Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's the Same SAK.

I got an e-mail a few days ago from someone on our mailing list. We had recently sent out an e-mail about our new show FourPlay: the (Improvised) Musical. Here is the person's response/inquiry:

The name of the show sounds like it could be an indication of off colored jokes.
Is the show still going to be family orientated and kept clean?
Signature Protected

Here is my response:

Thanks for your inquiry about FourPlay: the (Improvised) Musical.

Fear Not!! The show is not a departure from our standard fare on the content scale. Granted, our clever play on words certainly does cause one’s head to look again. But that’s just what we are hoping for! There are 4 actors in the show creating 16 characters and creating 20 never before sung songs. 4 Actors Playing – that’s FourPlay!

We have always strived to provide entertainment that is suitable for all ages. We often explore and lambast themes and emotions common to everyone – we toy with the good and the bad in all of us. We have dedicated ourselves to curb the use of profanity and vulgar language in our shows – something we’re very proud of which has helped us build our reputation as family friendly. We don’t shy away from sensitive topics, familial dysfunctions or political references. But we do it in an appropriate fashion. We do, as you know, have our “Scum Box” handy for times when our players go beyond decorum and appropriateness. We use that in our “Duel of Fools” show. Since FourPlay is a complete 2 act play in the style of a Broadway Musical, we don’t use the Scum Box, but the standards it represents are respected and understood in all our shows unless specifically stated otherwise.

If you’ve been to our theater before you know that there is no shortage of lampooning stereotypes and we are certainly guilty many times of not being politically correct. But as thousands of wonderful fans have experienced its all in the name of fun. It is improv and because of that you never know exactly what is going to happen, but as an ensemble we have agreed to certain boundaries of content.

I hope this sufficiently answers your question(s) and I hope you’ll come and see FourPlay with your whole family. It runs at 10pm Fridays and Saturdays through September 23, and Matinees on Sundays in September.

If you’d like more information about it go to

I also recommend for your entertainment pleasure our classic signature improv comedy show “Duel of Fools,” which will run at 8pm.

##end of response##

I will have more to say about this in subsequent posts, but I will add that I get a little anxious over the whole "family-friendly," "family-oriented" thing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

To Vegas or Not To Vegas?

How can it be? Over a week since my last entry? Not a very compelling blog if there's only a new post once a week or so. My friend Mark Baratelli has offered some tips and hints for successful blogging and I am a very eager and willing student. I'll bet his first lesson will be "You gotta blog every day - or almost every day!" Note taken - even before it is given.

Today's topic is more of a canundrum. I got a call yesterday from Jonathan Mangum (SAK alumni, 1993-1996) saying Wayne (Brady) wants to know if I can do some Vegas dates in August in Jonathan's stead. It happens periodically that Jonathan has other commitments when Wayne has dates booked and often times I am able to fill in. The dates are August 18 and 19 and I'd have to break another performance commitment here in Orlando not to mention I would be gone on my wife's birthday.

I hate opportunities that become such crazy and personal decisions. I have done several Wayne Brady road shows and the Vegas dates are definitely among the most fun. The Mirage Hotel is a great venue - the Danny Ganz Theater - is really well-suited to this kind of performance. It is always of course good press to boast appearances with Wayne Brady. It is actual and truthful news with a direct Florida/SAK/Dave angle and frankly a great way to remind people of the SAK/Wayne Brady connection. Plus I really have a great time in the shows. Wayne's got a trio of musicians that travel with him and they are all wonderful guys.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Promising Future?

Well, the biggest revelation I have for today is it's really hard to blog consistently. I can't believe how fast days go by since we have been back from vacation. I am having post vacation something or other stress. I want to be back on the beach. I think I could do that for quite a long time and not get too tired out. Granted, there was wireless internet access from the Activity Center and since our room was right above the Activity Center... You do the math, but I can tell you my frowns always turned upside down when I could get online right there in our room looking out at the beach.

Isn't that a sin? To be online at the beach? Well, with all the SAK stuff and Disney stuff that was happening it was a life saver. In my opinion spending an hour or two here and there online made it possible for me to actually stay away for 2 weeks. I have been fantasizing about how I could do everything I ever need to do online. Then I could live at the beach or on a lake. Oh well, isn't that everybody's dream?

