Thursday, August 18, 2016

CHICAGO VOICES - my project with The Lyric Opera of Chicago - Sept 24 2016

I've been working with the Lyric Opera of Chicago on a very exciting project! And I'm so excited to share the deets!

As part of their Chicago Voices Initiative, The Lyric has partnered with three local mission-driven organizations to celebrate the untold stories of the City through new music theater works.  


So over the summer, I've been working as a scriptwriter with Harmony, Hope & Healing, a non-profit organization which uses the transformative power of music to serve Chicagoans recovering from homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration and addiction.

A few pics from our workshop sessions

Our piece is entitled  A Circle of Hope: 

To turn the page on the darkest chapters of their lives, three different Chicagoans find their way to a circle of hope, setting a process of transformation in motion.

We had our first public reading earlier this week and it was amazing! I want to shout out all the whole team making it happen, including Cheri Coons (Animateur), Dayna Lynn Nuckolls (Songwriter), Tony Santiago (Director), and Courtney Cintron (Project Intern), as well as the awesome folks at Lyric! 


check out the table read

There are two other Chicago groups creating new work via this program: The Kirin-Gornick Band, and Tellin’ Tales Theatre.   And all three teams will perform their new work in a production entitled Stories and Songs of Chicago. 

The performance will take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E Randolph, Chicago) on September 24 at 7:30pm. Find out more and RSVP online at http://www.ChicagoVoices.com/CCP

And you can check out the Chicago Voices Blog Here.





CHICAGO VOICES - my project with The Lyric Opera of Chicago - Sept 24 2016

I've been working with the Lyric Opera of Chicago on a very exciting project! And I'm so excited to share the deets!

As part of their Chicago Voices Initiative, The Lyric has partnered with three local mission-driven organizations to celebrate the untold stories of the City through new music theater works.  


So over the summer, I've been working as a scriptwriter with Harmony, Hope & Healing, a non-profit organization which uses the transformative power of music to serve Chicagoans recovering from homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration and addiction.

A few pics from our workshop sessions

Our piece is entitled  A Circle of Hope: 

To turn the page on the darkest chapters of their lives, three different Chicagoans find their way to a circle of hope, setting a process of transformation in motion.

We had our first public reading earlier this week and it was amazing! I want to shout out all the whole team making it happen, including Cheri Coons (Animateur), Dayna Lynn Nuckolls (Songwriter), Tony Santiago (Director), and Courtney Cintron (Project Intern), as well as the awesome folks at Lyric! 


check out the table read

There are two other Chicago groups creating new work via this program: The Kirin-Gornick Band, and Tellin’ Tales Theatre.   And all three teams will perform their new work in a production entitled Stories and Songs of Chicago. 

The performance will take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E Randolph, Chicago) on September 24 at 7:30pm. Find out more and RSVP online at http://www.ChicagoVoices.com/CCP

And you can check out the Chicago Voices Blog Here.





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

IS 2016 a "PEAK TREK" MOMENT?



Trekkies!  Before we do a Star Trek Beyond Deep Dive I wanted to take a moment to reflect and express appreciation on what we have as a Fandom this year:


1. Star Trek Beyond - which is a worthy installment to the Film Franchise. (more on that later).

2. Anticipation around the new Star Trek Discovery Series

3. All sorts of Extravaganzas to celebrate this milestone year: 50 YEARS of Star Trek.


So much YES!  So much "Live Long and Prosper." So much is going right. And sure there's plenty to nitpick about with the Film and lots of things to worry about with the TV series, but overall Beyond is pretty good, and we haven't seen Discovery yet. It's not out. Which is giving us Star Trek Geeks an excuse to SPECULATE. Which is also a huge part of the fun.

So, I'm wondering.  IS THIS A PEAK TREK MOMENT?  Are we at a High Point with the Franchise?

I think so. But a lot of this depends on your thoughts on what Star Trek Beyond was trying to do. I think it was fairly successful, and held true to the core characters. But there are counter-arguments (which we will explore very soon, just giving a few core fans a chance to catch up).  And if anything, Star Trek Beyond reminded me that the Trek that truly makes me Geek Out is the TV kind. And that's coming soon!

YES. I THINK THIS IS A PEAK TREK MOMENT.

But perhaps not the Highest Peak for Star Trek.
I still think that's 1991.



We said goodbye to Gene Roddenberry and celebrated his legacy!
We said hell yeah to Star Trek TNG Season 5: with Darmok, Unification and Time's Arrow, not to mention I, BORG. I mean that season ROCKS!
And we had lots of anticipation for the next Trek spin-off, even though we didn't know it was DS9 yet.
So yes, I think 1991 is the tippy top Peak Trek, but 2016 is a high point!!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rhianna are you for real about Star Trek Beyond?



