Hang a Lampshade On It by Gregory Crafts at Short+Sweet Sydney 2018

“Hang a Lampshade On It” by Gregory Crafts at Short+Sweet Sydney 2018

Whew! How has it been almost two months since I last updated this blog? Yikes.

Honestly, I feel lately like I’ve barely had a minute to breath because there’s just been so much going on. Here’s a quick update:

 

Acting

My 7 Casting Breakdown & Submission Sites Los Angeles Actors Should Know blog entry got a lot of attention, which is pretty cool! Would you be interested in seeing me write more stuff like this? Please let me know in the comments! Also, a few suggestions for topics couldn’t hurt.

I’ve been submitting about every other day now and have had a handful of auditions and meetings, and I’ve even booked a couple small things! One, a student film, shoots tomorrow in Tarzana. Looking forward to getting back in front of the camera and remembering what that’s all about.

Designing

I’ll be designing both of Theatre Unleashed‘s Fringe shows at studio/stage this year. I’m also making my design services available at a very reasonable rate to productions that rent a StageCrafts venue. If you’re looking for a lighting designer, check out my lighting design portfolio and drop me a line.

Directing

I’m currently in pre-production for A Very DIE HARD Christmas at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. We’re transferring the show to studio/stage for June, which is exciting. Transferring such a technically demanding production to a new venue also presents its own challenges, such as having to re-build our 150+ cue light plot from scratch and completely redesigning our effects. However, it’s also giving me the opportunity to play with projections this time around, a luxury I haven’t had before. The cast is locked in, and I’m getting my design team fired up and ready to go for this exciting new challenge. Rehearsals start at the end of the month, and tickets go on sale May 1st.

Producing

In addition to directing/designing and producing A Very DIE HARD Christmas, I’m going to be producing the world premiere of a brand new play by Theatre Unleashed Artistic Director Jacob Smith titled Met Again. Like what I did with The Anniversary Issue – taking a short play and expanding it into a full-length, Jake has taken the perennial 25 Plays Per Hour favorite Two Minute Life Story and extrapolated it into a 50-minute one-act. Sean Fitzgerald is stepping up to direct this one, and the cast is going to be dynamite. The show’s not on the Fringe site yet, but it will be soon, as once again, tickets go on sale for this show May 1st. Be ready to laugh and cry, because it’s beautiful. Here’s the basics:

Life goes by fast, and all you’ll remember are the most important parts, especially when it comes to someone you love. But those meaningful relationships are often truly defined by the little moments in between. Met Again, a moving new play by Jacob Smith, takes a look at the entirety of a unique relationship, from beginning to end, and how those big and small moments, connections, talks, fights, celebrations and experiences all come to mean something more. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes completely heartbreaking, Met Again is like watching a collection of home movies on fast forward…with someone whom you share a special kind of love.

Writing

The one thing I want to focus on most is the thing I’ve had the least amount of time for, at least lately. But there’s a lot happening here, too.

First off, my ten-minute play, Hang a Lampshade On It went up at Short+Sweet Sydney in Sydney, AU last month! Pretty cool to have an international premiere on the books for that script. What’s more, Lampshade will be going up in Columbus, OH in May at MadLab Theatre’s Theatre Roulette! They even have a performance on my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Looking forward to getting more pictures and (hopefully) video of each production!

Second, Mike and I just approved a license for Super Sidekick: The Musical to go up at the Devonshire Playhouse in Skokie, IL in August! So, if you’re in Illinois, please go check it out and let me know how they do!

Third, back in January, I hosted a reading of one of my new plays in development, The Anniversary Issue. It went really, really well, and I’ve got a lot of great ideas on where to go from here with the script. However, I’m going to let it lay dormant for a little longer and instead shift my focus back to a script I haven’t touched in far too long… The Young Argonauts. Aiming for a reading of Draft #4 (#5?) this summer.

StageCrafts L.L.C.

Well, the day job (I still can’t believe I get to say that) has been a beast lately. The time leading up to Fringe always is. If you haven’t already, you can see some of the craziness we have going on behind the scenes on our new (mostly) weekly web series, What We Do When We’re Dark.

studio/stage is sold out for this year’s Fringe Festival, but Jenn and I have been working with the city to bring another venue back into service – a little space we’re calling The Hobgoblin Playhouse. We’re currently accepting bookings, and you can check out our video here:

If you live over the hill in the San Fernando Valley, Jenn and I have also recently taken over a space in NoHo, The Belfry Stage. Some of you may remember this as Theatre Unleashed’s old home. Well, while TU is focusing on fundraising this year, our friends at Crown City needed someone to manage and book the venue on their behalf, so they called us. We’re accepting bookings for this charming black box space now through the rest of 2018 and beyond.

