28 September 2008

The internet can be a real bitch sometimes.

Back in the early 90's, back when MTV played music, there was a little show on called "120 Minutes." Back in the day, this was the first place you'd see Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails and a little power trio called Nirvana before their cross-over into the mainstream. It was also a clearing house for all sorts of cool stuff you've never heard of, like Mary's Danish, and stuff you probably wish you had never heard of, like Julian Cope (I'm looking at you, Pammy!)

There's a band I saw once on 120 Minutes -- once -- and the song stuck with me. The band's name was eleven.

Well, have you ever tried Googling a word like "eleven?" Forget it. But tonight I got wise, and did an Amazon music search for the name. And voila ... Eleven.

And hey ... they rock. The song I remember was rather "pansy ass" for lack of a better expression. I did a bit of digging, and what did I discover?

A few things: Eleven backed up Chris Cornell on his first solo album. The band's bass player/keyboardist was Natasha Shneider of Queens of the Stone Age. And she died of cancer this year.

Sometimes the internet really sucks.

23 September 2008

Don't Miss The Tempest!

This is the LAST WEEKEND!

Location and ticket information can be found here.

21 September 2008

Hi mom!

I've been a little incommunicado here lately. Oh, I've sniped and snickered, but I haven't posted anything of any real significance in a while.

How about an update of all things Drew?


The Tempest is currently in production, getting rave reviews, and delighting audiences:

The Tempest unites the tireless efforts and incredible well of talent of Theatre Unleashed with the boundless imagination of Jeff Soroka (the chap who directed A Midsummer Night's Dream at Write Act last year.) It's a great show, and a true feather in our cap as a newborn theatre company!

We also have a series of "coffee shop" plays doing the rounds in Metro L.A. It's an effort on our part to "unleash" theatre from the bounds of traditional staging. Hell, if performing in taverns worked for Brecht, performing coffee shops will work for us. We're getting great feedback from our audiences at these shows, and may just see some significant press coverage in the near future! (Cross your fingers and say a prayer: what we have in the works will be nothing short of incredible if it comes off!)

Also, we have a song! The song I wrote and performed at our fundraiser earlier this year, "From Across the Room", will soon be available for purchase. All proceed benefit Theatre Unleashed! If this does well, we'll be floating more tracks out there, culminating in our first album of original material! You can hear this song on my MySpace profile. (I'm working out the details right now. The first company we used to distribute the song turned out to be a bit shadey. We're working on a deal with iTunes at present.)

In addition to the song, I'm editing the first volume of the Theatre Unleashed Literary Journal. This volume will contain three of the five original one-acts we produced in June of this year, all of the original poetry composed by Phillip Kelly and Sebastian Kadlecik to tie the plays together, and some thoughts about the show from the viewpoint of our vice president and production manager Erin Scott and company member Jacob Smith (who was in two of the plays).

And I haven't even mentioned all the work currently going in to Pin-Up Girls!


The play opens on October 24th, and we are hard at work! Pamela is serving as Core Producer, as well as playing the fiery "Helen". The play is currently in it's fifth draft, at about 128 pages long.

I could not be happier with my cast. Tremendous actors, all of them, and they bring such incredible life and depth to my words. And my design team ... first, let me say how freaking awesome it is to have a design team! I can't wait to share more images with you, but you're going to have to wait for the videos to hit the internet!

Here's a synopsis of the show:
1942, San Francisco, California. Young American men bound for war flood local nightclubs and music halls for a last hurrah. And American women find themselves in possession of a new found freedom and equality previously unknown; in the factories, in the home, and out on the town.

"Pin-Up Girls" is about the dancers: their lives, their loves, and their losses. It gives you a taste of the camaraderie that exists backstage among any group of show people. It's a heart breaking, heart warming glimpse into the private lives of striptease artists.

So join us
backstage at "The High Jinks!"
If anyone out there would like to contribute to Theatre Unleashed, follow this link to our "support" page on our website.

