Trailburst Nuggets – An Anytime Snack

Trailburst Nuggets – An Anytime Snack

One of the fun little moments in the production of I Hate Hamlet by the Ottawa Little Theatre was the ad for Trailburst Nuggets that opens the final scene. Andrew Rally, the television actor who is wrestling with playing Hamlet on stage, is featured in the ad. The fun is that the ad is as abysmal as the product it hawks (which apparently taste like sawdust dipped in chocolate, with more calories than lard). Opening with a discussion between Andrew and a chipmunk hand puppet, who dissolves into tears when denied a sampling of nuggets – it ends happily with Andrew kissing his head and caving to his craving. Then follows the ad’s jingle – which isn’t scripted. Director Sarah Hearn only gave me one piece of direction regarding the jingle – “Make it utterly annoying, a tune you can’t get out of your head, like a barbed splinter in your brain.” So here, for your listening – ummm – pleasure, is the Trailburst Nuggets ad from Ottawa Little Theatre’s 2011 production of I Hate Hamlet. You can download the .mp3 here: TrailburstNuggets.mp3 Trailburst Nuggets – An Anytime Snack by Mike (Binary Rhyme) Heffernan Michael McSheffrey as Andrew Rally Stephen Liddiard as the Chipmunk People love (chipmunks too!) a tasty breakfast treat be sure to start your day the Trailburst Nugget way And when you head out on the road just remember that Trailburst Nuggets are an anytime snack Trailburst Nuggets An ANNYYYTIME Snack! Some further bits of fun include one of the lighting technicians misunderstanding the lyrics of the opening line. “People Love Chipmunk Stew!” … I’ve never...
Descends the Drape

Descends the Drape

by Mike (Binary Rhyme) Heffernan Descends the drape guillotine of the run celebrated and mourned in voices loud and whispers soft The whine of tools Passes the set to bones and vacuum The cast’s final exodus to home while from the ashes rises the next It lives on, the run, immortal in memory and legend a thousand moments and bonds new found or renewed This poem was written after I got home from the theatre on the closing night of “Inherit the Wind” at Ottawa Little Theatre. As the final curtain fell, it seemed, in a flash, to be an executioner’s implement – bringing a final, irreversible ending. It goes through my mind every time a production closes....
Twenty Insights on Being a Photographer

Twenty Insights on Being a Photographer

a presentation given to the RA Photo Club Everyone has a camera at the ready these days, but a camera does not a photographer make. Mike draws on four plus decades as an artist and photographer to distill twenty concise insights on photography and being a photographer. Over the years, hundreds of accumulated details and bits of information slowly form up into patterns. I tried to sweep a few things into piles and summarize it as a concise principle. A sampling of the principles introduced includes: It’s not about the Subject, it’s about the Image Don’t dilute Great with Good “Impact” is an Emotional reaction A Camera is a Musical Instrument that a Photographer Plays Don’t point a Camera, point a Workflow Crop until you Can’t You can download the .pdf of the presentation. Always great fun to be a part of things at the RA Photo Club – this evening was no exception – even if I did get an emergency tech support phone call from Ottawa Little Theatre 10 minutes before I was to start talking – but the show must go on! Lol....
The Future of Photography

The Future of Photography

a presentation given to the RA Photo Club Since the production of the photograph in 1826, photography has been evolving in response to changes in technology, society and business. It returns the favor – today a single photograph can become a symbol which shapes global events. The rate of change is increasing and the next couple of decades will reshape photography more than the previous two centuries. Everything is up for grabs: How a photo is taken, how it is processed, distributed, published and exhibited. The interaction between our world and how we view it is in for a wild ride. You can download the .pdf of the presentation. This was a fun look at the future I pulled together from a few weeks of google searching of current research combined with some imagination on how it might all fit together. The final bit draws on my experiences as a photographer in the...
Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

equipping vocal students with an effective practice tool I was recently engaged to teach vocals / singing to three fabulous pre-adolescent kids. At our first lesson, I was primarily interested in assessing what needed work. Emerging quickly as the front runner was pitch matching (the ability to hear a note and then sing it accurately). As I sat at the piano and played note after note, asking them to reproduce it, my students responded well to my feedback – “up a couple notes, down a couple… bring that up just a bit…” but I worried. All a teacher can do is show you what to learn and how to learn it – a student ultimately teaches themselves. How on earth could they practice effectively without me there to tell them how their pitch was doing? So I went home and did some searching, hoping to find an application that could help. Enter Sing and See – at $49 USD. It provides a window with real time pitch placement feedback, a keyboard for playing tones and a record and playback feature that works with any standard computer microphone. In the weeks since I’ve assigned my students practice work with Sing and See – move up and down the scale, move in semi-tones, play a note and sing it… and they have applied themselves diligently with admirable results. I highly recommend this application if you’ve got students (or yourself) with this...