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Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer)
Brentwood, CA
Actor/Writer/Idealist
Recent Activity
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The final installment of my newest work, Death Valley DQ. By Brett Ryback In part one, we learned that Luna was anxiously awaiting Bobby Hernandez to arrive and ask her to prom. Hank has just left for Las Vegas in pursuit of his wife who is actually at a hotel just down the street - a secret kept by Jo. They are now four minutes to closing time. • • • (JO goes back to her paper and circles something.) LUNA Whatcha circling? JO Jobs. I tell ya, I was real pissed off when they said they were closing us... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2012 at Crazytown
Broadway producing these days smacks a bit of Republicanism, and your post highlights that nicely. There's an exclusive product, afford mainly by the 1% (The actual Broadway production), which is then "trickled down" to the masses and sold as quality to people who subscribe more to the "religion of Broadway" than the substance. But I think your larger point is the best: "Broadway is the theater that happens in 40 theaters over 500 seats in Midtown New York by professional artists at the top of their game."
I quite miss being the first to see the lovely monkey artwork, and coming up with fun teasers for the "Day Bar" post. Let's get a drink when you're settled down. I'm here through August 10th!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2012 on CROSSING THE COUNTRY at Crazytown
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Part One of Two of my newest play, Death Valley DQ. By Brett Ryback 10 minutes is a long time in the theatre. There's a saying for writers: if the audience doesn't know what the show is about in the first 10 minutes, something's wrong. These precious first 10-15 pages are where we meet our world, our protagonist(s), and the conflict of the show. Everything else will hinge on those ingredients. Now imagine an entire play in 10 minutes. To create a world, protagonists, and conflict in the midst of a beginning, middle, and end is an interesting challenge. That,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2012 at Crazytown
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My final post for Crazytown. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) The whole experience of art is transient. It exists only in this moment, and only for whomever is watching it right then and there. And you never have the same experience twice. It's impossible. As an actor, you get used to forming new families all the time, and then saying goodbye just as quickly. I recently joined the company of a new play at one my of familiar haunts, South Coast Repertory. THE PRINCE OF ATLANTIS will begin performances March 30th and then just as quickly will close on April 29th,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2012 at Crazytown
By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) There are so many things I would lick peanut butter off of... And speaking of licking things...Have I introduced you to one of my favorite recipe sites? Ladies and Gentlemen - Batter Licker. Double Yum. BRETT RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2012 at Crazytown
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How to become a great writer by quitting. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Composer) I recently came across this post by British playwright Simon Stephens and found it very inspiring and reassuring. I always like reading advice from working playwrights I've never heard of - mostly because I'm a working playwright I've never heard of. And as great as it can be to hear advice from Edward Albee or Tony Kushner, I'm always left thinking, "Yeah sure - but you're Edward Albee or Tony Kushner!" Anyway, one day while I was procrastinating (like I am now) from doing what I should be... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at Crazytown
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A celebration of art fusion. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) I have blogged before about how inspiring I find other forms of art to be to me as a writer, particularly visual arts. As an actor, I've often turned to music to put me in a certain headspace for a play I might be doing or an audition I have. But it's rare when the two things are conscientiously put together. Musical Theatre and Photography. Not just "muzak" at an art gallery, and not just pictures hung as a backdrop to a stage musical - but song and image in dialogue.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2012 at Crazytown
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By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) Michelle won a globe. Viola won an actor. Meryl won an oscar. Three great performances, three wonderful woman. One rare event. I was just thrilled. BRETT RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at Crazytown
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The time has come for letting go. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) Parents and children are a recurring theme in my work. I find this an effective theme because whether or not we have children, we all have parents. But one aspect of the parent/child relationship that I have a good deal of experience with is the "letting go" part. And while there's interesting exploration to be done on the "child" side of letting go, I am currently on the parenting side. In this case, the children are my pieces of art - The Tavern Keeper's Daughter and Darling, which are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2012 at Crazytown
Agreed!
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on WHAT RHYMES WITH HUMOR? at Crazytown
Well, I say the audience is left to decide because of a piece of advice I received when I was 17. I wrote to Mr. Sondheim himself and got a letter back. At the end of the letter he wrote: "And don't pay too much attention to individuals who "critique" your work - listen to the audience." And won't they always honestly tell you what they think? Better or worse?
