Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Aesthetics of Theatre and Performance - A Virtual Workshop on Zoom

 

The Aesthetics of Theatre and Performance

A Virtual Workshop by Jack Truman


There is a philosophy to theatre. Most actors are focused on performance and less focused on what art is really about. How can we apply philosophy to our theatrical shows and performances? By reviewing acting techniques of Stanislavski, Spolin, Meisner, Hagan Hagen and Boal, combined with theatre theory of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Camus, along with implementing philosophical ancient Indian values from the Upanishads, Truman introduces a new style of acting that focuses on the aesthetics and philosophy of performance. Included are theatre games from the world's most renowned acting teachers. 

A creative, virtual one hour workshop for all! 


Date and Time: April 30th, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.

Location: https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/2669655744


A 1 hour virtual workshop on Zoom! Open to the public and free for all!


About the Presenter: Jack Truman is a 35 year veteran in the entertainment industry. An award winning actor, writer, producer, director and filmmaker, he has also appeared in many major motion pictures and television series. Jack's independent films have screened at over 500 film festivals around the world. Founder of the Holly Weird Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, he is also author of the book An Actor's Journal: 90 Days in L.A. Truman has an MFA in Theatre and is a college professor.





Monday, June 7, 2021

Holly Weird Film Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

 




Holly Weird Film Festival Announces Lineup



Burbank, California - The other side of Hollywood is becoming fearless to the entertainment capital of the world.


The third annual Holly Weird Film Festival has announced the lineup for the 2021 season. Celebrating true original underground filmmaking, Holly Weird celebrates and showcases independent films of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice, or an avant-garde challenge to what is expected or accepted. The festival is making it's mission to showcase the work of filmmakers who defy independent visions.


It's important for original underground filmmakers to have a venue to share their work with the world”, says the festival's founder, award-winning underground filmmaker Jack Truman. “As a filmmaker, I know how hard it is for underground filmmakers to make their movie. It's important for them to share their art. I'm proud of the diversity in this year's lineup. Films are from around world, and 6 of the 23 selections are from female directors. There is an audience out there that is hungry for true, original independent film that defies the norm. We're focused on the unique and innovative, and are thrilled to bring the other side of film to the entertainment capital of the world”.


23 films from around the world were selected for the 2021 season from over 600 submissions worldwide. Included are short and feature narrative, documentary and experimental films. The range of countries selected include Israel, Lebanon, Russia, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the United States. Some of the films to be included is the feature film “Shellfish” by Hunter Hopewell, and short films “Chesty & Opal”, “Pluto” and the World Premiere of “Molotov”.


Holly Weird has also partnered with television giant Roku and Shorts Daily for a limited televised event. This year, Roku will allow previous Holly Weird alumni filmmakers the opportunity to screen their films on Roku's Shorts Daily channel this summer. Roku has a nationwide base of over 50 million subscribers, and this will give little-known alternative filmmakers the opportunity to have their independent films screen to a nationwide audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


We have an electric lineup of amazing films scheduled for this season”, states Truman. “These films will shock the world”.


More about the festival can be found on the Holly Weird FilmFreeway page at https://filmfreeway.com/HollyWeirdFilmFestival .


Holly Weird on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hollyweirdfilmfest/




OFFICIAL SELECTIONS for HOLLY WEIRD 2021:


Shorts:


Angel and Opal – Jack Truman (5 minutes) (Missouri)

Behind the Glass – Pedro de la Llave (5 minutes) (Canada)

Parked – Yoon Hei Cho (4 minutes) (California)

The Shattering – Marcus Adams (8 minutes) (California)

Television Quest – Terence Cover (5 minutes) (Michigan)

Molotov – Ariel Semmel (30 minutes) (Israel)

Geneva Jacuzzi's Casket – Chris Friend (6 minutes) (California)

The Orange Cheddar Debacle – Forrest Fenske (10 minutes) (New York)

Counting Sheep – Brandon Hicks (2 minutes) (Canada)

The Fear – Chanin Russo (12 minutes) (California)

Glugga – Omar Lopex (7 minutes) (California)

Trouble for Miles – Jamin Scotti (9 minutes) (California)

How to Get $100 Million – Ilya Polyakov (9 minutes) (California)

Pluto – Larke Miller (15 minutes) (Canada)

Lahza – Noel Bassil (7 minutes) (Lebanon)

Super Cool – Marina Potapova (5 minutes) (Russia)

Quarantine: Day 100 – Paul Chomicki (2 minutes) (California)

Smile – Kevin Uskovic (5 minutes)

Adam – Christine Zivic (12 minutes) (California)

Terror Fervor – Phoebe Parsons (6 minutes) (Canada)

Chesty and Opal – Jack Truman (10 minutes) (Missouri)



Documentary Feature:


We are the New Chimeras – Mathias Averty (51 minutes) (France)



Narrative Feature:


Shellfish – Hunter Hopewell (82 minutes) (California)



Monday, May 10, 2021

A Deep Year

 

This has been a deep year.


