TORRID AFFAIRE RETURNS!
The very first play Pamela and I produced in Los Angeles is returning to the stage starting Friday!
I softball this stuff in our official press, but this is my personal blog. Torrid Affaire was an explosion of pent-up energy, frustration at watching (and being a part of) a couple of bad plays, and an expression of my potency as an artist after toiling in the salt mines of Hollywood for too many years.
The breaking point was our acting class. Doing what all good little actors and actresses do, we enrolled in an acting class taught by a well-regarded (in some circles) teacher who had a BIG, IMPRESSIVE list of former students. Who knows how long any of those names studied with this teacher. I do know that one "former student," an A-lister known for his "rubberface" comedies had his lawyer send my teacher a cease and desist notice over the use of the actor's name in promotional materials.
Pamela and I did an actors' showcase for this class and wound up spending much more moolah than should've been necessary by any stretch of the imagination. Pamela made a main drape that we then rigged, and I spent a full day and night hanging and focusing lights and programming the board. All that money and effort for a measly five minutes of stage time. Meanwhile, the jerk-off of the class who consistently showed up late for rehearsals was the "star" of the showcase, on stage about half the time. After the curtain call, Pamela and I had clean-up duties while our teacher introduced jerk-off to the only industry person who showed.
The hard-headed, DIY ethic that the gods install in all sons and daughters of "flyover country" kicked-in. We quit our (overpriced, pretentious and poorly-run) acting class and struck out on our own.
I pulled together a cast with a certain published play in mind. The rights holder, Dramatists, told me to "suck it." That natural oneryness cranked up a notch, and I sent the following email to the individual members of my cast:
Thanks for your patience. I'm sorry to have taken so long in e-mailing you.
We did not get the rights from Dramatists. In fact, they said that we could not re-register for the rights until after May 2006! Well, we were distraught for a couple of days. Trying to figure out what to do.
Well, I decided to write a play. I've done it before (a few times) and I've even won an award or two.
So here's the scoop. I'm directing a play to be produced at the beginning of next year. We're no longer constrained by "rights" to stage this thing on a certain date. So it's just gotten much easier to schedule it. At the same time, I can't very well expect all of you ladies to just go along with this change in plans.
So I'm sending this e-mail to each of you privately. If you want to opt out now, no sweat. Time is a precious commodity in this town.
If you'd like to see where this will go and want to hang on for the ride, super! Just let me know how you feel about all this. Be honest - don't sugar coat it. I won't be hurt if you'd rather bag out. I'll totally understand.
We are going to have fun, though. I'm writing this play for you ladies. The characters are a custom fit!
I heard a resounding "HELL YEAH" in response. The first draft was hammered out in a couple of weeks, and I workshopped it on the fly with my cast, like a quarterback calling plays from the line of scrimmage. We played to packed houses, selling out our last night at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City. Not bad for a two night run.
Torrid Affaire got me other writing work and membership at a theatre company in Hollywood. It went through further drafts, streamlining what was already a tidy comedy ostensibly about religion and sex toys.
Like the best of my stuff, it deals with relationships, regret, the power of communication, attraction, love, and the tiny little fuck-ups that add up to big, monstrous problems. It's a romantic comedy, a "chick flick of a play," and pretty damned funny, if I may say so myself. This time out it's helmed by Erin Scott. Erin is a great person, a talented artist, and she possesses a drive and versatility that makes me envious. I am so pleased that she took this on, and I expect great things.
This is an entirely new cast, and I can't wait to see what this talented group of actresses and actor do with the material. I've been a bit too busy to attend rehearsal, it's true, but part of me wants to be surprised on Friday night. I know my cohorts won't disappoint!
DATES AND TIMES:
Feb. 19-March 6
Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m,
*Meet and greet with artists after each show
**Show contains adult content intended for mature audiences
The Sherry Theatre
11052 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
General Admission: $15
INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS:
For further information, please call: (818) 849-4039
Or check out our website at: www.theatreunleashed.com