Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Isabelle Barbier


I think it's funny that after two and a half years together we all chose to tell a story about family. I think it's funny that after two and a half years together we all chose to tell a story about family.

Acting school is a funny thing. You get to know your classmates with a certain intimacy I don't find in any of my other relationships. Because art requires you to bring so much of your own heart and fears into your work, acting school has forced us to reveal parts of ourselves that may have otherwise always remained hidden. This reminds me a lot of family. You don't choose these set of people. Somehow the universe has just matched you up with them, yet nobody knows you like your family does. I can safely say nobody knows me quite like the flashbulb project does either. I searched for a long time for  a group of people to call home. I watched as my friends all went off the college and formed tight knit circles through dorm living and classes. I never went to college so I never really understand that feeling of community. When I started at Atlantic I was so unsure as what I would find. What I discovered blew me away. I found a group of people I could give my whole heart to. I realize how cheesy that sounds but it's true. I can't tell you how many times I've stood up in class or on stage in front of these people and reveled parts of myself I never thought I would allow to be seen. And the most miraculous and funny thing was that they took it. We sat in those rehearsal rooms and accepted all that we threw at each other. That to me is amazing. I've never known acceptance and trust like that.  I was sitting there in the theater to tonight  and although we were all very stressed with our various jobs, I felt overwhelmingly happy. I was watching my family put the finishing touches on a home we'd built together and I can't fully explain the pride it brought me. Like the families in the play, we are flawed, and complex but underneath that there is an amazing bond. That although might not always be ideal, is strong. We have made a play together. Our desire to build our dreams has brought us together. Thank you so much. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Matt Mauer

Bang! Chop! Sizzle! Yum!

I grew up in the Midwest; a culture that gravitates toward hunting, fishing, and all other forms of out-doorsman, survival-themed sports. Yet I have never fired a rifle at anything other than black and orange clay discs propelled through the air by a 21st century, high-tech slingshot. My knowledge of the sport was lacking too much to say with any honesty Baylor’s line “Hunting is no hobby. It’s an art. It’s a way of life. Everything gets turned into a hobby these days.”

As there is little deer hunting to be done in Manhattan (or any borough of New York for that matter), I went straight to the almighty YouTube. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized I’d spent a large portion of my day watching videos on how to gut, skin, and butcher a deer. I’ve seen my handful of Saw movies, and none were quite so graphic as this blood-soaked marathon. But to my surprise, after just five or so minutes, I was no longer disgusted by all the mysteries a deer’s skin hides (I also realized why we call an animal’s skin its “hide”).

I mostly eat vegetarian, but on the rare occasion I order a steak, it always arrives to me on an ornate plate looking clean and pretty. It seems chefs spend a large amount of their career figuring out how to make meat not look like meat, and what I discovered while glued to my laptop that day was that there is something beautiful about the process of an animal’s body becoming sustenance, as long as it’s executed in a humane fashion.

I started my research hoping to get more connected to Baylor. I did not expect to also get more connected to the food I eat.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Posted by Pedro Aijon

A look into the mind of the character Jake

The letter Jake never sent to his father

I knew you would leave... Surprises don't exist any more, just disappointment and alcohol. Many years ago I could smile when you were around, now all of those smiles make me angry because reminds me that you are not here anymore. You've made your choice and decided to live your life without thinking about us. We've always forgiven you, at least Mom and Sally. Frankie doesn't even know. And it will be better if he never knows. It's better to have a blurred happy memory than a disturbed creepy one.
Beside all the pain you have costed, there's a part of me that doesn't hate you. I'm too tired inside to be able to do it. I wish but I can't. Sometimes I blame myself because I could've been the reason why you left. Something that I did wrong, stuff like that. Now I don't know what to do. Seeing Mom like this... I don't even recognize her. I'm trying to take care of everyone, but is so hard, dad. I don't even have time for me. The thoughts in my head fly as fast as one of your planes... I wish I could fly too. Being there on top of the world. Visiting you wherever you are for lunch and then come back home for supper with Mom, Sally and Frankie.
I want to understand you... Do you think I will be like you? I'm scared.
Your s.. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Riaan Smit

Riaan Smit, Prop Hunter Extraordinaire 

I do love Sam Shepard. Man can that guy write a great story! But, boy can he get colorful with the relics and curios that fill his plays props lists. He holds no quarter when it comes to A Lie of the Mind. When I say this play has props, I mean it has a boatload of props! I don’t see myself as so much of a prop builder. I am not the handiest man around, but I can sure be crafty and resourceful. I am a prop-hunter. Like Indiana Jones, I hunt the internet and the streets of New York for treasures the script demands. My quests have taken me to the most bizarre corners of Etsy, and lofty towers that house the Irish Embassy. There are many challenges a prop-hunter most face, a limited budget, very specific artistic visions, and that looming shadow over all mortal souls, time. But, a good prop-hunter above all else, never gives up. He rises to the occasion when these forces come to bear against him. He stares that price tag dead in the zeros and he says, “I’ll find a way”. A GREAT prop-hunter however, recognizes his limitations, and knows that two prop-hunters are better than one. For a production of this magnitude, it is a necessity. Together we have overcome hurdles that would have left us both lying flat on our faces if we were to take them on alone. The finish line is close, and we are keeping a great pace to finish victorious! See on opening night, December 5th! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Melissa Porcaro

A Lie of the Mind production
Practical Aesthetics Analysis

Literal- The Flashbulb Project is literally putting on a production of A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard.

