The Five- Final Thoughts

Anthony R. Miller checks in one last time.

Hey you guys, so here we are, my final post for Theater Pub. Some posts have been good, some not so much. But let’s not mire ourselves in introductions, I have some final thoughts to share with you, and as a surprise to no one, there are five.

For God’s Sake, Go See TERROR-RAMA 2

Of course I’m starting with one last shot of shameless self-promotion. Promoting this show has been my obsession for weeks, and since we open THIS FRIDAY, why stop now? So here’s the deal, I want to tell you exactly why I think you should see this show, call it my final plea. We have spent the last 2 years preparing this show. After the success of the first Terror-Rama, we knew we wanted to do it again. In part because it was really fun and we were super proud of it, but also because there were things we knew we could do better. So now we’re back, we have two brand new shows, a super cool venue and a team of crazy-talented people that have been working their asses off. And you know what? It’ll all be worth it, because the show is great.

Purity is going to mess you up. Claire Rice has written a freaky-ass play, and it will make your skin crawl. Not to mention, it features two brilliant performances by Adam Niemann and Laura Peterson. As for Sexy Vampire Academy, I’m biased, because I wrote it. But this fantastic cast has done amazing things with it; I have been brought to tears in rehearsal by how funny this play is. You may even find a few poignant moments (maybe).

As I spend my day staring at box office reports, sweating, drinking, and praying, I take comfort in the fact that this show has been blessed by some many happy accidents, whether it was the random conversation that led to hiring Jess Thomas (who has been killing it as SM), or finding out we had unwittingly cast a great props person, a licensed fight choreographer and dance choreographer whom have all added so much to the show. All led by Colin Johnson, my Artistic Soul Mate, my man fifty grand, my brother from another mother, I could not be prouder of his work as a director. So there you go, Terror-Rama 2 is the culmination of some really brilliant people working their asses off. When we first sat down to plan this show, we didn’t want to just put on a good show, we wanted to put on a great show. I think we’ve done that. So go to www.awesometheatre.org and get your tickets for opening weekend. It’ll be a bloody good time.

Like Whatever You Want To Like

So if I have any parting words to my 6 or 7 loyal readers, it is this: Like Things. And unless you like things that are hateful and cruel, feel no shame for liking it. There are people who want to judge you for liking something they don’t, because they are miserable people. (More on them later.) Life is too short, our times are too troubled and empathy is in short supply. So like things, like the shit out of them, squeeze every ounce of happiness from those things and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for liking them. There are no guilty pleasures, if something in this godforsaken world makes you happy, do your thing. Whether it’s super popular or you feel like you are the only one who has heard of it, it is equally special, because it is special to you. Any time you spend worrying about what other people might think of you for liking something is just time you could have spent liking it. So like things, like them pieces, like them like you have the freedom to like them, because you do.

Don’t Define Yourself By The Things You Don’t Like

We’ve all been there, our early 20s, sitting at a coffee shop, judging people into the ground for their taste, feeling a sense of superiority because you have the high-minded taste to dislike something. “Of course I don’t like (insert thing here), I’m not a plebeian.” Here’s the thing, it makes you sound like a dick. It’s OK to have an opinion, it’s OK to dislike something, but when disliking something becomes as much of a part of your personality as the things you do like, you’re defining yourself with negativity. You’re not a smarter person for disliking something, or a better person, there’s just this thing that you don’t care for, that’s all. Maybe it’s something super popular and the fact it’s not your thing makes you feel alienated, so you lash out, you say snooty shit like, “Well, that’s fine for the masses.” Or “I wouldn’t be caught dead seeing that show.” What’s really being said here is, “Everyone else is part of something and I’m not, and it makes me feel left out.” That is an honest, normal way to feel, and I think sometimes we get “snobby” because were too scared to admit we feel left out. Let the things that bring you joy in life define you, not the things that just aren’t your cup of tea. You’re a good person because you are kind, empathetic and generous. Not because you think something sucks, and certainly not because you shame people for liking something you don’t. It is the things you love that make you interesting, not the things you detest.

I Am Full Of Shit

Over the years in this blog, I have made some bold statements, and I’ve also bit my tongue a lot. I try to stay away from “bomb-throwy” articles, despite the fact that they get lots of hits and stir things up. That is because of one simple fact; I am nobody. I am not famous, or crazy successful or seen as an expert in anything. I’ve done OK in my life and I’ve had some great adventures and wonderful experiences. Sure, I’ve learned a few things along the way and I’m to share them, because they worked for me. But if you ever find yourself reading something I said and you think “Oh, who does this guy thinks he is?” I’m nobody, just a dude with a day job, a great daughter, two cats and a wonderful partner. But by no means an expert. I am “that guy” just as often (if not more so) as I am not. So if you disagree with me, that’s fine, because it’s just my opinion, an opinion no more valid than any other. We are all full of shit in our own special way.

