywhere.

Q. Are you sure the terms of your release into society allow you contact with people who aren't completely off their rockers?

A. That's why I talk to you.

Q. Suddenly, this isn't going well.

A. You should be surprised we made it this far, considering the drinks your little sister was funneling me.

Q. You suspect roofies?

A. I'm hoping those were roofies. Otherwise there's an un-tranquilized horse running around here.

Q. Can I help you?

A. Yes, send money.

Q. I was thinking tranq dart from a helicopter as you run across the Serengeti plains. 

A. Oh not again...


My eldest brother's birthday is actually tomorrow. But we celebrated it today. And we had all my siblings together in one place (which is rare).
At the party there were a lot of old friends of Dave (who is turning 60). And what I wasn't expecting were all the extemporaneous testimonials from his co-workers about what a loyal and strong friend they had both as a co-worker and when he was their Union representative. My family all thanked him as a protector of us younger siblings and, well I guess he's just a strong friend. He's one to keep.
Dave's touched a lot of people with music, with his leadership, with his heart. A loyal man with soul.

And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, 

Those are things he has.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The end of the road

I'm sure I've posted this comic before. But I'm doing it again. Sue me.
Yes, cats cause schizophrenia. Or, uh. Wow, there's a stunning lack of facts in that article. Seems that cats kill just over 3% more birds than buildings. Or, about 10% of the bird population each year? Do you smell that? Smells like malarky...
In North Carolina for my eldest brother's 60th (egads!) birthday. Actually drove on a dirt road to get to dinner tonight. The street was actually called "Raper Road". I don't want to know any more.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I Do Instead of Work

Today I'm doing a deeply crappy job of getting anything done. I'd promised myself that the re-write to Dragon Girl would be done by the end of this week. And (I blame the heat) I just haven't been able to focus. Aren't there drugs to take for that? Or drugs that do the opposite and then I can just blame the drugs?

The Bloggess is one of the most hysterical blogs I read.

Furthermore, in today's cat porn, black cats being used for advertising. How could anyone think these cats bring bad luck -- what with the ueber-derpy looks on their little cat faces?

Oh look, The Asylum is making another dragon picture. Dragon Crusaders. The first couple of animations and composites look really fantastic.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

By Declaration of the King

In this Land we have the Law.
I am charged with the execution of the Law.
The Law states that each Man to be put to the Punishment of Death shall Know the reason of his death as it is under the Law.
And though you are neither "men", and are instead blonde dipwad twins who sat in front of me in the movie theater, it is no matter. For the reason you are to be Put to Death under the Law is henceforth:

  1. You deemed it necessarily to speak during the motion picture. 

This reason and this reason alone you kneel before me and my sharpened blade hangs above your necks. Your Honorable defense council did persuade the Jury that indeed you did turn off your damn├ęd cell phones before the movie and only turned them back on during, and despoiling, the end credits of the film. So I have elected to make your deaths quick and merciful.

Your heads shall be placed on stakes outside of the movie theater for all to know your crimes.

Oh, and I need a doughnut... badly

Film Threat reviews Ceasar and Otto's Summer Camp Massacre.
David Wellington, of the brilliant "Monster Island" zombie series, writes under the name of David Chandler for his fantasy novels.
My cousin Jaime-Jin Lewis is the Executive Director of Border Crossers. And you should give them money.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whip It Good

Do you know what's a beautiful animal? The longhaired whippet*. A dude on the subway had one today. It's too big a dog to put in a carrier and he just had the dog out walking, which I believe is illegal. But the dog was very chill.

I can't find a picture of a whippet online that looks like the dog I saw at all. It was mostly black (I think he/she had a diamond white spot on the ruff) and, of course, had long hair. Also: Williamsburg thin. You know, like a whippet: heroin chic.

*Insert joke about racing dogs that like classical music.

