Kickstarting it up!

Hey everyone!  CCDD has had yet another exciting week of development, and networking in amazingly beautiful San Diego.  I don’t know about anyone else, but ever since this project came into existence  it seems like life has become a lot more fun.

I’m using our blog post this week to talk about the blessing that is Kickstarter.  Have you heard about it?  If you are an artist, or just someone who has an idea- I strongly encourage you to take a look at this site and take the time to create your campaign to help you raise funds for your project.

Low and behold- CCDD  has a project that we thought was perfect for the site!  Our launch play happening this summer absolutely needs funds in order to pay for our space, build a set, create costumes for 10 amazing actors, and promote our longevity as a company.  So we got to work.

CCDD launched our campaign last Wednesday at midnight- but we took a lot of time to try and make the perfect page.  We met, wrote a script to create a film that could showcase us and our project, came up with incentives to try to encourage people to donate to our cause, filmed our video, agonized over our inability to make a perfectly edited video, eventually came to terms with it, and posted the campaign.

Since Wednesday- less then a week ago- we have already raised over $2000!  We must reach our $4000 goal by April 30th in order to get all of the money- and with this amazing start- I don’t think we’ll have a problem.  I don’t think…..I hope not.  It’s stressful!

This whole week I have been getting these amazing e-mails that have notified me of new backers.  Friends, family, strangers- people all interested in our project- have already donated to help us out.  We have gotten donations as small as $1 and as big as $500- and we couldn’t be more grateful.  It’s exciting- but it’s also stressful, so I’m writing to hopefully give us another boost throughout the campaign.

We have hundreds of people coming to this blog every week.  Hi!  I don’t know who you know or how you found us, but thank you for being interested.  Are you interested in seeing our show?  Well, one of our incentives to donating to our Kickstarter campaign is pre-sale tickets to our show this summer!  $25 gets you one, $50 gets you two AND a drink ticket!

So, if you’re visiting, because you care about that fabulous Brendan Cavalier, or the sultry Soroya Rowley- get those tickets and help us out!  Does Sam Ginn make you pee-laugh like she does me?  Have you ever hugged Wendy Savage as hard as I have?  Does Evan Kendig make you dream naughty things?  Does Patrick Kelly make you swoon with his sexy ballads?  Do you know how awesome of an actor Kyle Sorrell is?  Does Jacque Wilke give you joy?  Is Melissa Coleman-Reed your idol?  How about Crystal Mercado?  Do you have any idea what that woman is capable of?  I do.  I know about every single one of these fabulous folks.  And I’ve got ’em ladies and gentlemen- rocking up the stage and I’ve also got the amazing Ashley Toolan AD-ing this beast, and your donation will help CCDD make them rock even harder then they already will- and you’ll be able to get your reserved ticket out of it.

I’m not going to stink up this blog begging for money.  I would never create a campaign that didn’t give back- so check it out- check out all our awesome incentives, check out our poorly-edited, but boldly-performed video, and share it with everyone you know- if you feel so inclined.

Help us make our launch project rock your socks off!

Here is our site:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/911974800/the-break-up-break-down?ref=live

Every little bit helps- and thank you, thank you, thank YOU!  Everyone who has already donated- you are AMAZING!  You are making our crazy dreams come true. We love you!

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Saturday Photoshoot and Sunday Rehearsal

Hi everyone!  CCDD had an awesomely fun weekend-yet again.  It seems like ever since we started working on this project every weekend brings some other component of prep for the show that is highly enjoyable.  On Saturday we took some publicity pictures of two of the couples in ‘The Break-Up/Break-Down” so I could start designing the show postcards, and so that we could have them for print ads, etc.  Once again, the awesome Rich Soublet headed over to our insane asylum and hooked us up with some fabulous shots.  First meet Tommy and Missy (Brendan Cavalier and Soroya Rowley) sharing an intimate date night:

Here is another adorable shot of the happy couple:

We also took a couple of great shots of Sandra and Jay (Sam Ginn and Patrick Kelly) during a romantic rendezvous.  Check them out:

One more loving shot:

There is a very specific idea in my head that I needed these images for and I’m glad they came out so beautifully.  I am hoping to get shots with all five of the couples soon.  Thanks Rich!

