'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Wednesday, December 28, 2005 ]

Would you look at the time? It's the end of December, so that means it's time for...

My Year In Review

Okay, so maybe this'll be a TLDR kind of post,* with only shit that I care about in it, but, hey, at least there will be a lot of embarrassing child photos of me to release the tension from time to time.

Bobby's parent dressed him.  Bobby grew up...confused.

Apparently, I either didn't do much or just didn't post much in January. So I guess nothing much to report.

I was co-mounting Welcome To The Terrordome with Kathy Lynn Sliter as the director. I'll get to more about that later, when we get to the month it opened.

But hey, there I was, starting the year.

Like a lot of people, I was still in denial over Bush still being president--and, I guess I still am.

So the year didn't start out all that great:

Actually taken after the election results.  I remember John Gustafson getting really offended by this picture, and voiced his greivance in haiku form.

But hey! The year could only get better, right?

(Well, I mean, unless you're one of the thousands of people killed in Iraq, then I guess not so much.)

I'd like to use this pop-up caption to apologize to Nicole Sheller for publically embarassing her with this 80's photo, after she was nice enough to go to the prom with me, and all.

I said, and still believe the following:

"7:35 In The Morning" is one of the Best Short Subject (Live Action) Oscar nominees this year. After watching it here, I had the following revelation: Nacho Vigalondo may have been put on this earth to bring one of my plays to the big screen. And I don't feel the least bit creepy saying that.

This was also when we were getting Terrordome up and on stage. My biggest regret was some very hard feelings and stress when it came to the rehearsal process. We always figured it would be the easy part--just rehearse at each other's houses. We'll take turns. Easy-peasy, Japanesey.

Well, wrongy-wongy, suck-my-dongy.

There's a real importance to leaving a show in a space that's not where you live--and sometimes, you just can't leave the problems of the day behind when you do this sort of thing at home.

I ended up basically becoming the stage manager on this (everyone we had asked initially became commited to other shows), and got a little overwhelmed--and one of the things I regret having to drop was my work on RentalRejects.com--and continue to regret now.

It's a good idea for a site, but Russ couldn't have possibly picked a worse time for me to launch it.

I'll get back to it this year, I promise, Russ. Making it a resolution and everything.

But as far as Terrordome was concerned, the worst was yet to come.

Curtains, people.  CURTAINS.

Yep, that's right. This was the first rehearsal I'd ever been a part of that got interrupted by a fucking SWAT TEAM.

As Debra Neff-Nathans told me, "That is the sort of thing that could ONLY happen to YOU."


So, the show ran and closed.

Now having some perspective on it, there are definitely things I'd change about it totally from a writing standpoint. I just watched it again, recently, and, while I liked the performances and direction, you can tell that it was written at a point in my life where I was not very happy, and that it would take finishing Sledgehammer Party to work some really negative shit out of my system.

I'm kicking around a rework of the ending, for instance. I vowed that I wouldn't have the show end like all stage hostage dramas end (with the bad guy held at bay while we hear the sirens getting louder...louder...louder...and...SCENE.), and just recently I thought of another way to conclude this show that's not quite, as Buck put it, "Red State" in its ending.

But a word about the audiences for the show.

No, not great, but, as I've said many times before, not horrible--and we made a small profit. This was the first show I'd ever done where I didn't go broke.

See, at Broom Street, the directors all sink their own personal money into each show, and take none of the profits in compensation.

Stupid as it sounds, I honestly had no idea that's not how everyone does it.

Sadly, however, afterwards, I needed a break (and the work I'd missed at my job were a huge dent in my income) and I had to drop from another show that I was acting in, after it had changed the schedule to a week after Terrordome opened.

Not being able to make the commitment without going broke, insane, or both, I called, and sadly, dropped.

But just to show there were no hard feelings, the director, his wife, and one of the other actors, showed up the folloing week with bags of groceries!

Sometimes friends surprise you in ways that don't altogether suck.

