Sunday, August 12, 2012

Post-Script

Hey pretties,

If you were part of this fucking amazing group of volunteers and artists, I wanted to talk to you. That's right. YOU! But I'm one little person. And with all those cookies tonight, not so little. HOWEVER, there were many, many people I missed getting to chat with because y'all were hella busy making shit happen. Like really really fantastic stuff. For those of you I missed getting to connect with, adding one of your one-liners or finding out why this 14/48 was awesome for you, my sincere apologies. Truman and I will add more pictures tomorrow. Well, after we've both slept, maybe I've seen Moonrise Kingdom with the boyfriend, had a fancy dinner with some family in town and generally recovered. Though can one really recover from 14/48? Or does one just revel in and savor the madness that was?

I'll let you know tomorrow. Sweet dreams kittens! I'm truly awestruck by all the talent and dedication I witnessed this weekend and grateful I was able to be apart of it with you. Thanks everyone!

Closing Night Energy! Or Things I Didn't Notice At The 8pm Show

As promised, the 10:30 show is energetic and um.. drunk. Hey, I call 'em like I see 'em people. Everyone here understands opening night and closing night energy. The cheers almost tear the roof off and even the band is louder.

New things to mention:

1. Already Jonah, from play #1, is ad-libbing a little extra. "You're a Green Stage fan? Sit down."

2. I missed Jose's line, "And then I heard a lot of swearing and I thought, 'That's weird for a museum.'"

3. John Farrage is adorable. That is all.

4. And the ad-libbing by Jonah continues, "A little t. Not an x like in the stupid theater." Big laugh.

5. Jose is a fantastic first-time up-and-coming actor. Oh hell yeah.

6. I'm in love with Dave Clapper's pink kitty.

7. I'm also in love with Teri Lazzara.

8. Charles Bronson probably doesn't laugh like that, but I really wish he did.

9. Laser pointers are never not funny ever.

10. Best lines: "Tickle, tickle," and "Bad kitty."

11. Props to both Dave Clapper and Brandon Felker for the extra lines they added and staying in character for that one.. damn.

12. You can tell the Cornish kids in the audience when Nik begins his actor's exercises and only a certain section of the audience laughs.

13. Did I mention Bret's dress? It's amazing.

14. I think that's a real f'ing fish they're using in play #4.

15. I love Erik's stump where his hand should be.

16. I'm not sure what happened. I think the lights went on a little soon, but that girl has a lot of cues. So Ron drags off Peter Dylan O'Connor and Patty Miles as if they were just part of the set. Yay Ron!

17. If anyone cares, my boyfriend's vintage tie matches his socks. You probably don't, but I do.

18. Shane Regan changed into a skeleton costume for Act 2 (with a peek-a-boo portion in the back..ooh sexy!).

19. If you don't know how much ass Alyssa Keene kicks, you should. It's a lot. Just saying.

20. Meaghan Darling has the best snort.

That's it! It's finally here - after-party time! Goddamn I'm so tired. Night all!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday's 8pm Act 2!

Everyone's got fresh drinks and empty bladders. Let's do this!

Act 2!

The band begins with I Think You Ain't From Around Here featuring Ms. Alyssa Keene who kills it. I'm pretty sure that's one of the original songs they wrote today.

Play #5 The Legitimate Fear, written by Ben McFadden
Directed by Allison Strickland
Cast: Corey McDaniel, Anthony Winkler and Erin Kraft

A couple on a road trip argues over whether they should stop and ask for directions when they run out of gas and meet a one-armed stranger. The car looks fantastic. Corey is decidedly creepy and awesome.

(There's a couple next to Nik Perleros and I who decided that a play fest is where they should have a very important talk. During the show. Sigh.)

Play #6 Bait, written by Charles Smith
Directed by Hana Lass
Cast: Mik Kuhlman and Jamie Roberts

A tipsy penguin flirts with disaster when meeting an eskimo on the hunt. Mik and Jamie are pretty dreamy. Took me forever to figure out what Jamie was though. But I'm feeling slow tonight.

The band transitions with the theme from Sesame Street. Cute.

Play #7 The New Kid, written by Mark Fullerton
Directed by Nik Perleros
Cast: Evan Whitfield, Trick Danneker, Basil Harris and Carl Sander

Three local kids attempt to bully the new kid from New York into passing a test in order to be part of their gang. Everyone is funny. That's all there is to it. 

Wow.. that's opening night right there! Only one more show! Let's hope you'll be here!

Saturday's 8pm Show - Act 1!

The band waltzes in taking pictures of themselves, wearing bright and tropical outfits and I realize they're playing tourist. They introduce Jodi-Paul, who's looking dapper in a white suit and blue pocket square and snazzy blue shoes, with People Are Strange.

"We really upped the ante on this one," he says. "We've torn down the roles this time. We're all the writers, all the directors, the designers, the band. WE ARE ALL KAMIKAZE!"

Whoo hoo! Act 1!

Play #1 You'll Do, written by David Anthony Lewis
Directed by Ahren Buhmann
Cast: Jonah Von Spreecken, Jose Amador and John Farrage

A museum attendee ends up in a zombie movie by accident. Jonah has a fantastic accent and plays a jackass well, especially when he condescends to Lou while doing her cameo.

The band transitions with The Cranberries' Zombie. And in walks a very large pink cat.

Play #2 Once Upon A Time in the Litter Box, written by Teri Lazzara
Directed by Roy Stanton
Cast: Brandon Felker and Dave Clapper

Charles Bronson's cat, Boots, makes some demands of him while wearing a magic hat. Brandon kills as Charles Bronson and Dave Clapper is clearly a cat-person. I think the bear rug should be listed as its own character though and possibly Dave's furry, pink costume. Special awards should go to the run crew for helping out Boots on the attack. You know who you are.

Band transitions out with a kazoo song and then blends that into Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi. I feel a western theme coming on.

Play #3 Clown Lounge, written by Pamala Mijatov
Directed by Cole Hornaday
Cast: Nik Doner, Bret Fetzer and Justin Alley

A naive physical theater artist rolls into town to interview for a rodeo clown position and is really out of his element.

Make up and costume are fantastic. I feel a little proud. I see three of my four costume pieces I brought in. Bret and Justin are great as knowledgeable old-hat clowns who've been around the circuit. Nik is darling when he plays innocent. Now we know he's a good actor.

The band transitions with a twangy version of Send In The Clowns that's ever so sweet. David Anthony sings a line from an old Irish song to intro play #4.

Play #4 Always At Your Back, written by Jon Lutyens
Directed by Douglas Willott
Cast: Patty Miles, Julia Griffin, Peter Dylan O'Connor and Erik Van Beuzekom

An Irish wife is tired of fish every day and complains to her husband when a newly-married couple arrive unexpectedly to get out of the storm. They have no idea that their hosts' hospitality has an ulterior motive. Lots of fake blood, Irish lilts, and weapons! Yay!

The band ends the first act with a lively Irish-y tune they wrote themselves. Woot! That's act 1!

1 Minute To Curtain!

It's a sold out 8pm show again! Not surprising. And due to being a little more run down than yesterday, as everyone is, I didn't get to check out tech too much. I know everyone moved through the day a bit smoother than yesterday, even if they were dragging. Some of the crew just started today and they look fresh-faced and eager. I'm sure those transitions tonight will be seamless.

Tonight's audience is again similar to last night's 8pm. Less theater folks and more enthusiasts. Certainly fans, but mellower than the 10:30pm show is sure to be. That audience will primarily be friends and peers of the 14/48 artists and everyone else who'll stay and finish the keg with us at the after-party. In other words, they'll be a lot more rambunctious and probably drunker a lot earlier. Nothing wrong with either crowd. Each will leave happy. So will we!

We're just a few minutes away! Last Kamikaze opening night! Break legs everyone!

Interview With A Veteran Director: Nik Perleros


During lunch Nik Perleros had some time to give me his thoughts on how this weekend was working for him.

So how's you're experience so far?

"It's been awesome. I'm the only veteran director, which was sort of a relief. But also, I really wanted to be a writer. That was my hope. Part of it was that I'd already be done with my job right now. I'm shooting a little movie tomorrow and the call time is 5am. So I thought, if I'm a writer, I could actually get some rest. But I just love the directing. This is my third time. I have system that I like to use."

When I ask what it is he asks himself, "Gosh, what is my system? Um.. essentially, work really hard, block the show almost entirely and get it on its feet within the first hour and a half. And then from there on, we'll fix issues. I think it helps people to give them enough time for lines. Today's show is different because it's a four-person show and what I love about a four-person show, I'm able to say, 'Ok you two go over lines, I'm going to take these other two and we're going to go figure out the physical stuff we have to do.' I feel like with more people, I can be more efficient. So we've gotten a lot done today. Yesterday when it was just me and Carl and Julia.. it's just all on them. The line load, the workload.. everything is on them. They're tired, I'm tired. It was also a low-energy piece. So even though it's been my third time, I mean every single time you direct it's a brand new experience. Even though I have my system, yesterday it wouldn't have worked. The blocking was almost so simple, it was done in the first ten minutes. So it's always really challenging. It never feels like I'm truly a veteran. You're always learning."

Have you ever been stumped for a vision when a play has been handed to you?

