Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shakespeare in a Junk Shop

So, I've already mentioned my soft spot for second-hand bookshops.  This also translates to junk shops in general, in spite of the allergy-inducing effects of the dust which usually permeates such places.  To clarify, I don't care for moth-eaten table-cloths, and I find half-used bottles of lotion and great-aunt-Ethel's perfume to be quite frankly disturbing, but if one can look past such things one can sometimes find hidden gems.  For me these gems generally come in the shape of something that can be made into something else, however, yesterday I had the good luck to come across an old VHS copy of Richard III, with Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, and a number of other quality names.  Personally, when I see the names William Shakespeare and Ian McKellen combined like that, I snatch, regardless of whether I've heard anything of the performance before.  In any case, I took it up to the counter, and this was the ensuing conversation.  I shall put my thoughts in bold italics.

Woman at counter: "Oh, I saw this when it came in.  Thought it was Shakespeare, then turned it over and saw it was a remake."

Technically, any of Shakespeare's plays performed after 1616 could be called a remake, but I'll assume you're referring to the fact that they set it in the 1930s.

Me, aloud: "Hm."

Woman at counter (shaking her head): "Yeah, I don't know.  It's weird."

You're weird!

Me, aloud: "Sometimes I like the updated versions, depending on who performs them.  I've never heard of this one, but the cast looks good."

Woman at counter (with a cackle and another shake of the head as I'm walking away): "Well, you know, even William Shatner was a trained Shakespearean actor."

I give up!

Afterwards I recalled that it was the same woman who, when my sister bought a book, said that she'd started trying to read it, but the tone was "too British".  Ha!

Friday, June 24, 2011

OZ - The Wonderful Wizard

Had to share this delightfully weird clip, from the Staatsballet Berlin's new production of Oz - The Wonderful Wizard. Hoping this comes out on DVD.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughts On a Rainy Wednesday Evening

I have decided to commence a massive rewrite of Ashford as a summer project, so this morning I tore quite ruthlessly into chapter one.  I think I've had the necessary distance from it to look at the thing a little more objectively now, so we'll see how it goes.  I am not, however, finding it any easier to cope with scathing critiques, particularly when they contradict each other.  And not, I don't think, because I can't accept criticism.  I've had critiques before from people who didn't like everything about the manuscript, who thought this or that could stand to be changed, improved, or simply taken out, but last week brought two reviews from separate individuals, both of whom clearly (and rather nastily) had very poor opinions of just about every aspect of my writing.  One claimed I didn't describe things enough.  The other insisted that I spent far too much time on the descriptions, even going so far as to say, quite spitefully, "it's no wonder the description is good, considering how much time is spent on it."

I am trying to take these conflicting opinions as gracefully as possible without letting them discourage me.  After all, a good friend, (who has, by the way, great taste in literature in general) read it through, then started again, reading it aloud to her younger sister, who then had to read it a second time herself.  Surely if she'd been thinking only of not hurting my feelings she wouldn't have felt the need to be quite so enthusiastic.  They are both in love with Perry now.  Not that I blame them.  I'm quite fond of him myself.

So I'm going back to the beginning and scrutinizing every sentence, determined to weed out cliches and unnecessary adjectives, knowing that I won't please everyone, but doing my best to please those whose opinion is most important: the would-be reader whose vision sees what I have feebly tried to show.

It's been a chilly wet day, but I'm cozy inside, wrapped in a blanket, listening to the combined sounds of rain on the roof and Aaron practicing for his album release party.  He recently completed his first album, and we're hoping to schedule a release soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beverages and Costuming

I just realized that it's been a week and a half since my last post.  In my defense, I've been quite busy this week.  Still...flaky.  I don't have much time now, since I'll be rushing off to work soon.  Beverage cart today (meaning I get to drive around the course serving drinks) and the weather looks like it might rain, or might clear off and be gorgeous.  Oh, wait, I think it is starting to rain.  Good thing I like the rain.  But will the golfers?  That is the question.  I can't say I've ever considered the opinions of golfers so much before, at least, not so much as to think of them whenever a good storm came on.

Here is a photo (taken before our recent show) of us in the costumes I created for one of our dances, Clouds Below Your Knees.

More soon!