Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joe Jackson's "Battleground."

In the context of the Michael Richards-inspired* N-word discussion, I thought of these lyrics by Joe Jackson. The song is called "Battleground," and it's from the long-out-of-print 1980 album Beat Crazy. It's interesting to see how relevant a white Englishman's perspective on race relations is to Americans 26 years later. Warning: some readers may be offended, blah blah blah.

*Perhaps "Michael Richards-inspired" is not the best phrase to use, like, ever again.

Written by Joe Jackson
(c)1980 Albion Music, Ltd.

Black nigger white nigger standing in the dark
Listen to the rhythm of the bass boom
Black nigger takes a hit sending up a spark
In the dark heat
Swaying a little to the bass beat
White nigger takes a hit takes money out
Says this is what it's all about
Rots your brain - who cares
Black nigger stares
White nigger sighs
I like your music
I like your style
I crack a joke so why don't you smile

White nigger dancing out on the floor tonight
The band's not good but the beat seems right
The band's all black and the floor's all white
Clenching fists unite and fight
Rock agianst racism rules tonight
But in the real world
No-one rules
But fists are clenched all right
Down in the underground
Out in the playground
The common ground
Is a battleground

Now you don't have to be black to be a nigger no more
The writing's on the wall
Say - black is power
White is flower
Diveded we fall
And behind the wall
Behind the door
In the dark heat
In the rhythm of the bass beat
Something is wrong
And no-one is taking the blame

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TV Land Ranks TV Catchphrases

In true VH1 style, TV Land has ranked the top TV Catchphrases of all time, to be counted down over five days beginning December 11.

Phrases notably missing:

"He's dead, Jim."


"I pity the fool!"

It's ironic that "I pity the fool" is missing on a network that airs the show I Pity the Fool.

And of course, being a Firefly fan, I'd vote in "Shiny," but what can you do...


Friday, November 24, 2006

On Michael Richards and the N-word.

This has been the best week ever for Mel Gibson. Finally, he is no longer bigot-of-the moment, vilified in story and song, his every explanation not enough and his every apology not sufficient. That role has fallen to Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame, who shocked America with an expletive-laden tirade against two black hecklers in a comedy club earlier this week. Unfortunately for Richards, the act was caught on tape and has been seen all over the web and television.

I have always thought very highly of Michael Richards as a comic actor, highly enough that I refuse to disrespect him by just calling him "Kramer," as so many commentators have been doing this week. Seriously, I still have VCU students and alumni calling me "Scmendimann," and I did Picasso at the Lapin Agile like three years ago. Can we please have the respect to call actors by their actual names? And anyway, if you're going to pigeonhole Richards by naming him for his greatest role, it's obviously Stanley Spadowski from U.H.F.

If you'll look at my previous posts regarding audience behavior, you might deduce that I'm likely to have some measure of sympathy for Richards in this situation. Audiences, especially modern ones trained on how to behave by years of practice on their living room couches, don't exactly have a history of great respect for live performers, particularly comedians. There seems to be a tacet understanding that your $5 cover and two-drink minimum give you license to act like an ass. By all accounts, Richards' tormentors had something coming to them. Where the controversy erupts is in the question of whether they had F-bombs coming to them, or more specifically, the N-word.

Ah, there it is. "The N-Word." Am I in trouble for just saying that, much less the word itself? I am, after all, white-skinned like Richards. Am I allowed to use the N-word under any circumstances? Can I even say the "N-word"-word without your hackles rising? What I'm finding interesting this week is less Richards' actions and more--you guessed it--the coverage of the story.

In addition to the speculation about Richards' motivation, his possible racism, and his likely-wrecked career, I've heard a lot of discussion about just who is allowed to use the N-word and when. Apparently, you can say it in comedy clubs, and you can say it if you're black. (Richards was in a comedy club, but being white and Jewish, he is apparently not permitted to say it.) According to most people I've heard, being white and saying this word is simply inexcusable under any circumstances. It's a bad word, with hateful connotations and centuries of oppressive history behind it.