That's all for now. I have a few more "Artists I Love: Burlesque Edition" coming up, and I'm hard at work on submissions for our next season. So until I blog again, adieu!

18 September 2008


I subscribe to a "Buddhist thoughts" e-mail. (What can I say? I have an interest in world religions.) Lately, the person who puts these things together has been on the "green" warpath, which makes for interesting juxtapositions:

"There are no good or bad situations.
Good and bad arise from our minds.
The foolish man subdues the situation, not his mind.
The wise person works on his mind, not the situation.
If the mind has been tamed, does the situation still have substance?"

"Grasping the basic emptiness* of the situation,
we can act from our true nature** on the essentials.
If we are unmoved by circumstances,
we will be able to shape circumstances."
- Master Ouyi

*Lack of fixed nauture | **Buddha-Nature

GreenTip: Buy less unrecycled or unrecyclable stuff
I'd be more impressed if it said "GreenTip: Tame your mind on the subject of global warming."

07 September 2008

I'm getting nothing done.

Pamela is in dance class today, and I tagged along to work on Pin-Up Girls in a nearby cafe. Only the nearby cafe is playing Monterey Pop in HD on the massive flatscreen.

It's all about Grace Slick:

05 September 2008

crank - noun
2. Informal. an ill-tempered, grouchy person.
3. an unbalanced person who is overzealous in the advocacy of a private cause.
-- dictionary.com

"Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they've got nothing to lose."
-- Robin Williams
This past week I came to the conclusion that cranks are the ugly people of the internet, and getting into a debate with them is more than an exercise in futility. Ideologically, they have nothing to lose. The rules of debate and civil conduct are out the window.

The internet was created for the exchange of ideas and the further evolution of knowledge. It was a tool researches used to compare notes. We have been told that the interconnectedness of people from all over the planet will help us become a more tolerant, understanding species.

The problem is "birds of a feather flock together." The unseemly downside of this much connectedness is that heretofore pockets of extremists remained more or less isolated from one another. A nutjob in Bangalore wasn't a mouse click away from a moonbat in Canada. A wingnut in Alabama would most likely not become best friends with a crank in Berlin. So for all the talk of bringing people together, the internet seems best at bringing together the fractured pieces of society, making us far more polarized and far less forgiving of opposing viewpoints.

I think this goes a long way in explaining why American politics are so divisive. Innuendo, gossip and downright lies have always traveled faster than the truth. Nowadays they travel at the speed of light, and there are online communities foaming at the mouth more more justification for their private causes, craving more fuel for their fires.
"Men go crazy in congregations, they only get better one by one."
-- Sting
What we find is groupthink at its finest. No room for opposing viewpoints, no hope for an honest exchange of ideas and perhaps some sort of ideological compromise.

And this brings me to the Robin Williams quote at the top of this page. A moderate person attempting to debate a crank is like picking a fight with an ugly person. The moderate voice will cede certain points, form an argument, present facts. The crank responds with non sequitors, straw men, emotional lambasting and vitriol. In short, a crank fights dirty. And why not? The crank is stewing in his own juices, his ideological house of cards buttressed by likeminded individuals. There is no reason to challange his own thinking on a given topic, because all he hears is "you're right." And a fellow is naturally inclined to believe he's right to the bitter end.

I recognize that the only thing I can do is continue to challenge my own beliefs; to wander across the aisle and wade into the muck from time to time. Such is my confidence in my ability to discern that I'm not afraid to consider opposing viewpoints. In my youth I was a crank-in-training, shouting down friends in arguments over politics. I've mellowed a bit. Some may say I've just grown up.

I suppose my willingness to challenge myself damns me to encounter cranks. Maybe I'll do a better job not engaging them in conversation.
"'I can't believe that!' said Alice.

"'Can't you?' the queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'

"'I dare say you haven't had much practice,' said the queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
-- Lewis Carroll

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and you annoy the pig."
-- Robert A. Heinlein