So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish

This blog is not always good. For every insightful reflection of why I do theatre, there is a photo essay featuring my cat. For every cool rundown of an event I attended, there is some random list of whatever was on my mind. My favorites? Well, I will always cherish the two stories I co-wrote with Allison Page, whether it was drinking cheap whiskey and watching beefcake wrasslers pick up Allison at Hoodslam, or singing Blink 182 songs while a greasy muscly dude in a G-string dances 4 feet away from us at “Thunder From Down Under.” Those were adventures, a total pain in the ass to write about, but adventures. I’ll always remember my semi-existential crisis at the first TBA awards, which became one of my favorite articles. But I am thankful for the opportunity to write all of them. 5 years ago I left a job I thought would be my future, but it wasn’t. It was a horrible, depressing, and disillusioning experience that made me spend a year questioning whether or not I wanted to do theatre. But it is the Theater Pub world that helped me get up and brush myself off and get back to what I loved. The Olympians Festival, Theater Pub shows and meetings, play readings at Stuart Bousel’s mountain chalet, are so important to where I am in life. Surrounded by people with the same passions I have, people with hustle, and people with ideas. Theater Pub gave me a foundation to stand on, a place to rebuild, and great people to work with. I am so excited to see what everyone goes on to do because I know it’s this crazy thing called Theater Pub that helped make it possible. It’s sad when a band breaks up, but sometimes the solo albums are the best work they ever do. So thank you to Stuart for hiring me (twice) and thank you to all my fellow T-Pub writers.

Tl;dr Go see Terror-Rama, Don’t Be a Dick, and I’ll miss you T-Pub, thank you for everything.

Be Excellent to Each other,

ARM

Anthony R. Miller is a Writer, Producer and Educator, keep up with him at www.awesometheatre.org and on twitter @armiller78.

Advertisements

The Five: Random Thoughts and Big news

Anthony Miller- the call is coming from inside the house!

Hey you guys, long story short, I haven’t left the house in 3 days.

I have been sequestered in my home trying to bang out a first draft of Sexy Vampire Academy, which will one of the plays for Terror-Rama 2. So I really haven’t thought of anything else. So here are five random thoughts from my seclusion.

There’s Gonna be a Terror-Rama 2???

Yes, yes there is. There are some big announcements coming at the beginning of April, but you heard it here first. Terror-Rama 2 is happening, Dates and details will coming soon. But it’s gonna be awesome, once again we will feature 2 brand spanking Horror plays. One, as already mentioned is Sexy Vampire Academy, It will be written by me, and it will aspire to be funny. Think Jawbreaker meets The Lost Boys. The second is called Purity and it will be written by the one and only Claire Rice. I can’t much about because she’s still writing it, in fact both play’s first draft deadline is in 5 days. What I can say is when I talked to Claire about writing for the show I gave her an article about Purity Balls and asked if she could write a play based on it, she said says. It will probably be very creepy. Colin Johnson is back to direct and that’s all I can really say, as I said, there’s so much more to come, let’s shoot for April 2.

Mockingjay Part 1 Was Awesome

Seriously, I watched it earlier, it rocked my world. It is The Hunger GamesThe Empire Strikes Back. If there is one overwhelming positive about the rise of Sci-Fi and Comic Books in popular culture is not only do your favorite stories get put on the big screen, but they use the best actors to tell them. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t just writing the last three days.

Some Things Never Get Old

The way I write is that I start with notes, copious amounts of notes, random ideas and story ideas. Then comes the outline or, treatment. Then, and only then after I have laid everything out, do I start on dialog. And one thing that never gets old, is that first line of dialog, they’re like baby’s first words. The more they talk, the easier it gets to make them talk. Eventually, you’re in their world and you’re a stenographer. That never gets olds either.

Tartuffe Opens This Week at Berkeley Rep

I friggin love Tartuffe. What can I say, Moliere really pumps my nads. And this particular production is starring Steven Epps and Directed by Christopher Bayes. These are the folks from Yale Rep that brought last year’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and two years ago adapted A Doctor in Spite of Himself which was, in fact, one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I cannot wait for this show.

I’m Really Sad About Leonard Nimoy

Seriously, it was like Big Bird dying. Someone that meant so much to me, someone who’s work meant so much. And for many of the reasons I’m sad, I’m also happy. I mean 83 is a good run, he had a big family, and his work made him an American Icon. Besides just being Mr. Spock, he was a photographer; I highly recommend his book The Full Body Project, also check out Our Secret Selves. Check out the video for Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song. What I’m getting at is, this guy had an incredible life, and has left behind an incredible body of work. I’m sad because he was still doing great stuff, I’m sad because he died from smoking related causes and he quite over 20 years ago. So quit smoking, quit now.