New Play

I’m working on the concept for a new piece, for the playwright’s cabaret. This year they are accepting 30 minute pieces, which is a lot more room to explore an idea, much more than the usual 10 minutes. So, I’m going to enter a 30 minute script. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a group of four people doing a final walk-through of the crime they’re about to commit. They’re going to rob a minor celebrity who will be carrying a large chunk of money from an illegal poker game. Several, if not all, of the robbers, have personal reasons for wanting to harm the celeb. It will be a dramatic mood, with one comedic break in there during the reenactment. Hopefully this will have the legs to go a full 30 minutes without losing its impact.

Warm memories of Digital beach

When you create artistic content of any sort, you should only aim for being happy with the work yourself. If you are motivated by the external rewards and responses your work may bring, then you’re missing the truly fulfilling joy of creating for yourself. that being said, any artist would hope that their work would find a receptive audience and have their art remain as a part of the audience’s life experiences long after their inital contact with it. I realized today that I have that kind of connection with “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”.
Out of nowhere during the middle of the day, I was awash in a memory of driving down one of the streets in the game. No specific event was attached to the memory, just the enjoyable sensation of having fun and being happy. The creators of the game were successful in crafting a world that I immersed myself in and found entertainment and escapism in, time and time again. From their fantastic radio stations to the lighting effects as the sun set over the palm trees, they hit the mark and left me reminiscing for an entirely illusory landscape.

Oh the Sad Shame of it all

I know, I know: you have to manage your image when you’re famous. It’s bad for your personal brand if someone uses a picture of you to sell hemorrhoid cream (unless you make your living in a hemorrhoid-related pursuit, as gross as that seems).  But, there are times when you aren’t the best judge of your own image. I point to “Guitar Hero:Van Halen”, as an example. Somewhere in a mix of vanity, paranoia, and errant marketing aim, the character design of this game sprang forth. The digitally represented members of Van Halen are the most current lineup, which includes poor Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie’s son) as the bass player. No mention of the founding member and all around good guy bassist Michael Anthony, who was quietly booted from the band for the unforgivable crime of playing music with Sammy Hagar (who is also absent).

For a band that hasn’t released new material in at least ten years, and certainly hasn’t written anything with this particular configuration ever, they seem to have very little interest in providing the player with the experience they’re looking for. I don’t want to pretend to be Eddie Van Halen now-I want to be the Eddie from the ‘Panama’ video. And I certainly do not want to be Eddie’s kid.

True, the final set of songs you unlock are from “back in the day” and they show the band as they looked in the late 70’s and 80’s but with one ridiculous difference. That’s right, they dressed digital Wolfgang up in spandex and threw him into the mix with the 20-year-old version of his own father. Suspension of disbelief is pretty low for a music rhythm game, but this broke mine entirely. “Did Van Halen create a time machine to allow for this unholy combination to exist”, I pondered as I sadly turned my Xbox 360 off.