Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Another Visit with C3PO, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

My pocket prop, C3PO, came out on this walk with me today. He seemed agitated, though.

After I offered my pocket knife as a gesture of friendship, when he was not able to lift it, he became surly and pouty.

And then he became fearful when wondering what creature may have made this large footprint - perhaps something in the Wookiee family?

Not wanting to encounter the large beast belonging to those footprints, he waved goodbye and headed for higher ground......

.....the higher ground, in this case, involved sitting on the bench on the bluff above the beach.  Movie stars...sometimes so temperamental and self-centered........

Monday, January 30, 2017

Stand and Deliver - the Audition, Priscilla Beach Theatre, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

It is cold and the stage is quiet at Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT) in the middle of winter when there are no scheduled performances.

However, the owners, directors, producers, and staff are hard at work preparing for the coming performance season.

Director Theresa Chiasson, Director Danny Bolton, Musical Director Chris Ricci, and Owners Bob and Sandy Malone (left to right) are seated at a long table situated in front of what will be a sequence of actresses auditioning for the first two shows of the Summer 2017 performance season on the Barn Stage at PBT. The two shows are "The Marvelous Wonderettes" in May, and "Nunsense" in June.

They sit in a classroom at the Boston Center for the Arts where, in a tightly orchestrated sequence, a steady stream of hopeful actresses approximately one every five minutes over a five hour period will stand and deliver before the panel hoping to secure a part. Imagine if you will, having just a moment to demonstrate a snippet of your talent to strangers and hope you are "good enough" to be selected for a part.

Casting is a magical and amazing process to me - these experienced directors must assess talent, skill, background, and demeanor and decide if the candidate is right for the part and whether their selection will fit the ensemble of the entire cast. Each performer has about 90 seconds in which they sing 32 bars of a musical selection of their choosing to demonstrate vocal ability. They may also be asked to read lines to demonstrate role playing. They are all talented and experienced and trained but there are few roles available.

Each candidate confers briefly with the accompanist and then perform 32 bars of music and perhaps reads a brief scene before the panel. The pianist must be able to receive the sheet music from the prospective performer and instantly sight-read the selection to provide the accompaniment - what a skill.

Some performers are pitch-perfect, some are flat, some are sharp, some are nervous but, none has more than a few brief moments to make a winning impression on the directors.

It is a stark environment - an empty classroom, florescent lights glaring overhead, empty walls and a shiny linoleum floor reminiscent of elementary school - only the performer and accompanist break the silence.

The directors are sharply focused on the brief displays looking to see that special something.

The performers pour their hearts and souls into the brief display. They've spent much of their young lives working on improving and perfecting their craft. And now, at the audition, they have literally seconds to stand and deliver and hope the producers select them for the part.

Some of you may remember the wonderful 1988 movie, "Stand and Deliver." It's about focus, hard work, and motivation which can sometimes make it possible to accomplish the seemingly impossible against insurmountable odds.

There is some levity but, this is serious business and they all know that going in.

Imagine putting it all out there on the line to be judged by strangers and then being either selected or rejected. It's a challenging life these young thespians have chosen. It is no wonder humans so enjoy the performing arts. It is no simple thing to stand and deliver each and every time - live before a critical audience. It is no wonder we exalt our performers - they compete regularly, are rejected often, but still come back for more. They have skills worth enjoying and applauding.

Come out to the PBT Barn Stage to enjoy the following adult cast performances in the 2017 Summer Performance Season - plan to be there and be transported and transformed by the experience:

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" in May,

"Nunsense" in June,

"West Side Story" in July,

"The Producers" in August,

"All Shook Up" in September, and

"Little Shop of Horrors" in October.

For tickets and information, contact PBT either online at or by phone at 508-224-4888 - you'll be glad you did.

There will be neither snow nor bitter cold when the curtain there. There is a reason we so love theatre regardless our culture or national origin - it transports us to a magical place, a place of our dreams, a place of our youth, the land of creativity and make-believe. Come enjoy the dreams!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Deep Thoughts, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Walking is a great stimulant for thinking deep thoughts. Not quite origin-of-the-universe kind of deep but regular-Joe-kind-of-deep.

I was thinking about mediocrity. How most of us are - average in most things. Some people are great in almost everything they attempt but generally, most folks are just average (myself included). That being said, at the same time, are we all born with some innate passion or skill or talent just waiting to be revealed?  Some strength that far exceeds mediocrity? Do our parents uncover it early and nurture it or, is it left to trial and error as we grow up? If we miss the cue that reveals the talent do we get another chance to uncover it or, are we doomed to blunder aimlessly through life having missed out? Can we revisit it later? I don't know - I was just thinking about decide.

People ask me how do I regularly walk 4-5 miles at one stretch, particularly when it is cold and uncomfortable outside? I pondered on that as I walked and realized the simple truth: I put one foot in front of the other and repeat as necessary. It is really that simple.

Okay, so they weren't very deep thoughts after all.  What do you expect from just a regular Joe?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Creative Accessory, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I carried a photographic prop with me for this walk. Doing so can be helpful to stimulate creativity. For this image, Star Wars character C3PO is either falling through the air, sliding down a rock, or sitting still on a rock - it isn't clear which because the illusion that depth of field creates.

I have photographed this house dozens of times but, looking closely there is always something new to see. Architectural details blend angles and planes and surfaces and shapes - and then I added a texture overlay in post-processing to change the sky and overall tint of the image.

I love this detail within the picture - the reflections in the glass of bare tree branches.

There is always something new to be found - even when there isn't.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane - February 2016

A Winter Beach Walk, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I took a trip down memory lane and reviewed all the many images I posted on this blog in 2016. Here are a few of them from the month of February 2016 that I especially like.

I like them either as a beautiful and/or creative image or because they are evocative of some special place or experience in my life. It's the modern internet version of reviewing my own scrapbook/photo album for last year. Expect a separate post for each of the twelve months of the year.

After the Storm, Old Sandwich Road, Pinehills, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet Avenue, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Evening Paseo, Seville, Spain

Dining Out, Seville, Spain

Fresh Chestnut Vendor, Triana, Seville, Spain

A School Group Selfie, Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain

Plaza Virgen de los Reyes, Seville, Spain

Spice Vendor, Seville, Spain

Evening Street Accordionist, Seville, Spain

Bachelor Party, Triana Bridge, Seville, Spain

Little Drummer Boy, Triana, Seville, Spain

Street Musician, Triana, Seville, Spain

Sunset, Seville, Spain

Twilight, Seville, Spain

A Quiet Backstreet, Seville, Spain

A Rainy Night, Triana, Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

El Toro, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Flamenco Dancers, Seville, Spain

Flamenco Dancers, Seville, Spain

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wandering About, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

A former four time mayor of Boston in the early 20th century, James Curley, lives on as a statue in a small park area near City Hall.

A bright and shiny Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display curbside along Hanover Street in the North End neighborhood.

A fire escape in North Square ties together these copper clad rooms.

A sign near Copp's Hill in the North End. I'd like one thank you very much.

Late afternoon sun over Copp's Hill in the North End - the black and white version.

Normal color version.

A three hundred-year-old gravestone in the Copp's Hill Burying Ground in the North End.

These unassuming condos/townhouses along a wharf in the North End are priced in the 1-3 million dollar range - location, location, location.

Enjoying the warm sunshine on an unseasonably delightful winter day in Boston.

The Boston Harbor was filled with small sailboats on this beautiful warmish day (mid-50's F).

Puddle reflections in Columbus Park in the North End.

Street performers at Faneuil Hall Marketplace area.

The high contrast, black and white version - I like this image better this way.