I am done bitching in bars. I am pushing my stakes on the table publicly, here and now, and I encourage my colleagues in theatre to do the same. Our stock-in-trade is dialogue. Let's employ its power to discover the way forward towards a world class theatre in Seattle.
Markheim’s just a half-fallen angel trying to keep his head down and walk neutral in The Show, but how long can that last with some other angel burning street kids on deserted Seattle stairways?
Sam ain’t gonna like it. And when Sam’s unhappy, nobody’s happy.
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Come join Episode Three of SANDBOX RADIO LIVE!“To Hell With Love” as the Sandbox Artists Collective records it LIVE! before a hopped up audience of devout Sandbox Radioheads on Monday, January 23rd at 7:30 at Fremont’s newest theatre, West of Lenin!
Entirely new, fresh and certified locally grown, Sandbox Radio is written, produced and performed by some of Seattle’s hottest stage talent. This latest episode, “To Hell with Love” will include brand spanking new pieces by ScotAugustson, Vincent Delaney, Elizabeth Heffron and Anita Montgomery, plus Episode 3 of my noir-angel serial Markheim, poetry from Charles Leggett, and the sensationally seductive song stylings of our very special musical guest, Heather Curtis Mullin. As an added bonus, the evening will also include a special tribute to the "Poet Laureate of Radio" the late Norman Corwin.
Members of the Sandbox Artist Collective currently scheduled to appear include: Eric Ray Anderson, Rik Deskin, Ki Gottberg, Sarah Harlett, Tracy Hyland, Darragh Kennan, Mik Kuhlman, Charles Leggett, Larry Paulsen, Dan Tierney, Annette Toutonghi, Kathryn Van Meter. Original music will be provided by Jose Gonzales and the Sandbox Radio Orchestra: Charles Leggett, Dave Pascal, Dan Tierney and Rob Witmer. You won’t want to miss this, and you won’t want to wait until the podcast gets posted. Come see it LIVE! on Monday, January 23.
Who: The Sandbox Artists Collective
What: Sandbox Radio Live! “To Hell with Love!”
Where: West of Lenin (Located at 203 N. 36th Street, a few blocks west of the Statue of Lenin in the center of the universe, Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.)
When: Monday, January 23rd (house opens at 7:30 pm with a live music set, show starts at 8:00 pm)
More than once someone has come up to me before an opening of some play I wrote saying something like, “Oh, you’ve been doing this so long you probably don’t even get nervous anymore, right?” My reply is always: “It’s precisely because I’ve been doing this so long that I’m terrified. I know all the things that can go wrong.”
In two days I will be joining the 14/48 team as an actor for the first time. In the parlance of the Seattle’s venerable “instant theatre” festival, I’ll be a virgin, and thus forced to fetch beer from the keg for whichever veteran demands it. The fact that I have served as a writer four times makes no difference. Nor should it. As an actor, I am a virgin. I feel like a virgin. And I have a virgin’s fears. Or to be more accurate I should say, I expect to feel a virgin’s fears. I just don’t feel them yet. It’s one of the blessings of being an actor. You really don’t need to plan that far ahead. Actors are soldiers in the trenches. Sure, it’s their ass in the line of fire, but at least they have something to do when the lights rise and it’s time to go up and over. A playwright, like a general, has to watch in horror-- sometimes abject, sometimes surreal-- from beyond the action. Of course there is joy too, but a playwright’s joy comes only in flashes until the final curtain drops. Until then, anything can, and often does, go wrong.
So my 14/48 virgin actor fear hasn’t hit me yet, but I have no doubts that by the time of the first morning’s “actors’ draw”, when I find out which play I will be performing and who my director and cast-mates will be, my insides will be doing a nasty free-style crawl towards either end of my G-I tract. And when it comes time to go onstage for the first performance, I fully expect my swollen heart to be thumping in my chest. This is only right and proper. It’s how human bodies process performing publically. And it’s as it should be.
A healthy fear is essential to making theatre. It is what keys us into the audience’s experience of the immediacy of the moment. If you’re not feeling it, then chances are the audience won’t be feeling much of anything. And, alas, they’re used to that. If they want “perfection”, they stay home and watch the boob. Our fear as theatre artists fuels the whole machina ex deus that is theatre. The audience gets off on knowing that the train can leave the tracks at any moment. Ours is the crucible where the experiment of art is performed—not re-enacted—but embodied in flesh and sweat and spit. If we already know we’re right— if we know from the outset that the experiment is going to succeed— then we are also already dead. Fear is life. Fear is holy. And in these darkest Northwest days just after New Year’s, fear is also a much needed bolus of bright adrenaline. I plan on nursing it until the lengthening days can take over.