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April 26th, 2005

Dog days

Ever have one'a those days where every little thing goes wrong and by the end of the day you just want to find the nearest rock to crawl under and go fetal? I had one yesterday - everything from receiving a terrible rewrite on one of my scripts to screeching neighbors in a domestic dispute at 1 a.m. to an e-mail in which I made a very stupid and insulting joke accidentally being forwarded to the subject of said stupid joke. My consolations: 1) My agent called with a little tidbit of news on my old script Halleve, a script I really like; 2) nobody died; and 3) it's still not the worst day I've ever had.

That distinction would probably go to opening day of my big science fiction play Trashers, a few years back. I used to do a lot of small theater, partly because it was a great way to learn how to direct actors, and partly because I got to see my work go before the public with the proper words in their proper places to convey the proper intention. I did theater for about five years...until Trashers. Trashers was my magnum opus - a big science fiction comedy that I loved and really thought was special. I held off putting it up for a few years until I got a cast I liked and an offer that sounded good. Well, big surprise: It wasn't good. In fact it was nightmare: The producer (who was also the set designer - don'tcha love small theater?) did whatever he could to sabotage the production. My set was a disaster, some key cast members missed too many rehearsals and had no idea what they were doing opening night, and I got the worst review of my life in the L.A. Times for it (I mean, really the worst, as in the critic - who'd raved some of my earlier work - saying it was the worst small theater production he'd ever seen). It was a miserable experience and made me swear never to do theater again (and I won't). Someday I may do something else with Trashers (I still love the story and characters), but right now it's still too painful.

So whatever little crap went down yesterday looks pretty good compared to that, y'know?

MOVIE: Casshern - hoping to retreat into a good movie instead of a fetal position, I put this on and was only half-disappointed. Kind of the Japanese version of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, this gorgeous science fiction film started with a story that lived up to the visuals, using a mix of live action actors and CGI sets to tell a story of genetically-altered humans who lead a war against their human makers. Sadly the second hour bogged down in one feel-good-New-Agey monologue after another, and pretty much lost me. Still, well worth a look for the lovely rendering of the retro-cyberpunk future and the glowing, burnished images.