Also, here is a blooper shot that we think would be perfect for Brendan’s e-harmony profile:

The lady that bags this man is going to be a lucky one.

Moving on, Sunday night’s rehearsal was AMAZING!  We worked out all the kinks of the shadow work that is happening in the first scene collaboratively.  I must say, I was a little worried about how it would all work out but the little Crystal Mercado goddess came in and soothed all my worries away with her limitless creative power.  Combine that with the shear insanity that is Brendan and Soroya together and it was not only fabulous, it was exactly what I wanted.  Ashley and Patrick were both there lending their expertise, and I realized exactly what these workshops need to be- as many people in the group coming forward and sharing ideas to make this piece not only work- but rock.  And I really saw that happening on Sunday.  Thanks guys!

More soon!

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The Buzz

These past two weeks have been such fascinating ones.  Once you get a little buzz things start to happen around you I guess.

Last week I wrote an article for a local San Diego Theatre website- and it was lovely.  It was also extremely nerve-wracking.  I am still figuring out how to exactly define this entire project, develop a positive public image, and maintain a long-lasting role in San Diego.  Writing the article forced me to stop stalling and articulate- which I think I did well.  I hope it made us seem hopeful, and not looking to fight for our worth.  I hope to prove our worth, and I have faith that we will.

After that article was put out, as well as after we went more public with our facebook page and posted some company pictures that we took to give folks an idea of who we were- after all this, people have started reaching out to me.  Through e-mail, facebook, and by stopping me to chat.  People want to know what is up, and they seem to want to be a part of it- or sometimes they just want to let us know they are excited.

Some people have heard of the content of our first piece and want to share stories that are similar in context!  Strangers are telling me things from their personal life, and all I can do is listen, and feel in awe by even this small burst of excitement.

But, with the positive is the negative as well.  Now listen up.  I am a woman.  A premenstrual, hormonal, theatrical woman- and I get sensitive.  And insecure.  And scared.  And sometimes I think everyone hates me.  Or that I am pregnant even though I’m not.

So I might be hyper-aware of things.  And I WILL get over it.  But I have seen the hint of doubt from a select few artists around town, and it bums me out.  How can people ALREADY be doubtful?  All we have done is posted some pictures!  Wrote an article!  Outwardly said “I’m excited about this!”  Heaven forbid any new artist TRY anything!  Heaven forbid we even SAY we are creating something new!

It is amazing to me how people are so quick to hate, doubt, and ridicule anything new- anything distracting from themselves.

All we can do is be supportive, accepting, and understanding of concern and doubt.  All we can do is love ourselves enough to believe.  And be GRATEFUL to those out there that are excited instead of doubtful and catty.

I AM so excited!  And not because this is perfect- but because we are taking risks, and we are TRYING instead of complaining about what we don’t have.

No pictures or video tonight.  Just a little behind-the-scene insight from someone who is going through some new and 99.9% amazing experiences.

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Guest Blog Feature: Managing Director of CCdd, Brendan!

Photo By: Aaron Rumley

This Sunday I had the honor of being part of Circle’s first rehearsal as one of the actors with one Soroya.  We had a couple people observing and Katie was our Director.  The following is my reactions to those rehearsals after a day or so of reflection.

First off, it was ridiculously fun.  Better yet, I knew it would be.  Over the past few years, even though I’ve been in a couple of comedies, it’s been a long time that I wasn’t surprised that rehearsal was just a ton of fun.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t had fun in rehearsals (that would suck), but it has been a long time since I knew it was going to be really fun going in, and it was.

Our rehearsal was split into two distinct parts, Viewpoints and shadow puppetry.

