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Well, my amateur theatre company's latest production has just come to a close (the snappily-titled "Lovers(Winners) and Grievance", one being a very famous play and the other being a new one) and things went absolutely swimmingly. Not the largest attendance we've ever had across three nights, but given that we were competing with shows opening in two other much larger theatres in the same week (one being a fully-professional production of Lovers and the other being friggin' Annie - who wants to compete with Annie?) we did pretty well to bring in as many as we did. Performances across the nights were impressive for the most part (our lead actress in particular was awesome), and from my own point of view I thoroughly enjoyed getting to work with three professional actors that had far more experience than myself but had absolutely no problem accepting me as one of their own, it was a wonderful team to be able to work with really.
Below is (a fairly low-quality version of) the poster that we created for the production. Roll on the next play from Blackthorn Theatre Company!
Yes, yes, yes! Finally, the world of mobile computing is mine :)
I've wanted a laptop for ages, because recording anything except the most basic of voice files with a desktop is extremely difficult. Also, given that I'm moving out of home to college next year, I thought that it had become a pretty necessary purchase. So I got myself a rather gorgeous Compaq CQ60-212EM today at a ridiculously low price :)
Well then, my voice acting demo got approved by the audio portal mods (thanks guys) so it's finally online . . . aaaaand I've already decided to change it. Seems that the version I submitted was the version without the pops filtered out and the effects added to my alien voice, so it's a bit disappointing :(
Nonetheless, the demo is there in raw form if anyone wants to listen to it. Hopefully the new and an enhanced demo will be up before long, perhaps with Creative Commons music added this time. I have a version of the current demo with music already, but I wouldn't post that here due to potential licensing issues.
So, works in progress: I've recorded and sent dialogue to one Flash artist who is currently building his movie, and I'm waiting on the script for a Flash game so that I can get started on that. See how I managed to update you on how things were going without naming names and thus putting people under pressure? :)
I'm always open to working on new projects, so if anyone has something in the works that they need voiceovers for, send me a script or a project outline and I'll see if I can help :)
Been a while since I've posted, partly due to the Leaving Certificate examinations I've just sat (the final school exams in the Irish education system). To celebrate having school over and done with FOREVER, I thought I'd post this "alternative" to the essay I wrote on my studied English text: William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Macbeth is widely regarded as one of the finest characters ever created by Shakespeare. He is both strong and flawed, a deep and complex character that both shocks us and earns our admiration. An alternative description often used is that he is a badass mutha'fucka. First coming to the audience's attention as Thane of Glamis, he is later promoted to Thane of Cawdor after putting down a rebellion in Scotland, and then becomes King of Scotland after murdering the previous incumbent (Duncan). He is a capable general, a ferocious warrior, and does 56 damage to each of your opponent's cards when dealt (112 if you are using a Fire deck).
Much like all gangstas, Macbeth's downfall is caused by the interference of bitches. The Three Bitches (alternatively Weird Sistas) act as messengers from the devil himself, corrupting a great man and turning him against his king. They appear to Macbeth and his head homie Banquo when the two are returning from a battle in which they have wasted a great number of rival gangbangers. The bizzatches promise the ambitious Macbeth that he shall become Thane of Cawdor (a title he is soon awarded) and then later the kingship. Initially Macbeth is disbelieving of these claims, though when he is awarded Cawdor he begins to consider the possibility of becoming king.
Unfortunately the path to great bling is never easy, and the crown of Scotland had more shizzle than all the dizzle in the land. When Macbeth learns that Duncan has named his snivelling little snot of a son Malcolm as his successor, he believes the path is closed to him as to become king now would require much murder and treason and that would not be his cup of tea at all. Oh no. However this does not last long, due to the interference of yet ANOTHER manipulative ho, this time Macbeth's housebitch - the imaginatively-named Lady Macbeth. By threatening to withhold sex indefinitely, she talks her husband round to the idea of killing his king. Macbeth however is about as decisive as a gay transexual, and soon decides to "put bro's before ho's" and put his murderous plans to rest.