"I felt a little stumped yesterday. I've never been fully stumped because I always have actors and the design people to ask for help. And they lend so many good ideas. I'm always a technically-minded theater person. Storytelling is always what I'm working on but visually, I always know almost immediately. They've read the script too. I just ask people a lot of questions. They offer so many great insights, good ideas, bad ideas.. everything that kind of makes it obvious. For me it's helpful to be talking. So no. Never been fully stumped. It's been daunting. The last 14/48 I got the play that had 15 scene changes and over 30 light cues. My challenge was to not shy away from it and do everything in the script. And we totally did. I don't know how we did. It seemed impossible. Maybe it was because I could see the tech stuff so it wasn't scary for me. Also I think I've been really lucky. Whatever I ask for tech wise, every member of the crew is so generous with me so I'm always able to get what I want and what the show needs, which is awesome. Maybe my demands just aren't that crazy, but sometimes I feel like I ask for a lot. Today I feel like I've asked for more than I've asked for in a while. But it's just set pieces. Things that have to be built. One is a chain link fence and one is a see-saw, which is a downgrade from 'I'd like a full swing-set. I wouldn't ask for things I wouldn't think are doable. I try to do the compromising before I even make the request. Like in my mind, I think, "Can I do this?" But today seems like a very tech heavy day for most shows. Yesterday seemed very light, but today people got their confidence up so they're like, 'Let's just go for it!' So today the tech people are a little more like, 'I don't know if we'll have time for that.' But they're amazing. They work so hard."

As far as the actors and his great cast are concerned, "This is the third show where I've directed Trick. And I believe that makes me the diretor who's worked him most at 14/48. I'm trying to be the Scorsese to his DeNiro. Our partnership is good and we always have so much fun working together. That's kind of exciting. Plus I get to work with a whole group of new people I'd never worked with before. I'd never met Basil before this time. It's so much fun to be working with him. I'd never met Evan. I worked with Carl yesterday and he's great. I just love working with comedians."

Jonah Von Spreecken pops in and says, "Angel, I'm shaving," and he clearly does have blue-ish shaving cream on his face. "I don't know if that's something you want to document for the blog."

We bust out laughing.

"I'll do it now!" I say enthusiastically.

"Track down Truman if you need photography," he says heading elsewhere.

Nik tells me he doesn't do a lot of theater anymore.

"That's why I'm always very grateful to keep getting asked back to 14/48."

How do you keep that directing muscle trained?

"Short films. I'm directing short films all the time. I'm constantly making movies. And it's different, but that's what I'm doing as much as possible. Writing all the time. It's what I want to do."

Do you think film and theater translate back and forth?

"Sometimes I see myself not always buying theater acting. That's why I'm happy that feels a little more like a sketch. Because if it's big and broader, that feels like it works really well for me. I don't want my actors shouting, but they need to be talking loud. I'm always bummed a little when you're doing just this close talking. I can see it. So that's the only thing is sometimes my taste doesn't always translate. I do prefer one medium very strongly over the other, but the filmmaking aspect..there's nothing like this [he means 14/48]. This is what helps train me to get me better to go out and make the other stuff. It's challenging and truly collaborative. 14/48 is just magical. It's harder, more complex, more fulfilling."

He mentions how much work he and his cast have put in this morning and, while his cast is on a break, he's noticed he's finally feeling some exhaustion from yesterday. He takes off for a break and that's when I head out for power nap myself. I trust we'll all find our opening and closing night energy soon enough.

Saturday Gibberish Mostly

Saturday mornings in the 14/48 theater means everyone looks a little more comfortable and a whole lot more tired. Everyone's still excited, but they may need a little extra caffeine (or even a power nap) to get through the day. People know what to expect now even though the group they work with will most likely be different than yesterday.

I'm getting complimented left and right on my pants. I even got a shout out from a car on one of my breaks. I call them my circus sweats. Grey, ruffled pants from top to bottom. They're super comfy. After yesterday when I almost froze from sitting in the air conditioned lobby for almost two hours just catching up on all the bits I'd recorded, I decided Opal Peachy was right - pajamas, or something basically like that - would be a better idea. I know it's 80 outside. I've seen the sun.. briefly. Sigh. But really, I can sacrifice a nice sunny day or two for 14/48. I'd give my left pinky to participate in this festival.

After the actor draw and all the casts disappeared with their directors, I had a terribly quotable time with virgin playwrights, Jon Lutyens and Charles Smith.

Jon tells me, "Today, I've given [his cast] a line of gaelic. Fortunately, for an Irish play, we pulled Peter Dylan O'Connor, so that helps."

"You have a lesbian penguin, so that's sort of like a nun.. and nuns are always fun," he says to Charles. As if lesbian penguins aren't.

We just sit together for a while and banter back and forth.

Jodi-Paul Wooster, the founder of 14/48, comes over and, somehow, we get on the subject of his name. His given name is Paul Sanford Wooster. In college, he went by P. S. Wooster, "because that's what you do when you're a pretentious college student," he says.

Jon says, "I wish I'd known that. Next time, if you ever, ever draw me to write again.." implying one of his future characters would be named after him.

This leads to the origin of my name. Jon asks if it's Angela (and if he can call me Jelly. I deadpan, "No," immediately.). It technically is.. on the birth certificate. But I relay the story of my mom telling me it was my dad's idea to name me Angel. I was his 'little angel'. Mom wanted to name me Babette. I was drinking water at the time and had a real-life spit take. Babette Marie. Babs for short. Yeah. Ew. Babette is ok. Babs? Gah. No.

During tech, I over hear Peter Dylan O'Connor ask sarcastically, "Lutyens? Does that sound like an Irish name to you?!"

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

This is where the Kamikaze blogger shuts her eyes for a ten-minute power nap.. because, if she doesn't do it on purpose, she's going to do it by accident.. any.. mome........

Directors' Meeting!

Damn! It's already 3pm. Director's meeting is now. Roy is missing! ROY TO THE LOBBY!

Tech is in 30 minutes. The stage managers have added one fabulous and extraordinary, Lou Butler for tonight to help Jason Harber. Lou rocks my socks. 

Yay! Roy is here!

Show #1 seems minimal though there'll be a little crew help required mid-show.

Show#2 will have a five-foot cat scratch stand. Because, you know, cats.

Show#3: No set! Lou tells Cole, "You're so pretty!"

Tess starts to ask Cole about lighting, "So in your mind.." and he interrupts, "It's not a good place to be right now." Right.

Another song featuring kazoos and some sort of duck sound can be heard while we're in the lobby having this meeting. The directors clearly enjoy it but it's a tiny bit distracting because it's pretty funny. 

Show #4 I hear, "Blood [here], blood [here]," and am intrigued. I have heard talk of at least one show with a horror genre. And apparently some real or fake fish. Hm.. 

Intermission will require some blood clean up. Thrilling!

Show #5: "I've seen the bottom of the car," says Allison. Car? Cool! About lighting, Tess talks to Allison about a small clip light. "Hopefully, it'll look.. like a thing." Uber technical. I barely understood that.

Show #6 seems pretty simple. 

Show #7 requires a chain link fence and a see-saw. Nik's drawing is a little better than yesterday's. He says, "It's 3-D." Of course it is.

Five minutes until tech for show #1! Go! Go!

Overheard at 14/48

There are so many one-liners overheard while everyone is working. It's hard to catch them all, but when you hear one, you hope to God you remember it. Comedy gold, I tell you.

(The first two were hand-delivered by Mr. Evan Whitfield.)

Band advisor, Tim Moore, to writer Jon Lutyens: "Is the whole thing in gaelic?"

Jon Lutyens to his assigned director: "I guess they don't have to die."

In the greenroom, Trick Danneker spouts some necessary needs for an actor's process: "Water.. who needs water? It's chocolate milk. And processed cheese. But it has to be Cheese Whiz, not real cheese, and directly sprayed into your mouth would work."

From Charles Smith, looking extremely relieved: "They just fucking saved my play. I was seriously thinking of trying to find some heroin so I could overdose."

While shadowing a cast in need of my faux fur chaps, which I just lent to them for costuming, "And, just a reminder, all chaps are ass-less." Yeah, I said that.

Cole Hornaday to me: "Why are you here again?" Hm.. guess I wore out my welcome.. geez.

Evan (again): "The John Bradshaw cookies are here!"

Because let's get our priorities straight people. COOKIES!

David Anthony Lewis: "Do you see my whiskey-hosen?" He shows me a whisky bottle wrapped in, true story, liquor-bottle lederhosen. You know you want one.

Costume Teasers

So far, I know there'll be a pair of fake fur chaps, at least one pink cowboy hat, a 'mime' shirt and a fake fur hooded jacket worn. How do I know this? I heard one of the casts was in need of chaps and heading into my fifth year of attending Burning Man at the end of the month, I, of course, had a pair. And they're awesome, thank you very much. Then I asked what else they were missing.

Whoo hoo! I helped! Who feels productive?!

Meet the 14/48 Kamikaze Band


I talked a lot about the band yesterday, but neglected to introduce them. I mentioned the advisors, Tim and Michael and today, playwright David Anthony Lewis will join in. If you think that's a typo because he was up all night writing play #1 for today, it's not. He casually mentioned to someone he could be in the band if there was room today and, since he's a band veteran and Jim Jewell isn't able to participate, they said, "Ok!" I'm wondering if he expected them to do that. He looks delirious from lack of sleep, but happy. Or it could be masochistic. It's a toss up.

The rest of the band includes Alyssa Keene, Shane Regan, Matthew Middleton, Susanah Burney, and, as mentioned, Jim Jewell was in it last night.

This group worked their asses off. They're crazy talented. They rapped, twanged, kazooed, and gelled extremely well. Today, I've heard talk of something Irish and some Bon Jovi because those things go so great together. Can't wait to hear what they produce today!

Saturday's Writers, Directors and Casts!

Here we go!

Play #1: You'll Do, written by David Anthony Lewis, directed by Ahren Buhmann and the cast will include Jonah Von Spreecken, Jose Amador and John Farrage.

