Wednesday, April 23, 2008
King Richard the Third

I noticed browsing imdb.com that there's going to be a new film version of Richard III. They are updating the setting to Hollywood. There are some credible actors, such as David Carridine, Sally Kirkland, and Maria Conchita Alonso. Will it work? I'm skeptical but not certain.

Sometimes Shakespeare's plays get a freshness in a more contemporary setting. There was a Hamlet film a few years ago (Hamlet 2000 I think) set in a contemporary TV studio. The best thing about it was Bill Murray as the talkative adviser to the King.

I rented a movie on netflix of a television production of "Much Ado about Nothing" from the 70's with actor Sam Waterston. The same sense of honor absolutely translated from medieval Italy to the genteel South around 1900.

King Richard III was one of Shakespeare's most famous villains, who murdered all the impediments between him and the crown. At least that's what Shakespeare's story says. Since the guy who overthrew him was an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth I, it's not surprising he is cast as a villain.

In fact, Richard III was so popular as a character that there is a story, probably true, that during one performance of the play, a note was passed backstage from a lady to the leading actor playing Richard saying that he should come to her house and into her bedroom after the performance dressed as King Richard. I suppose there were groupies for actors then as there are for musicians now.

So Shakespeare, the story goes, saw the note and dressed himself as King Richard and went to the lady's house before the play ended. He was in the act of getting it on, shall we say, with the lady when there was a knock at the door from the actor dressed as King Richard.

The lady's servant said King Richard was at the door, and Shakespeare reportedly replied, "tell him William conquerer came before Richard third."

Just a little anecdote for Shakespeare's birthday.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Finding work as a freelancer

When I was a contract freelance technical writer (still am, but I work almost only for Microsoft), I would sometimes call on companies and talk to project leaders and engineering managers about writing documentation for their projects.

After they could tell I knew the writing tools and process (if it were a documentation manager) or the technology they wanted documented (if it were an engineering manager), they would get more interested and ask if I could send in a resume.

I'd say "do you have Internet access at your desk?" They always said yes. I'd say you can get to my resume at my web site www dot avrashow dot com. They would type it in, see my sketch of myself and I'd tell them to click on the Word icon or HTML version of my resume at the bottom of the left-side column.

It was not only easier for me, but that way we could continue talking instead of them forgetting our conversation and a while later seeing my email and thinking 'oh yeah, there's that guy's resume."

Plus I added a nice subtle fade effect to and from my home page. And if they want to see samples of my work, they can click on Writing or Graphics. It worked out really well ... until the Internet bubble.
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