Monthly Archives: May 2011

Jim the Actor

After church today we stopped in with a friend to have lunch at Magdalena’s Restaurant on the square in downtown Corydon.  Great meal, good service, good prices!  And, as we were preparing to leave the waitress told us that the Hayswood Theater (basically right across the street) was ‘under-sold’ for the next performance (starting in 10 minutes) and they were passing the word for folks to come for free.  Well, we couldn’t pass that up – we’ve been to that theater a number of times to watch live performances and have always had a big time.  So, off to the Hayswood to watch “Man of La Mancha”.   And, just before the show started, they announced that they were having auditions this evening for an upcoming show called “The Foreigner”.  I remarked to Kate that I might be interested in showing up for that and she urged me to do it, for sure!  We sat back to enjoy the show and had our usual great time.

So, 6 PM tonight I went over there to audition, and I thought I’d share some of the experience with you.  I have had ZERO experience in acting, so I didn’t really have high hopes of landing a part but I just did it to see what I could learn about the whole thing.  Upon arrival I was chatting briefly with the director (his name, believe it or not, is George Bailey) – he first said that I’d likely be best suited to try out for the role of Owen, the BAD GUY.  Then he told me to fill out an audition form so I did that and then took a seat in the small auditorium to see what would happen next.

I was rather fearful that I might be called first to do a reading, but luckily that didn’t happen – I got to watch one pair of performers do their reading just before I was called.   They had laid out a number of small stacks of paper – scene snippets, scene numbers at the top with the involved character names also at the top (Scene 5, Bet and Owen).

I got to watch the first pair do their reading and was sort of nervous, wondering how I’d do whenever my turn came.  I tried to watch them to see what I could learn.  As it happened, the first scene was Scene 5, Bet and Owen, so I was watching a fellow perform what I would likely be called upon to do on my turn.  The actor (the other Owen) was very good, very demonstrative, projected well.  He was in my age group, so I didn’t have any qualms about being too old for the part, at least.

They had one more reading pair do their thing, then it was my turn.  Remember, I had NEVER done anything like this, so I didn’t know how I was going to do.  As it happened, I just thought to myself, “Well, this play takes place in the South, and I’ve delivered a number of jokes over the years with my ‘pretty good’ southern accent, so I’ll just do it that way – after all, this IS a comedy!” So, the lady playing Bet took her place and I stood by her and we read off our lines, with me trying to remember to PERFORM the lines, not just READ them!  And, I think my ‘joke persona’ served me well – I was relaxed and had fun with it.  My character (Owen) was supposed to be sorta mean, maybe a little surly, so that’s how I played it and seemed to get a good response from the small audience and from the lady playing Bet.

A little while later I got to perform another Owen scene, and I enjoyed doing that as well.  I got to watch two other fellows doing their interpretations of Owen and I tried to see how their work differed from mine.  One guy in particular was better than I in being more demonstrative with his body movements, so I noted that as an object lesson for ‘Jim the budding actor’.  This fellow came over to me between scenes to introduce himself and give me some tips – he also gave me some leads on where to look for more auditions if I was interested.  He pointed out that fellows like the two of us (older, bearded guys) were in demand and I should have no trouble finding work if I wanted to pursue it.  Food for thought, food for thought.

In conclusion:  I liked it very much, I found out I wasn’t as nervous as I feared, wasn’t struck dumb with ‘stage fright’, none of that stuff.  I was able to ‘get into’ my character for the reading and I was happy with my efforts.  I won’t be standing around waiting for the phone to ring, but…….. who knows?  🙂

Ciao, baby!

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Got pergola?

We’ve got pergola,

Yes we do!

We’ve got pergola,

How ’bout YOU?

   It’s been a long road, hard at times, really hard at others, but we got ‘er done!  As you can see, we have room for more lawn chairs, so head on over, ok?  Here are the latest photos, including some shots of the back where you can see Kate’s twisty grapevine embellishments:

Also, in case you were being consumed by curiosity, YES, we have stuff popping out of the ground in our vegetable garden, after only FOUR DAYS!  Here are a few shots of the greenery:

About a Garden II

I forgot to pass along a rather important step in the preparation of the ground.  In case you haven’t tried doing any gardening around here, I’ll clue you in: this soil is TERRIBLE.  It’s either red clay with lots of rocks, or red rocks with lots of clay.  In any case, it’s only good for growing rocks, I think.  So, some weeks ago we had a fellow bring a BIG dumptruck load of topsoil for use in the garden – it made a rather impressive pile over by our parking area.  It’s been under wraps all through our rainy season, waiting for better weather.

