Just another quick blog item before I go to catch my plane back home:
I mentioned in an earlier item that at the rehearsal for my gig down here in Austin a cricket was chirping -- incredibly loudly -- somewhere in the darkened theater. ("Yup, everything's bigger here in Texas," quipped a woman on the crew.) At the time, I thought that if the cricket were to stick around for either of the performances it could give the show the feel of an outdoor gig. I mean, this cricket was that noisy!
So on Friday evening, as I did my first performance, I listened for my cricket friend -- but there was not a chirp to be heard.
Then, at the end of the show, after I took my bows, I headed out the theater door toward my dressing room. And the moment I stepped out into the hallway, I heard -- from very nearby -- an amazingly loud cricket-chirp. I quickly wheeled around to get a look at it, but it had either flown or hopped away. I got the cricket's message, though: "Welcome to our theater, Kornbluth -- but remember, you're only visiting."
Just Reason No. 463 of why I love doing live theater. ...
October 9th, 2005
It's Annie Smart's world -- I just work in it. Annie designed the wonderful, whimsical set for our TV show, and normally on Friday I would have found myself there, hanging out at the kitchen counter or chilling with a guest on the couch. But since I was performing in Austin this weekend, I instead found myself ... on another great Annie Smart set, this one for my monologue Ben Franklin: Unplugged.
Annie has a way of getting inside a piece, finding its soul, and then imagining a visual setting that brings out the show's essential qualities. It's an amazing and mysterious gift, and to work with Annie is to feel one's work being minutely analyzed by a deep and sympathetic intellect. You find yourself looking at her proposed set design and going, "Oh -- so that's what my piece is about!" Very cool.
One thing my wife, Sara, who makes all my magical, colorful shirts, has noted about Annie's work is her incredible facility with colors. Both of her sets for me -- TV and stage -- have lots of colors in them, and yet they don't at all feel too busy or riotous; they feel playful, comfortable, intimate.
In fact, as I've said before, I'd love to actually live in one of Annie's sets. I bet if I could tell Annie the complete story of my life, she could find some pattern there among all the seeming randomness and come up with a design that makes colorful sense of it.
October 9th, 2005