baybeh.

Nov. 14th, 2010 09:35 pm
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
So there's this.

Spoilers behind the cut )

I'm creating a new tag for the first time in a long while. The mood icon is the best approximation of what's going on in my chest right now, only with a lot more fluttering and caution.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
thehefner: (Titus: Cavort Like the Greeks!)
Between New York Comic Con in early October and Halloween at the end, our thoughts have been turning to costumes.

First of all, lest any of you doubt that the Henchgirl is a geek girl of hardcore cred, take a look her in nearly-complete costume as Granny Goodness. She'll be going as sexy Granny (she hates that I say that, by far preferring "GGILF"). I'll be Desaad. Skeezy, sleazy, ugly, regular old unsexy Desaad.

I still need to find the purple robe, though, and I'm not sure I have enough hair to pull off the signature look (which is essentially the same greasy hairstyle that I couldn't even entirely pull off six years ago, when I dressed as Bill the Butcher!), but either way, it'll be interesting to see how many people will get who the hell we are. Those are the ones who'll have cred.

I'm now trying to figure out how to decorate my iPhone with Kirbytech to create a Mother Box. And/or get [livejournal.com profile] surrealname to be a Boom Tube and follow us around the convention, occasionally going, "BOOM!"



As for Halloween... well, we have some other ideas on that front. I'm wondering if I should throw another big party here at my place?

Maybe without the grog this time. Oh, it was delicious as hell, but I honestly don't remember a good chunk of that evening, and every single person who had grog was feeling it the next morning. It is unforgiving. Maybe we should try our hand at home-made absinthe this year?
thehefner: (Default)
Most avatar creators are a waste of time when it comes to coming up with anything that even vaguely resembles me. That was even before I had my current hairline, and now it's bloody impossible. The latest such exercise in frustration was the ever-so-popular SCOTT PILGRIM avatar generator, which instantly failed me due to the fact that I match none of the hairstyles, nor did I own enough douchey hipster scarves.

I thought there was no hope for awesome avatar creators. And then, well... thank Sinatra for the MAD MEN avatar generator, which washes away my SP distaste in a tide of style, awesomeness, and scotch:





This is me performing my new show (wherein I actually use PowerPoint) at your typical Fringe Festival. Well, I haven't done it with scotch on hand, but it's only a matter of time.





And here is Henchgirl at your typical Fringe after party, getting accosted by other performers, volunteers, or whoever else shows up. I'm kinda sad that we didn't go with the original design, where the avatar generator allowed her to have one cigarette in her hand and another on her lips. Also, she bemoans the lack of shoe and dress selection, as well as the inability to have glasses over different pairs of eyes. But nonetheless, this is the neatest damn generator I've ever seen.

Y'know, I still have yet to watch MAD MEN, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt that I'll love it, but can I just say how excellent it is to be seeing a resurgence of 50's cool amid the hipster crap and Gaga-faux glam? Damn excellent, that's how excellent it is. Why, it may even be (brace yourself, Henchgirl, for I know you loathe when I say this)... it may even be coo-coo. Indeedy-do, it's pluperfectly coo-coo, pally.

And now that I've invoked him, well, I simply can't go without making a Johnny Go:





That's what I love about Johnny. He's in his best suit, martini in hand, in a picnic in broad daylight. God damn, I think it's time to get back to that novel, wouldn't you agree? Now if only we could get a 50's-retro Bub image. Ah well, now I know what drawing I'll commission from Darwyn Cooke one of these days, eh?
thehefner: (Watchmen: Ozy's I DID IT twitter)
Henchgirl wrote an epic summary of the stress, horrors, fears, and triumphs of our adventures in sleep deprivation and the creative process in the week before IndyFringe, and yeah, that about sums it up.

IndyFringe is everything I want a Fringe Festival to be, and I'm so glad to be back. Almost as glad as I am to discover the show doesn't actually suck balls as we feared, but is actually--if audiences are to be believed--kinda pretty darn great. It's a frickin' Christmas miracle, that's what it is.

One of the only downsides is the fact that our last three performance times kinda suck: evening shows on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a 1:30am on Saturday, with no show either in the prime evening slot, or on the final day when word of mouth has fully spread. We're kinda boned in that regard.