Play #2: Once Upon A Time in the Litter Box, written by Teri Lazzara, directed by Roy Stanton and the cast will include Brandon Felker and Dave Clapper.

Play #3: Clown Lounge, written by Pamala Mijatov, directed by Cole Hornaday and the cast will include Nik Doner, Bret Fetzer and Justin Alley.

Play #4: Always At Your Back, written by Jon Lutyens, directed by Douglas Willott and the cast will include Patty Miles, Julia Griffin, Peter Dylan O'Connor and Erik Van Beuzekom.

Play #5: The Legitimate Fear, written by Ben McFadden, directed by Allison Strickland and the cast will include Corey McDaniel, Anthony Winkler and Erin Kraft.

Play #6: Bait, written by Charles Smith, directed by Hana Lass and the cast will include Mik Kuhlman and Jamie Roberts - (paired together again!)

Play #7: The New Kid, written by Mark Fullerton, directed by Nik Perleros and the cast will include Evan Whitfield, Trick Danneker, Basil Harris and Carl Sander.

Saturday's Theme!

Apologies all! With all the excitement yesterday (not to mention exhaustion followed possibly by too many well-deserved drinks), I forgot to post the theme that was drawn after the 8pm show. Submitted by one of the actors, Jonah Von Spreecken, it's "You're not from around these parts, are you?"

It won't be long before we find out what that gets us. 10 hours and 15 minutes before showtime! Go!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things I Missed In the 8pm Show

1. Bret Fetzer's shorts are amazing. Short, green, 80's. Rad.

2. Maybe it's due to the 10:30 audience, but show #1 is way more a dark comedy than I first thought originally.

3. The phone Bret uses is a rotary. I love it.

4. Tim Moore's face when they sing You Can Call Me Al is classic.

5. Mik Kuhlmann does this amazing acrobatic trick with her feet in order to get a drink of water.

6. Kazoos don't get any less awesome the second time around. No, no, they do not.

7. Neither do the many faces Nik Doner makes.

8. Bike shorts shouldn't be worn by anyone. Even Basil Harris.

9. Or fanny packs.

10. But orange head bands? Absolutely.

11. I'd never want to be in a dark alley with Peter Dylan O'Connor and Erik Van Beuzekom.

12. Any band with Tim Moore and Alyssa Keene in it is a band I want to hear.

13. Second best line of the night, "You kill a praying mantis, that's a federal offense."

14. Show #5 is practically made for trying to crack the actors. Jose is the next victim.

15. That Vermont line? Never any less funny.

16. Third best line, "Nope. It's crack."

17. Cloven hoof-type gloves are strange. What the hell are those anyway?

That's the end of Friday night! I think everyone did a smashing job. The boyfriend loved it as I know did both audiences. As promised, it didn't suck.

10:30 Closing Show!

This audience is filled with the local actors in other shows that have finished for the night and who are very familiar with the awesomeness that is 14/48. Most of them have participated in at least one themselves. They're vocal and loud about it (probably from after-show drinks) and it's a rousing version of The Gambler due to their singing along. Immediately, the band is feeding off of it, ad-libbing more than they were in the first show. Shane Regan, my other boyfriend, is amazeballs.

Act 2!

The band introduces the beginning of act two with Love of the Game featuring the kick ass voice of Alyssa Keene and the divine harmonica magic of Tim Moore. Groovy.

Play #5 Do You Remember, by Teri Lazzara
Directed by Doug Willott
Cast:  Erin Kraft, Evan Whitfield and Jose Amador

Two kids reminisce about memories of their father. I think it's safe to say that Evan steals this one. It's rather enjoyable knowing he had a teeny tiny hard time keeping a straight face during tech. Winner of the best line of the night: "Vermont is for assholes!" said in unison and possibly, best song only because  of Evan's spastic gymnastics (Ooh! I rhymed!). Sure the show's a little racist.. but it's innocent.

Oooh.. Evan did lose it a little.. twice even. The audience is eating it up. Heh, that's three times..

And Teri was worried. Please. That was great.

Band: Polka version of Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting. Adorbs.

Play #6 The One-Second Rule, by Ben McFadden
Directed by Nik Perleros
Cast: Carl Sander and Julia Griffin

A role-playing game in the woods reveals a moment of real connection between two strangers. Whomever put Julia's costume together is seriously happy with how great she looks in it. I want that wig. Plenty of nerd-speak. Nice Ben.

Band: Vocal version of the theme from Game of Thrones to transition and the audience who watches that show really appreciates it.

Play #7 Precipice, by David Anthony Lewis
Directed by Hana Lass

Cast: John Farrage, Brandon Felker, Trick Danneker and Dave Clapper

A four-some of strangers meet to base jump in Norway, each for their own reasons. And for the second 14/48 in a row, Dave Clapper drops trou. The audience is shocked and supportive at the same time. I'm thinking now maybe this is his own suggestion during the rehearsal process. It ends on a high note. 

Band plays Freefalling.. Of course! Yay! Curtain call!

Act 1!

Play #1: A Beautiful Thing, by Mark Fullerton
Directed by Cole Hornaday
Cast: Justin Alley, Bret Fetzer (Mazen award Winner) and Patty Miles

A gifted football player comes to his coach with something so important he has to leave the team. And then..  holy crap! Um.. that was unexpected! Can't say much about it without giving it away. But yeah. You'll get it. Oy!

Band: War Without Tears for the transition song. Appropriate. You Can Call Me Al to open up show #2. Went a little long so Mik could tie herself up in chains. A little extra applause was given as the chains gave her a bit of a hard time.

Play #2: But None For Courtesy, by Jon Lutyens

Directed by Roy Stanton
Cast: Jamie Roberts and Mik Kuhlman

An animal activist and a zoo employee connect at the end of a long day. This is the one Mik is chained to the gate that Gary Menendez made. It's perfect. The two brick walls on either side of it are kick ass. Like seriously. The zoo entrance sign is charming. Oh yeah, the acting is good. These ladies are pros. And at the end, we find out what that conch-like horn is for. Sweet little story too.

Band: Baby Elephant Walk to transition with the kazoos. My favorite.

Play #3 Smile When You Say That, by Charles Smith
Directed by Ahren Buhmann
Cast: Corey McDaniel, Nik Doner and Anthony Winkler

This begins with a slow and deliberate checker match before an awards event this threesome are to attend. The varied faces of frustration Nik Doner goes through in this piece is more than worth the price of admission. Great! Checkers everywhere. It's extremely gratifying.

Band: We Will Rock You to transition as the boys from show #4 walk in.

Play #4 Kick It, by Pamala Mijatov
Directed by James Weidman
Cast: Basil Harris, Peter Dylan O'Connor, Jonah Von Spreecken and Erik Van Beuzekom

A very lively discussion between dads on the sidelines of their kids' soccer game that evolves into more than a discussion and possibly unbelievable glory! What a great way to end the first act!

Band: Intermission begins with We Are The Champions and an ad-libbed bit in the chorus and endearing ending by Shane Regan. Fan-freakin-tastic!

PS: Becca demands says hi to the blogosphere!

8pm Show!

The 14/48 band rolls in, cool as shit I might add. Starting off with The Gambler, they intro Jodi-Paul Wooster, who cleans up well after a long day himself.

Warming up the audience, who is already feeling gracious and lubricated, he tells them this experiment could've gone horribly wrong. Because 14/48 maybe needed some shaking up. It's still a playground and the games are fun, but this round, it's a really fucking hard game.

I have a feeling everyone is going to shine tonight.

10 Minutes To Showtime!

I didn't leave you, I swear. I needed chocolate and coffee. I saw there was sun outside. I had to get in it for just a few. Then there was dinner and Mik rubbed out my shoulders that I didn't even realize were holding heaps of tension from writing all day. Yeah, because my job was the hard one. Right.

Now into my fourth 14/48, I welcome the tradition Erin Bryn Fetridge and I seem to have instilled: we end up talking about our day in the bathroom around 6:30pm when we find each other freshening up before the 7pm meeting. We don't plan it. It just keeps happening because after all day in the theater getting shit done, seriously, you need to brush your teeth, reapply deodorant.. you know. Gather yourself. It helps. Trust me.

Dude! THE HOUSE IS OPEN! Jodi-Paul's mash-up compilation is rocking, the band looked all pro before they left for their break, and, at the pre-show meeting, there were cheers and praises for everyone who's worked so hard today to make this happen. Opening night energy! Closing night energy! It's all tonight, baby. 

I leave you with some of the amazing pictures my blogging partner on the photography side, Truman Buffett, has been snapping all day. Settle in everyone. The show is about to start and it will not suck. 










It's 8:02! Let's do this!

Two Hours To Go!

I've missed most of tech to finish the previous posts but have heard plenty of laughing from the house. Coming in, I see Carl Sander and Julia Griffin running through their piece wearing most, if not all, of their costumes. If Tinkerbell and Game of Thrones had a lovechild, Julia would be it.

Afterwards, we're 15 minutes ahead of schedule for show #7 and the end of tech. Is that a first? I know it doesn't happen often and that's kickass because everyone could use every extra spare minute they can get.

Meet Your Designers

Scotto Moore and Opal Peachy in the midst of very important design discussions.
The designers of 14/48 make the sets, props and costumes if they don't beg, borrow or steal them from someone else's theater storage. What they pull together in one day's time is amazing, especially if you hear some of what directors can request. And they need it NOW. Ahem.. please. Sometimes their set pieces looks like they could've taken a week to make. Sometimes all it takes is just a hint to give you the needed impression of the locale so you know where the play is set. And it all works. They really have one of the hardest jobs.

