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Seeing TITUS and having some professional free time to dedicate to a more long term project finds me re-emersing myself in the Works of Will (WoW). At least, after a fashion.
Since this ramble will knock my comments on TITUS off the "LATEST RESPONSES" page, so may want to check those comments out by visiting the "Shakespeare" section of the ASK GREG archive.
But recently, I've also been reading Harold Bloom's book, "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human". It's really an amazing work. I've been reading it while viewing various takes on ROMEO AND JULIET and HAMLET. It's really helped me to appreciate HAMLET more. In the past, I've always admired the play, but it never reached me as deeply as LEAR or R&J or MIDSUMMER or MUCH ADO or WINTER'S TALE, etc. I'm gaining a new, deeper understanding and appreciation of HAMLET now. In part from Bloom's book.
And in part, from Kenneth Brannaugh's four hour movie version, which I saw and liked in the movie theater a few years ago. Still, I'm gaining a new appreciation for it on video. So many little things to love. Such a scope. And I think I'm finally "getting" Hamlet himself.
But frankly, one of the big helps has been revisiting a film that Brannaugh directed (but did not star in) just before he took on HAMLET. In America, it's called "A MIDWINTER'S TALE". (Elsewhere, I think it's known as "IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER".) It's a little black & white film about a company of seven actors (and two support people) who put together a local production of HAMLET in order to raise money to save the church they're performining in. This is another movie I saw and liked in the theater. But seeing it again on video has been wonderful. Ophelia's song of madness has never been more poignant, then in the "rehersal" scene in this film. I can't help feeling, that this little movie was an important act of mental preparation before Brannaugh took on his big HAMLET film. Among other points of interest, the actors who play Hamlet, Claudius and Laertes in A MIDWINTER'S TALE, went on to play Laertes, Polonius and Horatio (respectively) in HAMLET.
I've also been revisiting ROMEO & JULIET. Bloom's book has some really interesting stuff about that play as well. (Though I'm convinced he gets one thing dead wrong. It's trivial, but he takes for granted that Susan is Juliet's late twin sister. His brain must be short-circuiting there. It seems beyond obvious to me that Susan was the Nurse's daughter. Born at the same time as Juliet, an infant who died shortly thereafter, making the Nurse a good candidate to be Juliet's wetnurse -- and surrogate mother.)
I've also watched the video of Baz Luhrman's version of R&J, starring Leonardo & Claire. I like it. This one suffers a bit off the big screen, but it has some great moments.
Romeo actually getting to see Juliet come back to life just AFTER he's taken the poison for example.
Next up, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE on video and then the ZEFIRELLI R&J. The movie that first opened the door to Shakespeare to me. (I'm still in love with Olivia Hussey.)
BTW, I realize that a lot of Gargoyles fans won't really know what I'm talking about here. ("Who the heck is Susan?") But, you are an exceedingly bright group. Maybe all this cryptic rambling will get you to check all of this stuff out. I recommend it.
Well, I just answered the last question from August. September, you are next. I'm determined to catch up so that questions are answered within a week of being asked.
I saw TITUS on Saturday with my wife Beth and three people who worked on GARGOYLES.
1. Fred Schaefer, who was a development associate who helped develop the show. (I think it's safe to say that Talon was sort of Fred's idea in a very early pre-Derek form. We called the character Catscan then.) Fred is currently a producer/executive/story editor at Porchlight Entertainment.
2. Monique Beatty was my assistant during the Gargoyles years. She did a lot of research for me. She's now a producer at Kinofilms.
3. Tuppence Macintyre is an old friend of mine. She also did a lot of Scotish research for Gargoyles, just as a personal favor and because it interested her. She's a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles.
Anyway, the five of us went to see TITUS in Santa Monica. The film is based on one of Shakespeare's early tragedies, TITUS ANDRONICUS. It was adapted and directed by Julie Taymor, who adapted and directed THE LION KING for the Broadway stage. So it's not surprise that the film is visually stunning. Monique didn't like the anachronistic style of the film (depicting chariots and motorcycles side-by-side for example), but it's not the first time I've seen that kind of interpretation, so it didn't bother me.