That's the simplest way to put it.


The coronavirus hit America back in early March 2020. That was 14 months ago. I'm getting ready to begin my 15th month in isolation. This is a crazy world we live in. I won't take the vaccine. Simply put, there's a lot of reasons for this, but it basically boils down to personal beliefs. I won't take any medicine. I won't even get a flu shot. I've got a lot of personal opinions about this world we live in, and today's culture, but I just have to keep my mouth shut. That's all I'll say about that.


Having said that, this has been one crazy year. That's an understatement. So much has happened over this last year that has changed my life. I now look at things in a completely different way. I see the things that are important in life. It took the worse pandemic in the history of the world to force me into isolation and look at things in a different way.


The things that have happened over this last year:


There's two books I've been reading and studying over the last year while in isolation that have really opened my eyes: the Upanishads and the Christian Science textbook 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'. Both of these books have been helping me a lot. I've come to realize that both deal with the Mind. The Christian Science bible is medicine for the mind. The Upanishads exercise the mind. Both of these books are helping me a lot while in isolation.


I've also began to look at things in a philosophical view. Over this last year, I've learned so much about the arts while in isolation that I never knew about. I've been in the entertainment business for over 35 years. Until now, there were so many things I was not educated in. Before this last year, I always looked at the arts from a creative angle: as an actor, a writer, a producer, a director, a filmmaker. Now, I'm starting to see the arts from a philosophical viewpoint. Analyzing things. Questioning things. Last year, I discovered Dramaturgy for the first time in my life, and it fascinates me. Over the last 6 months, I've discovered 13 different cultures around the world that practice art that I was never familiar with. Also, I've learned about philosophers in art from over the last 500 years I never knew about. My life is changing, that's for sure. Also, there's different art forms I never knew about. Take the art Theatre of the Absurd. Or Theatre of the Oppressed. Or Devised Theatre. Look at philosophers I had never heard about like Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Boal...this is a fascinating new world to me.


There is a lot I have planned to work on this summer. Over the next 12 weeks, I plan on writing a script a week, and working on a different project each week. If I keep to that schedule, then come August, I'll have 12 new scripts written and 12 projects worked on. That's a pretty constructive summer! Plus, there's other things to work on daily not included here. It's amazing what one person can do in isolation out here in the middle of nowhere. All you have to do it set your mind to doing things and having the discipline. Thank God I'm the way I am and lived in another time before today's world.


That's about all I have to say about that.



Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Discovery of Film Dramaturgy

 



What is Dramaturgy?


That's a good question. I've been learning a lot about dramaturgy over this last year. I discovered this topic in January 2020 while attending a theatre conference. I'll have to be honest. Before that workshop, I had never heard of dramaturgy. It was created over 300 years ago in theatre with Lessing.


When breaking it down in a nutshell, dramaturgy is the philosophy of a production. It's being the philosopher in the room. When a play for a theatre has a dramaturg, the dramaturg basically philosophizes everything! They're a researcher, an analyzer, a historian, an 'expert' in the subject and the time. This fascinates me. Something I never knew about before last year. I've been in the entertainment business for over 35 years, and had never heard about this before. Being the philosopher in the room, analzing, criticing, researching, getting community engagement....this is fascinating!


As I get older, I'm looking at the arts in a different way. All of my life, it was about the creative process: acting, writing, producing, directing, editing, production, distribution, publicity...I never looked at the arts from a philosophical viewpoint, questioning things, wanting to learn and teach. This is different. Dramturgy has helped open my eyes to this view of art. I love it.


After discovering this a little over a year ago, last year, I wrote 3 dramaturgy protocols for plays. That was a lot of work. Each protocol ranged from 30 to 70 pages. There's a lot that went into each one, with each taking many weeks to write. This is definitely a field I want to pursue more.


How can this be incorporated into film? Why is there not a field called film dramaturgy?


