Sunday, August 28, 2005

Whirlwind! 8/28/05

Talk about a whirlwind of a trip! I went back to Dunkirk for a few days to move Eric to UB and bring Brian the remainder of his stuff and settle him into his first apartment at Oswego. I also got a tooth filled and had to mow my lawn and get the back yard cleaned up and secured for winter by moving everything indoors and storing the popup camper. Plus the draining tub for the washing machine got plugged so we called in a plumber to clear it out. And finally, through a complex set of circumstances, I sold my small acreage and bought the larger parcel next door, cleaning out and moving as much crap as possible from one lot to the other and doing a shitload of paperwork. So I'm back in Staunton, ready to get in the groove again. Compared to the last few days, rehearsal is going to be a breeze!

The return trip brought to Staunton home the reality of this whole thing. When I returned Wed. and drove through Fredonia a few times, it struck me that classes had begun and things were getting into full swing. All this time in Staunton it kept feeling like a summer theatre gig, but the trip back to VA made me fully realize I haven't even begun. There are still about two weeks to go before we actually take off, but two weeks goes fast here. We should be finishing up R3 rehearsals this coming weekend, and then a week of performances for the local women's college (Mary Baldwin College) as well as working on workshops, getting all the logistics set up for the vans, etc.

We have a special performance of Planet coming up on Thursday, so a few extra rehearsals have been put in for that show. It's apparently a fundraiser event at a local winery, so with any luck many of the audience will be a little tipsy and will enjoy a strange Star Trek/Shakespeare/RockandRoll mix.

Final thought for today - stuff. I mean all the stuff you own: gear, goods, material possessions, junk, antiques, etc. etc. I've got two rooms here and live very well with a minimum of stuff. I always wanted to have as some sort of life goal the fact that everything I owned I could always pack in my car and go. But I looked around my house and was pretty overwhelmed with all the stuff in the basement, the attic, and the two living floors. There's just a lot of stuff. Perhaps a lot of it is just the result of raising a family, or the natural result of living in one place for 18 years. But it sure is intimidating. Books I haven't read, tools I haven't used, clothes I haven't worn since I was a size 32 (don't even ask!). Come summer '06 there's going to be some downsizing going on, for sure.

New vodcasts coming this week. I'm going to try to make one which will string together a few rehearsal moments for your viewing enjoyment. I'm also going to try to solve the PC problem so everyone can see these.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Small Hiatus - 8/24/05

I'm actually posting this quick missive from Dunkirk, NY. Eric goes off to University at Buffalo tomorrow, so I got a quick few days off to take him there and also get Brian totally settled at Oswego. So there's not a lot of though here - just something to let everyone know why posts are thin. We actually did full dress runs of Planet and Much Ado on Monday, and after not touching either of them for some time (maybe 2-3 weeks) they were rusty, but overall not bad. Time is running short, however, and we are going to have to squeeze in some time to keep Planet's music from losing its edge. R3 is blocked and in fairly good form. Returining to Staunton on Sat.

I also discovered that it may be on some Windows computers the vodcast in not viewable. I will look into this when I get back to VA. Could be a function of video compression used. Working on it. :-) -TWL

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Vodcasts Ready! - 8/21/05

At long last, the vodcasts appear to be ready to go! The reason it's taken so long is because I've been in the process of changing my website provider to one which has 2GB of file storage space so as to accomodate video files. The new location is finally up and running, so let's hope this all works. Please remember that these files can be quite large and should be viewed over a high-speed connection! Here's what you can do if you're so inclined:

Choice One - Using iTunes. Open iTunes 4.9 (if you don't have the latest version of iTunes which supports podcasting, download it from here.) Under the "Advanced" menu on the menu bar, choose "Subscribe to Podcast..." Type or cut-and-paste in the following URL:

You should then see iTunes fetching the information and the video file. In order to see the video from within iTunes, make sure the Album Artwork window is open and active. The button is on the lower left-hand side of the bottom of the window, and looks like an arrow or eject button. iTunes can check automatically every week for a new podcast if you want to set that under Preference/Podcasts, or you can do it manually. Depends on how often you personally use iTunes.

