Sunday, July 01, 2007


Well Steve Jobs has done something this week to equal the magic and  wonder of the iPhone and its name is Ratatouille. Wow! What an amazing and delightful film.
Pixar has done it again. It is a truly wonderful and important story ( more on why later),with breathtaking animation of Paris and the French countryside, as well as the usual terrific character animations. The score is truly infectious; a wonderful blend of styles, old movies and Jazz. The story is reminiscent of grand old  MGM musical (but this is not a musical). The film has all the great qualities expected like Toy Story or Monsters Inc yet breaks new ground in several areas. Continuing the development of how to represent the human figure in a cartoon. They have created character and caricature yet maintained the essence of realism.The character animations are truly unique. They have concocted a brilliant blend of styles in representing humans: an ounce of Disney, a heaping cup of Warner Brothers, and a big pinch of JayWard (ask your parents)- yet it is all pure Pixar in the end. 
It is the story that is most important and here is why. This may mean something to all of you more than others. you see the story of this film is about being an artist. It is about what being an artist means, being true to yourself, making sacrifices, creating like crazy and having fun when you do it. It brings home a very important point over and over-" Not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere". 
As theatre artists, we can look at the film and realize that many different types of individuals are present in creating great art, whether it is cooking, film or theatre. In each of these collaborative arts, there are different levels of people all contributing toward the success of the art form. In a restaurants, we have chefs, sous chefs, dishwashers, waiters and even "garbage" boys, in film, grips, mixers, cinematographers, accountants, caterers etc ( read the credits- they all work very hard it's the least you can do). In theatre, we have actors, crew, ushers, techs etc. In all these arts, there are different levels of people with different backgrounds and abilities all working toward a unified goal. When all the parts put forth their best efforts towards a common goal, whatever their ability, we have ensemble. And when we have ensemble, we often achieve a masterpiece or at least a quality product.
See this picture if you can and remember it when you see someone you think is " not as good as YOU think they should be". Think before you criticize and remember that not every one is on the same level but as long as they are contributing as best they can then maybe they need encouragement rather than criticism.
Anyway, see the film and enjoy it. i think it will surprise you.

2006-2007 Season

Well gang, here it is "the summer".  One week out of Calhoun. Scripts for R & J have been copied and will be mailed over the next two weeks. They will not go at once because the office has to conserve postage. So far, some nice graduation parties, and some time to see some films (more on that in the next post) and some continued pain at the dentist-mostly in my wallet. The biggest news will probably surprise no one. Yes, you could have bet on it- I bought an iPhone. So did Sardo, as I'm sure many of you know. It is really amazing. Not perfect yet, but by September I predict major additional features.
Anyway, while setting the phone up, I decided to include some photos from previous seasons. That's why this title of this post.I was looking at the photos and was quite impressed by your work. It at once triggered in my mind the scenes and the moments from shows and how they were executed and I am very proud of what I saw. Folks, you really did a splendid job on all the shows this year... and last year too for that matter. I know that I am a harsh critic when we are in the middle of things, so is every good coach in sports. Theatre requires the same discipline and and a professional edge. If I praised you like a fan you would loose the edge and it would definitely go to your heads. And let's face it, some heads are way too big already. There is enough back patting and friend praising friend  to power a battleship. I try to speak about the show when it closes but sometimes time prevents it. I know I cover things during the dinner but I am never sure if the video and impending season announcement allows you to hear all the comments. 
So,please, remember this: I am always proud of your efforts and the On Tour Company in general. Why else would I put your photos in my iPhone. It is only natural that with the metaphor of family, that people bandy about so much, that I show off your photos like any proud parent would do.