I can totally see this relating to a film. Film is like theatre that way. When you make a movie, it's similar to someone putting on a play. You have the production team. You have a writer, producers, directors, a creative team. When it's in production, you have the actors and the tech team. There's the whole process of creating it, publicizing it and performing it. Why isn't dramaturgy an element in a film's process like it should be for a play in theatre? I can totally see having a 'philosopher', researcher, historian, expert on the subject for a film project. Someone who's there to analyze and process the film project, and being a supporter of the director, making sure the director's vision is coming out. To research, question and educated with this, it would help film artists do their best work and educate the public creatively about this form of dramatic art. There is a whole process of dramaturgy that could and should be incorporated into the filmmaking process. Maybe I can see this because I've worked in both fields. I was in theatre for 20 years, then in the film business for 20 years, along with being a filmmaker for 15 years. It's easy for me to envision this connecting with both fields. It seems like a no brainer. Why haven't I heard about this before? Why hasn't the film industry incorporated an element like this into the entertainment business? Theatre and film has so much to learn from each other.


There is nothing like this in the film business. The studios should have this. How can their eyes be opened to film dramaturgy? Maybe start with introducing it in independent film? Maybe start teaching it to today's film students and filmmakers that are the future of the business? There has to be a way.


The importance of dramaturgy in art is obvious and is just sitting there. It's time to open people's eyes about this subject.



Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Creative Mind - An Independent Artist

 My brain is always working.


I just can't seem to shut it off. It works all the time. I think a combination of being vegan and alcohol free (sober) relates to a lot of this. I'm in my 21st year of being vegan. It's also been 10 years since I've had a drink. I used to be a heavy drinker, and stopped cold turkey in March of 2011. Next month starts my 11th year alcohol free.


To be honest, I'm always on a high health wise. Starting my 13th month of isolation due to the coronavirus, this last year of isolation has really fueled creativity in my brain. Like it needed it! Over the last 20 years, I've built a room full of thousands of creative projects I want to get done. This last year has been no exception.


This year, I have plays I want to write, virtual projects to create, vegan projects to begin, books to publish, a film festival to run....so much to get done this year!


It's amazing what you can get done in isolation when you set your mind to it.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Casting Notice of Virtual Staged Reading - Four 10 Minute Plays

 

Jack Truman Productions is casting for a virtual staged reading of four 10 minute plays from the Great Pandemic of 2020.


Written and Directed by Jack Truman


The plays:


Cancel Culture, a play about the entertainment industry during the Black Lives Matter movement

Jimmy and Stan, a play about James Cagney and Stanley Kubrick

Taking Over the Asylum, a play about a professor teaching a class during the pandemic

Sunset and Vine, a play about two people trying to make it in Hollywood


Cancel Culture characters:

Charlie, 60's, famous film actor, been in the business for over 40 years

Lou, 60's, Charlie's agent

Drea, 20's, congresswoman, extremely radical liberal

Stage Directions, Narrator/Reading of the play's stage directions


Jimmy and Stan characters:

Jimmy, 60's, an old retired actor, his acting days are behind him, was a superstar during the golden age of film, done with Hollywood, living out in the country away from everything.

Stan, 30's, a young rising filmmaker, fed up with Hollywood and the film studio system, wants to make visionary movies outside of the industry system

Marlon, 40's, famous film actor, a rebel and activist

Stage Directions, Narrator/Reading of the play's stage directions


Taking Over the Asylum characters:

Bob, 50's, a liberal minded film professor

Chelsea, 19-20, radical college student

Sarah, 18-19, black, young college student

Stage Directions, Narrator/Reading of the play's stage directions


Sunset and Vine characters:

Hank, 60's, a struggling old writer in Hollywood

Maggie, 18-25, a young girl from the Ozarks, trailer part white trash type, fresh off the bus in Hollywood, trying to make it in the movies

Stage Directions, Narrator/Reading of the play's stage directions


Filming to begin in May 2021, with an online virtual release late May 2021.


Copy and credit provided. There is no pay.


Email headshot and resume to director Jack Truman at jacktrumancountry@gmail.com 


Thank you for your time. Break a leg!







Friday, February 5, 2021

Creative Thoughts from the Great Pandemic of 2020

 


This last year has been one for the history books.


2021 is here. The Great Pandemic of 2020 changed our world. Before last year, nothing like this had ever happened in the history of the world. 2020 changed all that.


Reflecting on this last year, it's been a doozy. 


