Sunday, February 22, 2009

CARTOON ACTING



Well, I gave the talk on cartoon acting at Woodbury on Saturday night, and it turned out great. I made a few gaffs, and had some lapses of taste that appalled the audience,  but taken all in all it was a fun night.



The Chief Presenter, discussion leader, and Master of Ceremonies was Steve Worth. Steve put up some great acting scenes that were so intense that I found myself lost in thought right up to the minute I was supposed to speak. 

The clip immediately preceding me had to do with a tearful, poverty-stricken mother who was about to throw herself and her baby into the river. It turned out to be the best introduction imaginable! The audience was so happy to be relieved of their anxiety about the poor mother that they laughed at just about everything I said, whether it deserved it or not....the perfect set-up for a talk about comedic acting!



After the show I met Margaret Kerry, the actress and dancer who did the live action reference for Tinkerbell in Disney's 50's version of "Peter Pan." She did the voices for Spinner and Paddlefoot in "Clutch Cargo," and even worked for Hal Roach on "The Little Rascals." Margaret was super nice and still beautiful, a delight to talk to.



The earlier part of the day was pretty interesting, too. Lester Hunt, the philosophy professor and author from Wisconsin, and who comments on Theory Corner every time the subject is philosophy or aesthetics, treated me to pizza at Lido's! 



Boy, Lester and I have a lot in common! We agree about so many different things that I was actually relieved when we found something to disagree about. Lester likes Thoreau and I don't. The problem is that he's right about so much else that it's making me wonder if I misjudged Thoreau. I'm really not looking forward to it, but I'm determined to spot read through "Walden" some time in the near future.



After lunch we drove up to Ayn Rand's old house at 10,000 Tampa, which is not far from where I live. Other famous residents of the area were Barbara Stanwick and Marlena Dietrich. We took pictures of ourselves at Nobel Middle School, which is at her old address, and we cruised around the mini-mansions above the area because a commenter to this site once said that the true location of her house was  slightly North of the school. 






Back to acting, I think I'll put all my theories of that type into a xerox-pamphlet that I'll sell on this site. Don't worry, it won't cost much. I just want to be able to call myself an author.






34 comments:

kurdt said...

I generally like classic literature but I really disliked Thoreau. For one thing he was a hypocrite. Living by yourself and being self sufficient is great...when you're getting handouts from your friends down the road! Of course he forgot to put that part in his book.
Plus trying to slog through Walden wasn't a heck of a lot fun even if that little fact didn't already cloud my views.
What's your reasons for not liking him and what are the reasons we're both supposedly wrong?

J.R. Spumkin said...

I can't wait to hear about your theories Eddie. Sucks I couldn't attend. 'Twould've been an experience. Mostly because any room in which you are in simply explodes with awesome.

Anonymous said...

Saw you on Saturday night Eddie and you were great, but who was the woman in the blue sweater and jeans? She left a little early. What a knockout!

Adam T said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend.

I can understand why someone wouldn't like Thoreau. He does come off as self righteous and when I read Walden I got the impression he was writing it to convince himself that he was living right.

But I do think many people would be happier if we found the happy medium between being social busy-bodies and solitary stoics. I got that out of reading Thoreau even if it wasn't his intended message, because I got the impression that he was sometimes pretty miserable during the whole Walden experiment.

Anyways. Congrats on being a bigshot!

Ken Mitchroney said...

All that AND Lido's ?! Sounds like you made out like a bandit Eddie. Keep spreading your theory gold.

Caleb said...

I can also understand why someone wouldn't like Thoreau, but the fact that we're still talking about him 150 years later should say something for his ideas. I would say that Walden was an unsuccessful experiment and that there is something to be learned from that. Other titles I liked by Thoreau; A Plea for Captain John Brown and Civil Disobedience. Most of his topics still apply today.

Anonymous said...

If Thoreau lived at Walden Pond today he could get a corn dog and a Coke without having to walk more than forty feet.

Brubaker said...