Then comes an EPIC PLOT TWIST. Lady Macbeth gives the startling revelation that she has let Duncan enter under her battlements. Our hero flies into a furious rage at the desecration of his woman, and murders "that aging horny bastard" in his sleep. He then blames the murder on Duncan's two sons (because those two spoilt brats would SO have killed their sugar daddy) and through a complex political process that is never revealed to the audience, becomes king himself. Bitchin'!
Alas, not all ends well that begins well, and Macbeth is soon suffering the paranoia that overcomes so many gangstas once they become top dog. Even Banquo, his beloved home-slice, is perceived as a threat before long and gets a cap busted in his ass. Then everyone gets wasted, epically, though Macbeth has a little too much weed and thinks he can see the murdered Banquo attempting to crash the party. As a result of this unpleasant side effect Macbeth gives up the weed, and consequently becomes a far less chilled and more aggressive person.
With this new psyched persona, Macbeth is still hardcore but waaay less cool. For no apparent reason aside from sheer spite, he greases the family of Macduff, who in fairness has been a bit of a bitch about the whole Duncan-killing thing but still. Duffman doesn't particularly like this, and goes to get Malcolm to recover his crown. The dialogue between them is epic:
Malcolm: "But....I can't!"
Macduff: *bitchslap* "Just do it, you little snot!"
Malcolm: *snivelling* "Okay."
Malcolm's brilliant plan involves him and a bunch of Englishmen - not known for having a great love of Scotland, generally - marching on Macbeth's castle dressed as.....eh, a bunch of trees. Seriously, Shakespeare actually wrote this shit. Trees. Despite how dumb an idea this sounds, it apparently works, with many of Macbeth's boyz switching sides so that they get to dress as shrubs too. The whole thing seems ridiculous but it relates to another promise made by the Bizzatches to Macbeth:
"Yo holmes! Scotland will be yours until a bunch of f*cking trees get up and attack you, fo' shiz."
This just goes to show that Shakespeare was even more fond of a ridiculous plot device than I am.
The rest of the play is effectively just mindless violence, with Macbeth running around killing dozens of people single-handedly, sneering in the face of danger, and generally being a badass once more. Then he runs into Macduff, who's understandably still a little pissed about the whole family-killing thing. Macbeth, still believing the Three Bitches' promise that he "won't get killed by no son of woman born" takes pity on Macduff and tells him about the protection he has. Macduff, undeterred, delivers the famous line:
"Now, Jew, I have you upon the hip!"....SHIT WRONG PLAY
"Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripped!"
Yes, that's right. ANOTHER plot device.
Anyway, this is about the point where the fat lady sings for Macbeth, but you gotta respect the way he goes down fighting; a badass to his last breath. Then Malcolm gets crowned, trips on his robes, squeaks during his coronation speech, and everyone realises at the end of the play that they may have bet on the wrong horse this time.
The influence of the character of Macbeth is significant. Perhaps the most famous impact it has had is in the fast food industry, where MacDonald's have named their "chicken" burger in his honour: the MacBreast Sandwich. He was also honoured by having a flavour of Powerthirst Shakespeare edition named after him: Macberry. This is kinda like having a Ben and Jerry's flavour named after you, if you're a literary character. The character John Rambo, as portrayed in the film First Blood by Sylvester Stallone, is based heavily on Macbeth; this can be seen clearly in his being a soldier who goes on a directionless rampage once his chain of command is removed, in his remarkable fighting prowess that allows him to take on overwhelming odds and win, and his choice of the M60 machine gun as his primary weapon.
The hypocrisy of the average common or garden bigot never ceases to amaze me. I cannot comprehend how a person can believe that by virtue of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability (or lack thereof) or any other reason, that they have a greater right to existence than another person.