Bad Southern Accents

The Economist on bad Southern accents. Specifically they pick on True Blood which, let's face it, is a pretty easy target.
Accents are weird. One strange thing about them is that when one is very emotional one's "original accent" tends to come out -- even if that's an accent one has worked to avoid.
You know what I found interesting about Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I mean, one of the things I found interesting about Buffy? Anthony Head, who played the role of Giles, had a fairly upper-middle-class accent most of the time -- except when he got mad. Then his accent slipped to more of a working-class London accent. Apparently that is actually something like Mr. Head's original accent. In any case, it says something very specific about his character.
Even more impressive to me is James Marsters accent -- he goes from a lower-class accent to an upper - class accent when his character is angry. This is a kind of brilliant subtle indicator of the character Spike's pretending to be working class when really he's upper class -- just the opposite of Giles.
The Great British tend to be sensitive about how badly Americans do British accents. American Southerners tend to be sensitive about how everybody screws up their accents. And apparently Scots have, for whatever reason, a devil of a time doing Irish accents. I don't know nobody who gives a damn about a bad Brooklyn/Bronx/Joisey accent.
The deep, dark secret is that all these accents have infinite variations. So if you do an accent and you're consistent, you know that somebody somewhere actually has that accent. But the trick is you'll probably slide around and "give away" your own accent. Or just do silly things that the accent you're trying to mimic doesn't do. See True Blood for examples.
UPDATE: special bonus this map of American dialects.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Font elitism amuses us

Sorry I’m standing in the way of your minimalist Bauhaus-esque fascist snoozefest.
Besides, Comic Sans is the only typeface I can read when it's in 16-point type on the floor in bad light (like say a set list or a chord chart).

Monday, July 18, 2011


Honda Rune.
The Big Media is still trying to convince me not to get a motorcycle.
I'm not 100% convinced that Harley Davidson motorcycles really look substantially better than Hondas. I realize that much is lost, ostensibly, in the "cool" factor when your bike isn't a Harley. Although I'm sure you could have a great deal of attitude if you had a Triumph (if only because of the Jethro Tull song.)
And it looks like Actors Equity does not work the same way in Chicago as New York. Most starting-out actors in New York I know try to get into Actors Equity as a way of showing how "professional" they are. That doesn't seem to be the case in Chicago. Hmm...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chicago II

Wacker? You brought her...
Back from Chicago. I'll admit that Chicago has a very exciting theater scene. I saw Predator the Musical in a funky neighborhood (Irving Park?) last night. And yeah, it's Predator... as a musical.
It's not the fairly famous Internet video.
And although I think it's fairly flawed (the tone between the "book" and the music is fairly divergent) it sure is fun.
New York theater tends to be very serious. And I mean that in every bad way possible. But Chicago has many very interesting little theater companies.
There are a lot of differences between Chicago and New York. Obviously the price of real estate is one of the big ones. Also, from my brief experience looking at Chicago theater -- is anybody out there Equity? I mean do working or semi-working actors bother joining Equity? Do the equivalent of off-off Broadway producers in Chicago bother to sign Equity contracts?
Well I don't know. And I've managed to get that one-hour back-and-forth jet-lag from the weekend. So I'm gonna sleep it off.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So, I'm in Chicago. I just saw Alien Queen. Brilliant show. Fantastic idea, performed wonderfully well, the sound quality was abysmal. Which is ironic because there must have been a quarter of a million dollars in sound gear at the Metro, which was the venue. The venue is beautiful and the people nice. But the sound... I haven't heard sound this bad since the 80's. My guess is that the side fills were too loud and it was turning everything into mud but (shockingly) they didn't let me go in there and start turning parts of the sound system off in order to identify the problem.
Although you can never go wrong with pulling down some 250 and 500Hz in your life.
Did I mention how brilliant the show is? The music of Queen. The... I don't even know what from the first two Alien movies. There were a lot of aliens. And Newt was played by a beautiful puppetrix.

And how is the new John Carter of Mars going to be?

