Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Tonight is that holiday that keeps getting bigger; Halloween. This year it will be different. I'm in that show you may have heard about so I can't do the trick-or-treat thing.

But that isn't so important today.

Last night as I was depositing a check at the ATM I saw a bad pedestrian accident on the road. It looked very serious as they loaded the patient into the ambulance, with a great pile of medical debris on the pavement where the patient had just been. Traffic in that direction on the road was rerouted through the shopping center and there was a somber crowd scattered about. Four police cars, a pair of fire trucks and a lone ambulance with all their serious crews attended the scene.

Shortly after I got home we got the call from our friend. The pedestrian was her mom, our friend Shirley. She had died in the accident. I had known her as long as I have known Sharon, and Sharon knew her from when she was in grade school. She was Sharon's mom's best friend. They lived across the street from each other when their kids were little, and they were close ever since.

Shirley started out in the middle of the block, probably between cars. It was dark. She was crossing Woodside Road, a four lane road that is a main thoroughfare in Redwood City. She got as far as the first lane. She often said that she didn't want to waste the time that it took to walk to the crosswalk and wait for the light, even though her family told her is was foolishly dangerous. Not to be too dramatic here, but the shortcut cost her the rest of her life. She was 70 and in good health. Unfortunately the unlucky driver will now have to live with what must be a very terrible memory.

Today all that remains are some blue painted outlines on the pavement where the car, and Shirley, came to rest. It's very sad, in a crystal clear sort of way.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

You hafta go

You MUST come to see my show because it is so incredibly entertaining and fun and stuff like that. What else do I have to say to convince you people?

1. You learn how to spell Hieroglyphics!
2. You get to see the Howells waltz!
3. Huts, sweet huts!
4. Ginger AND Mary Ann IN PERSON!
5. Gilligan drops fragile things
6. Rockets, two of them!
(Don't answer yet!)

7. The Skipper says, "I don't think I can get it up that high."
8. Which causes Ginger to say, "This sounds like a job for Ginger!"
9. The professor has degrees in things that haven't been invented yet!

10. Hello, DANCING ALIEN!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Houston, the Minnow had landed.

The show opened last night. In the first few minutes it felt pretty electric. It went without any big goofs, was very well recieved by the audience, and we all had a great time doing it. The sound of the show changed with an audience and there were lots of laughs we knew were in there but we had never heard them before. That was really nice. Only 12 more to go. See you at the show!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale

You've all been waiting a long time since the announcement. Now your day has come. Tonight, Gilligan's Island The Musical opens, starring ME, and all the people in the picture here. Of course, since I am surprise in the middle of the show I was not in the picture.

Get you tickets and other info here. Remember the show is running for THREE WEEKENDS ONLY.

Here is the 20 page Wikipedia article on the TV show. It has facts you never knew you needed.

Let me tell you a little about the real castaways...

Top left in the picture is Mr. Thurston J. Howell III, or Ray as we call him. Ray was my drama teacher in High school about XXX (more Roman numerals) years ago. Ray is perhaps the wittiest person I know and has been that way for XXX years. His son Bill and I were close friends and we put the "you" in mis-spent youth.

To the right of Ray is Joanne, or Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell. In real life Ray and Joanne are a couple as well. Joanne is just as sweet and wonderful and lovey as Ray. They are way cute together. She is also helping me in the job search thing. Hooray!

Top center of the picture is Ginger Grant, or Carly as we like to call her. Carly has a running humorous monologue of narration of her life. She also does the munchkin voice better than Maureen Graham, which is really saying something. She works for the Sunnyvale PD, so don't piss her off. Oh and she does a knockout Ginger. Seriously.

In the botton row on the left is Damien. I hate this guy. He's very attractive. He remembers a huge amount of lines. He sight reads music. He's a great singer, and dancer. And to top it all off he is a really pleasant and decent guy. He's even got a good sense of humor and to really top it all off, he is humble too. Sheesh. He plays Dr. Roy Hinkley (the professor).

Right next to Damien there is Andrew, or as the Skipper calls him, "Little Buddy". He is Carly's boyfriend's cousin and was cast as Gilligan after we started rehearsal. He has great comic timing and delivery, dances up a storm and is almost but not quite nicer than Damien (if that's possible). I'm glad he's playing Willy Gilligan and not me because he does it better than I ever could.

That big guy in the blue shirt is Robert. You may have guessed by now that he plays Skipper Jonas Grumby. Robert dances better than Damien, if that's possible, and sings like you wouldn't believe. He is also one more in a long line of really great guys named Robert.

Mary Ann Summers is played ever so sweetly by Rena over there on the right end of the picture. Gosh she's sweet. She reminds me in so many ways of my beautiful daughter, and she tells me I remind her of her father. (All together now, "Awwwww") She sings so nice it makes you want to puke. She tells me the only thing that you should avoid with her is letting her get hungry because she turns really nasty then. Got it.

If you don't come see the show I'm gonna hunt you down and tell you that I am disappointed with you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeVille

Tonight is final dress rehearsal for GITM. Hell week has been going well with lots of progress being made onstage. Offstage there have been an increasing number of problems. Our stage manager is well intentioned but she is not assertive enough to require things to run according to plan. There is also a lack of effective planning that is holding back the production. Props have been late in appearing and we (the cast) have not been afforded the necessary time to practice with them.

