Traditionally the Sunday rehearsal before the opening of a show is dubbed "hell Sunday." This is because this is the first time actors really get on stage and have to deal with all the lighting and sets and sound cues and props, etc. However, our Sunday rehearsal went surprisingly well. It seems the theatre muses saved all the bad stuff for today. We had to deal with missed cues, dropped lines, bad scene changes, a distracting audience, and costume goofs. Everyone seemed frazzled. It was a very long night. At least we have a few more days to work out the bugs; Thursday is opening night.
We had rehearsal this afternoon so i was free this evening. I decided to sneak in a viewing of Actors Theatre's The Last Five Years seeing as how with our performance schedule it would be the only chance i got. It's a very unique musical. First of all there are only two people in it and they are hardly ever singing to each other. The story covers *surprise* five years with the male character singing is story from beginning to end and the female character actually going backwards from present to past. They cross at one point in the middle. It seems to be a popular trend to play with the audiences perception of time ever since Memento came around. It tries to be cleaver by doing this but it doesn't seem to use the full potential of this technique. If simply told from beginning to end the story would probably just be conventional and dull so it had to do something. At least the music is good. The score had some wonderful strings in it which have the show a nice sound. Overall i'm glad i went. I appreciate Actors' Theatre's attempt to bring brand new shows to Grand Rapids; I can't wait to see the next one.
I bought myself a nice digital piano a while back and i've been loving it ever since. I took piano lessons as a child but never got really good. As a result, i at least know the basics. I keep my piano keyboard next to my computer keyboard so when i get stuck my hand simply slides over and tries out some new moves. I mostly play my old warm-up. They aren't exciting but it gives the fingers a workout and makes a pleasant tone. I haven't the ear or the mechanices to be a good piano player, but i'll have fun trying.
I took my first sick day of the year today. I've been feeling a bit under the weather since Monday but i had to go to that conference and all. Everything just caught up with me today so i stayed home. Slept a lot. i watched a bit of instructional television on PBS; that's about as productive as i got.
I just returned home from User Experience 2003. Here are some things i learned.
First of all, i'm doing the job of like twelve people. It was amazing to hear how large the web support staff or some companies can be with the collections of information architects, corporate communications staff, web authors, designers, developers and usability engineers. Its definitely challenging to wear all these hats but someday maybe i'll just pick one.
Secondly, Don Norman is one cool dude. To me he seems like a wise sage; i enjoyed hearing his thoughts on why people like the things they do and where the Internet is headed. I need to pick up more of his books.
Next, telling you what to do without giving you a clue as how to do it is frustrating. I sat through a seminar on good intranet guidelines. They mentioned that you need to have a good, effective search engine on the site easily accessible from all pages. The problem is that all the off the self stuff search engines really suck and can't deliver meaningful, relevant results, thus frustrating the user. So is every company to build their own search engine from scratch? That can't be an easy thing to do and i'm not looking forward to it.
Finally, The Apple Store Chicago is a cool place. It's everything i dreamed it would be. It has plenty of machines out for you to play with. There's knowledgeable staff there to answer questions without getting in the way. The iPods on display have plenty of songs on them already to keep you playing with them for a while. Good Times.
So tomorrow i'm heading off to Chicago for the NN/g User Experiece 2003 conference. I'm guessing it will be an interesting crowd. Hopefully i'll have some time to sneak down Michigan Ave for some good shopping.
Ok, so has anyone else seen this Kix cereal commercial with the upside down box. Is it just me or does it look like the box face has been put there digitally. I remember seeing this commercial a while ago. Did they redo it to update the box art or something. It just looks so fake to me and i can't figure out why.
So i i made my first page validated in strict XHTML today. I had never tried before. After a few rounds with the validator i came out victorious. Even got the CSS to validate as well. Still some more work to do on content, but i'm working on it.
We got the day off from rehearsal today because i believe someone was using our rehearsal space. It's nice to have a break. You never really see just how much of your life a play can take up. I think i'll turn in early and catch up on the sleep i seem to be missing this week.
NPR is now producing an All Songs Considered internet broadcast each week. It's a 30 minute or show highlighting an eclectic mix of artists outside mainstream pop music. Plus there's also a great stream of two hours of uninterrupted tunes as heard on NPR.
OK, so i'm in A Man For All Seasons for Heritage Theatre. I'm playing the part of William Roper. Because i can never remember the dates of the shows, i though i'd post them here so they are readily available. We open at Wealthy Street Theatre on October 2 at 8:00 PM. Then we have shows October 3,4,9-11, all at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $18 for adults.