Choice Two - using a browser. You need a browser which has the Quicktime plug-in and is capable of handling internet streaming. I recommend Firefox for PC or Mac, (but especially for PC) or Safari for Macs. I don't use IE for Windows too often, but if I used a PC I would use Firefox rather than IE simply for security reasons. Click on or paste this URL into your browser:

This should bring you to a web page where the various podcasts as they are created will appear. You'll have to check manually to see if any new ones have been posted. If you have trouble with either of these options, email me and let me know what trouble you have. I've tested them, but you never know what's going to happen out there in cyberspace once it all goes live.

Quick news - Daniel returned today to observe our first run-through of R3. Good to have him back, but he's not yet on his feet. R3 went OK, coming in at 2:14 with a few screw-ups. Jim Warren, our Artistic Director, also showed up today after a long absence tending to his wife and newborn daughter, who was premature and spent some time in neonatal ICU. Good to have him back as well. And a hearty congratulations to all the cast members, crew, interns, and office and artistic staff of Shakespeare in Delaware Park on completing their 30th season of Shakespeare in Buffalo NY! I hope the hills were bountiful, full and generous. -TWL

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Original Practices Part 2 - 8/20/05

Well, the heat index on the Weather Channel at the Shenandoah Airport reads 104 degrees. Now, I've experienced humid weather before, but I don't think anything like this. The most amazing thing about it is that, most of the time, I can't see the tops of the mountains either to the east or the west. The humidity just hangs in the air, and even when it's 100% humidity it doesn't rain!! And on top of all that, it seems that in this part of the Valley there is almost never a breeze. The air just blows across the tops of the Appalachians, stays above the valley, and moves on over the Blue Ridge. Consequently the humidity never moves out. It's hot. But at least I got in 9 holes on the local par-3 course with Andrew and Chris this morning before the heat really hit.

The BedroomSo it seemed a good time to turn on the air conditioning and sit in my lodgings and write a bit. Daniel's much improved; should be back to rehearsal on Sunday, if only to mark through stuff. I took Olivia to the foot doctor and she's coming along, although she still has to work in the boot. Eric Shoen from the resident troupe has his cast off and is building up the strength in his legs. And last night I went to one of the local coffee shops and listened to Paul Fidalgo play some of his music (he was the music director for Planet). He's good, very good. I compare him to Steve Page from Barenaked Ladies, if you want to get some idea of his style. Check out his Web Site and get his free sample download. His album is great as well - I'd recommend buying it.

So why Part Two of Original Practices? Because my good friend Carolyn Castiglia, who's a prolific blogger, pointed me to a blog entry from a friend of hers. He's talking about stand-up comedy, putting forth the idea that stand-up has a more immediate form of audience involvement than modern theatre. The entry reads as such:

To me (standup) can be more immediate than the theatre. The Theatre has become elitist. We can’t pretend to say that “everyday people” go to it. We can say that those are the roots of theatre. For the people. To tell stories of humanity and such. It also seems to be the credo for every major theatre movement that followed. “We’re doing this for the people, man! Taking it back to the streets!" Still, a comedy room is where you will find people from all walks of life, or at least more divergent walks of life than the theatre nowadays. The direct address quality and informality of a stand up room gives it the potential to become more penetrating, more truthful, more immediate then the Theatre. Even though it is theatre itself. It’s the closest thing we have to the origins of Greek theatre.

That’s what it ws at first. Solo performers telling stories. Active audiences. The passive audience is a new ideal. Its only I’d say about a century old when (as a wiseman once told me), “some motherfucker turned off the lights” that the audience became passive. Waiting for the performers to do everything for them. I believe there should be more of a give and take. I believe that exists now more so in Comedy than any other form.

The whole post is located here. There's also a very interesting New York Times article about performers transforming their blogs to one-person shows. It's located here.

I'll come clean right away and say that I don't like about 90% of the stand-up comedy I hear, but that's just a matter of personal taste, and not really the point. Baronvaughn's point is correct; theatre in many ways has lost its immediacy. While the Moscow Art Theatre may have ushered in a radical way of doing theatre for its time (with help from technological developments such as electric lighting), it could not have foreseen the rise and ultimate supremacy of film and television in terms of the audience's preferences. Theatre never had that kind of competition prior to the turn of the last century. I don't think that Stanislavski's intent was to create a passive audience, but that has nevertheless been the outcome.

