arts

Fringe Fest Recap: #Mephistophilis, Add Your Comment Below & More

During opening weekend of the 2016 Rochester Fringe Festival, I helped write, produce and act in an evening of all-new, original, one-act plays titled, “We Wrote One Acts About the Internet, and You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened Next (WOW!).”

As is obvious by the title, all one-acts were written within the theme of the internet (an idea sparked from long-distance texting with friends Leah Stacy and Pete Wayner, who helped write, produce and act). #MEPHISTOPHILIS was the first to be written, earlier this year over a random weekend in February when I was brave enough to finally turn off Netflix. The story follows Mephistophilis (Meph) — a demon borrowed from Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. When the value of souls drastically deflate (due to humanity’s obsession with technology), Meph gets fired from Hell and gets a new job at a women’s shoe store in NYC.

The evening consisted of four plays total:

  • PRODUCT NAME BY PRODUCT COMPANY, written by Kevin Carr
  • #MEPHISTOPHILIS, written by Kevin Carr
  • TERMS & CONDITIONS, concept by Leah Stacy, Kevin Carr
  • ADD YOUR COMMENT BELOW, written by Leah Stacy, Pete Wayner

While it’s always an honor to have your work performed (or, say, even looked at), it’s even better when you produce the performances and both shows sell out. I’d say we were lucky with a good venue. Writers & Books is a small community theater and book store in the heart of Rochester’s arts district. The venue size was perfect — small but not too small, intimate but not awkward.

Due to some last minute snafus we weren’t able to fully stage my longest play, #MEPHISTOPHILIS. This was a bummer. Instead, we opted for a staged reading. This means the cast does their best with my script while sitting in chairs. It’s frightening, really — how transparent a staged reading can be. There is no set design to distract, no lighting, no costume change. (more…)

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Starting Over in Flower City, NY

Lately, it has occurred to me that Rochester and I, maybe, perhaps, have got off on the wrong foot. It’s no secret my wife and I have been detesting where we live. We moved last August from the West Coast, and it’s just been… well… it’s been…  it’s been exhaustingly frustrating: rabies scare, smoke-ridden apartment, under employment, Polar Vortextation, stranded for hours because of shoddy mechanic work, knee injuries, rude strangers, us leaving every other weekend just to feel normal, underwhelming food…

And we’re not pessimists, I promise. We moved here with positivity and high hope. Like breakfast, we prefer the sunny side. Unfortunately Rochester had other plans. There’s this cycle. Every time we begin to think positive about where we live, we look up, smile at the sky, and then get crapped on by a metaphorical seagull (i.e., Rochester), crapped on right in the kisser.

But that is neither here nor there.

Like a rat in a maze hitting his head against the wall over (and over), I need a fresh start. SO here it is. I’m starting over. I’m giving Rochester another shot, a fair shake, a second chance, some water under the bridge, a lumberjack handshake, a cough syrup detox and other clichés…

And why not? It’s summer, the first day of summer; this is when you get to go outside.

Lake Ontario–give it another chance!

I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario, my first Great Lake! What a sight. Immense and infinite. I couldn’t look away, and like an ocean, I desperately yearned to know its secrets. But then I smelled Lake Ontario. And then I saw the grossly polluted Genesee River endlessly dumping into it. And then I said, “Hmmm, that’s too bad. Guess I’ll never come back here again.”

Well, nearly six months later, Megan and I took a trip up to the lake, and, I have to admit, I had a wonderful time. The smell wasn’t bad (we weren’t as close to the Genesee), and I enjoyed the lake’s serenity. I skipped rocks like a boss (that is, a boss who skips rocks), and Megan found some neat “ocean” glass. The sun was out and the breeze was perfect.

photo1 (20)photo1-6The Food–give it another chance! (more…)

Media-Thon Monday (3)

Welcome to the third edition of Media-thon Monday. This is where I share my favorite pop culture finds from the week with you lucky folk. Checky checky it out.

The Call of the Wild

I came across this great little surf video of Big Sur/CA 1 called, “The Call of the Wild.” It’s majestic. It’s inspiring. It’s thirty minutes away.

Why am I leaving here?

For poetry lovers, you’ll hear Robert William Service’s poem of the same name recited throughout the film. Great stuff. Originally spotted this video on the great blog, Arcsurf.

Arrested Development

It’s back! Netflix held true to its word and premiered 15 new episodes of the formerly cancelled groundbreaking Fox sitcom. (Despite posters, trailers, and guarantees, I still never thought it would happen). Only a few episodes in, I must say it’s not exactly what I expected. The first couple episodes are quite slow and hard to follow.

I am, however, still pleased with what they’ve made. The writers (& team) manage to surprise viewers at every turn; this is, generally, my most sought after attribute for film and TV. The AD team has recaptured some of the energy of the original, all the while harnessing new.

A great post from AD’s twitter:

Check out the new season now on Netflix. If you never got into this show, now is a good time.

Green Lincoln, Amazon Mp3

Amazon MP3 is increasingly becoming the only way I purchase music. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my vinyl records and hope to have a Jimmy Page sized collection some day. Until then, I’ll have to settle for Amazon. In case you didn’t know, Amazon features 100 albums for $5 every month.

Yes, we’re almost into a new month. Go buy Radiohead’s Kid A for $5, then check back in another week for a whole new set of albums that will only cost you a green Lincoln. The current list is HERE.

Temple Run 2

TempleRun2-1

I’m not a huge “gamer.” I own a PS3 but use it mostly for Netflix and updating things. Once, maybe twice a year I’ll buy a game and get really into it for a week or so. A real moderate.

That said, I’m completely obsessed with Temple Run 2. There’s just something about adventure, the Indiana Jones/Uncharted theme, that I really, really like. It’s a game built for the iPhone (I think Andriod as well); so yes, I’m finally making good use of my phone. Here’s what you do. You run, duck, slide, turn and collect coins. Sometimes a giant monkey thing chases you. It’s awesome.

Yes, he’s a red head. All the better.

Your Guess is as Good as Mine

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Have you watched the new Arrested Development season yet? Your thoughts? Any good albums on the $5 list you’d recommend?