SYNCHRONOUS vs. ASYNCHRONOUS

Those are two words that may not be familiar with many folks. Granted, they may be words used in a game of Scrabble, or words that are considered as “Two dollar words” that show off how somebody can seem educated, or as a person that is trying to impress somebody or something either asked for or as unrequested.

For those that aren’t in the know, these terms can describe how people communicate with one another. In this modern day and age, communicating is a whole lot easier than ever before. Yes, there is all of the high tech gadgetry that exist at one’s disposal, but there is all of the communication that is done live, for real! Meaning one must do so in a face-to-face situation.

That is where Synchronous comes to mind. That word can be known as its loose definition as face to face communication where the other source can provide an immediate response.

Asynchronous can be described as communication through text, email, letters, smoke signals, etc. where one is reliant on someone seeing it and possibly responding.

Many folks use the latter method in today’s communication. Just about everyone has access to a cell phone device, be in a smartphone, or perhaps a classic style flip phone. Although flip phones have been out of vogue for quite some time, they can not only send and receive calls, they can send and receive text messages-a function that’s been around long before the first smartphones came in view some some twelve years before.

When folks are going through their business throughout their day, sometimes they can’t take a standard phone call. They may be driving a vehicle, attending a meeting or function that demands their attention, or may not just want to speak with someone at that very moment. However, a message of some sort must go through. Yes, one can leave a voice message through the phone carrier’s message system, a virtual answering machine that can transcribe a message. However, people don’t seem to use that function as they once did. So they will type a message as a text message. This way, the person receiving the message can read it at their first opportunity. They in return, will reply to the message through the same way–by text! This way, everything they want to say is there in writing, ready to acknowledge and understand.

How text messages are sent depends on lots of factors. Some folks will send a message using cryptic words or phrases, such as Wil C U whn i cn thanx! added with an emoji symbol consisting of a smiley face sporting a big grin. (This message example was one that this writer once received!) Its translation, for those that could not figure the message out, means Will see you when I can thanks! Emojis, those little cartoon-type symbols that’s been around since text messaging, are used as “picture words” its loose translation from the Japanese where the term “emoji” comes from. Many people that use these picture words are more of a younger sect, yet many “seasoned” people tend to use it as well! (This writer should know as many people that send text messages to yours truly that add such emojis are well over the age of fifty!)

But no matter how text messages are sent or who is the sender and receiver, they are tending to take over standard voice calls. Perhaps people don’t want to leave a message by their voice, but would rather type the same message. It’s known why this is the case. However, yours truly within the past year or so have been doing by communication through text. And in return, the others I wish to communicate to are doing the same thing. Granted, these text message communication cycles are from people that I don’t know too well. Nevertheless, our back and forth conversations were all done in writing. I also send text message to people I know rather well. I just perform this task just because I don’t know what they are doing when I wish to send them a message. And if they respond, that’s fine! However, their return volley won’t be through a voice message!

No matter what method is used, it all depends on what one wants to say, and who is going to be told. And again, it’s not limited to text messaging either! There are the for noted emails, letters written on paper stock, smoke signals, and other forms that don’t require a face-to-face contact! However, in spite of these methods of how one can do anything and everything through a tap of an icon or a swipe of a screen, one can’t beat the factor of speaking to somebody in person and for real! Perhaps the oldest way to get things done are still the best, no matter what stage in life one stands in!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Open Fist Theatre Company presents RORSCHACH FEST, an anthology series consisting of a selection of shorter plays that uses the theme of perspicacity between the playwright(s) and its audience through visual clarification.

The short plays themselves are categorized in three separate collections, listed as “Inkblots A”, “B” and “C”. Each one of these “inkblot” blocks are performed in a repertory fashion on different production dates.

“Inkblot B” features Harold Pinter’s Landscape, starring Laura James & Tom Noga as an elderly married couple named Beth and Duff, holding a distant tone deaf conversation between themselves taking about different subjects not connected to one another. Landscape is directed by Chris Cappiello. Its second entry, Daniel Maclvor’s Never Swim Alone, stars Bryan Bertone and Dylan Maddalena as Frank and Bill, two “salesmen” competing in a heartless contest attempting to one-upmanship each other for a vague prize for placing in first. Ann Marie Wilding appears as the Ref, donning a black and white vertical striped outfit a la football field, keeping eye on the contest while occasionally perched on a lifeguard’s high chair. Amanda Weier directs.

Inkblot “C” resides with a pair of short stage pieces by Caryl Chuchill. The first entry entitled This Is A Chair, offers a number of isolated episodes taken from (British) life, ranging from an attempt in feeding a child, a woman who doubled booked herself while going on a date, a group of people discovering their friend jumped off a balcony, and other factors while superimposed upon a background are headlines that are relevant to the U.K. (Hong Kong, Peace in Northern Ireland, The Labour Party, etc.) The second installment Here We Go, is about a group of people attending a funeral. They all speak about what will take place on their soon-to-be deaths. A seperate scene occurs upon what happens to the funeral’s “guest of honor” i.e. the deceased.

