Road Trip! Plus, Tattered Capes is coming…

by | Mar 6, 2019 | Acting, Playwriting, Producing, Theatre Unleashed | 0 comments

About

Gregory Crafts

Gregory Crafts

Creative Multi-Hyphenate

An award-winning multi-hyphenate creative artist, with more than twenty-five years of experience as an actor, playwright, director, designer, and theatrical producer under his belt, Greg graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a Bachelor’s in Theatre Studies in 2003. Soon after, Greg migrated to Los Angeles seeking adventure in the entertainment industry. He currently resides in North Hollywood, CA with his wife, Jenn, and their three cats.

Visiting the Computer History Museum in Mountain View with our docent, Chris! He’s in the red tee shirt with the beard and long hair. 

This past weekend, the cast and crew of Ada and the Engine at Theatre Unleashed took a road trip up to San Jose to visit the Computer History Museum! Originally, Heidi, our director, and Tom, our assistant director (also Heidi’s husband) had approached me about the road trip because they’d heard the museum had a replica of Babbage’s Difference Engine. 

A demonstration of Babbage’s Difference Engine at the Computer History Museum

As we did further research, it turns out that the Engine was no longer there, but they still had a really awesome exhibit on Ada and Babbage and their contributions to modern computing. So, in the spirit of cast bonding, we planned a trip! 

Saturday morning, I rolled up to Heidi and Tom’s house, still bleary-eyed at 11 AM thanks to a late-night rental at studio/stage that ran longer than scheduled, with our stage manager Tanya in tow. Jenn was already there with the rest of the cast and crew. Being the last to arrive, I didn’t have very long to wait before we were comfortably ensconced in the van and on the freeway, NorCal-bound!

The road trip was relatively uneventful. Sometimes we slept. Sometimes we talked. Alex and Jessie ran their lines a few times (like, the entire show – they’re on it, dude).

I mostly kicked back and did some writing, answered a few e-mails, and spent time appreciating the view.

It’s so green right now.

It took about six hours of driving to get to our AirBNB in Cupertino. As it turns out, we were staying just down the street from Apple’s huge new campus. We passed the visitors center on the way to and from dinner. It’s gorgeous – lots of wood, glass, and negative space. A very open, clean, airy feel.  

The Apple Visitors Center. I wasn’t smart enough to grab my own pic while we were driving by, so you get this stock photo. 

Unfortunately, it was already closed by the time we went by, or otherwise I might have asked to be dropped off there on the way back (it was literally just down the street from where we were staying).

Amazingly enough, we managed to find a place where we could all eat that accommodated a group of twelve, including a Vegan and a Ketogenic. That place was Sweetgreen, and they absolutely blew my mind when I tried to pay with a $20 bill, and they said they didn’t accept cash. 

Seriously. Read that again, but slowly. 

I could use my debit card or Apple Pay.

Or Bitcoin, because we’re in Silicon Valley and that kind of shit is normal there. 

But no cash. 

The future is now, I guess.

Mmm… tastes like Blockchain. 

After dinner, we hit Trader Joe’s for snacks and headed back to the house. That night, we made tea and hung out and bonded for a few hours, talking and playing Telestrations. And we laughed for hours.

The phrases “Hooray for the Fart Boat” and “Batman and Donatello Cook Meth” shall forever elicit giggles when whispered within this circle. 

After a long day of travel and a late night the night prior, sleep came quickly. 

And a good thing, too, because the next day…

Gypsies in the silicon palace.

It was museum time!

Heidi and Tom had arranged for a private tour through the exhibits with our own docent. 

Our docent, Chris, happened to be a historian with many personal connections to the exhibits in the museum (early on, he pointed out a computer on display that had been both in outer space and in his car, plus he was full of firsthand anecdotes about encounters with a wide array of technological legends). He is also a fan of professional wrestling (which immediately endeared him to Tanya, our stage manager) and a fellow Emerson alum! Hail Alma Mater. 

Seeing the museum through his eyes proved to be both enlightening and entertaining, as the personal touch he provided was relatable, funny, and chock-full of trivia and fascinating minutiae. It was a pleasure meeting him, Jesse, Andrea, and the rest of the guest services crew that helped to arrange our visit and make it so memorable. 

 

Needless to say, the museum visit was absolutely incredible. I highly recommend the Computer History Museum as a destination if you’re anywhere near Silicon Valley and you’re looking for something to do. 

Once the tour wrapped up, we grabbed some lunch and hit the road! The drive home somehow seemed so much shorter than the drive up. I suppose the conversation was engaging (Heidi took turns asking everyone their favorite movie, and for whatever reason, that subject sparked a lot of debate). On the last leg of the trip, I curled up and took a nap for about an hour, as I couldn’t resist the van’s gentle rocking. I woke up about thirty minutes north of home. We got back home late Sunday night, safe and sound and all in one piece. 

