Toys and Cakes

Upcoming stuff:

  • This Saturday the 16th I get to tell a new story (currently called The Lessons of Little Rubber Things) at the Carousel Lounge as part of Nettie Reynolds’ event Toys of my Youth; I’m excited to meet everyone else involved, have a beer or two and listen to a couple of great-sounding bands
  • On June 4th we open a two-week run of the play Good Weather for Bundt Cakes at an in-house venue in south-central Austin with Lana Dieterich, Roxy Becker and Suzanne Balling; can’t wait for it; that Lana is a sassy one…
"I see your eyes, what they're doing."

“I see your eyes, what they’re doing.”

Testify and Out of Ink Encores

Really happy that I get to tell another story at Testify this month.  It’s one I’ve been trying to get down in one form or another for years and years, and I think I may have finally found a way to lasso it.  It’s a sad, kind of awful tale about a party that takes a difficult turn and has no happy ending.  But I’m hoping I can wrench a little humor out of it somehow and get that blend of humor and poignancy that hurts so good.

Then I’m also happy that I have a piece in ScriptWorks’ Out of Ink show next month.  This is a piece I wrote back in November for the 48-hour fling.  I don’t think it’s one of the stronger pieces of mine, and I expected it to be funnier than it was at the reading.  But I’m happy to be starting to work with the director (tomorrow’s our first meeting) and see what we can make of it.  That show will open in late April at Hyde Park Theatre—which is one of my favorite theatrical places ever, woohoo!

Hey Look, I’m a Storyteller!


It was very sweet of Austin Storytelling to run a short interview with me here.  I feel unqualified but happy to be included with other wonderful people in their ongoing Q&A sessions.  I’m sure it was exactly how Barack Obama felt winning that Nobel Peace Prize before he’d really governed.

Anyway, thanks, Austin Storytelling; hope to see you around!

Now if I could just get someone to write about how I’m a Basketball Player…



FronteraFest 2015 winds down/up

Centerpiece of Ravings of a 6-Year-Old Madman

Centerpiece of Ravings of a 6-Year-Old Madman

All right, so the trombone musical didn’t make it all the way to Best of Fest.  That’s okay, it happens.  I’m always disappointed when a piece doesn’t go all the way, but I’m happy we had a couple of solid performances, and I learned from it too.

This other piece, Ravings of a Six-Year-Old Madman, did make it to the Wildcard slot of the festival–which means the crew really wanted it back.  I’ve never been in a wildcard show before and it feels like an honor.

The show is crazy and I can’t imagine ever doing anything like it again.  We uncovered some old song lyrics Liam had made up when he was about six.  They’re unusual and occasionally oddly mature, and often experimental.  No adult could write this stuff.

It’s been a fun experiment and I’m happy to have the chance to perform it again.  Plus it makes the kids giggle uncontrollably, which is a bonus.



Tom and Liz Went on a Picnic

So how’d that musical experiment work out for you?Tom and Liz cast

Pretty well!

We got a good response on Wednesday, a lot of laughs.

I think we were all a little amped up at first, and I was off balance when I got out onstage, finding I was pinned a little too close against the wall, and my shoes had some weird sticky substance on the soles that made a lot of noise whenever I moved.

I didn’t know whether we could pull it off, how people would respond to this simplified trombone musical thing.  But I’m happy with it, and I’ll likely try it again (which is how I know I’m happy with it).

We find out late night tonight if we get to go on again tomorrow for Best of Week.  I’m writing this now in case we don’t make it (I know I’ll be disappointed).  I want my future self to know that it was a success and that I should do another one next year!

UPDATE: Hey, we made it; best of week!  And Saturday’s performance was so much more relaxed and easy; happy!

Dog Play at Long Fringe (no phone edition)

One of the stars of Dog Play

One of the stars of Dog Play

I had a tech rehearsal for a play by my friend Michael Michaelian yesterday at the spanking new Ground Floor Theatre.  I’m running a series of visuals (slides) for him during the course of the show.

I took a cool photo of the space from the tech booth on my phone but then my phone broke in the afternoon after a soccer game (adults against kids) which we adults somehow LOST!  (But no, I didn’t fling my phone against a wall in frustration; I really didn’t.)

Putting these visuals together has been pretty time-consuming, but I think the end result is going to be pretty cool.  Four performances coming up during the last week or so of January.  Hoping I learn something from the tech booth too.

p.s. Is it weird that I kind of like these periods without a phone?  Maybe I’ll put on a Nirvana record and pretend it’s 1992.

A ground-level shot of another tech show; not as cool as the tech booth view

A ground-level shot of another tech show; not as cool as the tech booth view

Is This Gonna Work?

Trying something new for FronteraFest this year.  Had this crazy idea to do a musical with a trombone and a bear suit.  I now own both these things.

We’ve had a couple of rehearsals so far, and this musical business is a bit tougher than I imagined.  But I feel pretty good it’s gonna work out.  Just hope my lips can hold up (trombone reference).  All right, will get back with an update once rehearsals start more regularly in January…

bear and bone for FF

Looking Down

So yeah, had a fun night on Friday at Testify.  Met some cool people and felt happy about getting onstage and all that.

At the bar afterward, a friend mentioned that I seemed comfortable but I looked down at the ground a lot.  He wondered if it was something I did while I was thinking.

Maybe.  I also told him it might be some kind of shyness instinct.  It also may just be something I do.  Something I have done for a long time when I feel moderately uncomfortable.

I remember getting that kind of feedback in June when I acted for the first time in a long time, that I needed to do better at keeping my head up so the audience could see and hear me.

Anyway, I’m posting this mostly so that I think about it in the future.  So that I think about that instinct to look down and maybe try to train/convince myself to keep the head up.

Maybe I can look to the side or something instead.  Or at the ceiling.

Or just not worry about it…

Storytelling / Fling / Fringe / New Theater

Oh man, I’ve been so bad about posting updates.  What’s wrong with me?  It’s almost like I don’t have anything to say!

But wait!

A few quick notes for now:

1) I’m performing at Testify again at this end of this month (and I’ll need to update my list of Works with the new title; can’t wait!)

2) We had the ScriptWorks Fling this past weekend.  Had a terrific turnout at the ABGB happy hour before, and the read-through salon on Sunday evening.

3) I’ve got a piece I’m working on for FronteraFest in January which involves a trombone and a bear suit (AND a possible spot in early February for a piece tentatively about Neighborhood Associations).

4) Oh, and I’m helping to do visual aids for a Long Fringe piece at FronteraFest also in the second half of January.

5) And lastly (!) there’s a new theater in town and I kicked them a few bucks and may try to put something on there in the second half of 2015.

So there you go.  Stuff is happening (kind of) and going on (sorta).  Etc.

All right, until we meet again…

Oh, and my Map

Speaking of PARK(ing) Day 2014 (that’s not awkward to type or anything), since I didn’t perform, I walked around a bit and got to this map exchange booth helmed by Austin’s Atlas.

They were giving away maps of odd places you might not notice downtown.  To get one of these maps you had to draw and give them a map of your own.  Totally worth it.  Here’s mine.

a map (ish) of something (ish) (but I like it (no ish about it))

a map (ish) of something (ish) (but I like it (no ish about it))

Thanks, guys; the map you gave me is soooooper cool!