Hip Shots

August 30, 2013

NFL Museum: August 5, 2013

By Tate Adams

(Click images for larger views.)

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The Hip Shots series of 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 may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.

Copyright © 2013 Tate Adams.
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Today’s Gag

August 27, 2013

1308-NIGHT-BlogClick image to enlarge. 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 my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

William Butler Yeats on Playwriting

August 25, 2013

Adapted from Playwrights on Playwriting

Edited by Toby Cole

Yeats-2What attracts me to drama is that it is, in the most obvious way, what all the arts are upon a last analysis . . . .  a moment of intense life.

The dramatist must picture life in action.

Our plays must be literature or written in the spirit of literature. The modern theatre has died away to what it is because the writers have thought of their audiences instead of their subject . . . . Then the imagination began to cool, the writer began to be less alive, to seek external aids, remembered situations, tricks of the the theatre, that had proved themselves again and again.

(T)he sincere play, the logical play . . . will always seem, when we hear it for the first time, undramatic, unexciting.

(The Doll’s House) is but a series of conversations terminated by an accident.

The utmost sincerity . . . give me . . . an imperfect pleasure if there is not a vivid and beautiful language.

(A)ll language but that of the poets and of the poor is already bedridden. We have, indeed, persiflage, the only speech of educated men that expresses a deliberate enjoyment of words; but persiflage is not a true language. It is impersonal; it is not in the midst but on the edge of life; it covers more character than it discovers; and yet, such as it is, all our comedies are made out of it.

What the ever-moving, delicately molded flesh is to human beauty, vivid musical words are to passion. Somebody has said that every nation begins with poetry and ends with algebra, and passion has always refused to express itself in algebraical terms.

Art delights in the exception, for it delights in the soul expressing itself according to its own laws and arranging the world about it in its own pattern, as sand strewn upon a drum will change itself into different patterns, according to the notes of music that are sung or played to it.

Men of letters have sometimes said that the characters of . . . a play must be typical. They mean that the character must be typical of something which exists in all men because the writer has found it in his own mind. It is one of the most inexplicable things about human nature that a writer, with a strange temperament, an Edgar Allan Poe, let us say, made what he is by conditions that never existed before, can create personages and lyric emotions, which startle us by being at once bizarre and an image of our own secret thoughts.

We do the people of history the honor of naming after them the creations of our own minds.

French dramatic poetry is so often a little rhetorical, for rhetoric is the will trying to do the work of the imagination. The Shakespearean Drama gets the emotion of multitude out of the subplot which copies the main plot, must as a shadow upon the wall copies one’s body in the firelight.

In Hamlet, one hardly notices, so subtly is the web woven, that the murder of Hamlet’s father and the sorrow of Hamlet are shadowed in the lives of Fortinbras, and Ophelia and Laertes, whose fathers, too, have been killed. It is so in all the plays . . . and very commonly the subplot is the main plot working itself out in more ordinary men and women, and so doubly calling up before us the image of multitude.

If you’d like to read what playwrights such as Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Joyce Carol Oates and others have to say about the art and craft of writing for the stage, type “On Playwriting” into the small sidebar window and tap the Search button.


Hip Shots

August 20, 2013

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By Jim Sizemore

(Click images for larger views.)

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The “Hip Shots” series of 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 may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

August 17, 2013

1308-USUAL-BlogClick image to enlarge. 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 my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

Anton Chekhov on Playwriting

August 13, 2013

Adapted from Playwrights on Playwriting

Edited by Toby Cole

Chekov3Try to be original in your play and as clever as possible; but don’t be afraid to show yourself foolish; we must have freedom of thinking, and only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things. Don’t round things out, don’t polish — but be awkward and impudent. Brevity is the sister of talent.

The large number of revisions need not trouble you, for the more of a mosaic the work is, the better. The characters stand to gain by this. The play will be worthless if all the characters resemble you . . . . And who is interested in knowing my life or yours, my thoughts and your thoughts? Give people people, and not yourself.

Avoid “choice” diction. The language should be simple and forceful.

The first act may last as long as a whole hour, but the rest should not be more than twenty minutes each. The crux of the play is the third act, but it must not be so strong a climax as to kill the first act.

I like the “vaudeville.” It begins in a very original way . . . . In one-act things you must write nonsense — there lies their strength.

(T)here is an excessive hysteria in the language. (The character) must not use witticisms; but you make all of them fall into this habit; they keep playing on words, and that tires the attention a little; it is too flashy; the language of your characters is like a white silk dress on which the sun is always shining in full force and which it hurts the eyes to look at.

(I)t ought to be mentioned in the first or second act that she has attempted to poison herself; then, after that hint, the poisoning in the third act will not seem so startling and will be more in place. (He) talks too much; such characters ought to be shown bit by bit among others, for in any case such people are everywhere merely incidental — both in life and on the stage.

One usually dislikes a play while writing it, but afterward it grows on one. Let others judge and make decisions.

If you’d like to read what playwrights such as Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Joyce Carol Oates and others have to say about the art and craft of writing for the stage, type “On Playwriting” into the small sidebar window and tap the Search button.


Today’s Gag

August 5, 2013

1307-REFORM-BlogClick image to enlarge. 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 my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.