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Mark Krause
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SAM Jacques Cousteau could show us a blowfish. ANDRE But not one made of clouds. SAM Alas, no. NEIGHBOR Cheese. Andre and Sam strike a pose together, as if for a photo. NEIGHBOR No. The sandwich. That I see the grim reaper eating. In the clouds. ANDRE Ah, yes. He eats everything, I suppose. SAM Everything. (Silence). SAM Everything. (Silence). SAM sits on the ground and sadly strokes the dog.
Toggle Commented Aug 1, 2013 on Andy & Sam: Crowdsource This! at Extra Criticum
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NEIGHBOR No. My dog needs to stroll. Not me. SAM Yes. Dogs. NEIGHBOR I prefer to stand. SAM Standing is noble. ANDRE To not move. There's a challenge. SAM Sublime. (Pause) NEIGHBOR Shall we? ANDRE All together? SAM Why not? The three stand there, not moving. The DOG tugs at the leash.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2013 on Andy & Sam: Crowdsource This! at Extra Criticum
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ANDRE stands at the curb, alone. A NEIGHBOR, walking his dog, strolls past. NEIGHBOR: Andre, what are you doing? ANDRE: I'm waiting. NEIGHBOR: Waiting? ANDRE: Yes. (Pause) NEIGHBOR: What are you waiting for? ANDRE: Sam. NEIGHBOR: Shall I wait with you? ANDRE: It doesn't matter. They stand there, waiting. The dog BARKS.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2013 on Andy & Sam: Crowdsource This! at Extra Criticum
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I always feel the most successful when I am genuinely able to accept my failures. Not to imply that I am always able to ....
Toggle Commented May 17, 2013 on What is Success ? at Extra Criticum
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Grateful for what you've created here, Roland. To have a safe haven for ideas, observation and thought -- when, indeed, there's so much branding and noise and divisiveness out there -- is really just wonderful. I always learn something coming back here. That I get to (hopefully) make people smile with a cartoon or two is just gravy. I'm reminded of the discussions on EC about Brene Brown and vulnerability. Your leaving cabinet doors open is, to me, your strength, Roland. Lucky for us. You throw a great party.
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Wonderful post, Robert. I don't think I'll be able to watch the rest of this season of GIRLS (I'm a bit behind) in quite the same way. The texting issue is also fascinating to me, Roland. We endlessly practice presenting ourselves in texts, tweets and facebook posts, but I wonder what it's doing to our ability to hear each other, to listen to one another, let alone converse with each other face to face. For all the communicating that technology allows us, are the muscles needed to be physically and emotionally present with someone else -- in real time and space -- atrophying? Or maybe the whole idea of connecting -- of being present -- is simply changing. Maybe what we used to think of as face to face is now just Skype. Kinda depressing. Makes me want to push, like you Roland, to connect in the world even more, even if it's not always my first impulse. A wonderful interview with Brene Brown, if you've the time: http://www.onbeing.org/program/brene-brown-on-vulnerability/4928
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It certainly feels like a trap, no? I think many people want to leave but then learn of an event or bit of news -- after the fact -- they genuinely would have liked to known at the time. So they hang on for the next bit of news, unable to quit. The FB folks clearly figured out that psychology long ago. I guess unless enough actually do give it up, many -- like myself -- will sort of just loiter, wanting to leave but instead doing the FB shuffle.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2013 on Cartoon: Like/Dislike at Extra Criticum
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Had to chuckle. And post a cartoon on this.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2013 on Must we ALL be heard? at Extra Criticum
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Love this, Roland. Love the reminder to keep the Judger at bay, to indulge ourselves in play and experiment without having to explain or rationalize. I think of Miles Davis' famous quote: There are no mistakes. Knitting, journaling, life drawing ... why ask why indeed.
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Well said Amy! I seem to go through times where I will read voraciously, then lose the desire for a while. Of course I feel terribly guilty (and even a degree of shame) about this. Granted, being addicted to the newspaper doesn't help. I often need to swear off the papers if I'm to read anything else. My tastes (as I imagine others') are also always changing. Things I loved I go back to and say huh? Other things I read for the first time and wonder how I could have missed it. Hopefully such surprises will keep my appetite for reading constant, over the long haul. Thanks for sharing.
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This makes total sense to me, Roland. Amid the distractions and white noise of everyday life we can strain to hear ourselves think, and so all our efforts go towards simply hearing what is inside our heads. Having the space and calm of silence, I don’t think it strange at all that you go beyond those silent voices and speak aloud what you’re thinking. We write words meant to be spoken, after all. I think we often deny ourselves the opportunity – the space, the silence, the permission – to hear them that way. Evermore proof your time away was so valuable, so essential.