We also recently re-did the light grid at studio/stage. What I thought was going to take one night wound up taking more than a week due to a comedy of errors. But it’s done, and it’s gorgeous. It was such a fun misadventure, Jenn chronicled the whole thing in the next episode of WWDWWD. Yay.

Theatre Unleashed

Whew! A lot going on here for a company that’s currently dark. Still waters run deep. Here’s the highlights:

  • We’re currently gearing up for our first major fundraiser of 2018 – The Theatre Unleashed Spring Poker Classic! Our goal is to raise $15,000 that night to fund our first production of 2019, so we’re working hard to solicit prizes and court players. The tournament is May 4th at the Latvian Community Center on Riverside by Dodger Stadium. Buy-in’s only $75, and 100% of all funds raised go to the company.
  • Our Tenth Birthday is April 1st! To celebrate, we’re throwing our tenth annual Birthday Show, Acting Our Age: Terrifically Ten on Sunday, April 8th! I’m writing a new short play in one night for this event (and I might even throw my name in the hat to act as well… if I’m feeling masochistic). This will be quite the exciting one-night event, with cake and prizes, so come on down to The Hobgoblin Playhouse for the party!
  • I’ve been meeting with long-time friends and supporters of the company in order to recruit a new Board of Directors. The meetings have been going very well, and I expect we’ll be able to announce our new Board at the Birthday show!
  • As I mentioned above, we’re already in pre-production for our two Fringe offerings this year. We’re also mounting another 24-Hour Show at Fringe this year. No title for this one yet, but it will be at The Hobgoblin.
  • Finally, I’m working hard behind the scenes right now to get the company’s new website up and running as a birthday present for the company. Can’t wait. You may see a blog from me on here in the next week or so, extolling the virtues of Toolset, the relational database app I’m using to build the new site.
  • Oh, and one more thing: our 2019 season is completely planned, and we’re finalizing the rights to the fall production as I write this. Season Eleven will represent a rebirth for our company. We’ll be back, better than ever.

Yeesh. That’s a lot. No wonder I’m feeling so overwhelmed lately.

Wait, there’s more?

I suppose there’s more.

FUN STUFF

(because I’m not *always* working, despite popular belief):

  • I’m training for this year’s Spartan Sprint at Dodger Stadium
  • Been playing some Overwatch recently, and I’m really getting into the whole eSports thing by rooting for the L.A. Valiant! #WingsOut!
  • Got my professional badge for WonderCon in the mail today. Looking forward to enjoying time geeking out down in Anaheim next weekend!
  • Jenn and I are hooked on MoviePass. We’ve been using it to sneak down for afternoon date days, walking down to the local Laemmle. We love it.
  • I’ve reconnected with my geek roots with a D&D group that meets Thursday mornings on Roll20. I’m lucky to know enough gamers with irregular work schedules to assemble a regular table. Nothing like throwing dice and killing monsters over my first cup of coffee once a week.
  • Been working hard to keep up with my show count for the Ovation Awards, seeing six shows (Oh Freedom! The Story of the Underground Railroad, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Freud’s Last Session, The Chinese Wall, Freud’s Last Session, and A Delicate Ship) in the last two months in order to try and get my 15 in before Fringe takes over my life. Catching Year of the Rooster at Theatre of NOTE this weekend, which will put me at 13. Almost there!
  • Took a quick trip up to San Francisco last weekend to see the other thespian in the Crafts family, my cousin Natalie, in The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza at the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. Natalie took on a bunch of different roles throughout the show, including carrying the scene retelling the Trojan War as Achilles. Nice work, darlin’! We’ll have to get you down to L.A. to play on Theatre Unleashed‘s stage with us soon.

Man, I’m getting tired just reading all of this.

Oh jeez. One more thing – and this is something that really makes me happy.

I’ve been working with my alma mater, Emerson College, as a career advisor for seniors doing the Los Angeles program this year. I’ve been meeting with my students, both in groups and individually, throughout the semester, and so far it’s been amazing. I’m having such a wonderful experience talking with everyone about life in L.A. and how I navigated life immediately after college. Everyone I’ve talked to is eager, driven, and focused – displaying exactly the kind of industry professionalism I’ve come to expect from Emerson grads – and a little nervous, too. Pretty sure I can help assuage their concerns by letting them know that those of us in our thirties don’t know what the hell we’re doing, either.

I’m kidding, of course.

Mostly.

Anyhow, I meet with my advisory group again this Friday, and tomorrow night I’m on a panel at Brad Lemack’s Business of Acting class. Hopefully, they’ll all find some nugget of information from my experiences that will benefit them in the long run.

Alright, that’s (way more than) enough for now. I should be back on track with the regular posts starting next week. But if I’m not, I’m sure it’ll be because something interesting is going on. 🙂