Active Blather: May 2004

June 2, 2004
I don't know about you, but whenever I get any free time off from work I usually waste it. This past weekend was a four day weekend for me and, though I planned on working on my comics, I ended up practically doing nothing. I got one comic strip done and that's about it. I seem to be stuck in this "one comic strip per week" routine and it's frustrating. The minicomic I have been "working" on is basically in hiatus, the strips for my syndication package is pretty sparse, and there is a ton of stuff I want to do, but I never end up doing anything. Sadly, this is so typical for me. I need to snap out of it!

On a positive note (which I know you all need after all the moaning and groaning I just put you through), we filmed a scene Monday for our episode-in-progress, "The Petrocoli Incident".  The scene involved a conversation between Arlo/Max Petrocoli (played by yours truly as always) and Vinnie (Tim Richardson, of course) in a parking lot for a fast food restaurant. Despite some powerful winds, the weather was pretty cooperative for the shoot. Our director, Matt Stoltz, seemed pleased with the results and so did Tim. I was a little apprehensive about filming that day for some odd reason, but any qualms I may had were unjustified. Things went smoothly. I think this episode may turn out to be something special.

Besides thanking Matt and Tim for all their hard work, I also want to thank the always dependable Bill McIntosh for being our crew and Rob Richardson for playing the murderous thug. If Those Funky Idiots had a budget, you guys would be well paid! 

May 31, 2004
I did some filming yesterday. It was a solitary gig involving just me and my camera. After weeks of thinking about it off and on, I finally taped the first two episodes of Storytime with Uncle Arlo. The idea of the show is simple: Arlo reads a book.* Pretty exciting stuff, huh? 

It was a pretty quick shoot and the two episodes feature my blissfully amateurish filming. If you like slightly wobbly title cards and a badly framed fat man reading a book, this is the show for you! 

I'll be the first to admit Arlo's latest program isn't the cream of the public access crop, but it is something new to show. I don't know if there will be any follow-ups in the near future though. I envisioned Storytime to be an ongoing series, but I don't know if it has any "legs" or not. I guess we'll see.

*Note to John Dalton: Yes, I stole your idea. I even acknowledge it in the credits. However, I substituted the pulp novels with children's literature so I'm not too big of a thief. Okay, maybe I am. Forgive me, John!

May 27, 2004
SOMETHING I JUST NOTICED: I didn't do a very good job proofreading my last entry. (Don't bother trying to find my error! I already fixed it.)

SOMETHING I FORGOT TO MENTION: My niece Maddie graduated from her Head Start class last Monday (May 17). She was a little cutie in her pretty pink dress, shyly waving from the stage in the Selma Elementary's cafeteria. After taking the summer off, Maddie will be attending preschool in the fall. Congratulations, Maddie! Uncle Tom is proud of you!

THE BOOK I'M CURRENTLY READING: Misery by Stephen King

WHAT I WAS DOING BEFORE I STARTED UPDATING THIS SITE: Eating two snack-size bags of Doritos while watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It was the episode with the leprechauns. Didn't they just show that one last week?

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Whatever happened to Juice Newton?

In Eric Whetsel News...
Due to the skyrocketing cost of gas (The British call it "petrol"), Eric refuses to leave Dunkirk.

May 22, 2004
Captain America: Keeping the country shaved!

While leafing through X-Statix #21, I came across this delightfully strange ad for home haircutting kits which features Captain America giving some kid a haircut. Who knew Cap was such a great barber? Something tells me he only can do crew cuts. 

Happy Birthday, Jay!

May 21, 2004
I really need to be updating more often. I'm a sad excuse for a webmaster. Scorn me. Then pity me. Then invite me out to lunch.

I had a computer scare yesterday. It did something wonky and I panicked a bit and ended up making things worse and then things settled down and then there was peace in the land. I owe two more payments on my computer and now I'm afraid it'll die on me once it's paid off.  Don't I worry about the stupidest things?

May 11, 2004
FACT: I'm a sucker for Alicia Keys.

GOOD NEWS: I was recently summoned for jury duty. I was supposed to show up this Thursday to be a prospective juror, but I received a phone call yesterday and the case was cancelled. Yay!

RECENT ACQUISITION: A brand new keyboard that only cost me $7.00. 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY: I'm still enjoying the great Freaks and Geeks dvd. Fans of wonderful television, buy a copy NOW!

FUN STUFF: I auditioned at the Civic yesterday. I did a monologue from Harvey and briefly sang Randy Newman's "Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear". I think I did pretty well. There was some laughter during the monologue. That's encouraging, right?

FACT #2: Eric Whetsel beat me in croquet a couple of weekends ago. Afterwards, he grilled some hamburgers that took an hour to cook.

RECENT MEAL: An Arby's Giant Roast Beef sandwich, an order of potato cakes, and a large Coke.

CLOSING THOUGHT: "How I love the sound of bells!' the littlest elf said to his friends in the forest. 'They're so ringy.'" -The Littlest Elf

May 8, 2004
The Harp Brothers
The Harp Brothers: Little Harp (top, played by
yours truly) and Big Harp (bottom, Chip Etchison)

Well, The Robber Bridegroom's tale is done. The show closed last Saturday after five great performances. I really hated to see it end. I had a whole lot of fun and I miss all the kind, talented people I had the opportunity to work with.

Stand-by for some words of thanks.

