I think this is a very helpful thing if you are having to do research for a play. If people would list the things they may know about, that are slightly obscure, then we could have a little networking going on. Sometimes, when developing a character, it just helps to talk to someone who maybe has a different perspective.
I belong to a medieval society, so know a bit about the middle ages, specifically Celtic History, Herbology, Art, the History of Religion. I know a bit about magic, stones, and period clothing. I know a tiny bit of Welsh and Gaelic. I've fenced. Been in gymnastics. German Dance...don't ask. All kinds of dance, actually - ballet, tap, modern, middle-eastern. I know how a warehouse works and I know a lot about hair. I've worked for Oxfam, and done fund-raisers for Africa. I've sung in bands and play guitar. I know a bit about the BDSM life-style...research...really. I know what it's like to not be able to breathe, to remember past lives and to lose a mother at 25. I know a lot about ghosts and hauntings and reincarnation and the theories that belong to these. I know what it's like to grow up in a Bohemian household and go to a Catholic school.
Oh...and I know a lot about being a woman...because I am definately not a guy.
That's all I can think of right now.
How 'bout you?
Last edited on Fri Jul 27th, 2007 11:05 am by Paddy
I have been a dishwasher, a bus boy, a sailor, a lover. I have taught, managed property, did telemarketing, sold shoes and once or twice I have sold myself. I have never held a job for more than a year. I'm not exactly leading character material.
I know enough about web design, html, and computers to get myself into trouble.
When I was a teen I learned every line from the original Star Wars and drew a comic book to prove it. That comic book was later "collected as extra credit" by my eigth grade teacher and never returned. I'm still a little cranky about that.
I studied art for many years and have worked as a professional caricature artist and a pen & ink portrait artist. I am currently working on creating a pet-portrait business called Pawtraits.
My art background enables me to design sets and work as a scene painter.
I have been a professional technical director for a touring theater company.
For 10 years I worked with (and for five of the years ran) a festival of new plays at the O'Neill Theater Center dedicated to workshopping plays by playwrights living in Southeastern Connecticut. As a result I met many playwrights in my community, and begun a theater project that stages new plays by people from my community called The Planning Stage.
I am entering my 2nd year at Brown University and am trying to figure out how to mesh Ancient Studies with Cognitive Science.
I dig studying myth and religion. I have been inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell, and combine his lessons with the theatrical sensibilities of artists like Julie Taymor.
I know a lot about the life of Joan of Arc, and medieval studies. I love listening to ancient music.
I grew up with lots of dogs and horses, and for a few summers as a kid I helped out on a farm. Mostly they put me on the roadside and had me sell sweet corn for $2 a half dozen, but sometimes I helped bring in the hay. When it was hot in mid-summer (like now) we would sew together burlap bags (left over from animal feed), using bailing twine, string them in the trees, and sleep outside in our impromptu hammocks.
Last edited on Sat Jul 28th, 2007 11:40 am by katoagogo
I know the ins/outs of high school age children pretty well. Know how they think (most of the time)...my hardest thing is knowing "what" they are thinking. Have had approximately 1,400 kids go through my classroom in 24 years. I know golf history inside/out...I give golf lessons and still carry an 8 handicap...worked as a bartender at a blue collar tavern through college...chess historian (pretty good player).
Pretty good at religious history. Took 18 credits of religion at college b/c I was bored but I liked it so I kept taking classes in it just for the hell of it. Aced every class. Have gone on Catholic missions trips for the last 5 years to all parts of the USA, once to Jamica.
Made Jeopardy finals but did not make it on televison...will try again one of these years. Pretty good in the garden with what grows, at least in the northern hemisphere. I can swing dance with the best of 'em (my mother gave dance lessons for Arthur Murry's). I know the radio industry...used to write commercials for my dad's station (he was in radio for 50 years).
Such a cool thread. I don't understand why more folks haven't responded. Ah, well.
I've had more jobs than I often seem to have money in the bank: CURRENTLY, I'm an auctioneer, a personal property appraiser, an antiques and collectibles dealer, a playwright, a teacher (of writing), a property leasing agent, and a bank director. I'm also a father, a son, a brother, a cousin and a nephew. I started a new business only last fall and am struggling to make it go.
I've written a dozen plays, of varying lengths, on topics ranging from Mark Twain short stories (an adaptation, of course) to pedophile who wants to join a church. To date none of the plays has been produced, though hope always springs eternal.
I'm on the cusp of true adulthood-- the point at which one's parent's pass on and it is no longer possible to say, "Mr. McCann is my father. Please, call me Bill." When my father is eventually gone (he's in good health and I'm hoping he'll be around 5, maybe 10 years, or more: he's only 79!) I'll have to answer to "Mr. McCann" and acknowledge that I'm an adult. I'll also have to start acting like an adult and stop wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes everywhere I go. But I hope to be a 'child' awhile longer.
