I feel sad that I don't have anything to say here any more.
I still buzz through my friend's list (almost) daily, but I feel completely disconnected.
Odd that I feel that way in life. Mirrors. Reflections.
I was eye-balling Tumblr last week. The short-form blog might be what I've evolved into since starting LJ in 2001. We'll see.
I'll hopefully get my July-December 2009 recap together and posted before, say, 2012 ...
But until then, I have a favor to ask of those who still might keep half an eye on my journal (and who aren't on my Twitface lists).
I entered a self-portrait contest hosted by Artists Wanted in NYC. The main prize is determined by a panel, but they are also offering a battle-of-the-bands style popular vote prize.
I was hoping I'd be able to get to 500 votes by the end of the contest (which is in less than two days), but I couldn't drum up enough interest. However - a few extra votes never hurt anyone.
So - feeling generous with ten seconds of your time? Please visit my contest portfolio, take a look at the gallery, and then scroll to the bottom and vote however many stars you think it's worth. The entire process will take less time than reading this post, requires no registration at all, and can be repeated once every day until the contest ends. Completely easy and completely painless.Portfolio
Many, many thanks to you.
- Returned to college to start on a degree in Fine Art/Photography. Winter quarter classes? B&W Film Photography, Algebra, Art, Biology. Scored A's in everything and got on the Dean's List.
- Was cast in a short experimental film called The Curtain Goes Up On Geraldine's Birthday.
- February entries and Twitter updates tell me that I spent the entire month sitting at Panera working on Algebra.
- Witnessed a medical emergency in photolab.
- Won Best Actor (Season) and Best Actor (Show) for my work in Cheaper by the Dozen at Playhouse South.
- Started thinking about birthday plans.
- Started Spring Quarter - more photography, more algebra, more biology, more art.
- Received word that one of my photos was selected for use on a Jones Soda bottle (blue bubblegum, specifically).
- Had a birthday. Themed party planned by me and hosted by a good friend.
- Built and uploaded my photoblog @ alexcarmichal.com
- Sprayed water on my crotch in photolab.
- Won a bet.
- Entered a contest to get a photo used on the new Imogen Heap album.
- Started rehearals for The Lion In Winter (as Richard the Lionheart) at Playhouse South.
- Was cast in A Snake That Eats Itself (as Alex Woodruff) at the Dayton Playhouse Futurefest 2009.
- Went and camped out at the Southwind Music Festival.
- Opened The Lion in Winter at Playhouse South.
That time once again, True Believers ...
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."
An FYI for all the local peeps: my one-man show Circumference of a Squirrel
Meet Chester, a young man with many obsessions: his father, his mother, his ex-wife, the virology of rabies, and most importantly... squirrels.
Circles, both real and figurative, whirl out of control in this darkly comic one-man show. And at the center of them all sits an enigmatic squirrel. Orbiting that squirrel is Chester, a self-described rodentophobe who spins the outlandish, funny, and bruising tale of growing up with a father who developed a rabid hatred for squirrels -- a hatred that eventually infected every aspect of his and his son's life. Pursued by memories of his intolerant father and the legacy of bigotry, Chester is pulled into the black hole at the center of his own life where he encounters the mistakes, the fears, the guilt, and the humanity that make him whole again.
The SEED Theatre Project is pleased to feature resident artist ALEX CARMICHAL in this one-person show. CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SQUIRREL will be directed by Adam Leigh.
Details regarding a special community action forum that will follow the performances will be announced soon.
Tickets are $12.00 and are ON SALE NOW! Follow this link to purchase, or visit our website:https://www.showtix4u.com/index.php?submit=Search+for+Events¤t_client=082008091008358
Please Note - This performance contains adult language and themes - Viewer discretion is advised!
More info: www.seedtheatreproject.org
Friday, November 6th, 8pm
Saturday, November 7th, 8pm
The Excelsior Building - 1st Floor (Summerspace at the Excelsior)
207 E. 6th Street
On What Is A Typical Tuesday Afternoon
It is a gray afternoon, stuck on the indecision end of autumn; where the season can't decide if it wants to rain or not. If it wants to be cold or not. If it wants to be windy or not. A copper-colored Ford rests in front of a small, nearly indistinct tavern. Although at least fifty years old, the car is in prime condition. The tree nearby is beginning to show the first signs of fall. It's leaves are edged with yellows, reds and browns. Across the street, a studio proclaims on a sign over the door that you too can LIVE THE LIFE OF THE SAMURAI. Three college men peer through the glass doors of the dojo with interest, watching a shirtless martial artist work out.