It seems that, on the whole, anyone who works with the ASC comes to feel that direct audience contact is the best way to do any theatre, let alone Shakespeare. I found that, when you directly contact the audience, every instance and situation in the play is heightened, and the stakes for all the characters become higher. In Much Ado, for example, the characters on stage for the famous "gulling scene" of Benedick bring the audience in as co-conspirators in the trick as we talk to them and take them in with us. Benedick, of course, hides directly in the audience, trying to pretend he is one of them. As one of the members of the Watch, I use audience members sitting on the stage stools as my hiding place while Borachio makes his confession. As Leonato, I plead my case in 4.1 with the audience as well as the characters, as if they were the wedding congregation, and I can feel their emotional involvement. In many respects we don't "perform" Much Ado for them; we experience it with them. You get reactions and responses from the audience which are fresh, spontaneous and truthful to the Nth degree, responses you can't get from your fellow actors onstage while performing the rehearsed play. It's very exciting to work this way as an actor, and I've heard more experienced company members say they can no longer imagine working any other way.

Modern theatre needs to regain that connection with the audience again. We need to trust the 2,400 years of theatrical history which had audience and performers working together to create the performance and the experience. We need to stop trying to be bad imitations of the movies and capitalize on the advantage we have in having a live audience before us. I've always said I don't particularly like the movies because I can't really relate to flickers of light on the screen; I want the live performers there. But last year's experience in SDP and now this season with ASC has made me see the light (pun intended). Stand-up comedy and one-person shows have this element, and it seems to work for them. Perhaps legitimate theatre ought to steal that page of the playbook and work with it. Risky? You bet. The audience has to re-learn and re-capture its own historical place. But if you're not in this business for the risk, then what the hell are you doing it for? -TWL

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Original Practices - 8/18/05

At The BallgameNever let a chance to go to a ballgame go by! Chris and I went to Richmond last night to see the Richmond Braves play the Buffalo Bisons in a AAA game. The Bisons lost, 5-0. I did a lot of rooting for the hometown team, but to no avail. It was "Spike TV Checkup Night," so I got a glucose check, blood pressure check, and body mass index (BMI). Come to find out my ideal weight is something like 167 lbs., with a BMI of 18. I don't think I'm getting down to that any time soon!

Daniel's chickenpox are getting better, and we think the worst is over. But he still can't get to rehearsal until all his scars crust over, and he's still a bit weak. I visited him on Tuesday night and he was going crazy with the itching a bit. At one point he got up from his bed and went screaming around the house just to let off steam. Most of the troupe was there to write a song for the opening of R3, and Daniel came down to help for awhile, but just got too distracted. He did, however, get a lot of sleep, and Wed. morning when I went to see him he looked a lot better. He has an uncle who's a dermatologist, so I went to Wal-Mart and got him some anti-itch medication, and a topical cream, so hopefully he will be better today.

Today's title: Original Practices - what does that mean? If you haven't checked out the ASC website thoroughly, I can give you a quick summary. The whole mission of the ASC is to perform Shakespeare as close to "original practices" as possible. This is mainly what sets ASC apart from other Shakespeare festivals and theatres. This concept includes the following elements:

  • Natural Lighting. One of our slogans is "We do it with the Lights On." Wherever we perform, the house lights remain on, and stage lighting is nothing but a wash of natural light. We have no blackouts, not lighting effects, nothing. Lighting designers need not apply. In fact, we have very little tech work here at all. No set designs (just a collection on boxes), as few props as possible, etc. About the only tech we have are costumes.
  • Audience Contact. We are encouraged to contact the audience directly whenever feasible. We make them a complete part of the show. The become whatever WS wanted them to be: the army, the full court, the crowd of citizens, the church assembly. Characters confide in and comment to the audience both specifically and generally. We do not ignore the audience and pretend they are not there. We can see them, they can see us, and we create the world of the play together as interactive participants. We sell beer and wine and small snacks to the audience, which we encourage them to take in the theatre with them, and they are also encouraged to get up and move around from seat to seat if they wish.
  • Quick pace and a concentration on language. All our shows are designed to some in as close to the two-hour mark as possible, concentrating on rapid, clear delivery of language and a minimum of movement. The belief is that the scripts we have are the full text of the play, but that doesn't mean that at every performance the full script was performed. They take the "two hours' traffic of our stage" quote literally. Some shows are a bit more, but not by much. The current Hamlet runs about 2 hours 20 minutes with two five-minute intervals included. The intervals are indeed short; either one ten-minute or two five-minute ones are given, and they are strict to the time.
  • Natural sound. All the sound effects and music used are performed with natural effects and acoustic instruments. Return to the Forbidden Planet is actually written to be performed with electric instruments, but we are doing the whole thing unplugged. Although Shakespeare's theatre had musicians, all our music is performed by company members.
  • I'm not sure this has a name, but we do not limit ourselves to Renaissance costumes. We move from traditional to contemporary easily. This comes from the fact that Shakespeare did not worry about historically accurate costuming; his actors wore the clothing of the day. So we allow ourselves the freedom to wear "the clothes of the day" for whatever century we happen to want to play in.
  • Role Doubling. All the troupe members usually play multiple roles at some point. Men play women, women play men, but we do not change the text to reflect gender. If a woman is play a male role, she still gets called "Sir."