Rihanna... are we supposed to be friends now?
This Star Trek Beyond Soundtrack... it's got me all kinds of confused.




But you're RIHANNA!







You're not a Vulcan, or a Klingon or an Andorian, or Jem'Hadar or Bajoran or Borg

NOT RIHANNA:




All these years I've danced to your hits but held my side-eye close, only to have my suspicions and shade justified in that No-She-Won't Battleship.

But this video is pulling me in...

Like see at 1:07, she's summoning all these alien ships that are swooping through all insect-like into outer space?  And in the previews those are the things that are ripping apart the beloved-by-all Enterprise Starship.




And at 2:35 she starts having psychic interfacing with the purple orb and suddenly she's transmitting herself into the COSMOS?



But isn't she Rihanna?  we all know what that means. Somebody's trying to take somebody's man and this time in OUTER SPACE! That's the only way I can see this pairing working out.
But then I did my research on the Google and I found this:




hmmmm.....

ARE YOU FOR REAL?
ARE YOU READY TO ADMIT YOU ARE ONE OF US, RHI RHI? A TREKKER, FORMERLY KNOWN AS TREKKIE, and by far the most dedicated Fandom across the land!!!!?

ARE YOU REALLY READY TO JOIN US IN FULL EMBRACE?

Like for  COMIC-CON ready?



Like for Star Trek Convention ready?



I have my doubts. And if I did that interview with her, I'would have demanded a bit more detail in what she likes SPECIFICALLY about Trek.

But, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Because according to legend, you know you're bad but you're perfectly good at it.

So Am I gonna have to go back and love all those other albums and appearances and things I couldn't be bothered with Pre-Sledgehammer? I mean, one thing's for sure.  This is definitely a way to  BOLDLY GO WHERE NO POP STAR HAS GONE BEFORE.

OR IS IT?

Dwayne The Rock Johnson did it



Ashley Judd did it


And Iggy Pop did it




And Joan Collins did it


So I guess Rhi Rhi can too...


My shields are down, hailing frequencies open, but I don't Love the Way You Lie so I'm still at Yellow Alert.

Let's see how this Star Trek Beyond does when it premieres and then we'll have enough data for a proper analysis.


Rihanna: Are You For Real About Star Trek Beyond?



Rihanna... are we supposed to be friends now?
This Star Trek Beyond Soundtrack... it's got me all kinds of confused.



But you're RIHANNA!







You're not a Vulcan, or a Klingon or an Andorian, or Jem'Hadar or Bajoran or Borg

NOT RIHANNA:




All these years I've danced to your hits but held my side-eye close, only to have my suspicions and shade justified in that No-She-Won't Battleship.

But this video is pulling me in...

Like see at 1:07, she's summoning all these alien ships that are swooping through all insect-like into outer space?  And in the previews those are the things that are ripping apart the beloved-by-all Enterprise Starship.




And at 2:35 she starts having psychic interfacing with the purple orb and suddenly she's transmitting herself into the COSMOS?



But isn't she Rihanna?  we all know what that means. Somebody's trying to take somebody's man and this time in OUTER SPACE! That's the only way I can see this pairing working out.
But then I did my research on the Google and I found this:



hmmmm.....

ARE YOU FOR REAL?
ARE YOU READY TO ADMIT YOU ARE ONE OF US, RHI RHI? A TREKKER, FORMERLY KNOWN AS TREKKIE, and by far the most dedicated Fandom across the land!!!!?

ARE YOU REALLY READY TO JOIN US IN FULL EMBRACE?

Like for  COMIC-CON ready?



Like for Star Trek Convention ready?



I have my doubts. And if I did that interview with her, I'would have demanded a bit more detail in what she likes SPECIFICALLY about Trek.

But, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Because according to legend, you know you're bad but you're perfectly good at it.

So Am I gonna have to go back and love all those other albums and appearances and things I couldn't be bothered with Pre-Sledgehammer? I mean, one thing's for sure.  This is definitely a way to  BOLDLY GO WHERE NO POP STAR HAS GONE BEFORE.

OR IS IT?

Dwayne The Rock Johnson did it



Ashley Judd did it


And Iggy Pop did it




And Joan Collins did it


So I guess Rhi Rhi can too...


My shields are down, hailing frequencies open, but I don't Love the Way You Lie so I'm still at Yellow Alert.

Let's see how this Star Trek Beyond does when it premieres and then we'll have enough data for a proper analysis.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Star Trek TV Series - Trailer Analysis! ( A Geekdom Aside)

THE STAR TREK TV SHOW IS COMING!


Now that we’ve all had a week to properly assess this teaser trailer for the new star trek series coming to CBS streaming, let us present our key preliminary findings. 