Inside the tavern, a young bartender tends to the two customers hiked up to the length of polished wood. The men are older. Wizened. Discussing drive trains and carburetors and horsepower. The single television over the rear of the bar is showing some random sporting event, but the volume is turned off. Instead of scores and RBI's, the ambient soundtrack is classic rock - played so low that overhearing the discussion of the two auto mechanics is easy. Another group of low voices can be heard around the end of a wall. Female voices. Most likely friends gathered around a table out-of-sight of the main part of the tavern.
A middle-aged baseball fan strides in (past the cork board filled with band flyers just inside the door) and wearily finds a stool a few places down from the two older men. He is tired, his baseball jersey worn and faded and likely one he's owned a good number of years. Probably his favorite shirt. His 'lucky shirt'. He is a picky drinker and quizzes the bartender about the selection before deciding on a draft. He pushes aside the dusty Ronald McDonald's House Charities donation box sitting patiently on the bartop. It is made of light cardboard and slides easily since the only thing it holds is air.
A fourth man enters, skinny and dark-skinned, reflected in the numerous mirrors advertising a variety of hard liquors - Imperial! Hiram Walker's Ten High! Johnnie Waker! Laucer's! He adjusts his ill-fitting brown suit before sitting at the far end of the bar, away from the others.
"What's ... what's your cheapest beer," he asks, change jingling in his open palm.
"A dollar-fifty," the bartender replies. It's an exchange he's had many times.
Brown-suit nods an affirmative and sits his two possessions on the counter: a square piece of wood and a well-used fluorescent green bandana. A bottle is offered to him, and as he takes a drink he asks, "There's smoking on the patio, right?" The bartender answers yes, and with that, Brown-suit centers the blue baseball cap on his head and spends a good bit of time checking his pockets and gathering his things before heading out through the back door to the rear patio.
The two car-talkers have left during the bartender's exchange with Brown-suit, leaving only Baseball Jersey at the bar. He sits quietly, sipping at his bottle, glancing to the television from time to time. A woman - part of the unseen group behind the wall - clicks across the hardwood floor and heads upstairs to the bathrooms.
A man of indistinct age wearing glasses walks past the front window with a nervous gait, smiling secretly to himself, and pushes through the front door. The bartender knows him and they immediate begin discussing video games and the merits of the various expansions for Fallout 3. After only a few minutes, another younger, scruffy-looking man comes in. He knows Video Game Guy and, after asking the time, he immediately joins in the conversation. The band Boston lets us know that it's More Than A Feeling over the sound system.
Out back on the smoking patio, Brown-suit sits alone in a far, dark corner under a patio awning. He smokes a cigarette and glances down at the square piece of wood in front of him on the tabletop. The wood is a framed portrait, that of a young, smiling black girl. She is holding flowers. His green bandana rests crumpled in a ball on top of the photograph.
A fine misty rain begins to drift down from above.
Brown-suit stands and steps slowly all the way across the patio to the artificial fountain and koi pond. He places one foot on the stone wall surrounding the water and delicately places the empty beer bottle on the flat rocks above the fountain. He hikes up his cinnamon-colored slacks and moves haltingly back to where the portrait and handkerchief sit. He takes his time. He is in no hurry. Deliberately, he picks up his things and moves back into the bar, speaking out loud to himself. The words are indistinct.
He hesitates near the front door. A display of brochures has caught his eye, and he flicks through them with one hand.
"Are these free," he says?
The bartender replies. "Yep."
Brown-suit helps himself to one and, without a look back, pushes the door open and clutches the frame to his chest as he guards it against the rain.
Observational paper for English. What made it even more interesting for me is that I saw Brown-suit the very next day walking past a different bar. This time, the frame was gone and he was carrying a stethoscope and the same green bandana.
We had only been back from lunch for ten minutes, but I could immediately tell that my father's vital signs were dropping much faster than they had through the first half of the day. There isn't much to look at when you're on a death watch. The window was small and tucked away in the corner and the large sliding glass doors looking out into the center of the ICU were covered with long, blue curtains. This left two things: my dad (who would have looked like he was peacefully sleeping if it weren't for the slew of tubes and cables running from his body), and the two flat-screen monitors showing his fragile grasp on life in easy-to-read, color-coded bars and numbers.