Do I like this style of playing Shakespeare? In a word, yes! I particularly like the audience contact aspect of it all. Including the audience into the world of the play is exciting, and once you do it, you realize right away that it feels more right than anything else you've every done. Last year I played Grumio in Shakespeare in Delaware Park's production of Taming of the Shrew, and one thing I asked for immediately from the director was to be able to go out amongst the audience and break that fourth wall. I just knew it had to be done, and it was great fun. It will be hard for me to imagine doing WS any other way in the future. But I think for now I will leave it here and go into some further discussion of "original practices" next time, because I can begin to see some implications for modern theatre as well.

I have prepared my first vodcast, which is a tour of the Blackfriars Playhouse, but I still have to tweak the details of posting it. So far it tests well if you use iTunes to subscribe to the vodcast, but I am looking for a way to post it so people can directly access it through a web browser. But everyone should be warned: it's a 35MB file which should not be viewed with anything but a high-speed connection. Even through iTunes it will take maybe ten minutes to download with high-speed. Others will not be so long - this runs about 15 minutes. Pretty amateur production values, but what the hell. I'll post the location when it's ready.

Health, peace, good things. -TWL

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Pox Upon Us! - 8/15/05

A blog is a funny thing. Not quite news, not quite a diary, not quite personal, not exactly public. I hesitated a long time before finally deciding to do this, but on a practical note it is a rather easy, convenient way to write everyone all at once. I don't read any blogs myself, and actually don't see the fascination for them - especially those blogs where people post every personal intimate detail about their lives and thus achieve instant celebrity status. All this comes by way of letting you know that the style of this is probably going to be a cross between tiny pieces of news and some general thoughts thrown in from time to time. In other words, don't look for any sort of juicy stuff. Just the facts, ma'am (Jack Webb as Sgt. Friday in Dragnet).

Coffee on the CornerSo this morning I'm sitting at Coffee on the Corner, a little coffee shop right around the corner from the theatre. It's a great little place; the coffee is just OK but you get a big mug for 83 cents, and Dave (the owner), Mike and Sarah are wonderful people. The tables have chess boards on them, and most of the company comes in here at some time during the day to get their coffee and bagel. Three other coffee shops have better coffee, but none has the homey atmosphere of COTC.

Yesterday brought the news that Daniel has the chickenpox (should you want to familiarize yourself with the cast of characters, check out the ASC website and peruse the cast lists and bios). There seems to have been some sort of small curse placed on the company in terms of injuries (rumor has it that people quoting the Scottish Play is the cause, even though I personally have purged two of the troupe members after doing so). To date: Olivia has a severely sprained ankle, possibly a stress fracture, and is still in a leg boot; Alyssa broke two toes while preparing to take a shower;Kevin sprained his ankle simply out on his running hitting a small bump; Andrew contracted shingles; and now Daniel has the chickenpox as a result of Andrew's shingles (which can give someone chickenpox if they haven't already had it). This has shoved our rehearsal schedule back a week, as today we were scheduled to do runs of Planet and Much Ado. Not possible without Daniel. There's one other guy who hasn't had chickenpox yet, so we are waiting with bated breath.