The Kamikaze team is made up of Samie Detzer, Paul Mullin, Opal Peachy, and Scotto Moore. Their veteran design advisors are Michael Mowery and Gary Menendez, both of whom are formidable in what they can create in a short amount of time.

I ask the crew how they're doing. Opal responds, "We're using a lot of gaff tape. This is what you get when you have actors on the design team." I think everyone was prepared for that.

Samie submitted the winning theme of the night, For the Love of the Game. This is her third 14/48. First time as a designer. She tells me there's two of them on each team trying to help each other do everything and each team has three or four plays. Paul is mostly doing the sets and props on his team. He comes over. "Although I'm here for you now. I'm helpful! If the blogger's here, I'm helpful!" he says jokingly.

Currently Samie's working on costumes for Ben McFadden's play, One-Second Rule. She's making colored felt circles and I can't tell at all what they'll be for, but I can't wait to find out.

Opal is working on play #7 written by David-Anthony Lewis. She likes the play a lot. "He did a great job." She's making mock parachutes and asks if the one she's modeling looks like one. I ask how the day's gone for them all and it sounds positive. Opal says, "Although Paul is the closet larper because he was the only one who knows what 'boffing' is." They don't explain and I don't ask. I mean, really, do I want to know? He says, "I thought I knew what it was. Apparently, I've been doing it wrong all these years." She adds, "And it's too bad Truman wasn't around to see the short shorts Basil had on. I still think they should've gone with those."

Oh that is too bad. Everyone would've like to have seen that picture. 

There's only one runner for these guys getting materials from the outside world. Another volunteer had car troubles and has to go on for another actor in another show tonight. Eesh. Tough day.

Scotto has been helping Opal on the three shows they've been teaming up on. He points out that Gary is making the best thing ever. Mik Kuhlman will be chained to a gate door of sorts. This thing is kind of enormous and clearly there was a saw involved and everything. You don't want actors using saws. That's just an accident waiting to happen.

Ok.. I've missed most of tech and for now, that might have to be ok. This is post 12 for the day and this solo blogger requires chocolate.. and maybe some caffeine. Props to Truman for his great pics! I have more and will post soon!

BYOB

Someone asked Balagan Staff member and 14/48 veteran playwright, Matt Smith, what he thought of having a signature 14/48 drink special since he'll be running the bar tonight. He responded, "Well, with only seven ingredients, you'd better get creative."

A Little Night Music


I've decided the Kazoo is really an underrated instrument. I'm currently in the lobby typing as frantically as possible so I'm overhearing the band working through tech. So far, my new favorite song features multiple kazoos. I laughed so hard I about fell out of my chair. You can ask Paul Mullin. He saw it. It's fucking hilarious. The song. Not me laughing that hard. No one wants to see that. 

How much ass is this show going to kick tonight? SO much! That's how.

Meet Your Kitchen Staff (Or Eat Your Carrots!)

The stunning and awesome volunteers who feed the 14/48 artists are usually artists and/or theater enthusiasts who do it for the love. This Kamikaze kitchen staff is made up of the King of the Kitchen, Alex Samuels, Barb Cavanaugh and Meghan Arnette.

Barb partners with the amazing 14/48 staff designer, Gary Menendez. This is his thirteenth festival. She's always come to see the show, but this time is her first time volunteering. Now she's "come over to the dark side" as Tim Moore has said. She said her employer, Alaska Airlines, is actually donating $15 an hour to 14/48 for every hour she volunteers. 10-12 hours a day for two days isn't anything to sneeze at. Thanks Alaska Airlines!

Meghan, who is admitting she was on the math team in middle school with trophies and everything, has participated in three disciplines (director, band, and actor) and has volunteered for the box office. She mentions a teacher she once had, "who was crazy and would throw pens at our heads. I thought, 'I think I'd rather be in rehearsal.' You expect theater rehearsals to have more yelling, but it was really math class."

"Today I chopped a lot of carrots, but people preferred the meat. So my carrots have been just sitting there and the meat is gone."

Barb interjects, "We figured because it was due to so many men."

"Yeah, it was fascinating," says Meghan. "This isn't a veggie crowd. I actually even told people to eat more vegetables and they didn't listen."

Alex, papa bear of the festival and a little more serious, says, "The thing that worries me is that no one is drinking water. By this time, we've normally gone through at least two of those things [points to water jugs]. We haven't even gone through one yet. [Dehydration] is not good for this festival."

But the watermelon soup is a hit. "It's a soup. It's a smoothie. It's yummy-licious, " said Erin Bryn Fetridge, I think. I'm really not sure because I was typing.

"I took the carrots out of the bag and everything," Meghan says clearly back to the carrots. "I'm really stretching my theater skills."

She adds, "I thought Alex was going to be meaner. And he was just really nice. I thought he'd be really hard core and yell at us like, 'Chop FASTER!' But he wasn't."

"I also PEELED the carrots." She's really obsessed with the carrots. "There's just a lot of them. Also? I peeled so many, they turned my gloves orange. I don't look good in orange..... This is fascinating stuff, right?! Well, there are these things you don't think about as being challenges until you work in 14/48 food service, " she says through laughter. "Also, the leaking cooler almost killed you!"

This is true. It's been leaking all day and onto the carpet of the greenroom, therefore you track it onto the linoleum just past it. This means your shoes could be slippery like mine and BAM! Down I went. "Death of a blogger," adds Alex. Or rather, just a little bruise on my knee. Didn't even drop the laptop.

Director's Meeting! Holy Crap It's 3pm!

This means tech starts in 30 minutes. Jesus, the day has moved fast.

Jason Harber starts the meeting and explains how he has also been wearing a few extra hats today so he has limited knowledge of the shows right now. The objective is to get an idea of everyone's set needs, how to transition from show to show and answer any light questions with Tess Malone. 

Play #1 through #3 go quickly. Other than there could be checkers on the floor after show #3 and a little water possibly on stage from show #2. Show #4 needs a crew person to draw a chalk line and take it out at intermission. Already at Act 2! Some discussion goes long about a lamp practical for show #5, show #6 has no furniture. Nik draws where he'd like the sword (!) pre-set and then attempts to show the blocking of the fighting that will transpire, which ends up looking like something one of Jodi-Paul's children would draw.


Show #7 is good. And done!

They're also going to remove the front row and leave it as a pit. I haven't seen this before and am super excited how they're fitting everyone in.

Good meeting! Um.. tech is in less than 15 minutes!

8pm Sold Out! Not-So-Secret 10:30 Show Discount!

YO YO YO! This just in! Tonight's 8pm show is MORE than sold out! Woot! Come to the 10:30! Don't be old! Drink something caffeinated! I promise this show will keep you awake!

Also if you buy those tickets at the door, mention the code words 'SWAN DIVE' for a $10 ticket! This is for the 10:30 show tonight only!

Also also? If you had trouble getting tickets on Brown Paper, all is apparently corrected and you can try again.

GO! What are you waiting for?!

Putting It All Together

Samie Detzer is working out costumes with Cole Hornaday for Bret Fetzer's character in play #1. He's looking very sporty and they're working out t-shirt ideas. He denies he's sporty in real life. I disagree. His handlebar mustache goes with everything! He's very.. [I run out of adjectives and Justin Alley interjects and says I should make a Spice Girls joke].. yes! Spice Girls. What Spice Girl would Bret be? The ones I'm thinking of seem too obvious. Someone ask Tracy, his fiancée, and get back to me.


The cast runs through the play and it's a toss up for me when Bret uses more hand gestures - while in character or as he has to work through trying to memorize a difficult portion of lines. Again we could probably ask Tracy, but the man is damn entertaining to watch either way.

In Process

Visiting the rehearsals, people are feverishly working through their blocking and dialogue. I'm currently listening in to Ahren Buhmann's gentleman cast. I love watching everyone work, find their moments, motivation and humor in the pieces. Corey McDaniel keeps reminding me, "No pictures, please," in his best diva impression and everyone asks how I'm doing so far. Running low on laptop battery. That's how.

Hana's show is also a man-fest (there's only five women in the actor pool this time). There's a lot of yelling and cursing, only as part of the play though. For an actor turned first-time director, she seems awfully cool and comfortable.

There's no time wasted. Everyone is moving and focused.

In Doug Willott's room, Evan Whitfield comes over and hands me my "blogger stipend" immediately. It's ten cents....... They're working on Teri Lazzara's play (which she was proud to say in a 2am Facebook post that it was completely meow-free - one of her signature sign-offs). Someone is being called a "shit-pants" and there's mention of a preying mantis and possibly a disco light. Of course there is.

Dude.. lunch is in 30 minutes! I can't believe how fast this day is going!

Thanks Alex!

I want to personally thank Mr. Alex Samuels for coming to my unknowing rescue when I was casually documenting band moments and he sweetly handed me my debit card. I'd gone out to pay for two more hours of parking near the theater and only took it and my keys. He said it was just on the sidewalk. Oops! It'd only been about 15 minutes, but this is Capital Hill people. His only thank you request? A flash of my rack. Umm.. that would have to be run by the boyfriend, but Alex reminded me, "It iiiis your debit card. I think he'll understand."He might, but I should remind him, I'm the blogger. I did not pull the stripper card last night.

Riffing Like Jagger

Tim Moore and Michael Owcharuk, the crazy talented veteran band advisors, are guiding our 14/48 rockstars after meeting with all the directors. I've already heard talks of Queen, the Baby Elephant Walk, a didgeridoo (which I had to look up in order to spell correctly), kazoos (because duh) and I know I heard some conch-like plastic horn. My favorite request so far was from the director Matt Middleton spoke to: "That's where Doug would like us to play the racist riff." Well, of course.

Your 14/48 Casts!