And the acting is fantastic. Anthony Hopkins (who I've loved forever -- does anyone remember the movie MAGIC?) plays Titus. He's brilliant. His lament to the stones is heartbreaking. Jessica Lange is good as "Tamara, Queen of the Goths" (now tell me that isn't a Gargoyles' character in the making). And Alan Cumming (who voiced John Castaway in "The Journey") is a nice, twisted villain as Saturninus, the Roman Emperor. But the revelation is Harry Lennix as Aaron the Moor. Amazing.
The story of Titus is not for the squeemish or for children. It's a real pot-boiler. Something just this side of a horror movie with a hard R rating for violence and nudity, though thankfully a minimum of on-screen gore.
The play was a big hit for Shakespeare in his day. But it's been dismissed as a critical flop. And I can see why. I've read it a couple times and thought it awful. Which coming from a bardolitor like myself is pretty harsh. It seemed like none of the characters were sympathetic or interesting.
But I'd never seen it performed, so I was looking forward to the movie. As usual, Shakespeare plays tens times better than he reads. In the movie, I had -- at moments -- plenty of sympathy for nearly all the characters. And the wonderful thing is that my sympathies are constantly shifting. No one is without sin. All share the blame except for Aaron's son. And Aaron himself is amazing.
Although, I can't help agreeing that Shakespeare wrote TITUS at least in part as parody of the tragic genre -- the way SCREAM was designed to be both parody and exemplar of the horror film -- I can also see flashes of KING LEAR, HAMLET and CORIOLANUS in Titus' character.
But Aaron prefigures Othello, Iago, Edmund and Shylock at least. He's a remarkably progressive character for the time. A villain, who is the only character to succeed in preserving a sliver of innocence within the world of the play.
Anyway, I really enjoyed it. And I recommend it to any Gargoyle Fan over the age of 17.
I saw Galaxy Quest this past Saturday. Not a perfect film by any means, but I enjoyed it.
But mostly it got me thinking. The Star Trek parallels were obvious, and it's hard to apply the same kind of scenario to, say, a Gathering.
But I wondered how I'd respond this summer in Orlando if Thom Adcox and I (for example) were confronted by a woman who looked sort of like Salli Richardson but with blue jeans, black shirt and a red jacket. She tells us she really's Elisa Maza and she need our help.
I wound up coming up with this whole scenario in my head about Alexander accidentally using his magic to send Elisa, Fox and Lexington to our universe. I finally find out definitively what I've suspected all along, which is that I'm not inventing these stories, I'm simply tapping into another universe. Turns out I got a lot right and a little bit wrong here and there. (See previous comments about how I missed beats on "Hero of Ulster" and "Grief" as examples.)
Trapped in our universe, the unlikely trio happen to see an episode of the show. They get on the net and find out about me. And with no other idea how to get home they track me down at the Gathering, hoping I'd know how they are SUPPOSED TO GET HOME.
Then I got stuck. The whole idea got very messy. (This story is really up Cary Bates' alley. I still have that old issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE where Cary travels to EARTH-TWO, turns evil and tricks the JLA into killing the JSA. In that story, the Spectre personally intercedes with God to fix things.)
Anyway, I think this is what Todd calls a 'creativity demon'. I've been trying to "crack" open this story since Saturday night, with little success. But I'll keep working on it, and if I come up with anything good, I'll ramble further.
Well, there's a good chunk of August done.
See you guys after the new year. Have a safe and great holiday.
July is done. Finally. Watch your back, August.
I was hoping I'd get through July today. But man, no dice. I'll try again tomorrow.
I'm back. And determined to pour through these questions. I can't believe I'm still backlogged until JULY!!!
But first, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to recently.
