Sunday Espresso: Dialing it in

    At EXIT Theater I would play the role of Christopher Walken from The Dead Zone.

    Sunday Espress Editorial Clint

    Sunday Espresso Editorial ClintIt’s a Frank Sinatra morning. So, yes, admittedly I’m dialing this one in. Although, unlike the legend, this will amount to a short work of amateur proportion. I hate to say we’re busy–doesn’t that just get real old, real fast? Rather, I’d prefer to say we choose to stay active, and keep things rolling here on SSC.

    Way back in June it seemed like the fall theater season, wine harvest, and the impending holiday gadget crush were miles away. Sure enough, it’s true, time does fly. All of this to say, thanks to a constant runabout to the show or to the event I’m woefully deprived of energy or creative spark this pleasant Sunday AM.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve been surrounded by creativity and inspiration at every turn, especially this weekend where we have covered a combined 7 shows; for us, a record. And it would not be possible without the extremely generous contributions of Pat Reardon and Cy Ashley Webb; thanks for raising the bar, and doing what you do for Bay Area theater and arts.

    Every day is a new experience here in new media. It never ceases to amaze us how much we continue to learn. Keeping our minds open, being flexible and trying (but not always succeeding) to maintain perspective are essential qualities.

    One unfortunate thing I’m constantly reminded of is the need to educate and explain the economic value and contributions of digital media and its respective content. It seems to be an affliction only impacting a minority. After all, we’re living in an epic age of technology. Still, physical goods–at least for some–seem to be an easier concept to grasp. If I can’t touch it, or put it on a shelf, or smell it, they surmise, then what value does it have?

    Most would never dream of walking into a small corner store, taking something–say, suntan lotion–and departing without paying. It contradicts our values. Morally (and legally of course) it’s wrong. But to take digital content, services; or extract value from it without consideration for the underlying expense and value is a trickier proposition. Is it the end game of a society nurtured by freemiums.? Or maybe it’s an issue of entitlement, or simply a matter best left to subaudition.

    Theater-wise, things are going swimmingly well. The season is looking strong. We attended the Fringe Festival in San Francisco on Saturday, which is like an indie film festival for black box theater. In a word: awesome. A must see. More to come on the shows in the next day or so.

    Last night, Opera San Jose unleashed their $1M production Anna Karenina. Quite the spectacle. Lavish, colorful. And an orchestral score that is moody and dramatic, with a generous dose of Kettle Drums. Can’t beat that!

    On Friday, we toured the South Hall, downtown San Jose to talk to some of the artists that will be exhibiting at the 01SJ Biennial. It’s times like these, that I get goosebumps. You’re making a giant Gift Horse? Wow, a large, poetic, electro-mechanical audio system (wind coil sound flow)? Look, over there! A bunch of wrecked cars; or is it a second-rate Stevens Creeek used car lot overflow? Turns out it’s going to be an Empire Drive-in.

    We’re covering some exciting film festivals. And, we’ve been invited to some Bravo TV (or is it Food Network?) stuff up in San Francisco that should make for an interesting story or two. Plus, another Cirque du Soleil project… possibly in the works. Backstage La Cage aux Folles — it’s a man baby.

    Okay, stop!

    I’m starting to sound like an ad. Sorry, it’s just that I’m very enthusiastic about what we do here on SSC is all. Hope you’re enjoying the ride too.

    In case you missed the announcement: my stage days are over. I’ve retired.

    When you “perform” with Frank Ferrante at Teatro Zinzanni, you can go out on top, fade gracefully. At least that was the theory.

    Then, while Fringing, I once again found myself on stage, this time looking out into the bright lights at EXIT Theater. So with Favre-like aplomb I accepted the challenge to temporarily resurface… just one more time. Here, I would play the role of Christopher Walken from The Dead Zone and use my mental powers to guide a clairvoyant. Turns out, my hand shake (and wrist) lacks the power “to send”. The trick was botched–in front of the entire audience. Well, at least we know it wasn’t a ruse. I can guarantee I wasn’t a plant. Maybe I’m not ready to learn “the secret language.” I’m working on this one called English.

    Can I still skate?

    That is the question, as later today I’ll be putting my knee to the test at Logitech Ice, downtown San Jose in a preseason hockey game. Has the MCL healed? Nothing like an opponent’s savage cross check or slash across the legs to get my adrenaline going again… ah, yes pain! I’m living! After all these foodie adventures, wine travels, and theater exploits it may just be what the doctor ordered.

    Explore. Create. Live. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 9,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to 
    Stark Insider on YouTube, the largest arts & travel channel in San Francisco.
    • Opera Girl2005

      The key to success in performing alongside Frank Ferrante is a big huge sense of humor, a willingness to look silly in the name of fun, and a “go with the flow” attitude. And you had it all in spades. Bravo to you for giving your all in that impromptu performance.

      • Thanks Opera Girl! I was born looking silly, so I guess you could say it’s natural for me.

    • Opera Girl2005

      The key to success in performing alongside Frank Ferrante is a big huge sense of humor, a willingness to look silly in the name of fun, and a “go with the flow” attitude. And you had it all in spades. Bravo to you for giving your all in that impromptu performance.

      • Thanks Opera Girl! I was born looking silly, so I guess you could say it’s natural for me.

    • Opera Girl2005

      The key to success in performing alongside Frank Ferrante is a big huge sense of humor, a willingness to look silly in the name of fun, and a “go with the flow” attitude. And you had it all in spades. Bravo to you for giving your all in that impromptu performance.