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November 7, 2018:

THE DAY OFF AND THE WEEK AHEAD

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music and pondering the imponderables, which are, as you might imagine, imponderable.  It was nice to have a day off yesterday, but it was tempered by virtually almost no A Carol Christmas orders, perhaps because no one was thinking about anything yesterday other than the midterm election. So, hopefully there will be an uptick of some sort this day because we seriously need the upticks.  It was also tempered by the fact that once again the pension check did not arrive, six days later, and I think it is now very clear the USPS has lost it due to their ongoing extreme ineptitude.  I did call SAG/AFTRA and was told they couldn’t do anything and to call back on the tenth when they could.  Well, the tenth is Saturday and they don’t work on Saturday, so I cannot call them until the twelfth and by the time they have the check reissued and mailed again, I won’t have it until the fifteenth, half a month late.  That is VERY VERY bad.

I got seven hours of sleep, got up, had some telephonic calls, answered what e-mails there were to answer and decided to go to Gelson’s and get two chicken enchiladas, which I did.  I brought them back and ate them all up – this batch wasn’t too good – and had a bagel with them.  Then I called the mail place and was told there was no pension check there.  So, I just listened to music, did some work on the computer, had more telephonic calls, and then around five I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the first of our DGA screeners, a horror motion picture, a huge box-office and critical success entitled A Quiet Place starring Miss Emily Blunt and Mr. John Krasinsky, both fine.  Plus it features Miss Millicent Simmonds, who should have been nominated for an Oscar last year for Wonderstruck, but in order for that to have happened someone would have actually had to watch the movie – which no one did.  Funnily, in the past six months people have finally begun to watch it and predictably they, surprise of surprises, LOVE it.  I gotta tell you.  Anyway, this film was a sensation this year and I read and heard only great things about it and how amazing and unique it was.  So, imagine my surprise to find that I found it neither amazing nor unique. I mean, the central premise is interesting – that some kind of aliens have decimated the planet and the survivors can only continue to survive by being quiet, as these creatures cannot see, but hear everything and find and stomp into oblivion whoever they hear.  The film is really about the family unit and protecting it at all costs – yeah, we haven’t seen that before, right, sure. The creatures are an amalgam of Alien and several other creatures all rolled into one.  It’s eighty-two minutes sans end credits, so it does move along, but a lot of the scares simply happen because we are “jolted” by a loud and completely unmotivated SOUND, most of which accompany a fake scare and not a creature scare.  In the end, there is really nothing unique about the movie at all and the fact that every critic fell all over themselves about this film and audiences purportedly flocked to it, shows you just how far we’ve sunk in the movie scheme of things.  It’s not a bad film – it just doesn’t make a lot of sense at times, changes the rules of its universe a few too many times, and ends perfunctorily.  And when the creature’s weakness is finally discovered you just sit there and go – really? That’s unique?  The actors are fine, and the in real life deaf Miss Simmonds is wonderful here in a much less rewarding role than Wonderstruck.

After that, I went over to Ralph’s for a sweet treat.  But I was hungrier for more than just a sweet treat, so I saw that the Boar’s Head section had a little package called Sweet Ham Sliders – three little sliders and a total of 210 calories, so I got that.  I also bought some egg and onion matzoh just to have something to nibble on in the house, and then some Haagen-Daaz Swiss Vanilla Almond ice cream for my sweet treat.  I came back home, had another telephonic call, and ate the little slider things, which were surprisingly good, and then a tiny amount of the ice cream.  And continued listening to music, lots and lots of music – including Benjamin Britten’s wonderful score to a ballet called The Prince of the Pagodas – really top-notch and beautifully conducted by Mr. Britten in great 1957 stereo.

Today, I’ll proof the A Carol Christmas packaging so that can go off to the printers, I’ll eat a little something, hopefully pick up an errant and truant pension check – yes, ever hopeful – and then we have our run-through at seven.  I’m going to adjust a couple of blocking things – I’ll do that afterwards.  I like to start on time so we can get the kids out at an early hour – but we invariably have several latecomers.

Tomorrow is the same – a run-through.  Friday I arrive at the theater early to dry tech the show while the lighting designer writes the cues.  And then at six we do a full out performance-level tech with no stops.  We’ll make note of the problems and then adjust them after, and we’ll continue that Saturday morning with our cue-to-cue, after which we’ll do a dress rehearsal and maybe a second one with people marking vocally but just for costumes and lights.  Sunday we’re at the recording studio at ten to track the vocals – hoping we’re done by three or thereabouts – if we get the group stuff done quickly, then the solos and one duet should go fairly quickly I should think.  Then we have a day off, and then it’s straight on until opening night.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, proof, eat, hopefully pick up a check, and have a run-through.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had a day off and ready for the busy week ahead.

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