Big Day

 

Tonight’s premiere performances of What’s on [My] Mind? are at 8 and 10 pm in Houston and 6 and 8 pm in California. We had rehearsal in the 14 Pews space on March 9. Tom Callins took some beautiful photographs.

With the help of my dear friend Tony Barilla, we solved one of the biggest problems — how to play to the live and the remote audiences at the same time. We’ve decided to keep the on-site screen off during the performance. A video delay was interfering with the live music: song rhythms were getting messed up because we were playing them live, but there was a one-second delayed version of the songs happening on screen, which we could also see. So the live audience will see a live performance, and the remote audience will see a streamed performance. The computer screen camera will be placed in a way where I’m not directly addressing the remote audience, but I’m almost directly addressing them. If there’s a delay in the streaming, it won’t matter to the remote audience; those in the audience at EZTV will see what they see and hear what they will hear. I trust Michael Masucci: he’s got many years of experience with these kinds of exchanges.

Lots of last minute stressful issues have been solved with the help of generous friends and colleagues. In addition to recording the onscreen Google+hangout using Camtasia, we’re going to video the performance with a Sony Handycam, and Chris Bakos (sound designer extraordinaire, as well as a super-talented musician) will capture the audio of the performance with three mics (one of which is a wireless lavalier that I’ll wear), taking the three channels directly into the mixing board and recording them to computer. Later, we’ll edit the video and audio together into a single mix. Yesterday, this was my biggest headache, and thank god for Chris!

My colleagues at The Kinkaid School, where I teach high school English have floored me with their expertise, support and guidance, as well, especially film teacher Ryan Gillentine, technical theater director Mark Sell, Jonathan Schroeder, Jane Arnold, Casey Fleming, James Houlihan, Angelique Jamail. I’m grateful for them.

Tonight’s show is the result of almost a year’s worth of intense learning and supercharged creative and critical thinking — planning, research, writing, collaborating, revising, problem-solving and whatever else goes into creating a new work of art. I’m very grateful for the support of the Houston Arts Alliance (through a 2013 Individual Artist Grant), the support of my family, my friends, my colleagues. I could not do what I do without all of you.

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