Jodi-Paul greets the eager 14/48 cast members and after a general "How's everyone feeling?" remarks, "This is a fucking cake walk.. the easiest 14/48 ever!" Laughter and light venom follow, as you'd expect. But quickly and efficiently everyone drew their casts and they all seem thrilled.. as are we!

James Weidman draws his cast. 
Play #1: Directed by Cole Hornaday includes Justin Alley, Bret Fetzer (Mazen) and Patty Miles

Play #2: Directed by Roy Stanton includes Jamie Roberts and Mik Kuhlman

Play #3: Directed by Ahren Buhmann includes Corey McDaniel, Nik Doner, Anthony Winkler.

Play #4: Directed by James Weidman includes Basil Harris, Peter Dylan O'Conner, Jonah Van Spreecken and Erik Van Beauzekom

Play #5: Directed by Doug Willott includes Erin Kraft, Evan Whitfield and Jose Amador

Play #6: Directed by Nik Perleros includes Carl Sander and Julia Griffin

Play #7: Directed by Hana Lass includes John Farrage, Brandon Felker, Trick Danneker and Dave Clapper

And we're off!

Doug Willott points to one of his actors definitively.

Writers, Directors, Designers - Oh My!

Writers and directors have officially paired up to go through the scripts before the actors arrive. Bagels and coffee in hands, the writers seem a little sleepy, but mostly anxious about the product they've put forth.. well, other than Ben McFadden who's done this before.

Here's the list:

Play #1: A Beautiful Thing, written by Mark Fullerton, directed by Cole Hornaday and a cast of two men and one woman.

Play #2: But None For Courtesy, written by Jon Lutyens, directed by Roy Stanton and a cast of two women (and apparently, three elephants).

Play #3: Smile When You Say That, written by Charles Smith, directed by Ahren Buhmann and a cast of three men.

Play #4: Kick It, written by Pamala Mijatov, directed by (as the 14/48 gods would have it) James Weidman (who's standing in for Allison Strickland today while she stage manages.) and a cast of four men.

Play #5: Do You Remember?, written by Teri Lazzara, directed by Doug Willott and a cast of two men and one woman.

Play #6: The One-Second Rule, written by Ben McFadden, directed by Nik Perleros and a cast of one man and one woman.

Play #7: Precipice, written by David-Anthony Lewis, directed by Hana Lass and a cast of four men.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The 14/48 Kamikaze Roster

Ok so apparently THIS is what people were waiting for. Who knew?

SIX out of seven WRITERS are VIRGINS. SIX out of seven DIRECTORS are VIRGINS!

The band? Looks awesome. The actors? Pfft.. no problem, mostly veterans. Designers? Look crazy capable.

Here's your list biatches.. Keep your pants on. I'm only on my second party cup of wine and apparently the ONLY blogger. Holy hell.

(As it happened - LIVE! Dude.. I'm so much better than NBC.)

HOLY CRAP! FINALLY! THE DRAW! And they have to do pull out the discipline themselves from the Cone of Destiny. NOW, it's real.

Megan adds that one of the disciplines is "Stripper.. you know, for intermission."

First row goes first! So this isn't in any order that makes sense!

Erin Kraft - Veteran actor!
Nik Perleros - Veteran director!
Peter Dylan O'Connor - Veteran Actor!

PHEW! Back row!

Shane Regan - Virgin rockstar! Yes! In the band!
Paul Mullin - Virgin designer! Nice!

Second row!

Trick Danneker - Veteran actor!
Basil Harris - Veteran actor!
Hana Lass - Virgin director! Wow!
Opal Peachy - Virgin designer! Nice!
Roy Stanton - Virgin director!
Susanah Burney - Virgin rockstar! [She looks shocked and excited!]

3rd row!

Scotto Moore - Virgin designer!
Dave Clapper - Veteran actor!
Mark Fullerton - Whoo hoo! Virgin writer!

Ok, who cares which row..

Doug Willott - Virgin director!
Nik Doner - Veteran actor!
John Farrage - Veteran actor!
Carl Sander - Veteran actor!
Charles Smith - Virgin writer! TWO down!
Ben McFadden - Veteran writer! That's THREE!
David-Anthony Lewis - [Holy crap you should see his face!] Virgin WRITER! That's FOUR!!
Allison Strickland - Virgin director!
Jon Lutyens - Virgin WRITER! GODDAMN!
Bret Fetzer - Veteran actor!
Mik Kuhlman - Veteran actor!
Patty Miles Van Beuzekom - Veteran actor!
Erik Van Beuzekom - Veteran actor!
Teri Lazzara - VIRGIN WRITER!! GAH! SIX!
Jamie Roberts - Veteran actor!
Cole Hornaday -  Virgin director!
Pamala Mijatov - VIRGIN WRITER! - And that's seven!
Anthony Winkler - Veteran actor!
Jonah Van Spreecken - Veteran actor!
Justin Alley - Veteran actor!
Matthew Middleton - Virgin rockstar! Woot!
Julia Griffin - Virgin actor! Rad!
Corey McDaniel - Veteran actor!
Samie Detzer - Virgin designer!
Ahren Buhmann - Virgin director!
Evan Whitfield - Veteran actor!
Brandon Felker - Veteran actor!
Jose Amador - Veteran actor!
Alyssa Keene - Veteran rockstar! [According to Megan, she can play the washboard. Um.. yes!]

There you go Andy, Ashley and Laure! Now the magic happens! Woot!

Friday Night's 14/48 Theme!


Besides the Mazen and the assignment for every veteran tonight, this is the last thing everyone was anticipating.

Samie Detzer (who'll be a virgin designer for the weekend) submitted the winning theme for tomorrow night which will be:

 - For the love of the game -

And they're off! WRITERS TO THE STAGE!

We'll be back at 9am tomorrow when we begin with writers, directors and designers. 9:45am for actors, 10am for the band.

Goddamn.. this is going to be f'ing amazing!

The Mazen Award - Kamikaze Style


The Mazen is awarded to veteran participants of 14/48 for their contribution to the spirit of risk-taking and camaraderie embodied in our process..

In other words - for being extraordinarily phenomenal.

So who is it?

As Shawn Belyea said this could probably be said to be overdue to award this particular artist. He's particpated in four different disciplines, which is a very small amount of people. He's a long-standing veteran of 14/48. He's inspiring, interesting, and a great leader..

Mr. Bret Fetzer!

And the man actually tried to leave the stage without saying anything!

He also said he wasn't a big whisky drinker so he's happily sharing.

Congrats Bret!


5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.. KAMIKAZE!

I've officially set myself up, ready to go with a party cup of red wine (Megan always comes through, thanks!). The artists are slowly arriving, finding friendly faces to greet and filling up the Cone of Destiny with their theme ideas. I put in two myself. I've decided three words is the magic combination, but we'll see if I'm right.

I watch Jodi-Paul narrowly prevent his tiniest of offspring from smashing the projector to bits and notice that everyone seems a little calmer than I expected, but happy. So many smiles, a sense of being open to whatever happens next. I'm sure they're nervous, but they're trained to hide it well.

Truman is snapping away at the camera and I've already heard from a few fantastic people:

Nik Doner: "I'm scared of the unknown. But it's not like I'm the only one who feels that way."

Allison Strickland: "Oddly I'm not nervous.. yet."

Evan Whitfield: "Can we just do this? Now?"

Erik Van Beauzekom: "It hasn't hit me yet [the nervousness], but I'm sure it will."

I also just heard Matt Middleton compare the 14/48 audiences to NASCAR fans because they're here to see technical know-how, but also want to see people fly against the walls.

Here. We. Go!

Kamikaze: The Pre-funk Interviews Part 4: Hana Lass


Ooooh kids.. it's finally here. Thursday. The draw is tonight! I opened up Facebook this morning and the first status I read was from Aimée Bruneau who said, "If you harnessed the nerves of all the 14/48 Kamikaze participants, you'd likely power the city for the weekend. IT'S PALPABLE! SHIT'S GOT REAL TENSE!" Everyone's heart rate should be accelerating right now. If yours isn't, you should be checked for a pulse. If the collective anticipation in that theater tonight hasn't built up to the point where everyone practically jumps out of their pants when the first name is called like the people in that video of the NASA room when they landed the rover on Mars, it should be pretty close. I'm sure someone will eventually lose their pants on stage anyway. It usually goes that way in at least one play. The keg will be tapped, some nerves will steady, we'll ooh and ahh and we'll raise our party cups to toast the magic that's about to be made by these incredibly talented artists. 

Our last Kamikaze pre-funk subject didn't seem at all nervous though. The charming and Basil-revered Hana Lass (another artist I'd never met - what, have I been living under a rock?) met with Truman and me to tell us what she thinks about participating in this 14/48 Kamikaze madness.

How long have you been acting in Seattle (assuming that's your focus)?

"I've been in Seattle for a dozen years and definitely have been trying to make my way as an actor. I’m doing alright. I'm not complaining. I think you always hunger for more and I'm certainly very, very fortunate. I've worked at Children's, Seattle Shakes, and I'll be debuting at The Village this spring, which I’m looking forward to. I'm just one of those freelance, workhorse actors that will pretty much sell my soul to get into a show." [Laughing as she admits that]

How many times have you been invited to participate in 14/48?

"I've been invited many times. I've only done about four I think and was a blogger for one as well, which was really fun."

What’s your favorite thing about it?