My brother the oldest has seemingly taken up photography in his retirement. He has a Canon 7D. This is what he sends me when he wants my jaw to hit the floor.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Apparently, owning Rockstar Games turns you into an ass. Why deny credit to people? It costs you nothing to credit people. It's just deranged and self-defeating behavior on management's part.
There's simply no reason to expect someone to stay with your company for their entire career. Not only is that bad for the employee, it's bad for the company. If you want to actively retain people, then actively retain them, don't threaten them with a lack of credit.
Besides, if you burn an employee by not crediting them, you're unlikely to be able to ever hire them again. Don't you think that one day you might want to be able to do that?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


So, I'm writing a script (as fast as I can) and structurally basing it on The Road Warrior. Instead of Max it's a girl with a crossbow. Instead of guzzuline it's dragon's blood. And, instead of cars, it's dragons.
There are two main bad guys in the Road Warrior -- Wez is the mohawk dude, and the Humungus is the shirtless guy in the hockey mask.
Now, I had gone and rolled them up into one character -- a golden dragon.
But now I've been told that if I have a script about girls with crossbows and dragons, I gotta have a warlock.
So I'm adding a warlock -- which makes it sort of the Humungus character.
Which means that even where I'm diverging from the Road Warrior structure, I'm still being brought back.

Combat Hospital

OK, this is my third post about the music in Combat Hospital. Is somebody making music choices in the first act as a goof. I mean, are they sitting there saying "Hey, let's put this music in there!" and then cracking up in a marijuana - hazed edit suite?
No really. Four episodes and each has had one messed-up cue in the first act. Whassup?

Page 54

  • Tattly is the Etsy of Tattoos. I'm going to have to work out a bunch before I can wear this rabbit.
  • I'm thinking we might not have a digital cat in this Dragon War movie. The baby dragon probably serves all the purpose the digital cat would/did have.

  • Trying to invite my dad to Google+ I ran into a level of confusion never before seen by man nor god.
  • That being said, if you want a Google+ invitation, just ask me. But I feel like at this point everyone who's been clamoring to get on has gotten on. I'm a bit surprised at the sheer number of people who have never heard of it
  • Things I have left that I think I want to do before I die include: getting a motorcycle (and motorcycle license), learning to scuba dive, becoming King of England.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Proof of the Divinity Inside Me

I'm in the grocery store and a clerk says "This line for five items or less."
The pedantic little snot behind me juts ahead of me and says "It's 'five items or fewer', not 'less'."
I actually say the words "Shut the fuck up, asshole." But not terribly loudly you see.
It may be that I said it quietly enough that he didn't hear me.
In any case not only did I re-take my place in line but I let the person behind him go ahead of me.
And that is proof of the Christ-like patience I have. Because honestly I think Jesus Himself would have just cold-cocked that guy, shoved an apple in his mouth, and called him done.

Monday, July 11, 2011


If you know me, you know I'm less "financially a bad risk" and more "threat to national security". I simply shouldn't be given any money (because I'll probably just make a movie with it.)
But I went to the Financial Planning for Artists Seminar at Theatresource on Saturday.
So now I'm not only evil, but I know how evil I am.
So, you are wondering, what did I learn?
If you own property you do not want to read this post. Just look at pictures of cats or something.
Owning property is a lousy investment.

The Wall Street Journal says so.

The New York Times has a calculator that proves it.

So at least I don't own a house!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


My eldest brother, David, planted this Magnolia in his yard in North Carolina. Now, like a triffid, it is growing and readying for the day when Plants Rule the World...

Saturday, July 09, 2011


So, it turns out I was WRONG!
Wrong in my snarky review-of-a-review by the New York Times.
Although the first few versions of the show were directed by Andrew Frank, this version is in fact credited to John Andrew Morrison.
So there. I offer this puppy as sacrifice:
The gods of wrongness have been appeased.

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Love Cats

The autotune dudes are at it again. Now with the eHarmony I love cats girl. Which. Is. Awesome.

