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Sunday, October 31, 2004

"Mockingbird Review"

This past Thursday, our stage production of "To Kill A Mockingbird" was reviewed and featured in the Waukesha Freeman, one of the local Milwaukee area newspapers. For those interested, here's the link:

"Sunset effectively portrays literary classic"


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"Half-Way to Eighteen"

Eleven down; Seven to go.

Yep, as of this evening, we've reached the midway point for our theatrical run of "To Kill A Mockingbird". We'll have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off, and then we're back for our third weekend of performances on Thursday. By the end of next week (our final week) we'll have logged a total of eighteen performances. Not bed, eh? Here's hoping for an exciting final run!

Have a blessed new week, and until next time,

Your happily blogging busy actor friend,

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Saturday, October 30, 2004

"Seven Days in October"

Wow, what a long week it's been. Long and rather busy.

Last Sunday we had our first Sunday of performances for "To Kill A Mockingbird", one at 2pm, and the second at 7pm. Both went well, and we had excellent audience turnout. An elderly couple -- volunteers at the theatre for years -- even invited the cast over to their house between shows and provided a wonderful meal. This just further proves my belief that -- for a community theatre -- Sunset Playhouse continues is the best of it's kind here in Milwaukee.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays were off-days from performances and/or rehearsals, which was a welcome change. I've been literally living at the theatre most nights for the past few weeks. Having three nights off to myself has been great. Although, I actually did have friends over during that break, so they weren't really days to myself. But, spending time with friends you care about is a blessing in and of itself, so it's all good. :P

Thursday was back to business with another evening performance, which went well. Friday held yet another excellent show. Both nights provided near sell-out audiences. And then today (Saturday) gave us two more back to back performances -- and once again the star treatment as dinner was provided between both shows.

So, it's been a busy seven days -- most of it spent at work during the day, and delighting audiences at night. Toss in about eight hours of sleep here and there, just enough time for various meals, and you've got yet another week in the life of an actor. And what fun it's been! I wouldn't have it any other way... (well, ok, maybe it would be nice to get paid for this show, but hey, you can't have everything!).

Have a blessed new week all. More from me as I can get it written. :)

Your happily blogging, busy actor friend,

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"Bye-Bye Bambino!"

Earlier this evening, the Boston Red Sox made history with an improbable four-game sweep of the World Series -- their first title in 86 years. It only took eight decades, but the "Curse of the Bambino" has finally come to an end.

"The Curse Reversed"


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Saturday, October 23, 2004

"Staged Double-Header"

Two theatre performances back to back can actually be rather exhausting, especially in a show with this kind of intensity. Today, our first performance opened at 5pm and concluded around 7:30pm. Half an hour later we opened our second performance. Each show runs between two and two and a half hours long. That's a long show.

As it turned out, though, we had just enough time between the two shows for a wonderful lasagne meal prepared for us by the stage manager. For a cast of thirty-two, that's a lot of lasagne, but it was much appreciated. I usually prefer not to eat a large meal before a performance, but considering my growling stomach during the intense court scene of the first, I decided to make an exception. And, in a way, it actually proved to be just what the doctor ordered. Overall, our second show ended up being the better of the two. Go figure. :P

By 10:30pm our evening of performances had come to a close and I took off to catch a bus home. Needless-to-say however, now that I'm back home again, the stiff muscles and need for sleep have finally caught up with me. So I guess I won't be staying up late to catch up on things. Ah, well, such is life in the theatre. :P

Tomorrow is yet another staged "double-header", and a Sunday at that. Traditionally, Sundays are usually good theatre days, so, I suppose I should catch a restful night of sleep. The more the better, right? Besides, I've gotta keep that energy level up... Playing a racist unemployed Southern farmer during the Great Depression in 1935 Alabama can take a lot out of you. :P

Have a blessed Sunday all, enjoy the autumn weather, and until the morrow,

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Friday, October 22, 2004

"Opening Night: To Kill a Mockingbird"

I think I can honestly say that Opening Night went well. Very well in fact. We had a great show, a receptive crowd, and a sufficient level of energy to go around. And, not to mention an enjoyable opening night reception afterward. All-in-all, it was just the kind of show to open a four week run. Here's hoping the next seventeen performances go this well! :P

If you're still interested in seeing the show, I did come across the online press release the other day. I've included the link below for your convenience.

Sunset Playhouse: "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Have a blessed day all, and maybe I'll see some of you at the show!

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

"No Joy in the Big Apple"

In a historical baseball playoff series, the best team that money can buy loses four games in a row to suffer a humiliating ALCS defeat. Unfortunately, the only words that come to mind, are those of a popular character on the television series, "The Simpsons". As the bully kid would say, "Ha, Ha!"