But I sure as hell would rather have a great show with poor time slots than a crappy show that got packed houses, because seriously, I was actually having the Actor's Nightmare as of last Wednesday and Thursday. I was ready to be performing my shambling excuse for a show to packed houses, thereby ruining my rep in Indy and earning pity and disregard from my fellow performers, and then my cat killing himself in shame.

Speaking of cats, people following my Facebook know about the starving stray kitty we'd been seeing in the parking lot of the Knights Inn. When she didn't show up yesterday, I thought for sure something had happened to her. I was beside myself. I'm such a fucking sucker for a kitty, I really am. I'm still waiting to hear back from one of the other no-kill shelters, hoping they'll have room to take her.

Otherwise, we either get her checked out by a vet ourselves, or risk any manner of diseases/parasites (along with a very skittish and waste-leaking animal) and drive her back along the 12-hour trip home to DC, where my mother is a pet foster host for Pet Connect Rescue, and try to get her adopted. Even though Henchgirl kinda wants her.

...We've named her Miss Kitka. Because we are dorks. Points for the five of you who get the reference.
thehefner: (Default)
We're heading to Indianapolis to perform our new show, THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, at the IndyFringe Festival! Or at least, we will be tomorrow, or maybe Thursday, depending on a couple factors.

One is if we can find a place (read: a couch to sleep upon, or a floor to put our air-mattresses) to stay Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, until our billet can take us from Sunday onward.

The other depends on how much more rehearsal we can cram in before then. The state we're in, both personally and with the show, invokes some of the bigger clusterfucks from my acting days in college, performing in thesis plays. I say this not to complain, but with exhausted fondness, as well as a reminder that I've survived all those (often with flying colors!), and so we shall with this too.

Now if I can just keep Henchgirl from needing a few weeks to unwind at Arkham Asylum, we'll be golden.

We weren't even able to do an open dress rehearsal with the Rudes, as I'd hoped, because there just wasn't time. This show isn't just a world premiere, it's a human premiere, with no one having seen it other than Henchgirl and myself, so Indy is the place where we're gonna break it in the hard way, warts and tech flubs and missed lines and rushed delivery and hails of locusts and all.

So if you're in the Indy area, or know someone who is, send 'em by with their love and support. We're damn proud of this show, but the only way we're gonna get it to where we want it is by workshopping it out with audiences.

Time for food and a Red Bull run, as we plan to be awake till at least 8pm this morning. Yep, just like college, all over again! :)
thehefner: (We Don't Need... Rhodes)
Henchgirl just woke up (we tend to fall asleep by the first lights of morning), and the first thing she said was, "John... promise me something."

"What?"

"Promise me that... if there's ever a zombie apocalypse... and you find zombified Ty Templeton, and he's not all the way gone yet... don't bring him home so he can sign all your comics and we can kill him mercifully afterward."

"Aw, not even to have him draw me a Two-Face sketch?"

"I can't really judge, because when I saw almost-but-not-quite-zombified Ty Templeton, I hugged him. And he was totally cool about it too. 'Yeah, sure, I'll sign all your comics, totally, just put a bullet in my head when I'm done!'"

"... yeah, I make no promises."
thehefner: (Ghostbusters: Ray w/ Cigarette)
I've never known anybody who's harder to wake up than Henchgirl. When she's out, getting her to get up can sometimes take up to an hour or more. I mean, if you don't want to be an asshole. And sometimes, I do. I've awakened her by singing or playing a number of annoying songs, everything from Erasure's "Always" (blame Robot Unicorn Attack), "Surfin' Bird," and of course, "Never Gonna Give You Up." And every time, she wakes up with that look a cat gives you after you give it a bath.

Today, however, I decided to play this:



And this time, she woke up with a huge grin.

"Because," she said, "any other guy would just wake me up with the GHOSTBUSTERS theme. But you are the only guy who'd actually think to play me that one... and it's thematically appropriate!"

... it's that she got it. Upon waking. This is why she's the Henchgirlfriend.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
We haven't had convenient internet since we left Hamilton for Kansas City, so while this is a week and a day late, let me give you a little visualization of our reaction to leaving Hamilton.

This? This was Hamilton:




And this was Henchgirl:





"GO! GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" *incoherent terror mingled with maniacal laughter*

As I was typing this, she overheard me checking out a video clip of that ending, and said, "Oh god, you're finally writing it!" (listens) "Hey, now, I wasn't that bad."

