Today’s Gag

May 30, 2011

To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit the CartoonStock.com website by clicking the sidebar link.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Sizemore.

Hip Shots

May 27, 2011

Flag Change

By Jim Sizemore

 (Click images for larger views.)

The “Hip Shots” series of Doodlemeister.com photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method the more frames  exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting—a related series that can be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own pictures, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below. Meanwhile, click the “Hip Shots” tag above for more examples. And for another post in the series, check in next Friday.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Sizemore.

Sam Shepard On Playwriting IV

May 25, 2011

Adapted from: The Magic Theater

By Michael Ver Meulen, Esquire, February, 1980

There’s a way of just improvising a play, as an actor would improvise a scene, and I’ve discovered how to do that. I have tons of stuff that I just haven’t shown ‘cause now the values have changed. Along the road, that improvisation has to come to terms with something and make it cognizant. And that something is not explainable. For instance, if we start juggling glasses we could juggle glasses and carry on and we could juggle glasses all day long, but then what, then what’s going on underneath?

There’s more to it than just getting off as an artist, because, you know, anybody can make a piece of art. It’s not hard. And anybody can have that piece of art admired by any number of people. But what happened between those other people and the artist? Is there really a sense of responsibility in the relationship between the thing that you make and the people who come in touch with it?

The picture is moving in the mind and being allowed to move more and more freely as you follow it. The following is the writing part. In other words, I’m taking notes in as much detail as possible on an event that’s happening somewhere inside me. The extent to which I can actually follow the picture and not intervene with my own two cents’ worth is where inspiration and craftsmanship hold their real meaning. If I find myself pushing the character in a certain direction, it’s almost always a sure sign that I’ve fallen back on technique and lost the real thread of the thing.

You can only face so much, and then you turn away. Writers are very adept at covering that up; they cover it up in all kinds of disguises. But when it comes right down to it, what you’re really listening to in a writer is that: his ability to face himself.

I certainly don’t want to depress the hell out of people, but I think you’ve got to go through the night to get to the day, and I haven’t gone all the way through the night yet.

Dealing with the media makes you believe that you have an importance beyond your actual importance. It leads to a lot of false assumptions about who you are.

It’s pretty hard to make a living as a playwright, I mean, in terms of the rising price of gasoline and all that shit.

This is one in a series that will post  on Wednesdays. If you’d like to read more about what people like Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, Joyce Carol Oates and other famous — and not so famous — playwrights have to say about the art and craft of writing and directing plays, type “On Playwriting” into the small sidebar window and tap the “Search” button.


Today’s Gag

May 23, 2011

To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit the CartoonStock.com website by clicking the sidebar link.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Sizemore.

Hip Shots

May 20, 2011

New York

By Isabel Perl

 (Click images for larger views.)


The “Hip Shots” series of Doodlemeister.com photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method the more frames  exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting—a related series that can be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own pictures, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below. Meanwhile, click on these images for a larger view, and click the “Hip Shots” tag above for more examples. For another post in the series, tune in next Friday.

Copyright © 2011 Isabel Perl.

Sam Shepard On Playwriting III

May 18, 2011

Adapted from:  Sam Shepard’s Mythic Vision of the Family

By Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times, December 1, 1985

I don’t think it’s worth doing anything unless it’s personal. You’re not dealing with anything unless you’re dealing with the most deeply personal experiences. It’s empty otherwise. It doesn’t mean anything.

I thought for years it was boring, uninteresting to write about the family . . . But the interesting thing about taking real blood-relationships is that the more you start to investigate those things as external characters, the more you see they’re also internal characters. The mythology has to come out of real life, not the other way around. Mythology wasn’t some trick someone invented to move us. It came out of the guts of man. And myths are related on an emotional level. They’re not strictly intellectual programs.

There was this big fight I had with my old man, and at that point I fled. And I thought, well, I’m just going to have to start over . . . Once there was a production of “Buried Child” in Santa Fe, and my Dad took it upon himself to go, and he was rolling drunk and started talking to the characters and stood up and made all this noise. He definitely struck up a relationship with the production.

Yeah, we had bouts of drinking. Strange . . . It (the fight) would always turn, inevitably, on this accusation that there was something wrong and it had to do with me . . . It hasn’t really clarified anything. You spend a lot of time trying to piece these things together and it still doesn’t make any sense. His death brought this whole thing to a head, this yearning for some kind of a resolution which could never be.

When you’re younger, that rage is completely misunderstood. It seems personal when you’re a kid . . . Then as you get older you see that it had nothing whatsoever to do with you. It had to do with a condition this man had to carry because of the circumstances of his life, those being World War II, the Depression, the poverty of the Midwest farm family. And all these things contributed to this kind of malaise. Then it becomes much more interesting, when you have some distance on it. Because then you can see here was a man who happened to be my father and yet he was more than just that.

My work has always come out almost like a miracle, some kind of strange accident. You stumble into a certain territory that starts to excite you in a way that’s got to be manifested. It comes out as a play or a character. But that kind of work cannot be formulated . . . Then it gets shot to hell. Because then it becomes a career. I’m not interested in a career . . . I want to do the work that fascinates me.

This is one in a series that will post  on Wednesdays. If you’d like to read more about what people like Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, Joyce Carol Oates and other famous — and not so famous — playwrights have to say about the art and craft of writing and directing plays, type “On Playwriting” into the small sidebar window and tap the “Search” button.


Today’s Gag

May 16, 2011

To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit the CartoonStock.com website by clicking the sidebar link.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Sizemore.