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June 26, 2020:

THESE KIDS TODAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, allow me a small rant, won’t you?  A small rant is necessary occasionally and this is such an occasion.  It has to do with this upcoming generation of musical theater performers – not all of them, because I work with hugely talented young people who are focused and truly appreciative of any opportunity they’re given to do interesting and good work.  So, we needed one more fellow, as someone flaked on us.  So, one of our gals found another guy who promised he could learn quickly and get his thing done in just a few hours.  He asked me an acting question about the number, I answered, and three hours later, he sent the video, which was fine.  I thanked him for doing it so fast.  Immediately thereafter, I got another e-mail saying he’d known there was a time crunch and so had gotten me the video quickly but now he needed to know about the show and how the video of his performance would be used, and was copying his “manager” so we could converse.  I naturally not only found this beginner’s attitude strange and off-putting, but peculiar because he had, in fact, been told all about our show and me by the gal who contacted him – she even gave him a link to last month’s show.  So, I wrote them back instantly and took the time to tell him about our ten years’ worth of shows, who I am, who the performers are in this upcoming show, and all that stuff.  I concluded with that if there were any issues, I would need to know that immediately as we were starting to assemble the number, which is complicated.  I asked for a response ASAP.  As the evening went by, I got more and more irritated.  At about the ninety-minute mark, with no response, I made the decision to cut this fellow loose.

I wrote another e-mail doing so, basically telling them that I knew the gal had told him about the show and me and had linked him to our last show, so I really didn’t understand where this was coming from or why.  I also said that in twenty-seven years of working with the crème-de-la-crème of musical theater, I never once dealt with an agent or manager, and I listed a few of those names, including Miss Lauren Bacall, Miss Elaine Stritch, Miss Dorothy Loudon, and, of more recent vintage, Miss Kristin Chenoweth – I suggested that if they didn’t know who those people were, they might try this thing called Google.  I also said I don’t play these kinds of games ever, and I said I didn’t know how wise it was at the beginning of one’s career to be anything but grateful to be in a show with talent of the caliber of the talent in this particular show.  I wished him well in his future endeavors and signed off.  If I’d behaved this way at the start of my career, I would have had no career, it’s that simple.  And I did glance at his resume, which, if I’m remembering correctly, had all of four college shows listed.  This gentleman was also part of that singing contest I judge every year and I did indeed judge him last year.  I know the fellow who puts on that contest always tries to instill in the contestants how important connections and contacts are.  I thought he’d be interested to know this story, so I sent it to him.  So, rather than eight ensemble members we’ll have seven and that’s fine.  I think these young people who suffer from entitlement are being fed bad information from somewhere.  There are a zillion talented young folks, a crowded field, so entitlement should never enter the picture. I gotta tell you.  These kids today.  End of small rant.

Yesterday was a bit of a day.  I was up at eight after four-and-a-half hours of sleep, answered e-mails, did stuff on the computer, then went back to bed at ten but didn’t fall asleep until eleven, then was back up at twelve-thirty.  I went to the mail place and picked up a couple of packages, came right home, and ordered the Trousdale sandwich from Paty’s – I guess my DashPass was finally up since there was a delivery charge, so no more DoorDash for me unless there’s a free delivery promotion.  At this point, I have no problem calling in an order and picking it up and it will cost considerably less anyway.  The sandwich arrived about thirty minutes later and was excellent as were the handful of onion rings I got with it.

After that, we mixed the group number track, smoothing everything out, and I’d gotten Robert Yacko’s video (he’s the lead in the number), so we were all set until I got the notice that we had a guy to do the number – you all know how that worked out.  So, I got the seven-person mix to Hartley Powers, who’ll put that number together just as she put the group number together that opened the last show.  That’s a big load off.  I had some telephonic conversations and then sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched, or sort of watched the Bollywood movie, Gumnaam.  It’s really not very good but does include that one wild and endless song and dance number that was featured in the film Ghost World.  Otherwise, it’s a lame rehash of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. The main theme and song of the film is a note for note rip-off of Henry Mancini’s Charade.  Transfer is full frame and lacking, but there are some fun moments here and there and that dance number is something else.

After that, I had a couple of tortillas with cheese for my evening snack, I had more telephonic calls, and I listened to a set of all the Mendelssohn symphonies, overtures, and incidental music, all of which fits on four CDs conducted by Claudo Abbado, certainly not my favorite conductor, but the set is very nicely done with the London Symphony Orchestra, and I found it all delightful in excellent sound.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll probably eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and then at three o’clock we begin our Zoom rehearsals, which to until six and which I’m looking forward to.  Once those are done, I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The weekend will hopefully be relaxing – some work to be done, some things to attend to, some foodstuffs to be eaten, movies to be watched, and music to be listened to, and relaxing to be done.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, probably eat, hopefully pick up some packages, have Zoom rehearsals, 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, two more Kalman operettas – Die Bajadere and Kaiserin Josephine.  I’m looking forward to them.  DVD, not sure what’s next from the big stack.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as I marvel at these kids today.

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