Monday, May 4, 2009

Turning a corner.

Last week was a good week, on the whole. I scored a major public relations coup for my theatre, by pitching a story to an anchorwoman for one of the TV stations (the local ABC affiliate) to cover the planned move to our new performance space this coming fall. There was a local event called "TheatreROCS," which brought together most of the performing arts organizations in Rochester together for an evening of presenting the public a smattering of what they have to offer. It was also a way of bringing awareness to the public of smaller performing arts organizations that don't always get the exposure that the larger organizations (such as my theatre) do.

This anchorwoman is well known in the area, and is also a big theatre-goer herself. She emceed the TheatreROCS event, and I got the idea to approach her and pitch the possibility of covering our move to our planned move. We met for breakfast about a week later, and she LOVED the idea. It's not going to be a one-shot deal either, but she is going to cover it as an ongoing event, from the initial start of the move, right up to opening night this coming September. our artistic director and board president were thrilled, as this is something that doesn't happen all that often here; television coverage of the arts.

Don't get me started on why, as that is a whole other issue.

The same day that I bagged the TV coverage, I did a staged reading for a film script with a director from RIT that I have worked with in the past, a grad student by the name of Neal Dhand. Very talented guy, I acted in 4 of his short films already, and this was a presentation of his thesis film, a full-length feature that is still in development. To my shock, he cast me in the lead. I was surprised and humbled, and even more so when I saw that I was acting with some of the A-list people here in town, several of whom I know. Now, yes, it is just a reading, not the actual shoot. It was a presentation for Neal's professors, a sort of thesis defense, with a Q and A afterwards. It went off very, very well, and Neal's comment to me was "You showed me nuances in this character I had not considered. You were terrific."

Who knows, maybe I have a shot at the lead when he films it? Here's hoping.

Next week is a big week, as I am acting in a one-night production at the Strong National Museum Of Play, a live version of a 1940's USO-style radio show, complete with songs and commercials from the era. I'm playing the announcer, as singing is not something I do. Well, I can do it, but I don't have the vocal training for stage work. At least I know my own limits as an actor. The museum is the second largest children's museum in the U.S., but also has many programs for adults as well.

So with all the down stuff that has happened recently, it was nice to get some positive things under my belt. Now, if I can only make that independently wealthy thing happen.


Bina said...

Yea for you!!! An actual ABC anchorwoman. That's pretty major, right????

And really? The 2nd largest children's museum?? I would love to go there.

And when you get that wealthy thing down, give me a shot. I may want to learn how to do that, too!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Bina - Major around here, as it is the most watched TV news station in town, and she is very respected. Click on the link for the museum, and check it out.

Hey, if I ever figure out the independently wealthy thing, you get first dibs. ;-)

Peter said...

This all sounds very exciting: I guess sometimes it's a matter of having the right connections, making the right moves, mixed with a dose of luck.

The fact that ABC is is going to cover the theatre move as an ongoing event obviously means they feel their audience will watch, making your town very theatre-minded: local theatres in Belgium are having a hard time, with dwindling attendance figures.

jay said...

Wow - congratulations! You really needed this, didn't you? It all sounds great!

Good luck with landing the part in the movie. Lovely to be cast in the lead and have nice comments after the reading, but the film part would be the big one, wouldn't it?

Well done for getting that anchorwoman to take on the theatre project too. That's such excellent advertising for you.

If I was within striking distance of Rochester I'd come and watch the SNMP production.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

That's fantastic news! I'm so pleased for you...even in the UK I know ABC's a big deal. Go MrN!! BG x

VioletSky said...

Whoo hoo!!
That radio play sounds like a fun thing to do as well!

(And the Museum of Play is on my list of things to see...)

Mr. Nighttime said...

Peter - It was a bit of everything that you mentioned, plus coming up with the right pitch on my part. Theatres here have also seen a drop in attendance, and 2 of the longer established ones here in Rochester closed last year due to the economy. Of course, one of them was horribly mismanaged, which didn't help matters any.

I have to keep reminding my European friends that this is not getting national coverage. The local station is an ABC affiliate, but it doesn't mean that this will get national coverage, which it really doesn't need to at the end of the day. It's more important to get the word out locally, to those that support theatre here in Rochester.

Jay - Yeah, it was a nice thing to get that lead. I've done major supporting roles in Neal's films, but it was still a shock when he called me to offer the lead. I hope the kid makes it, as he's awfully talented.

Hey, get you and your purple hair on a plane and come visit and see the museum for yourself! ;-)

Bendy - Thanks, and I'm pretty psyched.

VS - We can go check it out when you come and visit, if there is time.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Well done that man! Remember this next time you feel low, things never stay the same.

jay said...

Mr N - we're considering an autumn trip to the East Coast for the Dewey Beach greyhound thing. It would include DC and maybe a little more. If we make it over and have time, I'll let you know and you can show me the museum yourself. :)

Sistertex said...

This is all fantastic! Congratulations! So, how did the production at the Strong National Museum of Play go? Hope that went well for you too.

Mr. Nighttime said...

Tex - The show is Wed. night. Today was tech dress, tomorrow is final dress.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Gosh, I might get to see you on tv. We often carry foreign news here.

Sounds like you really are turning a corner, everywhere I'm reading about good things happening, and people I know too, good things are happening.

This might be a good year.

I hope.