Yes, when the New York Yankees lose, Jon Baas is happy. Maybe I will have to watch the Baseball World Series this year for a change!

"Red Sox seek to reverse the curse"


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"Google Mirror"

If you haven't seen this Google mirror site, it's worth a look. Enjoy!


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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

"Parking a Car"

Parking: Battle of the Sexes.
Try parking a car using the arrow keys on your keyboard.


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Sunday, October 17, 2004

"Boston Legal"

"Boston Legal". Good show. Witty. Dramatic. And with an excellent cast. If you enjoy lawyer dramas, this one might be a series to check out.

And yes, I'll admit, I actually do enjoy William Shatner's character -- Denny Crane -- even if he is still a bit type-cast. :)


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"The Countdown Begins..."

Well, it's official, later this week, "To Kill A Mockingbird" officially opens for the first of it's twenty (yes, 20!) performances over the next four weekends. Today was the final full tech rehearsal. Tomarrow is our first full dress rehearsal. The show previews on Thursday, and opens on Friday.

Now that we're onstage, things are getting really enjoyable. The set exists, although some of the details remain to be finished, and it's already dwarfing the stage. And let me tell you, compared to the stage, these are some sizable and very well-built set pieces. I have to give it to the designer, he really knows his stuff.

You'd think, for a "community theatre", they'd scrimp and scrounge around to "make-do" with hand-me-down props, actor-provided costumes, and very simplistic and inexpensive set peices. Heh. Not so with Sunset! Nope, the entire facility, consisting of two theatre spaces, plenty of "warehouse" rooms of props/costumes/etc, set shop, multiple rehearsal halls, lobby space, offices, and much more is a very professional facililty dedicated solely to theatre. Volunteers -- some who've been around for years -- pull shows together that could rivel any of the theatres in the city. The artistic staff are educated professionals in their fields, actors are treated with surprisingly high regard, and with twenty shows for this production alone, obviously drawing audiences is nowhere near a problem.

Honestly, I feel honored to be part of the Sunset community again, and contributing my talents towards entertaining Milwaukee theatre-goers. To see a community theatre pull off this level of theatre is impressive. My involvement with this show has hooked me; I like this facility. I'll be auditioning and hopefully acting here again many times. This show is proving to be a wonderful stepping stone into the Milwaukee theatre scene, and hopefully one that will lead me to even more enjoyable acting experiences in the months to come. We shall see. For now, I'm just having a blast!

Hey, you know, if you have nothing better to do, why not come out to Elm Grove sometime over the next four weekends and take in a show? Yours truely may not have a lead role, but we've got a good show in the works, a great cast, and an award-winning story to tell. You can't get much better than that.

If you're interested, take a peek at the Sunset Playhouse website sometime, and maybe I'll see you at the show!

Have a blessed week all, and until later,

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Saturday, October 16, 2004

"The Southern Word Homepage"

In honor of my current stage show -- in which Southern dialects are used -- here's an index, from A to Z, of southern words.

Some humorous examples:

Armageddon (phrase). Reaching a certain state.
Usage: Armageddon sick of all them comet movies.
Rice (noun). A contest of speed.
Usage: Y'all going out to Talledega to see the rice?
Kumpny (noun). A group of invited guests.
Usage: Put yo overalls on, Bubba ... kumpny's comin!
Vitamin (verb). What you do to guests.
Usage: Well, don jus stand there ... vitamin!
Ahma (contraction).
Usage: Ahma gonna sit rat cheer til foe the safnoon.


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Thursday, October 14, 2004

"Thursday: Quote of the Day"

"Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn’t we?"
-Rose Kennedy

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"Wednesday: Quote of the Day"

"I don't sing because I am happy; I'm happy because I sing."
-William James

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"True Christian Love"

What is true Christian love?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres... Love never fails."

- I Corinthians 13:4-8 (Bible)
This is true love.

It is also my favorite Bible passage, and something I try to apply to my daily life. Lately, however, I've been looking at this passage in more detail. Right now, my heart and mind are very curious over the nature of a certain friendship that I have. Is it true Christian love, or merely worldly "puppy love" and something that will pass?

For quite some time, I've had a fellow artist friend whom I've thought of quite highly -- both for her skills, and her unique personality. She and I share a lot in common, sometimes moreso than other friends that I know. We get along well, share the same faith, and have no shortage of things to talk about. Lately, however, as life would have it, we tend to see each other much more often.