"Ohhhh, yes you were."

"No, I wasn't. I really wasn't."

"Okay, fine. So, you wanna go back to Hamilton?"

"NO!!!!"

"Hee hee hee!"

"... You fucker, you said that just so you could have something for the transcription, didn't you?"

"Yup."

"You'd better write that one down too."


Of course, the town that tried to crush us on all Fringe Festivals had one last meathook to hang us upon, and that was it kept us from arriving in time for our next gig, the Kansas City Fringe Festival. The KC people were appraised of this months ago, so it was cool, they made certain I wouldn't have to do any shows until I arrived, and indeed, we got there in time. With the KC Festival already half-over.

So we weren't all that surprised when our first show opened and no one showed up. First time that's happened to me in three years, but eh, not surprising. The festival's well underway, and we have no buzz, we hadn't been promoting, and our venue was ass-hot. Hell, we still weren't surprised when we had just four people the next performance.

But you know what? Those four people were better than all the audience members we had over our six performances in Hamilton combined.

God, between this and Indianapolis Fringe last year, I'm really starting to love Midwestern audiences. Maybe in a couple years, I'll come up with a show more attuned to Canadian sensibilities (the kind of show where their reserved and/or polite silences won't crush our souls throughout the show), but for right now, with THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES, we've learned our lesson. We're touring the fuck outta the Midwest Fringes with this show.

I really wanna brave the insanity that was Winnipeg Fringe, though. That's the only Canadian Fringe I seriously wanna rock, someday. I'm hungry to make it in Winnipeg. I would have done it last year, too, if I hadn't gotten a mediocre review by a Winnipeg reviewer who already saw me perform in Montreal to dead-silent and snobbish audiences (with a few notable exceptions, namely you awesome Montreal peeps right here, who actually get my humor).

Yeah, Montreal was the festival where the main theatre critic essentially called my show the Worst In The Fringe. I don't feel like I'm quite at a point in my career where I can look back on that and hold it up as a badge of honor.

But when one of my audience members at KC Fringe--a rather important and influential figure in the festival, I think--was telling a bunch of people that he'd seen about thirty shows and mine was the best of them all... not to mention getting my first-ever five-star review and having a reviewer call my show, "one of the funniest shows I've ever seen,"...

Yeah. That helps. :)

Well, it helps my ego, anyway. It didn't help our sales. Alas, the damage was already done with us being so late. But hopefully that's enough built-in buzz for next year, because we definitely wanna bring it back to KC and do it right this time. Until then, we put THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES back in its box for a well-deserved rest. Well, unless we get into the Chicago Fringe Festival at the start of September. Still #4 on the waiting list!

But while we dearly want to do nothing more than get wasted, watch movies, and read comics, we're not of the woods just yet. Not only do we still have to get back to DC, but we have two weeks to prepare the new show, THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, for Indy Fringe.

Frankly, I've never been this nervous. It's going to be a clusterfuck, and a goddamn miracle if the shows at Indy will be as good as we'd like them to be, first time out. If I'd have known from the start, I would have skipped Hamilton and KC altogether, and devoted all that time to ROAD, which is exactly where it needed to be.

But this situation is what it is. Over the next couple weeks, we shall be entering nervous-breakdown-mode as we scramble to cobble this Frankenstein's monster together and bring it to life in time for Indy Fringe. It'll be hell, but we'll pull it off. Not just because we want this new show to be great. But because if we don't... then Hamilton wins.

To which Henchgirl says, "If that's the motivation you need, honey."

... Keep driving. I hear chainsaws.
thehefner: (Joker: Ow Ow Ow Ow)
Or maybe you skimmed past the entry, but today, it's worth repeating.





I've always sympathized with Daffy in those cartoons,* particularly in Canadian Fringes (even when you guys like me, which is most of the time, you're still so darn quiet!), but never so drainingly as here in Hamilton. Just one more show tomorrow evening, then I collect my pittance, choke back five Red Bulls, and high-tail it to Kalamazoo.

Up next is Kansas City, MO. Oh thank god: boisterous, loudmouthed, midwest American audiences, how we miss you!




