Monday, March 31, 2008

An Idea

I got a great idea a few weeks ago from a couple on one of my Segway tours. The idea is called '1-2-3-MOTORBOAT!' And the way you do it is simple. You get someone to take a picture of you, or you take a picture of someone else....and right before you take the picture, you say '1-2-3-MOTORBOAT!' Then, the subject of the picture begins to go "pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt" with their lips.....through the duration of the shot.

Something MAGICAL happens....and the magic is, you end up getting some of the MOST HYSTERICAL PHOTOS of people EVER. I'm telling you what....something about the Motorboat technique produces pictures with the highest degree of hilarity. I couldn't figure out what was so FUNNY with the couple on my tour....until they started showing me their pictures. And then I became obsessed. SO obsessed....that now I tell everyone about it, and if you're around me when I have my camera out, I'm going to tell you to '1-2-3-MOTORBOAT!'

And now....without any further ado....a few examples of the motorboats I captured over the past week or so. My apologies to any of you on here who are unhappy with your appearance here, but COME ON......remember how much we LAUGHED about these pictures? YOUR motorboat is going to help someone else's day get a LITTLE brighter.

Oh yeah - AND if you see me and I don't offer to take a Motorboat picture, just remind me, and I'll be happy to pull out my camera and snap a shot or two. You WON'T be sorry! Or if you snap some on your own, feel free to send them on over to me....I'd LOVE to see your work. And a HUGe friends to my brave, brave friends...who always seem willing to take whatever craziness I bring.

Things started a little slow with Rachel and Darci...because they were having trouble not laughing first.

But then all of the sudden....great things started to happen.

And then REALLY great things. We got TEETH on Darci. Amazing.

And by this time, the fun was ROLLLLLLLLING in!

I ALSO got in on the fun!!!

A couple of nights later, at the Georgetown Cafe, the insanity started up (slowly) again. Here Bryan gets things going. OR...he could just always look like this.

Bryan and Rachel give us a LESS EFFETIVE example....

And then turn it around with a HIGHLY EFFETIVE example! (Sorry was just too magical.....)

Christy got in on the action a little late, and started out a bit confused....

but Meg and Mark were quick to show her how it was done.

Then Christy and Meg delivered THIS shot!

Meg and Mark give it another try....but CHECK Christy out on the left side of the picture. AMAZING, people! Simply amazing.

And then, Meg delivers the night's SINGLE best masterpiece!

Kelly and Brendan get in on the action, too....

and produce 2 amazing pictures!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Few Things

1. This is Russell Crowe. He's an actor. He's Austrailian. He is currently in Washington DC filming a movie. And....he loves Segways.

Well....I'm GUESSING he loves Segways. Saturday, I was out on a tour with a very fun and enthusiastic tour group! We were stopped on Constitution Ave - diagonally across from the Archives Building - waiting to cross over Constitution, and a police-escort stopped traffic all up and down the street. It was guiding a U-haul-type moving truck with a trailer on the back - and on the trailer was a car with cameras all around it. My group asked me what was going, and since the week prior my tour had seen the effects of the Russell Crowe movie around town on our tour, I said that I guessed it was more filming for the R.C. movie they were filming here.

The escort went up a few more blocks and then must've turned around, because we were still stopped on the road and the sirens were coming BACK to us...and as we saw it approach, I looked up and saw, in the drivers seat of the car on the trailer, Mr. R.C. himself. About that time, 2 other people in my tour, and numerous people standing on the corner, said, "Russell Crowe is in the car!"

Since we're on Segways, we stand out a bit more - and higher than most masses of people, and as the car came closer, we saw R.C. looking over to our group, chuckling to himself. I raised my hand, waved to him, and he gave our group a little head-nod "how you doin'?" back at us...and then drove off. My tour group was on cloud NINE! We were the coolest kids on that corner that day.

So as you can tell...we are all pretty sure Russell Crowe loves Segways.

The movie, STATE OF PLAY, opens in 2009. Click HERE for more details.

2. My nephew Austin, 14 years old, sent me one of the funniest text message pictures I've ever seen in my life. He took it in the hymn book at church. I hope you enjoy it, too. Thanks, Austin! You're one of the funniest 14 year old guys I know.

You want to beat Austin at FUNNY TEXT MESSAGE PIC? The game is on. The best of the weeks will get posted here on The MAnderson Report. Need my number? Just lemme know.

3. TODAY....rehearsals start for my next project here in Washington DC. I'm back with Theater J doing a world-premiere musical called: "David In Shadow And Light" - a musical retelling of the story of King David. I play a few different roles...and although I haven't heard yet, I have read the script a couple of times, and have my fingers crossed that they will add "SHEEP #3" to my list of roles.

That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll have more to report as 'David' gets underway and spring kicks into high-gear in the DC area...and my tours start to increase. Hope this finds you all safe and well and enjoying SPRING!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

What The......?

Eagle-Eye Rachel O. found this lisence plate in DuPont over the weekend...and snapped a picture for me! I mean....NOT LTD? How dare they! Here I am trying to spread my message of LTD around the globe....and some Saturn-buying yahoo in DuPont Circle is trying to stomp out my message!