Financial Planning for Artists

Our own Laura Schlachtmeyer, CFP, is holding a seminar tomorrow (July 9) at 1pm at Theatresource on financial planning for artists.
The title is "You Have More Money Than You Think". And, as a test-student last night I have to say it's pretty dang brilliant.
There's a $2 donation for the event to cover the theater space.
Laura really knows what she's talking about when it comes to finances and although she legally cannot give out specific financial planning advice, this seminar is super-helpful to us marginally employed/self-employed types.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Plus mashed coffee

If you have the need, want, or desire, to make a page "auto refresh" you can past this into your browser's address bar:

timeout=prompt("Set timeout [s]");
function reload(){

Then you can enter in the number of seconds to go by before it auto refreshes. This trick comes from here. And yes, I'm using it in order to try to get on Google+. My question is: what happens when I do get in, and my browser auto-refreshes? Will it auto-refresh me right past my one and only chance to log in?
I'm watching this new show about (what I guess is the equivalent of) an Iraq MASH called Combat Hospital. I'm on the second episode. Some of their music choices are... weird. I noticed that in the first episode too. They cut the music in a scene about 5 seconds before the scene ended, which left the denouement of the scene kinda hanging. It wasn't really to emphasize a "button" on the scene, it just sorta ended early. Like they're using library music but their picture editors don't know how to cut music (picture editors as a rule can't cut music and also cutting music in a picture workstation is really obnoxious.)
I wish I could just take a number and get in line to get on Google+ rather than refreshing my invitation to see if I can get on. I don't even mind being number 999 and their only serving number 18. Heck, I don't mind if they just say "you can't get on until October 18th" as long as they'd just tell me. Why am I so eager to get on another big corporation's social networking site? Just because I hate the Facebook interface so much, that's all.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Would You Like To Manage a Theater?

Theatresource, one of the best off-off Broadway theaters in New York City is looking for a new Managing Director. It is a hard job to be the GM of a theater in New York, especially one with the limited budget we have. On the other hand, you are the GM of a well-known theater in New York.
The location is right in the middle of Greenwich Village. And you'll be producing a hundred shows a year (I'm not kidding).

Feel free to disseminate far and wide. Here is the job description:

Manhattan Theatre Source, a 501(c)3 theatre in its 12th year of operation, is seeking
a Full-Time, Paid, General Manager (see full description of duties below). Interested
candidates should submit a resume and cover e-mail to
no later than Sunday, July 17th.
General Manager Duties
The Source General Manager is expected to create a warm and welcoming environment in the
space at all times and to embody the Source House Rules: Practice Generosity of Spirit, People
Before Personalities, Share Your Information, and Clean Up After Yourself.
1. Bookings - mainstage and playground (and rehearsal room)
○ Maintaining the theatre calendar (and rehearsal room calendar)
○ Marketing the space (basic listings, facebook, etc)
○ Proactively seeking bookings and responding to booking inquiries in a timely
○ Conducting contract negotiations with potential lessors and signing the contract
on behalf of Manhattan Theatre Source
○ Securing timely deposits and installment payments for rentals
○ Liaising with the lessors pre-rental period regarding all details related to the
○ Liaising with the lessors post-rental period regarding any balances due
2. Oversee day-to-day operations
Includes oversight or direct implementation of:
○ Ensuring the Source is staffed during operating hours (2pm-10pm/7 days per
week) as well as for early opening required by load-ins/rehearsals, etc.
○ Maintenance of the website
○ Creating ticketing in OvationTix
○ In-space marketing of the Source and Source productions
○ Ordering supplies
○ Day-to-day upkeep of space/general repairs
○ Ensure compliance with applicable NYC/State regulations (e.g., Fire, waste,
3. Management of volunteers (including shift managers)
○ Maintaining the volunteer schedule
○ Directing the activities of/assigning work to the volunteers
4. Logistical support for in-house productions and fundraisers
○ Compilation and printing of programs
○ Generation (excluding design) and posting of in-house signage
○ Generation, printing, collating, etc of appeal letters
○ Timely generation, printing, mailing etc of donor acknowledgement letters
○ On-site support of fundraising events
5. Organizational communications
○ Generation of email blasts to and other communications with Source Shift

Game of Thrones and Race

Now let me tell you, I think that Game of Thrones is brilliant. Brilliantly written. Brilliantly cast. I mean, each and every scene in the thing is like a "scene study"-scene. The characters have these beautiful arcs over the series and over each freakin' scene. You're just thrown into a world of sexy and kinky and dragon-loving fun.
And also let me tell you that there are some minor spoilers here.



