Category Archives: Bit of the ordinary

Something from everyday goings on.

Sizing Up 40 Iconic Villain Hideouts | GeekDad

Any villain who’s ever had a plan has had a lair—but not all lairs are built to the same standards. Some, like the Chum Bucket (headquarters of the nefarious Sheldon J. Plankton) are miniscule, while others, like the Death Star (and the similar-sized Mega Maid) are massive moon-sized monstrosities.

This fun infographic from Movato Real Estate presents a diverse list of 40 hidden hideouts, luxurious lairs, and humble homes, ranked by size.

via .

Reading in ‘prison’

IN this tumblr post be Austin Kleon, he quoted an article where someone talks about reading Proust while in prison.

The people I know of who’ve read a stupendous amount of books in a certain period of time have lived in a kind of sparse, prison-like existence. When the depression hit, Joseph Campbell moved to a shack outside of Woodstock, New York, and read nine hours a day for five years. When I[Austin Kleon] was 20, I spent 6 months in Cambridge, England living in a room the size of a broom closet, and that’s when I read Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Joyce, etc. At one point, Genis’s father tells him to read Ulysses in prison, because “he wouldn’t have the willpower to get through it once he became a free man.” My friend was in the Peace Corps for two years in Africa, and he said all there was to do at night was smoke weed and read. He read a couple hundred books.

I can relate to that. When I did an internship at the Seattle Repertory Theater as part of my graduate work, I rented a bedroom in a house. All I had was a mattress, CD player, a drafting table, a Wind up alarm clock and books. Lots of books. I read over 50 books in that three month period. A lot of art history, John Irving, and Dickens. Besides missing Ann, it was a great time. Taking pictures of seattle, exploring the city, painting and reading.

A 1945 Code of Ethics for Theatre Workers Surfaces | LA STAGE TIMES

I saw this shared online and thought it was worth saving/sharing here. It is “A 1945 Code of Ethics for Theatre Workers Surfaces”from the LA STAGE TIMES. Definitely something I should be sharing with my students.

1. I shall never miss a performance.
2. I shall play every performance with energy, enthusiasm and to the best of my ability regardless of size of audience, personal illness, bad weather, accident, or even death in my family.
3. I shall forego all social activities which interfere with rehearsals or any other scheduled work at the theatre, and I shall always be on time.
4. I shall never make a curtain late by my failure to be ready on time.
5. I shall never miss an entrance.
6. I shall never leave the theatre building or the stage area until I have completed my performance, unless I am specifically excused by the stage manager; curtain calls are a part of the show.
7. I shall not let the comments of friends, relatives or critics change any phase of my work without proper consultation; I shall not change lines, business, lights, properties, settings or costumes or any phase of the production without consultation with and permission of my director or producer or their agents, and I shall inform all people concerned.
8. I shall forego the gratification of my ego for the demands of the play.
9. I shall remember my business is to create illusion; therefore, I shall not break the illusion by appearing in costume and makeup off-stage or outside the theatre.
10. I shall accept my director’s and producer’s advice and counsel in the spirit in which it is given, for they can see the production as a whole and my work from the front.
11. I shall never “put on an act” while viewing other artists’ work as a member of an audience, nor shall I make caustic criticism from jealousy or for the sake of being smart.
12. I shall respect the play and the playwright and, remembering that “a work of art is not a work of art until it is finished,” I shall not condemn a play while it is in rehearsal.
13. I shall not spread rumor or gossip which is malicious and tends to reflect discredit on my show, the theatre, or any personnel connected with them-either to people inside or outside the group.
14. Since I respect the theatre in which I work, I shall do my best to keep it looking clean, orderly and attractive regardless of whether I am specifically assigned to such work or not.
15. I shall handle stage properties and costumes with care for I know they are part of the tools of my trade and are a vital part of the physical production.
16. I shall follow rules of courtesy, deportment and common decency applicable in all walks of life (and especially in a business in close contact with the public) when I am in the theatre, and I shall observe the rules and regulations of any specific theatre where I work.
17. I shall never lose my enthusiasm for theatre because of disappointments.

A look into my Daily Practice

I began this year with a resolution. I usually don’t do New Years resolutions. I believe that if you want to change something, you should just do it and not wait for a certain date to begin.

But this year I began with a goal, one that have not been able to keep up with. But the goal was to draw every day. I kept up with it for a week. Once I started up on campus, my daily sketch dropped away.

But I have been trying to weave daily practice back into my routine. There are two of them below.