But maybe...just maybe...they didn't mean 'Livin' The Dream.'

Maybe it's a Republican driver...saying: Not Lovin' Those Democrats.

If not that, then WHAT? What did they mean? Thoughts?

Monday, March 17, 2008


This is Chris and Gillian.

They are good friends of mine. Many of you may remember them from my blog and stories from the Willy Wonka tour we all did together in 2005/06. They are normally very happy people. But today....they are not.

This is UNO's Pizzeria.

Chris and Gillian are huge fans of this place. Although I think it's just fine, they L to the O to the V to the E it. And they REALLY love the four cheese pizza.

(Not an actual UNO's Four Cheese Pizza. Only stand-in we could find on short notice.)

Or should I say LOVED the four cheese pizza. That's right. LOVED as in "it is now a thing of the past." To Chris' shock and dismay, he went to UNO's last week, sat down to order the four cheese pizza, and was told not only is it not ON the "NEW" menu, but it can't even be made in the restaurants!

Can't be made? I mean, they stil make pizza.....I checked their website. They still put CHEESE on their pizza. That's pretty much standard issue. But what they are telling us is that evidently they were having too hard of a time keeping FOUR whole cheeses in-house. So they had to scale back....and are now not able to produce this seemingly simple pizza that has brought so much joy to people in the past. Especially so much joy to my friends, Chris and Gillian.

So as a sign of support, I am bringing their plight to all of you out there in the blog-osphere. And telling you that YOU can help, too. Click HERE to go to Uno's website to find out how to contact their corporate office. All you have to do is call or write and place a comment that says "BRING BACK THE FOUR CHEESE PIZZA!" Even if you're not an Uno's fan, just think of those times YOU went to YOUR favorite restaurant and found things had changed...and your favorite item was NEVER to be seen again. Take this chance to speak up for not speaking up in the past. (I still remember the pain when Chili's discontinued the quesadillas that I used to love so much...and I said NOTHING!) Chris and Gillian thank you!



Um....I mean, now would be great. But just as soon as possible is good, too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Since Last We Met...'s true I haven't written (or even just posted) much the past week. And I'm sure I could come up with a thousand excuses....but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm just going to tell you what has been happening in my life in the past 7 days...and I think you will understand that I've had good reason to be missing.

Let's start with the obvious.....

For those of you wondering HOW I live between shows, I'm sure you'd be interested to know that I am busy with 2 part-time jobs. I went back to the good ol' Washington Speakers Bureau at the beginning of January, and have spent anywhere from 20-36 part-time hours a week helping out there in various functions. It's fun to be back with friends and in an environment that I enjoy. And it's nice to have a steadier income than show-pay that ends when the show ends.

Part-time job #2 is the Segway Tours here in DC. And as the nice weather goes, so goes the tours! This past weekend, I had a couple of tours with varying group sizes...and as always, it was a BLAST! For those of you planning trips to DC or with friends or family planning trips to DC (Stephanie's husband...this means YOU!), be sure and get in contact with me about setting up your tour to see the city on the coolest machines around!

When I'm not working to bring home the bacon, it will surprise none of you to know I've been up to my ears in different aspects of theater around the DC area. This winter, I spent a large amount of time co-choreographing a production of "URINETOWN: The Musical" with the Reston Players in Reston, Virginia. The show opened 2 weeks ago, and so part of my past week/weekend was spent in Reston, watching the show...and, truth be told, sneaking out during the slow parts to head over to Dairy Queen for a coconut cream pie blizzard.

I have also spent part of the past week as an audience member at the Kennedy Center for part of their 'August Wilson 20th Century Cycle' productions. I got a chance to see productions of 'Gem of the Ocean' and 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone', and I am here to tell you that August Wilson's work is alive and in amazing hands in Washington DC. I was blown away by both productions....and as they are done as 'staged readings' (but complete with set, costumes and lights), you have the chance to focus on the words - because so much of the normal action that is taken up by props and lots of blocking is gone...and it's just these characters, standing or sitting or laying around....talking. And as an actor, as cheesy as it sounds, it was amazing and inspiring to see these incredible casts in action. The shows are still if you get a chance, catch one!

And JUST when you thought this blog entry couldn't contain ANY more theater references, I remembered that I had to tell you that I also spent part of my 'missing week' in 2 callback auditions for parts in Ford's Theatre 2008-2009 season. They are doing productions of '1776' and 'The Civil War: The Musical' - both of which are favorites of mine. And Thursday and Friday of last week, I was busy auditioning for directors, casting directors, music directors...the works. It was fun and stressful and exciting - just the thought of being involved with anything at Ford's - but specifically with 2 shows that contain so much American history! No word yet on either....but hopefully I will have something positive to report back soon! For those of you that have been sending good, friends, Team GS, and others...they are much appreciated!