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Beautiful, Roland. I've always felt the stories inside us are continually speaking to us, but we can't always hear them. They speak in such soft, delicate and hushed tones. When I can quiet the white noise of my regular life and simply sit in that silence, then I can begin to hear what has been there all along. Easier said than done -- at least for me. Your time away sounds amazing.
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I cried like a baby at the end of Thelma and Louise. What was THAT about? Was I overwhelmed with my life back then? Did I feel, like they did, that it was me against the world? To this day I can't really articulate why I completely broke down, but twenty (plus) years later, I remember it like yesterday. You're right, John. The power of art to do that is incredibly profound.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2013 on Permission to Cry at Extra Criticum
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Loved this, John. Thanks so much for sharing. A recent Howlround piece: http://www.howlround.com/the-path-by-lindsay-price/ got me thinking about what you've also explored here, so beautifully. Perhaps it's not so coincidental that more than one writer is thinking this way.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2012 on Back in Cincinnati at Extra Criticum
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Magic. Thanks for sharing.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2012 on That Weird Sense of Clarity at Extra Criticum
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Totally with you on this, Roland! I too was a marathoner, but increasingly find I do just as well (if not better) working in steady, smaller drips and drabs. Is it an age thing? Becoming more efficient after years at it? Or do our lives increasingly become so multi-faceted as we grow into them that everything gets a little less of our attention? Not sure. But in Sunday's NYT a writer talked about his changing approach to his work: "I've kind of let go of the obsession and anxiety of expressing myself and just given myself permission to work and live." I know, at least for me, this kind of thinking has much to do with how I've changed my work habits. Maybe you too?
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Way cool, Roland!
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2012 on Come watch me wright August 23rd at Extra Criticum
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Classic, Roland! Thanks for this! Heard Albee in an interview last week and he said the only thing he has changed in the play in all the intervening years had to do with mentioning that the phrase "Lady From Dubuque" was a reference to a William Shawn comment re The New Yorker. Other than that, he said he hasn't changed a THING. You gotta love it.
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What you describe, John, is anything but failure to me. Quite the opposite. It's The Process working beautifully. So what if one project stalls? It simply becomes the buoy marking the way to the next. Granted it can FEEL like failure when you're in it, but now having a larger context, it's apparent it is just one part of a much larger whole. (I'm always trying to remember this, so when I'm in the middle of my next "failure", I can imagine ahead to what that "failure" is actually fertilizing.) Richard Diebenkorn used to talk about his Ocean Park paintings this way: "I can make a phony Ocean Park and then do away with it. If that's what it takes to get started, why not?" I love the self awareness of his "failure" and his self acceptance of the process, whatever it may be. To me, John, you've succeeded beautifully.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2012 on Failure at Extra Criticum
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During difficult times that's exactly what I do, Roland: let go. Drop any expectation of creating and allow myself to be unfocused and unproductive, without any timeline to get back to it. It's a frightening leap because our creative selves are what we most often cling to in times of stress. But by giving myself that permission, allowing for kindness and softness during stress, I am inevitably setting the groundwork for that focus to return (usually far quicker than I could ever will it to come). It's much like mindfulness -- being aware that we may over think and ruminate, but by acknowledging and gently observing the mind doing so, we allow the mind to settle itself far quicker than we could ever force ourselves to do. So for what it's worth, I would allow yourself to not be very focused for now. Recognize and accept you'll be muddling through for the next little while. And sooner rather than later your natural sharpness will come right back to you. Because it's never really left. We just sometimes get in the way of ourselves. Hope this helps. Thinking of you, bud.
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2012 on A Question of Focus at Extra Criticum
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Order now and win a free rump roast for the holidays!
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Love the nuts and bolts of this, Roland! Great reminder that we work in a very practical, flesh and blood art form. And that the doing -- actors bumping into each other, scenes unfolding in a physical space -- gives us as much (maybe more?) as our imaginations can come up with. Sounds like a great workshop!
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Roland -- to quote one of our own: The darker the berry the sweeter the juice! And thanks, David. Feels good to know I'm not alone in such musings ...
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2011 on Cartoon: The Silver Lining at Extra Criticum
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Wouldn't surprise me if the city also kicks in some kind of incentive, be it tax relief or grants. Though you're right, it's also no doubt just part of the cultural landscape there. Enviable.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2011 on Down for the Count at Extra Criticum
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Makes me wonder how a city like Chicago does it -- with its scores of storefront theatres that serve as such a great incubator for new work.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2011 on Down for the Count at Extra Criticum
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