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on WHAT RHYMES WITH HUMOR? at Crazytown
Bob, I'm so happy you commented! I will admit that I did take SS a bit out of context on this one. And as I said - I wouldn't argue a case for near-rhyming. I find near-rhyming, in general, to be confusing. Whether or not it's lazy or inartistic...eh...I don't know that I would go so far as to say that. After all - if content dictates form, as Sondheim eloquently argues, couldn't there be a case for the content to dictate near-rhymes? Maybe, maybe not. I think the bigger case that I would like to argue is in favor of the well-placed, well-executed NON-RHYME. Rhyme certainly has its place in lyric writing, and it will always have its place. But with regard to the lyrics of younger writers, I don't wonder if Rhyme becomes a strait-jacket - a rule that cannot be broken. And in attempting to follow that rule, truth can be lost. And Mr. Sondheim, and his presence on the form, is largely responsible for young writers feeling the need to conform to that law. Often times, I find myself feeling like rhyme makes my lyric feel "clever" whether I intend to be or not. Using precisely the right word to illustrate a point - which Sondheim calls the opposite of laziness - isn't always what we do in life - searching, trying to be articulate, and failing. What non-rhymes might come out in a situation like that? In a world where Rhyme is the Rule, I would encourage more and more writers to think outside that box - even just to see what happens. Don't fall back on rhyme because it's "just how it's done." But use it - or don't use it - with confidence and purpose. I did this recently and was very proud of the effect. A chorus to a song with absolutely no rhyme, a free-form of thought, that I think is very effective. But as always, it's going to be up to the audience.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2012 on WHAT RHYMES WITH HUMOR? at Crazytown
Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sometimes rhymes are funny, but sometimes they're not. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) Stephen Sondheim has gone on record to say that while "there are reasons not to rhyme...In the theater, true rhyme works best on every level." True rhyme being defined as two words or phrases whose final accented syllables sound alike except for the consonant sounds which precede them. Perfect rhyme, in other words. Home/roam, never/forever. Let me be the first to say that I, for one, couldn't disagree more. I mean, really. Who does this ::air quotes:: Sondheim think he is? Okay,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2012 at Crazytown
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By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) BRETT RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2012 at Crazytown
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Exploring that place where Science and Art meet, and fall madly in love. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) I've often thought that if I weren't an artist, I would have been a scientist. And on those many days when being an artist is particularly hard, I wish I HAD been a scientist. For me, there is a huge overlap between the two disciplines. In each there is an intense desire to understand. To find out why things happen the way they do - what makes things and people tick? The beauty in each, is that the deeper you go, the discoveries... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2012 at Crazytown
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The Irish Hand Dancers get a sobering dose of fame. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) My friends Peter Harding and Suzanne Cleary - also known as Up & Over It - are at it again. Only this time they really are "over it." Over the fame, the attention, the McDonald's ads. I first met the duo, along with the producer/director of all their online content, Johnny Reed, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They were an undisputed stand-out event. But more importantly - they knew the best places to get a pint of guiness and let loose on the dance floor. It... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2012 at Crazytown
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Get on the Downton Abbey train now. Now. Go. Do it. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) That's right folks - Downton Abbey. Soapy yet sophisticated, edgy yet classic, and British in the best way. PBS hasn't been this cool this Ghostwriter. And yes, I mean that. If you're unfamiliar with the affairs of the Grantham Family and their staff, I highly suggest you take a weekend to get with it. The second season just premiered on TV this past sunday (of course if you're super cool, you've already downloaded it illegally.) I know I'll be watching - if just to see... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2012 at Crazytown
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It's that time of year again. January. Jan. U. Ary. Gym memberships, to-do lists, diets. It all boils down to one word: Resolution. I resolve. This year, I'm taking my resolution to the streets. A resolution revolution, if you will. Oh -- and you will. Because this year my resolution is this: I never cared for Aida. But lately, Adam Pascal's grated tones have been ringing in my ears to the tune of "Fortune Favours the Brave." (I used the British spelling because, duh, Elton John.) Art is not for the weak of heart. Theatre is not for the shy.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2012 at Crazytown
By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) Happy Place has compiled a list of the 50 Funniest Tweets of 2011. For your reading pleasure, I have boiled this list of 50 down to just 10. Without further ado - the top 10 Funniest Tweets of 2011. 10. @Elliot_Duke: "I don't want to sound like I'm showing off or anything, but this is the fifth #rapture I've survived." 9. @BettyLies: "Casual Friday is a great way to confirm your suspicions on who all the sluts are at work." 8. @elonJames: "Oh? The NYPD are treating you badly? Violent for no reason? Weird." -Black People... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2011 at Crazytown
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A friendly holiday reminder. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) I don't want to be a fear monger, but sometimes a little awareness is the difference between a happy and safe holiday and a total, inhuman disaster. I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. That said, it's important to remember this season... Man Bear Pig is still at large! Be on alert! Oh, and... BRETT RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com EMAIL HIM |... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2011 at Crazytown
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Roses are red, violets are blue, and the human condition is more than just black and white. By Brett Ryback (Actor-Writer) A production of The Motherfucker with the Hat at TheatreWorks in Hartford, CT, made New York Times headlines recently when playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis publicized his concerns about two non-Hispanic actors in the roles of Nuyorican characters. The ensuing conversation over this issue is controversial, emotionally charged, and incredibly necessary... The essence of Guirgis' complaint is that TheatreWorks (who casts out of NYC), pre-cast two non-Hispanic actors, and never even sought out any Latinos for the roles in question.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2011 at Crazytown
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By Brett (B.T.) Ryback (Actor-Writer) Get your New Earth real estate while it's still cheap. B.T. (BRETT) RYBACK wrote the music for Liberty Inn (Ovation Nominee, Best Music/Lyrics), the book music and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, and the book for Darling. He also acts on stage and TV. www.btryback.wordpress.com EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2011 at Crazytown
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How veganism ruined my day. By Brett (B.T.) Ryback (Actor-Writer) My favorite dish in the entire world is Curry Chicken Salad from Whole Foods. Have you had this? It is no joke to say that my idea of heaven is an endless meal of Curry Chicken Salad from Whole Foods and you never get full. Let me paint you a picture. First - the chicken is grilled (roasted?) to perfection. I mean this Chicken is so good, it's Mother has a bumper sticker that reads "Proud Parent of a Curried Chicken from Whole Foods." I'm no expert, but speaking as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2011 at Crazytown
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Finding inspiration in Architecture. By Brett (B.T.) Ryback (Actor-Writer) I know next to nothing about architecture. But last year I realized for the first time how inspired I was by it. Places that have unique and striking architcture - and most places do, if you look for it - somehow stand out in my mind. I see, in my mind's eye, people milling about, going in and out of these places. Buildings weathering the weather, setting a backdrop that's perhaps surprisingly modern or unexpectedly old-fashioned. The life that happens inside and out. Architecture is interactive art. You walk in it,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2011 at Crazytown