Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dzia Dziu - an Experimental Film

Dzia Dziu is Polish for Grandpa, and is pronounced, as best I can tell, like zha-zhu (the first syllable like Zsa in Zsa Zsa Gabor, and zhu rhymes with zoo). Through connections with the SLO Little Theatre, the film's student writer/director, Alexandra Ruttschow, found Serafina to play herself (Alexandra) as a little girl. She had no luck coming up with someone who had a 12" beard, so Papa Jamie was asked to fill in as Dzia Dziu. That's Alexandra in the whimsical, dream-state dress in the photos below. The film is basically a dream that Alexandra has where she sees herself years ago as she played with her Dzia Dziu, and occasionally getting into the dream herself. We filmed on locations in Morro Bay where Alexandra and Dzia Dziu actually spent these times together.


We started out at the Golden China Buffet on the Embarcadaro. Dzia Dziu would have young Alexandra count the bubbles when a little salt was added to his beer (it was impossible, way too many bubbles to count). The restaurant has an old photo of the two of them at this booth posted near the front door.

Dzia Dziu and Alexandra spent time at the Achievement House on the Cuesta College grounds. He loved the "Bargain Store" there, and they tried to catch lizards with his black hat. They tried a fun "take" from the lizard's point of view where the hat was removed from covering the lens to reveal the two girls staring down at the lizard.


Toward the end of the film, younger and older Alexandra find themselves on the beach together, and discover to their dismay that Dzia Dziu is heading out to sea.

Older Alexandra tries to give chase, dives in and swims for a while, but to no avail. The film ends with younger Alexandra consoling older Alexandra, and giving her the hat. Not sure when, if at all, the film will have any public availability. The project is due for class in a couple of weeks and Alexandra also intends to submit it to a film festival ("if it turns out OK").

David at the
Achievement House
We filmed at two other locations: Morro Rock and City Park. Both, of course, were places the two of them would hang out and play. Back in the day there was no signage at the Rock preventing squirrel feeding.

We all had a great day with this project. Alex and Damon Hayes (videographer) are great people who made the "work" most enjoyable; we had a lot of fun! And thanks to them for the celebratory dinner at Pizza Port after dark when it was all "in the can". And I think we'll have peanuts to shell for a month since we couldn't feed those squirrels!

Thanks to Tracy and her cell phone for getting the pics above.  David was with us for most of the day, and thoroughly enjoyed the venues himself!

Back to the Theatrics page.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Twins are Two!!

 Two years ago, you were born.  No one knew your future.  No one knew if there would be a future for you.

But you two fought.  And so so so many people prayed for you.  God brought you to us.

After a year of struggles you turned one.  You bet all the statistics up to this point but we still had so many unknowns.  We still didn't know if you would walk or talk.

And today after a year of great joy and growth you turned two.  You walk, you run and even try to jump.  You both have bet all the odds.  Not one doctor looks at you with out uttering the words miracle.  You are God's miracle.  I feel so blessed to get to see you grow every day, and see the great things you do.  Happy birthday boys!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How Many Men...

How many men does it take to help a 3rd grader with her homework? Three, apparently. The issue at hand was "Is a galley a part of a ship or a location on a ship?" Had to pick one. Rob's caption was, "Her advanced quantum physics class homework is pretty challenging! I will not be sticking around for differential equations homework."

Saturday, February 1, 2014

From a Shower to a Tornado

The first of two events for the day was a baby shower for Jen. It was a grand time from the parasol decorations (Melodrama garage sale) to the outstanding truffles and baby headband manufacturing. Rumor has it that the baby's name is Clementine! All the photos:

And then it was off to the theater for Wizard of Oz by Kelrik Productions at the Cuesta College Performing Arts Center. Wow! The show was fantastic! Such memorable characters make doing a convincing performance very difficult, and they pulled it off from top to bottom, from a "just right" Dorothy all the way to the most delightful 4-year-old Munchkin. Our 5yo Matteo was totally enthralled from beginning to end! It was a special delight for us to see several of our Sound of Music friends doing their thing again. Pictured at left are Tracy and Serafina chatting with Glinda (Allison King), the Good Witch of the North. She and Serafina were in Sound of Music together at the SLO Little Theatre.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nobody Goes One for One

I auditioned for a play this past weekend - the father/mathematician role in "Proof" (more about the play here). The play was intriguing to me, and so was "Robert." My first theater audition. Ever. It's a little daunting to prepare and present "two contrasting monologues". I thought about backing out at the last minute, but realized this would be my only opportunity to show off what I'd put hours into. So I auditioned. Audience of one, the director. Felt surprisingly good. Afterward, I mentioned to a friend that I couldn't remember saying half the lines; he said that was a good sign. I didn't get the part; nobody goes one for one. Except Serafina.

Tangent: As chance would have it, I just read an article about the power of creativity, even over passion, for entrepreneur success. One of the ways to build creativity is to learn new hobbies, skills, etc. The article specifically mentions the arts: "but learning a new art form is one of the best methods to train the mind in developing creative problem-solving skills. The arts require the use of divergent thinking, which is the half of creative thought that is typically missing in corporate America" [full article].

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pinocchio Opens Tonight

I got to photograph again last night (Thursday) as well as Tuesday night. It was, of course, final dress rehearsal. They looked ready, able, and much more than willing! It's go time! Here are a few shots of our Village Teen / Puppet. Don't miss the show at the SLO Little Theatre, January 10-26, 2014.

Her cast-mates include a student of mine from SLOCA last year (far left)
and another returnee from Sound of Music (middle).
Serafina is far right.

Back to Theatrics...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crunch Time for Pinocchio

It's "tech week". It's all coming together. Rehearsal every night leading up to Friday's opening at SLO Little Theater. A few more photos are here.