Oct 11 – Silent Clowns: new digs, fun shorts

Sunday Oct 11 was our maiden voyage at the Arclight Theatre. Our audience really loved the new, more intimate space and the films looked great in there. Piano is an old Somebody & Someone upright, which I’d tuned a week or two before and seems to have held. The action is a little loose and creaky here and there, but I’ll take that over some of the grands I’ve played whose action is a bit on the tight side (sluggish center pins). One of the things that runs through my mind while I’m accompanying sometimes, is how to fix an action issue with the piano while I’m playing. The sound of this old upright, however, fits the films in some people’s minds, and I don’t mind it.

Program was a group of five shorts where the lead comic utilizes the vaudeville “tramp” character or is just down-and-out. There is a “fate” theme for The Goat – like the one in Tschaikovsky’s 4th – that came out of my hands a few years ago at a show Bruce and I did in Bryn Mawr for one of the campuses of S.I.G. that suddenly popped back into my head just before that film hit the screen. And, somehow, the chase music I’d come up with for the film came to me when the chase started. None of this was premeditated at all. Two days later, the theme I’d come up with for Buster’s character wafted up into my head; that theme was one that also “just happened” at a show Bruce and I did at the Princeton Arts Council a few years ago. These were both themes that I wasn’t sure if I thought they worked when I played them for the first time, but Bruce and his wife Alice told me they really fit afterwards, so they stayed.

We had a great crowd, and I was really pleased that everyone liked the new theater. It’s a different sort of space, a little more homey, than the museum aud we’d been at since 2005.

Thoughts? Comments?