"There’s something about it that captures the perfect spirit of what I think everyone who does theater hopes theater will be. You can’t be involved with 14/48 and be a diva. You can hope for perfection but that’s not the main goal and there’s a generosity of spirit that everyone has that's involved. Everyone's literally a volunteer and, in that sense, it's pure art. There's nothing to be gained out of it except making something in that moment that hopefully the entire room thinks is significant and special. That's another thing: the audiences are the best audiences. They're your dream audience. They show up to be generous, open, to laugh and listen, be surprised.. drunk. That always helps. So there’s nothing to dislike about it, except maybe losing a few hours of sleep and gaining a few white hairs."

What’s the hardest part?

"I think certainly for me, and people who know me will know this is true, is letting go of the idea of perfection. Just saying yes. But the great thing is you just don’t have time to worry about that. There's that survival aspect of it that makes people be their best selves or else as a result of the fight-or-flight instinct, you get to experience things from individuals that you never knew they had."

Have you participated only as an actor? What was your favorite role?

"I've only ever been an actor in 14/48. I really loved playing this housewife written by Kelleen Conway Blanchard. She’s such a fantastic playwright and Erin Kraft did an amazing job directing it. It was just the kind of role I’d never get cast in, certainly not for 20 years, so it was a thrilling treat to do. I think that’s one of the great joys of 14/48: that because of the randomness of it, you get the opportunity to get out of your pigeon hole. I was the only female in that cast so I had to play the role. It was a treat to 'shoe-into' it."

What discipline do you hope to draw out of the Kamikaze hat?

"The coward in me hopes to be an actor because that’s my comfort zone. So I can have some security in that. I think the curious part of me would like to do the band not because I have any particular instrumental skills, but because I can’t wait to hear what comes out of that random assortment. Because the band is one of the few things in 14/48 that's set so getting just a bunch of random people together.. I can’t wait to see what they come up with, with only spit and will."

Which discipline would you like the least?

[Big sigh] "I have the most trepidations about getting drawn for writing because in my opinion,  and I know in others as well, 14/48 is really a playwrights' festival and the success of any given play is largely dependent upon the quality of the writing. There are other factors involved, but the writing is the biggest. And with writing, you're on your own. Pretty much every other element of the festival is collaborative and the playwright has to go home in the middle of the night and just make magic happen. So that terrifies me."

If you were drawn for writing, who would you want to call at 3am when you're stumped?

"I'd probably give Paul Mullin a call since I know him. Once he starts talking he won’t shut up so I'd pretty much put it on speaker phone and let the ideas roll. I have faith in him as a playwright and I know from personal experience that he knows what he’s talking about. Like I said, I love Kelleen’s work, not that I know her personally, but I've loved acting in her stuff and watching her plays. She’s also that kind of writer.. she has that quality that I know I definitely don't have, which is just a gift for imagery. That’s something you can’t teach. There's no manual for talent."

Of the veterans chosen for this 14/48, who are you dying to work with?

We relayed Basil's praises about her.

"I can't say it now because he's apparently sung me to the rafters so it's going to only sound like payback, but in any capacity, I’d want Basil on my team. He's one of my theater soul mates. He’s one of those people you really want in your 14/48 show. He's a master of turning shit into gold and gold into comic radioactive material. And regardless, I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does. I’d be thrilled to work with Jamie Roberts. She's an old college friend of mine. I've seen her work in several capacities at 14/48. She blows my mind and she's also kind of the nicest person in the world. John Farrage also. He's just a funny, passionate, talented man, multi-talented. I'm looking forward to seeing what he brings to the festival and how he gets assigned."

So on Saturday night at 1am, at the end of the last show, what do you think you'll take away from all this?

"My hope would be that I have a renewed faith in all of the talents of this community and a new inspiration for what my peers and I are capable of. I think it’s such a fantastic opportunity for all of us to be thrown into this position and obviously it’s not going to be the same to be hired as something you’re not used to doing. It's its own thing, but I suspect it could be a jumping off point for a lot of individuals. Because when it comes down to it, sometimes you just need permission to do something you always secretly wanted to do."

With just a handful of hours away and the real party about to start, what discipline do YOU secretly wish to draw? Who do you want in your dream cast? In the band? It won't be long until we all find out. I'm practically salivating.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kamikaze: The Pre-funk Interviews Part 3: Opal Peachy


I'm not a fan of the three-dot ellipsis. You disagree, dear reader, because you can see in the last two posts that I use them a lot to convey pauses and trailing thoughts... etc. And, for the record, I know a proper ellipsis is three dots and there shouldn't be a space after. I do! I don't know what it is, but personally? I think two dots and a space are just more aesthetically pleasing. Three dots imply a much longer lull at the end of the thought than I ever intend. I don't want you hanging there forever. Just.. briefly. And then move on. See? I don't need a pause you can drive a truck through. Don't you have things to do? Because I do. Yes, it's grammatically incorrect, but I'm making a stylistic choice to be wrong. So from here on out, it's all about style.. and if you'll grant me that, I'll do my best to make everything else as grammatically correct as possible - no guarantees after the keg tap though - especially if Megan has stashed away some red wine.

Speaking of style, the lovely Opal Peachy met up with Truman and me to continue the 14/48 pre-funk series of artist chats. I'd never met her before (how is that possible?), but we had a lovely time picking her brain over drinks earlier this week.

You'll have to forgive me for not knowing your primary focus. I'm assuming it's performing, right? And if so, for how long?

"I graduated from Cornish in 2004 and have been working pretty consistently since. I had this idea that I'd write, direct and act, you know, do my own shit, but that's not a good idea for anyone. So I did an internship at Seattle Shakes, but I was really interested in new plays. I stage managed, assistant directed and did that for five or six years. Then I worked with WET for a long time and Circus Contraption. Really I’m a backdoor actor [I mention she shouldn't say it quite that way and we laugh]. No, I'm a shoot off of Circus Contraption. It was great because they eventually wrote parts specifically for me. That was for six years and now I get to pick the projects I want and things are starting to pay. But originally, becoming a director came out of wanting to have an effect on the type of theater I was doing. So I pitched something to Annex, this was seven years ago,  and it was rejected. I was soooo devastated. It was my baby. So I emailed Shawn at CHAC, wanted to get my shit out there, asked if he could please help me because I wanted to direct and then I got invited to the next three 14/48’s. That got me a lot of work afterwards."

How many times have you been invited to participate in 14/48?

"I believe I’ve been invited six times, this will be my fourth or fifth I've been able to do."

What’s your favorite thing about it?

"My favorite thing would have to be the draw, which is why this one is so exciting. I’ve participated as a director before so this will be my first time shaking it up a little bit. I've now got three years of performance under my belt so I’d like to get on stage as an actor. That'd be great if that could happen. But when you’re a director, you know there’s that frantic feeling before the actors get there and then once the actors are drawn.. like I lucked out with one actor in one of my casts. The play was about Elvis and Jesus going against each other in a poker tournament and I got Ahren Buhmann who looks just like Jesus and I thought, 'YES! This is going to work!' As a 14/48 virgin it’s the thrill of 'Ok now it’s really happening' and your mind has to work a million miles a minute.. or in the second show, because the first one is essentially a dress rehearsal, so when it comes together on both days for both shows, it feels great. I had one weekend of two fantastic plays and I got a lot of work out of that because a lot of people saw it and everything just gelled. Though you always get to see that for somebody. Or is fate going to be on someone else's side this time? It’s rolling the dice."

What’s the hardest part?

"As a director, the tech. You only get 20 minutes and, for example, I had one show that was really successful with the band. And the next night, we needed more actor rehearsal time, but I had too many sound cues and had to keep moving and one of the stage managers was really yelly.. probably Lou or Dante.. yeah.. let’s blame Dante.. she’s in New York anyway." [She adds that Dante is amazing, as well as Lou by the way. We aren't here to burn any bridges people. It's all love.]

You haven't done anything but directing at 14/48 then, right?

"Right, so I hope to have a new favorite discipline this time though I feel very comfortable directing. It’s just one of those things too.. my hand’s still in the game, but when it’s been a while, you wonder if you still have it."

So you hope to pull an acting role out of the Kamikaze hat? 

"Yeah, I'd like to show off my chops with this amazing group of veteran artists. I feel like I know most of them and I’ve been working my ass off so I'd like to showcase that. And then there’s the band card. I have a lot of ideas doing the director stuff but when it comes to writing stuff down for another director, and the band, I mean I can write a lyric or harmony. I’ve got recorder, I’ve got a kazoo. I have white person rhythm. I have a white person clap. Troy Lund and I did a show together and all I had to do was clap. He's like, 'You realize you’re on the downbeat..'"

What discipline are you nervous about getting?

"The design card and the music card though playwriting would be such an exciting idea, the golden ticket, but every 14/48 you hope you don’t get the bad play where you got nothing really at all. I remember Evan Mosher got one and it ended up being a play about not having a play. In a situation where everyone knows it’s not good, it's really scary. But there are things you just have no control over. Someone in the cast has to go home sick or someone else you're relying on is a bit hungover. I like the butterflies though. You’re scared of them but you know the weekend will rock. A beautiful weekend locked in with beautiful people."

Locked in?

"Yeah, because nobody’s leaving. [We all laugh] But I’ve definitely been the one hitting the keg from the beginning and then by the second day, it’s basically wearing pajamas and we’re all ready to dig in, but a bit more comfortably. And you see people and everyone is doing really well. If you’re drawn as an actor and they’re kicking ass you wonder if you have the same intensity. You want to do as good of a job as they're doing."

Truman asks if she's assigned to write, if there's a danger she'll write the 'serious' play of the night.

"Sure! Yes! Ooh like an insane asylum! I know the drama of the night can be awful, but in a series full of comedies you need some serious stuff. At three in the morning you have to know people are going through some dark shit."

Of the veterans chosen for this 14/48, who are you dying to work with?