AWESOME NEW LOGO! 

These findings are based on close observations of every frame of the trailer, from the perspective a longstanding Trekker and expert on the entire Saga. Vague impressions and news-bits floating in cyberspace have also informed the analysis.

Here are the key points.

POINT 1 – It’s TRULY  AIMING for “NEW”
The voiceover begins “CBS presents a new adventure…” and we quickly go to warp speed away from earth and zoom by numerous celestial bodies, the key here is 25 seconds in:




You see this? A worm hole perhaps? Or some other disturbance in the space-time continuum?   

This suggests to me that whatever setting we may get in the New Star Trek Show – it will be it’s own version of the universe.  Not dependent upon what Abrams’ Nu Trek recent movie mishandlings, and perhaps not even closely tied to  the canonical end of things in prior series, namely Enterprise – I believe bears the most responsibility for nearly killing the Franchise, and Voyager – which saw the Federation at its most advanced state…

I dare say this “clean break” approach has much promise. Vulcan may still exist.  We’re not through the looking glass, we’re elsewhere. Let us give them the benefit of the doubt here and see how it plays out.

In any case, after the warp speed journey ends, we get into the official details. 

POINT 2, With  "New Crews, New Villains, New Heroes, New Worlds" then...

Isn’t interesting what’s been laid out here?



Did you catch that?  New crews.  crewS. As in plural.  
Will we get more than one Captain? More than one Chief Engineer?  And not in that Voyager/Maquis way... but a truly multi-team experience?  
















Villains and Heroes are listed separately from the crews.  
This implies that the crews may not all be heroic. There could be shades of gray here. Many shades of gray... 




CONCLUSION!!!


This  Star Trek will be an Anthology Series. We won’t be stuck with one ship or one space station as the center of the show.  We will follow different crews and different teams, perhaps as part of a larger, broad story arc, a la Game of Thrones,  or perhaps as a more self-contained “each season is different” approach, a la True Crime on HBO.

Very exciting, wouldn’t you say?  Very exciting indeed!

One final note, however.  The top brass at CBS has let it be known they won’t be making Star Trek easy to binge. They aren’t planning to release epi’s all at once, but more like once a week –  this is undoubtedly intended to maximize revenue from subscriptions, as all the Trekkers will subscribe on week one and keep their subscription until the season finale. 

A fair, if rather greedy strategy. 

However, if my analysis is correct and they are heading in the anthology direction, then the content doesn’t appear to be perfectly aligned to the revenue strategy.

They’d probably do better to weave in heavy serialization so that we MUST SUBSCRIBE. And they should also take pains to push the series very hard on the internet…   all those spoilers floating around will keep the Trekkers in line.

I feel like this content release strategy will wear thin, as Trekkers figure out work-arounds. But that may just be my contrary nature.

What do you think?  Please chime in with your own findings.





WATCH THE TRAILER YOURSELF HERE:

Sunday, January 31, 2016

2015 In Review: An Obie, LA Webfest, Open TV and More!


So as usual, I’m a bit behind with the updates, but it’s all been for good reason. I have some hot irons in the fire, which I will hopefully be able to share in the coming weeks. 

I’ve also taken these first few weeks of 2016 to take stock on the prior year. Here’s a few highlights that made me proud:




·       Ever since I had Citizen Jane in season one of this fest, I’ve done my best to support it and help it move along, mostly behind the scenes now as a producer/fundraising lead. 

      This Obie is a much-deserved, and I’m so excited about the ongoing growth of the festival.





She’s Out of Order hit a stride last year, and taking home an award at LA Webfest was a wonderful way to celebrate our success with the series. 
   




·       Open TV went into Full Swing as a platform for independent arts and artists

I'm excited to be a behind-the-scenes supporter and super proud of my partner, Aymar Jean Christian for founding this Chicago-based project and creating a viable digital collective space for artists  - particularly artists of color and from LGBTQ backgrounds.   







And I have three “big deal” pitches pending from my 2015 writer hustle, any of which will really make a huge impact. 

All this makes me feel good because 2015 was a pretty trying year, with healthy heaping doses of “sorry not interested” responses, even for some stuff I thought was a “sure bet”, but yeah, I have plenty to be happy about.

But last year, I also managed to collect a few (modest) paychecks for my work as a writer/producer.  I've gotten in the mix with a few studios with network TV affiliations that will PAY ME to develop digital series for their online platform. And I also started ghostwriting for an independent producer with an interesting slate of film and TV projects (which I can’t say anything else about, lol). 

So I guess it was a pretty productive year, despite all the setbacks and sad-faces.


OK, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for news on my next presentation at the National Black Theatre, some exciting Open TV updates and more!