Something about that opinion has always rubbed me the wrong way, and recently a few things have happened that solidified it for me. So thank you, Michael Richards, for this instructive lesson in How to Screw Up Publicly and Get Yourself Labeled a Racist. Hopefully, I can discuss this topic without falling into the same swiftly-sinking boat with you.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, I watched a little television. Actually, I watched quite a lot; I have had the stomach flu all week and all I'm good for is sitting. A week later, all the TV news networks are still talking Michael Richards, and showing clips from his comedy club tirade, F- and N-words bleeped out for our sensitive ears. In between episodes of Dirty Jobs and Modern Marvels, I flipped channels.

There, on the USA Network, was some gangsta movie starring Ice Cube, wherein every actor dropped N-words like pronouns. Unbleeped. In the middle of the afternoon. The day after Thanksgiving, with school out and the kids at home. And I wasn't actually watching the movie, I was switching channels; this word came up often enough that every time I made a three-second stop on the channel I heard it. So apparently this word, so horrible that no white person can say it, is perfectly acceptable for midday broadcast on the network that I used to love for the "USA Network Cartoon Express." just as long as a black guy is saying it.

Does no one else see the complete and utter hypocrisy of this? Do you understand, white people who work as news anchors are bleeping this word out on networks designed for the sole purpose of relating the news. White journalists can't report the fact that he said "n#####," but black actors can drop it like unwanted pennies in the middle of the afternoon on basic freaking cable? And the same night, I saw a Biography Channel show about Richard Pryor, praising him as an innovator and a bridge-builder with the N-word gloriously and boldly part of his album titles. At least the narrator, who sounded white, was allowed to say the word.

Is it a bad word? Then stop saying it. Because if it's a word only certain people can use, I can get behind that; I don't want kids dropping F-bombs and calling each other A-holes. That's why we have TV and movie ratings systems. But nothing should be rated B for Black or W for White. If the word is bad, bleep it out. But sure as hell don't broadcast it in the middle of the damn day and say it's okay because a black dude is saying it.

Is it a bad word? Then stop saying it. Why do black people get a pass on this? (Warning: offensive words ahead.) Jews don't greet each other with, "What's up, kike?" Italians don't say "That's my dago right there," and Asians don't say "All my slants in the house say yeah!" All of these racial slurs have similar histories to the N-word. What other group gets to use a word this offensive without anyone questioning it? There's a term that describes "only one race gets to do this thing." The term is "prejudice."

And it's not just the N-word. Apparently we can't even say anything that sounds like the N-word. In rehearsals for Julius Caesar a few months ago, we came upon the lines "And nature must obey necessity; / Which we will niggard with a little rest." "Niggard," which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as "1. n. A stingy, grasping person; a miser. 2. adj. Stingy; miserly.[Middle English nigard, perhaps from nig, stingy person, of Scandinavian origin.]" Shakespeare, in typical fashion, turns it into a verb. Our director, wishing to avoid any problems, chose to change the word to "neglect." I argued the point, mainly just to play devil's advocate, but was overruled.

First of all, "neglect" doesn't mean the same as "niggard." In fact, it isn't even close. Actually, nothing means the same as "niggard;" there are no useful synonyms. Secondly, it's Shakespeare, and I absolutely believe that you don't change a playwright's words because they're too hard for you to work with. Thirdly, "niggard" is quite simply not an offensive word, and frankly if you're offended by a near-homonym, that's your problem, not Shakespeare's or mine. As I argued that day, if we're doing a British sex comedy, do we change the word "knickers?" That sounds just as much like the N-word as "niggard" does. What if, in the same play, a character wants to smoke and asks for a "fag?" That's a pretty offensive word there. Changing "niggard" because of a sound-alike is, to me, surrender to racism. It means the bastards won; they made us change our behavior. Interestingly, our director told us that he has done shows where the black members of the cast refused to change "niggard" to another word. They insisted on saying it. Smart actors.

Clearly, Michael Richards has made a complete fool of himself, whether or not he's actually a racist, and his career is pretty much over. Next stop: The Surreal Life. (Actually, that's a pretty brilliant idea. I bet all the other cast members will call him "Kramer.") But this isn't about Michael Richards any more; in fact, I'm kind of grateful to him for bringing this issue to the fore in my mind.

What concerns me is that it seems like we're much less interested in the use of an offensive word than in the color of the skin of the people who use it, context be damned. Which is the greater crime: Richards' use of the N-word, or his using it without the proper license?