Post-Production has been completed on my first arc of stories. They are all set on the jungle moon TESCA NEMEROSA. I think they turned out wonderfully. I'm still very proud of the writing, but I'm wildly impressed with the CGI. (And yes, there are a few small things that bother me, but...) Overall, I think it's a very powerful set of stories.
We've completed writing and recording all 13 episodes for the first season. Post-production should begin after the first of the year. The CGI series should premeire in February on the WB's Saturday Morning. And now that the heavy lifting is done, I'm all but unemployed, which means I should have plenty of time for ASK GREG.
A good friend of mine did the English dub for this Japanese Anime series. Thom Adcox does the voice for one of the leads, and I do a few incidental voices here and there. (Yes, the man who brought you "Nice Mask!" and "Father, the rockets aren't working!" is back behind the microphone. God help us all.) It's available on home video in stores starting mid-January.
JUSTICE LEAGUE GIANT
As many of you already know, I did a CAPTAIN ATOM/JLE/GARGOYLES parody team-up for this comic book. I wrote it a year ago and I still haven't seen the final result, but I'm told it turned out all right. And every copy you buy puts about a tenth of a penny into my pocket... Seriously, it wouldn't hurt if this issue sold out and was followed by a letter writing campaign asking DC to do an actual Gargoyles comic. Don't know if it would work, but it wouldn't hurt.
For those of you living in the L.A. Area, Kevin Hopps and I are teaching a twenty week course on writing for Television Animation through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program at Universal CityWalk starting this Spring and running through the Summer. Hope to see some of you there.
Now, back to your questions...
Reprinting (for posterity) what I just posted in the comment room:
Just a quick response/explanation to Alex (aka Simon).
I couldn't really do a full-on Captain Atom story. I was limited to 10 pages (and it takes a lot of time to write that short) and it was a JLA GIANT, so I was obligated to include the JLE from that era. Those were my marching orders.
So Dan Raspler (my editor) and I decided to do something fun. Something with Captain Atom elements, but something more in the tone of the JLE of that era -- admittedly, a sillier mag than the CAPTAIN ATOM book I used to write back then. But even in those days, when I put the JLE into Cap's book, I tried to split the difference on the tone, so that the transition wasn't too jarring.
I suggested making it a real exercise in self-indulgence by including a bit of a GARGOYLES parody. He went for it.
Now, in my first draft, I did open the story by showing the Funeral-At-Sea of Heinrich Megala. But my editor felt that it was too serious. That it clashed with the tone of the rest of the story. I didn't disagree. (I just didn't care.) But he didn't like it. So we went with what you saw.
Or so I assume. I haven't seen it yet. I called Dan yesterday, and he promised to send me a copy. Originally, Pat Broderick was supposed to do the pencilling -- a reunion of sorts. I don't know exactly what happened, but Pat didn't end up doing the story. So I can't even imagine what it looks like. And I don't know how much or how little I was edited. I hope it plays.
And I hope that clears things up.
By the way, I'm almost done with the writing and editing of Max Steel. I promise that after the first of the year, I'm going to try to MUSCLE through the backlog here at ASK GREG.
Sorry for the delays.
I can't believe I'm still answering questions from back in July.
Please have patience with me. I have been completely swamped working on a new series for SONY (makers of MIB & Starship Troopers) and the WB (the network of BATMAN BEYOND). It's called "MX1: MAX STEEL", and if I survive the production process it should be a pretty cool show.
Here's a little info:
I'm the story editor and one of the producers.
It's not the same job/responsibility/freedom that I had on Gargoyles, but it is the closest I've come to it since way back then.
The Executive Producers are Richard Raynis and Jeff Kline.
The other Producer (on the art side) is Bob Richardson.
Sue Blue is our voice director.
We've got an order for 13 episodes. Each stands alone, hopefully, but as usual with my stuff they'll play better in sequence. I hope they air in order someday.
As of today, the writing breaks down as follows:
1. "Strangers" by Greg Weisman.
