Wednesday, January 26, 2011

and what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

Uranium Madhouse Presents Exerpts from "Conversation Storm" by Rick Burkhardt from Eric Ulbrich on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Word. Just, word.

I just came across this on a Facebook profile. It blows any and all other Facebook profile content, including mine, into another dimension:

on my honor, i promise to sharpen my wits on a dead man's skull, to worship the flaw, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore; blood on the tv and thorozine brain cloud; to relish the terrible thrill of new loves on the blood covered ground; to struggle with diminished zeal, insolence, collapse and fright; to behold the age of murderers and embrace the vampire that watches over us; to exploit all circus freaks with pale dead fish skin and scorn the luxury of the lepers; slaves, let us not curse life, but stand proud like the bitch after the assault of dogs, licking her flank from which hangs a severed entrail...amen....

Mark Hoagland FTW

A Uranium Madhouse kindred spirit.

PS Comment if you caught the Patti Smith allusion, or any other allusions that I didn't catch.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Uranium Madhouse Associate Artist: William Haugse

(cross-posted at )

I am very proud to announce the newest addition to the Uranium Madhouse Family: Oscar- and Emmy- nominated film editor, actor, director, writer and photographer William Haugse.

William Haugse An Oscar- and Emmy-nominated editor, William Haugse has edited a dozen feature documentaries including "Hoop Dreams," "Sunset Story," "Stevie," and "No Impact Man," and approximately 50 hours of network and cable documentaries. He was nominated for both an Oscar ("Hoop Dreams" Fineline) and an Emmy ("The Last Days of Kennedy and King" Turner), and received the American Cinema Editors Eddie Award among many other prizes. He has worked with Orson Welles and John Cassavetes, among others. His own film, "Breakfast in Bed," starring John Ritter, was "finely crafted" according to the Hollywood Reporter and received festival awards both here and in Europe. As a director of short documentaries he has won several national prizes including Chris Gold awards. Starting during his days as a student at UCLA School of Theater, Film and TV he has acted and directed in live theater, including works by Pinter ("crisp and tantalizing" Los Angeles Times) and Albee. In the 1990s, he was a professor at the USC Department of Cinema for five years. In recent years, another art form has come to the fore; Haugse has had two-man shows and group shows of photography in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Haugse has lived and worked principally in Los Angeles, but also in New York and Chicago, where he engaged not only in filmmaking but also wrote, acted, and directed live theater. He returned to Los Angeles in 1995, where he has been working ever since.

Welcome Bill!

for the first time in 6 years...

...since I founded Mother of Invention, I will not be teaching a class in San Francisco this spring.

As my regular readers know, I live in LA now. I have founded a theater company there, and I will be producing and directing our inaugural production there, to open in June. The demands on my time and psychic energy from this venture will be very high. Also, the business in Los Angeles is heating up. I had to turn away six students from the LA Essentials that started last week because it was full, so I have announced a second Essentials class to start shortly. Also, I am teaching the Advanced class in LA for the first time starting February. In light of this expansion and the demands of directing and producing, I have reluctantly faced the fact that weekly trips to SF for the period of April to June is just going to be too much.

However. Fear not!

I have not abandoned you SF! I have 4-1-5 tattooed on my neck, don't forget. I will be returning to the Bay area to catch the balmy summer, with a course starting in late June or early July. I love the Bay area I want to continue my presence there.

And you know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder.

So wish me well on my new exploits, and I will leave a little bit of my heart in San Francisco when I leave after the upcoming Friends and Family Night.

Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mother of Invention blog greatest hits

This blog has been in existence since 2006. Here are what I take to be some of my best shots from the five years:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Uranium Madhouse Blog launches

Check it out here.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Uranium Madhouse launches Indiegogo campaign

Uranium Madhouse is making use of the new crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise money for its upcoming production, Conversation Storm. Please visit the campaign page, make a donation, and use the Sharing tools there to pass the word. Sharing the campaign helps us a lot, as Indiegogo decides how aggressively to promote you in part based on how much noise people make about your campaign. So use those sharing tools and help us plaster Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, and everywhere else!

Monday, January 03, 2011

notes on immersion

One of the thrills of great works of art is that they are big enough that you can lose yourself in them.

Which can inspire you to make your own works of art. You can also lose yourself in doing that.

This can be intensely rewarding.

However, there is no artist who walks the earth for whom it ALWAYS turns out well.

Talk all we want about how it's a process. We still like it when it turns out well, and we don't like it when it doesn't.

Creating great work requires immersion. Immersion can end in drowning. This is a fact. Once you've drowned, it's that much harder to immerse yourself.

Although, no lie, Confucius did say "It's easier to live if you're willing to die."

Try that one on for size.

As with art, it's possible to lose yourself in love.

This can also end in drowning.

As with art, that's not a reason not to let yourself be immersed, ultimately at least. But there's no question it becomes more challenging once you've been through the whole drowning thing.

Come to think of it, in thinking this through, I see the Christian rite of Baptism in a whole new light. It's like they're saying "This is what it's like. Get into it." DUNK!!!

In the last six years, I have arranged my creative life in such a way that I was actively engaged in my creative work for 3-6 hours a week. Most of the time, no more than that. I waded, I swam some laps, I bobbed and treaded water. But I pretty much stayed in the shallow end.

That, again, seems about to change.

I think I'm ready. Time will tell.

And wherein lies this readiness?


Experience, for one thing. Which, as Oscar Wilde famously quipped, is the name that other people give to their mistakes.

I've made plenty of those.

So that's one thing.

I think I also have a clearer picture of what it is to engage in a collaborative enterprise. As the captain of the ship, I can exert a lot of influence on said enterprise. But there are limits. To what I can do. Even I. Having bumped my head against those limits enough, I won't be tempted to pretend they don't exist. In times when things don't go as I had hoped, there may be some comfort in remembering those limits.

I have worked to acquire some decent interpersonal skills. There's always work to do on making those better, but I have some.

I have people around me who truly, truly, love me. No question.

And I feel like I get that it's a marathon, not a sprint. I'm probably a sprinter by nature (Aries), so that may well be what they call "the rub" in this particular instance.

But I have also discovered that I can actually be quite happy splashing around in the shallow end, if push were to come to shove. Sooner or later, the deep end would probably beckon again, but it's nice to know that the shallow end is always an option, at least for a while.

That Yeats may have overstated things at least a wee bit when he spoke of "perfection in the life or in the work."

I stand on the threshold.

Or, to quote the first play I ever directed:

"On the brink. On the beach. On the verge."

The bracing.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

the power of vulnerability

H/T Travis Shakespeare

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