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Where's Ange Hamm? Part 1

See if you can find Ange Hamm, so cleverly concealed in these pictures.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

New Christmas Songs Are Up!

New mixes of "Under the Star" and "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" are available for listening at

And I'm looking at this for a potential cover image:


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Finally, the Redskins' Quarterback Future Is Now.

After much hemming and hawing, the Mark Brunell era in Washington is over. Enter second-year quarterback Jason Campbell, about a month too late to save the season.

Please let that #17 on his chest remind us of Doug Williams, not Danny Wuerffel.

I guess Coach Gibbs has finally realized that Mr. Hyde has taken Dr. Brunell's place permanently, or that his record-setting 22-receptions streak a couple months ago was like Robert DeNiro in Awakenings.

Apparently, this kid is the future of the Redskins. I'm interested in seeing what he does Sunday against the Buccaneers, but don't anyone let images of Tony Romo dance in your head. Clinton Portic' broken hand probably has as much to do with the Redskins giving up on the season as Brunell's inefficiency, and while Ladell Betts is a very good back, Portis is elite.

I'm actually more interested in seeing if T.J. Duckett ends up in the mix now that Portis is out for at least a month.

So welcome, Jason Campbell. For the next five days, you get to remain the most popular man in town, the backup quarterback who's all dreams and potential. Enjoy it, because as soon as you throw your first three-interception game at home you'll know what being a Redskins quarterback is really like.

So as we depart, let's examine a few quarterbacks who have torn the NFL up in recent years after being released by the Redskins in favor of such gems as Wuerffel, Heath Shuler, Jeff George, and Shane Matthews:

Trent Green, Kansas City Pro Bowler
Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay and Minnesota Pro Bowler, Super Bowl winner
Rich Gannon, Oakland Pro Bowler and AFC champion

Jack Kent Cooke, where are you when we need you?

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Preview: Andrew Hamm's Forthcoming Christmas Album!

I’ve been talking about recording a Christmas album for at least four years, and thinking about it for much longer. I have had a love-hate relationship with Christmas music, and Christmas in general, ever since I had my spiritual awakening in 1999. The rampant commercialism inherent in the American celebration of the holiday makes the “blessed are the poor” in me cringe, and often overshadows my own celebration of the Nativity. Christmas is transformed more every year into Wintermas, Mallmas, Giftmas, and Santamas. I don’t even like giving gifts any more, and I certainly don’t like receiving them.

Christmas music, even from Christian artists, often falls victim to the Americanization of the holiday. I’ll never forget the experience of buying Clay Crosse’s Christmas album, putting it in the CD player, and being greeted with the most appallingly smarmy big-band version of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” Otherwise very heartfelt musicians of faith such as Crosse, Michael W. Smith, and Russ Taff have been sucked in, generating Christmas albums rife with overproduced big-band nonsense. Why does Christmas music all have to sound like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra? Apparently it’s not just Santamas, it’s Nineteenfortiesmas.

One guy has gotten it right, and gotten it so very right: Bruce Cockburn, whose album Christmas is an oasis for me every year. It’s the perfect Christmas album; every song is about Christ instead of snowflakes and sleigh bells, and the arrangements are timeless examples of North American folk music styles. He breathes new love into old favorites like “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,” and “Silent Night,” as well as teaching me new favorites like “Early On One Christmas Morn,” “Down In Yon Forest,” and “Mary Had a Baby.” And he sings in like four different languages on it, which is awesome.

So I decided that, when I recorded a Christmas album, it was going to be something as heartfelt and honest as Cockburn’s. At least I would try. Now I’m actually about the business of doing it (hampered somewhat by a mild chest cold this week), and I thought I’d share some of the process with you all.

I always like to start recording an album with guidelines, a mission statement of some kind, whether it be thematic or something to do with production. In this case, I began with a few rules:

1) As many acoustic and “real” instruments as possible. Electric pianos appear on two songs, with some 808 drum machine sounds on the same two. The acoustic piano is a digital one because recording an acoustic piano is just too time-consuming for this particular project. And there’s some synthesized Hammond organ here and there, but the B3 is such a classic sound that it’s an honorary acoustic instrument. Most of the album is piano, acoustic guitars, bass, drums, percussion, and accordion. Yes, accordion.

2) Only spiritual music. No Santa, no bells, no snow. If you’re looking for “Jingle Bells,” Sinatra does a hilarious version.

