RABBIT TRAILS: DISPATCHES FROM THE SHED
Updates, news and blog stories from around the Ted and Company universe.
The ellipsis… I have been in love with the ellipsis since I started writing. Not everyone shares that love. My indiscriminate love affair with this punctuation annoys and occasionally infuriates editors and administrators alike. Here’s the thing…or a thing. It may not be the thing, but it’s certainly a thing. The thing is… …I don’t want to change this habit of affectionally turning to the ellipsis. And when does an annoying habit become a charming affectation? Is it related to age? Is it related to our own acceptance of the habit turned affectation? Does it include the wearing of a beret? Those infuriated editors have asked, “Why don’t you use a comma? It’s a perfectly fine, time tested and honored punctuation. EVERYONE knows what the comma means. What did the comma ever do to you? What have you got against the comma!? What makes you so freakin’ special?!…and what is…Read More →
Steven Stauffer sneaks up on you. It’s not just that he is innately quiet, the third child in a family of 6, and a natural peacemaker. No it’s something else…something else. Hmmm. If you have been following along in this series, Steven has been mentioned many times. AND If you haven’t been following along, why not?! (Go check out the previous posts, starting here, for the whole story.) The series moves from Steven’s idea to shoot in a “really cool theater,” to Michelle’s description of him: “I’m there too, watching both the screen … and Steven’s dance. It’s a beautiful dance to behold… up then down, tilting to one side, leaning in, backing up. Ted leads, Steven follows.” We feel Steven’s presence. He has a lanky athletic grace, could be a poster child for skinny jeans, and moves a bit like a small forward looking for the crevices in a…Read More →
Shifting perspectives a bit… Michelle here, Director of the Work of Art in Progress. So, one afternoon last week, I’m watching the first video cut from Steven — and I’m feeling the story, we’re carrying it through. On screen, Ted makes me laugh, brings me to tears, enlarges my heart… he draws me in, it’s just him and me. I’m Audience Member Number One, first focus group member, and my feedback is in: we haven’t finished editing yet, but it’s there. It’s working. I’m with him. And then… I take off my Audience Member goggles, moving on to other Director Duties, and I’m struck by something. I’ve been pulling photos for social media posts, and there’s a striking contrast here. On video, I was right there with Ted, feeling it with him, just him and me — as the Very Special Audience Member. But looking through these pictures as Director,…Read More →
When we last left off, I was being convicted to not only take the script to a deeper, more vulnerable space but my acting as well, aaack! We now found ourselves in that beautiful theater space in tech rehearsals. Now, when we rented the Goshen Theater, Jerry Peters came with it. It’s right there in the contract: “In signing this contract, as a bonus, you also receive a healthy dose of Jerry Peters.” Everyone needs a healthy dose of Jerry Peters. I first met Jerry in 1991… JERRY: …29 years ago. TED: Wow, that makes me feel… JERRY: Seasoned? TED: Seasoned. JERRY: So, I’ll be there a bit, get the heat going, turn the lights on, run the spot if you need it. TED: Right. JERRY: But mostly dropping in and out… checking in. TED: Can you join us for a pre-production meeting via Zoom? JERRY: Sure. And he was…Read More →
When we last were with you, Steven and Ted had found the Really Cool Theater. So, a change in plans–don’t shoot the video in the barn, amongst the detritus and memories of my childhood, but rather travel to Goshen, Indiana, and rent the gorgeous, recently renovated Goshen Theater where they have been unable to host events because… all together now: “The pandemic hit and all performances were canceled.” In light of this change in plans–a real theater instead of a barn–maybe I need to be better; a better writer, a better actor. The stakes have been raised. So we need to hire an exceptional director. Enter Michelle Milne… MICHELLE: How long are you thinking the shoot will take? TED: I was thinking one day of shooting. MICHELLE: Really? One day? TED: I mean after a day of rehearsal. MICHELLE: A day? TED: Well, we could do a 2 hour Skype…Read More →
In January of 2020, Ted & Company had a book release party and show. The book, Portraits From The Human Faces Tour, was created by Valerie Serrels, Steven Stauffer and me. The show was to become a part of the touring repertoire of Ted & Co. We succeeded in getting a grant to underwrite the tour, then planned a 10-15 show campaign. The Ted & Co office was gathering steam and momentum, the entire office I tell you! Both of us. And…here is where the performer holds the mic out to the audience and they sing the next lines, all together now…”The pandemic hit and all performances were canceled.” In late summer my wife Sue made a prescient suggestion, “ Why don’t you put that show on video to create an online product and we can sell those pallets of books in our basement?” A great idea. In August I…Read More →