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Everything posted by jfutral

  1. Well, it only took me 30 years, but I finally made it into an issue of Live Design (formerly Lighting Dimensions and Theatre Crafts and now only electronically published). The article isn't strictly about me. It covered several productions of the play _Red_, including the one I lit with scenic designer Lee Maples (also interviewed for the article) and director David Hendrick De Vries at Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit. The article is only available in the app (both iOS and Android) currently, but it is a free download and the article is currently available for free, too, but I don't know how long that will last. Supposedly it will be available on the website in a week. http://livedesignonline.com/business-people-news/eurovisionaries-take-over-live-design-june-issue The writer didn't get my comments exactly correct, even after correcting them, but close enough and who cares? Joe
  2. Not to throw more gas on the fire, but this happened here in Atlanta. Apparently, Satan made gays and transgender: http://www.cbs46.com/story/32263022/church-sign-reading-satan-made-gays-and-transgender-vandalized Joe
  3. Few things are as sad as watching a production of Avenue Q neutered because of actor inhibitions. Joe
  4. Sure. And that's all conceptually true enough. But the saying in theatre is "the play's the thing". If you as an actor have trouble saying the words the playwright has written, to me, that's a problem, even if everyone is willing to accommodate the actor for their discomfort. The problem is the (usually) young actor hasn't worked out the issue yet. If the actor has a problem saying something because they don't think the character would really say those words or as directed, that's a different discussion (if either the director or playwright is interested in the discussion). But if I am called to play a character that expresses profanity and I, personally, have a problem using profanity, saying "Oh, but its the character, not me, really" is not really working out the problem. This is not an out of body experience, those words will be coming out of my mouth, character or not. If that causes an actor problems they need to work it out. They have to be believable, authentic. One can undermine the role, if not the play, if the actor can't believably deliver the line. My point is actually not whether the actor or the character is "saying" the words. My point is, if saying those words causes issues, and as the actor you will be saying those words, work out the issues before taking on such a role. Or maybe as the process for working on the role, but work it out, and not at anyone else's expense except your own (and a good mentor or two). As the lighting designer who sat behind the tech table for 10/12 rehearsals only the have the rehearsal come to a screeching halt because of an actor in such a situation, it is not only disrespectful, it costs money. Joe
  5. Does the author actually think most or even some fraction of those people weren't really looking for pornographic media? Doesn't that mean people actually do recognize pornography? Or were they just reading the articles? Joe
  6. Yeah, I was trying to figure out how it fits into the discussion of pornography as well. Is all sex then pornography? The whole "social pressure" charge actually raises more questions than it answers. And I am hardly a student on DeSade, but from what little I know those are fairly reductionist representations of DeSade's ideas. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. Joe
  7. As someone who works in the performing arts, if you have a problem saying things the play's writer has written for a character you have no business playing that character. Even if the director/playwright/producer is willing to accommodate your issues, you should work those issues out and decide for yourself if you are comfortable saying those things. A character is not saying those words, you are. If you can't be authentic in the role, you disrespect the role, the play, and the audience. Work it out, preferably not at the performance's expense. But work it out all the same. Being an artist of any kind including a performer, is about bringing you to the table, even when performing a character. Joe
  8. Just as any endeavor that seeks out an audience, there are two human parts, right? The work's maker and the viewer. Both bring intent to the table, through the work. IMHO, to a very efficacious extent, the viewer is most important. In his essay "An Experiment on Criticism", C. S. Lewis writes "To one such spectator Tintoretto’s Three Graces may be merely an assistance in prurient imagination; he has used it as pornography. To another, it may be the starting-point for a meditation on Greek myth which, in its own right, is of value. It might conceivably, in its own different way, lead to something as good as the picture itself." On the maker's side (I just can't bring myself to call them "creators") pornography is a lot like propaganda, it is already laden with meaning and intent, and that, usually singular. But that intent can be undermined by the participant, although the participant is usually already given to the maker's intent. Either Egon Schiele or Gustav Klimt (or heck, maybe each) was often referred to as "The Pornographer of Vienna". (I originally heard it as referring to Klimt, but research shows more references to Schiele.) NBooth: While I usually find little with which to disagree in your comments, I do disagree with your ubiquity assessment. Unless your meaning is the _desire_ for pornographic stimulation is as ubiquitous today than in the past, there is a huge amount of material that is free of charge and more anonymously available than ever before, via the internet, which itself is more ubiquitous in terms of both availability and accessibility. I would take issue if someone tried to justify pornography because of ubiquity. And while I am in agreement with your position on people's private lives, at what point when something has a societal effect does it become more than private lives? I don't think pornography itself is quite so difficult to define, or at the very least to understand. I don't think the people who make porn have any doubts or gray areas about what they are making or what the viewer is looking for. What is hard is when to apply the definition societally, as what should communally be considered pornographic. That has been on a spectrum for as long as the cavemen scribbled a penis on the cave walls, I would imagine. So how is the work to ultimately be judged? By the maker's intent or the viewer's? I don't have an answer. Joe