So, I sat and watched and became intimately familiar with the information on the screens. The numbers had stayed fairly constant through the five days since his cardiac arrest (thanks in no small part to the cocktail of drugs hanging from clear plastic bags behind his bed, entering his bloodstream drop by drop), and although there were some shifts during this day - the day he was scheduled to be taken off of life support - it was nothing like the rapid drop I was witnessing at that moment.
His breathing was my biggest concern. When my brother, niece, and I had returned from getting ourselves some food, the ventilator monitor showed that his lung volume was around .30L per breath. It had sat at around .30L ever since we had gotten to the hospital six hours before. But in the time since I had taken the seat next to his bed (vacated by his wife, who had gone to get some food with my dad's sister), I watched the number drop alarmingly fast. Inside of fifteen minutes, it had went down by a third.
I took his hand as I watched, my own anxiety levels rising as his breaths were becoming more and more shallow. I could never have imagined that in my life I would be present at the death of one of my parents, and yet there I was.
Suspicion turned into a certainty when his breath volume went below .15L and his blood pressure and pulse began to plummet. I looked over my shoulder at my niece who sat in a chair in the corner and told her to find her father - my brother - who had stepped out to make a phone call.
"You'd better go get your dad. I think it's going to happen soon."
She called him on her cell and told him the news. I couldn't move. I was there - his cold, swollen hand in mine. Somehow it had fallen to me, the youngest son, to maintain the physical link to this world. To somehow get through to him that he was not alone. My eyes were glued to the monitors, then back to my father's face, then back to the numbers again. I saw a blur of movement out of the corner of my eye as my brother rushed into the room.
"We need to get Carol back here. He's going," I told him blankly.
He tried to find her, running in vain to all the places where he thought they might be. But they had left the hospital and driven into town, and we had no way of getting in touch with them. I had a sinking suspicion that she wouldn't be able to make it back in time. The attending nurse was in the room by this point, adjusting the IV's and turning off alarms when they started beeping and blaring.
The transition was coming faster and faster. His breathing was even shallower now - below .1L - and he took them less frequently with each passing minute. His pulse was dropping to dangerously low numbers. Fifty. Then forty. My legs quivered with adrenaline and I remember muttering to myself as I sat there watching him. "Oh, papa."
My brother had returned to the room and the three of us - my father's two sons and his granddaughter - waited for the moment to come.
"It's ok, dad. Go if you need to go. But if you can wait for Carol, then that's ok too," I prayed to myself.
A phone rang in the station outside, and a nurse called out that it was Carol. My brother ran out to talk to her.
"You need to get back here. Right now," he said.
And as soon as he hung up the phone, my father's vitals changed. His breathing had stopped registering on the ventilator and his pulse had dropped so low that I had taken my niece's hand in my free hand, certain that this was it. This was the time.
Whether it was through coincidence or he actually heard what was happening with his wife, I couldn't say. But, he came back from the brink. His pulse went back up from the low twenties back up to forty-seven. And the ventilator actually started reading his breaths again. Weak, but still there. He was coming back - just slightly - one, last desperate grip on the edge of life.
"Looks like he wants to stay around for a few more minutes," the nurse commented as he pushed another button on a monitor.
"He's waiting for his wife," I stated, more to myself than to anyone in the room.
My father held on for another three or four minutes, pulse in the forties and still taking small, life-clinging breaths. I sat next to him, my left hand holding his hand, my right hand holding my nieces hand. My niece stood next to me, her father behind her with his arms wrapped around her. We were all crying. There was the sound of movement in the hallway, and Carol came quickly around the corner.
As soon as her foot crossed the threshold, my father died.
His pulse went from forty-seven to zero in an instant, and he took no more breaths.
"He waited for you," we all cried! Carol could do nothing but stand there, her mouth locked in a frozen 'O'. All I could do was smile softly and say it again through my tears - "He waited for you."
Question for the professionals out there:
I applied for a position that I found out about through a friend of a friend. Resume, cover letter, samples, the works.
I received an email reply from the friend saying that my materials were received and she'd make sure they hit the right people. Awesome so far.
But this was three weeks ago and I haven't heard anything since. I sent a follow-up email the second week but didn't get any reply to it.
Is a follow-up to the follow-up out of order or should I be patient?