Sounds like a blast. Glad you had a good time.

I would so like to meet you someday. I imagine you're the kind of guy who's funny no matter what.

How often do you go to San Diego Comic Con?

Trevor Thompson said...

Good luck Uncle Author, Walden's a helluva read.

Bring a sandwich.

- trevor.

Vincent Waller said...

You know I'll buy one even though I was too dumb to remember your gig was Saturday night.
Im glad it went well.
If anyone did manage to record it let me know.

Ken Roskos said...

Hi Eddie, you had Killer stuff that night. Who needs the Oscars anyway.

Regarding the audience being "offended"...
Everyone has wardrobe malfunctions now and then.

Thanks!

Ken Roskos

Anonymous said...

If Margaret Kerry did the Clutch Cargo voices, it was she who Dick Brown strapped into a flesh colored megaphone and then photographed her lipstick-adorned lips. The resultant film was then projected onto giant plywood heads of the Clutch characters and filmed anew, which accounts for the teeth appearing flesh-hued in that series.

Masked Stinker said...

With so few lines, your drawings are very expressive!

How bout some storyboarding theories?

I'm interested in the pamphlet.
You could perhaps do it as a downloadable PDF file.

Lester Hunt said...

Thanks for the kind words Edie! I'm glad Saturday evening when well -- tho' not a bit surprised. I'll write up an account of our meeting when I get a chance.

Deb said...

Uncle Eddie,

I have been looking on-line for over an hour to find the name of a fabulous cartoon form the 1980's -90's? It was an interaction between the protagonist and his needy suitor.

Jeez it was a great cartoon, I have been so long from reading the funnies that I dont remember what it was. Your blog kept coming up as I searched and it seemed like the thing you might like.

I remember each cell. The first was the guy leaning against his bathroom door, while outside, his suitor (crazy lady) was outside yelling "I don't care if you dont want me...I'm yours". Cut to the inside of the bathroom, The dude, "Love is not love wich seaks to alter that....." Shakespere..

Next "I don't care if you don't want me Im yours" Screaming Jay Hawkins...followed by whoops and grunts....

So anyway, Do you know what comic that was?

chrisallison said...

Bummed I missed out on the magic. Let us know about that pamphlet, Eddie!

lastangelman said...

Eddie writes:Back to acting, I think I'll put all my theories of that type into a xerox-pamphlet that I'll sell on this site. Don't worry, it won't cost much. I just want to be able to call myself an author.

Easy model to set up would be a downloadable PDF (don't forget copyright licence, Creative Commons licenses is ideal) and "suggested donation" button, employing PayPal or some other service.

I was kinda' astounded that Blue Sky Studios film of Horton Hears A Who wasn't nominated for an Oscar (Bolt?!?!). What in the name of Treg Brown are the qualifications of an animated film to get nominated? Every year it's like a contest between Pixar and Dreamworks or this year John Lassetter (2 films)and Jeffrey Katzenberg(1 film). Thank goodness the playing field is better in the animated short film category. Maybe you should make a fun short to submit for consideration of the Academy - although getting an Annie award probably means more.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Kurdt: He impressed me as finikey and too full of himself, but it was a long time ago and maybe I was mistaken.

Spumkin, Anon, Adam, Ken, Vincent, Masked: Many thanks!

Ken: I went to your site and was dazzled by the cars! Your enthusiasm is infectious!

Brubaker: I'm going to try to go the next Con.
Maybe i'll see you there!

Deb: Hmmmm...I don't recognize it

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Masked: Thanks for the idea bout the PDF file. The problem is that a file doesn't have the romance and the tactile interest that a pamphlet has. I love pamphlets!

Kali Fontecchio said...

SAt. was fun! You should do a one man play!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Last: Interesting! Thanks for the link which I promise to read after i get some sleep!

Kali: Wow! Interesting thought! Thanks a million!

miss 3awashi thani said...

aww i wish i couldv'e gone, but i'm halfway across the world.

i love your comic sketches, their so simply drawn but so readable and the acting in them is amazing. i keep wishing you'd post more.
in fact if you put your drawings in that book i might throw cation to the wind (i'm terrified of buying things of the net) and actually buy it.