Want- We want to have an incredible production, come hell or high water.

Action- To inspire someone to greatness

As if: It's as if we are doing a production that requires everyone to take on multiple production and/or acting roles and the only way we can succeed is for us all to master the art of multi-tasking.

….oh wait...that is actually happening....

Hi, I'm Melissa and I'm the Managing Director of The Flashbulb Project, the Production Manager for A Lie of the Mind, and also cast as Lorraine.

But I'm not the only one with multiple jobs, so is the entire company. Aside from the acting roles, 98% of the followings jobs are positions that each company member is working for the first time. This is how we do it...

Kristen- Artistic Director, co-sound designer, and cast as Beth

Mike- Marketing Director, co-lighting designer, cast as Frankie

Isabelle- Business Director, co-props designer, mixer event organizer, and cast as Meg

Riann- Co-props designer and cast as Mike

Pedro- Set designer and cast as Jake

Kasia- Dramaturg and co-sound designer, front of house/box office

Emily- Co-light designer and cast as Sally

Elle- Costume designer, light board operator, House Manager/certified fire guard (yes, she had to study a lot of information and past a test to get the required certification)

Sofia- Costume designer, preshow performer

Shimrit- Designer, manager, and performer of preshow

Kyle- Director of Lie of the Mind....its basically the work load of a multitude of jobs.

Justin- Stage Manager and assistant director

Matt- Techincal Director and cast as Baylor

Are we crazy? Yes. Are we stressed beyond belief? Yes. Is it all worth it? Hell yes! The Flashbulb Project is passion driven and determined to go above and beyond what is expected in order to accomplish our goals. Our willingness to jump into unknown territory in order to bring this production to life makes it worth every bead of sweat and tear. I hope that when you join us for our performances on Dec 5 & 6, you will be just as proud and inspired as we are with how far the art of collaboration will take a group of young artists in search of making a name for themselves.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Michael Malanga

I have a chinchilla.

His name is Ghostface Chilla. Named after Ghostface Killah of the Wu Tang Clan. The Wu Tang Clan is a group of rappers amalgamated from various boroughs of New York City. The Flashbulb Project is an amalgamation of international theater artists, based in New York City. This group of actors; with some working as directors or designers, are all passionate storytellers. I like to think we are the theatrical equivalent to The Wu. Admittedly, with far less street cred.

Our group of theatrical dream-weavers has begun to pull together the pieces of a fully realized production. As December 5th steadily approaches, more pieces are falling into place and it has become one of the most exciting experiences thus far in my own time as an actor and practitioner of all things theatrical. It is, without any doubt in my mind, crucial to fall in love with whatever story you are telling. If you weren’t in love with it then why would you bother to tell the story over and over again?? I have always wanted to perform this piece but I fell in love with this play all over again last night. We had our first run through. It wasnt for anyone other than cast and creative. It was fun. It was messy. It was a truthful and committed first stumble through.

There was nothing more exciting than seeing the entire cast in one room, thriving off the energy of each other performing. The bravery of this ensemble inspires me. Happy accidents occurred, and we all lived the given circumstances in the moment, in a way that made us laugh and cry at the same time. Our goal as an ensemble is to illuminate moments that are undeniably human, be it pain and suffering, or joy and ecstasy. We all know these things can walk the line with one another all too easily. Sam Shepard has given us a conduit, with which we can explore just how closely pain and elation mingle. I am thrilled to be presenting this play so soon, in a space I love, and with an ensemble that cares deeply about the story being told.

My chinchilla is pretty excited – I hope you are too!
ALSO, check out the final artwork for our show:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Posted by Flashbulb Member Shimrit Ildis

A Lie Of The Mind- Live Music

Music has a spell on me. I have always been very passionate for music and believe, deep down, everyone else is too. There is something magical about the power of sound when it combines elements of pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, articulation, dynamics and texture on our soul that provokes our feeling, ideas and memories.

As our company started to work on Sam Shepard's A Lie Of The Mind one of the first things that came up was the live music in his production. In the original New York production, which Shepard himself directed, a bluegrass group called The Red Clay Rambles was playing live music through the entire play. He stated “having worked intimately with these musicians, left me no doubt that this play needs music. Live music. Music with an American backbones” -Sam Shepard.

In our production we chose to open the play with a live band. One of the main motives in the play is the moon that is hanging above the two families over Montana and California. It watches the characters; observing their actions and listening to their secrets, lies, and deepest desires. Our band, is set on the moon and shares glimpses of the journey the audience is about to dive into.

Choosing the music demanded looking not only for the conceptual themes of the play but it's thematic rhythm, tempo, harmony, etc. Making those choices allowed us to explore more specificity how to set the play with our songs.

Everything about this process has been so exciting! I want to share with you a song from the Original production:!/album/A+Lie+Of+The+Mind/4895522

Come see and listen to us tell our version of A Lie Of The Mind.