  9. Hey! Welcome and hope you hang around! Glad you stumbled across us in this little corner. Ultimately, whether or not _you_ can or should accept this role is up to you. I mean, if this is something you and your family can handle personally and spiritually, we can't answer that for you. Philosophically and artistically, the kind of questions I ask are things like, what is the context, what is the narrative that it fits within? Does the sensuality make sense, does it further the story (either literally or emotionally), even if it is a more abstract work? Is it situational, a point of contrast, or more something to further define the character? Why does this sexuality exist in this play? Does it go too far? Not far enough? How well has the _director_ (not just the playwright) thought it through? How well will you think it through, as an actor as well as a mother and wife? One of the questions I always bring to a show I light, as I read the script, i always ask myself, why does this play exist? What is the justification to bring it to the stage? Why did the playwright write the work? Usually (the Modern reductionist I often find myself and minimalist I want to be) I can find one line or paragraph or scene in the play that puts the whole play into perspective for me. Maybe that thought process will help you come to your own conclusions about your potential role. The thing about pornography is it is already laden with intent and meaning. It is not part of larger idea, it is only what it is, nothing more. It may be redeemable, but that would take greater super powers than I have. Sexuality does not have to mean or equate to pornography, much less be a bad thing to portray. Just some thoughts, Joe
  10. An article that, to me, says not only is "Why is Modern Art so Bad" a bad question, it is the wrong question. As quoted by IAM: "Christians can recognize even the most seemingly profane of contemporary art as a kind of prayer, a venture on the possibility that someone, and Someone, will visit, observe, and respond with grace. But to hear this prayer, Christians need to recognize their own vulnerability and fragility rather than expecting art to affirm our piety and power." My quote: "I knew my students were tempted to retreat into abstractions like the Good, the True, and the Beautiful when we talked about art. But even apart from the temptation to turn artworks into illustrations of philosophical abstractions, why go all the way to MoMA—or any contemporary gallery? Much easier to use television shows and movies, easily accessible and far more popular. What could we learn, if anything, from these strange artifacts? My career as a scholar, educator, and curator of modern and contemporary art has been animated by the belief that “all things” are made in and through Christ, as the apostle Paul says in Colossians. Is it possible that “all things” includes not only Renaissance altarpieces but also plaster sinks?" Joe
  11. Went to MOMA yesterday to see this. I had no idea he designed stained glass windows. And I had no idea he worked in such large scale with his cutouts. One was easily 20'w x 10 or 12' h. Just stunning. If you don't want to buy any books (just in case), might I suggest a bit of old school library browsing? Hard to beat. Joe
  12. Hey, I think all the JoL's presented so far are pretty darn cool. Not planning on spending $100 on any, but they look awesome. Joe
  13. These days when this topic comes up, I try not to be cynical. I go back to the introduction of a book I have titled _The Story of Art_ by E. H. Gombrich. In his introduction he starts off with: "There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists. Once these were men who took coloured earth and roughed out the forms of a bison on the wall of a cave; today some buy their paints, and design posters for hoardings; they did and do many other things. There is no harm in calling all these things art as long as we keep in mind that such a word may mean very different things in different times and places, and as long as we realize that Art with a capital A has no existence. For Art with a capital A has become something of a bogey and a fetish. You may crush an artist by telling him that what he has just done may be quite good in its own way, but it is not 'Art'. And you may confound anyone enjoying a picture by declaring that what he liked in it was not the Art but something different. Actually I do not think that there are any wrong reasons for liking a statue or a picture. Someone may like a landscape painting because it reminds him of home, or a portrait because it reminds him of a friend. There is nothing wrong with that. All of us, when we see a painting, are bound to be reminded of a hundred-and-one things which influence our likes and dislikes. As long as these memories help us enjoy what we see, we need not worry. It is only when some irrelevant memory makes us prejudiced, when we instinctively turn away from a magnificent picture of an alpine scene because we dislike climbing, that we should search our mind for the reason for the aversion which spoils a pleasure we might otherwise have had. There _are_ wrong reasons for disliking a work of art." I