"I guess I’m excited to work with the 10% I don’t know, meet some new people, be surprised. Shane Regan I love. Jose! Oh I love that man. Paul Mullin. I just adore his plays. Really I'd just like to see another one. I was at ACT one year and he had several different actors all playing him. It was fucking hilarious. I mean, he has hits and misses. He’s not great all the time [Nudge, nudge, wink, wink]. No, but you remember the folks who just kill it. I didn’t look to see if they listed the advisors. I was hoping if I'm drawn as a writer to be able to talk to Scot Auguston on the phone at 3am or have coffee in the morning with one of them. Ooh! Celene Ramadan! She’s so gorgeous. I’d love to see her on stage. Specifically one that requires nudity. You can write that down. We’re not friends, but I’ve directed one of her plays and everyone loved the shit out of it. It had to do with boners. 14/48 is a great opportunity to be thrown together, even if you’re not necessarily in the same theatrical circles. Because outside of the festival, you find a group you go places with and you might stick with them, but at same time, you can’t work with everyone you'd like to. So this is great and it's summer. Everyone is ready to play and the audience - it’s packed. It’s a really good feeling."

On Saturday night at 1am, when the last show is over, what do you think you'll take away from this experience?

"I’ll take away a big hangover is what I’ll take a way. That and a few phone numbers I hope. Not in a dirty way."

A popular way? [More laughing]

"Of course! Like you make new friends, read the blog and check in how you’re in the midst of everything, if you made it in and what you said that did. I love the little extras.. checking the photos. If you have downtime, I’ll check it out to spy on the other artists and see where they’re at, where the night’s going. Do we have three plays that end with a dead baby? Oooh! And the theme! Another nerve-wracking thing! I've got to start googling ideas."

I think she was buttering up our blogging/photography team a little and we happily absorbed it. But she got us thinking about the theme too! What theme will YOU put into the Cone of Destiny? Do you know yet? ONE MORE DAY! Oooooh! The butterflies are catching!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kamikaze: The Pre-funk Interviews Part 2: Basil Harris


I've been staring at the word 'pre-funk' now for so long I'm starting to think it doesn't mean what I think it does. I have a feeling this will happen a lot. Also? I desperately hate the sound of my recorded voice. I sound like I'm about nine. Maybe a nine-year-old with a pretty decent vocabulary, other than the fact I say 'awesome' way too much, so yeah. Nine. Awesome.

Back to where we left off...

While sitting under an art piece in Solo Bar that says ‘I am large; I contain multitudes’ and waiting patiently while I had issues with the amount of technology I brought along, Basil Harris, an insanely talented actor and musician, discussed his thoughts regarding Seattle theater and the upcoming festival. If you know Basil at all, and I'm sure most of you do, you know that I had so much more material than I could fit into one post. Basil really shouldn't be edited, but for this purpose unfortunately, it was required.

How long have you been in Seattle and involved in the theater community?

"I've been in Seattle for 18 years this November."

Acting steadily?

"Yeah - I guess the first five to eight years I was here I did nothing but rehearse or perform unless I was out of town, which was great. I'd talk to my friends in New York who were waiting to be invited to audition for a hole in the wall after five years of being there. It was one of the only things I could hold over their heads about Seattle is that when I landed I just started working. Seattle is great that way. I don’t have time to really do fringe anymore, but you can hit the ground and work. It’s not getting paid... but you know..."

How many times have you participated in 14/48?

"I don’t know. I lost count. I did it pretty much every time for a couple years - Belyea can tell you. I was doing them consistently because I was hooked. When I got through the first one and picked up my clothes and put my hair back in I was like 'Uh... what just happened?' I was like Christopher Lloyd from Taxi. [Makes face and gestures] Okey Dokey! I told Belyea this is theater crack. You get through it and it’s like holy shit, what did I just do? I couldn’t get enough of it. And that was the acting part. Then I got really full of myself and thought I could write [he tries to say all this through laughing at himself]. I was in a sketch comedy group at the time and was like I can write a ten minute play. Yeah no problem! And then I did the Carl Sander thing, went home, had a couple beers and then started writing, which is a bad idea because I'm not Carl Sander or Paul Mullin and I got really sleepy. I thought I don't really feel like writing but oh my god I have to get this in by 7am tomorrow. So I panicked for a while and fell asleep. I woke up at 4am with my finger on the g button and I'd written like five lines of gggggggg. And I crapped out this terrible play. I think everyone will admit on paper it was terrible. It was very idealistic, not at all grounded in any kind of message or theme or anything. I think it was about a strip club."

Truman asks if it was funny.

"Yeah," he says drawing it out slowly in more of a question than answer. "It was kind of an agenda play about body image... I think. It was so self indulgent and ridiculous. I totally shot myself in the foot. I didn’t prepare for it at all, which is funny to say about 14/48 because you can't prepare for it. But Anthony Winkler directed it and, in the style of 14/48, totally turned it around. He made it into this Wizard of Oz comedy and it was in a strip club and Imogen Love was in it and I think Jodi-Paul and they told me, 'Wow that script was dog shit. When we first read it that morning we were like what happened to Basil?' Then Anthony was like, 'Ok, let’s keep an open mind.' He called me and asked for permission to change things and I was like, 'Yeah dude. Just do whatever you can do.' I went to see it, again having had a couple of beers, and it was fine. He didn’t save it miraculously, but he brought it back up from the deep and put it in a lifeboat."

Truman asks if Basil's done any writing since then. I'm wondering who's asking the questions here... 

"I haven't and Jodi-Paul and Shawn and I have joked ooooh don't ever let me write again, but I kind of hope that I get drawn as a writer this time because I feel like I have something to prove again. No no, I got it now. I can do this. In my mind that'd be my comeback story... in my mind."

Truman asks if he intends on drinking Thursday night at all then. I seriously must not be able to talk and type at the same time.

"Since having kids, all of my time has been completely budgeted and structured so I’ll need to know I can’t put the kids to bed, I can’t have any beer or wine. I have to go do this and I have to be serious about it. And I’ll probably end up writing like a cancer play... or something about really heavy issues."

This seems unlikely to all of us.

What’s your favorite thing about 14/48?

"How do I frame this? 14/48 is no less than a systematic stress test for theater and I love that. It embraces failure as much as it embraces success. It’s not about succeeding or failing - in the moment - it’s about just getting up and doing it and that to me is the ultimate stress test. It does that with writing, directing, acting, design and music. I don't mean to get too grand about it, but it’s the electro-shock therapy that theater needs to continue to be valid and relevant. I don't know if they intended this when they started it, but it's a stripped down, balls out stress test that makes or breaks theater every time. It makes you realize, oh my God, there’s so much sound and fury that surrounds making theater that's completely unnecessary. I had a professor in college who's mantra was that actors talk too much. I mean in creating theater, people just looove to talk about how awesome they are and their ideas are and their process is and generally it’s b.s. It’s nothing but talk. What they hate is being called out on the mat, to testify, to actually walk the walk and 14/48 forces people through the system of the of the time constraint to... you're a director? Go direct. You're an actor? Go do that. Your process? Whatever, fuck you. Just do it. That’s a necessary kick in the pants for theater."

Truman asks Basil if he thinks it's changing theater.

"I don’t know if that’s its job as an institution. I definitely think it's the job of the artists involved to take that away from 14/48. I definitely have. What if, in fantasy land, every play had a two-day rehearsal period? That’s ridiculous, but what if? What if every artistic director had a day to pick a season? What if we just said fuck it and constrained everybody to ridiculous parameters? Just because... do it. The building's on fire, what are the three things you're going to take, right now make that decision, go! In theater, luckily the building isn’t on fire, it's not a life or death situation, but what if it was? What if you had to defend your life with the choices you made in the next three minutes? Those are the kinds of things that make theater exciting. Where it falls apart is where people get too full of themselves and think they're having this brilliant idea for the first time ever or perpetuating their own sense of nostalgia because they think that's where theater belongs. Am I editorializing too much?"

We all laugh...

"14/48 helps transcend wherever they are, use those instincts and gifts and problem solve. It's creative problem solving at its best and it’s great to see people make crazy choices that hit a grand slam."

So what’s the hardest part about it?

"For me the hardest part has become finding a new way to get my heart rate up. I know that I’m tempting the gods right now, but writing a shitty play and fretting about that and acting in shitty plays and getting over that or making it work... being in a band with people of varying abilities... there's something to it. I've been through the process wearing many different hats. What I'm kind of craving is the next big high. I don’t know if that exists and that’s fine because I really believe 14/48 is a great thing. And even if I can’t get a big high from it every single time, I can still do good work and I can commit to it. But the unfortunate side effect of a huge hit up front, the further into it I go, the less likely I’ll get that huge hit again. When you ride the roller coaster 17 times, it becomes less of a thrill than the first time but that's not to say it’s not a great roller coaster. I mean I've done four out of five disciplines... so unless I pull a design role, I’m going to be familiar with every aspect. Not to say good, but familiar."

What position do you hope to get out of the draw of the Kamikaze hat?

"I kind of actually, weirdly, masochistically hope I get design. In the spirit of 14/48, if there’s a place for me to fail, this is it. It really is seat-of-your-pants problem solving. And having kids is really helpful because it makes you think alternatively. But when designers hit it out of the park, it's because they've taken an idea and translated it into a way you wouldn’t have thought of with just a suggestion or hint and the audience goes, 'Oh they're on the side of a mountain,' with very little materials. I think the audience is way smarter than people give them credit for. You don’t need all those things that prove you're in a drawing room. Just have the character say, 'Here in the drawing room...' Boom. The best parts of 14/48 are when all those disciplines come together to solve the issue at hand. When we're all sort of allowed to contribute what needs to be done and tell the story in the most effective way."