Trevor Thompson said...

By the way, I love your prediliction for characters with big floppy hands. These drawings are so much fun, and the hands, being more noticeable, are just as expressive as the rest of the characters' body parts.

Got a post in yuh on hand theories?

- trevor.

PS: I'm a buy that dad gum pamphlet frum yuh, mm-hmm.

Andreas said...

A number of years ago I saw Walden at Borders in the sale rack area, so I thought I need more exposure to "classic" literature than I received in school and should buy it and read it. I may have made it through the first chapter before it found a permanent place on my bookshelf never to be picked up again. Of course I skimmed through the first couple chapters of 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea before I really got into it, so maybe Walden is worth another try.

Deniseletter said...

Hi Eddie,I'd like to have the opportunity to buy the pamphlet with your incredible drawings!!.How can do that?With currency-changing problems see the frightening bureaucratic CADIVI and also I live abroad.

Jennifer said...

Oh Uncle Eddie I'm glad that your presentation went well. If anyone "secretly" filmed it, please post on YouTube. ;)

I know that you love the "romance and tactile interest" of a pamplet, BUT one can always print the PDF file on the paper of one's choice if one wants the "romance and tactile interest" of a pamphlet. With a PDF, you can probably charge a lower price, which will make it affordable to most of the audience, and still collect a nice profit.

Anonymous said...

A one man play is an excellent idea! To draw a bigger crowd than the one intimate with the animation world, you could resurrect "An Evening With Burt Reynolds" using exactly the same set. The setup: you're stalling for the tardy Burt, who never shows. Whatever you do will be 100% entertaining. Each time you perform the piece, change the title, to keep things interesting: "An Evening With Steven Hawking", "An Evening With Edwin Booth", etc. If you four-wall it, you won't have to pay any partners and you can retire in Sweden!

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

I'll buy it!

Hans Flagon said...

If one does not gesture much as they speak, does it make them a bad actor? (perhaps a bad stage actor)?

Because there are plenty of times where a gesture looks forced or unnatural, from acting, to public speaking, as it the gesture is a direction in a script or on a teleprompter.

I may have already mentioned a trip to the doctors office, where someone in the waiting room was making the most boring chit-chat imaginable, but the gesturing involved was incredible. Unnatural seeming although I know it was perfectly natural. It caught (or you could not avoid it in) your peripheral vision, anyone within arms reach of her would have been badly bruised, and at the end of every statement her head and entire torso went though this little parking ritual of shoulder shrug, and head tilt.

And I'm reminded of Meyersons recent blog on Charlie Chaplins timing, in particular, the gesture heavy wine drinking scene. Did some one here point to it recently? Worth checking out if you do not already follow his blog.

http://mayersononanimation.blogspot.com/2009/02/its-all-in-timing.html

J. Garibaldi said...

Heh heh heh I was smart enough to get some of my spies inside, and am expecting their notes very soon. But I would still definitely buy your pamphlet. I agree with preferring a hard copy over a pdf; nothing beats the graininess of paper between ones fingers.

Masked Stinker said...

Thanks for the idea bout the PDF file. The problem is that a file doesn't have the romance and the tactile interest that a pamphlet has. I love pamphlets!

I'm more of a print guy myself.
It's nice to have something you can hold in your hands. Also electronic documents can disappear with just a little curruption of you hard drive.

Just thought it be easier for you
to distribute a pdf.

Taber said...

Heh, I'd buy it. Especially if Sid Caesar did the introduction!

Severin said...

Don't start with Walden! It's boring as hell if you're not already accustomed to Thoreau's dry, dry prose.

Start with Civil Disobedience instead. He writes about his experiences of being in jail for tax evasion. The whole thing is one big, angry letter to Washington.

Adam said...

What happened to the acting pamphlet? Did I miss it?