have come to the current thinking that there are two discussion that get mixed that are related, but quite different. Money changes everything. The only artist I can think of that is free to create whatever they want is the artist who is self-funded. I don't mean to say that the artist by necessity has to create strictly commercial work or otherwise be untrue to who they are. But If one is working as an artist, one needs to find a way to put food on the table, a roof over your head, shoes on the feet, etc. That means we, our work, need to be noticed. We have to create something that makes our work rise above the din of everything else out there. Mozart, in a letter to his father, mentioned of one region where he was working that everyone composed quick finales. So he decided to compose a slow introduction to a finale. Novelty is not new. I was watching an interview with Jason Bateman the other day. The interviewer asked him why he accepted a role in the movie they were discussing (I can't remember which, maybe the new one out). He essentially said an actor takes what is offered. Few actors get to choose the projects they want. It is about staying employed. My daughter is in NYC dancing and tutoring math. Dancing is frustrating right now. No one is working regularly except a couple/few companies. Touring is down for just about everyone. It's one thing to be a beautiful, talented dancer. It is another thing to be a talented, beautiful dancer someone is looking for. Joe
  14. I didn't look at all the links yet and hopefully will come back to them. But I read part of the Art Renewal thread and it made me want to say much more. Sadly, from what I could tell, at least two of the (very well educated) voices in that thread are missing. Both, from my weak recollection, provided striking points we can only infer at best. Too bad. Joe
  15. J.A.A. Purves! Thanks for those links. What great discussions. There were a number of people quoted in the threads that I don't see there original comments. Did something happen in the changeover or were those personally deleted? I was trying to find a comment by nardis not too long ago, and all those comments seem missing. Where I am these days is there is poor taste every where. I don't think Christians have any greater propensity to poor or better taste than anyone else of a given culture. And I find myself in disagreement with the idea that this is a Church specific problem that can only be remedied by Church specific solutions (not that the article does this, but it does seem to be a common theme in many communications I've come across). When I read something about the ways the Church alienates artists, I find it easy to remove any reference to Christians or the Church and see the same article as relevant to the culture at large. I am sympathetic to Mako's current Culture Care mission as a counter proposal to the Culture Wars themes. Maybe if we could start recognizing that we are part of a culture already. Because of this change can occur inside and outside the church. We can lead not just by example, but by interaction. We may not be "of the world" but we are still in it. Or not. I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. I have my own failures that indict me and not enough successes to suggest reprieve. Joe
  16. Maybe it depends on on the perspective, but then is this still objective? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/theater/01tharp.html?ref=arts Joe
  17. http://www.christchurchcville.org/sermons-series/whos-afraid-of-modern-art-with-dan-siedell/ I could not have said this better. Joe
  18. Also check out home-barista.com. Pretty good balance of professionals, serious coffee nerds, and DIYers. Many people there who think $500 for an espresso machine is a guarantee of failure (not that this is the case, just a comment on some of the people who frequent through there). Weed out the snobbery and there is usually good advice and conversations. Joe
  19. I really hate these discussions, but I am drawn to them like a horrendous car wreck. But mostly I am curious about your approach here. Anticipation, but based on what? If not consummation, then, fantasy? ribaldry? Really, trying to ween myself away from these discussions. But SoS invariably comes up in my discussions on art and often in terms this thread has taken. Joe
  20. That's exactly how I was seeing the work. Your approach also has a way of affecting the flow of observation. For instance with "Ever Love" you seem most detailed with the dress. I wandered around and followed the dress first and then branched out from there. Her shoulders, chest, calves and ankles also seem to have a higher level of photo-realism than her other body parts (principally around the tattoos, it seems). Then the further away the less detailed, such as the grass in the background vs the grass in the foreground. But that is also based on how it looks on my computer. Wish I could see your work in person. Even in thumbnail size it had an interesting quality. Joe
  21. Interesting where you choose to be sort of hyper-realistic or detailed and where you don't, such as in"Ever Love". Joe
  22. I didn't test burning the actual MP3 CD, but I was able to use iTunes to "Create MP3 version" of both AAC and Purchased songs. Is this something iTunes used to handle automatically when creating an MP3 CD? I assume your CD player is only capable of playing MP3s and not MP4/AAC tracks. Assuming all that is true, then you may need to manually create MP3 versions of those AAC tracks first and then burn to a CD. I like the new version. The only thing I miss is how I used to be able to view a playlist in shuffle order when playing in Shuffle mode. Now I have to use the "Up next" icon, which seems kind of silly, although its new capability (change what's up next) is pretty clever. But the anti-clutter, organized, OCD in me likes the new layout. Joe
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