A few months back, Juli Burk, a colleague from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, contacted me and asked if I was interested in being a part of a presentation on our old (1990s) MOO performance days. I said, yes, of course!
For those who don’t know, a MOO is a MUD with object-oriented programming. A MUD is a multi-user dimension or dungeon. They used to exist on university mainframes (because then, only those huge machines could run something with such relative complexity). Users would connect, create a character, and then interact with what we termed a “chat-based virtual reality.”
In the 1990s, a group of thought this electronic technology thing was pretty cool with lots of promise. And so, in ATHEMOO, we staged some experimental works, using the MOO environment by programming objects, bots (from my presentation: “A bot was an object described as a human being that would speak certain phrases if someone uttered a trigger word. World of Warcraft players might think of bots as non-player characters or NPCs”), and having people communicate through typing. While this may seem primitive in hindsight, the text rolling past could in fact have an emotional impact on the reader or observer, and I recall becoming quite emotionally involved in Twyla Mitchell’s A Place for Souls. (All these years later, I don’t recall the specifics, but still remember my reaction.)
So along comes this chance to meet and talk about it again. You can get more info on the presentation here and then join the global audience on 5 July 2022 at 7 p.m. CET (1 pm EDST).
At last, a few minutes free to post another episode of Audio Chimera. This is Episode #34, “Speaking of Speaking,” wherein I complain about the lack of proper speaking ability with people. I am not attacking those with dialects (though variations in English do intrigue me, henna*?), but I would like people to take more care with their speech. You know, round tones, round tones (from Singin’ in the Rain).
Just throwing this out there; maybe some of it will shtick.*
Regular listeners of Audio Chimera have heard me make frequent allusions to my wife, Dianna. She passed away in October 2018. This episode is the news of her passing and a eulogy in her memory. I am posting this episode on what would have been our 30th anniversary.
After midnight, we’re not gonna just let it all hang down, we’re gonna watch really crazy movies!
For many, “midnight movie” now means that first showing of the newly-released movie blockbuster tentpole, likely featuring some sort of superhuman creatures. But when the midnight movie idea started, the movies were hardly mainstream; in fact, they were decidedly “out there.” Listen to some of my experiences–often with second-hand smoke altering my perceptions–with films shown at the witching hour.
What makes a celebrity? Currently in our society, we have people who are famous for being famous. That seems silly to me; I think you should do something to attract fame, not just be someone who people follow.
And why do people grant celebrity to come? It’s very confusing to me. So in my effort to understand this, I look at celebrity encounters I have had. They are not that exciting, and sometimes almost embarrassing. Enjoy!
There’s also information about my Instagram nudes.
Ever notice how as kids we seem terribly bored with events and we think time goes so slowly, and then as we get older, time speeds up (and so when you reach my age, you can lose a decade in there). I have a theory about why this phenomenon occurs, and present it in this episode.
Also, I speak of time and tardiness, with a foreshadowing of the shape of things to come. And in the end, in an explanation about the secret of comedy, with a joke I often tell that features Jesus in a bar. As I say in the podcast, if you’re religious and don’t think Jesus would walk into a bar, your listener discretion is advised. (And while you’re not listening to it, check out John Chapter 2, verses 1-11.)
As a professor, theatre director, playwright, poet, and podcaster: I like to think that I am a master storyteller with all those roles. You as my listeners will have to let me know if you agree with that assessment.
In this episode I talk a bit about the art of storytelling, and how it sometimes goes horribly awry. Sometimes you want that play to be lifelike, and it doesn’t quite make it. And sometimes life resembles theatre when you least it expect.
This is a platonic love story about my friend Maggie whom I met when we were counselors at summer camp. The key to the story is how I met her, lost her, found her again, and then lost her again. I am still waiting to see if she might be found yet another time.
The title of this blog post (a song lyric, as I try to do for all my blog post titles) is the same as the podcast title, since I reference Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” If you see my Maggie somewhere, let her know to get in touch with me.
Isn’t it amazing how we are constantly barraged with requests for personal information–and perhaps more amazing how we are giving it without our knowledge? All of this is in service to Big Data, who I suspect may be Big Brother’s cousin.
What about all these numbers that create a quantitative view of the world? Can the numbers be trusted? In this episode, I question limiting the world through numbers, through naming, and through reducing our experiences to that as seen through our camera phone lens. I think there is destruction inherent in deCONstruction…