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Concert Thoughts (And The Play)...


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The band have what drummer Chris calls “our homework”—the setlists and CDs. We can practice after 1 April, when Doc and his dog get back from vacation. (We don’t need the dog—just Doc—but they’re traveling together.) I’ve been in touch with the lady who’s coordinating the event; they’re raffling off some fancy prizes, too—fishing trips, and the like—and I want to make sure to promote those during the Rap. (I got the name of the other band, too. They’re called “Lannie and the Instigators.” I assume they’re a rock band—but I wonder what music they play? I assume it’s all covers—almost nobody plays original music but us.)

I’d like to have enough information together this week to do the poster. I’m not sure what to use for a graphic (must have a graphic—it’s what makes the posters interesting); I do have on file a Depression-vintage photo of an impromptu band performing at a barn dance that might work. The organizer lady tells me they’re going to have a Money Tree, and they’d like to use my Big Yellow Bucket (with the “Tipping is Not a City in China” sign on it). Maybe at this concert I can get somebody to snap a photo of the band; there aren’t any, and I could use one (or some) for the album, and for future concerts.

I am about as ready for “The Tempest” as I’m going to be; my lines and movements are down (‘twas fairly easy—mine is just a bit part), and now I get to worry about everybody else (which is pointless—I have absolutely no control over anybody else). The actors are all very good, but some of them have a lot of lines to master, and Elizabethan English doesn’t trip that easily off the tongue. I’ve fantasized about directing one of these—I’d enjoy doing a Shakespeare play as Rock Opera—but I would probably drive everyone crazy (including myself). I’d want to know everything was note-perfect long before we ever went on stage, and I’d be doing dress rehearsals every night for probably the two weeks before Opening Night. The cast and crew would hate me.

Photos of the cast are done; they’re a bit dark, but I couldn’t lighten them up too much without the actors’ skin turning orange because of the stage lighting. Only Caliban (the monster) can get away with looking like that; everybody else is (mostly) human. (And for some reason, the photos come out looking better on plain paper rather than photographic paper.)

I’ll miss playing with the Friday Night Group the next three Fridays; there are performances of “The Tempest” those nights. I will still get to play music Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, though. And after April 1, I’ll have practice for the April 24 concert to fit into the schedule, too. Still have the poster and the Rap to do for the concert. Also still to do is the Southern Oregon Songwriters newsletter, for which I’ve received almost none of the material yet, though the deadline is upon us.

And I received a surprise invitation from local historian Jack Graves to join a writers’ group he’s organizing. It’d be Wednesday afternoons, but before music, so I could do both. I know one other person involved, a writer from Bay City. I don’t know who else (if anyone) is going to be part of this, and I’m not sure what Jack has in mind. It does feel like playing with the grownups (both the other guys are quite a bit older than I am). I had originally thought “but I write different from those guys,” but I’m not sure I do—one thing all three of us have in common is we’ve all written the “Fencepost” column for the Tillamook paper.

What I expect to get out of that, I think, is practice writing—and I could use as much of that as I can get. That’s the reason I write for the newspaper (it’s sure not for the little dribbles of cash for my articles and columns): if I want to do good at this, I need to get to the point where whatever I write is perfect the first time, and quick, and generated without agony. I have a way to go.

Joe

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