Chaos Attraction

The Next Two Shows Were An Improvement

2020-11-15, 8:12 p.m.

Thoughts watching this week's Mandalorian:

(a) Oh dear god, that's a lot of broken ship. I can't even imagine paying for all of that to be fixed. AND THEN IT GOES INTO THE WATER.
(b) Awwww, the reuniting with the frog couple is SO SWEET! And they can hug! And touch each other! Good luck with fertilizing those eggs, you guys!
(c) "A bowl of chowder for my friend." Baby Yoda tries to figure out a spoon. THEN SOMETHING IN THE CHOWDER GRABS HIS FACE. Mando just casually looks over, stabs the octopus thing a little bit and goes, "Don't play with your food!"
(d) OMG THAT THING JUST ATE BABY YODA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(e) And then it's all a trap to get Mando's armor!
(f) And then another Mandalorian comes in! "Don't worry, brother, we've got this." Wow, that was so easy! Baby Yoda is fine, albeit his pram is a bit dented.
(g) AND THEN THE HELMETS COME OFF....and it's a redheaded Katee Sackoff. I looooooove her. "And you are a child of the Watch," which are an offshoot cult of reestablishing the ancient way, she says. Then Mando takes off. Uh......? Then he's rescued again. (h) This seems a bit "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie," doesn't it?
(j) Dude, people change the terms of the deal all the time around here.
(k) I guess the .... fertilizing happened? And Baby Yoda didn't eat it? WHEW.
(l) "No, I have enough pets."
(m) Mando briefly saves Baby Yoda from another octopus. Or maybe not since he eats it.

Heard back from director guy, he didn't give it to me but said he does two online plays a week and can keep me in mind for other things. Fine by me! (Also wondering on this line: "You certainly sound like a wonderfully talented performer!" Cracked me up a bit?)

Watching Supernatural second-to-last episode: NOW you can't help but think of the pandemic because literally everybody is gone and the streets being empty. Anyway, it was weird: does one last token "bring on a woman for 5 minutes and kill her" (SIGH), Lucifer and Michael being brought back for 5-10 minutes and then killed again, and then happy ending in which Jack becomes a kinder, benevolent God, and the brothers just....rude away? That was it? So weird. Nice but weird, I guess? And that's...not the final episode? Huh?

I heard the neighbor who threw all the parties coughing.

Charlotte's Web Show #2: They are going for the green screens again! HOWEVER: it sounds like they cut a lot of the special effects. We still have to green screen it with full bodies, but they are just leaving them on (to be seen, I guess...we were warned that the screen disappears if we're not on it, but we have to go ALL off screen every time) but supposedly they were cutting the extra of our rooms out? And they are doing not so much a set so much as a "scrapbook" concept....? I have no idea, really. We were told to not bother with the looking-at blocking we've been trying to learn at the last minute for days, but to deliver our lines facing the camera. They said if things kept crashing they'd switch again. They have given up on the idea of having us be standing on a real farm, there will not be a web for the audience, no physical set. Paige was all, "No offense, but won't that look kinda weird?" Mac and Kearsten laughed.

When asked how come things were fine in rehearsal but apparently not during the actual show, the explanation we got was that things were fine but needed some tweaking, and then the computer program did not like this. "We had high hopes." Then "The computer said no thanks and lost all of your captures at 6:57." Also, "the more things we were adding to the show, the slower it got and the more we" (literally?) "lost you guys." We were told that people were appearing and disappearing throughout the first act. "Imagine my face going where'd you go? We feel like that is not a good show." -Kearsten. Spadoni compared the first act to a sloppy magician. "It is my life's goal now not to be a sloppy magician" -Kearsten.

"We cannot guarantee this--we may change again if we have to."
"We tried to design it so it won't fail, but..."technology has not caught up with the virtual needs of theater. My dearest wish is that this would be the last change..." -Mac "No one is going to be bored." -Mac "This would be impossible with a different cast." -Mac "The second act brought me to tears, for may reasons..." -Mac "If I could shower you all with confetti, I would. But that would defeat the purpose of a virtual show." -Mac

Quotes: Spadoni has had something like 7-9-god knows what screens up in Google Meet during this, most of the time. "What happened to all the Spadonis?" -Natasha "They are all coming back." -Kearsten.