2. "Sacrifices" by Greg Weisman.
3. "Shadows" by Lydia Marano.
4. "Sportsmen" by Jon Weisman.
5. "Seraphim" by Michael Reaves.
6. "Spear-Carriers" by Kevin Hopps.
7. "Snow-Blind" by Mike Ryan.
8. "Sharks" by Katherine Fugate.
9. "Sabres" by Cary Bates.
10. "Sphinxes" by Gary Sperling.
11. "Swashbucklers" by Jon Weisman.
12. "Scions" by Cary Bates.
13. "Shattered" by Kevin Hopps.
The voice cast is pretty impressive to, with quite a few names familiar to Gargoyles fandom...
Our five regulars...
Recurring & Guest Cast includes (in order of appearance):
John de Lancie
Thomas Wilson (aka Matt Bluestone)
Edward Asner (aka Hudson)
Jeff Bennett (aka Brooklyn, Owen, etc.)
Cam Clarke (aka Young Gillecomgain & Eric Sturlesson)
Thom Adcox Hernandez (aka Lexington)
Greg Rainwater (aka Natsilane & Coyote Trickster)
And that's just after having recorded five episodes.
The show is 100% CGI. We have high hopes.
In other news, I just attended what could be called my first GARGOYLE wedding. Marc Perlman (our music editor) and Laurel Whitcomb (our publicist) met at the Gargoyle Premiere Party in 1994. They've been an item ever since, and finally made it official yesterday. The wedding was great fun, and I was singled out as being responsible for bringing them together.
Geez, talk about pressure.
I loved it.
I will get back to answering questions as soon as I can. Hope this little update tides you over a bit.
I can't believe I said I "wrote" ten episodes of Starship Troopers. That's flat out untrue.
I meant to say I story edited ten episodes of Starship Troopers:
16 - "No Substitute" by Jon Weisman
17 - "And Then There Were Two..." by Cary Bates
18 - "Marauder" by Michael Reaves
19 - "Liquid Dreams" by Greg Weisman
20 - "Heart" by Lydia Marano
36 - "Funeral for a Friend" by Greg Weisman
37 - "Spirits of the Departed" by Jon Weisman
38 - "Gates of Hell" by Lydia Marano
39 - "Circle of the Damned" by Cary Bates
40 - "Final Inferno" by Michael Reaves
As you can see I wrote two episodes and story edited ten. My apologies to Cary, Michael, Lydia and Jon.
Episodes 37 - 40 were the ones yanked out of production. And of course, the numbers listed above reflect their ideal airing order. There's little chance that they'll actually air in that order. At least not the first time through. And of course, SONY doesn't show the titles on SCREEN. So the best you can do is look out for the above five writers names. These are all scripts I'm VERY proud of. Hopefully, the episodes will turn out as good.
P.S. Now, watch -- I've probably made some new dopey error.
Greg is up to his neck in work right now. Sorry.
Here's what's been going on.
As many of you know, I wrote ten episodes of the forty episode order of STARSHIP TROOPERS (now dubbed ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (or something like that)).
My episodes were orignally slated to be #16-20 and #36-40.
My first arc (16-20) were set on a jungle planet. My last arc was set on Earth (36 in Colorado & 37-40 on Hawaii specifically).
Then all hell broke loose.
Two CGI companies were originally doing the CGI for the show. One of these companies bailed -- as I understand it they declared bankruptcy -- still holding onto five episodes worth of SONY's money. But Sony still had to deliver 40 episodes. And they didn't want to pay for 45. So now they've added three clip shows. And taken a couple of single episodes and made them two-parters. In the process they chose (at least for now) not to make my Hawaii episodes. Hopefully, they'll be made later for Home Video or a second season or something.
I've been watching the shows on my local channel. Missed the premiere episode. Then saw the next five. The first one I saw, (the second to air in syndication) was an episode from the third week arc (had to be 16, 17 or 18 in the original airing order) set on the planet Tophet. They followed that with the first four episodes set on Pluto in order. Then yesterday they aired the first episode for at least the second time in two weeks.
