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Hello friends. It’s been a while since I’ve sent out an update, so here it goes. First of all, notice change in subject. My first email I sent out said ” Update from Gotham City” but as my friend Nora pointed out, Gotham City from the Batman comics was really based on Chicago, and Metropolis (Superman) was based on Manhattan. This proves two things:

1. I need to do better research next time.
2. Nora is a geek for knowing that. (Just kidding)

Anyway, it is fitting that I am living in METROPOLIS since I now work at the Daily News Building on E 42nd st. This building was the setting for the Daily Planet in the original Superman Movie. When I walked in for my interview, my jaw dropped as I spotted the huge spinning globe in the lobby. This proves that I am also a geek, but I think that goes without saying.

So, when I’m not running around in tights and a cape and fighting crime, I’m working as a web developer for an advertising agency called The Bernard Hodes Group. They seem to be pretty big as their colorful company calendar boasts 80 offices in 29 different countries. My coworkers are friendly and they all have interesting names: Bill Bloom, Pat Sugar, Alvin and Calvin, Caesar….you get the picture.

I love the location of where I’m working – I’m only two blocks away from the United Nations and one block away from the Chrysler building. Every morning when I come up from the subway, I look up and see that beautiful art deco building shining in the sun. I really takes me back to another era – until I run into someone. Yeah, I’m that moron that looks up at tall buildings. I might as well wear a sign on chest that reads “I’m new to the city. Please be kind.”

I have a short term contract with Hodes (3-6 months) which works out well if I am accepted to the Drama League Directors project in the fall.

Which brings me to my next topic. I just completed and sent in my application for the aforementioned (note big word) Drama League Directors Project. This took me a good month to do, since in addition to their application form, they ask for a one page personal essay and a two page production essay. This doesn’t sound too difficult, but it is actually quite hard to say everything you want to say in 1-2 pages. Amy did a great job of editing the essays for me and making me sound somewhat smart. I’m going to need it, since many of the applicants have graduated from Yale, NYU, have directed off broadway, or have applied several times without getting in. They only accept 4 applicants, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’m one of the four. However, if I don’t get in, I’m still glad I took the time to apply, as it forced me to really sit down and think through a production on paper, which I always knew was valuable but seldom had the time to do.

I’m into my second week of rehearsals for TRIAL BY WATER, which is the show I am Assistant Directing. I have learned a lot from observing the director in production meetings and rehearsals so far. I’m keeping a journal of the entire process which I will make available to anyone who wants to read it. Our rehearsals are LONG – 5:30 – 11pm Tue – Fri and 10:30am – 6pm Sat & Sun. Our only day off is Monday. We also have two weeks of previews before we officially open on March 26. Even then, John the director still feels he’s running out of time.

There was a production meeting before the first rehearsal and I got to meet all the production/technical/design teams. About 18 people in all. The production team is quite amazing and everyone seems to genuinely want to do what’s best for the play. I think it will be a stunning production. I never expected I would get to Assistant Direct a full scale equity show, all with union professionals. Even our assistant stage manager is Equity! It’s still pretty surreal.

By the way, Amy and I saw the new Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. It is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life! All the cast members play their own instruments as well as sing and act. If you get a chance to see it, RUN don’t walk. Manoel Felciano plays Toby and he is wonderful. I’m predicting he will get a Tony nomination. Speaking of Manoel Felciano, Amy and I just saw his cabaret show last week and we were surrounded by Broadway stars. I got to shake hands with Michael Cerveris, who plays Sweeney Todd in the current revival. However, I must say the highlight of the evening was Stephen Sondheim sitting about ten feet away from us!

I also have just signed up to attend two playwrights master classes at the Cherry Lane Theatre, one with David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and David Auburn (Proof). I’m totatlly excited for these classes.

And….it looks like I may have my first directing gig in Manhattan. Two one act plays scheduled to go up in May. It’s written by a guy named Evan Laurence. He said he liked the range of work on my resume (thanks Nebraska!). If we can make our schedules work out (he want’s to start sooner, I want to start later) , I think I’m in for directing these plays. More on that later.

We finally got some major snowfall last weekend. It was record breaking, a little over 26 inches. It didn’t seem all that much to me. What was surprising was seeing all the delays in Subway trains that day. Still have figure out if the weather affected the tracks, or if the people operating the trains just could make it in. Maybe it was both. Ok, I’m rambling. Time to go.

Drop me a line and let me know how things are going with all of you. I miss all of you greatly!


Don

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