You know what's really funny about this picture, is that this was taken on the MAKEUP photo day, and I totally lied to the school photographers and said that my parents lost the pictures and that they had to retake them JUST so I could get these of me in my Mr. Spock Shirt.  Kind of a dick move, but hey--which school photo is framed and on my mom's piano?  Yup.  This one.  Right here.  Fuck all y'all, y'non-vulcan motherfuckers.

Not much happened to me except working at the video store nonstop and, y'know, discovering that alternate dimension.

Kind of depressing, really.


This used to be my favorite shirt, ever.  For reals.

This was the month I did my first ever audio post. Hoo-rah.

But then there was THE BLITZ, and I was able to sonically document the whole process of co-writing the musical with Morey Burnard, as well as take some really grainy pictures of the cast with my phone-camera.

Better is the three-DVD set offered by RASHfilms, which features (in the deleted scenes) this moment, where my show inspired Kathy Lynn Sliter and Molly Vanderlin to grope each other while thinking of me:

I've inspired women to embrace theatre...and each other.  My work here is done.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


It was in June that Joel Gersmann made the last phone call he would ever make to me.

A week later, he was dead.

I've said just about all I want to say on the subect here.

Big shock, the Gwen Quirk review said pretty much the opposite.

Yup, this was the month that Sledgehammer Party finally opened, then ran through...


If the ending is so predictable, why do you think you're so clever to give it away?  OOOOOOH!  Zing!

...and finally closed in...


And it ends with a wedding, a birth, and a wacky gay guy who falls in the pool.

...after which I wrote (and acted in) a short play about the smoking ban for WhoopDeDoo's production of "Smokin."

Oh, and this was the month I turned 34.

And that's all I'm gonna say about THAT subject.


I can't beLIEVE they got Phyillis Diller.

And the scariest thing about the month was that I didn't post anything.


But I'm a cheerleader, MOTHERFUCKER!!!

This was the month that the movie Jarhead was released, and I discovered that my old friend from college, Becky Boxer is in the film as "Dettman's Wife." (If you've seen the film, you probably remember her scene.)

I found this picture the other day, a publicity shot for a college show I was doing called TagTeam. So when Becky becomes a big huge movie star, you can say you got this exclusive gun fetish shot on my website. Mine.

Oh, yeah, and I wrote a novel.


Notice how the only one who believes in Santa Claus is also the only one NOT smiling.

And here we are, back to the beginning of another year. In the following year I've got a short play coming up with Mercury Players called "May Is A Special Time Of Year" for their upcoming Mercury Rising show.

I'm kicking around getting involved with more digital filmaking this year, but more on this as it happens.

Happy New Year, everybody.

You're gonna make it after ALLLL!!!

*Oh, and is there anything more obnoxious than people who post "TLDR?" Your day's so fucking busy you can't read one stupid post, but you're going to comment on it anyway? This is the kind of dickwad who plays D&D and cheats, like it's for money or some fuckin' thing.

posted by Rob on 10:51 PM | link



Rob, Love the picture of you in the shirt with the Star Trek insignia. How adorable! What a cute little fella! I would have liked to have known him.

The Baroness

P.S. I dare you to write the "nice" plays!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, January 01, 2006 9:39:00 PM  

The one I wrote for Mercury Rising is a definite lean in the direction of a "nicer" show.

That said, it does involve guns and assassins, so I'm not there yet.

By Blogger Rob, at Sunday, January 01, 2006 11:42:00 PM  

Well, if it's a resolution, then it's all yours to break, buddy.

But, hey, I'd just be happy with an email response.

Or a nicer-weather-visit to the balmy burbs of Chicago, where you can smoke on my deck, drink beer from my keg...errr... water from my filtered refrigerator thingy and hang out and play stupid video games (see a pic over at my site) and just sorta hang out for a day or so.

Nothing special.

By Anonymous Russ, at Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:18:00 AM  

Cool year-in-review post, Rob. I enjoyed both your shows. I think Terrordome was my favorite but they were both intense. I may do a year-in-review myself soon, it's a good idea. Talk to ya later.

By Blogger Chuck, at Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:56:00 AM  

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