Of the veterans chosen for this 14/48, who are you dying to work with? 

He hadn't seen the list. I show him the roster.

"Hate her, hate him, he's a disaster, she's ridiculous... good luck keeping clothes on her... oh my god, no, those are all... wow. I'd have a hard time not making out with any of those people."

I then tell him what Trick said about him earlier that day. Big laugh.

"Wow, that’s really sweet. I like 'leader' better than 'a fucking know it all.' Um... as an umbrella, I'd love to work with some of the kids in New Century Theatre like Hans, MJ, Peter Dylan O'Connor, Dara. They happen to be a group of people I like working with and I've worked with some of them before. But there’s like a whole faction of the kids from Cornish, the hot shot kids. I’d like to know who’s up and coming and work with them. Not that I'm trying to regain some semblance of youth. I want to know what’s happening. I want to be in the mix. I don’t want to be stuck in something that was 80’s. The great thing about college is that it leaves you often times thinking you know everything, which, on the one hand, can be irritating and obnoxious, but on the other hand, sometimes you do. Sometimes, you get a kid out of college that's hitting all the right buttons and he can be an arrogant s.o.b. but those are the people that we watch and keep track of. I'm sorry, we don't watch the people doing the same thing as everyone else. And if they're getting a lot of love from The Stranger and a lot of shit from The Times, you know you’re watching the right person. I don't want to take what they have and make it my own, but I want to know that it’s happening because it’s my job and I want to make sure I’m not becoming irrelevant. I forget what your question was."

As did I a little bit. Basil can tangent off pretty much anywhere and we'd both gladly follow him.

Truman asks of those Basil has worked with, if he's curious to see any of them in a different role. 

"I'm curious to see Hana Lass do anything because she's demonstrating a female presence in theater that’s always lacking. There’s still a lack of female voices in acting and character. Writing is one thing, but to be a woman on stage doing a role, it’s very hard to get around the I’ll-do-anything 20-something, the eternal ingenue. I think it’s too much to say she’s a genius or she's the next big thing. She’s a Great. Theater. Artist. She's a great worker, exactly what theater is and needs. She does her work and she does it well and thoughtfully, creatively and surprisingly and I’m always happy to watch what she does on stage. I want for her to be challenged and pushed in other ways, not that it matters what I think, but as a friend and theater artist, I want to see her lead as an example. I think she’s a wonderful person to work with. She's very open minded, smart and intuitive. Like her stupid, ugly, untalented husband, Connor Toms, who has not been called 'the future of theater' by The Seattle Times or anything. But Hana is an example and there are several people in town that are getting work but not enough work who could potentially be game changers, set the tone for the way people - I don’t mean to overstate like oh my god, they're going to redefine theater - but in the world we live in right now, I want more people like Hana. That's why I'd like to work with 'the youth of today and leaders of tomorrow' because I’d much rather talk about the people doing good work and promote that. There are so many opportunities to cut people down and be cynical and mean and I’d much rather promote the stuff going right versus the stuff that isn't working. I don't think that makes me naive or Pollyanna-ish. I think it helps change the way people think and behave and the more you put that out there, the better everybody gets. I don't know. Life is short. We're making theater and it's art and it's fun and it's silly and ridiculous. We're not curing cancer or dodging bullets."

We aren't? Right, right... no... so in that case, who's getting thirsty? We're just TWO DAYS away from the official welcome and, more importantly, the keg tap! Either I've got carpal tunnel from writing this post or I'm all tingly with anticipation. Can. Not. Wait!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kamikaze: The Pre-funk Interviews Part 1: Trick Danneker


Since we are using the word kamikaze to describe this summer's first weekend of 14/48 and it has absolutely nothing to do with Japanese fighter pilots, we're left with its slang definition meaning, 'So reckless in behavior or actions as to be suicidal.' Oh yeah, it's on.

Buckle up kids! This installment of 14/48 is going to be an absolutely thrilling ride.

If you're reading this blog, you most likely already know and/or have experienced the magic and madness of a 14/48 festival. 14 original plays in 48 hours? Pfft! No problem! But Kamikaze 14/48 will be unique in that instead of inviting artists to specific disciplines, every single 14/48 veteran invited will randomly draw the discipline in which they'll participate: actor, director, writer and even the 14/48 band. Nervous for them yet?

Truman Buffett, who'll be the talented photographer for my posts, came up with the idea of chatting with some of the veteran artists making up the roster for the upcoming festival before it begins. Four of them generously caved into pressure gave up a little of their time to provide us with some insight about themselves, their experience in Seattle theater and 14/48.

We first met with Trick Danneker who has the best name on the planet in this writer's opinion. When I first heard his name a few years ago, I thought he was Jason Harber's invisible friend because he was never in the room when he was mentioned. Trick said there are, in total, three (THREE?!) Trick Dannekers. Lucky bitches.

"Teri Lazarra is the first. In the first 14/48 I participated in, I had to find Shawn Belyea because my name tag was missing. He told me to find Teri since she’d been walking around with it because she thought it was a cool name. The second person is Matt Richter who asked me at another 14/48, 'Trick, when you die can I have your name?’ and I said, 'Sure!' so it's now officially bequeathed though I'll feel badly if I get any future requests."

How many times have you been invited to participate in 14/48?

"Five as an actor/participant and probably another six as a volunteer. I’ve done something in one way or another for almost every single one. 2008 I was in a show and last summer I didn’t do the Battle of the Sexes because I was out of town. And winter of 2009. [Counting on both hands] That’s 14 so I’ve been absent for three so yeah, 11."

What’s your favorite thing about 14/48?

"I think the best part is the sense of community you get. It cuts thru all the b.s. of theater politics. You can not be pissed about anything at 14/48. You show up, you get your job and you do it. You can’t be pissed about what director didn’t cast you or hasn’t called you for the last three auditions because you don’t have time to think about that even if they’re across the table from you. You’re here to do this right here, right now. It just brings together so many aspects of the community. Jerry Manning has directed, George Mount, Rita Giomi - these people who have prominent positions in major theaters will participate gladly and willingly."

What’s the hardest part?

"I think the hardest thing is - how to put this - is saying no or wanting to say yes, but not being able to. When you get into the room and whomever’s involved - actor/director/designer - and they have this really great idea for this particular show... but it’s just not going to work. You don’t have the time or resources and you have to just say so. And everyone wants to say yes yes yes and it’s so difficult to say no, which doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, it’s even worse. Besides from that, the memorizing puts pressure on everyone. You want to give your fellow actors as much as you can, but you also need to be sure to take as much. I think a good performance should give 90% and take 10% and if everyone does that, you have a pretty symbiotic relationship. I think it’s a good idea for marriage too - not that I know anything about that."

What discipline do you hope to pull from the draw of the Kamikaze hat?

"I’d really love to do anything. As far as like peace of mind, I’d love to be an actor. It’s simple, it’s what I’ve done and what I know. And the best part about this is the odds are in your favor to be an actor. You basically have a 50% chance, which is the highest odds you can ask for. I’ve no idea what I would want to do. I think everything else is about even other than designer because I’ve done it." 

Which would you like the least?

"So I play a little piano and I can sing, but I feel the band is so epic and they’re always so good. I don’t think I have that kind of skill. I’d come into it with arms wide open, whatever you want me to do. If you don’t want me to play keys that’s fine. I’ll sing and play the tambourine, which is harder than you think. It’s frightening. But here’s the other way I look at it - if you’re in the band, someone’s already written songs. You just have to learn how to play or perform it. If you’re the writer, there’s nothing other than your imagination. If you don’t write any words, there's no festival. I think being a writer would be really daunting. I haven’t written anything I’d freely admit to. I think anyone in theater has some sort of document or script in a file somewhere, but we know better than to let them see the light of day. I don’t even think I know how to write a comedy. I don’t know that I have anything funny to write or that I have a funny way of saying things. But I’ve also been in the 'serious' play at 14/48 - there’s usually one, maybe two. And I’d be so afraid of being that guy. [As if he was the actor who's assigned to the play he wrote] 'Oh damn it’s about suicide. Yeah it’s poignant... I don’t know what he was thinking but now I have to rape my daughter and kill my,' you know, 'Thanks Trick.'"

Still, he admits he's hesitant to say there's something he doesn't want to do.

"The second you put into the universe that there's something you don't want to be a part of, the 14/48 gods will chuckle, reach their hands into that hat and pull out that discipline for you. I think the best answer to the question is that no matter what I get, I'll work my ass off not to let anybody down."

Of the veterans chosen for this 14/48, who are you dying to work with?

"Hmm. I haven’t worked with many of them actually. Ben McFadden, Hana Lass, Basil Harris... Basil's a genius. He’s one of those quadruple threats. He’s one of those guys, if I get in the band, I hope to God he’s in the band too. He’s just a born leader. But I think anyone on that list. It’s such an eclectic group."

So on Saturday night, at the end of the last show, what do you think you'll take away from all this?

"That the words of George McFly are true: You can do anything if you set your mind to it. The thing about it is it’s terrifying and it will be done. It will happen. That’s the only thing you have going forward. However frightened you are, you‘re going to do it. There’ll be people who are out of their comfort zone, there’ll be people who are right in their wheelhouse and there’ll be varying degrees of that, but no matter what you end up doing, it will get done." 

With no truer words spoken, we parted ways with our dashing friend, began to pack up and ran into Ryan Higgins who appropriately responded when asked why he wasn't listed on the roster as well.

"I’ve not been so upset to not be able to do something in a very long time."

We didn't blame him. We're friggin excited... aren't you?!