"Imagine you guys as part of a scrapbook." -Kearsten.
"It looks less weird to have you look forward than when you talk to someone on the side that isn't there." -Kearsten
"I want to stop using the word set. Think of it as a page." -Kearsten
"You are items in the scrapbook but it is not a set in its full entirety." -Kearsten.
"Google Meet with a beautiful background."
"The audience is smart enough to catch up with "She just grabbed a medal." -Kearsten
"The audience is on your side." -Mac
"If you see someone moving a set piece you don't go BOOOOOOO!" -Kearsten
"I can't say it enough, it really will work, trust me." -Kearsten

"If I'm in my meat crate...." -Lena

"Now that we're all on the same page...get it, because your name is Paige...." -Kearsten
"I bet she hears that a lot." -me

50-80 were watching last night, they were exchange tickets for another show, and apparently people...gave good feedback about last night? Sean said his friends were blown away, thought it was cool to see green screens behind the scenes. Mac's old roommate said the same. 70-80 estimated for show #2, someone watching from Scotland.

"Maybe for the next show we'll do a lot of Benny Hill green screen work." -Kearsten.
Seeing behind the scenes was compared to when a ride breaks down at Disneyland and you end up seeing behind the scenes--"different magic."

"We have you on 67 screens in Google Meet." -Kearsten, who said that we're being projected onto big screens.

Kearsten on me hiding against the wall when going off on the left: "Excellent disappearance, like a magician. Better than at home base."

They have a "Keep Calm and Sanitize" branded hand sanitizer in the HQ and apparently it is "incredibly strong." I said it sounded like smelling salts for the 21st century. "When we get the vapours."

"We're in a 2020 mood." -Kearsten

Sean briefly did a "throw a piece of paper around" thing so we can "connect in our meat crates."

"Cell phones do not exist on the farm." -Sarah

As for the actual production: (a) My line wasn't cut in the opening, which was nice, but was cut again on the end, grrrr. Did someone tell Illy to just skip ahead or something? (b) Someone's dog was barking and barking and barking through several scenes. Whoever that was was apparently someone who could not be muted, I guess. But when the line "What's all the commotion in here?" was said, I found it amusing. Too bad there's no dog in the show and that was the entrance of the sheep and lamb... (c) I did not realize my mic was off at the start of act 2, which really ticks me off and what I was doing probably made no sense at all without sound. WAAAAAAAAAAH. But otherwise, went pretty well, they seemed happy with it. They said they enabled the chat afterwards and people were applauding. "Everyone did good and I love you all." -Riley

Then we had an hour-ish off for dinner, in which I watched Supernatural.

Charlotte's Web Show #3: We only did calibration from about 5:20-6:35 or so, and we had 25 minutes of NOT having to stand there and be calibrated, thank GAWD, because 2 hours of that was making me crazy. I swear the calibration is the WORST thing of green screening, with the second one being "I can't see squat of what is going on."

Quotes and notes:
There were many jokes about all the screens that Spadoni puts up--I think I counted 18 at some point?
"We're really afraid to touch ANYTHING at this point." -Mac and Kearsten.
Apparently there were more technical difficulties that Jett was informed of from show #2: "Fern was like 7 foot 8. I'm the size of a 4 year old and I'm 5'2 in real life."
"In a new positive moment, everyone was there. No one was a large black square." -Kearsten.
"How was that supposed to look like a scrapbook?" -Lena.
The explanation we got was that everyone is all on one flat page and people are coming out of it. "If we'd had the concept 4 weeks ago...."
Mac said that #2 was the first time she could watch and it was bringing such joy and cracking her up.
"There was a lot of joy at home base today. We landed a rocket ship." -Kearsten
"Karen, Kearsten wants to know if you can wash the pig." -Sarah
NOW Katherine has a snack pack photo.
Riley is now supposed to be in the picture (as per the script....I'm not sure what has been happening there). Homer had a line cut about it but now is told he can say it "if it won't break your brain or anything."
"Go take a Wilbur nap." -to Kallie
"We're getting a little punchy here..." "Now we are in a space where the ship is not sinking, we are maintaining...." -Kearsten.
They were happy with how I fixed my mic being off last time. Yay. Fun fact: if you get closer to the camera/lean over, it throws off their calibration and you get bigger.

I was VERY happy that Karen was all "we're skipping a chunk of lines on page 60," which led to us going over several sections of the script, HUZZAH, so that went better in actual show execution.

The ladies said that they don't think there will be any more changes between this show and the next one, thank goodness.

This one was clearly the best show, or at least the best show yet! Really, the only problematicness going on was that Kallie (Wilbur) somehow perpetually has sound issues. Her father (Jack) is in the same house but never has issues. Tonight she was glitchy during the first act. They apparently figured out tonight it's the room she was in, so they switched rooms and then Jack was glitchy in the second act....but oh well. I got my lines in, Illy got almost all the lines in, it went VERY well! HUZZAH!!!! Jude suggested that yesterday's crash happened because of Friday the 13th. Well, good point. Kaille realizes she forgot her medal in the other room, but I guess she held her hand like she had it and nobody noticed! Paige said that in show two, she had to literally kick hers off the green screen at one point. ' "There were some really beautiful, wonderful moments." -Sarah.

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