So, a few days ago, after I finished tilling the red dirt, I brought the garden tractor around, pulling the utility trailer over to the pile of topsoil.  Then Kate and I started shoveling dirt into the trailer – it takes LOTS of shovelfulls to fill it, by the way!  After each filling, I drove the load up onto the garden plot, got into position and then released the ‘tipper’ on the trailer to dump it.  Ok, MORE shovel work, spreading it around, then drive back to the pile, load the trailer again, over and over.  Wowsers, what a LONG day!  Kate was right there beside me, loading and loading – she’s not afraid of hard work!

After we got the rich dark topsoil spread all around I went out and raked it, then this morning I started making my rows and hills for planting, then put in the seed.

  Lots of labor involved in doing a garden.  Hope we get some good stuff from it  🙂

pssssst:  in case we start getting LOTS of zucchini, you’ll get in the habit of running away when you see us approaching with a big basket of produce.  You can only make SO much zucchini bread, I guess…..

About a Garden

If I was going to name this little enterprise, I might choose to call it ‘Dante’s Garden’.  It has been a struggle to get that seed in the ground.  The effort started a couple of months ago, early March I think it was.  I took my trusty shovel out back, chose an area which looked fruitful, fecund, all  that stuff, and commenced to dig.  And dig.  And dig.  It was during this period in March that I was experiencing some shortness of breath due to the damp cold weather here in winter and spring, and I’ve re-affirmed this one point – if you can’t breathe, you can’t WORK!  I would dig for a bit, then go sit in the lawn chair and gasp for a bit.  And, the working bits were only a few minutes long, I’m not exxagerating.  Anyway, I didn’t get far in my shoveling.  Thankfully, the rains started to come, and during this prolonged monsoon season I developed a hankering for a tiller – I’ll bet you’re not surprised  🙂  I reasoned that I wouldn’t get much out of the garden beyond my funeral, so the tiller idea sounded pretty good.  Sears to the rescue!  I also reasoned that if instead I paid someone to come prepare the soil, by the time a couple of seasons had passed, I would have spent enough for a tiller anyway.  I know I talked about the tiller purchase in an earlier post, but now you have a little more background as to WHY I got it  🙂

So, the rains stopped, finally, and I got out there a few days ago and fired up my Sears tiller and got the ground broken up in about 45 minutes, without any strokes or heart attacks – very pleasing!  Of course, it has been during this rather brief dry period that I’ve been working on that pergola, so it’s been a busy week or so.

I went out this morning, put in all the seed and set up the sprinkler hose, mission accomplished!  I still need to go get some tomato plants, maybe some pepper plants, but the HARD part is done!  I know, I know, now weeding season is about to begin, but it’s not nearly so hard on the body.  I’m going to put down some strips of landscape fabric here and there to help suppress some of the pesky green varmints.  I’ve attached a few pics of the garden, and in one of them you can see where it is in relation to the unfinished pergola  Also, I put some labels on one of the photos – click on it to see the larger version and you’ll have an idea of what it was that I planted so the deer and rabbits wouldn’t go hungry  🙂  And, by the way, now we begin the roulette game called ‘Spring Weather’!  We’re supposed to get rain this afternoon – cross your fingers that all my stuff doesn’t wash away!!

The Neverending Pergola

I’ve never lived in a rain forest before, so I don’t understand how you are supposed to finish outdoor projects within a reasonable time-frame. Yesterday the weather dude said we had gotten rain for 24 out of the last 33 days and had already received more than twice the annual average rainfall… 29 inches!  Sounds kinda like Noah’s project, same weather anyway!

Ok, Ok, enough carping, I’ll continue with my progress report. To review the whole thing, I first listened to Kate while she described what she had in mind for this modest little sitting area in our back yard.  Hmmm, doesn’t sound too bad, maybe everything will be just fine.  I drew up the plans, ordered the materials, filed an environmental impact statement (on that, it turns out I have to be careful not to disturb the nesting grounds of the Great American Turkey – wait, I thought that was my title!)  Anyway, after due deliberation, I came up with the second draft of the project, with some minor changes.

  I just hope this thing doesn’t run over-budget.  Does $200 sound about right to you?  I went down to Cathedrals-R-Us and ordered several hundred tons of cut granite, but they declined to accept my order – maybe my Dairy Queen credit card is near its limit.

  Nah, just funnin’ ya!  After the rains went away for a couple of days, things started moving along much better.  My body isn’t working any better, though.  Lots of gasping and groaning with this little job.  Kate is impressive, she just never stops and is a hard worker, much better than I. 

Here are the latest photos: 

   So, we’re closing in on it – basically, we think we just want to add some top structure, maybe some slats up there and then some lattice here and there on the sides.  It’s a rather loose plan, but we think we’ll enjoy having it, whatever it turns out to be  🙂

  Get your lawnchairs ready, we’ll be calling you over!