In the past two months I've had an aunt and an uncle die. My permanent adulthood is rapidly closing in. So at the visitation last week, for my uncle, I declared a "10 year moratorium on family funerals." To which my cousin (daughter of my uncle) replied, "You're a little late with that aren't you?" For her the moratorium did come too late. Maybe it won't be for my surviving uncle, a couple of aunts, my mother and father. Then again, such matters are in the hands of God. My 'moratorium is like Peter Finch in Network screaming into the rain, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more." Good theatre, lousy theology and worse reality. But I can hope can't I? God? Are you listening?
I went to school from the time I was 6 until I was forty-five! I have 2 college degrees and many hours towards a useless doctorate. I loved school. If I get the chance I'd love to get an MFA in playwriting. Probably not gonna happen though-- not enough hours in the day now to do the things I have on my plate. I've been to college, to seminary and to graduate school in education.
AuctionsRMe. I love going to auctions: hearing the chant of the auctioneer, finding that irresistible bargin, making money selling what I bought at an earlier auction. There are the people and the atmosphere. The food and the friendships made over scarfing down a hotdog while trying to bid on that OG clock I just have to have to make my old clocks collection complete-- until the next auction.
Areas of expertise: parenthood (one son, age 17-- next week), sibling rivalry (3 sisters and a brother), childhood into my fifties, hopefully sixties (my parents are both healthy at 79 and 76).
Areas where I lack expertise: see the above. Definately!
What I enjoy-- in no particular order: writing plays, teaching, renting real estate, conducting auctions, reading (right now I am reading David McCullough's 1776), dating again (recently divorced), politics, swimming (I'm well on my way to completing 250 miles, 25 yards at a time, by June 30, 2009), friends and family, students, driving, University of Kentucky basketball and football, living and living well, history, going to church, singing in the choir. And so much more! I'm having fun, enjoying life-- even in the midst of the tragedies (deaths, etc.) that visit us all.
Sometimes my interests intersect-- for example my 10 minute play, "Good Christian Men Rejoice" is a slave auction and a church service taking place on Christmas eve 1860. The play involves two concurrently played scenes-- the church service and the slave auction-- with the audience divided such that members can only see one scene (but hear both) at a time. The play drew on my knowledge of history and of auctioneering, my interests in theatre and singing and my personal and political beliefs. The play simply plays both scenes together, it makes no references to slavery or our country's Christian heritage: it simply shows them on stage at the same time.
I've only recently decided what I want to do with my life. But I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow-- or maybe even later today.
If any of this makes any sense, or is helpful, or even just entertaining-- it's good.
At least that's my hope.
If I can be a resource to someone else because of what I've written, all the better.
This is really fascinating. I'm learning a lot about some of you.
As for me, What I know about:
Jobs: Social worker, newspaper reporter and columnist, musician, publicist, light and sound tech.
Areas of experience and interest: Community theater, songs and movies of the thirties, forties, fifties; civil rights demonstrations, peace marches, being a mother, delivering Meals on Wheels, jitterbugging, reading and writing, working in stained glass (I co-owned a glass shop) baseball, and owning and managing a swing band.
Looks like this thread has been resurrected! Yippee! I didn't even notice it before. It's fascinating reading....we have some very interesting people in this forum.
As for me, well. I'm an expert in television, mostly shows from the 50, 60s and 70s. I'm enjoy classic comedy (HoneyMooners, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Martin and Lewis, Bob Hope, etc...) As a fan of the Carol Burnett Show, I was inspired to be a sketch comedy writer. I'm also a movie/film history buff.
I'm addicted to Shakespeare. I'm cofounder of a local drama troupe that performs in the Christian community. I write plays for the group and also perform. I'm also involved in puppetry. I sing in an acappella all-women barbershop chorus, a community chorale, and our church choir. I play the guitar and piano. I love jazz and classical music. I'm a fan of doo wop music and the Big Band sound.
I'm an avid reader. I like world history, American history and military history. I studied art and psychology in college. I have a MA in psychology. I'm interested in philosophy, art history and music history. I like to draw and paint, and I dabble in photography.
I'm a political junkee and am having a ball following the adventures of Campaign 2008.
I'm a runner; I run about three to four miles a day. I love dogs and am knowledgable about various breeds. I like to play tennis (I'm terrible but I have fun.) Living in Wyoming, I enjoy fishing, camping and hiking. Am learning to flyfish, which is a real challenge.
I've read the novel "Gone with the Wind" 14 times. This sounds weird, I know, but I read it when I was 13 years old and liked it so much that I just kept re-reading it. Before I knew it, I had read it 13 times. Then years later in my 20s, I read it one more time just to see what the big deal was. I still think it's an amazing novel. Hard to believe that Margaret Mitchell never wrote another book.
I know everything there is to know about the Beatles. I didn't become a Beatles fan until the mid 1970s...they'd already broken up, but I was listening to their music for the first time. I was soon totally addicted.
