Armin Zaphiratous

What's That Sound?

Armin on sound designers, crappy photography and the perils of gas-passing.

published Friday, September 3, 2010

Hey Armin,

It seems that you have negative feelings toward designers. You haven’t had nice things to say about costume or lighting designers. I’m a sound designer, and I’m curious what you think about us? B.C.

Dear B.C.,

Oh, I love sound designers. Set designers are sons of bitches, though. ―YOURS, ARMIN 


This is embarrassing, but I seem to have a problem with passing gas onstage. I can’t figure out what food does it to me. It might be everything I eat. I’m an actor who gets lots of work, and it’s becoming a problem with my cast mates, and the audience. The other night I let out a big one during a major speech. There was some laughter, but that speech wasn't supposed to be funny. Do you have suggestions for fixing this, or at least for muffling the sound?

Dear Nasty,

Consult a physician or a dietician to see what's going on in those uderpants of yours. Or you could make lemonade out of shart-stained lemons. A Frenchman, Joseph Pujol, better known as Le Pétomane (which translates "fartomaniac"—you can't make this up), made a nice little career in the late 19th century on being able to fart on command. Throngs of, I'm assuming, disgusting and/or retarded people paid good money to see his stage show. Who knows, maybe with a little practice your whistling anus could make you the next great fartiste. Here's some math for you: Tex-Mex + Bag Pipes Attached to Your Anus = $$$. ―YOURS, ARMIN

Dear Armin,

The theater I work with frequently takes the most horrible press shots imaginable, and sends them out to the media. We never get coverage because of it. What should we do, Armin?

Dear Craptographer,

First of all, stop taking full body shots in somebody's backyard. Nothing looks more "grandma with a camera volunteering for yokel community theater" than being able to see an actor's feet in a press photo. Secondly, find a stage with one to 50 stage lights and turn them on. Thirdly, take fairly close-up shots. You can't always tell a compelling story with a single shot, but you can always communicate a mood with a strong image. The human face on its own can be awfully compelling. I say all of this like it's easy, but I know that you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be I suggest that you hire Mark Oristano and get the hell out of his way. You can see his work at Tell him Armin sent you. And Mark, I'll take 10 percent.― YOURS, ARMIN

We invite you to Ask Armin via email at Go on and ask. When he doesn't have enough queries to ponder, he bothers the hell out of the TheaterJones editors. Also, we don't stand by or even agree with all of Armin's advice. So don't hold us responsible if things go terribly wrong.
 Thanks For Reading

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What's That Sound?
Armin on sound designers, crappy photography and the perils of gas-passing.
by Armin Zaphiratous

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