Obviously, we're having some delivery problems.
And all of the above, completely out of my control.
The good news is that the five episodes I saw kicked some major ass visually. And the stories were pretty great too. (And I had nothing to do with them.) Maybe that bodes well for the six episodes of mine that should get made soon.
Meanwhile, I've been swamped working on a CGI show for Sony that should air on the WB in January. It's on an inhuman schedule that's literally killing me, but hopefully you'll like the finished product.
Sorry if I haven't had much time for ASK GREG recently. But I love doing it, so I will get back to it as soon as I can.
It's a great dramatic moment. The Weird Sisters, Macbeth and Goliath have successfully (if temporarily) BROKEN Demona.
She gives them the code word: "ALONE".
But why would Demona choose that as a code word in the first place.
Here's the latest contest. (And this one will definitely have a winner.)
Write two paragraphs. Each one no more than fifty words.
In the first paragraph, explain the reason Demona consciously gave herself for choosing that word.
In the second paragraph, explain how that conscious decision interacted with her subconscious mind.
PROOFREAD. Grammar, spelling, even punctuation counts. Please remember that I'm a former Composition teacher and current editor. Nothing annoys me more than sloppy work.
You have the entire month of September to enter your two paragraphs at ASK GREG.
It may take me a while to get around to reading them all, but I will eventually choose the entry that I SUBJECTIVELY JUDGE to be the best. That winner will get some kind of prize. It won't actually be worth anything, but hopefully he or she will think it's cool.
All entries should begin with:
"ALONE: The Demona Contest Answer"
If not, they will be disqualified. I'm prepared to be merciless.
I'm on vacation in Nantucket at my in-laws.
They have Web-TV, and I am struggling with it at 2:45am because I love you people. Actually, I'm done struggling with it for the night/morning. But I'll try to log on a couple more times and answer a few more times and answer a few more questions here and there.
WELCOME BACK TO ASK GREG,
Thanks Gore for getting us back up and running.
Unfortunately, as some of you know, I'm leaving today on vacation, and I don't know if I'll have net access while I'm gone.
So we'll try to get the ball rolling for real in late August.
But I will try to answer a couple questions today.
I'm now going to get TOUGH with you guys.
Although I welcome you to post as often as you like, PLEASE remember to only ask one, two or three questions PER POST. Multiple questions are only acceptable if they are on the exact same topic as the first question.
From here on out, if I receive a post with multiple questions, I will answer the first one and then only answer the following questions if they are on the same topic. Otherwise, I will advise the poster to try again.
(Better be okay, grumble, grumble.)
Update: Answered Questions aren't posting at all.
My rambles are posting both to the "Greg's Latest Responses" page and to the "Ramblings" library. But the last two rambles did not post to the "Behind the Scenes" library that I also assigned it to. So we've got a major library problem going on now.
The posting answers function is still not working. So I'm still rambling.
Today, we held auditions for five smaller parts in this new show. Frankly I was surprised my bosses insisted on auditioning these rolls. Normally, we'd just cast them. We had no pre-written audition sides prepared. So we just lifted some dialogue from an old draft of the pilot. Three of the characters only have three lines each in the pilot, and one of those three characters had the following three lines:
"He has failed."
So we just had people auditioning for this character read another character's lines while using the mindset that we described for the guy he was auditioning for.
Needless to say, it was messy. Not the way I like to work.
But the day actually went fairly well. We got a bunch of good people. There were four male parts and one female. And unlike the leads, there was the potential for doubling up rolls among these guys. So a lot of guys came in and read for multiple parts.
I saw Morgan "Petros/Kenneth" Sheppard and Victor "Rabbi Loew" Brandt today. Victor put that Hebrew incantation on his clip reel. Which was nice. Also Emma "Gruoch" Samms and Sara "Una" Douglas each sent in tapes all the way from Europe to audition for one of the two lead female rolls we read for last week. That was nice too.
