Lost in a masquerade.

Lost in a masquerade.

mondays-with-matty:

Dearest Friends,

In a few hours it is my Birthday! And b4 you send me a HBD on my FB…. I’m hoping I can ask for something this year? About 10 mins of your time! :-)

This year I would like to celebrate by starting a year-long project…

I’m calling it “Monday’s With Matty” and I’d love for my bday…

This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I won’t say what I submitted, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.

mesmericrevelationsofpoe:

And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees…
>credit<

mesmericrevelationsofpoe:

And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees…

>credit<

#Mantis with #exoskeleton it recently shed. She&#8217;s all grown up now. #preyingmantis

#Mantis with #exoskeleton it recently shed. She’s all grown up now. #preyingmantis

Find the CityLit tent at the Baltimore Bookfest, get #PosingWithPoe and a lovely Mesmeric Revelations postcard.

Find the CityLit tent at the Baltimore Bookfest, get #PosingWithPoe and a lovely Mesmeric Revelations postcard.

Proof that #bees still exist. #honeybee

Proof that #bees still exist. #honeybee

Everyone should have a #mantis buddy.

Everyone should have a #mantis buddy.

Rocking the brain #electrodes in an #experiment in the #ScareHouse #basement

Rocking the brain #electrodes in an #experiment in the #ScareHouse #basement

scarehouse:

ScareHouse has partnered with Legendary Entertainment to create our scariest season ever! http://www.scarehouse.com

The company known for iconic blockbusters like The Dark Knight Trilogy, Pacific Rim and Godzilla is also becoming a driving force in horror, with movies like Trick ‘r Treat, As Above/So Below and Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming gothic tale Crimson Peak.

Now, as part of their annual Halloween celebrations, they have joined forces with the creative design team behind one of America’s Scariest Haunted Attractions!

ScareHouse Creative Director Scott Simmons and Art Director Macabre Noir have collaborated with Trick ‘r Treat writer/director Michael Dougherty to create a truly unforgettable Halloween experience. Prepare to come face-to-face with Sam!

Thomas Tull, founder and CEO of Legendary Entertainment visited ScareHouse last season with Michael and Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo said of the ScareHouse: “With the sound design and the atmospherics, it is beautiful. I could live here!”

ScareHouse, in Pittsburgh PA, is one of America’s Scariest Halloween Haunted House Attractions (Travel Channel) - featured on Good Morning America, USA TODAY, CBS news, Buzzfeed, Forbes, Geek & Sundry, and many other national media outlets.

Tickets, dates, and more information about Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Haunted House available fromhttp://www.scarehouse.com

…any chance to re-run Guillermo del Toro’s compliments about the sound design is fine by me.

That Immersive Poe Project

Now that this is a thing that is happening, I feel I should say a word or two about it.

It’s hard to write about it without going on forever, like the world’s longest recap of a show that hasn’t even been made yet, so I’ll stick to the basics…

I had this idea over 18 months ago: an immersive show in Baltimore that pulls from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Initial research revealed that I wasn’t the first to think this thought. I figured “oh well” but then I started talking about it and it still seemed worth doing. Poe’s body of work is huge and immersive theater as an art form is still new to a lot of folks, especially in Baltimore. There is a lot left to explore, and I love to explore.

I told my idea to some people and they said “Yes! You should do that!” I figured I never actually would, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

A few months of research later, I thought it would be even more
interesting to mix Poe’s fiction with the myth of the man himself, the women in his life, and the era of the 1840’s, to make something hopefully more strange and profound. The nature of the show shifted several times since I first pictured it in my mind. (It’s shifting even more now that there is a whole ensemble and creative team focused on it—a topic for another post.)

I put the idea on hold. Did that Basement thing. Learned a lot from that.

I applied for a grant/award. Figured that process at least helped me get my ideas together in the form of a plan. Started thinking of ways to do it myself, without the grant, and feeling like it was a huge mountain to climb. Like 5-year-plan territory.

Then I got the grant/award. I celebrated. For about five minutes. Then I freaked out. “Oh, f**k! Now I actually have to do this!”

Motivated by said freakout, I started reaching out to everyone I knew in the local theater community. I think that was all of two people at first, but since everyone knows everyone else, that branched out pretty quickly. My wife and I went to see lots and lots of local shows (we were already doing that, in fact). I found a couple advisors, a designer, a co-director, and eventually six performers. (Not a single audition was conducted because I hate auditions. Nobody complained about this.) Because of the nature of the grant and the overall mission focused on getting an immersive theater movement going in Baltimore, I wanted to keep it a Baltimore project all the way. I initially knew a lot more theater people from out of town than within, but after a few months of successfully pretending to be an extrovert, that is no longer the case.

We also started a broad and epic search for locations that has now involved countless public, private, and non-profit entities. That search continues but will hopefully come to a happy ending very soon.

And now this workshop (which also could be a whole separate post). Suddenly, we’re ten people working very hard to get this thing started right. The cast is amazing, and I’m just blown away by what they’re putting into it every moment of every session. When I put on my “Producer” hat (the others being co-director and sound designer) that commitment makes me want to push even harder to do right by them—to find the best location and keep honing the overall plan to accommodate all that they are capable of.

There are many pitfalls and pressures to doing this, but what’s the alternative? Going mad like one of Poe’s characters with an idea that I cannot shake nor ever make into a reality? Sounds bad. I’ve been mostly able to keep the stress at bay by trusting the plan, the creative process, and my own instincts. So far, with pre-production behind me, I had have to say that approach is working out pretty well.

But wow, it has taken so much work just to get here. And now the real work begins. Stay tuned.