3) Not the same old Christmas music. Some of the songs are unusual, and the usual ones are new arrangements and orchestrations. I’m hoping to give you something you haven't heard with this.

4) This album will remind the listener that Christmas is only part of Christ’s story. It began with a covenant and continues to the cross. The other real problem with American Christmas is how much time and effort we spend worshiping a Baby, forgetting what that Baby grew up to do.

So let me finish this post with a little tease of the initial song list. the asterisks mark songs I wrote.

1. In the Bleak Midwinter
2. Promise Medley: O Come O Come Emmanuel / God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
3. Under the Star*
4. Little Drummer Boy
5. I Saw Three Ships
6. Once in Royal David’s City
7. English Medley: Rejoice and Be Merry / Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus / Sussex Carol
8. What Child Is This?
9. The Angels’ Song*
10. I Came Upon the Midnight Clear
11. The Twelfth Night of Christmas
12. Silent Night

So what's the deal with "The Twelfth Night of Christmas?" You'll just have to wait and see, but think Bob and Doug McKenzie. Oh, and the first rough mix is up on my music MySpace page:


All Things Loud and Stupid

Man, watching NFL games on Fox is just wonderful fodder for blogs every Sunday. Heck, the commercials alone are gold. Here are a few thoughts:

1) This year, Fox is blaring the national feed commercials at least 25% louder than the game broadcast. It's making me wish my radio simulcast wasn't so far out of sync; I can't stand having to turn the volume down every time they take a commercial break. Please, Fox: have mercy on my ears.

2) I am so incredibly sick of the "Iron Man" truck commercials. Aside from the fact that I hate the song "Iron Man" (largely because it has nothing to do with Tony Stark, Iron Man, my favorite comic book character of all time), I really don't need the same commercial every break, sometimes twice.

3) The Nissan Titan Heisman trophy commercial is almost as dumb as the football robot. Aside from the moronic image of buffaloes, cowboys, Trojans, hornets, a tornado, and what I'm assuming is a dump-truck-sized bouncing buckeye assaulting Manhattan streets, the Heisman is an individual award. Show me the individual candidates charging through the streets, not emblems of their teams.

4) Put the emblems of the teams in the National Championship commercial instead of the guys in uniform climbing giant ladders into the sky to reach pointlessly toward a giant crystal football suspended in mid-air. Seriously: almost as dumb as the robot. Very very close.

5) "Army Strong" is an infinitely better slogan than "An Army of One." As my father once said, " 'An Army of One.' To hell with all the other guys."

6) Tony Siragusa is incredibly stupid and may be the single most annoying and worthless sideline reporter of all time.

7) Even if the Redskins get the rest of their team together into contender quality, the secondary is so embarassingly bad that the team stands no chance.

At 1:36 PM, the Fox feed is so messed up that the picture is squashed into the top half of the screen and the bottom half is a bunch of flashing blue/black/white digital static. I know the weather on the East Coast is really bad, but can our technology really not compensate for rain? Ooh, now it's red!

Seriously, I think the flashing screen is giving me a migraine. Maybe I'll just turn on the radio.

At 1:39, it's green.

Whoa, now it's gone entirely.

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The Fox NFL Sunday Robot Is a Transformer.

The FOX football robot is a transformer. It turns from an incredibly stupid linebacker-shaped robot into a jumbotron. It's the stupidest thing I've ever seen. As such, it deserves its own theme song.

The Fox robot!
More than meets the Eye!
Football teams wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
Other football teams!

Please let Optimus Prime show up and kill it.

Feel free to post your own lyrics!

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Stop the Madness!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the last couple weeks' political debate. Scotty, Phil, Joey, and anonymous have all had some great things to say, and have made me think in different directions than I have.

I find it somewhat interesting that most of the stuff I write about deals with comics, theatre, sci-fi, movies, and music. For example, these are some topics I'm currently considering blogging: the death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie (which just had its 20th Anniversary DVD release), Lego's super-awesome "Exo-Force" line, my new favorite TV show Heroes, a review of Steve Hackett's new album Wild Orchids, and the status of my upcoming Christmas album, Under the Star.

Why is that interesting? Because I may have more responses to the two or three political articles I've written than to everything else combined. Before I proceed any further, I want to take a moment to write something about political writing.