I met Rene Auberjonous and John de Lancie and Jeffrey Jones. All very nice guys.
Like I said... fun.
Well, as of right now, the Rambles work, but I can't seem to answer any questions.
So I'll ramble.
Last week, we held auditions for a new series I'm working on as Story Editor/Writer/Producer at Sony for the WB and Mattel.
It's too early to give you any details on the show, but I think I can talk about the audition process in general terms.
Auditions took place under the watchful eye of our voice director Sue Blue and her engineer Pat Torres. Sue's directed a ton of shows, including MEN IN BLACK and the upcoming STARSHIP TROOPERS. I was there for most of the auditions, and Sue, Pat and I had a really great time.
We had five lead rolls to cast (three male, two female), and the nature of the rolls were such that we largely had five distinct groups of people coming in to read for each part. But all mixed up and in no particular order.
The actors had each received audition "sides". These were monologues that I had written up for each character that would demonstrate the characters personality and range. Give the actor the opportunity to prove (or fail to prove) that he or she was right for the part. The side I wrote for the lead character was just too darn long. So we cut that one down, which threw off a couple of actors at first, but in the long run made it easier on them -- and us.
The actors would wait in the waiting room (hence the name) and we would take them into the booth one at a time. We three jokers were out in the control room, so they couldn't hear us unless we wanted them to or unless we forgot and left the button on. (No major faux pas this time, but over the years, I've had a few embarrassing moments with that button.)
We'd usually ask the actor if he or she had any questions about the character. We'd do our best to answer them, and then let the actor read the side through once without much input from us. Then we'd generally do a second or third pass, where we gave them direction. Sometimes people who did lousy first reads, did great with direction. That's a good sign. Sometimes people who did decent first reads, didn't improve much with direction. That's not as good a sign. Sometimes people were so good, we wouldn't do a second take. Maybe just pick up a single line or two that we felt could be improved on. Sometimes people were so obviously wrong for the part, we wouldn't do a second take, and just pick up a line to be polite -- or deceitful, it depends on your point of view.
Basically, you're looking for good acting instincts. Do they notice and pick up the various acting beats? After you point them out, do they hit them nicely or force them? Etc.
And just as important, you're listening simply for vocal quality. Do they sound like the character you have in your head? Sometimes they don't, but you like it anyway. They redefine what the character SHOULD sound like. Keith David was like that for Goliath. So was Thom Adcox Hernandez and Bill Faggerbakke.
At these auditions, at most auditions I've ever been to, the actor has no way of knowning how well he or she did. Cause we're equally polite to everyone. It's selfish, basically. Ever try rejecting ten or so people per hour? It's tough on each of them of course, but they only have to go through it once. It would be brutal on us. And everyone reacts differently. Some rejectees would get pissed. Others would beg for another chance, etc. Nightmare. So we smile and tell everyone they did great. It sucks, but I can't fathom an alternative.
Even if we like someone, we don't want to be too effusive, because, we don't know who we still have left to see. We might like the next guy even better, and so you don't want to make promises.
LESSON: Don't become an actor unless there's just nothing else you can see yourself doing. BRUTAL PROFESSION. Writing's not much kinder, by the way.
Anyhow, we lucked out this time. Saw a ton of great people. Now, unlike Gargoyles, I'm not the top dog on this show. I'm a Producer -- the guy on the line, but Sony has two Executive Producers on the show, who are my bosses. Plus Sony has a development executive assigned to the show. And the WB and Mattel have (at least) veto power over the final casting choices.
So what Sue and I did (with help from Pat and Cynthia, Sue's assistant) was put together a voice CD, with about seven actors per character on it. We eliminated all the people we hated, and by consensus put our best choices on the CD. I felt very good about the CD. I liked most everyone on it, and feel confident we'll have a GREAT voice cast, even if my personal first choices aren't chosen.
