Take That Pre-Production

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Termninate This!

My weekend got terminated! Isn’t it funny how on in the times in which you don’t have a lot going on, you totally take the down time for granted? Then when you are super busy, you long for a weekend to just totally chill out. We humans are a restless, hard to please lot. That is for sure and for certain.

The Down and Dirty

Saturday was probably the toughest day of pre-production for, “Take That,” we’ll have. I was slated to be at Todd’s around 9:00 am and our actress was supposed to arrive at 10:00 for casting. When I say casting, I don’t mean in the, “We’re reading you for a role” sense. I mean it in the sense of taking an impression of her face and basic parts needed for a particular effect. It’s tough work with lots that can go wrong. I’ll get to that in a minute.

I was woken up on Saturday morning to the sound of barking. As my two lovely dogs had both died this year, hearing that was a bit of a shock. I hopped out of bed and ran down to check it out. A kind of large, tan dog was quick to dart in to the woods as soon as I came out the door. Ah well, guess he didn’t want to deal with me so , back to bed says I. Around 30 minutes later, more barking. This time, I come out the door and two adorable puppies and a dog I presumed to be their mother are out there, kind of barking at our cats on the porch.

Some New Friends

I approached them with a friendly stance and demeanor and it appeared to me that they were hungry. I took a handful of cat food from the cat bowl and offered it to them. The puppies came over right away, follow shortly by the momma dog who looks like a Pitbull mix of brindle color. I emptied out the fridge of any old food I thought they’d like and they gladly ate it all, including a whole pack of tortilla wraps. The mother dog was especially hungry and it appeared she was still nursing so I gave her the lions share.

I got a bit more of the cat food and took it into my dog lot. I put in fresh water and the dogs all seemed happy and trusting enough to walk in. Since I was unsure of their demeanor towards the cats, I locked them in and went to town to get dog food. The funny thing was that they seemed perfectly content to stay in their, eat and chill. They didn’t yelp to be let out the first time. That’s unusual for until a dog gets used to the idea of being fenced in.

At the store, I mentioned to the cashier, my new visitors. She said they some relative of hers worked over at the landfill across the road from us. Apparently they’d taken several puppies home already and that the momma dog in question has basically been a puppy machine, living over there. That was it. I decided right then that I was going to help these animals out. Over the next weeks I plan to get them cleaned up and more used to human contact. The puppies are as loving as can be. The mom is a little suspicious, but friendly. She doesn’t seem to like cats one bit. I myself will keep one of the puppies as I need a new yard dog. The mom and puppy #2 will need a home, so if anyone is looking for a friendly outdoor sized puppy or dog, please shoot me an email or leave a comment.  More photos to come.

Under The Stone

So, after all that excitement, I headed down to Todd’s and arrived by 10. Now one thing you need to know about Todd’s basement laboratory. It’s packed and I do mean packed with both tools of the makeup trade and, well just tools. Like hardware, nuts, bolts, nails and stuff like that. Our actress, Morgan had arrived early. As usual, I had imagined this work going much faster than it actually did. We did a face cast followed by a partial body cast. I got exposed to the use of Dragon Skin for the first time. It’s definitely superior to Alginate but involves a lot more stirring and cleaning along the way.

The actress, after a bit of creative cursing upon removal of the bald cap, really was a trooper. Getting anything cast is a no frills, uncomfortable experience. I think she handled it well. Todd literally worked me to exhaustion. I don’t know how he held up. I think he had something like 16 hours in when everything for done for the day. I’m told that everything turned out perfect and this puts us right on track for an amazing set of old school effects for the movie. Awesome!

Saturday was wrapped after taking the wife out to Mama Noi’s in Norwood (Awesome Food there BTW) and running back to Todd’s for another hour to pull the live recording of the band’s Father of Lies performance, for use In Muticia’s Movie Morgue. I found my bed around 11:00 and that was a wrap, but the weekend was only half over.

Sunday was attended morning service featuring the Evangelists Tommy & Elizabeth O’Dell. It was a unique experience because Tommy uses music, namely the blues as a major part of his presentation. In my estimation he’s a very good player and even better singer. He really has an old school blues voice. Due to having to run back to the store and let Streebo in to work on the sound design of Muticia’s Movie Morgue, I missed all about the last half of the last song. The plan for Sunday’s night’s service was to have a live backing band with Steve Jones and the praise band from ECC.

I played with them last Sunday and offered to join on bass. Well, Nancee didn’t realize that I’d planned to practice with them before the service and took a jaunt to Carolina Mall. If she has access to the keys she’s going somewhere not in Albemarle 100% of the time. Of course her cell phone was off. Long story short it really stressed me out and put me in a horrible mood. I got to practice on time, but just barely and we wound up only going over. We got set and went over perhaps 7 songs. Most of them were 12 bar blues which is the only way I got through it. A few of them were more jazzy and those were challenging. You know hold the E forever then at some point you’re going to go to the chance and start playing the changes more regular. For some reason I was just really nervous too. Who knows why. I always preferred to have the songs up front to get my own ducks in a row before walking in to play with a band but it is….as they say….what it is.  After 20 minutes of practicing, we performed. The set ran just over an hour. You see how that works. 20 minutes of practice, then perform for an hour. That means, I had to try to play a few of the songs cold. One was based on “No Women, No Cry.”  Another was stand by me which I basically knew. We got through it only because Steve Jones was able to pick up the bass on the keyboard when I got lost.  I’d say %90 of the tunes I did as good as I could have possibly done. %10 on the songs I had no prep on, it was kind of a nightmare. Steve would show me the chords on the keyboard and I tried to transpose the finger position in my head to finger out what chord it was, but was only partially successful. He’s a pro musician and really speaks a different langue when it comes to trying to tell me where to put the bass. “On the 1 and the 5.” I’m not sure what that means. I’m going to try to link up with him and get his lingo down for future impromptu performances at some point. That said, impromptu is not my thing at all. I like personal practice then a reasonable amount of rehearsal. (Updated 2/3/2015 Steve Jones never responded to me about getting together and since this story was originally posted I’ve found him to a self infatuated prick with a seriously healthy ego!)

The rest of the band was actually pretty great. I definitely came away feeling like the weak link and I let it bother me a lot more than I should have given that it was playing for Jesus. I just want to put myself into a position to give excellence and nothing else. (Updated 2/3/2015 Turns out my efforts of trying to praise God with my music were entirely wasted on Boomerang. Those in control there don’t really want music unless if sounds exactly like the mega church they are trying to model themselves on. At least I’m done wasting my time there.)

Nancee videoed most of the set and all those songs sounded fine when I watched them back. I’m my own worst critic when it comes to music, but it has to be that way. It just has too. The crowd of around 100 really seemed to be blessed by it all.

Tommy was mildly impressive musically. I was glad to get to play with him. BTW, I got 3 of his albums on the way out and the one I’ve listen to was really good stuff covering a way swath of blues and r n b.