One thing confuses me in all this, however. My foremost desire is not to enter into a dating relationship with her, yet I often long for nothing more than her company and insight into faith and life. I look forward to our frequent visits, our chats, and our time spent together. I've even been finding myself going out of my way (often without thinking) to do simple things that will make her happy, bring a smile to her face, or perhaps even surprise her. It seems natural to me. And I don't want anything in return. What confuses me most, however, is that, though I've commented about this to some degree with previous friendships and have found them all -- in time -- to be merely a superficial romance, this time I feel very strongly about it.

So, I am once again drawn back to the above Bible passage, and I find myself wondering... am I finding myself in a position where a true Christian love has stronger meaning, or am I just being foolish as I have been at times in the past?

Perhaps my answer remains clear, though, even if it isn't the concrete answer I sometimes wish for. Prayer. Prayer and further study of God's Word, and His example of Christian life and unconditional love. He is, afterall, the ultimate example of both, and while I know and believe that, I still find myself confused and uncertain.

No matter how strong or intelligent we as human beings may think we are, it's amusing to know that something as simple as love can confuse and topple that strength in each and every one of us. Only with prayer and Christian reflection do we find the source from which to rebuild that strength. And, in the process, we learn humility and unselfishness.

True Christian love can be a very powerful lesson.


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Sunday, October 10, 2004

"New Home Church"

My pastor at my former home church in Minneapolis, MN will be happy. I have officially transferred my membership to a new parrish here in Milwaukee. I am now a congregational member of St. Marcus Lutheran Church.


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Thursday, October 07, 2004

"Wednesday: Midweek Musings"

I don't know why, but yesterday ended on a tiring note. As a result, I actually went to bed early, and that doesn't happen very often.

In the morning, I had gone into work early to make up for some time lost earlier in the week. Throughout the afternoon, though, I was kept pretty busy with projects -- something I certainly appreciate -- and by 4pm I was on my way home again, only to head out by bus to rehearsal less than two hours later.

Unfortunately, however, rehearsal actually ended up being more of a wasted four hours than anything else. I had to be there, since the section of the play that was being reviewed saw me involved with a simple stage cross, two short lines, and a mob scene. But as a result, I pretty much sat around for those four hours waiting for the mob scene -- which was at the very end of that section of the play. Not all that exciting I'll grant you. I probably could have stayed home and done something more productive, but, alas, such is life in the theatre sometimes.

As it turned out too, the director kept us all longer than scheduled, and had I not run a quarter of a mile to the bus stop in the dark of night (no streetlights in that part of town), I would have missed my ride home. Gasping to catch my breath while sitting on the bus probably presented an entertaining performance for those around me. But, then again, I am more than happy to entertain. :P

The only downside about the day, though, was missing Diana (my roomate's sister). She works late at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, and on such nights she often stays at our apartment overnight to avoid returning home alone. (Her bus goes towards downtown and through "the ghetto" of Milwaukee.). Since her coffee shop is on my way home from rehearsal, I usually swing by, and if she's still there at 10 pm, escort her to my apartment. We get along very well, and since we seem to have a lot in common, there is usually always something to talk or joke about. As a result, meeting up with her is usually a highlight of my day. :)

Unfortunately, yesterday she had gotten out off of work early, and had already arrived at my apartment by the time I did. Scott (roomate) was preparing to drive her home. I still got a hug from her, but my hopes of chatting for a while didn't come to fruition. Scott took her home, I grabbed a late dinner (I was very hungry), and feeling unusually tired, went to bed by midnight.

Now, eight hours later, I've awoken to a bright sunny Thursday morning to catch up here on my blog -- which unfortunately, has again fallen by the wayside due to long days capped by often tiring rehearsals. Sadly this is becoming a depressing trend it seems. But I guess I can blame it on rehearsal. Such is life in the theatre sometimes.

But, now that I'm all caught up again, it's time for me to set aside the blog, and prepare to head off to work. But don't worry, I've written myself a note: "WRITE IN WEBLOG!". I'll be sure to see you all again later this evening -- after an emotional staged court scene. ...[chuckle].

Have a blessed Thursday, and until then,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Saturday, October 02, 2004

"Short and Sweet"

Today I have been shorn. Nice and short... and apparently much more pleasing to the eye! Heh. Gotta love good haircuts. :)

Have a blessed weekend all!


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Friday, October 01, 2004

"Washington Expos"

The news is official. In Major League Baseball, the Montreal Expos are now the Washington Expos. In 2005 there will once again be baseball in Washington DC.

"Baseball returns to Washington; Expos relocated to D.C."

"COLUMN: Major League Baseball Strikes Out in Montreal"

"Baseball Confirms Expos' Move"


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Jon Baas

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