I have often held back from talking about politics on this blog for several reasons, and I want to mention a few of them here.

It's often been said that the fastest way to ruin a friendship is by talking about politics. I know it's often said, because I say it often, especially in my classroom, where so many of my students have their natural, healthy, high school drama students' anti-establishmentarianism firmly in place. Frankly, I want people to like me, not be angry, and most political writing makes people of the opposing viewpoint angry. I really don't want my friends to be angry.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that I am a socially conservative white heterosexual Fundamentalist Christian male. This makes me the majority in many places in the country, but a very very small minority in every field I work in: theatre, music, and teaching. In theatre in particular, it is just assumed that everyone in the community is of a like mind about certain social and political issues. Well, sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not, and both the assumption that I feel a certain way and the open attacking of the opposing perspective (in green rooms, rehearsals, meetings, etc.) makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I feel like I have to be in the closet or I'm going to be ostracized. Open Bush-bashing, in particular, is de rigeur at both of my places of business, and regardless of my feelings about the man, I have a very old-school sense that the office of the president is due more respect than that. I absolutely hated President Clinton at times, and never believed him, but I went out of my way to speak of him with the respect he had earned from years of incredibly grueling and difficult public service.

So I have historically tried to keep my beliefs my own for the sake of survival. I do know of cases where conservatives, and Christians in particular, have been blacklisted (or I guess redlisted) in certain performing arts communities, and I know for a fact that it would have been much easier for me to get a university teaching job if I were a black lesbian Buddhist. I was told straight-up that they were looking for a black woman at one school I applied to. Not only is that illegal, it's incredibly stupid to tell someone who might sue you for discrimination that you're discriminating against him. Moron.

When I talk about something political on this blog, it isn't to vent, it isn't to glorify my perspective, it isn't to slurp a party, and it certainly isn't to get people mad so they write mad responses that I can shoot down self-righteously. If you'll look at my scant political postings, I hope you'll see a pattern, and it's this: I feel like someone needs to write about something that isn't being reported by the mainstream media. Cases in point: 1) the massive amount of fallacious and insulting implications in the Michael J. Fox campaign ad, and 2) the assumption that the Democratic victory last Tuesday was gigantic and sweeping when it was, in point of fact, far less than it probably should have been.

When I write about politics or social issues, my intention is almost never "I'm right and you're wrong." My intention is to provide perspective, and to say "You're probably not getting this angle or this piece of information, and you really should see it." I don't write about serious issues unless I have done a lot of thinking, praying, and research into them. And I'm not not not going to be writing about issues that I know do nothing but polarize, such as abortion, gay marriage, and the death penalty.

Here's my core belief when approaching sociopolitical debate: I think that honest discussion between opposing viewpoints is probably the single most important thing a republic needs to function. I also think that we have not had much of any honest discussion since the Kennedy administration, and pretty much none whatsoever since 2000. There are culprits on both sides.

For honest discussion and debate to take place, three things need to happen:

1) Both sides need to assume that the other side believes what they believe because they genuinely think it's right. We must assume that our opponents have thought it out and have made their decisions on what to believe in good conscience. Imbuing the opposition with sinister motives is totally counter-productive, almost always inaccurate, and impossible to prove unless you've developed telepathy and haven't told anyone. (If you have developed telepathy, please don't tell me. My mind will go to complete filth as soon as you enter the room.) Don't get me wrong, there are bastards out there on both sides of the aisle. I'm not talking about defending Mark Foley or William Jefferson, both of whom are demostrably corrupt nincompoops. I'm talking about ideas. (Hee hee hee. "Poops.")

2) Both sides need to be able to look in a mirror and say, "I may be completely and totally wrong on this one, and it is my responsibility to listen to opposing ideas with a genuinely open mind."

3) Both sides need to actually listen, and not just wait for their turn to talk.

So I want to hear what you, gentle readers (all three of you), think I should do. My impulse is to take a vacation from political writing for a while, focusing instead on the aforementioned music and toy-related subjects. But it's possible that social issues may be something we want to keep talking about. I have really felt blessed and flattered by the number of intelligent, passionate, respectful responses to the Michael J Fox and Election articles, and no one has insulted my mother yet...

