Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Always Off Book Turns 4!

That's right loyal blog readers. Four years ago this very evening I started this, my much beloved theatre/acting blog. It all started with this entry.

For those who have been reading since the beginning, I thank you for staying with me. It has changed a bit here and there over the years, but remains important to me, and hopefully entertaining and informative to all of you. Much thanks.

As of now, there have been 403 posts. A few hundreds comments here and there. And by far the most popular entry, in terms of comments received is one of my first ever from four years ago...A Kiss is Still a Kiss. People still leave comments on that one. How proud I am of that. Only a handful of audio posts, which I really enjoyed, but which Blogger discontinued. I have been looking for a workable substitute ever since.

Since the blog started I have been in ten productions. (Counting staged dramatic readings.) I was in Miracle on 34th Street when I launched it, and was only this summer in Romeo and Juliet. Depending on how you choose to define ensemble work, I have portrayed 15 different characters of various sizes in that time. Performed for four different companies under six different directors in six different venues during that time. I auditioned for four shows that I did not get into. (In one incident, I was initially denied a part, but offered one as a replacement for someone who had quit. I did not take it.) I went to one audition, but had to pull out before hearing anything due to a sudden scheduling change. I quit one show after a single rehearsal that I should not have agreed to be in in the first place. (I accepted the role out of peer pressure. Rare for me.) Quick estimates based on venue and averages tells me that I have performed for about 3,000 audience members in that span of time. I won't even begin to guess how many lines. The biggest role was probably Geoff from the Lion in Winter, though as I said I have not counted lines.

I wore the exact same pair of black Oxfords in EVERY single one of those productions.

Probably some other fun facts in there somewhere that I left out. If you are curious about some other trivia pertaining to my acting since the start of this blog go ahead and ask me. I will try to figure it out.

I am also looking into a few style changes here at the blog. Different colors, and a few other things. But that will take me a while, so don't hold you breath just yet. But I am hoping to make it more efficient, and possibly more eye-catching.

So much has changed in my life over that time, and so much has changed in theatre, both locally, and within my heart. But some things never change, my friends, and I want to end this anniversary post with a theatre quotation that I first encountered 6 years ago, and one that I have posted here on the blog before, in the first few weeks of its existence. Like no other quotation that I have yet come across, this one expresses my unchanged deeper sentiments about acting for the stage. Read it below. And thanks for all the readership! Here's to more years of Always Off Book.

And now the timeless quotation I mentioned.

"There is no one kind of theatre, and no one solution to all its problems. That platitude needs to be repeated. The theatre exists by compromise and feeds on contradiction. It exists to explain life and to deny it, to decorate it and to strip it bare. Man goes to the play to understand himself, God, or his neighbors, but he also goes to pass the time. He goes for uplift and amusement, a bit of fun and a moment of catharsis. The theatre is a weapon, a magic, a science; a sedative, an aphrodisiac, a communion service; a holiday and an assize, a dress rehearsal of the here and now and a dream in action. It taxes all senses, holds all worlds in one. It is the most conservative and the most ephemeral, the most opaque and the most transparent, the strongest and the weakest of arts. It is everything and nothing, all or none of these things. The theatre is what you make it..." --Richard Findlater

1 comment:

civilwarcannon said...

Congrats on four years! And if you figure out the blog design/HTML stuff let me know.