So my question is: where are all the African and Asian people?
Here's the place I come from, y'know bein' all white and male and such:
Okay, so in the world of Game of Thrones there are no "Asian" or "African" people. But remember, there are no "European" people either. They're in their own separate universe with their own rules. They're clearly not on Earth (what with the wack seasons and all). So OK, there are literally and figuratively no "races" in the Game of Thrones world.
Which means, to me, that the casting should therefore be wide-the-freak open.
Let me digress for a while.
Most people think that the more African one is the more dark-skinned one is. That's not true in and of itself. There are some very dark-skinned Africans. But depending on where you are in Africa you can see (genetically literally) all of the so-called "races" of humans.
All right. I'm back.
Now, there is a LOT of incest in Game of Thrones. And a lot of wondering whose baby is whose. For that reason you may (not "must") want to keep certain lineages of people looking one way or another. But by no means do you have to keep them all lookin' like white people. There's no reason some of these houses can't have some people of a variety of "looks" of people.
Furthermore, there are a whole bunch of characters unaffiliated with anybody else, and why not cast them with a wider range of people of the world?
And then here, as a director, I get a bit hackled. There are a lot of dark-haired white boys in this show. I absolutely cannot keep the Stark boys differentiated in my head. Couldn't the bastard son look a bit different somehow?
How about Bronn the mercenary?
Now look, the guy who played Bronn is great. His name is Jerome Flynn. I'm just showing that there are a gazillion places one could have added a non-white guy with black hair. There's a whole bunch of them at the Wall, aren't there? A bunch of white dark-haired dudes.
Now, if, and this is a big "if", you (as a producer) decided that yeah, all these major characters had to look somewhat related to one another and you started casting Asians and Africans as mercenaries, criminals, and whores, you'd get a lot of complaints too. You would probably fear the criticism "Why are all the people of color mercenaries, criminals, and whores?!" more than "Why are there no people of color in this dang show?!"
So it seems that you're damned from either side. If you made Lord Stark a "person of color" there'd be somebody who would complain that he was a complete stereotype of whatever race the person portraying him is.
On the other hand, can't one of the nurses be... well anything? Yes, yes they can.
And I'll give you some credit that the Mongol/Viking dudes were interesting. Making the head Ghengis-Khan character all scary at first and then making him seem like a decent husband is a very nice turn.
But casting some non-white people (in roles other than topless dancers around a bonfire) isn't just a nice idea, it also makes the whole show easier to freakin' follow!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Banned from Picasa

A few years ago my Picasa account was banned.
Giving me this delightful, and unhelpful, message.
As far as I can figure, this is the image which got me banned:
Because, you know, there's a flute player there.
Anyway, Picasa is kind of strange because Blogger uses Picasa for its images. So although the account has supposedly violated Google's TOS, the images are still accessible (and stored on) Picasa servers.
I can even add images directly from those Picasa pictures are stored (both before and after the content was "removed").
Possibly they banned this picture because of my white socks.
Like so.
But now today I've discovered another thing if I want to have access to the Picasa images. Going to Google's "Buzz" (or even in Gmail) I can view my "profile" and then go to "photos". Viola, there's all my Picasa images (and all the images from my blogs).
So, if this is a thing you need to do, that's how you do it.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Theater Reviews

So, the New York Times reviewed Greenwich Village Follies. The review is kinda dumb. The reviewer, Anita Gates, is even a bit confused about who directed the show (which was Theatresource founder Andrew Frank, not the actor in the show, John Andrew Morrison, but I guess we Andrews are all alike.)
UPDATE: actually, John Andrew is credited with directing this version of Greenwich Village Follies so, oops, that was my mistake.
How can you say "the cast's... heart isn't really in it. Any of it." But "you can't say the players aren't enthusiastic?" Um. Hey, New York Times editors -- do you guys proofread any of this stuff for coherence?
The secret to this story is that the reviewer brought an 8-year-old girl with her. Now note that this is to a distinctly "R"-rated show. So that was... weird. And to think that it may have had an effect on the cast and audience of a little intimate 50-seat-space is... reasonable.
This puppy has complained at length about the level of power that the Times has over New York theater. So I won't bother to do it again.


