Category Archives: Personal

Houston, We Have a Problem

Houston, We Have a Problem

A reoccuring meme this week for me has been the notion of solving ‘difficult’ problems.  Most recently, I came across this observation from the New York Time’s interview of Bain Capital member, Edward Conrad:

it makes no sense to look for easy solutions.  In a competitive market, all that’s left are the ruly hard puzzles.  And they require extraordinary resources.

This got me thinking about problems and methods for finding solutions which led to a cool article in wikipedia about different problem solving methods including such exotically named approaches like morphological anlaysis and method of focal objects.

I then found an article about the 8D Method of Problem Solving which lists … well, 8 steps to solve problems.  The last step is congratulate your team.

This is all very interesting, but I’m not sure what problem I’m solving with all this.


Pinterest and Acting

Pinterest and Acting

Imagery is a great tool for an actor to develop characters, visualize textual images and establish a context for the relationships.

Recently I’ve started to use Pinterest to collect and display images related to the characters and scenes I have been working on. It’s great that it’s so easily accessible so that I can look at it during down times like riding on the bus.

Old Game Quotes

Old Game Quotes

I’m doing some revisions to an older title and came across these gems embedded in a system file.

We used to collect funny quotes that would invariably occur during long hours of production.  Here are some of the better ones:

Karen: Why do you smell like lighter fluid?
Donovan: I have a Zippo in my pocket.

So we’re getting a better squish? – Karen on our new codec

The only free cheese you get is in a mouse trap. – Alena bestowing Russian wisdom

I’m finger-oriented. – Karen explaining the smudges on her monitor

Take that out of your mouth, son. It’s not real. – Wayne’s fatherly advice

That’s a lot of mustard. - Jan misinterpreting a carafe of orange juice

But… you shouldn’t have changed my body. - Robert exerting too much ownership over an animation

I like a chair that’s already formed to my butt. - Kyle

Looting a Monologue

Looting a Monologue

I am working on a new audition piece and continue to find the whole process vexing. Like Catherine O’Hara once said – it’s something between opening presents on Christmas morning and being burnt alive.

I chose a piece from Joe Orton’s devilishly funny Loot. Before working with my audition coach, Annnette Toutonghi, I did all of my character homework, I defined my action, I came up with my element of truth and pondered the prior moment.

You’re intellectualizing!

You’re not feeling it!


It wasn’t that the preparation was bad, it was more that I didn’t allow myself to inhabit the circumstance and allow myself to be in the moment. A common trap for me but one that I well understand.

She made me give the monologue as a muppet and that loosened me up to start to play and really feel the words I was saying.

And I never really thought that much how the words of a dramatist give the actor that punch to follow through on an action.

So I get why people say Orton is a genius. And yet, it’s so well done it’s so easily missed!