Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Men In Tights

Myself as Harlequin, Jenni Tooley as Princess Leonide disguised as Phocion and Charlotte Akin as Leontine in the new Theatre Company production of Marivaux's "Triumph of Love".

Having never been in a sexy French farce I couldn't pass up the chance. In it I played the part of Harlequin, which was another excellent opportunity for me as actor and clown. This was in Dallas back in 1998, a year before Pammy and I did advance work for the Circo Osorio and two years before we toured as part of the 131st edition of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus.

It was presented in a black box theater in a small venue that had audience members within a foot or two at times. When your that close to the spectators it's kind of like being on film and you have to tailor your performance for it even in a farce. It was fun and I learned a lot but I don't miss the tights. Oh, and in case your wondering, the program consisted of several pages but they were all printed right- side up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Programs 101

I wanted to start the post by showing you a well made program for the Flamenco show Pam stage managed this past week. It consists of eight pages (not including the front and back cover) printed on a slick, semi - glossy paper that's stapled together. The budget for the entire production came from the producer, Tamara Saj. It was pretty impressive to see it come together.

This next image is from page four of the program showing the ads displayed within the program as well as the cast and crew listing. The rest of the program is balanced with ads and show info including photos and bios. Not too shabby.

And now for something completely different...

Above is the front cover of the program for the Magik Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of "Romeo and Juliet". The program consists of a single 8 1/2"x 11" sheet of typing paper folded over in half across it's length and that's it. The front is crammed with artwork, sponsors for the show and the synopsis. Were it not for the fact that there are some major backers to this play listed on the cover one would think they were operating on a shoestring budget. The NEA grant alone should have covered a least a couple more pages.

This next image is the worst part of this program. I've folded over half of the program so that both the inside and cover page are seen simultaneously. This will require magnification (which you can do by clicking on the image) in order that you see that the text on the inside is upside down. Amazing, aye? I wonder how that happened? First impressions mean a lot, even in theater.

Finally, a link to the Tamara Saj website for a final thanks to all involved in the production. The curtain finally closes. A class act all the way.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Programs! Get Your Programs!

L to R: Christy Burch (directly in front of red banner), kneeling in the beard is Ernie Bauman. I'm standing behind Ernie as Muffles and on the right side bottom of the photo is Pammy. Were surrounded by a girl scout troop that saw our show and were enjoying the complimentary ice cream courtesy of Borden but arranged by our producer Bill Copeland.

Pictured above is the front and interior of the program for the San Antonio Fine Arts Center's (S.A.F.A.C.) 1992 production of "King of the Ice Cream Mountain". Pammy directed it and played the part of "Princess Happy". I played "Muffles the Penguin". At that point in time we had nurtured a good following and generally had good houses for most of our shows. Pam and I know it was because of the devotion by all the S.A.F.A.C. crew to all that went into presenting a play.

Back then we did most everything for the shows we put up there including making the programs for the plays. Keep in mind this was before the convenience of computers and Photoshop. It was all done by hand using pen and paper, rub on letters and white out followed by a trip to the copy place and some more tidying up. We usually had a very tight budget for each show ( sometimes it meant spending our own money) but we always tried to make everything look the very best we could. The programs were some of the first first things patrons would see before the play began and in live theater first impressions count a great deal.

This was on top of the other duties we had writing scripts, making props,painting scenery, acting in the plays, cleaning the theater, etc. It was hard work but we loved it and would do it over again in a heartbeat. It was great training for the theater life. We put up a new play every month. It was like thespian boot camp.

These things were important in building up our audiences over time, which is not a feat easily accomplished by a "for profit" theater. Tomorrow I'll post a couple of programs I've kept from recent San Antonio productions but the next time your catching a play at your favorite theater take a closer look at the program because the show has already begun.

A Day in the Life

Illustrations from the timeline from the Doc Ed "Rock Star" show started pencil, paper and pen and ink then finished in illustrator.

Now that things have calmed a little here at Rancho Ramirez I can put in a little more time on the blog. I'm in the process of working on some sketches for Raining Popcorn Media for a couple of businesses. The sketches are for websites (I'm not a web designer/programmer but I play one on t.v.) with sections devoted to a younger audience and will include a variety of games whose look I will have a hand in creating.As soon as I'm able I'll post some of that work. Below is a link to Raining Popcorn's site. I think I finally figured out the finer points pf creating this link. By that I mean I stumbled upon the solution. Keep your fingers crossed.

Pammy just informed me that she's got something else lined up with Tamara for the middle of this month( the 16th of July to be exact) at the St. Anthony Hotel. I'll post more details as soon as possible.

On the burners as well are my book on "fairy" type creatures and a new comedy routine Pam and I are developing for the Christmas holiday.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pammy : Master of Disguise

One of the benefits of being in our line of work is the wide variety of roles you get to play. You could be anyone or anything. Above is Pammy as the Christmas Princess.

Here she as as a jester for a two person show we performed in Dallas at various schools.

Pammy, the jolly ol' elf smiles big for the camera. We've always enjoyed donning different costumes and figuring out how to play the characters. Our storage unit is full of them.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday with Doc

Doc Ed spent some time in the Hill Country at Johnson Ranch Elementary then got lost on the way to Torrey Park in New Braunfels. ( No pics for that one. Sorry.)

Doc was out in Bulverde today keeping it real with the kids at Timberwood Elementary.

After Show Party

Teo, Tamara, Andrea, Yiyi chillin' and chompin' away with PASSION!! OLE!!!

Super chef to the rescue!! They couldn't get the food out fast enough. It was a flamenco feeding frenzy!

Working to feed the hungry dancers, Pam and Josh are cooking machines!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Backstage Photos for Gerenaciones Performance

Tamara Saj in a lovely dress waiting for her cue. She, like her fellow performers, were so focused on their performance and such inspirations. Sorry for the quality of the picture. I could have sworn it looked o.k. at the time. Still, it's a beautiful sight.

The set up for the percussionist that performed during the second half.

Tamara performing solo in the first half of the show. Most of the photos are from a corner in the wings so I wouldn't be in the way, hence, the curtains.

Sometimes the lights overwhelmed my camera. There are dancers on the stage but they are, strangely enough, hidden in the light. Cool.

Tamara giving an interview for KWEX channel 41 t.v about fifteen minutes before curtain.

Flamenco Show Review

Below is a link to the review for the show last night from the San Antonio Express News. I saw the show from the wings last night and it was a fantastic performance. I'll post a couple of photos I managed to take later today. Pammy did a great job keeping the show moving too. The show has one matinee today and then closes. I hope the link below works.
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