Just when I thought MY connections with Ford's had come to an end, I spent the first part of this week waiting and gathering information about an opportunity that came my from my auditions last week! In February 2009, Ford's Theatre will celebrate the 'Lincoln Bicentennial' in a variety of ways...but one of them is the production of a play that they have commissioned for the event. This week, I received an invitation from the casting director of Ford's, inviting me to take part in the first reading of the play - for the in-house staff of Ford's. It will consist of the playwright, the producer, artistic director, casting director, director of education, etc, etc, etc. It is just a chance for them all to hear this play for the first time EVER...and to begin the process of moving it from first draft in March 2008 to final production in February 2009. I'm thrilled and honored to be asked to be a part of the reading...and will keep you all posted on how it goes after Friday!

This week, I also dove back into reading. I took the advice of my good friend, Christy Banker (even against my will) and bought a book found in the 'TEEN SECTION' at Barnes & Noble. It's called 'The Book Thief' - and I don't want to say TOO much about it, but I do want to point out a few things:

-I bought the book on Saturday afternoon.

-I started reading the book immediately.

-I finished the book Tuesday afternoon.

-The book has 550 pages.

-I stood at the Pentagon bus stop, crying, as I finished the book.

This book....I love it. Leave it to the New York Times to sum up my feelings: "BRILLIANT and hugely ambitious...It's the kind of book that can be LIFE CHANGING." I'm not saying it is for everyone...but for anyone that loves words and the power of words...take a chance on a TEEN book, tucked somewhere between the Gossip Girl series and the stupid Vampire Chick series (Twilight, Evening, Gag know the ones I am talking about). I think you'll be glad you did. If you HAVE read it, let me know what you think.

And in the midst of it all, I found time to see 4 movies, too. I enjoyed them all, in varying degrees and various reasons. I don't want to take too much time discussing them here...and now. But if you want the quick MASE ratings, I will list them here and we can discuss later.

Penelope: low 8

Miss Pettigrew: 10

The Band's Visit: low 7

Be Kind: 8

And with whatever "time" I've had left this week, I've spent it celebrating the achievements of my friends! THIS week, I'm celebrating for my good friend, Andrew Frace - from the first year of Wonka Tour fame! Andrew just found out that he got cast in the National Tour of Disney's 'The Lion King' as ED, one of the 3 hyenas! And not ONLY that, he gets to play 9 weeks at the Kennedy Center!

I've met a LOT of people throughout the past 3 years, as I've been in this proefssional theater world, but there is NO ONE that has worked harder and deserves success like this MORE than Andrew. He's incredibly focused - amazingly talented - and so darn nice and humble to top it all off! So all week, when I've had a free second, I've taken the chance to share Andrew's story with someone else...because it IS reason to celebrate! Thanks for being LTD, Princess! I'm so proud of you!


So there you have it. Where have I been and what have I been doing since last I posted? I think it's more appropriate to ask where HAVEN'T I been and what HAVEN'T I done. I'm a busy guy, folks. And mostly, it's my own doing...but I find that I funcion best that although I like to SAY that I will slow down, it's probably never going to happen. I'm busy with my own version of 'LTD' here in the DC area....and it's crazy. But I love it.

(LTD: Livin' The Dream.)

(Are you LTD?)

Monday, March 3, 2008

What Is Urinetown?

Well folks....rehearsals are done. The lines are learned, the sets are painted, the costumes all sewn. And this past Friday night, 'Urinetown: The Musical' opened in Reston, Virginia - performed by the Reston Community Players. It was directed by Andy Regic, music directed by Elisa Rosman, and myself and Cathy Oh choreographed the show. Our opening weekend went well...had great audiences and problems with the show were kept to a minimum. (For example....SO WHAT if opening night the LAST 3 minutes of the "dramatical" Act I finale were sung in the dark. NO biggie. The cast kept singing.....and the audience probably didn't know the difference. UNTIL NOW!)

Anyway - 'Urinetown: The Musical' is a crazy little show....and during our crazy little tech week for our crazy little show, I snapped a ton of pictures in and around the theater. And since I have some free-time, at 1:59am on Monday night/Tuesday morning, I figured I would put them up for all to see. It might even prompt some of you to come out and see the show. Or - being a realist - I guess it might even prompt some of you NOT to come out and see the show. Whatever works for you works for us.

Hail Malthus!
MAnderson that the music director, Elisa....getting into....a dumpster? Indeed it is.

AND the orchestra in a cage? Check.

Cathy Oh with a plunger on her head.

The cast in final dress rehearsal for "Mr. Cladwell" number.

Katie reminds everyone early on....

that "It's A Privilege To Pee.'

Jim and Sharon share a moment.

Greg and Jay. HYSTERICAL.

The cast looking GOOOOOOD!

Cathy shouts, "I said 5, 6 AND 7, 8! KICK HIGHER!"

John finds his light. (Weird, but cool, picture.....)

Courtney tries to look less hot.

Opening night embrace between friends.

Sam and Mark practice manhandling Katie.

Cahty Oh readies for her Act I of Glory. (Cathy had to stand in for an actor Saturday night.)

2 words: MOTOR. BOAT.