*I was telling Henchgirl how I always used to hate Bugs in those because Daffy worked and sweated and tried, while Bugs was just effortlessly awesome. She replied, "On behalf of Bugs Bunnies everywhere, I'm so sorry."
thehefner: (Batman: Jervis)
$325 later, I have a passport, and am successfully in Hamilton, Ontario, one of the oddest damn towns I've ever seen.

The twisty rolling ribbons of roads in this suburb feel like the streets were designed by Jervis Tetch. There are "Turtle Crossing" signs. LOTS of them. And the downtown streets feel like they were designed by Winchester Mystery House lady. Streets that go nowhere! Parking lots that dead end behind McDonald's! Keep building the city or you'll die! And as if on cue, Lennon's "Mind Games" popped up on the radio.

Unfortunately, I have little hope that such oddness will actually work for our favor ticket-sales-wise. But hell, it's too soon to start thinking that, say, this will be like Boulder all over again. And even if it is, having a Henchgirl along makes all the difference.

Which reminds me: say, I can has an actual www.JohnHefner.com? Why yes. Thanks to Henchgirl, I now can has. SUCK IT, JOHN HEFFNER AND YOUR DESIRE TO OWN JOHNHEFNER.COM SO IT COULD REDIRECT TO YOUR SITE! YOUR DOMAIN NAME HAS LAPSED! I WIN!

If you know anyone in Hamilton or Kansas City, MO, tell 'em to go see THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES over the next couple weeks. Tell 'em to laugh. Because I love you, Canada, I really do. But when I'm on that stage, I need boisterous American laughter, not polite internal appreciation. I like to know when I'm doing well. Also, Henchgirl may blow up Canada if this keeps going on.
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
And yet again, I realize that I haven't posted anything for the past five days. Amazing how I no longer feel a need to devote whole LJ posts to rants and geekery about things to a varied group of individuals who might or might not care when I have a Henchgirl right here.

Really, if it weren't for Fringe Festivals, where mingling is a requirement, I dunno if I'd have any social life at all.

Which reminds me, my summer tour of THE HEFNER MONOLOGUES is finally about to kick off mid-July with back-to-back performances in in the Hamilton Fringe Festival in Hamilton, Ontario and the Kansas City Fringe Festival in Kansas City, Missouri.

Then, at the end of August, we'll be premiering my *brand-new* show, THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, at the Indianapolis Fringe Festival. Henchgirl and I are feeling very proud and very excited about the show's progress. The hardest part is reminding myself that the only way it'll get developed to the point I want it to be is to do it over and over and over again with several audiences to find what works, what doesn't, what the real story is, etc. Maybe we should schedule another open dress rehearsal in the DC area.

After that... well, there's a slim chance that I might get into the Chicago and Wilmington Fringes, but nothing's set in stone. This will be a short season for Hefner and the Henchgirl, but with a lot of insanity crammed into that small period. Hope to see some of you along the way.

And to everyone doing shows at the Capital Fringe Festival, break legs! Let me know what show you're doing, and we'll try to make it out, if we can! Ugh, to think, as we're not performing, we'll actually have to PAY to see shows at Fringe! For a DC boy like me, that's as unthinkable as having to pay for museums!
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Henchgirl and I, after discussing ANNIE HALL and how we should steadfastly prevent our lives from becoming that movie. Especially considering how unsettlingly easy it would be for me to turn into Woody Allen's character:

ME: I never will. Because I love you. No, that isn't enough, I don't just love you, I lurve you. I... lorve you, I... I... I Louvre you.

HENCHGIRL: ... you French Museum me?

ME: Baby, I would hang paintings in you all night.

HENCHGIRL: ... We posting this to your LJ or mine?
thehefner: (Batman: I Am The Night)
In my ongoing project to turn Henchgirl into a comic-stuffed foie gras of a girlfriend, I've organized an entire longbox of BATMAN issues from my collection: starting with all of NO MAN'S LAND through the entirety of Greg Rucka's run on DETECTIVE and Ed Brubaker's run of BATMAN (we can all just forget that Hama's run existed, cool?).

I'm curious to reread these issues and to see if I'm right in remembering that this might have been one of the very strongest eras of BATMAN comics ever. It's criminally ignored in favor of HUSH, which followed immediately afterward and went on to bring tons of new readers into BATMAN, saying that this was the first time in years that they read or were interested in BATMAN comics. Because Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker weren't good enough for them. Sigh. Whate're.