I’m going to start with the shadow puppetry part since it was something I was much more comfortable with in general.  The goal of the shadow puppetry was to simulate a sex scene in the most ridiculous and hilarious manner possible.  Which I have to say is going to work beautifully.  I consider myself as an actor to be very physically adept, this doesn’t mean I can dance … because I can’t; I’m more of a clown.  My comfort level with looking like an awkward, foolish, buffoon played wonderfully with Soroya’s legitimate coordinated sexiness, and turned into a dance with shadows, perceived distance and size that’s made our observers laugh to the point of pain, and I look forward to bringing it to a sizeable audience.  The Viewpoints exercise was very different though.

Katie (our head writer/Artistic Director) is very experienced with ‘Viewpoints’.  Viewpoints, as far as I can tell from my limited experience with it, is not only a method of developing characters, stories, possibly performance art itself, but also a style of acting.  Viewpoints asks the actor to let go of their cerebral side, and embrace their instincts and enact it physically.  This style is very different from the intellectual style of acting that I am much more practiced and comfortable with.  Not only that but throughout my personal life come to the conclusion ‘that my guts … have s**t for brains’ –High Fidelity.  If you know me, you’ll understand how Viewpoints can be a very difficult thing for someone whose M.O. is thinking too much and constant self-conscious over-analysis.

Sunday was very interesting for me.  I came to a few realizations about myself as a person and an actor.  While Viewpoints exercises striped me of my highly motivated and protective super-ego, and intelligent rationalizing ego, that at the core of me, I have a nerdy, flighty, terrified of women, 12 year old, engineer of an ID.  Big surprise, right?  I’m not sure what to do about that other than be aware of it.  As an actor I realized how dependant I am on segregating myself from the character I’m portraying.  It’s much easier for me to decide how a character would make a decision or react to some situation than it is for me to honestly describe that for myself.  Some of the questions raised in the rehearsal were shockingly difficult for me to answer, and showed me that I perhaps don’t know myself as well as I had previously thought.

With all those discoveries and with the absurd amount of fun we had in rehearsal; I’m a little upset that the next rehearsal that I’m scheduled for isn’t for another month.  I really can’t wait.

-Brendan Cavalier

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Something Something…

So, I needed to post something and I didn’t really feel like it.  BUT I promised I would write consistently, so here I am.  I knew this would happen.

Things are still happening, grants are still being applied for, but I didn’t have a rehearsal this last weekend, so I don’t have any fancy pictures, or immediate news.  The lull before the storm I suppose.  (:

So, to tide you over until more fulfilling content, I shall leave you with a super-sexy picture of Soroya:

I am a huge fan of Soroya.  We met while working together in a touring kids show.  She played an autistic little boy, and I played her 16 y/o babysitter.  She always shows up, is always on time, is always enthusiastic, and is enormously committed.  I love her ability to take risks- and to perform with total fearlessness.  I have admired her strengths, and am so happy to have her as part of our company.

So, I guess whenever I have a lull in content I will brag about my company members.

This Sunday will be the very first non-living room script exploration, so I’m sure there will be plenty more to talk about then.

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Puppets and Casting and fun fun fun!

This weekend was quite possibly too much fun.  Too much in the fact that I am still recovering for the second day after all the fun that was had.  So let’s get into it!

Friday night was the big day at the Museum of Photographic Arts!  Crystal worked her butt off to edit the video of all the awesome puppet pictures that Rich took, and turned it into a really fun stop-animation film.  She really deserves 90% of the credit in getting it all done.  Crystal-  you have proven yourself to not only be a huge asset to our group, but an inspiring and gifted artist.  I feel so blessed to be working with you, and I love you!

The way we were set up to perform was as an “opening act” to the Puppet film fest, along with a couple other puppet acts including the awesome “Strings and Things,” and the gracious hosts of the evening- Animal Cracker Conspiracy.  We were set up in the Gallery with a projection, and Brendan/ Evan read a bit of the scene leading up to the film, and the monologue that describes the action in the film.  It was hilarious.  We got a great reaction from the crowd, and seemingly a lot of people interested in us!  Buzz!

Here are some pictures that doesn’t really do how cool it was justice- but I wanted to share.  There were some professional shots taken as well, so hopefully I’ll grab them when I can.