So please allow me one more moment to express my sincere thanks to Heidi and Tom for organizing this trip! You guys are the best. So many great memories. 

Makes me wonder what kind of cast bonding event we’re going to plan for Tattered Capes.

Speaking of…

The ride home.

Tattered Capes

It’s official. Tattered Capes is going to premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year. Theatre Unleashed is producing it, and has already selected Corey Lynn Howe to direct it. Corey as director is a pick that excites me; she’s proven time and again in her direction of previous shows that she has a deep understanding of the nuance of interpersonal relationships, and I trust her to handle this script with the care and love it warrants. 

Auditions will be later this month. 

I’m stoked about this on multiple levels; this is my fourth full-length play to go to the Fringe, and second full-length script to premiere there upon completion. It’s a script I know many of my friends are excited about auditioning for, and I think it’s a worthy follow-up to last year’s Winner of Best in Comedy, A Very DIE HARD Christmas, and a legitimate contender for acclaim in what promises to be a crowded field of excellent work.

Now I just have to finish the latest draft, and everything will be great. 

 

Something Awesome

Fruta at Casa De Fruta.

This week’s something awesome is actually two things (three, if you want to be picky). 

While making our way up and down the 5 to and from the Computer History Museum, I found out that Tom and Heidi actually travel this corridor frequently to visit family in NorCal. As such, they’ve discovered a couple of secrets along the way. In particular, there are two highway rest stops they frequent. 

I know. Rest stops? What the hell’s so special about some gas stations in the middle of BFE nowhere?

Well, my friend, if you don’t know my friends Tom and Heidi, you wouldn’t know about their affinity for the interesting and unique, their penchant for discovering interesting and unique elements in any situation, and their generosity in sharing such secrets with their friends. 

On this trip, I got to benefit firsthand from that generosity. 

About two hours north of Los Angeles, we pulled off the freeway seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Emerging from the van, the first thing we saw was the facade of a trading post, the likes of which befit an old Spaghetti Western. 

This was Bravo Farms in Kettleman City

Bravo Farms in Kettleman City. If you’re cruising up or down the 5, there are many worse places you could stop. Try the BBQ Chicken. 

Upon entering the far end of the building, we found ourselves inside a shop that specialized in vintage tin signs. From there, we walked through a candy shop, an ice cream parlor, a BBQ joint, a bar, and a playground styled like an old western town. 

Most of the gang couldn’t resist the playground (we’re still kids at heart, after all), but I found myself quickly seduced by The Scent of The Sauce, and helped myself to half a BBQ chicken. It was delicious. 

Sated and caffeinated, we hopped back in the van and hit the open road again. 

Two hours later, we pull off the 5 in Gilroy and to a parking lot full of cars, people, and… peacocks. 

HUGE peacocks. 

A Huge Peacock

This was Casa De Fruta, a quaint rest stop a little off the beaten path. It was a large farm stand with fresh produce, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a carousel, a life-sized locomotive on display, and a crap-ton of peacocks wandering about.

And when I say they were wandering about, I mean they were everywhere. Between cars, on the roofs of the buildings, camped out in teh trees. Everywhere. And by the way, I saw a male peacock glide for the first time, and holy crap is it a sight.

We stopped here for about twenty minutes on the way up and the way back, grabbing fresh fruit and chocolate and taking pictures of the wildlife. 

I also discovered my new favorite caffeinated beverage: Peerless Coffee’s Cinnamon Nut Sugar Cookie blend. I drank it black. It smelled like Christmastime and hot chocolate, and it tasted like I had dunked a cookie in the coffee. I wanted to buy a couple pounds of it to take home, but they didn’t sell the grounds or beans. To say I’m gutted by this would be an understatement. 

Anyone know where I can find Peerless Coffee? I can only seem to find wholesale information when I Google it. 

So yeah, those are my three Awesome Things this week: Bravo Farms, Casa De Fruta, and Peerless Coffee’s Cinnamon Nut Sugar Cookie blend

Check all three of them out if you can. 

And visit the Computer History Museum. You’ll be glad you did. 

Onward and upward!

About

Gregory Crafts

Gregory Crafts

Creative Multi-Hyphenate

An award-winning multi-hyphenate creative artist, with more than twenty-five years of experience as an actor, playwright, director, designer, and theatrical producer under his belt, Greg graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a Bachelor’s in Theatre Studies in 2003. Soon after, Greg migrated to Los Angeles seeking adventure in the entertainment industry. He currently resides in North Hollywood, CA with his wife, Jenn, and their three cats.

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