I think drawing is an important part of looking at the world around you. And the only way to improve a skill is to use it constantly. And drawing is a skill I want to get better at. Lately I have been drawing with a pen rather than a pencil. I do this to break out of the usual habits. I usually sketch in pencil. But that always looks the same. How do I change that? How do I come to the same page with fresh eyes? My answer is using a different tool. It has been a change too. Not being able to erase, having a limited range value to draw with has made me think more before setting the pen to the page. Which is good.

Now the hard part is to keep doing it everyday.

“World War II on a Paradise Island” – Can you say South Pacific Research?

Found this online:

Rare color photographs of a moment lost in time, faraway from home in a tainted paradise. Buried in the bowels of the LIFE archives, I stumbled upon this unique glimpse into the island life of American soldiers stationed on the Tawara Atoll, located in the Gilbert Islands of the Pacific Ocean. Captured by photojournalist J. R. Eyerman in 1944, the year before the war’s end.

via Messy Nessy Chic.

It is an amazing glimpse into WWII life that would be perfect visual research for a production of South Pacific.

Four guidelines from Scott McCloud

Great talk by Scot McCloud, who is comics artist and author. Watch his talk below:

And what Garr Reynolds pulls out from the talk is exactly what resonated with me:

What Scott is saying is that there are many ways to pursue a vision based on what can/may be. People are doing this in science, the arts, politics, personal endeavors, etc. What it all comes down to, says scott, is this:

Learn from everyone

Follow no one

Watch for patterns

Work like hell

These four guidelines will take you far indeed as you create your own life story. via Presentation Zen: Scott McCloud: Presenting comics in a new (media) world.

Four guidelines to follow.

A Story of the West Side before Lincoln Center

Great research for anything happening in NYC in the fifties or of course for West Side Story.

“New York stands on the threshold of a brave, new era in the performing arts,” lead a New York Times article in April 1956. “An integrated center to serve the theatre, opera and operetta, music and dance is well into the planning stage.” To build that integrated center, of course, meant doing a little urban renewal: bulldozing the tenements, shops, and light industrial spaces spread out across coveted acreage in the neighborhoods of Lincoln Square and San Juan Hill.

via Ephemeral New York.

The photos are from the New York City Parks Department Archives.

Questioning and self-critique

There are some people out there that I consider acquaintances, even though I have never met them in person. One of those people is Lisa Lazar. She is scenic artist at Berkley Repertory Theater and i know her thru the Scenic Artists email list on Yahoo. She has a blog that she sometimes posts about her scenic painting, and also gardening, beekeeping and photography. She is one of those intensely cool artsy people that I wished lived nearby. A recent post of her’s struck a chord with me. Hows Robb?: How I Suck The Joy Out Of Everything. In it she talks about seeing the imperfections is a sweater she has knitted and subsequently loses all sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in what she has created. She traces it back to criticism from growing up:

I grew up in a very unhappy family. My mother was violently abusive, and my parents lost no opportunity to let me know that they considered me an utter failure, someone who would never amount to anything. I was a shy, clumsy child, and my family took never failed to miss an opportunity to taunt me for my failings. To this day, I hear their voices in my head.

This sparked two thoughts in me. One, I hear nagging doubts in my head all the time, and everything I do on stage, I always see what could be improved. I would be surprised if there was someone out there that doesn’t have any doubt about what they do. Questioning your own work and looking for improvement isn’t a bad thing. It is what keeps you striving for improvement and searching for more. But that of course can be taken to an extreme. If you look at her sweater that she made:

Isn’t it beautiful? That would be an amazing gift to receive! The questioning voices she hears about her own work and adequacy make me so sad. She has been given an unfair and unjust burden for the rest of her life.

This is the second train of thought that came to me. Parenting is such an awesome (in the definition of “Extremely daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.”) responsibility. I feel parents can’t just tell their children that everything single thing they do is perfect and world class, there has to be a bit of reality mixed in with the support and praise. But the love is always unconditional. This is something I need to be aware of with my kids. I think I am, but it can’t hurt to be reminded every once in a while.

Roger Ebert Said things Better Than Anybody Else

With Roger Ebert‘s passing this week, I find myself looking back at his writing like so many others I am sure. Growing up, his was a constant voice in our household. Like the opening credits of Masterpiece Theater or Mystery!, there were some shows that I always remember watching. At The Movies was one of those. Seeing new movies every week, being discussed by Siskel and Ebert was a constant. Seeing the reviews in the papers was always there too.

As I got older and moved away from Chicago, I still found reviews of Ebert and Siskel, either in newspapers or eventually on the web. Roger Ebert was a great writer.

Here are some collections of what he wrote:

13 Things Roger Ebert Said Better Than Anybody Else.

Roger Ebert’s 20 Most Epic Movie Pans