I had to write down something to say.  There were at ton of people there, and I had to introduce us right!

I figured Evan would secure our female/gay audience’s intrigue.  Look at that putum!

Puppet shenanigans!

We had support!  The majority of the company made it out, and a couple friends-of showed us love!  This is the lovely Matt, a friend of the beautiful Ashley.  Sam was very much enjoying the wine at this event.

All in all, it was a wonderful start of the long journey that will be mounting this show, and creating enough intrigue to build a company that can have staying power.

Saturday night we went to see beautiful company member Soroya strut her stuff as a questionably-gendered German Ringleader at the Ruby Room’s Circus-themed event.  Check out how awesome she is:

How hot is she?  Her performance inspired ‘Circle Circle dot dot’ to probably get more ‘festive’ then we should have.

And finally, Sunday was a day of reading, schedule-maneuvering, and final casting choices for the show!  I am happy to announce the final cast of “The Break Up Break Down”:

Missy: Soroya Rowley

Tommy: Brendan Cavalier

Kaitlyn: Crystal Mercado

Alvie: Evan Kendig

Sandra: Sam Ginn

Jay: Patrick Kelly

Mel: Melissa Coleman Reed

Jane: Wendy Savage

Cecily: Jacque Wilke

Ivan: Kyle Sorrell

 

After some final connections with two beautiful local actresses- all of the pieces fell together.  From now until our reading in April we will be working on physical explorations in the studio- and I will be documenting all of it!

Thanks everyone for reading.  This continues to get more and more exciting with each passing week.

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Amazing Weekend!

Something I realized this weekend that set into me pretty deep is the fact that my free time is now gone.  If I want to make this happen I have to dedicate every moment outside of my wonderful job (that I am always kind of working on) to do it.

But really…what am I doing during my free time?  Hanging out with my friends, talking about art, wanting to be creative….it seems like I’ve found the ability to do just that- and be productive towards an amazing goal.  So I think I’ll be ok.  Check back in June when my hair might turn white from stress.  I might look good with white hair though…..so maybe it’ll all work out.

Here is what work happened into the weekend:

Thursday: met with the AMAZING Matt Lescault-Wood, and tried my hardest to glean some of his superior photoshop knowledge in order to fine-tune our logo and work on future designs for postcards, websites, programs….etc.  Here is what we (mostly he) created from my previous work:

It’s cleaner, and it transfers to black and white with ease.  The colors can easily be changed, and it is awesome!  I’d proudly wear this on a T-shirt.  (: Thanks for everything Matt!

On Friday Crystal and I worked hard to finish the puppets for our film. Then on Saturday the amazing Rich Soublet helped Crystal, Ashley, and I create our puppet film for this Friday’s Adult Puppet Cabaret performance, by taking AMAZING pictures of our puppets in compromising situations.  I wont give away the film, but here is a little snapshot of Rich hanging with the Brendan puppet:

How amazing is Rich?  And how AMAZING is the Brendan puppet?!?  Crystal is proud, rightfully so.  He rocks- and so will this film.  We are so excited and honored to be able to share it with the Puppet-loving community in San Diego.  They are such an awesome underground group of giving and supportive people who I truly hope to collaborate with in the future.

Last, but certainly not least, the company- Sam, Brendan, Soroya, Crystal, Ashley, Patrick, Evan, and I had a little photoshoot for publicity purposes and for the help of constructing online marketing profiles.  My amazing friend Aaron Rumley came out and took beautiful pictures of us hanging out, being jackals- and just trying to showcase some of our personality for the world.  There will be many more to show off once I get our website and Facebook page up, and we are still going through all of them and picking out the ones we love the best (228 pictures and gold in all of them!)- but here are a few that have stood out so far:

Everyone gives great face in this one.

Yes.  Sam volunteered to get in that dumpster.

For those who don’t know I have an affection for mustaches.

The group loved this fallen tree in Morley Field.

 

Well there you have it.   That’s all I’ve got for today.

Everyone should come out to the show on Friday!  Support some fabulous local artists and check out CCDD’s sneak peek!  Check HERE for more information!

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