In addition to that, one of the resident troupe members, Eric Shoen, who plays D'Artagnan, broke his ankle during a performance of Three Musketeers. I was actually at that performance and saw it happen. He was being lifted down from the balcony level when he lost his foothold and fell unexpectedly, landing wrong on his foot and breaking his ankle. He actually tried to continue with his performance for five minutes until he finally sat at the edge of the stage and said "I'm in a lot of pain." They finally stopped the performance and got him off stage. The audience waited for about 30 minutes before another cast member came out and cancelled the show. The Rez Company then had to spend a week re-casting all their shows (Eric also played Horatio in Hamlet and one of the Antipholuses in Comedy of Errors). It was one of the worst accidents I've seen on the stage, second only to watching Sean Sheilds almost lose his eye during the fight in King Lear. They did one performance of Comedy with Matt Sincell on book, the book cleverly covered with a makeshift Fodor's Guide to Italy, making it look as if Antipholus was a tourist. Very clever.

Anyway, all this has made everyone cautious. The company used to play volleyball on Sat. mornings; no more. We are discouraged from any "unnecessary" physical activity. I had a bit in Planet where I made an entrance leaping over some boxes; not any longer. I did hurt my back a bit doing a forward roll in Much Ado (in which I double as a member of the Watch), but I didn't tell anyone and kept it in. I was actually planning a day of hiking in Shenandoah Nat. Park this past weekend, but when the heat advisory came out I bagged it. The last thing that needs to happen is to find the old guy passed out from heat exhaustion on some little-traveled trail in the park. I haven't even done my bike riding/walking this weekend because of the heat advisories this weekend. But today is a pretty beautiful day, so I have to back on the bike this evening. Use it or lose it!

I am in the midst of preparing a vodcast which will take everyone on a small tour of the facilities and such, and perhaps part of a rehearsal. That will be experimental vodcast 1, so look for it in a few days. Enough for now. -TWL

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Story So Far - 8/13/05

My Writing CornerIt's a hot day in Staunton VA, with the temperature at 97.3 degrees and a heat index of 100 degrees. So I thought perhaps I'd sit in my little air-conditioned all-purpose room and provide my readers with an overview of my situation and how all this got started.

After serving three years as Chair of the Visual Arts and New Media Department at SUNY Fredonia and merging Media Arts and Visual Arts together, I decided I had done all I could, stepped down as Chair, and received a sabbatical for this coming academic year 2005-06. In my request I wrote about doing several things, one of which was trying to find professional theatre work, perhaps in New York City. I also thought I would take some time to organize the many, many thoughts I've had about theatre and acting for several years and do some research and writing about those subjects. Most of what I wrote was somewhat vague, and by December of 2004 I really didn't know quite what I was going to do. I had looked into obtaining research grants but found that I sort of fell between the cracks. Not possessing a PhD disqualified me for every research grant, and since I wasn't planning any kind of performance production I did not qualify for artistic grants.

On Christmas Day 2004 my grandmother passed away at age 96, and so I went to Long Island to attend the funeral. I took one day to go into the city and just visit my favorite spots - chief among them the Cloisters - and collect my thoughts about my grandmother and what she had meant to me all these years. During one of my waits I picked up a copy of Backstage out of curiosity, having not read that paper for at least three years. In the casting section was a notice for auditions for Shenandoah Shakespeare coming up in mid-January. As I read the notice, it jumped at me that everything about the gig was perfect. A touring Shakespeare troupe, a one-year paying contract from June 05-June 06, non-Equity. I love Shakespeare, I've always wanted to do at least one tour, and I was getting a one-year sabbatical. Long story short, after talking it over with Ann Marie and getting her blessing, I auditioned and got the gig. That's how I got here.

I've been here now since June 12, and all the time has been spent rehearsing the three shows. We have completed rehearsals for Return to the Forbidden Planet and Much Ado About Nothing and are one week into rehearsals for Richard III. If you want information about the shows and my roles in them, check out the American Shakespeare Festival link on the right sidebar - everything's there, including tour dates and stops. Not listed yet, however, is the fact that I am also playing Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, which plays in December. I get two weeks off from January 1-13, and that's it for the entire contract. I've also joined the Equity Member Candidate program, so by the time I finish this tour I should be eligible for my Equity Card - after all these years!!!!