There's a lot to think about. Do you remember where you were when all of this hit America in March of 2020? I sure do. I was 600 miles north of here, teaching college classes. I came back here for Spring Break at my property here in the Ozarks out in the middle of nowhere, and that's when the craziness began with the coronavirus here in America. That whole week of Spring Break, that's all that was going on around me. My brain couldn't function about anything else. What a Spring break! When I returned back to teach college, that first day back, I saw on the news the insanity that was going on that day, and could see the writing on the wall. I told myself "I'm getting the hell out of here". I packed up my car and drove back home here, 600 miles nonstop. Since that day, I've been in isolation out here in a ghost town out in the middle of nowhere. This is a crazy world we're living in. All I can do is take care of myself and just watch the insanity unravel around me. That's what I've been doing this last year. Protecting myself in isolation, and just having to watch everyone else around me live a crazy life in a crazy world.


I've changed a lot over this last year. The pandemic has made me reflect, see what's important in life and re-evaluate what I want to do for the rest of my life.


For the last 35 years of my adult life, I've been in the entertainment business. First as an actor, then a writer, then a director, then a filmmaker. In stage, television and film. My first 20 years as a stage and film actor were something around this country; starring in over 100 plays around the country, being in television series and major motion pictures...then becoming a stage director during that time, directing plays around the country. That evolved into playwriting and screenwriting. Then I became a filmmaker, and over 15 years, made over 20 films that screened over 500 film festivals worldwide. Now, for the last 1 to 2 years, I've been teaching at the college level. I decided I was at a point in my life where I needed to teach the next generation of artists what I know. 


Then the pandemic hit.


It's made me rethink a lot about the things that are important in life.


Virtual living, virtual teaching and virtual entertainment are the ways of the future. I realize that now. I've been seeing that slowly evolve over the years, but with the Great Pandemic of 2020, this new culture and lifestyle has hit center stage. These are the times we now live in, and is the future to come.


Over the last year, I've been in isolation in this ghost town out here in the middle of nowhere, teaching college remotely and doing artistic work virtually. Last year, for several months, I began to study philosophy and do a lot of reading. It changed how I look at things. Over last summer, I wrote a different play each week out here (13 plays total). I got back into playwriting after not writing a play in almost 20 years. I started thinking about how I can help the animals, with being vegan for over 20 years. Opened my eyes to a new subject I knew nothing about, Dramaturgy. Wrote 3 dramaturgy protocol books about plays. Started thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life.


Before all this hit, I wanted to teach college into my old age. Now, I'm looking at things in a different way. Another year from now, if I'm teaching college, it will be done remotely. Studying philosophy and dramaturgy and getting back to playwriting has made me want to write, research and analyze things remotely. That may become something in my future. My film festival in California, the Holly Weird Film Festival, is in its third year, and building a solid foundation. 


But now, I'm also looking at how the future is digital. All of my life has contributed to the entertainment world and the arts. I'm wanting to teach in my old age, but I know I'll still be wanting to create art, but just in a different way. I'm looking at art in a different way. Becoming more critical, analyzing and researching things, exercising my brain more. It's making me look at things in a different way. The future in film is digital. Virtual production is the way of the future. Theatre is becoming forced to become virtual. Virtual plays, virtual staged readings are the way of the future. If in person theatre comes back after all of this, masks will become a common thing. In fact, centuries ago, that's how theatre began in ancient Greek times; with masks. Are we coming full circle back to the way things were in theatre thousands of years ago? It's looking that way. 


So much has happened over this last year. This virus isn't going anywhere. When all this began a year ago, I said then at the beginning we haven't seen anything yet. I said then that things will continue to get worse for at least a year, maybe two. Well, everything I've predicted so far with this virus has come true. And still, we haven't seen anything yet. Today's culture will not change and protect themselves by isolating to protect others. We live in a culture where everyone just cares about themselves, and what they want. People aren't willing to change to help others. And we're seeing the results of that with the world we're living in. 


Being in isolation for the last year has helped me discover the things that are important in life. I look at things in a different way. I don't know about this world we live in today. You just have to surround yourself with the positive, block out the negative, protect yourself and let things work themself out. 


My brain is constantly working. I have a room full of thousands of projects I want to get done. Over this last year, my brain has been exercising with even more creative ideas. 


Let's see what we can get done.


I have to remember to be the change I want to see in the world. Sometimes, everything just seems to have gotten too hard. Especially, the older I get. Then I have to remember, it's supposed to be hard. It's the hard that makes it great. 


The Aesthetics of Theatre and Performance - A Virtual Workshop on Zoom

  The Aesthetics of Theatre and Performance A Virtual Workshop by Jack Truman There is a philosophy to theatre. Most actors are focused on p...