I had a meeting today with Pat Delacona of the Downtown Development Board and Cassie Turiczek of the Downtown Arts District - D.A.D. as they're called. I met with DAD today. I was joining Jim Morris of the Central Florida Performing Arts Alliance. I can't really talk about some of the things we discussed as it is not the right time, but I can say that I was very heartened at the meeting. There does seem to be a genuine support (among these folks at least) for SAK. Both had said they have a great desire to keep SAK downtown. That makes me glad. I too would love for us to be downtown - that's where our roots are - and I'd love to see us in a much higher traffic and higher profile area.

(The picture you see shows the last vestiges of our original home. The old Lawyer's Title Building at 45 East Church Street on Church and Pine. Now a giant condo building.)

We discussed what SAK's needs are and what SAK's desires are. It will be exciting to see what these prospects might turn into. I have to keep myself from being over-excited. I have to remember that these are prospects. For these to turn into reality a lot needs to happen and a number of City officials have to join in support. I am also encouraged by the fact that City Hall and the Mayor's Office are familiar with SAK - a goal of ours this year. We performed at the Mayor's CityKidz event and it went very well. They were very pleased. I even got a phone message afterward from Mayor Buddy Dyer! Wish I could add that recording as a post but I'd probably need like - permission, or something. More news to follow as it develops.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back at SAK

Well, here we are. Back from vacation, diving back into the swirling vortex. SAK got some great coverage between the article in the Orlando Sentinel and the article in the Orlando Weekly. Another silly semblance of myself appears there. Oh by the way, with me in the pic are Keith Dickerson and Mark Baratelli. I completely spaced when I sent the photo to the weekly and it published without any credit to Mark and Keith. Mark pointed out to me how important it is to have all the trackable credit you can on the web. "Potential employers google people all the time these days. The more interesting things that come up when they google you the better." He's right. So now, when potential employers google Mark Baratelli, they'll see this. Even if they don't get the Weekly story they can get to it from here. So, much of this aside is in hopes of making my gaff up to Mark. Mark Baratelli, that is. B as in Baratelli and Mark as in Mark Baratelli. (Whew, that should make for a successful google search for Mark Baratelli)

Of course I got a lot of calls while away with the family on the beach. Now that I'm back it's time to catch up and sift through all the calls and e-mails. We've got everything - from offers for potential space - in Orlando - near UCF - to offers to share our space to offset costs. Some have called wanting to do fundraisers for SAK. Some just want to know WHAT they might do. Of course, my first response is "come and see shows, and bring friends!" I also direct people immediately to which offers a growing list of ideas one might consider.

One tough thing is the response time. Already I've heard rumblings and comments that we're not responding fast enough to people's ideas. Hey! I was on vacation! Give me a break! V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. It's from the greek root "va" which means "to go" and "cation" which means "can't do everything cuz I'm on freakin' vacation."

There are many great ideas though, and it will take some time to work through some of them. There's only so much I can do even now that I'm back. I constantly have to remind people that SAK doesn't really have the budget to pay a full time Managing Director and Artistic Director, and we have a staff of 3 not including myself doing the work of 7. I do much of my SAK work without compensation. (There is a small stipend which I use for gas. I have a lot of gas) Anyway, or rather, unfortunately, I have to keep busy with other things to pay those pesky bills. My Disney Show Director work takes care of most of that. Sometimes, (unfortunately again) that work takes up a full week's worth of time. Stack on that SAK duties and I'm very quickly overloaded. I feel constantly pressed for time and definitely not as much as I'd like to spend with my family. That's why my family vacation was such an awesome treat!

So I've learned to take it all in stride. I go forth knowing the responses will be slow and trust that the Lord (and my Treo 650) will help me with those things I need to take care of today. In the next several days I'll be very excited to talk about some of the possibilities that lie before us. As each day passes, I feel more and more that SAK will definitely make it through the year. We'll have some lean times from now til then, and cross fingers we don't suffer any hurricanes this year, but somehow we'll scrap our way through. SAK usually does. I just don't know how much more of the scrapping I have left in me. I'm eager for this wonderful little improv company to thrive, and for everyone involved to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

More later.

I wish I was at the beach again. Love the sound of real ocean waves.