Theater Camp

Yes, I know, everyone and their mother has a ‘blog.’ Not true. My mother doesn’t. This is the first time I’ve ever blogged. Self-consciousness is what I feel. Complete and utter self-consciousness. Otherwise, Inc., the marketing and graphics firm that designed this site, insisted that I blog. It’s mandated in their marketing plan. I quote, ‘While generating buzz to drive community building on the website, it will be equally important for Todd Logan to maintain his own relationships with existing readers and frequent listeners of his plays (while also building a base of new visitors/readers). To do this, we suggest that Todd Logan maintain his own blog on the Todd Logan website. The Todd Logan blog will be a powerful relationship-building medium that will be accessible to all site visitors to share their ideas, suggestions, ask questions and interact with Todd Logan.’

Wow! A lot going on there. And, not part of the original Otherwise, Inc. plan. The ‘original Otherwise, Inc. plan’ was to create a site to draw people interested in the themes of my movie and my plays, get them to watch and listen, and then join in discussion groups. It was made clear to me that I was not a selling point. ‘No one has ever heard of you.’ they said. Not true. Many people have heard of me — family (obviously), friends, colleagues, and people who have been to my plays or seen my movie (yes, some memory jogging may be required). After some debate, Otherwise, conceded the point but not without making it clear, they had never heard of me. There was no mention of a blog until early last week — when I read the revised marketing plan.

So, here I am, on a plane to New York — off to theater camp — writing my first blog entry. The person sitting next to me is craning her neck to see what I’m writing. My dilemma, should I or should I not show her? I’m an airplane neck- craner, too. Yes, life would be much easier if your seatmate just shared what they were writing. They don’t; I’m not going to be the first.

I’m not really off to theater camp. My play, BOTANICAL GARDENS, is opening at the 78th Street Theatre Lab in New York on September 6th. Rehearsals start tomorrow. I’ve never had a play in New York. Many people have asked me if “78th Street Theatre labis off Broadway or off – off Broadway. No one has asked if it’s on Broadway. The theater is exactly 23 paces from the corner of Broadway and 78th street. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t believe there’s another theater in New York closer to Broadway than the 78th Street Theatre lab”> (If there is, please keep it to yourself.)

If you’re in the New York area, please, please come see the play. The play, I’ve been told is decent enough, but the real reason I want/need you there is I get unnerved at the thought of an empty theater. Just before my first play opened, I asked Richard Shavzin, the director, ‘how many people do you need in the audience for the show to go on?’ His answer was, ‘one more person than the number of actors in the cast.’ We had a cast of four, which meant we needed five in the audience. Since I planned to attend most nights, the challenge was to find four. Easy you say? Easy for you to say.

I was so spooked about not having enough ‘butts in the seats’ (an industry term, as if you really care), I saw a therapist. I told him that I loved writing plays so much that I didn’t want anything negative — like no butts in the seats — to ruin the experience. Certainly, I didn’t want it to affect my desire to keep writing. By the end of the session I was feeling good. Even confident. The number of people in the audience would have no bearing on my emotional stability. Because, when you get right down to it, it’s the joy of writing, the joy of rehearsals, and the joy of seeing your work done. Theater camp! That’s what counts. I happily wrote out a check for $175.00. I wasn’t even bothered that he was one of those doctors who doesn’t accept insurance, and you’re on your own to battle for reimbursement. Just as I was exiting his office (literally one foot out the door), he said, “Hey I just got an idea. What if you rented a bus and picked up forty or fifty people from a nursing home?’

So, if you’re in New York, please, please come to the play. If not, tell your friends. It really is a decent play. The restaurant CESCA is offering a free glass of wine to any ticket buyer. Even better, there’s no intermission and it’s under ninety minutes.’ Doesn’t get any better than that.

Sorry, looks like I’ve got to wrap this up. The pilot just announced that we’re about to land and all electronic devices need to be turned off. So, real quick, here’s the deal: I have to blog. How often I don’t know. Yes, I’m embarrassed the site has my name it. Another Otherwise, Inc. idea. If you can look past that, the plays and movies are there for you to enjoy. They cover many subjects, including adult sibling rivalry, passion in marriage, the loss of a loved one to mental illness. Yes, if the play(s) or the movie stays with you, and you want to share your thoughts, your own experiences, the blog is – - Okay, the flight attendant is giving me shit about my laptop. Give people a little power. Get this: the neck- craner is telling me to turn this off. Bad, bad move. I’ve got the aisle seat. Let’s see how she feels about being last off the plane. It’s getting ugly. Gotta go.

3 Responses to “Theater Camp”

  1. Wendy Says:

    Get over the self-consciousness! Blogging is a must for smart writers and anyone else who needs to promote their work. Hop on into the 21st century with the rest of us and enjoy!

    I look forward to exploring your charmingly cluttered desk. I know that there’s brilliance lurking amongst the debris…

  2. Daniel Says:

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding THEATER CAMP, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)

  3. Daniel Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Theater Camp, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

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