Winston (chat noir) and Meydl (chatte orange) lying together on the chair.
The cats get along extraordinarily well, actually.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I got some first-world problems

I can't get on Google+ even with an invitation because their servers are "over capacity".

Loud Pipes

This rabbit is tired of blogging about the problems of Final Cut Pro X.
According to Motorcyle Cruiser, loud pipes do not save lives.

"Whatever the reason, the research shows that bikes with modified exhaust systems crash more frequently than those with stock pipes. If you really want to save lives, turn to a loud jacket or a bright helmet color, which have been proven to do the job. Or install a louder horn. Otherwise, just shut up."

Read more:

I have a simultaneous fear of, and desire for, a motorcycle. Of course, I have a simultaneous fear of and desire to do wreck diving. I am completely uninterested in hang gliding or parachuting, but if someone wanted to give me helicopter lessons I wouldn't complain.

In any case, back to loud pipes: I've been looking for evidence that loud pipes saves lives, and I haven't found any. It does seem that most motorcycle accidents come from a dorkus turning in front of the rider, which is my greatest fear. Which is interesting because it's a rational fear (unlike my fear of bears, sharks, spiders, and mountain lions.)

Le Cygne Noir

So, having belatedly seen The Black Swan, all I can say is: how did it not win the Academy Award for best sound editing?
You won't hear more intentional clothing rustle in any picture this year.
Feathers. Everywhere.

Plus+ drinking game! Every time there's a scene where there isn't a mirror. Basically, the apartment hallway.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Melissa Riker

Here's our own Melissa Riker interviewed in DailySingle.

Riker? We ruv 'er! 

Working Theater

The first "open run" show at Theatresource is Greenwich Village Follies. (Here's a good review at Backstage.) One might wonder, after 11 years why has there only been one "open ended" show (which means a show that does not have a closing date, it could run forever or after a few months or a few years -- in theory)?
Back in 1995 or so, Ed McNamee and I were trying to figure out how to make an open-run show work in New York City. Egads, now that I'm thinking about it, it might have been much earlier than 1995. 1989? In any case...
The economics of it are very difficult. The primary problem is the cost of the theater space in New York is simply way too high. That's one of the problems with New York theater which we tried to solve with Theatresource. When you're spending thousands of dollars a week just for the space you're in, there's virtually no way to get your production into the black.
But the other big problem with the economics of low-budget theater production in New York is Actors Equity. Bizarrely, the union does not seem to actually understand off-off-Broadway theater. By and large their contracts for bottom-of-the-barrel theater simply cannot comprehend that a producer isn't
  1. making a load of cash
  2. from a show with an extended run
Indeed and furthermore I know actors (members of Actors Equity) who have gotten warnings from Actors Equity because they were producing their own shows.
Actors. Producing their own shows.
And I'm not talking about producing some big Disney show on Broadway, I'm talking about producing their own one-man show about Dickens or a festival of women's works. Right. Big money-makers there.
In any case, Equity hates running a show for more than a few weeks under a showcase code contract. Four weeks, in fact.
If the show is a musical review, however, that's a different story. Then the show can operate under the auspices of the American Guild of Variety Artists (because, you know, actors need yet one more damn union to join.) And AGVA has different rules.
Note that none of these are negotiated contracts.
Hmm... Now. I wonder. I am just sort of making this up as I go along but... if a producer were to not sign an Equity contract for a showcase I bet Equity's response would be to do nothing. Equity wouldn't try to get the Producer to negotiate an off-off-Broadway contract. And they certainly wouldn't try to organize the workers... er... "actors"... under their Union. For one thing, if you had a hostile union organizing of a theatrical show the first thing the Producer would do is to pull the stage manager out of the bargaining unit and there's no way that the NLRB would allow the SM to be in the same bargaining unit as the actors. Indeed, the SM is arguably "management" and therefore not a member of any bargaining unit. Hmm... I bet the Union would just up and quit organizing -- leaving the actors high and dry if that came to pass.
Anyway, you should see Follies.