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June 5, 2020:

THE GOOD ONE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we did end up doing the first of our Facebook and YouTube Live tests last night.  I’d already decided we’d start them tonight, but at about five o’clock I saw that the delightful Billy Stritch had gone live, playing the piano, and how happy that made folks who were viewing, so I just called Hartley and said let’s do it.  Originally, we were going to start at six PST but that was too close so we pushed to seven o’clock so I could make a post about it, not that anyone saw it thanks to Facebook’s algorithms and the fact that Facebook and many of the people on it only seem to want negative news.  It’s a curious phenomenon, and not exclusive to what’s going on right now – it’s been that way for the entirety of the forgotten pandemic and on it goes.  Everyone needs a little respite from it, just music to soothe the soul for a little while – I know I do because as I keep saying, music is a healing art.  Robert Yacko made a post about Sunday’s show and he said it beautifully: “Knowing how music heals and unites, we are going to do our planned Kritzerland show this Sunday on Facebook Live and YouTube Live at 5PM on the left coast, 8PM right coast. Join us for a little while to remember how to breathe and laugh and smile and be uplifted. Our guest stars are Brent Barrett and Christiane Noll. Plus, our own Kerry O’Malley is also one of the co-stars of TNT’s current hit series Snowpiercer, so you can see her shine here and there on the very same night! Links and gentle reminders to come. Stay safe and healthy, while keeping the love, support and activism flowing for the change we all need.”  So, at seven we went live, I yakked for a couple of minutes, then sang a song called Lady at the Piano after telling the story of why I wrote it.  I haven’t sung it in over thirty years, but it remains a favorite song of mine.  I thought about putting it in the show, but we already pretty full, so this was a way of doing it.  We had about ten viewers when it was live, but more came after and I shared it on my page, too.  I’ll be able to give more warning for the next two.  The comments were lovely, so that made me happy.

Yesterday was a bad food day, preceded by a three hours of sleep day, so I was pretty out of it most of the day.  Still, there was some Kritzerland show work to be done, and I began casting the July show and so far that’s working out really well, actually.  I picked up a couple of packages, ordered from Jersey Mike’s for the last time – the food is too erratic there.  I had my usual regular Eyetalian and the mini turkey and provolone.  Sometimes it’s just great, but last time it wasn’t good (a few days ago) and this time it wasn’t even as mediocre as last time.  What I really wanted was Mel’s Diner but it’s one of the only restaurants where the DoorDash Pass doesn’t work, and I was not about to spend an extra twelve bucks to get food from there.  What I may do is call up and order and then go pick it up.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if they open for dining in soon.  I’m trying to find a list of restaurants that HAVE opened for dining in because I want to go support them.

After eating that disappointing food, I did some work on the computer, had some telephonic calls, made the decision to do the first live test, and then I sat on the couch like so much tired fish.

Last night, I watched the other two low-budged Dr. Mabuse movies.  They’re horribly dubbed and pretty bad, but they’d probably play better in their original ratio in their original language and in decent transfers, but I doubt those will ever show up.  I did doze off for about forty minutes, so that was good.

I then watched a video of my 1985 play, The Good One.  It was the first straight play I’d written, and I felt at the time that it was a huge step forward in terms of my comedy writing.  The plot was good, the three-act structure – three acts, each comprised of three scenes was clever – and it was loaded with a lot of one-liners.  I’d been okay before that, but I felt that with this play that it really coalesced into a more unified whole.  We got mostly excellent reviews and we had good crowds for our six-week run.  And we had a GREAT cast.  Now, I hadn’t watched this in over two decades.  And it was an eye-opener for me, frankly.  I played the lead (I didn’t direct it), Rick Waln played my best friend, and the three ladies were Debbie Zipp, Gail Edwards, and Penny Peyser, all great.  I was not so great; I can tell you that.  I’m perfectly fine, but had I had a really good director (which we didn’t) he could have been tougher on me.  I’m working too hard at the one-liners; I’m being repetitive with stuff I’d done prior to this.  I have my moments where I do what I do and do it well, but boy did I not care for what I was seeing for a lot of it, and I really blow some truly funny lines.  The writing in the first act is pretty good, but I didn’t serve it well as an actor and some of the writing simply doesn’t land – it read better than it played out loud.

Then comes act two – and the writing in that act is really sharp and focused and all the jokes work perfectly.  It helps to have Gail Edwards opposite me – she really brought out my strengths, comedically.  The show is about a guy who’s having trouble recovering from a bad break-up, so he takes ads in the personals and lies about himself in the first two.  In act two, he says he likes adventures, is into everything sexually, and is looking for excitement.  A gal named Tura answers the ad and that character is one of the best I’ve ever written, and Gail was absolutely brilliant – it’s a genius performance and I knew it when she came in to read for it, dressed in leather and chains.  I laughed out loud at her throughout.  Each act opens with a scene with the two friends.  The second scene is the girl coming over and their meeting, and the third scene is post wherever they went for their date.  The audience went nuts for this act and if act one had been up to that I would have been happier.  I’d probably do a lot of act one revising.  Act three played reasonably well, too, and I was okay in that act, but I was just seeing all my flaws this time around.  But when it’s funny, it’s FUNNY.  The act two scenes are literally one huge laugh after another.  And there’s some incredible physical comedy in it, too, including a stunt I did that I must have been insane to do.  The set has a living room – couch, coffee table, piano, kitchenette, etc. and there’s a second level loft bedroom.  At one point, we’re doing all this funny physical stuff where she’s trying to get me to be sexual with her and at one point she literally throws me on the bed, I bounce off the bed, hit the ground, and bounce right off the loft into the living room, landing on the couch.  I never missed, it took me about two hours to figure out how to land so that I wouldn’t accidentally bounce off the sofa and kill myself on the coffee table – easy trick, just looping my arm on the back of the couch the minute I land.  I reran it and watched it several times – it’s so dangerous, but it’s funny.  Anyway, it was really interesting to see.

I also watched the first ten minutes of The Green Slime, which I’ll finish up this evening.  After that, I listened to a little music, then had a long telephonic conversation, which is why these here notes are going up late.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, then it’s Kritzerland show stuff, casting, choosing songs, eating, hopefully picking up some packages, and then we’ll do our second Kritzerland and YouTube Live test.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye finally comes and it will be so nice to have a really clean house again.  I’ll probably do stuff in the garage – I need to find a few things that I’m not even sure are there, but that will take an hour or two – if they’re not there, then I have to go to the warehouse and start looking through boxes. We’ll do our third test that night.  Then we do our show on Sunday at five PST and eight EST.  I can tell you that not only do we have our incredible cast, but there are a couple of surprises, too, that no one knows about.  Then next week we’ll set all the stuff for the July Kritzerland.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do Kritzerland show stuff – casting, choosing songs – I’ll eat, I’ll hopefully pick up packages, do our second live test and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, a classical choral piece by Franz Waxman.  DVD, The Green Slime.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, fascinated by my reaction to seeing The Good One some twenty-something years later.  Today I’d call it The Pretty Good One.

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