Thursday, July 27, 2006

This is a test...

Can I add a photo on here? Woohoo, yes. I cleared cache, disabled cookies, whatever.

I'm not Mr. Wiley anymore. I just Grove/Albert. I don't know what to do with myself.

Photo courtesy of SFMike.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


ZEN over. :-/ What to do with Life now??? Opera season starts up soon, so I'm trying to plug into that, for lack of a better idea, although part of me thinks I should be looking into some classes or auditions or something meatier, now that I've survived being in a "real" play where I've actually had to open my mouth and say some lines.

By Saturday night's performance, I kinda felt like I had hit my stride: unfortunately that was the next-to-last performance... The cast gelled. Scenes and moments were working. Laughs were being elicited. We got some very positive responses to the play and it is considered a success by the Boxcar Theatre Company, so that's all good. Friends came, and said nice things.

I'm still wiped.

I can't add a photo on here, what's up with that?

Friday, July 21, 2006

SFMike's ZEN Review, with pics...

Thus far, I have survived prop mishaps, forgotten and mangled lines, unpredictable child actor interactions, walking into a wall instead of a stage exit (only three feet from the audience, so it wasn't *too* embarrassing!), and last night, two well-meaning audience members shouting out things to try to change the outcome of the play, right before my last *sensitive monologue*...

Dear Lord, what's next???????

I haven't slept too well the past two nights and am feeling slightly hypo, which of course I always have to keep a close eye on. This is the reason I'm blogging furiously at present; I always get loquacious at times like this.

I'm about to go out for some Starbucks Therapy...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gotta Share This...

Zen Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna; 776-1747, Free. Previews Tues/18, 8pm. Opens July 19, 8pm. Runs July 20-22, 8pm; July 23, 2pm.

Boxcar Theater’s collaborative, playful portrait of the search for enlightenment in daily life opened Saturday on a sun-drenched beach caressing the shimmering Pacific. The beach was Baker, and the weekend so warm and bright its was filled with bodies a-baking, except for a modest Dali-esque section with incongruous objects (a grandfather clock, an upholstered chair, a telescope) pitched in the sand around a low barrier marking both stage and Zen garden, groomed into swirling patterns by a wooden rake. (Zen, with certain allowances for the new Feng Shui, completes its run indoors at the Magic.)

A man with a briefcase approaches from the background. “I have lived a life” he says, “and I know nothing.” So begins a series of loosely connected scenes—by a river bank, in a canoe, at a singles bar—acted by a sharp ensemble (Dana Lau, Sarah Mitchell, Lauren Pizzi, Ian Riley, Grove Wiley, and Jeremy Wurzbach) and touching ironically, mischievously on such themes as desire, transience, solitude, and wisdom, and ending (after about an hour) in an unexpected moment of awakening. As the young company’s second offering, artistic director Nick A. Olivero’s cheerful, clever production (presented gratis as part of Boxcar’s Free Theatre Initiative) spells good theatrical karma, boding even better things to come.

* * * * *

Last night's opening at the Magic went pretty well, *all things considered*. !!!

I am The Man With The Briefcase, btw.. who says, "I have lived a life, and I know nothing."

Also: y'all know by now that my stage/hippie name is Grove Wiley, right?? Albert's the birth name, the one that I wanted to create some distance from, starting three years ago. I still use it, just not as much. I suppose that Albert, even, aack, Albie, will always be out there somewhere searching for Artsy Fun with Madame Glinka and all my other aliases.

Several friends are coming to tonight's performance, and I'm super nervous about that!

I cannot believe that this project is four days from being over. What a JOURNEY...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Today's Angst

A preview tonight-- after just one grueling 6-hour tech rehearsal at the Magic and no last run-through. AAAccckkk! I'm so used to the opera, where productions are rehearsed to within an inch of their lives. This is way, way different! Luckily, I'm totally confident about my performance.

I've been keeping my commitment to draw an hour a day, Monday through Friday. Here's this morning's effort, entitled, yes, you guessed right: "Today's Angst."

And those are my new yellow GAP flip-flops.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Yellow Power

I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself once ZEN is over. I'm attempting to create art again, since I think I may actually have some skills at that. It's hard, because I also have Major Inertia around it. Anyway, the one idea that is in my head right now is about the color yellow, which I am currently intensely obsessed with-- not a new obsession exactly, but it's gotten more intense... I'm afraid I even have the potential to become one of those strange people you see at the bus-stop dressed all in one color and mumbling to themselves incoherently...

For the past two days I've made two different yellow drawings. My therapist has me committed to a daily schedule.

Tomorrow I think I may try adding a tiny bit of black shading to whatever I draw...

Remind me to show you a picture of my yellow GAP flip-flops...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


yeah.. whatever. At left, me and a new *friend* celebrate my play's first two shows at Baker Beach last weekend with a bit of Retail Therapy.

The performances actually went pretty well. I was amazed. Shit came together. Now we're in an extra week of "revamping" rehearsals for our main run at the Magic Theatre, (mark your calendars, July 19th-July 23rd).

There was a critic there on Saturday! From the Bay Guardian, which is our local arts/alternative rag. Apparently, according to fellow Blogger Extroadinaire SFMike, he wrote positively about the show and the ensemble. I'll have to pick up a copy right away. We're not supposed to be talking about reviews-- bad luck and all... so don't tell the director that I'm writing this... also, we got a mention on this happening blog over the weekend too.

Maybe I'm destined for superstardom after all??? Ahh, I will get back to you after the 23rd. What I have been saying (only semi-jokingly) is that I'm giving up the stage after the 23rd. I've been so fucking pessimistic about my ability to actually deliver lines convincingly, portray a character very different than myself, walk and talk at the same time!

This is about the most honest I've been on here. Not sure if I'll regret this, but there it is.

I feel like I am getting some validation for what I'm doing, which is super-cool.

Okay, I've got to end this-- who knows what I'll type out next.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"Life is Suffering"

This is supposedly the first of Buddha's four Noble Truths. Although, from the .05 seconds of Google research I just did, the true implication behind these truths isn't that all of life is about suffering, but more that there is suffering in life, and that through the practice of meditation, suffering can be alleviated. If any hard-core Buddhists are reading, please feel free to elucidate further.

So, I nearly got one of my little toesies broken at a rehearsal yesterday on Baker Beach. See pic at left, the purple one is the one that's in need of some meditative energy, fast!

This experience has been a challenge, on a million different levels!!!!!

Last weekend we had an "Artists' Retreat" day at a beautiful secluded beach in Half Moon Bay. As a surprise, the theatre company folks lugged our set down this steep cliff and it was all set up when we arrived-- it was done to show us all how cool the set looked on the beach. It's a little hard to see here, but those are screens, a big old armchair, a grandfather clock and a bamboo ladder in the middle.

One of the biggest creative challenges that I'm having is that the character I'm playing is very emotionally shut down, and I'm finding it difficult to get into it. It's a pretty depressing role, really. At the very end he has a kind of awakening.... I feel like it's about as unglittery a role as I could possibly have to play.

The two Baker Beach mini-performances are next weekend, and then the run at the Magic Theater is a week after that.

I am using a very intense, powerful affirmation to get through it all.