  Thanks to Chip Etchison (Big Harp) for showing me the ropes and for being a great acting partner. Thanks to the lovely and talented Ellen Capraro (Rosamund) for the carnation and for letting a fat, sweaty guy manhandle her. Thanks to my other great acting and singing partner, David Guiden (Goat), for making me look good during "Poor Tied Up Darling" (and I'm really sorry about dropping the knife, David!). Thanks to Katie Long (Airie) for not complaining when I have her in my arms and for being good company in the green room. Thanks to the great Helen Graves (Salome) for being so fun to act with and for keeping me on my toes. Thanks to the lovely and graceful Katelyn Burney (Raven) for letting me stab her repeatedly and I'm sorry I jabbed your elbow! Thanks to the very professional Corey Mills (Jamie Lockhart) for the soundtrack and the research material. Thanks to Sonja Rees, Clarance Casazza, Walter Welch, Jan Etchison, and Wanita Spence for the conversation and for welcoming me into the Civic family. Thanks to Nellie Holt, Elaine Royal, and Kevin Heller for the support and encouragement.

Thanks to everyone in the band (Jerry Cole, Judy Malone, Nicole Smith, and Julie Barber) for helping me sound like a singer (I know that wasn't easy!). Thanks to everybody backstage especially Robert, Jillian, Collin, Aaron, and Addison for making everything run smoothly despite broken trunks and falling britches. Thanks to Jan and Nancy Etchison for all the free pizza and to Nancy Long for taking some great pictures. Thanks again to all my friends and family for being there for me. Finally, a big thanks to Darrin Murrell for a being a great director and for giving me a chance.

Thanks again, everybody! I hope we can do it again someday!

In Eric Whetsel News...
Eric is moving back to Dunkirk. Good luck with the move, Eric!

April 29, 2004
I'm making this brief since I'm plum tired, but I just wanted to note that our third performance was well received before a small, but mighty audience. The audience really seemed to enjoy themselves. They laughed at all the right times and were very generous with their applause. Of course, I think having twelve members of my family in the audience may have played a small part. Thanks to everyone who showed up and I hope you had a great time!

April 28,2004
One of the things I enjoy at the Muncie Civic Theater is being down in the green room. It's a cozy, little space where everybody sits and relaxes during their time off stage. I just like sitting around down there, running lines, listening to all the conversations, and getting to know everyone. I feel like a part of a community during my green room time. I think that's the one thing I'm going to miss the most after we finish our run: Being around all these great, talented people. Heck, I'm starting to miss them already. 

April 25, 2004
Last night's performance was pretty good. The audience was great. They really reacted well to the show. Unfortunately, the audience wasn't as big as we thought it might be. That was slightly disappointing. People are really missing out on a fun show.

As for my performance, I think I was better than I was on  opening night. However, I did flub a line (or two) and I did some major damage to one of my props. That prop being the trunk I carry my brother's head in. During one number, I have to throw the trunk across the stage and when I do that gravity takes it's toll. It stood up pretty well to impact during opening night, but it didn't hold up well to the strain last night. Two boards came out of it, leaving several screws exposed and making it dangerous for Big Harp (played by the great Chip Etchison) to pop his head into it. Fortunately, Addison the technical director and Aaron (whose name I'm spelling wrong, but I forget how he said he spells it) the orchestra pit tech put the trunk back together again. Thanks again, guys!

Our next performance is April 29. Tickets are still available so get them now!    

April 24, 2004
Opening night for the Muncie Civic's The Robber Bridegroom has came and went. Wow. It was a rush. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous. Usually when I know I have to be in front of a bunch of strangers (For example, when we tape parades), the butterflies do a'twitter about in my oversized gut. However, that wasn't the case last night. I knew my material and I knew what I had to do so maybe knowing I was prepared played a part in the lack of anxiety.

It was fun to finally play before an audience. Strangely, it was hard to gauge their reaction from stage for the most part. I got some laughs and that is always cool, but I really couldn't tell if the 
show was going over favorably or not. From stage, things felt pretty good. I flubbed a line or two and there was some things I wished I did differently, but, for the most part, I thought I did okay.  I am going to ramp up the energy a bit more for the next show and try to be more animated.

Thanks to everyone in the cast and crew for being so damn good to me the last few weeks. Everybody is so talented and hard-working. Their work inspires me to do my best and hopefully that was on display last night.

Thanks to all my friends for showing up for my first big show. Thanks Tim, Audrea, Bill, Jon, Della, and Eric for your support and kind words. You guys are the best! Thank you all!

April 23, 2004
The Robber Bridegroom by Eugene Mumaw

Well, tonight's the night. We finally open. As I write this early in the afternoon, my nerves are pretty steady. That may change as the hours dwindle away, but so far so good. Last night's rehearsal wasn't as great as the night before, but I definitely think we're ready to put on the big show. I'm fortunate to be working with a talented cast, crew, and director. They really have been supportive and encouraging to this humble neophyte all through the rehearsal process and I'm truly grateful.

I think the thing that marred my feelings toward last night's dress rehearsal was the fact I lost my pants after the opening number. Yesterday was the first time I wore the pants for my costume and I screwed up the elastic waist so they came a' tumbling down around my ankles. Thankful I was wearing boxers for the attempted moon shot. I did get a big laugh from our small audience so I guess my droopy drawers was entertaining at least. It's amazing how my pants seem to be a reoccurring theme throughout this production. If I'm not ripping them, I'm losing them. Maybe I should just wear kilts.

Thank you to everyone who passed along words of support and well wishes to me over the last couple of days. I truly appreciate your kindness!  I hope everyone gets a chance to see our fractured, southern fairy tale! Now, on with the show...

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Copyright 2001-2006 Tom Cherry
The Robber Bridegroom poster 2004 Eugene Mumaw
The Harp Brothers photo 2004 Darrin Murrell