This Is A Chair directed by Martha Demson and Here We Go directed by Matthew McCray, features as listed in alphabetical order, Megan Brotherton, Emmas Bruno, Carmella Jenkins, Schuyler Mastain, Debba Rofheart, David Shofner, Casey Sullivan,

Alexander Wells, and AlgeRita Wynn. Neil Oktay and Steven Rosenbaum appear in This Is A Chair, and Alberto Isaac is featured in Here We Go.

Inkblot “A”, consists of a single act play entitled Ghosts, written and directed by John O’Keefe. Ghosts has yet to be reviewed by this writer as of press time.

These series of plays presented by The Open Fist Theatre Company are performed with a minimalistic approach. The sets as designed by Jan Munroe are rather sparse. Each entry uses just a few pieces of objects of various sizes and functions that show no formal time nor space. These forms of visuals as presented only enhances to what the playwrights, as well as the directors desires to perceive per installment. It’s up to the audience to take in what is being said and done into their one ideas by its respected cast through these mini episodes. This is why this series of “inkblot” shows are very unique. Granted, they may not be for everyone’s desires. Then again, in today’s media landscape where every visual and audible aspect is played out as an anything goes-esque motif, these plays as depicted are a welcomed relief to those other notions that could be seen between something that’s genus quirk, or as an “I-don’t-get-it” method of theater! Whatever the case, each selection seen within this series passes the inkblot test–permanent ink stains and all!

RORSCHACH FEST, presented by the Open Fist Theatre Company, and performs at the Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles (Atwater Village), until April 5th. Showtimes are Friday, Saturday, and Monday nights at 8:00 PM, Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4:00 P. Inkblots A, B, and C perform twice a week on a rotating repertory basis.

For more details on tickets and for specific performance dates and times, call (323) 882-6912, or via online at http://www.OpenFist.org
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The Whitefire Theatre of Sherman Oaks continues its SoloFest 2020 series of performances featuring a single presenter telling tales based upon various topics, subjects, and sources. One of these presentations that performed on February 23rd is TL Forsberg’s The Book That Won’t Close: Confessions Of A Love Addict, a true narrative expressing her virtual and emotional journey where she came in and out of relationships, receiving emotional recovery through a unique “teacher”, and her overcoming an audio-based nonconformity.

In her performance, TL as her first name is credited, tells her epic saga about the individuals than appeared in and out of her life as she describes as figures appearing in a pop-up book where they fold into the pages when the book is shut. In this case, the “book” she lives through doesn’t close as they do not fold away.

Upon her recounting about some of these men–romantic partners or otherwise that were anything but perfect, she finds a mentor that gives her the advice she accepts. This person, a transgender woman, hands her a direction to take. But there is more to what TL has to face.

Perhaps her greatest challenge she holds is the fact that she is hard of hearing. She isn’t deaf in the traditional sense where she dwells in silence, nor she is of a mute that just won’t speak. She can’t conceive forms of background noises quite correctly, but she holds the ability to use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. (And don’t label her as “hearing impaired”!) But throughout her nearly two hour presentation, TL emotes her words and actions in a very animated fashion, never slowing down unless the story calls for a milder pace. With the aid of some visual images projected back of the performance space and through the audible effects as both designed by Glenn Longacre, TL is facing her strengths and weaknesses that goes back to her childhood in her home base of Canada (where in Canada?) that dealt with her parents and grandparent that held a culture difference; A difference that doesn’t rein true toward contemporary standards and practices.

Jessica Lynn Johnson, who specializes in the development and instruction of teaching those how to create their own single person show through movement and speech, directs this stage piece that highlights the verbal and even singing talents of TL. Granted, she covers a lot of ground within her 110 minutes on stage–a length that extends far beyond the sixty to seventy minutes a single performer usually takes to emote to an audience. However, those minutes are not wasted at all. It’s enough where the ALS interpreter Bob Lo Paro seated off stage left, keeps up with what she has to say and do! And she survived everything to tell just what happened!

TL Fostberg will present this production later this year during the Hollywood Fringe Festival, the annual theater program that will feature hundreds of intimate theater-based programs in a number of the smaller venues along Hollywood’s “theater row”-Santa Monica Blvd. roughly between El Centro Avenue to the east, and Highland Avenue to the west.

The Book That Won’t Close: Confessions Of A Love Addict will once again perform at The Broadwater Theatre, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. (off Lillian Way) in Hollywood on Sunday, June 7th at 3:30 PM, Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 PM, and Sunday, June 21st at 7:00 PM.

For more information on The Hollywood Fringe Festival, visit
http://www.HollywoodFringe.com

For more information on Jessica Lynn Johnson, visit
http://www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com

For more details on TL Forsberg, visit http://www.TLForsberg.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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