Forgot to mention that this past Friday I had the great privilege of hanging out with an ex of mine that I hadn't seen or spoken to in eighteen years. It was slightly surreal but very cool and I'm glad we've been given the chance to reconnect as friends after so many years.
Here's the Facebook blurb regarding my current show - A Snake That Eats Itself
- that opens (and closes) this weekend:
You have two - count 'em - TWO chances to see the FUTUREFEST production of A SNAKE THAT EATS ITSELF at the Dayton Playhouse.HOWEVER
Written by Dayton's own Chad Baker and directed by Adam J. Leigh, A SNAKE THAT EATS ITSELF stars Jason Collins as David Kelley, Becky Lamb as Jeanie Woodruff, and Alex Carmichal as Alex Woodruff.
FUN FACT - Chad, Alex, Becky, and Jason all shared the stage several years ago in the DPH production of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST.
Tonight - July 20th, 2009 @ 8:30pm - is the final dress rehearsal for the show and audiences are welcomed and encouraged. Come see the show tonight for only $5!
Or - even better alternative - you can come see the show on it's actual performance date of Saturday, July 25th at 10:00am for $15. Yes, that's A.M. Which leaves the whole rest of the day to go see two other FUTUREFEST productions, attend the Celtic Festival, come over and clean Alex's apartment, etc. etc. It's really a win/win.
FUTUREFEST info and tickets: http://www.daytonplayhouse.com/
Fri., July 24
8 PM Darkroom (fully staged)
Sat., July 25
10 AM A Snake That Eats Itself (staged reading)
3 PM G-Man (staged reading)
8 PM Night and Fog (fully staged)
Sun., July 26
10 AM Quietus (staged reading)
3 PM Carve (fully staged)
Or call 937-424-8477 x101.
- disregard the bit about the open final dress rehearsal tonight, as I just received a call from the director letting me know that Jason came down with Strep, does not have a voice, and thus - rehearsal for tonight was canceled.Grr.
Not his fault, of course, and I hope Jason gets better very soon. But I'm also sad for our show. This means that not only will we not have a final dress rehearsal, but we'll only have one last run-through before the performance, and that run-through won't be on the stage./sigh
We'll be ok, of course, but /sigh
I learned one absolute fact over the weekend - FLASH MOBS ARE AMAZING.
The Greene hosted their second on Saturday night and it was such a compelling and interesting experience.
Details (also from my FB entry):
On July 19th, 2009, a large group of people were assembled for a flash freeze mob in the square at The Greene.
At around 8pm, The band Spungewurthy began to play "Sweet Home Alabama". At a particular point in the song, the band froze in place - along with half of the crowd watching.
The freeze lasted for two minutes, at which time the band resumed the song and the mob continued moving as if nothing had happened.
My photos from the event are on FB and there will be video coming down the pike very soon.
They're supposed to be doing another one in September. I will be there, and I strongly encourage anyone in the area to participate.
I've had a post in me for about two weeks now but damn if I've been able to get it out.
So, here's something.
See that photo over there? The yellow leaves. That photo, my friends, was chosen to appear in the liner notes of the new Imogen Heap
album (due out next month). How cool is that? I get photo credit, 150 pounds, and, hey, one of my photos in the liner notes of an international recording artist.
It was a hot, humid, sweaty and short run for The Lion In Winter. Audiences were small (I can only assume the lack of AC and 90 degree summer days had something to do with that), but I believe that it ended up being a good production. I wonder how much further I could have taken Richard if I didn't have to worry about sweating out 14 pounds every performance. But, I did my best, as we all did.
Which leads me into rehearsals for my next show - The Snake That Eats Itself - which started last weekend. I'm playing Alex Woodruff - former ultra-successful Hollywood screenwriter/director-turned-Indiana corn farmer. It's one of the six shows picked this year for FutureFest 2009 and was written by local playwrite Chad Baker (whom I appeared with in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
a few years ago). In fact, the entire cast is made up of people from that show. I think the director planned it that way. Sneaky.
It looks like the holiday weekend is shaping up to be a busy and fun couple of days for me. Tomorrow I'm riding in the downtown Courteous Mass
bike ride (my first). Afterwards, I'll just wander about the riverscape
area for the Cityfolk
festival. Saturday - party/cookout at a friend's house.
So yeah. Should be fun. Hope yours is the same!