The same is true for some of the set elements but to a lesser extent. I don't mind if something is there functionally but not painted or decorated, I do have a problem when a highly practical part of the set has never appeared until two rehearsals before opening night. In this case it is a hole into which two of us actors must "fall" into only to be rescued by the rest of the cast. It finally materialized last night, and not quite complete...

When I arrived last night Mike, our long suffering director, asked me if I could build something. This was just like the previous night when Mike asked me if I could properly rig the hammocks in the Skipper and Gilligan's hut. Which I did excellently I might add. Last night it was to make a handhold to help us to get into and out of the hole. So I did that too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a blast. I'm just complaining about things that I think should have been done already.

Don't get me started on the lack of necessary crew to run fly lines.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oh hell

Tomorrow morning at 8AM Hell Week begins for GITM (Gilligan's Island The Musical). We move in the set, but only until noon since some other group is using the theatre. Then at 8PM we get to finish everything setwise up until midnight. Then Monday rolls around and we get going with our first tech run through with everything at like 7 or something. Then it's straight through to the matinee on Sunday. Opening night is Friday.

Don't forget to come see the show.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One ringy dingy

Well, I finally got a response from one of the places where I sent my resume. It was like, I don't think you'll work for my job I am offering, but I have sent your resume to someone else here.

WOO HOO! This is much better than getting no response at all.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


There is a zoo in Tappahannock North Virginia that has a very ornate Victorian entrance with two huge lion statues, on either side of the massive iron gates. In the summer of 1973, this zoo had two very rare specimens of Ageless Porpoises, neophocaena psuedimmortia. They were housed in the marine mammal center, a huge construction in the new part of the zoo. They had been caught in a fishing net off the coast and rescued by kindly old Mel Finnerston. A male and female, they were believed to be a breeding pair as neophocaena psuedimmortia is one of the few species of porpoise that mate for life. Sadly the porpoises only lived for a few months after they arrived. The mystery of their demise is something they still talk about today in staff meetings at the Tappahannock Zoo.

Among the native people that were in North Virginia long before all those pesky English people arrived this species, Ageless Porpoise was known as Muqualada, or roughly translated; immortal bird fish. The legend was that if they were left alone and allowed to eat the young shore birds that would float in the harbor, that the porpoise would live forever. Of course this was nonsense.

In late June of 1973 the news of the rare find was in all the papers. Ted Pederson, a marine mammal researcher, was excited just like all the other cetacean fans in Port Royal, just up Interstate 17 from Tappahannock. Too bad Ted was a little too excited. Ted wanted the porpoises to live forever. Ted had a plan.

On Wednesday July 18th, Ted went to the shore and captured four baby seagulls. He put them in a cardboard cat carrier and got in his car and drove down Interstate 17 to Tappahannock. He parked a quarter mile from the zoo, ate his McDonalds cheeseburger and waited until it was good and dark. The baby gulls squawked in the cat carrier. They were hungry.

At 10:45 he took the cat carrier and started his fateful walk towards the zoo. Arriving at the gates he sized up the problem of getting in undetected. He noticed that the statues were very impressive but not really high security. He quickly found a path up the front then down the back of the lion on the left. He was in. He made his way to the marine mammal center. He had never been there before so he just followed the signs.

The marine mammal center was new and had a somewhat more sophisticated security system than the front gate. When Ted picked up a stray paving stone and threw it through the glass door it tripped a silent alarm. Back in the guard shack Bill Pederson (no relation to Ted) saw the alarm light. He called the Tappahannock police for backup and went to investigate.

Bill found the broken glass all over the lobby floor. He knew this was no false alarm. He checked on the backup. They were only two minutes away. Bill slowly walked into the main aquarium gallery. There was no one there. He passed through the doors up to the outdoor arena where bleachers surrounded the main observation pool, a four million gallon seawater pool where the orca would do tricks for zoo visitors. No one there either.

He walked towards the smaller pools just to the North of the main pool. He saw a figure in the half light provided by the security lighting on the fence. Backup had arrived and two of Tappahannock’s finest joined Bill. As they approached one of the officers circled around to the other side of the pool to prevent the escape of the intruder. Bill shined his flashlight on Ted and shouted, “Stop”. Ted released the other two seagulls onto the surface of the water. The porpoises gobbled them up too, just like the first two.

Ted was quickly cuffed and taken to the Tappahannock Jail, and booked on charges of transporting young gulls past stately lions for immortal porpoises.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Boca Grande

I need to make a drink that we can call a "Boca Grande". (big mouth) It will need to be tropical like with fruit and rum. It will be for the Gilligan's Island cast parties. Any ideas?

The show is going OK. Rehearsals are getting better and the number of times people say, "Line!" is going down steadily. The funny parts are actually getting funny and it appears that we may have a pretty darn fun show. So come see it please. Info here They tell me the ticket sales are going in big clumps so buy your ticket early.

Luckily I am still unemployed so I can continue my new most favorite activity; looking for a job. Oh my god it is so fun. What I do doesn't fall into a neat category so you get a lot of oblique leads. Every single web site that is set up to help you, like salary.com or monster.com or anymediumsizedcompany.com has their very own registration process in which you provide all the same information in new and different ways each time. You send out resumes to various companies and you get no response, save for the occasional automated one. You know you should be doing something more, or different, but you aren't quite sure what. There is hardly someone to ask about all of this junk, and you aren't really sure what to ask. Pretty soon some lucky company will take my up on my offer and I'll be forced to stop this fun.

At least I'm getting the maximum amount of unemployment available.