I'm a Bible scholar and have studied the Bible in-depth for over 23 years. I've also studied world religions, but not as thoroughly as Judaism and Christianity.
I'm a humor writer as well as a playwright. I also write poetry and short stories. I dabble in horror writing. I'm a huge fan of Steve Martin and Woody Allen. Their writing is brilliant (short stories, plays, humor columns in the New Yorker). I also enjoy the films of Woody Allen...especially Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Bullets Over Broadway. I like his latest dramatic films, as well. In particular, Match Point.
As for my day job...I've been a copywriter and copy editor for 13 years; I've worked in school libraries, and have volunteered in children's programs teaching through music, puppetry, drama and storytelling.
Let's see...I'm an expert procrastinator. (that took 20 seconds to type).
I've had the usual survival jobs--waitress, coat check, office stuff (not temp--I can't type using all 10 fingers), I have never had a full time 9-5 job, but I have worked hard most of my life, beginning on weekends at age 8 in my father's store. I loved that he trusted me to wait on customers, make change and stock shelves, and I especially loved the private time we shared. I gave that same experience to one of the characters in my play Pen Pals.
I trained in martial arts for 6 years, when I smoked 3-4 packs a day and was trim. I used this for another character.
I attempted unsuccessfully to do genealogical research on my grandmother's family in Eastern Europe. I learned so much about where she came from, however, that I used the setting for several plays and even gave that background to characters in other plays.
I coach actors and playwrights to supplement my income. In recent years, I've written book and lyrics for musicals. I'm still learning the rules for lyric writing. It seems to have its own alphabet (a, a, b, c....).
I started as an actor, then added directing and playwriting, which has taught me about many things. My first solo full length play (on my own, not single character) was about an urban archaeologist. People asked if I was interested in urban archaeology, therefore created the character. I replied that I created the character first, she told me what she wanted to do with her life, and I had to do all the research. Many of my plays are historical. I am an expert at playing Trivial Pursuit because of everything I have learned. Unfortunately, I have had little time to play in recent years and most people I used to play the game with won't play with me. I auditioned twice for Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but they had too many cooking and science questions, so I failed.
Living in New York has given me access to much that is not otherwise available without the internet. For example, I read minutes of staff meetings at displaced persons camps in 1946 Germany that are at the United Nations Archives. This was for my play The Tempest-Tossed. I love history, especially New York City history. I have set a few of my plays in NYC at various times from mid 19th century to present day. (I give fabulous walking tours of Lower Manhattan, but so far only for visiting friends and friends of friends).
I know a lot about grant writing, having written a zillion applications over the years. Some were even successful.
I know how to write a good press release. I'm a little shaky on synopses, but improving.
I have just avoided writing the press release for my next production, opening in March...I said I was an expert procrastinator.
I was married - and am now divorced. I had a kid die at the age of six months. I really dislike children except for my own, particularly girls in middle school (I am a substitute teacher and so I can narrow down my dislikes of children pretty tightly).
As I wrote - I'm a substitute teacher, and I've also taught English at the college level (though only for one semester to help out a professor).
I worked as a campaign coordinator for someone running for lt. governor in Virginia a few years ago.
I am a libertrian and believe in the legalization of all drugs.
I am an athiest though I was baptised Catholic as an infant and later baptised Pentecostal when I was around 10 years old. I do not trust those who wear their religion on their sleeves.
I am tatooed all to Hell - all religious symbols. Ironic, since I literally wear religion on my sleeves. (Just not mine).
I was an English major in school, but I quit because I have no passion for education and even less for long-term commitments.
The first film I saw in a movie theatre was the first Star Wars (that would be Episode IV for those of you not old enough to know better) and created an immediate love affair with Star Wars and films in general. I am a film junkie, as well as a political junkie, and am currently involved in promoting Obama in TX as best as I can.
Oh - and Sirc Michaels, though the name I am mostly known by, is a pseudonym.
So I was a Nanny in Paris, London and Marthas Vineyard. I worked in the oldest Shop in Boston and was about to produce a Christmas Play in the shop for the staff called "The Quota" but the shop went bankrupt but it was like being in a Play every day I went to work there. I worked years ago in Harrods, London, also like being in a play. I'll have to think of all the other things i did, but right now if anyone needs advise on any of the about I'm here. Oh yeah I worked on the Big Dig in Boston following the "Irish On The Big dig" produced two calendars (Limited Editions) I was there when the dig was at it's peak. I have thousands and thousands of photograph's of the Irish working on this project. I didn't get paid just a freelancer(chancer) but I covered the Irish being there for future generations.Like if your looking for yer granny in a hundred years, you might find she worked on the Big Dig at some point in her life.
I sent link to some profiles I used to cover for this internet side in Dublin, I'm surprised they still have it up there.
Last edited on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 05:53 pm by Potabasil