Of course, there are some bigots bigger than other bigots, people and groups with that lethal combination of stupidity and fanaticism that so often makes history for all the wrong reasons. In medieval times, we had the Crusaders. In the early-to-mid 20th Century, we had the Nazis. And now, in the last two decades or so, we have the Westboro Baptist Church. Yes, I know they're old news to many people, but quite frankly I have to respond to them in some way!
The WBC has many prejudices, but the most vocal one is the prejudice they hold against LGBT people. The "Church" takes part in demonstrations against gay rights, distributes media claiming that homosexual activities are a mortal sin, pickets the funerals of gay people (particularly those who have had AIDS-related deaths or were the victim of a bigoted attack), and caries out other atrocious acts against the LGBT community. Their leader Fred Phelps justifies this (as do many other "Christian" leaders with an anti-gay bias) by his interpretation of the following Bible passage:
'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22
Am I the only person who sees the problem with the interpretation of this passage? "Thou" addresses the reader, regardless of gender. Thus, the passage actually condemns gay men AND straight women! Heaven shall be full of straight men and lesbians!
All sarcasm aside, the fact that anyone would extract one sentence from a book that supposedly preaches love and peace for all people is worrying in the extreme. They would do well to remember a quote from a more modern source of philosophy:
The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole. Friedrich Nietzsche
Now, I know that I have a reason to be biased against the WBC; after all I am an actor, and they regularly picketed theatres on the basis that "live theaters (especially Broadway musical productions) are a haven for homosexuality". But all personal loyalties to my profession and my LGBT and non-Caucasian friends aside, I still find the "Church"'s beliefs and conduct completely and utterly morally repugnant. Issues aside (and putting these ridiculous beliefs aside is certainly an issue), who could support a group whose members declare at funerals that the person being buried is going straight to hell? Who could support a group whose members support the assault and murder of harmless, innocent human beings? Who, in their right minds, could support a group whose members CELEBRATE A DEATH-CAUSING EARTHQUAKE because the people it killed were of another race?
As a supported of free speech, I unfortunately cannot call for the silencing of these bigots. However, I can certainly implore everyone else not to take heed of them.
Now to answer some predicted responses from trolls:
1) "You're a fag!": Actually, I'm not. I'm a proud supporter of gay rights, but I'm not gay myself.
2) "You're a heathen atheist!": Indeed I am an atheist. But I have no issue with religious people as long as they respect the rights and beliefs of others.
3) "You're a fag lover!": Well, let's see. I have several friends who are members of the LGBT community, and I love my friends. So I suppose, yes I am a fag lover. Thanks!
I saw these guys in Dublin on the 19th, amazing gig. I was pretty much right next to the guy who took this, from the looks of things. Sorry about the poor sound quality!
This is a graffiti installation I designed, it appeared on the theatre wall during BTC's production of Hamlet.
It's not very good, but I wanted to put some of my own work up here.
Haven't been on for the last couple of days, due to my theatre company's production of Hamlet keeping me away from the computer. Here's a nice pic of the producer (aka ME) going to sword to sword with the director while we were clearing up at the end. Originally it was to be a straightforward fencing contest, but when I saw him don the flag of Denmark and pick up a carbine, I felt compelled to grab a camo' hat and shotgun.
No time for a long blog :( So I thought I'd post a cool video instead, featuring a cameo from two people you guys just might know :)
I know that I usually post one long blog a day rather than multiple shorties, but I saw this and I had to comment.
Mariah Carey. We all know she's maybe not the brightest bulb ever shoved on stage, but this has to be a new low. She left Obama's inauguration ceremony before it had begun, because she was asked to sit with the other celebrities in the VIP area. Why was this unacceptable?
She thought she should be sitting with Obama's family.
Today's phoenix is green, this time for Mariah's envy...
EDIT: I'm linking you the article.
EDIT 2: Fixed the link, the article was moved. Apologies to those who clicked and got nowhere :(