We're back at the house in Rehoboth Beach. It's the first time either of us have been here since late December, during that strange and often-hilarious week and a half immediately following the death of Henchgirl's mother. Damn, we never finished that, did we? Not sure why. Dunno what we could do to follow that now. Maybe we don't have to.

Either way, it's good to finally be back, even during the insanity of Memorial Day weekend. I'm actively afraid of hitting the beach, even though I would go full on MDK for some caramel Fisher's Popcorn.
thehefner: (Simpsons: ...Comic Books?)



In Fresno, a mere block away from where I was performing, Henchgirl and I discovered a comic shop called Wonderland Comics. At first, we thought it was closed, as from the outside it looked rundown and shut up for the day (if not permanently).

But the door opened to reveal the person Henchgirl would later refer to as "The Gnome Man": a squat, large-bellied man with haggard gray hair and a great bushy beard (to be said aloud in your best Jim Broadbent voice). If he had legs--or indeed anything below the waist--we never saw them. The only actual movement he made upon our entrance was to lower his copy of THE COMICS JOURNAL and look over his glasses at us with mild interest that turned into mild disdain when we confessed, "No, we're just here to browse."

Then we saw the shop itself.

My God... it's full of... )

Question, comic fans: what do you consider to be the perfect comic shop? What do you look for in a store? Do you prioritize new issues? Graphic novels and trades? Back issues? What about non-comic merchandise, like toys, cards, and/or games? Does such a store exist for you, or has nothing yet lived up to your ideal?
thehefner: (Simpsons: Walt Whitman)
This whole "getting back home" thing is proving to be a bit more of an adventure than I'd planned.

Henchgirl's been sick for the past week and a half, I'm fighting a fever myself, the front tire has a slow leak that will require finding a Dodge dealership somewhere along the way, and now, we're about to head to the Texas panhandle which is now in the midst of an ice storm. A fucking ice storm, with ice falling from the sky. In Texas. Is madness, I tells ya! *coughs weakly*

But ah, it is the life of an artist, being kicked around by the world! *Alas!gesture* Is it any wonder that we creative types are given to all manner of slow self-destruction? I should be careful, lest I start going down the dark road to such troubled geniuses as this:





Fake trailers would almost never work if the concepts were extended to feature length, but I'd pay good money to see this as a film. Then again, I speak as one of the only people to outright love WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
While at the Rogue Performance Festival 2010 in Fresno, CA, a bunch of us artists braved nature to see the blossoming peach orchards. With my loyal Henchgirl in tow, I responded to the beauty in typical me fashion.

thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
But it's certainly been a productive two days since we left from Tuscaloosa yesterday morning (though it feels like last week!).

And we have the photos to prove it! )
thehefner: (Propoganda: Drive with HITLER)
This entire trip is shaping up to be a total fiasco. But I have Henchgirl with me, so it's the best kind of fiasco. The one where we actually don't have to wait till years from now to laugh and laugh about it. Thanks to her, I can laugh just as soon as she calms me the fuck down.

The main problem is that I outright did not get into one Festival, and I've been wait-listed in three others, including DC (weep, my local peeps! Weep for your likely lack of Hefner!). The only festival I'm guaranteed acceptance into is Indianapolis, which is thankfully my favorite fest thus far, but that's all the way at the end of August. And if I don't get through the wait lists, that'll be my first (and possibly only!) Fringe this year.

I got the news about DC right after being called a douchebag by a random teen in a pickup truck, who flipped me off as he drove away. I guess he didn't like the red scarf, the bowler derby, or some combination of the two. Amazing how a single random inconsequential jerk can ruin one's whole day!

But Henchgirl has kept me on the ball best as she can. The important thing here to keep in mind is that I'll have the free time to work. To perfect THE ROAD TO NOWHERE and to start developing a new show, not to mention work on one or another of the books I have in mind (and not the Harvey novel either, although god willing, I'll have time for that too).

So now we're in Merkel, Texas (I know, I might as well have said "Shamboozle, Texas"), staying at a motel and enjoying the wonderful luxuries of a shower and bed. Don't get me wrong, there is something very satisfying about hunkering in the back of a Dodge Caravan, especially when curled up against your loved one, but by the next day everyone's just a bit ripe and cranky.

The fiasco is underway. But hey, that's just more material for future festivals! Eventually!

September 2012

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