Friday, September 28, 2007

Stills from "Intolerable" rehearsals by Young Principles Theater Company

Here are some still from the Young Principles Theater Company's rehearsal of my skit "Intolerable" at 440 Studios, NYC. This skit was also directed by me.

Art snob Charles (Jared Scheinberg) mocks introverted web-head Ernie (Emily Larson).

Charles (Scheinberg) toasts while the ambivalent Ernie stands aside (Larson).

© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stills from "By George" rehearsals with Young Principles Theater Company

Here are some stills from the Young Principle Theater Company's rehearsals of "By George" - written and directed by me - at 440 Studios, NYC.

Mr. Richards (Jared Scheinberg) and George Andrews (Dennis Giovanni Pimentel) begin the absurd interview. "You sniff?"

George (Pimentel) is confounded by Richard's (Scheinberg) jargon.

Receptionist (Jessica Duclos) does her nails as Richards (Scheinberg) looks over George's promising resume.

"Time is cheddar. Time is cheddar!" Richards (Scheinberg) and George (Pimentel).

© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Write? Dispatch from Daniel McGowan

Daniel McGowan's story is sorted and entrenched in the political climate we're in now. Below is an excerpt from a feature on him that ran in The Indypendent. Farther down is a dispatch sent by Daniel McGowan to his friends, family and activists.

For updates on Daniel's situation click here.

- Frank

Enemy of the State
by Jessica Lee

Growing up in New York City, Daniel McGowan saw first-hand how pollution fogged the air and fouled the beaches in some of the city’s poorest communities, setting him on a lifelong path of environmental and social justice. But how he ended up drenched in gasoline and setting fire to Oregon’s Jefferson Poplar Farms in 2001 and was later targeted as a “domestic terrorist” is the story of someone who cared too much and didn’t know what else to do.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens’ Rockaway Beach, Daniel McGowan grew up sandwiched between asphalt and the sky, in a forest of buildings and buzzing streets. Until Dec. 7, 2005, the 33-year-old with a round face and a chipmunk smile was mostly known in local circles for his involvement in a variety of activist projects. Today, after a nearly two-year legal battle that saw him labeled an “eco-terrorist” by the U.S. government, McGowan is serving a seven-year sentence at a federal prison in Minnesota on 15 counts of arson, attempted arson and conspiracy to commit arson against two private companies in Oregon in 2001.

(for the full story and interview with Daniel go to Enemy of the State)

Why Write?
by Daniel McGowan

It's a question I have been pondering the last two months since I reported to prison and the clock started ticking. Why, indeed? What do I have to say that is new or fresh? Will I bore people with repetitive tomes about my case or the Green Scare? Do people want to read what I write? All these questions haunt me as I put pen to paper attempting to deal with a ton of unexpressed thoughts and emotions made worse by a self-imposed silence during my legal proceedings. Where do I even begin? I doubt at times whether I can handle the release of these emotions-- anger, frustration, betrayal, profound sadness. . . I fear that there won't be a lesson or a neat and clean conclusion to what I write about that you'll get to the end and ask. So yeah, that sucked-- what am I supposed to do? The idea that anyone might think I know also freaks me out.

As in all things though, you learn by doing. You start the journey with that first step, you are that much closer to leaving prison after the first day or month or year. I'm in prison so what sense is there in not trying to make sense of it all, to not risk failing or looking stupid or being wrong. So, I've decided to write, to not wring my hands endlessly, scared to release my writings. I've even figured out some damn good reasons to write too-- I'm going to write because we need to be more flexible in our approach and if I can't be on the streets fighting my ass off for a better world, well, at least I can speak my truth on these pages. Because we live in a world where people who abuse women rarely go to prison and when they do, go in for a few years while people who destroy the inanimate property of multi-national corporations go in for longer. Because silence is complicity and I won't be bullied or silenced by prosecutors who brag that I was forced to self-report early because of my website and speaking on Democracy Now. Because I've lost some friends and comrades these past years and they can't. Because I will never for a second accept the label of terrorist for trying to call attention to what our species is doing to our planet, and because maybe we can all learn from mistakes I have made.

See, there really are some good reasons to write despite my fears after all. I don't know what this path of exploration will look like but I'll do my best to keep digging and fighting.

© Daniel McGowan, Aug 2007, All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What is he reading now...?

The Improvised Play: The Work of Mike Leigh by Paul Clements

An unnecessarily complicated but insightful look into the methods of a brilliant playwrite and filmmaker. You can own this out-of-print book at the low price of $145.

Art by Committee by Charna Halpern

Although targeted to comedy, an invaluable resource for improv and performance arts based on the teachings and theories of the late Del Close.

Apparat: The Singles Collection Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, Jacen Burrows, Laureen McCubbin, Carla Speed McNeil, Juan Jose Ryp

A collection of fantastic and weird tales - inspired by old time pulps - from a master comics writer with great art by some of the best artists around. A kick in the head to a medium with so much potential.

© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Something I'd love to forget but damn this new technology...

Some years ago I considered myself a poet. I went as far as doing open mics and making a couple of chap books. I devoured ArthurRimbaud, Charles Beaudelaire, and Le Comte de Lautreamont along with whiskey and proceeded to make an ass of myself before a live audience. I loved every minute of it. I felt alive and free. In the moment, if you will. Small wonder that I'm so into the performing arts now. Hehehe. Below is a remnant of those times.

Technology is the bastard medium that constantly, clinically reminds us who the hell we were, are and can be.

© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All rights reserved

A Sip of Texas Tea

A while back James Spruill and I made a comic that we submitted to a publisher for consideration. "Texas Tea", written by James and illustrated by me, is a metaphor for the Iraq War. We were rejected. James and I turned it into a zine called "Lung Juice" - along with some other comix - that we gave away at MoCCA Art and Comic Fest 2006.

Ahh...memories... :)

© Frank Reynoso Aug. 2007, All rights reserved

A Touch of the Cinema

It's been a little while since my last post. I've been kind of busy with Young Principles rehearsals, The Indypendent and some other side projects that I'll post when we've developed material.

The haggard looking guy in this blurry picture is Aldo Mora-Blanco, filmmaker, co-worker, and best bro. We used the slate he's holding for our production of his feature film Mongoose, which we made last year. I co-wrote - whatever that means - the mostly improvised film and was production manager.

Sorry about the poor quality of the picture. I took it as I sat on his bed and shivering slightly from his fan blasting right on me.

Shortly after taking this picture we watched Children of Men by Cuaron. Great, great film.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Interview with Percy Carey aka MF Grimm


Here's an excerpt from my interview with the multi-talented artist Percy Carey, best known as MF Grimm. For the full interview, go to Comic Critique.

["One man's trash is another man's treasure." Percy Carey outside the Puck building.]

Percy Carey has embarked on a new venture, which is to be expected of an artist like him. With enough street cred to choke a stable of horses, he’s trained his energy to music under names like Grand Master, Jet Jaguar, Grimm Reaper, and MF Grimm, and founded Day by Day Entertainment. Even if we were to dismiss all of his previous musical output, his latest release American Hunger, an imaginative and versatile triple-disc album, is enough to make him a force within Hip-Hop.

And it’s his former street life and artistic aspirations that’s the subject of Vertigo’s upcoming, autobiographical graphic novel Sentences: The Life and Times of MF Grimm illustrated by Ronald Wimberly. Sidestepping the well-publicized rivalry he had with one-time friend and partner at the mic, MF Doom, Mr. Carey discussed his latest creative endeavor as a writer of comics. Sitting between smokers and dumpsters on a warm Sunday afternoon on the infamous Mulberry Street outside the Puck Building — and with Mr. Carey’s blessings — we spoke about craft, comics, and Krypton.

FR: So how did this project come about?

PC: It came about with a good friend of mine, Casey Seijas. He’s an editor at Vertigo, DC comics. He approached [me] with the idea of doing a story on my life. [He asked me to do] a couple of pages on my life. It was something that I didn’t really – I thought my life was boring to write about. But he showed me that everyone has a story so I [sat] down and [wrote] it out. [I] did it and [editor in chief] Karen Berger and [publisher] Mr. Levitz, Paul Levitz approved it. And here we are today. It was a beautiful experience. And Ron Wimberly I can’t forget him. Ron Wimberly did the artwork for Sentences.

FR: Yeah. Looks like he did an awesome job from the looks of the sampler.

PC: Thank you so much.

FR: What’s it like to transition from being an artist, a rapper, [and] a musician to being a writer of comic books?

PC: I would have to say it’s the equivalent of a writer of comic books coming into the realm of hip-hop. You have to be looked at. You have to be watched. For instance, I don’t want it to be seen as a gimmick or just a commodity. I really have comics in my heart and I’m a creator so I want to be viewed in the same way and held to the same standards as someone coming into my medium. I want to be watched [and] critiqued and also if need be, and appropriately, praised. So, I’m just thankful. I don’t want it to be viewed as something to be taken advantage of, you know. It’s a sacred art and it should be held at a higher esteem and I look forward to the people telling me if I’m appropriate for the medium.

© Frank Reynoso, Sept. 2007, All rights reserved

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Current readings

City of Tomorrow by Howard Chaykin (Graphic Novel)
A dystopian-noir graphic novel with amazing visuals. I wish the characters and setting were more than elements to move the plot. The action moved too quickly for me to understand, let alone care, about what was going on.

Doom Patrol: Down Paradise Way by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, Kelley Jones,
Mark McKenna and others (Graphic Novel)
A mad romp throughout the inner and outer universes with a team of absurd heroes. Ideas, history, and imagination abound, creating an unforgettable read.

Reunion & Dark Pony by David Mamet (Plays)
With eccentric dialogue and haunting characters, Mamet pens visceral stories
not intended for casual readers.