I did rank my picks (on a separate memo) for the Exec Producers. We'll just have to see how it all turns out.
A side benefit of all this is that I got to see a bunch of people that I hadn't seen for awhile.
Thom Adcox Hernandez auditioned. Of course, I have seen him recently, at the Gathering and at a few movies that we attended together with our respective mates, (RUN LOLA RUN and AN IDEAL HUSBAND). But it's always great to see Thom.
Marina Sirtis, Brigitte Bako and Sheena Easton all gave great audtions, and it was terrific to see them again. (Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're all knock-outs.) They all have fond memories of Gargoyles. Marina said that at Star Trek conventions, she signs more Demona dolls than Troi dolls everytime.
I also saw Gregg Rainwater (Coyote Trickster, Natsilane/Nick, Young Peter Maza). James Avery (Shaman). And a few others too. (I'm blanking out. It's late.) They were all terrific. I wish we could cast them all.
Unfortunately, I couldn't be there for every audition (seven hours a day for four days), so I missed seeing Kath Soucie, Tress MacNeil and Rocky Carroll. Bummer.
But I did get to meet Ben Vereen, Lauren Tom, Rosalyn Chao, James Marsters (who plays Spike on Buffy) and a bunch of other people that I really admire.
Frankly, the voice stuff is the most fun part of my job.
Sorry, but for the second time since this latest server crisis began, an answer I took some time on didn't post and was lost. Before I go in and start answering questions again, I'm just going to see if things are posting properly with this latest test ramble.
SUNDAY (or what was left of it)
Got up. Showered. I was major damaged goods by this time, but I had had such fun. Went downstairs. Said some goodbyes. Dominick interviewed me for his German magazine. Had an interesting conversation with Steve Jackson and Christine Morgan. Talked with the G2000 folk some more. Said good-bye to Thom. He told me about his and Jen's plan to tattoo themselves. I told them both if you don't have the guts to get a tatto in your hometown, you're better off skipping it.
(Side note -- Saw Thom today [7/12]. He showed me his new tattoo. Sorry, Jen, looks like he stood you up.)
Jen cabbed me to the airport and kept me company until my plane left, which was incredibly nice.
Flew home. Got home. Hugged my kids and wife. Told them what an amazing time I had, and suggested that next year may be the perfect time for them to come along.
And that's it.
But again, thanks everyone. I had an amazing time.
You guys are the best.
SATURDAY - (a.k.a. THE BIG ONE)
I dragged myself out of bed just in time for the room service I dopily ordered the night before. The food was fine, but now I was running late. Showered, etc. And ran downstairs.
Took us a little while to get our acts together, but finally Thom, Jen and I sat down to hold auditions. I gave everyone the same shpiel. LOUDER AND SLOWER.
All of you who auditioned were great. I hope the experience, whether or not you got a part, was fun (and maybe educational). We had a huge turn-out and auditions ran at least an hour longer than we had anticipated. (Causing a cascade of lateness that continued throughout the day.)
When we were finally done, we set about casting over KFC brought to us by Van & Sara. Just for the record, the cast was:
Charles E. Calvert
Thanks, gang. And thanks to everyone who auditioned.
Lanny & Sara are becoming regulars at this. ("The Greg Weisman Players" Hmmm. I like the sound of that.)
We took a quick break and then went almost immediately into rehearsal. Suddenly people who had given very loud auditions were whispering. It made me a bit nervous. Mr. Punctual, Thom Adcox, locked himself out of his room, and was late to the rehearsal. Which gave me a lot of opportunities to rag on him. Thankfully, he's a good sport.
We finished up and then brought people in for the performance. I can't say much about the show, but it's a pilot that I wrote for a new series. My pilot was rejected, and they hired a new writer to do the version that will air in the fall. It was a messy business with both sides hiring lawyers, and though I still feel ripped off, it's over. But I'm glad someone at least got to see the version I did.