Don't get me wrong, this is my blog and I'm going to write about what I want to write about, but if you're taking the time to read, your thoughts are something I want to hear. If you don't want to post them as a reply, feel free to email me at

And come out to the Alba Emoting workshop, PLEASE. Attendance is very light for the Training Department, and I'd like it to grow rather than vanish.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election 2006 Post-Mortem

Wow. Reva Tramell is returning to the Richmond City Council. Didn't see that coming.

Well, everyone seems to agree that this election was a referendum on the war on terror. But don't drink the "America wants out" kool-aid quite yet.

For historical and mathematical perspective, check out these numbers: Since 1914, the average two-year midterm loss for the party in the White House is 27 seats in the House and 3 in the Senate. The average six-year (like this year) loss is is 34 in the House and 6 in the Senate.

In President Bush's two-year midterm, he completely bucked the odds, actually gaining 6 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate. That's +33 and +5 against the average. He was the first Republican president to ever gain House seats in a midterm, and only the third president of either party since the Civil War to pick up seats. Democrats picked up 26 seats in the House yesterday (the Senate is still in play with Virginia and Montana undecided). Not only is that 8 seats less than the six-year midterm average gain for an opposition party, it leaves them 41 seats behind the combined midterm average gain.

My point is not actually to belittle this win. It's just to provide a splash of reality in the midst of all the ecstatic spin and empty promises (which, for the record, we'd be getting regardless of which party won). If this election was a referendum on the war on terror, it's interesting that the gains for the opposition party are substantially less than similar elections during peacetime. The Democratic party will, of course, spin this as a massive change of heart for the American people. I'm just not sure that's at all the case.

Here's a question for you to consider: Every winning Democrat has promised to take America in a "new direction." What have they said that direction would be exactly? Did we vote for a change, or simply for change? I worry that yesterday's election was like picking a random dish from a menu just because you feel like something different; it may taste terrible, or we may even have a deadly allergy to it. I worry even more that Americans seem to have glibly voted for some very vague promises with precious few specifics supporting them, and that this appears to have been the entire Democratic strategy.

Jimmy Barrett just said "Conservatives are miserable, liberals are ecstatic, and moderates are saying 'Gee, I hope I did the right thing.' " Amen, brother.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get Your Butt Out There and Vote.

I don't care who you vote for, just... Okay, I actually do care who you vote for. But please vote, even if it's for the guys I don't like. They should have their opportunity to not know how to wage a war on terrorists, too.

Seriously, this is the most important non-Presidential election in decades. Mke your voice heard at the polls, or I don't want to hear you complaining. Actually, I generally don't want to hear you complaining at all, but at least vote.

Seriously, before you pull the lever (or punch the card, or tap the touch-screen made in Venezuela and owned by Hugo Chavez), look at the stakes. And don't vote for a party; don't vote for someone just because s/he's Republican or Democrat.

Please vote for an American.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Richmond Shakespeare's November Master Class

With Julius Caesar in the can and A Christmas Carol for Two Actors a few weeks off, it's time to get back in the classroom. Come join us for a night of screaming, crying, and vomiting!

November Workshop:
Alba Emoting:
Extreme Emotions
without Psychoanalysis
with Julie Phillips
Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 7:00-9:30 PM
at our offices at Tabernacle Baptist Church
(the corner of Grove and Meadow—enter the back alley and look for the signs)

It's the bane of the actor: characters are so often required to experience emotional extremes that are hard for the actor to turn on—and often much harder to turn off. Alba Emoting, developed by neuroscientist Dr. Susana Bloch, is a technique that uses breathing and body control to help achieve a specific emotional state. Just as importantly, it includes tools for shaking the extreme emotion off, so your angry character doesn't have to come home with you. Alba Emoting is the safest way to approach emotional extremes and clarifies the emotional location the actor is embracing. It's the perfect technique for those who believe acting should be therapeutic, but not require therapy! Age 15+. The cost is a mere $10.00!

Instructor Julie Phillips has worked as an actor in New York, Minneapolis, and North Carolina. Holding a BA from North Central University, she first approached Alba Emoting as a graduate student at VCU, where she currently teaches acting to BFA Performance majors.

Participants must send in or bring a completed Student Registration Form. If you have participated in a previous workshop or class, we will have a registration form on file, and a new one is not required.