Atomic Fission Touring Troupe
I am by far the oldest member of the touring troupe; indeed the oldest member of the company. The acting company is divided into two troupes, the Resident Troupe and the Atomic Fission Touring Troupe. I believe the second-oldest person in the touring troupe is 20 years younger than me. There are actors in the company younger than Jenna, my oldest child. I have a feeling I got the gig because I had little competition. Where else are you going to get an older character actor if not from a college professor on sabbatical? So of course I'm playing all the "old guy" character roles, and some of the younger members of the company have taken to calling me "Uncle Tom" on occasion.

The way a typical season runs is that the Resident Troupe arrives in April and rehearses the summer/fall season from April-June, opening in mid-June. During that opening week the new touring troupe arrives, and rehearses until mid-September, when it leaves for the first leg of the tour. The tour returns just before Thanksgiving and then rehearses and performs A Christmas Carol while the resident troupe is on vacation. The Resident troupe returns in January to rehearse and perform their Renaissance season (shows produced without a director) while the touring troupe goes out on the second leg of the tour. The resident company finishes its contract by the end of March, which is when the touring troupe returns and is in residence with its shows at the Blackfriars Theatre while the new resident troupe is in rehearsal for the next summer/fall season. Got that? :-)

The rehearsal schedule is 6 days/week, 8 hours/day, with Saturdays off. When we complete the rehearsal period for a particular show we get two days off. It's tiring, but it's also in its own way exhilirating. It has taken awhile to adjust to the idea that all I have to do down here is rehearse, that it's my only job. Quite a change of pace. I have been working to stay in shape by riding my bicycle and walking, but I must say the amount of energy I'm expending is a lot. This is not a desk job, for sure!

Blackfriars InteriorThe city of Staunton (pronouced STAN-ton) is for the most part a tourist city. My lodgings are about a 10-minute walk from the theatre, in the downtown area. The theatre is quite beautiful, and the downtown area is mostly composed of restaurants and quaint little tourist shops. And the town is extremely hilly! I heard one person say that Staunton is sometimes referred to as the "San Francisco of the East" because of its hills. It makes riding the bike - and walking - quite challenging! I was afraid to ride my bike the first few weeks for fear I wouldn't get up the hill to my lodgings! I can do it now, but it's still a challenge after a day of rehearsal. The other interesting thing about Staunton is that all of the downtown buildings are made of brick. The town dates back to 1791 or something like that, and was occupied only once by Federal troops during the Civil War (they blew up the RR station and burned a good part of the town before leaving), so a lot if the buildings have historic significance. It's also the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson. His Presidential Library and birth home are in town not far from the theatre.

The Blue Ridge Mountains from I-64And, of course, this area is at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, with the south entrance of Shenandoah National Park about 25 minutes from here. I have been trying to visit many of the Civil War battle sites in the area, but more on that in another post. I took one hike in the park to the Jones Run waterfall, and it was quite beautiful. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go hiking again before we leave on tour and then again in April when we're in residence.

OK I've taken up enough of your time for now. Thanks for reading. -TWL

Friday, August 12, 2005

Welcome! 8/12/05

All right, I give in!

Due to popular demand (?) I have created this small blog for those wishing to follow my year-long tour with the American Shakespeare Center's (formerly Shenandoah Shakespeare) Atomic Fission Touring Troupe. As I move from rehearsal to tour, I'll post a few words as often as I can - no promises about regularity. I'm also experimenting with vodcasts (Video on Demand) using iTunes - you'll need the most recent version of iTunes for Mac or PC - and probably a high-speed internet connection - to access the vodcasts.

Atomic FissionTo the left is a group photo I took during the first week of rehearsal at a reception the company held for the new touring troupe. On the right sidebar you'll see a link to the American Shakespeare Center as well as link to my home page. You can follow those links if you want further information. The ASC web site has all the dates and places where we'll be performing, as well as general information about its mission and style of playing Shakespeare. If you're in the area of one of our tour stops, let me know, and hopefully you can see the show and meet up afterwards.

Each of us on the tour has additional jobs while we are out on the road, and one of my extra jobs is Troupe Historian. At the end of the tour it will be my job to put together a photo album/DVD and some essays about the tour. As a consequence I've been taking a lot of photos. If you'd like, you can follow my picture-taking activities at my Yahoo! Photo site.

More later!