I think the performance went pretty well. My cast was great. I'm not sure the script was as much of a crowd pleaser as ROTG was last year, but I have no complaints. When it was over, I answered a few quick questions for people who couldn't be at the dinner, then I went upstairs to make a phone call and relax for a bit while Dinner was being set up. (That actually took quite a while. So again, I wound up bouncing upstairs and downstairs a few times.)
Finally, we went in. Dinner was very good. And it helped being the guest of honor as I got my food first. We (the guests) all ate while everyone else got their food, and then I moderated the Q&A while the audience ate. The Q&A was the most fun of all. Some really good questions, and I admit that I really got on a roll there with my answers. People tried to stump me, but I was just unstumpable that night. Very fun.
After dinner, Thom and I went back to my room to chill out a bit. He and I really had a great time. Didn't realize how much I missed the guy.
We came back downstairs for the costume parade. Becca and Jack as Lex and Goliath stole the show, but there were a bunch of great costumes. Was that AJaye as Angela? And that Graeme guy? (Whoever graeme is.) Wow. Anthony shaved off his beard between the radio play performance and the ball to play Tony Dracon. (Shows almost as much dedication as Aaron.) Skippy the Klingon won Ms. Congeniality. Vannessa as Lady of the Lake and Sara as Hyena, plus Jen as Saloon Girl Demona. Bluebonnet, Lexy... The list goes on. Again, wow.
Thom and I needed ice cream and some air, so it was back to 7-11. Thom revealed that during his AM/PM commercial he had to consume 100 bigsticks. He can't go near them anymore.
We returned to the ball. Vanessa dragged me onto the dance floor. I attempted some swing moves that must have seemed so convincing that I was later complimented for my line dancing ability. (Go figure.) Anyway, it was very fun.
Tim Morgan had missed the Starship video friday night, and Thom wanted to show us his reel, so we started off on a VCR hunt. We wound up in the Morgan's room watching Battle of the Gargantua. Then made our way up to the con suite. About 20 of us at first, watching tapes and talking. As the hours past (and as I got punchier) the numbers dwindled. Thom called it a night around 3am. But I stayed up until 7am with Christine, Tim, Stephen, Flint, Heather, Jen and... ARGGGH... Who am I forgetting? So sorry.
Anyway, I think I was literally drunk on the adulation you all fed me all week end. I started pontificating to poor Stephen. In my memory, it was all very pompous, though both Stephen and Christine have been very gracious about how helpful I was.
Anyway, I was just having a fantastic time. Too great to go to bed. And no, I'm not going to discuss "the game" in print. You nuts?
Finally, at seven I made myself stand up. Flint had snuck away and Stephen was asleep on the couch. It was time to try and sneak a few hours of sleep.
But I was too wired. I rested in bed. That's the best I could do. I think I finally dozed off around 10am but Thom called me at 10:30 to see if I wanted to grab some coffee. Thom's dead now. (Just kidding...)
Anyway, that was Saturday (with a good chunk of Sunday). Part IV of the diary will be pretty pathetic but I'll get to it eventually.
I DO NOT mind tons and tons of questions. I love that.
I do mind tons and tons of questions within the same post. That makes it difficult for me to fit in a quick answer between doing other things. It bogs down the process.
I know it's a bit of a pain, but please ask multiple questions (particularly questions on different topics) in multiple separate posts.
I know we're all excited to have ASK GREG back.
But those of you posing multiple, multiple questions in one post are killing me and not getting your money's worth. I can't just sit down and answer them quickly. So I wind up giving very brief responses (or non-responses) to most or all of the questions that come packaged together in mega-posts.
I understand that if you're asking multiple questions on the same very specific topic why you'd want them all together. So I'm not going to set any absolute rules. But use common sense. I know it's slightly more time consuming to have to submit individual questions one (or say two) at a time. But I promise you, you'll tend (more often then not) to get more worthwhile answers for your trouble.